Spring Color

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Hello! I am alive over here, if not just barely keeping my head above water most days. I am sloooooowly getting back into the groove of sewing. Emmerich has begun to fall into a nap time schedule (knock on wood), which has given me a little bit of time to myself during the day. After I put him down for a nap, I usually come out of his room looking a wild animal, quickly scanning the house for anything that has to be attended to right away. And lately, I’ve decide that the only thing that needs attending to is my sewing machine, because this Mama is not happy if she’s only done laundry and dishes and housework during her short daily breaks.

I LOVED all of the suggestions everyone gave me in the comments on my post about future project ideas. It has helped me to stop thinking of getting an entire project done in one sitting, like I used to, and instead break it into manageable chunks that I can pick up here and there. I feel like it finally took the pressure off, and I have learned to be fine with only sewing in half of a zipper, or maybe cutting out just two pattern pieces before the baby wakes up.

windowpillowsI used a few of his nap times to make a seat cushion and three pillows for a window seat we have at the top of our stairs. Most everything I used I had on had, except for the fabric for the seat cushion. You know how expensive foam is? Ridiculous. Well, my friend told me about camping foam, sold at our local Fred Meyer. It’s made to sleep on top of, but it was only $20 for a piece a little bit smaller than a twin bed. It’s really dense, so I’d say it compares to the $100 foam at Joann Fabrics. Score! I sewed the cover out of a cotton twill and made piping to match, so it was sort of a pain to make. The pillows were easy-peasy though, and used up little bits of mini pom-pom trim I had and three odd colors of invisible zippers that’d been in my stash for years. Now we’ve got a bit of spring color in the house, and it’ll pop even more when we get the trim painted (yeah, don’t look too closely at that awful 70s light peach hue).

There was another project that I really wanted to get to, but it probably took me 2 weeks to finally complete.


For a few years in a row, I have made Rob a birthday shirt out of McCall’s 6044. I always lengthen the sleeves a good 4 inches, and this time instead of doing a two-piece sleeve with a vent along the sleeve seam, I changed the pattern to a one-piece sleeve and used a placket from Vogue 8889 for a nicer finish. The best part of sewing this up? Not having to cut it out! It’s actually been cut out and waiting to be put together for probably a year. Rob cut it out when he was going to learn to sew his own shirts, and lucky for me, he never found the time to finish it up. I told him that from now on, if he cuts out the shirts, I will sew them.


He did a pretty good job of matching up some of his stripes, but it was a bit fiddly to cut out since this reversible railroad denim has stretch to it.


I like this pattern so much better with the placket! It always bothers me when a sleeve vent is created by using the seam on a two-piece sleeve. It feels sloppy, no matter what kind of finishing I do to the seam allowances. This is much cleaner and looks more professional.


Cutting out the back yoke so it went a different direction was a good call on Rob’s part. It looks nice that the stripes follow the bodice fabric on the front, and visually it’s nice to break up the stripes by running them horizontally on the back.

There was one other quick project that was thrown into my machine the other day. Emmerich had outgrown a sunhat we had for him, so I used the free Reversible Oliver+S Bucket Hat pattern to make sure he had something to shield his eyes from our lovely spring sunshine. He’s such a cute little noodle!


Can I say that I cannot believe he is SIX months old already?! Where is the time going?


  • utahprincipal801

    Darling baby – I love that shirt! Beautiful job! I’m working on pillows now, too!

    • Thank you! What kind of pillows are you making? I forgot how satisfying something as easy as pillowcases can be. I need to make more!

      • utahprincipal801

        I’m making some quilt block pillows for my bed. I’m covering my old pillows with new covers.

        • Sounds lovely! I made a few pillowcases for our bed awhile back out of a 500 thread count flat sheet I found on sale for $7. They feel heavenly to sleep with! I’m a fan of quilt block pillows as well. I think they’re nice and firm and add so much fun color to a room.

  • Oh my goodness, those eyes!!! He is absolutely adorable! My second boy turned one last week, and I have no idea how that happened at all! Crazy! I think your sewing is really impressive. I’ve never managed a shirt at all, never mind in teeny tiny chunks of time, with (probably) limited brain power. I think you are doing tremendously well. Hope you are feeling happier as a result. X

    • Thank you! I know I’m biased, but I think he’s pretty darn cute too. 🙂 And yes- haha!- I am working with very limited brain power right now. I guess it’ll probably be that way for the next few years. Wow, do they grow up fast though. He doesn’t even want to be rocked to sleep anymore, just set down in his crib for his naps. It’s so sad he’s so big and wants to do it himself! I can’t imagine how quickly he’ll be one-year-old like your little guy.

      Thanks for the encouragement and yes, I’m so much happier to be sewing again! 🙂

  • Tracey

    Such lovely projects. I am getting back into sewing after a 30 year gap so finding it tricky to remember techniques. Small projects really encourage and your blog has been a treasure find. The shirt looks amazing and baby is cute. My twins are 25 so the cuteness has kind of ….changed 😏

  • Angie M

    oh…my…gosh. he is the CUTEST baby i have ever seen!!!!!! (Sorry, still want to eat those feet though!). Lovely post – so nice to hear from you and know you are getting back into the swing of things and carving a bit of time for yourself! Speaking of that…i’d love to see a pic of the two of you together! <3

    • Aw- thank you! And yes, I nibble those toes multiple times a day! I’m sure he wonders why I’m always trying to eat him up. I can’t help it though. The chubby thighs too- it’s just too much! I will see what I can do about a photo of the two of us. 🙂 I hope you’re well!

  • Angie M

    haha! my twins are twenty and still cute but not quite as cuddly! lol!

    • Angie, I forgot you had twins! Two mamas who deserve sooo much pampering, right here! I am in awe of anyone who can raise multiple babies at the same time. You both deserve as much wine and chocolate as you could want!

  • SunGold

    He’s a beautiful baby! Oh, this is a sewing blog … love the shirt. 😉

  • Barb_R

    Cute baby, cute shirt! I completely agree with you about the two-piece sleeve. They just look cheap. You did an outstanding job topstitching and that placket is a vision of perfection! Good job!

    • Thank you! I’m a big fan of topstitching, and my Bernina Edgestitch foot is quite helpful in making it perfect. Yes, two-piece sleeves drive me nuts. I get it, lots of people think a vent is easier than a placket. But really, if you just take your time and press it well, a placket is no harder than any other part of the shirt. This is coming from someone who used to dread them!

  • Thank you! I do have some technique posts hidden around the blog, if you want to look for them. Small projects help a lot to help you feel accomplished and get you back into the groove of sewing. Just do a little bit every day and it’ll all come back to you! 🙂

    Twins?! Any mother with twins deserves a month-long paid vacation every year, as far as I’m concerned. Even once they’re 25! 🙂

  • What a darling boy! I know this won’t make you feel much better, but my youngest, a darling boy in his own right, just turned 7 and I still find myself working in small bursts. Long gone are the days of a project getting done in a day. Even with school in session, I find myself scrambling to fit my sewing in before I have to scoot off and rescue the monsters from the school. Then it’s homework and whatever extra curricular activity of the season. I group things in blocks. Cut out patterns today and launder fabric if needed. Tomorrow, I may cut out two (or four) different projects and tuck them away in big baggies waiting to be sewn. Another day, I’ll stitch in my spare hours. I’ve learned to focus more on my finishes, not bothering to stress myself about finishing something all at once. If it takes several days (or weeks), so be it. Don’t rush. Do it right and ENJOY the little moments you have at your machine.

    • I really like the idea of cutting out projects and storing them in baggies until I can get to them. Right now I put things on a shelf, but having it all together with the pattern and such would be nice, instead of finding it later and thinking, “What on Earth is this?”

      I think that’s going to be the major adjustment- getting used to “focusing on finishes” as you said, instead of stressing about getting something done. You’re right, it’s not fun that way. I think I need a post-it on my machine that says just that! 🙂

      • The baggie system is working out amazingly for me! I use the big 2 gallon size ones. Everything I have on hand for the pattern, like zippers, buttons, matching thread, etc. goes into the baggie. If I don’t have something, a post-it note on the pattern lets me know what’s missing and that item goes onto my shopping list for when I manage a trip to JoAnn’s. I can pull out the bag and tell at a glance what I have and what I still need.

        • It sounds like a really great system! I think I tried it once before with baggies, but I didn’t do the post-it note (which is genius). Instead, I’d go thru the bag and then realize I was still missing something like a zipper or interfacing, which wasted precious sewing time. I’m going to try it out again, using your methods!

    • debbie katz

      I use the large baggie system too! If I don’t get to something right away, it’s dust free, everything is together and ready to go when I am. I usually cut two or three things at a time, so when I can sew I just choose one and start sewing.

      • Having 2-3 projects already cut out and ready to go would be great! Cutting is my least favorite part, so maybe taking a week and dedicating it to just cutting out projects would be a good idea. It was lovely to have the last shirt I made all cut out and ready to go. It felt like such a huge part was already done!

  • Yay for sewing time, I’m happy that you’re getting some more sewing time 😀
    Lovely projects, especially the shirt, I don’t like sewing shirts. I used that hat pattern for Lucas too, need to make him a new one for this summer.
    And Emmerich has gotten so big, still just as cute! Xxx

    • I’m happy too! I hope you’re getting some sewing time in too, Mama! I’m sure you’re really busy these days. Perhaps a quick little hat for Lucas would be just the ticket. I’m enjoying seeing your Me-Made-May stuff on Instagram. 🙂

      • A little bit of sewing time here & there 🙂 It has been busy, another month & then I have a 6 week vacation before school starts again. This Me-Made-May hasn’t been as easy as the last, I need more “office wear” & trousers.

        • I’m glad you’re getting in some sewing time! I know it’s hard to come by. Hopefully you’ll get in some good stretches of time during your 6-week vacation though! That sounds lovely.

  • Your pillows are so pretty! What a fun little corner of your house that is! And oh man, Emmerich is so dang cute!! ALSO. I need to convince Blake to cut out his shirts! That’s half the battle! I I prefer a placket, too. They just look so much tidier!

    • Thank you! I love having a little window seat the overlooks the garden. It’s exactly what little 7-year-old Amy would have dreamt about!

      Ah- getting guys to cut out their own shirts is AWESOME. Plus, they can never give you crap about “why don’t you make me something”, because then they realize how much freaking time it takes just for cutting alone!

      And yeah, Em is pretty dang cute. 🙂 I wonder what a little Ginger baby would look like…. Muwahahaha! 🙂 🙂

  • Just like you I discovered I needed to separate every single task in my sewing if I wanted any to be done. I also needed to reorganize completely my sewing area – I used to have a whole room, but it’s just nextdoor to my girl’s bedroom so that would be too noisy. There are times now (she’s turning 2 in a couple of days) when I really miss the big chunks of sewing I had before but I do manage to sew at each nap, and if I’m not too tired once she’s in bed for the night – and that’s enough to make me happy!
    You did a great job on that shirt! I totally agree with you on the subject of plackets 🙂

    • You might have a point about reorganizing my sewing area. Right now it’s kind of a pain to try to find a spot where I can set up my iron, which is juuuuust annoying enough to make me decide to do something besides sew. Is that super lazy? I’m pretty sure it is. Ha!

      I think I need to force myself to sew each day, even for 15 minutes. It improves my mood so much, and even with 15 minutes, if I work really hard, I can get quite a bit accomplished!

      Thanks for the shirt encouragement! Yes, plackets for the win! 🙂

  • Lisa Pyke

    Emmerich has the most gorgeous eyes. Soooo many girls are going to fall for him! Boy are you in trouble…lol.
    I love the pillow in the middle, any chance you remember the maker/ name of the fabric?
    I have cut down on my blog subscriptions, yours I love it popping up here and there. It is a great surprise and makes me think about sewing a bit more. 🙂

    • Thank you! Everyone comments on his eyes when they meet him, and then they say, “Is that a girl? That baby is too pretty to be a boy.” Ha!

      The fabric is Anna Maria Horner, from her Good Folks line. It is called Small Gathering in the Azalea colorway. I’ve had this little piece for a very long time!

      Aww- I’m honored to have made the blog reader cut! I should probably do that to my owner list, seeing as I never get to read them anymore.

  • Rose

    Just found your blog and love your articles. Great work! Some is above my ability as a newbie, but loved the ideas. Cute little guy you have there 🙂

  • Lisa Lier

    I’m taking your class on beginning serging on Craftsy and LOVE YOU! I’m quite daunted at times, but I’ll get there.

    Your son is a doll! My youngest son is now 32 and expecting the arrival of his first child, a girl in November. She will be my 5th grandchild and 3rd granddaughter. When he was your Em’s age I was told he was too pretty to be a boy also, he grew up to be a handsome young man. (if I do say so myself!) Those eyelashes of his are still long over his deep brown eyes! He can still look at me and get anything he wants! My eldest son and his wife are ALSO expecting a girl, in October!

    I love the fabrics you choose for the pillows. I’ve been making new throw pillow covers for my daughter in law lately, but they are only simple “Sham” covers as that is what she wants. How EASY can that be, eh?
    You can imagine I’m antsy to learn more about my serger so I can sew plenty of baby girl things! Thanks for making the classes easy to understand!

    You WILL get to a point that Em will give you more “me” time, he really will!

    • Thank you so much, Lisa! I’m so happy to hear that you are learning and enjoying my serger class on Craftsy. That’s wonderful!

      Congratulations on your new family additions! Warn them that they don’t always turn out to be girls when your ultrasound says that’s what you’re getting, okay? That’s what happened with Em! He was the best surprise ever though. I wouldn’t change him for the world!

      A serger will make your throw pillow covers come together even faster. I hope you find lots of uses for it when making baby girl clothes too. Do you have some patterns already?

  • Jenny

    He is so cute! I’ve got a 3 yr old and a 1 yr old, so I’ve learned to seperate my project out a lot- sometimes I’ll put focus on pinning after they go to sleep, because I can always sneak in a few stitches throughout the day. Even the tiniest bit of self accomplishment goes a long way for this mama.

  • Zhe

    hi! 🙂 I watch your classes on Craftsy and they are super inspiring! I don’t have a sewing machine yet but I really want to own one now 😉 I’ve only tried to make a couple of pillowcases and 1 terrible dress using my mom’s machine, but now I live in another town so I don’t have access to it. still i’m worried that all the stuff I usually make is a bit clumsy and sloppy – is neatness something one can learn or is it just the matter with my temper? maybe I shouldn’t even try and spend money on an expensive sewing machine?) *you can’t offend me if you say: “Yeah, you should really do something else!” 😉

    ps: your kid is really adorable – bet you hear that a lot 🙂
    pps: thanks for your classes!)