Bear’s “Half-Birthday” Celebration





You may remember my Bug’s recent Half-Birthday Celeberation.  Well, my second summer birthday Little is my Bear – and preschool is no exception to the Half-Birthday phenomenon around here!

I found his a little harder because I prefer to send non-food treats to his class due to some friends with very severe allergies in his class.  I figure the easiest course is to avoid food items at all rather than have nagging fears that I missed something or misunderstood the allergy.  And, I also don’t want to leave anyone out!  That’s no fun!

I wanted whatever I sent to coordinate with his celebratory shirt, and I really wanted a How to Train Your Dragon theme, but Party City wasn’t helping me with that one.  Boo to Party City!  We love Toothless around here.  I finally settled on Paw Patrol, because, well- Party City was able to accommodate me and I had fabric available.  (I don’t particularly care for Paw Patrol – kind of sexist if you ask me!  Why is it so hard to find Skye on anything?)  I found cute little mini Paw Patrol note pads (that included Skye) and Paw Patrol pencils (that also included Skye) and some plain blue treat bags.

Pencils and notepads went into treat bags and they were stapled together with the cute tag I made up in Picmonkey!  Picmonkey is a fun & user friendly site for a beginner, very amateur graphics fan like myself.

And, the celebratory half-birthday shirt!  I made it slightly big, as I typically do for Bear, since he’s a weed at only 4 years old.  I also made it short sleeve even though it is still quite cold and winter here.  I wanted him to be able to wear this into the summer and just had him wear a plain zip up hoodie (open) to school.  (He got too hot anyhow and took the jacket off.  The child is a furnace!)

I used the Patterns for Pirates Jolly Roger Raglan for him – a fast, easy sew that allowed me to use the very small scrap of fabric I had left of this print.  I ordered this years ago from a custom seller and only ordered 1 yard.  But, using the fabric as only the front and back panels of raglans has allowed me to get 3 shirts out of it.  I hope this one lasts until we are no longer Paw Patrol fans!  The back of this one is the solid royal blue cotton lycra from Purpleseamstress Fabrics, same as the sleeves.

I think his treats and shirt turned out awfully cute and he had a great day wearing the birthday crown at school and being sung to by all his friends!

I had to include this photo, because I just couldn’t resist that face!  Blueberry eyes!  (And, yes, the child is crazy blonde and pale – I feel that perhaps Coppertone should pay for his college considering how much sunscreen we go through!)

I hope this gave you some good ideas for your future birthday or half-birthday celebrations!


Fun Valentine’s Day Classroom Treats!





Happy Valentine’s Day!  I hope you all got in on my early Valentine coupon code gift last week.  You will LOVE your Sew Vagabond Shop fabrics!

Today, is LOVE day!  My Littles have been soooo excited to wear their special outfits and give their cute cards to all their friends.  They are very invested this year, because they helped me pick what they were going to pass out to their friends.  My kindergartner, Bug, will not have a party but will have a Valentine exchange and a fun snack and activities.  But, my pre-school buddy, Bear, will have a full party with snacks, games, crafts and of course the traditional valentine exchange.

Since Bear is still in pre-school and still has a small class size, I was able to go a little all-out this year!  I used my embroidery machine and made this adorable in-the-hoop crayon and notebook folders.

This is a machine embroidery file that actually does the entire construction of the folder in the hoop on the embroidery machine.  This one is very basic, and designed for felt or maybe vinyl since the edges are left raw.  The raw edges are what allows it to be a fast, cost-effective project.  The design I used is from Newfound Applique on Etsy, the In The Hoop Crayon Purse with Book Pocket, and I have to say – I was thrilled with my results.  Everything went quickly and smoothly, the instructions were clear and easy to follow.  I usually dread work on the embroidery machine – it never seems to go right for me!  But, this was a quick, satisfying project with super cute results.  The only modification I made was to use a loop of 14″ elastic instead of ribbons for a closure.  I felt that would be simpler for preschoolers and their mommies!  I ordered the crayons on Amazon Prime and the notebooks came in a pack of 12 from Sam’s Club.

I made something similar for Bug a few years back but it was much more time consuming as it was all made step by step on a regular sewing machine, but they were adorable and a huge hit among her friends at the time!  I used the Diedelbug Handmade Tiny Artist Crayon Roll pattern; if you have a smaller group, like maybe a small group party favor, they are PERFECT!

I made his card like I have other cards I’ve shared, in Picmonkey.  This one was a little complicated because I was a huge nerd and built the robot step by step from the basic geometric shapes, because I couldn’t find one I liked that would work.  The rest was easy once I finished the robot construction.  You may remember his cute shirt I shared last week – his robot is a match for the one on his shirt!  Yay!

Once I finished the card design, I ordered them from the one hour photo printing option at Walgreen’s and just placed them under the elastic that closes the folders.

Bug LOVES ladybugs – it’s her nickname, so we went with a ladybug theme for her valentines.  Her class does not include a single allergy, so they are allowed to bring any sort of treat they choose.  I went looking for something small and inexpensive since she has a larger class.  I came across these cute little ladybug stickers designed to go on the bottom of Hershey kisses and Sam’s Club had a huge bag of the kisses.  To pack them up, I grabbed a package of little treat bags at Party City.

I made her card using Picmonkey also, of course.  Bug’s was much easier, all the design elements and fonts were right there as part of the Picmonkey app for me to create with.  She helped decide where the ladybugs would go and how many hearts were needed.

The printing at Walgreen’s was cheap – only $0.12 per print with a coupon code since I ordered both kids’ at once.  Once I picked them up, we just quickly stapled them to the front of the treat bags.  Voila!

Hope you all have a fun Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day or regular day that you don’t pay attention to because it’s totally annoying!


Sunday Lately with Blogger Tribe: Week 111





My second week participating in the Sunday Lately Link up with Blogger Tribe!

Fighting:  A seemingly never-ending round of viral coughs and colds.  I think it seems everyone is.  I’ve turned to vitamins to help me battle this round.  So far, at least I have more energy, so I’ll take that.

Relaxing:  The kids’ bedtime a teensy bit this weekend in an effort to spend time with good friends.

Daydreaming:  Spring!  I confess I’m hard to please – I can’t stand the deadly heat of mid-summer, but I’m a sucker for spring and fall.  I think I could live year round in the mid-60s fahrenheit.  I’m tired of the dreary weather, the drab trees, the sad, brown grass, blech!  Bring on spring on!

Delivering:  On my promise to myself to get the kids’ Valentines finished BEFORE the night before Valentine’s Day at dark thirty!  By tomorrow afternoon, they will be completed and ready to go.  Cross my heart and hope to spit!

Amusing:  My husband, with my promise to have the Valentines ready ahead of time.  He has serious doubts.  He’ll just see!

Stick with me this week to see those completed Valentines, as well as some sewing thoughts I’ve cooked up.

Have a relaxing, non-football Sunday!

Kid Approved Valentine’s Day Dressing





Since I’ve shared with you 2 different Valentine’s Day date night looks for Mama, I thought it was about time my two littlest sweethearts got some spotlight!  I don’t always manage it, but I do really like to make both Littles something fun to wear to school for Valentine’s Day.  Neither of their schools have an actual party, but both do a Valentine exchange and have a special snack.  But, my Bug in particular loves a fun, special occasion outfit.

For Bug, I chose from my stash this heart print argyle knit that I bought from Purpleseamstress Fabrics two years ago to make her something for Valentine’s Day!  But, she kept choosing other fabrics first.  This time, mommy chooses, and we will be using purple argyle hearts!  (Please note her marker covered hand – she is a hard at work artiste!)

She would love a dress, but I thought this peplum length Made for Mermaids Noelle would actually get more wear.  A peplum is a good compromise for us, because it has a skirt she can twirl, but is more practical for wearing to kindergarten than an actual dress.  I intended some black leggings with it, but when I went to make them, it turned out that I was out of black cotton lycra!  How could I have let that HAPPEN?  So, she’s wearing some store bought corduroy jegging type things.  What I like best is that this little outfit is festive enough for Valentine’s Day, but also isn’t a one time wear, she can wear this any day as it isn’t particularly theme-y.  On a side note – can you believe that pose?  That was undirected – she’s the child of a blogger I guess!  And another side note – it kills me that she looks so grown up in this photo.


For Bear, I had a harder time!  He’s very particular and it is harder to make something for him that celebrates a holiday, but is still wearable anytime.  He definitely wanted a special shirt and I sat down with him and showed him some ideas.  He eventually settled on this Valentine Robot from Stitch Away Applique, and selected his fabrics himself.  He wanted a green heart originally, but I didn’t want his robot to be carrying some gangrene heart, so I pointed out some other options and he was excited to choose pink, provided the robot could be green.


In case you were wondering; the above is a “good guy face.”  Bear assures me.  The pattern I chose for him is the Patterns for Pirates Jolly Roger Raglan.  Like most raglans, it goes together so quickly and is just a nice, basic raglan.  However, for I like the cut of the Jolly Roger Raglan over some others (I mayyyy own three different kids’  raglan patterns) on him; not too baggy and not too tight.  I definitely add length for my tall, skinny boy!  I added about an 1 1/4″ to the hem.  I’m hoping that perhaps we can get Valentine’s Day 2018 out of it also!  He wanted the light gray ribbing for his neckband, but I should have shortened the band.  Because it turned out that I was lazy, I didn’t rip it out and re-do.  He is wearing his pink polo shirt under it (because, as he tells me, “real dudes wear pink) and I’m calling it a sweater!

Check back next week to see the Valentines that they are taking to school!  One food, one non-food!

Are you making any Littles in your life Valentine ensembles?





Date Night February Blog Tour: Double Date!





Sewing by Ti’s monthly blog tour theme for February is Date Night February!  Make sure you check out my fellow tour bloggers this month and their amazing date night inspiration!  I have the list at the end of the post – but don’t miss the coupon code before you leave!


As you know, last week, I shared a very pretty, fancy date, date night dress, the Made for Mermaids Mama Joy in the Sew What do I Wear?  Valentine’s Day Edition blog tour.  This week, for the Date Night February Tour hosted by Sewing by Ti, I will be exploring a more casual date night look.  Big Daddy and I are taking advantage of our fitness center’s “Parent’s Night Out” and joining some friends of ours for a fun dinner.   My plan is for this fun, casual night out look to also work for our Grand Tasting during the day for our Wine Festival Date.  You can read more about that if you missed in my post last week, Husband Approved Date Night.



This week, I chose to sew up a Made for Mermaids Mama Claire.  This 2-way dolman can be worn with the cross over on the front or the back – how cool is that?!  I love that the Mama Claire allows me to adjust the hussification level by deciding where I want to stitch the crossover in place.  Since this is a February Date Night top, I went with full hussified!  Though, obviously, I could wear it with a cami underneath to make it more daytime appropriate.  My fabric is this stunning poly knit from Sew Vagabond Fabric Shop.  My motivation was using one of the full medallions as the back – as I will wear the cross-over in the front for this top.  This knit is not a breeze to work with – it’s all poly, so it is slippery – so slippery!  But, I absolutely love the gorgeous drape and smooth hand, it’s perfect for a date night and dresses up the top enough to be dressed up or down.




















Have you ever ordered from the Sew Vagabond Shop?  I have mentioned this lovely shop many times in my posts lately.  Some other Sew Vagabond examples are my Husband Approved Date Night dress, my entire outfit for Dressing Up when Temps are Down, the pink sweater knit for my dolman from Cozy Clothes, Cool Colors and even the navy french terry from my pj shirt featured in On Mondays, We Wear Pajamas.  Emily, Vagabond in Chief, has amazing, beautiful selections, as well as sometimes running pre-sales for some gorgeous new prints.  They even have a great Rewards Program that earns points that translate to money off your future orders!

How can you argue with this stunning fabric?  And I’m SOOO excited to announce that Emily is offering an exclusive coupon code to my awesome Sewingly, Michelle readers!!   15% off all shop fabrics for 3 days only!  Shop, shop, shop and make make make!  Share your makes on my Facebook page if you like -I would LOVE to see them!  (You can follow the button in my sidebar to go to my Sewingly, Michelle Facebook page!)



If you’re like me, you’re going to love all of the inspiration my fellow bloggers have for you. Be sure to check back all February long to see what patterns work for us!

Wednesday, February 1st: Sewing By Ti
February 2nd: Crafty Like a Rox
February 3rd: Sewing By Ti

Sunday, February 5th: Embrace Everyday
February 6th: Tenille’s Thread
February 7th: Robynne and the Bobbin
February 9th: Sewingly, Michelle
February 10th: Sewing By Ti

Sunday, February 12th: Embrace Every Day
February 13th: A Phoenix Risen
February 14th: Creative Counselor
February 15th: Creamer and Chaos
February 16th: Everything Your Mama Made and More
February 17th: Sewing By Ti
February 18th: Sew Like a Sloth

Sunday, February 19th: Very Blissful
February 20th: Tenille’s Thread
February 21st: Mamoose Handmade
February 22nd: Rebel and Malice
February 23rd: Margarita on the Ross
February 24th: Sewing By Ti
February 25th: On Wednesday We Sew

Sunday, February 26th: The Fairy Dust Bin
February 27th: Sewing By Ti
February 28th: Sew Haute

The coupon code, SEWINGLY15 is good through Sunday night at 11:59 PST!  What, oh what will you buy??


Netflix and Craft: Warm Winter Crochet





Today, I’m introducing the very first “series” to my blog; Netflix & Craft!  I am a nerdy nerd.  I love Netflix for all the awesome and ridiculous sci fi!  And when I Netflix, I like to have something to do with my hands.  I find that if I don’t, I tend to either fiddle with my phone or snack.  Neither of which is good, healthy or relaxing.  My options vary by season and what my current interest is.  Right now, with it being winter time and cooooold in our family room which happens to have 3 sides to the outdoors, I’ve been crocheting.  But, when spring and summer come, my interest will change and I will have a new Netflix & Craft.  In this series, I’ll be sharing my hand crafting, some tips, maybe a tutorial or pattern and I’ll also be reviewing my current Netflix obsessions!


So, onto my most recent completed Netflix & Craft project.  I mentioned in my last Warm Winter Crochet post that I may tackle a blanket and I did decide to go in that direction.  But, I actually chose a different pattern than the one I was considering.  I went with this Crochet V-stitch Rainbow Blanket from Repeat Crafter Me, but made a few modifications.  First, I obviously chose to go with one color repeat in the color bands.  I liked blue, it’s rather neutral and works for whatever I end up doing with this blanket, and it was what I had enough handy to get a good start.  I also felt the size indicated in the pattern was a little small, it is really intended as a baby blanket, so I did a bit of research and added length to my original chain.  It makes a nice, big blanket that works perfectly for the couch.

My Netflix binge for this project was Continuum.  This show is fantastic!  Time travel, moral dilemma, emotional drama, political intrigue, cool gadgets and did I mention time travel?  The show’s protagonist, Keira Cameron is inadvertently (ish) dragged into an escape plan hatched by terrorists to escape their fate, utilizing fancy time travel technology.  This guy, from Giant Freakin Robot,  has a great review and synopsis of the fabulous show!

Five Reasons You Should Be Watching Continuum

Here are some details on the modifications I made to Repeat Crafter Me’s pattern.  First, I did some research on the V-stitch used in the pattern (How to Crochet Classic DC V-stitch) and found that I needed a chain that was a multiple of 3 plus 7 stitches.  So, Sarah from Repeat Crafter Me had her blanket with a foundation chain of 93, but I didn’t think that would be big enough for what I had in mind.  I did some fancy pants mathematics and settled on a chain of 151.  I think that 142 would have also been nice, but well, I forgot that I was adding a border!  Once I completed the foundation chain, I continued her pattern but just used the blue instead of the rainbow colors she used for her sweet and meaningful blanket.

The yarn I used was from Michael’s – the Loops and Threads Impeccable and I used 4 skeins of the True Gray, 3 skeins of the white and for the blue, I actually used 2 skeins of the Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice Colonial Blue.  I started out with what I had on hand and then supplemented as I ran out.

Now, I have to officially decide what to do with this.  I have 4 children, and I have made 2 blankets for 3 of them.  My oldest son – my J. Burroughs, only has one.  So, I have been thinking he would actually really appreciate it.  I also considered donating it.  Perhaps I will give him this one and make another one to donate.

Are you currently binge watching anything?  Do you do find the need to DO something while you watch?  Any other crafting habits besides sewing?

Check back again for more Netflix & Craft-ing!



Sunday Lately with Blogger Tribe: Week 110 (but my first!)





Sunday Lately is a weekly link-up hosted by the Blogger Tribe, which is fearlessly led by Angelica (Gardening in High Heels) and Katy (Wild and Wanderful).  We e-hangout every Sunday, sharing a small glimpse into the past week of life in our own worlds.  Though this feature has been going on for obviously quite some time, this is my first Sunday Lately post and I’m just jumping in!

Procrastinating:  Oh, my, the papers!  I have papers all over the kitchen.  I neeeeeed an organizational plan to corral all the ridiculous papers.  The mail just piles on countertops, the kindergarten and preschool papers are in an overflowing bin, it’s overwhelming and de-motivating!  So, I’m procrastinating doing something about it.  A major paper purge is in order.  Sooooon.  Maybe.  Soon.

Hiding: Well, from the mess!  I busy myself with other things and hide from the task!

Imagining: Shall I continue with the theme?  Imagining a magazine/dropping in neighbors ready kitchen?  Nah – too much!  Big Daddy and I have been discussing some building and reconfiguring in the Sewingly, Michelle studio and I’ve been imagining all the pretty new layout and more functional workspace.

Sharing:  Valentine’s Day inspiration.  I shared some last week, but there is more to come this week for Valentine’s Day inspiration, including a more casual date night look and the Little’s Valentine’s Day looks.

Praising:  My little portable iPhone charger that my husband brought home from a trade show!  How did I survive my life one month ago when I didn’t have this magical gadget?!

Dear Readers, I’d love to know what you are thinking about and are up to this week!  Drop me a line anytime.  Connect with me on Facebook and Instagram by following the buttons at the top of the sidebar ——–>.  Have a gorgeous week and check back in this space, this week, for a new feature – Netflix & Craft(!) and more Valentine’s Day inspiration!

Husband Approved Date Night!





I’m excited – so excited to participate in the Made for Mermaids and Patterns for Pirates Sew What do I Wear?  Valentine’s Day Edition blog tour!  Each day, different bloggers will feature Patterns for Pirates and Made for Mermaids patterns that will be sure to inspire you for wherever Valentine’s Day takes you!



Do you actually celebrate Valentine’s Day?  I may do something for the kids, but Big Daddy and I rarely do anything.  However, our first date anniversary tends to get celebrated almost annually, the first weekend in March.  So, in honor of Sew What do I Wear?  Valentine’s Day Edition blog tour, I sewed up a celebration worthy dress that I’ll be wearing that first weekend in March!


For our first date, Big Daddy took me to a huge Wine Festival held annually, here in our city; it’s actually a fundraiser.  It was such a fun night, and we go back {almost} every year.  We usually go to the tasting during the day, then out to dinner in the evening.  We typically get a hotel room downtown and sometimes even take a nap between the tasting and dinner.  {It’s a LOT of wine!}  For the tasting, I lean towards something fun and comfortable that allows me to wear comfortable shoes; it’s a lot of walking around a convention center.  Then, after my nap, I get dressed for an upscale restaurant downtown.  This dress will be my dinner dress (check back next week for my more casual outfit).

I LOVE this gorgeous dress!  I chose the Made for Mermaids Mama Joy because I love the dress length, the silhouette and the PLEATS!  They turned out just perfect.  I’ve never done pleats before actually, though I did try to wing it once on my own and it was frankly a disaster.   Megan (Chief Mermaid of Made for Mermaids) includes step by step photo instructions as well as a video to demonstrate the construction, which makes it go so simply and smoothly.

Perfect pleats!  I chose to leave the stitches in the pleat to keep them closed at the top and I really love the look.

The Mama Joy includes so many options!  Obviously you know I’m a bit obsessive about pockets.  What is my deal?  They make me so happy in a skirt, dress, pajama pants; anything I wear!  Well, Mama Joy includes optional inseam pockets, 3 different skirt lengths, 2 different necklines and 3 different sleeve lengths.  It even includes an option for a zipper back!  The peplum length includes a high-low hem.  I think that may be next on my list.  For this dress, I made the low, scooped neckline, 3/4 sleeves, no zip, dress length.  See how many options?!


It looks equally lovely either pouring or sipping.  Which is important in a date dress if you ask me.




Mama Joy is best in a stable knit, to give it structure.  For this, I used a squishy scuba from Sew Vagabond Fabric Shop.  I love the structure scuba knit provides the skirt.  It holds its bell shape nicely while worn and the bodice skims my curves beautifully.  Sew Vagabond Fabric Shop has been such a go-to lately!  Do you guys know that they offer a rewards program?  Winner, winner!

Please be sure to check out all the gorgeous inspiration featured throughout the Sew What do I Wear?  Valentine’s Day Edition blog tour.  You will surely find something to inspire your Valentine’s Day or date night wardrobe!

Do you have Valentine’s Day plans?  Does it include sewing up something new?  Or, are you in the Valentine’s Day is a Fake Holiday Perpetrated by Card Companies and Florists Club?  Either way – make yourself something fun in February!