Happy New Year!!

No more waiting for happiness, I’m going to make it, one stitch at a time. 

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I have made the leap from wordpress.com to my own hosted site!!!  Now you only have to type shawntasews.com!  Easy peasy right! 🙂

I am currently working with Bloglovin and WordPress so that your subscriptions and follows will transfer over but in the meantime check out the cool new pants I made for Brookie!

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Style Arc Ziggi Day 1

If you’ve been hanging with me for a while then you know how much I’ve been wanting to make a camo jacket for myself. You are probably very familiar with this picture too.



I’m pretty sure this jacket lives only on Pinterest, Polyvore, and the backs of the lucky ducks that could afford the original at this point.  I know I’ve at least been lusting over it since 2010.  Well folks I’m ready to give it up.  I will never make this jacket.  Period.

1) I’m lazy.  I haven’t found a pattern EXACTLY like it and I just don’t have the umph to try to draft the differences.

2) Soooooooooo many patterns. So little time.

I have decided to move my camo dreams over to the Style Arc Ziggi!

This is my first Style Arc pattern. Of course I would pick a hard one! I’ve loved their style for a long time but was intimidated by the fact that you only get one size.   A girl that can go from a 10 to a 18 in one pattern can get spoiled by the Big 4 and all those lines you can blend between. Hopefully I didn’t order with my vanity glasses on, but I will be working on the muslin today to see if any fit issues need to be worked out.

Sew Maris and Stacy Sews are hosting a sew-a-long for it so I thought what better time to jump into to it than when I can virtually cry on some friends shoulders if things go terribly wrong.

One nice thing about Style Arc patterns is that the seam allowances are marked on the pattern pieces. This will give me the opportunity to use the thread tracing techniques I picked up in Gertie’s Bombshell, and Susan Khalje’s Couture Dress classes on Craftys.

Fabric is the same combo y’all have seen before. I can’t find the brown stripe lining at the moment. Is it hiding because it knows it’s time in stash is up?
Camo twill & Beige Denim

Haven’t really decided what fabric should be the main one.  I’m leaning toward the camo at the moment.  For some reason I’m feeling like the top stitching won’t be as cool going over the camo as it would the brown.  Chime in please if you have any feels about it. 🙂

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Who’s The Boss

‘Ay-oh Oh-ay’  (y’all remember that from the show “Who’s the Boss”?)

Been  a little while but I’ve been doing quite a bit of secret sewing that I will get to share with you in the next week or so.  My March plans however will be completely transparent because I’m asking YOU what I should make!

Yes, you.


Pattern stash busting is the name of the game for March, and Miss Bossy allows me to use whatever pattern I want as long as it has not been made before. She also stipulates  that I give reins over to my readers to choose.  So here are your three options and the fabric I would pair with it.  Here are your choices:

Grainline Archer in Navy Blue Buffalo Check


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Next is Colette Zinnia version 3 with version 2’s length.


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Last choice is the Butterick 5926 knit blazer pattern in a  nice tonal grey stripe.


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C’mon help shape my March and vote!


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Almost 2 Weeks Deep!

Thanks for all the comments on the Evernote post! I’m glad it helped some of y’all out.  So how are those Sewlutions going?  As you see by the side bar I have signed up for a couple.  Goodbye Valentino’s RTW fast and Stash Diet.

RTW Fast Rules:

Refraining from buying ALL outerwear, dresses, tops, pants, shorts, sweaters, coats, exercise clothes, jeans and bathing suits. Shoes, socks and underwear are permitted

My Stash Diet Pledge:

* No fabric buying until 5 pieces have been used.
—exceptions lining and muslin fabric and fabric bought specifically for my business.

* No pattern buying until I have used 5 different patterns.

So how am I doing? I’ve not purchased any fabric. Check. I’ve not purchased any RTW. Check.  Patterns on the other hand is a harder monkey to shake.

In my defense they were not for me!


Burda Style Dress Coat 12/2012

I thought it was the perfect start point for a pin I saw on Pinterest.  Update: I didn’t actually buy that one.  I had it in my cart as I was writing the post, but never completed the transaction.  Later that day I found an pattern envelop Burda 9724 in the stash that actually fit the bill better because it has princess seam.  


from Pinterest

Even though I have 3 skinny leg pants for Brooklyn, I just hate to think I could be missing out on something different that might change the skinny jean game! LOL


Small Fry Skinny Jeans

Well I did purchase a tutorial from Mimi G for her peplum mini but it uses a pattern I already had…does that count? 🙂

I got a couple of projects that I started last year that I’m finishing up today and hopefully starting on the ever popular M6844

More later!<3


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Evernote + My Sewing Thoughts = Organization


I have loved Evernote for a long time.  I think I’ve had it downloaded since 2010 but really started to utilize it last year.  It has become vital to my sewing and growth of my new crafty business.  A few months ago a few sewist were talking about Evernote on twitter, and I thought it would be a good post to show how I use it but never got around to it.  Here is a how I use it in my sewing life.

*It stores all of my PDF patterns.  Somehow in the last year I went from hating PDF patterns to owning 171 of them.  Each pattern is a new note and I have those notes in sub notebooks called Tops, Bottoms, Kids Patterns, etc.  If you’ve ever had a crashed hard drive you can appreciate having all your files available to be recovered.   Dropbox is also an option that I utilize too for file storage that’s always accessible.

*It captures and stores all those cool tutorials with it’s web clipper extension.  That lotus welt pocket how-to that I would kick myself if I didn’t save. I got it in all it’s full page glory thanks to Evernote.  I don’t even have to physically open the site because the whole thing is in Evernote, but all the link info is there so I can give credit where credit is due.  Before I would just pin something to Pinterest, but often when I would go back to the pin the website associated with it would be down and all I would have is a little pin of what could have been.

*It stores all those vital bits of info.  What’s Brooklyn’s last waist measurement?  Am I out of white thread? How many buttons does that pattern need?  I make a note for all these things and when needed I have it available on my phone, tablet, and laptop.  I have a premium account so I can also access the actual pdf file of the pattern to look at the notions.  When I had the free version, plain notes and photos are available offline or via mobile devices, so when I went notion shopping a picture of the back of the pattern envelop is all I needed to know yardage and notions.

*Stash/Inventory  I have started keeping all of my fabric in Evernote.  I make a note for all the major categories such as Knits, Quilter’s Cotton, Wools, Other Wovens, etc.  Then I just drop a photo of the fabric into the note and I mark on the photo how many yards.


*It keeps my goals and plans in front of me.  In an ideal world I would have a big peg board full of inspiration and lists of what I plain to sew on my wall.  I can’t have that at the moment so Evernote is the next best thing.  Here is a screenshot of my SWAP 2014 for me and the girls.


As you can see I’m doing much better figuring out their SWAPs than mine.

Some people can’t craft if things are cluttered and messy around them.  That can also be said for the mind.  If you can get all the things your trying desperately not to forget in a safe place out of your mind than perhaps the creative juices can flow more freely.  🙂

What are your favorite ways to stay organized?  We all might pick up a tip or two from each other.


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On The Last Day of The Year…

I concoured something that I’ve been wanting to do probably since a year into sewing. It’s a small thing, but it’s good to go out on a positive note.

Continuous loop bias tape folded with my clover bias tape maker I’ve had for eons.
Yup I’m feeling pretty good at the moment especially since it took 3 tries!
BRING IT 2014!!!!!


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Top 5 Hits And Misses for 2013!


Personally I love resolutions.  Even if I don’t keep a single one the reflection on my strengths and weaknesses are never a waste of time to me.  What better way to get back into the swing of blogging than by highlighting this year’s yay’s and nays! The list was started by the lovely Gillian and has been making its rounds, but Sonja put a nice twist on it by highlighting failed areas of sewing instead of individual garments.   So here are my top 5 hits and misses!


1) Stripped Sewing Caking Tiramisu

photo 2

By far the most favorite thing I have made for myself to date! It’s comfortable. I get a tons of compliments. I feel great when I wear it.  Winner winner chicken dinner to me!!

2)Brooklyn’s Pea Coat

2013-10-04 13.06.56

She wears it all the time now that weather is colder which makes me feel good because she has many coats to choose from.

3) Speckled Saltspring


I finally got it right and used a fabric that really let the dress do what it was suppose to do.

4) Brooklyn’s Red Skinnies


I have a lot more of these planned for her! Great little pattern from PAB Pattern Shop.

5) Christmas Elf

photo 3

It’s the costume I made for her Christmas program from the My Childhood Treasures Bluebell pattern.  I procrastinated terribly with this but the pattern is really great which makes under the gun sewing that much easier! And when I say gun I mean completely cut out and out the door to school in 2 hours.


1) Wrong Fabric, Right Pattern/Right Fabric, Wrong Pattern

UGHHH this is number one because I love my fabric stash probably more than you should love inanimate folded pieces of cloth. It really gets me down when a project doesn’t turn out right due to bad fabric/pattern choice, because I feel like I’ve just wasted a perfectly good piece of fabric that for the most part I can not get back.  I’ve been sewing for a while so I feel like I shouldn’t make these kind of mistakes.

Exhibit A:

photo 3

I absolutely love the print and I love the Saltspring pattern, but together these two are a big let down.  The fabric just doesn’t have the proper drape so this is never worn.  Will probably take it apart to become lining for something else.

Exhibit B

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Love the PaperCut pattern’s Coppelia, love the blue color ponte knit, but it’s just too thick.  Seriously it would have made awesome leggings it’s so heavyweight.

2 Not Utilizing My Tools

I have a walking foot that I’ve never used, despite hearing over and over how much easier they make sewing with knits.  I have excellent sewing machines and sergers that don’t give me a bit trouble, but all I do is sew straight lines.  I am currently enrolled in 29 Craftsy Classes with only 3 of those being the free kind.  I love them all, but have not made anything from them or can say that I have seriously incorporated the tips and tricks they have taught me.

2014 Resolutions: Devote the time learning all the cool things my machines can do and use these notions and classes I’ve spent so much money on.

3. Thinking More Than Doing

I can honestly say I think about sewing all day.  The endless possibilities are so daunting and filling at the same time.  I’m constantly looking at fabric, books on sewing, fashion, and patterns, but all these thoughts don’t  come into fruition.  I  have inherited this form of procrastination from my dad.  Lets say he wanted to skydive for example.   He would get all the books he could on it and damn near become an expert in the subject, but never actually DO the thing.  He would say that was the one of the things he hated about himself and I’m  really starting to dislike it in me too.

2014 Resolution: More doing along with the thinking.

4. Buying Stuff to Fill the Void of Not Doing

Buying fabric and patterns makes me feel like I’m being productive in my craft when really I’m just spinning my creative wheels and loosing focus.  The guilt of buying but not doing anything with the fabric is starting to get to me because I know there is an emotional side to it.  There has been some disappointments and changes that I think I haven’t fully come to terms with this past year so fabric is a bandaid.

2014 Resolution: Deal with issues, not burying them in fabric.

5. Terrible Time Management & Feeling Guilty About Sewing

Being a SAHM I thought I would have all the time in the world to sew and keep a clean house, but that hasn’t been the reality for a while now.  Often when I sew I’m thinking about other stuff I could be doing, like laundry or dinner prep.  At a certain time in the day everything has to be put away like I haven’t been sewing at all or I feel like the house is a disaster.  The next day it can be hard to pull everything back out again because I’m thinking about the clean up.  Sewing gets put on the back burner a lot, because I feel less guilty  having hubby come home to a decent looking home then ‘hey look at this dress I made’.  I rarely sew when hubby and the girls are home because I feel like that should be their time.  We also recently got a large breed puppy,and my God it’s like having a infant all over again.  I’m so thankful that the 2 am potty breaks are coming to an end! I know I need micro managing, and I know how to do it for myself. I’ve gotten away from what works the past 6 months or so.  If I’m being completely honest the time spent doing #3 and 4 is probably why I can’t ‘do it all’.   

2014 Resolution: Go back to what I know and make a schedule for myself so there will be no guilt.  

I have 2 more that did make the top list but are very important.  They are inconstant blogging and sucky photos which I will work hard on improving this coming year too.  Whew! After all that heaviness I think y’all need a cute break!

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That’s my purse he’s chewing on

Is it nap time yet!

Happy New Year everybody!!!


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FO: Birds In Flight And Red Skinnies


I love this little outfit.  Period.

It’s so hard to find some well fitting RTW Brooklyn so it’s pretty cool that with some quality fabric I can make something that rivals  Children’s Place or Gap.

The denim comes from Mood that I purchased during their 10% or 20% of everything sale in the summer.  The bird fabric is from Girl Charlie.  I really think I might get another couple of yards for accent cuffs and sleeves cause it is really cute.

As I eluded to earlier this week, I had to go through a few test runs to get it right, even the shirt.  Proportions have to be considered just as much as measurements. I learned that though she has a 5 year old’s measurements I can’t just make a size 5 and lengthen it cause there just might be a 10 year old head on that size 5 body! lol  When I made the first Banyan in theory it should have fit, chest matched, waist matched, and hips matched. She’s short waisted so I didn’t even bother to lengthen it.   When I finished however, it could not go over head! I was so disappointed as I had matched up stripes and everything.  So I took that bit of knowledge I gained on the shirt and fucked up a pair of pants 🙂 Sometimes you can over think sizing.   I used the size 7 width but the size 10 crotch rise and length.  Logic being that even if a 10 year old is skinny they should still be  proportioned like a 10 year old and still need the same amount of depth but less width.  I can’t remember the blogger but they had a fabulous pair of floral skinnies for their niece going that route. (Found it!) However for my baby she didn’t need the extra crotch length to avoid plumbers crack and it just made a ridiculous amount of extra fabric when she sat down.   So what ended up working in the red version you see above is a size 7 with a 28″ inseam.


Only butt shot I could get while she was adding junk to her lunch

Pattern Description:
Skinny jeans feature 5 pocket styling, faux fly with functional front button to assist with dressing, standard elastic or adjustable elastic waistband and a trendy, slim fit. Also includes a pattern for 18″ doll skinny jeans.
Pattern Sizing:
12mos-10yrs I made a size 7 with the size 10 length + 2″
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes. There are full color picture instructions and a sew-a-long that shows how to do a regular functioning fly
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
No dislikes
Fabric Used:
Red stretch denim from Mood
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I lengthened them to about a 28″ inseam and followed the directions in the sew-a-long to add a functioning fly. I also reduced the elastic by an inch. They are still a tad big for my skinny girl in the waist so I may redo the waistband and follow the adjustable waist instructions provided. Also when you attach the yoke to the back of the pants the instructions do not say to reduce the seam allowance to 1/4″. She may have fixed that now but just a heads up in case.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes & Yes
Really cute pattern that produces RTW results for my hard to fit kiddo.

Now on to the shirt and Figgy’s Banyan pattern giveaway!

Remember me telling y’all I lost a pattern?  Well I found it! It was my place holder in my Burda Style book. smh  So now I have two patterns of this cute Figgy pattern.  I’ve only made the shirt but it also comes with a cute pants/shorts pattern.


With this version I went for the size 8/9 even though Brooklyn’s measurements corresponds with the 4/5.  I also scooped into the neckline a bit just to make extra sure this one could get over her head.

Pattern Description:
*From the designer* The pants are a fitted modern style with a pleated flat front and our signature adjustable back. You choose between a long leg length or some severely cute short shorts. The pant is tapered through the legs and ends with a fold up that just takes this style up a couple of notches! Pair it with the EASY to make tee or  a slim girls handkerchief  tunic length hem.
Pattern Sizing:
18mo -8/9yr (slim fit) I made the 8/9
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes. They come in a lovely booklet type format.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Likes: Cute modern styling. No dislikes.
Fabric Used:
Cotton knit from Girl Charlie
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Scooped the neck to make more room for her babies head.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes and Yes. Just check proportions with your kiddo.  I think it is really made for kids who are those ages and not a small big kid.
Cute little top and I will probably attempt the shorts version.

Now all you have to do to win my extra is leave a comment telling me your favorite pattern.  If you don’t want the pattern, but want to join the fun just let me know to excluded you.  You have until the 13th and I will ship anywhere in the world.  Can’t wait to see what y’all say.

I’ll get the ball rolling.  So far my favorite pattern I’ve made is Sewing Cake Tiramisu.  Hmmmm haven’t showed y’all that one yet have I?  Need to correct that ASAP!


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Weekend In Review/ Kiddie Version

As has been the norm around here lately, a whole lot of sewing and sewing prep, not a lot of blogging.  I guess that’s not a bad problem to have because at least I have things to talk about once I become a chatty cathy again.


I should have some body shots of this outfit on Brooklyn this Wednesday!  They have a color scheme going on this week and that’s when the red day is.    The red skinny jeans are from Peek-A-Boo Pattern shop and the top is Figgy’s Banyan that’s been waiting on a pair of me made pants for a little bit.

This is actually the third pair of pants(not all the same pattern) I have attempted to make for Brooklyn in a month.  She’s 10 but currently wears 8s in most RTW’s.  Recently though the 8’s are creeping up to her ankles but she still has to pull the elastic adjustable waist thingy to keep them up so I knew moving up to a 10 was not a feasible option.  Trying to make her some pants has uncovered that this string bean has almost as many fit issues as I do!  She’s short and skinny for her age but has long legs, a short torso, and muscular thighs.

I won’t spill all the construction details now but check back on Wednesday when the full review for both will be up and a giveaway of a Banyan pattern.



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