Designer’s Swap

I hardly ever have time to sew up other designer’s patterns, but I’m always wishing I had more time to!

So, I loved the idea of this designer swap! I could sign up and have a deadline to “make” me finish 😉

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Here is a link to the original announcement along with sales by the designers that participated (pssst Patterns for Pirates has a coupon code there! 😉 )

We are also doing a giveaway, rafflecopter posted at the bottom of the page! 

I got assigned the California dress by EYMM, which happened to be one of my very favorite designs in Kymy’s collection!  And she put it on sale-  code: californiasummer will save 25% off the Women’s California or Girl’s California or the California Bundle good April 20 through 27 at 11:59pm PDT at http://www.eymm.com.  It’s a simple dress you could do in a ton of different looks/fabrics and wear all spring, summer, and fall long! She always has a ton of options that wrap up in a quick easy sew!

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I went with two fronts so I didn’t have to worry about bra straps 😉 These suckers aren’t staying up in a strapless anymore!

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I really wanted to somehow squeeze out a maxi out of my 2 yds, although the pattern called for 3.5 yds.  So I had to do some modifying! I spliced the pattern along the casing line and added a little to the front bodice only to make up for my chest size.  Otherwise this style always ends up blousing in the back and not in the front on me! I’ve always thought it was one of the easiest styles to alter for a full bust!

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I also cut the skirt pieces much less full to accommodate my tiny yardage! I knew it would be too tight to comfortably walk in, so I did slits up both side seams to the “above knee cut line” on the pattern. The lighting here shows off a little more then usually, lol… the fabric isn’t see through at all in person!

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I love this style dress for the spring, summer and fall… so easy to throw on and look stylish! I can chase my little guy around in it without worrying about showing anything 🙂

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I had a great time sewing this up and plan on wearing it lots!

Giveaway:

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/924f94de33/

Boys Can Wear Pink- the Handmade Boys Series

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I ❤ the Handmade Boy Blog! Kelly makes the CUTEST clothes for her son and daughters (and sometimes even herself when I can talk her into it 😉 ) She is the sweetest; always going above and beyond for me testing patterns and even trying to help me with photo tips!  So when she told me she was doing her first series I could never turn her down!

Boys Can Wear Pink!

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To be honest, I’ve never put my little guy in pink before… I’m not a huge pink lover…I tend to always go with greys and blues for myself, my husband and for little guy! Boring, I know… if you could see my fabric stash, it is pretty dull! I also tend to dress him like a little macho man in camo, dinosaur, anything you would label “very boyish”…So, this really pulled me out of my comfort zone to design and make something for him with pink!

I decided to go with a classic “pirate/sailor” look and theme to help me get inspired…since I love this look and theme! I went with a white and pink stripe I got from my local Hobby Lobby, in their spring collection. In person the pink is almost neon.

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I knew I wanted the oh so classic “Mom” heart tattoo on it as well (just pink instead of red).  I struggled on placement! But in the end I went with the shoulder, where a tattoo would be and I’m so happy with it!

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I added an iron on transfer of a black anchor to the front right side to help fill and even it out overall.

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I paired it with his Cpt. Comfort Jeans that are distressed and bribed him to wear the black tennis shoes (instead of his Woody boots that he wears EVERY DAY!!!) It took a piece of candy and going outside to play to get them on!

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His hair… oh my… he woke up with the most wild hair ever that day… So I tried to put a little gel in it to calm it down and it didn’t help much! But it kind of fits the sailor look right? Wind blown? We’ll go with that 😉

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In the end I love the bright colors on him… it fits his wild, rambunctious personality so much better then the greys I usually go for! (Although, I tend to be quiet and shy…so I’ll stick with my muted tones for myself 😉 ) I am going to try to add more bright colors into his wardrobe for sure! Thank you Kelly for having me in your series!! ❤

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Now you can participate too!

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Prizes:

One yard of http://www.mabelmadison.com/pit-stop-pink-stenzo-poplin.html Stop Poplin in pink http://www.mabelmadison.com/
$25 gift certificate, plus a surprise fat quarter from https://www.etsy.com/people/phatquarters?ref=pr_profile
One yard of solid cotton/lycra & one yard of coordinating fabric from  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Purpleseamstress-Fabric/135198749843668
One pattern of choice from http://www.paisleyroots.com/
$20 store credit from http://peekaboopatternshop.com/
One pattern of choice from Patterns for Pirates http://www.craftsy.com/user/3301275/pattern-store
One pattern of choice from  http://www.welcometothemousehouse.com/shop

Bottoms Up Pants Pattern from http://ifonlytheywouldnap.net/

One Pattern of choice from http://www.titchythreads.com/patterns

Make ready to wear looking jeans!

Jeans can be an intimidating sewing task, but they really aren’t that difficult and it is so great to have well fitting jeans for you or your little ones! No more plumbers crack when bending down!!!!! 😉

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With my recent release of the Cpt. Comfort Jeans I wanted to post about how to distress your new denim to look more like ready to wear jeans! I personally LOVE the distressed look! Although a super clean dark denim can look nice as a “dressy” pair of jeans like here:

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But for everyday, I just love the little distressed look… something about looking like Daddy gets me every time with my little guy!

So, lets get started on those great store bought look jeans!

You really MUST use a top-stitching thread for all your top-stiching if you want store bought look… I scoffed at my Mom the first time she told me it was a must… BUT she was right, like always!!

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You will use this heavier/thicker weight top-stitching thread in the top only and for top-stitching only. You will use regular thread in the bobbin and for all seams sewing the jeans together– yep, you have to rethread a lot ;). But it is absolutely worth it if you want ready to wear looking jeans! I promise!

You will also NEED a bigger needle designed for heavy weight fabric like denim or you will be breaking needles on those thick belt loops!… here is a single and double needle:

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Now, I only have one machine, so there is A LOT of switching threads and needles if I use the double needle. So, I will often just sew two lines with my single needle instead of switching to my double needle 😉

Now for the distressing, you will need some sandpaper! To be honest, I’m not sure the BEST kind of sandpaper to use… I asked my husband if he had some and used whatever he handed me 😉 Here is a shot of the kind I happen to use!

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The trick to distressing your denim is to do at WHILE you’re sewing the jeans! If you try to do it before it’s hard to gauge where the distressing needs to be. If you do if after you’ve top-stitched them then you will be breaking your top-stitching threads (ask me how I know that one 😉 ) see left top pocket with it’s broken threads :/ oops!

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So, I suggest sewing the jeans together with your normal thread, then distressing with sandpaper before you top-stitch. Here is my patch pocket sewn, turned right sides out, and distressed along the edges (and any other places I fancied at the moment). Then I top-stitched.

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Some areas are harder to distress before topstitching like back pockets, belt loops, any piece that you are top-stitching closed or onto the jean.  But I still follow the same steps.  I just fold and press, distress, then top-stitch onto the back piece.

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So have fun with a little distressing or A LOT! lol! I like a lot 😉 I end up with a mound of blue fuzz all my sewing room by the time I’m done!

Last is the button! I love to use “real” jeans buttons- and honestly, I always have been lucky enough to take them from my loving mother’s stash! But they are very easy to put on, just line up the two parts and hammer away! Yep, you’ll have sandpaper and a hammer in your sewing room for jeans!!

I’ve always used snaps, which are very common on ready to wear for younger children 🙂

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Patterns for Pirates and Girl Charlee- a match made in heaven!

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My love for drafting great modern pdf sewing patterns for women has found a great match…Girl Charlee Fabrics!

We’re both all about modern, trendy looks! And like Girl Charlee I mostly design for knit fabrics 🙂

Here is the first Girl Charlee sponsored pattern of mine: the Everyday Elegance Top

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This top is perfect for everyday wear with a great put together look! The loose flowy fit is so comfortable and flattering for women of all ages and shapes! Speaking of shapes, this pattern is from XXS-XXXL… if you’d like to see it in all sizes head over to my group where you can find every size modeled and what fabric they used! https://www.facebook.com/groups/1489835597930083/

I’m wearing Girl Charlee peach skin on the cover photo, this is a soft woven fabric with a lovely drape.  It is one of the easiest drapey wovens I’ve ever worked with, because it’s not slippery! Plus! 🙂

Here I am in another Girl Charlee fabric- their chiffon.

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Now SOME chiffons can be more difficult to work with, but this navy and white dot wasn’t! Although it is still chiffon, so it doesn’t like to hold a press well, it wasn’t super slippery while sewing. I LOVE this one! The super soft drape is a perfect match for this loose top!

This top can also be made is a knit fabric, which Girl Charlee is best known for! Here is my LOVELY sister in an all knit Everyday Elegance Top:

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Isn’t she beautiful? Made in a soft knit, you can’t beat the comfort level of this shirt! And yet, you still look dressed nice, trendy, and even professional enough to go to work, church or out for some fun!

Some of the details on the shirt are the V front and rounded collar here:

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That’s right ladies, no tricky placket or buttons for you to get frustrated with! All the techniques on this top are easy and quick!

The sleeves have a small gather at the shoulder seam:

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That means all your ease is in that gather–no tricky easing in the set in sleeves! YAY! Again, easy techniques!

The button tabs add such a cute and trendy look to the 3/4 sleeve, so you can wear this top year round!

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And the longer tunic length with curved hem is perfect for pairing with leggings, skinny jeans or even your favorite work slacks! No more worrying about anything hanging out when you bend over 😉

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And last the back yoke is perfect to play with fabric combos, and the back pleat gives it the extra flowy looseness you need in the back 😉

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Not so into loose blouses? That’s okay! This pattern also comes with a quick and easy belt you can tie around at empire, waist or hips-whichever is most flattering for your figure!

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Oh… look at that baby bump looking oh so adorable in this non-modified knit Everyday Elegance Top!

So… since Patterns for Pirates and Girl Charlee make such a great pair we decided not only to work together with pattern sponsorship, but Girl Charlee will also be the first and only other place besides Craftsy and Etsy where you can buy a Patterns for Pirates pattern! To kick off our partnership we’re running a CONTEST AND GIVEAWAY! 1 (1)contest

Come join my facebook group to enter your change to win 3 Patterns for Pirates patterns of your choice AND a $25 gift card to Girl Charlee!

To enter you can share any items made from a Patterns for Pirates pattern WITH Girl Charlee fabrics in the designated contest album! It can be an item you’ve sewn previously or you can order now and make one to enter with! Don’t worry, you have 4 weeks to order, create, and share to win!

Winner will be chosen by all of us here at Mother Sews Best for our pick of the best pairing of fabric to pattern! There will also be one random winner for 2nd place for 1 Patterns for Pirates Pattern of choice.

Tips on Up-Cycling

I love to up-cycle! With a little boy I can find boyish knits, stripes and even character prints so much easier and more affordable buying a men’s T-shirt then the $30/yd euro knit… Which I’m constantly drooling over!  I also love the heathered T-shirt knit, which is harder to find in a fabric store and very easily found in RTW (Ready to wear). I love to use my husband and my old shirts as well… It’s even more special handmade with an already sentimental shirt! So here are some tips and tricks I’ve learned… 1- Buy bigger… Why not? If an XS and XXXL are the same price get more fabric 🙂 2- If it has a picture on it make sure it will fit on your smaller size you are creating.  This one can be difficult if you’re buying large men’s shirts BC they are proportionally much bigger pictures/words/designs on the chest. Here is one I BARELY SQUEEZED on his little chest, but then when it is on some wraps around to the sides, so really I should’ve waited until he was a few sizes bigger!

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3- Use the hem! I don’t have a cover stitch machine… Yet 🙂 and although I love my double needle using the existing hem saves time and looks nice and professional already!  All  you have to do is account for the hem- Most my patterns are 1″ so here I am cutting with my pattern piece 1″ below my fabric to make up for the fact that I will not be turning up and hemming. IMG_7303

4- Cut you RTW items down the seams, this give you nice flat pieces to last your pattern pieces out on. If there isn’t a side seam, then I don’t cut… but anywhere there are seams I go ahead and cut because you will not be able to use the area.  I also cut the sleeves, again along the seam and use them if I can!  Here is a shirt and shorts cut and ready to use: IMG_6437IMG_7300   5- If you’re using a shirt with a design, fold with the DESIGN centered… You’d think RTW is all centered nicely on that shirt… Until you fold it at the side seams and realize it’s not!! Often they’re off centered! 6- If you don’t have ribbed knit to match for the neckline you can use theirs…especially if you have a much larger size (men’s xxl down to a toddler size). Here are a couple of some up-cycles I’ve done: Patterns for Pirates Buccaneer BBall Shorts: IMG_7317IMG_7294IMG_7304IMG_7333IMG_7340 Matey Muscle Tank: IMG_0348IMG_6490-2 Wingman Shirt: The grey was from a heathered grey t-shirt… the Batman logo was appliqued on my sewing machine 🙂 IMG_9070 Deep Sea V-Neck: Copy of IMG_6577

Cole’s Creations ‘Buttercup Dress”

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Patterns for Pirates

What I have and what’s coming soon!

 

In the works:

 Jeans — comfy ones! Straight leg cut with a KNIT waistband… All the style, but with all the comfort!
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Pumpkin Spice DolmanComfortable loose fit dolman with fitted lower arms, straight or curved hemline, longer tunic length, two neckband options and elbow patches included. Be stylish and comfortable this fall! Womens sizes XXS-XXXL

http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/sewing/clothing/pumpkin-spice-dolman–knit-top-shirt/109583

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Ruffled Doubloon Dress:  Comfortable knit top with mid or long ruffle sleeves, knit binding neckline with or without neckline ruffle and skirt can be a knit or cotton woven with or without hem ruffle. 

http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/sewing/clothing/ruffled-doubloon-dress–knit-dress/109275?fresh=true&NAVIGATION_PAGE_CONTEXT_ATTR=PATTERN

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Buried Treasure Tunic:  Comfortable knit bodice with tons of option! Ruffle sleeves or banded sleeves, mid or long length.  Banded bottom, Ruffled skirt or Double Ruffled Skirt. Skirt options skirts can be made from a cotton woven.

http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/sewing/clothing/buried-treasure-tunic-girls-knit-top/107293

 

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High Low Tide Top:  Comfortable knit top with mid or long length ruffle sleeves.  Bottom skirt has an adorable trendy and drastic high low hem line that can be made from a knit or cotton woven. 

http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/sewing/clothing/high-low-tide-top–knit-shirt-for-girls/104355

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Sweet Bow Dress:  Sweetheart neckline bodice his at natural waistline, very full twirly skirt, low back with options :small bow with criss-crossed straps or mega bow with easy on/off straps, as well as top length or dress length 🙂

http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/sewing/clothing/sweet-bow-top-and-dress/101731

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Boys Swim Trunks:  Features a more comfortable boxer brief style under shorts (I mean those elastic leg mesh panties are terrible right?!?!) No side seams, stylish separate waistband, drawstring, and trendy color block option.

http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/sewing/clothing/swashbuckler-swim-trunks/103699

 

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Boys Boxer Briefs:  Your little one will look so cute, just like daddy in his comfortable knit boxer brief style!  Sizes 12/18mth-14, options include: exposed elastic waistband, banded waistband, banded legs, plain center, pocket center for insert to use as trainers, functioning fly center, and a no exposed seams option.

http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/sewing/clothing/pirates-booty-boxer-briefs/100658

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Mens Muscle Tank:  A quick, easy shirt is sizes XXS-XXXL. Perfect for teens and active men!

http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/sewing/clothing/mens-muscle-tank/97661

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Mens BBall Shorts:  The ultimate men shorts! I don’t know a single man who doesn’t love to wear bball shorts either working out or just lounging on the couch ;). These include directions to add stripes and piping…plain shorts, side panel, inseam pockets, two hem lengths (at/above knee and below knee), and drawstring. (My husband’s favorite!)

http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/sewing/clothing/mens-bball-shorts/97655

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Sporty Shorties:  In knit they are perfect athletic shorts… In woven they are adorable everyday shorts! Features a side panel with option of straight legs or curved with binding, wide waistband and optional drawstring…can be made from all knit or all wovens and mixed!

http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/sewing/clothing/sporty-shorties/97379

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Wingman Crew:  For all the super kids in your life! This is a basic short sleeve crew T-shirt with super fun options of a lined or not hood, and wings! Also included is banded sleeve option. Every little one loves this and it is so fun to let your creative side to designing everything this could be! (Top seller!)

http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/sewing/clothing/wingman-shirt/96522

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Matey Muscle Tank: Show off those muscles 😉 This is such a quick easy sew and your little one will just love the look!

http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/sewing/clothing/matey-muscle-tank/93591

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Buccaneer BBall Shorts:  The perfect athletic and everyday wear shorts for your little active one! Feature a longer inseam, wide waistband with optional drawstring, side panel with directions for piping and stripes, and straight leg or curved with binding. Can be made with knit or wovens. (My favorite maybe!)

http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/sewing/clothing/buccaneer-bball-shorts/93590

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Deep Sea V Neck: Perfect on trend T-shirt! Features a trendy deep v in the front and an athletic fit– not baggy but not fitted.  Options include: short sleeve, roll-up sleeve, and long sleeve…I also include 3 ways to put in the neckband for slightly different looks!

http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/sewing/clothing/deep-sea-v-neck-/94158

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Jolly Roger Raglan:  Classic raglan shirt with short, 3/4, and long sleeve options, also includes 3 hem options: traditional, curved and banded. I also include super fun and on trend triangle and elbow patches!

http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/sewing/clothing/jolly-roger-raglan-/88966

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Pirate Playground Pants/Shorts:  These are my go to shorts/pants pattern for my little one! They are easy and comfortable with the knit waistband and can be made from wovens or knits. The simple version. Is a super quick sew, but also includes options for back pockets, slant pockets, and patch pockets for some quick add ons. Comes with longer short inseam and pant length for year round wear-ablity.

http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/sewing/clothing/pirate-playground-shorts-and-pants/88435

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Judy, Judy, Judy!

It’s what older people always say when they hear my littlest sister’s name. We figured out that it was from an old Cary Grant movie… but we never figured out which one.

Judy was named after my Mom’s oldest sister and she’s the only young Judy I’ve ever known.

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Just like her name, she is one of a kind. She is my littlest sister and I could not be more proud of her.

Judy is the type of girl/woman that you’d love to hate.

She’s just annoyingly good at everything~ smart, beautiful, tall, thin,  talented and the most patient mother there is.

Thing is…  you just can’t hate her, because she is  also kind, sweet, sensitive, hilarious, creative, fun, and  messy!

I’m 8 years older than Judy, so I’ve always mothered her a bit. Loving that I got to watch her grow up and be an influence on her and also that I got to be the ‘cool’ sister for a while. Bringing ice cream into the bedroom when they were supposed to be sleeping, buying Christmas gifts that Mom and Dad wouldn’t, picking them up from school, hosting dance parties in my room when they were young girls. Having little sisters has always been one of the biggest blessings in my life.

We have always been close and always loved working together. For years, we coached cheerleading and gymnastics together.

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Judy and I both went to school to be school teachers, but Judy actually taught kindergarten for a couple years before she had my Godson :).

I mean…… seriously, guys…… could he be any cuter???

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After giving birth,  Judy decided to stay home to raise him. She opened an etsy shop where she sold handmade costumes for little boys and soon after, started Patterns for Pirates~ an adorable line of stylish, comfortable patterns for little boys! (Even though her sisters keep telling her to venture into girls wear, too.)

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We are so excited to start this blog together, documenting our sewing, pattern designs, various crafty ventures and adventures in motherhood!

More fun facts about Judy:

She used to do an incredible impression of the church lady.

She is an amazing dancer (and even danced professionally and got to the last round of tryouts for Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader).

She once dressed up as a cat from the Broadway Musical Cats and got so mad when we said she looked like a playboy bunny.

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She loves sour patch kids.

She hates BBQ sauce…. whaaaaat?

My little Lucy is named after Judy. Their middle names are both Kathleen.

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She’s a good sport and will try on things and model them for me.

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She got her little finger slammed in a door when she was young and had to have it reattached. I’ll never forget her little tears running down her cheeks, but she was so tough.

She went thru a phase of dying her hair lots of different colors, including blue.

She is an amazing artist.

She was one of the most beautiful brides I’ve ever seen.

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She’s pretty awesome.

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I can’t wait for you guys to get to know her better!

Nicole AKA cole