Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Just a quick reminder that for a few more days, Jean at Pumpkinvine Corner is giving my blog readers a discount on Aurifil thread. To ensure that you get the discount, make sure you enter the word, "nest" in the customer comment section during checkout.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Meaning of Christmas

When you are a kid and hear adults talk about the REAL meaning of Christmas, you can't imagine that you'll ever feel that way. I remember hearing my mom say that seeing us open our gifts was more fun for her than getting any of her own and I thought she was nuts. Slowly though, it sinks in as you grow and mature. Christmas IS so much more than gifts. This year, Matthew and I have made a point of having the kids help us pick out gifts for others so they get a sense of the giving part of Christmas. 
I think its starting to make an impression as on our last trip to Target, Emma Kate asked who could she buy a gift for this time without asking to look at anything for herself. We keep reiterating that giving gifts and good friends are much more important than opening a new toy. 
We've been blessed with some really, really great friends. The kind who call you and check on you when you are sick. The kind who drop everything and bring you a treat at your door when you've had a busy month. The kind who don't get upset if you don't return their call right away.
No doubt friends like this are a gift! 
We did a little Christmassing with some of these really, really good friends. Our kids love their kids, we love them, and everyone gets along beautifully. 
It was a treat to get together, share a wonderful meal, give a few gifts, and visit.

Monday, December 5, 2011


My Grandmother, Mimi (who the kids call, "Gigi") has been reading my blog. I love that she has been able to get onto her computer, although I wish she was close enough to pop over in person. I love this picture of Mimi and Papa with the kids.
Hi Mimi, we love you!

Emmy Clutch

Making a clutch or zippered pouch is the perfect project because it uses very little fabric and is made quickly enough to provide instant gratification. This pattern, the Emmy clutch, is so much fun to sew from. It is easy but still has features to make it custom and unique. I love the gussets at the bottom, which make it sturdy, as well the the technique used with the zipper (honestly, if you only buy the pattern to learn her zipper technique, you'll be doing yourself a HUGE favor) make this bag the perfect project for a beginner or anyone who loves to sew. These are the perfect size for an evening out, but I love to keep mine in my purse to keep me organized.

The pattern came from the etsy shop paisley pear and believe me, there are several cute ones to choose from, although Michelle's patterns are 3 for $18, so you can try them all!
Michelle also has a cute blog with giveaways, freebie patterns, tutorials, and other goodies. Visit her!

 When I first started sewing zippered pouches and purses, I was getting my zippers at Joann's Fabrics. Not only was this not convenient because I don't live all that close to Joann's but it proved to be expensive with zippers being between $2 and $3 a piece. Searching on etsy, I found Irina of k and C supplies. You can get a boatload of zippers for under $10! I got a bundle of 25 zippers that are 7 inches in length for $9! You can also contact her about variety packs and choosing colors.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


There are a lot of instances in life where buying cheap or generic saves you money but there are times where quality matters. I didn't know that thread was one of those instances...but oh-boy, is it! Aurifil thread is my new favorite. It is silky, doesn't break as you are sewing, threads through a needle easier, but best of all, doesn't make a lint mess in your machine. I clean my machine and re-oil every 3-5 full bobbins and the lint that accumulates is an oddity. Since switching from "cheap" thread (the kind you get at your craft shop or superstore) to Aurifil, I am amazed at how much quieter and cleaner my machine has been! Also, the nerd in me did a quick cost tally and found that Aurifil is actually less expensive or  the same price as what you get at your bargain craft shop! For a spool of your basic thread that is 400 yards, you will spend about $2.50-$3.00. For a large cone of Aurifil that has 1422 yards Pumpkinvine Corner sells it for $8.39....BUT if you use the code "nest" at cheackout,  Jean will reconfigure the price of the spools to be $7.99 {offer good through 12/31 so hurry and stock up}!
{Pumpkinvine doesn't just offer thread, oh-no! You will find patterns, books, stencils, and some of the cutest decorative wire hangers. } is a great video on cleaning and oiling your machine

Saturday, December 3, 2011

My Favorite Dress

I am one of the people who gets more than a little upset to see stores display Christmas decorations before Halloween. I refuse to even think about Christmas before I celebrate thanksgiving. So why am I showing you the Easter dresses I made the girls? So you can grab the pattern and make a few too! Make some out of corduroy for Christmas or a sweet girly pattern for Valentine's Day...
By now, I've sewn several dresses for the girls and have had great luck with the patterns I've used and outcomes I've had, but this one is by far my favorite to date. The girls kept me company as I sewed this one by playing Barbie's and putting on a Taylor Swift knock-off concert for me as I worked, surely this added to my love of this dress.
The pattern came from Lily Bird Studio
Cecilia of Lily Bird Studio makes some of the neatest patterns. They are easy to follow and she gives attention to detail. This particular dress has you making piping, which I have never attempted, but her pattern gives step-by-step instructions with color photographs. Although I love the patterns I am seeing all over etsy and online, Cecilia's are unique and not at all "cookie cutter" versions of dresses you see everywhere. 
The fabric? You know it is Jennifer Paganelli, right? Still love her!
The cute prints came from 
Becky carries great fabrics! She has several of Jennifer Paganelli prints for under $7 a yard as well as many other great designers at super low prices. 
Just in case you aren't a seamstress and have no intention of making perfectly adorable clothing yourself, Becky has a shop of hand made pieces in her shop, Granny B's Clothesline. From pillowcase dresses to sweet baby gifts, monogrammed goodies to birthday tee-shirts (I am drooling over these...can't you see these for a photoshoot?) , Becky's boutique is just precious!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What a difference a year makes...

Nonna and Papa's House Thanksgiving 2010...
Nonna and Papa's House Thanksgiving 2011...

Can somebody please tell me how to get them to stop growing?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cloud Watching

Not sure if he is in a football pose or why the tough-guy faces, but this was a cute glimpse into their world. The backyard, which is right outside my kitchen window, is the kid's favorite place to be right now with our terrible, way-to-warm unseasonably warm weather. I had the back door open and could hear them talking. When I overheard them describing the shapes of clouds, I had to snap a picture, which disrupted everything. I love to hear them chit-chatting and love to catch them interacting aside from Matt and I.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Small Business Saturday

If you are looking to load up on super cute fabric and have lots of little projects in mind, get on over to Stitch Simple. Not only does the owner, Jen Madsen of Stitch Simple, prewash all of the fabric that she sells, but her prices are fantastic. In fact, you can score some FREE fabrics! She is currently selling celebrity fat quarter packs (lil 'ol me handpicked the prints you see above...that's right! 11 fat quarters for $25!) which are all originally priced between $30 and $35, but are only $25 right now and with the small business Saturday deal from American Express, these packs can be FREE!

HURRY though because these deals are available only until Midnight CST Friday December 2nd. These Small Business Saturday* specials are perfect for holiday sewing projects, stash building and gifting as-is to fellow crafters.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Carson Ruffle Shirt

I am having a blast sewing for the girls and getting excited about all of the Christmasy things I can make them to wear. When I got this damask print (way back in August) I knew that I wanted to make the girls something fun and this ruffle shirt pattern was perfect!
The fabric came from Pam's Crafting Place. She has some unbelievable deals right now (I am in love with the toile in her sale section for only $4.99 a yard, which would make a very cute ruffle shirt!).
This pattern is one more my current favorites. It is the Carson Ruffle Shirt from 
Mindy's patterns are beautiful. Each page of the PDF pattern is lovely to look at, easy to follow, and well explained. I also appreciate that her patterns are not "cookie cutter" versions of every other pattern out there. This ruffle shirt uses very little fabric (I made two shirts less than 3 yards). 

Don't want to sew your own? Check my shop later today...I might just have one or two in there...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Grand Opening

the code (grandopening) wasn't working but now is up and running. 
also, I am not meant to be in business. the love and support my in-real-life friends have shown my little business is overwhelming and makes my heart swell, but also makes me feel guilty! I just want to give it all away to you!

I LOVE to sew and love to blog about sewing but I can only use to many purses, pouches, and trinkets. See something you want on this blog? Walk your shopping fingers on over to my new etsy shop where I am putting a few overflow blog models up for sale.

Not everything I make and show on the blog will make it to the shop...some pattern makers prefer you not use their patterns for commercial sales and I will honor that. Some allow it in small quantities as will always be the case (three kids, two dogs, one husband...there simply isn't enough time to sew in large quantities!). The more I sell and move out of here, the more fabric I can buy!
Grand Opening Special:
Free shipping (no code needed)
20% off with code: GRANDOPENING

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sweet Caroline

I am pretty sure that this is the little baby I used to swaddle (until she was 9 months old, thank-you-very-much) but with each day, she is resembling that bundle less and less. She is SUCH a big girl! I am not sure how much longer she will get joy from the clothes I make her or the shapes I applique but I am going to keep making them while she does. 

Cute? Yeah, she's got that covered.
The fabric is called Just Dreamy by Riley Blake. I love the polka dots and there are many coordinating fabrics in this line...really great for kids! You can find it where I did...
They have TONS of great prints and a HUGE selection of sale fabrics (seriously, some are as low as $3.50 a yard!). They are the nicest of nice, ship quickly, wrap it up beautifully, and send a confirmation email so you know when it is coming.

This pattern was one of the easiest EVER! I know I say that with almost everything I sew, but this was one piece. Let me say that again, THE ENTIRE SHIRT WAS ONE PIECE! All you have to do is print and assemble the pattern, cut it out, and trim with bias tape. I think it fits adorably! The sky is the limit with how these shirts can be decorated! 
Caroline (the designer, not the daughter) has lots of one piece patterns and I can't wait to try more of them!
Psst...guess what? When I spoke with Caroline (again, designer not daughter) about this shirt and how much I loved it, she said that I can give a copy of this pattern away! This is perfect if you are thinking about trying to get into sewing or if you just really love a quick and easy project. Entering is simple...
* visit Caroline's Sweet Blog 
*Like her on Facebook
*Visit her shop and tell me which pattern you like best
each gets you an entry, just leave me a comment and let me know
Winner announced in a week...fingers crossed for you!