New Skiff Tee Pattern!

I was lucky enough to be chosen to test out the new Skiff Tee Pattern from A Jennuine Life. My girls love when I am testing a pattern because it usually means they will get a few new pieces of clothing and that I will let them pick some fabric out of my stash 🙂

It was Evelyn’s turn for testing this time and she always cooperates when it comes to modeling


This pattern did challenge me a bit because of the color blocking on top.  I was scared to try so I first made one without the colorblocking.  I actually used a panel I had and it was the perfect size for making a 4t in this particular pattern.


Once I felt confident with the pattern, I decided to try the colorblocked top.  There is a pocket option, but I didn’t try that yet.  I have a Trolls panel that I think I will use to try the pocket with so Poppy can be sticking out of her pocket 🙂


The yellow fabric is double brushed poly and is her FAVORITE fabric.  The blue floral is a rayon spandex that I bought to make myself something but thought it would be pretty for this pattern. She loves her florals 🙂

Pattern testing for A Jennuine Life was a very nice experience.  She was on the Facebook group giving updates and taking feedback throughout the whole week of testing.  It was nice to see other pattern testers feedback as I was preparing to print and sew up this shirt.  Because I work during the day, I don’t get to sewing as quickly as other people do so I would check the page before doing any printing or work to see if there were new tips or a new version of the pattern.

This pattern is so versatile and has several options.  It is also unisex!  So you can make it for boys or girls!  I have only sewn for my girls, but I know people who sew for both boys and girls appreciate features like that in a pattern.

When I’m testing a pattern, I HAVE to read the directions.  The whole point of having pattern testers, is to make sure it all makes sense and the end product is the same for everyone.  I made sure I checked the seam allowance and the followed the steps in order and it was an easy, quick sew.  Most of Evelyn’s things are quick and easy because it’s so little 🙂

If you are looking for a new shirt pattern, check out the new Skiff Tee Pattern from A Jennuine Life.




My Little Model

My 3 year old is full of so much spunk 🙂  I got my camera out today to try to get some final pictures for a pattern I’m testing.  I actually applied for something in my size- I usually do most of my pattern testing for the girls.  Getting pictures of myself usually proves difficult, especially in the winter when I take them indoors.

Evelyn saw I had the camera out and ran to put on her skirt that matches the fabric of mine and proceeded to do this:


Of course I just kept taking pictures of her because it was so funny! She then asked to see them, so I had to scroll through them on my camera.


She does sometimes give me a “normal” smile, like this.  But most of the time she has a silly face for me.  I remember Annabelle being like this too- and Facebook reminds me of it all the time with the “On this day” pictures.  It is a phase that will end, and then I’ll miss it.  So I’ll just keep taking pictures of my little model and let her personality shine through.  Besides, these are great pictures to print out real big for graduation/wedding events 🙂

Made by Me 2018

I don’t make New Years resolutions.  I just don’t.  Goals, I will make.  Challenges, I will take.  So, it’s January 16.  What are my plans for this year?  To be more intentional about what I make, and to keep track of it so I can look at all I’ve accomplished at the end of this year.

To do these things, I’ve joined some groups on Facebook.  The first one is the 52 Week Sewing Challenge. Every week there is a theme that you can follow, or go rogue.  So far, I’ve followed the themes.

Week 1: Sew something warm.  I decided to sew a Cozy Wrap Cardigan from Halla Patterns.  I had the pattern for awhile but hadn’t tried it yet.  My sister sent me this fabric for Christmas and it’s so pretty and soft!


Week 2: Sew something from the last fabric you bought.  This one was easy to follow because I had just received some more fabric from So Sew English and I couldn’t wait to make matching shirts for me and the girls. My shirt is the Slim Dolman from Halla Patterns.  The girls shirts are actually a pajama top pattern but they both love the style so much that they request shirts in that pattern.

I am currently in Week 3: Sew something to make sewing easier.  I made one little basket so far, but I’m not sure I like it.  My intention was to store my Wonder Clips in there, but they will fall out the bottom, so I have some thinking to do to improve that one.

I have also sewn up a bunch more 🙂

This is all the same pattern- just different versions of it.  The blue dress I made to wear to school.  Those are our colors.  The white and teal tank top was my test for the pattern to see if I could do a v-neck.  It will be cute to wear in the summer.  The pattern is the Felicity from Halla Patterns.


This is another pj top pattern shirt, but she loves it.  And I think she looks adorable 🙂

I would have to say that this year is starting out good, sewing wise.  I have at least 5 other things I’ve made that I didn’t post pictures of here.  I am also currently testing a pattern that I’m excited about!  And I applied to test another one.  I will have to make my next post about the patterns I’ve been lucky enough to test 🙂

What are your goals this year?

I’ve gone SEW crazy!

So…I’ve been so busy sewing….not much else gets done.  Besides taking care of my kids that is 🙂  I’ve found so many online pattern and fabric groups and am now addicted to looking at and ordering pretty fabric to make things with!

Here are a few of the things I’ve made:

This is called the Agnes Dress.  You can find it on the Halla Patterns page and you should definitely join their Facebook community too! I wore this to work and had so many compliments.  I found the fabric at Hobby Lobby and couldn’t resist it, even though I had no idea what I was going to do with it.

The shirt I am wearing in this photo is the Green Tee from Greenstyle Creations and I made it as part of a Sew-a-Long (another new addiction of mine).  I bought the fabric in a Fabric destash page on Faceook.  I love Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and I know my students will love when I wear this to school 🙂

I kept seeing this bathing suit in one of the Facebook groups I’m in and I ignored it for awhile, thinking there was NO way I could make a bathing suit.  Then I saw someone post it in this same fabric that I have so I thought I should give it a try.  I learned a few things- I need to add length to patterns that are meant as a one piece since I am taller than “average”. This is the Take the Plunge suit from Patterns for Pirates.  They have a lot of awesome patterns.

I was excited to wear this shirt I made when we were on vacation.  This is the Spoxy from Stitch Upon a Time.  

Another vacation picture!  I made my daughter and I matching dresses using the Brazi and Aurora patterns from Stitch Upon a Time. I found this material at Joanne Fabrics and bought the rest of the bolt which was a little over 2 yards.  When Annabelle saw it and touched it, she asked for something matching.  And since we were headed to The Carolina Opry together, I made us matching dresses 🙂  We had matching cardigans too, but we didn’t put them on until we were inside.  They were stashed inside my purse you can see at the bottom of the stairs (which I also made)

This last picture is the picnic blanket I made.  I used scraps I had and sewed a vinyl table cloth to the bottom to keep moisture from getting to the top layer. I brought it to the beach with us and it was perfect!  I found a tutorial on Pinterest to make it and you can find that here: Patchwork Picnic Blanket

There are so many other things I’ve sewn recently and I’m having so much fun doing it!  I was working on choosing patterns for a fall mini capsule sewing contest that starts soon!  Pretty soon at work I’ll be telling people to guess what part of my outfit I made 🙂

Do you sew?

Gluten Free Expo to the Rescue again!

One of my favorite events every year is the Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo.  This year will be my 4th year as a blogger for the event! I’m so excited!!

This event is coming at the perfect time- I am ready for some new food options!  I feel like I eat the same things over and over and over and over again and I’m so tired of the same things over and over and over and over again!

Last year I discovered Sprigati Sauce and I’m hoping they are there again!  I also found Aleia products and have been lucky enough to find some in one of my local stores.


Gorilly Goods are one of my go to travel snacks that I have found at a few stores in town.  I am so glad I gave them a try at the expo.  They aren’t something I would pick up and buy without trying first because it’s not a flavor I typically have liked in the past.  They are great for when I am traveling or when I get too busy to eat at school and need something to fuel me for the rest of the day. I had some today in fact!

I’m already learning about new foods because the blogger sponsor of the event is BFree and they have bagels that I can eat!  No Xanthan Gum!!  I’m so excited!  I miss bagels!

Last year I went without kids and I will do the same this year.  I don’t want to worry about losing one of my kids in the super busy area when I’m trying to check out new foods.  It does get very busy, very fast and my 2 year old loves to run and hide right now.

Tickets are on sale right now for the event!  You get a goodie back with your ticket and it’s always full of samples and coupons!

If you buy your tickets now, you can get 30% off with the code EARLYBIRD until March 21st.  After that, you can get 20% off with the code ADVANCE.

You can win a FREE ticket from me by commenting below.  Tell me if you have been to an event like this- if you have, tell me your favorite part about these events.  If not, tell me why you would love to go! I have 5 tickets to give away for one day admittance to the expo!

Sewing adventures

I’ve been sewing.  A lot.  I was given a sewing machine last Christmas by my mother in law.  I wanted one.  Mainly so I could make things like poodle skirts for school events.  But it turned into so much more!

I started making clothes, and then blankets, and bags, and baskets….and now the people at Joann Fabric know me.  They may see me every week.  Well…ok, they do… I just LOVE the fabric!  I love to walk up and down the aisles and admire it and feel it.  I guess I do that a lot because Evelyn told me the other day that she was going to touch my material in my sewing area.

I made a lot of Christmas gifts this year.  8 blankets.  3 purses.  1 robe.  3 baskets.  1 hat.  1 stocking.  1 box.  1 chapstick holder.  2 coasters.  1 bag.  4 Pokemon backpacks.

And it hasn’t stopped.  I was set back for a few days with my injury.  But I got back into it quickly and am LOVING the new machine I got for Christmas.


I upgraded my machine for Christmas.  The other one busted a few months back.  I think I used it to death….

Anyways- I was sending my dads blanket late because of my back injury, so I figured I would make my sister something who’s birthday is in January.  I decided she needed a mermaid tail blanket.  So I went looking on Pinterest and found a free pattern from Sew Much Ado.  You can find the pattern here: Adult Mermaid Tail

Annabelle helped me find material and I started cutting.  Then I realized it should all be fleece, so I cut fleece to line it all with.  So my first one was made harder by me not thinking…


As you can see in the picture, I had the tutorial open on the ipad as I was trying to figure out how to attach the top.  It was tricky but I managed:


And it turned out pretty cool!


And of course Evelyn was up, so she had to test it out:


And then I had to work on some for the girls.  I started working on Annabelles first and had it done in no time!  This time I used fleece only so I didn’t have to line it.


She loves it and has been “walking round the house with her feet in the fins.  I made one for Evelyn but she hasn’t let me take a picture of her in it properly.

Now Annabelle wants me to make one of her friends a matching one…good thing I love to sew!!


My collapse…

I spent two days on my back.  On the floor.  With ice under my back.  Watching TV (after I had my husband show me twice how to work it, and screwing it up once and having him have to fix it…).  I haven’t watched anything on TV in probably 2 years.  Nothing that I chose anyways- kid things don’t count.

I woke up on a Monday in a lot of pain.  But I figured I could walk it off.  So I went to work.  My boss looked at me and said “go home” and I said “I’m fine…let me just walk around a little bit.”  Then I went walking through the hallways.  My left leg buckled but I caught myself.  I was walking so gingerly that our foster grandparent asked if I needed assistance.  I decided I needed to go lay on a heating pad for awhile and maybe I could make it back in the afternoon.

But it got worse.  I ended up having my husband drive me to the chiropractor a few hours later and she was alarmed at my state.  She said absolutely NO lifting my child, or anything for that matter.  And ice.  ICE!  It’s winter!  I was like you are crazy!  But I listened. Because I was in so much pain.

I told her I was dancing the next day at school.  For the students.  We choreographed this special dance….and yeah, no dancing 😦  My friend who was the other choreographer came over after school and brought me Ibeprofen.  That shows how desperate I was.  I hate taking pain meds, but I needed it to function.  She went to Target to get it for me because they are the only ones that label their medicines gluten free.

Tuesday seemed almost worse.  I stayed home.  Evelyn’s babysitter picked up both kids.  I laid on ice all day.  And tried not to cry every time I had to get up to pee.  I went back to the chiropractor later in the day and she said it was getting a little better, but she would see me the next day.  I told her I was going to work.  She said ok.

Wednesday I went to work.  Evelyn’s babysitter picked us up.  I got out of the car at student drop off and my principal took my bag.  When I asked for it back he handed it to a student and told them not to give it to me, no matter what I said.  It was nice to have that help.

I didn’t know how long I would make it so I did what work I could on the last day of school before winter break. A friend brought me an ice pack that strapped around me in a very tight fashion.  That helped.  A LOT!  I had it on when I went to the chiropractor that morning.  She was glad to see me walking better.  But she still said see you tomorrow….

I ended up making it through the whole day!

I’ve been on the upswing since then.  But I still haven’t carried Evelyn around.  She’s handling it better and better, and we do a lot of cuddling sitting down.  I’m not sure how it will go when it’s time to be back at work.  Most mornings I hold her while I’m getting ready.  I put her down to shower and then put her down when she gets in her car seat.

I carry my children until I drop.  Literally.  I told my mom recently that I was going to collapse with exhaustion soon.  Well, it happened.  I collapsed. Not just physically, but mentally also.  It is so hard for me to not be able to do what I want, when I want.  And I’ve been going full speed ahead for WAY too long, without giving myself a break in any way.

Some of my tears last week were from physical pain, and some weren’t.  My house was very quiet and I was able to think about how I was not taking care of myself.  I was neglecting myself in order to take care of others.

I collapsed.  But I got back up again.  And I’m working on taking better care of myself.  Starting with making chiropractic visits a priority.

Next will be exercise.  This isn’t a New Year’s Resolution.  I don’t make those.  This is an “I collapsed and need to change my ways” revelation.  I can’t take care of those I love if I don’t take care of myself first.

Have you ever literally collapsed from the weight of life?