a bit of advice…

If you want to take a few pictures of your family, don’t sew/alter/dye half the outfits for your family photo the day/night/minute before the photo shoot, unless you like  squalor and mayhem to explode within your home, and don’t particularly value marital peace and harmony.

mad mim last minutes family photo sewing

I KNOW I’m not the only last-minute sewist out there. What’s the craziest, most stressful down-to-the-wire sewing you’ve done?

PS Allan wants me to point out that there’s no arrows pointing at him. That sounds like a challenge, hon.



haha! i totally do that too, last minute is my drug. PS: how do you look so put together/amazing?? you just had that little one! no fair 🙂


Really, you’re TOO kind, as in, you MUST be joking, because my baby weight is hanging around like a pesky fly. But thanks! That lifts my spirits, if not my saggy gut….!


It was Thursday night at 10 pm when I got a call from my husband asking me, yet one more time, if I could POSSIBLY fulfill one of his life’s dreams and make him a Penguin mascot costume for the Fall Parade on Saturday to promote our business. He had asked before, but I had NO idea how to even attemp a full on mascot costume that needed to look professional and not like a little crafted project. I told him no a few times and then spent hours perusing rental sites to see if we could rent one for the day. But they were all ugly and expensive, so we decided he would not parade in a penguin costume. Now, here it is 36 hours from the parade. I am 8 months pregnant and have a 19 month old at home.

He calls me to say he’s at Walmart and has found the perfect fabric. PERFECT. “I really think you can do it.” Nice. Flattery. Suddenly, the inspiration starts flooding my brain. Whereas I had never (at that point) attempted even a basic shirt, suddenly I know all the fabrics I need, the measurements, everything. I see the entire thing in my brain and tell him what to buy. An hour and a half later, he’s home and we’re starting on the costume.

He was in charge of the head (paper mache around a balloon) and I was in charge of the costume. We went to be that first night around 4 am. I worked on it all day on Friday and again into the night. He had to be at the parade at 6 am on Saturday. And he was. Fully decked out in the coolest, most amazing penguin costume you have ever seen. It was exhausting, and yet the most incredible experience I had had (besides birth). From it, I jumped from novice to advanced in sewing, as I learned so much. While I haven’t attempted another mascot costume, I at least know that when the inspiration comes, I can do just about anything.

I wish I could post a picture, but apparently that post got deleted from my blog, since I can’t seem to find the months of November and December on it anymore…


Now I’m DYING to see that penguin, I seriously can’t even imagine. What surprises me most about your story is that it turned out to be a positive experience! When I’m sewing late-night-delirious I start making the stupidest mistakes and then curse every seam I have to unpick. Hats off to you, my friend!

Sarah S

I’m not experienced enough at sewing yet that I’ve had to make something to wear for a certain event…BUT – my older sister who teaches FACS ed is, and she is the biggest procrastinator ever. She always seems to have the biggest procrastinator bugs for weddings. One of her best friends asked her to sew bridesmaids’ skirts which she finished the night before. For my wedding, I think she finished the dress the day of the wedding – after the ceremony and before the reception. Same thing for my sister’s wedding.

Which reminds me, I have a frumpy wedding-ish dress that I want to try to un-frump before my husband’s cousin’s wedding coming up. We’ll see what happens.


Finishing a wedding dress right before the reception–that takes the cake I’m pretty sure! Good luck with defrumpifying, give yourself plenty of time!


my mom was finishing one of my sister’s bridesmaids dresses the morning of the wedding. yikes! who needs that stress? (In her defense, my sister’s baby was 6 weeks old, so they didn’t know what size she would be and only had been in town a couple of days)


Your outfit is really cute! I love the yellow shirt. Last year as I was packing for a trip the evening before we left, I realized I needed something to wear over a dress I was bringing. So I adapted my t-shirt pattern and made a drapey cardigan and finished it at 12:30. I think it was the fastest garment I’ve made. I was pretty tired when I had to get up early, but it was worth it!


I will personally pay Alan $999 if he would please wear a Mim-sewn bow tie for the next family picture!!!


Oh my! You’re like my mother… I was always waiting until the very last minute to have my clothes done, so I could go wherever I needed to go… 🙂 I miss that experience!

LOVE your clothes, by the way. The photo looks awesome.

Emily Balling

Hey Mim what a darling pic, did you get family shots? I love Merritt’s bow tie, Harper’s leggins and cartie, Josie is a lolly pop, so cute, and Mim you look dreamy. Its a very beautiful shirt and I like how you tucked it in. Pretty earings and head band.

Last minute lets see…To tell the truth if its too last minute I get befuddled and I can’t do anything right. But I do modifications like put on a pregnancy band to my pants that morning I decide I don’t have anything to wear. If its too down to the wire, instead of cruising and getting a lot done, I call it “too late” not happening that year. 🙂


Well. Your Grandma was the one who INVENTED the last minute, I think. Family folklore has it that Grandpa’s twin brother had to speed like a demon to get Grandma to the church for their wedding because she was still hemming the skirt of her wedding gown on the way. Apparently this was before the invention of masking tape. Last minute is why I quit sewing for you kids. Since I couldn’t seem to start before the last minute, and the last minute is a way too stressful time to sew, then that means I could not possibly sew!

p.s. everything you created is darling and does NOT look like the kind of work I produce at TLM.

meg conrad

This one isn’t my sewing story but my mom’s…I competed in scottish highland dance for about ten years and went through several costumes. One time my mom was practically hemming one of my dresses while i was waiting back stage to perform, and another time she got so down to the wire on a kilt (how cool is my mom? she makes kilts by hand!) for me so i went to the competition in an unlined kilt–which if you’ve worn wool, you know it gets very, very itchy, especially during humid summers!

(and a shameless plug for my own blog: http://megsmusing.blogspot.com/)


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