mad mim no big dill letter W butterfly wings tee 08 W is for Wings

Last week I had a spectacular flying dream—one of the only flying dreams I can ever remember having. Boy oh boy was I the best flying middle-aged woman you’ve ever seen, I mean Super Man  had nothing on me, I was dodging-and-weaving it through the clouds like a gravity defying running back.  You can’t imagine the let-down I experienced those first few moments of cognition when I realized that my fantastic flight was very unfortunately not real. Bummer.

mad mim no big dill letter W butterfly wings tee 04 W is for Wings

So when I turned my mind this week to the letter W for the BRILLIANT Katy Dill’s inspiring alphabet sewing series Sew All 26, I stayed true to my wizzing-through-the-air-tendencies, and gave my Twinkie some Wings. Now granted, in a shoot-out between flying powers these wings are rather less impressive than the super hero way I’m accustomed to.  But! If you’re in the mood for a bit of flitting and fluttering, this bell-sleeved swing tee with wings is just your ticket.

mad mim no big dill letter W butterfly wings tee 03 W is for Wings

A bit about how it came to pass. I started  with Figgy’s Banyan tee, because it’s always a wise place to start. I deepened the armscye because I was planning on using this lightweight woven for the sleeve, and knew I would likely need a bit more room for the lack of stretch. I adjusted the sleeve to fit, and slashed and spread it to make a bell sleeve. I then straightened out those curved side seams, and cut the bottom to fall straight across.

mad mim no big dill letter W butterfly wings tee 01 W is for Wings

The butterfly wings I sketched and then exacto-d into a stencil using my rapidly disappearing stash of stencil film, and then after a quick spritz of spray adhesive, my little second-hand man Tito did most of painting (it’s fool-proof, he was so proud!).

mad mim no big dill letter W butterfly wings tee 05 W is for Wings

So W is for Wings. Wings to flit and flutter and fly through the air at the speed of light. I’ll suspend the laws of science just for you, don’t mention it.

mad mim no big dill letter W butterfly wings tee 06 W is for Wings

DSC 1566 W is for Wings

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mad mim sewing lessons at a fashionable stitch 01 Sewing Classes at A Fashionable Stitch!

Hey hey friends! And how are you all? How’s the new year treating you? I already feel like it’s gonna be a good year for me, I feel like I’ve finally learned some things that will help me keep my life simpler and happier.  Not that I’ve been unhappy, but I’ll tell you what–it hit me recently that I have anxiety. It runs in my fam, so I guess I should have seen it before now, but I just didn’t. I guess because I’m high-functioning?  But I realized that I feel an unnecessary and probably abnormal amount of worry and stress over things that are no big deal. It’s not that I don’t like doing things that cause me stress (they’re often very fulfilling!), but I sometimes it’s a rocky road getting there. Lately I’ve been learning about mindfulness, which essentially is the practice of focusing on one simple thing at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed and stressed. It’s helping me.  I say this because I’m also learning how to embrace the things in my life that bless me and my family and make me happier, and drop the rest.  Blogging is a wonderful blessing to me, but only if I keep it a rather marginal aspect. I so love sharing with like-minded creative friends the things that I’m working on and that really ring my bell, and so I’m truly grateful I have this outlet. But if I get too involved, too busy, too distracted or just compare myself too much at all to others then I get depressed, and that’s the truth.  On the other hand, if keep it minimal i.e. slow i.e. sporadic and spaced, then it’s fun and rewarding which is why I love it.

Speaking of doing things that make me happy, I’m going to be teaching sewing classes at my lovely friend Sunni’s new brick and morter shop A Fashionable Stitch! Some of you know that Sunni just bought what was Yellow Bird Fabrics in SLC, and when she heard that I was interested in teaching again, she asked me step on as a teacher there!  I’m so excited!  I love teaching, and teaching sewing and stuff that I love is even better.  For February I’ll be teaching a (4 week) kid’s beginning [hand] sewing class,  hand printing, and clothing refashioning! I’m so pumped about each of them, they’re going to be awesome. To read more in depth class descriptions and check out pricing, dates and whatever else, see Sunni’s classes page.

The hand printing class will be a 2 hour class similar to the one I taught at Sewing Summit–you’ll learn all the tools and  materials, carving/printing techniques and applications,  and then we’ll do it together. This class was a BLAST, and I anticipate more of that awesomeness.  

mad mim sewing lessons at a fashionable stitch 02 Sewing Classes at A Fashionable Stitch!

I can’t even wait for this class, I LOVE me some refashioning. We’ll learn what to look for when considering a refashion, all the ins and outs (the short cuts and extra mile fitting techniques), and then we’ll do some fashion sketching and refashioning magic together. mad mim sewing lessons at a fashionable stitch 03 Sewing Classes at A Fashionable Stitch!

I’ve wanted to teach a children’s beginning sewing class forever, and I’m really so excited for this! This class will be the very first introduction to sewing for little kiddies who can’t keep their paws out of your sewing stuff. It will cover all the basic s(threading, cutting, pinning, gathering, running stitch, whip stitch, buttons, patterns etc.), and my goal is for the kids to gain the skills to dream up and execute sewing projects independently (within reason), and be inspired and confident to do so.  They’ll come home with several adorable projects and their very first set of patterns. mad mim sewing lessons at a fashionable stitch 04 Sewing Classes at A Fashionable Stitch!Exciting right?? I’m still considering what other classes I’ll teach, but for March I’m thinking How to Sew a Tshirt, and How to Draft and Sew a Maxi Skirt. In the future also look for a beginning [sewing machine] sewing class for kids, and Sewing a Hobby Horse class for sure.  Anything you’d like to learn from me? Let me know! And I’d love to see some of you at my classes this month!

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mad mim gold leaf tribal Christmas card 08 Gold Leaf Christmas Cards and Sewing Lessons

So, yeah. All those things I wanted to get done last time I posted? Man, I was chillin’ in Fantasyland, none of them happened. I’ve been so busy trying to unpack and settle in that as of right now, I’ve made exactly one handmade gift, and I made it at my in-laws house. Point is, life can be a real shiz-fan sometimes, and although it’s been a really great shiz-fan, there was no room in the inn for crafting. I’m mostly unpacked, just working on my craft room bit by bit, but it’s taking a while cause we’re pimping out my craft closet which is pretty exciting. No pictures up yet, but we LOVE our house, love the neighborhood, and love being here in Springville! It’s gonna take me probably a year to get this place where I want it with furniture and styling and whatnot, but I don’t mind waiting, and I’m excited to get to work on all my projects.  Nothing like a boatload of post-holiday projects on the horizon to pull you through the post-holiday blues, I always say. I really tend to struggle when the holidays are over, so having a lot on my plate is always good for me.

mad mim gold leaf tribal Christmas card 09 Gold Leaf Christmas Cards and Sewing Lessons

These foil Christmas cards just sort of happened as I was digging through boxes trying to come up with something for some handwritten notes I wanted to write.  I carved this tribal Christmas tree last year for gift tags, and boy has it served me right. I dug it out from my ever-growing stamp collection and  just squirted out some Jones Foil glue onto my trusty oatmeal lid, and gave my stamp a good coat with my roller, and stamped it onto card stock card blanks.  After letting it dry I pressed my Jones foil paper (shiny side UP!), and then lifted off the foil to reveal a gorgeous metallic leafed design.

mad mim gold leaf tribal Christmas card 01 Gold Leaf Christmas Cards and Sewing Lessons

mad mim gold leaf tribal Christmas card 05 Gold Leaf Christmas Cards and Sewing Lessons

mad mim gold leaf tribal Christmas card 06 Gold Leaf Christmas Cards and Sewing Lessons

mad mim gold leaf tribal Christmas card 04 Gold Leaf Christmas Cards and Sewing Lessons


So easy, and so so pretty. I always get frustrated trying photograph foil projects, because they never photograph as brilliant as they look in real life. After some simple lettering, they were ready to pop in the mail.

This little project was about all I could manage this year, and I’m abandoning almost all my homemade gifts by the wayside at this point–just focusing on getting my home ready to house family.  I’m SO looking forward to spending time with my fave peeps and eating some good old fashioned beef-up-my-booty foods. Nothing like throwing caution into the wind for the Holidays, right!?

One last thing I wanted to say! I’m fixing to teach sewing lessons again! I taught for 3-4 years back when my kids were little, and I’m excited to do it again this year. Instead of just on-going lessons though, I’m planning on doing 2-3 six week sessions through out the year. Class size  will be small (3-5 per class), and I want to teach 2-3 classes per session. I haven’t nailed down how I want to group my classes, but I’ll be able to do that a little more easily when I see who is interested. I would LOVE to teach a very beginning class for really young girls (6-9) that would cover hand sewing and machine basics. I would also like a beginning and intermediate teen-adult class. I’ll group classes according to age and skill level, and we will have set projects that we’ll work on together– I’m working on specific outlines right now (well, you know…in my head).  Price will be $150  per person per session.  If you’re interested or know someone who is, please email me at! Let me know skill level, desired skills, and ideal time.  I will hopefully be ready late January or February.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays folks! I’ve got nothing but love for you all, and hope you have a really nice time with the people you love. Love and guts and Christmas candy!

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mad mim solar fast earrings 18 SolarFast Statement Earrings

I don’t know what it is about having short hair, but it really begs for statement earrings sometimes. Is that just me? I don’t know, I guess I feel a little extra sassy or something, and I want something that says Hey! I’m a fun person! I know that not everyone is a statement-earring kind of gal, but I definitely believe that everyone has a need for self-expression in what they wear.  Just ask my hubs about his quirky tees, the man wants the world to know without a shadow of a doubt that he is a nerd and is absolutely beaming with pride about it.

I’m new to Jacqaurd’s SolarFast (sunlight developed dye), but have been having a blast playing with it. It is seriously cool stuff, and I have a ton of projects I want to do with it (especially gifts! You can use photos in your printing, so there’s tons of potential for awesome inside-joke/shared memory/ personalized projects) Because I wanted to get a handle on the medium before I jumped into any big projects, I decided to begin with these statement earrings because it would allow me to trouble shoot without using any significant yardage or dye.

mad mim solar fast earrings 02 SolarFast Statement Earrings

For this project you’ll need some:

  • SolarFast Dye
  • SolarFast film and inkjet printer (there are other options if you only have a laser printer I’ll talk about it later)
  • SolarFast wash
  • Some white cotton fabric (only a bit!)
  • bright colored embroidery floss
  • bright colored beads and
  • earring findings: hooks, jump rings and eye pins
  • pliers

Okay, let’s talk about the printing process. First, watch this short video to familiarize yourself with the process.  To begin you’ll need to choose and image and create a negative. *In photoshop or other photo editing software, you’ll need to first make it black and white, and then invert it (both options in the adjustment panel). Images with really high contrast do best (you want the darks  black and lights white). If you need to,  knock up your contrast just a tad and bring down your brightness levels a bit until you’re happy.   Important!  **Once you print (print on the Matte side of the film!) you want the dark parts of the image to be completely opaque–meaning if you hold it up to the light you can’t see any light shining through those parts; conversely the white areas will be completely transparent and then a variation of opacity for all the shades in between. You can adjust your printer to let out a heavy layer of ink, or you can double up your transparency which is what really worked for me (one layer was not opaque enough and I was getting just solid colored squares).

*If you have no photo editing software, you can make these adjustments in your printer settings as well, mine said something like print in black and white and make a negative to invert. Also, if you take your image to a print shop they can easily make these adjustments as well.

**You must use an inkjet printer with the Solar Fast film because a laser printer will melt it. I don’t have an inkjet so I went to a print shop (OfficMax) and had them print on a transparency. Transparency will work but sometimes has problems with not being waterproof and the ink bleeding. It worked fine for me, but I was told that that can be an issue.

Once you get your negative, the process is simple. Working on a non-absorbent surface (a clip board with a bit of plastic or plastic wrap worked great), paint the dye over the area that will be printed with a foam brush or sponge. You can tape it off or just go for it, whatever. Once you have a fully saturated  area (enough that there is no dry spots), take a paper towel and really blot the heck out of it. It will be damp still, but you don’t want it to be wet feeling–you want to remove the excess liquid, it will make a clearer print.  Put your negative down (shiny side which is the waterproof side face down) and secure ( a sheet of plastic glass and clips or something similar can be really helpful, you just don’t want that negative shifting at all).

mad mim solar fast earrings 07 SolarFast Statement Earrings

mad mim solar fast earrings 031 SolarFast Statement Earrings

Take outside and expose. Noon is the best time, but if you’re a little late or early(between 10-3 is best)  just prop up your print so that’s it’s angled towards the sun. Exposure time varies depending on the color you use and the weather, but my orange dye took only about 5 minutes to expose. Exposure time is important, it was one of my first mistakes–my prints were almost solid colors and barely discernible and it was partly due to over exposure at 20-30 minutes. With my print I discovered that even 10 minutes was too long.  If you’re doing a larger scale project, I suggest doing a small test print to figure out optimal exposure time.

mad mim solar fast earrings 04 SolarFast Statement Earrings


Troubleshooting: The top row here didn’t have an opaque enough transparency, and the bottom piece was just a bit overexposed. mad mim solar fast earrings 19 SolarFast Statement Earrings

Rinse it immediately after bringing it in so that you remove any non-exposed dye! Rinse it with running hot hot water and wash with the SolarFast wash. Machine washing is best, but because I was just doing such small pieces I hand washed vigorously.

To assemble the earrings I made two prints for each earring (front and back),cut into my desired shape and applied some iron on interfacing to the back. I then sandwhiched some thicker canvas fabric in between my printed fabrics and glued together with a glue stick.

mad mim solar fast earrings 10 SolarFast Statement Earrings

Blanket stitch with your embroidery floss around the edge (threading your tails to the inside),

mad mim solar fast earrings 11 SolarFast Statement Earrings

and then poke an eye pin through the top.

mad mim solar fast earrings 121 SolarFast Statement Earrings

Add a couple bright colored beads, and then snip off excess wire and bend the top into a loop. Attach a small jump ring then attach that to an earwire.

mad mim solar fast earrings 17 SolarFast Statement Earrings

mad mim solar fast earrings 161 SolarFast Statement Earrings


(photo credits: the old man is from an old issue of National Geographic, the Silly Walker is of course from Monte Python sketch, and the racoon is just from our friend Google)

Pretty cool stuff, right? Every time I brought in a print from outside, that moment of reveal was always so thrilling–it brings in this element of surprise and anticipation to printing that really kept me on the edge of my seat. It’s like extreme crafting, complete with that adrenaline rush. I can’t wait to play around with it more, I’m thinking sweaters, pillows, coasters, art prints on fabric, the list goes on. I think it’s gonna be a SolarFast Christmas.

BUT. I absolutely need to stop crafting and start packing now, we move in just a couple of weeks!  Man, I just can’t make myself get in gear with moving, I’m dreading it so. Depending on how quickly we get moved and then settled, I’m predicting a pretty slow holiday season here on the blog.  Catch up with me on instagram though, and send me all the most efficient moving vibes you can!


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Interesting tidbit: if you google “trapper hat,” “aviator hat,” “tracer hat,” or “lumberjack hat” you’ll get images of basically the same hat.  Who knew, right? I was trying to figure out the difference, and learned that according to 21st century fashion there isn’t much.  Whatever you wanna  call it though, it’s handsome and very good idea for little boys to sport.

mad mim pattern anthology trapper hat01 Pattern Anthology Tour // Trapper Hat Remix

This Trapper Hat pattern designed by Sew Kate Sew is a) adorable, and b) part of the gorgeous Pattern Anthology Winter Wonderland collection.  I was asked to remix this pattern, and at first I was kind of at a loss as to what to do. I mean, it’s so great as-is, so I wasn’t receiving any super innovative revelations about how to change it. Besides switching up the fabric a bit, I decided in the end to add something completely non-functional, because every once in a while a very silly thing is the best choice. I discovered lots of hats in this style have additional little ear flaps that can be buttoned up or down, depending on your mood. Can any of you tell me what their for? Additional ear warmth? Style? Perhaps a historical function that has now evolved into a design detail? Will we ever know?

They were simple to add, I just sandwhiched them into that crown seam, and added a loop and buttons to fasten them up or down (I forgot to photograph them up!) The easiest way to do this is the flaps to the bottom section before you attach it the top portion.  

mad mim pattern anthology trapper hat04 Pattern Anthology Tour // Trapper Hat Remix

I wanted the tiniest bit of that plaid flannel to peak out around the flap , so when sewing the flap front and back right sides together, I pulled the plaid towards the center just a tad before sewing, so that way it pulls around to the front and gives you that edging of plaid.

mad mim pattern anthology trapper hat02 Pattern Anthology Tour // Trapper Hat Remix

The outer is corduroy, the lining is a fluffy faux lamb’s fleece, and the front flap is a beautiful orange and navy plaid all from Joann.  I top-stitched everything but those two top seams because I felt it keeps the hat well shaped and structured.  And it looks nice.  I think it turned out so handsome, and the only thing I would add (still might) are some leather buckles or ties to the end of the long ear flaps, I think some added weight would help to pull them down.

mad mim pattern anthology trapper hat05 Pattern Anthology Tour // Trapper Hat Remix

mad mim pattern anthology trapper hat03 Pattern Anthology Tour // Trapper Hat Remix

This is such a fun design, and I’m excited to be part of the Pattern Anthology tour! If you haven’t already, go and check out the amazingness going on other there! 

pattern anthology Pattern Anthology Tour // Trapper Hat Remix

(And thank you to my handsome little nephew for being my  model so I could save this hat for my Bub”s Christmas present!)

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I made this pillow the other night for a friend, and I kinda love it.

mad mim handprinting woodgrain pillow04 Hand printing // Wood Grain Tessellation Pillow

Wood Grain, PS, is SUPER fun (and speedy!) to carve. I used an eco carve printing to plate, which is a dream to carve, and has a nice larger size which I wanted for this long and skinny (1/2″ by like 5″) stamp.  I made a simple envelope pillow form and then basted around the edges with some pretty coral yarn. The fabric is thrifted, and the paint is black screen printing ink.
mad mim handprinting woodgrain pillow02 Hand printing // Wood Grain Tessellation Pillow

As much as I hand print, I don’t think I’ll ever get over the lovely variation in saturation that it creates.

mad mim handprinting woodgrain pillow01 Hand printing // Wood Grain Tessellation Pillow

For tips on hand printing, start here.  The pillow pictured behind is one of a pair that I made about a year ago but never blogged about.
mad mim handprinting woodgrain pillow03 Hand printing // Wood Grain Tessellation PillowHave you guys turned into Christmas-heads yet? I’m about there, just finishing up a few projects before I head into moving-mode. I had big plans to make presents for all my large family, but alas, I may have to rethink that idea as we’ll just be trying to settle into our new house next month. Tears. Are you geared up for a homemade Christmas? Do you have a rule of thumb when it comes to gifting homemade?  It’s a delicate balance because making stuff–for me–is the best part of Christmas because of how FUN it is to think about and love the person you’re making for. BUT! Sometimes diy-ing it can become this huge burden and overwhelming to-do list that ends up robbing you of all your time and thoughts. How do you balance it?

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Otherwise entitled The Sistehood of the Floral Knit.

all together at mood1 My Mood Fabric Make // a pencil skirt and yoked blouse

In went like this–back in August or whenever it was that we Fabric Weekenders were spazzing out in the various corners of the fabric district, a group us were effectively getting our minds blown at the wonders of Mood.  I was perusing (that word decidedly lacks the upmost enthusiasm I was experiencing in that moment) the knit aisles when I spied this gorgeous knit with a delicious hand and drape. It was calling my name, and boy oh boy was I pickin’ up what it was putting down. (No surprise there though, right? It’s got that orange-y coral color that is like the national color of Mimdom).  Anyway, then Melissa, Merrick and Leanne wanted some too, and before you know it, it was a Thing. In the end I think there were 7 of us who all got one yard, and  then determined that we’d share a fun post about whatever we ended up making.  So that’s the gist–the story of the floral knit we all fell in love with. And not that it matters, but I was totally the first.mad mim mood fabric yoked blouse02 My Mood Fabric Make // a pencil skirt and yoked blouse

Ok, so my first project that I made from this was a basic pencil skirt that I love and wear often (scroll down to the bottom).   I had initially dreamed of blocking it out for a dress or something, but when push came to shove (right before Sewing Summit), I just wanted a go-to skirt that was classy and comfortable.  Practicality brings home another win.  But then we all started talking about the post yesterday, and last night the Project Runway Within sort of took over, and my scraps of the precious knit somehow landed the spotlight today.

mad mim mood fabric yoked blouse01 My Mood Fabric Make // a pencil skirt and yoked blouse

I squeaked this bad boy out! Not only did I have only a very small piece of the knit, but I literally used all but some shreds of that silk chiffon I found deep sea diving at Michael Levine Loft.  It ended up being pretty perfect, and I love how it turned out.  I started out with the Briar Tee as a block for the yoke, and the rest is just winged. Winged? Wung? Wung!! Now that’s funny.

mad mim mood fabric yoked blouse03 My Mood Fabric Make // a pencil skirt and yoked blouse

I love the buttons down the back, don’t you?mad mim mood fabric yoked blouse06 My Mood Fabric Make // a pencil skirt and yoked blouse

And here’s the pencil skirt!

mad mim mood fabric wiggle skirt 021 My Mood Fabric Make // a pencil skirt and yoked blouseNow go and check out what these amazing ladies did with it! I can’t wait to see  myself!

Jen . Merrick . Bethany . Melissa . Andrea . and Leanne‘s forthcoming!


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mad mim graphic African print sheath dress 04 African Wax Print Sheath Dress

A couple months ago African Premier contacted me about trying out some of their fabric. I hadn’t ever heard of them before, but when I clicked over I was like WHOA, cool prints. I spent like thirty minutes right then and there, and was so refreshed by the unique, bold, and graphic patterns.  You don’t see prints like that just anywhere.

mad mim graphic African print sheath dress 01 African Wax Print Sheath Dress

I picked out this wax print:

snice30806 a African Wax Print Sheath Dress

I am in love with how this dress turned out!! Don’t you think the simple sheath silhouette (Vogue 8766) makes this graphic print scream at the top of its lungs? Like for real. The fabric is somewhat stiff and good for more structured clothing, which is why I opted to not make a button-up, which is what I originally had planned. I also thought about doing a blazer (you’re thinking: she’s still talking about that, huh?) but in the end I wimped out because of all the matching required. Speaking of matching, can I direct your attention to the beautiful sunset? How about the sketchy photoshop job on the left sidewalk? (there was a big car) Anything to avert your expert scrutinizing eyes from that waistline! I spent so much time matching horizontal lines, but I straight up FAILED with the vertical ones. I just couldn’t get it to work! For one thing I cut out a size smaller on top, and because the darts in front are larger than the back’s, mathematically it just wasn’t happening. So give me a fat break and just sort squint around the middle section.  Also,  in the spirit of full disclosure, I didn’t line this sucker. I know I know! I hate sloppy sewing, but I just got lazy, and that’s the honest truth. It happens to the best of us, mostly late at night.  But despite it’s imperfections, I really really love it, and the print just feels exotic and bold.  Made me feel like a tiger, and that’s no lie.

mad mim graphic African print sheath dress 05 African Wax Print Sheath Dress


Check out the seamless matching here on the sides!

mad mim graphic African print sheath dress 02 African Wax Print Sheath Dress

mad mim graphic African print sheath dress 03 African Wax Print Sheath Dress

Some other favorites from African Premiere‘s site: top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right. And also be sure to check out their laces, they have some gorgeous stuff there too–I especially love their premium voile laces and their polishing cottons. I think a dress or skirt out of any of those would be stunning. Also, take note of the amazing prices! That’s $20 for a SIX yard piece, which comes out to be just over $3 a yard! Hello budget bride’s maid dresses!

other prints i like1 African Wax Print Sheath Dress

SO, we found a house! In Springville! It’s a cute little house (not too little, but definitely not huge), and I think it’s going to be perfect for us for the next 5 years or so. I can’t wait to get into it, we’re set to close end of the month, and move in the beginning of December.  My head is positively SWIMMING with design ideas and furniture dreams, and now I’ve got to gear up for our second move in 6 months.  But it’s all so fun, and I am JAZZED (hands and all) to finally have our own place;  I have waited for years, all the while fantasizing about a time when I could paint and puncture walls whenever and wherever I please!

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I have at least half a dozen back-to-school outfits for Twinkle that I’ve photographed but haven’t posted. What can you do. Too little time, and too many other things to do.  We’re trying to buy a house as you may remember, and we found one and put an offer in (their asking price), and they countered at $4,000 OVER their asking price. Como se wha??We went back and forth and they wouldn’t come down, so we said peace out. So we’re still looking, and man oh man is that hour-and-fifteen-minute-commute-in-GOOD-traffic getting old as the hills.

mad mim gold polka banyan tee 04 Gold Polka Banyan Tee and Bow Band Leggings

This is one of those outfits that I make by the boatloads, but doesn’t always get blogged. It’s cute, functional and beloved by the wearer, but so simple that it doesn’t always make the I-HAVE-to-share-this-on-the-blog cut. Well here’s to go-to outfits and designs! This is Figgy’s Banyan tee, which is one of my all-time faves. It’s just so whimsical and comfy. It’s a great tee pattern too, I’ve made it without the handkerchief hem, and it’s got the perfect amount of swing.

mad mim gold polka banyan tee 01 Gold Polka Banyan Tee and Bow Band Leggings

The leggings are Ottobre, from issue 4/2012 #15. There are several leggings patterns throughout the all issues though, and they’re all wonderful.  I just love the little bow band at the bottom, it’s become my standard way of  finishing  leggings because it’s adorable and  fast and doesn’t require hemming.

mad mim gold polka banyan tee 03 Gold Polka Banyan Tee and Bow Band Leggings

mad mim gold polka banyan tee 02 Gold Polka Banyan Tee and Bow Band Leggings
Another thing I want to mention is how AWESOME it is not to be sewing my kid’s Halloween costumes this year. I know that Halloween is typically when the National Mom League dusts off their sewing skills to make their kid’s costume fantasies come true, and I’m usually right there with you. But I’ve gotta say, there is nothing so sweet as an off year, and that’s the truth. I got a real high off checking their costumes off my list in a matter of 5 minutes in the costume aisle at Target.  So there! Better make a note of the time I advocated buying over sewing!

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mad mim skipper top 05 The Skipper Top

Sad to say, but the third child really does get the fuzzy end of the lollypop sometimes. Although my little Tiny has commandeered much of time over the last two years, she has benefited very little from my sewing talents. She got priority numero one in a lot of things, but clothing wasn’t one of them, poor little Dear. This girl has been toddling around in rags, and that’s the honest truth. She has one halfway decent shirt (that’s not completely stained gray or completely to small), and nary a pair of leggings without some serious knee nastiness or holes. She’s a regular ragamuffin, and she doesn’t even know it. So as soon as I was done with Sewing Summit and back to school sewing for Twinkle and all the other sewing obligations I had, her wardrobe finally reached it’s rightful place at the top of my to-do list.  When Abbey emailed me about joining her Skipper Top pattern tour, I immediately agreed because it looked like a quick, comfortable, cute and customizeable staple for her. I love this shirt!! I’ve already made three versions of it for her, and know I’ll use it again and again. And it’s so fast! I can make it and a simple pair of leggings (like the ones she’s wearing, pattern from Ottobre), in under an hour for sure!

mad mim skipper top 04 The Skipper Top

After I had traced the pattern for this top, I looked down and this beautiful Marc Jacobs cotton from Mood was peeping out from my fabric storage at me. I only bought like a 1/3 of a yard of this beauty (and was planning to make something like this for myself with it), but after a quick mental mock up it seemed like a perfect little fall piece for Tiny. And I think I’ll still have enough (hopefully) for my project.

mad mim skipper top 02 The Skipper Top

The only changes I made were to flare out slightly the back piece in order to accommodate for the woven fabric, and I twisted the neck band piece because I’ve been into that lately (tutorial forthcoming!)

mad mim skipper top 03 The Skipper Top

mad mim skipper top 01 The Skipper Top
Adorable, right? Of course right. She was totally rocking it today, and now she has FOUR decent shirts, which makes me four shirts closer to being an adequate mom. This perfect little shirt may be my easy ticket to respectability!

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mad mim wrist pin cushion diy 06 Time to Sew, Yo // The Wrist Pin Cushion

One of the gems from my LA trip, was a dinky little wrist pin cushion I got at Golden Cutting and Sewing Supplies.  I just grabbed it last second before we were leaving, and it came to pass that it has been one of the handiest little thing! I love it! No more searching for you pins only to discover you left it at the cutting table, and then when you’re at your cutting table you have to go ALL THE WAY OVER to your sewing table to retrieve them again.  Back and forth, back and forth, the pin cushion fetching never ends.  It’s unreasonable. So at the risk of sounding ridiculous, I’ll say this sleek little sewing accessory has simplified my life significantly. PS I know it’s not sleek at all.

Which is why I decided to whip a few up for some friends! Besides the fact that mine is WAY cuter than the one I bought, it was a fun little project–my six year old made one along with me, and enjoyed the simple hand stitching.

Round up:

  • a couple different complimentary scraps of fabric (about 5″ square for the larger piece)
  • some stuffing
  • a bit of elastic
  • a bit of ribbon
  • a juice lid
  • a glue gun
  • and a needle and thread

Cut out your circles using this amazingly complex circle template. Gotta remember to copyright that masterpiece. You want to use your really spectacular fabric for the larger circle. mad mim wrist pin cushion diy 03 Time to Sew, Yo // The Wrist Pin Cushion

Take your smaller circle and baste all around it with a needle and thread. Make sure you start with some really secure whip stitches, a simple knot isn’t sufficient. Cinch it up tight around your juice lid, whip stitch again, and then stitch across it several times to really secure that bad boy in there. *Note that my fabric shown here is melon colored on one side, and bubblegum on the other, just didn’t want you to be confused.

mad mim wrist pin cushion diy 04 Time to Sew, Yo // The Wrist Pin Cushion

Cut a length of elastic that fits comfortably around your wrist with about an inch overlap. You want it snug, but don’t go crazy, eh? I don’t want anybody’s circulation to be cut off. Stitch together.

mad mim wrist pin cushion diy 01 Time to Sew, Yo // The Wrist Pin Cushion

Now repeat the whole whip stitch, baste and cinch process with your larger circle. Stuff it within an inch of its life, and then whip stitch and cross secure several times. After I got to this point I continued to stuff it through the stitching til it was tight and firm just like my bum. HAH! You’ll have to do some adjusting to get a nice even flattened sphere. mad mim wrist pin cushion diy 02 Time to Sew, Yo // The Wrist Pin Cushion

Now. Wrap your elastic (centered) around your juice lid, and then sandwhich it to your cushion. Secure by whip stitching around the whole thing (base fabric to cushion fabric). Go around twice if you like to reside on the safe side. 
mad mim wrist pin cushion diy 05 Time to Sew, Yo // The Wrist Pin Cushion

Bust out your glue gun and carefully glue a pretty ribbon over the gap between cushion and base. Or not, this step is optional, but i think you’ll sleep better if you go ahead and do it, just saying.  
mad mim wrist pin cushion diy 07 Time to Sew, Yo // The Wrist Pin Cushion

Ta daaaaaa. Say that Miranda style just for me. mad mim wrist pin cushion diy 08 Time to Sew, Yo // The Wrist Pin Cushion

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mad mim color magnet masking tape bear 102 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

mad mim color magnet masking tape bear 103 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee
Nothing like a 15 minute project to get your heart pumping. This little bear tee is so simple that you can have it done while you wait for your oatmeal to cook. Okay okay, on the stovetop. But seriously, this is an easy technique using a cool cool product that I’m super excited to show you (my new fave for sure).

mad mim color magnet bear tee 01 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

Grab some:

The skinny:

Draw or print (with a printer) a large design on some freezer paper. I used this big bear, which you’re welcome to as well, don’t mention it. A shortcut I always use is to cut a piece of freezer paper exactly 8.5 X 11, and then throw into the paper tray of your printer and print straight on it. Cut out the design with a utility knife, being careful to always pull your blade down. Iron that bad boy (shiny side down) onto your tee or what have you. You’re effectively masking off this design so you can now print or stencil over it.

mad mim color magnet bear tee 07 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

Cut a long length of masking tape and stick to a cutting mat. With a rotary blade, cut down the center of it. You could also use a utility knife if you find yourself  rotary-bladeless. The goal is to have very thin cuts of tape.  Tape in a stripey pattern all over the the bear, cutting more tape as needed.

mad mim color magnet bear tee 06 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

mad mim color magnet bear tee 05 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

Now for the cool juice. Here’s the 411 on Color Magnet. It’s a color attractant that when applied, dried, and then dyed, will magically attract more dye creating a completely permanent (won’t fade and creates no stiffness whatsoever) two-tone effect, which I really just can’t get enough of. I LOVE THIS STUFF! It comes in a pen with a foam pad tip as well, which is perfect for stenciling. Apply this stuff on your masked out bear, and allow to completely dry.

mad mim color magnet bear tee 03 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

mad mim color magnet bear tee 04 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

Once dry, remove all tape and freezer paper, and then dye according to manufacturer instructions.  I used this Hanes Youth Beefy Tee, and fiber reactive dye in Chartreuse.  You’ll end up with something like this.

mad mim color magnet bear tee 02 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee
mad mim color magnet masking tape bear 101 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

mad mim color magnet bear tee 01 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

Fun, right? This masking technique also works really awesome with small scale pattern stencils (like this insane tribal stencil I recently made). I used this technique for my very own bear tee (pictures forthcoming), as well as a top using color magnet and this masking tape design, which is rad and I can’t wait to share.  

My little man Tito LOVED this shirt, but I’m sad to say, I lost it! Somehow or other, it didn’t make it home from Sewing Summit with me, (!!) which he and I are really bummed about. I also never got a picture of him in it, which is doubly unfortunate. Luckily it’s easy, and I can quickly do it again if it never surfaces.

PS. Sewing Summit was fantastic, and I’ll put together a recap post soon. My hand printing class was a blast!

Since I got home though a little over a week ago, I think I’ve spent more time in my bed than out of it, Ain’t No Lie, Baby Bye Bye Bye. Jeez Oh Man, I got so sick of lying down, and I was too sick to even hold up a book for half of it. I was just a-trembling and sweating and I’ll spare you the rest. I got REAAAL sick, the most severe case of strep I’ve even had. But I’m pretty much better now, and I think it’s done plowing through (and over) our family. My very first act as a semi-healthy adult (AFTER I cleaned up my house in a hazmat suit) was some late season canning, which like always, is rewarding but a crapload of work. I did Peach Pineapple Mint Jam, Raspberry Preserves, and Charred Tomato and Chile Salsa, all three recipes come from the Uh-MAZING book Canning for a New Generation.  My garden is just about done spewing forth good things to eat, and I think we’re about to lose the rest to frost anyway. Now all I have left are the grapes.  I’ve got literally bajillions of grapes that want juicing. I haven’t ever done them before, but I’ve heard it ain’t no thang. That’s one rumor I hope is true, because I am bushed!



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