Lumberjack shirt

lumberjack shirt (9 of 1)Eeek! I made a lumberjack shirt for Des! I’ve been wanting to make some sort of button down shirt, but it always seemed too intimidating.  Well… thanks to lots of help from my mother-in-law, it wasn’t so intimidating after all!  It was so much fun, and I can’t wait to make another one.  I see a cute chambray shirt in his future!

lumberjack shirt (7 of 1)We started with Simplicity pattern 7994 as a base for the shirt, but altered it to make it fit Desmond better.  The smallest size in the pattern was still too big for him.  Then, we added my favorite detail- a cute little squirrel!  The embroidery design is available from my mother-in-law’s site at A Bit of Stitch.

lumberjack shirt (8 of 1)He looks so adorable, doesn’t he!

Mug warmer tutorial

 mug warmer  (6 of 1)

So, fall is in full swing and like everyone else out there, I’m making my hot coffee and chai tea lattes (okay, buying them) as much as possible.  I found some wool scraps in my sewing room and decided to make a mug warmer to go with all my highly caffeinated drinks.  Here’s a tutorial, so you can make one too!


- 2 pieces of fabric cut to 10.5 inches by 3 inches – one for the front of your warmer and one for the back

- 2 mini hair elastics

- 1 piece of fusible fleece interfacing cut to 10.5 inches by 3 inches

- 2 coordinating buttons

mug warmer  (1 of 1)

Step 1: Cut your fabrics and interfacing to the correct size.  I started with 2 rectangles that were 10.5 inches by 3 inches.

mug warmer  (2 of 1)Step 2: Iron on your fusible interfacing to the WRONG side of the fabric you will use for the front of your mug warmer.

mug warmer  (3 of 1)Step 3: Place your fabrics right sides together with the hair elastics sandwiched between them as shown.  Position the hair elastics about 3/4 inch from the top and bottom edges of the fabric, so they will not get caught in the seam allowance.  To keep the elastics from shifting, you can baste them in place about 1/4 inch from the side of your fabric.  Pin all three layers together around the edges.

mug warmer  (4 of 1)

mug warmer  (10 of 1)Step 4: Sew (with right sides together) around all edges with a 3/8 inch seam allowance, but be sure to leave an opening to turn the fabric right side out.  Turn the warmer right side out and press the seam allowances flat at the opening.

mug warmer  (5 of 1)Step 5: Topstitch around all the sides (slightly more than 1/8 inch) to close the opening.

Step 6: Sew your buttons onto the end of the warmer without the elastic.  Be sure to get them close to the edge, so your elastic will not have to stretch very far.

mug warmer  (12 of 1)

Now go enjoy a cup a coffee with your fancy new mug warmer!


Tote bags

A few weeks ago, I had some fun machine hopping and ended up creating three different tote bags! It all started with a bag for cute little Ava to carry her toys and books in on the road.  It was the first time I ever monogrammed anything, and it turned out to be a lot of fun!

Ava tote (5 of 1)Ava tote (1 of 1)Ava tote (2 of 1)

Then, I went tote crazy… I made a blue and yellow one for a sweet baby who was turning one and added a little Sashiko detail to it.  Such a sweet and simple bag!

Daniel tote (1 of 1)Daniel tote (2 of 1)Daniel tote (3 of 1)

The third bag was for a new mother, and we all know how moms can never have too many bags!  The fabric I used on the outside is one of my favorites!  I love pretty much anything that comes from Birch Fabric Collections, but this quail fabric is pretty high up on my list.  The teal Sashiko stitching on the outside added the perfect touch and was such a great contrast to the orange background.

Courtney tote (5 of 1) Courtney tote (4 of 1) Courtney tote (2 of 1)


Fanfare shorts

Okay, I know I’m way late to the fanfare flannel party, but when this fabric first came out, I was busy becoming a mother and wasn’t able to think about much else.  Now that I’ve stopped my full-time job, finished moving and almost wrapped up a part-time job, I finally have time to sew again!  I was secretly (but not hiding it so well) jealous of all these other people I know and follow creating one awesome thing after another and wanted to yell at them to wait for me!  Naturally, the first thing I made was for little mister himself.  I’ve always wanted to make little shorts for Des and create my own pattern, but was never quite successful on my own.

fanfare shorts 1 (2 of 1)

I took a pair of knit shorts that fit Des well and traced them out as a start for the pattern.  Then, I made a few pairs and made adjustments as I went until one finally worked.  They’re the perfect little pajama shorts!  He can crawl around in them without sliding on the hardwood floors, but the flannel keeps him nice and cozy.  Aren’t they just the cutest!

fanfare shorts 1 (5 of 1)

fanfare shorts 1 (4 of 1)

Can you believe how much he’s grown!  Already 10 months old!

fanfare shorts 1 (1 of 1)

All work and no play

Since my maternity leave ended, I haven’t had a lot of time for sewing. I spend my day at work, come home and hold my baby until I have to do things like cook supper or go to bed. People keep telling me that you can’t spoil a newborn… When does that newborn stage end? As far as I’m concerned, he’s still pretty new. I have had a few minutes here and there to whip up some more burp cloths. It took multiple days to finish what normally takes a few hours. These soft, cuddly burp cloths are now available in my shop.

blue arrows (2 of 1)

black and grey triangles (2 of 1)

black elk (2 of 1)

Hand Embroidery Tutorials

I’ve been working on hand embroidery a lot the last few weeks and loving it!  My mother-in-law taught me how to do several different stitches a while back, and since then, I’ve been playing around with different patterns.  I’m currently working on creating my own patterns to sell in my etsy shop.  I will offer the patterns by themselves and in a kit with all the materials you need to complete the project.  For those of you that need a project completed in a rush, I’ll even have finished products ready to ship.  My goal is to have a few completed projects up and ready to purchase in the next week or two.  In the meantime, here’s a little freebie for you to work on for Valentine’s Day!

my favorite (3 of 1)

The only traditional Valentine’s Day color I had was red, so I had to use some other not so normal colors.  I embroidered on a plain white drying towel, so that when it’s hung up you can see the heart in the center front.  Now if only our oven had a place to hang it from…

Click below for the design:

You’re My Favorite

If you need instructions on how to hand embroidery, there are two tutorials below to download as well!  Enjoy!

Backstitch Tutorial

French Knot Tutorial

Around here

With all the holidays and all the traveling to see grandparents and great grands, I haven’t had a chance to post.  The holidays are always pretty awesome, but turns out they’re even better with a new baby.  Here’s what we’ve been up to the last few weeks:

Aviary Photo_130320682995975534

We had our Christmas at home with just the three of us, and Desmond made a new friend.

family (1 of 1)

Aviary Photo_130320311838302741

We decided not to get too complex with our present wrapping this year.  This wooden tags from The Woody Beckers were super cute.

des 2 month (4 of 1)

Desmond turned 2 months. He’s growing way too fast!

des 2 month (3 of 1)

I’m working on some new projects that I’ll post about soon!
pillow (1 of 1)

Christmas stockings

The stockings were hung from the china cabinet with care…

stockings (2 of 1)

We don’t usually put up stockings for Christmas because we’re never home to celebrate, but this year I’m feeling extra festive.  I made three different stockings three different ways.  They look pretty much the same from the outside, but the cuff of each stocking was attached differently.  I wasn’t really satisfied with any of the methods I used, but they’re still cute and make it look like Christmas around here.  I tried to choose fabrics that didn’t go crazy with the normal green and red color combination, but still looked like Christmas.

stockings (3 of 1)