featured sewist :: jeni

Something new! There are so many talented folks out there who have made cool stuff from my patterns, and I never tire of seeing the fabrics they have chosen and their own individual takes on my designs. I know I like to peruse the internet for photos of real people wearing finished products before I jump into a new pattern, so I hope you enjoy getting to know some new friendly faces and the blogs they author.

Happy sewing,


Featured sewist jeni

Jeni from In Color Order made the Schoolhouse Tunic - click here to read her original post.

What were your goals for this project?

My goal for this project was simply to add another handmade top to my wardrobe.  There is something so exciting about sewing garments! I'm always hoping to learn something when I sew a new pattern, in this case I stitched my first facing.

How did you incorporate your individual style into this project?

I think I incorporated my style into this project with my fabric selection. I love fabrics that have a bit of whimsy to them, and this print from Lizzy House's Hello Pilgrim collection fit the bill.

How long have you been sewing?

I have been sewing for about 12 years off and on.  I just started sewing clothing for myself in the last year!

What's your next sewing project?

My next sewing project will probably be a fun summer dress!

handmade parade :: the ashland dress sewing pattern

ashland1 - Copy

Dress: handmade with my Ashland Dress pattern. Fabric: cotton voile, NYC garment district

Shoes: c/o my mom's closet

Jewelry: none, c/o my grabby toddler

ashland2 - Copy

A lot of love went into designing this, Sew Liberated's first dress pattern, so that it would be a beautiful and functional dress for all. Here are the deets:

  • sizes 2-20, and bust sizes A-D. Eeee! That's right - the pattern includes separate bodice patterns to go with your cup size, so most sewists won't have to bother with bust adjustments!
  • three sleeve variations make it an all-season pattern: elbow (shown above) sleeveless (shown below) and 3/4 sleeves.
  • two pocket options
  • nursing-friendly
  • shorten the skirt to make a tunic/shirt version.

ashland6 - Copy

ashland5 - Copy

If you liked the Schoolhouse Tunic pattern, I really think you'll like the Ashland. Soon, I'll be posting video tutorials on how to insert an invisible zipper, like the one used in the Ashland, as well posting links to great buttonhole how-tos, so that you can take your sewing skills to the next level without any hair pulling!

ashland7 - Copy


Ashland Sundress: fabric - French milled, cotton poplin, found locally at Mulberry Silks in Carrboro, NC.

Shoes: Lotta From Stockholm

Gardening hat: Imagine Childhood

Okay, friends. I need your help now. I'm a rather busy bee nowadays, preparing for a VERY EXCITING online course I'll be filming in Denver in a few short weeks. (Any guesses? :) I haven't had time to source fabrics yet for Ashland fabric kits. How about this ... leave a comment with your favorite Ashland-worthy fabric (a link to the exact fabric in the comments would be helpful) and, if I pick YOUR fabric for inclusion in a kit, I'll send you a free Ashland Dress pattern! (Or give you a refund if you want to go ahead and get one now.) Cool? Cool. High fives all around.

P.S. The patterns should be ready to ship by the end of the week, so expect yours to leave the North Carolina countryside by Friday, June 22nd or Monday, June 25th.

the paloma blog tour :: sew caroline

The Paloma sewing patternThe Paloma sewing pattern

Hi y'all. What a week it's been! I left my poor, fancy camera outside in the rain. I think it still works. It's currently drying out. Cross your fingers! I feel like a fish out of water without my camera. I do have a handful of photos that I have stored up, but this seems like the perfect time to post pretty pictures from other talented peeps on this here blog, don't you think?

It just so happens that I had already scheduled a mini blog tour featuring our newest sewing pattern, the Paloma. (My favorite summer top! If Patrick noticed such things, he would certainly say to me, "Are you wearing that again?!" But he doesn't notice such things. So I wear my Paloma tops day after day.)

I hope you'll follow along while I introduce you to some wonderful sewing and sewing mama bloggers. Here's the schedule:

Tuesday, June 5th: Sew Caroline
Wednesday, June 6th: Old House Mama
Friday, June 8th: Small + Friendly


Sew Caroline is starting off with a dress version of the easy, breezy Paloma! I just love Caroline's sweet personality and her beautiful blog. I'm really liking how she styled the Paloma with a red belt. Stop by to say hello to Caroline and enter to win a pattern in her giveaway!

the paloma top - a new sewing pattern!




This is the top that I have lived in for almost a year. I designed it for myself last summer, and have made many tops since. Words can't express how much I love it! It's like a tee shirt, but with a touch of shaping and gathering under the sleeves that make it a really special tee. You can choose to make it in the top version (shown here) or as a tunic or dress length. An option for a 3/4 - length sleeve is also included (shown in the last photo with Finn.)

The Paloma is a VERY easy top to make - even if you've never sewn with knits before, you can easily make one!

And now it's a pattern for you! Wait - it gets more exciting - you can download and print it from home right now at Craftsy's Indie Pattern Shop! Alternatively, you can pre-order the standard, professionally printed pattern at our shop. The paper patterns should be ready to ship by May 18th.


To download the Paloma Top pattern from Craftsy, you'll need to sign up for a free account and, while you're there, check out their great community.




I also have fabric kits for the Paloma Top (short-sleeved version) available in my shop, which include a package of the required Lite Steam-A-Seam 2.  A limited number of hard-to-find, gray-and white-striped fabric is available, as well as the thicker green-and-gray stripe shown above. Kit orders will ship the week of May 14.



Make yourself the top you'll live in this summer! The downloadable pattern is available here, and the pre-order printed version is available at my shop. Thanks for supporting our family!

in the background

photo shoot for new patterns!

I have a lot of plates spinning in the air with Sew Liberated right now. Thought I'd share a few in case you're wondering what we do around here when we're not hosing off muddy boys:

- We had a photo shoot yesterday afternoon with Jessi for our two new patterns slatted to come out in a few weeks - the first is a knit tee, the second is a most amazing sundress/dress with several pocket options!

- Patrick and I are interviewing students at NC State on Thursday, looking to bring on a few summer interns and, perhaps, a few more permanent employees come Fall.

- In order to transition the sewing studio into a shared office/creative space, we're knocking down a wall, putting in windows, insulating and finishing the ceiling, and putting in flooring ... starting in just two weeks! This remodel will make such a huge difference in our "cave," as we currently call the space - and it will make it more pleasant to be in come winter. This past winter, a very mild one at that, found us unable to work in there because it was so cold. 

- I have a few more behind-the-scenes sewing-related projects coming up for the rest of this year - details to come - that I'm quite excited about. 

All in all, lots of work, but we're hoping the interns will help us out in a big way this summer, and will allow us to move the business forward in a healthy way that doesn't compromise our ability to spend quality time with the boys. 

little amigo doll papoose kit giveaway

Just a little bit more about dollies, please? ;) 

The Little Amigo in Growing Up Sew Liberated is accompanied by the oh-so-stellar doll papoose designed by Fabiola Perez-Sitko of Fig and Me. I'm not sure how I happened upon her Etsy shop a looong time ago, but I did, and the moment I saw her handmade doll papoose I knew I needed to ask her if she'd like to publish the design in Growing Up Sew Liberated


I'm so happy I did.

You see, just the thought of Fabiola gives me a big grin. Not only is she a doll-making genius, but she is funny, lighthearted, and she and I share something else - a bit of Spanish back-and-forth. She's from Chihuahua, Mexico, where I lived for three years. In the Spanish language they have a word - chispa - which means a sparkle, twinkle-in-the-eye kind of spunk. Fabiola's got some chispa, folks. 

Love pulled her north to the boreal forest of Canada, where she's raising her two girls on the shore of Lake Superior.

I'm so happy to share the pages of my book with her, and I hope you'll check out her lovely blog and etsy shop, where she periodically lists beautiful dolls for sale. 


Photo by Ginny of Small Things

Shortly after the book was released last summer, Ginny made a gorgeous pair of papooses for her daughters. She also has some tips on downsizing the papoose to fit a small child. 


Photo by Ginny of Small Things

It just so happens that I have just enough Echino fabric (originally used in the Art Satchel kit) to make a papoose. I've paired it with some aqua blue corduroy from my stash, as well as the hardware and strap material that you'll need to make a papoose. Leave a comment to enter to win the doll papoose kit! I'll keep comments open until Monday morning, March 12th. Gook luck!

Comments are closed and we have a lucky papoose-maker - Sunny Loya! Congratulations!

doll papoose supplies


lachlan's little amigo doll

lachlan's little amigo doll

This little fellow was stitched together with so much love. Finn sat on my lap and helped trim threads, stuff wool, and guide the fabric through the sewing machine. I worked on him here and there for the week prior to Lachlan's birthday, taking those quiet moments to reflect upon the priviledge of having a little boy for whom I could make this red-headed doppelganger. 


lachlan's little amigo doll

He's a Little Amigo from Growing Up Sew Liberated - the knitted cap is the one Lachlan wore as a tiny babe, and the hat is a retrofitted Huck Finn. The pants and shirt are on-the-fly mama-made patterns. And, thanks to this doll, I also have a doll wig tutorial for you that I've been promising for a long time - it will be live tomorrow afternoon.

lachlan's little amigo doll

lachlan's little amigo doll

Finn, of course, was the one who noticed. "He has a scar, Mama, just like Lachie!" I felt it was important that both Finn and Lachlan have a doll with a beautiful scar. Finn often asks about Lachlan's "ouch" while bathing, and this is a way to address their feelings and questions about it through play. It's just a normal thing in our lives, and the scar certainly doesn't define the doll (as the real scar doesn't define the boy), which is made in the Waldorf tradition of minimal facial expressions so that the child is free to pretend that the doll has all sorts of emotions, not just the bright-eyed, fixed smile so common in playthings. 

lachlan's little amigo doll


Sweet boy. I'm glad you like your little friend.