Archives for category: sewing

Yeah, I’ll admit it. I love sewing for my little girl. It’s easy, she enjoys it, and she absolutely loves that I custom make her clothes. She treats them like treasures. Her older brother?Destroys every piece of clothing. I still consider putting him in bibs to eat. I worry if he’s color blind when he gets dressed in the morning. When planning her capsule wardrobe, I started to plan his….then realized that would be ridiculous because I would cry when he destroyed it all.

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I bought him clothes at Penney’s*  for as cheaply as possible, making sure it was all the darkest colors I could get.

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But occasionally, he does want something just for him. I let him search through patterns and he asked, maybe begged, for a P51 Flyer Jacket from New Horizons. I tried to talk him into something simpler but he thought it looked really hip and cozy. I gave in, let him search my fabric, and got to work.

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I went with a coated denim for the main fabric because it’s waterproof, and I thought it would be easier than pleather for my first try at the pattern. To line it, I used super soft acrylic plaid from Joanns.  It feels like really silky flannel.

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My only complaint? He looks a little too grown up strutting around in it. Like way too old. When did he grow up?!? It does a great job keeping him warm though and also survived the rain test a few times so far.

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I love all the little details on it. It’s not a beginner pattern for sure, but well worth the effort put in to make a quality one-of-a-kind piece. He wore it around Paris, during Paris Fashion Week. I think he felt pretty fancy.

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AND it’s still in one piece and not stained. Bonus.

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*Penney’s is a discount chain here….I think it’s called Primark in the UK? Not to be confused with JC Penney’s…

 

Any affiliate links are to help fund further fabric and patterns so that I can keep on creating, but all opinions are always my own.

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I added a few more pieces to Charlotte’s Red/Black/Gold capsule and even if they aren’t her favorites, they are mine…so she can get over it 😉


The top is an Avenue top from Sew Straight and Gather. It is the top pattern I have that absolutely fits her perfectly (and such a well drafted pattern). I left off the other 2 back bands because she already has a couple other shirts with the same pattern and I didn’t want it to become her uniform. I added vinyl to it, her choice of design. It doesn’t stand out drastically but I think I’m okay with that. I really need to do more HTV on shirts.

The skirt is an Arabella skirt from Rebecca Page. I added a tulle overlay to convince her to love it, despite how much I hate gathering, especially gathering tulle. I cut it to the width of the tulle so it was a little wider than the skirt pieces and would poof more, and cut it to same length as skirt unhemmed so that it would be slightly longer. Aside from all the cursing I did while gathering and pinning it was a quick sew.

The leggings. Oh the leggings. She won’t wear them. I bribed her to put them on for pics, and love them, but she hates them and told me there’s nothing I can do to change her mind. I used stretch lace at the bottom instead of a hem, but that didn’t help either. The top band is some scrap cotton lycra for comfort (the outside of the gold is a little scratchy and I didn’t want it against her skin, the inside is not at all but she doesn’t agree. Despite one of her favorite dresses ever being made from the same exact stuff, and it was scratchy side against her skin…diva…)


I still have a couple more pieces to make her, but she is being resistant so we will have to reach some compromises first. Not resistant to wearing homemade, but very particular about styling choices. I might need to stop letting her watch Project Runway with me….

 

This post contains affiliate links to help fund more fabric, but opinions are always my own.

I used a capsule planner from Harper&Lu to decide how many pieces to make…and decided to stick with it and finish it out! So I already had the 9 new pieces from my P4P/M4M contest entry, plus the 3 more pieces I added afterwards (Mama Isabel, Brassie Joggers, and a Sweet Tee with drawstrings), but according to the plan I still needed to make one flowy woven Emma top from Rebecca Page, one pair of white skinny jeans because I’m horribly impractical sometimes, and a cute cactus print tee from some LA Finch fabric…might as well finish, right?

I have to say, the cactus tee is my favorite shirt ever right now. I used the Favorite Tee pattern (appropriately) from Patterns for Pirates and lengthened it (front and back) by about 8″, then added dark olive drawstrings to cinch it up. It is so comfortable, and I love how the drawstring ruching turned out. Second time around it was so much easier than the first and I was able to fix things I wish I had done on the test version.

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The skinny jeans are from some LA Finch jegging fabric and have a maternity over belly band (I used SOS pants and the peg leg maternity add on again). I upcycled a nude undershirt for the band. I do wish I had sized up a tiny bit, and will probably add a charcoal faux leather tuxedo stripe to make them a little less snug…they work and I wore them for date night…but would be more practical with some more give. What do you think?

 

The Emma top is out of some lightweight drapey woven from LA Finch. I fell in love with the colors because it seems to include all the colors in my current capsule, as well as my spring capsule (blush and olive, fyi) so I’m hopeful it will pair with every accessory I own. BONUS, this top is being released in paper format (as opposed to PDF) soon! Awesome to save on printing 🙂

 

So a full maternity wardrobe, done before I hit pregnancy halfway point. Not so shabby! Notice anything I might be missing?

 

This post contains some affiliate links to help fund my sewing obsession….all opinions are always my own.

More sewing for little girl, to complete her red/black themed capsule (with white and some metallics mixed in)…a Cerena Romper! This was actually the fabric that kicked off the whole capsule, because she asked demanded that I make her something from this floral.

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This pattern is absolutely gorgeous. It sewed up so quickly with no fit modifications!! It can also be made as just a top, and has the option to use woven or knit fabrics (there’s some great shaping darts in the pants, and the woven version has an invisible zip…plus all options have a super sweet back button up version). I went with double brushed poly knit.


Better yet–picky little girl loves it as well!! Win.

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I went with the pants option (There’s a shorts cut line also, and knee length) and did elastic gathering at the ankles.

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I, of course, had to make her doll, Aubrey a matching one (out of tiny scrap pieces that usually would get tossed–much better use!) and she loves that she matches.

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Happy little girl!! grab this pattern while it’s on sale here.

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It comes in women’s sizes too!!
**This post contains affiliate links but all opinions are always my own

I’ve made a few maternity shirts now using the LMU maternity add on from Patterns for Pirates and love them, as well as just doing oversized shirts that have bottom bands, but decided I wanted to mix it up a bit too. I decided instead of elastic ruching on the sides of a shirt, why not try a drawstring? This way it might be more versatile long-term as I can cinch it up more now (or after baby arrives) when I need it shorter, and let it out as I grow. I didn’t see a pattern out there for it so decided to just hack it myself….and share my steps of course.

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First, I went with the Sweet Tee for this hack, but it will work with any shirt pattern with side seams. Or really, anywhere you have a seam. Ruched legs on pants? Sleeves on a hoodie? Spice it up. I started by choosing a spot I wanted the ruching to end and marking my pattern there (I chose the narrowest part of the waist) then added length from that spot (I went with 5.5″, for no particular reason whatsoever). To do that, I marked the spot on my pattern where the ruching would stop, put a pin in my fabric, slid the pattern down to a pin 5.5″ down, and continued tracing, grading the sides after to keep a gentle curve on the outside.
It’s also a good idea to grade out the pattern to be a little wider if yours happens to fit a bit tightly as the idea is that it will be taken in a bit by a larger seam allowance there…the sweet tee is fairly loose on me and the fabric I used was very stretchy (Luxe Rayon from LA Finch…so gorgeous and soft) so I chose not to.

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Do the same for the shirt front and back, then cut out the rest of the pattern as usual (sleeves, neckband). You will also need to cut fabric for drawstrings. I went with 1.75″ tall by the width of the fabric (roughly 60″). **Pro tip, its easiest to cut these before the rest of your pieces so that you easily have continuous width.

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I go ahead and sew up those drawstrings first. It is a good step to adjust tensions and nice to get it out of the way early. Sew long skinny tubes, right sides together. Then, turn them right side out. You could clip a safety pin to one end and push it through, or use a tube turning tool. Set those aside for later. 

Next, we will sew shoulders. If you have a pattern that has you attach sleeves at this point, do that too.  I wanted a short-sleeved dolman with hemmed sleeves so I skipped that. Then, go ahead and add the neckband also.

At this point, I suggest doing the bottom hem, while the sides are open. Not what I did, but you should learn from my mistake 😉

 

Next, we will make the channels for the drawstring. I’m a serger-for-knits fanatic, but this is a step for a sewing machine as you don’t want to clip off edges. You will need to sew from the bottom of your shirt until where you want the ruching to end using a 1″ seam allowance.  Mine is slightly less, but 1″ is probably ideal. A stretch stitch with a longer stitch length will help!

Press those open now. You will need to clip to that seam at the top of your stitching to do that.

Next, those seam allowances are folded out and we are going to stitch them down on each side. I did this by sewing on the wrong side as my bobbin stitching looks like the top, plus I knew it would be cinched and not very visible. Your choice though.


The edges of my knit do not fray so I’m not worried about those unfinished edges on the inside. If you are, you could serge the seam allowance of each channel before this step (just single layer) then stitch that serged edge, or use a coverstitch machine for the channels.


After stitching both sides you should have something like this. If you hemmed like a smart person, that bottom would be nicely finished too.

Here’s what it SHOULD look like at this point, from the second one I made:

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Next, we will close up the rest of the side seam and sleeves on the serger.


….Just ignore that I apparently did that before the channels. It’s easier to do after in my opinion because that bottom seam allowance will be tucked away.

You will take one drawstring and thread it up one side and down the other now.


No need to tack it at the top because it’s not going anywhere. Tie some knots in the bottom of each drawstring and then cinch it and add a bow.

 


Hem those sleeves and you’re all done!


Can’t wait to see more versions out there–tag me on Instagram or Facebook (you should follow me both places, of course) with your creations! I already have my next one ready to go 🙂

My daughter always feels left out when I sew a lot of things for myself, like a capsule….so she needed a capsule too. And because her favorite color is now “RED-and-definitely-not-pink” I chose to go with a red/black/white/metallics color pallete.  First up, a top/tunic I had the opportunity to test for Sew Like My Mom and I was not disappointed!

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The Tulipa Dolman is a shirt, tunic or dress pattern that can have a loose gathered front or not, as well as short or long sleeves and pockets.

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I absolutely love how it is color-blocked. Great way to use small fabric pieces without making it look like I ran out of fabric for something else.

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The fit is amazing too. She loves how comfortable she is in it.

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My first one is view A, with black viscose jersey yoke from Dressfabrics.ie and Girl Charlee jersey for the bodice. I did long sleeve, shirt length. Buffalo plaid is always a good choice for fall/winter, right? Totally want to add some black vinyl…share ideas.

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I loved it so much on her that I immediately sewed up a second in view B, using cotton lycra from Jumping June Textiles for the yoke and rayon challis from LA Finch for the bodice. And yes, you can use a drapey woven for the bodice on view B!!

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She loves them of course! The pattern is on sale NOW through August 31. It comes in sizes 12m-8 girls, and 6-16 tween, or a bundle that includes both. (Char is wearing a size 5 girls with length added to make it size 7 length). Pick it up here!

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There’s something about pregnancy that makes sewing deadlines more urgent, right? You can only back-burner projects so long before they become obsolete….so I’ve already started expanding my maternity capsule! First, a Mama Isabel dress. I did not modify it for maternity but decided to do the duster cardi hack (from m4m blog) and longer ties so that it’s more of a layering piece than a standalone dress. It works as a dress for now…but I give it a month before it’s solely a cardigan.

I used some gorgeous rayon spandex from LA Finch Fabrics. I also decided to try styling some outfits I could do using pieces from the rest of my capsule.

So now that I have mustard included, why not make some of my favorite joggers–Greenstyle Creations Brassie Joggers in double brushed poly with ribbing for bands.

Plus, of course, some styling ideas….

Definitely the most comfortable pants in my closet currently. No modifications needed for these as they are a very low rise design.

Next up, an amazing maternity shirt to *tie* in more mustard! 😜

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**This post contains affiliate links but all opinions are always my own

I have completed Phase 1 of my Maternity Wardrobe! I say phase 1, because of course I already have plans to expand it and include more 🙂

When planning, I took into account a few things.

  • I don’t currently own maternity clothes (purged with the move).
  • I’m a stay at home mom so I already wear a lot of things that could work well for awhile (leggings, jogger pants, slouchy tops).
  • I live someplace cold, but will be travelling while pregnant (Mediterranean Cruise! and a month in Florida) so knew I would need clothes that work for variety of climates.
  • I didn’t want to make jackets, sweaters, etc that are dedicated maternity items, but instead plan to use existing ones I own and layer up.

This is my fourth pregnancy so I know what I like to wear later on….some tops that will cover my belly and not ride up and dresses that are easy to throw on are must haves, as well as at least one pair of full belly panel jeans. I also knew that I wanted clothes to be somewhat nursing friendly so that they would work postpartum as well.

Here’s what I came up with! Just imagine a huge belly for all of them instead of my “I ate a few burritos too many” look.

First up, the jeans. I used the SOS pants pattern from Patterns for Pirates with the over belly maternity band from their pirate peg legs pattern. The fabric is denim look french terry from LA Finch. I wish I had way more yardage of that french terry. It is slightly stiff so it looks and feels like denim from the outside, but it’s slightly stretchy and soft like a sweatshirt on the inside. Perfection. For the belly band, I used some performance knit athletic wicking fabric from LA Finch, so breathable and soft but nice firm hold so they stay up great.

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These are by far the most perfect pair of jeans ever. I have already worn them a couple times and my non maternity jeans still fit just fine (I pushed out belly for pics haha)

Next, nice comfy dress. I went with the Boundless dress from Patterns for Pirates, tank option. It has sleeves available in the pattern but wanted more versatility and figured I could easily layer. The floral is double brushed poly from Knitpop and the cream is bamboo jersey sheets from target (I bought a sheet set years ago on clearance for the sole purpose of using the fabric). It has nice roomy pockets also that I put a little lower than the pattern suggests because I was worried about having them too high with a growing belly….I maybe shouldn’t have lowered them as much as I did though. They are definitely still functional.

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It was from this dress that I made most of the rest of the fabric choices….so next up, I made a pair of Layer Me Up tank tops with the maternity add on (sides are ruched with elastic and there’s more space for a bump). Really love how these turned out. The teal one is luxe rayon from LA Finch, the other is some viscose jersey from Minerva Crafts.

My favorite maternity t shirt through previous pregnancies was a simple black v neck. Perfect for when you dribble food on your belly because you are too awkward to eat like an adult (only me?), so I used the Favorite Tee pattern with the LMU maternity mod to make my own (luxury viscose jersey from Dress Fabrics).

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I felt pretty good about basics at this point. With these tops and some existing oversized tunic ones I own, I can make a lot of outfits happen. On to some outerwear to layer over them!

First up, the Mama Claire hoodie. I love my other Mama Claires I’ve made and know from the roomy fit I didn’t need modifications for maternity (when you sew it up with drapey fabric that is, fabric like cotton lycra or brushed poly hugs the body more). It’s sparkly gold/beige sweater knit from Dressfabrics.ie that reads a little olive in my opinion, so layers well with everything so far.

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I wrote a whole post on how I hacked this already.

Next, Pumpkin Spice Dolman. It’s a super neutral taupe french terry (Also from knitpop) so think it will match everything. This is an incredibly roomy fit top so I didn’t do any modifications for it, either. I hate the pocket so let’s ignore that for now…it’s being removed later. For both of these, I went with the banded hem to help anchor it under the growing belly.

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Last, some more bottoms to pair with all of these. The Pirate Pencil skirt is maybe not so functional here in Ireland, but it will come in handy on the cruise and in Florida. Also, it can be styled as a scarf or tube top according to a huge mega clothing company, so I went with it. I added a modified maternity band to it, kinda like a contoured waistband for a little extra space. I don’t remember where this fabric came from either…feels like a not very stretchy cotton lycra.

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And last, some athletic leggings. I have had this issue with my gym leggings not fitting so well over my burrito belly so needed some gymwear….but figured they could also double as just fun leggings for later on when the gym is not so attractive to me. I used athletic nylon spandex from LA Finch so they are super breathable and comfortable to wear, in all weather. I did the low waist maternity band from the peg legs pattern.

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And yeah, they are covered in martinis and wine glasses…so maybe not a maternity print per se, but I can think of drinks I once used to enjoy?

Now, the fun part. Here’s some combinations I came up with using all these pieces. I tried very hard to make sure they all worked together and feel I achieved that. I have existing clothes to mix in also, and plans for future items already but it feels pretty stand alone as is. Should make packing easy!

Any other combinations you see? What else would you include? Next up….Mama Isabel dress/duster cardi out of some taupe/black/teal/mustard print…another favorite tee in mustard luxe, some brassie joggers in a floral mustard/black print, a Kingston jacket in denim, maybe with french terry sleeves and a hood, an Emma top in navy/flourescent yellow print, some white skinny jeans……okay, maybe overly ambitious. We will see what I manage to finish!

**This post contains some affiliate links to help fund my sewing addiction….opinions are always mine though!

In my last post I talked about the Capsule Contest from Made for Mermaids and Patterns for Pirates. I am preparing all my pieces now for the fall contest and decided this time to make them all maternity friendly since I have ZERO maternity clothes. And will need them very soon. I thought ahead to nursing and tried to pick things that would work postpartum also. The Claire definitely checks both boxes, and I have already made a couple. But more on that later….first, I’ll share a quick tutorial on one piece I made for my capsule!

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I saw a shirt on pinterest that looked like the coziest wrap hoodie and knew I could recreate the look with the Mama Claire from Made for Mermaids. Hoodies are perfect for Ireland since they are #1. warm and #2. help keep the drizzle off of me. It’s not really rain here…Florida rains. It just sort of mists at you and if you’re like me and have big hair once it gets slightly humid out, a hood comes in handy.

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I chose some sparkly sweater knit from Dress Fabrics. First, I cut 2 2″ tall bands from the full width of the fabric to ensure I’d have long pieces for the new neckband piece that would incorporate the hood. I wasn’t sure how long they would need to be yet and didn’t want to run out of long strips. Next, I cut out all the pieces I would normally need for the Mama Claire, plus a hood.

For the hood, I chose a crossover hood I had in my pattern stash (I used the riviera raglan crossover hood from New Horizons). I will explain later how I trimmed it to fit the Claire. Any oversized hood will work. You can always trim it down later on in construction.

Start with preparing the hood. You will need to attach the hood sides together along the center seam. I chose to do a french seam so that there wouldn’t be a serged edge visible when the hood was down. Start with fabric WRONG sides together, sew, trim the seam. Then press it with fabric RIGHT sides together and sew again to encase the raw edge (There’s videos available out there if that’s not making sense…or feel free to ask me for help!). I topstitched that seam down as well, but purely optional. **You could also just do a fully lined hood or line the whole thing for extra coziness, no bands, and lots of warmth! Kelly over at onwednesdayswesew.com did exactly that.  Just double your pieces and use the bottom band to attach it all after you flip right sides out.

Next, I sewed the shoulder seams together for the bodice like the pattern has you do first, and pressed them towards the back.

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I then found the center of the back, matched it with the center seam of my hoodie, and pinned it around. I checked fit and thought the hoodie needed to have a little less….so this is the shape I ended up with.

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You could easily use the Henley or Slim Fit Raglan hood from Patterns for Pirates with the slight modification shown and it will get you to the same shape!

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I didn’t stretch the hood as I pinned, and also made sure that it came around in the front to stop in the same place on each side. Go ahead and sew the hoodie onto the bodice now.

(apparently I stopped documenting every step right here)

(I used a serger for construction, but you could also use a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine–this is my favorite setting for sewing stretchy knits on my sewing machine)

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Next, the band. I measured the length from one end of the bodice crossover, around the hood, to the other end. Mine for size purple was 66″…I multiplied that by .9 to calculate the band length. Usually for neckbands I use .8 or .85 depending on the stretch of the fabric, but I went with .9 because I wanted a looser more relaxed feel. Thankfully, I didn’t need to join two pieces together because my fabric was wide enough to get it out of one piece. If it wasn’t, I would have divided that measurement in half, added .25 for seam allowance, and serged two long pieces together.

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To attach the band, I found the center and pinned it to the center seam of the hood (if you have two pieces joined together, you’d want to match that seam here). I then continued to pin around the hood without stretching my band at all. When I got to the seam to the bodice, I pinned at each end, found the center, and pinned again so that it stretched through the bodice piece. Attach the band, nice and slowly. Lots of pins. Then, press the seam allowance in and away from the band. You can topstitch if you’d like, but I didn’t.

The rest, you sew up just like the pattern says. Attach sleeves, sew sides, hem or attach a bottom band. I went ahead and centered the seam of the bodice band on the back instead of the side since this Claire is most definitely not reversible….unless you’re into the hood over the face look. I remember someone did that on Project Runway once but I’m pretty sure he went home for it….

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Don’t forget to weave in those serger tails! I also shortened the sleeves on the pattern and added some armbands instead of a hem, too. Nice and cozy!! Much better pictures, and how it looks with the other pieces are to come.


Let me know if you try it out and ask if you have any questions!!

 

So it’s been a few years since I have written on the blog (or accessed the dashboard to do so….holy moly it looks intimidating) but it’s time for my triumphant return. First, let’s take a look back on some things that have happened since my disappearance, shall we?

  1. A huge reason why I stepped away in the first place was a little guy I was growing. Remember that birthday party I didn’t have the heart to do much for? It was because I was so.sick all the time. Funny how I went as a house for Halloween that year…I was perhaps hiding a bit of a bump behind it all 😉  After the first few weeks of the pregnancy, things did improve dramatically. Baby Heath arrived in June 2014. He’s a little firecracker now of course.img_1698
  2. While pregnant with Heath, we of course took on the kitchen renovation. And by pregnant, I mean 9 months along. I had called and asked for some shelving to organize the kitchen a little in a nesting rage…and that night the husband starting knocking out  walls. Anyway, it turned out gorgeous.
  3. We’ve done plenty of other house projects too, including both kids rooms, front door, and backyard. Maybe I’ll write about them one day. Probably not.

    4. I’ve still been cooking and sewing and schooling nonstop throughout it all.

    5. And we have done a few ridiculous birthday parties…12238248_10107734921237651_4402035916461737501_o6. As well as epic Halloween costumes…

    The biggest news of all though is what is yet to come, and the reason for my return to the blogisphere. We are embarking on the next huge chapter of our lives–a move to IRELAND! What?!? So in an effort to document that journey, I am back!

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