Sewing with the Doodles Fabric Collection.

Hi, everyone!  It feels like forever since I sat at this keyboard and typed a post.  I guess it has been over a week, which is a long time for me to go without sharing something with you.  May is a super busy month for our family, as it is for a lot of families with school-aged kids, and time to blog is pretty limited.  I need to show you what I made for the kids lately though!

Awhile back Joann Fabric and Crafts shared some great fabrics with me and asked if I would play around with them.  Of course I said that I would love to!  I was allowed to choose some fabrics from the Doodles Fabric Collection for kids, which is full of bright, fun designs that are made just for kids (although, you’ll see that one that I chose is beautiful and totally appropriate for an adult).  Originally I was going to use these for Kids’ Clothing Week, but that was the week before my daughter’s school musical, and as a “costume mom” I was called upon to help with the costumes, leaving little time for KCW sewing.  Things just snowballed from there (busy busy busy!), but I’ve been able to get a couple of things sewn for Abby and Luke.

Ice Cream Dress by

The first piece that I finished was this Ice Cream Dress for Abby.  The pattern is from Oliver + S, and I’ve used it once before.  It’s the only O+S pattern I’ve ever sewn… I don’t know why I don’t have more of these patterns!  They are amazing!  If you have never sewn one you should try, and don’t be intimidated.  These patterns are so well written that you will be amazed at how well you can sew when you are done with one!  What I love about the Ice Cream Dress:  the classic lines, the pockets, and the variations that are available as far as fabric combinations go, as well as the pattern variations go.  This can be made as a shirt or as a dress without pockets.  I chose Spring Twill Butterfly Taupe fabric from the Doodles Fabric Collection for the main fabric.  The contrast fabric is another twill that Joanns sent me to pair with it, but it has a little bit of stretch to it.  Now that I’ve sewn with the stretch twill, I probably wouldn’t recommend that type of fabric for the dress.  It’s a bit heavy and stiff, and not quite as comfy as Abby would like.  I would go with a lighter weight 100% cotton fabric , like the Spring Twill Butterfly, which is absolutely lovely!  I love the two paired together though.  The dress is bright and fun and it gets a lot of compliments.   She looked so pretty in it at her spring violin recital!

Ice Cream Dress sewn by

The second piece that I got done was a pair of shorts for Levi, using the Lizard Camo Spring Twill from the Doodles Fabric Collection as well.  I can’t find it online now, but I recently saw it in the store, so I think that they still have it.  It’s such a fun print!  I had been searching for the right shorts patterns for it, and I found it in the Little Long Board Shorts Pattern from Make It Perfect.  This was exactly the pattern that I was looking for!  It’s casual and fun and perfect for the playground, the beach, or anywhere that your boy might get down and dirty.

long board shorts by

First of all I love this fabric so much!  I just think it’s perfectly suited for these shorts and for a host of other boy projects.  The colors are great and since it’s a 100% cotton lightweight twill, it’s sturdy without being too heavy, which is very boy-friendly, in my book.  Second, I love this pattern!  I’ll be making this one again for sure.  Pockets are a must if you ask me, and this pattern has ‘em.  You can’t see it very well in the photo because of the print, but the knees have patches to reinforce them, and that always adds a fun stylish element.  The drawstring is optional because of the elastic waistband, but I think board shorts require one, don’t you?  The knit fabric at the waistband is so comfy, and paired with the elastic makes the shorts easy to pull on and off.  Levi really loves these.  Honestly, I think the reason I love these so much is because they remind me of my favorite Mini Boden Board Shorts so much!

long board shorts by

Both the dress and the shorts are going to get a lot of wear this summer.  Many thanks to Joann Fabrics for supplying the fabric for my sewing endeavors!  Stay tuned for more pattern reviews coming up over the next several weeks.  I’ll be sewing up a couple of dresses and a another kid’s pattern to share with you all, and I’m excited about all of them.  Sewing it what I enjoy the most and I plan on doing more of it over the summer. :)

I hope you’re enjoying your spring!  I’ll write more soon about what to expect here at The Southern Institute… summer is going to be pretty laid back.


His & Hers Sew-Along with MicroMod!

I’m super excited to be a stop in the His & Hers Sew-Along with Alexia and Rob.  Have you met them?  Allow me to introduce you…

Alexia and Rob are the husband and wife team behind Green Bee Patterns and MicroMod, a gorgeous line of organic fabrics from Cloud9 Fabrics (check out the entire line here).  This is Rob’s first foray into fabric design and it’s amazing!  Alexia is the pattern designer behind Green Bee Patterns, and I met her when she was working for Anna Marie Horner awhile back, here in Nashville.  Now she is working full time as a designer and has her own sewing school, Stitch.  I’m really wanting to get there to take some classes sometime this year!  Seriously, could they be a better match?

For my stop on the tour I decided to share the snack bags that I made for my boys.  My guys, especially Levi, love to snack, and we are on the go a lot.  Even with just a few snacks a day (he’s a growing boy) that added up to a whole lot of plastic sandwich bags going into the trash can or the recycling bin.  I got tired of it, so I started making my own.  MicroMod was perfect for making some very hip, handmade, eco-friendly snack bags!

I chose MicroMod Arches in black for the main fabric and paired it with a bright yellow PUL lining and organic blue fabric for the flap lining.  I used Indygo Junction’s Lunch Bunch pattern, which made it so easy.  My serger made it even easier!  It took longer for me to cut the fabric than it did to sew up this little bag!  I even added my own personal tag to finish it off.

That’s one happy customer, folks!

At the end of the month, the His & Hers Sew-Along will land right back where it started at and end with a HUGE giveaway that you won’t want to miss…a fat quarter stack of microMod by Rob Bancroft from Cloud9 fabrics, the entire Green Bee Patterns collection, a microMod sewing bag, and a Singer Heavy Duty Sewing Machine! (Grand prize open to contiguous US residents only.)

But today I get to give one of you a beautiful Ship Shape Tote Pattern from Green Bee Patterns along with a fat quarter bundle of MicroMod!  You can make a lot of snack bags with that! ;)  Just use the Rafflecopter widget to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure to stop by and visit all of the other bloggers on the His & Hers tour and see what they have created with the incredible cool MicroMod line of organic fabrics from Cloud Nine.  There are giveaways at each stop along the way, with the grand giveaway on the first of May… don’t miss it!

April 2 – Alexia & Rob Green Bee
April 3 – Kelly at Kelbysews

April 5 – Amanda at the Craft Junky
April 6 – Rachael at Imagine Gnats
April 8 – Heather at alamode
April 10 – Holly at Bijou lovely
April 13 – Alexia, Michelle & Rob Green Bee
April 17 – Faith at Fresh Lemons
April 18 – Katie at Swim Bike Quilt
April 19 – Deborah at Whipstitch
April 20 – Jacey at Jaceycraft
April 24 – Jenny at the Southern Institute
April 25 – Amy from sukie don’t ya know
April 26 – Jen from Betty Crocker Ass
April 27 – Sara from Sew Sweetness
April 28 – Krista at Krista Withers Quilting
April 29 – Katy from I’m a Ginger Monkey
April 30 – Amber from One Shabby Chick

May 1 – Alexia & Rob Green Bee GRAND PRIZE

You can find Rob and Alexia on Facebook at Green Bee Patterns and Cloud9.  Check out the MicroMod Flickr Group for more inspiration!

Sew Fine Fabric: Obsessively Selected (GIVEAWAY!)

I am a lover of fabric, so when I visited Sew Fine Fabric on ETSY and started looking around, my head started to spin from the gorgeous selection that I found in this adorable shop.  Jodi is the curator of Sew Fine Fabric and, as her shop header suggests, she is obsessive about the fabrics that she selects for her shop.  And can I say that she has excellent taste!  The result is a collection of beautiful, high quality fabrics that will make you drool on your keyboard (keep a towel handy for cleanup).

Yes, you read that right!  Keep on reading…

The shop holds no less than 650+ items waiting for a new home, including fabric by the yard, half yard cuts, fat quarter cuts, scrap bag and bundles.

Sew Fine Fabric carries organic cotton fabrics, traditional cottons and home decor weights as well… in all of the bold and bright designs that I love.

But that’s not all you’ll find!  Jodi also carries washi tape, twine, and cute little bags…


Jodi is extremely sweet and wants your business!  She’s able to do custom listings so don’t hesitate to contact her if you don’t see what you need.  Sew Fine Fabric is offering FREE shipping on US orders for the remainder of 2012!  Orders ALWAYS ship within 24 hours of purchase so you can get crafty!! 

Today, Jodi is giving away one $50 gift card to her shop!  What a generous gift!

There are plenty of chances to win by using the Rafflecopter widget below.  I’ll take entries through midnight on Wednesday and email the winner shortly after.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway