Home Shop About Me Tutorials Recipes Recipes

Family Photo Sewing52 (Family) Projects in 2012: #16, 17 & 18

We took advantage of having all of our children and our granddaughter in this week and planned a family photo session yesterday with the amazing Brandi of Brandi Thompson Photography! After all the planning and sewing that led up to the session, I don’t know how I’m going to manage the couple of weeks that it’ll take to get our proofs back!

I used my Everyday Camp Shirt pattern for shirts for our two youngest boys. When I told Jamie that we were using the colors red, white and blue for pictures, he asked for plain red, with red buttons, and he was not about to be swayed. At least he was okay with me doing the topstitching in white! I actually love the look of a solid colored camp shirt with coordinating stitching. I added a second line of stitching on the sleeve and bottom hems for a little extra color.

For Charlie’s shirt, I chose this red plaid from the Stars & Stripes Collection from Deena Rutter for Riley Blake Designs, and . . .

. . . added airplane buttons for a little extra fun.

I spent more time on Katie’s outfit than I did on anything else. It’s a little sneak peek at a girls’ (yes, I said girls’!) pattern that I’m planning for the fall. Because it’s a new pattern, I had to sew up a few sample dresses to test out the design, sizing and construction. I’m really, really happy with how the final dress came out. (There will be a few other options with this pattern. You know that I won’t give you anything without choices, right? You’ll have to wait a little while to see the rest, though.)

Katie’s dress is organic cotton from the Chick Chick collection by Nancy Mims for Robert Kaufman. I found it last week, along with the plaid fabric for Charlie’s shirt, when I stopped in at The Quilt Asylum.

It’ll be a little bit, but I’ll be sure to share our photos as soon as they are ready!


Toot Toot Shortalls for Charlie52 (Family) Projects in 2012: #15

Sadly, Charlie is about to outgrow this pattern. It’s definitely one of my very favorites for babies and toddlers, and outgrowing it means that my baby is approaching the end of his toddler-hood. Soon he’ll be a on to big boy things. For this summer, though, I’m going to enjoy how cute he looks in his Buttons & Buckles Shortalls!

These were originally cut out for Spring Quilt Market but time ran short, and they were set aside. I actually think my sweet friend, Michelle, cut them out during out marathon cut-out-everything-that-Bonnie-needs-to-sew-for-Market day! (I love that Michelle had a hand in these, especially since her little guy, Simeon, tends to be the recipient of Charlie’s outgrown, handmade clothes. It’s so, so nice to have a friend that appreciates receiving handmade hand-me-downs!)

Isn’t it exciting when you find the perfect buttons for an outfit? It actually makes me look forward to sewing buttonholes!

You only have two weeks left to sew for the Little Boys’ Shorts Sewing Project at Hopeful Threads. It’s so exciting to see all the shorts that are being added everyday! I hope to have some tips for sewing done-during-naptime knit shorts tomorrow. Be sure to check back in!

Football Backpack for Jamie 52 (Family) Projects in 2012: #14

We have some traveling planned for the summer. Our Florida trip has been delayed for now, but that’s a story for another time.  As I was saying, we have some traveling planned for late summer, and Jamie needed a new backpack. He asked for a football backpack, and it so happens that I had multiple pieces of leftover football fabric from various other projects hanging around my sewing studio. (In addition to being one of my 52 (Family) Projects, this is a stash-only project! That means bonus points, right?)

I love my new Playdate Bag pattern, but the backpack is really too small for Jamie at 5 1/2. So, I sized it up just a little, and I think it’s perfect now for that early school age group! If you have the pattern, it’s really easy to size it up. For Jamie, I added an inch to both the width and the height: 1/2″ on each side and 1/2″ on the top and bottom. To match the flap up to the new width, I added 1/2″ to the straight side of each outside curved piece and increased the back of the flap by 1″ in width. I left the length of the flap alone.  I also added an inch to both the padded strap and the webbing strap.  Here’s how the two backpacks look side by side:

Jamie’s new backpack conveniently matches the crayon roll that was my very first family project of the year.

That means that he doesn’t really need the crayon pocket on the inside, so I modified the inside pocket to hold two pencils and any other little things that he needs to take along, like headphones for his Leapster. Isn’t great how when you sew, you can tailor-make something perfect for it’s new owner?

I finished up a few more family projects this week that I’ll share with you next week. This weekend, I’ll be working on shorts for the Little Boys’ Shorts Project at Hopeful Threads along with a quick tutorial for how you can add another little “extra” to them. These are the fabrics that are in the line-up. Aren’t they fun?

Oh, I have to share a funny story from this morning before I go. Jamie pulled the madras shorts that are in my post from July 1st out of his drawer this morning, and as he was pulling them on I asked, “Do you like those shorts?” The response? “Yep! You let me splash in mud puddles in them!” Don’t forget that the Mud Puddle Splashers pattern is a free download this month to sew for charity and then for your own little ones!

The Sunny Days Waterproof Pool & Beach Bag A Tutorial & 52 (Family) Projects in 2012: #13

The Sunny Days Waterproof Pool & Beach Bag is #13 on my 52 Family Projects list, and I put together a tutorial so you can make one for your family, too!


Do you feel like you have to pack a zillion things when you head out to the pool? I made this bag huge so it holds everything you could possibly need to have on hand . . . towels, sunscreen, water bottles, goggles, snacks, flip flops, sunglasses . . .

I’ve been using mine for our daily trips to swim lessons the last two weeks, and I can’t tell you how much I love it! The outer body and the outside of the pockets are sewn with Michael Miller’s new PUL (polyurethane laminate) so everything inside the bag stays nice and dry, and, if you happen to throw something damp inside the bag, the seat on your car isn’t going to end up getting wet on the way home either! (Of course, you can substitute cotton woven quilting fabrics for the PUL for a non-waterproof bag, if you’d prefer.)


These criss-cross pockets in the front work great to organize those things that you need to be able grab quickly. They look really cool, too!

I put the tutorial together in an easy to read and print pdf. You can find it right here: The Sunny Days Waterproof Pool & Beach Bag.

A Long-awaited Apron for Father’s Day52 (Family) Projects in 2012: #12

When I first announced this project, I mentioned that my business draws my attention away from sewing for my family. That is true, but add sewing for my children to sewing for business, and my poor husband gets totally left out in the cold. He asked me to make him an apron for Father’s Day . . . last year. He might have even mentioned the apron a few more times after the original request . . . Christmas, his birthday, almost every time he’s cooked in the last year. Well, he finally has his apron!

Ray actually does the majority of the dinner cooking in our house, so this apron will be well-used. (He’s been away from home quite a bit lately, and I really miss sharing the cooking responsibilities!) I chose the background fabric for the apron itself, but the kids picked out the pocket fabric. Apparently, they think that Daddy can’t cook anything without peppers and onions.

I used McCalls 2233 which I’ve used a few times before. It’s a quick and easy pattern, and I mostly follow the instructions to assemble it. I was thinking as I was putting this one together, that it would be really simple to make it reversible. Maybe I’ll try that next time.

I think men tend to be harder to sew for than women (and they’re definitely harder to sew for than children). What have you sewn for your husband? Is there something on your list for him? (He’ll probably understand if it takes you a year to sew for him. Just be sure to actually do it!)

Olive the Owl 52 (Family) Projects in 2012: #11

Now that I’m caught up on new patterns, it’s time to get back on track with my 52 (Family) Projects in 2012 Challenge! Over at Hopeful Threads this month, Kristy has announced that this month’s project is sewing for our own families. Kristy even mentioned me and my 52 Projects goal in her monthly project announcement! How cool is that?

Project #11 of 52 is Olive the Owl! Isn’t she sweet? I ran across the Olive pattern along with patterns for her friends in the Freddie’s Friends booth at Spring Quilt Market.

I like that the pieces are sewn together with the raw edges showing. I think it adds a casual modern twist to the traditional stuffed animal. Our little Olive is made up of scraps of four different Riley Blake flower coordinates that were scattered throughout my stash. She uses up the smallest pieces quite efficiently, and she’s a very quick sew!

She even has a cute little tail!

You can find several Freddie’s Friends patterns at The Fat Quarter Shop. I added Ronny the Robot and Scotty the Sea Turtle to my pattern collection at Market. I think Ronny will be next.

Katie was so excited to receive Olive that she wouldn’t stop smiling!

She’s smiling on the inside. I promise. I’m sure she’ll fall in love with Olive when she’s a little older. In any case, she’ll always know that her Gi-Gi made her with plenty of love, and that’s what sewing for family is all about.

Texas Babies in the Texas Bluebonnets 52 (Family) Projects in 2012: #8, 9 & 10

I was up until midnight the night before Easter finishing up Easter outfits for Charlie, Jamie and Katie. (Seersucker, again, this year! It’s such a classic spring fabric. I love it!) I was so excited to get pictures of the little ones all together the next day. Sadly, though, storms rolled in during the Easter Sunday church service, and the rain continued all afternoon. In spite of that, though, it was a beautiful day, and it was so nice to spend it with all of my children since times are changing, and it may be the last Easter we get to celebrate together for awhile.

A few days after Easter, Morgan and I dressed our youngest three little ones back up in their handmade Easter clothes and headed out to find a patch of Texas bluebonnets for a photo session. We thought it would be a great idea to take pictures of our three Texas babies in the bluebonnets since this is likely the last time we’ll be able to! Why is that? Because we’re moving back to Florida early this summer!

I’ll share more next week about our move and how crazy it is to be preparing for Quilt Market while you’re trying to sell your house and prepare to move halfway across the country. For now, I’ll leave you with some beautiful pictures of the blessings that we’ve been given in our five and a half years in Texas.

Samantha’s Room Re-do 52 (Family) Projects in 2012: #5, 6 & 7

Samantha’s room was badly in need of some updating. The last time we decorated, she was 9, and while this room is cute at 9,

it’s not so hot when you’re 14! A birthday room re-do was definitely in order! The wall mural had to go, but we left the paint color so that the whole room didn’t have to be painted.

Once the walls were done, I planned a new quilt for the bed around Alexander Henry’s “Starling” fabric which Samantha picked out years ago. Samantha is a lot of fun and has a passion for things that are creative and a little out-of-the-ordinary. This wonky log-cabin quilt (Project #5) suits her perfectly!

Next was an update to the valance on the window (Project #6).

We ran across this naked chair in the “As Is” section at IKEA for a measly $29, and since lack of a cover shouldn’t slow down anyone who can use a sewing machine, it came home with us!

I sewed up really simple pillow shams for the cushions on the back and covered the seat cushion with an elasticized fitted “sheet” that I made following a couple of tutorials for crib sheets (Project #7). We threw on a few toss pillows, and Samantha has the perfect place to curl up and read or knit to her heart’s content.

Samantha loves to draw, and since this is her room, we framed a few of her favorite pieces of artwork to display.

A few days before Samantha’s birthday, we loaded in the car and drove around town snapping pictures of the letters in SAMANTHA. (Yes, we did get some odd looks, and I was a little nervous snapping pictures from my car window of the bank around the corner.) We used this really cool Christmas Card holder that we grabbed back in December–another IKEA find–to spell out her name with letters that we photographed.

Samantha’s bulletin board got a quick re-do with some Mod-Podged fabric, trim and new paint. (The perfect spot to display a collection of Texas State Fair ribbons for her knitting work!)

This quote cracks me up!

A few accessories wrapped up the project, and now Samantha has a room that will hopefully last until she’s ready to move on to a college dorm! (Ack! Let’s hope that time doesn’t come too soon!)

One more look at the finished room. (Well, sort of finished–there is a purple desk on the other side of the room that needs replacing, and now that Samantha is big enough not to fall out of bed, a boxspring under that mattress would be nice. For now, though, I’m calling it good!) What do you think? Any rooms in your house in need of updating?

52 (Family) Projects in 2012: #4

My baby is two years old! We celebrated Charlie’s second birthday yesterday with cake and a few little presents and, of course, a new mama-made outfit!

I sewed up my Buttons & Buckles Overalls using Ann Kelle Cool Cords in Whale Print and Argyle. I just love the weight and feel of these corduroys! They’re so soft, and they’re not overly heavy or thick. That makes them easy to sew and great for layering in the winter or wearing alone in the spring. I even have a few more yards set aside for summer shortalls.

I can’t believe how fast my little guy is growing! I thought I’d make the 3T so he’d have room to grow, and it almost fits him perfectly. Sigh. They don’t stay tiny for long, do they?

Pictures of Samantha’s birthday room re-do are coming soon! I just have a few little things to finish up.

52 (Family) Projects in 2012: #2 & #3

Why, yes, I am a little behind on my 52 Projects already. I’ll be making up for it over the next week with Samantha’s birthday present! It’s going to be so cool! In the meantime, though, projects #2 and #3 are new winter PJs for Charlie and Jamie.

They’re apparently very comfy PJs! At Fall Quilt Market, the folks at Shannon Fabrics stopped by my booth and asked me if I’d ever tried sewing my knit patterns with their Cuddle Fabric. I hadn’t, but I was willing to give it a try. They shipped me a box of some of the cutest prints last month! You really have to jump over to their site and see their selection: Cuddle Fabric Prints.

I started out with my Charlie Tee pattern and my AJ Bottoms pattern. I did have to make some minor modifications to get them to work with this fabric. It does have stretch to it, but it’s not quite as much as a cotton knit. (Cuddle Fabric is a polyester plush fabric similar to Minky, Moda’s Snuggles and Joann’s Soft & Comfy.) Once I widened the necklines and narrowed the neckbands on the tees and lengthened the waistbands on the pants to allow for the difference in stretch, they turned out really nicely. My boys certainly think so!

    About Me

    Fishsticks Designs Pattern Shop

    Fishsticks Designs Tutorials


    Charity Patterns

The Tank

Bibs Tutorial

The Sleepbag

Drawstring Tute

Totally Terrific Ties

Game Day Dip

GF Brownies

Granola Cookies