Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Purple Elephant

Ahnalin loves "The Purple Elephant!

I do too!

The "Purple Elephant" is a darling
chapter book that was written by my friend
Donna Gielow McFarland.

Ahnalin loves to read and
has been enjoying Donna's stories.

So Donna sent Ahnalin 
a copy of "The Purple Elephant"
to review. 

So here is Ahnalin's review: 

I think that the book Purple Elephant is a 
very funny book, 
because it is about going on 
adventuring and having fun.
My favorite parts were when the
purple elephant sits on a stack
of hay and the prince is under the hay
and my other favorite is when
they introduced Dianna the dragon. 

So there you have it. 
Ahnalin loves the Purple Elephant!

Ahnalin is 8 and loves
reading fantasy stories
with adventure.

The Purple Elephant fits perfectly
into her taste in reading.

The story is exciting 
and funny and 
the characters really
draw the reader into the story.


Donna, thank you 
so much for this book.
We can' wait to read
more about Prince Carmel
and his adventures!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Congratulations To My India!

Do you see this tiny little bug?

She was 3 years old,
on her very first visit to Disneyland.

She fell in love and said she wanted to 
live there when she grew up.

She is now this beautiful woman
who is so excited to be going back
for her second term of the Disney College Program!

India was a student in the Disney College Program
during the Spring and Summer of 2011.

She had the time of her life and learned so much.

India's favorite attraction of all time
is the Storybook Land Canal Boats.

Her dream came true when she was assigned
to the boats for her role in Disneyland.

And she was amazing in this role!

She adored her classes and
learning so much about the business
of show business.

She truly blossomed.

And now, India must
raise the money for her program fees
for this next semester of the Disney College Program.

We would be so grateful
for any help or support
so that India can realize her dream.

India has 8 days to raise
the funds for her fees
and we are still dealing with
Don's job search due to his lay off in July. 

Any amount would be such a blessing to our girl!

You can click on the "Go Fund Me" widget
and it will take you to India's fundraising page.

Thank you so much for celebrating with us.

And please keep our family in your prayers.

We are so grateful!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

India is Twenty-Wonderful!

Do you have any idea how much I love this girl?

India is the only treasure that I carried under
my heart for 9 months.

And she has been my joy for every day of her
21 years.

I am so grateful that she is mine.

She loves a good adventure!

She is goofy and knows a good cuppa' when she sees one!

She knows how to wield a fry pan when necessary!

And she is completely wonderful in every way.

as my darling girl is still battling
a nasty cold,
and awaiting news of her (hopefully!!!)
impending acceptance for another
term in the Disney College Program,
I pray peace and health for her.

I pray joy and love.

I pray tenacity and strength.

I pray trust and courage.

I am so grateful that
21 years ago,
God gave me the desire of my heart,
and gave me this jewel.

Happy Birthday Princess India.

I pray all your dreams come true.


(Photo credits go to her darling friends Sigrid Forsythe
and Jayne McKenna)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Ahnalin Was VERY Blessed!

Ahnalin received a package in the mail last week!

Inside was one of the most beautiful dresses
I have EVER seen!

A wonderful bloggy friend,
had created this amazing dress for Ahnalin!

Ahnalin is crazy about it
and especially loves the sparkly 
crystal beads and tiny lavender pearls
smocked onto the bodice.

The smocking is truly exquisite!

And the fabric has a rich crispness to it
that feels very princessy.

This was one of the
many hand smocked dresses
that Jan entered into the Western Idaho fair
and won prizes!

She is amazing!!

I am so grateful that Jan chose to bless
Ahnalin with this treasure.

It is long and will fit her for a few years,
which makes this mama very happy!

Ahnalin wanted to make sure
this dress was shown off
in her "Classic Ahnalin" pose.

Thank you so much Jan!


Friday, September 7, 2012

Pretty Bridesmaid Dress For Stesha

This lovely lady is going to be a bridesmaid
in her sister's wedding in a few months.

And I was blessed to sew her dress for her.

I get to sew her younger sister's matching dress as well.

They are both just gorgeous girls!

 They chose Butterick 5457 for the dress pattern,
and we made a few modifications.

I made a muslin for each girl,
and I am so glad I did.

According to the measurements,
Stesha would have worn a size 12,
yet a size 6 completely swam on her.
If the pattern had come in a size 2,
that may have been close to fitting her.

I am showing the dress on my child size 7/8

I had to keep taking it in and taking it in,
so that muslin was pretty marked up
by the time I cut into the shantung.

I love how the bodice is tucked.
The pleats are sewn at the top and 
where the bodice meets the midruff,
but they are loose through the length of the bodice.

But the pleated bodice and rouched
midriff really make a lovely, feminine garment.

This doesn't show up very well,
but there is a small ruffle of shell pink organza sewn
to the lining under the skirt.

I love the ethereal look it gives. 
I cut 3 inches off the bottom 
of the lining front and back pieces.
Then I cut the ruffle strips 7 inches long by the full
width of the organza fabric.  
I sewed two strips together  and then
folded them over, encasing the seams, 
so the organza was doubled.
Then I slightly gathered the doubled strip
and attached it to the bottom of the lining,
serging it in place.

I took many notes on the changes I made to this pattern,
so I can reproduce it for the next dress.

I really liked this pattern, 
but I am so very glad I made a muslin.
I get a little frustrated with how inaccurate
the sizing is in the major pattern companies.
But the end result was a really pretty dress.
And I think it showcases Stesha's beauty quite well.

If you have not entered my giveaway for the current
issue of Sew Beautiful Magazine,
where you will find an article that I co-wrote,
go enter HERE.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My First Sew Beautiful Story- A Giveaway!

Look! Do you see my name?

That is my name right next to 

 Yes, much screaming and jumping up and down
was done by me when I saw it!

is my very favorite magazine.

I have learned so very much of sewing,
and inspiration 
from this magazine
and it's writers.

Janet Gilbert is my favorite!

(Yes, she knows that I was a stalker fan before
we finally "met" and now we are friends!)

And look!

Our story is even a "cover story"!

So Janet and I worked on this article together.

It features 3 of my skirts
and 3 of Janet's skirts.

One of the skirts is my 
Monkey Girl Bloomer Skirt pattern.

You can buy the pattern here from my blog,

Or from my Etsy store

The corduroy A-line skirt with zipper trim
is featured in the article as a free pattern!

My photos are awful but the photos in the magazine are 
much better!

And the free tutorial for my "Math Skirt"
pattern are featured on the 

There are many, many more
wonderful articles,
ideas and patterns in the Back To School issue
of Sew Beautiful!

So to share my joy and excitement,
I am giving away a copy 
of this issue of Sew Beautiful Magazine!

If you would like to be included in this giveaway,
please leave me a comment 
with your email address.

Thank you for sharing my joy!!!!!

Happy Sewing!!!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The First Day Of Third Grade Dress

Today is the first day of third grade.

And Ahnalin had definite ideas of how she wanted to look.

The first item in building her look
was the saddle shoes.

You see, my father loves saddle shoes.
So when Ahnalin saw these in a store window,
she told me to take a picture of them 
and send it to her grandpa.

Minutes later, a text came saying
Grandpa John John would buy them for her.

Ahnalin was ecstatic!

So the decision was made that 
she must have a black and white outfit
for the first day.

My friend Janet had sent me
this fabric from her stash
and Ahnalin had been eyeing it
since it's arrival.

I had already made the "Vintage Natalie"
dress pattern that Janet Gilbert
designed for
earlier this month for Ahnalin's birthday dress.

Have I mentioned that I love this pattern?
Well I do!!!!!

So Ahnalin negotiated for what she wanted,
and the design was sketched up!.

She wanted puffy sleeves,
so of course she got those.

And she wanted the collar to be in black
with red trim.

I had this red whipstich piping
already in my stash.

She also wanted one of my 
Mary Engelbreit scottie dog
buttons on a belt style sash,
instead of a bow this time.

I liked the whipstitch piping for the whole
dress, especially the panel down the front.

She thinks it looks like candy canes.

This photo is blurry,
because she was swinging the skirt.

But I made a banded hem 
and added the piping at the top and bottom
of the band.

I cut the skirt at the "knee" length of the pattern.

And I cut the dress a size 6, 
which is perfect for her.

She is 8 years old and very thin.

I adore the back on this dress.

It is so classic!

Ahnalin is crazy about it.

She said she feels like a 
"50's diner girl".

We have to have a "Classic Ahnalin" pose
every time.

Ahnalin bought this black and white
polka dot trench coat at "Forever 21" with her
birthday money from Grandma Barbara and 
Grandpa John John. 

She definitely had a theme in mind.

Happy First Day of Third Grade

This is going to be an exciting year.

I pray that my darling girl 
grows and learns wonderful things.

I am so proud of her.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Ahnalin Was A Flower Girl

Actually, both of my girls were in the wedding party.

The bride was a beautiful girl named Ashlee,
whom we have loved since she and India met
in the 7th grade.

India was honored to be Ashlee's Maid Of Honor
and she was so thrilled to be there for her.
Thankfully, I didn't have to make the bridesmaid
dresses for this wedding.

And Ahnalin was asked to be Ashlee's Flower Girl!

So this gave mama the opportunity 
to make a special dress for her to wear.

Ahnalin refuses to wear anything that scratches or itches
or is slippery or makes noise when she moves.

And the temperature was to be around 100 degrees
at the wedding.

So, that meant that I needed to make something 
that was comfortable for Ahnalin,
yet beautiful and "wedding appropriate".

I chose to make the bodice out
of one of Ahnalin's favorite styles.

As usual, I didn't use a pattern,
because I just measure her chest and 
waist and cut it out.

I had to made this dress in a short amount of time
(due to a crazy packed sewing schedule!)
and a very limited budget.

So, I grabbed my bolt of white Imperial Broadcloth
out of my stash, and started creating.

The vintage cotton lace had been in my stash 
for a while too.
I had purchased it about a year ago from 
a local crafting thrift store in Sebastopol

Ahnalin did not want a slip or any tulle
under her dress,
so I decided to make the skirt with an overskirt.

She wanted it to overlap like a tulip.

I added the lace at the hem as well.

Ahnalin felt that it made the dress
look more like a dress from
"Thoroughly Modern Millie".

She said she felt like a real bride in this dress.

I had these clear lacy buttons in my 
button jar just waiting for the perfect dress.
The bride had chosen silver accents
for the bridesmaids dresses she chose for her girls.
So the silver dots on the buttons were just right!

I also added sash carriers
so that the green ribbon 
would stay somewhat in place,
even with my active Ahnalin.

Ashlee had chosen silver shoes for herself
and her bridesmaids.
So I was very excited to find these
"Cinderella" shoes at the Disney Store
for a very reasonable price.
How very princess-like!

Ahnalin wanted me to take a picture with the 
lilies in our backyard.

Both of my girls looked lovely at the wedding
and had a wonderful time celebrating 
Ashlee and her new husband Jeremy.

Eventually, India tried to teach
Ahnalin a little line dancing.

But then Ahnalin got tired 
and asked if she could play games on my iPad
to chill out for a while.

The wedding was beautiful.

Ashlee and Jeremy are now "man and wife".

And we are back home in time
for school to start this week!

I am back to work sewing,
and have openings for customs again.

But tonight,
I must make a "First day of school" dress
for the little bridesmaid. 

Happy Sewing!