My Closet

Sew Americana 2019


Welcome to the Sew Americana blog tour hosted by Katy from Wild and Wonderful. This is the fourth year for the blog tour, but the first one for me. There are a great line up of bloggers for the tour so follow along all week to see lots of red, white, and blue inspiration!


Sly Fox Fabrics was gracious to sponsor the tour, giving us 2 yards of fabric from the Americana collection. And my order arrived super fast! Thank you Katy Kemper and crew! As a military family and typical red, white, and blue fan, I was surprised by the selection of different shades of blue, grey, aqua, and heathered choices. When I chose my fabrics, I didn’t have a set plan as to what patterns I wanted to use, so I waffled quite a bit before choosing a yard of heavy Ponte de Roma in navy for my bottoms and a yard of the gorgeous Hideaway Floral in Blue for my top. The Ponte is surprisingly soft and lovely to work with!


I would have loved to sew something for our handsome 18 year old son for the tour, but with him going off to college in August, I knew he would say he doesn’t need any more clothes. Bummer! So you just get me instead. No worries though, if you follow along all week, there will be cute babies and lots of awesome red, white, and blue projects!


My shorts are the Aviator Pants from Winter Wear Designs heavily modified into shorts this time. They were blogged here when I made (and modified) them to be casual joggers. Since all the fitting to me was done, they were very fast and easy to sew, especially since I skipped the pockets too! There was only a bit of struggling to stretch the Ponte waistband onto the shorts. Once it was sewn on, it fit perfectly fine. And guess what!!! They are on sale for only $5 with the code SewAmericana! You can find them here! Code is good for a week – that will be a July 4th end date so don’t hesitate! Thank you Suzanne!


Deciding on a top took a lot longer than it should have. I wanted to pick just the right style to showcase the beautiful fabric (and a bit scared to cut it at the same time)! My husband wanted me to sew a dress which I wear a lot of during the summer, but I didn’t want to use ALL of my beautiful fabric on one item. So my thought was to make a top and use the leftover fabric to make the bodice of a dress with a coordinating skirt attached at a later time. After taking so long to decide, I had to go with something pretty fast to sew as I wanted to be prepared well ahead of my scheduled day. When the Taylor Tank testing call from 5 out of 4 Patterns came out, I knew that it was the top meant to be for the tour. It would give me a deadline and the push I needed to have my sewing done early! The coordinating fabric I used for the bands and back yoke is from SAS Fabrics in Phoenix and has been in my stash for a while.

IMG_2938My new Taylor Tank also looks great with jeans!IMG_2937

Oh, and since my first Taylor is also red, white, and blue, I will show that one too! The red stripes are an up-cycled men’s t-shirt and the blue is another fabric from my stash.


I’m wearing this one with a Shenanigans Skort from 5 out of 4.


For reference, my Taylor Tanks are size XS with size S length on the straps in front. The pattern is on sale for a new release price of $7.95 until Sunday, June 30!


Happy Independence Day USA! Enjoy the rest of the Americana tour everyone!

Monday, June 24:
Wild & Wanderful · The Petite Sewist · That’s-Sew-Kari · Stitched by Jennie · Marvelous Auntie M

Tuesday, June 25:
Petite Stitchery · auschick sews · Sew Simple Home · Sewing Novice · Striped Swallow Designs

Wednesday, June 26:
(Swimming in a) Sea of Estrogen · The Eli Monster · 5 out of 4 Patterns · bigflynotions · Stitching and Making

Thursday, June 27:
Middle River Studio · It’s Liesel · Sewing with D · Kitty Makes It

Friday, June 28:
Boo + Lu · Sequoialynn Sews · Seams Sew Lo · Made By Jaime · SewSophieLynn


My Closet

Rosanna, Rosanna

Oh wow, there are so many options on Rosanna that it took some contemplating before I could decide which to apply to test! I’m glad I chose the top because I’m loving mine, but there are others I want to try! Have you seen the other tester photos? Rosanna is a beautiful sundress with the circle skirt and the perfect swim top too. I chose the half circle for my tops, the low scoop, and did some optional straps on my first one.


This blue and black top is my toile and some small changes were made to the pattern after this. It’s paired with the Shenanigans Skort.


And this is the Adventure Skort, also from 5 Out of 4 Patterns. All fabrics for my Rosanna tops are from SAS fabric warehouse in Phoenix.


Here’s an excerpt from the pattern listing: Rosanna is a peplum tank, tankini, dress and swim dress. It features unique side princess seaming, a low ballerina back (with optional back straps), FBA bodice and an optional built-in bra with 6 sewing cup sizes. Choose either a full or half circle skirt with a peplum (tankini), swim dress, short dress or long dress lengths.

Options Include:

  • Regular Bodice and 1″ FBA Bodice pieces.
  • Peplum, Swim Dress, Short or Long Full Circle Skirt Lengths.
  • Peplum, Swim Dress, Short or Long Half Circle Skirt Lengths.
  • Finish arms and neckline with binding, bands or elastic.
  • Thin or thick back strap and basic instructions that you can use for infinite creative backs.
  • 2 Neckline Options: High or Low Scoop

Get your copy now while it’s on sale for $7.95! Sunday, June 17 is the last day. Bonus, all the swim bottoms are also on sale too! (Ultimate Bikinis, Tidal Waves, and Riptides)


My Closet

5 Out of 4 Blog Tour Adventure




WOW, what an adventure! Can you believe we are celebrating 20K members over at 5 Out of 4 Patterns?  It seems that it wasn’t that long ago when I discovered the wonderful and helpful ladies in the 5 Out of 4 Facebook group. This will be a week of showcasing many different patterns for all members of the family. Part of my celebration includes the much overlooked Adventure Skort. It is one that has never caught my eye as I scrolled through the pattern choices. This time, I decided to give it a try. I used cotton Lycra which is so easy to cut and sew. Next time, I may use something with a bit more drape. This pattern is very quick to sew up; so it was sewn over a month ago before we had family come to visit. I took an extra 4” out of the elastic when I put it on today, oops! There are a couple of other tweaks I will do next time so it fits my body better. I’m only 5’ 2” with a narrow waist and bigger hips, which messes with the waist-to-hip fit on many garments. I’m happy with this one though and plan to go on a hike with my husband to try it out.



For the top, I chose the X-Factor, which had been in my inventory for a while but not sewn. I can’t believe all the options available on this top! I changed my mind a few times, opting for the slim fit tank and no bra inserts in an athletic knit from my stash. The directions are very thorough and the binding really very easy to sew on, so don’t let that intimidate you! I can’t wait to make a bikini swim top with cups for my next one! It will go perfectly with my Riptides!



Now’s the time to stock up on all the patterns while they are on sale for 40% off! Use code SOBIG when checking out. Also, enter to win some great prizes by clicking on the Rafflecopter below!


We are celebrating all week so check out all the other bloggers below. If you’ve missed any, the links will take you there!

5 out of 4 Patterns 20k Blog Tour Schedule

April 2 – Tales from a Southern Mom | Miss Marah Sewn

April 3 – Dragons Flames Designs | Poppy Monroe Collection

April 4 – Pear Berry Lane | Candi Couture Designs

April 5 – Sewing with D | Kathy Kwilts and More

April 6 – The Sassy Seamripper | My Heart Will Sew On



My Closet

Xpress Tank


Usually express means fast in my mind, but it also means to show or reveal. The Xpress Tank from Greenstyle Creations just happens to be both. First, it’s quick to make with only one pattern piece and less than a yard of fabric! At least it’s quick if you don’t run into serger or coverstitch problems! Second, just look at the revealing back…it’s cool and well, cool; and there are three options to choose from!


I’m wearing it here with an Endurance Bra, also from Greenstyle. Check it out too, it’s very supporting and I love the zip front closure! I really like the rounded back of the grey tank. Sorry I’ve got it bunched so you can’t see it well.

This one is the pointed back option, made from an athletic mesh from my stash. I plan to put some heat transfer vinyl on it and wear it to my son’s track meets. It looks great with a tank or cami underneath for a little more coverage too. I’m wearing this tank with the Boardshorts from 5outof4.  My Xpress tanks will be nice and breezy to wear during our hot summers for exercising and for everyday wear!

The Xpress Tank comes in sizes 3XS – 3XL and is on sale until Sunday, January 28 (no code needed)!




My Closet

Cozy Christmas Holiday



Merry Christmas and Happy whatever holiday you celebrate! This was such a fun blog tour idea that I knew I had to sign up. What a great way to see all the different 5 out of 4 patterns in a holiday light, hear about traditions, and pick up a few new cookie recipes to add to your favorites! I have to admit, when I think of 5 out of 4, I think of summer tops, skorts, swim suits, ninjas, all with a sporty feel. I had to really think about what to sew, even though I’ve made some of the long sleeve fleece and sweater patterns. I love testing and sewing patterns from 5 out of 4 and am amazed by Jessica running a business with 6 kiddos! 

I finally decided on the Nancy Raglan because ever since the listing was posted, I’ve loved the cowl neck version shown. Mine is made from this Lush Fleece in red plaid and this Lush Fleece in black, both from Joann’s. I’ve been wanting a plaid dress and may have gone overboard sewing one in lush fleece! The stretch is not the recommended percentage for the pattern so my sleeves are very fitted. The rest of the dress fits fine but the fabric is so thick that I sewed the cowl with only one layer. Lush fleece is difficult to sew with, just like minky or fur. My coverstitch machine didn’t like it either. I had to do some convincing to get it to sew! It sure feels cozy! What do you think; do the lacy tights go with it or not? They were sewn last year and are Gazelles from The Wolf and the Tree.

The little snowman I’m holding is a craft we did with my sisters and our chicklets one year when we were visiting them in Colorado. So much fun!

Our Christmas tree is usually covered in snowflakes and red and white ball ornaments, although you can see that we haven’t done the decorating yet this year. The snowflakes I’m holding are ones I’ve made over the years. I just love Christmas crafts! See that stocking hanging from the mantel? I made that too. Clayten is our last child left at home so it’s the only one there.

Unless it’s very cold, I won’t be able to wear my dress on Christmas Day. We always have a fire in the fireplace even if it’s not cold enough for one (we live in Phoenix so sometimes have to turn off the heat and open the door). I will be able to wear it to church on Christmas Eve though, since the service will be held at the park. It will keep me cozy and warm! It sure felt good wearing it today and I almost didn’t take if off after the pictures!

This is my favorite time of year, but also sometimes the worst time of year. I love Christmas lights, baking cookies, parties, seeing concerts, ballets, or shows, and hearing the holiday music. But I never feel prepared enough to be able to fully enjoy everything. Some things are a must every year like decorating our home, especially the garland on the banister and the tree. Once those are are decorated and the lights are up outside, I can enjoy the Christmas atmosphere while I panic about the cards or something else! 😜Another thing we love to do is attend the Celebration of Christmas show and a driveway Christmas concert in our neighborhood every year. It gets us in the holiday spirit in a land of no snow! And reminds us that it is a celebration of Jesus most of all!


One of our traditions is to built a gingerbread house every year. Sometimes they were built from graham crackers and hot glue and sometimes they are a boxed kit. This year I dug out a gingerbread train that we didn’t get to last year. My chicklets were out of creativity after building the house so the train got put away. My son and I enjoyed some time together while I made new frosting and decorated the train. Clay is almost 17, so I’m soaking up every bit of time we spend together! The little silver tree with ornaments is a kit we worked on several years ago when my daughter was still at home. It was a Shrinky Dink kit and so much fun to work on together! We are still enjoying it each Christmas.


Another fun activity is baking cookies. I remember my sisters and I helping our mom bake and decorate Christmas cookies every year. We made the most elaborate and beautiful cookies using cake decorating bags and tips for all the little details! Since I opened my Etsy shop several years ago, we are lucky if we even have cookies at Christmas. With limited time, that is the one thing that gets left out unless I plan ahead and put some in the freezer. Making cookies for this blog tour put me just a little bit ahead with the baking, except that some of them got ruined. I thought I’d use this oversized pan…so many cookies fit on it!


But it was a bad idea!

P.S. Don’t use a dark pan for these cookies! My old silver colored one worked way better!



Press cookies are the ones I try to make every year. They are quick to make and no frosting required so when you pull them out of the oven, they are done! Of course, when I made these, I had problems with the press so they were not fast like they are supposed to be! Look how festive and pretty they are though!


Check out the others on the blog tour by clicking on the names below. There have been some great outfits, traditions, and recipes!

SURPRISE! If you’ve read this far, you are eligible to enter for a chance to win a pattern from 5 out of 4! Just leave a comment below before December 10. Do you make holiday crafts, have a special tradition, or a favorite 5 out of 4 pattern?


Blog Tour December 1 – Marvelous Auntie M | ah baby! Custom Design

December 2 – Elli & Nels in Stitches | Sewn at Seams

December 3 – Pattern Revolution

December 4 – My Heart Will Sew On | Fabulous Home Sewn

December 5 – Wonderfully Handmade | Randoms by Rydz

December 6 – Sewing with D | Octaves of Color

December 7 – Turtle Birdies


My Closet · Sewing for my guys

Me Made at Sea

Ever had to pack for a trip? Or a vacation? or a cruise? I struggle with what to put in the suitcase every time I have to pack a bag. What will the weather be like, what will be doing, and what will I feel like wearing? For a cruise, it’s even more difficult with dress codes and changing outfits a couple of times a day. This time I had plenty of me made clothes to include in my packing and I struggled with what favorites I wanted to take. I have so many and didn’t get to take or wear them all.

Settle yourself in with a cup of tea or coffee if you want to go on a virtual trip with me. It’s a long post, although a lot of it is pictures!

*Warning: picture overload!*

We started our trip with the 6 hour (7 in work traffic) drive to San Pedro, California. I didn’t get a picture, but Tierras Woven Joggers were perfect for comfort in the car!


The next day we boarded the ship, Ruby Princess. I’m wearing Hera from Wardrobe by Me. I made it in a linen or linen blend which is too stiff for what Christina intended the top to look like. I love it anyway and it looked cheerful to start our vacation!


For dinner, my North Point Trousers were very comfortable with the new Hvar Jacket. Read about it and see my other jacket on my post and on the Itch-to-Stitch blog and check out the tester photos. If you want to make one yourself, buy it while it’s on sale at 20% off here; no code necessary!



My latest Laundry Day Tee from Love Notions is what I wore for a day of activities on the ship, especially since I forgot to pack my white Salamanca Jacket. The picture is a bit blurry but is the only one we took.


Since I didn’t make my formal, I had to sneak in a picture of my handsome guys! I did take apart the sleeves on my husband’s shirt to shorten them and re-attached the cuffs.


This is the Bonn Shirt I wore in San Francisco. The weather forecast was 69 degrees. I quickly found out that 69 in California is vastly different from 69 in Arizona and I was overheated for much of the day, even with only 3/4 sleeves.


I finally put on my new Lisbon Cardigan toward evening when the sun went down and it was cooler. Melissa of Mahlica Designs and I decided to sew along a couple of patterns together as motivation to get them done; and it worked! Neither of us did the buttons or buttonholes, deciding to wait until later to decide if we wanted them. We are going to sew the Liana Jeans together soon. Watch for it if you want to join us!

Here is Georgia, coming soon from Bella Sunshine Designs. This is the first chance I’ve had to wear it and aren’t the colors perfect for fall? I loved wearing this wonderfully draping and delicious feeling fabric! It’s from LA Finch Fabrics when I won a box from Sewing Portfolios!


Another Lisbon Cardigan since it was chilly and overcast in Monterey. Can you tell I love this pattern?



Yes, I brought two Bonn Shirts, this one with long sleeves for the wine tasting event. (Another not so good selfie here, haha).


It was formal night, but since I opted to bring gowns I didn’t sew myself, I had to show off the long slip (made without a pattern since it’s basically a long rectangle). Unfortunately, I was in a rush and the waist elastic ended up too big. It sits low on my hips instead of at my waist, haha. Maybe I’ll fix it one of these days since it has gotten plenty of use since I made it over a year ago.


I did add the sparkly trim to my dress and made the necklace so here are a couple pictures of my husband and me having fun on formal night.


San Diego was next, where our only plan was to see our niece and nephew. We had a wonderful visit with Tyler but missed Tiana since she had to work. I made this Reagan Raglan during a sew along recently with Bella Sunshine Designs. Then I added the cute pineapple cut file which will be available soon from Pickle Toes Patterns.



Here is my Evergreen Jacket from Hey June, the only garment I made specifically for our trip. It happened at just the right time for the Sew Long Summer Blog Tour hosted by the lovely Melissa Evans. I wrote about it here Sew Long Summer, Oh Hey June! It goes well with my second pair of North Point Trousers. Clearly I need to sew myself some white blouses to wear with my jackets since I had to rely on RTW each time! I did bring my white Newport Top but the style and my fabric was a bit too casual.


These are all teens except for Mike, and Arun behind the counter. Clay is talking with his new German friends. The International Cafe was the only place open 24 hours and this was about 1 am! Clay didn’t really walk around wearing a dress shirt, swim trunks, and bare feet, haha, except in the wee hours when almost everyone else was asleep! He’s wearing the Men’s Swim Trunks from 5 out of 4 Patterns I made during the summer. The teens spent countless hours in the hot tubs so he wore both suits I made him on this trip.

Clay and me in Ensenada Mexico.


Mike and me in front of the other cruise ship in port. The wind and sun were going the wrong direction to get our Princess ship in the picture.

All three Lago Tanks were on this trip, but this is the only one I ended up wearing. This was our warmest day so the Shenanigans Skort from 5 Out of 4 Patterns won for comfort.


This is the shirt I had so much trouble with, McCall’s 3159. Nothing to do with the pattern, rather with the fitting. It’s probably from the 80s and I should have realized it was too loose a fit to be a well fitting dress shirt. After many alterations, it was so tight in the chest and arms that he couldn’t move. Luckily I was able to save it, but will use a different pattern next time.


One last stroll around the ship and a stop by the pool for one last picture. This is Designer Stitch’s newest pattern, Frida worn with a regular favorite, the Alyse Pants, also from Designer Stitch, hacked into shorts. I thought it would be fitting to wear Frida in Mexico since it would have made a better picture, but I wanted sleeveless for that warm day.

It was a sad day since our vacation was over; but I’m thankful we were able to go and enjoyed every minute!

Congratulations if you made it to the end of this long post; I appreciate you! What do you think; how did I do on the me made wardrobe?






My Closet

Boardshorts for me!

I’ve never had a pair of boardshorts. Yep, it’s true. Until now! You see, my waist is much smaller than my hips so the RTW (ready to wear) ones didn’t fit right. Enter Jessica from 5 Out of 4 Patterns with a pattern test for boardshorts. Score! I was happy to be chosen and had my fabrics ready to go. We started off making our muslin with version 1. Looks pretty good from the front but the wedgie in the back needed to be fixed!

I used an old flannel sheet that was hanging around my sewing room for way too long. It was big enough to sew up three shorts muslins! By the time I made my final pair, we were on version 6! If you think pattern testing is easy, think again! I’m so glad for designers like Jessica who work long and hard to get the pattern just right. The end product is a quality the designer will be proud of and customers will return to buy more patterns!

5oo4 Womens Boardshorts size4 graded to size2waist with 5in inseam (3)

My first wearable pair have a 5″ inseam since I had limited fabric.  They are a little too short for my legs! I used this same fabric for the Men’s Swim Trunks I made for my son. He did tell me that we are not allowed to wear them at the same time. Ah well, I guess I can’t expect a 16 year old to want a mommy and me matching set! 😂


The pattern has plenty of options for length though, and I decided to go with 7″ on my next pair.


I went with snaps on my second pair and am so glad. I love how they look and they are easier to get into than the traditional tabs and tie.


Isn’t this some crazy fun fabric though? I’ve had it for many years so it was time I had the right pattern for some of it! This pair is very comfortable so I’d better get sewing some solid shirts to match!

This is my affiliate link. Be sure to check out the other tester versions

The Women’s Boardshorts are a woven shorts pattern intended for microfiber (“boardshort”) material. They have a back yoke to help mold the fabric to your body’s contours. These are a relaxed fit pattern with a low rise.

  • Sizes 0 – 24 (see the last image for a size chart)
  • Velcro fly
  • 4 inseam lengths: 2″, 5″, 7″, and 9.5″
  • Comprehensive fitting guide.  Since this is for wovens, I have to classify this as an intermediate pattern.  You should expect to do some personal fitting.  There are pictures and drawings to help you figure out which alterations are best for your personal fit issues.
  • Optional cargo pocket in two sizes
  • Leg openings can be hemmed or finished with binding