On Safari by Riley Blake Designs

One can never have too much animal print, right? I’ve always considered a good animal print a classic that never goes out of style and these new Riley Blake On Safari prints are no exception.

These prints would work great for decor, quilts, and more but of course we had to make a killer dress with ours!

We picked the On Safari Leopard in grey for an uptown look that slayed us both.

For this dress, I turned to an old favorite, the Blake Dress from Mingo and Grace. I’ve made this dress countless times and always, always love the finished product. It’s such a classic silhouette and it sews up so nicely. For this version, she fit right into the size 8 for chest and waist and I added length to the skirt. The fit is spot on and has just enough room for her to grow a bit.

I added a fun exposed lace zipper for a little girly touch.

I don’t know what I love more- those big pleats or the hidden pockets. She was so surprised to find them! We had fun styling this dress and I couldn’t help but channel my favorite 50’s Hollywood movie stars. So chic and elegant while still being young and sweet too!

This cutie loves her new dress and we both love this whole line from Riley Blake!

Hello Sweetheart from Riley Blake Designs


Hello Sweetheart from Riley Blake Designs is here and it’ll have your heart swooning!  We love the darling retro feel and it has us gearing up for Valentine’s.  It’s such a sweet collection full of bright colors and playful prints.


The Gradient Heart is black was such a great choice for my oldest.  It’s got a modern edge to it that was so well suited for one of our favorite dress patterns.


I love the clean lines of the Blake Dress from Mingo and Grace (you can see our other versions here, here, and here).  Those big box pleats and hidden inseam pockets are the stuff that makes me giddy!


Can you even stand those ombre hearts?!!  The colors are just so fun!


For this dress, I made a size 8 width with a 12 length in the skirt.  She actually measures into a 7 width but I was hoping by sizing up it’d fit a bit longer.  The problem is this girly keeps growing up and not out so I’m pretty sure it’ll be too short the next time I blink!  Little sister is already patiently waiting for her to outgrow it 😉


Speaking of litttle sis- she got a Samantha Skirt from Made for Mermaids paired with an Ocotillo Leotard from Honeydew Kisses with handmade suspenders.


This floral print is just too cute!  It reminds me so much of some of my favorite art when I was growing up.  Definitely brings me back to the early 90’s with fond memories!  Paired with Riley Blake black and white striped knit gives it a fun, contemporary twist.  This combo is just so adorable!

payton3She loves anything with pockets and thanked me profusely the minute she tried on this skirt.  Both patterns were new to me and I really liked them both.  The Samantha skirt pattern uses the same fabric for suspenders but I left them off this version.  It features an elastic back waistband so hopefully she’ll get to wear this awhile too.  I had to do some grading for the leo using a size 8 width and a 10 length.  It worked out really well and both girls have requested more (a sure sign of a great pattern!).

pair3We picked the warmest day we could for pics and it was a balmy 40 degrees when we did our shoot.  The sodas were both props and bribes for these two troopers!  The things these girls put up with for their dear old mum!


Thanks for joining us today on our stop on the Hello Sweetheart Blog Tour.  Riley Blake provided us the fabric to sew up but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Project Run and Play:Week One Pokemon Ispired


I’m ecstatic to be here sharing my first look for Project Run and Play.  It’s truly a dream come true to be competing in Season 12.  The other competitors are so talented and I’m excited to join them for this ride.


The theme for week 1 is Pokemon Inspired.  Did you all catch Pokemon fever this summer? We got a tiny taste of it but it was quickly forgotten for days at the pool and afternoons with cousins.  When the theme was announced I knew I was in trouble!  After hitting the internet and talking with my kids we decided to go with the quintessential Pokemon icons- Pikachu and the all important Pokeball.


Pikachu is such a cute little character. That bright yellow was so fun to work with.  I used the Blake Pattern from Mingo and Grace for the base of our look.  It’s such a classic pattern that I turn to again and again.


I used this fabric from Joann’s.  It was pretty thin but the texture and color were just what I was looking for.  I lined everything and it worked wonderfully.  Joann’s had this amazing zipper that totally changed the direction I was going for on this look.  It matched the fabric perfectly and is reminiscent of Pikachu’s little stripes on its back.  I couldn’t pass it up!


I added a detachable collar using the free Tiffany Collar from Made For Mermaids.  Lace leggings (this fabric was a perfect match!) complete the outfit.  Such a bright, fun look that will get worn often!


My little Poke Ball was actually a real challenge for me.  I used the Sloane Skinny Jeans pattern from Violette Fields Threads for her super fun tuxedo stripe pants.  This is as close to sewing jeans as I’ve gotten and I think I may be ready to tackle the real deal soon…baby steps 😉


I used a white denim and black sequin fabric for the pants.  I topstitched my heart out and love the great finish it adds.  The top is a take on the Calla Lily Crop Top.  This shirt was almost scrapped after my original plan for it was a huge disaster.  Let’s just say this gabardine and I got really friendly with the seam ripper.  I’m grateful for my ever growing stash of trims because this ball fringe was absolutely meant to be!  I love little happy accidents!  Bonus points- Black and red are her new school colors so I know this top will get worn again and again!


I modified the top to use a facing since this fabric was so thick to begin with.  I added length and straightened out the hi-low a bit.  I love the boxiness of this top while still being fitted at the shoulders.  My little miss felt like such a rock star in this look!

We headed to downtown Salt Lake for this shoot.  It’s just a short fifteen minutes from us and I wish we went more often.  These pics were all taken in a one block radius!  Man, I love the city!


Thanks for joining me on this adventure!  Make sure you head over to Project Run and Play to vote for your favorite look.






Mingo and Grace Gigi Crop Set


Ever since I made my girls their Crop Sets I’ve been dreaming of my own.


I’m so grateful Farrah at Mingo and Grace heard our cries and the Gigi Crop Set is here!


I love that Farrah’s patterns make this mom of five feel hip and cool while still being modest and comfortable.


The skirt features a back zipper and either pleats or gathers.  Simple and classic- just how I like things!


The top has multiple back options including this simple one button at the neck.


There are two sleeve lengths and bust darts to get the fit just perfect for your body.


My fabrics are Hancock deals.  You might recognize the skirt fabric from this post and the top from this post. You better believe I went back and bought the last little bit of that skirt fabric they had- just enough for something for me!


I love, love the look of the crop top and high waisted skirt.  After we binge watched Project Runway Junior I was totally obsessed with this look.  The contestants couldn’t get enough of this pairing and I can totally see why.


Make sure you grab your copy today!

Sew Americana Blog Tour


I love July and the chance to celebrate this beautiful country of mine.  I was thrilled to jump on board the Sew Americana Tour by Wild & Wanderful and the chance it gave me to sew up these beauties in honor of the 4th.


It also meant another darling photo shoot with the cutest two-year-old around!


Sophie is sporting a Mingo and Grace Charlie Dress.  It’s done in a drapey poly rayon from Hancock’s.  I did a bodice facing instead of bias tape and love the clean finish it gave.


I played with the stripe directions for a little twist and we both just adore this dress.


It just suits her so well!


I went sweet and simple with this one in a Violette Fields Adelaide.


I’ve got ALL the heart eyes for that back!


And gingham and floral should get married, I think 😉


My sister sewed her cute little miss the Evie Pleated Suspender Shorts from Made for Mermaids.


Isn’t that bow back just divine?!!


I think we’re going to have serious Morgan withdrawals when she heads back home after the summer.  Cousins really are the best!


I love these looks together and how they fit their personalities so well!



Take a look at the AMAZING lineup for the Sew Americana tour!

Monday, June 27 

Wild & Wanderful | Sew and Tell Project | Call Ajaire

Paisley Roots | Wally and Grace

Tuesday, June 28

Sew Thrifty | Coles Corner and Creations | Rebel & Malice

Friends Stitched Together | The Wholesome Mama

Wednesday, June 29

Sewing by Ti | EYMM | HattieLu Handmade

Daydream Believers | PenSebRox | Handmade Boy

Thursday, June 30

Beatnik Kids | Phat Quarters | Sew Starly | Sew Sophie Lynn

The Kisses Co. | Adventures with Bubba and Bug

Friday, July 1

Very Blissful | That’s Sew Kari | Sew Happily Ever After | Pear Berry Lane

Mae and K
 | Musings of a Seamstress | Sew and Tell Project

As a special bonus for our readers, use the code ‘ SEWAMERICANA ‘ and enjoy a 20% discount at www.THREADandGRAIN.com  You’ll find a ton of maker-inspired goodies!

(All created by your tour guide, Katy, from Wild & Wanderful.)

A Maxi for Sophie


It’s rare that I get to sew just because but ever since I got this fabric it’s been calling to me.


I knew when I saw it that it would become a maxi skirt for Soph.  The colors and print are so bright and totally her.


The top is a Lil Zippy top from See Kate Sew in a mystery rayon blend from Hancock’s.  I love the almost neon color of it too!


For the skirt I used Mingo and Grace’s Crop Top Set as my base.  I lengthened the skirt and I used the width of fabric instead of the skirt pattern piece.  The skirt fabric is also from Hancock’s (man, I’m going to miss their apparel fabric deals!).


I love the drama of this outfit but also that it’s comfy and practical enough for church on Sundays.  She wore this to church and didn’t want to take it off the rest of the day.  Maxi’s are the best for Sunday lounging!


This is totally another outfit I’m wishing I’d made in my own size.  If only I didn’t need twice as much fabric…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I loved this shoot!  We drove past this little water feature a few days ago and she immediately said, “That’s perfect for a photo shoot.  I really want to do my skirt pictures there!”  Is she a pro or what?!!


And this my friends, is why I sew!  She’s thrilled with her new outfit and I couldn’t be happier!


Sisters are the BEST!


Growing up I was nine years older than my one and only sister.  I sure loved to mother and treat her like my own little baby but it wasn’t until we’d grown that she became one of my best friends.  I love that my girls are only 21 months apart and share that special bond already.


They couldn’t be more different personality wise but I think that helps them get along even better.


If you can’t tell, Sophie is more serious and reserved and Payton has some serious spunk!


Sophie is 8 going on 16 and Payton is happily 6 and still into dolls, playing pretend, and anything sweet and girly.



They had so much fun doing this shoot- our first real one with props and everything.  I know my indoor photos need a lot of work but it’s sure fun experimenting and learning along the way.  It’s a family affair as my husband helps jimmy-rig the backdrop up and is teaching me the ins and outs of the camera.  I really love being able to capture the kids personalities and share my latest creations.


My little super models are getting used to all the pics and for the right price ($1 a shoot as they save for Christmas) I think we all have fun in the process!


Those smiles!!!


I’m pretty sure Sophie is doing her best “Blue Steel” look here!

Merry Christmas everyone!

A Tale of Three Christmas Dresses


Sophie has a beautiful new Christmas dress that she loves- not this one, but this one.  She was so excited to wear our matching dresses and Payton needed one to join us.  I love non-traditional colors that can be worn throughout the year and this floral from my stash fit the bill.


It would be only fitting to use another Mingo and Grace pattern- The Charlie Dress.  Bonus- I already had the pattern traced and ready to go (in a size 6 with 8 length) but had never made it.


It came together quickly in a naptime and I couldn’t wait for Payton to try it on when she got home.  As she twirled around it was obvious to me that it was way too long and very sloppy on her.  I could seam rip a perfectly gathered and serged seam or give it to big sis and sew a new dress.  All you seamstresses know that was a no brainer.



So big sister got dress number two that fits her perfectly.  Which means little sis needed two dresses too… I’ll take any excuse to sew up more easy dresses. I’ll be posting those later this week and also sharing some of my favorite sister pics ever!


Are you sewing up Christmas dresses this year?  I love the quick, simple dresses that can be worn for more than a season.  This Charlie dress is just that.  It will be darling come spring with sandals too and she can wear it now with a tee underneath or a sweater on top.  Just about the perfect dress in my book!

Mother Daughter Blake Dresses


Who wants this ladies version for FREE?!! Click through to the end of the post for more details!

Warning!  This post will contain an obscene amount of pictures.  I just can’t get enough of THIS DRESS!!!



I love Farrah at Mingo and Grace’s simple and classic patterns.  Her clean lines and gorgeous silhouettes are so versatile.


Only problem is my girls had already sized out of her one of her most popular patterns- the Blake dress.  Farrah listened to all of us tween moms and has now upgraded the Blake to size 12!! Hooray!


And while she was at it she threw in a ladies version as well.  Hello awesome!


The bodice of this dress has darts to really flatter and I love the wide shoulders and high neckline too.


There is an invisible zipper and two different back shapes- full and racerback. We choose the full back for Sophie.


The ladies version has a sleeve option as well.


The skirt features big box pleats and optional inseam pockets.  Who doesn’t love a dress with pockets?!


We loved dressing this down with a denim jacket and boots.


But she’s also anxious to wear it for the holidays, all dressed up with glamorous accessories.


You know when you go into the fabric store with one vision in mind and come out with something completely different?  That was me and this dress.  I originally thought of doing this dress in a printed stretch sateen or twill. I did Sophie’s version first and this Casa Collection Satin from Joann’s caught my eye.

blake15 blake3

  It’s such a vibrant, beautiful shade and suits my Soph so well.


I used a stretch sateen from Joann’s for my version and it’s the perfect balance of fancy and easy wear.



 Farrah has generously offered the Ladies version for FREE to her newsletter subscribers on Cyber Monday. Sign up today so you don’t miss it! Check out her shop for more Cyber Monday deals.