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Quick and Easy Thanksgiving Projects

Although I’m itching to get to December and celebrate all things Christmas, I still love the  warmth and comfort Thanksgiving brings. We usually dive head first into Christmas crafts, but I decided to pull in a few more fall themed projects this year.

The first project my kids and I tackled are these fun DIY napkins. I love how wild the little turkeys turned out!

Materials –

  • cloth napkins (we used cheap ones from WalMart; they were $1.97 for a pack of 2)
  • fabric paint
  • scrap paper or small pieces of cardboard (to put underneath the part you are painting)
  • paper plates or palettes
  • fine paintbrush(es)

I folded the napkins for both kids to give them a better sense of where to put the feathers. I made sure to put a piece of scrap paper in between the layer they were painting and the rest of the napkin to prevent bleeding through.

To make the turkey feathers, my son dipped his whole finger in paint, but I painted my daughter’s hands with a brush.

We found that the feathers came out best if we did one feather at a time.

For the bodies and heads, I painted the pinky side of their fist brown.

Once the feathers and bodies were completely dry, the kids hand painted the details on. Well, E and I painted them. Bee is not a detail kind of gal yet!

I considered adding a vinyl “grateful” to the top, but I found some flocked leaves that I wanted to set out with the place settings, so I left the text off. It was fun letting the kids create something that we’ll use when our company comes next week!

The second “project” was a fun little word search from! The former teacher in me loves to find little opportunities here and there to get a little bit of “school” in during our down time, so these word searches were perfect for my son. is offering the word search to my readers (and me) for free; when you get a chance, hop on over to their website to see what other fun, themed resources are available!

The holiday season is here! Get your family into the holiday spirit with this fun pumpkin pie word search! There’s more themed reading fun and resources at!

You can download the free word search here, and the answer key here. Enjoy!

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Sew What Do I Wear? Winter Professional Mini “Capsule”

Thanks for stopping by as part of the Made for Mermaids and Patterns for Pirates Sew, What Do I Wear? Professional Edition Blog Tour! I have been working on a winter mini capsule that can be worn in the work place (with a few great date-night pieces, too!).  I know lots of people ask what sort of me-made outfits make appropriate work attire; I’m happy to share some of my favorite options with you!

The easiest part of a capsule for me is always the actual garment construction; the hardest for me is always choosing fabric and patterns! If you read about my fall or my spring capsule, you have a pretty good idea of how I plan my mini capsules. This one was slightly different – I made a no-floral rule (😱😱😱😱), and set a goal of including at least two woven patterns.


As in the past, I chose my two busiest fabrics first. The diamonds are a double brushed polyester spandex from Love Adore (just a note – their beloved founder, Kim, passed away a few months ago. Kim’s family opens up shop periodically to continue her legacy. Join their Facebook group to keep up with their schedule. I love to support them any time they’re open for business!). The animal print is a rayon spandex from Sly Fox Fabrics.

After I chose my two busy prints, I decided to stick to mostly neutral colors with just a little pop of color. I picked a bright blue knit (I think it was a french terry blend) from a clearance sale Knitpop, and a blush pink chiffon from Hobby Lobby.

The remainder of my fabrics were a variety of neutrals, including a great dark gray yoga knit (also from Knitpop), a gray and white striped rayon spandex, a gorgeous sweater knit from Sincerely Rylee, and solid black double brushed polyester. 

Choosing Patterns – 

After fabrics, I planned out which patterns I wanted to use. I usually plan 3 tops, 3 bottoms, and 3 layers, but I strayed from that a little this time for a total of 12 pieces. The two things I considered when choosing patterns for a professional setting were neckline for tops and length for dresses/skirts. I find almost all of the Patterns for Pirates and Made for Mermaids patterns to be work appropriate, but always check with your individual employer/existing dress code before you plan your own professional wardrobe.

One last thing to consider if you’re working on a capsule over a longer period of time is to take your measurements multiple times, especially if you usually hover between two sizes, and definitely before you cut woven pattern pieces since you don’t have the wiggle room you do in a knit pattern. I’m SO glad I measured again before I cut out my woven pieces; since I worked on this capsule over a period of two months, my measurements changed just enough that if I cut my “normal” size I would’ve  been unhappy! I still went with the same size for the knits I had already cut out/finished, but definitely consider measuring frequently!

Featured Patterns – Mama Isabel with Mama Quinn

Mama Isabel is true love for me because of how versatile it is. I love the option to wear it as a dress, a long cardigan, or over/under other skirts and tops. My fall capsule had several different ways to wear Mama Isabel, but one of my favorites is wearing it as a cardi. I made this one with 3/4 sleeves and dress length tulip hem.

One of the two woven patterns I included for this capsule was a dress length Mama Quinn, made in a cream chiffon with a lace (non-stretch) trim from Hobby Lobby.

This was a great way to provide a higher neckline and more coverage at the hemline without needing a ton of layers. Depending on your specific dress code, an infinity scarf is another great way to work with lower necklines! This hemline may still be a little short for your work place, but both Mama Isabel and Mama Quinn can certainly be altered to have more length! Quinn would also make a great cami-style blouse to wear under cardis, but the chiffon I used was a little too sheer to wear like that!

Tops- Mama Tara, Mama Mya,

I LOVE the Mama Mya pattern. It’s one of my most used patterns. It’s a quick and easy sew; even though it’s casual enough to wear with jeans or leggings on the weekend, it can still work in a professsional setting. I made the one above in a light gray & white striped rayon spandex. I used tunic length and 3/4 sleeves, with no height adjustments. 

Mama Tara is another quick sew, with a drape detail that gives it just enough of a boutique-feel. This Mama Tara is a lightweight sweater knit from Sincerely Rylee Fabrics. I LOVE the coziness of the sweater knit paired with heels and some chunky jewelry!

Dresses – Mama Mya with a Mama Kourtney inspired knot, Brunch Blouse, Mama Nina

The Brunch Blouse was the other woven pattern I knew I HAD to make. I had this beautiful blush chiffon in my stash left over from my fall capsule, and later ordered these rose gold sequins from Etsy to use as accent pieces. The finishing touch was two rose gold buttons I found at Hobby Lobby. The Brunch Blouse is just perfect in dress length. Mama Quinn also worked great as a slip underneath this, too! I also tucked the dress into the Pencil Skirt, because you know I like my clothes to pull double duty. I made this Blouse with the dolman short sleeve, dress length, with cuffs and button tabs. 

Of course, I couldn’t just make ONE Mama Mya, so I made a second in dress length in this gray knit that I believe came from Knitpop . This might not be dressy enough for all work places, but the length and neckline are both great if you have a less formal dress code. I loved the knot detail on the Mama Kourtney, so I added that to Mama Mya to give it a little something.

Finally, I made a Mama Nina in a black stretch velvet from Hobby Lobby, with a stretch lace neckband and trim (also from Hobby Lobby). I know winter comes with plenty of Holiday parties, concerts, dinners, plays, and all sorts of other events, so I wanted to make an outfit that could be worn to work, but also to those types of events (and around the house just for fun, because stretch velvet 😍). For this version, I shortened the back so the hi-low hem is less drastic. 

As a side note – when you’re not quite in love with something you’ve made, make sure you try it on COMPLETELY before you throw in the towel. This velvet Nina looked awful when I tried it on with my wild mom-bun and bare feet, but I liked it so much more once I tried it on again with a pair of shoes and jewelry that I would actually wear with it if I were going out in public and not just back down the hall to my sewing studio.
Bottoms – Peg Leg Leggings, Pirate Pencil Skirt, SOS Pants

The BEST part about the Pencil Skirt and the SOS pants is that I used a heavier yoga knit from Knitpop, so even though I look dressed, I’m literally wearing yoga pants. How’s that for a momiform?

The Pencil Skirt is one of my favorites because it’s so quick to make, and always looks so classy and timeless (pssst! I also sometimes wear them as a scarf or a strapless top!).

The skinny SOS Pants were much easier than I anticipated. If you must know, I did accidentally sew the front pockets on to the back (don’t even ask how that happened – I still don’t know!!), but was able to fix my sewfu (get it? Like a snafu? 😬) without too much trouble. I love that they look like dress pants, but are comfortable enough that they feel like sweats. I used a yoga-style waistband folded over once on mine, but the pattern calls for elastic in the waist band.

Last but not least, basic black Peg Leg Leggings to pair with the dresses when it finally gets cold out! I know a lot of employers have banned leggings without sufficient booty coverage, so I personally wouldn’t wear Tara or a top-length Mya with them to work (but at home or on the weekends, game on!!). However, they make a great alternative to tights or hose, because nobody’s got time for runs in those!

Layers – Grandpa Cardi, Cocoon Cardigan 

The bright blue of this Patterns for Pirates Grandpa Cardi is such a fun pop of color for a winter capsule! I love how fresh it looks against all the neutrals. This is perfect for winter, but also great if you work somewhere that likes to keep their AC cranked year round. I added 6 inches in length to the cardi. 

I also can’t get enough of this animal print Cocoon Cardi!  The Cocoon Cardi is another layering piece that’s great for the colder months, but also great for the AC months if you don’t get to be in charge of the thermostat. When I taught elementary school, I always kept a “school sweater” or two in my classroom! You can usually find another two or three in my car. I like to be prepared 🙂 For this version, I made tunic length with tall bands and no cuffs. 
Shoes & Accessories – 

I tried to stick to MOSTLY neutral colors with a few pops of color to make the shoes/accessories as versatile as possible for all the outfit combinations.

Shoes – animal print flats from Crocs (can you even believe that??); nude heels from Old Navy; faux suede booties from Amazon.

Bags – red wallet/clutch by Coach; bag by Michael Kors (printer ink stain on the interior bag is by me); faux suede clutch is an Old Navy clearance find

Jewelry – top was purchased at a craft show years ago; middle by Kendra Scott; bottom by Noonday Collection

Although it pained me a little to set all my florals to the side for a bit, I had so much fun putting together some dressier, professional looks in a more neutral palette. Here are just a few of my favorite looks: 

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the ladies on the blog tour:

If you’re not into sewing, go through your closet and look for nine or so pieces that can be used in similar ways. Start with the same concept of 2 busy prints, 3-4 coordinating colors, and 3-4 neutrals; you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how many combinations you can come up with!

If you’d like to have a capsule designed and/or made just for you, come visit me on Facebook or Etsy. 

*post contains affiliate links*
Photo credit: Megan of A Beautiful Moment Photography

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Made for Mermaids’ “All Dolled Up” Week

My Bee LOVES all of her baby dolls. I have such fun memories of playing dolls and Barbies with my friends when I was little, and I love sharing that with my girl. I have never pushed dolls on her, but if you’ve met her, you know it’s in her top three favorite things (with pumpkins and any sort of ball filling the other two spots). 

I was happy to test three of Made for Mermaids’ Dolly patterns as part of their “All Dolled Up” release & giveaway week, and even more excited to sew up a few new outfits for my girl to match her babies. Be sure to check out their blog for all the giveaway details! 

The first dolly pattern we tested was Dolly Ainsley, featuring a knit bodice and woven skirt, with Velcro closure in the back. It’s available in 14″, 15″ and 18″ doll sizes. The Ainsley has optional sash ties and elastic in the back on the girls’ version; for the dolly version, I opted for ribbon in lieu of the fabric sash ties, and did not use any elastic. If you use ribbon, just make sure it’s the correct width!

Don’t forget to grab the girls’ Ainsley pattern, too! It’s such a sweet and surprisingly easy/quick sew. 

The second pattern we tested was the Dolly Mya (shown with the Dolly Bonny Leggings). The doll is wearing top length with short sleeves and a cowl neck. The black floral is a rayon spandex, which is what I would recommend for a true cowl look. The solid mauve is a french terry bodice with a double brushed polyester cowl. The french terry looked like a turtle neck, so I removed and used a close-match DBP instead. It still did not drape as well as the rayon spandex, but certainly better than the french terry! No velrco on this pattern, but it is easy enough to take on and off. My Bee is wearing the girls Mya in tunic length (pink with and added ruffle) and top length (black and floral). Both Bee and her baby are wearing Bonny Leggings (and of course, Dolly Bonny). 


Finally, we tested Dolly Kourtney. Doll is wearing tunic length tank with no knot option. The back does have Velcro closure, though it would be easy enough to omit if you prefer no velcro. Bee is wearing the dress length Kourtney. Made for Mermaid’s Joy has been my go-to pattern for a while now, but she’s had to move over to make room for Nina and now Kourtney. ❤️ 

Like all of the M4M patterns, all three of these Dolly patterns come loaded with options and little details that give them a trendy, boutique feel. These patterns come at the PERFECT time for sewing up some cute Dolly and Me sets as Christmas gifts for your little doll lovers (or big doll lovers; my sister and I love the American Girl store way more than is probably acceptable so I certainly don’t judge 😂). 

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the dolly patterns on the blog, and grab the girls’ patterns too! 

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Made for Mermaids Cora and Mama Cora Culottes 

I was so happy to test Made for Mermaids‘ newest patterns, Cora and Mama Cora Culottes! The best part about these sweet shorts, aside from how quick and easy they are to sew AND the fact that they look like a skirt but your legs don’t have to touch, is that if you purchase now for just $3 each, 100% of the  proceeds will go to benefit those recovering from the damages of Hurricane Harvey! Eventually, both Cora and Mama Cora will have a special code if you are a member of the M4M Facebook group, but if you have a few dollars to spare, now is a perfect time to purchase. 

**This post does not contain affiliate links, so that as much money as possible goes to Hurricane Harvey relief. Made for Mermaids also has several Texas-inspired cut files available for purchase, with 100% of the proceeds from those going to relief efforts as well. **

One of my favorite things about the mama Cora Culottes I made during testing is that I was able to incorporate pieces of my spring and fall mini capsules to make complete outfits! The black Made for Mermaids Mama Claire and striped Patterns for Pirates pencil skirt (shown as a scarf) are both from my spring capsule, while the cream Mama Claire and olive Mama Joy skirt separate are both from my fall capsule. 

I also used two pieces from my daughter’s fall capsule to coordinate with her culottes – the cream lace trimmed Tara top, and Isabel worn as a duster are both from her fall capsule. They looked so cute with her mustard boho print double brushed polyester pair, and her blue floral french terry pair! 

I opted for more fitted tops when I was styling mine. I loved my Mama Coras with a Mama Tara Twist Top, or a Mama Claire. I also paired with a few ready-to-wear fitted tops. I tried with a Mama Nina top, and I felt like there was just too much going on!  It did look a little better knotted if you’re determined to try it out. 

As far as fabrics go, my favorite wear-out-in-public pair is double brushed polyester (the mustard/white boho print pair – fabric was from So Sew English but I don’t believe it’s available any more).  Cotton spandex/lycra makes for great lounge culottes, but fair warning – especially in gray, they look like sweatpant shorts (sweat shorts? Pajama shorts?). I’m not mad about them; I’m actually wearing them right this minute! I paired my gray pair with a sized down Mama Tara (only sized down and cut off grain only because I ran out of fabric!! Eek!) in french terry. From the side I can kind of pretend I’m wearing a causal skirt, but the front is straight up sweats. Don’t ask me why, but I tried to jazz it up with a necklace anyway! 

I also loved Mama Cora and Cora in stretch velvet! It gave it a much dressier feel, and I’m excited to layer them over tights as the temperature drops! I wore this black pair with a rayon blouse from a local boutique. 

Culottes are really designed for knit fabrics, but I tried a pair in woven fabric just because I couldn’t resist the temptation to experiment; they actually turned out cuter than I expected! I used my normal length waistband, but cut out of double brushed polyester and extended the width to 8″ instead of the 6″ the tutorial calls for. I sized up roughly two sizes for the legs. It’s not quite the same fit, but I did like the skirt-like silhouette it had. If you are self-conscious about your hips, I would skip the woven experiments because there of course isn’t the flowiness of knit fabrics. This pretty floral woven is from Hobby Lobby. Tee is from my sweet friend Tiffany’s Agnes & Dora shop. 

A few notes – I only hemmed my woven pair. I preferred the unhemmed look on all the pairs I made. You certainly can hem them if you prefer! Also, I found the pockets on the size 1 shortest length Coras hung out the bottom, so we opted out of pockets. The longer hem lengths in size 1, and the larger girls’ sizes in all lengths, should be fine with pockets, though! Finally, there are definitely moments of diaper visibility in the length we made; if that’s something you are particular about, I would suggest going with a different length. 

Here are more pictures of the pairs I made for Bee & me! I’ll be making several more for both of us. Grab yours before the end of September if you want your patterns to serve a greater purpose! 


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DIY Spring Mini Wardrobe 

Is it weird that I’m writing about my spring capsule AFTER making and posting about my fall capsule? No? Ok, great 🙂 

I’ll be honest with you – participating in the spring capsule contest, hosted by Made for Mermaids and Patterns for Pirates, was a COMPLETELY last minute decision! I made 5 or 6 of the 9 items in one very, very late night (technically morning!) of sewing. I’m so glad I did it, and I get a ton of use out of most of the items I made, but I was not nearly as structured as I was for the fall. 

The first two pieces that I included were from a different crazy late night/early morning of sewing. My husband spent several weeks in NYC for work, so we planned a quick overnight (kid-free!) trip one of the weekends he was up there. I decided the night before my flight that I could not get on that plane without a solid black Made for Mermaids Mama Claire, so I whipped one up. Then I decided I’d want to wear the Mama Claire out Saturday night, so I needed to make a different top to wear on the plane. I had some blue floral double brushed poly that hadnt been earmarked for anything, so I made a long sleeve  Mama Joy Peplum top. Basically, I live in a constant state of “if you give a mouse a cookie.” I think I went to bed at 3:30 am. Woke up at 5:00 to catch my flight. Here are my airport bathroom/hotel bathroom selfies for your enjoyment, haha!

I didn’t get much sleep, but I’m still obsessed with that Mama Claire, so whatever! I hadn’t been to NYC in way too long, so I made my husband do all sorts of touristy things with me. 

I didn’t think much more about the capsule contest until the day it was due. Several people had started posting theirs on Facebook, and I figured I could scrounge up enough coordinating fabrics to make it work. 

One of the similarities between my spring and fall capsules, besides the fact that I have a  stripes/floral problem, is the number of items I kept in each “category”. For this one, I also made 3 tops, 3 bottoms, and 3 layering pieces (plus some bonus wears, of course!!). 


Since we were heading into spring, I only made one long sleeve top. I used Made for Mermaids Mama Joy Peplum top, Mama Mya in shirt length, and Mama Mya in tunic length. I don’t love the shirt length on me; the light blue floral will likely get repurposed or color blocked at some point this summer because it’s the piece I wear the least only because of the length. The Peplum and the tunic length Mya are love, love, love though! 

The two on the left are double brushed polyester; the tunic on the right is rayon spandex. I believe both navy florals came from Knitpop, although neither are currently stocked. The middle is from So Sew English. 


For bottoms, I made a Mama Joy Skirt Separate (wine), Patterns for Pirates Pencil Skirt (stripes), and Patterns for Pirates Peg Legs Leggings (navy). If I had planned farther in advance, I would’ve gotten some lighter solids for the bottom pieces. P.S. The pencil skirt and leggings are both FREE patterns, so go scoop them up if you haven’t already. 

Wine – M4M Mama Joy Skirt w/ peg leg waistband, “raisin rage” double brushed poly from Love Adore Stripes – P4P Pencil Skirt, double brushed poly Navy – P4P Peg Legs, double brushed poly from Knitpop 

Layering Pieces:

My layering pieces for this capsule included a Patterns for Pirates Summer Kimono (pink), sleeveless Mama Mya (gray), and Mama Claire (black). 

The sleeveless Mama Mya had very few modifications. I was originally going to make a P4P Essential Tank, but I didn’t have quite enough of that fabric for it. I made it shirt length, and added lace trim, but I still wish it was a longer top! To make it sleeveless, I literally just made it sleeveless! I turned and coverstitched instead of adding bands. I should have lowered the armscye, but it was already late when I was working on that one 🙂 

Pink – P4P summer kimono, double brushed poly from Knitpop Gray – modified M4M Mama Mya, gray modal Black – M4M Mama Claire, double brushed poly from Knitpop 

Bonus wears:

I didn’t get quite as many bonus wears in my spring capsule as I did in my fall fall version, but I did get some versatility! 

The pencil skirt is just as cute as an infinity scarf and as a strapless top! I didn’t take pictures with the mama Joy skirt, but it can also be worn the same way.

Mama Claire is great because it’s effortlessly versatile! It can be worn two ways just by making it per the pattern, and it’s easy to layer over other pieces. 

I also wore the sleeveless Mya as a separate tank and as a layering piece. I love being able to get several combinations with just a few pieces! 


Stay tuned – I’ve already decided I need a winter capsule too. It’s safe to say I have a problem! 🙂 

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Bee’s Fall Mini Capsule 

My wild little Bee is the last person on the planet that needs more clothing, especially since I JUST finished her “spring” mini-capsule wardrobe a few months ago. Alas, I can’t resist.
Here is her previous mini-capsule, that was really just an effort to give her dad a fair shot at dressing her in something that wasn’t pajamas. We love him, but he’s dressed her in some interesting things!

Anyway, I’m in LOVE with her fall capsule that I just finished up. There’s a perfect mix of textures and fun details, but everything (ok, ok, almost everything) is still very practical.

I’m a little more methodical when it comes to planning my own capsules since they require so much more fabric, but you can see I still have a balance of prints, coordinating solids, and neutrals. And some gold sequins, because….well, sequins.

If you have kids, you know they often go through more than one outfit a day! With that in mind, I decided to do a few more than 9 items for Bee. I did 6 tops and 6 bottoms, with 3 layering pieces. I figured that would get me through at least a day and a half. 😜


I was tempted to just make a bunch of modified Made for Mermaids Joy since they’re so quick and easy, but I’m so happy I included a little more variety. I made her a short sleeve Nina tunic, sleeveless Holly, short sleeve Holly, twist sleeve Tara, 3/4 sleeve Nina, and of course, a modified Joy 🙂

Gray/gold – M4M Nina, gray cotton lycra from Knitpop/gold sequins from Hobby Lobby (fair warning – the gold sequins are SO itchy and literally scratch up skin. If you use it for something that touches skin, you might want to line it!) Teal floral – M4M Holly, floral woven from Hobby Lobby Beigey floral – M4M Holly, wovens from Hobby Lobby Cream – M4M Tara, cotton lycra from Knitpop, lace trim from Hobby Lobby Burgundy floral – M4M Nina, double brushed poly from Knitpop White floral – M4M Joy with shortened bodice, knit from Hobby Lobby


Remember how I said ALMOST everything was practical? Yea, there’s nothing practical about the sparkly tutu-skirt. Woops! Hobby Lobby had a whole bolt of it already on elastic and ready to go, so it was of course a required purchase. I just did a quick seam up the back and the skirt was finished! It did look really cute layered underneath the shorter tops, and as a high-waisted skirt over the longer tunics.

Since we live in the south, I also included a couple pairs of  Made for Mermaids Olivia Bloomers. Once it actually starts to get chilly, she’ll be able to wear tights underneath them to get a little more use out of them. The last 3 are Made for Mermaids Bonny Leggings, our favorite wardrobe staple.

Pink tutu skirt – no pattern. Fabric from Hobby Lobby. Tan/teal/olive leggings – M4M Bonny Leggings, double brushed poly from Knitpop Bloomers – M4M Olivia Bloomers, woven fabric from Hobby Lobby

Layering pieces: 
If you checked out my fall capsulealready, you know how much I love the Isabel as a cardigan. Naturally, I had to make a mini one! This silvery sweater knit was the perfect fabric. I think it came from Hobby Lobby, but I’m not 100% positive. Love that Bee will be able to wear it as a dress or a sweater layer! I also whipped up a little plaid infinity scarf (not practical), and this adorable Vest (free pattern from Made for Mermaids!!), for some added texture.

Scarf – no pattern (but M4M does have a pattern!), plaid from Hobby Lobby Vest – M4M Free Faux Vest Pattern, “fur” from Hobby Lobby Dress/Cardigan – M4M Isabel, sweater knit from Hobby Lobby (I think!)
I’m so happy with these sweet little additions to her closet. No way this girl was going to try on 36+ combinations for me (even though I’m not above bribing with chocolate and/or ice cream), but I know we’ll get plenty of wear out of all 15 pieces this fall!

Need help planning a fall wardrobe for your little one? Come visit us over on Facebook or Etsy!

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DIY Fall Mini Wardrobe

This past spring, I participated in a mini-capsule contest hosted by Made for Mermaids and Patterns for Pirates. I had SO much fun creating different combinations with the nine pieces I made (plus a pair of jeans). When they made an announcement that they were hosting another event for the fall, I knew I had to create more! My husband says I didn’t HAVE to, since I really didn’t NEED 9 more pieces of clothing, but anyway 😜

Here’s a quick look back at my spring capsule:

For the fall capsule, I picked my busiest fabrics first. I had already made a mustard floral wrap dress/short sleeve cardigan using the Made for Mermaids Mama Isabel pattern; I chose my remaining fabrics with that floral and one other burgundy floral in mind.

I find that a good rule of thumb for fabrics for a mini capsule is to choose 2 busy prints that wouldn’t be worn together. In this case, I used essentially the same pattern for both – the only difference being sleeve length – so naturally, I wouldn’t plan to wear them together. Next, I opt for 3-4 neutral colors or patterns (I’ll just go ahead and tell you that I count thin stripes and baby pinks as neutrals in my closet!!), and then 3-4 coordinating colors pulled directly from the patterned fabric. My neutrals overlapped with the pattern coordinate colors, but pink, olive, cream, and brown are all found right in the two florals.

Choosing patterns is always a little harder for me than choosing fabrics. It’s important to balance tops and bottoms, even though I’m so tempted to just make a million tops!  For this capsule, I opted for three bottoms, three tops, and three layering pieces.









 For tops that are specifically designed to be tops, I went with two Made for Mermaids Mama Ninas, one with short sleeves in top length (pink), and one with 3/4 sleeves in top length with a modified curved hem (brown).

I sized down a little for both Mama Ninas for a slightly more fitted look. I just took a larger seam allowance; it ended up working out to about 1″ on all seams instead of the 1/2″ per the pattern.  Eventually, the pink Nina will be replaced with a Patterns for Pirates Everyday Elegance top in the same color; the pink cotton lycra I used is definitely comfy and looks cute knotted, but it’s not as flattering since I didn’t use a drapey fabric.

I also made a Made for Mermaids Mama Joy Peplum Top (gray). I left off the neckband and just did a quick cover stitch. I’ll pretend it was intentional, but it was really just because I ran out of this triblend!

Pink top – M4M Mama Nina in cotton Lycra from knitpopBrown top – M4M Mama Nina in a $1 slub style knit from Walmart. Gray top – M4M Mama Joy peplum top, no neckband, gray triblend. I don’t remember where I got it, but it may have been Knitpop!


I’ve gotten tons of wear out of the two skirts I made for my spring capsule, so I chose two skirts for this capsule too, plus a pair of basic black leggings. I used the Patterns for Pirates Pencil Skirt pattern (stripes), as well as Made for Mermaids Mama Joy separate skirt (olive) and Patterns for Pirates Peg Legs (black). The Mama Joy skirt is pleated, but I made my yoga waistband really tall so when folded over, it covers up the pleats. Unfolded, the pleats do show. I have used the Peg Leg waist band measurements in the past, but I just decided to wing it for this skirt!

Striped skirt – P4P Pencil Skirt, liverpool from Knitpop. Olive skirt – M4M Mama Joy Skirt Separate with yoga style waistband, double brushed poly from Knitpop. Black leggings – P4P peg legs, double brushed poly





Layering Pieces:

I used Made for Mermaids Mama Claire  (cream), Made for Mermaids Mama Isabel  in long sleeve/tulip hem (burgundy floral), and Made for Mermaids Mama Isabel  in short sleeve/tulip hem (mustard floral). I avoided both the Claire and the Isabel for a looooong time because I just felt like the crossover sat funny on me, but it appears I’ve been converted!

Cream long sleeve – M4M Mama Claire in $1 sweater knit from Walmart. Burgundy floral – M4M Mama Isabel, double brushed poly from KnitpopMustard floral – M4M Mama Isabel, rayon spandex from Sly Fox (sold out, but they have other gorgeous florals!)






Bonus Wears!! 

My very favorite part about designing a capsule is coming up with different outfits, and thinking of new ways to wear a staple item! Here are some of the “bonus wears” using my nine fall capsule pieces:

Mama Joy skirt with a Mama Joy bodice separate (lengthened by about 4″-5″ so it will stay tucked in better) to create a faux dress look, Mama Joy skirt as a drapey infinity scarf, and Mama Joy skirt as a skirt! It could also be worn as a strapless top. I’ve worn pencil skirts as scarves, but I hadn’t thought to wear a Joy skirt as a scarf before! I just love how it looks with the gray peplum.

Mama Isabel as a cardigan, a dress, and a top! I used no specific modifications to wear it as a cardigan; I just pull both ties behind me on the inside of the Mama Isabel, pull through the same hole, and tie loosely on the outside. Made for Mermaids has additional hacks for a true cardigan/wrap dress mash on their blog! This burgundy floral Isabel will get some MAJOR wear this fall!

Pencil skirt worn as a “slip” under mama Isabel, as a strapless top, as a skirt, and as an infinity scarf! I’m especially excited to wear these stripes under both Mama Isabels that I made. The tulip hem is perfect for date night, but I find it too short to wear if I have kids to corral. The pencil skirt “slip” makes it wearable for me, even with kids in tow!

Last but not least, the Mama Claire can be worn two ways with no extra creativity involved!

If you’re not into sewing, go through your closet and look for nine pieces that can be used in similar ways. Start with the same concept of 2 busy prints, 3-4 coordinating colors, and 3-4 neutrals; you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how many combinations you can come up with!

If you’d like to have a capsule designed and made just for you, come visit me on Facebook or Etsy.

*post contains affiliate links*

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DIY Pendant Lamp (also: I Have a Target Problem) 

Some of my favorite DIY projects are easy, cheap, and appall my husband.

Several months ago, I was in Target buying dog food. I repeated to myself, “I am only here for dog food. I will not look at throw pillows. I will not look at throw pillows.” Well, in order to get to the dog food aisle, I had to go through home goods (that is a lie). I granted myself permission to take a tiny peek at the home goods clearance section, just in case. It is so fortunate that I checked, because there were two lamps that were PERFECT for the comforter and accent tables I bought the last time I was in Target buying ONLY LAUNDRY DETERGENT AND ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE.

I brought the lamps home, and they were indeed perfect with the comforter and accent tables.

Shortly after welcoming the lamp pair to their new home, my husband knocked one of them off while trying to hit the snooze button for the 100th time (I’m not judging, I do it too). The spider fitter on the inside of the shade was busted, but the lamp itself was still intact so I left it alone. A couple months later, one of our dogs (Violet Banana) chewed through the cord of the second lamp.

Well, now I was down one lamp shade, and one lamp base. I combined the functional base and shade, and moved it to the guest room (meaning of course I would need to get new bedding since the lamp didn’t match, but I’ll save that for another day). I found two luscious gold lamps at Hobby Lobby for 40% off later that week, but I couldn’t bring myself to toss the fitter-less shade just yet.

After hanging on to it for weeks, I wondered if I could somehow rig it as a drum/pendant style lamp for one of the hanging lights in our kitchen. I wasn’t quite ready to tackle any actual electrical work, which ruled out the fixture above our breakfast table. I was at an unnamed hardware store buying some other things anyway, so I walked through the lighting aisles looking for a replacement spider fitter. I figured I could unscrew the existing light fixture, slide the shade with new fitter on, and then reattach everything. The associate working just stared at me like I’d lost my mind when I asked him if they carried anything like that; he said he’d never heard them called that before, but I am 96% sure that’s what they’re called.

Anyway, after I described it, he said I’d probably have to go to a specialty lighting store to find something like that. I asked if they had any thin rigid metal pieces that I could use to make something. And at that point, he for sure thought I was crazy. I decided I could probably find something online. Before I started poking around on the internet, I rummaged through Chris’ stuff in our garage, and all of my craft stuff. The last place I looked was in the kitchen, where I found a drawer full of metal kabob skewers.

I placed one across the middle of the lampshade and it just happened to be the exact length I needed. Before I placed any of the rest, I put it over the existing fixture. I put the 2nd skewer perpendicular to the 1st, and then put the 3rd and 4th parallel to the 1st and 2nd, but on opposite sides of the existing fixture in order to secure it.

No glue, no hardware, no electrical work.

I love the way it turned out, and I love the little splash of pattern it adds to the kitchen area. I do often wonder what the hardware store associate would say if I told him I used 4 kabob skewers in lieu of a spider fitter. 🙂

To get the look:

Ring-tip metal kabob skewers

Ikat lamp shade
You could also just wait for a dog and/or husband to break an existing lamp, which is a strategy that works great at our house!

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Bee’s Room

If I’m being honest, one of the reasons I was so excited about having a baby girl was designing a baby girl nursery (also in my top five list of reasons were baby headbands and ruffly baby clothes). Her room was truly a labor of love, and is my favorite room in our house.

We moved into our new house in June/July 2015. Her due date wasn’t until the end of September, but I knew I wouldn’t make it that far, so we didn’t bother painting. In a perfect world, I would have torn up the carpet and replaced it with hardwood floors, and the walls would have been painted a warm gray; those may both still happen in the future, but it wasn’t realistic to try to do either before she arrived.

The first purchase I settled on was the fabric for her bedding. I didn’t originally know what her bedding was going to look like, but I liked the pinks and grays in the floral fabric, and the subtlety of the gold polka dots in the other fabric. I ended up making a ruffled crib skirt using this tutorial, and a crib sheet using  this tutorial.

I had planned to be thrifty and just reuse our dark brown crib that we had from when E was a baby, but that crib just didn’t do the ruffles justice. I asked Chris if he thought it was ridiculous to buy a new crib, and he said it was less ridiculous to buy another crib than to listen to me talk about buying a new crib for months on end. So, I found one on Amazon for around $100, sold our old one for $50, and called it a win!

I bought extra fabric to use in other areas of her room, so after the bedding was finished I used the leftover floral fabric to whip up a changing pad cover, a pillow case, and a little dress for this felt cat from Makenzie’s Playhouse on Etsy. 

The leftover polka dot fabric was used to make basket liners. I bought 6 yellow baskets at a yard sale, spray painted them pink, and then made liners for them using a tutorial similar to this one.

The next two things to land in her room were the lamps on either side. Those lamps have traveled between several rooms in our various houses. They used to be paper lantern lamps, but one had an accident with a ceiling fan during one of our moves, and the other one had an unfortunate bath in Scentsy wax. Oops. Thanks to two rolls of wax paper that I scored for 67 cents each, my sewing machine, and an iron, I was able to save the two lamps. I cut out circles of wax paper, ironed two wax paper circles together, and then stitched the ironed circles into chains long enough to cover the light bulbs. There was a metal ring at the top of each lamp, so I left enough thread at the end of each chain to tie it on to the metal ring.It took forever to finish both lamps, but for $1.34, I won’t complain too much.

Another repurposed item was the shelf/bench next to the rocking chair. It was originally a storage ottoman, but one of our dogs put a hole in the top. I removed the lid, turned the ottoman on its side, and lined the inside with the same polka dot fabric that I used for her crib bedding. I would take a close up, but you don’t want to see the hot glue job I did!!

Once the bigger things had been tackled, I started all of the little crafty projects.
I found mismatched letters for a few dollars at Hobby Lobby, wrapped them with yarn in various shades of gray (not 50) that I already had, and made small felt flowers to glue on as accents.

I rounded up about a dozen frames that we’ve had for several years and spray painted them gray so they would fit together. The “wall art” on the wall above her crib is still a work in progress – right now it is a mishmash of scrapbook paper, fabric, a few prints that I designed (including this fun unicorn),

and some baby pictures of her.
For her surplus of scrumptious baby headbands, I disassembled a wall hanging I’ve had for probably 10 years. I replaced the picture with a fabric wrapped board, attached two rows of ribbon to the board, glued the board back in to the frame, and then glued pink craft clothes pins along both ribbons.

For months I scoured the internet for the perfect paper lanterns to make a poofy lantern display hanging somewhere from her ceiling, but I ended up making most of those too. The solid pink and the pink polka dot lanterns were a few dollars each at Target. The flowery poofs were all made with tissue paper and florist wire. The large white and gold poof was made using this tutorial, but with tissue paper instead of fabric. It took me at least 1000 years and a ton of glue sticks, which is why there is only one of those. 🙂 The others were a very simple tissue paper Pom Pom poof.

Chris was my official nursery handy man. My first plan was to go curb shopping for a dresser to repurpose into a changing table/baby dresser, but Chris was worried about lead paint and other issues that come with redesigning old furniture. Instead, I found a picture of a dresser that I liked and he designed and built a dresser based on that. One day, I’ll make him write a post about his  DIY dresser. I also wanted rain gutter book shelves, but Chris was afraid we’d have a maniac baby that would pull the gutters down and cut herself on an edge. Now that we’ve met our maniac baby, he’s probably right! Anyway, he styled shelves out of wood to mimic the look of rain gutters so that we’d both be happy and maniac baby would stay safe. Finally, he built a ledge shelf for me to display her yarn letters.

Here’s a list of where I found some of the goods in her nursery. If you have questions about something specific, feel free to ask!

  • Curtains – Dollar General
  • Chair – $60ish from Amazon
  • Crib – $144 on Amazon
  • Crib bumper – $22 on Amazon
  • Changing pad – $23 from Amazon
  • Floral throw pillow & gold unicorn lamp -Pillowfort by Target
  • Polka dot bins – Hobby Lobby
  • Gray/Pink/orange felt Pom poms – American Felt Company
  • Pink dresser drawer knobs – Hobby Lobby
  • Rug – Marshalls

One day, all the rooms in our house will be finished. Just in time for me to start tearing up all the carpet upstairs!! 🙂

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“Come on, sidekick!”

After sharing E’s Halloween costumes from the last few years, it seemed natural to share the kids’ costumes for this year. I finished them about 3 minutes before they needed to wear them to a costume birthday party.

Hands down, these were the easiest costumes I’ve made. Not the cheapest, but most of the pieces I bought will be worn beyond Halloween.

Several items were things we already had at the house:

  • Solid long sleeve shirt for E – this one was from Old Navy several seasons ago;I’ll buy anything for $1.47!
  • Felt scraps – black, green, yellow
  • Knit fabric – I happened to have about a yard of yellow knit fabric, so I used a small piece of that for Bee’s cape
  • Batman mask – no idea where it came from or how long we’ve had it
  • Elastic for Bee’s mask

A few other pieces came from Amazon:

E’s pants were a pair of sweatpants from the Cat & Jack line at Target. He was originally going to be all black, but then he wanted to be blue and gray, and then settled on gray and black. So many decisions.

And finally, I did have to grab a few things from Hobby Lobby:

  • Green fabric for Bee’s arm bands and mask – 1/4 yd
  • Black fabric for E’s cape – 1 yd
  • Velcro

This is Chris’ favorite part of my costume adventures, where I basically start with a pile of random scraps of nothing. Just kidding. He hates this part. I free-hand cut a Bat symbol and oval out of felt, but you could also print and trace, or use other materials. I vetoed heat transfer vinyl, because a) I already had the right color felt and b) felt is significantly cheaper, but it would have worked just as well.

After I cut out the pieces for E’s shirt, I pinned them and started stitching. You could also use fabric glue, or heat n bond.

I set E’s shirt to the side, and cut out the pieces for Bee’s romper. Again, I cut the logo and the yellow rectangles (I don’t even know what those are – are they supposed to be buttons?!) free-hand out of felt.

I figured Bee wouldn’t keep a cape on, so I stitched a piece of yellow knit fabric to the back of her romper. Since I used knit, I didn’t both to finish any edges.

I set both shirts to the side, and started working on “accessories”.

I was doing a pretty good job taking pictures along the way, until we got to Saturday afternoon, and I had to finish all the remaining pieces before the costume party. Oops!

Anyway, E’s utility belt was a simple strip of black felt with a couple black “pockets” that I made out of felt as well. I stitched on a small loop on the back of each pocket, and then slid them on to the belt. I didn’t use any specific pattern for his cape, but there’s a great tutorial here if you need one!

The last thing I made for Batman was the felt cuffs. I made them the width of his shirt sleeves so that he could wear them over his shirt without me having to attach them. Because felt is fairly stiff, they stayed up just fine the whole time he was Batmanning at the costume party.

Bee’s mask and arm bands were the last things to be finished. Her mask is felt on one side, and the awful-to-sew green sequin fabric on the other. I stitched around the outside of the mask, and the edges of the eyeholes, but I didn’t worry about finishing any edges (I’m glad, since she wouldn’t even keep the mask on anyway!). There are tons of templates for face masks available online, but I recommend checking the eyeholes against the actual child’s eyes before you cut anything!

Finally, I cut two rectangles, long enough to go around her wrists, out of the sequin fabric. I lined them with felt, and then stitched Velcro to each end.

E was so excited to spend all day fighting crime with his tiny sidekick! And by fighting crime, I mean terrorizing the dogs and watching YouTube videos about magic eggs.

Happy Halloween!