Summer skirts for a cause with Michael Miller Fabrics

I recently became a Sewing Portfolio’s Ambassador, who partners with Michael Miller Fabrics.  As part of promoting the website and group, we received 3 yards of Michael Miller Fabrics current collections.  These fabrics are from the Swirly Girls line.

I knew that these fabrics would be destined for some girls at the domestic abuse shelter on Pine Ridge Reservation.  I wanted to make a nice summer/back-to-school outfit.  Since it was going to be a back to school outfit, I wanted it to be fun and comfy.  I also wanted it to fit a larger girl, as there is a lot of obesity on the reservation due to a lack of healthy eating resources.

I ended up making two size 14 outfits with a mixture of the fabrics.

Here is the first top and skirt from the fabrics, and a cotton lycra orange knit.  I hope the heat transfer vinyl stays on.  It  is a new type I haven’t tried before and it is a little hard.  It is a fun holograph, so it is thicker.  I pressed it multiple times with my heat press, so hopefully that helps it stay on.

Here is another outfit.  I didn’t have enough of the pink to do a full front and back.  I had to hack it into two pieces, so I added a lace overlay.

This shelter barely receives enough grant money to pay for the lights and minimal staff, so they rely on donations to fill out the rest.  The Sew for Kids group on Facebook or their blog is a great source to learn the current needs on the reservation.  If you feel the urge to donate (and I urge you, as summer is hard for the kids.  They often go hungry, since they aren’t in school to receive the free school lunch program.) please donate here.

Thanks to Michael Miller Fabrics for the donation of fabric for some girls in need.  I hope they will enjoy wearing them!





Dresses for the girls

I finally used up some of my cotton woven fabric that had been getting dusty, and made these two summer dresses up.  These will be headed to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation as a part of the charity Sew for Kids.   The group tries to get some nice summer clothes to the kids that they can wear over the summer.  It is very much appreciated by the girls.

I made these both in a straight size 12 in the Mia’s Tie-back dress from The Simple Life Pattern Company.

I did a few things different, and didn’t use as much bias binding as the pattern says.  I like how the website shows pictures with just a loop and button, so I would probably do that next time.

This fabric is from Riley Blake and was the Simple Simon and Company collection from a few years ago.

This version is just the plain version of the skirt.  I bought this fabric many years ago (maybe five), so probably hard to find now.  The stripe is Mary Englebright and the Red Print is from Timeless Treasures.  The red was hard to photograph…it is actually a deeper red color and not so orange.

Now I need to go through my stash and see what else I can sew up for the girls.  It is kind of fun to get some dresses made, since I used to make so many of them when my daughter was smaller.  I want to get a few more made before sending them out, so hopefully I can get that done in the next few weeks.

Busy week and baby blankets

Well, last week I managed to accomplish quite a bit.  I was a pattern drafting fool!  I made the first three below during the week, and the rest on the weekend.  I cut them all out on Saturday after volleyball, and then sewed on Sunday.

  • Short summer dress for me
  • Maxi summer dress for me
  • Skort muslin for me (mostly fit…needs some tweaks)
  • Dress and leggings for the girl
  • Shorts outfit for my grand-nephew
  • 3 baby blankets

I also have another dress and leggings set cut out for the girl with some vibrant sugar skull fabric.  This one is not as twirly as the one I made this weekend, but still a full circle skirt.  I am going to do an HTV sugar skull on the front, so that is the docket for this evening.  Hopefully I can start working on it, too.

Next to get pictures of them all worn!

Here are the baby blankets that I made with my tutorial.

The middle one has been claimed by a fellow volleyball mom.  Her (current) youngest plays with my girl, so this baby was a bit of a shock to them.  They were counting down the days to being empty nesters, but now they are looking at daycare and ordering a crib.

Baby’s are joys and all, but man, would that put a wrench in retirement!


I like to put a fun quilting cotton on one side and then a nice soft minky.

The other two are going to be headed to a women’s shelter on Pine Ridge Indian reservation.  It is a charity that I donate to regularly, so I will get a box filled to send their way.

 This week I will try to get pictures of what I have sewed up so far.  First up will be the dress I made the girl.  It is SO CUTE.  We both agree. 🙂



Blue on Black

Purse #2 is DONE!


Procrastination is a life skill that I am well acquainted with, so of course, I waited until the last minute to get this done.  I wanted to make sure it turned out nice, though, and I think I succeeded.


The leathers are both lambskin.  The royal blue is an embossed leather, so it has a design pressed into it.  The black is super soft.  So soft that I had to make sure I put some more industrious interfacing in the purse, so it didn’t collapse.  I added a foam interior so it would have some bulk to it.  The handle has webbing inside it, so it won’t stretch out.


I tried to pretty it up with some hardware choices on the rivets and gunmetal rings and snaps.


The interior is just a bottom-weight royal blue fabric.  I didn’t have anything fancy in my fabric stash.  The pocket is a sample I printed of one of my fabric designs, though.


A thoroughly one of a kind purse!  Hope it sells for a good price.



Go Pack, Go!

Here is the first bag for the benefit auction in a few weeks.  This is my bag pattern that I have been using to make most of my purses.  I should maybe make a tutorial or something on it, huh?


This one is made of the following:

  • Green pigskin leather
  • Gold lambskin leather
  • Green Bay Packers licensed woven
  • 2 zippers
  • Fusible Fleece to lining, iron on interfacing for pockets, and Peltex on base
  • Gold hardware – ring, swivel snaps, rivets and feet

I purchased the leather and interfacings locally, but I think I got most of the hardware from Pacific Trimmings.


I also made a tassel that I attached to the zipper, but it is just clipped on so whomever wins the auction can use it elsewhere.

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Now onto the next bag!

Car carrier tutorial

As part of a charity project for the kids at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, we had a specific challenge to get some boy gifts made up.  Since my son has a ton of little cars, this was the perfect gift.  I went through the big bin and picked out cars that looked new.

It wasn’t hard.  These are worse than bunnies with how frequently they procreate.


Here is a tutorial for a car carrier.

Continue reading Car carrier tutorial

Sewing for a cause: Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

The wonderful thing about sewists is that they love to give.  I joined a Facebook group that is dedicated to sewing for some charities on the Pine Ridge Rez in South Dakota.  It is called Sew for Kids Volunteers.  Reading about the poverty and standard of living on the reservation is very humbling.  Right now they are trying to gather clothes for kids for back to school, so the group was trying to gather shorts and skirts for the kids.

I was short on time, so I decided to just scour the kids handmade closets for clothes that they didn’t want to wear or no longer fit, focusing on seldom worn clothing.

The boy prefers to wear elastic waist exercise shorts, which I don’t make.  I did, however, make him some very nice cargo shorts last summer.  He didn’t wear them more than a few times and they don’t fit him anymore.  I made up an extra shirt, but otherwise kept the outfits together and these are going off to the boys.


They wanted skirts for the girls, but I instead had dresses that I made for testing or just didn’t get worn more than once or twice.  There were also some shoes that went with the dresses that didn’t get worn more than a few times, so those are going with, as well.


I hope they fit some of the kids.  My kids are fairly thin, and the reservation has some obesity issues, so I hope they can find some kids that will be able to wear them.  I am going to make some items specifically for them, as well.  I just need to get a plan in mind.

Next time I teach the sewing class at church, I will make sure we select a project for the reservation.

If you have some extra sewing time, or some gently used clothing for kids you are willing to part with, please send them along.  Join the group or read their blog to see different options for helping out.  As with all charities…every little bit helps.



Charity basket of baby boy goodness

I got the basket finished up in time to give it to my Mom and Dad so they could pass it through to the silent auction folks.  This is going to benefit a mom of my friend’s girlfriend/ex-wife/mother of his 2 kids.  Complicated.

She was diagnosed with an agressive bone cancer and they are in need of some financial help.  Hopefully the basket will sell well.  It seems hard to find cute stuff for boys, so I’m hopeful the novelty of it will produce some willing bidders.

Satin bound flannel/minkee blanket and flannel/terry cloth burp cloths

Fleece sleeper and hat for a newborn/1-3 month old

Taggie blanket (from my stash)

All together in a cute basket that I had already

That is about all I got accomplished this week.  It was busy, busy…as usual. 🙂