Testing the Around the Block Hoodie

Somehow in the middle of the busy semester I had a chance to test the Women’s Around the Block Hoodie by Ellie and Mac. The hoodie was fun to test and a great scrap buster!



I dug deep into my stash to find some fabric that hadn’t gotten any love yet. I found some double brushed polyester from So Sew English from over a year ago-I think all three were part of my very first (or one of the very first) online fabric orders I had placed! My partner and I earlier today were trying to think how long I have been sewing clothing. It’s been a little over a year and a half, but feels like much longer! I still learn new techniques with every new pattern I sew, and this one was no different!

Back to the fabric… this double brushed poly is a lighter weight, but still warm for Arizona’s chilly fall mornings. I chose two solids: black and a light… sage maybe? I’m horrible at naming correct color names. The patterned fabric I had been waiting for the perfect project, and I think this was it!


Cutting for this pattern took quite a bit of time since there are so many pieces! The arms are different, so there are six pieces to cut for just the arms! But, the finished pattern makes it all worth it. The pattern came together nicely, and I only had one major hiccup where one of the bodice pieces I had sewn upside down… but that was an easy seam rip and fix.

I also decided to add in a real drawstring instead of the faux drawstring. It was a pretty simple switch, I just had to make sure the top stitching had enough room for the drawstring. The uneven grommet placement and detail on this pattern is such a great addition! Definitely another first for me. 🙂


The pattern also has inseam pockets. I have never had a top with inseam pockets, so this was new to me. Using a lightweight fabric is key, to not add bulk. The overall fit for this one is looser than some of the other testers, which makes sense for the fabric I chose. DBP is much stretchier than what is required, and knits with less stretch will yield a much more structured fit.


This was the first hoodie I had ever made myself. Before this past summer, all sewing was pretty much dedicated to the Little. I finally have been sewing more and more for myself… and now my husband!

Ellie and Mac JUST released the kids version of this pattern this week! You can find the kids version here or the bundle here!


As always, let me know if you have any questions or comments! Thanks for stopping by!


*Some of the links above may be affiliate links*

Review of the Ringer Tee

One way to get to know a pattern company is by trying their free patterns! Most PDF pattern groups have at least one free pattern that you can get in one way or another. Brindille & Twig has three! I needed a good basic tee for the little, and thought going the freebie route would be safest. This brings me to the Ringer Tee by Brindille & Twig.

Brindille & Twig is one of my favorite pattern companies for babies and young kids. The downside to their patterns is most of them only go up to size 6, while many other companies go up to size 12. This definitely does not stop them from being the favorite of so many! Especially if you find them when your kiddos are still babes, like I did.

Back to the Ringer Tee. This tee is drafted to have bands on the sleeves and waist, but I just realized all the tees I have made I have hemmed instead! I usually don’t need to add any to the length, since I’m currently sizing up to a 2/3T, which is nice since I sometimes forget to add length when cutting out patterns. There also is long sleeve or short sleeve options!

This was the first ringer tee I sewed up. It was a shirt my mother-in-law had bought for my partner, but it wasn’t the right size. It was perfect for an upcycle! The best part of using existing shirts to make new ones, is being able to reuse hems and other parts of the shirt, which makes the sewing process a bit quicker. This one, I cut the sleeves on the existing sleeve lines, so I didn’t have to worry about hemming them! Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the graphic quite right on this one. The way the pattern was cutting out cut off poor Herbie’s hat a bit. GBR!


I then tested out a long sleeved version in some Flying Pig Fabrics grey and white stripes. They don’t currently have any in stock, but they do have a few other colors still left on their site! I do know Sabra said they will be running the grey and white stripes again soon in a few rounds… I might need to order more!

ringer, joggers, pocket shorts

Pictured with the Ringer Tee is Brindille & Twig‘s Pocket Shorts that I wrote about here, and Max & Meena‘s Max Joggers. All fabrics are from Flying Pig Fabrics.

Next up was a shirt I made Little for the first day of preschool. Again, the fabric and panels are from Flying Pig Fabrics. I’ve said it before, they are my go to for Cotton/Lycra!

ringer foxringer fox back

The Geos that Sabra at Flying Pig makes are absolutely amazing. She includes such incredible details and shadowing! This one was made from a romper panel. I color blocked the back as I was short just an inch on this 2/3T size. I like the added detail on the back and it really ties in the orange sleeves and neckband.

The last couple of Ringer Tees that I made were toned down to add some nice basics to the closet. I used up the last of my grey and white stripes. I also cut into some of my Flying Pig solids: a nice charcoal blue and bright white for a little contrast on the pocket.


ringer grey stripes

Although the pattern doesn’t include a pocket, I did a basic rectangle cut at 2.5″x3″. I folded the edges over and sewed it onto the front, looking at a shirt bought at Target as a guide. The pocket adds a nice detail to this basic tee and are a great way to use up small scraps. I matched the stripes on the striped shirt, so the pocket is just barely visible!

The first day the stripes was worn, Little came home from school with a nice big blotch of pinkish red. 🙂 Thankfully it will easily come out in a wash or two. The fit of the tee is pretty relaxed. This is a 2/3T, and we might be able to get next season out of this shirt as well. Although, short sleeves are worn here about ten months a year, so it will get a lot of use no matter what!

I need to remember on the next one to cut the neckband about a 1/4″ thinner. The band is a bit thick for my liking, and sometimes does a weird curl. I’ve tried ironing/steaming and topstitching, but I think it is just the cut. Such an easy fix! Overall, this shirt is incredibly quick start to finish. The best type for simple basics! Plus, who doesn’t love a great FREE pattern??

As always, let me know if you have any questions or comments! Thanks for stopping by!


*Some of the links above may be affiliate links*

Mega Max Raglan – Without the Add Ons

Currently, I have two go-to patterns for shirts for the little: The Ringer Tee by Brindille & Twig and the Mega Max Raglan by Max & Meena. Today, I’m going to tell you all about the Mega Max!

This pattern is really great with all the options it comes with: Sleeve lengths, regular hood, pixie hood, or no hood, plus more than 40 “creatures” that you can add onto the pattern! I have yet to explore beyond the basic, but I’m thinking this year for Halloween I’ll pull this pattern out and make something fun!

I personally had been staying away from shirts because of how much hemming there is. I preferred buying simple tops at Target! But, then I started playing with my twin needle on my sewing machine. I had it figured out for awhile, but could never get it juuust right. THEN, I got my coverstitch machine! Total game changer. Now I welcome shirts! I can hem the sleeves, waist, and topstitch the neck of a single shirt in just a few minutes.

Back to this shirt. 🙂


I had been holding onto this panel for about six months and finally got the courage to sew it up. I had recently gotten this amazing black cotton/Lycra in and decided to jump in. Not surprisingly, all these fabrics are from Flying Pig Fabrics. I’ve said it before, but they are my first pick for cotton/Lycra!

Sewing this shirt up for the first time was so quick. Raglans are constructed quite a bit differently from “regular” shirts, but still a similar concept. I love the look of contrasting sleeves in raglans, so it’s the first thing I think of when sewing up panels!

Unfortunately, I sewed a 12-18m by accident. Little only got to wear it a few times before it got a little snug (ok, it was snug to begin with, but I couldn’t waste that amazing panel!). I was so dissapointed in myself! So, I pulled out another panel that I liked and got to work:


Guess where this fabric is from?? 🙂 Yep, Flying Pig again! This one was a romper panel. I got the front AND back of this 2/3T out of the panel. I just needed a tad bit extra for the sleeves and neckband, so I went with the black to tie into the Dinos on the front. I sized up so Little would get plenty of wear out of this one!

Next up, were some raglans out of swim fabric. We wanted a couple of rash guards for the summer, and I had leftover fabric from some suits that I had made myself (here). The fabric is from The Fabric Fairy, and although swim is a little slippery to work with, these raglans still sewed up beautifully. They worked great all summer long! Plus, I may or may not have matched Little once or twice this summer. 🙂


The latest Mega Max I made for little was with an amazing panel from Bug-A-Boo. The solids are again from Flying Pig. 🙂 The shorts are the Pocket Shorts that I wrote about here.


I find the fit to be pretty good, but not perfect on my little, who keeps growing up, but still has his little belly. The fit is a little slim, and now that I have been sewing more, the neckline is pretty high, so the neckband is sometimes a struggle to get over the head. I have another raglan that I’ve been recommended, so I’ll try that one out and let you all know how they compare!

I have two more Mega Max’s cut out in more basic colors to tone down Little’s closet. I got on such a bright fabric kick, and it’s nice to have some solid staples that aren’t so loud!

As always, let me know if you have any questions or comments! Thanks for stopping by!


*Some of the links above may be affiliate links*

Sewing beginnings

My first memory of anything sewing related was when I was 6. My mom had her sewing machine and all her tools set up in our dining room and was sewing me a flower girl’s dress for my aunt’s wedding. I do not remember much about the process, but I remember I liked watching her create the dress and seeing the finished product. Photo of said dress:


Looks like the early 90’s, right??


Thanks, Judy, for the photos!

My next memory was a few years later. My mom and I (or maybe just my mom?) made a cover for the bench seat in my new bedroom. If I remember correctly, I got to help pick out the fabric and was more involved in the process!

The next was closer to high school. My mom and I invited my old neighbors over to make bags. I grew up next door to them and we were inseparable until I moved away in fourth grade (maybe a mile away, but that’s really far when you’re that age… plus we went to different schools!). We spent the day making simple bags/purses and it is one of my favorite times sewing. My mom found one of the bags I made and snapped a photo for me:


Once again, it was a few years later when I picked up sewing again. I was in undergrad, and my mom was visiting me for the weekend. I have no idea how the conversation started, but I told her I wanted to start sewing again. She surprised me and bought me my first sewing machine (thanks, mom!)! It was a simple Singer Esteem II, the one I still have today. Although it drives me crazy, I haven’t had the need to upgrade, yet.

I again decided to make some bags. Clothing seemed impossible at this point, still, so bags it was! Here are a few photos of the messenger bags I made:


Yes, that is an iPod. 🙂


I really loved making them, even though they took me HOURS to make. I’m sure if I went back today it would be a little quicker. But at the moment, I have no desire to make bags!

Once again, I didn’t pick up my sewing machine for about eight years. When my Little was born, I got back into it. And, I dove right into sewing knits and making clothes. It’s funny to think that wovens now intimidate me! The booties I wrote about here were the first items I made. Next, I made some shorts and a romper, and almost two years later I’m still sewing! I’m thinking this time it’ll stick. 🙂

A huge thank you to my mom for introducing me to sewing and encouraging me along the way! There’s no way I would be sewing today if it wasn’t for you! Also, a huge thanks to my partner. He has supported my hobby since I picked up sewing again last year. I now have two more machines and a closet full of fabrics and accessories to play with. 🙂

Let me know if you have any questions or comments!



Little’s Favorite Shorts

Living in Arizona means you wear shorts about ten months a year. So the search for a favorite pair of shorts was a must! We are still using cloth diapers (although the end is near, I can feel it!), so a little extra space is needed.

I went through a few different pairs until I found “the one”, but now that I have, I can’t stop! The pattern is Brindille & Twig’s Pocket Shorts: https://brindilletwig.com/products/pocket-shorts-053

They have a yoga waistband (no elastic) and optional drawstring. They fit over my Little’s cloth bum with no issue!

Here is the first pair I made:


The blue and stripes are both from Flying Pig Fabrics (https://www.flyingpigfabrics.com). Their Cotton/Lycra is absolutely amazing! I’ve tried ordering from a few other sites, but nothing compares! It’s a nice 12oz weight, and amazingly soft.

The construction of these shorts makes them so fast to make! Also, the Little loves finding sticks or rocks and sticking them in pockets, so I think they’re a win in his book, too! These are the 18-24m size. After about a week, I made three more pairs:


The stripes again are Flying Pig, but the others I can’t remember. The grey are French Terry with a little less stretch, and still fit him great:


This summer, I made him a few more pairs, and decided to size up to the 2/3T, taking in just a hair more on the seam allowance. They are a tad big on him, but from how much he grew this summer, I know the 18-24m size isn’t going to last much longer. Here’s a few of the pairs I made this summer, all made from Flying Pig fabrics. It seriously is my absolute favorite go to for Cotton/Lycra, if you couldn’t tell!


And yes, that is a banana used as a prop. Bananas are our number one requested snack at the moment, so I thought it was fitting! 🙂

Again, this is one of my current favorite patterns for the Little! Such a quick sew, an easy way to add a pop of color and use up scraps, and the fit/length is great!

Let me know if you have any questions or comments! Thanks for stopping by!


My First “Pinspiration”

We all know how great Pinterest is for finding great ideas! I’ve checked Pinterest to find ideas for ways to store my cookbooks, how to set up my sewing space, outdoor garden boxes, and a DIY kitchen for the Little. Recently, I’ve been checking Pinterest for sewing ideas! You can follow me here: https://pin.it/byiyzgaqdffavc.

I found this photo:

Screen Shot 2018-08-31 at 10.48.11 AM.png

And immediately wanted to recreate it. I knew I wanted to add length and the stripe color could vary, so I went hunting for the perfect fabric and pattern.

Well, I found some fabric that I really liked at Boho Fabrics: https://www.bohofabrics.com/products/royal-blue-and-white-wide-stripes-2-5-stripes-rayon-spandex-knit-fabric. The fabric is a heavier rayon spandex, and I knew it would work great for this dress and I most likely would not need a second layer of fabric! I was glad to find this fabric there, as I was ordering some other fabric from them. We all know how it goes with maximizing on shipping and filling those boxes!

Next, I was on the hunt for the perfect pattern. I originally was going to use Greenstyle’s Pacific Pullover (found here: https://greenstylecreations.com/products/pacific-pullover-pdf-sewing-pattern-xxs-3xl), but after looking closer at the pattern, I decided it wasn’t the perfect fit. I still purchased the pattern and have plans for it in the future!

Then, a new pattern came out, and the first moment I saw it, I knew it was the one! The DIBY Club came out with the Althea Racerback Tank Top (found here: https://doitbetteryourself.club/product/the-althea-tank-top-sewing-pattern/?ref=65) and I knew it would be the perfect fit. I planned on using the dress portion of the Favorite Tee by Patterns for Pirates (found here: http://www.patternsforpirates.com/product/favorite-tee/), as I had used it in a hack of another pattern previously.

Once my fabric came in I was ready to get started. I added about an inch to the bodice of the tank, and perhaps a touch too much length to the dress. I think my next Althea/Favorite Dress mash will be a couple of inches shorter. Although, I do like this length when chasing my toddler around!


The directions for the Althea tank were very thorough and easy to follow. I chose the hooded, full-back option to mimic my Pinspiration photo. I also ended up taking some in on the sides after I had sewn it up. I often do this with patterns and cannot figure out why. I measure correctly and follow pattern guidelines, but it mush just be my body’s shape.


I did make one mistake, and missed top-stitching the back seam before sewing the dress together. That was a pain to get through my coverstitch, but I made it! I also didn’t have quite the right color thread, but I didn’t care, I was too excited!



I chose a basic rope to use as the drawstring that I picked up at Hobby Lobby when visiting my parents this summer. I think it works well, keeping a casual feel with the dress!


As you can tell, my modeled photos are still as awkward as ever. 🙂 But, you get the point!


What do you think? Is this a mash you’ll choose to do? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!



*Some of the links above are affiliate links*


Sewing a Swim Suit!

Hello friends! It has been well over a year since I have written a post. I got a little ambitious with the blog right before our big move… and then completely forgot about it. Let’s hope I don’t go another year without posting again. 🙂

In May, when finals ended (one year down!) I applied to test again for Greenstyle Creations. I absolutely love testing for Angelyn (this was my second time). The first pattern I tested was the Moxi’s: https://greenstylecreations.com/products/moxi-shorts-pdf-sewing-pattern-0-to-18). GS patterns are so fun to put together and I always learn something new. Not to mention the great fit! I think I’ve sewn up at least six of their patterns, and have multiples of each one.

So, back to the swim suit. I applied to test the North Shore Swim Suit since finals had ended and I finally had some sewing time. I was definitely intimidated, as I had never worked with swim fabric before, nor had I sewn any type of top/bra like that! I was chosen to test… and dove right in!

Here is a link to the pattern: https://greenstylecreations.com/collections/womens-patterns/products/north-shore-swimsuit-pdf-pattern-xxs-3xl

One of the reasons I love testing, is seeing how a pattern progresses over the testing time. Options were added throughout, and this single pattern has the option to make over a hundred different options between the top, bottom, and one-piece options! I made three completely different suits just during testing!

My favorite top, which surprised me, was the high V. I opted for the halter and tie back, because I still have a hard time adjusting straps for my height. This is a problem I have when I wear store bought sports bras… because I’m small-chested, I buy smaller sizes, but the straps never seem to be long enough! And I’m only 5’8″! Sports bras are on my to-do list (that I’m a little intimidated to try). The coverage is great, especially as I was working on weaning my son this summer. 😉



This photo shows the bikini bottoms, but I modified them so they are not reversible. The fit is great! These black and white strips are from The Fabric Fairy found here: https://thefabricfairy.com/wide-black-stripes-on-white-nylon-spandex-swimsuit-fabric.html.


As you can tell, I need to work on my modeling skills! I get so nervous (especially at public pools). 🙂

I also made the one piece with no back. It’s such a great look with a little modesty:



This fabric is from Boho Fabrics and is unfortunately no longer listed at this time. It is one of my favorites, and I have plans to make a two piece with the leftovers!

I also made a deep V, full coverage top:


I prefer this fit of the low V, since I prefer to wear padding in my tops. Barely pictured are the high rise bottoms! I love the look of the high rise bottoms right now!

All my tops were an XS, and bottoms are an S. One of the many joys of being able to sew for yourself is mixing and mashing sizes and adding/taking out height to get the perfect fit.

I will definitely come back to this pattern next year (or maybe this fall, yet) to make another suit. The instructions are incredibly easy to follow, and like I mentioned, the variety of options makes it possible to make so many different styles from the one pattern! A HUGE plus for me when I look to purchase patterns!

As always, let me know if you have any questions or comments!




So the first item I tackled for my son was some booties. We had just returned back to Texas after being in Nebraska for the holidays. I refuse to put my baby in shoes because, well, he’s a baby and doesn’t walk. So he always wore socks since it was so cold! But, as many of you with littles know, baby socks never stay on. Plus, Little is pretty chunky so he always got horrible red lines from his socks, even from the short amount of time that he wore them.

So my hunt for a solution began. I had recently found Max & Meena Patterns (www.maxandmeena.com). They had recently released the Banana Bootie pattern, and I loved it! Everyone on their facebook page was sewing up booties left and right, saying how easy they are. So I bought the pattern (https://maxandmeena.com/collections/digital-sewing-patterns-pdf/products/banana-booties) and dove in. I had some black cotton/spandex from Jo-Ann that I used for the outer portion, and a fun multi-colored fleece from Jo-Ann that I used for the inside. Nice and comfy for Little.


My first pair took me a loooong time. Thankfully I sized up, so Little still fits into them. The pattern is incredibly easy, but a little time consuming. The booties are definitely one of my favorite finished items, though. They make great baby gifts paired with Max & Meena’s Dribble Lips Bib (https://maxandmeena.com/products/dribble-lips-bandand-bib-sewing-pdf-pattern).


The pattern goes from preemie all the way to men’s and women’s sizes. Maybe I’ll get around to making adult sizes around the holidays…

I loved them on his little feet! Since these were fleece and nice and warm and cozy, I decided to make a second pair out of lighter weight material. This time I used some of Hubs’ old pants and a baby onesie for the inner! They are great! So breathable for our hot weather in Texas. 🙂


Let me know if you have any questions about these booties! We love them and have since pretty much thrown out all of our baby socks.

Hello :)

Thank you for visiting my page! I have recently, like in the past 4 months, gotten back into sewing! It all started when my cloth diaper wearing babe wouldn’t fit into ANY store bought pants. 🙂 That is unless we put our 4 month old in 18 month clothes! So, I dug out my sewing machine that I hadn’t really used in years, looked up some patterns, and began! I’m not going to lie, my first items weren’t the prettiest, but they fit so well! I will write about the patterns I began with soon.
So, from then on it became a little goal of mine to start sewing all of Little’s clothes!

A couple of quick facts:
Luna & Laika are the names of my Dominican pups. My husband and I brought them back with us after our time in the Peace Corps. We couldn’t have imagined leaving either of them behind! Luna & Laika

We’re currently living in Texas, but moving to Arizona in less than three weeks! Eek! We’ve been married for 6 years, and have lived in Guatemala, Nebraska (where we’re from), the Dominican Republic, and Texas.

Comment below if you have any questions for me! Thanks again for visiting Luna & Laika!