Leave Of Absence

After quite a few pro and con lists I have decided to take a six month hiatus from my blog and will be closing my store at the end of the week during this time period.

While I love my sewing projects life has gotten so busy that I am half-assing this side of my sewing, which is not fair to you or myself. In the next few months we are planning a move, a wedding, two birthday parties, and multiple trips not to mention all my summer canning to feed the family for the rest of the year. This space deserves much more attention than what I can provide at the moment. And I want to give it the attention it deserves.

With all that being said, the projects will not stop. You can still see regular updates on my Instagram (orangestitches). And I will be back in 6 months with more patterns to share and a much nicer website for you.

Thank you to everyone of that have been reading and been so supportive of what I am trying to do here. It really means a great deal to this stay at home mommy.

I’ll being seeing you again soon!

DIY Deodorant

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One of my goals for the last couple of years is to replace my purchased household items with homemade versions. I decided to do this for a variety of environmental and health reasons, but the fact that it is always so much cheaper to make these products yourself is a great reason in and of its self.

So deodorant is one of those things that you will always own. And is it just me or has it gotten really expensive in the last couple of years. This is an item I really wanted to replace but the fear of smelling like I am from Eugene and not just live here was a big concern. I work out and run around with two small children all day. The last thing I want is pit stains and smelling funky. I should also say that I have pretty sensitive skin.

I finally got brave a while ago and tried the homemade version. And have continued to make it when I run out. It works! And smells good! It is definitely worth trying.

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The last time I made it I used an immersion/stick blender to combine everything before putting it in my trusty little mason jar. It came out much more like a thick body butter than your tradition stick deodorant consistency. Personally I prefer it, especially if my bathroom is cold I am not scrapping it out of the jar with the back of my nails now.

So here’s the recipe (as a disclaimer, after a lot of research this is what I found. It is not my personal recipe. I would credit the person’s it is but I have no idea. Can’t seem to locate the original source.)

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1/2C Coconut Oil

1/4C Arrowroot powder or cornstarch

1/4C Baking Soda

Essential Oil, scent of your choice. I am currently using a lemon-lavender blend.

Combine all ingredients well and store in an airtight container such as mason jar.

All you need for use is about a pea size amount, rub into pits. The coconut oil will melt and absorb into your skin when it warms up (it happens very quickly).

This is what I use. I hope that you enjoy it as well and here’s to your homemade home!

New Self-Drafted Skirt!

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I didn’t mean to just completely disappear (oops) I have just been having a really hard timing sitting down at my computer and writing something. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been sewing. When I have a few spare moments I have been doing just that and I have stack of things that I need to photograph (and iron because I have already worn them) to share with you.

It has been a crazy busy last couple of weeks to boot. Blueberry is only 8 months old and she has decided to start standing on her own and climbing the stairs with impressive speed. Cupcake is busy and opinionated. She just turned 2.5 and decided that she is going to potty train herself! She is doing really good! It is really nice only having to wash one kids diapers instead of two. To make it even better she has Avengers underpants (dad took her shopping). They crack me up! In addition to the kids, the man of the house and I got engaged a couple of weeks ago!!! Going to make this legal! Needless to say my brain has not been on writing anything other than an email to our venue lady.

So back to sewing! One of my favorite hobbies.

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I recently made a half circle skirt, yes it is self drafted, and am really quite happy with the results. Despite the fact that I don’t normally wear things at my natural waist I decided to make this skirt hit just there. For some reason I don’t think fuller skirts look right when they are worn any lower. Not to mention wearing it a little higher gives it that retro June Cleaver look that I really like.

I did add inseam pockets on the sides and moved the invisible zipper to the back. I have found lately that I have been putting pockets in less and less items. Maybe because I am a mom that carries a diaper bag around that most people would use for a European vacation so I don’t usually need them but I have also been noticing that a lot of the more “Audrey Hepburn” style pieces don’t usually have them.  So I have slowed down my pockets lately.

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This fuller style skirt is super comfy and makes you feel about 5 years old again. In the long run I would consider making a couple tweaks and publishing this pattern, at least giving a tutorial on how to make it. What would you guys like?

Have a great Tuesday and happy belated Easter!

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Blueberry’s Baby Blanket

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Its finally finished and in her crib! It may be about 7 months late, but I got it done before her first birthday which is when Cupcake got hers.  I meant to get this posted a while a few weeks ago but between binge reading, a new season of House of Cards, chores, and finishing up a new pattern, I have been really slow on the whole get things written about front. Better late than never!

I found the line called Good Nature by Riley Blake and fell in love. It was perfect for Blueberry especially with her nursery color theme being grey and orange. It might seem like an odd color combo for a baby girl but my girls are sharing a nursery and Cupcake’s color was purple and jungle animals. Around 8 months old her preference for everything orange began. So we decided to stick with the theme that was slowly taking over our house. Even my running shoes have joined in.

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I decided to go with simple grey micro-fleece for the back. I really like doing fleece for the back of kids blankets, it just makes them extra soft and warm. Despite my lack luster abilities at quilting (i stick with the simple straight lines and patterns) the fleece doesn’t make it any more difficult than your basic quilting cotton in the back would.

I do hand sew the binding mostly because I like it better this way. This is also the way my mom taught me when I was learning how to make quilts so I really have no idea how to do it any other way. I know there is. It does take longer but its a great excuse to curl up with a movie at night to work on it.+

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On a baby note, Blueberry is doing fantastic. She has recently learned how to crawl going forwards. Is the happiest baby, has two front teeth to show off now, and really enjoys eating! She giggles a lot at her big sister and our two dogs. Those two girls are going to be quite the team (I am going to be busy) but already are such good buddies.

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Pattern: My own spin on traditional bars

Material: Good Nature by Riley Blake

Ruby Top

I have made this pattern a few times and really like it. Quite a while a go I made this top in a charcoal gray double gauze with a sprinkling of bright little designs on it (from Rashida Coleman-Hale’s previous line) and I absolutely loved it. Always my go to top in my closet. At least up until recently because I reached in the adjust my nursing bra, the neckline got caught on my watch and ripped beyond repair. It was a sad day. But the perks of sewing your own clothes is it can be replaced.

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I found this plaid at Bolt in Portland a few weeks ago and thought it would be a great new top. Its a shirting, but soft like a new cotton lawn would be. It washed, cut, and sewed great! Absolutely no complaints from me. As for the plaid. It is a little on the pajama pants end of the spectrum but I liked it so much what the heck might as well give it a whirl. I Really have a thing for pok-a-dots, plaids, stripes, all the stronger classic prints.

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I have made a couple small changes to the pattern just for fit and personal preference reasons. First, I cut the bodice in medium (I need the should room) and the front and back gathered panels in a small. Because I am small chested and generally on the short side, it looked way to full with the panels being a medium too. Last I turned the finishing bands around the neckline and armholes completely in. I like the look of top better with out the bias tape style finishing.

Since I have this pattern in the dress version as well currently hanging in my closet, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if you see it again within the next year.

DSC_0071Pattern: Ruby Top by Made-By-Rae

Material: Shirting from Bolt, unknown manufacture

Lilly Dress is AVAILABLE!!!

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The fun has a arrived! After months of hinting and even more months of work the Lilly Dress PDF sewing pattern is now available HERE!

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This dress was designed not just with personal style preferences but also with functionality in mind. Women are busy, and there wardrobe needs to be able to the cater to that. I wanted a dress that I could throw on in the morning to go to the grocery store and the park with my kids but also be comfortable wearing it out with friends at night for dinner. From this desire the Lilly Dress was born. Its design has elements of added comfort and femininity. Its simple and classic cut won’t go out of style but also allows for you to put your own personal touches on it.

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A little about the pattern: It is for beginning sewers. Lots of clean lines and technically not difficult. This is a great dress pattern for someone who is new to sewing there own garments. Color photos accompany the written instructions for added assistance. But if you have been sewing for years, its a quick afternoon project. The front bodice has two options, pleats or plain. The dress is fitted through the waist due to the elastic band across the back. At a length of just above the knee this dress will easily become your go to summer choice with flip flops or for winter with tights, boots, and a sweater.

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Head on over to my store HERE to purchase your copy of the Lilly Dress PDF Pattern.

I hope that you all enjoy creating and wearing this dress as much as I have. And please share your finished products. I would love to see what each of you have created.

Poolside Tote

I bought my original diaper bag from Timbuk2 when I was pregnant with Cupcake and took forever deciding on the colors and fabrics. I love the size of it and still absolutely love Timbuk2 messenger bags but I am just tire of looking at it. Momma needs a little variety. After two and a half years of looking at the same bag everyday its time for a change.

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I read Anna’s blog of Noodle-head pretty regularly. I really like her bags and ideas. She has a great a sense of being able to combine mommy functionality with some spunk! So when her pattern for the Poolside Tote came out I immediately began drooling and wanted to make it. The only problem was that I was about 9 months pregnant and was working on unpacking the house and getting everything picked and canned for the winter at that time. Needless to say I just didn’t quite have the time to sit down and make a new bag.

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A few weeks ago I finally purchased the pattern at Modern Domestic in Portland (I really prefer paper patterns but use pdf patterns regularly since they are more readily available for the this stay at home mom and have the tendency to be a hair cheaper). After weeks of looking for material that I thought would be just right, Bolt came through with some amazing canvas! I would call that a successful fabric shopping trip!

The bag is VERY roomy. I definitely have more room than I need some days, which is a nice change of pace. The pattern was very easy to assemble. Its nice to be able to read someones instructions and know exactly what they want you to do. This is not always the case with patterns. So when it happens you do a little happy dance.

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In an effort to keep the bag a little more on the go with everything and not get tired of it to quickly side I choose to use a the more muted grey arrows on the outside with the brightly pattern Japanese canvas on the inside. The green straps give it just enough color to keep it fun with out looking like a crazy lady and it matched the inside. I did decide to go with just the simple slip pocket on the outside inside of the zippered simply for ease of access. I also stuck to just the three fabrics instead of four and in some photos five because I wanted to keep the bag as simple as possible. I personally feel that simple equals staple and longevity!

I even lucked out with just enough material left over to make what I have been so politely referring to as my “mommy crap sack”. Its big enough to hold my planner, wallet, phone, to-do list notebook, chapstick, and yes occasionally I have a book in there too. Having it all in one place in a bag this big really helps locating things when trying to pay for groceries.

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Overall I really like this bag and have already been using it for a week or so! If in doubt I highly recommend purchasing and making this pattern. Its a winner!

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Pattern: Poolside Tote by Anna Graham

Material: Grey arrow canvas (manufacture unknown), Kayo Horaguchi Japanese Canvas, Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton