Balloon Fold Dress!

Hello everyone! I’m so excited to be participating in Madeit Fashion Week today! Fashion Week is a virtual fashion show for kids showcasing the Fold|2 collection of patterns from Madeit Patterns.

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Ivy is even more excited than me about this, I’m sure, because that girl likes to strike a pose like you wouldn’t believe. I don’t even know where she comes up with half the things she does.


Besides sewing one of Needle and Ted’s fall pattern releases from their Fold|2 collection, all of us fashion show participants were asked to incorporate origami into our photo somehow. I tell you, nothing has given me such anxiety. Paper crafts are not my forté. I was seriously sweating over this. And then, at the last minute, it came together. People, I MADE that bow in Ivy’s hair. Out of PAPER. I mean, I’m proud of myself. Not only did it not fall apart, but Ivy actually wanted to wear it! Without being bribed! I call it a huge success and pat myself firmly on the back. Except, I’m sad the paper is so bright and reflective. It looks so shiny in the pictures and you can barely see it’s paper.


Okay, moving on from paper, and onto sewing, where I feel much more at ease. I sewed the Balloon Fold Dress, and I just love it! Besides the fact that my regular sewing machine AND my serger both picked were completely non-cooperative, this dress was a super quick and easy sew and I’m really happy with how it turned out. Ivy has asked to wear it every day since I finished it, so that makes me even happier.



I used the lovely Art Gallery Fabric knits in their gorgeous solids and I love the simplicity of it. The knit is so soft with just the right amount of stretch, it’s no wonder Ivy doesn’t want to take it off. You can grab the fabrics I used plus a whole lot more in my shop, of course! I like the solids together soooo much, but how much fun would a couple fun prints be mixed together?


Also, I love a good racerback. Like so much. Seriously, my favorite. I feel like I can’t overemphasize how much I love racerbacks. They’re my jam, people. My sweet, sweet jam.


And the balloon on this dress. The bounce! It’s just too much cute. If your sewing machine doesn’t eat your hem like mine did, this dress is actually a super versatile three-in-one. You can wear it long, tucked under like Ivy is, or even tucked over, for a skirt and top kind of look. Ivy was fairly insistent on a floor length gown, but as soon as she tried this dress on, she decided immediately that she loved it just as it was, and there was no need to change it. I haven’t shown her the other options, because I’m too in love with this style!



There are so many other great patterns in the Fold|2 Collection- you really need to check them out. I love the options there are for boys wear. Pants intimidate the pants off of me, but the t-shirts look like so much fun. I’d love to make one for my boys using some of my husband’s old t-shirts.


This week you can save 20% on all the patterns, which is awesome. Even awesomer, Needle and Ted is giving away a pattern a day all week! To win, all you have to do is head over to Needle and Ted’s Facebook or Instagram page, and answer a simple question about the fashion show. Easy peasy.

20% OFF Madeit patterns

Nosh is also giving away three 50 Euro gift certificates during the course of this week! All you have to do to win if head over to Needle and Ted’s blog on the final day of the pattern tour (September 6th) and leave a comment about what was your favorite part of Fashion Week. You get another chance to win by following along on IG and watching for the prompt. Nothing easier. Why shouldn’t you win? Someone has to, and I really feel like it should be you.


One of us sewers gets to win a voucher for Nosh too. Needle and Ted is judging based on origami creativity, so I’m quite confident I’ll win. Or something. But, if you like my origami head gear, I’d love it if you’d leave a comment here or on my Instagram! Help me win and I’ll love you forever!

Make sure you check out all the other amazing bloggers who are participating in Fashion Week with me. I’m really so excited to be participating in this with some of my favorite sewers and bloggers.

Here’s the rundown of everyone who’s participating:

Monday 31 August

Kid Approved Girl Like the Sea Huisje Boompje Boefjes Our Chez Nous

Tuesday 1 September

Kimme Sew Crazy Pienkel East and Eden Chi Chi Romeo and Me

Wednesday 2 September

Neil and Nikki In a manner of Sewing Glitter + Wit Creative Needles and Threads As it Seams

thursday 3 September

Climbing the Willow Fliegfederfrei Fairies and Bubbles Co Sew Thrifty

Friday 4 September

Just Add Fabric So-Cal Sewing Mom Sansahash Miss Castelinhos Sewing Sober

Saturday 5 September

Made by Toya My Cosy Co Paisley Roots Diorella Fruits de Mère

Sunday 6 September

Round Up and Reviews: Needle and Ted Climbing the Willow Swoodson says

Do go check them out! There’s been some amazing stuff sewn up, and some pretty impressive origami skills showcased, as well. Guys, do you do origami? It’s so much harder than I realized!

Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom, and make sure you go enter to win a free pattern and voucher! My fingers are crossed for you!


Rushing River 2015.

Warning: Photo overload ahead.


We camped at Rushing River again a few weeks ago. Site 200, as usual, because, awesome. I don’t know how many years we’ve camped at that site, but lots, and we love it. When we arrive, the kids go running for all their favorite spots around the site, checking to see if the blueberries are ready, testing the water, looking for crayfish. It’s like our summer home, even if it’s only for a few days every year.

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We’ve gotten braver and more seasoned, and this was the first year we camped for four nights. In a tent people! We are CAMPING. And it. is. awesome. Honestly. Neil and I and the kids just really, really love it.

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We always have a great time at Rushing River, and this summer was no exception. This summer we braved the longest hike for the first time. We were on the trail for almost three hours. The kids did great, and even Ivy hiked at least two thirds of it. Seth even managed to find a teeny little garter snake. By the time we got back to our tent, everyone, and I mean everyone, napped for almost two hours. Seth hasn’t actually napped since he was three years old, so needless to say I was extremely surprised when I looked around and saw that even he was out cold. He woke us up by whispering that it was 4:46. What! That’s one of the things about camping we love- throwing routine to the wind and just going with the flow.

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We did the Lower Rapids Trail like always, and we even convinced the boys to jump in for a swim with Neil this summer. By convinced I mean paid them each $5. Poor Neil could have spent the whole trip in the lake, but the rest of us were happy with a quick dip here and there.

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I took the camping cooking up a notch this summer too. We made chili, hashbrowns and sausages, scrambled eggs, and peach cobbler, all in our cast iron skillet over the fire. It was amazing. We rented kayaks for the first time ever, and had a great time, excluding Ivy, who cried at least 45 of the 90 minutes we were out, saying over and over again “I never never want to do this again!” She was the one who spotted a bald eagle perched in a dead tree right near the shore though, so it wasn’t a total loss.

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Rushing River, you never let us down. I allready can’t wait for next summer!

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Last weekend Neil’s parents took the kids from Saturday morning until Monday afternoon. It’s been just ages since we did something like that. Like seriously, maybe last August was the last time, besides a trip to Minneapolis last November. Anyways, overdue.


I had such a great time with Neil. It is really nice to be married to someone for thirteen years and still love hanging out together. He made me laugh out loud so many times with his random and weird one-liners. I love that he still makes me laugh like that.

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We went out to eat a few times, (local people, PLEASE go to Marion Street Eatery and have a BLT), we hung out with friends, we sponteously drove to Gimli to buy a purse, we had massages, and we had a bonfire. It was just so good.

Somebody please volunteer to watch my kids again soon so we can do this more often.

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A hummingbird dress.

I got a new load of Cotton and Steel fabrics in over at Seam Allowance, and I just had to sew a dress for Ivy. She loved the lilac XOXO, and I was suuuuuper happy when she picked some pink apples to go with it. Apparently she has a good eye for fabric combos already.

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This was the third hummingbird dress I’ve made, but it was the first time I added ruffles to the straps. I’m not personally a ruffly kind of girl, but yeesh do I ever LOVE them on this dress.

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When I pulled the dress off of my machine and put Ivy into it, she quickly ran to check herself out in the full length mirror. After seeing herself, she whipped back around and ran full force into my arms yelling “THANK YOU MAMA!’

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I call it a huge success.

If you’re looking to sew a dress, I really recommend this pattern. It sews up fairly quickly and with such great results. The pattern comes in size 1-12 and with a few different options to plain it down or fancy it up, so you can get a tonne of use out of it. One of my current favorites for sure!

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Oliver says.

Ever since Oliver started talking, he’s had an extensive vocabulary and come up with the craziest one liners. He never fails to crack us up or leave us shaking our heads wondering where he even comes up with this stuff!


The other day while he was getting dressed (which is like a 40 minute process, by the way), I noticed his underwear were looking really snug. Possibly because they’re size 2/3 and he’s 5. Maybe.

I said, “I think you need some new gitch, Oliver.”

And he replied, “Whaaa! How dare you doubt my gitch!?”

I couldn’t do anything except laugh. And leave him be in his tiny gitches.


This morning we were having a snuggle and I was telling him how it was only about a month until he started school, and what was I even going to do without him, I was going to miss him.

And he said, “But just, here comes the best time of my life!”

Well you can’t argue with that positive approach to school. He’s so excited to start kindergarten, I can’t help but be excited for him too. He wanted to pack his backpack up as soon as he got his letter from his teacher at the beginning of the month. When I told him he could bring his quilt I made him to use for quiet time at school, he told me he loved me more than he ever has. Simple things like that make Oliver extremely happy.


I’m happy he’s happy.


Last week we did swimming lessons. It was our first time doing lessons during the summer term, and I loved it. I’m pretty sure the kids did too. Five mornings in a row is so much better than once a week for ten weeks, am I right? Plus it’s hot out, so you don’t have to worry about changing clothes as much. Everyone went in their bathing suits, and sometimes we didn’t even change out of them after lessons- just headed home or to a different pool or park. Super nice.


Everyone did really well at their lessons, and I’m proud of what good swimmers they’re getting to be. Hopefully they’ve gotten more confident too. It was Ivy’s first time doing lessons. I don’t usually do lessons when my kids are that little, but there was space in Oliver’s class, and she was super keen to go, so I thought what the heck. She seriously loved her classes, and got so much braver in those five days. On Monday she was too nervous to put much more than her mouth in the water, but by the end of the week she was dunking her whole head under the water. I give all the credit to the sequinned dollar store change purse I bribed her with. Worked like an absolute charm. I guess her teacher probably helped too.


Oliver came leaps and bounds to and is getting much more confident in the water. He is definitely my most cautious and nervous kid in the water, and I’m really happy with the progress he made. I’ve got him and Ivy signed up for another session at the very end of August so hopefully with lots of beach and pool time before then, he’ll pass his session.


It was a super busy week because the kids also did VBS every evening. I think I nearly killed them, waking them up for swimming in the morning and keeping them up past their bedtimes for VBS. They all had lots of fun though, so I really didn’t hear any complaining, although I noticed quite a few yawns. We had some good naps during the week too.


I told them that on Friday we would go celebrate finishing lessons, and that they could pick where we went for a treat. I suggested BDI, and was really looking forward to a butterscotch dipped cone, but then they vetoed that for slurpees. I was disappointed to not get ice cream, but the slurpees probably saved me a couple bucks, so I went with it. I even let them get the big cups, even though I knew they’d only drink half probably. They were pumped.


Good work kids!


Gah. I feel like I have major summer catch-up to play here. But I’m too busy doing summer to stop and write about it. Which is the way it should be, I guess!

A couple weekends ago we camped at Hecla. Neil and I camped there for our one year anniversary TWELVE YEARS AGO but otherwise we hadn’t been back.


The forecast was super dicey, saying rain, then not so much rain, then rain, then not so much. We decided to just play it by ear and if it looked like junk we would just stay home, because camping in a tent in the rain is not good times. But Friday morning came along and the weather network told us there was just a 40% chance of less than 1mm of rain. Totally manageable.

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Halfway into our drive it started raining. Then raining hard. We mentioned turning around, but we had driven so far already. We thought about stopping at the hotel there, but we’re too cheap to actually stay there, so it woudn’t really be any kind of solution. So we just powered on. By the time we actually got to the campsite it was merely drizzling, so we quickly set up camp and had our supper, which was just a barbeque chicken and buns, so didn’t require a fire or anything. It actually stopped raining enough that Neil suggested I go find some firewood. By the time I got to the campground office two minutes later it was actually raining pretty hard. And that was that.

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It kept raining pretty much all night and most of the next day till four pm. There were little breaks, enough to go to the  marina and grab a coffee, and stop at the playground, and even take a couple drizzly bike rides, so it wasn’t the worst ever. Our tent stayed dry, and the kids were actually very happy to play in it. Neil read several hours of a Star Wars book to the kids. Some of us napped. At one point we went to the school house in Hecla Village and did a craft, which was probably Neil’s worst part of the trip, because crafts.

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By four the sun came out for the first time in over 24 hours, and we were so happy! We hiked to the light house and ate a million wild raspberries. Honestly that place should be called raspberry islands because they are taking over! We had a long bonfire, cooked hot dogs, and ate smores, and talked and played until we all put ourselves to bed. We had a good sleep, but when we woke up and Neil checked the forecast, it was calling for rain again, right away. We scrambled out of the tent, ate a quick breakfast, and packed up asap. We got going just as the rain hit, again.

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Even though the weather was less than perfect, we actually did have a really good time camping. Being together like that, it’s just the best, and I’m glad we all love it so much. Although, I’m going to be honest here, I’m starting to be that lady that’s all “I’m just too old to sleep on an air mattress.”