Every year my sisters + cousins get together for a girl’s weekend trip.
No kids.  Just ladies.  And a whole lot of jibber jabber.  And food.  And cute decor.
The trip is sort of an annual thing, though it’s only happened twice so far.   But we’re keeping the dream alive!  And as many of you know, girl’s trips are a well-needed, well-appreciated aspect of being a mom.  Every time I get away from the daily grind I think, “oh yea.  I used to be fun once!”

And I enjoy the silence, void of the word “mom” 20 times in 5 minutes.
I’m not saying I don’t love being a mom—you all know that.
It’s just good to get a break.  And mostly, it’s good to build those adult relationships with your family and friends.  I love these ladies!  Many of us were roommates in college and went to high school together.  But I love that we also have these new shared experiences together, so we’re not just rehashing the old life through facebook tags.

Heh. This post was supposed to start something like “Wanna visit Palm Springs in August?  It’s only 110 degrees”.
And now I’m getting sentimental.
But really.

If you can plan a trip with your girlfriends, old roomies, whoever….do it!
My mother-in-law has been taking annual trips with her college roommates for about 20 years and I totally admire that.

And if you can find a house with a yellow door, do that too.
Ahhh.  Lots of yellow love here.

Okay.  Here’s where I stop giving unsolicited relationship advice and show you a slew of pretty home pics.

For two years now we’ve rented fun homes in the Palm Desert of California.  Two years ago we stayed HERE.  This past year we stayed here (sorry about the naked ladies.  The wallpaper was too good):
And in two weeks I’m headed out there for THIS year’s trip!…which is I why I need to get this blog post up—so that I’m only 11 1/2 months behind.
There are many great things about Palm Springs in the summer—you know, like crazy dry heat, outlet stores, and the huge T-Rex from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.   Actually, I like all those things.  You thought I was being sarcastic.  Summer is definitely the “off” season for rental properties since it’s so hot, but that means houses are cheaper to rent and there’s plenty of time for the pool.
But what people love most about Palm Springs, any time of year, is probably the architecture.  The town is FULL of Mid-century Modern, Hollywood Regency, and Art Deco homes.   I love waking up early (when it’s only 90 degrees) and walking through the neighborhoods.   Just me and my camera.  And my sweat.

But if I had to choose one home decor….I was really sucked into the Hollywood glamour of the house we stayed in, with all that yellow.  I mean who puts a bed in the living room?  A bed for just lounging and partying.

And the house had plenty of room for the group of us who stayed and slept there.
Everyone I know has a big but. Let’s talk about your big but Simone.
Sorry. I’ve got Pee Wee on my brain.
Well.  Behind all the Hollywood galmour came an unfortunate discovery in this pretty house, that woke us at 2am:…Cockroaches!
Scurrying about the house!  YES.
Lots of them!  In our closets, and in the kitchen.  Bugs we hadn’t seen earlier in the day.  But now they kept us up all night, and totally tainted the decor of the house.
I guess that’s part of the adventure we you do VRBO.   And you know, it’s one of those things that in the moment is disgusting.  But in retrospect is almost comical and becomes one more shared experience with the crazy people you love.
I’m laughing about it now.
But, let’s not talk about bugs.
Instead I’ll share a few more good parts.  And in my next post I’ll show you the house we moved to the next night.

Cause come on.  These white chairs?  My sister and I couldn’t believe their proximity to each other.
It’s like we had superhuman hearing.
We could not stop laughing.   And could barely keep our feet from touching each other.
But once we calmed down, we did what we do best….chatted for 3 more hours in the swimming pool.
And then we ate.

And ate some more.

And tried to dance the chips away.
Is there anything more middle-aged-mom than this cover band, and these moves?
It’s okay.  I am 38.

And we finished the pre-bug-discovery night by ODing at Great Shakes.
Holy.  Crap.
These were so good.  I swam in banana and caramel.
But next time I’ve got to try S’mores…and maybe not eat anything else all day so I can come here for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.   Mmmmm.
Maybe it’s good that I’m 11 months behind in my blog post.  That means I only have a few weeks till I get to party with these ladies again!

And by party, I mean drink diet cokes all day, while sharing mom horror stories. We’re pretty hard core.
To be continued (at a different bug-free house)….

Have a great weekend!


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Pink Lemonade Shorts

by Dana on September 1, 2015

We’re back!
Sorry, I don’t mean to disappear like that.
I wish I could blog every day, cause I have enough photos and projects stockpiled for it.

Lemonade Shorts pattern by MADE

But I made a decision this summer that I was going to embrace the chaos, rather than fight it….or rather than feel guilty in my mind for neglecting my business, while constantly helping, feeding, and swimming with my kids.
It’s a silly thing to feel guilty about.  I know!  It sounds even sillier as I type it.
Of course we should all go boogie boarding over sitting at a computer.
So that’s what we did.
And now here we are.  With some fun projects to share!

A few months ago Rae sent me some fabric from her Small World line with Cloud 9 Fabrics.
And I’ve been dying to squeeze a project in.

Cause when Life gives you Lemons….

Lemon Drop Shorts


Stripey yellow tank by danamadeit

Rae’s Lemon Drop print was just asking to become a pair of KID Shorts.  It’s so fun, and happy, and bright.  And it’s corduroy!  The cords are petite and so soft.  I knew Lucy would love it.  Especially since she’s entered a stage of loving shorts, over dresses + skirts.
Have your girls done that?
Maybe yours are in opposite order?

3 year-old Clara currently refuses to wear anything BUT a dress….while all of Lucy’s 9 year-old friends are only wearing shorts.  So, shorts it is for our new Fourth Grader.
Good thing that KID Shorts Pattern continues to grow with my kids!

You can read more about the pattern here.
And you’ll find all the variations and tutorials here.

For this pair I made:  flat front shortswith front pockets • with piping.
I really wanted the fabric to be the star, with just bits of yellow to help it all pop.

If you’ve never used piping before it’s super easy.  You can even make your own!
Watch my snazzy video about it Here.
And just like that, you’ve made pink lemonade!
Lemon Drop KID Shorts by MADE

I seriously LOVE these shorts.
Sewing never gets old that way.  You look at a fabric and LOVE it.  And then you turn the fabric into something and love it even more.  Happens every time.
Even when it’s just simple stripes.

I also made this stripey tank top…which is a variation, on this variation of the Bateau Neck shirt I made a couple years ago.
And it’s got me thinking more about tank tops.
So I’ve started drafting my own version of a tank top, with a racer back option, possibly a dress? and other surprises.  Cause it’s a good idea to start drafting a summer pattern, in the middle of summer.  Doh!  I’m always a season behind.  Or maybe I’m just being realistic…since it’ll probably take me a year to finish the whole thing.  That’s how things roll around here.

But back to shorts.
The thing I love about this Flat Front version is that it’s so easy to make, without having to create a perfectly fitted waistband.  The back part of the waist is gathered with elastic.  And even on an older child it looks great, especially since their shirt often hangs over the waistband anyway.

Of course who’s looking at waistbands when you’ve got lemons on your pockets?
KID Shorts with pockets + piping on MADE
And Lemondheads to go inside?
My favorite moment of the day was when 1950s candy became relevant again….
Tank Top on MADE Everyday
Oh Lucy.
When did you grow up??
Stripey Yellow Tank Top by MADE Everyday

If you’d like to make KID Shorts, read more here.
Or you can purchase it with the button below.
Add to Cart

Thanks Rae for the darling fabric!
And if you’d like more ideas, head over to Made by Rae for tons of Small World projects.

Lemonade Shorts by MADE


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Skirt with a Lining + Happy Home

by Dana on July 24, 2015

Thank you for your response to the new pattern!—the Anywhere Skirt.
Here’s another version to really sink your….heart into.  Heh, heh.

the Anywhere Skirt Pattern
Happy Home Fabric

Cause there are plenty of hearts to go around!
Isn’t this fabric adorable??
It’s from the new Happy Home collection, by Sew Caroline, for Art Gallery Fabrics.   And when Caroline asked if I’d like to try some out….I think my heart jumped out of my chest.
Or maybe it skipped a beat?
I mean seriously, I heart hearts!

BUT what I didn’t realize—-which made me love the fabric even more—-is that it’s a border print! The hearts are sparse near one selvage edge; then they grow in color and size near the other edge.
Heart. Attack.
It’s perfect for the Anywhere Skirt, don’t you think?

the Anywhere Skirt Pattern by MADE
the Anywhere Skirt Pattern PDF

The Anywhere Skirt Pattern – $9
Add to Cart

There are so many other cute prints in this collection, along with some knits (yay!).
You’ve gotta click over to see other Happy Home projects from blogging friends.
Happy Home Blog Hop
the Anywhere Skirt waistband

Now I’ve never made a skirt in white fabric.

Not that I’ll be concerned about wearing white after Labor Day…or something like that?  I will totally be wearing this in January.  With coral pink tights.  YES.

But as a lower garment I knew the fabric would need a simple lining, just to give me extra coverage. And since some of you had asked about adding a lining, I thought I’d share that with you!

the Anywhere Skirt Pattern by MADE

…along with the inside of my skirt.
Who shows the inside of their garments?  It’s almost intimate.
Eh.  We’re friends.
I guess what I really love about this skirt—regardless of whether you add a lining—is how finished and polished the seams look.  The only “raw” edge is the side seam, which you can easily finish off, as outlined in the pattern.

the Anywhere Skirt Pattern with a Lining

Okay, for this skirt I’m going to keep it REAL simple.
In fact, this is more of a faux-lining.
You can do a more sophisticated lining, with separate hemlines, similar to the First Day Dress.  But with the front plackets and pockets of this skirt, it becomes a bit more complicated.   So these easiest method is:
• Cut Outer fabric pieces +  Lining fabric pieces, the same dimensions.
• Then sew your skirt as if the two layers are one fabric.

You can baste the Outer and Lining pieces together….or just start sewing your skirt with the two fabrics together.  Just depends how antsy you are to get going.

How to Sew a BASIC Lining into a skirt
And there you go!
I know, I know, the simplicity is tearing up your heart.

the Anywhere Skirt pdf Pattern by MADE

The Anywhere Skirt Pattern – $9
Add to Cart

Okay.  Peace out my skirt friends.
Have a great weekend!
And thank you Caroline for the Happy fabric!

I HEART the Anywhere Skirt Pattern


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It’s so exciting to flip through a new sewing book.
And it’s even more exciting when it’s by someone you’ve watched and grown with, as a blogger and friend over the years.

Handmade Style book by blogger Anna Graham

I was lucky to meet Anna of Noodlehead at Quilt Market about 5 years ago….back when neither of us really knew anything.
Maybe a better way to put it is that we were still figuring out how this business of making, sewing, sharing, and designing all worked.
And now here she is with her own book AND a new line of fabric!

handmade style book

The book is called Handmade Style: 23 Must-Have Basics to Stitch, Use, and Wear

And it’s filled with so many beautiful things.
There are classic Anna projects.
And by classic, I mean, beautiful bags, pouches, zippy things….the kind of stuff she’s the master at, and is so good at explaining.

cosmetic bag from handmade style book

Can’t you imagine either of these in a trendy boutique shop??
Well, you can make them!

handmade wallet from Handmade Style book
cool tote from Handmade Style book

The book has an interesting layout, which as a blogger, I really love.
When I put a blog post together, I often think about how each picture will look as a cohesive whole—what order they will go in, how they all fit together as a “book”, rather than individual photos.

And that’s the feel you get here.  The first 1/3 of the book is a Look Book, with all the photos in one place.  There are pages and pages of gorgeous projects that flow together beautifully.

two bag projects from Handmade Style book
Then after you oooo and aaaaaaahhh (and have a list of 23 things you want to make),  comes the Instruction Section with illustrations.  And after that are pattern pieces—which are in REAL SIZE format!

That deserves a book purchase right there!
No photocopying or fiddling around to increase the pattern size, etc.
quilt projects from Handmade Style book
instruction pages in Handmade Style book
pattern pieces for Handmade Style book

The book has projects for Quilting.

How fantastic is this photo??
I want to live in whatever that stripey white barn thing is….and probably wrap myself in that blanket all winter long.

amazing quilt and barn from Handmade Style book
qulit ideas in Handmade Style book

There’s a whole section on apparel.
Did you know you can make flip flops?  What??

DIY Flip Flops from Handmade Style book

There are also other small projects, and items for the home.
And I just love seeing Anna in some of the pics.
You are a gorgeous lady my friend!

womans tunic top from Handmade Style Book
Okay.  Ready to flip through your own copy?

Anna has sent me TWO copies of Handmade Style for TWO lucky readers.
I hope it’s you!

• Leave a comment, that’s it.
• Only one entry per person.
• Open to US + CANADIAN residents only.
• TWO winners will be picked via random.org
• Giveaway ends Wednesday 7/22/15 at 10pm Central time.

Thank you Anna!

Handmade Style book by Anna Graham

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