Dressing my 4th for the 4th

I absolutely *love* dressing for the Fourth of July. It’s the only holiday I dress for and I tend to go all out (including painting my nails to look like American flags). Don’t ask me why I love looking like an American flag though because I’m really not that patriotic. Sorry, but it’s the truth. I love Jesus more than my country. Anyway….you’re here to check out my fun outfits, and I’m so glad you came!

Sew Americana Maternity Style | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

I ended up making two outfits because I’m just that crazy about stars and stripes. The first outfit I wore for Memorial Day weekend and continue to wear the pieces separately all the time.

Sew Americana Maternity Style | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}The first look combines a non-pregnancy skirt and pregnancy shirt.

Sew Americana Maternity Style | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

I made this skirt several years ago, but accidentally measured the waist wrong, so it fits more at the hips, which turns out great when you’re pregnant! Check out MADE’s circle skirt tutorial for how to make your own stripey circle skirt.

Sew Americana Maternity Style | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

As for the shirt, you an see details on how to paint on stars (or anything other shape) using my tutorial over at DIYMaternity.  Grab your favorite shirt pattern (I used the Cara Maternity Tee) and apply some stars wherever you like to create a fun patriotic splash. What I especially love about this shirt is that when I wear it alone, it’s not super patriotic, so I can wear it year-round.

Patterns: Cara Maternity Tee | FREE circle skirt tutorial

Fabrics: Gray Target jersey sheet | Red and white stripe jersey knit from Hancock Fabrics several years ago

Sew Americana Maternity Style | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

And now for look #2! Get out your sparklers and prepare to see what a pregnant woman looks like as an American flag. Hehe.

Sew Americana Maternity Style | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Sew Americana Maternity Style | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

There you go! Looking at myself I do feel pretty silly, but oh well, I’m going to wear it on July 4th anyway.

Sew Americana Maternity Style | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

These fabrics are so great – made with cotton/spandex, they are just the right amount of stretch I need and could possible fit postpartum as well.  Plus, I snagged them during the Black Friday sale for a little over 50% off. Details on the tank and culottes are below.

Sew Americana Maternity Style | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Sew Americana Maternity Style | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Sew Americana Maternity Style | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Patterns: FREE tank tutorial by me at DIYMaternity | Megan Nielson’s Tania culottes

Fabrics: Red and white stripe jersey and Navy with stars, both from Girl Charlee (affiliate link)

Sew Americana Maternity Style | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

There you have it! Two complete looks for less than $15. Now I can spend more money on fireworks!! And you better believe I will….

Take a look at the AMAZING lineup for the Sew Americana tour!

Monday, June 27 
Wild & Wanderful | Sew and Tell Project | Call Ajaire
Paisley Roots | Wally and Grace

Tuesday, June 28
Sew Thrifty | Coles Corner and Creations | Rebel & Malice
Friends Stitched Together | The Wholesome Mama

Wednesday, June 29
Sewing by Ti | EYMM | HattieLu Handmade
Daydream Believers | PenSebRox | Handmade Boy

Thursday, June 30
Beatnik Kids | Phat Quarters | Sew Starly | Sew Sophie Lynn
The Kisses Co. | Adventures with Bubba and Bug

Friday, July 1
Very Blissful | That’s Sew Kari | Sew Happily Ever After | Pear Berry Lane
Mae and K
 | Musings of a Seamstress | Sew and Tell Project

As a special bonus for our readers, use the code ‘ SEWAMERICANA ‘ and enjoy a 20% discount at www.THREADandGRAIN.com  You’ll find a ton of maker-inspired goodies!
(All created by your tour guide, Katy, from Wild & Wanderful.)


Week 25: Beach Baby Bump

The beach ball is growing! I attempted to do fun pregnancy photos with all my pregnancies, but for some reason it’s actually coming together this time around. Who would have thought the 4th baby would get all this attention?! But, it’s really neat to have this special progression with my 4th and (possible) last child.

Here we are at 25 weeks:

Beach Baby Bump Week 25 | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

And here’s a glimpse of the ball over time:Beach Baby Bump Week 16 | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Beach Baby Bump Week 20 | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Beach Baby Bump Week 25 | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

If you want details on my shirt, check out how to make your own on DIY Maternity. I used spandex knit from Girl Charlee (affiliate link) and the Cara Maternity Tee pattern.

Beach Baby Bump Week 16, 20, 25 | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Beach Cover-up, Maternity Style

It’s definitely summer here in Mississippi, and I’m avoiding going outside. I know that’s terrible because being outside is so good for the soul, but man it’s hard to stay sane in this outrageous heat being pregnant. This is my third Mississippi summer pregnancy and I know how to manage. AC and popsicles are my friend. BUT, my kiddos love being outside and the heat doesn’t bother them, so if we do go out, it’s to the pool or beach!

Beach Cover-up | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

It’s so nice to have a cover-up to wear over my bathing suit to feel a bit more modest and put together.  This FREE women’s swim cover up is perfect! For details on how I altered it slightly to make it more maternity friendly, check out my post over at DIYMaternity.Beach Cover-up | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

And now, photo explosion because my baby isn’t going to be my baby much longer and she’s too cute. Plus, she wouldn’t really let me do this photoshoot without her.

Beach Cover-up | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Beach Cover-up | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Beach Cover-up | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Beach Cover-up | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}
Beach Cover-up | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Beach Cover-up | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Pattern: Nap-time Creations Swim Cover-up

Fabric: Slub knit (no longer available) from Girl Charlee (affiliate link)

Beach Cover-up | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

10 Clothes to Sew for Less than $1

If you ever doubt whether sewing can save you money or be inexpensive, come check out all these ideas that I’ve made for less than one dollar!

10 Clothes to Sew for Kids for Less than $1 | Sew Thrifty Pwww.sewthrifty.org}

  1. Raglan Tees (boys or girls)

Upcycled Lime Raglan and Baggies {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Upcycled Chipmunk Raglan {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

2. Baby onesies


3. Tank tops (here and here)


4. Wedding Outfits (boys and girls)

Thrifty Handmade Wedding Flower Girl Dress {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org} rustic, vintage, elegant, lace

Thrifty Handmade Wedding, a refashion by Sew Thrifty

5. Boy’s shorts

Upcycled Boy's Baggy Shorts {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

6. Baby (or girl) headband

Upcycled Turban Headband {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

7. Baby shoes

Upcycled Baby Shoes {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

8. Circle Skirt (and here)

Captainess America {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org|

9. Baby Dress

Baby Lap Dress FREE Pattern 6-12 mos {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

10. Freezer Paper Stenciling

Freezer Paper Tutorial // Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Many of these happened to be made with upcycled fabrics. Taking an old garment and transforming it into something new really is the best way to save money. Upcycling is the easiest way for me to save on fabrics, but I have many other ways to save on patterns and supplies as well.

Have you made anything for less than $1 (or your country’s equivalent?)

Crafting with Kids: A Freezer Paper Tutorial

Freezer Paper Tutorial // Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

It’s summer time here and I love having more time to craft with my kiddos. Plus, as they age, they can do more every year. This was a craft I did with my son last year and am just now sharing it with you. (So, yea, his hair is a lot longer and he looks so young!) Perhaps we need to make a new shirt this year and let his sister join in the fun too. But, enough about that, let’s get going to a fun tutorial you can do with your kids – freezer paper graphics!

Materials needed:

  1. Freezer paper. This can be found at most grocery and retail stores. It’s cheap and you can use it for stencils, tracing patterns, a white background for photographing your awesome creations, or wrapping a steak. I bought a roll 4 years ago and just recently ran out!
  2. Iron.
  3. T-shirt (either store bought or home sewn!).
  4. Fabric paint (I used chalkboard and Tulip soft fabric paint). You can find fabric paint at Jo-Ann, Michaels, Hobby Lobby and other retail stores.
  5. Exacto knife.
  6. Pencil or other writing utensil.
  7. Paintbrush. My son used a foam brush, but you can also use a regular paintbrush.
  8. Stencil. When searching for an image, I Google searched for “silhouette”. Silhouettes will give you a black image that you can then trace to make your stencil. Likewise, you can use outlines of shapes like I did. This particular one is called “Explosion 1” from Microsoft Word.

Step 1: Gather your supplies.

Freezer Paper Tutorial // Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Step 2: Trace your stencil. Tear off a piece of freezer paper larger than your stencil. Placing the stencil underneath your freezer paper, trace the lines you want to cut. Keep in mind that the child will be painting. Small stencils can be difficult to capture accurately, even for adults. I recommend keeping your stencil large and with as few small pieces as possible. If the child is old enough and your stencil is simple enough, this would be a great step for your child. Or, have the child design his own stencil. Just keep in mind that small lines or shapes may be hard to capture when painting.

Freezer Paper Tutorial // Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org} Freezer Paper Tutorial // Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Step 3: Cut out your stencil. Using the exacto knife, carefully cut the outline and any smaller pieces of your stencil. If you are cutting a stencil with holes, such as an “A” or “O” cut the small pieces inside first and then cut the outline of the shape or letter. Unless the child is old enough, this is definitely an adult job!

Freezer Paper Tutorial // Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org} Freezer Paper Tutorial // Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Step 4: Position and iron on your stencil. Since it can be difficult to see what the stencil will look like on your shirt, I like to position the cut piece on the shirt first like this:

Freezer Paper Tutorial // Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Then I place the stencil around that shape, remove the shape and iron just the outlining stencil.

Freezer Paper Tutorial // Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Step 5: Prepare to paint. Always place either freezer paper or cardboard inside your shirt so the paint doesn’t bleed through to the back of the shirt. Kids LOVE to glob on paint and it WILL bleed through. I taped on another piece of freezer paper to cover the rest of the shirt and folded the top part of the shirt down. I also covered the table with newspaper or some form of protection.

Freezer Paper Tutorial // Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Step 6: Paint! Give your child the paint and let her have fun! This was my son’s third shirt to paint. For the first two, I let him have free reign and they weren’t perfect, but he made them and cherishes his artwork. This time I wanted to teach him a bit more technique, so I recommended that he paint from the outside of the stencil inward. Depending on your child’s age and ability, she will be able to do more or less than my son (age 4.5).

Freezer Paper Tutorial // Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Freezer Paper Tutorial // Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Freezer Paper Tutorial // Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Follow the instructions for your specific paint with regards to drying and washing instructions. Once dry, let your child try on his shirt and show off his creation to friends and family!

Freezer Paper Tutorial // Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Freezer Paper Tutorial // Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Freezer Paper Tutorial // Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Other options

If you’re experimenting with colored fabric paint, try these fun techniques:

  1. Bubble wrap. Use a piece of bubble wrap like a stamp.
  2. Stamps. These might be a bit frustrating, as they are hard to perfect. I tried these when my son was 3, and he was frustrated that the stamp didn’t come out perfectly. It might also depend on the quality and intricacy of the stamp.
  3. Q-tips. Your son can dot with these or use them to drag.
  4. Yarn. Dip one end into the paint and drag along the shirt.
  5. Glow-in-the-dark paint. Need I say more?! You will need several layers of this for it to work though.

Have you let your child create his/her own shirt? I’d love to see it! Share a link in the comments below and I’ll be sure to check it out.


Week 20: Beach Baby Bump

Just a quick update to show you that the beach ball baby is getting bigger! I’m over halfway into this pregnancy and feeling great. And since I’ve been guest posting over at DIY Maternity, I am in love with my maternity wardrobe!

Beach Baby Bump Week 20 | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

And don’t forget to look back at my 16 week beach ball baby! The beach ball is definitely starting to inflate.

Beach Baby Bump Week 20 | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Come on over to my Instagram feed for more baby updates and sneak peaks on all my maternity hacks.

Fun Customized Maternity Shirts

I’m constantly making fun graphics for my kiddo’s shirts, but rarely think of being so creative for myself. Well, enough of that thinking! Today I added graphics to two of my maternity shirts I recently made. One is the Beach Ball shirt and the other is a new shirt I haven’t blogged yet.

Beach Baby Bump | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Customize your Shirt with Graphics | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Both shirts used the Cara Maternity Tee pattern, customized to fit my body (best reason to sew your own maternity clothes right there!). The gray shirt was made from a Target sheet I scored at a salvage store for $5. The purple shirt was made from cotton/spandex purchased from Girl Charlee (aff link).


Want to know how to customize your own shirts? Hop on over to DIY Maternity for the full tutorial. I show you two different ways to make the graphics, depending on whether you have a cutting machine and vinyl or not. And don’t let the fact that these are maternity shirts deter you from making something non-maternity. This tutorial works for any shirt!

How much did these shirts cost me? Check it out:

Beach Ball Shirt Cost | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Star Shine Shirt Cost | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}


New Summer Play Skirt!

Are you ready for summer?! Honestly, I’m really not. It gets so hot here in Mississippi and I’ll be pregnant all summer. BUT, I am excited for some fun things my family has planned. And I’m always ready for fireworks. My son (and hubby) is going on a mission trip to Mexico over the Fourth of July holiday and my daughter was feeling a bit left out, so I decided to surprise her with a new skirt just for her to show off for July 4th.  And of course, since I made it so early, she can wear it for Memorial Day too!

Summer Play Skirt pattern by Nap-time Creations // Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

(disclaimer: I was given this pattern to test. All opinions are my own.)

Yep, she likes it.

Summer Play Skirt pattern by Nap-time Creations // Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Twirl approved.

Summer Play Skirt pattern by Nap-time Creations // Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

But, also, these shorts!!! I cannot tell you how many times I’m telling her to keep her legs down when she’s wearing a regular skirt. She’s just so playful and loves to climb trees and jump all over the place.  And you better believe I don’t want to stop that. But, I’d rather her not show off her underwear to everyone. So, this skirt is the perfect combination of girly and practical for all her exploring. It’s perfect for her.

And you can get yourself this pattern for just $2.50 until this Friday! Super great deal. I’ve already made two and have plans for a few more just this year. The pattern has already paid for itself.

Pattern: Summer Play Skirt (18m-8Y) by Nap-time Creations

Fabric: Blue with White Stars and Red and White Stripe Jersey Spandex, both from Girl Charlee (aff link)

Beach Baby Bump!

The first time I was pregnant I didn’t even know how to sew. Then I miscarried and sewing became a hobby and way to sew for a potential future baby of mine. But I mostly sewed for my nieces. Then I finally got a baby of my own and I sewed all the things. Baby blocks, blankets, bibs, crib dust ruffle, and so much more. Then my baby became a little dude and I fell in love with sewing for boys. Fast forward 5 years and I still love sewing for boys, but have also sewed a bit for myself (and my two girls). In the 5 pregnancies (two loses), I had yet to sew one maternity item for myself. And, here I’m embarking on — what I feel like is my last pregnancy — and about to sew almost my entire maternity wardrobe! I am beyond excited. I don’t even care that I may never wear these beautiful handmade clothes again. I’m going to wear them and love them for the next 6 months. And, that’s all that matters right now.
Beach Baby Bump | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

That has been a glimpse into my sewing journey and not even the main reason for this post.  So, let’s get to it! This awesome beach ball shirt was so fun to make. I did get some inspiration from a store that sells shirts very similar to these, but knew I could make my own. 

Beach Baby Bump | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

And now, after trying it on and seeing photos, I’m realizing this shirt will be way cooler when I’m bigger. But, I’m not one for getting all bent out of shape; instead I think this will be such a fun photo shoot to try and re-create every month or so! Watch the beach ball inflate….Beach Baby Bump | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Beach babies! And by beach, I mean the imported sand next to the reservoir where we live. But, hey, my kids don’t know the difference. 😉Beach Baby Bump | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Shirt details:
Pattern: Cara Maternity Shirt by Megan Nielson Patterns
Fabric: Purple Spandex Knit from Girl Charlee
Vinyl: Silver glitter and white from USCutter

DIY Maternity Tank

Well the secret is out…I’m pregnant! Baby #4 is coming this way in September and we are thrilled. We’ve always wanted a big family and so blessed by God that we’ve been able to have this many children. And since I’ve been sewing more, I feel a lot more confident to sew my own maternity wardrobe!  DIY Tank Tutorial Header 1

Today I’m sharing a simple tank and you can find out how to make your own over at DIY Maternity today! So thrilled to have the opportunity to guest blog over there. Go check it out if you’re needing some new tanks yourself (the tutorial really is great for any tank top, not just maternity!).

DIY Maternity Tank Tutorial Step 5 | Sew Thrifty for DIYMaternity.com

The tank I copied is a Liz Lange Maternity Tank from Target that I got on clearance for $3 and worn so much it’s wearing a bit thin. But I love wearing it under other shirts that aren’t quite long enough. So I paid $3 for a great tank AND a free pattern! The elephant tank cost me a little more than $10 to make.  I don’t mind that it cost more than the original shirt because the material is much nicer with more stretch and durability to it.

Maternity Tank Cost // Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Inspiring you to sew and save