Time to Travel eBook Tour: Just Like Papa Briefcase and eBook extras

Welcome Sewing with Boys readers! I am so excited to join on this eBook tour for several reasons: I have a boy (Carpenter), I love sewing for boys, I love traveling, and I’m taking my whole crew on a BIG almost cross-country road trip this summer.  So, I am going to need all the extra goodies I can get my hands on. Oh, and I don’t let my kids use mobile devices, and we barely watch TV.  Am I ready for a 2.5 day road trip with 3 kids ages 4 and under? Oh dear, just writing that out made it feel more real. But, we are going, so I am packing all the goodies I made from the Time to Travel eBook.

The eBook has 4 patterns and some fun extras. I made the Just like Papa Briefcase and the extra activities.

First up: the eBook extras

The extras include: pirate map, lacing cards, play travel documents, a nautical flag banner, and a coloring page.

For the pirate map, I used an old pair of jeans and some freezer paper to stencil on the map that was included in the eBook. I burned the edges a bit and make the jeans fray to make the map look a bit older and “real.” Before I even finished it, my kids were asking where the treasure was and how to find it! I might have to make another one for my daughter….


I love lacing cards! My son is quite rough though and bent the last ones we had. So this time I had him help me cut, punch the holes, and color the cards. Maybe if he feels some ownership over these, he will take better care of them? Hey, one can hope. But at least if these do get damaged, we can just make some more!




Also included are a driver’s license, passport, and airplane ticket. These are so fun – I just need to pop in a photo of Carpenter and we’re all set!


{Where’s my passport pic, mama? I’m ready to go to Nicaragua!}

I had intentions of making Carpenter a matching game with the nautical flag banner pattern but haven’t gotten around to it yet. Our trip isn’t until July though, so I know it will get done before then.

Next: Just Like Papa Briefcase

I was so excited to make this briefcase! About 2 years ago I had purchased the Birch travel fabric and brown corduroy to make Carpenter a bag and never got around to making it. So this tour was a great shove to get moving and make that case.

On one side there are “stickers” of where Carpenter has been and on the other side is where he plans to go soon with a few extra blank ones for future destinations. As I was making these, I realized he’s a pretty well-traveled little guy at only 4 years old. We are very blessed that we can offer the world to our kids and hope they blossom because of their travels.



I used the Birch fabric for the inside pockets. The outside of the briefcase is a brown corduroy I scored at a thrift store for $2 (for 3 yards!), and the yellow lining fabric was gifted to me.



Time to go!
Does anyone know where the bus stop is?
Oh, I see it, over there!
Hurry, I’m going to be late!
And now I’m early…guess I’ll just sit here.
At least I’ve got lots of fun things to do!
Yay, here’s my bus!

Here’s the breakdown:


I didn’t include the time it took to manually draw each of the unique stickers (about 2 hours) on the outside of the briefcase. Also, these were the 3rd, 4th, and 5th zippers I have ever sewn, so if you’re more experienced, this briefcase probably won’t take you as long.

Thanks so much for visiting with me on tour, and I hope you’ll stick around to see just how fun and thrifty sewing can be!

You can purchase the full eBook here

Enter the Rafflecopter below to win one of these fantastic prizes:
Grand prize: $50 gift certificate to FabricWorm and a copy of Time to Travel*

2nd: 1 yard of fabric from Mabel Madison and a copy of Time to Travel*

3rd: a copy of Time to Travel*

*If you buy the eBook and win the giveaway, they will either refund your money, or send the copy on to a friend of your choice.

But, that’s not all! If you buy the eBook during the tour, you’ll be automatically entered to win a $30 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out these other amazing blogs for more inspiration with the Time to Travel eBook!

April 20: Rachel at Once Upon A Sewing Machine || Michelle at Falafel and the Bee

April 21: Becca at Free Notion || Heather at All Things Katy!

April 22: Chelsea at GYCT Designs || Ula at Lulu & Celeste

April 23: Stephanie at Swoodson Says || Sherri at Thread Riding Hood

April 24: Meriel at Create3.5 || Sara at Made by Sara

April 27: Melissa at Oh Sew Boy! || Stacey at Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts

April 28: Teri at Climbing the Willow || Ajaire at Call Ajaire

April 29: Jessica at The Berry Bunch || Dana at Sew Thrifty

April 30: Stacey at From-a-Box || Maegen at Mae & K

May 1: Kelly at Handmade Boy || Roxanne at Pen, Seb & Rox

The Bimaa: Spring Edition Hacks

SpringBimaa copyI LOVE the Bimaa. Love might be an understatement, actually. I tell everyone to buy it and am constantly sewing one up.

But, it’s spring (here in the US, and in Mississippi it’s practically summer already) and River needs some quick tops.  So, I thought I would play around with the Bimaa pattern. I know she’s in a 4T in that pattern, so I can cut a whole bunch without having to check fit.

I’ve already turned the Bimaa into a dress and loved the result. So, here goes for some tops.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one of the links noted by an *, I will receive some compensation if you purchase something.

First up: Shortened sleeves and thin neckband.

I kept the main shirt the same, including the waistband with a contrasting fabric. I shortened the sleeves by using a shirt River already had as a template. Then, I added the sleeve cuffs and a thin neckline band. I wanted to use the shawl version of the neckline, but I knew it just wouldn’t last much in this heat we get for 5 months out of the year.


I can’t believe someone GAVE me that yellow fabric, and it matches perfectly! The elephant knit is from JoAnn’s, their Doodle collection (picked it up while it was 50% off). They had monkeys and lions too; I was very tempted to get all of them, but I refrained. You know, trying to be thrifty and all. 🙂



{Look mama, I’m an elephant!}

And the breakdown:

Next up: Slight cowl neckline, shortened and hemmed sleeves.

For this version, I kept the front and back pieces and waistband the same and altered the sleeves and neckline again.  This time I made the neckline a semi-cowl by cutting a strip about 4″ wide by the length I needed to go around the neckline. Also, I hemmed the sleeves instead of using a band.

One of the things I love about the Bimaa is how it’s finished – you don’t have to hem anything! But for some reason, I wanted to hem these sleeves. Why oh why? I like the way it came out, but it made me not want to make another one with a sleeve hem. I like quick projects, and this one was quick until I had to hem, switch to a double needle, etc. I just wasn’t wanting to do that on this project. Also, since I made the neckline a bit thicker, it hangs down a little too much. If I use this neckline again, I’m going to add about an inch to the middle of the front pattern piece.

Spring Bimma Hack | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

I love this knit deer fabric; this is my second deer Bimaa made for her. The previous one was on a different colorway. Both deer color fabrics are from Girl Charlee*.

Spring Bimma Hack | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Spring Bimma Hack | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}
And the breakdown:

So, there you have it: the Bimaa for Spring!

Do you love the Bimaa as much as I do!? I’d love to see your versions, hacked, or not.


A Giraffe Dress {Kid’s Clothes Week Day 4}

And the last of all my WILD things: the giraffe.  River picked out a giraffe for her animal, and I knew I wanted to make her a dress. She actually fed a giraffe when she was 18 months old. (She also recently stuck her whole arm down a snake hole) This girl has no fear. But, back to the dress.

I’ve been slowly making her handmade wardrobe using tried-and-true (TNT) patterns. My favorite is the Bimaa sweater, but it’s a sweater. And it’s spring here in Mississippi, which means it’s really summer. So, I took the pattern and omitted the sleeves and fun neckline options. Instead, I used ribbing around the neckline and sleeves. To make it a dress, I extended the length by about 10 inches and flared it out a bit.


My favorite part was the addition of the pockets. Not 1, but 3! Am I the only one whose kid loves pockets?


Three mismatched pockets to replicate a giraffe’s spots. Just enough to mimic a giraffe, but not too much.



{You want me to stand by that tree? No, I’ll get my dress muddy!}
I guess she does have her fear limits.


{What?! Three pockets?!!! Thanks Mama!}

Here’s the breakdown:GiraffeDressTimeCost.jpg

Hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my creations from Kid’s Clothes Week! I’ll still be sewing these last few days, but won’t be able to show you what I’m making until later. Stay tuned!

See ya Later (Alligator)! {Kid’s Clothes Week: Days 2 & 3}

When I first found out about Kid’s Clothes Week’s theme WILD Things, I had just taken my crew to the local zoo. And Carpenter was all about the alligators….that we didn’t even see. And I’m not even sure we have alligators at our zoo, which is hilarious because we have alligators in the water about 1 mile from our house. Yes, I’ve seen them. And yes, I’m terrified. And yes, Carpenter wanted to get closer. Um, no.

But, the dude likes alligators and that was his animal of choice, so here we go! The idea in my head was to combine pieces of old t-shirts to create the stripes of an alligator’s belly for the front of the tank. Initially, I was going to make it an ombre style look, but then realized I just didn’t have the proper greens to make it work. So, I found these two olive greens that were slightly different and decided to stick with just those two to make the stripes.  Then added a pocket because Carpenter requests pockets. Always.


For the back, I did the stripes vertically to mimic the back of an alligator, and then the shirt just took on a mind of its own. I added the graphic “See you later (alligator)” and pieced the whole tank together. And THEN, the tank was begging for me to really make the back look like alligator ridges, so I cut little triangles all down the center of the back. Phew. Done.





And he likes it!


See you later! (seriously, come back tomorrow for my last little WILD thing of the week)

I used FishSticks Designs FREE Tank pattern, some leftover gray ribbing, a scrap of black from a Target jersey sheet, and 2 old green t-shirts.

Here’s the breakdown:


My Deerest Baby {Kid’s Clothes Week Day 1}


I always like to have something quick on the first day of Kid’s Clothes Week –  enter the baby circle skirt. Top it off with deer fabric from Girl Charlee* and Lioness has a fun outfit to fit the WILD things theme. Boom.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one of the links noted by an *, I will receive some compensation if you purchase something.

I used MADE’s tutorial for the circle skirt. Since I used to make these for my Etsy shop, I’ve come up with an average for all the sizes, ranging from newborn to 8.  I’ve listed them here for your reference. Be sure to click over to the tutorial here to understand these measurements.


These are averages based on a knee length skirt. Keep in mind your girl might differ from these measurements or you may want a shorter or longer skirt. (You can even make one for yourself; I have!)


 Hello deer baby!




 She looks like a baby doll to me in this photo for some reason. She’s definitely her big sister’s baby doll, so it’s fitting.  🙂

Here’s the breakdown:


Have you sewn anything for Kid’s Clothes Week yet? Share a link in the comments to your projects (blog, Instagram, whatever); I’d love to see what you are working on!

Garments of Kids Clothes Weeks’ Past

It’s like the ghosts of Christmas past, except not really. Anyway…since it always takes longer to sew and blog about something than just to sew it, I’m going to preview this Kid’s Clothes Week with some garments I’ve sewn up in previous seasons. And here’s to hoping I’m able to make and blog throughout the week!

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one of the links noted by an *, I will receive some compensation if you purchase something.

Fall 2014 {Theme: Storybook}

My kids needed clothes during this KCW, so I didn’t follow the theme. I had big plans for this week and didn’t achieve all of them, but I did make 2 pairs of pants and 1 top for Carpenter, and 1 top for River.


 Treasure Pocket Pants from Sewing for Boys: 24 Projects to Create a Handmade Wardrobe*. Fabric from an old pair of khakis and rocket fabric.


 Deer Bimaa with fabric from Girl Charlee *


 Viking Hoodie. Pattern from Ottobre (4/2014) , fabric from Kitschy Coo

Winter 2015 {Theme: Upcycle}

I was so excited about this theme, I could hardly handle it…and then I got carpal tunnel half-way through the week. I was still able to muscle out 3 shirts for Carpenter and some footed pants for Lioness though.KCWPast-6

Raw-Edged Raglan from Sewing for Boys: 24 Projects to Create a Handmade Wardrobe*.  Fabric was a white t-shirt and a pink Target jersey sheet.


Snap Button v-neck (without the snaps, ha) from Ottobre 1/2013. Fabric from a men’s XL shirt and teal jersey scrap.


Another Raw-Edged Raglan from Sewing for Boys: 24 Projects to Create a Handmade Wardrobe.*  Fabric upcycled from two Old Navy shirts.

As you can see, I’m a bit in love with the Sewing for Boys book and Ottobre too. In the coming months I’m going to share with you about how I chose and what matters to me when it comes to patterns.

Now, here’s to a productive Kid’s Clothes Week!

Kids Clothes Week

kid's clothes week

Kid’s Clothes Week comes around four times a year and I try to never miss it. It’s such a fun week of inspiration, encouragement, and community-building all centered around kid’s clothes! One day I hope to be a contributor for their blog, so maybe if I show how excited I am for this week to start, they’ll pick me…please…maybe?!

What is Kid’s Clothes Week?

A week-long worldwide event where sewers and crafters commit to sew one hour a day for seven days. Recently, the organizers have come up with awesome themes (storybook, upcycling, and this season’s: WILD things) that you can grab onto or simply sew what your kids need for the upcoming season.

Check out all the inspirations here, here, here, and here. Fur, faces, feathers, and more!

Why participate?

Why not? If you sew, want to sew, or are an avid seamstress, Kid’s Clothes Week is a great time to knock out some unfinished projects, get inspired, build a sewing community, or show off your creations! Plus, when you sign up to participate you are automatically entered to win some awesome fabric and a book.

You can go here to sign up. Do it! Even if you’re not sure you’ll be able to sew every day, just join the community and be inspired. Link up your projects for a chance to be featured or peruse others’ works

Kid’s Clothes Week: Sew Thrifty

I will be posting behind-the-scenes goodness over on Instagram and you can post with #kidsclothesweek on any social media outlet. Leave a comment here if you plan to participate and let me know what you create!


See you next week with my first products of Kid’s Clothes Week!

Homemade Face Wash

This blog will be dedicated mostly to sewing, but here lately I’ve been dabbling in making other homemade goodies as well: frappuccinos, loaf bread, coffee creamer, yogurt, granola, and most recently… homemade face wash!

The motivation behind making my own is that I have a better idea about how the product is made with the hopes of reducing my slavery footprint. Lately, I have been doing a lot of research on where and how products are made, and the results are not something that I can live with comfortably. So, while I am extremely overwhelmed with what to do, I am slowly making more things at home. Making my own clothes comes naturally for me, but homemade food and household products are a whole other beast.

Well, the other day I was running out of face wash. So, instead of rushing to the store and buy another $8 bottle, I researched and found several recipes online.  This is the one I ended up with since I wanted to use oatmeal and didn’t want to use more than 2-3 ingredients. I’m lazy.

Want to give it a try? It’s super simple.

~1/2 cup of oats
1 package powdered (dry) milk


Step 1: Grind up oats to a fine consistency

Step 2: Mix 1/2 c of the ground oats with 1 package of powdered milk. You can add more oats if you’d like depending on how much scrub you want. Since this will be my main cleanser, I wanted it to be more milky and less scrub-y.



My kids wanted to watch me the first time I washed my face with it, so that was amusing. And it felt great! I just put some water in my hands and mixed in about 2 tablespoons of the powder. Washed and dried. Afterwards my face felt amazingly soft and very clean.  {I tend to have dry skin, so what works for me may not work for you}.

Here’s the breakdown:


Have you ever made face wash or another household product? I’m excited to try something else next!

Tutorial: Update Baby Clothes for the Warm Season


One of the best ways to be thrifty is to refashion old clothes into new ones. And this tutorial will show you just about the easiest way possible to do that! Follow along to see how you can change baby bodysuits from winter (long sleeve) into spring/summer (short sleeve) attire.

BabyBodySuitUpdate{Throughout this tutorial, I am updating 6-9 month bodysuits}

Materials necessary

Long sleeve bodysuits (search your previous baby’s stash, hit up your friends, go thrifting, or check out a local garage sale! Be sure to wash the garment first if it hasn’t been previously washed just in case there might be some shrinkage)
Scissors or rotary cutter
Thread (coordinating or contrasting, depending on what look you like)
Twin needle (optional)


Step 1: Cut sleeves
Step 2: Iron sleeves
Step 3: Sew sleeves

This is really so simple, so let’s get started:

First step: Cut off the sleeves. I measured another bodysuit of the same size that already had short sleeves. If you don’t have that, just give a guess (and add a little); you can always cut off more later if necessary.


  I ended up cutting off 4.5″ on this one and a little less on the others, since their sleeves were a bit shorter in the original bodysuit.

Step 2: Fold sleeve under 3/8″ and press. You don’t have to do anything to the edges of these sleeves since they are knit. You could serge or zig-zag the edges if you’d prefer though.


Step 3: Finish/sew the hems. I wanted to try several methods for finishing the sleeves.

First up: single needle! This method is for those of you out there who haven’t invested in a twin needle. I highly recommend a twin needle and they aren’t much of an investment, but just in case you don’t have one, here’s another way to hem your knit edges.

As I usually do with knits, I chose a zig-zag stitch with the shortest width possible (.5 on my machine).  This stitch looks straight, but gives a bit of a stretch and is the best stitch to use when working with knits. Then I added a second stitch to mimic the look of a professionally finished garment. It’s nearly impossible to get the two lines to match up, but I did my best.


As you can see, this finish isn’t perfect. I think I might go back and use the tissue paper method (see below) while using a single needle.  But, I wanted to show those of you without a double needle how you can finish the hem of your bodysuit.

Next up: the double needle.

Double Needle


This one turned out fine, but I definitely had to iron the hem to make it a bit straighter.

 Finally, I decided to try the tissue paper method I recently read about. I was a bit skeptical at first. I mean, I like to get things done quickly and really didn’t want to add time to hemming. BUT, for the sake of showing different methods, I tried it. And can I tell you, I am a TOTAL convert! I will never sew a knit hem again without tissue paper. Once you finish sewing the hem, simply rip apart the attached tissue paper like so:

Tissue Paper Method

And be amazed at your incredibly professionally looking hem:

Baby Clothes Update Hearts Sleeve2

So. Much. Better!!

There you have it. Four “new” bodysuits all ready for your lovely baby to enjoy this spring or summer!



Then let your baby enjoy his/her new clothes!


Here’s the breakdown:


So, what are you waiting for?! Go look through your kids’ baby clothes, bug your friends for some hand-me-downs or hit up the next garage sale and find some bodysuits for updating!


Your baby will thank you!

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Handmade Wardrobe: Dolman for the Girl

This year I’m challenging myself to make my older daughter’s complete wardrobe. I know I’ll eventually get all her cousins’ hand-me-downs, but I’d like for those to be fillers for her mostly handmade wardrobe. So I haven’t bugged my sister-in-law for any summer clothes yet.

First up: a simple, super easy and fast dolman! I made a dolman for me when I was pregnant and loved how easy it was and how great it fit. Plus, I got a tip when Carlie’s Dolman from Everything Your Mama Made & More!* was on sale for $1 (yes, $1!) So I snagged it. This is a piece I will make in all sizes (one of my requirements for buying any pattern).


One huge reason I love the dolman style is because you don’t have to deal with sleeves! The first time I did a traditional sleeve I was a mess…..and so was the shirt. If you’re looking for a good first project this one is it!

My girl is obsessed with pink right now (and with her birthday coming up all she wants is PINK! Is this even obtainable?! Ha.) I’m always worried that she’s going to turn down the clothes I make for her if they are not pink. And I have one pink fabric…it’s a sheet from Target…and I’ve already made something for her out of it. (Don’t worry too much about my pinka-tastic girl though, I’ve recently acquired a few more pinkalicious fabrics). Anyway, this dolman is purple, a gorgeous purple tonal stripe, but purple nonetheless. (Fabric from Girl Charlee (aff link)).


She LOVED it!! And now tells me she likes purple too. (Purple for the win!!)




 I chose the hi-low hem, option and love the results. I’m sure at some point I’ll do the other options available in the pattern, but the hi-low is just so cute it’s going to be hard not to do this one every time.



 (she saw her brother’s silly face on Instagram and had to compete. It’s not only boys who make silly faces!)


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