Phinney Ridge

Y’all … it turns out that babies and blogging don’t mix, huh? My last post here was May 17, 2016. And our Jack was born May 18, 2016. So … yes. Proof. But 9 months in, 9 months out, and here I am returning to my sweet little corner of the internets. Before I jump in to sewing, here’s this cutie for your viewing pleasure:


Okay, on to the sewing!

This week I had the privilege of doing another pattern test for Kimberley at Straight Stitch Designs. She creates wonderful patterns … designs for clothing I wear over and over again. The Phinney Ridge cardi is no exception.


In Kimberley’s words, the Phinney Ridge is “classic meets comfort.” I literally couldn’t agree more. What’s more cozy than throwing on a cardi? And is there anything that makes you feel more put together than a well-fitting cardigan? Come on.


You know how hygge is the 2017 trend of word and lifestyle? That’s how I feel about the Phinney Ridge. Just cozy and homey and GOOD.


Both of my cardis were made with jersey knit. The striped fabric I bought for dirt cheap last summer when Hancock’s was going out of business. I should be embarrassed by the amount of fabric I bought from Hancock’s last summer (spoiler: I’m not embarrassed at all. I’m rather pleased.)

The floral fabric was given to me (isn’t that so nice?!?!?) by someone in a local sewing facebook group. And isn’t it so pretty and springy? I love it.


My next version is going to be a knee length version in a lightweight rayon jersey (also bought last summer from Hancock’s). I can’t wait to throw that on over everything. But first, I have to go take care of this guy…


Good thing he has two super-hero sisters to help me.

Happy President’s Day!

If you sew (and you should definitely give it a shot, friends), grab your own copy of the Phinney Ridge Cardi from Straight Stitch Designs now while it’s on sale!

Maternity Montlake

I’m guest posting over at Straight Stitch Designs today with more details on how I modified the fabulous Montlake Tee to work for my maternity needs.

Hop on over and check it out. And while you’re there, you should DEFINITELY pick up your copy of the Montlake Tee pattern. It’s only $10¬†and worth every penny. (I should know … I’ve already made four! And I’m thinking that I probably need a cheesy Valentine’s version for number five.)

Go check out my tutorial!

Montlake testing FOR THE WIN

DISCLAIMER: I actually used my real camera for these pictures; yet they are the worst pictures I’ve posted on this blog yet. I waited until Kenny got home from work, and it turns out that it was too dark and cloudy then, but this is just my real life. And isn’t that one of the things I swore I would do with this blog? Be real? Not just give you the pretty version of everything? Well, here it is: my real grainy photos. Please have patience with me. ūüôā

Since I was a little girl, I would get ideas in my head and need things to be that way. It sounds all great, like, “wow, Holly, you’re so decisive.” Except that no one else lives in my head, so making these things a reality is not so easy. Mostly this applies to clothing, shoes, and textiles issues. You should have seen my search for the perfect fabric to recover the seats of my dining chairs. I spent a good five years searching for the perfect riding boots (I think I just liked this idea a little too early because now you can’t walk into a store without tripping over like five pairs of awesome riding boots).

But this is one of the reasons I love sewing: the creating of something unique. I have the ability to dream up something awesome and crazy, and then MAKE IT HAPPEN!



Last weekend I had the incredible privilege to be a tester for the new Montlake Tee pattern from Straight Stitch Designs. I don’t sew just to make my own clothes. Y’all, I sew to customize my own clothes … to make them reflect who I am. And this pattern is the perfect base for this.

The Montlake tee is truly simple fashion.

It’s simple because there aren’t any unnecessary bells and whistles. It’s not gimmicky; there are no funky parts to it. It’s basic and simple in the most complimentary senses of those words.


But with just a little creativity, it can be turned into fashion. Add a contrast fabric. Change the sleeve length. Make it in a color that POPS. Create something beautiful.


It was a pleasure to get to work with Kimberly on the final tweaks of this pattern. Her attention to detail to make sure this was a perfect product was incredible. I am so grateful for talented people like her who make it possible for me to create.

At its base, the Montlake Tee is a scoop-neck t-shirt with four potential arm lengths and a swing hem. Swing hems are my favorite because, well, I’ve had two babies already. I made pattern alterations for mine to fit over my baby bump as it grows. I will do a more detailed tutorial on how I did this soon.

Outfit Details (If you’re interested in that kind of thing)

Outfit #1:¬†Top – pattern: Montlake Tee by Straight Stitch Designs; fabric bought on clearance at Hobby Lobby / Pants¬†–¬†J Brand Mama J maternity jeans bought on ebay; similar cut here … less expensive¬†here / Shoes – bought off Zulily; similar here¬†or here / Necklace – Stella+Dot Engraveable Bar in Gold / Earrings – Stella+Dot Mondrian Ear Jacket

Outfit #2: Top Рpattern: Montlake Tee by Straight Stitch Designs; fabric bought at Chic Fabrics in NYC / Pants РHue jeggings  / Boots РAriat Heritage Western X Toe / Necklace РStella+Dot Essential Fringe in Silver / Necklace РStella+Dot Wanderer Necklace in Silver / Earrings РStella+Dot Deja Vu Stone Studs in Howlite


All links to Straight Stitch Designs and Stella+Dot are affiliate links. The rest are just to make your shopping easier if you like that kind of thing. You’re welcome.


I’ve never been much of a New Year’s Resolution kind of gal. I’m not anti-change … I just never quite have grasped the idea of making all the change happen at the beginning of a year. In general, if I feel the urgent need for change, then I just try to make that change.

Years ago, a friend told me that she would give a word to each year. It was an awesome idea, but a little daunting to me for some reason. One of those, “Wow … that’s cool. Too bad I can’t do that” kind of ideas. Mostly because the idea of pinning down one word seemed a little overwhelming. What if my year took a different turn? What if I decided in June I hated the word? I don’t know who I thought was holding me to this ridiculous standard of a word, but I shied away nonetheless.

But this year, 2016, I’ve done it. It’s official. I came up with a word. Or, maybe, the word jumped out at me. Because I can’t stop thinking about it.


I love to create. I love to create all kinds of things.

It’s thrilling to take a blank expanse of fabric and make it into clothes … or sometimes even into fashion. (Yes, I have been watching Project Runway again. How could you tell?) This weekend I got to be a part of pattern testing for a talented pattern designer. I’ll blog more about this later, but it was exciting … to get to help someone else create something incredible while I created a few beautiful things myself.

How about this adorable tee? It’s truly a great pattern … and the fabric was warm and cozy (that part was my own doing). Sewists … keep your eyes peeled for the Montlake Tee coming from Straight Stitch Designs.

It’s an adventure to step into the kitchen and turn a bunch of ingredients into a meal. Whether it’s fancy or just simple soup and sandwiches, it’s nourishing, and it’s a privilege.

Yes, I know I just blogged this picture. But y’all … it was so good. The soup recipe is a Pioneer Woman recipe, and I highly recommend it.

It’s an honor that I get to be a small part of a life being created inside of me right now. I’m not arrogant enough to believe the I actually am the One who created this sweet life … but I do get to take part in it. That’s incredible.

22 weeks! Woo-hoo!

It’s exciting … and sometimes taxing … to figure out new ways to create fun and excitement for my children. And then I remember that they need little more than some attention and a piece of cardboard, and they’re having fun.

My sister-in-law is a talented and passionate creator. She posted this lovely thought from Joss Whedon on her instagram last week:

Joss Whedon

And then, I knew I could deny it no longer.

In 2016, I will CREATE. I’m excited, guys.

On being fancy.

I have never thought of myself as a fancy girl. Like, ever. Before I left the away-from-home workforce, I worked for Young Life which meant that I basically wore jeans every single day to work. So I was always casual girl.

Then I became a mom, and my wardrobe just didn’t really change. As much as I’d like to wear yoga pants daily, it’s just not me. It feels really inauthentic for me … mainly because anyone who knows me well knows I’m definitely neither headed to or from yoga. (I’m not anti-yoga or anti-exericse … it just sadly isn’t a part of my life).

So I end up being the fancy girl. The fancy girl who wears fur vests. Last year I found this really pretty faux fur in the clearance bin at Joann. So I obviously bought it. I used a free vest pattern from Purl Bee as my template and lined it with some colorful striped fabric I bought from my favorite etsy shop.

Add to all that faux-fur-fanciness the incredible Warby Parker* frames I want to buy. Kenny thinks they look like safety goggles. I’m ordering a second home-try-on set with all kinds of crazy colors and styles so that he sees just how adorable and not loony these are.

I forgot to put on lipstick. Forgive me … it was before 9 am when I took this picture.

Because who doesn’t need a faux fur vest lined in rainbow stripes??? Although, I must give a warning to anyone who wants to try this: cutting faux fur makes your house look like you’re a bunny murderer. It sheds like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

Erin, your Anneliese would love this, amiright?

Anyway, as it turns out, party of my fancy persona is that I love, Love, LOVE accessories. Like, I feel naked when I’m not wearing jewelry. When people are all, “I’m not really a jewelry person,” that’s equivalent to someone saying, “I’m not really an oxygen person” to me. (Perhaps a slight exxageration.) So it was a natural step to finally, after years of waffling, sign on to be a Stella & Dot Stylist.

I mean, I already wear a ton of their jewelry. I have adorable charms with my girls initials that I wear on a chain with my grandmother’s wedding ring. The Rebel pendant? Please … it’s close to perfect. Oh, and let’s talk about these earrings that are gorgeous and seriously as light as air.

Let’s all pretend that the sun streaking over my face is intentional and artsy, shall we?

Oh, and I actually have silver charms, too. So that my children won’t feel slighted if I’m in a silver mood, evidently. I have been eyeing the Pave Chevron necklace for months before snagging it … it can be worn like 27 different ways or something!

I know this isn’t a great picture. Bless my phone’s heart … .it couldn’t figure out what to focus on here. There’s a lot going on with all the fur.

Anyway, here I go jumping into the world of being a sales-ish person. If you’re interested in checking out more about Stella & Dot, just click on the tab at the top of the page here. Or come by my house Saturday if you’re nearby … I’m having a little party for my fancy jewelry.


*This is not a paid sponsorship of Warby Parker. They neither know nor care who I am. I just really love their glasses.

Lane Raglan two ways

I claim to not really love reality TV. Sure, I had my phase with The Bachelor (who hasn’t?), but it’s not really my thing. I think it’s really because we don’t have cable, though. I do love Project Runway (because, duh). But I will wholeheartedly claim Master Chef. Y’all … it’s awesome and fun and dramatic and probably rigged and I don’t even care.

If you’ve never watched it, it’s all these supposed home cooks who are given challenges and somehow whip up incredible restaurant-quality dishes with no recipes. Ever. It’s like magic. In almost every episode, someone makes like “duck, with asparagus two ways” or “filet of sole with brussel sprouts three ways.” All the ways just crack me up.

But I guess I kind of do this with sewing. Others call it a hack, but that just is a gross onomatopoeic word, so I struggle using it.

If you’ve never seen the glorious patterns by Hey June, you’re missing out. They’re basic patterns that fit a real lifestyle. And I need more of that in my life.

The Lane Raglan is a simple raglan tee. I’m guilty of always wanting to sew “wow” pieces … a cool dress, or fancy Hammer pants. But that’s not always so practical in my every day life. So I forced myself to make a Lane Raglan sweatshirt and there are NO REGRETS!

I don’t know what’s happening in this picture. What am I holding up? Did Elsie take this picture? Why is this the best picture I have of my adorable Lane Raglan sweatshirt?

Then, because I can’t resist the wow, I lengthened the pattern and shortened the sleeves and turned it into this adorable floral dress. That I love and wear as much as possible.

It’s a little amazing that I’m smiling in this pic since I was saying goodbye to my best friend after a glorious five day girls’ trip to NYC. I was weeping inside.

Is it okay to wear floral on a white background in the winter? Help, people … I don’t like putting my beautiful clothes away based on the season. I can layer like anybody’s business.

Megan Nielsen, will you be my best friend?

I first learned how to sew when I was six years old. My mom, who HATES to sew, thought it was important I learn, so she had me take sewing lessons. For whatever reason, it stuck with me.

I picked it back up on and off again throughout the years, but I never had the urge to sew for myself until I was pregnant with Caroline, our second child. That year I asked for the Megan Nielsen¬†maternity pack for my birthday. Y’all … it was meant to be.

My first ever Rie top…I was so proud!

I mean, I’m pretty sure Megan and I were meant to be best friends. It’s just too bad she moved her family back to Australia. Her patterns are interesting, yet easy to sew. I loooove being pregnant (I know that not everyone feels this way), but it’s still so nice to be able to make clothes that make me feel gorgeous. That’s how her patterns make me feel.

I have made the Rie top/dress no less than five times. And I have the fabric all picked out for my sixth one. Hint: it includes leopard print!

My favorite Rie dress … which now has a snag in the fabric so I can’t wear it. I’m in denial.

Thank you, Megan Nielsen, for being awesome. Also, can we please become best friends?

Why I Sew

I have been pondering writing a blog for, oh, a decade now. But over the last two years I have absolutely fallen in love with a specific blogging community … the sewing community. It is creative, fun, interesting, varied. The women (and a few men!) in the online sewing world are all different … and I like that.

Scout dress by Grainline Studio on me. Peirrot Top by Made-by-Rae on my bald baby Caroline

When I was in college, I chose not to be in a sorority. I have no moral issue with sororities, and I’m sure I would have loved my time in a sorority. But out of the sororities at my college, only one stood out as being truly diverse. I’m not really talking about racially diverse … there was sadly very little racial diversity at my university … I’m talking about all different kinds of people. I¬†like being around people who are different from me. I am intrigued by people with pasts different from mine. Or people with pasts similar to mine who have presents that are different from mine. How interesting! I find this kind of diversity in the sewing community.

Out and About Dress by Sew Caroline on me. Handmade dresses on my girls … I don’t remember what patterns I used. Handmade bow-tie already taken off of Kenny.

So, here I am jumping in. Because the one constant among this community is the love of creating. And really, that’s why I sew. Because I long to create. Through my creations, I have learned to love my own body in a way I never really did before. I have learned to embrace my own personal, sometimes quirky, style. But I love the process of taking a piece of fabric and making it into something interesting and beautiful and USEFUL! Oh man … what a thrill.

My crazy Mrs. Roper (from Three’s Company) inspired poncho-sweater.

Thanks for letting me jump in, sewists of the internet. I’m thrilled to join you.