Christmas Countdown Sachets for Celebrate the Holidays blog tour

I’m joining the Celebrate the Holidays blog tour hosted by my friend Sewing by Ti. More details about the other great blogs on the tour are at the end of the post.

I have a dream count down calendar in mind for my family. In my imagination I see village store fronts decked out in holiday cheer; handmade out of wood with little drawers and doors to place all my count down goodies and messages. That dream is yet to be realized, so in the mean time I’ve created my own version in my handmade wheelhouse, fabric.

Advent calendars 4

I used the Advent Calendar pattern from Zierstoff Patterns. There are options for little mittens, stockings, or sachets included in the pattern. I thought the sachets would be the most versatile and I like that I can close them up to keep the goodies hidden from peeking little boys.

Advent calendars 3

I had just enough of the Michael Miller fabric left from my Sewing Portfolios Ambassador project to make up the Advent calendar. I like that all the fabrics go together and to be honest, I really needed that kind of easy.

Advent calendars 1

Having an Advent calendar has been a missing part of our Christmas celebration, so I’m thankful to finally have one after putting it off for so many years.

You’ll really want to see all the inspiration this month from so many of my sewing friends.

December 1st Sewing By Ti (intro), Octaves of Color

Sunday December 3rd, Me Made
4th: Sew Sophie Lynn
5th: Hazelnut Handmade
6th: Tales from a Southern Mom

Monday December 11th, Tenille’s Thread
12th: MNW Sews
13th: Mahlica Designs
14th: Very Blissful
15th: Stitched by Jennie

Monday December 18th, Kate Will Knit
19th: Sewing by Ti
20th: Vicky Myers Creations
21st: Margarita on the Ross
22nd: Auschick Sews
23rd: Shalini’s Blog

Tuesday December 26th: Seams Sew Low
27th: EYMM
28th: Sew Like a Sloth
29th: Sewing By Ti
30th: Kathys Kwilts and More
31st: Embrace Everyday

As always, thanks for reading today.

You can follow me on instagram, Bloglovin, or by entering your email in the right side bar.

Pool Side Beach Party Tour with mahlicadesigns

Hurray!  Summer has finally hit after a cool spring.

We had a lovely beach trip this month and we’ve been kicking it poolside here at home too.

Fish Tote Bag

I like to play in the water and relax in a lounge chair as much as anyone, but I can be a little persnickety about the wet things and sand that go along with it.

Fish Tote Bag

I have this little mesh bag that’s good for wet things, but it is far too small for all our stuff and I usually forget it. When I saw that SewCanShe was putting together a tutorial on making a fish shaped laundry bag I knew it was just what we needed.

Fish Tote Bag

This guy is big enough to tote all our stuff; I can put sandy and wet things down at the bottom, and what little person doesn’t want this fun fish full of goodies at the pool?

Fish Tote Bag

I’m crossing my fingers that this will hold up long enough to make the transition from water fun bag to laundry bag when this little guy is older.

Please visit and leave a comment for the other bloggers on the Pool Side Beach Party.

I’m glad you’re still reading, because we have giveaways and discount codes from the blog tour sponsors.
Modkid is offering a coupon code for 25% off at checkout using code POOLSIDE2016
Sew Happily Ever After is offering 50% off her Nana Tote using code Poolside16
Jenniune Design is having a sale on selected patterns until June 30th. 40% off with code SATYASEASON
PhatQuarters Shop is celebrating summer with FREE SHIPPING on US orders of $25 or more – use coupon code SUMMER25 in our etsy shop
Mouse House Creations has a July 4th sale:  Enjoy 35% off all inventory including patterns & Color Me goodies with code BOOM.
Blaverry:  use code POOLSIDE2016 for 15% off your total purchase, Ends 7/3/16
Modkid Use code POOLSIDE2016 for 25% off your total purchase
5 out of 4:  use code FIREWORKS2016 for 20% off your pattern purchase
Filles a Maman:  use code JULYONETOFIVE for 25% off everything  7/1/16 – 7/5/16

Hop over to Lulu & Celeste to enter the giveaway and check back with her daily for a chance to win new prizes.

Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Purple Polka Dot Bag-ini


I think the Itsy Bitsy part is apparent. The finished bag is about 5.5in X 6in.

When I first saw this tutorial for the Day Out Purse I barely gave it a look, but returned to it as a good option for an upcoming trip.

This project suffered from my attention being divided between another project and a disruption in the family routine. I Do Not multi-task well. Trying to steal a couple minutes at a time often meant the tablet with the instructions was elsewhere, I goofed on the placement of the magnetic clasp, and I cut the pocket piece incorrectly. Nothing fatal though. I was able to improvise solutions and looking at the instructions got me on track.


Pattern Comments: The instructions have you make a 30in strap, I needed 50in to make it an over the shoulder bag. This bag is SMALL, but easily modified to be larger. The card pockets are awesome but the large pocket takes up too much real estate in this small purse.

The end result is a streamlined bag that is just right for my Day Out plans on vacation.


No new fabric was cut in the making of this project. I used up two pieces of my fat quarter collection from my former quilting days. About a hundred to go.

This project should take you a couple hours.

Fabric Bins tutorial

This week I needed a quick and easy project, so I tried out a crafty idea that I saw in Nai Nai’s kitchen. I’d like to share with you how I quickly made a few fabric bins to help wrangle the loosey goosey stuff that lives in the drawers at my house. I’m sure there are plenty of templates and tutorials out there, but I just wanted to dive in and do it my way. Mine are 7x2x2.


You’ll Need:

 Some basic sewing gear, heavy weight fusible stabilizer, two 12×7 inch pieces of coordinating fabric.


Tip: Making multiples is efficient and easy. Stack multiple layers of fabric when cutting and chain stitch your corners.

Step 1: Cut a 12in X 7in rectangle in each fabric (2total) and one 12in X 7in interfacing.

Step 2: Apply the fusible to the wrong side of the outside fabric.

Step 3: Mark a 2.25in square at each corner. Stack your layers and cut out the corners.


Step 4: Sew each corner, right sides together, using a 1/4in seam allowance. Sew from the raw edges down all the way past the cut edge. See below. Do this for all eight corners.


Step 5: Nest the two pieces right sides together, pin if needed. Sew the top edge using 1/4in seam allowance and leaving a 2in opening along one of the longer edges. Turn right side out.

Step 6: Fold under raw edges of the 2in opening and pin as needed. Topstitch along the entire top edge closing the opening.

All Done

Optional Step 7: For some added shaping, pinch together each upper corner and topstich for about 1/2in from the upper edge. See below.

Topstitch the top 1/2 inch
Topstitch the top 1/2 inch
Topstitched corners for more structure

Under the Banner

My father has delved into the art of marquetry (wood veneers inlaid to make a composition) and I’ve been trying to encourage him by managing his blog Earlsmarquetry and being a sounding board for his ideas.

custom pet - CopyCustom pet portraits by Earl’s Marquetry

With a couple shows lined up for the fall, Atlanta’s Makers Faire and the art show at Roselawn, I wanted to make him something for his booth. I landed on making him a banner that could fit along the front of his table. I downloaded some letter templates and after measuring their width, I calculated the spacing I would need to make it all fit on a banner 10in tall and 70in long.

I have four layers here in this reverse applique banner; the dark brown front and backing, a layer of flannel to give it some body, and a layer of woody looking fabric layered under the brown front to be revealed by the reverse applique. I traced and sewed the letters, then cut out the top layer of brown to reveal the woody fabric for the letters.


Even with my meticulous measuring, I still goofed the spacing up. Unfortunately I traced and stitched the first word before discovering my mistake so the second word is a little scrunched.


A project like this should take you about 3.5 hours.

Kids Clothing Week 2014…my plan

Allrighty, its my first time participating in a sew along of sorts. July 21 through 27 is Kids Clothing Week where participants are challenged to sew 1 hour a day for 7 days.

kid's clothes week

Here’s my ambitious plan. Ambitious because I have a toddler that has decided to boycott naptime of late and because I several ideas but have not been as OCD about making sure I have the materials to complete these projects (running off to the fabric store is not as easy as it used to be).

Okay now for my plan, lets see how I actually do.

Project One: Boys Basic Blazer from Blank Slate Patterns

I’ve made pants and a tee from Blank Slate Patterns before and they are a dream to use. I actually have all the materials I need for the blazer except for the buttons. I have a pretty good stash of buttons, so I have high hopes for this project.

Project Two: Winter PJs. Bottoms using Clean Slate Pants by Blank Slate Patterns; Top tbd.

100_3343Here’s my version of the Clean Slate Pant.

I have some charcoal grey and robins egg blue fleece in my stash to use up for the pjs. I have just enough charcoal to make the pants without pockets if I use a bit of the blue as a side stripe and I’m hoping enough of the blue to do a simple top. I give this project about 50/50 chances.

Project Three: Activity Station/Seat Saver

Something like this from 8th Day creations.

Not that we have a super fancy or even super clean car but it grates on me when I hear my little guy’s shoes sliding against the back of our leather seats. I’m hoping something like this will be great for little guy and nerve saving for mommy. I have no ideas on what fabric in my stash to use or what kind of pockets I’ll need. This will definitely be a winging it project. I’m NOT a wing it type of person so maybe not so nerve saving for mommy. I’ll give this one 50/50 also. I don’t think it will be difficult to execute, once I figure out fabric and a basic plan.

Project Four: Monster in the Pocket sweatshirt.

I’m thinking a basic long sleeve sweatshirt with a large zip pocket across the tummy. The pocket lining would be black with a couple friendly monster eyes peaking out.

Pieced Coasters

After moving into a new home last summer, the list of little things we need just doesn’t seem to get any shorter, even after making some coasters this week.


I’m sure you’ve seen coasters like these all over Pinterest and I believe there’s a book out there with instructions, but who needs that.

I used a pieced strip that was extra from a quilt project, reworked it a bit to get 4.25in squares and then cut them into 4.25in circles. I grabbed some 4in felt circles that were in my UFO stack for something else and used those for the batting. I also used up a few additional scraps for the backs.

I’m sure this never happens to you, but when they were all finished I had an oh shoot moment. Look how the yellow-green of the single fold binding is too light.


Thankfully, I happened to have my fabric paints out for another project I’m working on. With about ten minutes of TV time I had the binding all fixed up.


I didn’t keep track of my time like I usually do, but this project should take you an afternoon.

The Wasp Bag


My latest project is the Wasp Bag pattern by machen/machen.

I  had enough remaining fabric from the two year camera bag to make my sister another bag and she chose this really cute one.


The pattern instructions were pretty easy for the most part, though the pocket opening ended up with an exposed seam. With a little reworking I got the pocket corrected and this bag was done up in a snap.


I found the process for pressing and pinning to match up the tear drop shape on the handle pieces very tedious and inaccurate. I would recommend that you just sew that portion, turn, and then line up the straight edges of the handles for topstitching following her instructions. I think you would get a much nicer finish to that part of the bag.

The two year camera bag

100_3136I see it as a gift to be able to use my skills on behalf of my family and friends. Often though, I have to take full advantage of the grace that flows between family members. My sister asked for this bag well over two years ago; before pregnancy, a newborn now a toddler, and a move. She has graciously waited.


Now that I’m finding a little more time to pursue my creative interests again, I’m feeling really good about getting some neglected projects done.


This camera bag was inspired by a bag my sister found on etsy but could not afford. I worked out the pattern and instructions myself, though I would tweak it a bit if I make another one.

Crazy Quilted Tree Ornaments

ImageI’m so glad to finally have something new to share with you. Now that I’m getting settled into a new house and the new baby is not so new anymore, its time to refocus my creative efforts again. The machine is unpacked and I’m working on new items for my Etsy store. This week I finished up a new type of crazy quilted ornament.Image

Introducing the new Crazy Quilted Tree Ornament

ImageI plan on offering this ornament in a limited number of colors, we’ll see how that plan goes.

Abigail Bib by mahlicadesigns

I recently made a Caterpillar Onesie as a gift for a girlfriend’s new baby, shortly thereafter I received an invite for a welcome baby party. I sure didn’t want to show up empty handed , so I needed something quick and easy since my new little guy (three months old now) doesn’t give me much time for sewing and crafting any more. Hurray again for Pinterest. I love the bibs made over at Stubbornly Crafty and used her template to make my own simplified version.

Here’s how I made mine.

Supplies: Approximately one 12 x 15 piece each of terry cloth and quilter’s cotton, coordinating ribbon, and sew on velcro.

Cut out one bib in each of the fabrics using the template. Aline your ribbon across the quilters cotton and sew in place along the top and bottom edge of the ribbon. Using one of your machines fancy stitches might look nice here.

Place your bib pieces right sides together. Starting about three inches from one of the bottom corners, stitch toward the corner and around the bib. After rounding back around the other bottom corner, stop stitching to leave an opening about four inches so you may turn the bib right side out. Clip the seam allowance in the curved areas. Turn your bib and use a tool to push out the corners and curves.

Pin the bottom opening closed. Top stitch around the entire bib, being sure to catch the front and back of the bottom opening to secure it shut.

Sew on your velcro to each side of the neck flaps. Be sure one piece is sewn on the front, and one piece to the back so it will close properly.

Follow me on Pinterest

The Helene Bib Onesie by mahlicadesigns

I’m borrowing my bib idea from my Sweet Treats Top to make another baby gift for one of my friends. This will use the third of a five pack of Onesies I  purchased recently; I’m challenging myself to use them all in a creative way. Let’s see how I do.

Here’s how I made the Helene Bib Onesie.

Supplies: Onesie or other top, two 3/8 in buttons, 1 1/4 in x 2 in fabric for the placket, 4 in x 7 in fabric for the ruffle, and 3/4 in x 1 1/2 in fusible interfacing (optional).

Fold the 4 x 7 in ruffle piece of fabric in half length wise, right sides facing. Sew along the short ends using a 1/4 in seam allowance. Turn and press. Using a long basting stitch, stitch along the top raw edge of the ruffle piece. Use the basting stitches to gather the upper edge into a ruffle.

Pin the ruffle in place at the center front of your neckline.

Center and fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the placket piece, then fold in all raw edges by 1/4 in and press towards the center of the wrong side. Pin the placket in place over the ruffle, being sure to cover the raw edges of the ruffle.

Top stitch around the edge of the placket through all layers.

Hand sew on your buttons.

Flag Garland tutorial by mahlicadesigns

Among my circle of friends, lots of babies are on the way. What a great way for me to combine my love for handmade and trying out some of the very cute ideas I’ve run across on Pinterest. (Follow me on Pinterest)

Here’s how I did it.

Supplies: Fabric quarters or larger scraps in assorted colors. Double fold binding about 40 in  long. Basic sewing supplies.

I wanted to make my finished flags 4 in across the base and 4 in at center height, so I drafted a paper board template with a 4.5 in base and a 4.5 in height and connected the sides. If you have a quilting ruler, it may be more efficient for you to use the marked angles on the ruler to make your triangles of your chosen size rather than make a paper board template.

I made my garland with 12 flags; purples on one side and pinks on the other.

Cut out a total of 24 triangles to make 12 finished flags. I cut out 12 purples and 12 pinks. Pair up your triangles right sides facing. Using a 1/4 in seam allowance, chain sew all your triangles along one side. Next, chain sew along the other side making sure your seam lines cross at the tip of your triangles. Grade and trim the seam allowances near the triangle points. Turn and press your flags. Top stitch around the outer edges.

About 10 in from the end of your binding, place and pin your first flag. Space your flags about 5 in from the beginning edge on one flag to the next.

Fold your binding in half lengthwise and begin sewing from one end. After sewing 2.5 in, stop with your needle down. Lift your presser foot and loop the top edge of your sewn binding around and fit it inside the still open binding. Continue sewing to make your loop and your garland.

Stop sewing 4 in from the end of your binding. Remove from your machine and trim your threads. Now, starting from the unsewn end of the binding, sew 2.5 in and repeat the process to make another loop. Continue sewing until you meet your original seam, back-stitch, remove, and trim your threads.

Caterpillar Onesie by mahlicadesigns

I came across diddledumpling‘s  really cute idea for a caterpillar detail on Pinterest and was inspired to make one as a gift. This will use the second of a five pack of Onesies I  purchased recently, I’m challenging myself to use them all in a creative way.

Here’s how I made mine.

Supplies: Onesie or other top, six 3/8 in buttons,  small bit of black embroidery floss.

Arrange your buttons along your top and sew in place. Use the embroidery thread to create the antenna. I made french knots and back-stitches.

Follow me on Pinterest

A gift for Grace: Fan stitch crochet blanket

Baby Grace has joined the family of our good friends. Often, baby number two does not get showered like the first, so I wanted to make something especially for her.

I’m a beginner at crochet, but found The Crochet Stitch Bible by Betty Barnden at my local library very helpful in learning the fan stitch I used in the body and the picot edging for the top and bottom edges of the blanket.

Crochet necklace tutorial by mahlicadesigns

I thought I’d make a quick and easy crochet necklace for a girlfriend’s birthday.

Here’s how to do it.

Supplies: Bernat Matrix trellis yarn or similar. Size J or similar crochet hook. One coordinating button. Scissors.

Measure out a 12 inch tail of your yarn and then make your slip knot to begin your crochet. Simply chain stitch for 15 inches. Keeping your hook in the last chain, measure out another 12 inches and cut your yarn. Pull your 12 inch yarn tail through your last loop to secure your chain and remove your hook. Repeat this process to make three strands for your necklace.

Group your three strands together and make a knot at the beginning and end of your chains.

To make a closure, we will add the button and create a loop. Thread one side of your yarns through your button. I had no problem fitting three yarns through a standard button. Now drape your necklace around your neck to a length you would like and adjust the button along the yarns to fit at the back of your neck. Make a couple knots to secure your button and trim the excess yarn. For the loop, measure the length of your yarns to match up to your button side, make a loop around your button to make sure it will fit and knot off your loop. Trim your excess yarn.

How to make a monogram top for baby by mahlicadesigns

I came across a really cute appliqued top by Dana at made and was inspired to make a monogram onesie for the new guy on his way to our family. Since the Onesies I purchased came in a 5 pack, I’m challenging myself to use them all in a creative way. Let’s see how I do.

Here’s how to make the monogram.

Notes: You can skip the fusible part and attach the letter directly to the top using your outlining stitches in the step starred below**

Supplies: Onesie or other top, craft felt approximately 2in by 2in,  embroidery floss, fusible interfacing**, letter templates, fabric marking tools, large eyed needle, scissors, iron.

Choose a letter template that fits the area on your top or trace it out free hand. Place your letter template (right side down) onto the wrong side of your craft felt, trace the outline, and cut out your shape. Repeat this step for the fusible interfacing, the non-fusible side should be face up when looking at your letter.

Now, start adding running stitches to the interior of your letter using the embroidery thread. Fill up the middle area first, we will use the last row of running stitches along the outer edge to baste on your interfacing. This is a great way to use up those short lengths of threads you’ve been keeping.

I placed all my knots to the back, but you could have them on the front for more texture if you like.

Attach the fusible interfacing to the back of your letter using one last row of stitches around the outer edge of your letter. **(Alternately you can use this last row along the outer edge to attach the letter directly to the top and skip the fusible.) All those knots should now be covered and the fusible side should be facing out.

Center your letter onto your top and pin in place. Set your iron to the setting recommended for the fusible interfacing. From the inside of the top, press to fuse the letter in place.

These instructions and your finished project are intended for personal use, please do not resell.

Spa Cloth: a crochet test pattern

With a baby on the way, I’m mulling over how many layette pieces I can and want to make for myself. So far, I’m pretty sure on making a crochet blanket and a quilt.

This weekend, I took a practice run using the Blue Lagoon Spa Cloth pattern tutorial by Heather over at The Good Life.

I worked up her pattern with a  scrap ball of worsted weight acrylic and an H hook. For the real deal, I would use a cotton for a softer hand and a larger hook for a more open look to the pattern.

I did some extra rows of the edging to use up all my yarn.

I now have a very nice addition to my dish cloth drawer.

Need a little help with a half double crochet stitch like I did? check out theknitwitch on YouTube.