pretty blouse faq

Okey dokey! I've had a few questions about the Pretty Blouse pattern, so I hope you'll find this helpful (I'll add to this as new issues arise):
  • Printing the pattern to scale. If you print directly from the current link on SMS, you will find that the 1-inch test box on page 3 prints at 1.25 inches. No bueno. I am working with SMS to provide a link that will download the pattern at the correct scale, no monkeying around required. If you're the impatient type (ahem), you'll need to monkey around with scaling options before you print the whole shebang. 
  • The correct layout for the sleeve pattern pieces. On the pattern piece layout guide (page 2), it looks like there are only 2 sleeve pattern pieces. There are actually 3. I just forgot to change it.
  • Fitting the pattern pieces together. You may have to fudge it a little. I tried to be very exact, but it is my first pattern, so it's been a (big) learning experience. 
Thank you so much(!) for all your sweet e-mails, comments, and pins. I was so so so so nervous about sending this pattern out into the blogosphere, and despite the scaling issue, all the good vibes have made me braver to try doing another pattern in the future!

Also, let's have a HUGE SHOUT OUT to my amazing, patient, brave, wonderful pattern testers, Jessica, Kara, Leisel, and {i love you all, but especially} my rad sis in-law Bev, whose sewing ninja skillz are, like, epic. No really.

Woah, is it Thursday already? Geesh. Happy sewing, everyone!


uplifting download: he'll go with you

Welcome, Life Made Lovely readers! It's so nice to have you here!

With all the comings + goings of summertime, I've been thinking a lot about busyness, schedules, 
and trying to spend more time doing stuff that, you know, matters.

Sometimes it is hard for me to choose. 
What I should do -- what I want to do -- what He wants me to do -- 
they don't always align. 

But I do know that I can have Him with me, no matter what.

Whatever life is handing you right now -- you can have Him with you.
He can help you.
He knows you + He loves you.
Isn't that just the greatest?
I think it is!

Hope you enjoy the print -- I'll be back soon with some super vintage finds.

I hope your week is off to a beautiful start, my friends!


new shoes + other happinesses

:: 4-day weekend for my man! BBQing, farmer's marketing, and lake swimming in store, hot dog!

:: 3-bone shoes on clearance at Voldemart, eek!

:: 2 new baby boys to 2 of my high school besties, both born au naturel. welcome to the world, charlie and adam!

:: 1 exciting giveaway you should really check out! tons of amazing prizes, including a modern marigold bunting kit. entries (1 book = 1 entry) benefit heather's incredible joyful life library.

:: 4-3-2-1 liftoff! sorry, couldn't resist.

:: ps -- tons of new listings in the shop -- and a featured spot in a pretty treasury today!


vintage sheet bee quilt top -- done!

Last night I got out my Vintage Sheet Bee blocks that I've been meaning to put together for-ev-ah. And oh! talk about a happy way to spend an hour on a summer evening. Vintage sheets just make me so stinkin' happy.

I sewed two blocks together really crooked, and as I was ripping them apart I thought of an article I read in the Ensign a while back. The author was talking about how ripping out just one stitch here and there can destroy a piece of sewn work, even though you might not notice it at first. Then she talked about how skipping scriptures and prayer here and there can weaken us without us even noticing.

I was adjusting my stitch length as I was thinking about that, then realized another parallel there -- the shorter the stitches, the stronger the seam. Likewise, I know that when I pray and read my scriptures more often and more consistently, I feel stronger and happier.

Parallels aside, I'm super excited about this quilt. I think I'm going to turn + tie it, rather than quilting + binding. More out of laziness/impatience than anything else. I can't decide whether to put in batting or whether to just sew backing + top together for a lightweight summer throw. Anyone have experience with that?

Epic thanks to the ladies of the Vintage Sheet Quilting Bee for this one! You can find my tutorial for this quilt block at my old blog.

Happy Thursday -- it's almost the weekend! Yay!


new duds tee

Surely you know Candace, aka Ms. Sparkle Power? Well, a couple of weeks ago my luck was up + I won a giveaway she hosted from New Duds!

I picked the Shallow Tree shirt. The quality of this shirt is incredible -- both of the shirt itself (so soft! they use American Apparel tees) and of the screen printing, which machine-washed and dried perfectly. I've worn it twice in less than a week + I'm in love. Any of their shirts would make a super nice present for someone who likes a good tee. Thank you, Tessa and Torrey -- I'll be back!

tug hill bluegrass festival

Fried chicken and blueberries, perfect weather, and toe-tappin', banjo-beatin', yodelay-hee-hooin' good bluegrass.

Such a good day.

Happy Tuesday, fun friends!


while my husband pretended to be the taliban and got shot at with paintballs

So my rad sister in-law Amber called me up exactly 2 weeks ago and said something like this: "Hey! Our husbands will both be out of town next week. Let's go to Indiana!"

And I said something like this: "Okay!"

And our husbands (who are brothers) said something like this: "You're crazy!"

Crazy maybe, but we had a smackin' good time. Among our many exploits were:

:: playing in Grandma's barn ::

:: catching, terrorizing holding, and losing a frog  ::

:: popsicles after church (pants optional) ::

:: a grandma-endorsed water-spitting fight ::

:: the most extraordinary (cinnamon sugar-dipped caramel, ho.ley.mo.ley.) donuts on miss maren's birthday
(and her looking sideways to make sure no one's coming up from behind) ::

:: swimming with cousins at auntie sarah's house (another rad sister in-law) ::

:: cousin wyatt, showing us how it's done ::

:: maren loved her new swimmy too much to get it wet, obviously ::

:: fun dip, wall-e, and popcorn ::

:: sweet aqua doors at the super 8 in pennsylvania ::

:: home! and way too pooped for clothes ::

(Such) a good time was had by all.

Thank you Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Sarah, Uncle Tyson, Aunt Amber, and all our cool cousins! *Loves!*


friday finds: midwest edition

We made sure to leave ample time for thrifting in Indiana/Ohio, and holy moly! I'm glad we did. I'm most excited about that pink Pyrex covered casserole, found for something like $8 at a flea market somewhere in Ohio.

The girls were so good to let me drag them around "treasure hunting" -- they got to pick out a few stuffed animals along the way, so they were pretty happy. I have big plans for the handkerchiefs (some are from here in NY) and food labels (taps fingers conspiratorially).



Just back from a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants trip to meet up with family in Indiana, just the girls and I.

We are smoked.

The girls were in bed at 6:30.

We all feel about like this.

(Her left eyelid droops when she's tired. Just like mine.)

Thanks for all the love on the Pretty Blouse. I feel so special!

I have so much to share with you. New ideas, new projects, lots of gooey family pictures (mua ha ha).

See you soon!


pretty blouse pattern available today

Yee haw! The Pretty Blouse pattern is available for download today at Sew, Mama, Sew! Also check out their nice intro here. If you're new around here, welcome! Poke around, check stuff out, and have a good time. More tutorials and patterns are in the works, so I hope you'll stick around!

Smooch smooch!

Nadia Izruna via Colette Patterns


pinterest, print edition

Thanks for the sweet comments + e-mails yesterday. I'm doing a lot better today, thanks to lots of rest + blessings over the weekend. Good thing, too, because my little chickies need their mama! They have been so sweet the past few days. Little kids are so amazing in their capacity to just roll with it. Most of the time.

So I like to keep a design idea notebook handy here at home. Here's a few recent pages that I keep going back to for inspiration (sometimes it helps me visualize what a pattern might look like when I actually draw it on paper).

If you're interested in pattern design, try Built by Wendy Dresses. It is my go-to book for a starting point when I'm drafting any kind of pattern, dress or no. I think it is a totally worthwhile purchase!

Speaking of which, the Pretty Blouse pattern will be available on the Sew, Mama, Sew blog on June 16th! I'm super excited/nervous. I still have a little list of kinks to work out, though, and they need to be done in 2 days! Eek! Better get to it...



here's to a happy week

Rough weekend.

ER Friday. Burst ovarian cyst (apparently). Plus a bad cold.

Took 3 naps Saturday, then slept 8 hours that night. (that part was kinda nice. thanks, love.)

Stumbled out of bed Sunday feeling rather better.

Very happy to be up and doing today.

Highlight of the weekend -- see what I found by our mailbox??!

Asparagus!! Most of it has already gone to seed (drat), but I'll be ready to pounce next spring.

Here's to a better week. I've got some exciting stuff going on this week -- today I'm excited about a couple of new pieces in the shop that I made from regular vintage fabric (as opposed to bed linens). I have so many design ideas floating around in my head -- more on that later this week!

Hope you are well. Smooch smooch!


easy saturday lunch: leftovers omelet

If I were going to be stranded on a desert island and could take one cookbook with me, it'd be Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. (Provided that desert island has a kitchen. And a grocery store.)

Not so much because his recipes are great (though they are), but because the man is a food-idea MACHINE. Especially when it comes to ideas about how to use leftovers.

My leftovers, in this case: grilled sweet potatoes and roasted onions/garlic/peppers. And some arugula for good measure. I wasn't sure that all those things together would taste good in an omelet. But they did. Oohhh, they did.

The girls were not interested, but this was good, because there was more for me. I'm feeling some omelet adventures coming on.


pie face

We were at an Army meeting the other night where the guys had the chance to bid on pies to throw at their leadership. They'd been out in the field (i.e. camping + blowing stuff up) for a few days, so they were greasy and needed showers anyway.

(Fundraising with men. It works.)

My man was one of the first to go, which was a good thing, because it got ugly a little bit later. His pie (a plate full of whipped cream and chocolate syrup) was worth $35 to this particular soldier. Not bad, love!

Good follow-through, Shelby. See the whipped cream still flying in that last one?

This guy was towards the end, poor soul. That's when they started mixing in condiments/leftovers from the BBQ dinner. Like I said. Men.

Also, I made the Utah Salad Special for the BBQ pot luck and the single soldiers completely flipped their wigs. 

Single girls, if you wanna win a dude, make him this, stat.

Or just make it for yourself and forget the guy. 

Either way works.


little gifts for quality friends

Getting packages in the mail is the best. This little number is for my old friend Nicole, who is quite possibly the classiest lady I know. She a) has a classy job at Pottery Barn's corporate office, b) lives in a classy apartment in SF, c) is classy.

The apron is based on this Grosgrain tutorial from forever ago. Nicole & I made a trade deal back at Christmastime where she made a (uh-huh) classy certificate on deliciously thick paper, certifying that my man could pick out a fancy man-watch as his Christmas present, in return for which I would make her an apron to match her new kitchen. I'm just a leeeeetle bit late (covers eyes).

That got me to thinking of other possible housewarming/just because gifts to make or buy and send to friends. Some ideas (because who doesn't love getting happy mail?) --

pistachio-apricot granola (peeps. you should make this anyway, right. now. uber props to my rad sister in law)

bunting! (duh, silly.)

I always hesitate a little to randomly send someone home decor stuff (what if they hate it?) -- but these ideas are so cute and non-threatening that hey, if nothing else, they'll know you love 'em.

What do you think? Do you give home dec stuff as gifts? What's your go-to?