A plethora of projects

I have been a suuuuper lazy blogger but not so lazy in the project department.  So here is a quick update of some of the things I have been doing over the last two months.

Dining Room Lights-

I saw these lights at vintage revivals and knew they were what I wanted in my dining room.  This was one of those projects where anything that could go wrong did.  It took me months to find the vases which I didn’t even get in Montana had to get them in Utah.  Then one broke while I was drilling the hole, this I am ashamed to say caused a few angry tears and my husband to fear that I had finally cracked.  Fortunately I have an amazing sister who tracked down the last remaining vase in Utah and a good friend who was passing through and brought it up to me.  It was a big pain but sooo worth it, I LOVE these lights!



A gigantic clock-

My kids seem inable to look at one of the two clocks in our great room.  They are alwaysasking me what time it is when they can clearly see one of the clocks, it drives me nuts!  So I thought if I made a giant clock, and I mean giant they would have no excuses.  Shipping was cheaper if I bought two clock sets so I made two clocks.  The mechanism and hands I got at woodworkingparts.com (you have to get a special high torque mechanism for such a big clock), the wood for the clock back and trim from lowes, the nailhead trim at joanns and my friend has a vinyl machine so did the numbers for me.  I am going to sell one in a local shop.


This picuture gives you an idea of the size, 3 1/2 feet by 3 1/2 feet.  Now when they ask me what time it is they stop halfway through the sentence and say “oh ya I can look at the clock!”  Victory is mine, mwahaha!!!!!


Doll Beds-

These were made for  my daughters for Christmas using this tutorial


They love these beds, possibly the best gift of the year.

So that is what I have been up to.  Have a great week!

Posted in home dec stuff | 6 Comments

Cordova fabulousness!

Last month I was very lucky to be asked to test a new sewaholic pattern called the Cordova Jacket.  You can read more about it at Sewaholic.net.  To say I like this pattern is a bit of an unerstatement.  I LOVE THIS JACKET.  I made the version with a double layer of peplums in an aqua corduroy my mother in law gave me a while ago (thanks Melanie!).  Here it is…

Isn’t she lovely.  This pattern was drafted really well and the instructions were easy to follow.  My only advice would be to choose your size based on the finished measurements instead of the size chart if you like a closer fit.


Posted in tops | 8 Comments

For my girls room

We just did a big room swap so now all my girls are in the basement and my son is upstairs.  This gives everyone a little more privacy.  So of course I HAVE to decorate the room for my two little princesses and of course I want to spend as little money as possible.  So first project is to redo this bench

dated iron bench

After a few can of pink spray paint and a recovered cushion

I think she likes it!  Next up, headboards.


Posted in home dec stuff, kids | 9 Comments

Custom pencil skirts for sale!

Well I finally did it.  I faced my fear of failure and opened an Etsy shop, Montanachicshop.  I decided to start with pencil skirts.  So if you liked this one

or this one

or if you want something different I have lots of options in my shop so come check it out

Posted in bottoms, randomness | 7 Comments

Mother-Daughter sewing, skirts this time.

For my daughters youth group at church they try to set and achieve a lot of different goals.  So one of her goals was to learn to sew some modest skirts.  So we decided to whip up a circle skirt for her and a high-low skirt for me.

Even thirteen year olds can’t resist spinning with a circle skirt on.

And even thirteen year olds get dizzy and fall into the bushes.  Yes I now have a teenager (yikes), she just had her birthday on Wed.

Here is the high-low skirt.

So we both love them, and since they are flared hip-elastic waist we can even share them (she is a very tall 13 year old).  I know I have mentioned it when I have sewn with my daughter before, but pass on your skills!  I love sewing with my daughter.  It is a great way for us to spend time with each other.  She is learning to do something new and there is a lot of time to talk.  So pass your skills on, whether it is to a daughter, niece, neighbor of little sister 🙂

Posted in bottoms | 5 Comments

How do you decide what to put on your body?

I have a handful of projects that I am getting to the end of so of course I start thinking about what I am going to make next.  So I thought I would make, hmmmm, brain silence.  I can’t think of what I want to make next.  So I started looking at different stores and designers for inspiration, and again nothing.  The reason I can’t decide is because I feel like a lot of the things that are new and trendy are NOT flattering to my body.  So here is the question of the day.  Do you dress your body to

  1. Look your thinnest
  2. Dress on trend
  3. Look sexy or curvy
  4. Or any other option

I am sure we all want to hit different looks depending on the situation, but personally I genereally want to wear clothing that make me look thin, hence my frustration with the loose tops and skinny jeans which I can wear somewhat, but they definnitely don’t make me look thin.  So how do you dress and why???

Posted in randomness | 11 Comments

mini wardrobe submission

For the mini-wardrobe contest you need to make four pieces that will compliment a previously owned piece, or completer piece.  All together you need to make at least six outfits with your items.  So I made two tops, a dress, and a pair of pants.

COMPLETER PIECE- my refashioned navy cropped leather jacket (love it).

TOP ONE- For this top I drafted a loose fitting top with butterfly sleeves, a v neck and gathering at the neck line.  I found this lace at Joann’s that is more like the lace that you would see on the veil part of an old fashioned hat (I am sure there is a name for it but I have no idea what it is).  I liked that I could follow the lace trend with it without haveing to go with a really heavy pattern like you see more often in the stores.  I completely line the shirt.  At first I only had one layer of lace at the necline but it looked a little wimpy so I added the second longer layer underneath it and I love how it turned out!

THE DRESS- Last spring I saw this dress at Anthropologie and fell in love.

The things I didn’t quite love were the 248 dollar price tag, it is silk (four children), and I am not too crazy about the Aztec like print.  I love the shape of the dress, that it is a flowy looking dress that still has waist definition.  So I found this Ikat like fabric at Joann’s in a color pallete that fits perfectly with my other mini wardrobe fabrics.  I started pinning it on my dress form and cutting and sewing until I had it figured out.  The trickiest part was the two gathers at the waist.  I ended up using a big seam allowance then folding it over and stitching with enough room to run my ties through.  Then I made buttonholes in the front to run the ties out of.  This dress has 16 shank buttons.  Do you know how much money 16 shank buttons can run you?  I ended up buying a bag of wood beads for four dollars.  That is only 25 cents a button!!!  I kind of get a little over excited when I get a good deal.  I really love this dress!  I think it will be great for summer because of the style, but will also work really well for fall with a cardigan because of the color pallete.

THE PANTS- I think these pants were meant to be.  I had absolutely no problems sewing them.  I didn’t have to unpick one seam, my thread never ran out at the wrong time, and my idea for changing my pattern looked just like it did  in my head.  I was inspired by a look I have seen a couple of times on Project Runway here here and here (sorry but I couldn’t get a good picture to copy).  I loved the baggy look at the bottom of the pants.  You see I have some issues with skinny jeans, mainly that they make my hips look HUGE, but I love the fact that you can wear cute shoes with them that can actually be seen since the hem of your pants isn’t so close to the ground.  I thought this might be the perfect solution.  I feel like the gathering around the calf gives enough volume to balance out my hips and thighs reducing the ice cream cone effect.  I made these out of uncut corduroy.  I love this fabric it is really sturdy and thick (thinking cold Montana winters here) and really soft.  It feels somewhere between a felt and a velvet nice and soft.  I used the flat front zipper placket tutorial from Threads magazine and and Sandra Betzina.  On a side note I got a kindle fire and I LOVE it.  Usually when I follow tutorials with my sewing I have to run upstairs to see it on my computer then downstairs to do a few steps, then upstairs again and over and over.  This time I just set up my kindle on my sewing table.  It was so much quicker.  I used my awl and hammer to insert the button and a whole bunch of rivets.  I top stitched the begeezes out of these pants with classic gold denim thread.

TOP TWO- This top was originally supposed to be a pencil skirt made out of a carmel colored two way stretch knit.  I only had one day left to make it so I thought “this will be easy, I can knock out a knit skirt in a couple of hours” boy was I wrong.  The knit was pretty thin without a lot of stability so it would show every unfortunate bulge in the stomach, hips, but area.  So I got this great idea to ruch the sides of the the skirt to give it a gathered look that would be thicker and more stable.  When I was done and looking at it in the mirror the game show The 20 thousand dollar pyramid came to mind…

Cattegory- Things that look terrible


  • Sausage links
  • ruched 80s prom dresses
  • 80s balloon valances

Answer- Karen’s ruched pencil skirt!!!!!!  (winning bell, balloons falling, confeti everywhere)

So ya, I was in a pinch.  I quickly looked through my fabric to see if I had something else in the right color pallette, but I really wanted that fabric.  So I chopped up the skirt and made a shirt out of it.  I made really long sleeves (because apparently I am more than a little obsessed with gathering) but I really like the results on this top.  I also have had this idea for a while with a twist on a scarf at the neck.  I sewed a long rectangular strip of the fabric to the front of the neckline then I can wrap it around the neck and hang it down the front for a scarf look, or wrap it around to the back for a turtle neck look.

I am really happy with how everything turned out, I feel like I have a lot of versatile yet unique pieces to wear this fall, and now for your viewing enjoyment here are a bazillion posibilities for these items.

Wow, so I am pretty sure that is the longest post ever.  My eyes are completely dried out from staring at the computer this long.  HOW do people have desk jobs???  I really am happy with everything, the only thing I might change is to make the lace top a little more slender through the ribcage.  I think my favorite is the maxi dress with the leather jacket, I think it is a little unexpected but really cool.  So anyway head on over to patternreview.com  to see all the other amazing entries!

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Sewing a leather jacket… kind of.

While I was at the thrift store the other day I saw a not-so -lovely navy blue leather trench coat.

Isn’t she lovely.  I have never sewn with leather before, but the leather on this coat is so beautiful and in great shape.  I have been craving a cropped leather jacket and this seemed like the cheapest way to get one.  So I came home and ripped it apart with my trusty seam ripper.  I had to cut a lot of fabric away from the collar.  I added a zipper, and took the sholders in quite a bit.  I chopped the sleeves off.  Then I topstitched around the whole thing which my machine did NOT like.

I LOVE this jacket, there is something about wearing leather that makes you feel really cool and amazing!  I am going to use this as my “allready owned piece” for the pattern review mini wardrobe contest.  I did this contest last year and had so much fun!  I am going to make the following

  • Maxi dress out of a big floral in bold fall colors
  • Red kind of skinny corduroy pants made with uncut corduroy (love the stuff it is so soft and almost velvety.
  • A lace top, I think with some sort of peplum
  • A pencil skirt made out of a camel colored knit

I am giving myself an extra challenge this year and drafting all my patterns.  I hope it all goes well, I am almost done with the maxi dress so hopefully I can keep on track.

Posted in tops | 13 Comments

Simple top for a middle school girl (and her mom): day 3 and the question of the day

  • Circle tops are the best!  Super easy, super comfortable and stylish.
  • I didn’t use any tutorial specifically I just searched circle tops, read a few tutorials then went for it.
  • Used knit fabric from my stash that is so old I have no idea where I got it.

  • We made these top together, she did everything on hers except the neckline (she is a little afraid of my serger).  It was a great mother daughter project.
  • QUESTION OF THE DAY- If my 12 year old daughter and I wear some of the same clothes does that mean I am dressing to young or she is dressing too old, or is it just fine?
Posted in tops | 8 Comments

Simple top for a middle school girl: day 2

  • I again used this square top tutorial from c&c .
  • I made it longer and narrower, then I used elatic rushing at the waist.
  • Made from a semi sheer chiffon type fabric from Joanns.

  • My daughter loves it, and I love being able to make her things that she loves and that are simple and easy to sew at the same time.
Posted in tops | 8 Comments