4th of July Flashback


A week before the Fourth, my kids were all looking for their Stars and Stripes outfits.  Our neighborhood hosts a kids’ parade–complete with bike/wagon decorating competition and bake-off–and they wanted to be appropriately dressed.  This year, I didn’t need to do any sewing, because everything we needed was already in the closet.


For my 8yo, she knew exactly what she wanted to wear: a dress that my mother made for my younger sister almost 20 years ago.  My oldest wore it a dozen years ago, when she was 8, and now the next girl in line was excited to match her wagon with stars and stripes.


I’m pretty sure this is a Robert Kaufman print from way back.  The collar is a woven gingham.  The bodice is lined and the skirt is extra long, which she loves.


There’s something really special about handing down a dress year after year after year.  This one is a reminder that if you use cheap fabric, all you end up with is a cheap dress–but if you work with the best materials you can, a dress can be worn and worn and worn again, then saved and worn some more and still look like new.  We were in too much of a rush to even run an iron over this dress, but outside of a few wrinkles, it looks fresh as a daisy.


When I talk to women who sew for their children, this is the story I hear behind their words each and every time.  Many of them wore dresses their own mothers had sewn for them in their childhood, and now they want to offer those memories to their own kids.  I treasure that I have the opportunity to do the same–by passing along things my mother has made, and by making more memories every time I sit down at my sewing machine.

A perfect way to celebrate Independence Day!  Hope you all had a happy Fourth!

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Sewing people are the best people.  I had this thought the other day, not for the first time, but clearly, like a lance through my skull, reminding me that sewing people are the BEST people.  Because they are MY people, in so many ways, in ways that are multilayered and complex and interesting and reflective of analytical brains and widely varied interests.

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Pencil & iPad Cases for Travel

Cotton + Steel ipad and pencil case

The night before we left for our recent epic trip to New York and Boston, I (quite naturally, in my opinion) stitched up some cute little cases for my goodies along the way.

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Adventures at the Atlanta Food and Craft Swap

atlanta food and craft swap june

This past weekend, we ventured out to an event we’ve never attended before: the Atlanta Food (and Craft) Swap.  Hosted by Homestead Atlanta, this is usually “just” a food swap, but this month, they opened it up to anything handmade–and we jumped on it.  I sent my husband the details and we set aside an hour-ish on our Sunday afternoon to head over to the Goat Farm (I think the venue might have helped convince him–he figured he’d get to see the swap and check out Walking Dead sets at the same time).

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TUTORIAL: Applying Piping

When I was dreaming up the Prayer & Meditation Cushion pattern, one of the first epiphanies I had was that it really needed piping.

prayer and meditation cushion | whipstitch

One of the best parts about piping is the way it really defines a seam and makes it POP.  I love it on almost everything–children’s clothes, women’s dresses and tops, pockets for a bit of sailor flair, handbags for a bit of chic, and obviously on cushions.

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THIS year!  Is finally The Year!

gardening with kids

After ages and ages and ages of planning a Real Garden, we’ve finally tilled the soil and sprouted seeds.

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TUTORIAL: Exposed Enclosed Zipper

exposed enclosed zipper black

Ever since I learned to install the “exposed enclosed zipper,” I have been minorly obsessed with them.  They seem to work on, like, a zillion different projects, perfectly.  I used one on the Prayer & Meditation Cushion, and in my Pockets e-Book I wrote about how to install one with a pocket on the back.  These puppies fit on garments, pillows, handbags, you name it.

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Handmade Linen Wedding Napkins

I must really, really, really like my sister.

mitered linen napkins

She’s getting married in two weeks (eek!!), and I agreed to sew up the table linens for her reception.

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Relaxing Herbal Pillow Fill: 10 Recipes

prayer and meditation cushion sewing pattern from Whipstitch

When I planned my prayer and meditation cushions, I knew I wanted to use buckwheat hulls for the filling.  I’d used hulls previously for pin cushions, and I loved the weight of them, and the way they create a really stable base.  I’d also read about sleeping with a buckwheat hull pillow, and thought the idea would translate well to a floor cushion.

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Prayer & Meditation Cushion Pattern

Introducing a new super fast and useful sewing pattern: the Prayer & Meditation Cushion!

Whether you currently have a spiritual practice of any kind, there has been a ton published in the media recently about how meditation is becoming widely used by successful professionals to allow them to balance their work with their personal lives.  Aside from aiding in focus and relaxation, meditation and prayer–separately or in combination–are well documented to increase mental clarity and improve interpersonal interaction.  A little bit of quiet time each day (as little as 10 minutes!) can transform not just your outlook, but your relationships and your work.  Nothing short of miraculous.

prayer and meditation cushion | whipstitch

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