:: Behind the scenes with the Town & Country bag ::

Popping in to share what's new this Fall from Two Peas in a Pod Homegrown Designs... Two new patterns are being introduced and today, I'm sharing a behind the scenes look at our photo shoot with Britt Lakin Photography.

We shot these at one of our local metro parks where the colors are amazing right now as we transition into our Fall foliage here in Ohio. That super cute model?  She's one of my nieces.  Super sweet girl (Thanks Natalie!)

After a few adjustments - we got a ton of fabulous shots thanks to Britt.

{you sincerely should check out her website and like her on Facebook.  she is so gifted.  she and I can talk about the feel I want for a photo and she nails it for me every time.  it is such a joy to work with her and a blessing}

The Town & Country bag features a unique flap closure that allows you to reach in to your bag without opening it all the way for quick access.  It is accented with removable handles that is great for throwing on your arm.  Wear it crossbody to have a hands free bag - 2 great options for your busy life style.

Shown on our pattern cover using Thomas Knauers new fabric line, Frippery.

The Town & Country bag sewing pattern from Two Peas in a Pod will be introduced to shop keepers at Fall Quilt Market.  Be sure to ask your sales rep at with your favorite distributor!  Shipping on this new pattern will begin in late November 2012.

Thank you Britt Lakin Photography for your amazing talents and thank you Natalie for being wonderful you!

What do you think?  Are you ready to sew this one up?  I hope so!  It's a fall favorite of mine.

Next on the blog, I'll share the 2nd new design release, the Lily Wren Wristlet!

{my handmade holiday list}

   

I am making my list.

My handmade holidays gift making list.  Have you got yours together yet?

You know what happens, every year, without fail, December 10th or so hits and suddenly I am sewing maniac - staying up late - making all kinds of things for teachers and friends and family.

Not this year.  I promise.  I'm going to start early!  (and if you are already done with all your making and it's still October - I don't even wanna know!!  LOL!)

So I have some Two Peas ideas to share with you AND some serious discounts too!  Sale ended Oct 31st

Teachers

  1. How about a patchwork lanyard?
  2. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Schoolhouse Clutch pattern.  It holds a full size notepad and it's just cute!
  3. These patchwork wristlets are perfect especially with a little gift card from oh, let's say Starbucks, inside!

For Friends and Family
  1. My favorite go to that my sisters and friends love, Sprouts Scarf(lette)
  2. I am making my Mom one of these table runners this year but with a winter theme in blues and neutral colors and the words "let it snow"
  3. The Hazel Hipster and the Mary Beth Messenger are both favorites of my nieces.
And for all your holiday baking...you can't go wrong with this adorable apron for YOU.
I already have some fabulous holiday prints picked out and on my cutting table to make Patsy Ann Apron tops for my girls for our cookie baking this year.  These are quick and SO easy!!  One of my peas even made one herself this summer to wear as a top - but I'm anxious to make them a few Patsy Anns just for Christmas!  AND Extra fun because you can wear it both IN the kitchen and OUT shopping!  Bonus!
So, along with some free tutorial help here - I have pattern discounts to share with you too!   To help you with your handmade gift giving.  One of my non-sewing friends a few years ago bought me a fat quarter bundle, a new pattern and a gift card to a local quilt shop.  Best gift ever!
ALL OF THE PATTERNS in my shop RIGHT NOW are 15% off. AND on top of that, buy any 3 patterns and get a 4th pattern free. Buy 6 patterns, get the 7th and 8th pattern free.  (Limit of 2 free.).
Sale ends October 31st.
(Be sure to mention in the comments your free pattern selection)
There are tons of handmade holiday ideas out there - do you have one to share?  Leave your ideas in the comments section...and get busy on that crafting list so you can be done early and enjoy the holidays!
Linking up with Today's Creative Blog

: : pattern drafting : :

One of the things I enjoy about sewing is that there has, and I imagine, there never will, come a time where I "know everything".  I learn something new about sewing all the time.  ALL THE TIME.  From spending time and talking to others who have a great deal more experience than me, like SuperNova, my neighbors mother who has been sewing for the better part of 50 years. And also, from taking classes.

This summer I took a pattern drafting course from Esther Chung (you gotta follow her blog - she is getting married and making EVERYTHING herself - she was also a semi-finalist on Project Runway!).  It's always a great thing to expand and learn new skills.

I have a pretty hefty handful of garment sketches waiting to become part of the Sprouts Sewing pattern line.  But I felt like I knew NOTHING about sewing with this class.  It was not intuitive to me.  It's so new and so many different concepts that I moved through it quite slowly.  

Learning how to take measurements and make a flat pattern and muslin.  Fittings.  Then applying that to your sketch.  I think Esther may have been ready to choke me a few times.  I asked a lot a lot a lot of questions over and over and over.  

I started with the most complicated of sketches thinking that I should take advantage of Esther's expert knowledge.  But I'm thinking that rather, I should have done something easy so that I could better grasp the concepts and make sense of it all.

My first muslin was close but certainly needs tweaking.  Everything fit but it didn't "twirl" as much as I had hoped.  And this is a women's pattern.  I think I will repeat it for tweens as well - I really love this skirt.  Note all the threads all over the floor...pretty much a constant state in my sewing room.  I really need to ditch the carpet but I hate spending money on ripping out perfectly acceptable carpet.  We will save that for another day, I guess.

Already thinking about taking the draping class with Esther...I have some ideas cooking for new patterns!

Pouring. Down. Rain. Miracle.

Would you guess that as this shot was taken, the rain...started...to...POUR!  BUCKETS!  I can't believe how awesome this came out for as hard as it was raining!  We were a bit under the trees so we got lucky!  LOVE IT!

This is my Pocket Full of Posies banner and I love how cute our little model looks with her fairy wings enjoying our tea party we set up.

Before the photo shoot for our patterns and pending Quilt Market...we spent time sprucing up the playhouse my Dad and husband built.  Dills Nursery loaned us some fabulous plants and it looked stunning!  

The gardener (aka my husband) really out did himself!  He repainted everything, powerwashed all over the place, hauled plants, watched kids...super Dad for sure!

I've been writing writing writing working on text for the patterns and really, not much else.  I'm kinda feeling out of sorts because my sewing machine broke as I finished up the last sample for the photo shoot.  And it's been down for more than a week now.  Can't remember the last time I stayed away from my machine that long...

So I've started daydreaming about Halloween already...I know, I know.  It's my favorite holiday...I think I might start decorating in a couple of weeks so I can really enjoy my entire vintage collection I've amassed over the years.  I've started browsing on etsy...found this fun little item!

I'm gonna have some serious fun watching what pops on etsy over the next few weeks.  I seriously LOVE vintage Halloween decor!  Fun!

Do you have a favorite holiday you like to decorate for?

Don't forget - the Chantelle Nicole Giveaway ends August 31st!  You still have time to get in and explore all the wonderful jewelry items she creates!

xoxo,

Trish

Sausage fingers

Can you see me? {muffle...muffle...snip...snip...whir...whir...tossing fabric....} How about now?  I realize it's kind of crazy in here with all the cutting and stitching and the ipod playing in the background and the iron steaming and the hair pulling and all...and that stuff is kind of thrown all over the place.  That's me in front of the machine...where I've been sitting for a very long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long time.

The two peas spent the week at my parents house.  Local Grandma came over to watch Sprout.  And I spent many hours this week holed up in my sewing room - sewing like mad.

Friday I...wait for it...Friday I sewed...are you ready?  Ready?  18 hours.  Ok, Maybe 16...I did stop to eat and I did sit down for about 20 minutes while I waited for my friend Kristen to come over.  I texted her at 8pm something like, "I am losing my mind.  Busy?  Please come to my house.  I need reinforcements.  Please.  PLEEEASE!".  Being the wonderful friend that she is, she called me immediately and said, "What's wrong?".  I shared with her my insanity and that I couldn't even see to thread my needle anymore and she zipped right over.

As I sewed over a tube in a pillow I wasn't supposed to for the 3rd time at around 2am, Kristen says, "don't make another stitch unless I say so."  You know how drunk drivers weave all over the road way?  That was me...sewing all crazy and haphazardly.  I was losing it.

Why the insanity?  Did I mention before that I'm working on a line of sewing patterns? We are actually working on 14 different patterns, have applied for, been accepted and paid for a booth at the International Quilt Market in Houston in October and are gonna JUMP!

I have had such great response from the trunk shows I've been doing the last few years that I'm taking many of the things I have been making for years and years along with some new things and putting them all together in patterns so you can make your own.  I mean really, I only have so much time and so many hands...I was finding it impossible to keep up with all the orders and requests.  So everyone...getcha a sewing machine and learn how to sew!

This first batch of patterns will have some home dec items, functional items, a quilt, lots of bags and some kids clothing.  A pretty fun mix that I hope everyone will enjoy making and using.

But I have to admit...my fingers feel like fat little sausages and now that all the samples for the pattern covers are done...I'm stepping away from my machine.  For a few days at least.  We are taking a little staycation this week...gonna go to some water parks, and the zoo, and tour around Cincinnati a bit.  I can't wait to have a break.

{I swear, I know other people work really hard...but my husband and I work like 15 hour days everyday.  Day jobs, kids, chores, business stuff...its so exhausting but in an exciting, anticipatory kind of way.  This is something totally new for us and I, love having him be fully on board and working with me.  He even comes down here and says, "I've designed a new apron..." and proceeds to show me some crazy strap thing that only a guy could come up with...that I'll probably have patterned for Spring :>)  Ha!  Ha!}

Next week, the marathon photo shoot.  Britt of Britt Lakin Photography who makes my heart swoon she's so awesome, is gonna come hang at my house for an afternoon.  Last night, Carla (our awesome business partner, family, friend, spiritual mentor, fabulous cook - more on her later this week) and I mapped out all the shots and made a quick trip to the store for a few props.  This morning, the gardener woke up at 5am to finish painting the playhouse.  It has a fresh face for all these photos for next week and it looks so cute!

Can't wait to share so much more with you in the coming months as this all starts to fall into place...

xoxo,

Trish

Danielle...from just a jump north from Columbus, helped me test the Patsy Ann.  I'm not sure how I got so lucky as to have so many fabulous women volunteer to test for me but Danielle is one of those amazing women who I wish I could be more like...

"Joint heir with Christ, Wife to an international man of mystery, Mom to 5 home educated blessings, for sanity time I run and sew. Have yet to figure out how to combine both passions into one :) And while I love sewing and like running, the thing I am most passionate about is being a great wife and mother. I delight in the ministry God has given me in my home. When I married I neither cooked or sewed. But the learning curve was worth it and I am now passing these life long skills along to my daughters and "mom" friends."

Ok Danielle, I have an idea.  You've seen those little handheld "sewing machines" "As advertised on TV", right?  So, for small projects, you know, like a pillowcase...get it all pinned before you go, take that hand held machine...viola!  Sew and run at the same time.  Genius, I know.  Thanks for your help Danielle!

Now, the photos came out a little grainy but the smile is unmistakable.  Meet Megan from the Newlywives. Megan and her cousin Emily are newly married, both to Matt's and are the blog authors at the Newlywives.   Their blog, well, it's as much fun as Megan looks here!  Fun!Megan was kind enough to give the Madison bag a test run and she made up this cute version in brown.  She even patchworked the strap which is a look I love!  Thanks Megan for testing and go visit her and send her some love (she has a great posts on gardening, cooking and I LOVE the posts they've done on handmade weddings.)

If you've made up the Patsy Ann Apron Top (or plan to before August 15th) be sure to post it over on my Flickr page.  Everybody who has posted a Patsy Ann project over there by August 15th will be entered into a drawing for a $25 shop credit to Two Peas.  (ohh...how cool!)

Patterns are about all I've doing lately.  Well, that and hanging out at the pool.  The girls are on swim team at our city pool this summer and I do always look forward to it because practice time gives me an excuse to sit poolside and sew, chat and swim with Sprout for several hours a day.

I really had the best of intentions of being really organized this summer and getting so much done.  But, I think I've given in to the reality that life with kids is very unpredictable.  I mean, I knew that before but, the more kids you add to the mix, the more "stuff" that happens, literally, every day.  The best laid plans, fall apart daily it seems like.  I've put out the call for help to many of my friends to help me with sewing orders, testing, trying to do all these things.

The truth is, this business of mine, is really important to me.  I guess I feel like after my husband and I have served in careers in service to others in law enforcement and education, we deserve to do something for ourselves.   There is nothing good in life that doesn't come from hard work and sacrifice.  And we work really, really hard.  All I really want is to take care of my kids and worry about how to do that  a little less.  Clothe them, feed them, make their life a little easier.

Is that too much to ask?  Isn't that what we are all trying to do everyday?

xoxo,

Trish

These girls can rock it...

I know!  Right...so these girls came to my sewing class and went TOTALLY WILD!!! Nah!  Just teasing...but there is a good story behind this photo.  See...last month we had a fun little Two Peas Sewing Bee that was making basic pillowcase dresses with a few tiny Two Peas tweaks.  One of the girls made a dress that was size 10.  Well...see here...she's holding it up.  See?!Doesn't it look like it would fit a grown woman?  Well...that's what we all thought too!  So we totally convinced her to try it on and told her it would be so cute on HER!  Um, yeah, so size 10...not so much converting to a full grown womens size.  And thus...she kinda got stuck.  This is how we ended up with our "Girls Gone Wild" version photo from our Sewing Bee up there.  (mind you these are all iphone photos - excuse the quality - I edited them as best I could)

Well, we DID have a good time at the sewing bee and commented about how "cool" we all were for spending our Friday night out with the girls...sewing.  Because sewing is...so cool.  I mean it's totally, the hip thing to do these days.  All the cool kids are doing it.  Wanna try?

Well, here's your chance.  We have another sewing bee class coming up on Friday, July 23rd at 6pm.  We will be making the Patsy Ann Apron top and a matching doll apron to go with it.  Registration and fee info can be found here.

Now, I have to leave you with these images because they will melt your heart.  One of the Moms left before we did our group shots but she sent me these of her darling modeling her finished dress we made in class that night.  Seriously!  Could you eat her with a spoon or what?!

Do you LOVE the matching hair bows?  Me too!  She has a Facebook fan page for her bows now...you have to see all her cute little creations she's made.

If you wanna try out a basic pillowcase dress...just ask.  I do have a PDF version of my basic pattern that are available (for a small fee...I know, what?!  Not free?  My husband is gonna make me stop all this crazy sewing stuff if I don't start showing something for the oodles and oodles of time I spend doing it!)  Really, $3 you get a nice full color PDF pattern with all my hints for making a basic single panel dress.  Not the ribbon in the casing kind...I have a different twist to it.

(...and I promise to add more freebies soon....there's a few over there.  No, to the left sidebar, under tutorials.  Even a nice purse pattern!)

Come sew with us if you can or if you can't sew "with" us...sew along and share your projects over on my Flickr page!  Did I mention there might be a "sale" going on with one of my patterns currently?   And maybe a giveaway or something like that...hint! hint!  (you. might. want. to. look. at. my. Facebook. fan. page.  I'm just sayin'...you might...)

Happy Summer Sewing,

xoxo,

Trish

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....

Just chugging along, trying like mad to get everything to print and move it out... Are you a retailer brick and mortar or online and would be interested in carrying my patterns?  Please email me for wholesale order information.

Are you a home sewist and would like to purchase one of my patterns...thank you so much!  You will find them added as available in my etsy store.  You'll find an easy link to my store over there...no, over that way, to the right...yeah, see it?  The etsy button...go click there to be whisked away to the land of etsy...a place of all handmade goods by amazing artists from all over the globe.

Say hello to a few amazing crafters...

Continuing on with "holla" out to my girls who helped test patterns for me.  Geniune, lovely, creative and talented describes these ladies.  I love to see what they are coming up with next and watch their adorable kids grow.

Paige Hill is the talented lady who works in marketing for Where Women Create, the magazine.  We "met" online almost a year ago now.  Paige has been a really great supporter of my art - offering me features on both the WWC blog as well as inviting me to guest blog on the Creative Connection Event site. This fabulous event that is being put on by WWC is full of the most awesome stuff ever.  Session after session with fabulous artists who get to craft along with.  I'm still crossing my fingers I can go (it's in September - I'm also hoping to hit up Houston in October for Quilt Market so not sure I can leave the gardener at home that much.  Men don't multi task for long very well.  A day, maybe.  More than one...I worry about his sanity).

Paige is a fantastic artist herself and a published author.  Her version of the Patsy Ann Apron top included ric rac, a posie and more.  See her blog for all the details!

KIMBERLY VOJACEK is another wonderfully talented pattern tester.  Kimberly doesn't blog or have a shop - she just sews for her own children and was so kind to help me out.  Kimberly shares a little about herself with us..."I am a mother of two beautiful girls, 8 and 10 years old.  I work part-time for St. Stephen's Community House as a Volunteer Coordinator.  Most of my time is spent with the girls and their many activities.  I do enjoy crafting - scrapbook, cardmaking, cross-stitching, sewing, and my new craft, crochet!!  I am very passionate about raising my two girls to be compassionate, independent and responsible women.  I believe that being their mother is the most important job I have!"

Nikki Rainey is also known as "Madame Crafty"... a name her husband has bestowed upon her and for good reason.  She is all kinds of crafty and shares a bit about herself here...

Nikki Rainey has been a military wife for almost 14 years and takes her home business with her wherever she goes with her Army husband.  Family is most important to her. Her business includes everyone in the family and makes it possible for them to spend most of their time together.  She has been teaching various craft and quilting classes for over 10 years. She has her own quilting business, NikKitty Quilting & Design , as well as a beading party business. Nikki and her husband just updated their long-arm quilting machine to one of the uber-cool Gammill Statler models. Nikki likes to blog about her quilting and blogs about it here on her blog.  She enjoys pattern designing as well as customizing other patterns.

Two Peas in a Pod was her first experience pattern testing for someone else. Always in the past someone has been pattern testing for her.  She says this experience was a lot of fun!

Her husband likes to make quilting tools out of wood. He makes seam rippers, stilettos, crochet hooks, and also nice writing pens on his lathe. You can see his work in their etsy shop. http://www.etsy.com/shop/nrnoodle

Nikki tested the Madison bag for me...and hers is so cute.  You'll have to pop in over here and tell her so yourself!

I still have a few more wonderful friends I'll be featuring over the next couple of weeks.  Can't thank you all enough for testing for me - I'm very blessed to have your input!

xoxo,

Trish

{Lori lives to sew} or something like that

Lori swears she's not a "bag girl".  "Claims" she's not very good at sewing purses so she was excited to give my Madison bag a try to see if she could do it and she felt she might have some good feedback for me since it wasn't something she was experienced with.

Lori of "Love Hazel" started sewing regularly when her son was just a toddler.  Many afternoons, she would sit down with her grandmother, Hazel, and listen and learn to quilt.  I think that's one of the things I love about sewing is that it is truly a connection to our past.  A skill we pass down through generations and keepsakes we create that are treasured.

Lori has created many treasures.  She is a wonderful seamstress of all things girly.  This little dress she whipped up with no pattern - just followed a similar shirt from her daughters dress and figured it out along the way.  {ps Lori, I would like one of these, exact same fabrics, tunic style, size 8 for ME...please}.

Lori has a huge heart and is passionate about working with people who have are differently challenged (some would say disabled...but I like to just say they are differently challenged.)  Her biggest passion, aside from sewing and fabric, is being a wife and mother.  Which she does with grace and style.

Thank you Lori for helping me and testing patterns from my Sprouts line.  Visit Lori's etsy shop where you will find fabulous goodies to make your own and of course, check out her blog for delicious eye candy.

{Remember meeting Sarah B last week?  Sweet wonderful Sarah has also blogged about her adventures in pattern testing for me.  You can find her version of the Madison bag here. }

The Madison bag will be available this month...JUNE!  And I'm so excited that there are MORE MORE MORE patterns coming down the pike from our Sprout line including some home dec items.

Drumroll please...

Sprout has been under the weather the last few days so I've not had my hands or arms free to type much... Thank you so very much for ALL of the dinner ideas on the Sew, Mama, Sew giveaway post.  If you haven't viewed the comments yet...you don't know what you are missing!  There is almost a years worth of awesome ideas for dinner.  I can't wait to sift through and start copying down recipes.

A special kudos to the "Dad from Florida" who was blog hopping for his daughter whose computer was broken.  I sent you a Hazel Hipster pattern just for being such a cool Dad who would do that for his girl.  So sweet...

I've been sewing up a bunch of these owl bags lately...pretty hot item.

{Would you be excited if I told you that I'm releasing a sewing pattern for this bag in July?  No.  Oh, ok.  Well, um, anyway...along with my Ava bag...two new bag patterns for July.  I'm excited at least.}

So, spill already...who won the bag and the patterns from my Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway!?

Lucky number 307...Krista - Poppyprint, on May 19, 2010 at 10:08 pm

So funny because on HER blog she was saying how many giveaways she entered this week and she didn't win any of them.  Ah, guess what?  YOU WON KRISTA!  So cool!

I do have some fun sewing patterns coming out as I mentioned June, July and also in December.  I may even have a special "hot off the presses" deal for you so keep watching.

I will have some features on the lovely ladies that have been testing for me coming up in the next week or so...but for now, go and visit with a few of them and see their lovely little versions of the Patsy Ann Apron Top.  They SO rock!

Sarah B - Check out the dress she made for her little one for graduation too!  So pretty!

Paige - Paige is as sweet as they come and her oldest, just got his drivers license.  Yikes!

Dusty - You gotta scroll through her blog and see all the outfits she's made for her kids!

I'll share more on them and the other testers for the Sprouts pattern line coming soon!

xoxo,

Trish

Pattern Week

My goal this week is to get pattern drafts out to testers. Are you testing for me?  I emailed everyone on my list on Sunday about the first draft of one of 3 patterns.  I am still in need of testers for the Carol Jane Dresses.  I could also use a few more for the Madison bag.

E-mail me at twopeasinapoddesigns at gmail dot com if you'd like to test.  I have a deadline of May 20th to have items completed, photos taken and returned back to me.

Here's a peek at the 3 new patterns coming...

Gracie - a pattern review

Happy Monday morning and joyous, isn't it?  He is Risen...our family enjoyed a great day with family over the Easter holiday and I hope you feel the freedom and joy and hope that this new day brings.

In preparation for the Easter holiday, I picked out a dress pattern and some fabric to make the two peas and little sprout a new outfit.  As is our tradition, a new outfit to dress in our finest for such a celebration that Easter brings.  For two Easters in a row...I picked Heather Bailey prints.

This Easter, I choose a Sandi Hendersen pattern called Gracie.

Pattern design and layout

First, this pattern is amazing.  It's a book.  Seriously, a little book with full color photos and illustrations.  A nice big sturdy paper pattern.  Extra hints about techniques like gathering and creating a bias.  It has 3 different dress versions and a skirt.  It cost $16 which was hard to swallow BUT once I got it home and saw everything it had to offer I was really pleased.  Quality was really great.

Because I was making a 2T and then I also wanted to make a size 9 (the pattern only goes up to a size 8), I traced the pieces I needed and kept the pattern intact.  That way I can use it again for other sizes.  And I needed to size it up to get the larger size I wanted.

Ease of Instructions

The dress is fairly simple.  Tiered gathered layers with a bodice.  I don't sew a lot of clothing so here's where I got tripped up.  First, its a lot of fabric that gets gathered.  I mean, a lot.  So, gathering such a huge piece of fabric was tricky.

The yoke was difficult but doable.  I took pictures at this step to help me in the future.  It's a lot of pinning, pulling, fussing but it will come together.  (see the ps at the bottom of the post for process photos of the yoke - hope it helps!)

Overall, the directions were great.

Where I ran into trouble

Several places were troublesome for me.  First, the gathering.  As I said, you are gathering a lot of fabric.  I tried a basting stitch and then pulled my threads.  I tried a zigzag stitch over elastic thread.  I tried a zig zag stitch over heavy thread.  In the end, my favorite was the zig zag over heavy thread and this is what Sandi recommends and describes in the pattern book.  It gathered easily and I felt like I had the most control over the gathers.  When I then attached the layers together, I didn't use a big enough seam allowance to hide my gathering so I had to go back and pull a lot of threads out.  Bummer.

The yoke.  The instructions say to pin to the inside edge of the yoke.  I may have misunderstood but based on the illustration provided, the only way it fit was pinning to the outside edge.  This was really tricky and I panicked the first dress I did.  But it went together fine after I got all the pins in the right place.  What I like is that it has a nice finishing touch of bias that folds to the inside.  What I didn't like was that you had to slip stitch that bias in place.  The first one took me like 30 minutes.  The second one I thought, heck, why can't you just stitch it on the machine?  So I did.  On the blue green colored dress.  I didn't like it.  So, I slipstitched the third one.  Lesson learned, follow the pattern.  It looks nice, I just didn't like it because it was time consuming.

Which leads me to what really tripped me up - TIME!  Each dress from cut to finish was 3-4 hours.  I got faster as I went along but there were just steps that you just couldn't rush.  Making these over the little sprouts nap times was a challenge for sure.

End Result

I loved it.  I love how sweet they are.  I love the twirl factor (as do my girls).  I love the neckline.  I love the professional finishing touches on them that were well illustrated, described and easy to master with some practice.  I give it two thumbs up!

xoxo,

Trish

PS {a HUGE thank you} to Britt from Britt Lakin Photography!  She did the 2010 Easter dress photos on a moments notice.  Britt is so talented and shoots newborns, maternity, weddings, and families...her website is a place to just get lost in.  I LOVE good photography and she is top notch!  A must visit on your blog list just to enjoy her art!  {Did I mention she has a camera - can travel?  Just ask!}

Here are a few of my process photos for the yoke.  I think it will help you a lot to see exactly how the pinning works...

Spring SPROUTS!

SEW excited about some new things coming along for my "SPROUTS" sewing pattern line. Want a sneak peek at what's coming soon?

All of these designs will be available for purchase in my etsy shop for custom orders and I will also have the sewing pattern available this Spring.

I am looking for pattern testers currently.  You need to have a little one in order to "model" the dress so you can comment on sizing, etc.  Sizes 2T - 8.

*Note*  Do you see the snow reflected in the glass?  The girls were FREEZING!  But darn they are cute!

Want to be a tester?  Email me at twopeasinapoddesigns at gmail dot com and indicate the size you would like to test.

Thank you Britt Lakin Photography for such great photos...

I'll have more photos and a big "official" reveal later.

xoxo,

Trish

The Evolution of a bag

First, one last reminder, TODAY JANUARY 20th - is the last day to enter the wonderful giveaway from Honeyrun Farms. So, don't forget to go HERE to enter!

I have to tell ya - I'm really, really tired.  I've had sick kids.  Not sick all at once.  Just nice and evenly spaced so that somebody seems to be sick every week for going on 6 weeks or so now.  And I just am not getting things done.

And no where near enough sleep.

If you've emailed me and I haven't responded yet, I'm sorry.  I will.

If you called me, (my sister - mostly) and I haven't called you back, I love ya and I will, soon.  I'm either running around or...too tired to talk.  Sorry.

If you left a comment here on the blog and I didn't respond, I'm sorry.  I will try to go back and visit everyone.

If you've asked me to do something and you are waiting, ask me again (Julia - I haven't forgotten you, I swear!  I just reordered some fabric for your bag - I have an idea!).  It may still be on "my schedule" but delayed because everyday, it seems like my entire days' plan gets tossed out the window for one reason or another.  Mostly one tiny one - who I decided I would now refer to as "Sprout".  (The "two peas" = twins, "sprout" - the baby).

Seems like my free time to "work" on the blog and sewing and all has become non-existent or only after 9pm.  Bummer.

I don't like being behind or keeping people waiting or letting things fall.  As I told my husband the other night - "I'm just trying to keep all the plates spinning" and I don't always make that happen.  A few eventually fall.  My apologies if your plate was one I've let drop.

Enough of that.  Let's talk bags.

Let me re-introduce you to an old friend.

This...is "Madison"

Madison has been around for quite awhile.  All of my bags are "original" patterns.  I use that term loosely because "original" and purses - is there really anything "new" you can do in bags anymore?  It's all been done.  But you get inspired, you twist and turn and create it into something unique to you.  And it keeps evolving.  Like Madison.

Up above, all decked out in Heather Bailey prints - she sports a little a pleat in the middle.

From there, a customer asked if I could add some front pockets just like a bag she saw from a famous maker whose initials are "VB" and whose bags adorn the shoulder of every college girl in america.

Well, here's Madison with that pocket request...minus her center pleat.  (And I free hand draw all of my patterns - mostly on gift wrap.  The kind with the grids on the back - helps me get things straight)

Love these Joel Dewberry prints...I still have some stashed away. They have since retired this design

Well, from there, I decided I would make my Mom this bag.  Only, I liked the little dart that my neighbor Barb found on a bag pattern which gives some depth to the bag.  So, I tried it on Madison.  And made my Mom this for Christmas.

Madison with no pleat, added dart and an applique bird and flower pin

Well, I was thinking.  I'd like to try that bag but I like to have a flap or a zipper on mine.  I've done lots of flaps - on my "Olivia" bags.

I've been making split face flap bags for - years. 4 years actually - since 2006. I just like the subtle patchwork feel of it.

So I thought - Madison plus Olivia - a Madison bag with a flap.  And I found a bunch of pins on sale after Christmas.  I made little clutches for my family for the holidays and had used these pins.  I have more left over and added one to this bag.  Here's where the evolution of the Madison has landed at the moment...

Here she is...Madison with darts and a flap...

I think I like her.  The first "new" bag of 2010.  I'm going to carry her around for a few days and see how she does before I offer her for sale at my trunk shows.

Before I bore you with all of this and leave YOU falling asleep...have you visited  Craft Hope for Haiti yet over on etsy?  They have been collecting all kinds of crafty donations and selling them with the proceeds to benefit Doctors without Borders.

I have one of these over there...soon.

Hope you'll take a moment to stop over there and shop.  And if you must...come over to my shop and grab an owl clutch for yourself.  (I'm loading a few this evening - morning now I guess.  Sheezzz!  This is why I'm tired. It's 2am!).

See you Friday for the Honeyrun Farms giveaway winner announcement AND a little something special for YOU!

xoxo,

Trish

Zipper Critters

Looking for a fun afternoon project?  Cute birthday gift for anyone - of any age, heck they are so cute! Over Christmas break, my girls were looking for something to do and so we wandered up to our local fabric store and found this fun little pattern from Indygo Junction.

It is about an hour or less project and really simple.  My girls loved designing it and they use it to store their little MP3 players but they aren't really made to use I don't think.

They are more of a sit on the shelf kind of thing.

It's definately encouraged us to make some softies...the girls have been working on names, stories and all kinds of drawings to make up their own dolls.  I have a few ideas of my own too.  :>)  Not everything has to have a purpose - sometimes you can make something for no reason - just for the sheer cuteness of it!

xoxo,

Trish

Loving the Liverpool

Have I ever told you about my girls and their "twinspeak"?

Having identical twins - my first born(s) - I was clueless to language development.  What should be occurring when, etc.  They were communicating.  I understood them.  I thought all was fine.

But one day, while at a doctors appointment for me, my doc said, "Hey, you should have them evaluated.  They have a speech delay."  Huh?  What the heck!  There's nothing wrong with my kids.  Well, come to find out, they had actually developed their own language - twins speak - it was so intense that it began to interfere with their academic development.  It has hindered their ability to read and comprehend.  Their articulation has been very poor.  And still, in the 3rd grade, we are working so very hard, to get them where they need to be.  I mean, they would turn to each other, say something we couldn't began to understand, the other would run upstairs and bring her sister a pair of socks.  What?!  They look at me and go, "yeah, sissy asked me to get her socks".  Seriously, crazy.  Cute at first.  Now that we have baby number 3, her language development is a night and day difference.  Way more advanced than the twins.  Who knew?  We didn't.

We have been incredibly blessed - incredibly blessed this year, with a wonderful teacher who has made more strides with our girls than any teacher ever has.  She has reached out to them and to us in a way no other teacher has.  And we are so grateful for her.

Guess what?  She sews.

Yep.  I mean, am I little biased over my enthusiasm for her because she's a fellow "seamstress"?

OK, maybe just a little (tee hee!).  But she is the most dedicated, hands on, exciting, loving teacher my kids have ever had (and we've had some wonderful teachers).

She makes loads of cute things to wear to school.  Recently she sewed up the Liverpool shirt which is a new pattern from Amy Butler (our "neighbor" here in the next town over).  I asked if she would share her experiences with the pattern with you all and she took on the challenge.  So...if you've thought about sewing this up - here's her experience with it!  Enjoy!

I recently sewed the Liverpool by Amy Butler, and I was asked to write a quick review on the pattern for this blog.  Although I have enjoyed sewing since middle school, I still consider myself at a mid-beginner’s level and the amount of projects I have done with sleeves is very limited, so the Liverpool was a definite challenge.  I tried this project because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.  :>)

There are several different options to the Liverpool, and I chose to sew the tunic with ¾ length sleeves.  I had a friend help me modify the pattern to ensure the proper fit, using two different sizes at different places on the tunic based on the measurements of my hips and chest.

Directions:

Most of the directions were clear, but I did have to read some of the steps through several times before I felt comfortable enough to execute that step.  For example, step 7 tells you to sew the two back panels together with a French seam.  It was the first time I had done a French seam and there were no pictures illustrating this step at all.  However, I proceeded with this step even though I was very unsure.  Despite my misgivings, I found the French seam to be quite lovely when I was finished!  I will try this seam again.

Most of the difficulties that I did have would have been easier had there been a few more illustrations.  The illustrations that are in the pattern are excellent – with labels indicating sides of fabric and more.

Amount of Time

This project was definitely time consuming for me, but this may not be the case for more experienced seamstresses.  I spent about 4 days on it – working when I could on the weekends and in the evenings after work.

Fabric Choice

Upon completing my project, I was not happy with my choice of fabric. I had chosen a solid color of relatively cheap fabric for the simple fact that I wasn’t sure I would be able to complete the project.  I did not want to spend the money on designer fabric when I wasn’t sure if it would turn out.  Next time, I will chose a nicer more colorful print, which would have led a little excitement to the piece, which has simple lines and a loose fit.

Finishing Touches

Finally, I want to point out that this pattern, like other Amy Butler patterns, included some finishing touches that I have not seen in other patterns, such as the French seam mentioned earlier, and sewing the edges of the darts.  I like these additions, as I feel they make the garment more stylish and more complete.

Thanks so much Mrs. R for the review!  I love it!

xoxo,

Trish

Blowin' in the breeze...

Indian summer has made its way here finally. A light breeze has been blowing.  The kids have been able to go out without a coat.  And the farmer from across the street who passed away a few years ago, his boys have been harvesting all the corn lately and we can see their barn again and all the way across their field.

'Tis the season to count your blessings and I have been counting mine.

Blessed to have a healthy family (while I sit here and type this with a runny nose, cough and killer headache - but the kids, all but the littlest one who is sharing my goop, are all well).

Blessed to have a roof over my head today.

Blessed to have a refrigerator, well, not quite full of food.  I need to grocery shop.

Blessed to see the sun shining today.

Blessed to have a car that runs and places to go to.

Blessed to have a big backyard (5 acres - ahh!) to look out upon and enjoy, and enjoy, and enjoy.

Blessed to have friends and family who love me and who I love dearly.

Blessed to have a wonderful teacher for my girls this year who is helping them to make forward motion.

Blessed to have a God who forgives me when I screw up because I do it all the time.

Blessed to have a husband who cleans the kitchen without asking, takes care of kids constantly, and loves me unconditionally.  Very very blessed.

Blessed to have all of you who support me, cheer me on, and help me to reach my goals.  I sincerely appreciate you all so much - you'll never know how very much your support means to me.  I always feel the hand of God pushing me when my friends around me help hold me up.

And I've just been pondering those things lately.  And counting my blessings...

And I was thinking of all of that while I was looking at these, blowin' in the breeze...

Blessed.  Blessed.  Blessed.  Yes I am.

I think I'll add these aprons to the list of "things to make into patterns". Did I mention I have a new pattern out? And did I mention that if you blog about it and link back to me that I have TEN of these patterns I'm giving away.  That's a lot...just sayin...so if you want to enter the giveaway...just blog about the new Sprouts patterns, link back and leave me a comment that you did so.  On Sunday, November 22nd, we'll pick a random TEN winners to get a free pattern.  I would be so appreciative.

Or maybe you want to just leave me a comment about your blessings.  I sure would love to hear them.  Helps me have a better day to know you all are doing ok out there and enjoying your life and blessings.  Please, do share.

I'm really just rambling now...I think it has something to do with my half open eyes because my sinuses hurt so much so I'll just sign off.  I hope you all are enjoying this quiet and busy season.  Take the time to count your blessings.

xoxo,

Trish