Hello! I guess it’s time for my monthly post. I made this dress back in July and I CAN believe that I have not blogged about it yet, because I had a very busy Summer. There were weddings and going away parties, then my ukulele classes started up again. Also, my new job continues to keep me as busy as ever. I CAN’T believe I haven’t blogged about this dress yet, because I love it so much and have worn it A LOT. I think I had worn it 3 times already before I even took photos in it and I have continued to wear it about once a week ever since.


Pattern- April Rhodes Staple Dress purchased from Nido, when I was in Vermont.

Fabric- cotton lawn from Bolt Fabrics in Portland, OR.

Alterations- added 3″ to length

Total time to make- 9.5 hours (no muslin)



  • I did not do a muslin for this dress, as it’s not a particularly fitted dress (no darts in the bodice or anything) and is a pretty basic shape. I figured I’d be fine without one and I was.
  • I did grade from a medium at the top to a large at the waist, but I would have been fine with just a medium overall.
  • The fabrics wrinkles a bit, but it doesn’t really bother me.


This isn’t a silhouette I normally wear, so I’d been sitting on this pattern for awhile. After sewing it and wearing it, I love this style of dress. It’s super comfortable and was quick to sew up. That’s a win-win in my book!


I used a technique for making thread belt loops from Nancy Zieman’s Sewing A to Z Book, as featured on the Colette Patterns blog.


Store-bought dresses are often too short on me, so I love that I was able to make this dress the length I wanted. I reach for it in my closet a lot because it’s so comfortable, the right length and not too dressy for work. I need more dresses like that. Since this is such a quick make and a good style on me, I will definitely be making more!


Some people change jobs all the time, so getting a new job may not seem like a big deal. I was at my last job for 10 years. That’s longer than I played derby (5 years), longer than Matt and I have been together (7 years). So for me, leaving that job was a big deal.

At my last job, I worked as an e-commerce photographer for a national corporate retailer. 10 years ago, e-commerce was a new thing for this company. We were a small studio, only about 10 people, so it was an exciting time. We were charting new territory, so it felt creative. As someone with an art degree, I felt lucky to be there and was learning a ton.

Fast forward 10 years and a hundred or so employees later, things had changed. The internet had grown and the industry had changed. We had to compete, so it was all about volume and not about quality anymore. I was on staff with amazingly talented and experienced photographers, that had all been trained to make beautiful images and to take pride in their work, so it was a tough pill for a lot of us to swallow.

I learned a lot from that job and the people I worked with. I also gained a lot of really great experience, but I just wasn’t growing there anymore. I wasn’t learning anything new or being challenged. There weren’t any opportunities to advance. All of that combined with the passing of my mother, made me realize it was time for me to move on.


Glazer’s then (Halloween 2002)

My new job is actually my old job. It’s where I worked right after college and right before my last job. So basically, I have had two jobs since college! It’s a local camera shop, called Glazer’s Camera. If you are from around here, you probably know it. It’s a 3rd generation family owned and operated local business and they just had their 80th anniversary. It’s the kind of place you can’t really work at without becoming part of the family. Because of that, there’s not a lot of turnover there. People stay for years (there are still a lot of the same people from when I was there before) and if they do leave, they often come back. That says a lot about a company.

After I left in 2005, I continued to shop there, and every time I went in, it felt like a family reunion. I would catch up on how everyone’s kids and grandkids were doing. They never stopped having a very special place in my heart.

I’d been looking for other opportunities, especially in the social media/marketing world, so it was quite serendipitous how I ended up back there. I just went in to rent something, ended up talking to one of the owners about a marketing position that was open, and two weeks later I was back!


Glazer’s now (2015)

I’ve been working there for almost 4 months now and it feels really good to be back. I have been in the photography world for so many years and in so many ways; I’ve worked on the retail side, been a photo assistant, shot weddings, and worked as a commercial photographer. Add to that all the marketing and events experience I gained from starting the Rat City Rollergirls and the knowledge of social media I now have from my blog, and this job feels like the perfect culmination of everything I have ever done.

I am certainly not bored anymore! Every day is different and my days fly by. Community partnerships are huge at Glazer’s and I am getting to meet and work with so many new people from respected local organizations. At our events and classes, I’m interacting with customers and their enthusiasm is contagious. It makes me so happy to see people learning about and enjoying photography. It’s reigniting my love for image making as well. I’m also getting to learn about all the new gear and technology that is available now. Things have changed in the last ten years! Sometimes my head feels like it’s going to explode from all the new info, but it’s so great to be learning so much again.

I’m not going to lie, there have been parts of this transition that were way harder than I thought they would be. I have a longer commute and work later than I did before. I’m getting used to it all, but I was surprised by how long it took for things to start feeling routine again.

This job could also mean that you might see a little less of me here on this blog. A big part of my job is managing their Wordpress site and doing all the social media, so it’s hard to gear up for that in my spare time. I’ve been focusing more on the actual doing (of sewing, knitting, gardening, and cooking) than blogging lately. Doing actual hand work is a nice break from all the screens I look at throughout the day. I’ll still post when I can, since this is such a good record, but the posts may be a little late. That’s just how it goes, right?

Nothing worth doing is easy! I gave up some things to gain some things and I’m so glad I did. I’m proud of myself for taking this leap, so it just feels good overall. With a new store coming in the Spring of 2016, there’s only going to more opportunities for events, classes and engaging with customers, so it’s an exciting time to be back at Glazer’s.


Remember my porch swing from my garden tour post? I finally made the cushions that I’d been wanting make!



Pillow Pattern

I made the pillows the way I always make them (my tutorial is here), except this time the pillow were 20 inches instead of 18 inches.

Cushion Cover Pattern

I made the cushion covers the same way I made the airstream cushion covers.


I got the umbrella fabric for free. It was a heavier weight home decor cotton, so it was perfect for this project. I didn’t have enough of it for the cushions and the pillows, so the pillows and cushion are navy blue on the opposite sides. I bought a little brown home decor cotton fabric for the sides of the cushion.


I finished these in time for my birthday party and the chicken coop tour, so I have been enjoying them all summer. They are holding up really well. I have figured out that I can prop the pillows up on one side and lay across it while reading a book. Add a nice breeze to that and it is so comfy. It’s my new favorite spot!

Just talking about it makes me wish I could get out there right now, except we are finally getting some much-needed rain this weekend. This could still be a nice spot into the fall though, as the porch is covered. It’s a nice spot to sit while Matt grills, which he does year round. Add a blanket to that equation and I think I will be able to enjoy this spot way into the fall!



I have been reading Tilly and Buttons, since I started sewing clothes a few years ago and have watched her publish a book and be on the Great British Sewing Bee. She’s a sewing celeb in the online sewing world and I am a big fan. I discovered Madalynne’s blog more recently, but was so impressed with her beautiful photos and wonderful content. She specializes in bra-making, which I have yet to delve into, but I know where I’ll go for info when I do. Deborah of the blog DFabrication is new to me, but apparently she was on the 3rd season of the Great British Sewing Bee. I need to catch up! So how I ended up with the likes of Tilly, Madalynne and Deborah, in a feature in Simply Sewing Magazine, I’m not totally sure. I wasn’t going to fight it though and I am beyond honored to be included with these three talented ladies in a feature about sewing bloggers!


It absolutely made my day when I opened my email on Friday and saw this. The author, Judy Darley, did a wonderful job writing this article and curating the photos and content for it. If you’ve been reading my blog awhile, you will recognize some of these photos!


Judy talks about the importance of good photography in a blog, which is something I feel like I work hard on. So I was flattered when I was asked to submit photos for this.


Thanks Judy, and Simply Sewing Magazine, for including me with all these amazing blogs!

Simply Sewing is a UK magazine, but you can still subscribe and get issues shipped to you in the U.S. (which I plan on doing) or you can download issues to your tablet or other device. This article is in the latest issue, number six. I just got mine in the mail today and it looks like there is a lot of great content in it. Plus it comes with 3 free gifts: some faux suede fabric, a little booklet and a pattern!


This magazine is not free online, but Judy was nice enough to give me permission to share the article with you all, so you can read the full article below!


Last weekend was my 3rd time being a host on the Seattle Tilth Urban Farm and Chicken Coop tour and I think it was my favorite year. It was certainly the biggest turn-out we had ever had! There was a steady stream of people from 10am when we opened until 4pm when we closed and that was a first for us. Matt estimated that we had about 80 people come through that day.


Mind you, I don’t host every year. The first year I hosted was in 2010 and then again in 2012. I don’t like to host every year, because sometimes I like to go on the tour! It’s only been in the past few years that they have whittled it down to 25 urban farms and I think that helped the attendance. Plus, I was grouped with more coops in my area than I had been in the past, so that probably helped as well.


Our coop got a makeover this year! More on that later!

This year was also the most fun because it was the first time I hosted with Matt. As I’ve said before, Matt has done all of the hardscaping in the garden and that is a lot of what people wanted to know about, so it was great to have him there. He also knows a ton about gardening now, from helping me over the years, so I feel like between the two of us, we were able to talk to just about everyone and answer questions throughout the day.


A lot of what I get asked is what things are, so this year I made these nifty laminated labels. Laminators are almost as fun as label makers, except when the machine jams (yes, I almost broke the laminator at work- oops). I also love to go crazy with my logo and put it everywhere. Yes, I branded my garden.


This was also the first year, our little farm got named, due to the folks at Seattle Tilth wanting a name for the tour map. It’s Rake and Make Ranch. It was just off the top of my head, but I like it! Do you know how long I’ve been wanting a name for our farm and couldn’t think of one? Well there it is… Rake and Make Ranch. Now I can geotag it on Instagram or whatever!


This was a great time for us to host because we have been working really hard on the garden this year. We had just completed a remodel of the chicken coop and Matt recently built this awesome hops trellis (that people were very impressed by). We also met so many friendly, knowledgeable and like-minded people, that were more than happy to share their stories an experiences with us as well. I learned a ton and got a bunch of great tips from people, like sticking fertilized eggs under my old lady chickens to get baby chickens (I just might have to do this and soon). We should have been exhausted at the end of the day, but we were so energized and inspired by all the great conversations we’d had, that our minds were just racing with ideas.

It’s events like this that really bring the community together and get us all excited about what we are doing. So thank you Seattle Tilth for organizing such a wonderful event!