Style that Kid: Children's Clothing Photos that Pop by Alida Lee ||

One of my favorite parts of being a blogger/designer are the photo shoots.

When dreaming up posts, projects and new patterns I always start with a story. I'm one of those people who loves coming up with a character and the back story for that particular design/project. Then I go on the hunt to get a good photo shoot to depict that character and tell the story. This is not always easy. As many bloggers know it takes hard work, time and sometimes multiple photo shoots. Some go smoothly and others are filled with trials.

Shooting children is not an easy task either.  So when I spotted my friend Alida (from the blog Alida Makes) new Ebook "Style that Kid! Children's Clothing Photos that Pop!" I thought aha! This is what I need! I'm always on the lookout for new tips, tricks and methods to improve my photo shoots and to take great pics of my kiddos in the lovelies I sew or knit up for them. I knew you all would love it too because I'm always hearing questions from you all about how to take better project photos etc.

Style that Kid: Children's Clothing Photos that Pop by Alida Lee ||

With new seasons of Project Run & Play and Kids Clothes Week coming up and school getting back in session I know you are all getting ready to start sewing up a storm for those kiddos! Style that Kid is a great resource to help you improve, practice and add that special "wow factor" to your photographs! I really enjoyed it and learned some new things that I know I'll be using with my photo shoots from now on - for both the kids and for adult shoots too!

Here are some of the things that Style that Kid covers:
// contrast, dimension, texture
// lighting and location (shooting indoors and out)
// hair and styling
// troubleshooting
// props & accessories
& more!
Style that Kid: Children's Clothing Photos that Pop by Alida Lee ||
Thanks for putting together a great resource Alida! You did a great job! You can find Alida's Ebook Style that Kid for sale HERE on her website.

What's your go to tip for styling and photographing kids? Are you looking to improve your photography too? Do you prefer to shoot indoors or out? Let's chat!


Beachside |
Beachside |
Beachside |
Beachside |
Beachside |
Glen Lake |
Waterlilies |

This is what we've been up to lately.

Now that we are in the new house it's time to explore! We're so lucky to live in an area now that is accessible to tons of amenities, the city and also gorgeous farm land and ocean beaches with mountain views! Both the hubs and I grew up in very small towns and we love the more relaxed feel of our neighborhood. We also love that we have all new surroundings to explore and tons of accessible outdoor landscapes! So many lovely off the beaten path views.

It's been hard to get the rest of the unpacking/chores done when all we want to do is enjoy the house and the new sights! Beaches, lakes and more are calling our names! So even though I know I "should" be unpacking this time I'm telling myself "it can wait". There's more important things to do. Like skipping rocks at the ocean, laying on the rocky shore with my best friend and love of my life, watching our girls laugh and play in the ocean, soaking up the summer sun, smelling the coastal breeze and breathing in the fresh air. Those darn pesky boxes can wait.

So that means the sewing time has been non-existent at the moment. Until this momma gets her office fully unpacked and her shelves set up the sewing is on hold. But I do promise it will be soon. I've got some new shelves being delivered this week and then I hope to get back into full work mode and say a big hello to my babies! I swear I can feel my serger/sewing machine staring at me with judgement. They don't like to be ignored. I'll make it up to them soon.

Until then, put aside your chores (and any unpacked boxes you may have), and get outside and explore! Bring a notebook, your camera and your loved ones and go be free. If even for 10 minutes. I swear it will come back tenfold in creativity. You'll feel even more inspired and much more happier to get those pesky chores and unpacking done when your soul is full.

What's your favorite way to inspire yourself outdoors? How do you balance your "chores" with your fun time? Do you have a favorite place to go unwind and recharge your creative batteries? I've got a coffee cup with your name on it! Come chat with me! I always love to hear from you. And heck.....chatting with all you lovelies is a heckuva lot more fun than unpacking. So come help me procrastinate ;)


Lotus Pond Fabric Tour - Ruby Dress by Made By Rae, sewn by
Lotus Pond Fabric Tour - Ruby Dress by Made By Rae, sewn by
Lotus Pond Fabric Tour - Ruby Dress by Made By Rae, sewn by
Lotus Pond Fabric Tour - Ruby Dress by Made By Rae, sewn by

So excited to show you all my new Ruby Dress made from Rae Hoekstra's pattern and sewn with her new fabric line Lotus Pond!!!

You all know how much I adore Rae and all her creative talents and endeavors so I'm super happy to be part of the Lotus Pond Tour that's going around on right now.  If you haven't seen Lotus Pond for the fabulous Cloud 9 Fabrics you must get your hands on some! It's fresh, fun, and....well...just plain scrumptious! I love every print I've seen! Plus the quality of Cloud 9 Fabrics is fabulous as well as Rae's aesthetically pleasing uses of her color palette! I cannot wait to get some more to whip up some new outfits for the kids.

But instead of sewing for them this time this momma needed a new summer frock to wear. I wanted something a) comfy b) vacation ready c) something I could throw on over a bathing suit or easily pair with a fab pair of leggings & boots/shoes. Enter the Ruby Dress. A quick and easy sew that fulfilled all my holiday requests. We're going on our first vacay in years this summer and I will be lake/pool side for 7 days and could easily imagine the Ruby Dress being a staple part of my holiday wardrobe. Plus Rae just looks so darn cute in hers (see the Ruby page here) I couldn't resist channelling my inner Rae :) I sewed mine up with Fluttering Fields (bottom portion) and Meadow Blossoms White (upper portion) from Lotus Pond.

I made my Ruby Dress with Size Large Bust and an XL for the bottom portion. I got a great fit on the upper portion which was my biggest fear. I didn't want the bust area to pull or distortion due to the size of my ahem....girls. Well Rae gives you an upper bust and a bust measurement to go by, as well as hip so I found this dress easy to accommodate my body shape. I used my lazy man's hip seam again - aka, did a 1/4" seam allowance instead of a 1/2" as called for. I like doing this sometimes when I want a tad more ease (this pattern calls for 4" of ease for comfort) and I don't feel like I need to go up a full size in the pattern.

I love that this dress is so versatile! I was bad and already wore this before the photo shoot. In fact I wore it a few hours I finished sewing it. 

I paired it with my dark denim skinny jeans, my new fave shoes (see them HERE), and my never leave the house without light coral cardigan. I also could see this in my closet with my grey capri leggings, or in the fall paired with full length leggings and my fave boots with a handmade cardi. A sign of a great pattern :) I do need a new belt though. I noticed a lot of people belt their Ruby Dresses and this is a cute look! I just have bad juju trying to buy belts. They never look right on me and hit me in my trouble spot so I'll be on the lookout for one to pair with this as well.

Overall if you've got a bust and curves and wondered if you could pull off the Ruby I say go for it! Play around with your sizing and have some fun! I hemmed mine a heckuva lot shorter than the pattern size states to show off the legs to slim my overall body. I think mine is about 2" - 2 1/2" above the knee and I'm a shorty at 5'4".

A big congrats to my lovely friend Rae on another wonderfully inspiring collection! You consistently amaze me with your talents m'dear. Thank you sooooo much for having me along!!! Sending big Canadian hugs my way to you luv <3

DRESS: Ruby Dress from Made by Rae
SIZE MADE: Size Large for upper portion and XL for the lower portion.
MODIFICATIONS: Used a 1/4" seam allowance for the bottom portion and cut and hemmed the dress shorter. 
FABRIC: Fluttering Fields (bottom portion) and Meadow Blossoms White (upper portion) from Lotus Pond by Rae Hoekstra for Cloud 9 Fabrics

Have any of you made a Ruby Dress yet? Have you got your hands on some Lotus Pond yet? Are you planning on making any vacation outfits? Let's chat - coffee's on....



Learn how to sew a fun folded triangle bag using only 3 fat quarters of fabric with the free tutorial below!!!!

Read More


I've been excitedly counting down the days until the newest issue of STYLO was out and today's the day!!!!! My upcoming dress pattern - FRANKIE, is featured in STYLO Issue 2!!!!

I've been sketching the design for FRANKIE since last fall and knew I wanted it to be our next VERY SHANNON sewing pattern for this sprint! I've got a soft spot for color blocking and thought it would be a fun detail to add to such a cute dress silhouette! My girls and I just love it! I'm aiming for a late May/early June release so stay tuned! It's such a fun sew! I'll be putting a call out for testers soon as well.


// No closures - that's right! No zippers or buttons!
// Color blocked bodice 
// Options for a bodice with no color blocking
// Options for sleeveless, short sleeve and 3/4 length sleeve
// Special pleat details on the skirt
// Multiple skirt length options
// Pockets!!! 
and more!!!!!

THE FRANKIE DRESS Sewing Pattern by - Coming Soon!
THE FRANKIE DRESS Sewing Pattern by - Coming Soon!

FRANKIE makes a versatile dress filled with options so it can be worn all year round. I can easily see it styled for playtime over some cute leggings but also easily worn as a sleeveless maxi length just perfect for a flower girl or a summer dress at the beach! There are so many options and ways to customize it and make FRANKIE work for that special girl in your life!

I can't wait to show and tell you more! And I will soon! But for now you can check out the pics over in the newest issue of STYLO and see some below!!!! I hope you will all love FRANKIE as much as I do <3 

Also make sure you flip through the whole issue of STYLO! There are amazing projects in there and I'm so honored to be included. But I also have a special sale on in honor of STYLO and you can get the discount code in the newest issue!!! The sale is valid until May 31st, midnight, PST.

THE FRANKIE DRESS Sewing Pattern by - Coming Soon!
THE FRANKIE DRESS Sewing Pattern by - Coming Soon!
THE FRANKIE DRESS Sewing Pattern by - Coming Soon!
THE FRANKIE DRESS Sewing Pattern by - Coming Soon!
THE FRANKIE DRESS Sewing Pattern by - Coming Soon!

// Have you signed up for our free newsletter yet? Sign up HERE to stay up to date on new pattern releases, sales and more!!!


Lotta Jansdotter Sylvia Fabric Giveaway from Fat Quarter Shop //

Who wants to win some fabric? I love having a fabric giveaway and today's Fat Quarter Shop one doesn't dissapoint! 

You all know one of my favorite fabric designers is Lotta Jandotter so I'm super excited to show you one of my latest finished projects using her gorgeous new line "Sylvia"! I am absolutely head over heels in love with this black and white palette. In fact, I'm so much in love with it that I'm now going to bed on it every night. That's right - I made new pillow covers!

What better fabric to rest my head on each night than some Lotta Jansdotter? Hehe. I know. I need help but hey, what can I say - I love these prints and they just happened to be just the thing I needed to go with my new duvet and blanket!

Lotta Jansdotter Sylvia Fabric Giveaway from Fat Quarter Shop //

Now I happened to have bought myself a half yard bundle of Sylvia and I decided to use 4 of my prints to make the pillow cases. I got to use my nifty new serger (review coming soon) that I also am smitten with so whipping up these pillow cases was a breeze! I sewed them up the other night while the hubby was working tax season overtime and then slept on them that night!

I used the following prints from the line Sylvia by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics for my pillow cases:

// Black Tav  // White Tav // Black Suvi  // White Suvi

Aren't they pretty? I seriously wanted to lay in that spot all day. The sun was out, my bed was cozy, my pillows were soft and the newest issue of Uppercase Magazine (all on textile design) just seemed so fitting to keep in the shot since I've been indulging in it the last week or two. If you happen to read the issue I have a wee mention/pic in it of my Sweetheart Dress!Squeee!

Lotta Jansdotter Sylvia Fabric Giveaway from Fat Quarter Shop //
Lotta Jansdotter Sylvia Fabric Giveaway from Fat Quarter Shop //

But moving on back to my pillows...ahhhh, the pillows. Don't you all just love new pillowcases? I love anything new for my bed (which I plan on buying this year too), our mattress is currently on the floor thus why my bed side tables look sooooo high. And yes, I'm 36 and my mattress is on the floor...haha. Our bed broke. What can I say? Low on the priority list. I'm saving up for a King sized. Once you have more than one kid you need a King.

I used this tutorial from my pal Dana over on MADE as a rough guideline for sizing etc to make my pillow cases. Since I was using half yard pieces I made a way wider side accent for mine.

What am I going to do with the rest of my half yard bundle - make throw pillows for my grey couch :) Yep. They will go with my Lotta Jandotter quilt and match my bed pillow The house of Lotta happening over

Want to see some more pics and find out what you could win? Keep reading for more!

Lotta Jansdotter Sylvia Fabric Giveaway from Fat Quarter Shop //
Lotta Jansdotter Sylvia Fabric Giveaway from Fat Quarter Shop //
Lotta Jansdotter Sylvia Fabric Giveaway from Fat Quarter Shop //

- One lucky winner will win a Fat Quarter Bundle of Sylvia by Lotta Jansdotter from our awesome sponsor Fat Quarter Shop.

- Simply visit this page featuring Sylvia over at Fat Quarter Shop and then come back and tell me which print is your favorite!
- Bonus Entry: Like Fat Quarter Shop and/or Very Shannon on facebook and then come back and leave me ANOTHER comment letting me know you did that too.

- You must leave a valid email in your comment or have a valid email associated with your profile or you will be disqualified.
- Giveaway is open until Sunday, May 4th, 2014, midnight, PST.

A big thank you to Fat Quarter Shop for the awesome prize! You can find all things Fat Quarter Shop below:



Good luck and happy sewing!!!!! I can't wait to see who wins!


I have a serious crush on Japanese sewing & knitting books. An "I will pore over every image and diagram a gazillion times" sort of crush. 

The aesthetic, the vibe, the layout - I love it all. I'm heavily influenced by the clean lines and the fresh feel of Japanese books. They just get me all creatively inspired and, of course, dying to make everything in the books!

I was so excited to get my hands on two of the popular Happy Homemade series "Sew Chic" by Yoshiko Tsukiori and "Sew Chic for Kids", by the talented Ruriko Yamadaboth, translated and published in English by Tuttle Publishing.  And yes, you read that right - they are in English! I have to say that when they started releasing this line in English I was over the moon. I'm a visual and a technical learner. I like to read and see the instructions so I love that I can now read the instructions as well as see them. Their diagrams are gorgeous and very well done but I longed to read the words in the book as well.

Keep reading below to see my review & more pics!


The best thing about Sew Chic for Kids is that I love pretty much every pattern in it.  

Ohhhh....the clothes, such lovely clothes...and for both boys and girls!!!! Can I hear a yay?!The book is filled with 20 wonderful essentials for any child's wardrobe. Plus they are the type of clothes that are the ones that you enjoy sewing as much as your children love to wear! The book includes patterns in the back, and lots of gorgeous images in the front. Instructions are given in written and diagram form. The pattern pieces are in the back of the book and head's up - they don't include seam allowances. But don't fret - the book has a section showing you how to add them, how to sew, and more tips, techniques and instructions.

The pattern pieces are included in the back of the book and there are 2 double sided pattern sheets, giving you a total of 4 pattern sheets. Pieces are spread out throughout the pattern sheets so I highly recommend you check the contents list on each sheet to make sure you aren't missing any pieces for the garment you are making before you start sewing. It sounds harder than it is. Once you start using them you'll see what I mean.

I definitely recommend Sew Chic for Kids and can't wait to sew something up for my girlies and my nephew. But first I have to choose my favorite one to start! This is proving to be much harder than I thought! I love them all!


Sew Chic just oozes relaxation. The pictures depict the kind of girl I so wish I could be. The clothes are comfortable, effortlessly chic and so lovely. 

Now I've got me some curves so I can't pull off all of the looks but there are definitely some I could wear! The book includes 20 patterns ranging from tunics, pants, skirts, dresses and more! My fave piece to try is that lovely jacket shown in the middle shot below. It's something missing from my closet and think it would be a flattering piece for many body shapes. Just like Sew Chic for Kids, Sew Chic has inspiring and clean images in the front, patterns in the back. Patterns contain written instructions as well as diagrams. No seam allowances on the pattern pieces but instructions written in the book on how to add them making it not seem so overwhelming.

The pattern pieces are included in the back of the book and there are 2 double sided pattern sheets, giving you a total of 4 pattern sheets. Pieces are spread out throughout the pattern sheets so I highly recommend you check the contents list on each sheet to make sure you aren't missing any pieces for the garment you are making before you start sewing. It sounds harder than it is. Once you start using them you'll see what I mean. 

It also includes a section on tips for sewing, how to make bias strips & v-neckline facing, attach facing & binding and how to sew pockets. As well as how to trace patterns onto paper, add seam allowances, straighten fabric, pattern placement and how to take your measurements. It's all done so tidy and neat all of that literally only takes a few pages!

Women with curves take note though - the book does only go up to a certain size level and I know a majority of us are bigger than their largest size. If you have some alteration experience I'm sure you could grade up a bit to make them work but I wanted to include this in my review as I'm someone who has a hard time myself finding patterns that are mainstream that fit my curvy shape. The largest bust size is 40 1/4" and the largest hip size is 43 3/4". This isn't a direct con to this book though. Most Japanese sewing books have sizes in the smaller ranges so it's to be expected when you purchase them.

I still love Sew Chic. I still hope to sew some things from it and even aside from that, I just love looking at it! As someone who has published 2 books I get a real joy out of seeing how these are put together and I know they will be a well loved addition to my book library.

Both Sew Chic and Sew Chic for Kids are published by Tuttle Publishing and can be found at your local bookshop, sewing store and on Amazon. If you have a love for Japanese sewing patterns and books I highly recommend giving the English publications a try. The Happy Homemade series is amazing and always drool worthy. They make a lovely set of books to add to your sewing pattern collection.

Do you love Japanese sewing patterns and books?  Which book is your favorite? Have you made any of the patterns from Sew Chic and Sew Chic Kids?

P.s. Have a wonderful long holiday weekend! My oldest is turning 7 on Easter! Can you believe it! It feels like only yesterday that she was a baby! See you all on Tuesday! 


Just popping in today to quickly say a hello and draw a winner!!!

My folks just left this morning and after having them here for 2 weeks I'm already missing them. I'm a blubbering baby who spent last night crying. I only get to see them once or twice a year and we are very close so it's hard to say our goodbyes or "see you soon's" as I like to say. I got to take a much needed mini-break from work and spend some time with them and my family with some amazing weather these past 2 weeks knitting and drinking coffee in the sunshine. The sun has been out and it's been soooooo warm!!! It's been wonderful.

I hope you all have had a great week as well! I'm excited to hear what you have all been up to. I also have some fun new posts to share with you in the upcoming weeks as well!

And now I know you're all waiting to find out who won the awesome Tanis Fiber Arts Giveaway we hosted last week! The yarn, the patterns....ohhhhh...such a lovely prize!

The lucky winner is.....
Commenter #157 - Brittani!!!! 

Congratulations Brittani! We'll be in touch soon about your prize!

A big thank you to all who entered and to Tanis for the generous prize!

What have you been up to this past week or so? Any new projects on the needles? What have you been working on? Making? Fill me in! I've missed ya!

p.s. yes, that yarn in the pic above is Tanis Fiber Arts yarn...isn't it gorgeous? It's Orange Label and I am so smitten with it!


I've been so excited to show you all pics of our recent trip to Seattle for Vogue Knitting Live and our visit to the popular new yarn shop - Tolt Yarn and Wool!

It took me a bit to get back into the groove of things after being away. Having one kiddo home for spring break sure put a damper into my work plans too. But now we're getting back into the routine of things again and I knew if I didn't post these soon I wouldn't get a chance to.

Jane and I had so much fun here I honestly begged the lovely owner Anna to let me be a virtual employee! It's yarn heaven in there and I came home with a nice loot! I cannot say enough about this shop. I was there for a few hours and still didn't get to see everything. It honestly is amazingly curated and filled with treasures! The decor is to die for and Anna has put the most special touches and style into this huge and airy store! I'm not joking when I say it's like walking into yarn heaven. It's that awesome. There is a fireplace to sit around and knit, a lovely back table area with stylish chairs and table lamps to knit and converse with friends plus an upstairs area for classes and more! It's bright, warm, friendly and oh so inviting! My fave purchase from Tolt was the AWESOME Tolt mug!!!! I have been using mine everyday! I got the white one! I also got one of the rockin' baskets you see all over the shop. It's so lovely and my yarn now has a happy home in it!!!


Thank you soooo much to Anna (for everything and for being so kind) and to all her lovely staff for making it such a special event for Jane and I. And thank you to everyone who drove out to attend - it was such a great group of women and we had so much fun the time flew by way too fast. And I can't forget to give a special thank you to Veronika from Yarn on the House for her lovely pressie! She's such a doll! And she has a new line of yarns just out called YOTH Yarns and let me tell you - she is one to watch! This yarn is STUNNING! I highly recommend you guys! I can't wait to wind mine up and start knitting with it! You can see it in the collage below. Her yarns can be purchased at Tolt right now and you can see her trunk show there as well!

So sit back, sip a coffee/tea and step inside Tolt Yarn and Wool with Jane and I! For more pics and to hear about the rest of my trip see below!

See that pic of me above? That's what happens when you are around too many yarn fumes! I was like a crazy kid in a candy store!
And one of my fave things to do when I get home is to make you all an instagram collage of our trip!

Here's some of my fave shots from our weekend! We honestly had such a great time that we hardly have any pics! It's hard to take photos when you're having such a great time and getting to chat with so many awesome people! Vogue Knitting Live was great (I didn't buy much as we were so busy shopping was tricky) as was our stay at the Marriot Courtyard in Bellevue. Love that hotel. We honestly camped out in the lobby there on the last night till very late eating, drinking and of course knitting with all of our gals! It was one of the highlights of the trip for me! We always have fun in Bellevue and Seattle and it's so fun to get over to visit from Canada.

Trip to VKL and Tolt Yarn and Wool //

Jane and I like to travel to Seattle via the Coho ferry from Victoria and then we drive from Port Angeles to Bainbridge Island (home of Churchmouse Yarn and Teas!!!) and again, for the 2nd year in a row we were unable to go to this amazing shop due to our ferry transfer time! I swear we were almost in tears!!! All of the women from Churchmouse are so beyond lovely (they had a booth at VKL) and I even found out the owner is a long time family friend! What are the odds right! Such a fun experience! We were so happy to have gotten at least to chat with them during VKL. I could have hung out at their booth all day. And I don't have a picture, but Jared Flood (of Brooklyn Tweed) was there and I got to chat with him and of course, fawn and get flustered. He is such a huge inspiration to me that I honestly become speechless around him! Me - speechless! I know right! It's a miracle of epic proportions! I still have the ball bands he signed last year hanging on my inspiration board near my desk.

I also had another surreal experience meeting one of my favorite long time bloggers - Dottie Angel (aka Tif)! You can see a pic of her and I together in the bottom row, center of the collage above. Seriously, it was as her and I like to call a "serendipitous meeting". I heard she was working at Tolt Yarn and Wool Shop so when Jane and I arrived for our trunk show I was pretty much stalking the shop looking for her! I was beyond excited to get to meet her. But our paths were not meant to cross that night. But on Saturday at VKL while we did our signing at Stash Local I looked up and there she was!!! It was such a special and touching moment for me to be able to say in words to her how much her blog and writing meant to me. She was one of the reasons I even started blogging and I have been a loyal fan of hers ever since. She was so kind and like a kindred spirit! I could have chatted with her all day! It truly was so amazing to meet her! Thanks again Tif!

Another huge highlight for me was getting to finally meet Susan B. Anderson! Let me tell you - she is the sweetest woman ever! I just wanted to keep hugging her she is so patient, kind and nice. It was so fun to get to meet her and we were all looking forward to it! It definitely was a big highlight for our whole group to get to chat and meet her!  She is such a huge inspiration and I'm a big fan of her work! Thanks for being so sweet Susan! I hope we can meet again!

I also got to meet Karen Templar from Fringe Association. If you see the pics above of my loot the bag with the yarn quote is Karen's and I also got a print of hers with the same quote to put in my office space. I'm a big fan of her blog and shop. She has a great eye and her aesthetic and taste is amazing! If you haven't visited her shop before go now! You won't be disappointed :) I could have spent all my moula at her booth but had to control

Our book signing at Stash Local was so fun and we got to meet so many wonderful people! We thank Sonia again for having us!!! We so appreciated the support Sonia!!! It was a blast and your booth was so lovely!!! She had so many gorgeous yarns on display I just kept stopping what I was doing and petting all the Hazel Knits yarn! We were also lucky enough to have the booth be right near Sincere Sheep (the yarn for Jane's Spate mitts from JOURNEY), Chicken Boots and Fringe Association! It was great fun to be around so many lovely ladies! I also got to pick up a gorgeous skein of yarn from Neighbourhood Fiber Co.! I've been wanting to try their yarns and their booth was amazing! It was very hard to just choose one!

Of course before we left Bellevue we had to hit up the mall and visit Anthropologie (my first time!!!), the Disney and Lego stores (for the kids) and eat a yummy lunch at the Cheesecake Factory! We then raced to Trader Joe's (we all LOVE Trader Joe's) to stock up on all of our faves and then raced to get over the border to catch our ferry. It was a long night home but we made it :) It's always so fun to go on these road trips but I'm also always happy to get home to my girlies and the hubs!

// Don't forget - if you would like to get to see Jane and I and visit our trunk show for JOURNEY and get your copy of JOURNEY signed make sure to pop by the lovely Beehive Wool Shop this weekend on Saturday from 12-4! We're officially launching JOURNEY in our home city! We can't wait and we hope to see  you all there! 

Have you gotten to meet a fave blogger of yours? Who's yarn are you currently coveting? Have you been to Tolt Yarn and Wool yet? Let's chat! 


Antrorse Sweater Pattern by Very Shannon
Antrorse Sweater Pattern by Very Shannon
Antrorse Sweater Pattern by Very Shannon

Antrorse Sweater Pattern by Very Shannon
Antrorse Sweater Pattern by Very Shannon
Antrorse Sweater Pattern by Very Shannon
Antrorse Sweater Pattern by Very Shannon

Can you tell I love my Antrorse sweater? I'm so happy to have one of my pattern in my own size!

When designing Antrorse it was tricky to make it for someone that was way smaller in body size than I. Throughout the whole process I was dying to make one in my size so I could try it on as I went. The sewer in me wanted to drape, alter and shape and this time I had to trust the math and the stitches. I did end up making one for myself though. And the lazy knitter in me still hasn't blocked it....don't I know it needs it - desperately. But the weather here is so damp and dreary I knew it was going to take forever to dry and I just haven't been able to bring myself to do it yet. So you lucky ducks get pics of me in it pre-blocking :) And those of you who know I made this in October....hangs head in shame...I promise to block it soon.

When Jane and I planned out the JOURNEY KAL we both thought it would be fun for you guys to see us wearing our JOURNEY garments. You can see Jane's over on her blog later today. One of my favorite things now that Antrorse is out in the world is seeing all the beautiful body shapes wearing it and all of them looking gorgeous in it! I love that curvy gals like myself can wear it and that we look just as cute in it as the model in our book! With no waist/hip shaping it still let's us show off our curves but with the 2" of positive ease it doesn't cling to our bits and bobs that we don't want showing ( my 2 baby post c-section tummy). The funnel neck balances out our boobs and hips while the directional arrow down the center draws your eye upward slimming your frame.

I'm happy in this sweater alright. No tugging, pulling, shifting or feeling like I have to suck in all my air to pose for a pic for a few minutes. This is me. Dancing. Happy. Goofy. Listening to my new fave album  by Noah Gundersen (Ledges is my fave - cannot stop listening to this whole album), wearing my Antrorse exactly how I would on any given day. I love pairing it with my fave tunic of the moment - my Tova (you can read more about it here), a pair of dark grey leggings and my well loved knee high boots. The layers keep me warm and I feel like I'm wearing a short skirt (that flatters my legs) but doesn't reveal anything since I really have pants on :) That little pop of color just makes me smile. And knowing that I handmade both the tunic and the sweater makes me ecstatic! I love those outfit days.

My Antrorse is made from Quince and Co. Osprey in the colorway Honey and it's my fave. I am obsessed with it. It's this gorgeous creamy yellow/green color that is just awesome. I'm currently also making a Swift hat in the same color so I can rock this tone all over! Lol! A gal can't have enough of this color in my opinion. I love it. Same with the yarn :) But then you all know how much I love Quince and Co. The texture from this yarn just makes this graphic loving gals heart swoon :P

I didn't make that many mods for my pullover. I made a size 42 and the only thing I did was make mine a tad longer. I wanted the length a bit longer so it went over my problem area (aka the tummy mentioned above). Since I knew I was going to wear this with leggings more than pants it was the way to go. I hunted and hunted for the right buttons and when I spotted these at our local yarn shop - Knotty By Nature I knew they were destined for my Antrorse! They are real wood and smell glorious! I adore them!

Now it's your turn! We want to see your projects from JOURNEY! 

Get those pics added to our Ravelry group! Post your pics on your blog and share your links here! We can't wait to see all the finished projects next week you guys! There are some truly beautiful things being made!

And remember you can find everything JOURNEY KAL on our homepage here! Thanks for knitting with us!!
Sweater: Antrorse Sweater Pattern by Shannon Cook (me!) from JOURNEY
Yarn for Sweater: Quince and Co. Osprey in colorway Honey
Tunic: Tova Tunic (from Wiksten) sewn by me (read more here).
Leggings: Costco
Boots: Old Navy (2+ years ago)
Music I was listening to: Noah Gundersen (Can't stop listening to the whole album, but Ledges is my fave!)


Do not fear the zipper. 

Do not deny yourself of a bevvy of adorable zippered pouches. Trust me on this one folks. I spent years sewing avoiding sewing zippers. Now that I conquered my fear of zips I've been having so much fun with them! They are honestly just like what everyone says - scarier than they look and wayyyy easier than you think to sew. Once you do a few you will be a pro at them! I prefer zippers over sewing buttonholes any day!!

Now like most knitters I take knitting with me most places I go. The other day I found myself needing to pack multiple needles but didn't want to lose them in my knitting bag. So I started thinking there must be an easier way to keep my spares organized, without a huge case, that's easy to access and doesn't take up much room. I then thought - can I put them in my zippered pouch? Nope, not enough room (I carry a lot in mine). Then, better yet, why can't I have a separate section for my circulars on my pouch? Yesssss! I could do that! And The Brigitte Needles & Notions Zippered Pouch was born!

Brigitte Needles & Notions Zippered Pouch Tutorial //
Brigitte Needles & Notions Zippered Pouch Tutorial //
Brigitte Needles & Notions Zippered Pouch Tutorial //
Brigitte Needles & Notions Zippered Pouch Tutorial //

When I got my hands on some of Pat Bravo's new line "Rapture" from Art Gallery Fabrics I knew they would make a lovely and pretty zippered pouch. I used the following prints for my pouch...

The Delicate Femme Apricot is my fave from the whole collection. So gorgeous! I want to make a dress in it this year! You can read more about my review of this pretty new line here.

Now don't be scared of making this pouch. I promise it's not hard! Really. It's a basic zippered pouch with a zipper insertion that I think isn't the standard way to do them but a way that I really like. It's super duper easy and you can get right close to the zipper teeth so you get a clean finish. But feel free to put your zipper in any way you'd like to. And adding the pouch portion is a breeze. If you can sew straight lines you can make Brigitte! Trust me.

You ready? Let's get those needles and notions organized! You deserve a pretty new pouch for spring!


*Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This tutorial is for personal use only unless prior permission has been given. Email if you have questions.

Brigitte Needles & Notions Zippered Pouch Tutorial //

8" W x 4.5" H (Front & Back)
6.5" W x 2.25" H (Pocket)

4 @ 8.5" W x 5.25" H ( 2 for Outer Pouch and 2 for Inner Pouch)
2 @ 2.75" H x 4.5" W (Pocket Flap)
2 @ 7" H x 5.25" W (Pocket)
Interfacing - I use & love 931TD Pellon Fusible Interfacing cut to the sizes/quantity below:
2 @ 8.5" W x 5.25" H Light to Medium Weight Fusible Interfacing
1 @ 4.5" W x 2.75"H Light to Medium Weight Fusible Interfacing
1 @ 5.25" W x 7"H Light to Medium Weight Fusible Interfacing
1 9" zipper
Zipper foot for your machine
Coordinating Thread
1 Snap
Rotary Cutter w/mat or scissors

*All seam allowances 1/4" unless otherwise noted.
Cut out all fabric and interfacing pieces as per the measurements listed in the "Materials" section. Set aside your 2 pieces that will be your "Outer Pouch" pieces, 1 of your "Pocket Flap", and 1 of your "Pocket". Iron your fusible interfacing to the wrong sides of these pieces. 
Brigitte Needles & Notions Zippered Pouch Tutorial //
Now take your 2 Pocket Pieces and place them right sides facing each other. Sew along one of the short edges ONLY with a 1/4" seam allowance. Turn right side out and press. *See diagram above.
Brigitte Needles & Notions Zippered Pouch Tutorial //

Next with right sides facing each other, sew 3 sides of your pocket flap, leaving one long edge unsewn. Clip your corners and turn right side out and press. *See diagram above.

Brigitte Needles & Notions Zippered Pouch Tutorial //
Place your Pocket Piece (right side facing up) on top of the right side of one of your Outer Pouch Pieces aligning both short ends together on the right edge. Pin your pocket down and baste close to the edge along the right short edge and along the bottom edge of your Outer Pouch Piece ONLY. This will keep your pocket piece from moving around too much when we assemble the pouch. *See diagram above.

Brigitte Needles & Notions Zippered Pouch Tutorial //

Now fold down 1/2" and press along one long edge of all of your Outer Pouch and Inner Pouch Pieces. *See image above.

Brigitte Needles & Notions Zippered Pouch Tutorial //

Next place your Flap Piece right side facing up on top of the same Outer Pouch Piece you just sewed your pocket to (right side up) and pin it down 1/2" away from the bottom of your pouch aligned with the left hand side of the pouch. Baste along this side seam close to the edge. *See image above.

Do not be scared. I feared zippers for almost 3 years and never sewed one. I was freaked right out by them and then when I finally got the courage to sew one my whole world changed. It wasn't hard. It was just my mind thinking it was. I now loooooove sewing zippers. The girl in me who loves top stitching just goes gaga over zippers. My words of wisdom? Go slow, steady and take your time and always, always, always read the instructions more than twice. I sometimes even "pretend do the steps" before really sewing just to make sure I'm not making any boo boos. The nice thing about zippers is you can rip it out if you make a mistake. With a buttonhole...once it's cut you are down for the count. See...already less scary right?

Now this method of sewing a zipper in a pouch isn't the only way to do it. There are lots of different methods but this is a personal fave of mine. It gives such a neat finish and I find it the least scary and stressful way to attach a zipper. Please feel free to use any other method though if you would like to. If you do a search on google there are a ton of great free tutorials and instructions on this as well as just a few other free zippered pouch tutorials below showing you how to put a zipper in using a different method than what I show.

// Helpful Links
- How to Sew Zippers on Kollabora
- Zippered Pouch on Noodlehead
- Easy zippered pouch on Design Mom
- Zippered Pouch Roundup on The Sewing Loft

Brigitte Needles & Notions Zippered Pouch Tutorial //
Brigitte Needles & Notions Zippered Pouch Tutorial //

Attach your zipper foot to your machine. Lay your zipper (right side facing down) pull side down with the zipper pull on the left and then lay your Inner Pouch piece right side facing up on the zipper. You can choose to pin or not pin here. Sew fabric to zipper using your zipper foot sewing close to, but not on, the zipper teeth.  Remember - go slow, and take your time. *See image above.

Brigitte Needles & Notions Zippered Pouch Tutorial //

Next take your other Inner Pouch Piece and repeat the above step maneuvering the zipper pull as needed as you sew. Press your fabric nicely.

If you would like to put in a lovely label for your pouch now is the time!

Lay your Inner Pouch right sides facing down (your zipper will be right side facing up now) and pin your Outer Pouch Pieces down along your zipper making sure your zipper pull (start) are on the left side (same side as your pocket flap). My pic shows a different angle so careful to check this before sewing. Sew along your top edge as close to the zipper teeth as possible (don't sew on the teeth). You want a nice and tidy finish. As you sew you can maneuver and move the zipper pull out of the way. That's it! You did it! You wasn't so bad! Awesome job!

Brigitte Needles & Notions Zippered Pouch Tutorial //

Next repeat the above step for your other Outer Pouch Piece. When you are done pull your zipper down a few inches. You will need the zipper open so you can pull the pouch right side out after we are done sewing it together.

Brigitte Needles & Notions Zippered Pouch Tutorial //

Now we are going to finish sewing up the pouch. We are going to separate the Inner Pouch from the Outer Pouch here. So match your Outer Pouch right sides facing each other and pin around (leaving the Inner Pouch pieces free. Make sure that as you pin your zipper tops are even and lined up. *See diagram below.

Brigitte Needles & Notions Zippered Pouch Tutorial //

Sew along your 3 edges of your Outer Pouch ONLY with a 1/4" seam allowance going slowly and carefully. *See left diagram above. Now trim your corners to get rid of extra bulk. *See diagram to the right above.

Next do the same steps but this time using your Inner Pouch Pieces (again lining everything up and pinning) but leave an opening that is 4-5" wide to turn your pouch through. Trim your corners. *See diagram below.

Brigitte Needles & Notions Zippered Pouch Tutorial //

Now pull your pouch right side out through the unsewn opening in your Inner Pouch. It is going to look weird and wonky but don't worry - all will be lovely soon. Once it's right side out put your Inner Pouch inside of your Outer Pouch and check to make sure all looks good. Check your pocket and flap to make sure it's laying nicely. If it does pull your Inner Pouch back out and either press and sew shut on your machine with a top stitch enclosing your unsewn opening or hand stitch the opening closed with an invisible stitch for a clean finish.

Put your Inner Pouch back in your Outer Pouch and press that bad boy really really well.


Brigitte Needles & Notions Zippered Pouch Tutorial //

 All we have left is to sew on your snap! Find the center of your pocket flap and draw a dot 3/4" up from the bottom of your flap. Sew the female part of your snap here (or the part of the snap that has the opening (not the prong). Now find the center and mark the corresponding spot on the top of your pocket and sew down the male part of your snap (the one with the prong).

*Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This tutorial is for personal use only unless prior permission has been given. Email if you have questions.

Brigitte Needles & Notions Zippered Pouch Tutorial //

And you're done!!!! You did amazing and cute is this pouch! I can't wait to make more! I can use these for so many things. They also make fabulous gifts! Mother's Day will be here before we know it!

What fabric would you use for your pouch? Do you carry spares with you for your knitting too? Wouldn't this be great for makeup and brushes as well? Thanks for sewing with me!

P.S. Make sure to add your projects to our Flickr Group so we can see your finished Brigitte's and link them in the comments too! I love to hear from you!


Knitting Buttonholes Roundup // Very Shannon

During the making of my Antrorse pattern I became obsessed with buttonholes.

I couldn't stop looking at them, analyzing them and studying them. I wanted to knit my dream buttonhole for my dream sweater. Then I came upon the One Row Buttonhole and my dreams came true. Clean. Easy. Reversible. Tidy. It made the perfectionist in me so very happy. Buttonholes never get enough of the limelight in knitting if you ask me.

So when discussing possible topics for the JOURNEY KAL Jane and I decided to do one on techniques for you guys today. She's covering the Turkish Cast On and I'm chatting all about knitting buttonholes! Wahoo! Fun right? Who doesn't love learning a new technique? I never get tired of it.

Knitting Buttonholes Roundup // Very Shannon
Knitting Buttonholes Roundup // Very Shannon

If you're knitting my Antrorse Sweater for the JOURNEY KAL you'll get to work the One Row Buttonhole first hand! It's been one of the most commented part of the sweater that I get from knitters. I'm so glad so many of you have found a new love for this buttonhole!

You ready to learn how to knit a One Row Buttonhole? Want to find out what other buttonholes there are? Here's some of my faves! 

- Tutorial from NeoKnits
- Video from New Stitch a Day
- How to on Knitting Daily
- Video on Knitting Help

- Buttonhole techniques on Vogue Knitting
- Buttonholes on Knitty
- Buttonhole techniques on TECHknitting (here, here, here, here , here, here)
- Buttons & Buttonholes on Knitpicks Blog
- Buttonhole tips from Tricksy Knitter
- Two row buttonhole on Crafty Stylish  
- Making perfect buttonholes Part 1 and Part 2
- Buttonholes on Craftsy
- Knitting on the Net's buttonholes

- Button Bands & Buttonholes Class with Anne Hanson on Crafsty
- Knit the Perfect Buttonhole Class with Anna Zilboorg on Interweave

- Finishing School: A Master Class for Knitters by Deborah Newton
- Knitting for Dummies free chapter on Knitting Buttonholes
- The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiat

Knitting Buttonholes Roundup // Very Shannon

Interested in learning more techniques from our knit alongs? Check out these fun posts for more tips and techniques! These are just a few we've covered during our knit alongs!

What project are you knitting for the JOURNEY KAL? What yarn are you using? Do you have a fave buttonhole? Let's chat! 

PS. Find all the info for our JOURNEY Knit Along here.


Sigma Dress by Papercut Patterns // Sewn by Very Shannon
Sigma Dress by Papercut Patterns // Sewn by Very Shannon
Sigma Dress by Papercut Patterns // Sewn by Very Shannon
Sigma Dress by Papercut Patterns // Sewn by Very Shannon

Sigma Dress by Papercut Patterns // Sewn by Very Shannon
Sigma Dress by Papercut Patterns // Sewn by Very Shannon
Sigma Dress by Papercut Patterns // Sewn by Very Shannon

Let me introduce you to my new favorite dress! The Sigma Dress by Papercut Patterns.

One of my new year's resolutions this year was to sew for me more and I was so thrilled when Hayley of Welcome to the Mouse House and Celina of Petit a Petit & Family asked me to take part in their awesome Shades of Me Sewing Series! We got assigned a color and got to sew an outfit in that colorway for ourselves! I was so in!

My color was WHITE. Say what? I don't wear white unless you count some white tees, a cardi and my wedding But I quickly realized we were allowed to do any color mixed with white so I got my happy dance on when I realized I could sew with grey! Yes please! I have been hoarding Robert Kaufman Chambray in Pepper for months now and happily cut into it to make my chosen pattern. I even added a white zipper in there and sewed with white thread to keep the white vibe

But before I tell you of my sincere love of Papercut Patterns I must tell you a story about the journey this series has taken me on. You see when I finally sat down to chose an awesome pattern for myself my brain went cray cray. I spent weeks and I mean weeks, poring over the internet searching for what I wanted to make. I've collected a great collection of adult sewing patterns over the last few months in anticipation of making more of a "handmade wardrobe" for myself this year but even those weren't making me excited.

I finally decided on a dress (that will remain unnamed for now) and happily went to sew it. Let me just tell you - this dress I dreamed of myself looking so good in quickly turned into the dress from hell. No word of a lie. I hate this dress so bad I am seriously going to cut it up and then run it over with my car. This dress took over my life like a demon possessing a soul. I spent all my work time and personal time all last week sewing like a crazy woman on the dress. I refused to give up. But the dress fought me back harder every time. Let me just say the fit on that dress is never going to happen. The dress is not gonna happen. I. Altered. Everything.

By the time I got to Friday night (of last week, yes, it was that long) I had changed the whole dress. New bust darts, new princess seams, added back neck darts, took in back seams, altered straps and the list goes on - still horrid! Our family sat down to dinner on Friday and I just knew I had gone over to the dark side of sewing. I hadn't done my hair in days, I was covered in thread and sewing in my bra and undies (dont' judge me, I got sick of taking my clothes off every time I altered the dress) - I'm keeping it real here folks, and snapping at any poor child or adult who dare speak to me. So when my hubby nicely said "Why don't you just make a new dress?" I went off the deep end. Doesn't he know how much I've worked on this dress? How could I let IT win? I couldn't possibly give up now when I spent so many hours fighting this dress! I loved the fabric too much to let it go!

He went out that evening and as the house grew quiet I sat down at my Pfaff and just cried. I had to let it go. I knew I couldn't win and get this post done in time. I am proud to say I kicked that damn dress across the room, shoved it in a bin and opened up the AWESOME Papercut Pattern I had so lovingly ordered weeks earlier (not thinking it would make it in time for this competition) that literally had just arrived the day before. It was a sign. The packaging - I will save that for another post but let me just say - OH MY! My happy little designer heart raced like xmas morning! I just about fainted with sheer happiness. Clear instructions, personal touches, great fit and a lovely design. Could you say it saved me from sewing insanity? Yes. It. Did.

Did I have to make any adjustments? Not a single one and it feels damn good to type that after the Hell Dress debacle above. I'm sure in hindsight I could tweak the front armhole fit a tad (it has a bit of extra fabric there above the boob) but other than that - love it. I love sewing invisible zippers, I loved the pocket detail and the front gather....swoon. I loved it so much I wore it out the next day and showed it off to all my friends. That dress will forever be cherished in my wardrobe. I will always remember how it pulled me out of a bad place and made me admit to my husband he was right (a tough thing to do in our house). I should have just started a new dress days before that and moved on with it. You live and you learn. I will never spend that much time altering the fit on a dress for myself ever again. Never.

What else did I learn? That even though I am trying hard right now to get into shape I am learning to enjoy sewing for my curves and finding the clothing to make that is flattering to me. There is nothing like wearing a garment that was made to fit your body. Speaking from a gal who has curves that finds shopping in stores a headache it's a breath of fresh air. I can't wait to make more! I have another Papercut Pattern on it's way to me as I type this and got my hair cut last night because after I saw these pics I realized the hairdresser in me could not let this horrid hairdo continue any longer. 

Have you made a Sigma Dress? Have you sewn with Papercut Patterns before? I'd love to hear about it!
Dress: Sigma Dress from Papercut Patterns
Size Made: Large for the Bodice graded up to an XL for the Skirt
Boots: Forever 21

Don't forget to follow along with the rest of the Shades of Me Series! So many fun bloggers joining in! And a big thank you to Celina and Hayley for having me along on the tour!


Who's in the mood for a special Valentine's Day Sale?

From now until February 14th save 10% off the Sweetheart Dress Pattern in our Very Shannon Shop (only)!! Use coupon code "heart10" to save 10%!

In honor of the sale and of my littlest one growing out of her original Sweetheart Dress I couldn't resist whipping her up a new one! And even better I couldn't resist making it out of one of my new fave lines "Catnap" by Lizzy House forAndover Fabrics. Isn't this print adorable? I used Kitty Dreams in Cranberry. I love the whole line!

Only modifications I made for this Sweetheart was to use the full width of fabric to make the skirt from. We wanted to up the twirl factor! I also used a huge button which in hindsight isn't the best idea as the button loop had to made quite large to account for the size of the button and allows the heart to be open a tad more at the top portion which bugs me to no end...but not enough that I'll change It's one of my favorite retro buttons from my stash and I love that extra pop of red!

Would you like to see more pics? Yay! I just can't resist showing you some more cute pics of my girly girl in her new fave dress!

Have you made a Sweetheart Dress before? What fabric are you dying to sew one up in?

You can find the Sweetheart Dress Pattern for sale & use the coupon "heart10" to save 10% off in my shop Very Shannonthrough till February 14th!

Happy sewing!!!!

Dress Pattern:

Sweetheart Dress by Shannon Cook of Very Shannon, Size 4.

Dress Fabric: Kitty Dreams in Cranberry from Catnap by Lizzy House for Andover Fabrics.

Modifications: Used full width of fabric to make an even fuller skirt!


I've been trying really  hard to stay on top of my goals for the blog and for myself this year and January sure gave me a run for my money.

It's been quite the test as I've been really busy behind the scenes of the blog and it could have been so easy to slip back into old ways. I have a post coming up this week that I'll explain this a bit more but I'm happy to stay I saw my old habits coming back and managed to pull myself back onto course again and stick it out. Have you been sticking to your new year's resolutions?

In the meantime I've also been enjoying some quiet moments to feed my soul and sole...hehe...sorry, couldn't resist. I've been working on some new patterns but also enjoying some great purse knitting for a new pair of socks. I'm madly in love with my self striping yarn from Caterpillar Green Yarns! This is colorway concrete and tulips and it is gorgeous!!! I highly recommend her yarns. Her stripes are amazing and she's local!

I turned my heel on the weekend (after some cray crazy math and a few oospies) and am now on the ankle portion! Yay! Can't wait to show you all the other colors I have in there now! There's a red/pink heel!!! Weeee! Fun! I also didn't miss the fact that I turned my heel on the same day I managed to work through a very stressful sewing situation (aka the dress from hell).  It felt good to make it through something bad and then end my day turning the heel on a fun new pair of socks! Silly as that sounds I slept great that

In the craziness of my last week or so I realized that I haven't announced the winner of the Fat Quarter Shop Fabric Giveaway! Our winner is....commenter #53 - Michala.  Congratulations Michala! We'll be in contact with you soon! Happy fabric shopping!

What have you been working on this past month? Are you a sock addict? Have you been taking time for just "you"?


Plantain T-shirt from Deer and Doe || Sewn by Very Shannon
Plantain T-shirt from Deer and Doe || Sewn by Very Shannon
Plantain T-shirt from Deer and Doe || Sewn by Very Shannon
Plantain T-shirt from Deer and Doe || Sewn by Very Shannon
Plantain T-shirt from Deer and Doe || Sewn by Very Shannon

Deer and Doe recently released a free pattern called the Plantain T-shirt and boy did I fall head over heels in love with it. 

Free or not I needed this top. The fit and slight flare of the bottom portion is what I fell hard for. You see, I got a tummy ladies. Not a tiny one either and I need to hide that So if i can get a top that shows off my good parts (aka the girls) but hide the bad (the tummy) I'm game to sew it!

Deer and Doe patterns are clearly written with lovely diagrams/illustrations and their sizing is fabulous. I found this top an easy and quick sew! In fact I've already made 2 in under a week (watch for a post on the 2nd one soon)! That is a record for me! I am most definitely NOT a pattern repeater. But seriously, this top is such a great addition to my wardrobe. I also plan on making at least a few more. They are going to be on regular rotation in my house. Now to pick out some more fabrics!

I made the size XL and the only modification I made was the lazy man's hip...haha...or what I call grading down my seam allowance from 5/8" to 1/4" to give myself a smidge more room around the belly/hips without having to retrace/draft the pattern pieces. I started this just under the armpit and love how it worked out!

One of my current fave blogs to read - Paunnet, has recently joined the Deer and Doe team as their english language blogger (the Deer and Doe speak primarily french) and she has an awesome tutorial on how to turn your Plantain shirt into a dress! Ummmm...yes please! I will be making this STAT. You can find it here. There's also a contest going on over at Deer and Doe for the Plantain T-shirt as well! There are some lovely versions in their flickr group to check out too!

You can find the free download from Deer and Doe HERE. Make sure to check out their other patterns too! Almost all of them are on my "to make" list for this year!

Have you made a Plantain T-Shirt yet? I'd love to see it if you have!
Top: Plantain T-shirt (free pattern) from Deer and Doe, 
Top Fabric: Cotton knit c/o The Fabric Store (LA) (if you live in LA check them out!)
Boots: Target (Canada)


Penelope Peplum by See Kate Sew \\ Sewn by Very Shannon
Penelope Peplum by See Kate Sew \\ Sewn by Very Shannon
Penelope Peplum by See Kate Sew \\ Sewn by Very Shannon
Penelope Peplum by See Kate Sew \\ Sewn by Very Shannon


I was so excited when my friend Kate of See Kate Sew mentioned she was releasing the Penelope Peplum Top Pattern! I had been looking to get one for eons but whenever I try one on in a store they never hit me in the right spot and instead of hiding my tummy they made me look more pregnant. I thought sewing one for myself instead would give me the flexibility to adjust it to my body and waist.

The Penelope Peplum also has an extension pattern that includes a circle skirt dress option, circle skirt peplum option and a gathered dress option so you can really make a whole bunch of versions! It's also available in child's sizes as the Pippa Peplum Pattern! I totally need to make one for both girls so we can all be matchy matchy. And yes, I would do that. And no, I don't care if it makes me look like a dork...cause it's fun and that's how I roll.

I found Kate's pattern (and always do find them) clear, easy to follow, well laid out and accompanied by awesome diagrams and instructions. 

She does a fabulous job for fit as well. My favorite part about the Penelope Peplum Top is the facing on the neckline. Looooove that clean and neat finish. I have a soft spot for that. The only modifications I made to the pattern was to add about 2" to the length of the skirt. I like my tops a tad longer to cover my tummy and I found the original length too short for me to hide it. This pattern gives you options for short sleeves (shown on me) or a cool half sleeve (which I wanted to make but didn't have enough fabric for). The pattern also comes with a cute bow that you can make to add to the top as well.

Kate also gives you an option to sew the top with either elastic thread or to gather the skirt pieces. I gathered and if I was to do it again I would use the elastic thread or sew elastic to the gathering portion (like how Delia did hers here). I think I would have preferred that for when I'm putting it on. Every time I slip it over my head I cross my fingers my boobs aren't going to rip my sewing...lmao. Seriously...big booby girl The elastic thread would have made me feel a bit less uneasy for wear and tear. So far though the stitching has held strong (thanks to my awesome mock coverstitch on my Pfaff Ambition 1.0).

Check out the Penelope Peplum Pattern by See Kate Sew Patterns and also the circle skirt/dress add on for it. She also has a little girl version called the Pippa Peplum (seriously so cute!). And you can see the rest of the fabulous ladies on the tour here on See Kate Sew! Thanks for having me Kate! 
Have you made a Penelope or Pippa Peplum yet? I'd love to hear about it and if you haven't, which fabric would you use?
 Top: Penelope Peplum Pattern by See Kate Sew
Top Fabric: Heather Ross - Briar Rose, Strawberry in Orange
Pants: American Eagle
Bracelet: c/o C. Johannesen Studio (custom)


Goals & Changes on

A new year, a fresh start.
I love when people share their goals, resolutions, dreams and thoughts from this time of the year. I like seeing that glimpse into a more personal side of them. That they are "real" and not perfect. It makes me feel better about myself not being perfect. I also find it energizing this time of year to know so many of us are working on changes, new ideas, and on making 2014 AWESOME!

I took a much needed and very lovely break over the holidays. During that time I did a lot of soul searching and thinking about life and my work/life balance. I came to a lot of hard conclusions about myself and what changes I need to make in my life for my health and for my family. Because I want to stand true to the decisions I've made I thought it would be a good idea to document it here so I can share it with all of you and we can all help each other work towards our goals for 2014.

I had a wonderful and amazing 2013 but there were a lot of months that my life was out of control. Months of unhealthy work habits. Late, late nights, high stress, pressure and feeling like I just couldn't get everything I needed to get done accomplished. It was mentally and physically exhausting. While I loved all the experiences I had in 2013 it played a huge toll on my body. I still don't feel 100% even after taking 2 weeks off. My body is slowly getting into a new rhythm. Bed before 11pm, no work after 8pm unless I have a special deadline and more sewing/knitting/designing time and less being handcuffed to the computer. It has felt amazing to take back some control. Say no when I need to and start getting healthy again.

You may also have noticed some changes on the blog. A new look, and a new name.
You will slowly see more changes over the next few months as I finish the rebranding. Luvinthemommyhood will only exist now as the url for the blog. The name that you will find me online using as of today is "Very Shannon". I'm so very excited about fully implementing this change. I've changed so much in the last 6 years of this blog and the original name just didn't work for me anymore. It was also very confusing to people and hard for me to spell and explain to people. It's also long and didn't fit well on packaging/branding. So "Very Shannon" was born in the fall and I've been slowly moving in that direction.

Today is the big day though! I'm putting in all my social media changes! So on twitter, facebook, instagram etc you will have to look for me as a new name.

TWITTER: @soveryshannon
INSTAGRAM: @soveryshannon
FACEBOOK: in process of changing name (page url is new though - 
PINTEREST: @soveryshannon 
RAVELRY USERNAME: @veryshannon 

My feeds shouldn't change at all it will just be when you want to tag me online. I'm sorry for any confusion or inconvenience during the transition but I know in the end it is the right step for myself and my business.

Goals & Changes on

And now my ready? Have you written yours?

- go to bed earlier (no more 1-2am bedtime every night).
- spend more "present" time with my family.
- differentiate work/family time.
- more work free weekends.
- make a more realistic work schedule and follow it.
- be kinder to myself and my body.

- continue to eat well and enjoy my green smoothie addiction.
- find the time to exercise and make it a "non stressful" thing in my life.
- swim at least once a week.
- lower work stress and have more time to relax (downtime).
- get rid of the "belly" (keeping it real here ladies).

- purge and organize home.
- tackle unfinished tasks.
- get rid of more clutter.
- have fun decorating.
- keep workspace clean and organized.

- make more time to create.
- less computer time/more creative time.
- more focused and structured work time.
- balance designing and blogging.

I'd love to know what you're thoughts are for yourself for 2014. I feel like writing them down and sharing them helps in achieving them
and I can't wait to read your thoughts too. Join in the conversation. Don't be shy, coffee's on.


STYLO - Issue 01 \\ Sewn by Very Shannon #stylo #sewing
That's my daughter above!!!! EEEEK!!!!

Myself and a few other bloggers were given a print from the yummy new line called Glitz by Michael Miller Fabrics and asked to sew whatever we'd like from it. To say I had fun with this challenge is an understatement - I LOOOOVED it. As many of you know I used to be hairdresser before I had my girls. I get really excited about photo shoots/styling and when you combine that with a modern kids sewing magazine I was just plain giddy!

STYLO - Issue 01 \\ Sewn by Very Shannon #stylo #sewing

I knew as soon as I got the fabric in the mail that I wanted to let it do all the talking! And since it was for a magazine I knew I could have some fun with the outfit and styling. We went with an ankle length high waisted skirt (self drafted) and a knit cropped top (self drafted) paired with a simple necklace from H&M. I had some fun with my daughters hair and we opted for a sort of feminine faux hawk of sorts. We put on Roar by Katy Perry and had such a blast doing our photo shoot.  I knew I could have sewn one of my own patterns but I really just wanted to let loose and sew something strictly for sheer fun! It was so freeing and I can truly say my daughter had a say in every step of the way. She had input in the whole process and it was a great experience to work with her for STYLO!

You can see our little spread on pages 110-112 in STYLO. I highly recommend checking out the whole issue. It's filled with so many wonderful and talented people! Lots of gorgeous pics, sewing, tutorials, articles, free downloads and more! Tons of friends and their gorgeous kiddos too! So excited! I'm just thrilled that I got to be in it. I'm so proud of Celina (petit a petit and family) and Jess (The Sewing Rabbit) for putting STYLO together and bringing it to the sewing community! I cannot wait to see what's coming next!

STYLO - Issue 01 \\ Sewn by Very Shannon #stylo #sewing
STYLO - Issue 01 \\ Sewn by Very Shannon #stylo #sewing

// STYLO //
" the first fashion forward eMagazine centered around children’s sewing patterns and style. Our focus is on modern patterns, trends, fabrics, and clothes that your kids will love.

We have hand selected an amazing team of contributing editors to help make STYLO a smashing success, bringing their artistic visions to life in beautiful photographic spreads.  Showcasing some of our favorite sewing patterns from all around the world, indie designers to the Top 5, all in a fabulous editorial setting. As well as trend reports, interviews, tutorials, and more."

STYLO - ISSUE 01 \\ Very Shannon
Make sure you pop over to STYLO today and check it out! Happy sewing!!!!!