West Coast Travelogue: Seattle, WA

You tired of my travel blathering yet? Well not to worry, we are nearing the end of it. I’m really enjoying re-living my trip but it’s totally making me want to take another one soon! After Portland we headed up to Seattle to visit with my husband’s sister and brother-in-law. One good thing about having large families spread around the globe (literally!) is that you have reasons to visit all these fun places and free lodging when staying there! Yep, it’s all about the free lodging ;) j/k, peeps, j/k.

We were in Seattle for an entire week and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The first evening we were there, my sister-in-law took me to see Jane Eyre: the musical. It was in a small theater and while neither of us were quite sure what to expect we both loved it! The English teacher in me just thrived on some good classic literature being acted out in front of me.seattle, wa (15 of 8)

Sunday we enjoyed visiting my sister-in-law’s church and then heading down to south Seattle- Federal Way in the afternoon to visit some friends from back home who moved out west several years back. So fun to connect with friends along our way!

Monday and Tuesday my brother-in-law took off work so he played tour-guide and took us all around town. We got to see the troll under the Fremont Bridge, enjoyed checking out the houseboats in Fremont, and explored the Public Market. We enjoyed walking up and down the Market and checking out all the vendors. I loved all the flower stalls! We ate lunch in the market area at some walk-ups: so fun! The boys were great sightseers and I think they enjoyed all the hustle and bustle as much as we did.

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Tuesday we went down to Mukilteo Beach and discovered that a Seattle beach is much different from a South Carolina beach. But it was fun to explore the shore, throw rocks in the water and take the Ferry to Whidbey Island. The boys absolutely loved the ferry ride! We wanted to explore Whidbey Island but we hadn’t brought the car with us on the ferry so we just wandered the beach a bit and then got back on the ferry to Mukilteo Beach.

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My sister-in-law was so kind to offer to babysit the boys for us while we were visiting so we could enjoy a day in the city kid-free. First off we headed over to Ballard to check out Drygood Designs- the last fabric store on my list to visit. What a fun store! They are in a really small space (moving soon, I was told) but they have an excellent selection for the space! I had so much fun perusing all the fabrics and accessories. I was very good (since I’d spent all my money in Portland!) and only bought a fat quarter of some nano iro along with a few yards of leather cording. Seriously, that took some self-control! And I actually remembered to take pictures of this fabric store so here are a few for you.

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Belltown also had a great selection of fun little shops that we enjoyed exploring. We spend the rest of our kid-free day walking around downtown, sampling local eateries and checking off some sightseeing: The Olympic Sculpture Park, the Space Needle and Seattle Center (though we didn’t go up the needle), and Kerry Park. I loved the amazing skyline view we got from Kerry Park and the houses all around it were so beautiful. It was fun to walk around and pick out our favorites. :) You could even see a little of Mr. Rainier from the park- it’s the little white peak between the two buildings on the right.

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In the middle of all our sightseeing, we got to meet up with another friend and former Greenvillian at Macrina Bakery (so good, by the way.) It was only for an hour but it was fun to catch up a bit with Betsy and chat. She blogs over at Yellow Elm and has some great info about exploring Seattle among other things. I used her blog as a stepping stone to decide what we wanted to do while in town.We happened to time our trip to Seattle to coincide with my in-laws coming in for a visit too so we spent the last several days there relaxing around the house and spending time with family. They came from TN so it was nice for all of us to meet in WA for a few days. The boys enjoyed getting thoroughly spoiled with attention from the grandparents as well as Aunt Emily. We discovered a free petting zoo a few miles down from our house  and met up with another long-time friend there for a few hours. So interesting how several of our friends have moved out to the Seattle area recently!

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And from Seattle, we began the trek back down the coast and toward home! I’ve got one more post to share with you about our adventures down the Pacific coast and then we are done!

West Coast Travelogue: Portland, OR

The next stop along our west coast extravaganza was Portland, Or. We stayed with my husband’s cousin in a suburb outside of Portland proper- Beaverton, which just so happened to be a few miles down the road from the first fabric store on my to-visit list for Portland: Mill End. Yep totally took advantage of the fabric mecca that is in Portland. Seriously, those peeps don’t know how lucky they are! Anywho, I went by Mill End the first night that we were in town and had fun picking out some great knit fabric. I have no access to quality knits in town so I enjoyed seeing a good selection in person. After leaving Mill End, we went down the road to Washington Park and found this amazing rose garden. It was one of the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen!

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Ian’s cousin had taken the day off work to hang out with us so Thursday we decided to head up to see the big mountain- Mt. Hood. This was kinda a big mistake on our parts. See, we had to drive almost 2 hrs to get there and the boys were a bit cranky from our long drive the day before and did not enjoy hanging out in their car seats again! Then we got up to the mountain and Oliver had a huge melt-down at the lodge which ended up being kinda miserable for everyone. Add that to the fact that it was so overcast, you didn’t get much of a view from the ski lodge and we were all a bit bummed to have wasted most of the day in that endeavor. We were going to continue up to see the Columbia Gorge but after realizing it would add another hour to our trip, we just headed back to Portland. My husband did manage to get this one halfway decent picture of the mountain so at least we have something to show for our trip up it!

portland, or (16 of 6)Cranky, cranky Oliver at the Timberline Lodge. Just keeping it real, folks for anyone who thought our trip was perfectly idyllic. :)

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On the way back to town, I realized that we were going to drive pretty close to Grant Park and decided to had to make a stop there! This park is right down the road from Klickitat Street and has some little figurines as a tribute to Beverly Cleary- Ramona, Henry Huggins, and Ribsy. I was a huge Beverly Cleary fan as a kid so this just thrilled my soul. I didn’t realize that the Ramona books were set in Portland until planning this trip. Of course, then we HAD to go up to Klickitat St and take a picture! The houses were so cute up there too so my husband enjoyed the drive around.

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This was definitely the right decision to make as both boys really enjoyed the park area and the little water-play area. One thing we learned about traveling with little kids- if everyone’s getting cranky, have a park stop and let the kiddos run around and play for a bit and the day gets much better!portland, or (2 of 9)

Friday was the day I was most looking forward to on this trip. I got to meet Kristin from Skirt as Top and Kelly from Cut Cut Sew along with their kiddos. So cool, right? They were so nice to agree to spend the morning with us after I contacted Kristin to let her know we were going to be in town. We met up at Bolt- where I spent way too much time agonizing over my fabric purchases, then we all ate at Bollywood Theatre (so proud of myself for trying Indian food!) for an early lunch and took the kiddos to a nearby park to play while the moms talked. Oliver had so much fun meeting new friends! I love the instant bond little kids can form with perfect strangers. And I really enjoyed meeting up with both ladies (and their sweet kiddos). Both of them were so friendly and just how they appear to be online. If you follow me, you know how many times I have used Kristin’s ideas as inspiration. It was so fun to spend time with her and pick her brain about blog things and such. Funnily enough we both showed up in our Grainline Studio handmades along with our cargo duffles (the duffles were planned but not the tops). Sewing nerds, forever!

portland, or (4 of 9) After they both had to leave, I went back to Modern Domestic (It’s crazy to me how Portland has two amazing quilt stores just down the road from each other!) and bought as much Cotton + Steel as I could justify. Yeah, I had to use great discipline not to buy it all, y’all. I mean, no sales tax in Portland means I was getting it on sale, right? Here’s most of what I bought while in town…I got a great assortment of varying types of fabrics. I wanted to buy things I can’t get locally back home so I have sweater knits, double cloth, cotton lawn, denim and chambray along with some knits and quilting cottons. I also picked up a few new patterns to try out!

portland, or (5 of 9)Ian took Oliver to try out some food trucks while I perused Modern Domestic with Eliot. Kinda sad I missed out on the Grilled Cheese Grill!

portland, or (18 of 6)That evening we headed out of town a ways to visit with Ian’s aunt and family. They live on a beautiful farm and the boys loved roaming around and getting thoroughly dirty! I loved sitting on their front porch and looking at the gorgeous view!portland, or (19 of 6)

The next day (Saturday) we had to head up the coast for the next section of our trip but we hadn’t had quite enough of Portland yet so we headed back to the Alberta arts district in the morning to enjoy Pine State Biscuits (so yum!) and Salt and Straw (again!- and this is officially my fave ice cream joint and I am a connoisseur of ice cream). portland, or (6 of 9)

portland, or (7 of 9)Yum, Portland is quite the foodie town and I wished we had had a few more meals we needed to eat down there because there were so many good places I wanted to try! Guess we will just have to go back another time so we can try more food!

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One thing we really loved about Portland were how many great parks there were! They still had a lot of old-fashioned playgrounds with metal slides, see-saws, and merry-go-rounds. It was so fun to let the boys play on them. They really enjoyed the playgrounds. And if you’re going to swing, make sure to match your colored pants to your respective swings as pictured below with the boys. ;) I got a huge kick out of that.

portland, or (8 of 9)portland, or (20 of 6)And that’s it for Portland. Next stop, Seattle!


Perfect Pattern Parcel #4: Small Fry Skinny Jeans

Pattern Parcel #4

You know my passion is sewing for boys, right? So I was super excited to see that the newest Pattern Parcel is all about boy patterns! Jill has done a great job curating a selection of boy patterns for us to enjoy.

Pattern Parcel #4 includes:
Maxwell Top by Shwin Designs
Zippy Jacket by Blank Slate Patterns
Schoolboy Vest by Sew Much Ado
Small Fry Jeans by Titchy Threads
Jet Pack Bag by Betz White

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I picked the small fry skinny jeans from this parcel to sew. Oliver is in dire need of pants for the fall and this is the perfect style for him. Mr Skinny Self looks great in a pair of skinny jeans! Unfortunately he was not digging this photoshoot but I bribed him into the outfit by pulling out the Captain America tank I bought him for next summer and telling him they were superhero pants ;) Worked like a charm.

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I sacrificed a pair of my husband’s pants for this. He bought them on clearance a while back but never wears them because the red was just a little too much for him. But red pants on my 3 year old- way awesome. I reused a lot of the pieces too: seam-ripped the waistband and belt loops and cut them down to size. I also added the leather piece from the original pants to the back waistband which I think is fun.

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Pattern Notes: I made the 2T and added 2″ to the hem so that he won’t grow out of them so soon. I would normally cuff the hem up so they’re not so baggy in the legs but that looked funny with his tennis shoes so I just left them alone. Next time I’m going to size up to the 3 because the pants are a wee bit tight. The other pair I made him still fit great so it must be that the twill doesn’t have as much give as the denim does. I didn’t do the adjustable elastic because I didn’t have any and was too lazy ran out of time to make my own. Instead I sewed the elastic in place on one side, pulled it through the waistband, then tried the pants on for fit before sewing the elastic down on the other side.

small fry skinny jeans (8 of 10)As I mentioned last time I made these pants, they are labor intensive. But having a pair to reference makes the sewing go a lot quicker! I was able to finish these in one night- I might have had a bit of a sewing marathon and stayed up way too late but still, not too shabby. And I love how professional the finished result is.

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Side note: I was provided with these patterns in exchange for sewing from them for the blog hop but I actually previously bought the jeans pattern so I already owned this one. All opinions are, as always, my own. You can see my original pair of jeans here.

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Click on the button below to take you to the info page where you can purchase this bundle for yourself! It’s only available through this Friday so don’t wait too long!

Buy Pattern Parcel #4

About Pattern Parcel:
Here at Perfect Pattern Parcel, we believe in supporting independent pattern designers. It’s our opinion that indie patterns are just, well, better than big box patterns, and we’re pretty sure our customers think so too. So, we allow customers to show their support in naming their own price for each Parcel. We also encourage customers to allocate part of their Parcel price to the charity Donorschoose.org in order to help classrooms in need. Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Together we’ve raised $9,800 towards eliminating educational inequality.
Bonus pattern option:
Choose a price of $26 or greater for Parcel #4 and you will automatically also be sent the Bonus Pattern! The Bonus Pattern for this Parcel is Knight Hoodie by Charming Doodle. This pattern is a unique and fun spin on the traditional hoodie. Thorough instructions and pictures help you create an amazing and memorable hoodie that will inspire creativity in your little one.
small fry skinny jeans (7 of 10)Here’s the schedule for all the other talented bloggers following along with this blog hop. Make sure to go check them out to see how they interpreted these patterns and for some inspiration in boy sewing!

Friday, August 22 casa crafty || Lulu & Celeste || Keep Calm and Carrion

Saturday, August 23 Max California || Amanda Rose

Sunday, August 24 little betty sews

Monday, August 25 Kadiddlehopper || Radiant Home Studio

Tuesday, August 26  La Pantigana || Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts || Friends Stitched Together

Wednesday, August 27 Make It Perfect || Modern Handmade || GYCT Designs

Thursday, August 28 Needle and Ted || Mae & K || Mimi’s Mom

Friday, August 29 Pienkel || Once Upon a Sewing Machine || Friends Stitched Together

Saturday, August 30 FABulous Home Sewn || Gray Skies || The Crazy Tailor

Sunday, August 31 Nine Stitches || Max California || Oliver’s Fancy || Friends Stitched Together

Monday, September 1 a happy stitch || lady and the gents || Our Family Four || Swoodson Says

Tuesday, September 2 verypurpleperson || Things for Boys || The Crazy Tailor

Wednesday, September 3 Our Family Four || Rebekah Sews || a happy stitch

Thursday, September 4 Sew a Straight Line || la inglesita || Made by Sara || Knot Sew Normal

Friday, September 5 Knot Sew Normal || Gracious Threads || Sofilantjes || Max California

West Coast Travelogue: San Francisco

Our next step in this west coast adventure involved heading west several hours to tour the grand city of San Francisco. My brother has some friends who live in Berkely who had graciously invited us to stay with them. Ian and I joked that this was our first “tiny house” experience because we stayed in a converted shed in their backyard just big enough for a double bed, pack n play, and a couch. But it was perfect for our little family, and we enjoyed having our own space even while staying with someone else.

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On the way to San Francisco we stopped by the Jelly Belly factory. Because we stopped by on a Sunday, the factory was not in operation but it was still fun to walk through the plant and see how the jelly beans are made. I had no idea that the process was so labor intensive. Of course the free sample bags at the end were a fun perk too! :) Oliver’s trying to break into the car right here, per his usual antics. Lol.

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We got in to San Francisco early Sunday evening and wanted to go experience some of the town right away so we headed in to Chinatown for dinner. We went off the recommendation of our hosts and ate at a very authentic place called Kam Lok. It was my first authentic Chinese experience and while I was a bit scared we were all going to get sick, it was kinda fun to just immerse myself into the place and I actually really enjoyed all my food! We got one of the mix dinner options and got to try a bit of everything!

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For this section of our trip, we still had my parents and siblings with us and it was nice to have some family along to help entertain the boys and explore the city. Monday was our big sightseeing day. We left in the late morning and didn’t return until evening! We thought for sure we would end up coming back because the boys would be cranky but they proved to be great sightseers! Eliot loved hanging out in the ergo and Oliver did a great job walking all around the city! He was such a trooper to walk his little feet off and only asked to be held at the very end of the day.  Of course we had to begin our day in Union Square so I could check out Britex Fabrics. What a fun store, but so overwhelming!

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Would you believe it, I got so overwhelmed that I ended up with just a little Dr. Seuss panel that I found in the clearance section of the store. I think this would be a great resource if I needed some particular type of fabric- like wool or home dec, but going in without a specific need, you end up with too many options. Also I noticed that their quilting cottons section was several dollars more per yard than regular fabric stores who carry the same lines. I loved this wall of vintage sewing machines though!

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We left Union Square and took the cable car down to Fisherman’s Wharf. Definitely recommend that experience.san francisco (6 of 14)Fisherman’s Wharf was full of fun sights and sounds for the boys to take in. There were some big ships docked and a cool museum of video games (from the 1900s on!). Most of the video games were functional and only cost the original amount to play so the boys got some quarters and played 3 different games for $1 total!

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We walked up to the Ghirardelli store and decided to be typical tourists and ordered a big sundae to share. I have to say that this is one thing I think was way overrated. Yeah the ice cream was fine but we had even better ice cream later on in our trip for a third of the price! Down from the Ghirardelli store was a nice big grassy area where the boys enjoyed running around and watching the boats sail back in forth in the bay.

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Oliver loved having Daddy and Uncle Joe to swing him around!

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Tuesday we knew would need to be a laid back day to help the boys recover from Monday’s big excursion so we headed to Golden Gate park and had fun riding the carousel, playing on the playground and seeing the San Francisco skyline from the DeYoung museum’s tower. Definitely recommend that for a great free view of the city.san francisco (11 of 14)

Then we met up with my family at the Golden Gate Bridge viewing area and said goodbye to them as they were headed back to the airport that afternoon. I loved how beautiful the area was down here! San Francisco is such a gorgeous city and we had amazing weather to explore the sights.

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Me and my sissy taking a selfie in front of the bridge. And we aren’t really trying to be too cool for school. The sun was so bright that our eyes were all squinty without the sunglasses!

san francisco (14 of 14)We made a fun impromptu Ikea stop on our way home from the bridge because traffic was so bad and we were all getting a little hangry. Thankfully we spotted an Ikea right off the interstate so we stopped in for a bite and to let the boys run around a bit in the kid’s section. I always love an Ikea visit! Once we got back to our host house, we decided to go ahead and pack up our stuff and begin our next trek that evening so we could get a few hours of driving in while the boys were asleep. Brilliant idea as they fell asleep as soon as we left and we had 5 hours of nice, quiet driving before stopping for the night.

Next up, our 3 days in Portland and my fellow bloggers meet-up! :)

West Coast Travelogue: Grass Valley, CA

Whew, I didn’t mean to take so long of a blog break but traveling with 2 children under 3 is a full-time job and I just couldn’t get the time or brain space to do anything else! We are back home now and beginning the unpacking and transitioning to East Coast time and real life again- not an easy task for any of us! As fun as our trip was, I am happy to be back and looking forward to spending some time sewing again. I’ve missed it! Because this was such an epic trip for our family, I want to share a bit of a travelogue of our experiences and adventures along the way. More for the fact that I don’t want to forget any of this time than I think that y’all are interested in reading about it. I met up with such fun people and had so many great experiences that I want to memorialize this trip forever. But who knows, maybe some of you would also like to read about our time on the West Coast. If not, just ignore anything with the travelogue title and you’ll be good to go. I’m going to dive right in today with the first 5 days of the trip (and the reason we went out in the first place), my brother’s wedding in Grass Valley, CA.

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BTW all of these pictures are taken with my iPhone 5 so the quality is not as great as they would be with the real camera but travel takes place too quickly for big cameras! Also I’m trying to share different pics than I did on IG so if you follow me there (@oliversfancy), you won’t get a complete repeat!

Getting ourselves out there in the first place was a fun adventure! We made every effort to pack very light because we knew that would would have laundry facilities along the way. (sometime soon, I will tell you about my fun challenge of capsule wardrobe packing) Even so, bringing 4 people, 2 car seats, loads of snacks, clothes and accessories ended up being quite the haul!

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The boys did fairly well for their first flying experience: key being lots and lots of snacks to keep the crankies at bay! Oh and watching the airplanes in the airport was quite fascinating.

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The wedding went off beautifully and we all looked smashing if I do say so myself. :) Only ended up with one not-so-great shot of my little family but glad to have gotten something. By the way Oliver is wearing his Vintage May outfit. He has gotten quite a bit of wear out of those skinny jeans and I can’t wait to make him more for this fall/winter!

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Siblings oldest to youngest…Can’t believe 3 of us are married now!

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Bride and groom with my two munchkins. They love Uncle Jared and can’t wait to get to know Aunt Stephanie more.

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Oliver needed his own “pretty flower” and was so pleased when the flower lady gave him one. Then he ran around brandishing it like a sword so he kinda missed the point of the flower. Such a boy-child. :)

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The night after the wedding, we took the boys to the Nevada County fair which was in town that week. So fun! I don’t think I’ve ever been to a state or county fair and I loved the experience. It’s not a super cheap experience but it was worth it for the fun memories with the boys.

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We let Oliver pick about 4 rides to go on and he especially loved these car rides! I loved the fact that we all got to go on the carousel. I’m such a kid at heart and love to ride those every chance we get. And Eliot didn’t get left out of the fun either. He loved seeing and petting all the animals!grass valley, ca (9 of 11)Funny fair story: Oliver dirtied his shorts and we had to do an emergency change but the only pair of shorts I had on hand were Eliot’s 12 month shorts. I didn’t say a word, just slipped those shorts on Oliver (couldn’t believe they actually buttoned!) and he walked around in 12 month shorts the rest of the night, none the wiser. He would have been upset if he had known, but thankfully he’s a skinny kid or he would have been the kid at the fair with no pants!

grass valley, ca (11 of 11)Checking out the monster truck jam happening on the other side of the fence. And snacking on some yummy kettle korn! A must-try when they cook it in the kettle right in front of you.

grass valley, ca (10 of 11)And thus ends the first part of our 3 week trip. Next up, San Francisco and my first fabric store stop. Yep, I’ll be sure to let you know about all the fabric stores I visited along the way. (and the crazy amount of fabric I brought home!)


Arizona Zippy Top

While I’m in California on our crazy family trip (which at the moment includes very limited cell phone service and internet so hopefully this updates ok!), I have a few unblogged things to share with you- starting with this new top.

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In addition to the half yard bundle of Arizona quilting cottons that I bought (and used in my cargo duffle) I also bought 1.5 yards of the voile triangle tokens print because I just HAD to try out the Art Gallery voiles while I was at it. I mean, metallic gold triangles?! So good. (out of stock at fabricworm but I see Hawthorne Threads still has some) I debated on what to make with this print but when Kate ran a sale on the zippy top, I snatched it up and tried it out with my voile. I had loved this version that Heidi made so I knew it would be a worthwhile pattern.

zippy top (2 of 6)The pattern is pretty easy and straightforward. I knew that the voile would be see-through but I planned on wearing a tank underneath it so I was ok with it. My one complaint is that I don’t like the look of the facings with a see-through fabric. I think that they would be fine in a more opaque print, but with this fabric, the facings make the shirt look more home-made and less store bought. I have a similar style shirt to this that I bought at the store earlier this year and it uses bias binding for the seams. I think if I make this top again, I will attempt the bias binding for a neater finish.

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I do love the zipper in the back! This was my first time inserting a zipper like this, and it was relatively painless. It is a little bit wonky at the bottom but not too much where anyone would notice, I think. I’m not a huge fan of the zipper facing either so like the neckline facings, I think I would copy the same bound edges method that is in my store-bought top. I don’t think any of the facings would be a big deal if the material weren’t so see-through though.

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We took these pictures on a recent weekend anniversary getaway to Charleston. I apologize for the wrinkled shirt but that’s kinda what the voile looks like after a few hours. I love how breezy and flowy the shirt feels though! It was the perfect complement to the heat and humidity of Charleston in the summer. The voile is super light-weight. And don’t you love my cute new bike? My birthday present this year and was so fun to use to bike all around downtown. I’m not sure what’s up with my face but I promise I was really much happier than the picture below appears!

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Modified Cargo Duffle (with a mini tutorial on adding a long strap)

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Tuesday we leave for 3 weeks on the west coast! Yeah, I know we might be partly crazy to be attempting this long of a trip with two young children, but there’s no time like the present, right? Well actually my brother gets married on Friday in California so we figured if we were going to have to make the trip out there we might as well make a big trip out of it and go all out. I’ve been to California before but it’s my first time to visit the Pacific Northwest and I am so excited. My luggage is pretty old and falling apart, so I decided that I most definitely needed a new bag for this trip. Also we are trying to pack very minimally (carry-on only) and a cute new bag to fill would help me stay motivated to bring only the essentials! Don’t worry I’ve got an extra bag stashed to help me bring back all the fabric I may or may not be planning to pick up along the way at the amazing west coast fabric stores I cannot wait to visit! ;)

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I have been wanting to try out the cargo duffle pattern from Anna of Noodlehead ever since she released it. Bonus being that it’s a FREE pattern! How cool is that? I did some extensive research into this pattern before I made mine because I wanted this duffle to actually be big enough to fit my needs, but not too huge to disqualify it as a carry on. I think this is one of the first times that I have felt confident enough in my skills to make some extensive modifications to an existing pattern in order to make it fit my specifications exactly. It was a pretty liberating feeling and made the construction so fun! Totally worth the effort that went into it.

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Main fabric used is from the Arizona line by April Rhodes for Art Gallery Fabrics. I got the main print at Five Eighth Seams during a weekend trip to Charleston several weeks ago and accent Arizona prints are from a 1/2 bundle I bought of the entire line (I just couldn’t resist this line) at Fabricworm. Bottom accent and strap fabric is essex yarn dyed linen in black that I think I picked up at Pink Castle Fabrics (sold out there now but a google search shows some available at Fabric.com)  a long time ago.


The original cargo duffle pattern includes sides that finish at 6″ wide. I wanted my sides to be 10″ wide so I cut the bottom gusset 10.5″x30.5″ and the zipper gussets 5.25″x27.5″.

I added a lining to the interior and used Kristin’s mini tutorial as a starting point. Because I added so much width to the duffle, the lining sagged pretty badly so I couldn’t just tack it into place, and it look good. I ended up sewing the lining to the duffle right above the pockets following the outer quilting lines and that worked pretty well to make the lining a bit sturdier and hold everything in place.

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I wanted lots of pockets in the inside of the duffle to help with organization. I added two welt pockets to the front side and a long pocket that spanned with width of the back side. I ended up stitching this long pocket down about 1/3 of the way down the length of it because it was flapping open pretty badly. I used Delia’s tutorial to figure out the welt pockets. This was my first time making welt pockets and they went pretty well but turned out a bit wonky in between the pockets. I’m thinking that was partly due to the fact that I made two right next to each other and that I need some more practice on them.cargo duffle (6 of 11)


I also knew that I wanted to add a long strap to the duffle. I cut off the hardware from an old backpack strap and used another duffle of my husband’s as a guide for how to construct the strap. I got a lot of questions about the long strap when I posted the pictures on Instagram so I made a mini tutorial for all of you. Hopefully I will make sense and you can follow my thought process. Please feel free to ask questions in the comment section if something doesn’t make sense. I took some closeup pictures to try to help clarify things.

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  • I made a short strap (about 5″ long) for the side rectangle rings, threaded the strap through the ring, folded one end under, and stitched it down to secure the ring. Then I attached the other end of the short strap to the bottom gusset before I sewed the bottom gusset to the zipper gusset. I wanted this seam to be really strong because of all the weight it would need to carry so I sewed the seam about 5 times and then zigzagged the edges to prevent any fraying. Repeat for both sides.cargo duffle (8 of 11)
  • I made the long strap the same width dimensions of the top straps but changed the length to 65″.
  • I interfaced the strap pieces with SF 101 and then a 1.25″ width of fusible fleece and added the canvas strip as suggested in the directions for the top straps.
  • For one end of the long strap, I looped it through the rectangle ring, folded the end under and stitched it down. The other end I threaded through the strap adjuster, looped it through the rectangle ring, threaded it back through the strap adjuster, folded the end under, and stitched it down right below the strap adjuster. It really helps if you have another adjustable strap in your house that you can look at while you do this part!

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In my cargo duffle research I read another blogger who added Peltex 72F to  the bottom gusset and decided to do that also (she gave me the idea of expanding the width of the duffle too). I highly suggest that you add this interfacing if you want more stability to your bag. I’m very happy with how sturdy it made my bag and it really wasn’t horribly hard to sew the extra bulk- as long as you use the size 16 needles that Anna recommends!

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And now the longest blog post ever is over! If you stuck around this long- good for you! I cannot wait to put my new duffle bag to the test as we head out on our trip tomorrow and I’ll be sure to keep you updated as to how it holds up as a real luggage piece.

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