New Dress! Retro Butterick 5880!

Woohoo! I’ve got a new dress, and it’s gorgeous! In a continuation of my life being photographed in vintage and vintage-style dresses, here are the results of about 8 hours of sewing fun!

Here's the pattern, a vintage reprint from Butterick (B5880), and the crazy cotton fabric I found!

Here’s the pattern, a vintage reprint from Butterick (B5880), and the crazy blue cotton fabric I found!

As I’ve said, I love working with fun cotton fabric, because it tends to be less expensive and so easy to work with. This particular fabric was chosen due to the changing of the seasons. I thought it would be a lovely late winter/early spring print that would make the transition nicely. Also, I don’t have nearly enough blue things to wear!

Here's a close up of my fab hair (it did what I wanted it to do!!!), and the super neat neckline! It's got two little "v"s to keep things interesting.

Here’s a close up of my fab hair (it did what I wanted it to do!!!), and the super neat neckline! It’s got two little “v”s to keep things interesting.

It also works super well with my vintage blue starburst brooch! I did not plan this, however, one of the bursts in the fabric ended up in the perfect “brooch place” on the bodice! Splendid serendipity!

Here's the final product! Isn't it stunning?!

Here’s the final product! Isn’t it stunning?!

Another confession: The lovely swag across the front was *supposed* to be lined, and because I didn’t have quite enough fabric, I just hemmed the raw edge instead! It lies beautifully, however, since the fabric isn’t double-sided, I’ve got to be careful not to let the underside show. When I make another version (which I’d like to do immediately), I will probably choose a solid color, and add a contrasting fabric lining!

I'll also take this opportunity to introduce my pocket pup: Abe Lincoln!

I’ll also take this opportunity to introduce my pocket pup: Abe Lincoln!

Isn't he the cutest?!?!

Isn’t he the cutest?!?!

So, that’s the latest sewing project of mine! It was really special because it was my first dress at the smallest size I’ve ever sewn! I only made my standard adjustments to the waist (for petites) and the hem length (super petite!), and it fits so well! As many dresses as I’ve made, it still feels like a gamble with a new pattern, and I’m so glad this one is a success!

Are you working on a new dress pattern? What made you choose it? Which fabric(s) do you like working with?


Vintage Hat & Modeling Brunch 2.0

As promised, here’s a gorgeous sampling of my fabulous models in these dresses I made! These are some super great lookin’ ladies, and I’ve tried to match up the original pattern pictures to give y’all an idea of how amazing these dresses look IRL!

Vogue 8489 - So low cut you'll be embarrased all day at the office!

Vogue 8489 – So low-cut you’ll be self concious all day!


Laura looked so super hot in this dress I made her take it home!

McCall's 6462 - This is SUCH a fun pattern! It's super fun, flattering and crazy simple to make!

McCall’s 6462 – This is SUCH a fun pattern! It’s super fun, flattering and crazy simple to make!


I love this dress, and I totally added pockets! Not that anyone could look at the dress when Catherine’s making the best face ever.

Butterick 5748 - I LOVE this dress so much I made it twice! Once in lovely black linen (with bow, and pockets, obvs!) and once with a white eyelet!

Butterick 5748 – I LOVE this dress so much because it’s simple, doesn’t take a huge amount of fabric, and is super flattering. I made it twice!


This is the first version, made of black linen, with bow and added pockets!

Version #2 - Fabulous white eyelet! It's fully lined, and so easy to accessorize!

Version #2 – Fabulous white eyelet! It’s fully lined, and so easy to accessorize!

Butterick 5603 - Fabulous retro reprint pattern that's got several choices for different bodice styles!

Butterick 5603 – Fabulous retro reprint pattern that’s got several choices for different bodice styles!

This is such a great pattern, and I adore the fabric! It looks like a 1960s wallpaper: buckin' broncos and all! It's also perfect with my red petticoat!

This is such a great pattern, and I adore the fabric! It looks like a 1960s wallpaper: buckin’ broncos and all! It’s also perfect with my red petticoat!

Vintage Vogue 2960 - Requires lots of fabric, like all Vogue patterns, but it's a lovely dress, and totally worth it!

Vintage Vogue 2960 – Requires lots of fabric, like all Vogue patterns, but it’s a lovely dress and totally worth it!


I made this dress out of a pretty pink linen, added pockets, and closed the front opening, despite the button-closure, upon the advice of another seamstress who made the pattern first. Pro tip – if you can make a pattern after someone else, and they can help you at all, take any notes they have to offer.

Butterick 5247 - A really simple pattern that I made when I was still in my early learning stage!

Butterick 5247 – A really simple pattern that I made when I was still in my early learning stage!


I chose the “tunic” option, and it was really simple, as well as flattering! I made it out of a silky fabric with a super bold pattern. Next time, there will be pockets!

Vogue 8409 - With some prompting by the fabulous Gertie, I made this dress as a simple sheath to accessorize and wear to work!

Vogue 8409 – With some prompting by the fabulous Gertie, I made this dress as a simple sheath to accessorize and wear to work!


The final product is stunning! I chose a pink jersey that is heavy enough to go un-lined, and light enough to be worn in any season!

Vintage Vogue 8812 - An early 1940s pattern, this is a great simple summer dress!

Vintage Vogue 8812 – An early 1940s pattern, this is a great simple summer dress!


I chose a fun green print, with dark green accent for this dress! The bodice is flattering, and the length could be reduced depending on how much summer fun you plan to have! Or, it could be made into a cocktail dress with a slinky fabric!

Vintage Vogue 1171 - A lovely early 1950s reprint pattern, it's simple, but can be made with so many different fabrics!

Vintage Vogue 1171 – A lovely early 1950s reprint pattern, it’s simple, but can be made with so many different fabrics!


I made this dress specifically for the 4th of July! It’s got red buttons with little anchors on them! It’s also perfect for picnics!

Vintage Vogue 2787 - A Lovely pattern, easy to work with, but it still includes some unique details!

Vintage Vogue 2787 – A Lovely pattern, easy to work with, but it still includes some unique details!


If you recall, I made this particular dress not too long ago! I had to make a couple of simple adjustments, but it was a great way to jump back into garment sewing after a post-holiday break.

Simplicity 5403 - Despite, or perhaps because this is a costume pattern, I love it dearly! It's a handy circular skirt pattern, and I've made it twice - so far!

Simplicity 5403 – Despite, or perhaps because this is a costume pattern, I love it dearly! It’s a handy circular skirt pattern, and I’ve made it twice – so far!

This, the first version, was made out of black and white Elvis fabric! It's glorious, and somehow subtle. The second version is less so, and made out of giraffe print! To be worn exclusively with wooden and ivory jewelry.

This, the first version, was made out of black and white Elvis fabric! It’s glorious, and somehow subtle. The second version is less so, and made out of giraffe print! To be worn exclusively with wooden and ivory jewelry.

McCall's 6083 - So, I tried the pink version of this pattern and it was not awesome, but clearly the "blue" version is WAY better!

McCall’s 6083 – So, I tried the pink version of this pattern and it was not awesome, but clearly the “blue” version is WAY better!


Obvs Lora knows how to rock the hell out of a jumpsuit! I made this out of a silky fabric so it would drape more ’70s-like, and because I have like 20 yards of that fabric. (Always use what you’ve got!)

I am completely in love with every single lady in these photos!!! Thanks for making my dresses look so fantastic, and thanks again for coming out and modeling! And another big thank you to our photographer, Walter! We’ll do it again soon, I promise, and hopefully even more fab ladies will be able to make it. It’s a wonderful incentive to sew more, and I cannot wait!

Do you have a favorite pattern? What made you pick it? Is there one you’d like to make? One you’ve already made?

Vintage Vogue 1940s Scissors Dress!

It has been too long since I sewed a dress! My patchwork Sally dress for Halloween took an enormous amount of effort, and then the holidays happened, so recently I decided to remedy this by making a simple pattern with a fun print!


Vintage Vogue Pattern #2787! I found this great red/black scissor fabric on sale at Hancock’s and couldn’t pass it up!

So dramatic, Vogue! Obvs, I double checked on Pattern Review to make sure this fancy promo photo wasn't an impossible dream.

So dramatic, Vogue! Obvs, I double checked on Pattern Review to make sure this fancy promo photo wasn’t an impossible dream.

I have an armoire full of fabrics, but most of them are either insanely fancy (dupioni silks, and the like), or inappropriate for the season. So, in an effort to ease back into sewing clothing, I knew I would need a straightforward pattern, but not one I’d sewn before (there’s no adventure in that!), and fabric that’s not difficult to work with. This, to me, usually means cotton, because it tends to be inexpensive and/or on sale, plus the prints are fun and the fabric is super cooperative/non-stretchy.


This is my final product! Although you can’t see it, there’s a closure in the black I framed with eight black jet buttons! It’s pretty darn cute!

As a general petite-person rule, I shortened the hemline by (an insane) 8 inches! Since this is a 1940s pattern, fashions dictated longer hemlines, however, as you can tell, it still comes to my knees. If you are on any kind of budget, make sure you have a working idea of where you prefer your hemline. (You’ll save enormous amounts of time, money and fabric this way!) If I hadn’t removed the extra length before cutting out my pattern pieces, I would have needed an additional yard of fabric! As it was, I managed to make this dress using only three yards (sans the suggested shoulder pads), and it is completely appropriate for work, or as a vintage-style cocktail dress!


I opted for knee-high, black suede boots, and victory rolls to really punch up the 40s glam!

This pattern was definitely simple to sew, and although I did need to make some adjustments, they were all completely doable with a minimal amount of seam ripping! For my figure, that included taking larger darts (front and back), amending the curved front seam, as well as taking in the side seams between the sleeves and hips. All of these changes were made due to my “hourglass” shape, which requires making a larger size to accommodate my bust/hips and then making the necessary changes through the waist and shoulders.

So many curves!

So many curves!

Not only did I manage to create this dress with slightly less than the suggested yardage, but I have enough left over to make a matching hat! (When I do, no worries, I will absolutely post the final results/fab ensemble!) During one of my estate sale excursions I found, and immediately purchased, an un-covered hat form. It just so happens to be a lovely 40s-style, wide brim just aching to be covered in scissor fabric, with a contrasting black under-brim and ribbon! Also, I’m officially on the lookout for antique and/or vintage tiny scissors to help create the feathered accent piece! (It will double as a brooch for those rare occasions that aren’t hat-propriate.) If you see some, let me know!

Brimming with possibilities, isn't it??

Just brimming with possibilities, isn’t it?? (Ha!)

The brim is so perfect! It's off-center, so it is supposed to be worn atop an elaborate hairdo!

It is so perfect! It’s set off-center so it can be worn atop an elaborate hairdo!

For those rare occasions not requiring a hat, a fabulous 1940s inspired hairdo will definitely be an acceptable substitute! I know there are lots of tutorials, inspiration, and celebrity throwback styles to choose from! Some of these styles are easy to reproduce at home with some hot rollers and bobby pins, but obviously there are others that require finesse, four arms and extra eyes, so maybe go to a stylist. Here’s some vintage hair inspiration to help you decide!


Betty Grable looking stunning in victory rolls that are glossy perfection! Don’t be fooled, during the process there’s a lot of teasing. It’s only smooth on the top!


Rita Hayworth has iconic hair, and you can absolutely recreate that gorgeous wave! Even with shorter hair, just use smaller curlers!


Veronica Lake created a sly, sexy persona with her deep part and lovely wave curls! Again, grab those curlers and this one’s an instant success!


Diane Kruger’s modern interpretation, complete with beautiful flower fascinator, proves that a vintage style can be done with fine hair and still look stunning!


Last, but never least, the fabulously coiffed Dita von Teese in all her 1940s glory! Everything about her is flawless.

See?? You could absolutely do that! If I can pull together a couple of victory rolls before 9:00AM with my unwashed, super fine hair, you too can recreate a glamorous vintage-inspired look! Besides, once you invest in a set of hot rollers (I bought these several years ago for $15 at Walgreens!), you can create almost any 40s-60s hairstyles. It all comes down to effort, brushing, and maybe some teasing. It’ll all be worth it when you look amazing and feel super confident! So, if you’ve got fun plans this weekend, try out a retro outfit and/or hairstyle and enjoy the compliments!

Do you wear vintage and/or vintage-style clothes from the 40s? What about hairstyles? Would you pair a vintage hairstyle with a modern/trendy look? Why or why not?

Vintage Sewing Pattern Extravaganza!

So, I was casually scrolling on the Facebook yesterday, and saw a post by We Sew Retro about a version of Simplicity 1795 done by Miss Allie Mass. Well, her version looked so nice, and the pattern seemed pretty simple/straightforward, so I immediately sought out a copy via Etsy.

Gorgeous! I want one, too!

Gorgeous! I want one, too!

As some of you may know, vintage patterns on Etsy are in pretty high demand, or at least the people selling them think they are, so the least expensive copy (which was a size 12) was about $20 including shipping! (I still have to buy the fabric and make the dress, geez.) Instead of paying monies, I thought to myself, I’ll look through Mom’s stash of older patterns and just see!

These patterns are mostly from the 40s and 50s, and belonged to either my Aunt Donna or Great-grandmother Wade.

These patterns are mostly from the 40s and 50s, and belonged to either my Aunt Donna or Great-grandmother Wade.

Quelle suprise! Turns out, we totally DO own it!

AND it's a 14! Success!

AND it’s a 14! Minimal re-sizing = Success!

While I was at it, I gently dug through the rest of the box to see what other delightful patterns I could find, and treasure resulted! There were lots of fun, simple patterns with unique neck lines:


Love the subtle triangles!


Such a pretty, feminine scalloped edge!


A contrasting interwoven ribbon?! Yes, please!


This one is a particular favorite of mine! The sleeves and the collar are so pointy!


Some subtle tucks at the neckline make this simple dress more fabulous!


This is an earlier, 1940s pattern, and is clearly a day dress, however, the triangular accent on the neckline adds pizzazz and uniqueness!


This dress has an angled, button front! SO COOL!

Fun and interesting necklines aside, there were also some neat skirts:

I will have a dress like this!

I will have a dress like this, since essentially having two skirts is even better than a peplum!


Suspender-skirt is ADORBS! Plus, a classic circular skirt, with some super cute (and slimming) bow accents!

Delightful 1940s nighties and day dresses:


Cannot wait to elegantly lounge in this!

Plus, just in time, CAPES:



Last, but not least, these fabulous hat and hood patterns:


We’re having a hat making party, y’all!!!

To wrap it up, two of my favorites, the first because it’s hilarious, and the second because it couldn’t be more fabulous!


We’re gonna need to schedule a tupperware party ASAP.


The lauded “shelf bust” dress! When I make it, I’m going to look just like Liz Taylor! *Dreams coming true*

One of my favorite activities is going through vintage patterns for inspiration, and this Sunday was a complete success without even leaving my house! I am hoping to maintain this excitement into actually producing several of these dresses. Despite the insane amount of time and fabric some of these patterns require, I think the final products will be amazing! Plus, even when I work on a simple pattern, odds are that I’ll be learning at least one new technique. There may be time between now and New Year’s Eve to make one! Here’s hoping!

Any suggestions about which one I should start with?? Which is your favorite? Do you like vintage sewing patterns? From which decade/era? Do you have a collection? Where’s your favorite place to purchase?

Sewaholic’s (1202) Cambie Dress

Thanks, Sewaholic! So cute!

I have a friend, we’ll call her Leah (because that is, in fact her name), who is an advanced beginning sewer (meaning she knows her way around a sewing machine, straight seams and has lots of basic practice) took a shine to Sewaholic’s Cambie Dress. It’s understandable, since the dress is completely adorable (Gertie made two!), and it appeals to her style sensibilities, but also stretches her fashion boundaries. A winning combination indeed!

So, given her eagerness to learn, and my budding blog, she became the first participant in my online tutorials! We chose fabrics (at Houston’s premier fabric store, High Fashion Fabrics), decided on the version (both of us opted for the fuller skirt for better twirling), and went through the entire process of sewing together.

First, which (of the many glorious options) fabrics do you choose?? Something from the 50% off table, obvs, but which one?


Something trendy? A fabric that looks like everything else you own? Or do you opt for something new and bright?!


Brave sewing is where it’s at!

It’s always fun to see what other (crazy) options are out there, too. Just in case you want a theme dress, or if you’re tentatively planning to make another version, they’re going to need to look pretty different!

Hanukkah themed?

Hanukkah themed?

Tiny Asian children, perhaps?

Tiny Asian children, perhaps?



I had some fabric from my (glorious) days working at Sew Crafty, Houston, that I’d been holding on to, for lack of a better project, and had just enough to make a green dress with a uniquely adorable lining!


Weird German-style clock FTW!

Now, home to actually begin the process! Honestly, I love sewing, fabrics, and the perfectly fitted, totally unique item you end up with at the end, BUT “sewing” is really more like “washing, ironing, cutting, pinning, sewing, ironing, pinning, ripping, ironing” and so on forever! I kid, kind of, but if you’re a seamstress you know this, and take some amount of either delight, or relaxing zen time, during the process, so it’s ok!



Leah's an excellent iron-er!

Leah’s an excellent iron-er!

This was an especially fun because it was a co-project!

Also, we went the extra mile and made muslins! (Leah is a changed woman because of it.) I am usually pretty bad about this “step,” and I know it is hotly debated in sewing circles (ha!), but I decided that because it was our first time using a Sewaholic pattern and we both have such unique (and beautiful) body shapes, it would be a good idea.


It definitely turned out to be, since the pattern only goes up to a size 16, and Leah and I are both petite ladies. Also, since we were each making our own version of the dress, having the bodice muslin helped create pattern pieces for each of us!


Personalized muslin!

In every pattern I use, and therefore, every dress I make, I take an inch off the length of the bodice because I am technically a “petite” size, and my waist is fairly high. (“Pro” tip: stand up straight and lean your upper body/shoulder to the right and/or left, and where your body naturally bends is your true waist!) Leah had never made a dress before, and so wasn’t sure about whether or not to adjust likewise. So, we cut out her pattern pieces normally, but once they were placed on her body, it was clear she also needed to cut off an inch. No problem! We just pinched that inch right out of the “adjustment” line, and cut off the excess at the bottom.



After basting together and pinning the bodice for proper fitting, we also ended up taking some of the fullness out of the center back toward the top. Leah and I are both busty ladies, which accounts for some of the reason we are each sized 16; this size, as some of you may already know, suggests to designers (for whatever reason), that we are shaped akin to linebackers, and have outrageously wide shoulders. Since that is decidedly not the case, sometimes it requires a reduction in the center back of tops/dresses. Again, not a huge adjustment, just pin where the seam line should be and adjust (leaving a seam allowance, of course) by cutting the excess. You definitely don’t want to have to put in a zipper, only to realize you’ve got to adjust the back of the dress, then rip it out and start again.


Now that our muslins for the bodices were cut and fitted, we were able to cut out the pattern pieces from the “real” fabric with total confidence that this dress would fit like a sexy, sexy glove.

She's very diligent.

She’s very diligent.

Ok, so this dress included several techniques that were new to Leah, including: darts and gathering. (Spoiler: She accomplished both beautifully!)


Darts are pinned and ready to go!

Gathered beard/skirt!

Gathered beard/skirt!

I won’t go into super details about these techniques in this post, but could do tutorials for those separately. (Yes?? No? You let me know.)

Not being a fan of invisible zippers (I’m old timey like that), I opted for the center-lapped zipper, which altered the sewing steps a bit, but not the actual dress. Since a lapped zipper requires the back of the dress to be basted together (in order to create the seam), we needed to attach the center “belt” piece to the bodice, and then the top to the bottom of the dress. Unlike the pattern’s instructions, then, we simply sewed the top to bottom in a circle instead of straight across, and then attached the zipper.


After the zipper went in, all that was left was to attach the lining to the outside of the dress at the shoulders and around the sleeves and hemming! These sleeves are uniquely cute because they are gathered and then lovingly stuffed into the bodice to attach. Note: Save this step for almost last, since you really need to fit the sleeves while you’re wearing the dress. I cut off an inch per sleeve before inserting into the bodice (lol, how often do you get to say that?). I decided to take a two-inch hem because I’m a shorty, and a hem that’s right above my knee tends be more flattering.

Here are the lovely results of our shared efforts!

Mine is REALLY green, but fits nicely!

Mine is REALLY green, but fits so nicely!

Leah's still ambivalent about the "edgy" vibe of this fabric, but with some encouragement, I'm sure she'll come to love it!

Leah is still ambivalent about the “edgy” vibe of this fabric, but with some encouragement, I’m sure she will come to love it!

We also had help from our respective kitties:


Lucky! (My favorite among Leah’s three kitties.)


Miss Molly! My favorite kitty in the world.

This pattern is simple, but requires some steps that beginning sewers may not be familiar with. If you’re looking to learn a few techniques, though, this dress is perfect. The gathered skirt is cute, and allows for some ease in sizing (always good), and the bodice is universally flattering. I think Leah and I are both extremely happy with our results, and are considering sewing the alternative version as well!

What do you think? Will you buy/make the Cambie anytime soon? Have you already? (If so, please share photos!)

Vintage-Style Photo Shoot!

About two years ago, I decided it was time to capture my gorgeous, vivacious essence in a vintage-style pin up photo shoot with Dynamite Dames Photography. I was living in the DFW area at the time, and thought it would be a fun, fabulous opportunity to have my hair and makeup done and encapsulate my 20-something year old self.

Beauty and the Book

Beauty and the Book

Turns out, it totally was! It was awesome, laid back, but professional, and everyone there shared my passion for vintage styles. They offered a varied set of clothes, however, I chose to make a dress specifically for the occasion. (Interestingly enough, it matched to photography set exactly!) I chose Butterick’s vintage reprint pattern B4919 and made the ballerina-length version, since I’m a petite lady. The theme was supposed to be a “Tea Party.”

Tea Party = CUPCAKES

Tea Party = CUPCAKES

This dress was decidedly simple to make (shocking, considering how flattering it is), and I’ve actually made another since then out of a sparkly silver jersey fabric. The bodice is straightforward, and the skirt, although full, had only four seams!

The original pattern

The original pattern

I had to make slight adjustments for length (again, I’m a petite little hobbit), and I ended up with an enormous brooch as a necessity. (What a lucky life!) Since I’m also busty, and vintage styles are complimented by a corset, I needed said brooch to cover any possible peeking of my undergarments. It worked beautifully AND I came away with a gigantic pearl brooch, but the second attempt at this dress involved a decrease in the plunging of the neckline by adjusting the bodice pattern.

Boyfriend and I went dancin'!

Boyfriend and I went dancin’ and this time I wore my pink petticoat!

In May, I submitted a few pictures from the shoot to Butterick’s Facebook “contest,” and they featured it on their page! (See them here.)

It was a delightful experience, and I would absolutely do it again. I know the Dames travel all over the Southern US, and change themes all the time. Their Facebook page boasts: cowgirl, Santa baby, party, retro home, roller girl and even 30s-40s glam pin up sets. Something for every secret, or brazen modern Betty.

Have you ever done a vintage-style photo shoot? If so, when and through who? If so, please feel free to share! If not, would you? Why or why not??

Make-Up Brush Holder Tutorial

Make-Up Brush Holder De-luxe!

I had a rare Saturday to myself, without Boyfriend or social obligations (There was a pretty amazing party later that night to celebrate White Linen Nights in the Heights, for those of you who know about Houston good times.), so I decided to rearrange the ever-growing makeup collection!

My amazing shopaholic friend and I went to Sephora and spent WAY too much money on eyeliner and other fancy items, then promptly went home and did makeovers, because looking super hot right before you go to bed is a fashion MUST. Boyfriend totally participated in said makeover party, which is one of many reasons he is awesome, and looked completely gorgeous, especially with the flowing blonde wig that really tied it all together. (I asked Boyfriend for permission to share the evidence with the Internet and was completely denied. Apparently he’s not interested in being Internet famous based solely on his looks.)

Anyway, all that is to say, I needed to go through the pile-o-makeup to choose “special occasion” stuff to keep in the bathroom and collect the day-wear into a single bag. During this process I realized I did not own an adorable makeup brush holder! (Outrageous, I know.) Since I already own several brushes I didn’t want to go out and purchase a cheap holder with equally cheap brushes, nor was I interested in spending additional monies when I have such a delightful skill set as sewing!

So, I started by gathering:

Makeup bag (new and larger!)

Makeup brush collection

Trusty “I need to write this down” sewing notebook

Printer paper (newspaper or pattern paper would be ideal) to cut out said original pattern pieces

Scissors (paper and fabric types)


Rotary Cutter (for OCD precision)

Fabric (this is perfect for scrap usage!)

16”- 18” Matching Ribbon

At first I thought, “Ooh, I can make little individual pockets for all the brushes!” but then I realized not only would that be much more complicated, but whenever I acquired new brushes, they wouldn’t necessarily have a place. So I decided to create a petite fold-over sachet with two pockets. (Heretoafter referred to as the MBH.)

I measured my makeup bag, and decided the MBH would have to be no more than 7” to fit neatly inside. My brushes only required about 6” width, so the pattern piece turned out to be 6” x 7” giving it a 1/2” seam all the way around. I created this simple pattern, which is used for all three pattern pieces (inside, outside and inside pocket).

You need these-type things!

You need these-type things!

Then I got to the best part: choosing fabric! I have a pretty enormous “scrap bin,” so I took the opportunity to dump it out and dig through gleefully. I had some pretty stiff competitors: pink Dia de los Muertos with polka dots, fabulous pink Elvis faces, Star Wars, robots, Alexander Henry’s super cute cowboy collection, Japanese “Wizard of Oz” linen, and PUPPIES!

So many zany options

So many zany options!

In the end, since I’ve had it for years, and it’s such a tiny piece of such a tiny print, I went with the “Wizard of Oz” linen! While I do not regret this decision, it did create a unique additional step to this process because I couldn’t bear for the inside to be so boring! I NEEDED more linen on the inside pocket, but the fabric scrap I was working with was super small. This led to cutting out a strip and sewing it to the bottom of the inside pocket piece. (Not difficult, and completely worth it, but it was an additional step that wouldn’t be necessary with more fabric.)


Here’s the “wrong” side


The “right” side, now with much more cuteness!

Otherwise, you would first cut three identical pieces out of which ever fabric combination you choose. *If you are using a lightweight fabric and want a little more structure, add some iron-on lightweight interfacing to the outside fabric piece.

Next step was to fold the inside pocket in half (handy/easy way to make a clean seam on the inside!), and baste/attach to the inside piece. You can make as many pockets as you’d like, since I only needed two, I sewed a single center seam. Doing this keeps the pocket from moving around while you sew the outside and inside together, as well as making the center pocket seam invisible from the outside!


Fold down the inside piece and pin!


Stitch the pocket in half, and now you’ve got two!

Once your pocket(s) are created, it’s time to sew the inside to the outside (much like a pillow, if you’ve ever made one of those), you basically sew most of the way around all four edges, leaving a 2”-2 1/2” opening on one side. (I made sure my “opening” was not on the same side as the ribbon I included for closure.)

Add your piece of ribbon (before you sew!) by folding it in half and placing it in the middle of your fabric sandwich on the right side, making sure the fold is in the seam allowance (on the outside), and the remaining ribbon is on the inside, that way, when you turn your project right-side-out the ribbon is on the outside where you need it! *I also encourage people to make sure and sew through all the corners, so when you turn your project right-side-out, your corners are all nicely formed so all you have to worry about is closing the remaining gap with a straight seam.


Cute fabric sandwich, with ribbon nowhere near the seam line.

When you have sewn your seams, unpin, and (after making sure everything is correct!) clip the ends off your corners (being sure not to cut too close to, or through, the stitching), then turn and iron flat. Since you’ve got to close that turning gap anyway, go ahead and top-stitch all the way around the edges of the MBH, this also serves to make it look super posh and professional.


Perfect! What a cutie!

And you’re done! You (and I) have a fabulous little MBH that is completely personal, themed and utilitarian. Mine fits perfectly into my new makeup bag, helped to make a Saturday afternoon delightful AND productive, as well as inspired me to make some for my Etsy shop!

Aren't they adorbs??

Aren’t they adorbs??

PS – I am making lots more, and adding another inch to the height, making this a perfect pencil/pen case/holder! I also created a few with three pockets (whoa!), for those of you lucky enough to be overwhelmed with lots-o-things to creatively store! They’ll be up for grabs at the Houston Pop Shop the weekend after Thanksgiving!

So many more!

So many more!