New patterns and my fabric comparison on 10 pairs of Iris shorts

I hate when I make a new top or a new bottom, and then realize I need something to wear with it. With these two new patterns, that just released, that problem is solved.

Let me give you a quick run down of the Tennessee Tee before we jump into my Iris short obsession and my current 10 pairs.

The Tennessee tee is a loose fit top with three necklines, the scoop, an overlap V, and a subtle overlap V. It has slightly dropped shoulders, which add to the “slouchy” look without it looking sloppy, and a straight hem. You can choose from three sleeve options, an oversized long sleeve, a regular short sleeve, and a flutter sleeve.  There are also two optional chest pockets. I love the simple assembly of the overlap V neck and it was my favorite version of the Tennessee. Then I made the scoop version and I’m loving it just as much. I have made three so far and can’t wait for some cooler weather so I can give the oversized long sleeve a try too.

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Mustard – overlap v neck, regular sleeve / Coral – subtle overlap v neck, flutter sleeve / Red – scoop neck, regular sleeve

I live in the desert. It’s hot here most of the year so I seem to live in shorts majority of the time. I never found the right pattern to encompass  everything I wanted in my everyday shorts so I settled for some store bought pairs and the occasional specific short pattern. I don’t have to settle anymore, Iris is my everyday (and night) knit short pattern.

The Iris shorts have three inseam lengths, 3.5″, 5″, and 8″. There are two waistbands to give you a low or a higher rise, and optional front and back pockets. The best part about the Iris shorts, I can make a pair from less than a yard. I even fussy cut and got a pair of high waist with front and back pockets, from a 22″ x wof scrap I had. Shorts as a scrap buster?? Yes please!

Like any inquisitive sewist, I was curious how the Iris shorts would look and wear in different fabrics. So I decided to give it a try and I made 10 pairs. To avoid this being one super long blog post I split it up into two. My fabric and fit comparison follows below, but if you want to see all the fun details like pockets and how I’m wearing my new Iris shorts, you can see all 10 outfits here.

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I know I love ponte for leggings, so I figured I would love it for shorts as well, but we all know that not all ponte is created equal. I have my favorite blend and source that I go back to time and time again, but I had something specific in mind for two outfits so I branched out a little when I didn’t have the two colors I needed in my stash. Hence the reason there are three pairs of ponte (four if you count the refined ponte) included in this comparison.

I made one pair in Liverpool, but since I did the 5″ inseam on it instead of the 3.5″, I did for all the others, I didn’t include it in the side by side comparison. The fit is pretty similar and the shorts are ridiculously comfy so I am planning on making a few more in Liverpool.

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These are all the 3.5″ inseam option with the higher waistband. The fabric types I used for the comparison are :
Top row (left to right)
Cotton FT denim 50%x100% (same fabric I used for my leggings here)
French Terry 30%x75% with Double Brushed Poly waistband 50%x100%
Double Brushed Poly 50%x100%
Middle row (left to right)
Refined Ponte 50%x75%
Double Knit 50%x50%
Jacquard Double Knit 30%x75%
Bottom row (left to right)
Ponte 25%x50%
Ponte 50%x50%
Ponte 75%x75%

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As you can see, most of the fits look similar. Where I noticed a slight difference was on the side shots. My thighs are smaller than my hip size is and while on some fabrics it wasn’t noticeable, I definitely noticed it more on the Cotton denim FT and the Animal print Refined Ponte. When looking at pictures they all look pretty much the same, but fit wise, I could tell a slight difference in my thigh space.

236AAE18-C321-4800-9179-5CF7414D3CE6I originally thought the DBP and FT would be more of a lounge look and just for home or to sleep, but I was surprised when I paired them with my tops at how non lounge they actually looked. Because of the amount of stretch my DBP had, I might have been able to slim down my sides and waistband a little, but they were comfy and didn’t fall off, so that would be a personal fit preference for sure.

If I had to pick a least favorite, it would probably be the refined ponte, and just because it feels a bit more structured than I like to wear for everyday shorts. They will still be worn though because I absolutely love them all.

I love the wide variation of stretch percentages and fabric bases I can use for this pattern. Next I want to try a pair in some athletic stretch mesh, and another Liverpool pair, ohhh and maybe a few more pairs in DBP or even MVC for sleeping. What fabric do you plan to use?

To see all my outfits, the details I did on each, and all the fabric sources check out my other blog post. Fair warning, there are lots of pictures 😉

This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through that link, I may get a % back, at no additional cost to you. Let’s be honest, we all know it goes right back to adding to my fabric stash. All opinions on this blog are my own.

 

10 outfits, a pinspiration win, and Pockets

You read that right, I have 10 new outfits from about a week of sewing. I used the brand new Iris Shorts from Sonia Estep Designs for all these outfits. If you are curious about how they looked and fit with all the different fabrics I used, you can read my comparison post with side by side pictures, here.

Outfit number one.

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This is the brand new Tennessee Tee from Sonia Estep Designs, subtle overlap v neck, flutter sleeves. I used a heavy rayon spandex from So Sew English fabrics. This pair of Iris shorts has the 5″ inseam length, front pockets, and higher waistband, in Liverpool from Sincerely Rylee. I’ve had both fabrics in my stash for a while and they are just perfect together.

Outfit number two.

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This combo is the Iris shorts in this rocket pop FT with a DBP waistband. This is the 3.5″ inseam length, with the higher waistband. The same as all the following pairs. No pockets on this one, but I think I will add the front ones on my next FT pair. I am wearing  it with this brand new Tennessee Tee in red micro modal spandex. This is the scoop neck with regular sleeves. Both fabrics are from So Sew English.

Outfit number three.

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I just love this deep purple pair of Iris shorts! This pair has the front pockets and I used Ponte from Boho Fabrics. It is a different ponte than my usual in that it is lighter weight, with less stretch, but it sewed up beautifully and is super comfy. I’m wearing it with a rayon spandex Hey June Union St. Tee, from my closet.

Outfit number four.

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This pair of shorts was so hard to photograph. It is a charcoal black and has a subtle animal print, which I love, since I can wear it with so many different colored tops. It was my first experience with refined ponte and I think I’m going to make a pencil skirt with the left over fabric. I am wearing it with another newer fabric for me, cotton modal spandex. I used it the first time to make my daughter a top and it worked so well, I decided to make myself one to go with these shorts. The top is the CKC Kaitlyn. Both fabrics are from So Sew English.

Outfit number five.

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I know solid black shorts are kind of boring, but they are such a must have for me. This pair has both the front and the back pockets. I used my go to ponte from So Sew English, and would you believe I got it from a 22″ x wof scrap? It’s true, I did. I am wearing it with my coral Tennessee Tee.

I found this pin a while back and thought it was a good combo for Fall feels with Summer weather.IMG_7354

Which brings me to outfit number six.

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I branched out last year and tried two mustard colored things and liked them. So I decided to give this shade a try.  The top is my third Tennessee Tee, overlap v neck with regular sleeves. I used a modal spandex from Surge fabrics. It was my first order from them and I was impressed with the quality of the fabric. My Iris shorts are in a heavy ponte from Sly Fox fabrics. It has less stretch than my favorite ponte, but since this pattern doesn’t take much, it worked well.  This is a perfect example of taking inspiration and then tweaking it to your style. I’m totally calling this a Pinspiration win.

Outfit number seven.

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Confession. I got a three yard bundle of this fabric and since this pattern only takes minimal fabric, I have made three pairs in it and have a bunch left 😂. In my defense, two were test fits, but they all work and I wear them all. I am actually wearing one of them as I write this up. I had never used this type of double knit before and I really love it! It’s so soft and so comfy. I’m wearing it with a Union St Tee from Hey June Handmade, from my closet. This shirt is two years old, I wear it weekly, and it looks brand new. Mad kudos to So Sew English Modal!

Outfit number eight.

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I had fun with this pair of Iris shorts! Instead of rolling the hem under, I rolled it out and stitched it, to give it a cuffed look. Then I decided to do something extra with the back pockets and make a little topstitch design. If you have never tried something like that, I highly encourage you to try. You can free hand a design or do a quick internet search for designs.

I trace one side of the design with chalk, lay it on the pocket and trace the other side of the design to transfer it to the pocket. Then you take the side you just traced, place it down on the other pocket, trace the line again, and it is mirrored on your other pocket. Then topstitch it on your sewing machine. Really simple and now I have custom pockets. This pair was made with denim cotton FT (the same I used for these leggings). It has sold out but they have a new one that I’m hearing is even better. I am wearing it with my red Tennessee tee. Both fabrics are from So Sew English.

Outfit number nine.

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Y’all know I love camo. This pair was another try at a new fabric base and I am so happy with them! I used a Camo jacquard double knit from SSE. There is another color way of this print available too and I think I may need to grab some. I’m wearing it with a CKC Kaitlyn in modal, from my closet.

Outfit number ten.

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Did I mention how little fabric this shorts pattern takes? This pair of Iris shorts was another scrap buster for me with some left over Chloe DBP. I was planning on using them for sleeping or for lounge shorts, but I was surprised with how non lounge they actually looked. They are super comfy so I will definitely be making more in DBP for sleeping, but I like that I can still wear them for errands.

I can’t pick a favorite, I tried, but I love them all and am so happy to finally have my perfect everyday knit shorts pattern.

Enabler Alert – Both the Iris shorts and Tennessee Tee are on new release sale for 50% off.

This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through that link, I may get a % back, at no additional cost to you. Let’s be honest, we all know it goes right back to adding to my fabric stash. All opinions on this blog are my own.

 

 

Styling my first Red dress – Nicolette

I like solids because they really make it easy to include the pieces in several different outfits. So when I decided to make my first red dress and I wasn’t sure how I was going to wear it, I went through my closet and just let my imagination run wild. I came up with so many combinations but decided to just share these 7 with you all. It was 108* when I was taking these pictures and after number 7, things were getting a little rough 😂. So 7 it is.

This dress is the just released Nicolette from Sonia Estep Designs. If you missed my last post with all the details, the other two I have made, and my armpit sniffing pose, you can get caught up here.

First, my straight up red dress, solo. (Now I’m singing red solo cup in my head, as I type this).  I love the seam down the back, it adds just a little something to the dress. I have worn this with tennis shoes and with sandals both. It is perfect for errands, out to dinner, or just chilling at home doing kitchen DIY.

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For this look I grabbed an infinity scarf I had. A quick wrap around my neck and it changes the dress from summer to spring, or even fall if you live in warm climates. I could also see this with a lightweight woven scarf for summer.

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This next one I added my jean jacket to it. You can roll up the sleeves or even combine the scarf and jacket if you wanted to add another option.

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This cardigan was one of my first additions of red in my wardrobe and I was so happy it complements this Nicolette so well. This is perfect to take to those freezing movie theaters or even a cold grocery shopping trip. Can’t you just see it with some knee high boots too??  I can not wait for cooler weather to get here so I can wear this combo.

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Since it IS so hot here, I’m happy this breezy woven, kimono sleeve cover up, also works with this Nicolette. I was iffy on the color combo between the two, but I definitely will be making more with some other wovens I have my eye on. Pool party anyone?

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Did you know you could tie a knot in your Nicolette and make it a top to wear with your favorite pair of shorts?? If the knot look isn’t for you, the Nicolette also has a shirt option included.ED2968A6-4BDA-415D-8042-17143BE417F6

How about swapping your shorts for a pair of leggings? Just pull down the scrunch and now you have a booty covering top with a cute knot.

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I was really having a good time trying out so many new looks with this one dress. I even got commentary from the kids on which was their favorite. Any guesses as to which?

If you haven’t gotten your Nicolette yet, you haven’t missed out. It is still on sale for 50% off until Sunday, 7/7 Midnite EST. How will you wear it?

This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through that link, I may get a % back, at no additional cost to you. Let’s be honest, we all know it goes right back to adding to my fabric stash. All opinions on this blog are my own.

Wearing my stripes – The Jordan dress

When I was younger I took an etiquette type class. This class covered things from how to set the table, all the way to dressing and walking. I learned quite a few things from that class, some I think are silly and some I actually still utilize to this day. One of the things I learned about was colors and shapes, when worn different ways, changing how your body looks. Ways to emphasize or downplay certain things and draw the eye up or down, for example. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think you should wear whatever you enjoy and feel comfortable in, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to dressing (except the obvious ones of birthday suits 😉 ), but these little tricks are nice to know and have in your back pocket if you want to utilize them.

When it came to stripes, I learned that they can draw the eye in whichever direction they run. So, as an adolescent girl I shied away from horizontal stripes, because I had a fear of looking wider, and vertical stripes because I was already 5’9” and hated being tall. Stripes were very rarely found in my wardrobe, and that was the case until recently. I was seeing all these stripe fabrics and everyone making such cute outfits with them, and I wanted to try some for myself. Like any normal sewist, I went to pinterest and started searching for stripe outfits. I found some I loved and over this last year, I have made them, and more.

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What do you know, I actually liked them. So much so, that I seem to forget the eye boggling dizzy reaction I get when working with most of them.  Raise your hand if you know what I’m talking about!

Then I got the opportunity to test a new pattern for Made for Mermaids, the Jordan. I must admit, I have been applying to test for them and Patterns for Pirates, since I started sewing. I just recently got in; excuse me while I freak out over here for a few minutes. Okay, I’m good, now about the test. The Jordan is a top and dress, with a bunch of options. The top hem options are straight or split hem with a slight high low. You can do sleeveless, short, 3/4 or long sleeves, with an optional thumbhole cuff. There are also the options of a lined or unlined hood, kangaroo pocket, and a drawstring.  As soon as I read the options, a specific picture popped up in my mind that I wanted to make. I picked the sleeveless dress with an unlined hood, drawstring, and a kangaroo pocket. And guess what? I made it fully out of horizontal stripes ❤

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These stripes are a gorgeous rayon spandex from So Sew English fabrics. If I remember right, they were part of a mystery box, which is a super sweet deal!

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Can we take a moment to appreciate the stripe matching on this pocket? I spent a good bit of time when cutting to ensure it matched. Pro Tip: Using wash away wonder tape to place the pocket on the dress is super simple. You don’t put any holes in your fabric from pins, and if your machine is picky like mine, the extra stability it gives when sewing, is usually just enough to avoid the fabric from being eaten.

Curious how this dress sews up? You can see my time lapse video on my youtube channel here.

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I am so happy that the picture that popped in my mind came to fruition, and that I had these stripes in my stash to make it happen. I can see myself getting lots of wear from this dress this summer.

DT Blue with Indigo waist

The Jordan pattern is available for the entire family here. Did you enjoy the time lapse video? Leave me a comment to let me know if I should make more ❤

 

This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through that link, I may get a % back, at no additional cost to you. Let’s be honest, we all know it goes right back to adding to my fabric stash. All opinions on this blog are my own.

 

 

 

Wardrobe Staples – Tank tops

Wardrobe staples are just that, staples. They are such great building blocks that can take a simple outfit up a notch or allow you to quickly expand your current wardrobe. Since I live in a pretty warm climate, year round, the wardrobe staple I use the most, are tank tops. When I got the opportunity to test the new Greenstyle Creations Staple Tank, I was excited. I enjoy testing and helping out pattern designers, but it can be a lot of work, fabric, and time. So when the item I’m testing, happens to be something I will get a lot of wear from, it’s a huge plus.

This particular tank is great to wear solo, layering over a sports bra, layering under a jacket or even a loose fit slouchy top.  It fits the bust nicely and allows for a little breathing room throughout the rest of the bodice. The staple tank is available in the size range of XXS – 3XL. It has a pretty scoop back, perfect for showing off those fun bra straps if you wanted to.

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Another thing I love about this tank, is the option to finish your neck and arms with either a band or binding.  I’ve become fond of binding on my clothes. I really like the low profile look it gives and I don’t find it more or less difficult to do than a traditional band.

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I used the binding method in the pattern for both my tanks. Yup, you read that right, I have already made two, and have a few more planned. Did I mention these are fast sews and don’t take up much fabric??  Both of my tanks were made from leftover fabric from my camo leggings and ombre maxi. I did my exact size per the chart and added my usual length for my height. Boom, done.

For the camo tank, I used double brushed poly, from So Sew English. I really love camo and I’m enjoying the addition to my wardrobe. I was so pleased with the versatility of this tank that I couldn’t stop trying different ways of wearing it. I kind of wonder what my neighbors were thinking as I paraded in and out of my house with all these outfit changes, ha ha ha.

For this outfit, I paired the tank with a new pair of Greenstyle Stride tights, in Supplex, and my black tennis shoes. This was super comfortable when I rode on my recumbent bike and for running around with the kiddos. This supplex was my first and I got it from So Sew English (SSE). It has a GSM of 440 and has totally been squat proof, plus it was a dream to sew up.

I changed my shoes into my white tennis shoes and threw on my cuffed sleeve jean jacket. Perfect for those cool mornings and evenings, or whenever I want to pretend that I don’t live in tanks and leggings most days. There is just something about the jean jacket and camo combo I can’t get enough of.

Change the shoes. Switch to some stretchy jeans and add a long necklace. Tucked in or left out. With a cardigan (This one is the Coffee & Tea from Annelaine, in a ribbed sweater knit from SSE) or without. Another three looks! SERIOUSLY!!  5 looks so far and I didn’t even get to take pictures of this tank with my slouchy tops, darn laundry.

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ITY is one of my favorite fabrics to wear for summer here. It has a cool touch to it and it feels so flowy that I wanted to try it as this tank. This particular ITY is the blue ombre Venezia from So Sew English. It’s only been available in bundles recently, but they do have other Venezia ITY options. I hung on to my three yard cut for a while and finally used it for my recent maxi. I was left with around two yards of not quite half the width of fabric. Turns out it was the perfect amount to make this tank. I really like how it looks with the white shorts. I’m thinking I need to add pair of loose leg white pants to my wardrobe soon. Wouldn’t that be cute??

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The Staple Tank is available from Greenstyle Creations and is on release sale right now, ending Wednesday, March 27th.  How would you wear your staple tanks??

 

This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through that link, I may get a % back, at no additional cost to you. Let’s be honest, we all know it goes right back to adding to my fabric stash. All opinions on this blog are my own.

Wrong this whole time but now I’m obsessed

You want to know what I learned during a recent pattern test for Annelaine Patterns?? I learned that I measured my side waist wrong, let’s say, around 2 years ago. I have been operating under the assumption I had an 8” side waist when in reality I have a 9” side waist. How is this possible and how have I not had major fitting issues? As for the fitting issues I usually add length to my shirts at the natural waistline, but for my overall height. Add that to looser fit garments that have less defined waistlines or slouchy fits, and I haven’t had any issues. Kind of like a, two negatives equal a positive, type situation.

In the case of this recent test though, the side waist measurement was extremely important. The top/dress was designed to be a slimmer fit and hit right at the natural waist, thus making my inch difference very noticeable.

Curious about how to measure your side waist? This is how. You know those stretchy selvedge pieces you usually throw away or let your kids tie things up with? Those work great for this, so grab two. Take one and tie off your upperbust. Then sing, “I’m a little teapot”, and when you get to the tipping part, make a note of where your side crease is and tie it off. You can also tie off where you think your waist is and move around for a bit, allowing the fabric to move to its natural spot, for those of you not into fitting musicals. Now that you have your two spots tied off, you measure from the upperbust one down to your waist one. Here is the important part and what I missed my first time. This measurement should be along the body, tracing your natural curve. Mind blown people. I had an extra inch hanging out in my curve.

Once I knew about my extra inch I was able to add it to the pattern and ended up with a wonderful fit. So wonderful that I have made 4 for myself, plus I hacked a 5th, and made two matching ones for my daughter. I’m totally obsessed !!

The pattern is the Lexington and is available in womens sizing (00-30) and girls (9 mon-20). It has several options so you can decide which look you prefer and allows for year round wear.

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For this one I used this floral vine rayon spandex from So Sew English. I chose short sleeves, scoop neckline, the waist cutline for the bodice and the skirt is the subtle hi-lo peplum. It was the perfect top to wear with my new pair of hunter green ponte (available at SSE) Peglegs. I have been wanting a green pair for a while so I was really excited I finally could make them and get them in my closet.

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For my second one I went with this gorgeous floral Amber bulgaree ITY. I got it last year from So Sew English and I can’t believe there is still some in stock. I just love how it gathers and drapes. Combine that with the above knee subtle hi-lo skirt and I am in love!! I chose the sleeveless, empire cut bodice, with a scoop neckline.

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This third one I saved for “last”.

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I’ve had this ombre blue Venezia ITY in my So Sew English stash, for quite some time. I hadn’t found the right pattern to showcase the gorgeous ombre so it sat in my cabinet. Once I had the first two done I knew this was the right pattern for it. I did the sleeveless, empire bodice with a scoop neckline. I also did the optional side slit for a little extra. I LOVE it!! I’m so glad I saved the fabric for this floor length maxi.

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My daughter saw my Lexingtons and asked for a matching one. Since I didn’t have enough of the fabric I used for my first three, I ordered some double brushed poly from Amelia Lane Designs and made us a matching pair. This solid navy compliments the Santa Fe print beautifully and she loves her Lexington as much as I do. These are both the sleeveless, empire cutline bodice. Mine is the scoop neckline and hers is a standard. Both are the floor length maxis.

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Not only have I found an amazing pattern that will get lots of use in our house, but I also learned something new about measuring my body to ensure a better fit. I call that a sewing win.

*Enabler alert*

The women and girls Lexington is on sale for 40% off until Wednesday February 13th, 12pm mst.

Amelia Lane Designs is having a 20% off site wide sale until Sunday February 17th. Code PERFECTPAIR  Plus they are running a shipping special that all orders over $40 ship for $10 (international excluded) WOWZERS!

This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through that link, I may get a % back, at no additional cost to you. Let’s be honest, we all know it goes right back to adding to my fabric stash. All opinions on this blog are my own and I have a lot.