Virginia Leggings + Minttu Swing Top

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I’m a little late, but I’m finally sharing my Megan Nielsen Virginia leggings for Sew My Style. I really struggled with finding the perfect fabric for this pattern. I originally made a pair out of a stretch faux leather in black, but they were not very flattering. I’m not a big leggings wearer, unless I’m lounging around my house.

After searching and searching, I finally found THEE perfect fabric for this pattern. A new addition to Stylish Fabrics, this Maxi-Dri & Micro Blok Neoprene Fabric is perfection. Its thick, but just the right thickness for leggings, super stretchy (4 way stretch) and super soft. There are also so many cool colors to choose from, I bet you won’t be able to pick just one.

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For my leggings, I chose the Avatar Rain color way. I like that it’s multi-colored for optimal top matching. I also like that there’s some black blended in it too, you know, to match my black Nike’s. Also, these pants blend into EVERY wall. I tried to find a way to get these babies to pop, but I failed, and I apologize! I really love this color way; I promise it’s much better in person.

Let’s talk about the Virginia Leggings pattern. I sewed up a size XS using the high waist option. This is the fastest project you will ever make. INSTANT GRATIFICATION! I used my Brother 1034D Serger to sew these up, and it was so fast. In about 5 steps you have some brand new leggings. The instructions are awesome, and easy to follow. I need to make like 5 more. Love them! Perfect fabric and pattern combo.

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Okay, now the Minttu Swing Top pattern! It’s brand new, and just released by Named Clothing. It’s also part of the Indiesew Spring/Summer pattern collection. I don’t wear sleeveless tops unless I’m working out and I thought this one would be great to pair with my new leggings. I really don’t like wearing tops that are fitted in my torso area (I had two huge babies guys), so I really love the loose swing hem on this one.

I used some rayon jersey knit in black from Stylish Fabrics. It’s a lightweight fabric, and not completely opaque when you hold it up to the light. I like this thinness factor for a workout top. It was easy to sew with and I’m really happy with the result.

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The Minttu pattern itself put my brain through a loop a bit. I usually don’t have a hard time figuring out pattern steps, but the enclosed facing took me about 5 tries to figure it out. A tip would be to pinch the inside of the top and facing (like illustrated in the pattern instructions) as you would if they were sewn together. Hope that makes sense and helps a little! It’s a really innovative design, which I love! Other than the facing, everything else was super easy to understand, and it’s a really cool little tank top.

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Now I have no excuses for not working out. I used to be a big runner (many years ago), so maybe it’s time to get back to it. We’ll see!

That’s it for today! Happy sewing, friends!

The Indiesew Spring/Summer Collection Blog Tour

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You guys!! Indiesew has done it again! Another fabulous Spring/Summer Collection has been launched, and it is so, so good. There are five patterns within the collection + 5 amazing fabrics to go with them. (They are selling out fast!).

I’m so excited to be part of another Indiesew blog tour. I fell in love with Allie’s new pattern, the Highlands Wrap Dress, and I’m excited to share my version of it with you!

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Isn’t it great!? So, first of all, let’s talk fabric. I went back and forth between a few fabrics for this dress (one of them being this amazing nani IRO that Leslie used! She showed me her fabric after I had chosen something different and I couldn’t believe we almost had twinning dresses for the tour, so funny). I finally made a decision and went with this amazing rayon chambray shirting dot fabric I picked up from Indiesew. (Sadly, it is now sold out, but this stripe rayon chambray shirting is another great alternative!).

This fabric is so soft, and drapey. I really love the look it gives to this dress. I really wanted to go for a Madewell inspired look, and I had a denim chambray pictured in my mind for this dress. It turned out better than I imagined.

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Let’s talk about this pattern: the Highlands Wrap dress. I sewed up a size 4 in the midi length, with just a few minor alterations. I did NOT make a muslin, which is recommended for this pattern. I did cheat a little and asked Leslie what alterations she had to make from her muslin, and paid close attention to them while making mine. Thanks Leslie!!

Here’s what I changed:

  1. I lowered the bust dart just under 1″. Here’s a great tutorial if you need some help figuring this out! Don’t pay attention to my cheater method in my photos below. It’s not the correct way to adjust a dart, but it did work, just saying.
  2. I lowered the front armsyce by about 1/2″.
  3. I added 1/2″ to the neckline on my front upper bodice to slightly raise the neckline a little. I graded at 1/2″ from the side seam and tapered off towards the neckline as you can see below.

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4. I extended the side seams by 4 1/2″, so the side slit wouldn’t be quite so high. My pointer finger is showing where the original slit began.

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I also ended up pinning the front together with a safety pin in these photos. I need to sew in a snap or hook and eye eventually. Because the fabric is so drapey, it does slouch a little. Others that have sewn it up in a less drapey fabrics have said that they didn’t have this problem. (It’s not really a problem, I think it’s supposed to do this but I need the extra coverage). That’s it! These were simple and quick alterations to customize this dress exactly how I wanted it to be. ANNNDDD that’s why I love sewing! Everything else fits great! I just love it!

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The directions are very clear and simple to follow. I love the mitered finish on the hem, and the facing finish around the neckline and front of the dress.

I’m always a little nervous to make a wrap-anything because they can be a little tricky to wear around kids. This dress is NOT a problem! It keeps you well covered in any situation. Also, it’s so comfortable to wear. I wore it all day for Easter this year, and it was totally kid proof. I’ll be wearing this dress for years to come!

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Congratulations to Indiesew for another incredible Collection launch! Make sure to check out all of the other amazing patterns included in their Spring/Summer collection. I’m planning on sewing up the Minttu Top this week for another post I’ll be sharing next week.

Also, don’t forget to follow along with the other CRAZY talented seamstresses who are also part of this blog tour!

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Saunio Cardigan + Trophy Jacket Mash-Up

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Hey everyone! I recently made this little jacket for my daughter to pair over her Easter dress. I used some left over fabric I had from Fabric Godmother (leftover my saunio jacket), and created a matching one for her. And yes, I’m super lame and did NOT make my kids Easter outfits this year. It’s kind of become a tradition that grandma buys their little Easter outfits each year, and I’m not complaining. My daughters little dress is from Target, now sold out. (But I did make the jacket, so that counts for something, right?).

I happened to be visiting my mom at the time, and so she added a little embroidery to the jacket, making it a fun collaboration between the two of us. This project took maybe an hour tops (with cutting out the pattern). I love the look of this little jacket!

Here’s how I made it:

What you need:

Trophy Jacket Pattern, 3/4 yard of fabric, matching thread

Using the Trophy Jacket pattern by Cali Faye, cut out the jacket front, back, front and back yokes, and two sleeve pieces. You will also need to create a front and back facing for your little jacket pattern. Simply put some paper on top of the front and back pieces, and trace your pattern piece following the lines of the these pattern pieces. I also taped the front and back yoke pieces to the front and back bodice pieces, omitting this design feature. Here’s how mine looked:

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Now lets cut everything out. The only thing that’s different is you will need to cut the back bodice piece out on the fold, and just one.

Now time to sew!

  1. Sew shoulders right sides together.
  2. Sew two sleeves pieces together. Sew into the armsyce (without sewing up the sleeve edges quite yet).
  3. Pin the sleeve and side seams edges RST, and sew up the side seam and sleeve all in one go.
  4. Hem the sleeve edge.

Okay now pull out your Saunio Cardigan by Named Clothing instructions, and follow along for sewing in the facing and finished the bottom edge.

  1. Finish the edges of the facing.
  2. Sew the front and back facing together at the shoulder seams.
  3. Sew the front facing and jacket front bodice together at the front bottom hem, right sides together at 1/2″.
  4. Match the edge of the facing to the front edge of the jacket, RST. Pin. Sew.
  5. Trim seams and corners, turn right sides out.
  6. Top-stitch along the bodice front and back neckline, tracing the shape of the facing.

Add some flair (my mom added a simple blanket stitch with variegated thread– ezm13), and finished!

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I apologize that I don’t have images to go with each step. I didn’t take any at the time. It’s pretty self explanatory, and the patterns have images to help walk you through each step if you need them! Happy sewing!

 

Deer & Doe Hoya Blouse + Ginger Jeans

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Hi friends! I’m so excited to tell you all about this outfit. It feels so summery and fresh. I made the Deer & Doe Hoya Blouse (from their new spring collection) using a red gingham shirting fabric from Indiesew. I also made my second pair of Ginger Jeans in this really cool light blue stretch denim from Style Maker Fabrics. Let’s dive right in!

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First up is this gorgeous shirt: the Deer & Doe Hoya Blouse. My initial thoughts about this pattern were a little unsure. It’s definitely too low cut for me to wear without a little tank underneath, and I wasn’t sure if it would look as cool worn this way. After finishing this top, I have to say I really love it! I don’t mind the look of the layered tank, either. I love the little lapel details, and the mock wrap lined front bodice.

This top came together in one night, cutting and all. It’s a super quick sew with easy to follow instructions. I like that it was quick, but also interesting to sew up. It’s totally different from any other top I’ve ever sewn before, and I really like trying different things. I sewed up the size 36, with no alterations. I really enjoyed putting this little top together. It’s a great spring/summer wardrobe addition!

When looking for fabrics to consider for this top, I tried to find something that would look okay with a white (or whatever colored) tank paired underneath it. I remembered Indiesew had just added some really fun gingham fabrics to their site and headed there. I really love the look of gingham for spring and summer, so it was an easy decision. You can find a small white and navy gingham shirting + this large white and red gingham shirting I used in the Indiesew shop.

To switch up the gingham pattern a little, I decided to cut out all my pattern pieces on the bias. I love the finished result! Make sure to buy a little extra fabric if you decide to cut along the bias too.

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Okay, on to my jeans! These are the Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Files. So first, a little disclaimer. This is my second pair of ginger jeans, but the first pair I’ve blogged about. The first pair ended up being more of a wearable muslin because the fabric I used didn’t have much stretch to it. But, I learned a few things from the first go around that helped in perfecting my “real” pair.

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This pattern comes in two rises: low rise and a high-waisted. If you prefer more of a mid-rise, Closet Case Files has recently added a mid-rise pattern you can purchase as well. I sewed up the high-waisted version, and I love them!

I sewed up the size 4, and didn’t really need to adjust the side seams at all! I did take in the bottom hem at about a 1/2″, grading into the side seam. The pant hems were a little loose around my ankle, and I wanted a slightly closer fit. I also left my hems raw. I really like this trend right now, and it also gets you one step closer to finished jeans, faster! Haha. Give them one wash/dry and you’ll have the perfect frayed hem.

I also raised my back pockets up 1″ from the original markings. I definitely recommend playing around with your back pocket placement before top stitching. Everyone’s back side is a little different, and you definitely want your back pockets to be in the right spot for your body.

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You guys, jeans are not hard! They just have more steps to follow. The instructions are very clear, and the pictures are really helpful too. I totally recommend this pattern.

I picked up my hardware kit from Threadbare Fabrics. I love that you can get your zipper, button and rivets all in one order. I’ve struggled in the past with installation of the button and rivets, but these ones went in really smoothly. I do have two rivets installed in my front pockets that you can’t see. I found I was successful thanks to Allie’s tutorial on Indiesew. She recommends buying a solid steel jewelry bench to use as your surface for hammering the hardware pieces into your jeans. I bought one and I totally recommend it! You can watch her whole tutorial here!

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Okay let’s talk about this fabric!! I have been searching FOREVER for light blue STRETCH denim, and I’ve had the hardest time finding it, until now! I found this stretch denim in cornflower blue at Style Maker Fabrics. All of my light blue denim dreams have come true! It has the perfect amount of stretch for this pattern, and sewed up really beautifully. This is how they fit me straight out of the wash, but they do loosen up a little with wear, so keep this in mind as you are fitting them to your body; this fabric will stretch out a little.

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A get a lot of questions about my favorite jeans patterns. I have tried three different patterns so far and I really love them all for different reasons. I’m planning on doing a separate post this month comparing them all. Stay tuned!

I’m so happy with this outfit! I love the bold pop of red, classic print and fun style lines of my Hoya Top, and even better paired with the springiest of skinny jeans. Thanks for reading along and happy sewing!

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Style Maker Fabrics Spring Blog Tour

 

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Hey everyone! I’m so excited to be invited to another Style Maker Fabrics blog tour. Michelle always does such a great job curating fabrics that are perfect for the trending colors and styles for each season, and I’m totally loving everything she has picked for spring 2017!

I decided to sew up a top and skirt for my post. I fell in love with this stunning tropical leaf stretch sateen (sadly, sold out now), and paired it with a crisp white striped seersucker for the top.

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Let’s talk about the skirt first! I fell in love with this skirt I found on pinterest last year, and it was definitely my inspiration for this skirt. I’m loving all things tropical for spring/summer this year, so when I laid eyes on this stretch sateen I just KNEW I had to make something with it. I remembered the skirt I had pinned a while back and the rest was history. So again, this fabric is now sold out but Style Maker Fabrics has so many beautiful stretch sateens this year that would also be perfect for a full gathered skirt like this one. You should also check out all the fabulous tropical prints too!!

I used a self drafted pattern (super easy) for my skirt; I’ll walk you through how I made it:

Supplies: Fabric, fusible interfacing, matching invisible zipper (7-9″), hand sewing needle and matching thread.

We’ll need to make two pattern pieces.

  1. Waistband: Measure your true waist. Mine is 27″, and I added another inch for a 1/2″ seam allowance on either side, so 28″ in total. I made the length 3″ to equal 1″ in length when finished. So I had a rectangle that was 28″ x 3″. Cut 1 on the fold of your fabric, cut 1 on the fold of the fusible interfacing.
  2. Skirt: Measure your waist again and multiply it by 5. So mine came out to be 140″ (slightly rounded up). Now divide this number by 2, which gives us 70″. Decide how long you would like your skirt to be, I decided on 29″. So now you’ll have another rectangle that measures 70″x 29″. Make sure to mark on one side to cut on the fold. Cut 2 on the fold.
  3. Putting the skirt together is really simple. There are lots of tutorials out there on pinterest too if you need a visual!
    1. Sew your side skirt panels right sides together. Finish seam alowances.
    2. Sew three rows of gathering stitched along the top of your skirt at 1/4″, 1/2″ and 5/8″.
    3. Interface your waistband using fusible interfacing. Iron one long end of the waistband in at 1/2″.
    4. Line up the center of your waistband (the edge not folded in) and top of the skirt, right sides together, and pin. Pin the edges of the skirt to the edges of the waistband, and gather the skirt evenly to the waistband, pinning as you go. Sew at 1/2″. Remove basting stitches.
    5. I really love this tutorial for sewing in an invisible zipper into a skirt with a waistband. Follow these steps.
    6. Hem your skirt, and done! (I hand hemmed mine).

It’s really super simple.

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Now let’s chat about this top!! I am OBSESSED with all things ruffles for spring this year. I’ve had my eye on the Suzon Blouse by Republique Du Chiffon for a while now, and I thought it would be really pretty paired with this skirt in white. Again, I used this crisp white cotton striped seersucker fabric. I just love white for spring and summer.

A few things about this pattern! It was easy to put together. The instructions were very clear and easy to follow. This pattern comes in French and English but unfortunately is only in print format currently. It also has a downloadable long sleeve add-on you can find at the bottom of the page of the pattern in the shop. I used this sleeve pattern to make my short sleeves by cutting it off at 9″ from the center top of the sleeve. This pattern does not include seam allowances, and I totally forgot!! Yikes! So I cut out my whole pattern without added seam allowance. Luckily, I had enough fabric to re-cut the collar and button bands. So, you’ll notice my darts are slightly higher than they should be, but other than that it turned out okay. There isn’t a set button hole guide for this pattern, and I’m not so sure about my button hole placement on this one. It works but the second button is kind of bugging me, it should be a little lower I think. Just some things to keep in mind when you go to sew up your own!! I don’t usually have enough time to sew up a muslin for most things I make, so sometimes it’s about trial and error! This top is still very wearable and I really love it. I also really love the structure this cotton seersucker gives to this top, it’s exactly how I envisioned it. Next time I want to try it in a rayon challis, or crepe, something with a little more drape.

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I’m so happy with these fabrics and patterns I’ve paired them with. Make sure to check out the rest of the tour! There are so many amazing outfits and fabrics!! Be prepared to be inspired! Thanks for having me Michelle!!

 

Laura Sanner Rain Coats with Land of Oh

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Happy almost spring everyone! I was recently introduced to Lara Sanner’s coat pattern for children, and I knew I had to make two for my  littles. I decided to use a laminated cotton fabric to make the coats water proof (also an option recommended in the pattern). I love the result, and my kids love them too.

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This coat pattern comes in a great range of sizes: 0-3 years & 3-12 years. I love the front patch pocket detailing (so do my kids, my son is reaching in for his sucker in the above photo). I love the exposed zipper, hood and cuffs rolled to show of the inner lining. This pattern also comes with a collar option too.

My kids are 3 and 2, I made a size 3 for both of them, but used the size 4 length for my 3 year old. The sizing is spot on! They are pretty quick to sew up, I made each one in about 4 hours. Maybe a little less than that even. The instructions are very clear and easy to follow.

I also wanted to add that I used craft clips to “pin” my pieces together as I sewed. You don’t want to use regular pins because any holes you make will be permanent. BUT I just wanted to add, most “wonder clips” are like 10 clips for $8. I recently got some from Evergreen Art Supply; 100 clips (75 regular size and 25 jumbo size) for $14.95. Such a great deal. So if you’re looking for clips, check out Evergreen Art Supply.

I got the zippers from zipperstop! The pink zipper actually matches up better in real life. It looks a little darker in these photos than it really is.

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For fabric, I actually searched around for quite a while. I had a hard time finding something that I really loved. Then I came across Landofoh and dipped into laminated cotton heaven! You guys! I want all the prints!!

Their online shop is out of Korea. I really love the fun, and unique prints they have available in their shop. I also love that their fabrics have a slightly matte finish to them. They are not sticky and shiny like most laminated cottons you would find. This feature also made these little coats very easy to sew.

Speaking of sewing, laminated cottons/fabrics can be a little tricky to work with. I wrote up a whole post full of tips to walk you through everything you need to know before you get started. You can find it on BERNINA USA’s blog: Weallsew.com.

I decided to line my little coats with a polar fleece lining to add a cozy factor to them. (My kids are all about cozy!). I picked up both colors from stylishfabric.com. (They are so cheap, just 4.90 a yard!). The lining worked great, but I would add that polar fleece has some stretch to it, so I did have to take in some wedges to get the lining to match up to outer coat. I was nervous it was going to make the inside look a little wonky but you can’t even tell!

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So you guys, I think I found the solution to a major problem in my life. I have this 2 year old little boy who is obsessed with water. I took my kids to the zoo today, and both of them wore their new coats. My son of course found some water dripping from the roof and stood directly underneath it, while it dripped alllll over him. Usually this would be a big issue (he usually ends up sopping wet when we leave.. well… anywhere), but his coat kept him completely dry. So, I decided I should probably make all of his clothes out of laminated cotton/ waterproof fabric haha. Problem. Solved.

At least he’s cute, right?

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Thanks for reading along! This is such a cute pattern for kids, and perfect for spring weather! Now I just need one in my size. Happy sewing!

Life Scarf

Hey guys! This post is going to be a little different than usual! Lately I’ve gotten to work on a few projects with Michael De Leon, the Manager of Stylish Fabric. Michael is also the co-founder of Life Scarf, a children’s charity project.

These scarves are really nice. The quality is great, and I really love the size. When you purchase a scarf from Life Scarf, 20% of the net profits are sent to Los Angeles Children’s Hospital to help children in need, giving you a “special way to support critical, life-saving and life-changing care for children”. (On March 4th 30% of the net profits will be donated, and Life Scarf is planning to bump donations up to 50% by October!!). They are all currently on sale for $13.72 (regular price $18.30).

So why did Michael begin this charity you ask? Read on!

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(pictured above: The Heidee Mayan Sea Breeze Scarf)

Michael shared a really personal story with me about his nephew, Raffy, who was born in the Philippines with a rare case of cranialfacial cleft.

“It was a pretty sad day since the doctor in the Hospital where my sister gave birth told us that there was a slim chance that he would survive. Days had gone by and we saw that Raffy was really fighting and he was very eager to survive. We talked to a lot of Hospitals in the Philippines to get help but no one really agreed to help since the medical technology during that time was not as advanced compared here in the U.S. My sister decided to contact some of our relatives here in the U.S and like a miracle, Raffy got an invitation from CHLA and he’s been getting  facial constructive surgery since.
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 When he was 7-8, it was the first time they operated on drilling a hole in his nose so he could breathe with his nose. Two days after the procedure we took him home. While I tried to take him out of his car seat he blew the blood from his nose to my shoulders, I got shocked at the amount of blood on my shirt and got worried so I checked on him and before I knew it he was already awake, he tapped me on my shoulder and said “Uncle, I can feel the air in my nose) – pointing to his nose with tears flowing from his eyes but with a super wide smile.. It made me cry like a baby, I hugged him and I promised myself that I will forever be thankful for that day and that I will do whatever I can to help him and other kids in need. I really want this movement to be able to raise awareness on helping out kids with any form of a medical condition.”
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I was really touched by Michael’s story, and happy to spread the word about this awesome movement he is starting.  Project Lifescarf.com is an organization that will help raise awareness on how easy it is for us to help children in need of medical attention in different ways. Most of us are so blessed, I can’t even imagine watching one of my children go through something like this.
Side Note: How cool is this packaging?!
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Life Scarf is also joining in for #MAKEMARCHMATTER, and they are holding a really fun event this Saturday in Los Angeles on the Santa Monica Pier from 12:00-5:00 pm. This looks like a super fun event to check out if you’re in the area, and interested in donating towards this awesome cause.
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Thanks so much for listening guys! Now back to normal sewing posts!