rainbow loom road trip case

recently i got to pattern test my friend Anna’s newest offering, the Road Trip Case!  I decided to make the “Rainbow Loom” version for Em.

rainbow loom road trip case

rainbow loom road trip case

Em got a Rainbow Loom (affiliate link) from her aunt and uncle for Christmas, and immediately became obsessed.  i helped her look up how-to videos on YouTube, we found this one, and she’d just play it on repeat while fishtail looming to her heart’s content.

rainbow loom road trip case

it was actually kind of amazing how quickly she picked up on it – i wasn’t sure if she’d be too young, but she seemed to have zero trouble.  like i’d leave the room, come back, and she’d have a bracelet “cast on” and well on its way.  crafting must be in her blood.  😉

rainbow loom road trip case

and of course, when a new hobby is started, there’s all sorts of new gear and a storage solution becomes necessary.  that’s where the Road Trip Case comes in.

rainbow loom road trip case

this was such a fun pattern to pick fabrics for!  i went sort of “modern granny floral mashup” with it, mixing a fat quarter from heather ross’ briar rose (i got it at Bolt, you can get it here) with some pink kona solid, a vintage sheet from my stash, and some awesome purple floral bias tape that Jess gave me.  it was a project for Em and only for her, so i just went with what i thought would make her happy.

rainbow loom road trip case

the pattern instructs you to make a see-through vinyl pocket.  i’d never sewn with vinyl before but it was super fun, not painful (just use scotch tape on your presser foot/the strike plate if it’s sticking), and the result is so cool.  the zipper was pretty much the easiest zipper i’ve ever inserted, too.

rainbow loom road trip case

there is an elastic loop for your hook, elasticized pockets for you loom(s), and the pattern includes an alternate option for flap pockets to use for more general art/craft supplies.  i love the one Anna adapted to make into a travel sewing case – if it’s ever in the cards for me to go to one of those awesome sewing retreats that keeps popping up, you know i’ll be making a case for it!

rainbow loom road trip case

i really enjoy small quilting projects like this – not sure if you can see it too well, but the case is quilted together and it gives it such a nice sturdiness and structure (much like my hospital bag, also a Noodlehead pattern).  the pattern itself is great, too – Anna is great at listening to testers and an advanced beginner could  definitely tackle it.  it’s fun to bring all the components together for such a utilitarian (and cute!) case.

rainbow loom road trip case

and of course it folds up all tidy too (i poached a few of Em’s mini elastic hair bands).

rainbow loom road trip case


get your Road Trip Case pattern over at Noodlehead and thanks for letting me test it for ya, Anna!

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P.S.  Em’s star star dress is blogged HERE, and her hair is in braids because these photos happened to be taken the same day as THIS post!  

tiny sketchbooks


i spotted this super cute mini sketchbook project here and knew i had to make some right away!  i actually made them a couple weeks ago but sometimes it takes me a while to blog about things (hehe).


i’m pretty sure the key to a successful trip to a restaurant with kids is having fun art materials to keep them entertained before dinner comes.  we were heading out to dinner with my inlaws, including 5 kids under 8 years old (our two plus three nephews), so i whipped up these little sketchbooks for each to claim as their own.  the covers are cardstock in fun colors, and the insides are resume paper that we’ve had laying around the house since our college days.  i cut them all with an x-acto knife and a straight edge on my self-healing mat.  before sewing up each spine, i added a strip of washi tape for a little extra pop.


rubyellen made all of her books teeny tiny, which are very cute.  i made two of the books that small (about 2″ square), but also made some twice that size.  my thought was that the oldest boys would like the smallest books, the 3 year olds would like the bigger books, and the baby would like whatever we put in front of him.  i was right!  that’s exactly what happened.  the oldest boys (almost 8 and 6) had the most fun with the books, filling them with ninjas and angry birds, comic book style.  Em and S colored in various pages with markers.  she has a very on-trend love of colorblocking right now.


i think kids love things that are just their size and specially made for THEM, you know?  and these are great because they slip nicely into a mama’s purse to continue coloring the next time you’re out and about with boredom to bust.  big thumbs up to little sketchbooks!  try ’em, you’ll like ’em!


PR&P week 6: old, new, borrowed & PURPLE

here we go again, i’m back one more time with my “signature” look for project run & play season 3! the look evolved from a beachy dress to what is actually a mini wedding dress! i know i know, special occasion week was week 5. but my little gal had a large hand in how this look turned out.

my sister had the great idea to go to the beach for photos if i made it through to the finale as a unique photoshoot idea, so i first designed an ombré dip dyed easy breezy beach dress in bright green to allude to the verdant pacific northwest, in my casual but feminine style, etc. see?

but after i was eliminated…i really didn’t want to buy any more fabric or supplies! i only had fuchsia and navy dye on hand and my largest piece of solid fabric was a super soft old white bedsheet. so i mixed the dyes in a big tub and dip dyed the bedsheet to make this little dress. it turned out a lovely shade of purple!

purple is Em’s second favorite color (she is adamant about her favorite colors and wishes all of her clothing was either pink or purple). it’s got a full circle skirt for twirling, and it’s comfortable and soft. i didn’t plan on making a “fancy dress,” per se, but when i tried it on her she immediately danced and exclaimed “IT’S MY WEDDING DRESS!!”

it actually took me a little while to remember that she has always told us that “when she gets bigger” she wants to wear a purple wedding dress and marry her best buddy, N, who she has known since she was 3 months old. once it dawned on me that i had inadvertently designed the wedding dress of her dreams, i decided to go with the “colorful wedding” theme full tilt.

as the saying goes, she is wearing something old (the bedsheet and a piece of lace my grandma left me in a box of notions when she passed), something new (the plaid sash is an H&M scarf that reminds Em of “elmer the patchwork elephant” and i made her a ring out of a sparkly pink button and a gold pipe cleaner), something borrowed (the necklace my husband gave me on our wedding day which she was beyond thrilled to wear), and something blue…er purple (the dress!). actually, there is blue ribbon on her felt flower bouquet, so it’s all good. 🙂

i had way too much fun making her bouquet out of felt, floral wire, ribbon, and hot glue. i think using saturated colors is another part of my signature style, so i enjoyed incorporating lots of color here. i also made her a felt rose hairpiece (we live in the rose city, and i wanted my look to reference portland somehow).

the dress itself has a gathered rectangle bodice encased by a hand-dyed purple band at the top, flutter sleeves sandwiched between purple shoulder straps (i stitched 1/8″ from the edges but will let them fray a bit), encased elastic at the back for comfort and ease of wear, and a long, full circle skirt which i dip dyed for a gradient look, a technique i’d been wanting to try forever. i thought a maxi-dress on a three year old would be pretty rad, and i believe i was right. it’s so dramatic!

so another funny thing is that my plan was to take photos just in her bedroom, sort of ho hum but whatever, this is just for fun, right? i wasn’t making the trek to the unpredictable oregon coast at this time of year unless there were potential prizes involved. 😉 but then a friend suggested that i take the photos in front of the red doors of a church nearby. as soon as she mentioned it, i knew i had to do it. nevermind the fact that it wasn’t nearly warm enough outside for this dress…Em was a trooper and we made it quick, with a cozy sweater waiting in the wings. i love the purple dress with that beautiful red door. i think the plaid sash adds some great color too, and i dressed her in stripey tights because i like to play a bit with my styling and wanted to keep it fun, you know?

oh, and does it twirl? you betcha.

so there it is, my final look for project run & play season 3! thanks for encouraging me to make it! i felt freer to try new things (the dye and maxi-length) and also include some elements i might have avoided if i was designing it for a competition (plaid and circle skirts for the third time), so that was nice.

i don’t feel right entering this dress into the sewalong competition since i was an “official” contestant and i don’t quite have the stomach for more public voting/judging at the moment, but i will encourage you to head over to project run & play to vote this weekend for your favorite “signature look” from the flickr pool! as always, i’m so excited to see what everyone has made! being inspired by everyone’s creativity is probably my favorite part of all of this.

and one last time…

gold hearts and the finale

first of all, you guys are amazing.  your comments on my last post were just so nice, so wonderful, so supportive, and they pulled me right out of my funk.  thank you all SO much.  i heart you!

second of all, did you know the project run & play finale is up TODAY?  it is!  those three gals have put in a ton of work, countless hours planning and sewing (since november!), and have given this competition every ounce of their energy and creativity.  they are most likely completely exhausted, totally nervous, and in need of some love.  believe me, i know.  SO.  as a way to show them some support, would you do something for me?  go to project run & play and vote for your favorite designer this season?  leave a sweet comment over there if you like!  and then, if you want to be super awesome and you’re on pinterest, go ahead and take a second to pin your favorite designer’s look.  i got so excited every time i saw a pin pop up with my design on it and especially when i saw it getting some repins, so it’s a nice way to spread the word and maybe get your gal some extra votes in what is sure to be a hard-fought finish.

third of all, a number of you asked in the comments to see my PR&P signature look.  because i was sewing right up to the last minute for my party look, i wasn’t going to start my signature unless the voting was going well for me last weekend.  it didn’t, so i didn’t.  HOWEVER, since you were so awesome in bringing me back to happy and since the deadline for the home sewalong was extended, i’m going to do it!  i’m planning to sew to the same dealine as the sewalong people and will put it in the PR&P flickr pool by next thursday the 16th, though i won’t enter it for prizes.  i just want to join the rest of you guys who have been diligently sewing right alongside us the whole way, which has honestly been so cool to see.  i’d love to see some of your signature looks too, so throw ’em in there!  make something you love!  sew from your heart.  it’s the best.

and finally, i put a heart on it.  just like everybody else these days.  freezer paper stencil sparkly gold elbow patches on a store-bought t-shirt.  easy peasy and super festive!  aren’t they cuuuute?

twirly tula skirt post here.

alright, time to keep spreading the love!  vote here, then pin!  go!  🙂

japanese tea party: the outtakes

i was realizing that in my sleep-deprived state leading up my japanese tea party post, i neglected to include as many of the photos from our super fun photoshoot as i wanted to.  everyone cool with a few more?  hope so!

(voting over at project run & play is open until sunday evening, by the way, and remember it’s a double-elimination round! – vote here – **Voting is now closed.**)

the indoor photos:

i hung pom poms from my kids’ rooms (i originally made them for Em’s first birthday party) and the pink bunting banner that i made for race for the cure last fall.  i wanted the background of the photos to be light and soft, to complement the petal top and tutu skirt.

gail provided the felt tea party goodies.  Em provided the elephants.

there was also some book-reading, of course (it is a reading nook, after all!)

the nook has the most amazing light even in poor weather, which is why i asked if we could take pictures there.  turns out we got a beautifully sunny day (almost TOO sunny at times, once we got outside)!

i was sure to take advantage of the light to get a few detail shots of the kimono coat and that blind-stitched binding that i’m so proud of, and a big reason behind my late sewing night…

the outdoor photos:

after i got the photos i needed inside, we went outside to “feed the chickens.”  well…that was what got Em outside so i could take my kimono jacket photos!  Em loves feeding the chickens (yes, people keep chickens in their backyards here…it’s actually a pretty common occurrence!).

more jacket photos here.  to Em’s delight, she and lila then got to feed the chickens (see how versatile this party outfit is?  it’s great for tea parties AND farmwork!).

while gail, wearing her lovely wiksten tova top that she made, held O for me so i could snap snap snap away.

all in all, it was my favorite photoshoot of the competition so far – great friends, great setting, great pictures.  i hope to return the favor someday, though my house isn’t nearly as cool!

have you made it over to project run & play to vote yet?  mine is the first entry you see this week so it’s pretty easy to find (though it is not first in the votes at the moment!).  VOTE HERE through sunday evening!  thanks for indulging my photo bombardment!  i just couldn’t not post them.  🙂

**Voting is now closed.**