Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dee Dee Pleated Dress Pattern

My new pattern is ready and available on Etsy, soon to be available on YCMT.

Dee Dee Pleated Dress is an easy pattern that has pleats on the front and back and ties on the sides. The ties can be adjusted to make the perfect fit. The tie is sewn on to hold the pleats in place and is a great place for some decorative stitching or a small embroidery design. Add an extra button to the straps to adjust for growth. Included are instructions and patterns for sizes 1 through 6 along with lots of pictures to illustrate every step.

One of the testers, Bani, is from Germany and suggested I add metric measurements to the pattern for European customers. I added the metric to this pattern and will include the conversion in all of my patterns. Eventually I will revise the previous patterns to include metric measurements also. Thank you Bani for such a great suggestion.

Here is Bani's creation for the testing process. She does beautiful embroidery and applique and added it to the front and back ties as well as along the hem as you can see.

My second tester, Coleen, added an apron to the front of her dress. Even though they used the same pattern, you can see how these changes and the different fabric choices make each dress a unique creation.

Thanks to Bani and Coleen for helping me test this pattern. I appreciate all the great comments and suggestions.

Thanks to my adorable models for the cover and to their mom for taking the pictures. Check out her blog, J Chustz Photography.

Tana Tutu Dress - Customer Creation

Here is an adorable customer creation from the Tana Tutu Dress pattern. I love the dark brown constrasting ribbon against that pretty tourquoise/brown check fabric. Thanks Heather for sending me these pictures.

Here is another view from the inside.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Tutu for a 1 year Birthday Celebration

My friend's daughter, A, is having her first birthday party soon. Isn't she adorable. She is one of my youngest models for my pattern covers. She was on Emily and Betsey/Joey Shorts Pattern covers and will be on the cover of my new Dee Dee Pleated Dress Pattern along with her older sister. Her mom is a photographer, J Chustz Photography, and will be taking the cover pictures for the new pattern.

I made the tutu for her to wear for the 1st birthday celebration. Here are a couple of shots her mom took of her to use for the party invitations.

This was my first attempt at making a tutu and I was unsure how much tulle we would need. She purchased 3 yards of each color. I cut strips and overlapped the colors using almost all 6 yards. She wanted it full and full it was. Once she tried it on, she realized that it may be too full because it was getting in her face and would probably be annoying for her party. The next decision is whether we cut it shorter and leave the fullness or remove a couple of layers. Anyway, we have a couple of weeks to decide but either way, as cute as she is, she will look adorable no matter what, don't you think?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Amazon gift card from Mamma Roar's Giveaway

Mama Roar had a giveaway recently in celebration of her 400th post and her birthday. I was the lucky winner of a $30 Gift cArd from I used my gift card to purchase these items.

1. A dome Simplified Monthly Bookkeeping Record Book. I used this system many years ago for a business I had and am considering using it to keep up with my pattern making business.

2. The Altar and the Door CD by Casting Crowns. I love this group. I had their Lifesong CD (My favorite songs from this one are Praise You In This Storm and Does Anybody Hear Her). I've been wanting their new CD mainly because of the song East to West but have really enjoyed all of the songs on the cd.

3. The Shack by William P. Young. Leigh Ann at Mamma Roar recommended it and since I love to read decided to give it a try. WOW. What a great book. Although it is a fiction book, it presents God in a very interesting way. I would recommend it to everyone but particularly those who have had something devastating happen to them that caused them to questions God's power. There's a website setup about it with a forum for discussion.

Here is a summary of the book from the back cover:

"Mackenzie Allen Philips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend.

Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever.

In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant The Shack wrestles with the timeless question, "Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?" The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You'll want everone you know to read this book!"

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Eco Friendly Grocery Bag - Free Tutorial

Those plastic grocery bags we get at the grocery store and other stores along with garbage bags, ziploc bags etc have many bad effects to the environment. They release toxins into the ground water from landfill sites, they take hundreds of years to break down, they get into the food chain through animals that ingest small plastic particles and kill thousands of marine animals each year. Some countries have banned their use.

One solution to this problem is to make our own reusable bags. Bring them with you when you go shopping to use instead of the plastic. They are easy and cheap to make and can be washed if needed.

I recommend using a heavier fabric such as denim or canvas. Here is a tutorial for making your own reusable grocery bag. I made this one large but you can make different sizes.

For this bag you will need the following:
1 rectangle of fabric - 18" X 36"
2 rectangles of fabric - 4" X 12" for handles.

With right sides together, fold the fabric in half. The fold will be the bottom of the bag.
Stitch the side seams. Either zig zag edges or serge if you have a serger.

Fold the ends of the handles in until they meet in the middle.
Do this for both pieces and press.

Fold the pieces in half again and press.

Stitch a seam along the folded edge about 1/8" from the fold.

Stitch another seam along the folded edge 1/8" from the fold.

Zig zag all four ends.
Fold bottom corners to form a triangle as shown.
Stitch a seam about 2 1/2" from the point across the triangle.
Trim excess fabric

Zig zag or serge the edges.

Turn inside out. Sewing the triangles formed the bottom of the bag.

Fold over 3/4" and then again 3/4" along the top edge of the bag and pin.

Place one end of the handles about 4 1/2" from the side seam.
Place the other end of the handle about 4 1/2" from the other side seam as shown.
Stitch a seam along the edge about 1/8" form the fold. Stitch over the handles a couple of times to secure.

Stitch another seam along the top edge of the bag about 1/8" from the edge. Stitch over the straps.
Here is what it will look like.
Your done! These are so fast and easy, you can make several in different sizes.

Fill them with your groceries instead of using the plastic bags.
By using these reusable bags instead of plastic, you can make a huge difference to the pollution problem. Statistics say that each person uses about 83 bags a year. For a family of four, that is 332 bags less every year that will be used.
If you would like this in pdf format, send me an email address and I will forward it to you. You can leave it in the comments section or email me:

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dee Dee - New Dress Pattern Coming Soon

My new pattern will be ready for testing in the next couple of days. This one will be named Dee Dee, after my mom. It has pleats in the front and back and will be in sizes 1 through 6. Like my other patterns, it will be easy to make and very versatile. The ties and/or straps can be in a different fabric for contrast. Embroidery or a decorative stitch can be added to the front of the tie for an extra touch. The ties on the sides can be loosened or tightened to make the perfect fit.

Here is what it looks like.

If you already have one of my patterns, you can get this one for 1/2 price when available. The only thing you have to do is send me a picture of something you made with one of my patterns to feature on my blog and submit it to the I Made This Section of the YCMT website. Just let me know when you send the picture that you would like Dee Dee at half price when available.


My patterns will be listed with a site called Banberry Place. They sell European Fabric, patterns, epatterns, embroidery and notions. Currently only the Annette Pattern is available on the site but the others will be soon. Check it out!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

And the Winner is.....

I printed the comments, cut them out and folded them and picked three winners for a one of my patterns from my blog giveaway post. The three names I picked were:

MorningSong said...
Congrats Nanette!You and Aimee are both truly gifted! I cannot imagine how either of you create a pattern! That is definitely a gift!I have fabric for a few patterns of yours - but we've been so busy and I have had to sew things for people that were not expected so my want to sew list has been pushed to the side!I would love to win the sunny wrap dress - it looks precious!Blessings and Congrats!

Anonymous said...
Congratulations Nanette!I've just recently discovered your blog and love all your designs (especially the Sunny Wrap Dress). I'm always impressed with other people's creativity since I'm not creative at all. I'm better at copying things than coming up with my own ideas.Bless you, and may you have many more years to come so I can continue adding your patterns to my "To Sew" list =)From a hopeless fabric addict in Australia.

Uniquely Yours said...
This is great, unfortunately my daughter is in a size 5 now so I would opt for your Matching Mommy and Me Totes. However, I love your patterns.

For Uniquely Yours, the totes were not part of the giveway but I have a new pattern coming out soon that will be up to size 6 and would be happy to send you that one when complete.

Thanks to all of you for the kind words and comments. I have been blessed with the opportunity to meet so many awesome people through the internet.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I won and was nominated for a blog award - Yea!!!

I've had two great things happen recently.

I won Leigh Ann's giveaway of Momma Roar. I met Leigh Ann via internet and email from my friend Aimee at Sew Sensible and she tested one of my patterns. Her giveaway was to celebrate her birthday and 400th post and she had several great items to choose from. I chose the Amazon gift card. Thanks Leigh Ann.

I was nominated by Kati and Bani for the Brilliance Award 2008. I am very honored. Their blogs are in German but their is a link that translates to English. The translation isn't the best but you get the idea. Kati has tested a couple of my patterns and Bani will be testing my next one. Here is a link to the blog they share. Thanks so much Kati and Bani. I have enjoyed our "internet friendship".

Each of the following Blogs is brilliant - premium - our first choice!

Rules for this award:The award winner may put the award logo in his blog and puts a hyperlink to the person he got the award from.Then he or she nominates 7 other blogs to win this award and puts hyperlinks to these Blogs in the award posting.Now he just has to leave messages on the nominated Blogs to tell them they got the award.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Emily & Tana Dresses Customer Creations

I just got this great picture of the Tana Tutu Dress from a customer in Germany. The embroidery looks great and I love the way it is presented with the name of the dress and her name. It was made with love for a special little's girl's birthday. Thanks Bani for sharing this picture of your Tana Tutu Dress.

This is another great look from a mom who is the mother of two boys but loves making girly things. Here is what she made from the Emily Dress pattern. What a cute idea using camo and hunter's orange. Thanks Heather for sending these pictures.

Heather recently ordered Karen and Tana patterns. Here is what she said:

"I can not wait to recieve the karens capri and halter and the tutu dress. I love all your work. You have amazing items and your patterns are so easy to follow. I have sent you one of the emily dresses I have made. I hope to one day have even half the talent you have. Thanks again for your patterns can't wait to make more works of art!!!"

Don't forget to comment on my previous post to help me celebrate 1 year with YCMT and a chance to win one of my patterns.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Karen Capri Set Customer Creation

Look at this beautiful little girl in her new outfit that her grandmother made her from the Karen Capri Set Pattern. Not only did she make the outfit, she made a matching bow and shoes with squeakers.
Here is what she said:

"I was so thrilled about the way your Karen Capri Halter Set turned out for our 3 yr. old granddaughter, that I decided to try and size one for our baby granddaughter! This one is a 6 months size made with the same fabric. . . your pattern is soooo easy to understand that I can easily make one in an evening. I've got enough of this fabric to make our middle granddaughter a set and I know she'll love it, too........ I'm not too sure about their older brother liking his, though ..... LOL....... btw, I made Mikah matching shoes with squeakers in the toes. Thanks so much for all this fun! "

Here is the post that has the one she made for her 3 year old granddaughter.

Don't forget to comment on my previous post to help me celebrate 1 year with YCMT and a chance to win one of my patterns.

Monday, July 7, 2008

One Year Anniversary with YCMT and a Giveaway

This month I will celebrate one year since my first pattern - Annette Reversible Sundress - was released with YCMT. Now I have 7 patterns available on YCMT, soon to be 8, with the release of Sunny Wrap Dress. This has been such a great venture for me. I have gained knowledge, experience and many new internet friends.
Aimee from Sew Sensible recently posted about starting a home based business. I thought I would add to it by talking about how we got started. It all started with a group of ladies that met at my house regularly to sew. It was a combination of sewing class, sewing time and fellowship. We encouraged and inspired each other. We occasionally meet now, just not as regularly as we used to.

From these "sewing nights", the epattern business for both Sew Sensible and Nanoo Designs was started. Aimee found YCMT website and told me about it. At first, we would send each other copies of the patterns and instructions to get each other’s critiques and opinions as well as encouragement. Now that we have a format established, we use our customers to test the patterns but still encourage each other. Aimee is a stay at home mom of eight children and leader of an Adoption ministry at Healing Place Church and I work full time as an Accounting Manager. My three children are adults – two daughters 29 and 25 years old and a son who is 22 years old. Many years ago I owned and operated a children’s clothing store and co-owened and operated a plant nursery. I have been sewing for 30+ years and have always loved making and designing children’s clothing. Through the years I have sold some sewn items but since starting the epattern business, I mainly sew to give as gifts and to test my patterns.

Sites like Etsy and YCMT have provided me with an opportunity to start this business without having to deal with setting up a website and other computer stuff that I'm not very knowledgeble about. There may be a website in the future, but for now I'm content with Etsy and YCMT. Besides providing extra income, which is always great, especially with the rising costs of everything, there are so many other blessings this business has provided me with. It satisfies my creative side– not only the pattern making, but picture taking, designing the cover and writing the instructions. To be able to purchase the pattern and have it sent via email or downloaded in very little time is such a great way to reach the world. I have corresponded with customers from many states in the US as well as many other countries. One of the best parts is seeing what customers create from the patterns. Their own unique choices and added touches are an inspiration. Seeing something that started with an idea become an outfit is awesome. Since the patterns are easy and fun to make, it is exciting to see beginning sewers making clothing for their children. I am so grateful and humbled for this blessing and can't wait to see what the future holds.

I've recently changed my copyright policy to allow for selling of items made from my patterns by independent seamstresses to give someone else an opportunity to start a home based business.

If you already have a Nanoo Designs pattern, I would love to see pictures of what you create with them and feature them on my blog. If you have any questions about my patterns, business or would like to send me pictures of what you made with my patterns, email me at:

To celebrate one year, I will give a Nanoo Designs pattern of your choice to 3 people who comment on this post. Just make sure you tell me which pattern you want and an email address to contact you and send the pdf file. The giveaway will end on Friday July 18th.

The Sunny Pattern is now available on YCMT

Show off your projects and inspire others. Post pictures of what you make on the "I Made This" Section of YCMT.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Independence Day Celebration

We decided to have some good Cajun boiled crabs for our 4th of July celebration. We added some mushrooms, potatoes, corn and sausage to the pot for a little extra. Here are the before and after pictures.

It was a little warm outside but we managed to find enough shade to enjoy the food, the company and the celebration.
God Bless America!!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Karen Capri Set Customer Creation

Here is a customer creation by a grandmother for her granddaughter using the Karen Capri Set pattern(available on Etsy and YCMT). It is so bright and colorful. The piping above the ruffle really adds to the look.
Here is what she said:
"I just finished the outfit and I love it...... Your clear instructions made it sooooo easy! "

Thanks Beth for sharing these pictures of your adorable outfit.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Latest Sewing Project

Here is my latest sewing project. It's a gift for a long time friend who is having her first granddaughter in September. The original pattern included a collar but I chose to leave it off. I liked the look without the collar and I find sometimes collars can get in the way on an infant.

This is the pattern I used. It also includes a bubble version for boys and girls in 6, 12, 18 and 24 months.

Everything I've sewn lately has been for my epatterns so this was a nice break from that process. I really enjoy the fast and simple sewing projects for instant gratification but sometimes I like sewing something more involved.

I seem to have pleats in my head lately with the Emily Pattern (see Etsy and YCMT) and this smocked one. I have some other ideas for epatterns which include pleats that I am considering working on next. When I design epatterns, I am usually inspired by something I see then I have to have a picture of it in my head before beginning. Once I have a visual idea of what I want it to look like, I try testing it with some fabric. Sometimes it looks like I pictured it and sometimes it doesn't. It's great when it works. Then I can move on to drawing and writing the instructions. If it doesn't, then it's back to the drawing board. The entire process is enjoyable for me and so very satisfying when the finished product is complete, especially seeing what customers make.

Changed Copyright Policy

I've gotten a couple of emails from customers asking if they can make some of my patterns to sell. If you would like to make them for your own profit or for selling for charities, feel free to do so. I have changed my copyright policy to include the permission to sell items made from my patterns by independent seamstresses. See below.

Copyright: The pattern and information in this eBook are for personal, at-home use only. Please do not share or distribute any portion of this eBook with others. Any reproduction of this book, instructions, photos, and/or any of its contents in any form is strictly prohibited and protected by U.S. and International Copyright laws. Individual garments made using this pattern may be sold by independent seamstresses. Not for mass production.