Looking Back, Looking Forward: 2011 Recap and 2012 Goals

I don’t know about you, but I don’t really have time to do the processing and planning that the New Year encourages until Christmas is all the way over. On Sunday, we celebrated the feast of the Epiphany. Yesterday, I put away (most of) our decorations. Today, my new 2012 planner arrived in the mail. Finally, I am ready to look back on 2011 and start planning 2012.  [Read more...]

Balancing Acts

Foxhole Parenting. The Tunnel of Parenthood. I am told the first few years of parenthood, whatever you call them, are the hardest. All of your children are little, their physical needs great, and none of them are old enough to be a big help. Not that young children can’t be helpful at all.  They can and should be helpful in small ways.  But now that both my 5-year-old son and husband have added “student” to their job descriptions, I am finding myself feeling stretched too thin.  [Read more...]

Pajama Eaters – Downloadable Pattern

There are few new additions to our household.

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Mini Smock Apron – Tutorial Modifications

(Pssst… Have you voted yet today?)

I made Gianna her first apron when she was just a little over a year old, and she has complained of it not fitting for a while now. I finally got around to making her a new one based off the “Best Worn Barefoot” smock apron.

I have decided to take a baby-related hiatus from posting a new pattern/tutorial this month, but I thought I would share with you these apron modifications. Gianna is 3 and half years old, has a 21″ chest, and wears size 4T. I think this should fit a girl ranging in size from 2T – 5T.

Use this cut list below instead of the one given in the tutorial.  You will need less than a yard each of the skirt fabric and the accent fabric and the optional buttons for the straps.

  • Bodice/Bodice Lining (bodice fabric) – 2 pieces: 4″ x 19″
  • Ties (bodice fabric) – 4 pieces: 4″ x 27″
  • Pockets (bodice fabric) – 2 pieces: 5″ x 10″
  • Skirt (skirt fabric) – 1 piece: 18″ x 32″
  • Straps (skirt fabric) – 2 pieces: 3″ x 11″
Then, follow the directions as given except for the following.
  • Skirt hem – It has a 2″ hem instead of a 5″ hem. (steps 12 & 13)
  • Pocket placement – Position pockets 4 inches above bottom hem and 6 inches from the side. (step 20)
  • Strap placement – The straps are offset 2 inches from the center of the bodice. (step 32)

I hope you are enjoying good food and lovely weather!

“Flat Stack” Tissue Holder – The Tutorial


That has been the most common phrase spoken by my children since my eldest son entered preschool last fall.  It has been a looooong loooong cold and flu season in the Bonjour household. Noses don’t stop dripping when we leave the house (if we leave the house) and I have taken to carrying large wads of tissues in my diaper bag and purse.  I was having trouble determining “clean” from “used” because the new tissues were getting rumpled up in the bag. (yuck!)  That’s when I came up with this little gadget.

It holds a stack of standard sized tissues and keeps them tidy in your bag. More importantly, because it uses some fancy schmancy ultra-firm stabilizer, it also neatly dispenses the tissues like a regular tissue box. neato, eh?

I would say that this is a beginner level sewing project and it is a nice introduction to using interfacing and stabilizer. More details on all that below.

Download the Tutorial

Sample Page

“Flat Stack” Tissue Holder Tutorial (5 pages – 13 MB)

As of now, I am giving away this tutorial for FREE. In return, would you do a few things for me?

  • Please let me know if you have any suggestions for this project or any others! My email is sewfearless [at] gmail [dot] com or @sewfearless on twitter.
  • Could you send me a picture of your finished project? I would love to see how yours turns out, and I may even post your pictures to my blog.
  • I am asking that this tutorial not be used for commercial purposes (do not make items for sale). If you would like to ask me more about this, send me an email.


This project requires both fusible interfacing and ultra-firm sew-in stabilizer. The sew-in stabilizer is a MUST. The tissue holder won’t be a help without it.  I used Pellon #70 Peltex.  If you really don’t want to use it, you can try using multiple layers of heavy-weight interfacing instead. The fusible interfacing I used was Pellon SF-101 woven intefacing.  It was what I had on a hand but any heavier-weight fusible interfacing should do.  If you would like to learn more about the various types of interfacings or interlinings, check out this article (and the ones linked from it) on Interfacing & Interlining De-mystified. If you are still overwhelmed, go to your local fabric store and ask the nice ladies at the cutting counter to show you around their interfacing display.

Other materials needed:

  • Fabric for the outside and lining.  Check your scrap stash first, but if you need to buy it new all you need is a fat quarter.
  • Thread
  • The usual sewing implements – pins, scissors, straight edge, measuring tape, a sewing machine, etc…

Bless you!