Better Late Than Never

Christmas morning, 1988. My step-dad surprised our family with matching jammies he had sewn himself. Long after their divorce, I regretted not learning how to sew myself, for the memory of his gesture has never left my mind.

At 15, I left for an all-girls boarding school where one might assume I would have learned the home economics trade, but alas, it was solely academically focused and the opportunity continued to evade me.

Fast-forward through college and my first career as a teacher, beyond my wedding and the birth of my four daughters and as much as I wanted to, I still had not learned how to sew.

It took the interest of my eldest daughter to force my hand. First, she attended workshops, then week-long camps and finally, we attended a mother-daughter class together. For her 8th birthday she received a sewing machine, table, fabric and patterns but she still needs assistance and on my limited knowledge I have felt unqualified to help her.

Her sister’s 7th birthday is this fall and as a budding artist, we are having a painting party: cue, the need for a home-sewn art smock.

I searched the internet high and low until I came across the most perfect little art smock that you ever did see, INCLUDING a free pattern. You can find it here:

My eldest and I ventured on to Joann Fabrics to explore fabric options. Her first time there, she was like a kid in a candy shop!

Spontaneously, we decided to visit my mother-in-law the following weekend. She is a master seamstress, capable of anything from zipper and cushion repairs to quilts and curtains. After mentioning our project in passing, she offered to help. Why hadn’t I thought of this before??

Within hours we had cut the pattern and started to sew.

Our design was reversible with pockets on either side and after much finagling we tried it on our 4 year-old model and here she is!

Better late than never, right?

Life is never too far gone to try something new and I. am. living. proof.

Better late than never.


DIY Dollhouse

Home with four kids for the last 100 days, we are running thin on creative ideas to keep them entertained. Toilet paper rolls to the rescue!

Maybe it’s the elementary school teacher in me or perhaps it’s the prospect of homeschooling this upcoming school year but I can’t seem to bring myself to throw away a paper towel or toilet paper roll, much less a tissue box or cereal box- they are free craft materials, after all!

I present to you, a DIY Dollhouse crafted by my three big girls and their very patient babysitter.

Not only did they create a two story house out of our Kiwi Crate Boxes but they also created furniture out of popsicle sticks and pipe cleaners from the Dollar Tree! If you look closely, you’ll see bunk beds, a couch and even a rug. We ordered the Peg Dolls from Amazon- honestly, they play with those dolls more than any other plastic we have in the house.

After years of failing to keep the craft materials in order, I finally broke down and purchased a Craft Cabinet. It holds everything from googly eyes, buttons and pom-poms to tape, glue and beads. I haven’t gotten around to labeling it yet- one day at a time….for now, it gets the job done and has definitely inspired the girls to craft more often :). I call that a win!

Now the question is. . . how long will this sucker last before it finds its way to the recycling bin? A great excuse to make a new one! Happy Crafting!

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