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I’ve been using this pick a pocket wallet for a little over a year and still really like it! It might be the last wallet that I need!  I never ended up putting the metal corner pieces on, but it’s holding up fantastically, even without them.  This was my first ChrisW Designs pattern that I made and it was really a great pattern.  Since Chris is in Australia, the pattern is written using cm, but she took the time to also include the inch measurements.  You can also use the pattern pieces, which are included, but I chose to go by measurements.


There are two options to choose from….mine is option one, which includes the extra card pockets on the left.  Option two includes another zipper pocket instead of the 8 extra card pockets.  I carry a lot of cards so the extra card pockets were a must!  Even with all of the pockets, the wallet still easily closes and isn’t too large or bulky.


I used a Kam snap (Amazon affiliate link) to close my wallet.  If you haven’t used Kam snaps, they are super easy to install and use.  They are plastic, so if you are using a slightly fancier fabric, you might want to use a metal closure.


There are SO many pockets in this wallet!  Of course, the 8 card pockets I mentioned before, the other 4 card pockets and one for your ID.  There are two open pockets under the 8 cards AND a zipper pocket, which I use for coins.  Under the side that has the ID pocket there are two more pockets; one on each side.  It definitely lives up to it’s name!


Now that you know a little more about the options of this pattern, let’s chat about the pattern itself.  If you’ve never sewn before, this is not the pattern to start with.  It’s very well written, but not necessarily easy.  I think that if you take your time, it’s doable for about anyone, but a beginner might get frustrated.  Chris has it labeled as intermediate, which I would agree with.  There are a lot of pieces to cut out and sew together as well as some thicker areas to sew through.


The pattern, in general, is fantastically written!  I don’t recall struggling with understanding any of it.  There are pictures that help with any difficult parts, as well as great explanations.  Due to the many pieces, there are a lot of steps, but I expected that and am grateful for the details which make it easier for me to get a successful end product.


I honestly can’t think of anything negative to say about the wallet.  It holds my cards, paper money, and coins, plus a few small extras like a hair tie.  The only negative thing about the actual pattern is that the last step of topstitching was a little difficult, but I’ve had that issue with other patterns because of the many layers used.  You can only eliminate so many layers with a pattern like this.

I’m kind of on a clothing sewing kick, but do want to try more ChrisW Designs pattern in the future.  I have a few other ones, but need to try them out!  Based off of the pick a pocket wallet, I would highly recommend her patterns.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of Amazon so I get compensated for any orders placed through the Amazon links in this post.

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Way back in 2016, I made my sister-in-law this snappy manicure wallet for her birthday.  She almost always brings finger nail polish with her when staying the night somewhere, so I thought it would be the perfect gift.  Now, for our birthdays, we send amazon gift cards with hilarious digital cards, always trying to one up the last one.  (It’s basically my husband and his brother, but my sister-in-law and I still get to be recipients.)  My birthday is next, so I’m a little worried about what is going to be sent.  LOL


Anyway, this was a super fun project to make and especially fun to find coordinating fabric to use.  I took the easy way out and used one line of fabric, but if you have smaller cuts of fabric you might be able to use them up by mixing and matching.  It actually looks harder than it is because of the ruffles, but there is elastic that naturally makes them.


I do recall that the topstitching wasn’t easy because of the thickness of the layers, but if you just take your time and use a topstitch or microtex needle, you will be fine!  My only complaint is that it lays perfectly with nothing in it, but with nail polish, it kind of lays funky.  But, overall, it’s still worth making.  And it’s a free pattern, so you really can’t go wrong.


I was thinking about making one for myself, but haven’t gotten around to it.  Instead, I made myself a wallet, which I’ll put on my list to blog about next.

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Do you ever have problems ordering thread and fabric online because you aren’t sure if you will like the colors?  Or if a specific color thread will truly match the fabric that you want it to?  I did, so I got the swatches for Mara 100 thread, Purpleseamstress solid cotton lycra, as well as Peek A Boo Fabric Shop solid cotton lycra.

Solid Cotton Lycra

I decided to also make it easier for all of you and made a pdf with the matching thread number to the matching solid.  I hope it helps you match your thread to your solids a little better!

Thread Matching

The charts compare Mara 100 thread from Wawak to either the Purpleseamstress or Peek A Boo Fabric Shop solid cotton lycra.

Here is the Purpleseamstress chart

Here is the Peek a Boo chart


Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop so I get compensated for any orders placed through the links in this post.



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Oh man, you guys, it’s been FOREVER!  I promise I’m still sewing, just not blogging.  I decided since my little guy gives me minimal time to do anything that I would sew instead of blog when I have some me time.  So that is what I’ve been doing.

If you follow me on social media, you have probably seen all of the pics I’m going to share.  I have made mainly clothes because I’ve found that they are pretty quick and oh so cute on the kids!  This post is going to be items that I finished in 2015!  Yes, it’s been that long.  (hiding under a blanket)  The pics are also all taken from my cell phone without the best lighting or backgrounds.  So I apologize for that, but maybe they can still inspire you to create!

Here goes (most links are affiliate links)!

2015 Halloween Costumes: Jake and Cubby from Jake and the Neverland Pirates


Lillian was on a Jake kick and wanted to be Jake for Halloween.  So that is what she was!  We decided that Owen would be Cubby, so they could coordinate.  I used this vest pattern as a template, but did make a lot of changes, such as cutting off the front to make Cubby’s vest have a wider opening and add a collar for Jake’s vest.  For the leggings, I used PAB’s Lollipop Leggings pattern.  The red shorts were actually the Castaway Cargos by PAB without the cargo pockets and I added an orange square on the side.


A pic taken with Dad.  This was seriously the only way to keep both of them fairly still to get a pic!  The head pieces were just cotton/lycra from purpleseamstress cut into a strip for Jake’s and a triangle for Cubby’s.  Cubby’s bandana is the same fabric as Jake’s leggings.  The fun thing about the leggings is that Lillian was able to wear them for more than just the costume.  I gave Owen’s to a friend and her daughter has been wearing them.  The white shirts were just t-shirts from the store that I cut to match the cartoon characters.

Holiday Concert Dress/Christmas Dress


This dress is the Very Merry Party Dress by PAB.  The fabric is a silver and black border print from the collection Celebration Glitz by Michael Miller.  It’s gorgeous fabric and perfect for the holidays.  It might be a little harder to find now though.  The sash is ribbon from Hobby Lobby.

I just did a basic version of the dress instead of adding the pintucks.  I felt that the fabric did enough to fancy up the dress.  Don’t be afraid of a dress like this.  It was a pretty easy sew and being able to use quilter’s cotton is an added bonus.  It does have an invisible zipper, but if you’ve followed my blog for very long, you know that I think invisible zippers are easier to install than regular zippers.

Castaway Cargo Pants


These pants are the Castaway Cargos by PAB.  I actually made Lillian a pair as well but with teal accents instead of green.  Lillian’s were way too big so they are still sitting in her drawer.  I didn’t go off of measurements and since these are naturally a wider/baggier pant they just didn’t fit right.


They were so cute on Owen though!  I used a thin corduroy so that they could wear them in the spring as well as the winter.  The accent is a Kona solid quilter’s cotton.  I love the details about these pants.  There is a faux fly and of course the cargo pockets on the side.  I used snaps to close the pockets instead of buttons.  You can choose to make the cargo pockets with pocket extensions or keep them flat.  I chose the extensions so that there would be a little more color peaking out.


Here is a picture of the back which shows off the welt pockets.  I wish I had better pics to share with you because these pants are just too cute.  I used green thread to topstitch to add a little more detail.  This might be one of my favorite things that I have made because of the little details.

Teacher Gifts


For Owen’s daycare teachers I made Noodle-Head’s Open Wide Zipper Pouches.  I then let them choose which one they wanted.  I have made quite a few of these pouches now and they are fantastic!  I still use the large one for my toiletry bag when we travel.  I need to make a few more for myself instead of using the Clinique bags!


For Lillian’s teacher’s holiday gift I also made the open wide zipper pouch, but this time I made “paper” out of solid quilter’s cotton and had Lillian hand sew her teacher’s name onto it.  I then appliqued the whole thing onto the pouch before sewing it together.  I had Lillian first write her name with a FriXion erasable pen and then hand sew over it.  That way she had something to follow and when she was done I could just iron over it and the pen would disappear.


Here is the final project.  I think it turned out so cute.  Not to mention how proud Lillian seemed after finishing.  I would have had her sew the whole thing, but she wasn’t really interested.

Christmas Jammies


I also made the kids some Christmas jammies.  I once again used a PAB pattern….the Alex & Anna winter PJs.  Yes, I love PAB patterns.  I think everything that I have made has turned out and she has so many patterns that work for boys or girls.  I love being able to use one pattern for both kids.


I got the fabric from Euro Girls Boutique (use coupon code sewingnovice for 21% off your order).  Actually, I just received more fabric for this year’s Christmas jammies.  I will use the same pattern because it’s comfy for the kids and a super easy sew.  This pattern is one of the first ones that I made using knit and a serger.


I think the kids looked like little elves in their Christmas jammies.  So cute!  Lillian still wears hers even though it’s not anywhere near Christmas.  Owen would, except he outgrew them.

So I think that wraps up the 2015 projects that I have mobile pics of.  I have a few projects that I actually have good pictures of that I will hopefully share before the end of 2016!  Eeek!  I need to get back into a better blogging routine.  Actually, just a better routine in general.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop and Amazon so I get compensated for any orders placed through the links in this post.

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Did you remember that I have a free pattern for a hooded towel?  Well, I’ve added on to it a few times to make it cuter and wanted to share how I did it.  I’m going to do the tutorial making a monster, and then will randomly share pattern pieces for other options. 


I made the monster hooded towel for Owen because he outgrew the baby hooded towels very quickly.  What is awesome about the ones that I make is that even Lillian can still use them because I use a regular size bath towel.  So really, an adult could probably use them….might be kind of odd though. 


Are you ready to get started?


  • Bath Towel (I really like the Target ones because of how soft they are)
  • Hand Towel for the hood
  • Quilter’s cotton (amount/colors vary depending on what you want your monster to look like)
  • Thread (I use Mara 100 and Maxi-Lock Serger Thread from Wawak (discount code at bottom of post))
  • Heat’n Bond Lite (it has to be lite so you can sew over it)

Prep Your Pieces

Go ahead and download the pattern pieces for the hooded towel and for the monster pieces.  To start out, cut out the towels the same way as directed in the hooded towel post.

Next, iron the Heat’n Bond Lite onto the back of your eye fabrics, following the iron settings on the package.  Then, trace the pattern pieces onto the back of the Heat’n Bond Lite and cut it out.  I like to do it this way because it’s easier than trying to iron on the Heat’n Bond Lite onto the fabric when they are both the same shape and size.  Less room for error this way; plus I don’t get the adhesive on my iron.

Cut out the monster hair and teeth out of quilter’s cotton.  I chose to use a different color for each piece of hair, but you can let your imagination run wild.  You can also do more or less hair pieces and more or less teeth.  It all depends on the look that you are going for.

Sew the Monster Pieces


Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew together the hair pieces with right sides together on one short side and both long sides (the purple fabric).  Next, trim your corners (green fabric). Then, turn right side out (orange fabric) and iron flat (blue fabric).  Repeat with all of your hair pieces.


Now do the same thing with your teeth pieces….sew with right sides together on the two long sides using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Trim your corner, turn right side out, press flat.


Overlock or serge the bottom edge of the front hood piece.  You could also go ahead and sew on the teeth, but I prefer to do that in a later step.

Applique the Eye


You should already have the Heat’n Bond Lite ironed on to each eye piece.  Now you want to iron each eye piece onto the front towel piece.  Start with the largest circle (white) and iron onto the towel piece according to the directions on the package.  Don’t forget to take the backing off first or it won’t stick….I forget at least once every time I’m appliqueing something.

Since each circle (other than the highlight in the eye) is a decent size smaller than the last one, you can go ahead and iron all three on and then sew.  If they overlapped at all, you would want to sew each one and then iron the next one over the top.


Once the three circles are ironed on, go ahead and begin sewing around the edge with the same color thread as the circle that you are sewing.  That way you can’t really see your sewing.  There are different choices for stitches when appliqueing so find what you like and write it down for future reference.  I prefer a blanket stitch, which on my machine is stitch 39 and I widen it to about 2.5.

Once you have the three larger circles appliqued on, iron on your eye highlight and stitch around it. 

Now your eye is complete.

Attach the Teeth and Hair


Now get your teeth pieces and place them with raw edge down and even with the overlocked/serged edge of the hood piece.  Sew along the edge to attach the teeth.


Iron the overlocked/serged edge toward the back of the front towel piece and sew in place.  You are essentially hemming the edge.


When doing this, your teeth should now be facing down and the raw edge should be toward the back.


Put your hair pieces facing down with raw edge against the raw edge of the towel like in the above picture.


Sew in place with less than a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Assemble the Hood


Now pin/clip your two hood towel pieces with right sides together.  The hair pieces should be in the middle of the two towels.


Overlock or serge the two pieces together.


Turn right side out and you can see what your monster looks like.  I prefer to iron what I just sewed, but since the towels are so thick, it doesn’t do a whole lot.

Assemble the Towel


Place the back of the hood to the back of your bath towel.  Be sure to center it on the long edge of your bath towel.  Pin or clip in place and then overlock or serge together.


Iron and then sew down the overlocked/serged edge.  That way it looks better and hopefully won’t rub against your child as much. 


Your monster hooded towel is now done! 


Wawak Review

You probably noticed that I mentioned Wawak above.  They are a company that I have been purchasing from for a few years now.  I started out just buying serger thread and now I buy all of my thread from there.  The Gutermann Mara 100 is great quality and there are so many colors to choose from, that it can actually be difficult to decide on a color!  I did purchase the thread color chart so that it would be easier for me, but have also found that I am picking colors that were in a sample pack of Gutermann thread that I purchased shortly after starting to sew. 

Since first purchasing from them, I have discovered that they have a lot of the notions that I need for sewing.  Which include thread, needles, zippers, elastic, and even things like grommets, which I used for curtains for Owen’s room.  They have the brands that I would purchase anyway, and their prices are fantastic so I haven’t been to Jo-Ann Fabrics in a very long time.  I tend to prefer to buy items online if you haven’t noticed. 

I found out first hand that they have excellent customer service!  I was looking to get some cording for a pair of pants that I wanted to make for Lillian.  I have never purchased cording so I wasn’t really sure what I was looking for.  Anyway, I decided to email them asking the difference between their cotton piping and micro cording.  This was after only ordering from them twice, so I wasn’t a well established customer.  They saw that I was already a customer and emailed me back stating that they had mailed me a small sample of both the piping and the cording.  It was so nice to see the items instead of trying to understand the difference by reading an email. 


Now through the end of the year (12/31/2015), you can use promo code WSN1215 to receive 10% off of one order of $50 or more on

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of Amazon so I get compensated for any orders placed through the links in this post. 

Post Sponsor:  (I received a small compensation in order to share Wawak with you, but all opinions are my own.)