Wife, Chicken Mommy, eBay Seller and Walking DIY Disaster

Category Archives: Creativity

I like to read and I like to sew. Some of my favorite books are sewing books, especially vintage ones. So when I saw that Amy Barickman used themes from one of her favorite sewing influences, Mary Brooks Picken,  in her new book The Magic Pattern Book, I was intrigued.


Part of the reason I love old sewing books is the wealth of knowledge they contain. For some, flipping through an old book is torture. For me it’s another piece of history to absorb and identify with. The Magic Pattern Book takes the enthusiasm of my favorite vintage sewing books and combines modern looks and updated tools.


Hunting for patterns that extend to my size (BIG) that also flatter my shape (lots of curves, some in the wrong places) is often so frustrating that I end up trying to make my own pattern. While I have access to the tools to draft my own patterns, I’m also impatient. Sometimes a girl just wants to find a pattern that doesn’t require much tweaking. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that Amy Barickman’s latest offering includes measurements up to XXL. Be still my heart!

While my love for all things vintage is vast, it always nice to have my modern conveniences. I love the CD included with the book for printing pattern pieces. What’s especially great is that I can isolate the size I need without having to ruin pattern pieces of other sizes. This is definitely an improvement over the tissue patterns of the past. It’s much harder for me to destroy a printed page than tissue paper, that’s for sure.


Here’s the part where I admit defeat: I didn’t sew anything from the book yet. A long scheduled vacation took me out of town in the days between receiving my copy of the book and a post-vacation case of the creeping crud has knocked me flat. However, I have read and enjoyed the upbeat and encouraging tone throughout the book.

I absolutely love the fabric swatch ideas posted for each pattern! Sometimes having an extra idea or two can bring me out of a rut. A fabric I may never have considered (a thrifted wool blanket as material for a coat!) took my imagination places it could not have gone on its own. Thrifting is one of my biggest hobbies, so seeing suggestions for upcycling fabric won me over completely.


I really think The Magic Pattern Book is a must have. Each time I go back to a section, I find something I didn’t notice before. The language is easy to understand, the tips and tools explanations are a great refresher for even experienced sewists, and the patterns themselves are classic styles that are easily manipulated for individuality.

Check out the rest of blog tour (links below) and don’t forget to enter to win your very own copy!


October 6            AMYBARICKMAN.COM
October 7            WINDY LOU

October 8            MELLY SEWS

October 9            CRAFT GOSSIP

October 10          SEW MAMA SEW

October 13          ADVENTURES OF A DIY MOM

October 14          LILACS & LACE

October 15          FOUR SQUARE WALLS

October 16          PINK CHALK STUDIO


October 20          CUT OUT & KEEP

October 21          HE SOWED, SHE SEWED

October 22          CHIC STEALS

October 23          THREADS

October 24          INDYGO JUNCTION



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Thanks for entering! The winner has been contacted.

This is an sponsored post. I was provided a copy of The Magic Pattern Book to review and keep. All opinions and photographs and mistakes are my own. 

Photographs include fabric by Cotton & Steel, Creative Grids rulers and  Flatter by Soak

We went on a long baseball tournament. I sewed a lot of hexagons. BY HAND!



It’s summer y’all. That means I’d rather be outside playing in the garden, running around just to be outside or otherwise occupied. That makes me a shittier than normal blogger!

But look! Pictures! of cats! and kids!

I went to Memphis. There were kittens.



There were nieces! and Monkey! The museum wore us out. It also was apparently not exciting enough.


IMG_2793We found the bees at the zoo


We took the requisite posed pictures at the weird holes in the walls at the zoo. Mostly though, we just played with kittens. How could we not?



I haven’t been feeling very blogilicious lately. Something about warmer weather, traveling for baseball every $*%&^)@#$%^ weekend and instagram. It’s so easy to pop up photos for instant gratification that my instagram account has just about taken over. Here are a few of my recent faves.






Better yet, just come see the photos as I post them. My feed is chock full of kitties, flowers and FABRIC. The sewing bug got hold of me again, so I’m back to it, and trying my hand at quilting! Find me on Instagram as wwwindylou

I’ve been hanging on to this SpareOne emergency phone trying to figure out how to review a product that I hope I never have to use. This week with all the tragedy surrounding the Oklahoma tornado damage is a great time to think about emergency preparedness. I grew up in a household that planned for emergencies. We had backpacks under our beds with clothing, non-perishable food and water and basic first aid kits. We also stored extra food and water in case of hard times (which we ended up using during a time my dad was out of work for a year) and we gardened to have healthy foods to store.

As I think about how my life and technology have changed over the years, I am happy that I have kept the habit of preparing for the future. In my own home, I store extra supplies, water, food and keep a store of first aid supplies. Now, I also keep a SpareOne emergency phone. It’s quite a neat idea – a battery operated phone whose battery lasts for 15 years. The packaging is waterproof, floats and the phone is operable through the bag. Knowing that we are covered for emergency phone calls in the event of a disaster is a great feeling. Although we all have cell phones, having a waterproof, cold temperature proof phone offers more peace of mind.



Yesterday, I was contacted with a special offer in relation to SpareOne and the Oklahoma disaster. Right now at SpareOne.com you can buy a SpareOne emergency phone at a discount and an additional phone will be donated to people in tornado stricken areas. Anyone using the code BUYGIVE04 will receive a $20 discount on each phone purchased, a SpareOne phone will be donated and SpareOne will track buyers coming from WindyLou.com!

This is a small way to help the recent Oklahoma tornado victims and first responders, and at the same time, prepare your own family.


DISCLOSURE: I was provided with a SpareOne phone for review purposes. I was not compensated for this review/article and all opinions are my own and honest. This review is provided as part of my relationship with itsaglamthing.com

I’ve been working on a little side project. There is a soon to be open craft and antique mall in the next town over. I am delighted to have a small booth there for my overflow vintage lovelies. This is what I have been working on: price tags!



I’ve been a busy little bee down in my sewing room over the last little while. I have Pinterest and Instagram to thank for my recent fabric re-obsession. It’s hard for me to see so many gorgeous photos of other people’s projects and not be inspired. So far I’ve made a seat back organizer, a  lap quilt, a tote bag and a makeup bag, with several other projects lined up! Behold:

IMG_1335 IMG_1339 IMG_1310 IMG_1002

Today is my chicken baby girl’s birthday. She decided on a room makeover. Now, I don’t know how most people go about a room makeover, but I don’t have a few grand to throw at a 14 year old’s room, so we started small. I bought a few thrifted and clearance items to get us started – wall art, an ottoman and a set of letters that spell her name. With those things out of the way, I had to start thinking bigger. It will be up to her to decide on paint, so I didn’t tackle that for her. Instead I DIYed a bedspread.

As we were talking about how she wants her room to look, I directed her to Pinterest for some eye candy. Of course she found an amazing bedspread from Urban Outfitters that was completely and utterly out of the budget. (I didn’t even spend that much on my own bedding!)

Here’s the inspiration bedding:

urban outfitters ruffle

Now, this puppy retails at over $150. Nuh-uh. No way, no how. So I set about to recreate this as best I could with thrifted materials. I knew that I would have to buy yards and yards of fabric, which wasn’t in the budget either, so I went a hunting for a blanket and sheets that I could dye. My girl asked for charcoal gray. Baby I tried my best, but apparently my fabric dying skills aren’t up to snuff.



Turns out that when you want dark gray or black fabric from white fabric, you don’t actually use black dye. I got a gorgeous purple. Three times. Then I started adding other color dye to see what I could come up with. Long story short, I ended up with a slightly green tinted gray! Success! (sort of!) The blanket and one sheet were the same color, and the other sheet came out light gray. And not a nice matchy combo. So, I ditched the light gray sheet in favor of coordinating the ruffles and blanket.

I bought a gathering foot for my machine and ruffled the heck outta those ripped strips! For a bit of interest, I added a trim of grosgrain ribbon to separate the ruffles from the rest of the blanket, and with the left over sheeting, made a pillowcase with ribbon trim! She likes it!

Here’s my handiwork, with some improvisation thrown in. It’s not a copy, but I kind of like that it isn’t exactly like what we could buy in a store.



We’ve got some work ahead of us, but I think we are off to a great bedroom makeover start! Stay tuned for more progress.

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