So lucky to find a white sheet at goodwill to tie dye! only $8!

I tried Shibori Tie Dye last year and I couldn’t wait to try the project again. I pinned this amazing tie dye quilt some time last year, and I’ve been dreaming of it ever since.

Recently, I realized the fabric opportunities in the Goodwill sheet section and started hunting at least once a month. I’m not quite brave enough to search through all the clothing…. so overwhelming.

Tips for Goodwill shopping

  • Be Super Picky: I will only buy 100% cotton sheets, and I’m looking for pieces that will work well as  backing for a quilt.
  • Make sure it’s cheap enough: I’ve picked up $7 dresses brand new at Old Navy, so it needs to be an AMAZING deal for me to consider it.
  • Wash & Dry everything… several times. Sometimes that smell takes a while to get out.

When I last went to Goodwill, I was planning on dying the pieces, so I only looked through the white clothing… didn’t really find anything exciting. And honestly, I don’t wear that much tie dye.

Then I found the King Size white 100% cotton sheet, and I was so excited!! It was only $7.99!

Tie Dye Process

  1. Cut the fabric into manageable pieces: you’ll probably also cut the elastic off, so it lies flat 🙂 I cut the sections to around 44″ wide, similar to standard fabric.
  2. Fold anyway you want! : There’s a lot about shibori tie dye techniques on pinterest, so look up some inspiration!
  3. Prepare the Dye Vat: I went with a Navy Rit Dye this time, instead of the true indigo dye… mostly because I was running behind and didn’t have time to wait for 2-day Prime Shipping.
  4. Soak the fabrics in clean water: The fabric absorbs the dye better when wet…
  5. Place fabric in the Dye Vat and leave for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Rinse the fabric until the water runs clear
  7. Wash and Dry as normal

Here are some pics!

GoodWill find: one king sized, 100% cotton, white sheet perfect for tie dye! white fabric ready for the dye vat! using Rit Navy Dye from Joann all the fabric in the dye vat white sheet from goodwill turns into fun tiedye quilting fabric!

Out of the dye vat and into my laundry sink… I always get so nervous because everything looks SO BLUE

attempts at tie dye

I probably took it out too early, or tried to dye too much fabric at once… this one will need to be re-dyed later with more pattern

white sheet from goodwill turned into fun tiedye quilting fabric!

Once it was washed and dried, I cut it up into 2.5 inch strips to make a Log Cabin Quilt (surprise, right? I love log cabin quilts and will probably make a million of them).

Some strips have less tie dye on them than others, and I will probably need to re-dye some sections of fabric that are boring… but I have enough for a twin quilt 🙂 The photos below are closer to true color.

cutting tie dye fabric for quilting! white sheet from good will turned into tie dye fabric for a log cabin quilt!

I plan on doing one half of the log cabin block in tie dye and the other half in a white, with a navy center square! So excited!

The remaining fabric for the quilt will need to be pre-washed, because the sheet was obviously pre-washed… that should be interesting.

Have you tried a fun fabric dye-ing project? Last time, I dyed a dress and a tote bag, but I love this so much more!


the productive app has been amazing for tracking daily habits. my favorite goal-keeping app so far

I found this app back in January, and it’s been really helpful for tracking habits and making me feel a little guilty 🙂 I just upgraded to the full version, because I wanted to add more than 5 habits this month. I have more goals this month, and I’ve gotten more consistent with my blog, and I need to streamline how I get everything done.

Some of these things are items I need to do EVERY DAY, and that’s where this app is helpful.

For to-do lists and shopping lists, I use a combo of my paper planner (crazy old-fashioned, I know) and the Clear App. (whoa, as I was looking up the link for Clear, I learned it can be used on my Mac, not just my iphone. Need to investigate this more). At work, we use Google Tasks and all the google work apps.

So, let me tell you about my goals for the month.

PS – this isn’t sponsored by Productive or anything, just wanted to share something useful!

daily habits and goals for may using the productive app!

The list above is in alphabetical order, but Productive has a “time of day” function to remind you to cross it off within morning, afternoon, evening, or any time.

Morning Goals:

  • Wake on Time: I’ve been sleeping kind of late since I stopped commuting… need to start waking up early!
  • Be Active: I kind of stopped working out after the half marathon, so gotta get back to the gym!
  • Bible: Need to read my Bible everyday!

Afternoon (no goals, because I’m working… so mostly using google tasks)


  • Sew: I must finish my King Size quilt! just keep sewing, just keep sewing….
  • Tidy the House: otherwise I’m upset in the morning when everything’s messy
  • Sleep by 11pm: This goes along with Wake on Time 🙂

Any Time:

  • Blog: Really need to be blogging sometime every day or else I’ll get behind again
  • Photo A Day: This was a new year resolution, so I won’t forget what’s going on in life

Weekly (these are just on the list the whole week until you cross it off)

  • Cook Something New: This was also a new year resolution, to cook something new every week… haven’t been doing so well. But I need to at least try

Click here to learn more about Productive and start setting goals!

What are some of your goals? How have you been doing with New Year’s Resolutions??

Again, this wasn’t sponsored by Productive, I just love it 🙂


learn how to translate all teh markings on a sewing pattern!

I have to admit, I did not know how to read a pattern when I started sewing. I didn’t know what all the notches were or how to match them. Surprisingly, the garments were wearable, but not necessarily smooth and pretty. I was only 15, but I’m hoping that you won’t have to go through that same pain 🙂


TAKE SOME MEASUREMENTS! the sizing on a sewing pattern is completely different from the sizing at Old Navy. Don’t go crazy if you buy a size 4, but when you sew it’s a size 8 or 10. Just know it will fit you.

If none of the sizes match you exactly, go with the larger size. You can always take in later, but you don’t want to squeeze into something that you custom made for yourself! It should fit you perfectly!

On the paper pattern, they will make each size a different style of line, and you just need to cut out that line.

The Plantain Shirt I made recently was a French pattern, so the sizing was very different. But I just matched my measurements (in inches or centimeters), and cut out the correct line.

How to Read a Pattern: Sizing Guide

“On the Fold” Arrows

These always go on the fold 🙂 so, you’ll have a piece that’s half of the front: you place it on the fold, and now you don’t have a seam down the middle of the front.

Sometimes the back piece will not be on the fold, because you’ll be adding a center zipper. Sometimes the front does have a seam, because of the design. But make sure you don’t miss these. And it’s important if you’re sewing stripes that it’s perfectly folded on the grain so you’re stripes don’t go diagonal.

How to Read a Pattern: On the fold arrows

On the Grain Arrows

These are for pieces that aren’t on the fold. You should pin on these arrows so that the pieces don’t move while cutting.

For directional prints, you can easily line up the arrow with that direction or stripe. For solids, take your tape measure, and measure from the fold up to one point of the arrow and pin. Measure from the fold to the other point of the arrow, and make sure it’s the same distance. Adjust as necessary and pin!

If you the print on a bias, you would move the arrow. Just remember that how you change the grain will directly affect the drape of the fabric. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

How to Read a Pattern: on the grain


Um, so I originally notched into the fabric. Because thats the direction of the arrow (or I didn’t notch at all and just guessed about the front and back). Which is generally incorrect… I guess it’s fine as long as it doesn’t mess with your seam allowance, but it’s easier just to make the point pointing out. And double points are just cut flat across the top.

These are kind of important because they help you match up all the pieces. On sleeves, it shows the front and back of the sleeve, etc. So don’t just skip them 🙂

How to Read a Pattern: Notches


Since fabric is flat and your body is curved, you need darts to give a garment dimension.

  1. Use chalk or transfer paper/ roller to mark the darts on your fabric
  2. Sew along the lines with right-sides pinched together: work from the edge of the fabric to the point on the dart.
  3. Once sewn, many people will trim the triangle off the inside to remove any bulkiness. Finish edgesHow to read a pattern: Darts

I think these are the most common markings on patterns. Let me know if I missed anything!



april monthly mini scrapbook challenge

I love this little round up of life photos on the blog. I get to tell you all what’s going on in my life, and it’s still crafting related! So, here’s a little recap of what happened in April!

Here’s the link to the idea for a mini scrapbook challenge on A Beautiful Mess. I haven’t had time to really scrapbook (been too busy sewing), so this mini book will be a good reference tool for when I’m ready to make the big book.

  • Singer Featherweight: I’ve mentioned this a few times on the blog, but this thing is so cute! And the sewing table makes it so useful. I need a sewing table for my big machine because the height causes a lot of tension in my back, so any small, straight stitch projects I just use the little machine! My mom also gave me all the accessories. And I have an invisible zipper foot for it! So, it’s really perfect. And it’s quiet, so I can watch binge-watch Grey’s Anatomy while sewing.
  • Zack’s Wedding: We went to West Palm Beach for my Brother-in-Law’s wedding at the beginning of April! The wedding (and the weather) was beautiful!! And I found this dress at Bloomingdales – they have some amazing dresses under $30, so you should check it out!
  • Flower Seeds: Eric and I are determined to take care of our yard this year (last year we barely mowed the grass, and it looked awful). We have big plans for gardening. Of course, nothing blooms for, like, 90 days. And I’m not very patient. Should be fun.
  • Cherry Blossoms: A park near our house has this cherry blossom-lined path, and it’s BEAUTIFUL!! It’s a little distracting when I drive past.

Want to make your own? These are the only supplies you need 🙂

  • 4×4 Album: Perfect for your favorite instagrams. I bought mine at Joann’s, and they have a lot of different colors/ prints.
  • 4×4 Photo Sleeves: I’m almost out of sleeves…

Are you doing any scrapbook challenges? Thinking of making this one? This is totally doable (even for a not-so-crafty person), and just think how cute all the mini albums will look on a shelf in a few years!


Learning to Sew with Knits: || Tips for Beginner Sewing

Learning to Sew with Knits

This week I had my first experience sewing with knits! It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be, but my garment definitely isn’t perfect. Can’t wait to share what I’ve learned!

Choosing the Fabric

I can’t say that I had anything to do with choosing my fabric. I think I was working at camp one summer, and my mom told me she was going into NYC, and I told her to pick up some jersey for me.

That was probably over 5 years ago. Mom doesn’t remember any of this happening. All I know is that I didn’t pick out the fabric, but that I loved it.

Patterns will tell you the percentage elasticity that the fabric should have in order to look/ drape correctly. If you shop online, you’ll see the elasticity in the product description. This is super important!

This is where I tell you that I’m a bad sewist. I didn’t check anything. The pattern even gave a guide to what the piece should measure when stretched, and I didn’t test it. Since this fabric was lying around for over 5 years, I knew I was just going to use it. Fortunately, it all worked out.

View Post