How to Sew a Leather Jacket

So you know when something just sticks in your head? That’s what happened to me with this black leather jacket last year. I tried it on during my thirtieth birthday trip to Seattle, and haven’t stopped thinking about it since. When I posted about the jacket on Instagram (and how I wasn’t going to bring it home due to the $3300 price tag), most of the responses went something like, “Well, MAKE ONE!” That sounded like a good idea in theory, but I wasn’t sure I knew how to sew a leather jacket! Would it be like sewing costumes, clothes, or wedding dresses? I feel confident in my pattern making, fitting, and basic sewing techniques, and generally have a “make it work” attitude about projects, but in order to make this work I would need time, patience, and the perfect black leather. Leather Jacket 8 How to Sew a Leather Jacket

Fast forward to October when my friend Merrick posted about the leather dress she made in partnership with Leather Hide Store. Not only is the dress darling, but it reminded me that I should be on the hunt for some buttery soft leather for the jacket of my dreams. I was thrilled when Leather Hide Store agreed to team up with me for this leather jacket project (dubbed #onelittleleatherjacket on my Instagram feed where I posted updates during the making). I had them send me a few different swatches to get a feel for the leathers, and one black piece was just perfect. Soft and a tiny bit stretchy. Thin enough to have a little drape, but heavy enough to be warm and feel durable as well. So, they sent me half a hide, and I went to work. I want to share a whole pile of fun photos of the finished jacket that my friend Dana shot for me, then I’ll give some insight into the making process and a couple things I learned. Also, Leather Hide Store is so generous and will be giving away a beautiful ruby red hide to one of my readers, so be sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom!  Leather Jacket 2 How to Sew a Leather Jacket Leather Jacket 4 How to Sew a Leather Jacket Leather Jacket 29 How to Sew a Leather Jacket When I was cutting out the pattern pieces on the hide, I realized that I didn’t quite have enough to lay them all out flat without making an extra seam concession somewhere. This is where it ended up. One of the two back collar pieces had to be cut in two separate pieces, then pieced back together. It was one of those happy accident moments, because I actually love the addition of the one off center seam along the collar. Because each of the seams is sewn together, then top-stitched on both sides to tack down the seam allowance and reduce bulk, every seam really adds to the architectural detail of the jacket. Leather Jacket 300 How to Sew a Leather Jacket Leather Jacket 22 How to Sew a Leather Jacket Leather Jacket 6 How to Sew a Leather Jacket The double-welt pockets were the most nerve-wracking part of the whole sewing experience. I didn’t add any to the pattern, or on either of the two muslins that I made. So when it came time to add them to the final jacket I was slightly terrified. Luckily, with a practice pocket in leather under my belt, they both turned out just fine. The standard pocket zipper that I bought is 5″, which I actually think is just a touch too short. My hand fits in there, but just barely. I’d add an inch or two if I were to do it again.

Leather Jacket 31 How to Sew a Leather Jacket Leather Jacket HASHTAGonelittleminuteblog1 How to Sew a Leather Jacket
I draped the pattern for the jacket on my dress form and it was so fun to discover the symmetry of the asymmetrical design. Although the zipper is far off center, all of the front pieces of the jacket are the same, allowing the each stage of the unzipping to have a little different look as the wide, square collar folds down little by little. This jacket is obviously primarily inspired by the one I tried on last year, which was designed by Rick Owens. As I worked on this project I enjoyed doing a little research on him, and loved some of his ideas about design–like that on a good jacket the shoulders are narrow, and the sleeves tight and long to flatter the wearer. That’s where adding ponte knit to the sleeves comes into play, rather than having them solid leather. The ponte allows the sleeves to be tight fitting without being restrictive. The result is a jacket that looks less puffy and more sleek. I also had to laugh a little bit at the Rick Owens Quote “Working out is modern couture. No outfit is going to make you look or feel as good as having a fit body. Buy less clothing and go to the gym instead.” Well said. I’ll go to the gym so I can keep fitting into my tight leather sleeves!

Read on for more photos, pieces of the process, and the red hide giveaway!

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Dinner Table Tennis

A few weeks ago, Dave and I took the kids on a family date night downtown. The final destination was a favorite donut shop. It has a cool Austin vibe, and a great outdoor patio with picnic tables, a fire pit, and a ping pong table. While we waited for our donuts, we paddled the balls back and forth and I remembered how much fun it is to play! Growing up, my family had a full ping-pong table in the extra living room for a few years. It was so great, but took up the whole space. It was eventually exiled to the yard, then the garage, then…maybe donated when there just wasn’t anywhere left to put it. Dinner Table Tennis 15 Dinner Table Tennis When UncommonGoods invited me to browse through their gift options for the upcoming holiday season, I loved this gardening seat for our endless yard work, and wanted some of these awesome Mr. Food plates for the kids, but this portable table tennis set immediately caught my attention. What a great idea to be able to turn any table into a table tennis court! We definitely don’t have the space (or budget) for a full ping-pong table, but we do have a dining room table!

The whole online marketplace of UncommonGoods is filled with just such unique and interesting items. I could (and do) spend a long time exploring all of the products. I mean, look at is this cool glass ziploc bag (I’ll take it with the jelly beans, please.) And so many of these stocking stuffers would be perfect additions to our Christmas morning. The prices are competitive with other online retailers, with a huge, fun selection of gifts listed here under $50 and here under $25. But more, they curate the collection to include all items made responsibly, most in the USA, and about half by hand. I’m always thrilled to support a company who is consciously supporting artists and small business owners.
Dinner Table Tennis 6 Dinner Table Tennis Dinner Table Tennis 1 Dinner Table Tennis UncommonGoods was kind to send us a table tennis set to try out at home.  It has been so amazing to easily transform a dinner party into a game night by clearing the dishes and pulling it out! We’ve now played several times, but once last week hosted a tacos and table tennis tournament with some good friends and made great memories. Despite all of the seven kids running wild in the house, the competition was a welcome bit of exhilaration and excitement. I even made a printable tournament bracket to keep track of the double-elimination games (download it for free here). We all had some good laughs, and Dave won (of course! Anyone else’s husband win at everything all the time?!) And when we were finished, the table became our dining room table again.
Dinner Table Tennis One Little Minute Blog Dinner Table Tennis Dinner Table Tennis 19 Dinner Table Tennis Dinner Table Tennis onelittleminuteblog Dinner Table Tennis The portable table tennis set itself is pretty awesome. It comes all together in a draw-string bag, super compact. The ends of the net are weighted so they sit firmly on the edges of the table without having to clip or fit anything anywhere. The net is wound up inside one side and is a full six feet long at it’s longest, though we only need it about three feet wide for our table. The two included balls sit down inside the other side, and the paddle handles retract so they end up fitting just underneath the net inside the bag. It’s really great design.

We noticed the paddles are quite a bit heavier than traditional ping-pong paddles, but we got used to the different weight in our hands. We are planning on buying a set of four paddles and some extra balls so we are ready to play doubles for the next dinner table tennis tournament.  Dinner Table Tennis 18 Dinner Table Tennis Spoiler Alert: we’ve loved the set so much, we’re excited to share the fun with some of our family as Christmas gifts this year. So if we drew your name, get excited!


Ruffle Caplet DIY

It’s Halloween day and the only thing I have on my schedule this afternoon is doing laundry and preparing donut dough to fry for our first ever trick-or-treaters tonight!! The boys are at school and Plum is taking an afternoon nap and I feel like dusting off the old keyboard and sharing a simple ruffle caplet diy here on the blog. So, here I am! ruffled caplet diy 26 e1414778797151 Ruffle Caplet DIY I have actually made about a dozen custom Halloween costumes this season, including several Peaches, an Orphan Annie, some Olivia ears, a (new and improved) Fireman Sam, and three little Austin Bats, complete with the South Congress Bridge–for my own kiddos. This ruffled caplet was made for a photographer friend, Amanda of Pie in the Sky Photography as partial trade for a family portrait session that I am so excited about. She sent me a link to this little caplet, hoping for something similar in nude for photo sessions. After searching briefly online and not finding much guidance, I winged it. As you can see, the results are darling, with the little tulle ruffled caplet I made looking just like the original photo. Want to make one, too? I’ll show you how. You will need about 1/2 yard of woven fabric, 3 yards of tulle, 1.5 yards of coordinating ribbon. Ruffle Caplet Pattern DIY 1 Ruffle Caplet DIY To make the caplet pattern: (1) fold in half a tee shirt of the little (or big) one the caplet will be used for. If you want a versatile size, I’d stick with a basic women’s small tee. The finished caplet is pretty forgiving, on an adult a small one will look like a collar, on a child a bigger one will just be a little longer. (2) using some tracing paper (or a paper bag, or printer paper) trace around the collar, out to the shoulder seam, and complete the 1/4 circle. (3) fold your fabric in half and in half again so that when you cut you will end up with a full circle. (4) Lay the pattern onto your fabric and unfold half way. (5) Round out the bottom edge. (6) unfold, and repeat as you will need two of the same piece. ruffled caplet diy 2 e1414778747378 Ruffle Caplet DIY Your finished pattern pieces should look something like this. ruffled caplet diy 100 Ruffle Caplet DIY Cut the tulle into 3″ strips. I used 4 layers of tulle for the bottom two ruffles, and one layer for the top two ruffles. Using whatever method you prefer, gather the tulle strips about 1 inch from one of the edges. Pin the first layer of ruffled tulle about 1.5″ from the outer edge of the caplet, pinning every so often to ensure even distribution. Use a small zig-zag stitch to secure in place right along the gathering stitch. Read More »


Little League Dress Pattern (Rockford Peach Costume Pattern)


LLDPP 300 Little League Dress Pattern (Rockford Peach Costume Pattern) Yipee! Gosh golly gee this has been a long time coming! Three years ago I received a custom order for a Rockford Peach Costume and created a darling version with the original asymmetrical button placket, and authentic patches, but also a full twirly circle skirt, gently puffed sleeves, and simple to make D ring belt. Now you can buy a Rockford Peach Costume pattern so all you crafty mamas to make your own just like it! The PDF pattern is available HERE in my SHOP as an instant download, just in time for Halloween this year!

Rockford Peach Dress PDF Pattern One Little Minute Blog Little League Dress Pattern (Rockford Peach Costume Pattern) LLDPP 305 Little League Dress Pattern (Rockford Peach Costume Pattern) The vintage baseball costume is really fun, and I love the lines of the dress. Mrs. Wrigley and her design team of 1943 deserve kudos for style. Made with a different color fabric or a fun print it would be transformed from costume into a fun dress for any time. In addition, with the Little League Dress Pattern I include Option B as a way to create a really timeless and fun button-up play dress. In this option the button placket is centered, highlighting the unique angled neckline which can be made with or without the collar. LLDPP 3071 Little League Dress Pattern (Rockford Peach Costume Pattern) LLDPP 308 Little League Dress Pattern (Rockford Peach Costume Pattern) Little League Dress PDF Pattern One Little Minute Blog Little League Dress Pattern (Rockford Peach Costume Pattern) I mean, come on. Does it get any better than a twirly skirt? This dress is easy fitting and perfect for frolicking, skipping, and twirling. Click through for more information about the pattern, and to start working on one of your own Little League Dresses! (Huge thank you to my darling little models! It’s sure fun to have friends with really cute kids!) LLDPP 3061 Little League Dress Pattern (Rockford Peach Costume Pattern)




3 Tips for Learning to Love the Laundry

This post shared in partnership with Steele Canvas, who I absolutely adore. However, all ideas and opinions are my own.

I know what you’re thinking. I’m crazy, right? “Love the Laundry?” That never-ending, unrelenting chore that hangs out in the background of our heads day in and day out? I confess, I’ve been among those many of you who have said, aloud, quite seriously “I wish for one single second we could all just hang out naked together so that I could know what it feels like for every bit of laundry in the house to be clean, dry, and put away at the same time. Sigh.” But we can’t. And we don’t. And the laundry wagon rolls on and on, whether we like it or not. So, rather than continue feeling overwhelmed, annoyed, and disgruntled by the business of laundry, I want to share a couple simple tips I’ve learned make it better. Make it bearable. Enjoyable even! And you know what? I do enjoy it! Not in the way I love going on a Sunday hike with my family or eating a good cheese plate at my favorite restaurant, but I have learned to look forward to the laundry. I’ll bet with a little effort, you can, too.
3 Tips to Love the Laundry One Little Minute Blog 1 3 Tips for Learning to Love the Laundry

Tip One: Make it Pretty and Functional

Do you love the way your laundry room looks and feels? Does the sight of your laundry hampers make you smile? If you answered no, this tip is for you! Make your space pretty, and you’ll enjoy being there! Replace the torn open packages of detergent with cool glass or plastic containers. This immediately cleans up the space and makes it look and feel intentional. I buy my detergents in bulk and simply store the big boxes to the side of the dryer, where I can easily refill the jars, but don’t have to look at them. Try using a piggy bank or a fun bowl to keep that loose laundry change in one place. Wipe down the machines with a baby wipe or wet rag every day or two to keep them clean and looking nice. It takes ten seconds, but makes the whole space feel better.

3 Tips to Love the Laundry Make it Pretty One Little Minute Blog 3 Tips for Learning to Love the Laundry 3 Tips to Love the Laundry One Little Minute Blog 3 3 Tips for Learning to Love the Laundry Find laundry hampers that you adore, and that will hold up over the years of use and abuse. Steele Canvas is my favorite laundry and storage solution. I found them  years ago while searching for an industrial  hamper option for my tiny DC apartment, and have been totally impressed and in love with their products ever since. The two that I reviewed back then are some of my very favorite household items, and still get their daily use. For our new house, though, I needed a couple more for the space. The laundry room has a funky corner with a super narrow and angled wall, and the only thing I could find to work was the Steele Canvas Large Bag Caddie, which fits like a charm. The baskets and rolling trucks come in every size and shape you can imagine, are high quality, stylish, and have found their way into every bedroom in my home. 3 Tips to Love the Laundry One Little Minute Blog 6 3 Tips for Learning to Love the Laundry 3 Tips to Love the Laundry One Little Minute Blog 3 Tips for Learning to Love the Laundry

Tip Two: Schedule a Time Read More »

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