Best of Summer Sewing with Cailamade!

CoupleJones3Today I am sharing my favorite summer pattern in a review on Cailamade! I was so excited to be asked to participate in Caila’s  “Best of Summer” series! It is the first time I’ve been able to join in on the fun in a series and the group of ladies who are featured last week and this week on Caila’s blog are amazingly talented, I am so honored to be a part of it all.

To see more of my favorite dress pattern and how I added my own personal touches to a (SERIOUSLY!!) SIMPLE pattern, click the “Best of Summer” widget below and head over to Cailamade!

As I was sewing, I was thinking about how many people tell me that they would love to learn to sew but don’t think they could ever do something like this. But you CAN! I promise. The best thing about sewing is that you can make a super easy piece look like something from Anthropologie just by adding your own little details here and there.

CoupleJones1So to give you a little more inspiration and encouragement to give sewing a try, I put together a short list of tips for beginning sewers:

  • Choose an easy pattern. The pattern that I used for the dress above is from Simplicity’s New Look 6205. It has simple lines which meant the skill level wasn’t very high at all. I simplified it even more for myself by changing the pleated skirt to a gathered skirt.
  • Don’t be fooled by the design on the pattern packaging. If you look at the packaging of the pattern I used (see HERE) it is vastly different from the look I created. When I look for a pattern, I only look at the lines of the piece. I fell in love with this dress because of the neckline – it looks so vintage to me.
  • Begin with solid fabric. When you are a beginning sewer, choose fabric without a print. A piece can go from simple to complicated very quickly if you are having to worry about matching up a print when seaming fabric pieces together. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started sewing pieces together, only to realize that on one side the flowers were pointed up and on the other side the flowers were pointed down. Arg.
  • Begin with cotton, or some other fabric that doesn’t have a lot of stretch and give. It’s way easier to sew a nice solid piece of fabric. I used a linen-look fabric for my dress. Once you get basics mastered, you can move onto more complicated fabric, but stay simple to begin with.
  • Ask questions of those nice, fabric store employees. I bought my Linen Look fabric from Joanns’ and before I had my fabric cut, I asked the employee what the laundry directions were for the fabric. Personally, I don’t buy fabric that can’t be washed in a machine for my kids. It’s not practical. You might be ok with handwash, either way you should know before you buy what the care requirements are for the fabric.
  • Wash your fabric BEFORE you cut and sew! Fabrics are made to look good on the shelves which means they can have starches and other things on them. Also, it’s better to let the fabric do most of it’s shrinking before you put it together as a clothing item. Another reason I washed my linen was that I wanted to Dip Dye the skirt of this dress with Rit Dye Powder (Evening Blue color also from Joanns’) and washing any starches out prior to dying made sure that the dye would go onto the fabric evenly
  • Read the WHOLE pattern before you do anything. There is so much information and it can look overwhelming but read it all before you cut and you will be glad you did! It’s not rocket science reading, just plug on through it and you will have a better plan of how to go about starting the project.
  • Own a Seam Ripper. This little guy will be your best friend! You can rip out a seam without damaging the fabric and start over! The BEST. Any of the ladies participating in “Best of Summer Sewing” will tell you they keep theirs close at hand!
  • Be adventurous. Give yourself time to finish a project. I can’t tell you how many times I go back and forth as I’m sewing a project. After one step, I’ll love it and be so excited and after the next step I’ll think – “ugh, this isn’t going to turn out at all”….just keep going! Give yourself time so that you don’t feel pressure but finish it! It’s totally worth not giving up :)

I hope you feel inspired to try sewing if you’ve never tried it before! The schedule for Caila’s series is below and every day has featured a review of a great pattern that you can try for yourself. Browse through the posts and you will find something you would love to try! These ladies are WONDERFUL resources for all levels of sewers!

BEST OF SUMMER SCHEDULE:
Tuesday, June 4: Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
Wednesday, June 5: Designs By Sessa
Thursday, June 6: SewVery
Friday, June 7: Alida Makes
Monday, June 10: Skirt As Top
Tuesday, June 11: CoupleJones
Wednesday, June 12: Elegance and Elephants
Thursday, June 13: Imagine Gnats
Friday, June 14: iCandy
Monday, June 17: BoyOhBoyOhBoy
Tuesday, June 18: Straight Grain
Wednesday, June 19: A Jennuine Life
Thursday, June 20: CailaMade
Friday, June 21: Jojo And Eloise
If you are visiting from Cailamade, Hello!! Welcome! We are so happy to have you stop by :)
If you’d like to follow us, you can do so on Bloglovin’ and we also have a Facebook page.
Have a great day!
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Guest Posting over at A Little Artsy today

a little artsy

If you haven’t visited A Little Artsy yet, it’s a wonderful blog to follow. Lots of artsy ladies contributing all kinds of amazing posts. I love it and I’m so honored to be able to post alongside these talented women.

Please visit, you will be glad you did!

Featured on MommyPage.com today!

Mommy Page

Have you visited this great site yet? Mommypage.com is a wonderful resource for moms! There are contests, crafts, recipes and lots of helpful articles. Come by today and visit and see my interview. Thank you to all the ladies at MommyPage for contacting us and asking to feature Emily!

EmilyJones

Winners!

CoupleJones Invites

Hello!! Happy Saturday!

So here’s the deal – because we’re such a small blog, we didn’t get that many entries. SO I decided that I would just make everyone who commented before the deadline a winner ;) Because you all are SO sweet.

So would

Kelly Giaquinto

Michelle @ this little light

Lori – (maybe I’ll switch your prize option to our session since you don’t currently need an invite, how about?)

Abbie

BenandKatrina Carlen

Jenny Sullivan

Please comment on this post BEFORE April 20th with your contact email address and your choice of which template you’d like OR if you’d like the two prints instead.

Thank you guys again for participating…I love doing little fun things like this – hopefully we can help you out a little with some fun things!

Emily

CoupleJones Prints

Emily Jones Photography Preview

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I’ve been busily editing several photo sessions over the last two weeks. I still have more to do but I wanted to post this preview today! Can you believe the lashes on this little guy? He’s got the brightest eyes!

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I was lucky enough to shoot his newborn photos and it’s been SO fun watching him grow – it just reinforces how FAST babies change from teeny little ones to toddlers with so much personality. I LOVE being able to capture them for their sweet parents as they fly through these stages. What a privilege.

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If you feel clever today – I am having a caption contest on our Facebook page for that top photo…doesn’t it just beg for a fun caption? Too bad my brain is far too sleep deprived and toddler questioned out to think of a funny one. Pop over to our page and see what captions have been submitted so far and join the fun!

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Encourage to Inspire, a collaboration with CailaMade!

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When I started blogging two months ago, I wrote to my college friend Caila to tell her that I had finally decided to follow her encouraging Instagram hints that I should share some of my projects online.

Caila also happens to be an amazing blogger (you should follow her! Cailamade! ) and so I shared my heart with her a bit too. I shared that if I write, it is very important to me that I write a clear picture of real life. I am NO Martha Stewart, not anywhere close. I have 3 crazy kids and more piles of laundry than I know what to do with. I think it’s so easy to create this glossy, perfect picture online of something that life never is. I am real in person, can’t lie to save my life, SUPER bad at being cool. I want to be that person here too.

And those things are extremely important to Caila too. My sweet friend is SO good at sharing her beautiful talents in a way that is encouraging and real. Her sewing skills are far above mine, but I always feel encouraged by her projects and the new things she tries. And I always walk away feeling inspired to try something of my own.

We talked about inspiration and how we want to encourage our readers, and how we hope that encouragement leads them to feel inspired to create in their own way. We want them to be encouraged by reading about an average girl who attempted a new project. The end result is never perfect (more so in my case than Caila’s, ha!) but that doesn’t matter one bit. The joy is in creating something unique to who you are. Whether that means sewing, painting, writing, hosting a girls’ night, etc. It is our thought that when you feel encouraged, you are more confident in who you were created to be and will be inspired to pursue your own unique goals and dreams.

Isn’t it so amazing that we have the power to encourage others?

To illustrate this idea, Caila and I chose one of each other’s posts that inspired a project we created in our own way.

I was extremely inspired by the beautiful clutches that Caila made over the holidays.

Cailamade Purse Tutorial

She also worked with leather to make leather card holders.

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These posts got my head spinning with possibilities and made me want to try to make a clutch AND to work with leather – two things that I have never attempted before! I wouldn’t have had the confidence to give it a try if I wouldn’t have seen someone else take it on with great results.

This is the result! My Inspired by Caila Clutch :)

CoupleJones Clutch2

I worked with printed burlap from Joann’s that I fell in love with. Not your standard fabric for a clutch but that’s how I roll.

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With this project, I finally had the motivation (read –> BRAVERY)  I needed to check out the leather factory in town. I learned a lot from my little adventure – 1. They don’t cut leather in yards like fabric, which means the piece I initially wanted to buy was WAAAY out of my price range. And I was NOT the cool kid in the shop when I asked about yardage – MY bad for being the newbie. :)  BUT! 2. After some hunting, and not so awesome customer service, I figured out that they had a “Discontinued” table where I found a great piece that matched my fabric for $10! Sweet!

CoupleJones Clutch1

As a result of the encouragement I got from reading about Caila’s successes, now I feel comfortable in a leather store – oh yeah, not a rookie here anymore – Sweet. I also know more about the general layout of a purse/clutch and now the possibilities are ENDLESS. Woohoo! Thank you CAILA!

CoupleJones Clutch4

Caila Made

Caila was inspired by our project to raise money for Compassion International with our Space Kid print. She created something AMAZING.

Read her post HERE to find out just how unintentionally identical our character ended up being to her sweet son, Hudson. You can also follow her on Cailamade, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and she is @cailamade in Instagram. She is such an encouraging person to be connected with, you will really benefit from following her on some or all of her social media connects!

Cailamade

Caila’s blog is beautiful and she is such an uplifting person. As we were working on our projects, I was so blessed by connecting with Caila. We discovered, on accident, that we were both in need of some encouragement and finding out that someone else was feeling the same way I was helped my heart so much. We accidentally proved our own thesis. Everyone needs encouragement. Everyone needs to hear that they are doing a good job. That they are special. That they are just who they were created to be. And if we take just the little effort needed to remind those around us of those things – inspiration can be infectious.

Please read Caila’s incredible Encourage to Inspire post. We are hoping we inspire you today to be encouraged and to encourage others around you.

CoupleJonesPreview

If you are looking for a quick way to encourage today, please consider joining our efforts to help children trapped in poverty by purchasing our Space Kid print. 100% of money raised from this print will be donated to Compassion International. You can purchase it in our SHOP or use paypal to send $8 to our paypal address at zac.jones (at) yahoo.com, leave a comment that you did and include your email address and I will email you a jpg.

Thank you so much for spending some time here today! If you are inspired to start your own Encourage to Inspire project in your own life – leave a comment and tell me all about it! I’d love to hear from you!

CoupleJones

Falling for Friday and a PREVIEW!

Hello!! Today we are linking up with JustDawnelle and Kelly Westover for Falling for Friday!

Falling For Friday

These are the things we are LOVING this week!! A His and Hers edition! :)

FallingFriday2His

1. Everything is Jake – We WILL be ordering that map at some point. It’s so perfect. —> Everything is Jake

2. The IT Crowd. Have you seen it? It’s awesome. —> The IT Crowd

3. Thomas Hammer Coffee is our FAVORITE local coffee, you can order from their website! —> Thomas Hammer Coffee

4. Oliver Jeffers is so inspiring. His children’s books are amazing works of art. —> Oliver Jeffers

FallingFriday2HERS

1. I love all of the prints that Everything is Jake designs, especially the Oahu prints!  —> Everything is Jake

2. Lulu and ChaCha has BEAUTIFUL hair clips and headbands for babies and big girls. AND she has one of the most innovative ways of mixing and matching them that I’ve seen…it’s SO great because it’s cost effective too! She just added a bunch of pretty new Spring snaps! —> LuLu and ChaCha

3 PS I Adore You has SERIOUSLY beautiful products at super good prices every single day – I  want to buy EVERY SINGLE ITEM. And they donate part of their proceeds to childhood cancer research. Love! —> PS I Adore You

4. 31 Bits supports women in third world countries who would not otherwise be able to work. Their jewelry is GORGEOUS! —> 31 Bits

Clutchpreview

On Monday, we have an exciting collaboration with Cailamade to share!! This is my little sneak peak! I am SO excited to see what she comes up with. Caila has an AMAZING blog and I love everything she posts. I have known Caila since college and it’s been so exciting and inspiring to watch her start and grow Cailamade to what it is now. You guys have to check it out and follow if you haven’t already!

Caila is a veteran in this blog world and has been kind enough to let me bounce ideas off of her as I try to figure out my way. One thing we always seem to come back to is the idea that we want so much to be real in how we write. To encourage our readers and inspire them to take on new challenges…not exactly as we present them, but in their own way. We hope that our blogs will be uplifting! So this is a peak at our collaboration : encourage to inspire. Encourage others around you in whatever way you can so that they will be uplifted and inspired to move forward on their own goals and dreams!

This is going to be fun!

EncouragetoInspire

Come back Monday to see what we have planned and stop by Caila’s blog today to see her exciting preview!!

Featured on JustDawnelle.com!!

Our sweet friend, Dawnelle, has an amazing blog called JustDawnelle. Today she is helping us with our Do Something Good project! She created a beautiful inspiration board that includes our Space Kid print along with some other gorgeous items. Please pop over and take a look at her work and leave a comment telling her how awesome she is!!

JustDawnelle

 

And please don’t forget to join us by downloading our Space Kid print today and Doing Something Good for the kids served by Compassion International.

CoupleJonesPreview

Emily Jones Photography Preview

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Just finished preview #2 from the week before Valentine’s Day. We had SO much fun with this guy…I mean, there’s too much coolness going on here – the red bowtie, the extra large glasses, the killer personality. He’s one of our favorites.

Enjoy your preview Mr. Awesome!

EJPPreview2

EJPPreview1

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If you are wondering where my TOTALLY rockin’ heart marquee came from – I made it using this FANTASTIC DIY tutorial that Kim from Oh, Sweet Joy! wrote. It’s seriously SO easy and can you imagine the possibilities here? Initials, words, shapes – ANYTHING! The only change I made to my heart was that I used foam core poster board instead of the thinner stuff because I need my heart to be able to stand up on it’s own for shoots.Kim used simple poster board and hung hers on her wall and it’s FABULOUS. Go check it out!

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Featured on BonBonBreak.com Today!

EmilyJones

Oh hi, that’s me…still not REAL comfortable with photos of me….kind of boring, right?

Last week, Kathy from BonBonBreak.com contacted me and asked if I would share our Embroidery for Slackers post in their issue that launched today! BonBon Break is such a fun resource! Just clicking around this morning, I’ve already found several articles and posts that I love and that are so helpful. We are so excited to be able to be a part of their issue this week. You should definitely check out their site and MAYBE give our article some comment love so we don’t get lonely :)

Have a GREAT Monday!! We will be back tomorrow with another adorable photo preview from last week!

Love, Emily

Emily Jones Photography preview

I absolutely LOVE when I get to photograph newborns – I love it even more when I get to see those newborns as they grow. This was Baby Girl this summer as a newborn, she was an itty bitty ALMOST 5 pounder and I was in heaven photographing her. She even gave me smiles… because we’re BFFs, of course. Her Aunties called me The Baby Whisperer, but I think it was just this beautiful girl being her sweet self!

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And this is Baby Girl now at an even more beautiful and smiley 6 months. It is such a blessing to see babies flourish like this. Look at that smile!

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She is SO well loved. And she kind of has a thing for her Daddy.

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Gorgeous girl!! Thank you guys for bringing her to see me and letting me capture your sweet family! It was such a blessing to see how she’s grown! Your CD is in the mail! :) Emily

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Falling for Friday

We are linking up with Just Dawnelle, A Little Artsy, and Westover Manor today for Falling for Friday! A fun chance to share the things that are inspiring us this week!

FallinFriday / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

RonSwanson

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Romantic, Spring wardrobe pieces, Gingiber Tea Towels and an AMAZING team up is on my mind and EVERYTHING Ron Swanson is on his… ( “I’m a simple man. I like pretty, dark-haired women and breakfast food.”)

If I’m being honest, I’m a big Swanson fan myself.

Thanks for stopping by!!! Pop over to the other link up participants to see the awesome stuff that’s inspiring them this week!

Em and Zac

Real Beauty

I remember one night back when I was a Junior or Senior in High School.  My girl friends had all gone to a dance at school and came back to my house afterwards to spend the night (I wasn’t into the dances in high school, because I was too cool…or something. Ha.) We were all sitting around watching movies. They were all dolled up in their fancy dresses and pretty hair and make up. And as we were talking, one of the girls said something really hurtful about my friend’s appearance. Her features were different from the mean girl’s features and this was the subject of the ridicule.

I remember sitting there silently…shocked at what had been said, angry, but also too afraid and young to know what to say…to know that I should have stood up and shown the mean girl the door. My dear friend was such a nice girl, she just shrugged off the other girl’s comment and pretended like it didn’t hurt…but I could tell it did. I wished in that moment that my friend knew how beautiful she was and how the differences in her features made her unique, unusual and gorgeous. No, she didn’t look like everyone else…none of us does. It’s the differences in our appearances and our personalities that make life beautiful and interesting.

Now that I have daughters of my own, this is something that I will never stop telling them. I want them to know that they are beautiful exactly as the Lord created them. I want them to know that every personality quirk and every freckle and all of their passions make them unique in this world. That uniqueness shows, so clearly, the hand of their Creator. He took time to carefully craft each part of who they are…making them lovely in every way.

CoupleJonesphoto3

Sometimes I need a reminder of that for myself too. It can be hard with every pressure to fit the mold of what the world sees as “beauty”. How I look and who I am tells a story of how the Lord has shaped my life and the road that He has taken me down. I wouldn’t change anything about that journey that I love so much so why do I so easily fall into wishing away the physical representation of it?

I hope if you’re reading that you know how special you are just as you are right now, today. The things about you that make you different are what make you unique and interesting and perfect. Em

CoupleJones Beautiful

Weekend accomplishments!

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Finished this Heart Marquee this morning and I am SO excited!! I followed a super simple tutorial from Oh Sweet Joy that you can find here: http://www.ohsweetjoy.com/2013/02/diy-vintage-heart-marquee-light-tutorial.html?m=1

I am going to use it for some photo shoots in the next few weeks but the possibilities are endless!! I am already thinking of so many places I want to use it! You should stop by Oh Sweet Joy and then go make one for your home!
Do you have any fun, creative weekend plans?
Happy Saturday!

Our big girl bed featured in Casey Wiegand’s DIY Round – up on DisneyBaby.com

We are so excited that our pallet bed from THIS post  has been included in Casey Wiegand’s DIY for Baby round up on DisneyBaby.com’s blog!! Come take a look at all of the adorable projects featured in the group! And follow A Little Artsy for so many fun DIY projects and amazing inspiration!

DisneyBaby.com DIY for Baby round up by Casey Wiegand

You can view our original post and see how we whipped together a SUPER easy twin bed for our middle girl by clicking on the picture below!

Big Girl bed CoupleJones

 

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