Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Sewing Projects: Part Two

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Up next to share from my Christmas sewing is The Snow Day Fleece Hat and Mittens by Peek-a-Boo Patterns. I bought this pattern back in November, but last week was the first time I was able to sit down and make it. I only made the hat this time around, which made for a very quick sew. I used this adorable owl fleece (remember my owl craze??) to make these matching hats for my cousin's little girls.

They turned out pretty darn cute if I do say so myself. :) And the girls loved them!

As to my review of  the actual pattern, I think it is a must have! Super easy to follow with several different style and size options. Make the standard hat like I did or make it without the pompoms. For little ones that like to take their hats off or to keep those ears extra warm, make the ear flap version. With seven different size options, you can make one for all the kiddos. I made the XL (child) size for my cousin's oldest daughter and I could actually fit it on my head, so I think the XXL (tween) would be a perfect fit for me! :)

This pattern is also an excellent scrap buster, as it really takes a small amount of fleece. The longest continual piece you will need will be for the hat band. 

As I said above, I did not make the mittens, but I read through the directions and they were easy to follow. Pictures accompany the instructions for both the hat and the mittens, which are always an added bonus. This is a great pattern combo at a great price.

Make one and you will probably never buy a ready made hat again! Why do so when you can make your own with your kids' favorite print choices??? :) Go get The Snow Day Fleece Hat and Mittens today and see how fast you can whip out a new matching set for your little ones. I know they will be a hit! :)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Sewing Projects: Part One

I hope everyone had a truly wonderful, blessed Christmas! I know I did! So thankful for the wonderful time I had with family and friends as we celebrated the Savior's birth.

On Friday, December 13th (I know, Friday the 13th!), I submitted my last final for the semester and so began my one month vacation from school. That first Saturday was devoted to cleaning my house, as it had been poorly neglected over the past two weeks. Sunday I rested, while Monday began my mad dash to get all my Christmas projects and shopping done. My sewing projects kept me busy right up to Monday, December 23rd. It was my goal to be done that day, which I basically accomplished, except for a little hand sewing my mom asked me to do, which didn't take too long. So overall, last week was one busy week. Now I have some time to sit back and breathe and actually enjoy my vacation from school, as well as begin to share some of my Christmas projects, now that they are no longer a secret. :)

First up is my infinity scarves. I think I may be a little late to the program, but seriously, where have these beauties been all my life??? I LOVE infinity scarves! I made my first Girl Charlee fabric purchase specifically for these lovely creations.

These are only four of the ten I made. The others had already been gifted. For these scarves, I needed two yards of fabric each (because of the length); however, two yards made two scarves. The finished dimensions of these babies were approximately 14-inches wide and approximately 6-feet in circumference. I used a half inch seam allowance and my serger worked beautifully to sew these babies up, especially after my brilliant sewing friend Erin gave me the perfect tension setting for working with cotton jersey knit. (Thank you, Erin!) I have written it down and posted it to my serger! Well that was my first project! I hope to get pics of each of the recipients of these scarves wearing them. I actually have one of my grandma wearing hers. (My mom bought one of the scarves from me for a Christmas present to her mom)

Grandma with her children

She looks pretty classy in her new infinity scarf! Well that is the first of my Christmas sewing projects. I will share another tomorrow!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

New Swoon Pattern: The Levi Utility Bag

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Guess what???? Swoon Sewing Patterns has released a new pattern! And the best part???? This one is for men! Hello to the Levi Utility Bag!

Have you been struggling to think of Christmas ideas for the men your life? I know I do! Why is it men are the hardest to shop for??? And they are definitely the hardest to sew for, since well most sewing patterns out there are for children and women. But thanks to Swoon, you can now add a sewing pattern for men to your collection of patterns! Yay!!!

I know I cannot wait to make a Levi! The testers have been showing off their creative versions of Levi for the past few weeks, and let me say, they are all amazing. And if you really don't want to sew for men or you don't have any men to sew for, Levi can transform into.... a Lucy or perhaps.... a Lily. ;) This utility bag can be a great tote for your crafting supplies! I know I usually just throw my yarn and needles into a plastic bag or into my backpack (which is already full of other stuff). It would be so nice to have a bag just for them!

Oh and did I mention this bag is a fairly quick sew? Nothing like Stella or Betty! So if you were intimidated by them, maybe try out Levi first to boost your confidence. Well don't wait any longer! Go here and get Levi today. Christmas is only 13 days away!!!

Happy Sewing! :)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Peek-A-Boo Surprise :)

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Hey Everyone! I have exciting news to share! Peek-a-Boo Patterns is having an AMAZING holiday sale! I went a little crazy with it myself (I bought five patterns or was that six??), as I am sure you will.
 Click here to visit Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop.                

Here is a cute video created by the lovely owner of Peek-a-Boo Patterns. It will give you a great preview of some of her amazing patterns before you head off to shop! I know it is hard to choose between all these lovely patterns, but don't worry! The more you buy the more you save! :) Happy Shopping Everyone! Also, this sale ends on Saturday, so make sure you don't miss out!
Click here to visit Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Little Gentleman Tie and Bow Tie by Peek-a-Boo Patterns

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"It's the most wonderful time of the year!" I LOVE this time of year so very much for so many reasons! I love Thanksgiving! I love Christmas! I love New Years! I just LOVE the holidays. I love that we set aside a day to take a break from our busy lives to remember all the things we have to be thankful for, and there really are so many thing!. Thanksgiving really should be a year long celebration.

Christmas is my ultimate favorite holiday! Christmastime is truly magical, the season of hope. I have always felt this way since a child and I think it ultimately has to do with the fact that Christmas is the time to celebrate Christ's birth, a truly miraculous event and the greatest gift ever given to humankind.

For me, New Years is bittersweet. I always become reflective on New Years Eve as I say farewell to the past year and welcome in the new, reflecting on the past memories of the year and wondering what memories the new one holds.

With all that said, I am definitely in the holiday spirit! Ready to break out that Christmas music and decorate my apartment this weekend!

I am also ready to start working on those Christmas gifts!!! And speaking of which, I have to share a project I whipped up last Friday with one of my new Peek-a-Boo patterns. I sort of went on a pattern splurge last week! Haha but it was so worth it!!! Have you seen all the amazing new patterns that have been added over the past month????

Anyways, check out these adorable bow ties I made using the Little Gentleman Tie and Bow Tie pattern. Click here to view more details

Aren't these adorable??? (You'll recognize the fabric, as I used it for the small stripe on my Betty bag) I seriously LOVE this pattern! It results in perfect bows! And there are so many options to it. You can make the tie or bow ties in four different sizes. You can make a single bow tie (like mine) or you can make a stacked bow tie (which looks adorable!). You can use Velcro or snaps for the closure. I love the Velcro because it makes the neck width easily adjustable.

So cute!

This pattern is so easy to follow, with clear instructions and accompanying pictures. From cut to finish, these can easily be whipped up in an hour for newer sewers, and those expert sewers can probably whip them out in half that time. And these bow ties are excellent scrap buster projects!

They really are just perfect! And you might not be able to tell from the pics, but these bows are not floppy! They have great shape and structure! Interfacing is a wonder! I can't wait to make more of these and to try out the tie version of the pattern! I know some little gentlemen that need one of each! :)

Don't wait around! ;) Go get your Little Gentleman Tie and Bow Tie pattern today! :)

Monday, November 25, 2013

What a Betty!

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Today is a VERY special day! :) Well yes, it is my birthday, so of course, I am partial to this day! :) However, today is also Betty's birthday (or debut)! Who is Betty you ask??? Why she is the newly released (as in TODAY) Betty Bowler Bag by Swoon Sewing Patterns !!!!
Can I just say I LOVE this pattern????? Yes, I know I say this about every Swoon pattern, but Betty is my most favorite (Sorry Stella, Eleanor, and Rosie! I still love you all too)!!!! There is just something about her. She really is a true Betty! A classic/vintage beauty, a babe of a bag!

So without further ado, here is .....(drum roll)....BETTY Swoon Sewing Patterns!!!

Isn't she one classy lady?!?!?! Can't you see why she is my ultimate fav????? Now that you have gotten some good visuals, let's discuss her specs!

First, she has great structure, as you can tell from her photo shoot above. This structure is created using Craft Fuse and Fleece interfacing. This was my first time using Craft Fuse and I love it! It sure adds structure and crispness to fabric! Like Stella, she also has a stiff bottom that is made using two pieces of Peltex. (All of the interfacing/stabilizers used to make this bag are Pellon products and can be purchased at Jo-Ann's.)

Secondly, she has beautiful piping that really adds to her classic beauty. This was my first time with piping (well minus one other attempt but I never completed that project and it was only a short straight line)! I was nervous but it really turned out well. There are so many tutorials out there too that really help you overcome any piping apprehensions! And if you are just too scared, you can make Betty without piping, as a few of the Swoon testers did (and they were all lovely!). The pattern also shows you how to make your own piping, which is nice since it is often hard to find pre-made piping that matches your fabric choices perfectly. I got lucky, so I went the easy (lazy) route. :)

By the way, this video showed me an easy method for connecting piping.

Thirdly, this pattern is so versatile. She has different handle options. You can use hardware like I did or you can make them without. Instructions are given for both.  (Hardware purchased from

Her stripe panels add to her versatility, for you can use just one stripe or none at all, or you can adjust the width to your liking. Like I said above, the piping is optional too. No two Betty's will ever look alike, unless of course, you want to make twins. :)

Concerning compartments, this girl has a very cool vertical, exterior zipper pocket, which is the perfect size for your passport or cell phone or both (Betty is a perfect carry-on bag)!


Passport and Cell phone

On one of the inside panels, there is one long slip pocket that extends the length of the bag; perfect for your Nook or Tablet! :)

Now lets have a size comparison. Here is a picture of Betty alongside Stella, so you can see the difference.

They are very similar in height; however, Stella is longer and a little bulkier. Honestly, if you are torn between the two, you should really just make yourself both! A matching set even! Won't you be the Bell of the airport, with a Betty and Stella on each arm!!! :)

Well I have gone on enough about my new love Betty, so I will be silent now. But I will leave you with the following song. The start of the chorus is perfect for Betty! And I don't know about you but I just felt that Betty deserved a song on her big day! :) And she sure is "strong and steady" but don't worry, you won't have to sell your jalopy to buy her. ;) (Listen to the song and you'll get it)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

New Peek-a-Boo Patterns!!

Hurry over to Peek-a-Boo Patterns! The Comfy Cozy Robe and Slippers have been released! If you purchase them together, you save! Seriously, you can't have the robe without the slippers. ;)  And what a perfect Christmas gift! I bought my set! Can't wait to make some matching robes and slippers! I'll be sure to share pics when I do. :) Happy sewing everyone!

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Newsie Cap by Peek-a-Boo Patterns

So last week, Peek-a-Boo patterns started a new Friday tradition: Customer Appreciation Day! Every Friday, the lovely owner of this pattern shop will give away a free pattern to one lucky customer. In order to participate and have a chance at winning a free pattern, you must have made something in the past week using a Peek-a-Boo pattern. How fun is that! Last week, I wasn't able to participate, but this week I am! Yesterday, I made my first Peek-a-Boo Newsie Cap.

Isn't it adorable???? And talk about a fun, quick sew with a perfectly beautiful result!  This was my first time working with corduroy and I believe my first time sewing a real hat (at least I think). This pattern is great! It comes with several size options. I made the child size option, which I could almost fit on my head. So maybe the biggest size would be perfect for me??? ;) This hat is meant to be roomy and slouchy. If you are worried about sizing, don't be. The finished circumference of each size is given (and it is accurate), and there is also a formula for making a custom fit band. 

This pattern walks you through each step, with clear instructions and pictures. This hat is fully lined! You could use the same color for the lining or you could add a pop of color for a hidden surprise (like I did)!

Don't you love this lining fabric??? This fun apple print makes it the perfect little school girl hat! I have to tell you, I got both of these fabrics at Jo-Ann's one day when the red tag clearance was an additional 50% off. I think I got the apple print for like a $1 something a yard and the corduroy for $3 something.

I finished off the top of my hat with an adorable, large covered button.

Is that just perfect or what??? Even my husband was like "No way! That is so cute!" But don't tell anyone he said that. ;)

I am so pleased with this pattern! I can't wait to make more! This one is going to a special little six year old girl! I want to make some matching ones for my little nieces next. These really are just too adorable! If you haven't already, you used definitely get this pattern! :)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Ribbons and Bows

Here is another fun project that I completed about two weeks ago.

You might remember that I made these once before and shared them in this post. Several weeks ago, I realized Jo-Ann carries small rolls of grosgrain ribbon for $1. (The purple floral and chevron stripes were small rolls; the purple with teal polka-dots was a regular roll.) I was able to make three bows with the small rolls.

Also around that same time, I found some different shelf liner that was actually about half the thickness of regular shelf liner, yet it works just as good. No slipping at all!

I love making these bows and adding them to gifts! I loved hair bows when I was little, so seriously what little girl wouldn't love them. I mentioned this before, but I found this excellent tutorial here.
I definitely recommend making them! They would make a cute addition to any holiday outfit!

And speaking of holiday outfits! Today is Thursday and you know what that means?!?!?! It is Thrifty Thursday over at Peek-a-Boo patterns! Today's amazing deal is the Elaina Pintuck Party Dress!

Click here to view more details about this dress and its amazing features! Talk about adorable and perfect for Christmas! Grab this pattern up today for only $4 and make some matching no-slip hair bows! Your little lady/ladies will be the bell/bells of the ball! ;) Oh and to sweeten the deal, Peek-a-Boo patterns is also offering a bundle deal for those purchasing this dress along with her bolero pattern!!! Save even more and buy the two together! :)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Pillows Here And Pillows There

The other day I shared with you the big project I had completed last week, so today, I thought I would share with you one of my recent smaller projects. I like to have balance in life and in sewing. I like to complete difficult projects to stretch my skills, but I also like to throw in those easier projects so I don't go insane. Sometimes it is just nice to sit back and work on a project that doesn't require as much focus or detail.

Pillow covers are definitely a simple project (yet I think there is or can be an art to making them), but one that I actually enjoy. Don't ask me why. :) And I LOVE how a set of pillow covers can transform a couch. About two and a half weeks ago, I made my mom some pillow covers for her family room couch.

Here is the burgundy couch with its burgundy pillows. I know, lots of burgundy! But let me tell you this is the most comfortable couch in the world! For real! 

So with all that burgundy, we decided to add a pop of color.

What do you think? Same comfy couch and pillows with a new splash of color.

I made these covers with a deep envelope closure, which makes for no gaping holes and easy removal. Plus, you can actually wash these covers!

See that nice generous closure? Remember how I said that pillow covers are simple, yet there can be an art to them? Well I was referring to their construction. This pillow cover could be whipped out in 10-15 min, from cut to finish. However, I like to make professional looking pillow covers. Professional pillow covers have finished seams and reinforced tension points. To finish the raw edges of my seams, I used my serger. And to reinforce this pillow cover, I used a triple stitch along both edges.

Now another method for making removable pillow covers is the invisible zipper method. I like this method as well, primarily because both sides of the pillow can be displayed. Several months ago, I made my mom a set of pillow covers with this type of closure for her front living room couch. Here are some before and after pictures of those as well.

This is Ty Pennington home decor fabric that I really got for a steal! I just love the feel and look of this fabric. The flowers have a velvety-like texture.

Close up

Invisible Zipper
See how nice this closure is? It really is practically invisible. And the zipper was the perfect blue, which makes the zipper tab even harder to see.

So which pillow cover closure do you prefer?

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Stellar Announcement

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Yesterday,  Swoon Sewing Patterns released yet another great pattern to its already marvelous collection of PDF sewing patterns! Let's all give a warm welcome to the Stella Weekender Bag ! As many of you have probably already guessed (due to many blog posts featuring a Swoon project), I really am in love with all things Swoon! This pattern is no exception! I became a Swoon pattern tester about a month ago, my first tester project being the little girl's cardigan. Stella, however, is my first bag to test, so she is extra special!

So without further ado, let me introduce you to Stella (well at least my version of Stella)!

Front Pic

Back Pic

Isn't she amazing??? The evening I finished her, I just sat and stared, hardly believing I had actually made such a bag! Trust me, it wasn't like I just snapped my fingers and presto, there she was! This girl takes work, but as you can see, the end result is kind of worth all that hard work. :)

So what makes Stella so special? Well let's put her under the microscope. Stella is full of some serious interfacing and stabilizer! Her exterior pieces are reinforced with fleece, while her lining pieces are reinforced with a lightweight interfacing. Her handles and bottom are reinforced with Peltex, a seriously wicked stabilizer. Before attaching the lining to the exterior part, I actually snapped a picture of her insides. Poor Stella would be so mortified. ;)

She definitely has plenty of body! Can I be biased and say that my stitching looks pretty darn good, even on the inside?!?!?! :)

On top of excellent structure and form, this girl is fully lined.  

I LOVE the chocolate polka dots!

She has carrying options. If your hands need a rest, throw her over your shoulder with her removable strap. I added a nice shoulder pad to my Stella, which I purchased from This is also where I purchased her strap loops and swivel snaps. Strapworks is the place to buy bag hardware (and straps of course)! Seriously, you won't be able to find better deals!

Another fabulous feature of Stella is all her room! She definitely has enough compartments to hold all you need for a quick weekend getaway or the necessary essentials to carry on your flight in case the worst happens: your luggage fails to make it to your vacation destination. Stella is also the perfect size for a roomy diaper bag. Who says diaper bags can't have style??? I packed my Stella with some perfect weekender/travel essentials just so you could see how roomy this girl is.

Speaking of room and compartments, does this girl have pockets!!! Stella is the queen of pockets! She has pockets on the outside and pockets on the inside.

She has an exterior zipper pocket,

cargo pockets (my first time making!!!),

open pockets (inside and outside),

Inside Open Pockets

Outside Open Pockets

and even side pockets.

After such an impressive resume, are you really that surprised by her name? She really is out of this world great!

Now, I must be honest with you. This bag is not a simple project. If you are looking for a quick afternoon project, Stella is NOT your girl.  Stella takes time, patience, and determination. My suggestion is to tackle Stella in parts. Spend an afternoon (or two) cutting out all her pieces, another fusing all that interfacing to the fabric, and another (or two) putting her together. Take your time and enjoy the project, keeping a mental picture of the beautiful finished project in your mind. And honestly, if you can get past the cutting and fusing, you've accomplished over half the battle. Putting her together is the fun part! Don't be intimidated! I have only been sewing for a little over a year and look at my Stella! The instructions to this pattern are so clear and detailed, and the accompanying illustrations are an added bonus! You really can do this!

So what are you waiting for??? Go visit Swoon Sewing Patterns today and pick up Stella ! Make yourself a weekender bag that everyone will be talking about! Make one for someone on your Christmas list!

Material Credits:

Exterior fabric (Home Decor)- Premier Prints Traditions French Blue/Brown (purchased on
Interior/lining fabric (Quilting Cotton)- Spot On II Polka Dots White/Brown (purchased on 

Pellon Products-
Pellon 971F (Fleece)
Pellon 911FF (Lightweight interfacing)
Peltex 71F (Stabilizer)

Hardware and Notions-
Magnetic snaps (cargo pocket closures)-Jo-Ann's 
Zippers-purchased from
Strap loops, swivel snaps, and shoulder pad-purchased from

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Newly Updated Peek-a-Boo Pattern!!!

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Today, Peek-a-Boo Patterns released the newly updated Perfect Peasant Dress pattern, which goes up to size 12! Click here to view more details! Though I have many Peek-a-Boo patterns, I somehow missed this one!! It is adorable! I just purchased it! Be sure to check it out! I can't wait to make one!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated Rosie!!

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So you know how I was hopeful Monday that I would have pics of my completed Rosie up? Alas, our best laid plans do not always come to fruition. But better late than never! :) Here she is....

Just Hangin' Around

Do you see what I see? Let's play a game! I spy with my little eye something that is sometimes blue! Did you guess???? If you said owls, you won! Haha remember when I talked about my newest owl fad here??? I did warn you. ;)

Just Posing With the Flowers

This fabric combo (colorful owls/sparkly denim) is probably more teen friendly than sophisticated young adult... (who is calling who sophisticated???) Well good thing I am a fun young adult.... Although I am almost 28, practically pushing 30, so does that mean I am not a young adult anymore??? Ah! Please, let's not think about that anymore than we have too....

Just Posing alone....what a poser!! ;)
Look at how perfect that top stitching looks??? And those curves!! Why they are practically perfect! Let me have my bragging moment, for now...

Just Posing with the Top Down

"Please excuse my slightly wrinkled look! I have just been turned outside in or right side out! And the person sewing me only gave me a 4-inch gap to slip through, instead of the recommended 5-inch," says disgruntled purse.

Just showing off my inside zipper.

Speaking of zippers..... Can I say NIGHTMARE???? Ugh! So yes, the inside zipper looks pretty good right? Well the outside zipper is non-existent!!! You know why??? Because we had a falling out after the third time of ripping out stitches! This should not in anyway reflect negatively on the quality of this lovely pattern! Rather, it is a reflection of my poor choice to use this STRETCH denim fabric, STRETCH being the key word. First, I have never sewn with denim and this was pretty thick stuff! Secondly, the stretching quality is horrible when trying to install a zipper. The rectangular cutout kept stretching and because the fabric was so thick (plus the fleece), it was difficult to get the cut pieces to fold evenly. Let's just say, I learned my lesson about using stretch fabric for purse making. It just doesn't work or I am just that bad. Seriously, though, I always struggle somewhat with keeping a zipper aligned and not having my rectangle look slightly off. Any advice from you zipper pros? How do you keep zippers from moving? Any tricks?

So, you are probably wondering what happened to the outside zipper pocket, since, yes, I had already cut it out. I could have just cut another piece but I was stubborn and had already cut the pocket pieces. So.....I just stitched around the pocket square without the zipper and I attached the pocket pieces the same way it says to with the zipper, except on the remaining part of the raw edges of the cutout pocket edges. That probably sounds confusing, so I will just show you. Just don't laugh.

Just Posing with my Peeking Pocket

Okay, this picture even shows how my rectangle slot is kind of wonky...Stretch fabric people, stretch fabric! But on the bright side, I sort of thought the peeking owls were cute... :) Haha, a lesson well learned.

Despite my zipper trials, I love my first little Rosie! It has character! I can't wait to make my next one! I already have my (non-stretch) fabric choice picked out! The fabric choice will be less thick (because this denim was too thick) and more elegant for a sophisticated young adult....or middle-aged adult...No, I am too young for that! ;)

As to my review of this pattern, let me just say the Rosie Crossbody Bag is wonderful, like every Swoon Sewing Pattern I have tried so far!!! The directions are so clear and I love how the wonderful designer divides the process into sections of the bag, rather than every little step. Sometimes, it can feel so overwhelming to look at 21-30 steps! It is so much more comforting to see instructions broken into....say 9 steps! Much more manageable and psychologically friendlier to look at. :) The accompanying illustrations are also so helpful, especially for those of you that are more visual or for those of you that are doing something for the first time. For me, it was attaching a strap slide. The diagram was so easy to follow! This bag is perfect; smaller than the  Eleanor Slouchy Hobo bag which I showed you a picture of in this post, making it a perfect purse for the times when you just want something smaller to carry all your junk....I mean essentials in. ;) Don't get me wrong; it is still nice and roomy! It also has a different style...more structured, less slouchy. Seriously, every girl needs a different purse to compliment her different styles or moods. I love the magnetic closure and the flap! I was really worried about getting the contrasting flap piece perfectly centered but there was no need to worry! I just followed the directions to a T and it came out perfectly! I highly recommend this little lady!!!

Here is one last pic....forgive my unsophisticated dress.

Well that's a Rosie Wrap! :)