RJR Blog Hop! Skip! Jump! Quilt

Well here’s something a little different, my very first quilt! When RJR Fabrics approached me about participating in their Cotton Supreme Solids Blog Hop, my immediate thought was I don’t really quilt… but that thought was cut short when I realized I really need to start if I ever want to use up my fabric scraps. Plus, the parent company of Cotton & Steel is automatically a winner in my book so I jumped at the chance and said yes please!

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At first I had grand ideas for complicated vintage patterns and fancy free-motion quilting but then I reminded myself I was working on my very first quilt, on a deadline, and maybe I shouldn’t get too ahead of myself for once in my life. So I scrapped all my grand schemes (no pun intended) and turned to a sewing/quilting book in my library, Sew Red. You might remember this book from another project that graced this blog way back in April 2013, and how funny that I mentioned this particular quilt in that post as a project I’d like to make in the future. Well, it only took me a year and a half but I finally made it!

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This is the Hop! Skip! Jump! quilt pattern by Denyse Schmidt, who happens to be one of my favorite fabric designers. Before I thought about which supreme solids to use with this pattern, I dumped all my scraps onto the floor and started pulling a few favorites that were big enough to work with. The ones I reached for first were the leftovers from my Cotton & Steel Mustang shirt, which I then started to coordinate with other prints that would pair nicely, and THEN I turned to the Supreme Solids swatch book to pick some colors that would bridge any gaps and pull all the prints together. I posted a photo on instagram of this process.

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The RJR Cotton Supreme Solids I picked were French Vanilla #9617-111, Tiffany Box #9617-291, Peridot #9617-342, Rio #9617-311, Riviera #9617-274, and Hot Pink #9617-217 (courtesy of RJR Fabrics).

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I followed the pattern in the book to a T, but had to skip the muslin foundation blocks since I didn’t have enough muslin. Instead I just cut one foundation block to use as a guide, but used my cutting mat to measure the final size of my quilt block instead of cutting the foundation block down as well. The top came together really quickly and I enjoyed the free hand cutting and “wing it” style of building the blocks. It was a nice, stress-free break from garment sewing!

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I wasn’t entirely sure what to do for the backing, but after watching a free class on Craftsy I found some inspiration and learned how to lay out the back and the batting. I used pins to sandwich everything together, but in the future I’d like to try the spray adhesive method. I did the simplest thing I could think of for the actual quilting part and stitched everything together by just following the white strips in a sort of lightening bolt pattern. I used varying seam allowances and had no real set plan as I worked but I think it really compliments the free hand style of the blocks.

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I was having my doubts with mixing so many colors and prints but the RJR Cotton Supreme Solids really brought my entire quilt together! I highly recommend this type of pattern to anyone who’s brand new to quilting. There’s really not a lot of room for human error so your finished product is bound to be really successful! My mitered corners are a bit of an eye sore but I picked a busy print for the binding so you can’t even tell.

luckylucille_rjr_blog_hop_quilt8(That’s my William modeling the quilt for me. Thanks, Wil!)

Lucille is convinced that this is not actually my first quilt, but is in fact a nice snuggly new thing for her to wrap up in. Which, let’s face it. It is exactly that.

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I know this is practically blasphemous in the quilting world, but I used my machine to attach the binding. Sorry, I guess that’s just the garment sewer in me and I’m not about to start hand stitching it any time soon ;)

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I’m so proud of my first quilt! A huge thanks to RJR for finally giving me the push to start quilting, and for providing the beautiful solid fabrics to pull my love of crazy mixed prints together. Check out all the other awesome RJR blog hop projects, here!

Do you do any quilting? I think I might be hooked!

xo
Rochelle

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BONUS GIVEAWAY!! (NOW CLOSED) RJR Fabrics is giving away one fat quarter fabric bundle of all the solids I used in my quilt! To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below (using your first name and a valid email address) and mention you’d like to win! :) The giveaway will close and I’ll randomly draw one winner on Friday, September 19th 2014 (For US and Canadian residents only this time, I’m sorry).

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merry happy joyus etc

I hope everyone had a happy holiday! Mine was filled with eating way too many cookies (there’s no such thing actually), taking too many photos of Lucille (also no such thing), spending time with my family, and purposefully not picking up present boxes to see how many cats I could catch. Sounds like a pretty perfect Christmas if you ask me.

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Lucille looks guilty here because she was caught red handed at the Cat Box Buffet and was unsure if Santa Paws would still bring her presents. She’s definitely not on the naughty list, but I still think Santa should have brought her a new tooth brush instead of a Petco giftcard.

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cookies

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I was really bad this year and spent a lot of time sewing my Archer button-up shirt instead of sewing Christmas presents. I tried to sneak in some last minute rush sewing on Christmas Eve but, as you can probably guess, I finished nothing. Oh well. You don’t need to use Christmas as an excuse to give gifts to the ones you love, right? Right.

Speaking of my Archer project, I’ve made some progress and it’s nearly finished! In fact, it would have been finished by now except it was amateur hour at Lucky Lucille Headquarters and I sewed a perfectly set-in sleeve on inside-out. Not once. But TWO TIMES! This is why you don’t sew late in poor lighting with fabric that doesn’t have an obvious right and wrong side. I wish I could use the excuse that I hit the Eggnog too hard that evening but I don’t drink much else besides coffee, and that wasn’t helping me either.

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I also made things infinitely more hard on myself by being too lazy to turn on my laptop and follow the actual Archer instructions. If I had done that, I would know that Jen eases the sleeve into the shoulder and then stitches up the sleeve seam and side seam in one step. You’d think I’d be better at following directions by now but uh, …yeah.

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The good news is my button hole foot and I are on speaking terms again! I’m happy to report I had not one problem with it this time. At least not with the standard button hole. I haven’t tried the rounded end ones since “the incident“.

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Again, I made things infinitely harder on myself by altering the original collar to a 1940’s collar and then attempting to keep the yoke facing. I’m almost too embarrassed to share the state of the inside of my Archer, because it’s not too pretty after hand basting the yoke facing in place and then top stitching it from the outside. But! It does look nice on the outside so who cares about the inside, right? (Uhg. I do. Who am I kidding.) I know it doesn’t look that bad (I’m not showing you the BAD side), I just know I could have done a much more tidy job and it’s bugging me that I didn’t.

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Once I get the sleeves in I just need to hem it and sew on the buttons, then it’s finished! Just in time to wrap up Archer Appreciation Month. I might even attempt some decorative saddle stitching around the collar and cuffs to compliment the brown buttons. We’ll see. I’m eager to finish so I can move on and get serious about sewing for 2014! I have A LOT of goals.

xo
Rochelle

 

Red, White, and Blue

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Happy Independence Day, America! Lucille and I are feeling awfully patriotic today and decided to flash some red, white, and blue on our walk around town.

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We chose a quiet little spot far, far away from any crazy festivities and stopped to take a few photos and sniff around. Lucille even humored me by wearing a matching vintage scarf. She puts up with so much lol ;)

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The dress I’m wearing is my most recent sewing project that I finished up on Monday night. It’s made from an amazing organic cotton sateen (sent to me by the kind folks at Organic Cotton Plus) and I can’t wait to share a full review of it. Spoiler alert: this fabric is easily the most amazing stuff I’ve ever laid hands on. Seriously, it’s that good. I love the versatility of this dress because it has the potential to be quite formal (you’ll see!), but just as easily works for a casual walk around town.

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Living in a rural college town is awesome because it becomes a ghost town in the summer. You could literally lay down in the middle of the street and not be bothered. That’s my kind of living!

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It’s been so hot and muggy for the majority of the summer thus far, leaving us with little interest in staying outdoors for very long, even when there are neat things to explore. Lucille and I don’t tolerate the heat well. We need a good rain so badly, though I don’t suppose tonight would be the most welcome night for it on account of the fireworks and all. Aren’t fireworks the best?!

Recently I found out I’m a Daughter of The American Revolution, on both maternal and paternal sides of my family, so I’m pretty much as American as they come. My country isn’t perfect but we certainly have a lot of things to be proud of and thankful for, and I’m happy to call the good ol’ U.S. of A. my home. Small Town, U.S.A. actually …very small.

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Happy 4th of July!

xo
Rochelle and Lucille

 

Gatsby Inspired

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Here’s my dress created for Erin’s Great Gatsby Sewing Challenge, inspired by this 1920’s sewing pattern that I stumbled upon via a google search. Sadly, the pattern sold years ago so I was left to try and recreate the dress on my own.

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Luckily I had taken advantage of one of those $0.99 pattern sale days at Jo-Ann’s and frivolously purchased a million patterns that I don’t even want, like, or need (I’ve gotten better with that, let me tell you), so I had something to help me recreate the main body and belt of the dress. The sleeves and neckline I drafted myself.

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Don’t ask me how I actually put this dress together because I swear I don’t know. I had a small moment of epiphany induced brilliance that turned me into a complete sewing cyborg and allowed me to sew this dress from start to finish in one go. No directions. No mistakes. …I may have actually been temporarily possessed because there’s no logical explanation for how I managed to pull this off with no plan. The sewing Gods were on my side I guess.

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I squeezed this dress out of the most insanely small piece of stash fabric, which is some sort of partially stretchy polyester blend suiting. I think I had about a yard and a half  to work with. In order to lay out my front and back pieces on the fold, I had to  bring both salvages to the inside fold line and create two new fold lines pointing to the outside. It just barely worked out. All of the materials used for this dress were in my stash for so long that I feel like this dress was free!

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I’ve always been a huge fan of the flapper movement and I love this article about how The Great Gatsby portrays women of the era all wrong. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I’ve heard awesome things about it when you accept the fact that it’s not historically accurate. I’m hoping to see it this weekend. Have you seen it? What did you think?

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Oh, and of course I had to take some photos with Lucille since there’s been an unacceptable lack of her adorable face around here lately!

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Caught her mid yawn lol.

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Lucille is generally a really lazy dog, but sometimes being outside summons her inner spaz. She was just standing around and then all of the sudden she started digging furiously and rubbing her face in the grass haha! What a dork.

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Blur face dog! That’s how you can tell she was having fun :)

 

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

xo
Rochelle

 

Adventures In Home Dec Sewing

Lately I’ve been having some trouble sleeping, and I’m sure a lot of that has to do with Lucille hogging the bed more so than usual (lol), but I’m sure another big part of it is I just haven’t felt happy with the bedroom since we moved. The sheets were old and mismatched, I don’t like our curtains, there’s a lack of furniture, etc. …it just never really felt like a place I wanted to hang out or relax in. So yesterday I woke up on a mission to change that.

featuredI had originally planned to make curtains for my sewing space with this fabric, but the longer it sat in my stash the longer I wanted to actually wear it (it would make the cutest dress!). So then I was thinking, if I make a Duvet cover I can make something for my home and it will end up touching my skin… That’s close enough to wearing it, right? Sure!

Now, I’ve never made a Duvet cover before, so it was mildly stupid of me to attempt this project without direction or a pattern, but I figured it’s essentially just a big rectangle so how hard could it really be…

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I used a flat sheet as the template and the backside of this Duvet, which just left the top part up to me to work out. I had intended to make the whole top out of the bird print but didn’t have enough to make it work on its own. I had to get a little inventive by adding the two white panels in between but I actually love the way it turned out!

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I had to do a bit of math to figure out how to cut the pieces, but it wasn’t too difficult. I should mention that math and I are not friends unless crafting is involved. My brain processes pictures, not numbers. So I wrote myself a little visual map and then did a bit of division to make my drawing become a reality. Rather than walk you through the hot mess that is “my brain on math”, I’ll just give you the measurements in case you want to try and make one of these yourself.

Full/Queen size sheet = 96″ tall by 81″ wide
Print fabric (cut 6) = 25″ tall by 41.5″ wide
Solid fabric (cut 4) = 13″ tall by 41.5″ wide
(about 4 yards of print fabric and 2 yards of solid)

Use a half inch seam allowance.

Sew 2 print pieces together at the center to make a 25″ by 82″ wide strip (you will end up with 3 of these strips)
sew 2 solid pieces together at the center to make a 13″ by 82″ wide strip (you will end up with 2 of these strips)

Sew all the strips together and Voila! You have a Duvet top! Now you just have to sew the duvet top to the sheet and install a zipper at the bottom seam.

(That math was right, right?)

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Ideally, the longer the zipper the easier it will be to insert your blanket into the Duvet. A 22″ zipper was the longest size I had in my stash so I just went with that and it works fine.

After I made the Duvet I had to whip up a little throw pillow cover to match!

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I think I worked about 4-6 hours on these projects all together. It would have gone so much more quickly if I didn’t have to waste a bunch of time figuring out just how I was going to pull this off. Really you’re just sewing a bunch of straight seams so it’s not difficult, it’s just awkward! Hats off to quilters for working with such mass amounts of fabric like this all the time! I felt like I was drowning at my sewing machine!! Haha!

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It’s funny because Lucille would NOT sit on the new Duvet cover until I practically picked her up and put her on it. I don’t know if it’s because it smells brand new (I’m bad and didn’t pre-wash anything) or if it’s because I was trying to line things up and work things out on the bed earlier in the day so she knew she couldn’t get on it. As you can see, what ever the issue was, she got over it ;)

The bird fabric is from Jo-Ann’s, and the typewriter fabric is from Melody Miller’s Ruby Star Shining collection. Don’t be upset, but both of these prints are from older collections and are now quite hard to find. Sorry for the tease!

 

Well, I have to say, the bedroom now finally feels like a room of my own and one that I’d like to be in. Mission accomplished!
Have you ever made anything for your home to make it feel more you?

 

 

Sassy Librarian Outtakes

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing more photos (and a video!!) of my Sassy Librarian Blouse, but I just wanted to share a few sneaky outtakes from today’s fun photoshoot adventure.

POLAR BEAR FACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Lucille was so not impressed that I made her sit on a log with me to take photos. Sorrry, Lucille! (I’m not sorry. Her face is adorable. My smile is gigantic.)

I hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving full of family and food, and stays safe tomorrow if you’re partaking in Black Friday insanity. I don’t leave my house on Black Friday. I shop online…

xo

 

Lately

This is my life as of late. Taking care of that ridiculously adorable bundled face and sewing. Sewing then shipping then sewing then shipping. It’s pretty wonderful actually. Zero complaints here!

Thank you to everyone who has supported my Lucky Lucille online endeavors so far. I’m absolutely blown away! I’m working double time to try to and stock up for the craft fair AND my online shop, but towards the end of the month I’ll be able to slow down a bit and do some personal sewing. I’m definitely excited for that :)

Oh! I’m definitely excited for snowboarding too! It’s getting pretty snowy up here in the mountains of Vermont and I’m loving it! Lucille isn’t loving it so much though. She hates the cold, hence the snow gear lol. I don’t condone dressing up your dog in frivolous clothing, but Lucille has zero hair on her chest and tummy and I can’t in good conscious take her out in sub-zero temps so exposed. Ha! Who am I kidding you guys SHE’S THE CUTEST EVER in doggy clothes!! She has boots too but she hates them. I only make her wear the boots when it drops below zero. Sometimes her toes get so cold when we go out for a walk that I have to carry her back inside. Poor thing. …but yeah, I totally love when she has to wear her boots haha! ;) Poor tortured dog.

 

Doggy Poop Bag Holders!

Introducing the latest Lucky Lucille item, the doggy poop bag holder!! I can’t tell you how many times Lucille and I have been about to head out for a walk when I check my pockets at the door and realize I have no poop bags. This might not be a huge deal to people with the luxury of their own yards, but when you share a community outdoor space, the fines for abandoning dog poop can be pretty hefty.

Rather than make Lucille wait in her harness while I scramble to try to find where we last left the bag roll, I decided nix that problem all together by just making a little bag holder that attaches right to her leash. Now I always know where they are, and they will always be with us on walks!

After making a prototype and getting an awesome response to them, I decided to make them to sell in my little online shop! Lucille, William, and I did some extensive field testing to make sure they were durable enough for a typical walk with us…

That included an actual poop test. How convenient is it to actually have poop bags attached to the leash when a poop commences?

Answer? VERY!

Do the bag holders get in the way of holding onto the leash? Nope!

 Do the bags fall out if they’re dragged on the ground? Nope!

Well how do they hold up to more intense walking activities like log jumping?!

Haha! Pretty well if you ask me :)

(if only Lucille could teach her dad a thing or two about grace!! lol)

Now, these poop bags holders are not meant to be dragged around on the ground for extensive periods of time. They’re not meant to be chewed on (I hope it’s obvious that plastic bags, ripped fabric, and small metal parts should NOT be chewed on or ingested by your pets!) These bag holders are also not meant to be pulled on or beaten up severely. They are made by machine, all of the seams are finished, but they are made of regular cotton fabric. Quality cotton, but cotton none the less.

BUT! Under normal walking circumstances they do their job, and they do it well!

In other news, I got my Lucille fabric in the mail the other day and promptly made a zipper pouch out of it! I decided it would be the perfect item to send, along with some other donations, for a Bully Breed benefit event taking place this weekend in Kansas City!

p.s. the bag holder I sent is the same fabric as mine, but not the same one Lucille dragged on the ground ;) I sent a fresh one lol

Lucky Lucille Fabric

Earlier this week as I was sewing I had a massive epiphany. (I love massive epiphanies by the way. They’re one of my favorite things.) So anyway, it’s no secret that I’m a crazy huge Melody Miller fan and I adore all of her fabrics above most others. A lot of her fabric that I’ve purchased for Lucky Lucille items are a collection or two old and now out of print, which makes me want to hoard the crap out of it and never sell it to anyone in whole or part. …but that’s just not very nice of me!

So as I was cutting into some of her very special Ruby Star Rising, I thought to myself how much I use JUST this fabric, and how much it’s sort of become the face of my brand even though it’s not mine. …and what happens when it’s all gone?!

And then it hit me like a ton of bricks: SPOONFLOWER!!! Folks, I’m making MY OWN FABRIC!

I’ve known about spoonflower for years so I have no clue why it just dawned on me this week to actually give it a try. I guess I thought I wasn’t talented enough to do it.

Honestly I’m super proud of myself for how it turned out!! I took this photo of Lucille:

and turned it into this:
Now, I’m not even going to pretend like I wasn’t inspired by Melody Miller. Because obviously I am. I literally stare at her fabric for hours a day as I sew. But I’d like to think I did a good job of staying inspired and not crossing the line into total rip off. I do want to carry on the brightly colored retro inspired theme since that’s the reason I fell in love with the Melody Miller collection to begin with. I feel like her fabrics are the most “me”.

But this is definitely more me! I ordered a yard of it just so I can see how the colors turned out and how the design looks to scale. If all systems are go, plan on seeing A LOT of that furry technicolored face on many Lucky Lucille products to come! Not to mention I’m TOTALLY hooked on Spoonflower now and plan to design more fabrics for myself, and also make some available to the public for purchase in the near future!

Check amateur fabric designer off my list of life goals to achieve ;)

Has anyone else ever designed fabric on Spoonflower? I’d love to hear your thoughts and see your work!

 

 

 

Self Drafted Tunic

I made a tunic! This one is special because it’s my first self drafted garment pattern. Well, self drafted in the sense that I made it myself based on a tank top pattern and my favorite shirt. If you follow Lucille and I on instagram, you saw this pattern in the making, as well as a few sneak peek shots. Now it’s completed and I have to say I’m pretty proud of myself.

I bought this fabric a few months ago and never ended up using it for the project I had in mind. I took a bit of a risk using it for a tunic because, lets face it, large circular prints can be terribly unflattering if they happen to fall oddly on the chest area. Eh-hem. Uhhh… yeah. So I took extra care to try to line up the circles so they didn’t look like targets on my upper anatomical quadrant. I think I did well.

The shirt that inspired me to make this tunic has a super cute little button tab thingy to hike up the sides as seen above. I did my best to recreate it, and I love the way it turned out. I really like wearing menswear inspired button up shirts with leggings, but a lot of the shirts don’t cover your bum. This is a problem for me since I’m a modest goody two shoes and I don’t like my spandex clad bum to be out there for all to see. So I definitely added some length when tracing the original shirt.

I made my own matching bias tape with my magical auto bias tape maker, which some of you seemed to be blown away by! Honestly I still am every time I use it. I just push the start button and chuckle to myself as the magical bias tape making gnomes who live inside the contraption do their thing. It’s pretty awesome.

I don’t know why all of the fabric I’m attracted to looks like it should be the dust ruffle on an 8 year old’s bed. …whatever I guess.

I had been taking Lucille on shorter walks while her little legs were healing up after her recent “incident“, but now that she’s feeling better she’s been raring to go! Thank you again to everyone who shared sweet words of concern for her. It really helped me get through it. This fuzzy goober face is my baby and it was really hard for me to experience that with her, even though she wasn’t badly hurt. But, the whole thing is behind us now and we’re moving forward! The kid is alright.

other outfit details
shoes: modcloth (no longer on site)
hair: bedhead by forever young
tunic: self drafted. obviously.
leggings: old navy

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Now, those who are participating in the Macaron Sew along are probably wondering why I made this tunic and not my muslin. And the answer is (shamfully) I don’t have my pattern yet!! I know, I know. I’m the worst co-host ever! But honestly, the reason why Sarah, Erin, and I decided on the bi-monthly/super low key schedule is for exactly reasons like this. Life happens, right?

Anyways, this new tunic pattern of mine needs a name!! Right? It totally needs a name. What should I name it??

xo
Rochelle & Lucille