Life is strange

Life can be strange sometimes.

I recently posted about how I wanted to spend less time blogging because it wasn’t bringing me as much joy as it used to.  I wanted to focus more on family and health and simplifying my life and spend less time on the computer and dealing with social media and all the things that come with blogging (like stress and lack of sleep).

Tree Swing by Cherie Lockwood

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The year of less

So I have been thinking a lot about my plans for the coming year.  In years past I have felt motivated to do more with my blogging: blog more often, do more tutorials, get sponsors, redesign the site, go to conferences, make patterns, the list goes on and on. But in recent months I’ve felt very strongly that I should do less.  I realized that all those things don’t come very naturally to me and are just not a priority.  I don’t think I’ll ever be a professional blogger, sewing competition winner, book writer or a pattern designer, but for now, that’s okay.

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Happy Homemade Kids Sew-along!

It’s time for a sew-along!

Happy Homemade Sew-along // elsie marley and you & mie

I’m so excited to announce that I’m teaming up with the amazing Meg, of elsie marley, to bring you our first Happy Homemade Kids Sew-along!  We’re picking one pattern to sew from the ever popular Japanese pattern book, Happy Homemade Vol. 2, which has also been recently translated to English (Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids).  You can use either version of the book to sew along with us!

So which pattern will we be sewing together?

Sew Chic Kids Review & Giveaway // you & mie

We thought the Pull-over Parka would be a great pattern to start with.  A great wardrobe basic for boys and girls, appropriate practically year round, plenty of room for modifications and embellishments, not too tricky, but not too simple.  What do you think?  Do you know a kid who needs an awesome hoodie?  The book includes Japanese sizes 100 – 130, which is approximately US sizes 3/4 – 7/8.

Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids

The sew-along will be from June 16-20, so put it in your calendar!  Between now and then we’ll be back with tons of information about where to buy the book, what types of fabric we recommend, along with other materials you’ll need, hoodie inspiration and modification ideas.  Once the sew-along starts, Meg and I will be taking you through every step of the process from tracing your pattern and adding seam allowance to constructing the garment.

When you’re done, we want you to take a picture of your pullover and share it in the sew-along Flickr pool.  Enter your project into the pool by Monday, June 23 (corrected from an earlier typo – my apologies!) so you can be included in our round-up AND be automatically entered in a great giveaway!!  More details on that to come!

Sew Chic Kids Review & Giveaway // you & mie

To get the fun started, the generous people at Tuttle Publishing is giving away THREE copies of Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids!!  This giveaway is open to US/Canadian residents only.  And though anyone can enter to win, we do hope that these books will go to people who are planning to participate in the sew-along!!  Enter the giveaway by Sunday, June 1st, 5pm PDT by following the link below {GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  CLICK LINK TO SEE WINNERS}:


I’ll be back later this week with some places you can buy the book if you’re an international participant or are super eager to get the book in your hands!

We’re really hoping that you’ll join us for this sew-along!  If you’ve always wanted to try a Japanese sewing book, but wasn’t sure where to start, THIS IS IT.

And if you’re sewing along, be sure to grab this awesome button that Meg made and post it in your sidebar or share it on Facebook or Instagram so everyone knows you’re sewing along!  #happyhomemadesewalong

happy homemade sew-along: June 16-20, 2014

Bookmark it.  Pin it.  Don’t forget it!

It’s gonna be awesome.

STYLO Issue 2 is here!

STYLO is a new online magazine aaaalll about handmade kids fashion.  In the words of Jessica Abbott, one of STYLO’s creators and editors, “Stylo is a modern kids sewing magazine, aimed at bringing you the freshest sewing patterns designed by indie designers worldwide.” 

STYLO 2 // you & mie

I can’t tell you how excited (and scared and intimidated) I was when I got the email to be a contributor.  Issue 1 was phenomenal and all the talented people behind it set the bar HIGH.

STYLO 2 // you & mie

I made an outfit for each girl and started with completely blank canvases.  White knit fabric for Yuki and off-white woven cotton for Kaya.  Then they were painted in various stages and with a couple different mediums.  The idea was that you don’t necessarily have to have access to designer fabrics, you can create your own absolutely one-of-a-kind fabric at home!

STYLO 2 // you & mie

One of these days I’ll do a dedicated post on the outfits I made for my daughters, but for now, I’d love for you to head over to STYLO and check out the AMAZINGNESS that editors, Celina and Jessica, have created along with designers and seamstresses from all over.  You won’t be disappointed.  I’m seriously at a loss for words at how incredible the work in the magazine is.  I feel ridiculously inadequate and humbled to be among them.

STYLO 2 Cover // Curly Birds

Miss Matatabi Makers and a Big Bow Washi Dress

It’s no secret that Miss Matatabi is one of my favorite online sources for fabric, especially Japanese fabrics like Nani Iro.  Frances always has an amazing selection of high quality fabrics and she’s a total sweetheart on top of all that.  So I am really excited to announce that I get to be one of the regular contributors on her site, sewing up a new project every month with some fabulous fabric from her shop, along with 3 suuuper awesome ladies!

We’re the Miss Matatabi Makers and you can read all about us here.


Starry Night Washi Dress by you & mie

My first project as an official MM Maker is up on the blog now!

I made a big bow Washi Dress in some gorgeous voile AND it has a secret modification to make it nursing-friendly!  Head over to Miss Matatabi for the full post with all the details and how I nearly ruined the whole dress with an accidental serger slice!

And while you’re over there, be sure to check out the other recent posts from Leslie, Angela, and An.  So much fun inspiration and gorgeous fabric!

Happy Monday :)

Introducing mohr studio

Hey!  Anyone still need to do some Christmas shopping?  I hope I’m not the only one!  I’ve barely gotten started and I’m in denial about how quickly Christmas is creeping up on us!  At the start of the season I have the intention of making handmade gifts for everyone.  But a couple weeks out I realize that’s not going to happen, but still want to give special and meaningful handcrafted gifts.  Well in case you’re in my boat, I wanted to tell you about my friend’s Etsy shop, mohr studio.

Ashley, the creator behind mohr studio, blogs over at everything else we do where she shares the gorgeous sewing and knitting she does for herself and her cute kiddos.  She’s recently opened up shop and I absolutely adore everything she’s made!  She’s got stuff for babies, kids, women and the home.  Everything is made with such great skill and style.

Ashley reached out to me awhile back through email and since she lives not too far away, we’ve gotten to meet up a few times and do some of my favorite things together – fabric shop, talk about natural birth and drink beer.  :P  She’s such a sweet, funny and generous person!  Last time we met up she gave me this perfect little sweater for Kaya.  It’s honestly my favorite thing to put on her now.

photo (3)

Anyways, go check out the shop.  How ridiculously cute is this sweater and dress?  Definitely wish this tunic and this hoodie came in my size.  And this or this would make perfect gifts for me some lucky lady in your life. :P

OH and I almost forgot, Ashley is offering a holiday deal of 10% off everything in her shop (code: MERRYMOHR)!  What other reason do you need?

Happy shopping!

Time to Vote!

Yesterday, my Sunki Flip for the Flip This Pattern series was revealed and today, you get a chance to vote for your favorite of the four pattern remixes!  You can check out all four and vote over at Frances Suzanne.  I have to say, my fellow competitors did a phenomenal job with their flips and coincidentally, we ALL decided to make jackets/outerwear!  I’m not entirely sure which one I like best – they are all so great!  :)

I decided to take the stylish Sunki dress and make a comfy knit hoodie for my toddler.  The original pattern is a beautiful dress with some really unique and fun elements like the very visual pockets, the overlapping shoulder seams, and the pleated sleeves at the shoulders.
I love the shape and style of the original Sunki Dress and those oh-so-identifiable pockets.  So I wanted to keep the general silhouette and modern feel from the pattern.  But my daughter really will only wear comfy knit clothing and with the weather getting colder, I thought a little zip up hoodie would be perfect!
To flip the original pattern into a zip up hoodie, I made the back one pattern piece and omitted the zipper.  In the front, I left the pockets exactly the same, but split the pattern into two pieces.  I added width to both the front and the back, since this was meant to be outerwear, I wanted to make sure it would be roomy enough to wear over layers.  I changed the shoulders from the overlapping pieces to a regular shoulder seam since I wanted to add the hood and omitted the facing pieces.
I left the sleeves pretty much the same except instead of pleating them at the shoulder, I did a slight gather.  The fabric I used is a thick and cozy sweatshirt knit, so it would have been too bulky to pleat.  But the gathers still give it that slightly poofed look.
I shortened both the sleeves and the body of the “dress” and added cuffs for a more casual and fitted look.
I chose an exposed zipper down the front for an added visual element.  It was my first time using an exposed zipper and I love it!
The oversized hood is lined with a warm flannel and is perfect for bundling up when it gets chilly!  I used one of my daughter’s store bought hoodies to draft the pattern for the hood.
I decided to sew up a pair of Sunki leggings to go with the hoodie, but stuck with the original pattern.  They were a really fast and easy project to make and I can see myself making a bunch more of these for my daughter!
And that’s my Sunki flip!  I really enjoyed sewing this hoodie and the leggings and I hope you like them too!
Thanks for letting me be a part of this fun project, Ashley and Emily!  And thank you to Shelly of Figgy’s for providing us with the Sunki pattern to flip.
Now, if you haven’t already, head on over to VOTE for your favorite Sunki flip!  Voting is open from now until Sunday, October 27th at 11pm (CST).  Happy Friday!

She’s here!

She’s finally here! Our new little addition finally made her appearance one week ago on September 24th, 1:53am (at 41 weeks and 6 days)! She was 7 pounds 7 ounces at birth, 20 inches long and is perfectly wonderful.

Her name is Kaya . . .



three days old

We had a planned home birth and it was actually quite a looooong long labor. I had been going through waves of regular and irregular contractions for days – some mild, some really intense and by day 6 or so I was exhausted and discouraged and really considering heading to the hospital to be induced. Hideko and my awesome midwife kept me hopeful though, and I’m so glad they did because we were able to have the home birth that I had imagined and in the end all that hard work was totally worth it, of course.



six days old

I can’t get enough of all her little baby parts, her soft skin and yummy smell. I’m trying to spend as much time snuggling up with her as I recover and we get to know each other and bond and redefine our family to include one more.


But to be honest, this whole 2 kid thing is kinda kicking my butt. On one hand, I want to just get lost in goo-goo-ga-ga land with Kaya all day long, but I also want to be there for Yuki especially during this huge transition. Physically I just can’t keep up with a 3 year old right now, and she is also so emotionally needy. Poor Hideko is running around trying to take care of everybody – it’s going to take awhile for us to find our new family groove I guess.

Yuki meets Kaya

But Yuki is super sweet to her baby sister. The first time she met Kaya, she was scared – she told us so. She likes to gently touch her face and give her little kisses. But when Kaya starts crying, Yuki says, “can you put her back to sleep?” Haha!!

Yuki kisses Kaya

Kaya is very lucky to have such a fun, spunky and loving big sister. I can’t wait to see how they grow up together.


I’ll be blogging here and there, though not quite as often, I’m sure. I’ve got so many projects I want to sew and share, but we’ll have to see how that all fits in with family and life. Until next time . . . take care and happy sewing! And be well!

Announcing the Japanese Sewing Book Series!

JSBS_button500That’s right!  I’m hosting my very first series here on you & mie and we’re going to be talking all about Japanese sewing books!

(pictures from Sanae Ishida)

Shortly after I started following sewing blogs, I started to notice that some of my favorite seamstresses were sewing gorgeous clothes from Japanese pattern books.  I was drawn to the classic, simple and beautiful style and aesthetic, but I didn’t understand how people could construct such elaborate pieces without being able to read Japanese.  Since most of them seemed like they were able to figure it out using the diagrams, I thought I should give it a shot too.  So I picked up a couple of books (and trust me, this is one of the harder tasks when you start looking at all the adorable choices that are out there!) and as soon as I cracked them open, I felt completely overwhelmed and lost.

photo 3I picked a simple garment, one that I could do even without directions, but left and right, I was faced with questions – what size should I make?  How much fabric do I need and will I need other notions?  Where do I find the pattern pieces I need on this crazy puzzle of a pattern sheet?  (OK, they fit pattern pieces for like 20 garments on one piece of paper, it’s intense!)  I have to add my own seam allowance!?  And so on . . .

photo(27)I clumsily worked my way through the directions and ended up with the tank top in the top picture.  It was way too big.  But it was an accomplishment and (now that it actually fits her) is one of her most worn tops.  I just wished I had someone to walk me through the steps and answer all my questions as I tried to decode each piece of the pattern and directions.

So that’s where this series comes in!  Like I said, there are TONS of amazing Japanese sewing books out there and I feel like they are a largely untapped resource – intimidating and not accessible to many of us.  So I’ve invited 5 friends to help answer some of the most basic questions about sewing with Japanese patterns and basically walk you through the entire process!  Isn’t that sweet of them!?  I think you’ll be pleased with my line up . . . I know I am!  The lovely and talented ladies who will be joining us from March 25-29 are:

Kristin from skirt as top
Sanae from Sanae Ishida
Meg from elsie marley
Frances from miss matatabi
Robin from nested in stitches

Between the six of us, we represent a pretty wide range of experience with Japanese patterns, from total beginner (me) to super advanced pros (umm . . . some of these other ladies).  So no matter where you fall, I think this series will have something for you!  Not only will they be sharing their knowledge with us, but also some of their own handmade goodies from Japanese sewing books to provide us with PLENTY of inspiration.

And to get us started with some inspiration, I’ve started a Japanese Sewing Book Inspiration Board on Pinterest that the ladies have helped fill up with beauties for your viewing pleasure.

Screen Shot 2013-03-11 at 4.12.29 PMYou should also check out Sanae’s blog post about her amazing Japanese Pattern book collection.  After you finish drooling over her books maybe you can even order a book or two now so you can sew along with the series?  And this flickr pool has tons of kids clothing sewn from Japanese patterns!

Next week, I’ll start off with a little “pre-party” and share some of the things I’ve made from Japanese sewing books.  So until the series starts in 2 weeks, please go check out all the gorgeousness on my guests’ blogs and the pinterest board to whet your appetite.  And stay tuned, because I have a couple of giveaways coming up too!  You really aren’t going to want to miss any of it :)

So tell me,
– Do you sew with Japanese patterns?
– What big questions do you have about sewing from Japanese patterns?
– Do you have something you’ve sewn from a Japanese pattern that you want us to add to the pinterest board?  If so, leave a link in the comment section!

Please feel free to spread the word about the series.  I really hope that this can become a great resource for seamstresses everywhere.  I can’t wait!

photo 6