Once upon a time, I had a memory.  Once I had my daughter, it completely left the building.

I even forgot what I was originally going to write in this blog post.

I'm sure it wasn't anything more interesting than what I am about to write about.

My most recent creation is a dress that I am very excited about.  I used this pattern for the bodice.  They have some great patterns for beautiful dresses.  Mostly intermediate skill required, but rather simple to use.

This color combination is perfection.  All scrap fabric I had found in a discount bin at Michael Levine fabric store in downtown Los Angeles.  Including the pattern, this dress cost me around $30.
That's my kind of dress.

Instead of freaking out, screaming, or running away, my daughter throws herself to the ground and just lays there when she doesn't get her way.  Its actually quite amusing.  

 She didn't want to leave the pet store.....

 She didn't want to leave the Frozen sing-a-long at Disneyland.  They kicked us out...I blame them.

She wanted to draw on merchandise with a concealed crayon she was carrying around.


I've decided to do a photo series of my life with a toddler.   While having a toddler can be crazy, I think that most of the time its crazy hilarious.  


When Bam gets frustrated with me (i.e, I won't give her my coffee, I won't let her run into oncoming traffic, her dad won't let her eat the box of tampons she found...the list goes on), she throws herself to the ground.  She doesn't usually cry, just expresses some level of disgust with her parents, and the state of her life with a long annoyed sigh.  

So, here are a few so far.

She's so goddamned cute.


We had such a sweet Easter yesterday.  I honestly didn't think that Bams would understand what hunting for Easter eggs meant, but we colored eggs Sunday morning (in true Bartole family fashion), blew them dry with a blow dryer to speed things up, and then dad hid them out in the front of our apartment.   We only had to show her how to find the first one, and she was off and running.   All 12 eggs were found, smashed to pieces, and eaten by two weiner dogs.

We forgot to take a family photo, but that's ok.....we will soon.

It started off as a serious jealousy toward a dress Dita Von Teese's gorgeous Vivienne Westwood dress she wore a few years back.  That dress was the perfect amount of class and sophistication paired with sensuous and sultry.  Vivienne Westwood is just, amazing.  The End. 

I bought this gorgeous cotton fabric at Michael Levine downtown.  (I love that store for all my fabric buys)  I had no real plans for it at the time, but I knew I wanted to turn it into a skirt, or something of the like.  My favourite part of the whole sewing process is watching it hit the stage where you can envision wearing it.  You can see yourself walking around in your handmade ensemble.  It's very pleasurable, in my opinion, to look in the mirror for the first time after everything has been hemmed, altered, and cut, and sigh a huge sigh of conquer.  Because fuck yea, my friend.  I made that! and I look damn good. <3  (but no really, though) ;)

These are shots of it as I was working on it.  


Sew lets talk about sewing.  If you are anything like me, you have probably wanted to learn how to sew since forever, but never got around to it. Maybe it seems overwhelming?  Maybe you just don't have a lot of time to take a class?  Whatever it is that has been holding you back, STOP telling yourself that.  Just stop it now.

Let me tell just say one thing...I am completely self taught.  I have never paid someone to teach me how to sew.  Nobody sat down with me to show me how to use a sewing machine.  I had to google search and use a YouTube video to learn how to thread my vintage machine that my parents handed down to me for Christmas a few years ago.  That sewing machine also sat in storage for the first 3 years of my ownership before I even took the cover off since I thought I could never learn to sew because I didn't have time to take any classes.  I am so grateful I kept hearing that damn thing call my name, because I did finally learn (my way, and my own pace), and now I make all of my clothes and my daughter's clothes, because I love it.  Now I own 3 sewing machines.  I am not intimidated anymore.  Its awesome.  I love it, and I want you to love it, too.

So where do you start?  What happens first?  Well, I assume you already have a machine.  Maybe it was given to you by Aunt Blanche.  If not, THAT'S OK! then the first step is researching machines.  My chosen brands that I absolutely LOVE are Janome and Juki.  I learned on a vintage DOMESTIC brand machine made in the late 70s.  The thing that I loved about my experience is that, since it was a vintage machine, there weren't a lot of "extras" to deal with.  It was slow, only offered 8 different stitches, and that was it.  It didn't even sew button holes.  Now, while that sounds like a nightmare for a more advanced sewer, it was incredibly non intimidating and very easy to deal with.  As my skill grew and grew, I eventually graduated into needing a more advanced machine.  (I also needed a serger, but that's a whole different blog post)  Here are some resources that I put together to help you find yourself a good machine:





I hope these links, and little bit of info helps get your wheels spinning on finding the right sewing machine for you!  Stay tuned for my next post under Sewing 101.

Dear Alabama,

I want you to know that I love you.  That's really the biggest thing that I want you to absorb, because from that stems so many things.  Love is always the answer.  I learned that from someone that was really close to me a long time ago.  I wish that I had learned it when I was a child.  Watching you grow, and learn to do new things, has been my greatest adventure.  Thank you for letting me carry you every day these 19 months, and if I had to, I would carry you forever.  


Sewwww.  Remember that pencil skirt I was whining about?

The one that intimidated me so?  Yea, I went ahead and made it.  :)

You can find the pattern here.

Its actually  alot easier to make than I had anticipated.  Took me about 2 hours.  I did not make a muslin first, because seriously who has time for that?  One of my many weaknesses is that I make things fast, so there is a lot of fine tuning later.

Still- I like it.


I tried a new shirt patter.  I bought the cute pattern off Etsy.  I think I used too thick of a knit fabric (all I had was double knit), since the flutter sleeves stand straight up, prompting my husband call this shirt "The Star Trek".  I am pretty impressed with myself, though!

I also made the shirt I am wearing.  I didn't use a pattern.  I will have to create a short tutorial for it someday.  It was super easy.

My pants are vintage.  Super awesome find!!


With our doula business getting more and more active. Karla (my doula partner) and I have been discussing our goals for the future.  It's so exciting to plan and talk about what we would like to offer as far as services go.  This is the first time in my life where I have a genuine amount of excitement for a business venture.  Maybe I have found my calling?  I don't know.  BUT- I am liking every step of the way!  

I have had so many thoughts concerning childbirth and the beginning journey into motherhood.  I remember feeling so empowered and strong, even though I didn't exactly have the birthing experience that I wanted (to be honest, I really didn't know what I wanted until after it was over), becoming a mother felt so seamless.  I am blessed with an amazing husband that supports me, and I have a long list of strong mentors in my life that have helped me become a woman, and have only encouraged me to build self esteem long before I became pregnant.  I believe that was a huge part of my seemingly seamless transition.  (there were bad days, don't get me wrong...and I still have them)  I hear of so many women that have the opposite experience, and all the feelings where almost unbearable for them.  While I know for certain that everyone will have their own unique story to tell, I have this huge desire to be of service where I can.  I want women to feel empowered, heard, loved, and most of all, supported no matter what kind of birth they end up having.  I think those things are so important during- what I believe is- the most powerful change that will ever happen in our lives as women.  How can we switch it around so we aren't overcome by guilt, sadness, fear, but more joy, happiness and hopefulness during this transition into motherhood?   How can I be of service to help another new mom feel like "she's got this"?  Maybe I have it all wrong, but these are just a few things that I have been thinking about as I gear up to support my clients through their labors and deliveries.  Being a part of this community of doulas has been so eye opening and ground breaking for me already...I am so grateful I am present for it all.

Now I will talk about sewing- 

I recently discovered a pattern that I am dying to try out.  Its for a pencil skirt.  It's actually for the most perfect skirt I have ever seen.  I bought it here, and I printed it out, but I am so intimidated, and I feel a bit overwhelmed by it.  It's fun for me to makeshift my own patterns and put things together in my own sloppy way, considering I have zero formal training in the art of sewing and designing.  I think I need to use a few more easy patterns first before I get down to business on this particular one.  

I found a cute shirt pattern for Bam here.  It seems simple enough to do, and hello!   Super cute with those little flutter sleeves!  

I will keep you posted!


Watched UP with Alabama a few times this week.  It is such a sweet movie, and a real reminder that we all have hopes and dream and obstacles that come in between.  I have been reminded countless times in the last few years, or maybe over the course of my entire life (but now I am able to notice) to keep going no matter what.  Nothing is too far to reach.

For our matching skirts I recently made, I used this fabric from Michael Levine. Fun spools of thread.  Well, I thought it was super cute.  :)

I haven't been creating as much the last few days.  You know, I got a TON of "Oh-just-you-waits" when I was pregnant, one of them being "Just you wait until you get sick all the time from being around kids!", and I majorly blocked them out and underestimated how true that was.  I feel like I have had one giant cold since Bam became old enough to enjoy a playground.  I have been under the weather the last week, so.....hopefully in the next day or two, I will get back to it.  I have been drawing things up here and there.  If I don't do things like that while I am on a break, my head will explode.


I doula-ed my first birth on Tuesday.  It was the most amazing experience.  To support someone on that level....It's on an entirely new level of service.  I am humbled and grateful for the honor of having been there.  I will never forget that.

This week I have just been staying quiet. I have been so tired, and not feeling well the last few weeks.  Probably nothing, but I have needed this time to just relax.  I get so high strung and high stress about things, and the way it should all be, and why isn't it the way it should be,? blah blah blah.

This time has been spent just breathing.

....and painting my bench....

I went with an ombre style paint job.  I used what I had on hand, which didn't originally sit well in my imagination, but im glad I went with it anyway,

Because I LOVE IT!!!


You know when you watch Frozen 800 times over a weekend, and you start to notice your brain stop working?  Yea....that is where we are at over here.

With that said; I made a few matching skirts for Bam and I over the weekend <3


Alright, so basically this is my first go at a tutorial.  I did a few different ones, took way too many pictures, cried about it for a few minutes, lit some incense, opened a window to let out my frustrations, and then decided to just post.  I hope this helps you become inspired to make your own shoes for your babies.  I also hope you can see how easy it is to actually put these together yourself.  And they literally cost me $4 to make one pair.  


I thought so...

Remember to have fun.

I am not a pattern maker, so you can find a very simple pattern for this here, and adjust the sizing to fit your bae's feet.