Sewing Life

by jenny_sew on June 27, 2014

Since first going to Honduras in 2011, I have been overwhelmed at the way the Lord continues to provide for the women and children we love so much and bless the ministry of Sparrow Missions.  The tiny room where we first conducted sewing classes is now an extra room for the kids to have tutoring lessons.  A group of men, including my hubby, spent a week last spring building a new room that is much larger for sewing and discipleship classes.  The cute guy in the navy shirt is mine. :)

building 2

Within a week the structure went from thisbuilding
To this
We have seen the group of women grow in their love for the Lord and in their sewing skills as well. Last year, we worked on learning how to make some curtain panels. Several of the women had been asked to make curtains and weren’t sure how to do that so we wanted to review some basic steps. I had so much fun working along side these women for a few days and would be honored to sew with any of them every day. The women wanted a name for their group and we decided it would be so cool to have a tag made for them to sew in to their products.  The group is called Sewing Life and we are currently working on a logo and tags.



The ladies started making small pencil bags or make-up bags for us to bring back to the states and sell. My son immediately wanted the one with UK fabric that we had provided.


Recently the ladies made the most beautiful make-up bags for a friend of mine who was getting married and wanted to use the bags as gifts for her bridesmaids.  When the bags were brought back to me from a friend who had been visiting Honduras, I cried as I looked over their stitches and zippers.  The work of their hands was so beautiful and so nicely done.  These early pictures of the pencil bags don’t do their work justice.

We leave in less than a week for Honduras and I’m getting excited. On this trip we will be focusing on learning to make a larger tote bag. My prayer has been and will continue to be for the Lord to direct our steps and our path as we try to build this clinic in to sustainable work for the women. I am praying for God to show us how to grow, give us the right connections and business model so they can work and sell their items consistently. Excited to update you soon when God answers those prayers!


It’s Always a Circus Around Here

by jenny_sew on October 3, 2013

I don’t usually do a themed collection like this, but the carnival material made it’s way to my work room and I wanted to make the most of what I had.  My girls absolutely loved the new knit fabrics paired with the fun colors and designs of this cotton.  And the photo shoot was more like a circus because they were so excited to play with balloons even though it was close to bed time.

Lisa set up a scene as if we were having a party of our own and they girls just played and acted like clowns, pardon the pun. :)

Sometimes they fight like normal siblings, but for the most part, they are so sweet together.  It’s those times I wish I could bottle up their sweetness and never let it go. Ok, on to the details of the clothes since that’s what this is about, right?

This is a three piece set.  The top is grey/white chevron knit with a simple ruffle around the sleeve and embellished bib neckline.  The teal floral buttons are sewn on to the top for an added touch.  The skirt is two pieces.  The pettiskirt underneath can be worn alone much like an a-line skirt.  The top skirt can be worn over the bottom and pulled up with the ribbon material that has been sewn in to the seam so it won’t pull out.  This is an adorable set for a girl of any age.

This jumper dress is a perfect piece to transition from one season to the next as it can be worn alone or with the polka dot knit top underneath.  The sash has three buttons that adorn the middle which serves to attach an apron or leave it off.  The apron, if chosen to be worn together, is reversible so you can choose which look you want.  This gives you a dress that can be worn three ways.  All of these pieces can be found on my etsy store with more detailed explanation and options for customizing.  Here are some fun shots we took in addition to the necessary ones.

We ended up using the dresses as the theme for my youngest daughter’s 4th birthday so many of the props made it to our house for the party.  Here’s our crazy family enjoying the photo booth I set up for the kids at the party.  I hope you will enjoy one of these outfits for your next family adventure, too. It’s always a circus around here for us. :)


Summer Pieces

by jenny_sew on July 8, 2013

It has been a busy summer for us so far.  I don’t know how we are already looking at mid July, but it’s here.  I have done a few fun chevron pieces for summer sun dresses and tops that have been wildly popular.  Chevron is just everywhere right now!

I ordered this chevron in hot pink, purple, yellow and teal.  I posted a maxi dress style to my facebook page and sold most of the hot pink and teal immediately.  I am looking forward to the official photo shoot with that dress soon. This is the teal version with an adorable pink crochet accent.

I got a little playful with the fabric choices this time around.  After all, it is summer.  To me, this material just oozed summer memories with little girls and their umbrellas, clothes lines of adorable shirts and shorts, flowers and pulling wagons with toys. The lavender, purple, orange and green were a nice alternative to the typical pink palette.  I really loved this line and my girls have loved their pieces, too.

All of my summer pieces are available through my facebook page or my etsy shop.  The summer sailor collection has been so fun and popular so I will have to do a separate blog post about that all together.  Stay tuned for a fun circus themed collection, too. Hope you are having a wonderful summer with your family!


Having Fun with The Stripwork Dress Style

by jenny_sew on April 15, 2013

We have had some nasty sickness around our house since the first of the year. I didn’t think we would ever come out from under it all.  Because of that, I didn’t get a spring line out and I am so glad I waited and didn’t order fabric.  If I had bolts of new, beautiful fabric staring at me during that time I might have gone crazy.

Instead, I spent the (very little) spare time I had making some beautiful stripwork dresses with fabric I had left over from other collections.  In some instances I have a few pieces of some fabric left and like to mix them with other fabrics I may have not used before.  It just allows me to use beautiful colors in a new or different design.  So I did four different dresses in this stripwork design and I love how all of them came out.


This is the red, yellow and turqouise one.  I love how bold and bright this collection is together and will go great in to summer.

I had a mom write me and ask if I had any blue fabrics because her little girl didn’t want pink and blue was a favorite color! Sounds like my kind of project because pink isn’t my favorite either.  I love the shade of blue from navy, to teal to tiffany blue (who doesn’t love that color, right?) so this was a fun one to play with.  As with any custom order like this, I selected some fabrics I thought worked well and sent emails to the customer for approval.  She was able to view the color combinations in the fabrics before I started sewing them together.

This one is probably my daughter’s favorite given her love of pink.  I love the orange inserted in this collection with the pink and green just to do something different.

This last one is probably my favorite.  Coral is one of my favorite colors to work with and to wear personally. So I loved adding a solid coral to the top and the bright blue is a great contrast for the dark green.  Even though only one print has all these colors it, they work great together and make a beautiful dress.

If you have a color combination you would like to see, let me know.  I love doing special pieces for customers.  If you would like to purchase one that you see here, you can order through my facebook page or on my etsy site!


What A Year

by jenny_sew on January 23, 2013

I am so grateful looking back on the year 2012.  I know it’s almost Feb but we have all been sick since Christmas.  So for us…Happy New Year. :)

I decided to look back at all that I had done in 2012 with Savvy Stitches. I released two spring lines last year. The navy/coral/teal set seemed to be a hit and that was my hope because it was my absolute favorite. I am definitely a navy and red kind of girl in my own style.

The pink and green and teal line was also a favorite of those who love all things girly.  I have a few yards from this line left so this will be seen interjected in to other fabrics this year.  Can’t let it just sit in a pile!

 I found some cute bright colored fabrics in the early summer.  I didn’t have enough time to really release a full summer line so these pieces will surely show up this summer in a few ways.

I found one of my favorite fabric collections of all time to use for fall. After four releases I was decided to just focus on one colorway and really offer a wide selection of styles to showcase all the beauty in the fabric line.


Before I knew it, Christmas was here and I couldn’t decide on just one fabric for this festive holiday.  I am so excited to say I had my first sold out collection with the gray Christmas fabrics and it was within 1 1/2 weeks of release date.  Thank you so much for that!


Looking back on all those collections makes me a little tired.  I admit I saw 1am a few too many times throughout the year and I promised my husband I wouldn’t do that again! So, there will be some changes for Savvy Stitches in 2013.  I will continue to take custom orders but I am going to try to release more pieces that are already sized and ready to ship.  This means more design time for me and less waiting on the back end of an order for the piece to be finished.  Also, I will focus more on different styles and textures to challenge myself but also bring a new look to my dresses.

Most importantly, I want to continue to work with Sparrow Missions and the sewing clinics we have started in Honduras. You can read about how that began here.  I am embarrassed to say I have so many updates with that program that are exciting and powerful, I just haven’t posted them yet and hope to within the week. I will also be traveling to Phoenix, AZ in February and working with a homeless shelter for women in their inner city teaching sewing skills there.  A friend of ours has started a church in Phoenix over two years ago.  His church has specifically focused on reaching out to the homeless community in recent months.  We served with Steve in Honduras and the Lord laid on his heart a need for the women in the shelter in Phoenix to have a skill much like the women in Honduras. It’s amazing how God can open doors for us to serve in our country and abroad if we will just watch for those opportunities.  I’m excited about this program and will writing more about it in February.

Above all, I want to honor the Lord in what I do each day. I fail miserably some days.  My tongue gets a hold of me on others.  Ugh.  But God gently forgives and steers me back to a verse hanging in my workroom:

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, not for men.” Colossians 3:23


Christmas Line 2012

by jenny_sew on December 7, 2012

I have been so excited about the Christmas line that I came out with this year.  Unfortunately, I’ve been sewing so much I didn’t post any pictures to the blog.  Lisa Collins did a great job (again) with our photo shoot, especially since we waited until the last minute to do it and she worked me in to her schedule. As always, the girls just loved getting dressed up and playing around which is what I want them to do.  I never want their dresses or outfits to feel too stuffy…my girls wear them, run, play and even color with markers.  They live in the clothes I make so why should Christmas outfits be different?  That said, I want them to be extra careful when we are taking a christmas picture for a scrapbook memory.  You get perfect photos of your kids, too, right? :Wink:

This line was so popular that I sold out within 2 weeks of posting.  I am happy everyone loved it as much as I did.


Love the applique with this outfit.  The skirt and shirt option seemed to be the pick for older girls this year.

My favorite of all was the simple dress with velvet and lace trim.  This gorgeous holiday fascinator and flower were made by Magpie originals. I have a few pieces of the second set still available, but not many.  I hope to post those tomorrow for anyone who might be looking for one last outfit for their holiday picture.


Christmas is Coming

by jenny_sew on November 9, 2012

I’m getting ready for holiday shows and markets.  It’s a fun time around here.  We will have a photo shoot this weekend for our holiday collection. Here’s a couple of sneak peak pictures of the two collections.  Can’t wait to show you all the finished product when Lisa does her magic.




Why Quilt Market?

by jenny_sew on October 28, 2012

I am so thrilled to be at the International Quilt Market in Houston, TX this weekend.  Many people have asked why I am going to Quilt Market when I don’t make quilts.  One reason is because I’m inspired by and admire people who make quilts.  I have a quilt hanging in my sewing workroom that was made by my great-grandmother and her mother-in-law.  It’s a wonderful visual reminder and inspiration for creating beautiful pieces people will love for years to come.  The other reason is fabric, fabric and more fabric.  Here is one of the first quilts I saw when walking in today.  The contrast of red and purple is just beautiful.  And that drum lamp shade covered with fabric?! I would soooo be doing that if I was still in the window treatment and home decor business.

There are so many great fabric companies out there.  I am honored to work with many of the larger companies in the industry.  I have several designers that I would call my “favorites” and see my style lining up with their fabrics.  But I also want to design clothing that is different and unique in color combination, textures and finishes.  This show has given me the ability to learn about new companies, meet break-out designers and see more trim and ribbon than I thought possible.  I have been walking around like a kid in a candy store.

I’m having so much fun and even took some time to joke around a bit today at one of the booths.  In all fairness to the event, I am very honored to be approved to attend this show as it is providing some exciting growth and new directions for my business.  There is so much to see and many split decisions to make…a few times today I thought my head would explode.  So, sometimes you can’t take yourself too seriously and you have to pose like a mannequin. I will be posting some of my favorite booths from the show floor in coming days.  At the end of the day it’s not a question of, “Why Quilt Market?”  Rather, it’s a question of, “Why did I NOT come to Quilt Market before today?”


Old is New Again

by jenny_sew on October 18, 2012

To say that my grandparents were important to me would be a major understatement.  And in the land of sewing, I owe a lot to my Pappaw.  Yep, that’s right, Pappaw, not Mammaw.  He is the oldest of 8 children and learned to sew to help mend clothes for his family.  He then put that to use in the United States Marine Corps when he served in WWII.  There were many times that men’s uniforms lost buttons or had holes and due to the conditions of war, they had nothing to replace their military issued clothes.  Pappaw to the rescue! He taught  my mom to sew on his old machine and of course, mom taught me.  Being around my grandparents as a child also allowed me time with my great Aunt, Bernice, lovingly called Bebe and my great-grandmother, Granny-Granny.  I don’t know why we used double names.  We were kids and that’s what we did. :)

I wanted my girls to have something that belonged to these special women in my life.  My  mom found some old linens and I went to work trying to creatively use them for my daughters.

I wasn’t sure which one I wanted to use and I wanted to be sure before I started cutting in to old delicate pieces. I always lay material out and change the placement or swap out one color for another.  I usually enjoy mixing fabrics and playing with a lot of different patterns.  But for this style I just wanted the vintage lace and embroidery to be the highlight of the dress so a simple polka dot seemed fitting as the main fabric.

I had many pieces to choose from but this table runner seemed to be perfect.  I could cut it in half and use it for the apron front on the peasant style dress.  The simple elegance of the shirring in the neckline and sleeves would go well with the vintage look and feel of my antique cloth.  After I decided what I wanted to use, I knew I wanted the linens to be the focal point.

Here’s my youngest in her dress.  She wore it to the tea party photo shoot we did highlighting birthday and special occasions dresses (more on that later).

My oldest daughter wore her dress on Grandparent’s Day at school.  It was only fitting for her to wear a piece of her great-great-grandmother’s while my Mom and Mammaw were there to celebrate the day with her.

What about you?  Do you have a special item that belonged to someone in your family and you don’t know how to preserve it or use it for your children?  I am happy to customize special pieces for girls with anything from linens to pieces of lace or handkerchiefs.  My pieces worked well to use as the apron front on these dresses.  However, we can be as creative as possible to highlight a piece for you.  If you would like me to customize a dress, apron, shirt, etc. for you please email me or leave a comment below.



Behind the Scenes

by jenny_sew on April 10, 2012

I recently prepared for the first photo session to announce my spring collection.  We’ve taken pictures before, but never prepared for something like this.  I asked my sister if my nieces could be in the photos with my daughters, thinking I could show a variety of styles and sizes. We met my friend/photographer, Lisa, downtown near an old railroad track.  Lisa had scoped out a place she thought would be neutral enough but also interesting and the clothes would just pop against the background. I think she acheived her goal.

When my sis and Mom came in from SC, it became a family affair.  I taught my younger sister how to make fabric flowers for the headbands.  (I usually use headpieces by Magpie Originals, but didn’t allow myself for enough time to collaborate with her.) My mom is great with jewelry so she was commissioned to make some necklaces for the girls to wear. My older sister and a good friend offered a helping hand, too.

And here’s Laura with her flower.  She was so proud of herself.

It was a very cold day in Februaray, but the light was perfect and the girls had so much fun.  This is one of the color stories with traditional pink, teal and green.  My oldest daughter would wear pink every day if I let her so it was a necessity to include one pink piece.

I love all things navy, so I thought for spring it was fitting to choose a navy, coral and teal set as well. This is the teal stripwork dress.  The bodice is shirred and will provide a great fit for several seasons.

The traditional knot dress is great for any age and style.  I love the touch of white lace on the bodice.

I had an idea to take an apron front skirt and pair it with a t-shirt top for the cutest combination for spring.  It would allow for comfort and style at the same time.  This was fun to design, play with and figure out before putting it on my little girl.  It is probably one of my daughter’s favorite dresses.  I will be making this dress or variations of it for a long time.

You can view my complete line of spring pieces at Sweet Sarah’s in Frankfort or online on my etsy shop and online boutique.  We had so much fun on this photo shoot and I can’t wait to do it again.  My good friend, Lisa, and I met working beside each other in cubicles at a non profit organization.  I was miserable and wanted to do something else, I just didn’t know what it would be.  She had a great love for photography and hoped to one day have her own business.  So, here we are, eight years later and working together doing what we both wanted to do all along.  God is good! You can view all of her work at and if you are in or around Lexington, call her for a session.


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