sponsor giveaway :: backwoods mama sewing camp


Welcome back to Kathy of Backwoods Mama Sewing Camps! Please read on to learn more and leave a comment to be entered to win a spot in the Indian Summer Sew Camp. 

Kathy Stowell is a home schooling mama of two who wishes to inspire others to embrace handmade and simple living. She is passionate about slowing down childhood by crafting a peaceful, bliss-filled home allowing time and room for children to unfold into their authentic, happy and quirky selves.


Meg: How does where you live influence your style and creativity? Explain to us a little more about the "backwoods" in the title of your e-course.

Kathy: My family and I made the move from the big city to a small rural mountain town six years ago. Thus my style is part country bumpkin, part downtown, part Gaia Rainbow Tree Hugger but always handmade or second hand. My mother teases me that from a distance I look like Paris Hilton out in the garden but I think that's due to my love of many colorful layers. And lap dogs in handbags.

The 'Backwoods' in Backwoods Mama is a nod to the desire in many of us to embrace a simpler time when most household items were made from scratch. So even without the immediate need to be self-sufficient the feeling of being able to tap into this instinct and create a tangible outcome such as a piece of clothing is empowering and a wonderful example to our children of the thoughtfulness and warm intentions behind handmade. Not to mention a fun challenge too! 

Meg: What hand sewn item of clothing do you wear the most, and why?

In terms of hours per wear I definitely wear my leggings most. From September 1st to May 31st if I'm without a layer hugging my legs I feel like I'm pretty much standing outside naked! And in terms of putting in on, then taking it off, then putting it back on several times a day, I wear my utility smock the most. I have three of these in rotation; one for spinning, one for sewing and one for milking. They are all decorated in their own unique flavor of backwoods-style debris.

Meg: Tell us about your Sew Camp! What can folks expect when they sign up?

Sew Camp is an opportunity to tackle quick, easy to whip up layering essentials for the backwoods frame of mind mama. These camps  offer perfect layering pieces to play in the garden in or to make a quick run into town for building supplies. There are currently two camps to choose from: Spring or Indian Summer. These e-courses are intended for the advanced beginner sewer (one who is familiar with how to make her sewing machine go and stop) with the need for practical yet stylish staples that will have you waving your made from scratch flag all the live long day.

With purchase of the course, you will receive the patterns in a pdf downloadable format, a password and link to a private blog where instructions, complete with photos and videos, to piece your Green Acres staples together. There is  also a flickr page to share your finished pieces with other backwoods mamas. As well, you are invited to contact me via email at any time with any questions if you get stumped. My backwoods door is always open to you!

Kathy is giving away three spots in the Indian Summer Sew Camp. Winners will be drawn at random and announced on Tuesday, November 1st. Good luck, and thank you, Kathy!

The winners have been drawn; congratulations to Milena, Dana and Sandy!

sponsor giveaway :: backwoods mama spring sew camp

 A warm welcome to my newest sponsor, Kathy Stowell - the creative force behind the Backwoods Mama Spring Sew Camp! Read on to learn more about the Kathy, her handcrafting exploits, and the Sew Camp. Leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of one free spot in the Backwoods Mama Sew Camp! Comments will close on Sunday evening and a winner will be drawn and announced on Monday. Good luck!


I'm Kathy Stowell, a bit of a Backwoods Mama living in a quaint mountain village in the interior of BC. On seven acres, my husband, two kids and I grow a big garden, raise chickens and keep a sweet milking cow named Daisy. I homeschool my daughter using a Waldorf approach and in between fairytales I work on my two Etsy shops; While Tangerine Dreams, where I sell my handspun art yarn, and While Jupiter Dreams, where I sell my handmade, sustainable minded clothes.

Backwoods is a state of mind I want to celebrate; a desire to return to basics, make things from scratch, and move closer to self-reliance. This year I decided to bring together for the month of May as many Backwoods Mamas as possible from all over the world to sew a spring wardrobe to both tackle the garden in yet look presentable for town trips once chores are done. We can then share our pretty, little bit country, little bit rock and roll results with each other on a private Flickr group. I call it the Backwoods Mama Spring Sew Camp. The course will include mailed out sewing patterns and private blog access where daily construction instructions, sewing tips and answers to questions will be found via posts and videos. Sign ups close on April 11th. I do hope you can join us!

Here are a few of the clothing items you'll be making in the camp:

The Ruched Dress


Long Bloomers & Knit Top


Thank you, Kathy, and happy Spring sewing!


Comments are now closed! Congratulations to Beth Lehman, who said:

What a wonderful idea and chance!@!! I love the dress - and am fearful of knits.... I'd love to learn how to sew clothing...!!

sponsor giveaway :: sew fun patterns

From my sponsor Jennifer of Sew Fun Patterns:

Getting ready for baby means carrying a lot of stuff and Sew Fun can help you to stitch up a nice solution with the new Boho Shoulder Bag sewing pattern. This pattern is a reversible, sling style bag with bottom pleats to make it nice and roomy. It features lots of stylish top stitching, a toggle button closure and pockets inside & out.


The thing to love most about this pattern is that it takes just one yard of two different fabrics (one each for inside and out – it’s reversible)… a perfect opportunity to justify all those “I’ll just buy one yard!’ moments at your local fabric shop.

The pattern calls for the outside fabric in home dec weight or similar fabric. It looks and feels just lovely in the Japanese linen/cottons from Echino. If you are feeling more ambitious and you have the perfect quilting weight fabric, you can apply a light to medium weight interfacing to the exterior fabric like our friend Carrie did with this gorgeous Laura Gunn Dogwood Stripe in Olive from her Poppy line of designer fabrics.


The Boho Shoulder Bag can be worn over the shoulder or across the body, messenger-bag style - perfect for keeping a busy mom’s hands free. Use it for baby’s things, yoga, market, books, knitting – just about anything!

What can you do with your Boho Shoulder Bag? Please leave a comment below… Sew Fun is giving away three Boho Bag Patterns to our Sew Liberated friends!

Thank you, Jennifer! Please enter your comment to be added to the name draw - I'll be choosing a winner at random on Tuesday evening, February 15th.

Getting ready for baby means carrying a lot of stuff and our friends over at Sew Fun can help you to stitch up a nice solution with the new Boho Shoulder Bag sewing pattern. This pattern is a reversible, sling style bag with bottom pleats to make it nice and roomy. It features lots of stylish top stitching, a toggle button closure and pockets inside & out.

sponsor giveaway :: bunte fabrics

Please welcome Bunte Fabrics for this weekend's second giveaway!  Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a Quiara sewing pattern by Farbenmix and a yard of the birds on a branch knit fabric in pink (shown in the first photo below). Comments will close on Tuesday evening, December 14th. Good luck! Comments are now CLOSED.

Congratulations to Jill!

Read on to learn more about Bunte Fabrics.


Meg: Who is behind Bunte Fabrics, and how did it get started?
Yvonne: Bunte Fabrics is a true WAHM business run just by me, Yvonne. I opened the shop in 2007 after I had finished a long career in a major animation studio. It was a long jump away from everything I had known up to that point!

I fell in love with sewing just a year earlier in 2006 after I stumbled across my first Farbenmix pattern. I pretty much got an instant addiction to sewing clothes for my girls and my boy and naturally became a bit of a fabric addict as well. That led me to search for European fabrics and notions and finding that there was still a gap in European sewing supplies here in the USA I had my first thought about opening a shop online.

IMG_0002Meg: How did you discover European fabrics, and what makes them stand out as a fabric category?

Yvonne: I didn't so much discover European fabrics. I am German and have a link to Europe still even though I have lived here half my life now. There are several reasons why I love sewing with European fabrics. One,  I love that most all of them are manufactured under very strict guidelines, under the Oeko-Tex 100 standard. That is good for the environment and healthier for us to work with and wear. Second, I love that they are extra wide. Usually fabrics are about 42 inches wide. European fabrics are 58 to over 60 inches wide. So you get more fabric in the yard. Third and totally not least, I love the unique designs and since they are still hard to find here, you will truly have a one of a kind piece once your are finished sewing!  


Meg: What are your favorite patterns for children's clothes that use knit fabrics?

Yvonne: Oh gosh! I love sewing with knits and have so many favorite patterns. Right now I love AMELIE by Farbenmix but my all time favorite is most likely IMKE or QUIARA.

Thank you, Yvonne! Leave your comment to be entered in the giveaway!

sponsor giveaway :: imagine childhood

Please welcome Imagine Childhood (one of my favorite toy stores!) for the first giveaway this weekend!  Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win your choice of either a weaving loom + yarn + handmade fairy OR knitting needles + yarn + knitting tower + handmade fairy. Comments will close on Tuesday evening, December 14th. Good luck! Comments are now CLOSED.

Congratulations to Cary!

Read on to learn more about Imagine Childhood.


Meg: What is the vision behind Imagine Childhood, and how did it get started?

Sarah: As a family we have been selling children’s goods in one way or another for the past 20 years, including a storefront in Denver Colorado that we ran for many of them. But, the real start of Imagine Childhood as you see it today happened around 4 years ago.

It had been a number of years since the shop closed and often we found ourselves drifting into discussions about the importance of good, quality gifts for kids.  This of course, easily segued into “when I was a kid” conversations about each of our favorite toys and memories from childhood. 

After a while we realized that there was a recurring theme.   All of our fondest memories, whether from growing up in the 50s or thirty years later in the 80s, were of time spent exploring and imagining... of believing in the power of a stick, a piece of string, a sunny afternoon and a good sense of adventure.

That's why we started imaginechildhood.com, a place where we could share stories, toys and activities that encourage a kid to be a kid... to get out in nature and explore... to dream... to imagine.


Meg: Your blog is such a source of inspiration for families wishing to get back in touch with Nature. Can you share few favorite posts with Sew Liberated readers?



Thanks so much, Sarah! Please leave a comment to enter the drawing to win the weaving loom kit or knitting kit from Imagine Childhood.

sponsor giveaway :: nido fabric & yarn

I'm excited to bring you a series of giveaways from my sponsors in the next few weeks in preparation for the holidays. Please welcome Nido Fabric & Yarn for this weekend's giveaway! Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a fat quarter bundle of Anna Maria Horner's new line, Innocent Crush, in the "Charmed" colorway. Comments will close on Sunday evening, December 5th. Good luck!

Comments are now closed! Congratulations to commenter #138, Hannah!


Phiona in Nido's cozy store in Burlington, Vermont. Nido just started selling fabric and yarn online, too.

Meg: Tell us about Nido, Phiona—what is the story behind your store, and what do you offer to your customers?

Phiona: I have always been a crafty sort of gal & after having my son Franco I found myself following crafty mama blogs & making all sorts of things for my family & home. Inspired by the growing movement of people reinventing the do-it-yourself ethic to produce projects that are both practical & visually appealing, I decided to become a part of what was going on & put together a cohesive business plan. Less than a year later, I opened Nido’s brick & mortar shop offering a unique selection of fabric & yarn to my community. Just last month I started my online shop so that people outside of Vermont could enjoy what we had to offer as well. Both shops offer a fabulous selection of fabric from designers such as Heather Ross, Laurie Wisbrun, Naomi Ito & Etsuko Furuya as well as yarn from Swan's Island, Vermont Alpaca, Cherrytree Hill & Twinkle. There is always an assortment of fat quarter bundles in our “other items” section as well as the latest patterns & kits. It’s all been VERY exciting & I really owe a great deal to my loving husband who has been so supportive of this whole process.

Sew liberated giveaway

The giveaway prize - a fat quarter bundle of Anna Maria Horner's new fabric line, Innocent Crush, in the "Charmed" colorway.

Meg: What’s your first love—knitting or sewing? What projects are on your crafting to-do list this holiday season, and what fabrics/yarns do you have in mind for them?

Phiona: Sewing. Mrs. Ryle’s class, freshman year—I made my first dress & I was hooked! I still have the dress, which I humbly pull out of the attic every now and again to remind myself of just how far I have come. Since then I have picked up knitting but its never competed with my love of sewing!

This season it is all about simplicity! On the list for Franco is the Boy’s Cozy Pullover from Stitch Magazine's Fall 2010 edition made from Folksy Flannel, the Spaceboy & Robot from Wee Wonderfuls made with some of the Hope Valley collection & a cowl made from Vermont Alpaca yarn. Other gifts include lavender satchels, the Emmeline apron, which is ALWAYS a huge crowd pleaser & Jane Richmond’s Marian cowl out of Twinkle soft chunky yarn. The idea is to have a reasonable “to do” list this year! We’ll see ;)

Thanks so much, Phiona! Please leave a comment to enter the drawing to win the fat quarter bundle from Nido!

sponsor giveaway :: creative kismet

I'm really excited to feature one of my sponsors, Creative Kismet! Regina's art is so vibrant and full of life. Check out her inspiring blog here. She sent me one of her prints - "I Will Help You Grow" (perfect, right?) and it will have a prominent spot on the wall of the new playroom.

Please read on to learn more about Creative Kismet, and leave a comment to enter to win a free print of your choice. Comments close Sunday evening, November 20th. Creative Kismet is also offering free shipping on domestic US orders from now until November 24th. Just mention "Sew Liberated" in the notes to the seller with your order.

Art sample  

Tell us about yourself and and your art.
I am a mother of two happy, energetic and creative boys and wife of an amazing and very supportive husband. They are my light, my inspiration and my greatest joy. I am also working as a part time registered nurse and certified lactation consultant on a very busy mother/baby unit at a local hospital.  I love working with new mommies and their sweet babies, helping to make those first days of motherhood transition a bit smoother.

I am currently living in warm and sunny Southern Arizona very much inspired by the warm weather, bright colors and Mexican influences of my area. I also have this overflowing passion for creating handmade goodies, whether it be painting art, making craft or sewing. I love it all. I like to keep things upbeat, happy, cheerful and bright.

Glorious morning tea -wm

How does motherhood and your work as a nurse influence your art?

Because motherhood is such a tender and sometimes difficult period, I know that any support you get can mean the world. Whether it is helping a new baby nurse, getting a free home cooked meal, or gentle and kind words of encouragement, mothers need all the support we can get--and we should graciously accept it. I always think of these things when I make my art.  A painting that is bright, cheerful and gives a positive feeling and message is something that I want to share.


How do you set aside time to create in the midst of motherhood and work? Any suggestions for the rest of us?
Well, I'm not the best house keeper in the world. If there is a pile of clothes or dishes, I'd rather cover them up with a pretty dish towel so that I can have a bit more time with my art.  Actually, my husband is pretty amazing and helpful around the house and with the kids. We try hard to make sure there is time for both of us to do what we like. It's a priority to set that time aside.   My kids, ages 9 and 5, are in Montessori school now. They are at a great age where they are becoming more and more independent. They are also the best of buds and play very well together, keeping each other busy and active. This has definitely helped with freeing up little bits of time here and there. We have come to realize that when we all have time to do what we enjoy, we are all much happier and the rhythm of our home flows a bit easier. It isn't always humming, there are definite hiccups, but we try to take it in stride the best we can.

Thank you so much, Regina!


*****************************UPDATE, COMMENTS CLOSED************************

Thanks to all who entered, and congratulations to Kristin, whose comment was selected at random.

sponsor giveaway :: sew fun patterns

I'm excited to be supported in my blog-writing efforts this month by Sew Fun Patterns. Jenn has some wonderful patterns on her site, including the brilliant Grab n' Go Diaper Clutch. Who wants to lug around a ginormous diaper bag? I was under the impression that I needed a huge diaper bag when I was pregnant with Finn. I was wrong. I'm making one of these clutches for baby #2, and keeping the big 'ol bag in the trunk with an extra change of clothes, etc. Read on to learn more about Sew Fun and to enter the giveaway!


Hello, I’m Jenn Lopez – wife, mama and owner/designer of Sew Fun, www.sewfun.com. I used to be an educational video game developer but now I design sewing patterns for Babies and Moms. I made the switch so I could claim buying fabric as a business activity. Just like the games I used to make, all of my patterns are easy & fun. With easy-to-follow instructions and detailed illustrations, they are beginner-friendly yet appealing to advanced sewing enthusiasts.

Out and about with the Grab 'n' Go Diaper Clutch

At Sew Fun, we believe in supporting cottage industries and work-at-home crafty moms, so we are proud to offer a limited free licensing program for all Sew Fun patterns. Here is our Grab 'n' Go Diaper Clutch stitched up by one of our ETSY friends over at Sonoran Baby:

Grab 'n' Go Diaper Clutch holds it all

From quilts and toys for Baby to stylish diaper bags and accessories for Mom, Sew Fun patterns make beautiful gifts for baby showers and cherished handmade keepsakes for all the loved ones in your life!


Jen is giving away THREE diaper clutch patterns to three lucky Sew Liberated readers! Just leave a comment to enter; the winners will be drawn at random on Sunday evening, October 3. 

Thank you to all for entering, and congratulations to Yana, Rachel, and Zom G. who won the random drawing. Jenn of SewFun patterns will be in touch with you to claim your diaper clutch patterns!