Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy Week!

We had an amazing Christmas week last week! The week began with two very unexpected surprises.  First of all my brother and his wife who live in Houston came a few days early.  Because my brothers work is so demanding we had expected them to arrive late Christmas Eve, but instead they showed up at our doorstep Sunday night. He barged in the door singing "Happy Holidays" and we all jumped up and down for a while!  It was so much fun.  And then the next day we got another surprise!  My other brother and his wife, who live in New Jersey, had told us they would not be able to come home for Christmas.  But alas they showed up on Monday and surprised us all!!  Again we all jumped up and down for a while.. So SO so good to have almost everyone home (sans my little brother who is currently serving a two year church mission in Brazil).

You can see the video of my younger brother surprising us here.  Of course I'm crying.. of course the boys make fun of me for it ha!  Gotta love being the only girl in a family of boys.

I did make a few presents this year for Christmas.  My favorite being a knit jacket I made for my sister in law. I am still waiting to get pictures back of other presents I have made and sent out to friends/family!  Will post as soon as I get them!  Until then here are just a few pics from our wonderful Christmas week!

Christmas Eve dinner at Buca Di Peppo!  
                                 My beautiful sis in law!  The jacket fits her perfect thank goodness!

Our tradition.  Picture with the leg up.  Because lifes always a leg up with this girl!! Love my cuz!
I got to go feed the homeless with these amazing youth.  What a special memory for us all!

Dress I made and wore to a few holiday parties.

Checking out the Opryland Hotel with some amazing friends.
Never a dull moment in our house.  Of course we had a family boxing match.  This is my mom and her sister about to go at it!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas celebrating the life of our Savior Jesus Christ with those that you love!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Winter White.

When I was in high school if the weather channel even predicted that our little Nashville was getting snow the grocery aisles were empty and the schools were closed.  Usually to be followed by only a few fallen snowflakes and a lot of slush on the roads.  Snow days were the BEST tho few and far between!  So imagine my excitement as I am driving to work this am and a few snowflakes started to fall.. I was reluctant to be working on Christmas Eve, but that snow seemed like a little Christmas miracle.  Unfortunately snow doesn't have the same effect on work as it did school back in the day, but it put me back in the Christmas spirit.  It reminded me how beautiful this time of year is and how blessed we are to live in a city we love.  

So Merry Christmas Eve everyone!  And in honor of the few snowflakes in Nashville today (that have since come and gone), I wanted to show you a white dress that is one of my favorites.  It was made for a sweet bride to wear to her rehearsal dinner a few months ago.  I found the fabric in London and knew I had to save it for something special.  I am so glad that I could be a part of the weekend!  

Isn't she beautiful!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Step back.

Taking a look back today on a dress that I made late this summer.  I know that everyone's hearts are set on scarfs and winter sweaters but sometimes in the midst of a winter storm its fun to step back and remember projects long past.  In August my sweet cousin got married, and so I of course had to make myself a dress to wear to the wedding.  She also asked that I make her a dress for her engagement pics, and for her rehearsal dinner.  We had so much fun designing dresses that were perfect for her cute frame!  I will blog about that next week!

For my dress I used McCalls M6754 pattern.  I only made a few alterations to the pattern.  The front bodice pattern is made up of two pieces.  Because I was using a lifted stretch fabric I opted to cut my front bodice pattern piece on the fold instead of two separate pieces to be sewn together.  

And because I was wearing it to a wedding, I added a few inches of length to the skirt portion of the dress.  In my experience the pattern fit true to size, and besides the few alterations I made, I honestly didn't have to do much to the fit of the dress. The fabric was a little difficult to work with.  I was constantly trying to make sure that the lifted pattern on the fabric was moving in the right direction.  I wanted the stripes to be vertical on the bodice and horizontal on the skirt and that did not make things easy!  But I love how this dress turned out, it was extremely comfortable to wear all day long at the wedding...and I am excited to get more use out of it soon!


Monday, December 16, 2013

Merry Christmas, Darling.

There is no busier time for a sewing enthusiast than Christmas time!  Every year I vow I will start my crafting early.. but every year I am of course, sewing down to the very last day.  Maybe its because I get too busy making Gala dresses....but I had to..I couldn't go to that Gala well.. in a store bought dress!!

Every year for work Cameron and I attend a big fancy Gala where there is usually an amazing band, incredible food and lots and lots and lots of dancing.  I call it prom for adults.  All the men wear tuxedos and the women.. well I'd be lying if I didn't mention that I pretty much go to see how incredible these dresses are!  This year I had been dreaming of making something runway carpet-ish.  And what looks better on the runway than gold right??

I started with a very basic pattern and let the inner designer within me run wild by adding length, and then a panel on the bottom that was cut on the bias.  And let me tell you, the thin stretch fabric that I used allowed for lots and lots and lots of dancing!   

My handsome date!


Monday, December 9, 2013

Sewing Ugly

We take Christmas very very seriously!  As you can tell..

 We had an ugly sweater Christmas party last weekend and I had the hardest time finding an ugly sweater!  Who knew it could be so hard to find tacky clothing!  So an hour before the party started I had the crazy idea that I would just make us some.  I used old black t-shirts that we had already had, colored felt and trim from hobby lobby.. and there you have it.. Ugly Christmas sweaters to be worn for years!!

Car salesman or Christmas enthusiast?  We'll never know......
Just had to add this picture in..Cameron is obsessed with his Christmas blazer.  He is only allowed to wear it in December or for Valentines day.. and that man NEVER EVER forgets to bring it out the very first day of the month!  So Merry Christmas from this guy!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Pencils and Gold.

Sometimes you just need a pencil skirt.  And it needs to be in gold.  After finishing some orders for a few clients this past month, I had this amazing brocade fabric left over. I had dreams of this bomb gold skirt that I could wear throughout the holidays.  And this is what came out of those dreams.  Cameron and I had way too much fun taking these pics!  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Here's to hoping I still fit in the skirt after next week:)

Don't know what that means.. but we thought the wall was too cool to pass up!

Still loving exposed zippers..

He makes my pics look SO much better!

Gotta take one of those hipster we're together but we are so angry right now pics. 


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Voting time my friends!

I know I am a few days late but HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Sometimes I feel like we should celebrate this holiday every six months.  Once a year just doesn't seem to be enough.  Every year I spend months just thinking about what I should be for Halloween.  With my new-found love for sewing I knew this year my costume would HAVE to be home-sewn.  And because I am an avid Project Runway fan I also wanted to do something a little outside of the box.. call it my "Unconventional Challenge" costume.  So I got on Ebay...Ordered the game Twister, and decided to make myself a dress with the actual Twister mat!  It was so much fun to make!  Definitely not the easiest material to sew on.  I quickly learned that you CANNOT back-stitch on a Twister mat!  But I had a blast creating it and I love how it turned out.  I added a bright red zipper down the back, and used matching blue bias tape to finish off the edges.  Check it out and let me know what you think!

Since Halloween, my Twister dress has been entered into BurdaStyle's costume contest!  And it is currently in 3rd place!  How exciting!  So if you like how my costume turned out will you do me a favor and vote for my dress?!  Just click HERE to vote! You can vote once from each device.  So vote from your phone, your computer, your ipad, etc etc etc!!  The grand prize is a new BabyLock sewing machine (goodness gracious I could use one of those!).  After you vote let me know by leaving a comment below or on my instagram account @bybrookedesigns.. If I win I will be randomly selecting one of you to receive a FREE #byBrooke design!  So get those votes in!  Contest goes until Wednesday November 6th.  I've got some stiff competition so every vote counts!


Monday, October 28, 2013

Currently attempting...

This pattern has been sitting in my sewing box for a few months now...I have made pants before, I have made jackets before.. But throw me into the world of menswear..and well..I'm doomed.  Cameron always hassles me for the fact that I sew for everyone else but that the only thing I have made him is a bow-tie (and it was hideous mind you).  So I decided to dive right in. Go big or go home right?  So here I am.. staring at a suit pattern.. oh boy.  Wish me luck. 


Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Fall is in full swing here in Nashville.  It is undoubtedly my favorite season in the south!  For many reasons, but especially because Fall fashion is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.  This year I have made a few sweaters for the season. They are over-sized and comfy I think I wear them just about every day.  I found a few patterns that I love.  They are very easy to use but allow for a lot of personal modifications-which the inner designer in me LOVES!  And I'm kind of loving sewing knits this year.  You don't have to hassle with zippers (not complaining one bit about that!).  And once you discover that amazing stretch stitch on your sewing machine..its like winning the lottery-every single day.

I decided to use the same pattern I have been using for my sweaters to make a dress.  I have been a little obsessed with the "mullet" like dresses that everyone seems to love this year, but I didn't want to make one quite so drastic.  For the dress I kept the sleeve of the dress the same, but extended the bodice to hit just above my knees in the front.  Then rounded the edges to make it just a few inches longer in the back. It created a sort of "mini-mullet" type look.  Wow. Mini-mullet. I should never ever say that again.  Overall the dress is comfortable but unique and the medium knit that I used worked perfectly for that pattern.  Take a look and let me know what you think!

Its a perfect dress for walks through a tunnel. 

Sewing gives me wings! 

Fall also equals spray tan time......pale is in right??


Sunday, September 22, 2013


I am so happy it is finally time for Fall!  Here in Tennessee the leaves are beginning to change, the weather is getting cooler, and I have even more reason to sit by the fire and eat s'mores. And even more exciting is that I can turn in my shorts, swimsuits, and all too revealing (without being at all revealing) summer clothes for over-sized sweaters, soft scarves, and tall boots.  This season is a win win for everyone.  

Another reason to love Fall.. Football season!  We go crazy over football here in the South.  
So what's on your sewing table these days?  I have found so many patterns I am dying to try!  here are just a few!

Think long sleeve..think Christmas..think bright red!

To kick-off the season I wanted to share my very favorite fall recipe.  And a staple food in our house. Cornbread.  It has real corn in it.. so you know it can't be bad!  Hope you enjoy!  

1 (8.5oz) package Corn Muffin Jiffy Mix
1 (8.5oz)  Can of cream style corn
1 (8.5oz) Can of sweet corn
1 (8oz) Container Sour cream
1/2 cup melted butter
2 Large eggs

Set oven to 350 degrees.  Stir together all ingredients.  Pour into a lightly greased 11x7 inch baking pan.  Bake for 35 minutes or until golden on top.  

Happy Cooking and always happy sewing!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Guest Post Monday!

Well hello everyone!  Am I the only one that thought that weekend flew by?  Hope it was a good one for you!  We are kick starting this week right though with my first guest post!  I am so happy I was asked by Lauren at to be a guest on her blog!  So be sure to check out the post HERE to see the full interview.  I also have more pictures of my peplum top and stretch pencil skirt on her blog.. so please take a look!

Have a wonderful week!  More sewing projects are on the horizon.  Can't wait to show you the finished projects!


Monday, September 2, 2013

Happy in September

LOVING this announcement...

Fashion week strikes Nashville again!  I think April just might be my favorite month.  Counting down already!!

Check out more details here

In the meantime...I just finished an outfit that I'm dying to blog about but it was ordered by a client that is giving the outfit to his wife for their anniversary as a surprise (awww isn't that so sweet!).  So pictures will just have to wait just a few more days!  Keep checking back in.  I am also working on a baby blessing dress for my sweet cousin that just had her first baby a few weeks ago.  I can't get over how tiny everything is when you sew for a baby!!  I am loving this new challenge.  Pics and details to come!  

And for more good news...I have also been invited by Lauren from Style After Hours to guest post on her blog next Monday!  Yay!  She is an amazing fashion blogger from the Utah area so PALEEEASE check out her blog and her amazing fashion tips!!  She is just about as classy as a girl can get!  I can't wait to chat it up with her in the next few days!  

Lauren from Style After Hours

So good things things are in the horizon.  And we haven't even talked about Halloween yet (MY FAV).  Hope you all had a wonderful long weekend.  I am excited to get back to the grind.. and although I do love summer and everything that comes with it.. I am excited to move forward into fall.  Its about time for football season, fireplaces, warm coats, and red leaves.  And of course I cannot wait to start sewing some clothes for the season.  I have a coat, pants, and a suit (for Cameron) on my mind....  Its gonna be a busy year!  


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Polka dot attack

My last day in London I stumbled upon this beautiful polka dot fabric and fell in love. 

 Its not hard for me to fall in love with polka dots anyways but this was just screaming my name.  So even though our bags were packed to the max somehow someway we managed to get this treasure home.  AND it was totally worth it.

I had it set in my mind that I wanted an entire outfit out of this polka dot piece.  But I was inspired by all the print on print combos that I saw in London.  So instead of doing a dress I opted for a skirt and shirt polka dot duo.  And who doesn't love a little black velvet collar?  I love how it turned out.  Its a pretty dramatic outfit when worn together, but I love that I can wear each piece separate for a more casual look. Ohhh I love thee.  

My hubby got a new camera (after selling off half our furniture!) so he has been so sweet to photograph my sewing these last few weeks!  I think he's a natural!  I have to say we had some pretty hilarious moments trying to capture some of these pics!  Its a little awkward walking around a park while having someone snap photos of you! But I love that Cameron gets just as excited about my designs as I do.  And finally.. finally we can say goodbye to those blurry iphone photos.