Monday, December 31, 2012

My Thoughts on 2012 {Reaching Goals and Building a Dream}

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I love what I do.

When I started SoChick! in 2010 I was sewing bags and accessories, all the while growing this passion for fabric, sewing and handmade loveliness.  I knew it then, but began to realize it more and more, that my passion wasn't in manufacturing bags, as much as it was in creating, designing and sharing my passion for fabric and sewing in general.  I get so excited to look at and share beautiful fabric, inspiration and... what was that? you have a question about sewing??... I'm all about encouraging and sharing my knowledge!  I love learning new techniques as much as I love sharing ones I know.

I have a growing love for ALL things sewing related: bag making, quilting, and yes, even garment sewing (although its a newer adventure that I'm learning more about).

My passion for pretty fabric may have come from the extreme lack thereof in my local area.  While there are a few shops, none carry the fabric that I .  So, I learned about and developed my taste for fabric by ordering online.  By purchasing small quantities of fabric online, I became familiar with designers and colors.  Also, annual visits to the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo in Atlanta, Ga, allowed me to touch/feel all kinds of fabrics, and I'm like a sponge when it comes to learning techniques!

Lets not forget to mention how much I  getting my fabric delivered by Mr. UPS, and Mr/Ms USPS.  I know they think I'm some crazy fabric-sewing chick... that's okay.
In the beginning of 2012 I knew I wanted big things for my little business, every year has been a year of growth and goal reaching... this year, many of the little dreams, on the path to my big dream, came true. 

I released a Sewing Pattern for sale and have had major success on a free Sewing Tutorial (in my humble opinion). I taught a few sewing lessons to friends, one of whom is getting her first sewing machine in the very near future (Success!!).  And, my little sewing studio is bursting with bolts of beautiful fabric from my favorite designers, as I am now selling fabric by the yard in my online Fabric Shoppe.  Sitting down with my fabric rep and looking through fabric samples was a big dream-come-true... Yay! 

In 2013 I hope to add more fabric to my shoppe, complete an Epic Quilt Project, release more PDF Patterns for sale, and build my Blog's Virtual Shoppe community.

I can not give enough thanks to each and every one of my customers, blog readers, twitter/facebook followers, online friends and real-life friends (and family) for the support you have shown me and my growing business.  While SoChick! is still very much a small business, it has come so, so far... and wouldn't be what it is today if it weren't for all of you!

I hope 2013 brings many awesome things to each of you, health, happiness, love, and perhaps some needle and thread... and of course, fabric!  

Craft Buds

XxOo~ Melissa

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday Sponsor Spotlight {Sew Vintage & Bubblewrapp'd}

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I hope your Sunday morning is as beautiful as the one outside my window... the sun is shining here and blue skies for miles.

Welcome to SoChick's first Sunday Sponsor Spotlight!  Much like Featured Shop Posts, the Sunday Sponsor Spotlight will highlight my lovely sponsors whose pretty ads hang out on the right-hand side of the blog... waiting for you to click and browse their Sites/Shops.

Let's take a look at this month's Sponsors:

Sew Vintage is Christy's Etsy Shoppe where she sells her pretty custom made pillowcases and vintage finds.  
Here are two of my favorites currently in her shop:

Personalized Childs Pillowcase
{Personalized Pillowcase via Sew Vintage on Etsy}
Pretty In Pink Pyrex Bowl
{Pretty In Pink Vintage Pyrex Bowl via Sew Vintage on Etsy}
You can also follow Christy on her blog, Here.

* * *

You've seen Bubblewrapp'd on here before; perhaps you've been to Andrea's blog, too.  
I have made several purchases from Andrea's shop and love each and every one of them.
Take a look at her current block selection:

Hey Love. Wood Block Decor.
{Hey, love. block via Bubblewrapp'd on Etsy}
Be Mine. Great Valentine's Decor.
{Be mine. via Bubblewrapp'd on Etsy}

These are still my favorite blocks from my own Bubblewrapp'd collection:

* * *
Be sure to pay these lovely ladies a visit and a huge thank you to Christy and Andera for being SoChick Sponsors! 

Are you interested in Sponsoring/Advertising on SoChick!~The Blog ?  Visit here for more info!

XxOo~ Melissa

Friday, December 28, 2012

Virtually SoChick! {The Blog, The Shoppe}

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Imagine walking through a quaint little town full of pretty windowed store fronts.  The shoppes aren't big, but they are inviting.  The store window that catches your creative eye is filled with lovely sewn accessories: pillows, cushions, fabric bunting, a pretty handbag or two, and a few children's garments.  Behind the window display is a cozy slipcovered loveseat with a gorgeous quilt draped across the back, flanked by a few comfy chairs and a small table filled with sewing magazines.  Beyond that, in this cute little shoppe, bookcases filled with beautifully colored bolts of fabric catch your eye; you notice the shelves are sprinkled with a collection of small vintage sewing machines and apothecary jars filled with raw cotton and vintage sewing notions; this view is pleasing, not overwhelming; you decide you need to take a closer look...

{Vintage Sewing Notions via}
{make do and mend. via}
{cotton jars via}
Welcome to my "Sewing Shoppe"... from the comfort of your home or wherever you may be, this is how I want you to feel when you come to SoChick!, the blog and the fabric shoppe.  Grab a cup of coffee, or tea, whichever you please, and take a look around.

My blog is becoming my virtual Sewing Boutique, where I share my love for creating: sewing of all kinds, quilting, funky machine embroidery, and fabric.  Here you can browse tutorials, find inspiration and tips/tricks for sewing; read my Guide to Fabric, ask questions and get answers; learn about featured small businesses, whose items I'd gladly display in a real shoppe; join a quilt-along or sew-along, and find new SoChick! Sewing Patterns.  And, most importantly, browse a selection of fresh, modern quilting and lifestyle fabrics in my online Fabric Shoppe

I'm looking forward to your visits, and will be here at the sewing machine or cutting table, ready to greet you!

XxOo~ Melissa

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Holidays from The SoChick Chick

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If you haven't already, please stop into the SoChick! Fabric Shoppe (on Etsy) to check out the beautiful new prints listed yesterday!  I will be offline and spending time with my family for the Holidays, so any orders placed through December 26th will ship on Wed. Dec 27th.

Thank you, always, for your support & love!

XxOo~ Melissa

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Custom Winter-Sewing Tee {Embroidering Off The Edge}

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While embroidering Holiday orders, I had this overwhelming urge to stitch something holiday-related for myself.  Luckily, I had just picked up some cheap thermal long-sleeved tees at Walmart in case inspiration, like this, hit!

I was torn between stitching something sewing related and over-the-top holiday; I also like to stitch things a little differently, using unexpected techniques.  That's when stitching off of the edge came to mind; I remembered seeing a smaller scale "off the edge" technique in this Urban Threads Project... so I decided to bring it for my tee.

I snatched some awesome sewing-themed snowflake designs (below) and got to it!

[The Project] 
Machine Embroidered Thermal Tee 
{Embroidering "Off the Edge"}

Machine Used: 
Singer Futura CE-150

 100% Cotton Thermal Long-sleeved Tee.  OP brand from Walmart

 Thread: Floriani & Isacord, 100%Polyester Embroidery Thread in various colors
 Stabilizer: Floriani No Show Mesh, OESD Lightweight Tear-Away
 Embroidery Design: Crystallized, Scissors Snowflake, and Sewing Snowflake from

  I printed the embroidery designs on paper then used the cutouts to determine the placement on my shirt.  Lucky for me, "Eloise" was more than happy to model the shirt while I decided where I wanted the snowflakes to go. 

Once I decided on placement I fused the Floriani No Show Mesh to the wrong side of the area to be stitched.  Because this shirt has a bit of stretch to it, I lightly stretched it when fusing on the stabilizer.  Next, I hooped the shirt with the OESD Lightweight tear-away. After stitching I carefully peeled off the tear-away and trimmed the mesh.  Because of the light stitching, I didn't get all of the tear-away off, but was sure to tear away from the larger open pieces.

I followed the same process with the pieces to stitch off of the edge.  I stabilized, hooped, and stitched as usual; then cut through the design as I trimmed away the stabilizer.  

[The Verdict: on Embroidering off the edge]

This was sew fun!  I have washed and worn my shirt several times without a hitch.  Although the designs I used were light stitching, they had enough stitching to not unravel when the design was cut.  (I wouldn't recommend cutting away a heavily stitched design.) I have had no fraying at the trimmed designs.

Have you tried this embroidery technique?  Do you want to try it? I'd love to hear/see what you've done!  Leave a comment!

XxOo~ Melissa

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

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A quick little post to say...  

Source: via Fresh on Pinterest

Thank you for reading my little blog, and thank you for following me on Twitter and Facebook.

Thank you for reading my Newsletters, and for leaving awesome comment entries on giveaways. (I love reading those!)

Thank you for ordering/purchasing my handbags, my sewing patterns and, most recently, pretty fabric from my Fabric Shoppe. (I enjoy sending out fabric more than you can possibly imagine! I. LOVE. IT!)

Thank you for pinning my free Boxie Pouch tutorial more than 4 THOUSAND times! (WOW!!)

Thank you for being a part of this SoChick! journey... I love what I do, I love planning for the future and I hope you love what is coming next. 

Thank you! 

XxOo~ Melissa

Monday, December 3, 2012

Giveaway Day Dec '12 {Sew, Mama, Sew}

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Happy Monday, and welcome to the December Giveaway Day!  I am linking up with Sew, Mama, Sew to share some pretty fabric and hopefully meet new friends and readers!

Without further adieu...

{The Giveaway}

Today I'm offering up a pretty fabric roll of my most favorite pink prints from Amy Butler's Soul Blossoms line. 

This little fabric roll features one half-yard cut of each of the following prints:
- Laurel Dots in Cherry
- Passion Lilly in Cerise Pink
- Peacock Feather in Blush

That's a total of one and a half yards of fabric for your next sewing project or for your stash!  Or, maybe you're entering because you know your stitching friend would heart this fabric roll! (And that's awesome!)

If you read my blog, it's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Amy Butler's beautiful fabrics... if you're new here, now you know... this Chick's an Amy Butler fan for sure!

Amy's beautiful prints first caught my eye when I started sewing regularly and couldn't find fabric locally that was beautiful, sophisticated and modern, but also fun and versatile.  Amy's fabric is just that, in my opinion. 

{So... what do you need to do to enter?} 

Simple, just leave a comment telling me what you will make if you win this pretty little roll of fabric! **IMPORTANT** Please log your entry in the Rafflecopter app, below, so I know how to reach you if you win, I will be using Rafflecopter to pick the winner!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

{The Details:}
This giveaway will end at 8pm EST on December 7, 2012 and is open to US Residents (Prize to be shipped within the US).  I will notify the winner by email, as well as post here on the blog, by December 9th.

Of course I'm happy for you to follow my blog, facebook or twitter pages and I invite you to check out my SoChick Fabric Shoppe on Etsy.  While none of this is required to enter the Giveaway, I love meeting new sewing/quilting/handmade friends and would enjoy getting to know you!

Thanks so much for stopping by and Good Luck!!

Looking for more Giveaways to enter? Click below:

XxOo~ Melissa

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New Items and I'd Like Your Feedback!

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It's official, Jennifer Paganelli's Happy Land is in the house! And for sale in my SoChick Fabric Shoppe on Etsy

I love Jennifer's use of color and am crazy about the Eloise print in Sky (The pretty floral print, above). I think you will find that the selection I chose from this new Free Spirit collection is versatile and, well... happy! 

Happy Land Fat Quarter Bundles are now available in the Shoppe as well.  Fat Quarters are perfect for small projects, and a great way to build your fabric stash, but they are also an awesome way to familiarize yourself with designers and collections without committing to several yards of fabric.  See something you love from the fat quarter bundle?  Simply order more yardage of it!

I have a few plans for these prints that I'm excited to share with you in the coming weeks, and I'd love to hear what you plan to use them for.

{Share Your Thoughts}

Visit the Handbags Shop Here.

Thank you for always being wonderful, I look forward to seeing how you'd like to shop SoChick and will tell you more about SoChick's path for the future later this week.

XxOo~ Melissa

Monday, November 19, 2012

Baked Oatmeal Breakfast {A Pinterest Recipe Success}

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I've been doing my best to plan menus for the week to help keep the pressure off of me at meal-time, to help with budgeting (I only buy what I need and look for sales/deals.. I don't coupon, though), and of course to make sure my family has healthy yummy food in their belly!

This Baked Oatmeal Breakfast is something that I found on Pinterest while browsing around for  recipes using Steel Cut Oats. (Note: This recipe does not use Steel Cut Oats... I'll share that in another post.)
What caught my eye on this Baked Oatmeal Breakfast is that it is fairly quick to assemble, tastes great, and is a perfect make-ahead meal that can be eaten for the rest of the week!

Here we go:

{Baked Oatmeal Breakfast}

Bakes in 45-50 minutes

Makes 12 Servings

4 Cups Rolled Oats (I used Quaker Old Fashioned Oats)
1/2 c brown sugar, packed
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 c chopped walnuts
1 1/2c quartered/sliced strawberries
1/2 c milk chocolate chips (I mixed white chocolate chips and mini milk chocolate chips)
3 1/2 c milk
2 large eggs
4 tbsp melted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large banana, peeled and sliced

Preheat Oven to 375°F.

Grease a large 9 x 13in casserole dish, I use Crisco Shortening, but you can choose to use non-stick cooking spray, just be sure to liberally coat the dish.

In a large bowl mix the oats and the next 7 ingredients, pour into the casserole and evenly spread the dry mixture.  In the same bowl, because I don't like to dirty more dishes than necessary, mix the milk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla.  

Note: As you mix the melted butter into the cold, wet, ingredients you will notice that it's going to solidify into tiny little bits, this is totally okay and to be expected.

Pour the wet mixture evenly over the oats in the casserole dish.  Allow it to sit for a minute to give the mixture a chance to soak through the oats, you may need go tap/wiggle the dish to get it to soak in.

Place the banana slices evenly atop the oatmeal mixture and bake for 45-50 minutes in the 375°F oven.

Remove the casserole from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

To keep for the rest of the week, simply cover a cooled dish with plastic wrap, or lid, and store in the refrigerator. *You may choose to slice your casserole into equal portions for easy removal through the week.

Tips for heating through the week:
-Remove individual servigs from the casserole and bake, on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until heated though.
- You can easily microwave individual servings, too!
- Try drizzling reheated servings with honey or maple syrup, yum!

Here is the Pinterest Pin that I modified my recipe from:

Disclaimer: I am not one of those chicks who tests Pinterest pins, but those chicks do exisit; if you look for them on Pinterest you will be impressed, amused and informed... for sure! I'm also not a food blogger so I haven't really mastered the "perfect foot shot" and I baked this at night while snapping pics and sharing on Instagram, so... yeah. Enjoy!

XxOo~ Melissa

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hiya Luv Holli Days

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I was so excited that Gina, from Hiya Luv, asked if I wanted to participate in her Holli Days Series.. of course I did!  Hop on over to Gina's blog today to see what I'm giving away!

Hiya Luv Holli Days via

XxOo~ Melissa

Friday, November 16, 2012

Holiday Shopping with SoChick! {Last Chance Deals, Personalized Gift Sets}

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Final inventory for 2012 is now listed in the SoChick Handbags & Accessories Shop.  Now is a great time to get your hands on handmade gifts for the Holidays... Most Items in the Shop are *LAST CHANCE* and One-of-a-kind deals:
SoChick Sling and Pleated Pouch Set in Aqua Spring

Limestone Wallet with Genuine Leather Tab
 Also, you'll find some Personalized Sets which are perfect for Holiday Gifting:
Limited Edition Personalized Gift Set

Fun & Festive Personalized Handtowel Sets

Head on over to Shop SoChick! Handbags now, the last day to shop is December 14th, when the SoChick Handbags & Accessories shop closes for the rest of 2012!

** GIVEAWAY: I'm celebrating 500 fans on Facebook with a Giveaway of one Pink & Green Gift Set (pictured above)... to enter, visit the SoChick! Handbags Facebook page and Click on the Blue "Giveaway" tab!**

XxOo~ Melissa

Friday, November 9, 2012

{SALE Announcement} SoChick Fabric Shoppe

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Happy Friday!  If you are signed up for the SoChick! Newsletter, you know that I need to make room in my studio for new fabric... to help with that I'm having a SALE in my Fabric Shoppe on Etsy!!

Through Thursday, November 15th, save 30% at checkout with coupon code ETSY30.  That means you can score Amy Butler prints for as low as $6.30/yard and cotton laminate for less than $12/yd!

It's a great time to grab up fabric and try any of these free projects that Amy shares on her website.  

You can make beautiful gifts for giving over the Holidays or save it for stitching on a cold winter day, nothing beats the winter blues quite like beautiful fabric!

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

XxOo~ Melissa

Monday, November 5, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up, and More! {DIY, Food, Thankful, Sandy Relief and How you Can Help}

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I'm alive!  Of course if you are following me on {Facebook}, {Twitter} or {Instagram}, you knew this... if not, you should! *wink*

{Where I've Been...}

I took a much needed mental break.  You see, my brain works overtime coming up with awesome ideas, which I welcome... but unfortunately, along the way I sort of overwhelmed myself and had to step away to recharge.  We all need a little recharging every once in a while, right?

As you may or may not know, working from home and managing a business is a lot of work, never mind when one is also managing a family with active children and has a hardworking, yet supportive, spouse who is the main source of income for the household.   

During my re-grouping session (doesn't that sound professional?) I took a look at the big picture that is my life; I saw that I needed to re-prioritize my time to give my brain a break so that I can be present, physically and mentally, for my family, my business, this blog and for myself, too.

Here's some of what I've been up to, I'll fill you in on other goings on over the next week or so...

{DIY: My Master Bathroom Re-Do}
  It has been over a year since the fire in our home, and while most of the big work is finished, there is still kitchen back-splash to be hung, trim to be caulked and painted, and some other small painting projects.  I went through my list for the summer, and then accomplished very little... to get back into the swing I decided to take on a smaller DIY project of re-doing our master bathroom:

Un-Primed Builder Beige, blah!
Freshly Painted Grey
It was dark out when I took this photo, still the same grey!

I was excited to try homemade chalk paint for the first time with this DIY project.  I painted the shelves, which you can see were a dark cherry color in the Before picture, a light, almost-white, color called "Sweet Leaf". 

More about this re-do, including an actual After picture once it's complete, along with paint color info, the chalk paint recipe I used and my inspiration for it, coming soon.

I also lined the DIY Roman Shades from this post, and replaced the slats because our cat, Jack Bauer, jacked them all up... pun intended, ha!

The shade on the left is lined, right is unlined, see the difference?!

I'll update my DIY Roman Shade Post with How-To info along with Pros and Cons to the Mini-Blind Roman Shades!

{Good Eats: What I've been cooking}

I've been doing a great job of meal planning... well, for me anyway.  Since we are gone for gymnastics practice three evenings a week, I've been trying my best to make crock-pot and easy-to-cook meals.  But also, I've just been enjoying cooking for my family in general.  Here is some of what we've been eating.

Sunday Morning Breakfast: Thick-sliced italian bread French Toast, Baked Bacon, Mocha French Roast Coffee, Freshly Juiced Pineapple-Orange Juice.

Dinner: Country Ribs, Roasted Brussles Sprouts, Sauteed Sweet Potato w/Brown Sugar

This morning we had Steel Cut Oats- My little chicks loved this breakfast!- Inspired by this Pinterest Pin:

Follow Me on {Pinterest}

Want recipes? Let me know in the comments and I'll put a post up for ya!

{Thankful in November}

Everyone else is doing this, and it's a fabulous Idea, so I'm jumping on the bandwagon... I'll follow-up via Instagram & Twitter #ThankfulInNovember, but here are my first five:

1- I'm thankful for, this guy:  
I couldn't ask for a better friend, husband, and father to our girls, to spend forever with.

2- I'm thankful for, this chick: 

My first little chick-a-dee was born a preemie, at 5 1/2 weeks early, and weighed 4lbs 14oz. I couldn't be more proud of this girl, she cracks me up, loves school like it's cool, all while managing to excel in gymnastics and girl scouts. *tear*

3- I'm thankful for, this chick: 

My littlest chickie, does most everything on her terms... Miss Southern Diva, 'nuff said!

4- I'm thankful for, Coffee... because this is true:

5- I'm thankful for my Nan's Brother sewing machine, because, let's face it, it started it all!

{Hurricane / Superstorm Sandy Relief: How you can help}

I am thinking about everyone who has been affected by this storm.  Being that I am from NY, I am proud to say that if anyone knows how to pull together and get through tragedy, it's New Yorkers, but even they need a hand... here's what you can do to get involved and help everyone affected by this storm:

-Donate to the American Red Cross, here.  Or, you can text REDCROSS to 90999, which will donate $10 to disaster relief efforts from Superstorm Sandy.  It doesn't get any easier than that.

-Quilt Relief: Another way to help is to send your finished quilt tops to be quilted and donated to those in need.  So many people are still without power, and homes.  It's Novemvber and cold in the North East... a quilt can bring warmth and comfort.  Here's more info on how you can get involved: eQuilter Quilt Relief

Thank you to Lisa, @CrazyQuiltyGirl, for donating her time and tweeting about this project!

* * *
Sign up for the SoChick Newsletter, which will go out this week, for info on my Handbags Shop and Fabric Shoppe Sales for the Holidays!  (Sign up is in the right column.)

Whew!  I think that's enough for one day!  Leave me a comment if you have any questions,  would like a recipe, or just to say Hi!.  You're comments make my day, I love to know if you're reading!

XxOo~ Melissa
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