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Is your house back to normal? Ours isn’t.


Christmas lingers around here. 


I guess it’s because it’s always hard to tell all of the excitement goodbye.  So we haven’t done much around here lately.  Well, I take that back.  We’ve done plenty of playing and lounging and snacking and laughing and napping and well, more playing.  I always feel a little bummed come December 26th, and out of sorts, and like life isn’t quite right until the New Year rings in.  (Anyone else have that problem?)  But then I always love a new year.  And a fresh start.  So, it’s all okay.


(And I have a few goals/projects/ideas for the new year that I’m excited to get started on.  And well, share with you.)



Until we see you again Christmas Joy.  We sure enjoyed you this year.





. . . . .



By the way, how many of you got new sewing machines for Christmas?


Well, I have heard from many of you who have (hooray!  and yay!  and you’re going to love your little machine!)…… I have a few more “sewing tip” posts to share. 


Hopefully starting tomorrow.


So maybe you can jump right into sewing.  And fall in love with your machine.



Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. Jadranka says:

    In Croatia is custom to leave our houses decorated until Epiphany, when the Wise Men get to Jesus. It is January 6 (the 12 days of Christmas). In time beetwen Christmas and Epiphany priest goes to our homes to bless homes and families living in it.
    I haven’t got new machine. I would love to get one because my machine bought my mother 1975. It work pretty god consider how it’s old but something newer would be nice.
    BTW I like your tutorials verry much.

  2. Christine says:

    Even your girls’ PJ’s have tutus! So cute…especially the picture of your older daughter seeing the presents.

    Anyways, feel free to leave your house decorated until Epiphany, when the Wise Men get to Jesus. It is January 6 (the 12 days of Christmas). Or, if you need more time, the feast of the baptism of Christ is just after that. But hey, I’m not saying it’s bad to leave the decorations up longer if it floats your boat!

  3. Claire Jain says:

    Christmas should linger around the house :-) No rush!

  4. Marcie Jones says:

    Santa blew his entire budget for 5 years on a new commercial embroidery machine for me. I was BLOWN away! It is a 16 needle Melco brand. Now I am going to be VERY busy learning to use it, getting my training and setting up a new business. WOW! WOW! WOW! I am still in major shock.

    Thank you Jesus, Santa, Hubs, and anyone else that had a hand in this. I am TRULY blessed.


  5. Shannon says:

    Our house is never “normal”… fact, I’m not sure I even know what normal means haha. We usually leave our decorations up until beginning of January. It seems like everything that’s out doesn’t EVER fit back in the box the way it did before it came out.

    I did get a new machine this year!! Super excited. My first one only had like 6 built in stitches and my new one has 25! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I wish I could sit there all day playing with it and perfecting my skills.

    So eager to see more posts and inspiration from you.

  6. Bonnie Ditto says:

    House back to normal? What is that? Always think I have every thing put up and find something I have missed! Had to stop in the middle of everything and make two of the vinyl bags. While sewing the bottom, kept thinking about your advise about patience!. The pinning was the hardest part. Finally figured our that if pin the circle to the seam, find the half way point of the of the circle and vinyl and pin. Keep ‘halving’ (good word!!) until all the way around. Lots of pins but better than getting around the circle and finding you have too much vinyl left!. That is experience speaking. Do so enjoy your kiddos. They are so precious. Love sharing their excitement. Thanks for inviting us to the birthday parties!

  7. star says:

    Our house is totally NOT back to normal. There are still 1 or 2 presents lingering under the tree for a few friends we’re having over after New Year’s Day. Our decors are still up too. Last year we were so busy we didn’t take our tree down until later in January!! It was kind of embarrasing every time we had company!!

  8. Stevie M says:

    Our Christmas decorations (usually) come down on New Years Day… EXCEPT this year instead of our annual Christmas Cocktail Party in December, we are hosting it in January (weird, I know — BUT December was WAY too busy). So our decor will stay up until the 8th! I love keeping my decor out as long as I can.

  9. Pam Pike says:

    Got my Christmas tree and all the decorations put-a-way today!! So happy that is over. Putting everything out is a lot more fun. I always dread the put-a-way. I’m ready now to start a new year and have my first project of the year (a lap quilt) waiting to be started in my sewing room. I look forward to spending time working on it this up coming long weekend.

  10. Kristina Noall says:

    Ashley! I GOT A SILHOUETTE CAMEO!! My husband faked me out so good, made me think I wasn’t getting one, and then there it was on Christmas morning! My vinyl is already ordered, and I already have friends wanting to come over and play with it :) I’m so excited after 2-3 years of wanting one!

  11. Liz Gerstung says:

    I got a serger!!!!! I am so excited to break it out of the box…but apparently I need to take a class to use it! YIKES!!!! :) Fun times, though!

  12. lisalynn says:

    LOL.. Love the pictures.. SO fun with young ones ..

    I spent the morning sorting bills, redoing our budget for the year
    I feel as tho the desk is ALL ready for jan .

    & hanging washing on the line !
    50 degrees in Iowa on Dec 29th ! wow , gotta love it :-)

  13. Christina says:

    I got a new sewing machine and am so excited to get using it and get good at it! Your blog was definitely my inspiration in asking for a machine!

  14. Sabrina says:

    No new machine for me…I am just learner on an old 1966 Singer for now. But I did get some sewing supplies…books, rulers, cutting mat, rotary cutter, etc. Now to find projects to work on. :)

  15. cheryl stewart says:

    I got a Silloutte Cameo. I haven’t used it yet. I’m not sure how to get started, but I am really excited. i know you use your’s in some of your projects and i have wanted one for a long time.

  16. Cortney says:

    Your kiddo’s are too cute, love the pic of your daughter when it looks like she must have first seen the gifts! Priceless!

    This is totally off topic and ok if you cannot get to it, maybe someone else here has an idea, but I have a bunch of cute boyish flannel, construction/airplane images all over it etc. I am trying to figure out a project to do for my boys that does not include crib sheets or blankets since we have enough of those :). I would love to make some pj pants but it says that it is not intended for children’s sleepwear, not sure why? Any suggestions, or is there a way to make it “safe” for sleepwear since I am assuming maybe the fabric is unsafe in someway which is why it is not intended for that(which prob means blankets and crib sheet wouldn’t be a good idea anyway :) ….? Thanks!

    1. Kim says:

      “Not safe” has to do with being flame retardant. According to an employee I spoke with at Jo Ann’s, however, anything flame retardant melts onto the skin rather than burns, causing worse burns in case of fire. Also, some of the chemicals used have been found to be toxic. Here’s a link to one article I found on a web search:

    2. Cortney says:

      Thank You so much for the info!

    3. Jana says:

      You’re also not supposed to use fabric softener with your children’s clothes because it makes them no longer flame retardant. I don’t know of many people who heed that warning. If you want a good fabric softener that won’t ruin the flame retardant use a vinegar rinse in the wash. Naturally softening but doesn’t change the nature of the protection.

    4. Jana says:

      Anything made from wool is naturally flame retardant. It’s the perfect thing to clothe your child in, of course it can be really scratchy depending on it’s nature or super soft. Any synthetic material is going to melt if it comes near a flame and cotton catches on fire. Wool will only smoke. You can do a burn test on your fabric to see what it’s made from. Burn a little corner of the fabric and see what happens.

    5. Jana says:

      I’m wrong. Wool doesn’t smoke but it won’t burn if you take the flame away either (so cool!). Here is a chart of what happens during a fabric burn test: Very cool because it also describes what type of smell it should have and what the ashes look like.

  17. Ruby G says:

    I Love My DH! He got me a 4 thread serger for Christmas! And I only had to hint once. I can’t wait to use it and read about your tutorials and tips. Thanks and happy New Year!

  18. Sheila @ Sheila's Potpourri says:

    I got a sewing machine! I had bought my first machine right out of college with money I had received as gifts. It was a Sonata (made by Singer) and it has served me well. But it died as I was making a doll dress for my niece. My husband encouraged me to purchase a machine I have wanted for years now. It was on sale. And so I did! I haven’t had time to really use it yet what with Christmas and all but soon, very soon…

    And I’m agreeing with Jana. We leave Christmas up until the Epiphany. It bothers me when people take everything down the day after Christmas! It *is* still the Christmas season!

    Happy New Year!

  19. Jana says:

    Actually, Christmas doesn’t officially end until the Epiphany on January 6th. Advent starts four Sundays before Christmas and the Christmas season begins on Christmas day. Think The Twelve Days of Christmas. You should check out the Catholic liturgical calendar for the year. It’s much more fun when you can give each season it’s due course.

    Once the Epiphany rolls around then we’re into Ordinary Time until Lent. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday (the day after Marty Gras or Fat Tuesday). Lent is the 40 days of penance before Easter (like Christ wandering in the desert for 40 days). Usually we give up something so that it will help us grow closer to God. We also focus on works of charity like working in soup kitchens and giving “40 bags in 40 days” to Goodwill. Easter begins the Easter season which is 49 days long and ends on the 50th day with Pentecost. Pentecost is the decention of the Holy Spirit upon the upper room where the Apostles were. Then it’s Ordinary Time again until Advent starts. By the way, the beginning of the liturgical year is on the first Sunday of Advent. :) Advent is when we are preparing for Christ to enter the world. It’s a joyful season where we focus on goodwill towards others.

    Don’t worry that Christmas day is over. You currently still have 8 days of Christmas left.

  20. Emily says:

    Look how big your baby girl has gotten already! My, time flies :) Merry Christmas!

  21. Kim says:

    We gave our daughter a sewing machine, the exact same one I have. She and a friend already have a few projects in mind :)

    1. Kim says:

      …and mine was originally a Christmas gift seven years ago!

  22. Krista says:

    I got a serger for Christmas! Not sure AT ALL what to do with it, but I’m so excited to learn!

  23. Sarah says:

    I got a sewing machine! And I have no clue what I’m doing with it. Looking forward to your future posts!

  24. Tanya H. says:

    Christmas is for relaxing and enjoying…looks like you’ve taken full advantage!

  25. Megan @ Happy Day says:

    I got my first sewing machine for Christmas last year- the lowest model singer available- to see if I would even enjoy sewing and ever use it… Let’s just say I’ve pretty much sewn the bobbins off that thing. My mom got me a new Singer Confidence Quilter this year for Christmas and I’m reallllyyyy excited to see what it can do! Looking forward to your sewing tip posts!

  26. zesina says:


  27. Amelia says:

    I got a new machine! I’m so excited. It’s a super duper fancy one that probably has more bells and whistles than I actually need, but I got a fabulous deal and it is going to be awesome.

  28. Emily says:

    My sewing machine (a very cheap, discounted at target, disaster) died just after finishing little red riding hood’s Halloween costume. I’ve been doing a little research and was preparing to save up for a machine but my husbands dear grandma gave me her machine!!! Yeah! So I can continue sewing and pay off Christmas before having to invest in my own machine!

  29. Amy says:

    I got my own sewing machine 8 years ago and I am still in love, and still love finding new tutorials! but this year I got a SERGER!!! I’m sooo very excited!! I can’t wait for all the new things comming in the new year! I’m loving all your projects! keep up the fantastic work!

  30. Jolynn says:

    I got a new sewing machine… my first! I’m excited to get started with the learning :)

  31. Shelby says:

    O! Me! I just got a sewing machine for Christmas!! It’s my first (working) sewing machine EVER and I’m so excited to get started!! I’ve got lots of your existing tuturials in mind for when I’m a bit more proficient. Can’t wait for more!

  32. Catherine says:

    Oh, I love Christmas joy! Thanks for sharing the pics of your beautiful children.

    Sadly, no machine under the tree for me. I got towels. Yup. ;)

    Enjoy the end of your year!

  33. Kylie says:

    It wasn’t for Christmas, but I got my first sewing machine for graduation! I can’t wait to get started on all the projects I’ve been saving up. Can’t wait for your tips :) Glad you had a happy Christmas!

  34. Chris says:

    My wife has tasked me with taking down Christmas today after work. It’s always a bit sad, especially when the tree comes down (but we gotta make room for our New Year’s Eve bash), but I do get to keep the external lights up until a week or so into January. So that helps.

  35. Jennifer says:

    I got a sewing machine for Christmas last year!! And i am STILL in love! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  36. Becky H says:

    My house is NOWHERE back to normal. Actually, maybe the mess is normal. Check it out: Can’t believe how big your kids are getting!

  37. Mercurial says:

    Your kids are so cute, and they look absolutely joyful in all these pictures!! I’m not quite ready for the Christmas joy to end, either, but soon I’ll start taking down the decor and returning to the real world.

  38. Emma says:

    boxing day blues… we have a quite Christmas with just the four of us at our house on Christmas Day and then Boxing Day is always depressing for me (since I’m the one who is the busiest: cooking, cleaning, crafting) this year we went to my aunt’s on Boxing Day and that helped out a lot. I already miss the constantly playing Christmas music… but I’m looking forward to a new year and already planning next Christmas’s decorations and handmade gifts :)

  39. Katarinka says:

    Как приятно, когда дети счастливы ! )))))))))))))

  40. dannyscotland says:

    Our house is definitely not back to normal! We haven’t even finished Christmas yet. Our daughter got sick Christmas Eve, was sick all Christmas morning, and that meant we had to pretty much put all of Christmas on hold and we’ve been getting to it bit by bit throughout the week. Insane!

  41. alma says:

    lovely pj´s on your lil´ girls!

  42. British American says:

    Looks like a lot of fun at your house! Looks like Playmobil? I love that stuff.

    My sister-in-law got a new sewing machine and wants some tips, so I will be sending her your way. Thanks!

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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