The 12 Days of Christmas: Modern Handmade

December 4, 2013

For the 4th day of the series we have April from Modern Handmade. April lives in LA with her husband and two gorgeous children. I first met April over on Instagram where she seems to post photos of something new she’s sewn almost every day. I always love April’s fabric choices – take a look at this gorgeous jacket she made for her son and this understated dress for her daughter. You will also find some delicious looking recipes over on her blog as April used to be a personal chef. Today April has made amazing outfits for both of her children and for someone extra too.


Hi! I’m April and I blog at Modern Handmade. I love to sew for my kids, husband and occasionally myself. I am very excited to be a part of the 12 Days of Christmas Sewing Series. When Suz contacted me to see if I was interested in participating, I jumped at the chance! And then when I saw all the wonderful ladies who were also participating, I was even more thrilled to be involved.

I love Christmas. The lights, decorations, the smell of the tree, the Nutcracker, spending time with family, Christmas carols, I could go on and on. Since Miette was born almost 4 years ago it has been fun figuring out our own traditions in addition to the ones we celebrate with our extended families. This past summer Miette took ballet lessons and has been in love with ballet ever since. I found a short(er) Nutcracker ballet and I’m taking her in a few weeks. I hope this can be a new tradition for us and that she loves it as much as I do!

When I was planning the outfits for my kids I found a polka dot home decor fabric in my stash. And knew immediately that I wanted to use it for Miette. Then I searched for coordinating fabric for Henri’s outfit. Not the traditional red or green but with a touch of those colors. I wanted outfits that they could wear throughout the next year (or months as Henri is growing pretty fast).

One Christmas, when I was little, my mom made my cabbage
patch doll and I matching dresses. I absolutely loved wearing that dress
and took her with me everywhere that day. Side note, I don’t remember
my dolls name! Here is a picture from Christmas Day.

After I sewed Miette’s dress I ran across the picture above and decided that she needed a
matching dress for her baby doll. I surprised her with it right when I
started the photo shoot and she was absolutely smitten! I found a free pattern and tutorial for her American Girl Bitty Baby and I think it took me as long to sew as the dress I made for Miette! So cute but I’m not sure how many clothes she will be getting for her doll. I made M the Debbie’s Birthday Dress by
SewPony. I have had this on my list of things to make to since I purchased it quite a few
months ago and I knew that it was the perfect match for this fabric. I sewed a size 5, kept the design simple since the print is so bold and I used a thick red piping where the bodice meets the skirt. I
absolutely love it! I paired it with blue tights and sparkly brown shoes. Because she is really into sparkles lately.

I also had a new (well, vintage) Christmas book for Miette to look at during the shoot. To keep her sitting still. ๐Ÿ™‚ Henri, on the other hand, was kept busy by picking everything up and playing with all the trees and gifts.

My baby boy. Gosh, he’s pretty adorable. I re purposed a women’s sweater
for his shirt. I knew it would be perfect for him and I love how it
turned out. I used my tried and true Charlie Tee pattern, size 18 months, but this was the first time using long sleeves. The fit is just perfect. His pants are a blue corduroy and I used this skinny jeans
pattern. He normally wears cloth diapers so I sewed him a size 2T but with a shortened length. Oh boy, these do not work well with a bulky cloth diaper. So he now wears disposables with these pants and the fit is great!


These shoes. So cute! I found them, before he was born, at Old Navy for only $.47! I wish I had them in every size because they look adorable on him.

I love these kids. They are so funny and they love each other so much! I’m excited to spend another Christmas with them and can’t wait to start making new traditions.


Thanks so much for hosting such a fun series Suz and Laura! I can’t wait for the kids to wear these outfits on Christmas Day! Please check back to see all the beautiful creations by these wonderful bloggers.

craftstorming sewpony sewing like mad nest full of eggs simple simon la gang ร  nat modern homemade lbg studio frances suzanne do guincho hungie gungie kid approved welcome to the mouse house while she was sleeping counterpane compagnie m heidi and finn lollipop garden crafts straightgrain behind the hedgerow s is for sewing petit ร  petit and family Groovy Baby and Mama things for boys Image Map


What wonderful outfits and photos April! The clothes are really special but could still be worn every day. I love that you were inspired to make the doll’s dress by your own Christmas gift as a child. Thank you for sharing this today.

Don’t forget to visit Sewpony too. Today’s guest is Vanessa from LBG Studio who makes the most beautiful outfits for her daughter.


On the fourth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.


You Might Also Like


  • Reply Renee //nearestthepin December 4, 2013 at 10:57 am

    I love the mix of the modern polka dot fabric with the vintage feel of the Debbie’s Birthday Dress pattern. Great job April! Also, toddlers look so cute in skinny jeans – love it!

  • Reply Suz December 4, 2013 at 11:33 am

    gorgeous April! It looks like miette and Henri had lots of fun with this photoshoot. I spotted(!) some similar spotted denim at my local fabric store the other day but restrained myself! Glad you were pleased with mg pattern!! Thanks so much for taking part!!

  • Reply erin December 4, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    So cute April! Your daughter’s face says it all… she seems pleased with her dress and her doll’s dress too! I love that shirt you made for your son- I’ll have to check out that pattern. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Rachel December 4, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    How fun that you sewed a matching doll dress, thanks for sharing the link to the free pattern ~ I didn’t know about it. Really cute photo shoot!

  • Reply Laura - Behind the Hedgerow December 4, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Super job! That doll dress is the icing on the cake! I can’t believe you managed to keep it a secret until the photo shoot. What a great way to ensure a good mood and lots of smiles for the photos. Oh, and that little guy is totally squeezable! Love it all. x

  • Reply Olga Becker December 4, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Beautiful, April! Love the matching doll dress. How fun! If only my daughter would play with dolls. ๐Ÿ™‚ Love the pictures. Your son is adorable. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply April Boyer December 4, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    Thanks so much for having me, Laura and Suz! And thank everyone for your sweet comments. I had fun with this photoshoot and sewing these clothes. Miette loves her baby doll and loves to have a matching dress!

  • Reply Ana Sofia December 4, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    lovely outfits (double points for the doll outfit – I’m pretty sure your little girl love it)
    The Debbie is also a favorite of mine – love the A-line and I believe it’s a very versatile pattern.

  • Reply Natalie December 5, 2013 at 12:55 am

    April, these outfits are so lovely and so special! I love that you made them all match too (I was trying to do that with my outfits but a few things backfired… no problem, we adjust, right?). And what a great idea about the matching dolls dress. My Alix is almost four and is just now getting into dolls… you’re giving me a great idea for a Christmas gift for her!!!

    Great inspiration April!


  • Reply Mie @ Sewing Like Mad December 5, 2013 at 1:05 am

    This is SO cute April. Love the photo shoot – that is quite a setup there ๐Ÿ˜‰ Cute cute dress(es).

  • Reply Yeka December 5, 2013 at 3:04 am

    Love the stripes and polka dots, the colours are matching as sibling’s outfits, something that never slip in my mind. You’re smart mom, April! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply abby @ thingsforboys December 5, 2013 at 5:08 am

    Such gorgeous outfits! I love love love the matching dolls outfit. My Mum and I had matching tops as I kid and I absolutely loved the days we both wore them. Henri looks too cute. You’re right, such a shame you could only get one pair of those shoes, they are adorable!

  • Reply Tracy King December 5, 2013 at 11:38 am

    I had the same hair as you when I was a kid. Great holiday style.

  • Reply Caro December 7, 2013 at 2:51 am

    You are such a good mom to make a matching dress for the baby doll! Love your flashback photo. Are you our long lost sister? Had that haircut and posed with my cabbage patch in a Christmas photo! Your little ones are darling.

  • Reply Jenya December 7, 2013 at 10:04 am

    hehehe OK I stopped giggling after seeing the last photo, so I can write now ๐Ÿ™‚ April, your kiddos are simply adorable! and their outfits are so cute ๐Ÿ™‚ I love practical kids clothes, somehting they can wear anywhere any day. Your outfits are totally awesome and I am sure the kiddos will rock them on Christmas day, as well as any other day they would want to wear them ๐Ÿ™‚ Love the idea of a matching dress for a doll! Maybe my Little Monkey might swap her cars, trains and dinos for a doll and I will make them matching outfits. I am struggling to come up with an outfit for Lightning McQuinn hahaha

  • Reply Marta DoGuincho December 7, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    Lovely outfits!
    Isn’t Debbie’s birthday dress such a great pattern?!

  • Reply Mary L December 8, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    So, so cute, April!!! Love the baby doll dress, love the clothes, love the set, love your cute kids!!!

  • Reply Karly December 9, 2013 at 2:21 am

    So incredibly cute! You can really see your daughter in you. Love the matching dolly and me dresses!

  • Reply Joy Candrian December 9, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    Cute dresses for your daughter & her doll.

  • Reply Celina December 12, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Adorable outfits and your photos are awesome. I am sure my daughter would love a matching doll dress- what a sweet thing to do.

  • Leave a Reply