Hi there! I'm actually supposed to be cutting out my pattern at this very moment but instead, I decided to "just get my blog set up and write a little first". Seriously? This is where the reluctant part comes in. I enjoy sewing. Wait a minute...do I? No, no I don't think I really do. What I enjoy is wearing garments that fit me the way I want them to and having more control in that whole area of my life. It's something you don't understand until you put on a top or a dress that's handmade and hits you just right in all the right places. Oh, you know what I'm talkin' 'bout!


I am NOT a crafter. If I were a character in a comic book, I'd probably be a villain called The Fun Crusher. When my kids were little they would insist on saving little scraps of paper, ribbons, empty egg cartons, etc. "for crafts, Mom!". I was having no part of this. I would wait until they went to bed and throw the stuff away. I know, this puts me high on the list of "TERRIBLE MOMS you know". For all you wonderful crafting moms and grandmas out there reading this, I commend you for your patience, attention to detail and highly giving nature as you lovingly do crafts with the little ones in your life. Don't feel too bad for my kids - I replaced teaching them how to do crafts with teaching them how to properly swear and schedule counseling appointments - let's face it, they're going to need them. I just hope and pray on the daily that I have not passed on this Fun Crusher side of myself. 


I have been daydreaming about writing for a while and finally realized what I wanted to share with our visitors at Sly Fox Fabrics - my love of feeling beautiful in handmade clothes. My mother, Mary Beth, usually whips up something adorable for me to wear each week before I do the fabric reveal videos. But, it's just not enough! I need MORE. I need pants, I need these cute little casual outfits that I've made up in my mind. I need to fulfill ALL my clothing fantasies!!! I can't really put that on my mom - she'd never have time to fill orders.


As you can imagine, having a small business is a lot of work. I'm usually knee deep in preparation beginning Monday morning right through air time on Wednesday when we do the fabric reveal videos and stockings. I spend the rest of the week playing catch up. By the time the weekend comes, I have plenty of chores to get through at home and I drag work home which I typically put first. I have little time for sewing. Or, so I thought. I began to realize lately that I spend a lot of time watching TV in the evening when I could be sewing. Even if it's just 30 minutes or an hour, I can fit that in. Plus, I need to replace my evening glass of wine with an activity - at least some of the time. 


This brings me back to where we started. I have not sewn in several months, maybe almost a year. I am making the Day Tripper by Shwin Designs. I have made a few of these and really love them. You can throw them on over jeans or leggings. They complement my shape (lumpy pear) very nicely and are super comfy. I highly suggest this pattern for beginners. Ok...I'm going to. step. away. from the keyboard and get to it...right after I make another cup of coffee

So...here goes:

Day Tripper Top by Shwin Designs, HTV from Thread & Grain

Please excuse my unprofessional photos...Mary Beth took these outside our building on a 90+ degree day. I used our Brushed French Terry in Hunter (we now have it in Evergreen) - it's a heavier weight french terry and because it is brushed, it's very similar to sweatshirt fleece. I also chose this fabric because it's made of Tencel and has a silkiness to it that I love! The hood is lined with Olive Plaid in Single Brushed Poly. It doesn't necessarily match the Hunter green color but it does play off the gold HTV from Thread & Grain and pulls everything together. 

To give the top a more finished look, I top-stitched the neck, around the hood and attempted the sleeve cuffs. I am happy with how it turned out - I used needles in positions 1 and 2 on my cover stitch; however, next time, I will try needles in positions 1 and 3 and straddle the seam. 

The sleeves were a disaster! I only tried to do one of the sleeves and it just was not working! It took me about an hour and a half to pull out the stitches. I ended up having to go over the band again with the serger and my fingers are crossed that I didn't rip too much of the fabric. I need to do a little more research on my serger settings to pull this one off. 

I'm all set for St. Patty's Day now - I just need some green wine! I am happy to report that I have made a few more projects since this and my wine intake has definitely suffered because of it! My serger has made itself very comfortable in the dining room where it's going to stay until some of these kids move out. I am dreaming of a home-office/sewing room upstairs where it's quiet! 

Thank you for reading my blog! I hope you'll join me on my next adventure. 

 CONFESSION:  I thoroughly enjoyed making this top. I realized more than ever that choosing fabrics is probably one of the hardest parts of the make. The wrong fabric can make or break how the garment hangs, feels and looks. I also wish that I had included pockets and put a drawstring in the hood. 

 BEGINNER TIP:  The first time I made the Day Tripper, the arms were way too long for me. Now when I make this top, I lay the arm piece down and fold it up to the length of the band piece to get my arm length just right. 


Hi! I'm Katy Kemper, I co-own Sly Fox Fabrics along with my mother, Mary Beth Creque. Sly Fox was born in late 2016 out of her passion for sewing and my love of marketing and bossing people around. I live in Northeast Ohio with my husband and am mom and stepmom to five lovely children ranging in age from 16 to 20, and adopted mom to one very needy 8 year-old three-legged cat. 


  • Toni Hayden: October 12, 2018
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    Hi Katy, I haven’t made clothes in about 30 years, now hoping to get back too it as I am so tired of quilting and I have too many of them. My body is not an off the rack size and I am learning how to adjust a pattern to fit, although my hardest part so far is all the NEW fabrics. Ordering on line, you would think would be easy, however, I can never decide what fabric would be too clingy or which would be too see through or what the “hand” would be ……Is there a guide anywhere to offer some help with that?

    Your BLOG was helpful now if I make your same pullover I will be fine although that is not where I want to start…..Maybe a sweater?
    Thanks for listening,

  • aurelie ann higgins: September 16, 2018
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    Katy, I too live in northeast Ohio, vermilion to be exact. I also like having the clothes that fit better than the actual process some days. I can too, but like the pretty jars lined up more than the process LOL.
    Advice please, I need clothes for court as I represent children in a guardian ad litem program and some knits are to cozy casual for court. What would you suggest for knit a line skirt and top…which knit? Do you have a store…I go to Barnes once in a while where i got may several machines. (4) TIA Aurelie

  • Jo Lynn Lowanse: August 10, 2018
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    Sometimes I think that “bloggers” don’t really live the life they write about. It all sounds too sugary and made up. You ARE Real and that is why we love you and your videos and your company! Cool that you work with your mom! Ohio small businesses rock!
    Best wishes and continued success from a eastern neighbor!

  • Lisa Carroccio: August 09, 2018
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    LOL at Wine Reduction Therapy! Fun reading!

  • Betsey : August 09, 2018
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    Fun blog looking forward to your next post!

  • Teri Leppo: August 08, 2018
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    Loved it…I can’t wait for the next one!

  • Lorie Ferris: August 07, 2018
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    Im drinking wine while i read your blog! Ill have to read it again in the morning just to make sure it makes me laugh just as hard. 😀. Seriously Katy…it was a great blog. Very honest. Very relatable. Cant wait for some adult language…you know those words you use when you have to use the seam ripper…your needle breaks…bobbin thread runs out. ✂

  • Sequoialynnsews: August 07, 2018
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    woohooo All set for St. Patty’s Day! Swap the wine for Green Beer! You got this!

  • Tamara Lee: August 07, 2018
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    Love this Katy! Your candor & humbleness is very refreshing. I didn’t know Mary Beth waa your mom, how awesome! I am very new to garment sewing & love your Wed fabric reveals with your clear fabric descriptions, coordinates & pattern suggestions. I have ordered your fabric many times & appreciate how you pack it all & toss in a color catcher. And your fast shipping is second to none! Looking forward to your blog & more of your beautiful fabric!
    PS: I LOVE the straw hat you picked in your giveaway, thank you so much!
    Tamara in Chicago

  • Joanne : August 07, 2018
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    Wow, a new blog, and a fresh one on so many levels. Looking forward to more. And there is a lovely top; I need to get started on one like that!

  • Kim Pomeroy: August 07, 2018
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    Love this!! Keep these coming and maybe, just maybe, I’ll get some sewing gumption!!!

  • Barbra: August 07, 2018
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    I love this! And your top is lovely!

  • Annette Gerlich: August 07, 2018
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    Katy, you’re doing great- it takes time, and if you’re capable of handling a few hiccups and total disasters without throwing tantrums, but seeing them as learning curves and more experience, you’ll be an addict yet😁
    I’m going overseas in two days and being restless decided last night at 21.00 I needed two “Agnesses” ok so,neck trims and hemming still to do, but apart from that I finished them at 01.00 … see? Lots of fun and instead of procrastinating before you start sewing, your sewing becomes the thing you do when you’re procrastinating before doing anything else 😁😉👍

  • Michele DuBord: August 07, 2018
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    Hi! Katy! Loved ready your blog! I have been sewing for a long time. Started sewing for my baby girl (shes now 26!). Stopped when she hit puberty because I didn’t know how to fit a pattern. She ended up being a teen mom and I got into quilting. To make the cute baby quilts, you know. Fast for to about the time you opened Sly Fox Fabrics I started sewing for her little girls. This summer I have ventured into sewing with knits!🤯 It’s a little nerve wracking! I made her an outfit (which she loved!) and currently making myself a Rulo dress from G+G. I look forward to reading more of your sewing adventures!

  • Velita Hickle: August 07, 2018
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    Love this!!!

  • Jenny Hall: August 07, 2018
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    Who has time to sew when there’s wine involved and we both know you can’t do both at once ;)
    Love this honest blog so much, Katy!! Your sweatshirt looks great!!
    Jenny Hall

  • Diane: August 07, 2018
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    Really enjoyed your blog…keep it coming!!

  • KAREN THOMPSON: August 07, 2018
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    We could be sisters, if I wasn’t old enough to be your momma! My poor kids to this day (37,39,41) love to tell how abused they were by my inability to craft, my compulsive need to clean, hence no left over crafting items, and the fact that I was a “no-fun-zone-mom”! I did teach myself to sew when they were little so they had home-made clothes, not so cool back in those days! You have a gift in your writing and I so enjoyed reading your blog, can’t wait for the next edition. I also wanted to give thanks to your creativity in helping us match our fabrics and your videos on what to expect with certain fabrics with stretch, etc. Love that!

  • Sheila: August 07, 2018
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    Loved your blog! My wine drinking has been greatly decreased too! My husband hung some awesome lights in my sewing room so I can now sew at night and actually see what I am doing! This means no wine so I don’t get sleepy.

  • Connie: August 07, 2018
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    I enjoyed reading your blog……didn’t realize that Mary Beth was your Mother!
    Keep up the great work! Enjoy!

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