1972 Shasta Compact Renovation: Part One

I've been so excited to share more about our 1972 Shasta Compact with you!  And this has been a long time coming.  We bought the Shasta back in fall of 2016, fresh faced and wide-eyed.  We finished her in summer of 2018, hard and jaded. 

Ha! Just kidding.  We love her.  But damn, we learned a lot.  

The day we brought her home!

The day we brought her home!

I'm just going to get one thing out of the way right away.  Whenever I talk about the Shasta renovation, I'm going to say, "we" a lot.  But it's more like, "we" as in, Mike . . .while I corralled two toddlers, and later (since the project took so long), a preschooler, a toddler and a baby.  It's safe to look at it like Chip and Joanna Gaines . . . We talked about all the aspects together, he did the heavy lifting , and then I came in at the end and made sure everything looked cute.   Fixer Upper: Travel Trailer Edition, anyone? 

Anyway, now that I have that off my chest. . . 

This is part one of all the details of the renovation: the interior. I'll have another post next week about the exterior projects.  

When we bought the sweet little thing, we knew there was some water damage on the roof (around the roof vent-- a common spot) as well as one of the back corners.  The previous owners fixed the water damage by putting up some nice sheets to cover it up. Ha!

Before the renovation, 1972 Shasta Compact

They had repainted everything white (covering the original dark fake wood paneling) and teal.  They had also been part way through covering up the original flooring with black and white laminate tiles when we bought it.  

1972 Shasta Compact Renovation, before picture
Shasta Compact Camper 1972 Renovation

There was no table, and instead, they left the benches pulled out all the time, with a mattress on top.  So, the cushions on top were extra ugly, since they were always covered up with a mattress.

All in all, she had a lot going for her.  After 45 plus years, a lot of things can get broken or lost, but a lot of the original materials were still there, which Mike and I appreciated-- the screen door, hub caps, door handle, stove, light fixtures, furnace, the wings.  

Of course, like basically every Shasta project camper that I have ever heard of, there was more water damage than what we realized.  Quite a lot in the back corner, actually, which effected both the back wall and the wall with the door.  Then, also below the window on the wall with the electric plug and the water intake.  Soooo, we ended up completely rebuilding the majority of the walls.  We like to call this picture "ground zero".  


It's amazing how little actually held these little campers together.  Hopes, prayers, and a questionable frame of 1x2s. 

Soooo, here's what we did to complete the inside, in no particular order: 

  • Rebuild the walls, obviously, ha! Which included re-insulating and Shellac-ing them.

  • New floor-- vinyl planking

  • Build table (only half the original table bracket was still there, so we ended up ordering a set from Vintage Trailer Supply)

  • We removed the half cabinet that was attached to the closet, so we would have the full length of bench seating on each side

  • Paint stripped the stove, clean it and put in new lines to the propane tank.

  • Painted the cabinets.

  • New cabinet and drawer pulls

  • Recover the cushions

  • New shelf in the back wall (with the original light fixture installed in it)

  • Rewire everything--this included adding two new outlets and a new kitchen light

  • Installed new water pump

  • Took apart the furnace and cleaned it . . . replaced thermocouple wire . . . unreplaced thermocouple wire and rereplaced with the old one, haha

  • Sewed up new curtains

  • Added backsplash

1972 Shasta Compact Camper Renovation, Vintage Travel Trailer Restoration, Vintage Camper (5).jpg

After the walls were rebuilt and re-insulated, we finished them with 3/16 inch birch paneling (which we got at Menards).  As a 70's model, our walls would have originally been the dark fake wood paneling.  We decided to go with the warmer look of the earlier models, with the birch and finishing it with Shellac.  We did 3 coats of amber and then one coat of clear.  

1972 Shasta Compact Interior

I love the birch/Shellac walls.  It really brightens it up and makes it feel more open compared to the original paneling. 


There are two faucets- one is if there is a hose hooked up directly, and the other is a pump faucet for the water tank.  

1972 Shasta Compact Travel Trailer

I looooove having the original stove color! It has some nicks and dings, some spots where the enamel is worn, but it's all part of the charm, in my opinion.  The previous owners had painted it teal, and I was so happy with how efficiently the paint stripper took it off.

1972 Shasta Compact Travel Trailer Camper

With all the work we put in making this thing look cute, I just couldn't keep that ugly black fridge, so I ordered this orange one from Amazon (they also have a bunch of other fun colors if you want one for your camper!).  I think a fun colored fridge is an absolute must.  The original here would have been golden yellow, and propane.  

Shasta Compact Camper 1972 Travel Trailer

When it's bedtime, the table comes off, and the benches slide out, to have two beds.  The camper originally had a bunk as well.  There was a lot of talk about whether or not we should make a bunk, given the fact that we have three kids, but we decided to skip it . . . we were too nervous about it with our rowdy bunch.  

Shasta Compact 1972

So, there we have it, folks! An awful lot of work jam-packed into a 65 square foot space, ha!   

But, not too bad for our first camper renovation, in my opinion!   We aren't purists by any means, but we do aim to keep the vintage charm, while also making things practical and keeping in mind that we are DIYers, doing 100% of the work ourselves.  Vintage Trailer Supply was definitely a great help for so many of the projects!

Thanks so much for checking it out, and check out part two on all the exterior work! And do let me know if you have questions!  I'd love to hear about your vintage camper, so keep in touch and let me know what you think <3 


1972 Shasta Compact Camper Renovation, Vintage Travel Trailer Restoration, Vintage Camper (1).jpg
1972 Shasta Compact Camper Renovation, Vintage Travel Trailer Restoration, Vintage Camper.jpg
1972 Shasta Compact Camper Renovation, Vintage Travel Trailer Restoration, Vintage Camper (4).jpg

Turning the Page: Sewing for the Seasons Blog Tour

Mornings here have been downright crisp this past week, which only means one thing: fall is a-comin'!  The Rebecca Page Turning the Page: Sewing for Seasons Blog Tour is all about sewing for the changing seasons, and on this side of the globe, that means cool air, crunchy leaves, and putting away the sandals.  

turning the page square2.png

Call me basic all you want, but I love fall and everything it brings.   Especially when it comes to getting dressed.  I'm always a little lost in the summertime when it comes to my wardrobe. But fall is totally my season.  Cute boots, layers, comfy cardigans, scarves-- you're talking my language! 

 This was my first time sewing for Rebecca Page and I went with the Cora Cocoon Cardigan and the Peggy Pencil Skirt. 


This cardigan is awesome.  Slouchy, cozy, and soft.  I used a sweater knit from Sincerely Rylee and it was perfect.   And it is SO easy to make.  It's a perfect gift to sew too, since the sizing can be so flexible.  


I haven't worn a pencil skirt in ages, but I'm loving this Liverpool one I made!  I'm totally hooked and already have plans to make one from a black quilted knit I have on hand-- talk about perfect for fall! 


Remember Hancock Fabrics?  Remember their giant tables of random cuts of fabric at cheap prices?  Not just remnants from bolts in the store, but truly random cuts, no info on the fabric type.  It would be a giant mountain of fabric to dig through and you never knew what you'd find.  Sigh.  Obviously, I'm reminiscing.  I miss that mountain of mystery.  Anyway, the point is, that's where I found that Liverpool.  It was one of my last pieces of Hancock's fabrics. 


I loved the Cora Cocoon so much, I had to make another one right away.  


Again, I used a Sincerely Rylee sweater knit-- this one had a waffle texture.  It's light weight, soft, and perfect for layering.  


Honestly, this cardigan just blew past my former favorite cardigan. I love how effortless it seems-- the whole slouchy, comfy thing, it's just perfect for fall! Just hand me a Pumpkin Spice latte, and I'm good to go ;) 


And shout out to my jewelry makers!  Wandering Willow Designs made this awesome jade bracelet (the picture does not do the colors justice!), as well as my necklace I wore with my blue outfit. She has the most amazing boho pieces. This tassel necklace was made by CRAVE-- I pined over this necklace for months before I finally ordered one.  CRAVE specializes in upcycled leather, and I am seriously inspired by her on the regular. Shop small, friends! I love supporting other makers.  <3

Annnnnnd support the other bloggers too!  Hope on board the blog tour and check out everyone else's awesome outfits! 

Please visit all the stops on the Turning the Page: Sewing for the Changing Seasons Blog Tour with Rebecca Page. Don't forget to comment on the blogs each day and enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win some fantastic prizes from our fabric sponsors!
  1. August 20: Rebecca Page (Intro), Sewjourns, Soul fed on Thread
  2. August 21: Sarcastic Sewist, PatchWitch, Flaxfield Sewing by Anca
  3. August 22: Princesse et Tresors, Bellephant, The Scatty Sewer
  4. August 23: BigFlyNotions, Stitched by Jennie, Millie's Place Handmade
  5. August 24: Sweet Sprocket, Australian Sewing, Advice & Inspiration, The Sewing Unicorn
  6. August 25: LIVIALITY, Diskordia's Curvy Sewing, Simply Kyra
  7. August 26: Seams So Lo, Middle River Studio, Jot Designs
August 2018 Blog Tour Prize Sponsors.png

Thanks for stopping! Annnnd, it can be fall now ;) 


Turning the Page Rebecca Page Blog Tour Cora Cocoon Cardigan Peggy Pencil Skirt.png




Keep Calm and Smile: My First Pin-Up Contest

When Mike and I signed up to bring our vintage camper to Symco Weekender (you can read more about the event in my last post), there was just one thing that got me even more excited than the prospect of showing off our sweet little Shasta Compact . . . just two words . . . 

Pin-up Contest.  

Now, I've never in my life actually seen a pin-up contest.  I wasn't even 100% sure what a pin-up contest entailed, to be honest.  But boy, was I enthralled at the prospect of participating.   

Mike caught me starring at the sign-up form multiple times.  "Just do it," he said, "You'll regret it if you don't."  

So, with Mike behind me, I took the leap and signed up! 

I'm pretty sure he regretted encouraging me . . . between the endless conversations of me obsessing over what I should wear,  the sweating in the blazing hot sun for an hour watching the show, and the number of times strangers stopped me to ask for a photo with me . . . the man put up with a lot for me to do the show, ha! 

Since I had never seen a show, I did a fair bit of research about pin-up contests prior to the event.  Here in the Northland, the car show culture doesn't prevail quite the same way as it does elsewhere, but down in the southern part of Wisconsin, and our neighboring states, it seems like every decent car show comes with a pin-up contest.  It's a crowd-draw and gets people to the event.  They're also not quite as scandalous as some people seem to think-- I mean, this isn't a burlesque show or anything!  Do things get a little saucy with innuendos? Well, sure.  But generally, these shows are considered family events.  

I had to pick a pin-up name, and after much brainstorming, I settled on Sweet Lucy LaBelle (a combination of some family names of Mike's and mine).  I wanted to keep Molly, but there were so many pin-ups that I already had Molly as their fake name, that I didn't feel like I could keep mine, ha! 

Guys.  I stressed so, so much about what to wear.  So much.  I sewed up an outfit or two.  I hated them.  I bought some outfits.  I returned them.  I did a fashion show for my husband on our deck.  He said everything looked nice (he had to say that).  

Finally, I was down to a red and white polka dotted dress, decked out with jewelry, gloves, and ah-mazing vintage shoes and then a red swim top with high-waisted shorts and t-strap shoes.  

I erred on the side of standing out, and went with the latter. 

Symco Weekender Pin-Up Contest Sweet Lucy LaBelle

I loved this outfit from the get-go, but just worried that it wasn't sweet enough.  Or dressy enough.  Or that everyone else would be full glam.  But I did a little chatting with people about the feel for this show-- I was told it's a little more rockabilly and fun in terms of dress.  Some shows are stricter about wanting you wearing true vintage dress.  Most say no lingerie, no burlesque, and no swim suits.  For this show, however, Annie (the organizer) was actually encouraging us to wear swim-- she said it was a great, supportive crowd and to go for it.  

Wisconsin Pin-Up Contest Sweet Lucy LaBelle

I picked up my outfit from Unique Vintage.  If I could just have one of everything on their site, I would have a happy closet.  These shorts are the absolute best; they fit like a dream and are majorly flattering.  The swim top came in a few colors, but I was sticking to a red, black, and white color palette for all my Symco outfits.  I even picked up some awesome nylons from Unique Vintage

Unique Vintage Pin-up Contest Outfit Sweet Lucy LaBelle

So, finally, after all the obsessing, all the reading, all the stressing, the day was finally here.  I got my hair done with the fabulous ladies with Bonnie Holly.  I got dressed in the camper.  I did the lashes, the make-up, the parasol.  I got these sweet t-strap heels from Amazon. 

1972 Shasta Compact Lucy LaBelle pin-up

If you've never been to a pin-up show either, here's how this one is set up:  There are 20 girls.  We each have a pre-written bio (who we are, where we're from, favorite classic car, three vices, favorite classic icon).  For round one, the emcee reads our bio while we do poses and play the crowd.  From there, it's narrowed down to the top 10.  The top ten each get asked a random question.  After the Q&A round, the winners are chosen.  Not bad, right? Pretty low-key.  

Miss Symco Pin-Up Contest Wisconsin 2018

I was contest 15.  I was dying backstage waiting for my turn for round one.  

I finally make it out there, and I'm shaking so bad, I'm so nervous.  Guys, I have done a TON of theatre over the course of my life.   I don't get stage-fright.  But I was dying, I was so nervous.  I was shaking so badly that I couldn't even hold my poses.   

Miss Symco Pin-Up Contest 2018 Wisconsin Pin-up Sweet Lucy LaBelle

But, I kept smiling.  And I didn't freeze.  I giggled when I fell over.  And I kept on smiling.  

Miss Symco 2018 Wisconsin Pin-Up Contest Sweet Lucy LaBelle

I thought for sure there was no stinking way that I made it in the the top ten.  But, miracle of miracles, I did!!! 

Miss Symco Pin-Up Contest 2018 Top Ten

Round 2, I wasn't nervous about at all.  The random question I got was, "If you could do anything with out consequence what would it be?" 

Remember how hot I said it was?  I felt so bad for the audience, they were baking.  So my answer was to go skinny dipping in the Little Wolf River, and I invited the crowd, ha!  

After that the winners were chosen.  I didn't win, but I was totally okay with that.  I'm thankful that I made it to the top ten, and got to have some stage time where I wasn't so nervous.  

After the show, I got to meet the Shannon Brooke, pin-up photographer extraordinaire (seriously, look at her work, she is amazing).  She was one of the judges for the contest and was so stinkin' sweet.

Sweet Lucy LaBelle and Shannon Brooke

Patti Pierogi was the emcee for the show.  It was fun getting to chat with her and get some advice (she's won only about a billion contests!).  

Sweet Lucy LaBelle and Patti Pierogi

And my dear friend, Shelby Cole was there to cheer me on!  She's a friend from the on-line sewing world, and she used to do pin-up contests too.  It was amazing getting to meet her in real life. 

Symco Pin-Up Contest with Shelby

Over all, I had a blast and I'm so glad I gave it a whirl.  I definitely want to do another one now that I know what the heck I'm doing.  Walking around afterwards, everyone was so nice and supportive.  I seriously can't wait to do another one! 

Pin-up contest wisconsin Lucy LaBelle

The next day, Symco was over.  Yesterday's make-up, falling victory rolls, packing up the camper in my new Miss Symco tank.  I can officially say I'm a pin-up! <3 

Miss Symco Pin-up Contest

Sweet Lucy LaBelle

P.S. Here are all those links one more time: 
Event: Symco Weekender
Outfit: Unique Vintage
Shoes: Amazon
Earrings: Birch in Lake Nebagamon, WI
Hair: Nichole from the Cutting Edge in Racine, WI

My first pin-up contest lucy labelle symco, wisconsin.png

Symco or Bust: Our First Shasta Trip

This was a long time coming, friends.  We finally got our 1972 Shasta out on the road.  And we picked one heck of an event to debut her at!  Symco Weekender is in the small, unincorporated town of Symco, Wisconsin.  It's a weekend of hotrods and rockabilly music that takes place on the Union Thresheree grounds-- an amazing walk through history.  


Symco was formally known as Union.  A local family, along with the Union Thresherman's Club began moving buildings to the grounds in an effort to preserve history, naming the little town Unionville.  Buildings having been moved here from all over Waupaca County, to create a picturesque little town.  There's more here than what I took pictures of-- I truly don't do it justice!  I so wish I had gotten a picture of the general store, but I was too busy buying candy from the adjacent candy store (my poison of choice: PopRocks, candy necklaces, and multiple boxes of candy cigarettes-- I just love the chalky minty flavor of those, they're my favorite!).  


Each building is filled with antiques, authentic displays, and small (and sometimes big) pieces of the local history.  There's a school, church, post office, blacksmith, fire department, barns, print shop, bank, shoe repair shop, and of course, a saloon!


The Unionville Saloon was formally the Union town hall, and was built in 1896!  Today it's an awesome place to grab a $1 cup of PBR and munch on popcorn.  


During Symco Weekender, classic cars litter the street.  All my pictures are from Thursday-- a preparty to actual event.  On Friday and Saturday, these streets were JAMMED with people, food vendors, and an amazing swap meet! 


This awesome bridge was moved here from highway 22, and overlooks the sawmill.  These grounds were such a cool place to host this event-- it takes a normal car show and gives it remarkable charm.  

Of course, we aren't car people . . . we're camper people, ha!  There were multiple camping locations (I heard a rumor that there were over a thousand camping spots sold!), but the place to be was in vintage camping.  Vintage camping is located right in the show grounds, along the Little Wolf River.  It's part of the show, and people would walk through and marvel at the old-time campers.  There were only about a hundred vintage camping spots available, and they went fast.  You get priority if you went last year, and then they opened it up to newbies at the end of March.  I was up at 4 am that morning with the baby, and I snagged a spot then . . . a few hours later, they were all gone (finally, a single reason to be happy about having to wake up ridiculously early with a baby).  Vintage campers were required to be from 1970 or earlier, unless you got approved to be there (which I was, since ours is actually a 1972 . . . but it's essentially the same as the late 60s models).  


One of my favorite questions we were asked, as people checked out our Shasta, was, "So what did you tow it with?"  They're expecting a super cool answer (it is a classic car show, afterall!).  And my answer: a 2010 Grand Caravan.  Ha!  The van was relegated to spectator parking-- only cars that met the show criteria were allowed in vintage camping.  But wow, being there made Mike and I dream about a sweet tow vehicle for the Shasta! 


I spent the day in rollers on Thursday, to have show-worthy hair on Friday!  Lots of people got decked out in their vintage and rockabilly outfits (like yours truly), which makes it so much more fun in my opinion!


The boys camped with us on Thursday night, and then headed to my parents' so Mike and I could have a kid-free weekend.  Overall, it's a kid-friendly event, but as far as camping there and staying up late jamming to the full, amazing music line-up goes, it was so much better to not have the kids along.  


Mike: "Stop buying coolers and water jugs."
Me: "Never."


People in vintage camping decked their sites out! Lights, bikes, coolers, chairs, everything was classic!  It was so fun just walking through the area and seeing everyone's sites.  

And everyone was so stinking nice.  Vintage camper people are my kind of people.  Mike and I loved chatting with everyone.  It truly felt like the end of summer camp when we left, hugging my new friends goodbye, and saying, "see you next year!"  


My vintage camping skirt was an absolute hit! 


I got stopped many a time for pictures of that skirt, ha!  Dressing up was half the fun for me.  I even participated in my first pin-up contest (you can read all about that here).  


Poor Mike had to deal with a lot of picture taking, haha!  And yet, I somehow didn't get enough pictures!  The dance hall played rockabilly all night long, there was an awesome sideshow by Strange for Hire, and the swap meet was fantastic-- all of which I have no pictures of!


It was an absolutely amazing weekend.  It was quite the drive for our first time camping with the Shasta (especially when Mike was stopping every 20 miles to check the bearings).  I know when we first signed up the for event, Mike was nervous about showing the Shasta off-- we love our finished product, but Mike was worried about being judged by the purists and professional camper renovators.  But it wasn't like that at all! Vintage camping was filled with campers on all end of the spectrum-- from the completely gutted work-in-progress to the newly finished products.  People were so nice and we got so many compliments on our renovation.  We were surrounded by people who understood having a project camper and the years (yes, years, plural!) of work that go into it.  I kept saying to Mike, "these are our people!" ha!  

And I even survived the weekend without getting run over by a mini-bike ;) 


Molly (aka Shirley Shasta) 

P.S. For all the Shasta renovation information check out this and this.

Symco Wisconsin Symco Weekender 1972 Shasta Compact.png

Summer Blues

I'm going to start thinking of July as the lost month.  I swear, every year, it FLIES by.  Between the 4th of July, my birthday, hubby's camping trips, and general summery things, I blink and the month is gone, and I enter a state of panic as summer is slipping by and there's still so much I want to do.  


This summer, getting this Shasta Compact on the road has been top priority.  And time is ticking! We actually bought Miss Betty Blue here in fall of 2016 (picture above is from the day we brought her home).  At the time, I thought for sure that we would get it done and be road-worthy summer of 2017.  But then we bought a rental unit, and that took priority.  So, we (and by we, I mean Mike) only worked on it for about a month last summer before we wrapped her back up for the winter.  

But we're back at it and she is looking SO GOOD! I can't wait to share the whole renovation with you. Her inside is almost done and Mike is working on painting the outside right this very moment!


Well, with all of this vintage camper excitement, naturally, I had to start putting together some cute outfits to go along with it.  I started shopping repro and vintage sites, sewing up vintage-inspired patterns, and buying all the cute vintage shoes I could find.  I used to LOVE shopping vintage, but over the years I let it go.  I have been so excited to get back into it. 


Here are the details on this cute outfit: 

Top: Available here
Skirt: Just a basic circle skirt I made from this ponte, available from Boho Fabrics
Shoes: Vintage find
Heart-Shaped Glasses: Available here


All of this fun deserved a new section here on my blog-- Vintage Life.  Here, you're going to find all the details on our camper renovation, my vintage-inspired styles, and our Shasta events (Our first show is in August. . . I'm even participating in my first pin-up contest! Eeek!).

So, welcome to Vintage Life at Middle River Studio! 


I hope you enjoy the new section here at MRS.  This camper has been QUITE the project and I have been loving getting to work on my retro looks to go along with it.  Stay tuned for more <3 




Sew Americana Blog Tour

Whoo-hoo! Katy from Wild + Wanderful is at it again, convincing us all to sew along with her in red, white, and blue for the third annual Sew American Blog Tour! 

I already had my outfits sewn up for the 4th, thanks to strike-off sewing, but Katy went ahead and talked me into making one more.  And inspiration struck in the unlikeliest of places- the liquor store.  I was cruising through to buy adult beverages for our Summer Solstice party, and I stopped in my tracks and did a double take when I saw the cases of Old Milwaukee.  The girl on the cans is super cute, dressed in red, white, and blue, and I immediately wanted to make a copy cat outfit! 


Luckily, the tour sponsor, Sly Fox Fabrics had the perfect fabrics on hand in their Sew Americana Collection- this stretch denim and the stripes rayon spandex. 

Sew Americana Sneak w%2F watermark.jpg

I used the George and Ginger Heat Wave Hot Pants for my bottoms.  The pattern calls for 50% stretch and this was only 30%, so I added an invisible zipper in the back. And for the top, I just winged it, haha. 


The best part about buying case of beer for a prop, is getting to have a beer while you're taking pictures. Mike says that Old Mil shot up to number two on his list of favorite cheap beers now, haha. Oh, behind Grain Belt, of course.  


Of course, I also had to pull out my already-made items, try them on again and give them a twirl . . .


I am SO excited to wear this ridiculous hoodie to our family's progressive dinner on the fourth.  It just makes me laugh. You can't take yourself too seriously. Sometimes you just need to dress up like the Old Mil girl or wear a cat sweatshirt and laugh at yourself. 


I jokingly suggested "Meowica" as the theme for the party, but no takers.  I did however, also come up with the winning theme: Rockin' in the USA! My big kids have AC/DC, Jimi Hendrix, Beatles, and MTV shirts to choose from, but baby Dane is going to be matching his momma.


But, as for the parade, I'm going a little more classic, and pulling out this dress. 


The problem with sewing up strike-off fabric is how far in advance you get seasonal fabric! I sewed up these latter two outfits in February (fabric is from Vintage Lace), and I currently have Christmas fabric on its way to me! So, it was fun to get back into the summer spirit and sew something new for the fourth for the blog tour.  I know Mike isn't complaining about having some extra beer around the house ;) 

Thanks for letting me show off all my outfits for next week! Make sure to take a look around the other tour stops- I love seeing what people come up with! Have a fun and safe Independence Day <3 

xoxo, Molly

Sew Americana TOur.jpg





Into the Blue with Striped Swallow Designs

The Into the Blue monokini is Striped Swallow Designs first swimsuit pattern and my first pattern with Striped Swallow!  I fell in love with SSD's boho designs and especially their Journey Romper (more on that soon), and was 100% on board with trying out this swimsuit!


I have fourteen swimsuits in my closet upstairs, nine of them made by me.  But after testing this one, I'd be totally happy tossing all of them except these two.  I seriously LOVE this pattern. It's so cute AND comfortable wearing on the beach when I'm chasing my kids around.  


It's the perfect combination for enjoying the beach-  high-waisted bottoms, open or full back, and a sweet ruched bodice. I wore these all last weekend at the cabin, and they were great!


When ever I'm at the beach, I play that whole, "Say I'm a bird," thing (from the Notebook), and try to make Mike play along with me, but he never does.  But here I am, being a bird, hahaha! 


Annnd, since it's called "Into the Blue" and I had this blue polka dot swim on hand, I had to make another one: 


This one is actually my favorite! I thought for sure that I'd prefer the open back on my first one, but turns out I like the full coverage back better!


The fit instructions on this pattern are spot on  It was so easy to make a perfect fitting garment from the get-go. 


If you haven't tried sewing with swim before, it really isn't bad! A little slippery (especially the lining) but totally manageable.  But if you have enough of the swim fabric, I like to use the same swim as the main fabric and the lining, instead of using lining, because it stretches differently when it's wet.  And stretch thread in your loopers is a must!


Today is the last day for the release sale! Head on over and save $2 off with the code "intotheblue".  And there's even a girl's version too! 

Get sewing, so you can enjoy this suit all summer long! <3 



Into the Blue.png








George + Ginger Festival Fever Blog Tour: Part Two

Soooo, on Tuesday, I told you all about my looks for the Festival Fever Tour happening through the George + Ginger Blog (and it you didn't catch it, read about it here).  Well, today, my friend Marta is here to guest blog and show off her own Festival Fever outfit!  I haven't met Marta in real life, but you grow to know the people you sew along with during pattern testing, and she is super sweet, makes stand-out items, has a great shoe collection, and I always know it's her because of her fun and bright door background!  I'm so excited to have her here today, so with out further ado, here she is: 

Hi! I'm Marta, and I'm so excited to be here at Middle River Studio! Molly has graciously allowed me to take over her space for today so I'm going to share with you my new favourite dress.  I have an intense love for all things twirly; so, anything with a circle skirt pretty much has my heart. My daughter who just turned 4 is the same. If I make her a dress and it doesn't "twirl up" I get a VERY unpleasant look! 


So when I was thinking of what I'd like to spend my summer weekends wearing, I knew it had to have twirl. But I also knew that I wanted a bodice with a bit of interest but nothing overwhelming. Something that could be dressed up or down. Enter the Daydream Dress and the Jawbreaker Dress. I just LOVE how flattering the neckline and little almost-sleeves on the Daydream Dress are. And of course the Jawbreaker is a staple in every twirly woman's wardrobe. 


Mashing them together was super easy! I just made the Daydream bodice omitting the band, and attached the circle skirt. They fit together beautifully! I feel like it has a bit of a vintage vibe too, which makes me extra happy.


One of the things I love doing with my family is going to the Aberfoyle Antique Market on the weekends. It's a fabulous place full of treasures. There is a little playground for the kids and always a few food trucks around for lunch. I've scored everything from a WWII helmet to a street sign with my son's name on it. Let me tell you, things that say "Griffith" are hard to find! My kids love rummaging through old Archie comics and my husband is always looking for random pinball machine parts.  My favourite thing is the jewelry. And although we haven't made it there yet this summer, when we do, I'll be wearing this dress and looking to accessorize it perfectly! 


I used a rayon spandex from The Fab Clique and it feels heavenly. The fabric just floats around me and even in the most sweltering of heat waves I feel pretty darn great! It is a bit sheer so thank goodness the bodice is lined!

Thanks so much for hanging out with me today and I hope you have amazing adventures this summer!

xoxo  Marta