Beanpop’s Zombies go back to school, Duck Butt style

haha. First of all, how confusing is that title? (I usually try to do some sort of play on words, with either a pattern name or the fabric company name. This time I went full on with both…and think the result is a little unnerving. Sorry! 🙂


Hey everyone! Hope this post finds you well.

I recently achieved something I’ve only ever dreamed of….I managed to sew up one of my fabric strike offs FOR a pattern test! If you do pattern testing and strike off sewing(or know about them), you know that finding a balance is key, but seldom do the two end up overlapping perfectly. I’ve always run into scheduling issues before. This time, Katie (Wilson, of Duck Butt Designs) was gracious enough to allow me to share little sneaks of the Duck Butt Designs project throughout the week, so that I could share my pretties from the ladies over at Beanpop, too! I’m pretty darn excited about it all, too!

testing meme



For starters, I’ll say that this was my first test for DBD (Duck Butt Designs). I have loved their patterns for quite some time now, but have never seen the tester calls. This time, I believe it must have been fated, as I’m quite honestly never around on Facebook any more. But not only was I online, the post actually came up right in my feed! Does Facebook know me or what? lol.

Duck Butt Designs (or DBD, as they’re affectionately called within the online sewing community”) is best known for their unique children’s pieces, but they also have wardrobe pieces for the entire family. Many of the options, including the basics, have some form of color blocking or other unique feature that makes the pattern super fun. I downloaded their free Panel Pocket Tee from the Facebook Group about a year ago and have used it faithfully since. It’s the perfect size for child/infant panels…in fact, that’s kinda why Katie designed it! 🙂

Panel Pocket Tee by DBD

When I first made my plans to sew up this round for Beanpop, I had hoped to use the PPT. Duck Butt Designs has pants, shorts and tee options, as well as pullovers, unders, pockets and more. There is a pattern for just about everything. My favorite thing about the pattern is: they usually come with some fun extra. For example, the colorblocked tees usually have a printable coloring sheet to help you map out fabric choices in advance. It makes the patterns fun to sew for me and helps the kids feel as though they have a hand in the process as well, which they looooove!

Testing, testing….


I’m so glad I signed up to test this top! We had a blast (as you can tell from our photos) and it was fun chatting with the other testers while we worked. It was about as laid back of a test as I’ve seen. The pattern has been released and  you can find the Back To school top and hoodie here. (click the name to be taken to the listing. Be sure to use code: FIRSTDAY to get 20% off until this sunday!)

Aquila, my youngest, was the one doing the pattern test (officially), but Kalel was the one with the strike off fabric (he’s the zombie lover) so we went ahead and made him one, too. *Their sizes were 12 months and 4T, if it makes a difference to any of you. 🙂 

The hoodie features :

  • a color blocked front
  • an optional color blocked back
  • The bottom front piece is made of 2 seperate pieces of fabric, which work together to form a big pocket
  • Lined, Tulip style hood or band for the neck.
  • Bands or hemming instructions for arms and waist.
  • 3 different sleeve lengths (or use bands to make it sleeveless)
  • Sizes 3 months -11/12
  • A0 size printing available


The fabric I used for Aquila’s hoodie was the custom Unicorns round from Aurora Designs Fabric. We have used little bits and pieces of it for quite a few projects now (see a romper I did with it here.) Unfortunately for me, all the retail of this print is gone and I’m almost out…but I’m positive there is something else beautiful to be found on the site. Brandi always has lots of pretty things. 🙂 The light pink and aqua blue solids both came from one of their $5 sales on cotton lycra solids. Be sure to check out the Aurora Design Fabrics Facebook group and stalk their page to catch the next sale!




I made 2 muslins to begin with. Then once I was sure there wouldn’t be any more additions or changes to the pattern, I went on to use my pretty custom fabrics. *I have found through trial and error that this is the best way.* Almost every time I’ve tried to skip the muslin stage, it’s ended up backfiring on me. So, without a doubt, even if you know the designer and they always nail it, use a muslin. You never know what kind of issues will pop up. And as fate would have it, they always pop up for me when I use exensive fabric. 🙂 Not that I don’t love ALL my fabric. It’s just that some fabric is a little more special and I prefer to save it for projects that will be worn. lol. This hoodie actually only went through 2 versions! Bonus points for the Katie, because my muslins were totally usuable, so that’s another plus! Can never have too many hoodies!



My favorite thing about testing and photographing both kids? The outtakes were hysterical. I’ll post a few at the end. They’re always my favorite. 🙂


Testing felt like it flew by. Everything fit perfectly and I love all the options! I did modify our final version of my son’s hoodie, so that I could show more of the fabric. (I was down to scraps at that point.) I took a strip of 2″ fabric and cut it the length of hood (from the very top all the way down to the base of the neck). I believe it was about 14″-16″ for a size 4T. I then sewed it, RST to the outer hood layers, one at a time. I did this before sewing it together. After doing that, I just completed the rest of the pattern as normal. I like that it added a little pop of something extra and tied the pants in with the hood. We will definitely be making many more of these, as a top and as a hoodie! I’m so glad we got the chance to test for Katie and DBD! Be sure to grab the pattern here, on the Duck Butt Designs website. You can use the code FIRSTDAY for 20% until Sunday, 08/13/217.

You can find out more about DBD and join in the sewing fun in the Duck Butt Designs Facebook Group

bp fabrics

Fabric addiction is real…


When the ladies at Beanpop Fabrics announced that we could apply to sew up things for this round, I was incredibly excited…even before we got to see the actual prints! This round was geared towards the Halloween holidays. There are some fun glitter cats, tarot cards, magic potion labels, sugar animals, and a vintage horror movie poster print fabric. I love that they did spooky…but in a fun way. There wasn’t anything overwhelmingly shocking or scary. and the tarot and potion prints are incredible! I’m basically just in love with the whole round! I’ve assembled a collage (below) of some of the strike off seamstresses’ work. Aren’t they all so talented?  You can find more of their work (and more pretty fabric) in the Beanpop Fabric Facebook Group. There is also a Beanpop Fabric Facebook Buy and Sell Group, where you can find some of the older prints that aren’t in production any more. The current pre-order for the fabrics I’m showing here is available on the main Beanpop website, under the Round 14 section.

credit (from left to right, row by row): Amy Kushner, Alexis Schank, Nikki Luke, Melissa Mitchell, Savannah Layland, Brianna Karle, April Simpson-Hunt (me) and Becky Dunlap.

I quickly put my bid in on a number of prints. This was probably the first time I can confidently say that I would have been happy with anything I received. When I saw the zombies panel and fat half set, I knew that it would be perfect for my 4 year old, who loves all things spooky. (his favorite movie is Chucky) Most of the sets or prints came in cotton lycra, which is a great base and is pretty much the norm for strike offs. Beanpop has an incredible selection of bases, including stretch woven, 240-260 GSM cotton lycra and french terry, which is what the zombies fabric came on.


This was my first time working with french terry and ermahgawd…it’s AWESOME! I would venture a guess to say that all french terry may not be awesome. But Beanpop seems to turn everything they touch into gold, so I’m not surprised that this base is lush, thick and a dream to sew up. My son loved the texture so much, he refused to take the pants off for 3 days! (this is my boy who refuses to wear jeans because they “feel funny”). As a result of both of these things, I a lot of Beanpop FT in my future. 🙂

The prints themselves were incredibly crisp and clear. For some reason, I always expect the panel to have visual interest than the coordinate. I’m not sure exactly why I feel this way. I suppose I’ll have to get over it, though, as this zombies coordinate was my favorite part! (although it would be tough to pick an all out favorite). The panel features zombies, headstones and flames. It looks scary, yet somehow accomplishes it in a fun way, that doesn’t look out of place on a Pre-K kid. The coordinate features axes, chainsaws, headstones and skulls in a floating, random pattern. Behind those images, though, is a dark and light grey scratched background, which is almost like a very thin, uneven plaid(possibly?). It’s very subtle, yet adds dimension and texture. Then, there are little pops of red, yellow and green floating throughout the coordinate in little brains, hearts, skulls and more. I love all the attention to detail. It makes the print so much fun and so interesting to look at! I’m currently trying to find a way to make myself something to wear with the tiny scraps I have left. I believe I’ll be ordering more soon!

This was one of those instances where I struggled with my point and shoot camera.(FujiFilm FinePix 3280) It seems like no matter how hard I try or how well I learn my settings, I still have issues with focus or light. I really wanted to do these prints justice! I hope you are able to see how clear the prints are, as well as the colors. I have a friend, Laura Akins Asup, who is a great photographer and does most of our professional shots. She was nice enough to agree to do some photos for us, so she took the ones shown from the store, that you can see above.(you know, the only REALLY professional looking ones. lol) I love them, but the store’s lighting caused my own mint green ponte de roma coordinate (from Stylish Fabrics) to look more blue than green.  This is why there are so many photos here! sorry! I wanted to show off everything to the best of my ability. I’m incredibly proud of this project and so in love with everything I’m sharing!


The Halloween round is open at Beanpop from now until August 22, so be sure to grab them all quickly!

Also, be sure to sign up via the website, since user accounts are required for purchases. Use code “WAHM10” to get 10% off all orders of 8 yards or more!



Thanks so much for reading!

Until next time, Sewing and Swimming,

signature blue copy



April Simpson-Hunt


*now, as promised….here are some of the “outtakes” from the 2 days spent trying to get photos. haha. Enjoy! 🙂


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Published by Sirene Vibes Images: Wedding photography by April Hunt

I'm April. Hiiiiii! I'm a Key West "conch" (native) and think there is no better feeling than the one that exists when you're next to the ocean. If I could, I would package it up and gift it to everyone.  I want that feeling for YOU.  The sense of relaxation, empowerment, true beauty, & peace. My specialties are: remaining cool under pressure thinking outside the box packing master & french braider extraordinaire (neice calls me "the master-braider" haha) planning everything possible in advance, so that you don't have to worry about it. being sweet as sugar, while still maintaining a nice dry sense of humor. :)  Your turn! Time to tell me your story, please? What is your favorite thing? How did you meet your partner? Where do you want to travel? :)  If you're here and you're getting married (congrats), be sure to hit me up and see if I still have your date open. (I have 3 wedding dates left open for 2019)

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