Archive for September, 2012

Sailor Dresses Galore.

Wow…you guys have really been outdoing yourself with the projects you are making!

And on my mind today, are Sailor Dresses!

Here’s my round up from this week:

{click on the picture to visit the site}

{Figgy Patterns}


{Party of 8}

{The Cottage Mama}

{Stitches & Scissors}

{Sweet Pea & Pumpkins}

{Alice loves handmade}

{Violet Field Threads}

{sew hot right now}

{Violet Field Threads}

{saflower photography}

{Violet Field Threads}


I’m drooling over these nautical dresses. Yes please! on every single one! I love seeing all your amazing creative projects! It seriously makes it all so worth it!

To see the fabric collection visit here. 

For more Out to Sea Photos visit here and here. 


Happy weekending everyone!





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Take it while you can.

I said: “I’m making dinner, You guys go outside and enjoy the last few hours of warm sunshine. It’s not going to be summer weather much longer!”

And they did. Enjoy it. Every single second of it.

This week I’m going to live in the moment a bit more. Not let a single chance go by.  Fully feel and enjoy the present.  Even get a little dirty.

You? How are you enjoying the change of seasons? Do you love the excitement of change? I miss the warm, but I’m loving the butternut squash soup on the stove today.



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OUT TO SEA blog tour: Ship Shape Tunic

We are starting to wind down on the OUT TO SEA projects, but no all the way.  Today I bring you Rae from MADE BY RAE with an adorable Ship Shape Button Placket Tutorial perfect for boys.We could all use a bit more on the boy side, right?

She is offering this pattern at 20% off for Sarah Jane readers (code: OUTTOSEA2)


I love her blog. Her latest Washi Tape Dress has become epic already, and I drooled over this On Parade dress she made for her little girl’s birthday party.


Thanks Rae!


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New Sarah Jane: Out to Sea Art Prints

New Art Prints! Part of this new shift in Sarah Jane is more art prints, especially designed around collections. The Out to Sea Fabric collection was a delight to create, and I’m just as excited to offer prints as well!

The great thing about today, is that for the FIRST time, we are now offering 5×7 prints! We have been getting requests for ages, but it’s a size that take a bit more cutting down, and we are now offering it. Especially now that I’m not going to be offering cards after this year, I am happy that there will be smaller print size to choose from!

Mermaid Games. Playing with Narwhals is my idea of a fun day.

Pirate Girls. Each one has a job on deck!

Mermaid & Octopus. These two are going to make great friends.

Water marks and © marks are just for the web by the way:) 

Deep Sea Princess. She’s my favorite.


Set Sail. I wanted to offer something a little more neutral, and still. All of these prints are the original ink illustrations from the fabric line by the way, actual size. I’ve had to modify them of course for the artwork, but the line work is actually the original art from when I designed the fabric.

And….Dun dun dun…..MAPS!!!!!!

I’m obsessed with map prints in children’s spaces, and this is my favorite print in the collection. A nautical world map, with treasure marks, deep sea creatures and scribbled cursive ink dipped handwriting for all the ports.

Catch me by the Sea (coming later today!) is a hand painted sign type print, which makes me wish more than ever I lived where I could hear the roaring ocean every single day.

And Sailing Adventures. Meant to compliment the map, this ship is ready for a grand voyage!

And to finish up, thank you so much for all your kind words, emails and comments on yesterday’s posts on the downsizing of the shop. I’m refocussing, and it feels good. I’m so lucky to have such an amazing group of kindred spirits here!

Farewell, mates! I look forward to seeing some major nautical decorating going on:) Do share!






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Today is a long post. But stick with me.

I’ve been considering a really big decision for the past year or so, and have finally come to a grand conclusion. And wow, has it been a journey of faith, patience, trust, sweat and tears. It’s hard to make decisions about your business, especially when they are founded upon deep and lifelong dreams, your personal family income and your creative needs as a person. But these past few months, as I’ve battled anxiety, stress, indecision and fear, I’ve learned to listen to God, my heart and my instincts, and I’m moving onward, ready to enter into a  new phase for Sarah Jane.

I’ve decided to shut down most of my online shop.

Gosh. Writing that down so simply doesn’t really seem to be a big deal. Maybe it does. But to me, it’s a conclusion I’ve considered for a long time, but wasn’t ready to try until now.

Let me back up.

5 years ago this month, I sat on my bed, wondering where I was going to get work with 2 babies under 2, no family in town, 1 car and a husband who was working full time and going to graduate school at night. In tears, I finally got my answer: Start selling my art work on ETSY. I had a very strong goal of becoming a children’s book illustrator and a textile designer, but without any art schooling I had no resume, networks or resources. So starting an online shop made sense for 2 reasons: it would bring in a little cash to offset the demands of my husbands graduate schooling, and it would build a portfolio that I desperately needed to start putting myself “out there” as an artist.

In the back of my mind, I also dreamed of branding an online shop with all my creations…a high quality children’s brand with decor and soft goods for children’s spaces. And so as my shop grew, I made that the natural direction of Sarah Jane. I wanted to have a place where people could come and find products for their home that would inspire simple childhood.

But, as my shop grew, it became too much for me to handle. So I got help. And more help, and the business finally grew to the point where we couldn’t handle the orders in my own home, and we decided to fulfill our orders outside of my studio. It was a big move, but I knew what I needed to stay happy and balanced, and running a business this size at home wasn’t one of them.

But something else happened that I didn’t expect. There is a gap between LITTLE creative business and BIG creative business that I got stuck in. By taking the leap into bigger business, I was forced to be making huge decisions that weighed on my mind far more than I wanted them to. This business isn’t a hobby…it is a necessary part of our family’s income, but going from small to big took decisions and planning that were far more than I wanted to handle, and I found myself more stressed than I had ever been. I had turned into a business guru and a marketing expert….and I wasn’t spending my time getting lost in creative pleasures and projects like I needed to. I wasn’t able to tap into that place all artists go to when they need to get inspired. The best part of me…the part of me that is an artist…was getting squashed by the demands of growing a business. I knew I was losing the joy and the charm, and I didn’t know how to get it back.

But I’m a hard worker. I’m a “figure it out-er.” A dreamer, believer, and I don’t quit. I had some really great things going, and opportunities with promise, and I knew that I could figure this out. After all, it was what I always wanted, right?

But I started to see that maybe the dream I had of the charming children’s boutique filled to the brim wasn’t creating the lifestyle that I craved.  I was building something that I had dreamed of, but as I got closer to that dream, I realized I didn’t want it after all. Which is a hard fact to face. Because you believe that with JUST a little more hard work, you’ll figure it out. Someday it will balance out, ease up, get easier, sail more smoothly. But I wasn’t seeing the horizon. And I was thinking that running a printer out of my bedroom was actually when I was happiest and most creative. Ouch. That was a harsh reality. Was all this growth for nothing?

How do you climb down a ladder you thought was getting you to where you wanted to go?

I realized that by answering the question: How do I wan to feel every day? How do I want to feel in 10 years? And what daily choices will achieve that? stopped the train and made me take a serious look at what I wanted out of all this. Logic was telling me I needed to keep trying harder, find clarity through experience, learning and research, get more business experience, etc. etc. But after all that, I still felt like I was missing something really important and I came to realize the answer was inside me all a long: I need to provide an income for my family, but I’m going to do it in a way that brings me the greatest sense of purpose and power. And accept that in my head, a full shop with pretty things was what I thought would get me there. But it wasn’t.

So this change is ultimately putting myself in a position to make fewer business decisions, and more artistic ones. And as much as I fear what will be in store, I actually have faith that because I’ve made the right decision (as hard as it was!) I will be far better off in every aspect of my life. Since coming to this decision last week, I’ve been more inspired, more creative, more free and much much lighter. I can’t wait to see what comes of all this. And hey…I’ve earned an honorary business degree, learned how to balance and manage a lot of things at once, figured out the difference between when to push and when to let go…and most importantly…I’ve come to realize what I really want out of it all.

Looking back, I started my shop to open up freelance jobs in publishing and fabric. I guess I figured I could run a growing business, mother 3 children, keep house, serve in the community AND illustrate books and fabric too. I felt compelled to try it, and for me the answer was to stick to what I do best & am most passionate about.

And so that brings me to now.

I’ve made the choice to let go of everything in the shop except for art prints and downloads.

No more paper embroidery patterns, cards, holiday calendars, gifts tags, bookplates, or journals.

We are going to sell out, and when they are gone, they are gone! I will sell through the holidays what is currently in stock, and after Jan. 1 the shop will only be shipping prints, and emailing PDF’s.

What that does mean however, is more books, fabric, downloads, art prints, tutorials and creative sharing.

I’m really excited for this new change. It’s a little scary, but I love the idea that I’ll be able to illustrate more books and design more fabric, and take more artistic liberties.

For all of you who have been with me since the beginning…I love you! Thank you for being on this journey with me! I share it, in hopes that if there are others out there who are in that battle ground of figuring out how and what they want out of their creative business, that you will find the support and encouragement you need. Cause changing course can be hard to do, especially when it requires looking deep into your heart and examining closely.

(And if any of you are in this same boat, this blog, this book and this video really helped me shape my decision. This decision of mine isn’t for everyone…but for me at this time, it is!)

But for now, this is where I am. This is where I’ve arrived in  order to shape this next phase for me.

Love to you all, and excited for this new chapter!


sarah jane

PS: the above quote is for you too.

and PPS:  I have a brand new collection of prints launching tomorrow. Nautical prints and new sizes to play with. I can’t wait to show you!





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Wellesley & Winlsow

I love seeing pictures of the spaces you have created with fabric and prints. It’s so delightful to see!  Wellesley & Winslow have the most amazing little friendship, and they are the some of the original prints that started my shop 5 years ago! Lately, these prints have been flying out the door again, which really makes me smile since these two have a special little place in my heart.


I got an email a while ago from a mother wanting to know who was who….her daughter had fallen LOVE with Wellesley and Winslow, and they even have stuffed animal toys named after them! I just melted.

(For the record, Wellesley is the bunny, and Winslow is the elephant)

I really love these two, and I’m working on more illustrations that tell their story. I’ve put them on hold for a while, and am working on getting some more story out of them! They are like my own best friends. So perfect for each other and so playful.

(Photography by Gina Zeidler Photography)

I am feeling a need to tell their story a bit more. How about some more artwork with these two?

They really just delight me.

And thanks to our friend Elizabeth for sharing her sweet bedroom. It really is just perfect!

I’d love to see your spaces with the prints up on the wall. Feel free to send me images or post them to the FLICKR group!

Stay tuned Monday for more yummy new things!

Happy Friday Everyone!




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Well, she IS a princess.

I’m writing from my studio…and it’s late…and I had to pop in and say how much fun I’m having. Believe it or not, running this business and working as many deadlines as I do, it’s easy to get bogged down by all the “non-fun” parts of it all. I know, it sounds terrible right? Cause I love it! But spreadsheets and calculations and numbers? Not so much. I’ve been having to do a lot of that lately.

Anyways….back to this cute octopus. She’s a total doll, and I’m loving her at the moment.

I’ve been cranking away at a big new release of new stuff for monday. Sound fun? I can’t wait! I wish it was monday:)

But until then, enjoy this little Octo-princess and know she can officially be adopted starting the 24th of September.

(Is it really the end of September? Wasn’t it just July like yesterday?)

Signing off. Back to drawing adorable cute things.

But mark your calendars for monday! I’m kinda excited to show you lots a stuff:)




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International Speak Like a Pirate Day.

Last night I started working on a sketch for a possible print in the shop….and I came to find out that today is International Speak Like A Pirate Day!

Was I feelin’ the vibes or what!

Too bad I didn’t tell my kids before school, or they would have insisted on dressing like pirates (which is all good and fun, just not on Picture Day!).

My local Krispie Creams is giving away free donuts if you show up speaking in Pirate. Just in case you were wondering about any perks:)

Any of you celebrating?


I just found out that Quilt Home Fabrics is offering 20% off all Sarah Jane fabric this week!  Yahoo!! Just in time for Pirate Day:) 

Click Here to find out the Coupon Info.


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