Friday, May 27, 2011

a little something for me

Do any of you follow the Colette Patterns blog? If not, I highly recommend it. It is full of wonderful sewing tips, facts, fashion history and tons of beautiful inspiration, perfect for beginners as well as experienced sewers. And every once in a while, there is a sweet little freebie (like this). Check out the latest free pattern for the Sorbetto Top.

I love the simplicity of this style and I'm already thinking up all the ways the pattern could be modified. Contrast binding? Racerback? Shirt tail hem? Button closure? Ooh my mind is spinning with all the possibilities! I've also been coveting this vintage fabric from one of my favourite vintage fabric supply shops on Etsy.

I'm thinking the Sorbetto top would look pretty sweet in this fabric... What do you think? Too granny-ish? or could it perhaps pass as a cool granny-chic?

So, anyone else have a weakness for 'granny-chic' fabric? Sewn with a Colette sewing pattern? Making any fun summer clothes for yourself? Please share! I'd love to hear about it!

-top two images are from the Colette Patterns blog
-bottom image is from the TheresaMarieRose shop

{this moment}

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.' - words and inspiration from SouleMama 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

and the winner is...

...#5 as selected by the trusty Random Number Generator.

bitsofsunshine said...
this is ever so very cute!
i'm from minnesota.
and if my girl is too tall for this, i have some sweet little nieces. :)


Congratulations Elizabeth! You are the winner of the Orange Blossom Dress!!! I will get in touch with you later today for the size of dress you'd like and for your shipping info.


Well, this was way more fun than I thought it would be! Thanks to everyone who entered! I loved reading each and every comment although I have to admit, I was getting a little jealous of everyone who's already soaking in some summery weather. It's been pretty dark and rainy here on the West Coast. And by the looks of it, purple and pink are still very much the front-runners as far as favourite girl colours go, although I think the little girl whose favourite colours are 'rainbow' & 'sparkles' is really on to something... I might have to change my favourite colours to those as well :)

For those of you who'd like another chance to 'win' this dress, I am donating one to the Tiny Sparrow Foundation Auction organized by Julie of Zozobugbaby. Of course, it is an auction, so it won't be free, but there will be tons of other amazing action items to bid on and it's for a wonderful cause. I'll post a bit more info when the auction is up and running.

And finally, if you did check out my shop and had your eye on something, I'm offering 15% off until June 5, 2011 with coupon code GIVEAWAYDAY11 (just enter the code in the coupon box at checkout). And yes, I know the shop is a little bare, but I will be adding new items as fast as I can make them, so please check back!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

May Giveaway!!

Hello and thanks for dropping by! (and a super special welcome to everyone who's visiting from Sew,Mama,Sew!) It's finally here - my first GIVEAWAY! I love entering blog contests and have been lucky enough to win a few, so I thought I'd join in the fun with the May Giveaway Day organized by Sew,Mama,Sew.

So, here's what's up for grabs:

This is the Orange Blossom Dress and I think your little girl will look pretty darn cute in it! It is a variation of this top and this dress and it's perfect for wearing as a summery dress, layering over tanks and tees, or as a tunic over jeans or leggings. The size is also very customizable as the straps can be tightened or loosened, and the scrunchiness of the front can be adjusted for more or less coverage. It is handmade from a vintage-inspired floral print cotton and features a sweet little tomato orange pinstripe pocket for keeping little toys, rocks, seashells, or other treasures.

So, how do you enter to win? Just leave a comment below. Easy peasy. If you're feeling chatty, I'd love for you to tell me a bit about yourself like where you're from, what you or your little girl's favourite colour is, or favourite summertime activity... whatever you'd like to share. Please make sure I have a way of contacting you (leave your email address or ensure I can find your contact info via Blogger). If I can't get a hold of the winner, I'll draw another name. ONE comment per person please. BUT.. you can gain 3 EXTRA entries by doing any of the following:

+1 extra entry if you follow my blog
+1 extra entry if you visit my Etsy shop (feel free to let me know if you have a favourite item)
+1 extra entry if you share this giveaway on your own blog or Facebook page
(Please leave an extra comment for each additional entry letting me know if you did any of the above.)

This contest is open until Wednesday, May 25th (end of the day) and the winner will be randomly selected and announced the next day. The contest is open to anyone, anywhere in the world and the winner can choose the size of the dress (available in 2/3, 4, 5/6). I will ship out the dress by May 30th. 
That's all folks! Now get to it and good luck!

Friday, May 20, 2011

{this moment}

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.' - words and inspiration from SouleMama 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

psst.. giveaway coming soon..

..check back on Monday, May 23rd for my very first GIVEAWAY!! Yay! Hooray!! (pass it on..)

Monday, May 16, 2011

KCWC - Days 6 & 7 (the END)

Holy smokes! I made it to the end! But just barely...

Here is my Day 6 project, which actually went very smoothly. It ended up taking just about two hours to sew (after the pattern and fabric were cut), and I'm happy with how it turned out!

I'm not normally a fan of the super soft colours, especially the light pink, but this sailboat fabric totally caught my eye at the fabric shop (when I was supposed to be buying just bias tape and thread..). It was only $5/meter too (which is pretty cheap for quilting cottons in Canada..) The print made me think of a super relaxing beach day. And with the dark, rainy weather we've been having on the West Coast, I welcomed this thought. The fabric is from RJR Fabrics and it's called 'Little boats should keep near shore - Benjamin Franklin'. Sweet, right? The blue dot fabric was actually from my stash and was originally destined to be a part of a quilt project that just never got going. It's 'Honeycomb' by Kei Fabric. This soft blue fabric looked like water with bubbles, which is why it made it's way to this dress.

The pattern is based on a dress from a Japanese sewing book, and it was a very simple, satisfying project to sew up!

Day 7 did not go so well... I forced myself to crank out one last project, a pair of culottes also from a Japanese sewing book. 

First of all, I would not recommend sewing late on a Sunday night when you would really rather be zoning out in front of the TV or even sleeping. Secondly, don't do the above and try to sew from a Japanese pattern (when you don't read Japanese). These are really simple pants. REALLY. But somehow I managed to mess them up three times. I sewed the inseams of the pants together (not separate to create the legs). I fixed that problem then proceeded to sew TWO left legs... Luckily, this fabric, being a denim with weft and warp threads, is pretty forgiving since it looks the same on both sides (the right and wrongs sides). So, I just used one right side and one wrong side and, well, I can't really tell the difference, except by looking at the inseam. I did a French seam and sewed it flat (not sure what this technique is called), so there are no raw edges or seam allowance showing. Finally, as I was sewing down the seam allowance, I sewed part of the pants to the allowance and had to whip out my seam ripper yet again. Ugh!

But, I think I like how these turned out and think they would look super cute with a little red t-shirt or maybe even this top. So, I'm pretty sure I will try this pattern again. Maybe I'll do longer Palazzo pants instead. I also was very tempted to add pockets to the backside, and adorn the hems with crocheted lace or ric rac, but I figured I should quit while I was ahead. So, definitely lots of options for my future culotte makings!

Btw, the fabric for these culottes is a really lovely, lightweight cotton/linen blend. The colour is a bit darker than the picture shows, and I'm hoping these will be a nice, comfier alternative to wearing jeans when it gets warmer out. 

Whew! Thanks to Elsie Marley for organizing this awesome sewing challenge! It's been a blast! Now off to bed.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

KCWC - Day 5

For Day 5 of the Kids Clothes Week Challenge I kind of strayed a bit and (gasp) quite possibly have broken the rules.. I needed to make a couple of birthday gifts so I used my hour of sewing for that.

First up is a robot appliqu├ęd t-shirt (although I didn't make the t-shirt). And remember this sweet little rabbit I picked up here? Well, he's heading to his new home today!

This awesome robot print is from "ready, set, robot" by Alexander Henry.

Next up is a sweet felt crown for a little girl's princess party. This idea came from this book by Amanda Blake Soule (which is an incredibly lovely and inspirational book!) The sparkley buttons and lace are both vintage from my stash, and I was so happy with how well the crown ended up matching the little wooden necklace! (it wasn't planned but I guess it must have been in my subconscious).

Tonight I plan on getting back on track and sewing a summer dress for lil C before this sewing week (and challenge) is done. Wish me luck! 

KCWC - Day 4

Just a quick sneak peek on my next KCWC project:

This will be a summer dress similar to this which is based on a Japanese sewing pattern. The pattern has been traced, the fabric cut... I'm hoping I'll be able to whip this up in about an hour...

Friday, May 13, 2011

{this moment}

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.' - inspired by SouleMama 

KCWC - Day 3

Yay! Day 3 of the  Kids Clothes Week Challenge and I have one project complete!

These Dapper Dillinger Trousers were made from a Patterns by Figgy's pattern. If you`ve never tried one of their patterns, I fully recommend them. They are very well written, always look professional with lots of attention to details (without going over the top), and the designs are a perfect blend between fun and functional.

I did make a few small adjustments to the pattern though. When I got to the very last part of the waistband (the flat front panel), my fabric pieces ended up being too small. I`m not sure if I just messed up the seams somewhere along the way, but I ended up cutting another set of front panel pieces that were 1 inch longer than the pattern piece to ensure it covered the front band entirely and neatly. (I was tempted to figure out a way to just `make` the front pieces fit by sheer force of will, but decided it would really just be easier to cut new pieces).

Also, as I predicted, these pants did end up being quite loose for Big C. I made the 4/5T size for my nearly 4 year old (I could have easily gone with the 2/3T) and so I ended up making a couple small sizing adjustments. First of all, I didn`t add the cuffs. Although I love how the cuffs look, they would have made the pants waaay too long so I just sewed a regular hem. I figure when he has his next growth spurt and grows 3 inches in one night, I can add the cuffs then. Also, I finished these pants at around midnight and my sewing machine started acting up and doing crazy things with the tension and wonky stiches (maybe it was tired too!). So I figured it was a sign that these pants were to remain cuff-less. The last adjustment I did was to simple cut a shorter elastic (at least 1 1/2 inches shorter than the suggested length) and really cinch up the pants in the back to they would fit my skinny boy. 

C was a little hesitant to model these for me, but then I told him they were Bruce Wayne pants and he gladly agreed.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

KCWC - Day 2

Day 2 of the Kids Clothes Week Challenge and things are starting to roll!  I spent about 2 1/2 hours (with a few distractions of course) working on these trousers for Big C.

They are the Dapper Dillinger Trousers from Patterns by Figgy's and I have to say they are, in fact, looking pretty dapper! All I have left to do is the waistband which is elastic on the back and left flat on the front, and the cuffs. I think my favourite part of these pants is the pockets!

I love that Michael Miller print and so does Big C. I hope he loves these pants too! My only concern right now is that they are going to be a bit big.. I made the size 4/5 for my almost 4 year old (who is eating like a beast right now so maybe he'll actually fit these!) Fingers crossed they work out..

KCWC - Day 1

Was I being ambitious? Yes! A little delusional? Absolutely! Day 1 of the Kids Clothes Week Challenge did not go very well for me. Why? Well, for the first time in a while, I really just didn't feel like sewing. So last night, I spent my hour (and a bit) tracing and cutting out a couple patterns I wanted to use. The Dapper Dillinger Trousers for Big C, and the Tee for Two dress for lil C.

After cutting out the dress pattern, I realized that I actually didn't have any knit fabric that was big enough for the dress. I don't usually keep knits in my fabric stash, other than some old/thrifted t-shirts I thought might fun to upcycle. Unfortunately, the fabric from the t-shirts wasn't big enough for the dress. Sooo, the dress (and the t-shirts, and the Maya Skirt, and the Princess Leggings) has been put on hold until I get out to the fabric store.

I did find some navy cotton twill fabric to use for the Dillingers, and some fun Michael Miller 'cars and trucks' fabric for the contrast. I got the OK from Big C so I think that's what I'll go with for Day 2 tonight. As for the rest of my projects, I think I will dig through my fabric stash and let whatever I find there lead the way (I'm thinking there will be at least one dress for lil C made from that vintage sheet I bought a while back). Ok, enough chit chat. Off to sew now!

Monday, May 9, 2011

crafty sightseeing

A happy belated Mother's Day to all the Mamas and Mamas-to-be out there! I hope you had a fantastic day brunching, being pampered and feeling very loved!

I had a low-key but wonderful Mother's Day. One of my 'wishes' for the day was to be able to spend a little leisurely browsing (kid-free) time at the local Got Craft market which was held at the Royal Canadian Legion on Commercial Drive. It was so great to be surrounded by such awesome local talent. I didn't end up buying very much, just a small bottle of hand cream by Earthgirl Aromatherapy (which smells sooo delicious!), and a couple cookies from The Gluten Free Epicurean (which tasted delicious). I also came away a little 'prize ribbon' that  I made at the Spool of Thread DIY craft table. All in all, a great way to spend the afternoon!

On Saturday, I also got out to another community market that my friend Jenn of Jenn's Yarn Addiction was participating in. Although it wasn't specifically a 'craft market', she was there with all her crocheted goodies!

Her Angry Birds are by far her best sellers, but I came away with a couple of rabbits (I couldn't resist), and a rocker-girl doll.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Kids Clothes Week Challenge

I've been following the Elsie Marley Blog for a while now, and there is never any shortage of sewing and crafty inspiration to be found there. This year, I've decided to join in on the fun and take part in the Kids Clothes Week Challenge (kcwc). Basically, I've committed myself to spending at least one hour a day sewing clothes for kids for an entire week May 9th-15th.

Now I think I'm already putting in an least an hour of sewing every night, so I'm going to give myself a few additional challenges. Along with my fabric stash, I have a pattern stash (sewing and knitting). My goal for this week will be to make clothes from these patterns (the ones I had every intention to use when I purchased them, but they somehow fell to the wayside). My second personal challenge will be to sew at least two pieces of clothing for my son (or possibly start knitting a sweater for him which will NOT be finished by the end of this week but will hopefully be done by the end of summer..). Every time lil c prances into the room in a new, freshly sewn dress, Big C very kindly smiles and comments on the lovely 'princessiness' of the garment, and says how nice she looks. Sometimes he asks where his new dress is and I feel so awful.. So this week, we are going to even up the score a bit and crank out some boys clothes! My final personal challenge will be to try sewing with knits. I'm typically a woven (non stretch) fabric kind of gal when it comes to sewing, but there are so many great knit patterns out there and they look oh-so-comfy! Time to give it a try.

Like I've said, I have a huge stack of pattens I would love to get to, but here are my top few items to get me started:

Dapper Dillinger Trousers - Patterns by Figgy's
Tee for Two (raglan-style t-shirt) - Patterns by Figgy's
The 90-Minute Shirt - Made Blog Tutorial
Princess Leggings - Heidi and Finn
Maya Yoga Skirt - ModKid by Patty Young
Ice Cream Dress - Oliver + S (I'm thinking I'm not really going to get to finish this one, but I would be happy to at least cut out the pattern and figure out what fabrics I'm going to use. I LOVE this dress!)
Classic Raglan Pullover - Jane Richmond (knitting pattern)

Wow, that's looking like a pretty ambitious list! Wish me luck!
Anyone else want to join me in the challenge?

Friday, May 6, 2011

{this moment}

'A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.' - inspired by SouleMama

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I've been wanting to make a little ruffle skirt for a little while now, and I found an adorable pattern by Pink Chickadee Patterns on Etsy (the Cupcake Skirt which, by the way, was a really well written, very detailed pattern). I have to say that I LOVE the way it turned out, but I didn't really enjoy sewing it. First off, I don't have a serger which would have made this so much easier and cleaner (lots of raw edges and seams on the inside that need to be finished). And secondly, I don't think sewing ruffles is for me. They are really finicky and, in my opinion, require extra patience and lots of trust that it'll all work out in the end. I tend to like clean (straight) lines better not just because they are easier to sew, but because they are more predictable. Hmmm, sounds pretty boring... Maybe I should give ruffles another try...

Ok, back to the skirt... the top ruffle is from a vintage pillow case, the middle ruffle is a soft cotton chambray, and the bottom is a yarn-dyed gingham. I really do love how these fabrics work together! Maybe while I'm working up the courage to try ruffles again, I'll try this fabric combo in a more simple, 'sensible' sundress.

fabric stash

Since I started sewing (again) about a year and a half ago, my fabric stash has, ahem, grown to quite a sizable collection. I started off storing my fabric in one suitcase, then I added two more suitcases, and now it has kind of taken over half of my dining room. It's a mix of new, designer fabrics, vintage (from my mom's own stash as well as from my thrifting adventures), and thrifted clothing and linens for my 'upcycled' creations.

I do find it a bit hard, however, to dip into my stash to actually sew something (gasp!) I'm always thinking "is this REALLY what I want to use this fabric for? Maybe I should save it for something even more perfect..." blah blah blah.. This is especially with my vintage stash of fabric, retro tablecloths, hankies... They just seem so precious!

So, I was pretty proud of myself when I finally decided to use two pieces from my stash to whip up these grocery tote bags

It's actually a reversible tote bag so I made two identical bags from just 2 yards of fabric. The floral print is Camelia Metal from Alexander Henry. The neutral side is a lovely subtle pinstripe linen blend (with a hint of metallic shimmer). The pattern is from Keyka Lou Patterns. Aside all the reinforcement stitching (and stitching and stitching - to make sure your groceries don't spill out of this lovely bag onto the sidewalk), this was a pretty easy and fun project. I can see this being a great go-to gift. Or maybe I'll just whip up a few more to store some of my fabric stash...

Monday, May 2, 2011

horse play

I've had horses on my mind lately. So I think I actually 'willed' these beautiful Breyer horses and stable to appear on the dusty shelves of my local SPCA thrift shop yesterday (with a sweet little price tag of $8 - SCORE!).

I pictured it being a great new toy for my daughter, to balance out the number of Hot Wheels, trains and constructions vehicles in our house. And there's just something about little girls and horses... But I think my son was even more excited about getting his hands on this darling set.

And of course, with horses on my mind, I am counting down the days until I can get my hands on this insanely awesome fabric from Heather Ross' new Far Far Away III collection. LOVE!!