Thursday, November 26, 2015

French Press Cozy and a book review

Deby from So Sew Easy asked me to review the book Stitch 'n Swap - find my review over at So Sew Easy this morning. As part of my review I tried out the book's pattern for a cute cozy to keep my second cup of french press coffee warm.

See more photos of this fun little cozy and the book review over at So Sew Easy.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Sag Cinchers Tutorial & It's a Snap - how to use KAMsnaps

First I want to mention my article today over on So Sew Easy. If you've ever been interested in trying out these handy plastic snaps, check out how to install them and also see a number of ideas on where they can be used!  Scroll down to find my tutorial to make Sag Cinchers.

Speaking of snaps: Years ago I posted a quick tutorial for making Sag Cinchers, my variation of those little elastic half-belts that help to hold up droopy drawers. That was on my old blog and it's not so easy to find anymore, so for those who have been asking, here it is again. Hope this tutorial comes in handy! I've used ours for over 5 years and they are still going strong. They even helped to keep maternity or transition pants on this mama!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Roses for another wedding

Another sister is getting married toward the end of the month! I finally got brave and tackled the Candy Castle Peppermint Swirl Dress pattern that's been on my wishlist since before Abigail was even walking!

I made the size 3 slim, with the size 4 length and size 4 skirt. I also altered the armholes a bit, as a quick muslin showed that they would be much too deep on my skinny girl. The other modification I made was to change the neckline. The scalloped neck was too deep and the scallops in this size really didn't suit her shape.

My pretty sweetheart! I used just 12 flounces instead of 14, as I just had three colours. Just cut the width at the top of each flounce a bit wider to keep about the same amount of gathering all around. Still makes a full circle - she loves it!

One of my favourite parts, the rolled serger hem. Made it a very fast finish.

The back - I had the perfect buttons in my button box - ivory-coloured with roses engraved on them.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Yellow & Blue Wedding!

My husband's sister got married in March. Two of our kids were in the bridal party, along with two other little people, so I got to do some fun sewing!

The other flower girl's mom and I used Vogue 7819 to make the two flower girl dresses. The dress has an organza overlay, a partial circle underskirt with a netting sewn on for volume, pleated sash, and invisible zipper. The satin was a little tricky to work with, but the result was so cute!

I'm blogging over at Sew So Easy with techniques on working with sheer fabrics today. Click over to check out more details on construction of the dress.

I used the Dapper Lad pattern by Ellie Inspired to make the vests for Benjamin and the other ring bearer (wait, I guess they were actually sign bearers!), and this pattern, scaled down a little and with a slide at the back for the bowties.

Hamming it up during the official photos - that's my handsome almost 6-year-old on the left!

Of course Ian needed a matching tie - I used a white on yellow polka dot for the tie tip, just for fun.

And a shot of the family together! My dress happened to match the bridal party, and my husband was in the party, so nice & matchy matchy.  :)

While I was working on the vests I took a couple of photos - thought I'd share them for tips on working with satin - look for a post very soon!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Haven Acres Blouse turned tunic

Here's another little garment I made for Abigail a couple of weeks ago. Finally getting around to posting my recent sewing.

I had some scraps of this gorgeous fabric leftover from the tunic I made myself a couple of years ago that has been begging to become a Haven Acres Blouse. This time I mixed things up a little and made the blouse into a longer sleeveless tunic with a combined neck and armhole facing. You can find my tutorial for creating and sewing this kind of facing over at Sew So Easy.

And one more photo, just because she's a goof and so cute and I love her!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Valencia Tunic - new release by Mouse House Creations

Recently I had the chance to test the new Valencia Tunic pattern for Mouse House Creations. Now that it has been released (and I have some time finally!) I can share!

I'm sharing a tutorial about working with sheer fabrics over at Sew Easy today - check it out to see some techniques and ideas you might not be familiar with to make working with lightweight fabrics simple.

The Valencia has an unique shaped yoke, a sweet little mandarin collar, soft gathers at the centre front and back, and a curved hem. The yoke can be made either lined or unlined, which also makes it a great pattern for choices like colour-blocking or a sheer lace top.

For this version I used a lightweight cotton silk and lined the yoke with the same fabric. I found the perfect pale blue pearlized shank buttons and to keep the delicate look, left the yoke free from topstitching.

I'm hoping to make a few more for this summer - such a sweet and breezy style to keep cool in! I think this version will be adorable with a pair of shorts too.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Canadian Sponsors for 2015 Quilt Retreat

This year's Quilty Pleasures quilt retreat was entirely sponsored by Canadian shops and businesses!

Be sure to have a look at each - there is a wide variety of fabric and notions available from our wonderful list of sponsors. Don't forget to mention you learned about them from our quilt retreat!

Quilty Pleasures Quilt Retreat 2015!

Finally finding time to post about this year's retreat! The day was a wonderful time of sewing, chatting and of course eating.

It's always so much fun to see what everyone else is working on, different types of quilting and other sewing. Here are a couple of the projects we worked on:

During the day we had a couple of fun games, like the Fat Quarter Toss. We each took turns picking a fq, then attempting to toss it into a basket. If successful, the tosser got to keep the fq, if not, they joined the end of the line.

We had a great response from sponsors who donating everything from fabric bundles to notions to candy! And every one of our sponsors this year was Canadian - follow this link to see a list of all the shops and businesses that helped us put on this year's retreat. Thank you so much to all our wonderful sponsors:

A couple of the lovely doorprizes that were donated:

Friends stitching together. In the background can be seen some of the beautiful previously finished quilts, pillows, table runners and other items people brought to share.

The quilts we made together for charity from last year's blocks were displayed as well. Suzanne and I put them together this year, with layout help from Jess

A few of the attendees also generously donated quilts and crocheted blankets they had made during the year, so we have a nice bundle to bring to the Pregnancy Care Centre again this year!

Some of the very cute blankets and quilts that were donated.

This year's charity block was a cross on a white background. Should be fun to see how they all come together!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Agility Tank by 5 out of 4 Patterns

Last week I tested the new workout wear pattern by 5 out of 4 Patterns, the Agility Tank and Dress.

This one was fun, and very timely, as I've been hard at work on PiYo every morning. As a tall girl, it's great to be able to make myself a workout top that is long enough to stay put while active! I tell you, the name Agility suits this top - it keeps up with me!

The pattern has options for a stand-alone sports bra, this tank (or dress length) which is the sports bra plus overlay, and an A-line style tank or dress. Each variation also has a nursing access option. The pattern is well-written and was a joy to test. Jessica was a great designer to work with and ready with quick answers and prompt updates to the pattern pieces. 

This is my favourite part - the woven straps at the back. It also has an option for a T-back. I chose the banded hem option but there is also a drawstring hem option. I used one of Patty Young's Heaven and Helsinki knits, which is 58% cotton, 38% poly and 4% spandex, for the overlay and the straps, and a random piece of blue midweight french terry (?) for the bra part. The blue was leftover from another project so I'm really not sure what it is content, but it must have some spandex because it works really well.

The pattern is on sale today and tomorrow, and you can purchase 3 patterns for an extra 15% off cart total with the code Buy3.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Spool Love Mug Rug

Come see me over on So Sew Easy this morning for a fun little tutorial with a little paper-piecing! This cute little sewing-themed project is the perfect size to try this technique out, or it can be super quick if you are already skilled at this technique.

EDIT Nov 2021 - I just noticed that the link to the pattern no longer works. Sorry, this is not something I actively monitor. I will try to host it somewhere else if I can figure that out.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Haven Acres Mini Collection is here!

Welcome to Day 3 of the blog tour for the Haven Acres Mini Collection! Jennifer from Jennuine Designs created this beautiful equestrian-inspired collection, consisting of a pretty blouse, well-fitting leggings, and a totally adorable cap.

Jennifer's design is unique, but I'm even more impressed with her pattern! It looks so professional - from the beautiful watercolour cover to the thorough and easy to understand directions and perfect pattern pieces! One of my favourite things about Jennifer's pdf patterns is that she uses layers for the different sizes, so you can just turn off the sizes you don't need and print just one size, or two if you need to grade between sizes!

Sweet Pea Cap

It's been a long haul, testing this collection over the last couple of months but Jennifer stuck to it and has this beautiful pattern collection to show for it.

The Dressage Leggings pattern has options for basic leggings or the equestrian-style paneled version, and each of those versions also has a regular rise or a high rise for the smaller sizes, to accommodate cloth diapers. The leggings fit great and the paneled pattern pieces are perfectly drafted to make them easy to put together, including an option for flat-felled seams for comfort. This first pair I made out of a tan ponte di roma - since then a few tweaks have been made to the pattern to perfect the fit.

The little red plaid blouse is the pre-test version of the Haven Acres Blouse - since then the length of sleeves and bodice have changed a bit and the front keyhole is a slightly different shape. I used a pretty soft cotton lawn plaid for a more country feel riding blouse, and she adores it. The blouse has the prettiest little peplum flounce with elastic casing at the waist, softly puffed sleeves in two lengths, and a bias-bound neckline with an elastic loop/button closure under a ribbon, or the option to add ties over the keyhole.

Here's the back of the Dressage Leggings for a better view of the riding-inspired panels:

And the last piece in the collection is the Sweet Pea Cap, the most adorable little riding-style cap because PONY EARS! (or so I am told by little miss.)

One of the testers also came up with a sweet design for kitten ears, which Jennifer kindly added to the pattern for even more options.  The cap is a super simple sew with several sizes based on head measurements (thankfully! My girlie has a huge head for a 3 year-old).

I did another pair of the Dressage Leggings and a blouse, all in colours to mix & match. For the leggings I used stretch denim with a red ponte di roma for the inner panels, and went up one size to account for the denim not being as stretchy. They fit like a dream on my skinny, no-butt girl!

Love the red topstitching. I had to use a regular needle in two passes instead of a twin needle because of the denim, and just regular thread to topstitch.

This version of the Haven Acres Blouse I used a soft jersey knit instead of a woven, just to try it out. I love the result!

Details of this blouse: I used her regular size, the size 3, just with a little added length to account for her long back. Instead of using binding at the neck, I drew a facing pattern based on the necklines combined with the keyhole facing.

I cut out the facing pieces from the same fabric and stitched them together at the shoulders. The I finished the outer edge with the serger (alternatively, this could be left raw, as jersey wouldn't fray).

Once I had sewn the shoulder seams of the blouse together as per the pattern, I pinned and sewed the neckline facing in place, and then stitched the keyhole opening as the pattern describes. From there it was simple to turn the facing inside and tack it down just at the shoulder seam. Alternatively it could be topstitched down all the way around, either very close to the neckline or close to the outer edge of the facing.

Thanks for the opportunity to test such a unique collection, Jennifer! I know there are more pairs of Dressage Leggings for sure and also another Haven Acres Blouse on the horizon for Abigail!

Check out the rest of the tour for more amazing versions of this collection!

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