Strolling Cape

March Break helped me to finish my March make early! Hopefully, that means I’ll be able to sew something else this month. I’m working on another pair of Hudson pants for a friend.

I’m pretty happy with this Liesl + Co. Woodland Stroll Cape

 

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Digital pattern. Download, tape and cut out yourself. 

 

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I chose the small size but I think the buttons pull it in too much at the sides. I can move them out though. I think I’d make the medium if I was to do it again or do the small with extra length. I’m not sure I love the big matching buttons on the side either. I’d consider making them smaller and really blending in with the fabric. Overall though it’s a super cute quick, lined number that I can see wearing lots. I picked up the fabric cheap at Fabricland on sale. The tweed actually has a hint of sparkle to it. I decided to jazz it up with some extremely soft and silky fuschia…

 

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Gigi is so helpful when I want to cut out.

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Getting ready to cut the cape back.

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Pretty, soft lining.

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Ironing out the left front after turning with lining in.

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Quick lining!

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Finally got my dress form out of the shed. Cute eh!

Finished photo shoot…

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February Garment

You’d think I could sew more in one month than this poncho but whatever!

I’m really digging this little number. The Popover Poncho by April Rhodes, too cute!…

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I picked up this fabric on sale at Fabricland. It was exactly what I was after for this project. IMG_2914

It was supposed to have this bias binding from the neck fabric, navy jersey knit, around the bottom edge but in the end I just decided to serge and turn up the hem.IMG_2913

Love the cute pocket. It was fun to fussy cut the pattern I wanted.IMG_2916

Always fun to try something new. I opted for the grommet eyelets for a more professional look instead of doing buttonholes. It was super easy!IMG_2923IMG_2924IMG_2926IMG_2928

Love…IMG_3033IMG_3036

Also, love the friends that helped/hindered my sewing progress…IMG_3034IMG_2911IMG_2912

March will be some summer dresses. I’m feeling the stress of getting them ready for July so I need to make a start.

 

My First Hudson Pants

That’s right folks I whipped up my first pair of Hudson Pants from True Bias (and I do mean first pair because this is a fab pattern and it will be made again soon)! Remember it is also part of my 2018 resolution/challenge to make at least 1 garment a month. The end of January is fast approaching so I’m glad these could be whipped up in a day!…

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Finished Hudson Pants

I’ve been dying to try this pattern for ages now. I got this gorgeous french terry from Spool and Spindle in Kitchener, ON. I knew this fabric would stretch out quite a bit so I went down a size from what I was originally thinking.I like this style of pant a little more close fitting. (Glad I did. This is the size 4 but I think in a regular jersey I’d do the 6.) I used the Navy in this fabric for the Lane Raglan by Hey June. If you look closely to the pic on the left you will see how it hangs bigger than the standard black sweat shirt material, especially at the neck and sleeves. Not sure I would go down a size if I made it again but just be prepared for it to fit more loosely…

You’ll notice I played around with a cute floral pocket detail (Liberty print floral jersey that I got when we lived in the UK). Check out the process…

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Purchase the pattern online or in a store. I got mine off the True Bias website. Print it and tape it together.

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I checked out my fav PJ pants from Costco years ago that remind me of the Hudson Pant. The black pair is straight from the dryer and the grey has been worn. I wanted to pick a size that would be no larger than the grey pair. I measured the grey ones to decide to make the 4.

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If I have a digital pattern I like to just cut it out because I can always reprint for an alternate size.

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I auditioned fabric for the job!

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I decided to use this black and white ribbing for the cuffs and waistband. I reversed it to the lighter side for the pocket detail.

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Time to use this amazing french terry. So cuddly!

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Decide to cut later because the babies looked so cute.

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Do up the pockets first.

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Fun pocket details.

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Practiced my button holes on a scrape first!

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Final button holes not too shabby!

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Sew the drawstring casing.

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Get my Instagram Husband to take photos!

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Can’t wait for spring to wear these shoes again!

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Too cold for just a long sleeved shirt but warm enough today for just a vest, yahoo!

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Wear these the rest of the day!

Can’t wait to make another pair!

New Year’s Resolutions!

I NEVER made New Year’s Resolutions until I met John. In fact, I thought they were pretty pointless and ridiculous. But…after years of seeing they are possible to carry on and that they can add enjoyment and focus for your life I decided to give it a try! Of course mine are not quite as serious or focused on success and self-improvement. I needed to find a fun way to make myself do MORE of what I love! Thus, 2 years ago I decided to not buy any clothes for the whole year so that I would wear more of the clothes I already had that I liked. Didn’t hurt that it saved money to spend while travelling. It was an interesting experiment. Last year, I vowed to make more recipes out of my cookbooks. I chose 1 book a month to make as many recipes as I could.

It’s taken me time to nail down this year’s fun but I think I got it sorted…

1. Make at least 1 finished garment a month. This could be for me or someone else. Like cookbooks, I also seem to have collected an impressive amount of sewing patterns, paper and digital. I WANT TO MAKE MORE!

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Just some of the patterns I hope to accomplish this year.

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My gorgeous custom sewing area.

You can see a pile of gorgeous fabric waiting in the wings! The first project is actually for a dear friend Anne. I hope to work more on my fitting skills so making things for different people will be a fun challenge. I also hope to move away from simple projects like shift dresses and make more tailored pieces.

2. Cooking Magazines. I feel like this next challenge is very reminiscent from last year but…I seem to also have a small problem with reading food magazines and never making any of the recipes! Part of me feels it’s totally ok to just enjoy reading the articles and looking/drooling at the pictures but once I get a couple piles like this I start to feel a bit guilty…

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When we lived in the UK I went on a crazy magazine organizing scheme in the hopes that I’d actually cook from all the recipes I’d cut out, no house is big enough to keep years of magazines right! Possibly crazy but I still think my headings are clever!…

Most pre-made recipe folders have meat headings so what are us veggies to do. In case you organize in your head like this too…these categories seem to describe everything I’ve cut out of magazines:

  • Salads
  • App like recipes
  • Soups (Chilies, Dahls etc.)
  • Other (Nuts, Snacks)
  • Drinks
  • Dips/Sauces/Dressings
  • Mains-Pasta
  • Mains-Pastry
  • Mains-Other
  • Veggies Solo
  • Baking-Savour
  • Baking-Sweet
  • Cakes, Tarts-full size-showstoppers
  • Puddings

Once I make a recipe I write the name and quick rating on the front of each folder. Since the initial culling of the magazines I realised that I haven’t done it again since, eek. Hence…

I felt incredibly guilty over all the money spent on these until I sorted them and saw that more than half were Waitrose mags which are free with your Waitrose store card. For those that haven’t been to the UK and shopped at a Waitrose all I can say is we are missing out here in Canada! Waitrose and M&S food halls are 2 of the things I miss most about the UK lol! Think gourmet, higher end but EVERYWHERE! The Waitrose magazine every month is dreamy and I miss that John isn’t travelling to and fro anymore to get them for me, snurp.

For the past week I’ve felt overwhelmed with going through every issue again to cut out recipes to file away…soooooooo…I’ve decided to donate the mags I have to school and move forward with more intention. If/when I buy a new food mag I vow to make some of the recipes and then keep the ones I try and like.

I also wanted it to be fun and interactive in case anyone else wants to follow along and make the recipes I make too! I’m not going to go nuts buying new mags all the time but I usually do buy a few a month just for fun, or as time killers on car/plane trips. I’ll post them as soon as I buy them so you can decide if you want to play along.

I ENCOURAGE YOU TO LET ME KNOW IF YOU MAKE SOMETHING FROM A MAGAZINE I POST SO THAT I CAN HEAR YOUR REVIEWS TOO!

I’m going to started with these…

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These looked good in the store today. Test Kitchen mags are always a good read and bonus because it’s January diet food lol. This Milk Street mag just looks nice to look at and Bake British issue, well that’s a must.

Milk Street and Bake are Jan-Feb issues and Test Kitchen Best Med recipes is displayed until March so lots of time to buy these and make.

Sound good…happy cooking!IMG_2276.jpg

Wedding Quilt 

Time’s a tickin’… John and I have a dear friend getting married in Eastbourne, UK by the sea on July 4th and I need to finish the quilt I started months ago for their present…

Wanted to do this one for awhile now!

I decided on this lovely Jeni Baker pattern, found here. I’m doing the Twin size as I think it’s nicer to cuddle under than a throw size. It’s and extra row longer and one triangle wider which I think will make it that much bigger. (20 triangles by 13 rows.) It’s going well and I’m currently half done…

   

Pretty Little Mix Eh!

I’m using Anna Maria Hormer fabric from her Field Study Line. I don’t normally press seams open but felt that they will be less bulky when sewing the rows together. It’s a little bit slower but looks nice…

  

I still have lots of triangles to piece. I’m setting them out row by row as I go. I have lots left…

  

Wish me happy sewing…

  

Yes that’s a VCR under the new sewing tv. Lol!!! I have a lot of videos still and I’m not ready to get rid of them yet. I like to watch movies I’ve already seen while sewing because then I don’t really need to pay close attention. 

Long Way Around

This weekend I had the bright idea to sew some baby bibs. I’ve had a little template for awhile now and a few friends with babies coming up so I thought I would whip one up…Very simple project really but it turned into one of those things where I was making my life harder because I wanted to try something particular (being the magnetic snap). Basically, me making my life more difficult than it needed to be!

The Finished Product

Almost finished project, minus the edge stitching to finish off.

Notice the fancy shmancy pretty silver snap closure. It’s too big and awkward and I wouldn’t recommend it! I ended up taking it out and sewing on some velcro instead. Note: these types of magnetic snaps are actually quite easy to put in so I wasn’t way off the mark BUT you’d probably need a smaller one for a bib. It is a strong closure so even though I reinforced the fabric with heavy interfacing the snap would eventually pull the fabric apart.  They are also a real pain to sew around. You will see them in the pictures of the process below but just SEW ON VELCRO! 

Full disclosure: I didn’t draw this pattern myself, I printed the bib template from http://www.nanacompany.typepad.com, here. Take a look at her site as well, super cute stuff. I started by printing and cutting out the pattern. I glued it onto a piece of bristle board I found in the basement while we were unpacking…

Glue on bristle board (card stock for my UK friends)

Glue on bristle board (card stock for my UK friends)

Snip snip

Snip snip

The instructions are on the bib but basically trace on fabric on the wrong side, lining and main fabric right sides together. I busted out some of my fancy oil cloth for the front side of this bib (it could totally be done reversible too). Pin it in place because oil/laminated cloth is a slippery little sucker…

Pretty, pretty Japanese oil cloth!

Pretty, pretty Japanese oil cloth!

Pin in place so tracing is easier

Pin in place so tracing is easier

You could trace with many things but I like to use coloured mechanical pencil crayons. Sometimes I have a hard time finding them so get a couple packs. I like mechanical pencils because they are very fine and sharp and you can trace close to the template…

Mechanical Pencil Crayons

Mechanical Pencil Crayons

Go ahead and trace it

Go ahead and trace it

You could pin the pattern down for tracing but it wasn’t a complicated outline so I just held it down. If it did shift it would have been easy to line up again and keep going. Next cut it out a 1/4 inch outside the line to give it a seam allowance. (The seam allowance is NOT built into the pattern.) Again, simple pattern, so just go for it BUT if you are worried about cutting a 1/4 inch neatly you could mark it out. I just made a few 1/4 inch marks in a few places to keep in line…(see the pink marks…)…(CUT ON THE PINK AND SEW ON THE BLUE…)

Pink seam allowance marks

Pink seam allowance marks

I also like to mark vertical lines on the bottom of the bib to show where I WON’T sew so that it can be turned outside afterwards. Cut on the template outline, pin right sides together and sew with a 1/4 inch seam. I used a zipper foot if you will notice because I needed to get around the metal closure but just use a regular foot because you will do Velcro or a tiny snap that you would hand sew on after…

Zipper foot on but use a regular foot if not doing a snap like this

Zipper foot on but use a regular foot if not doing a snap like this

There are lots of curvy edges on a bib so I went around and snipped in on the curviest bits to make it lay nice and flat once turned…

Clip to the seam allowance of the curviest bits

Clip to the seam allowance of the curviest bits

Turn’er inside out now through that hole you left at the bottom…

Forgot to leave a hole, no worries just unpick...

Forgot to leave a hole, no worries just unpick…

After turning, I finger pressed it nicely and then ran an iron over the cotton fabric side, not the sticky oilcloth side, duh! I like a nice 1/8 inch edge stitch to finish it off. The edge stitch will also have the added benefit of closing off that hole at the bottom too.

Edge stitch

Edge stitch

Let’s talk Velcro/closure placement…You need to think how the ends overlap when closed. I totally had a moment and at first sewed the closures both on the right front sides…think about it, will close twisted…

NOOOOO, DON'T PUT THE SNAPS ON THIS WAY!

NOOOOO, DON’T PUT THE SNAPS ON THIS WAY!

One side of the closures needs to go on the front of one of the sides and the other side needs to go on the wrong side…like this…if you can see in the picture…

1/2 of snap on front of one side and the other 1/2 on the back of the other side

1/2 of snap on front of one side and the other 1/2 on the back of the other side

Ahhhhhh now it will close flat, if you can imagine!…

Snaps on the right side now

Snaps on the right side now

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Soooooo now forget about those metal snappies! Sew squares of velcro on instead. Sew them in the right spots as detailed above. I sewed them on when I was done so that it was secured to both layers and would be stronger. I’m sure I’ll be making more with velcro soon so I will show a few updated pictures.

REALLY, these should only take an hour. Try it out!

Settling in…

Well, John and I have moved into our new house in Kitchener and we’ve been enjoying settling in, that’s for sure! I’m very lucky to have my dream kitchen for cooking and baking and a lovely new sewing space! Let the fun begin! Of course it feels very grown up to own a home. It’s fun to have a space to make our own though and it’s coming along nicely…

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We back onto a woods so I think I will have a lot of inspiration while sewing and cooking in years to come…

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Yes, that’s Lady Fia. Her brother and her have enjoyed lots of time with us already…IMG_6387 IMG_6535 IMG_6556

The cookbooks are unpacked too and we’ve been enjoying the open concept layout to cook up some tasty treats…

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Our house is a bungalow with a walkout, finished basement which has a perfectly gorgeous sewing space. There was no question I’d set up in front of the fireplace and overlooking the woods…IMG_6635 IMG_6636 IMG_6638

I’m fairly set up now and am looking forward to sewing something over the weekend! Of course I have a sweater I need to be knitting for the Toronto Knitter’s Frolic in a couple of weeks. Check out the show here. I’ll be there working with the Needle Emporium.

Fancy Shmancy Xmas Dress!

I don’t know why I feel guilty for not blogging but anyways… I was reminded at a book club gathering that it is like journaling and I’d forgotten how nice it sounded to be the kind of person who writes in a journal! (Thanks Karma.)

Anyways, with the holidays coming up I should have tons of crafty things to share and of course I do… I am particularly proud of one special Christmas dress for a lovely little girl! Yes, that’s right Lady Fia is sporting a fine “non-traditional” Christmas dress today at her Kindergarten Christmas concert.

I’d been dying to try this Green Bee dress pattern… (Check out their fab website here.)

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I was up in Elmira for work one day so stopped at the nice quilting/fabric store just as you are heading into town (at the ESSO corner, I’m sure it’s called the Quilter’s Nine Patch). They had a nice selection of the new Cotton and Steel fabric. I was very excited to see it as it’s all the rage right now. I got the one with the turquoise mustangs. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of it because it bled horribly in the wash and I couldn’t use it! I returned it for a refund. The blue fabric you see as the body of the dress also faded incredibly in the wash. I was disappointed, especially after all the hype of this new line. Anyways…it turned out cute in the end I think…

xmas dress

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She was quite the model after we made her work it!…

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She is a ham!!!

I’ve also been doing a lot of hat knitting so I will share that next as well as the Orchid shawl that mom knit for me. Yikes, I forgot to show that beauty I think!

Sleepover Extravaganza!

Why have I been so horrible at blogging since we moved back from the UK! It’s not like I haven’t been creating. Oh well, I guess my upcoming New’s Year’s resolution will be to document my adventures more. I’m also thinking about starting some sewing classes if we move to a new house. Right now we are in a wee house with not a lot of room for extra people. The people that do come to stay over have to be teeny tiny. One of my favourite ankle biters to have over is Lady Fia. I’ve been meaning to show what we came up with on her last sleepover. You can tell from the picture that she would often arrive with her stuff in a nasty old grocery bag. Not cool right, so of course I had to make her a sleepover tote. I figured that this would be a good first project for her to help me with…

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A week before the sleepover she went to Greenwood Quiltery in Guelph with me to choose fabric. Shocking she picked something purple and pink! She does have good taste though; I love the unicorns! (The fabric is from Heather Ross’ Far Far Away 2 collection.) She was terribly excited to get started but for a 4 year old showed an amazing amount of concentration to measure, cut and sew almost the entire bag. Of course she’d had enough after awhile and I finished it up during “quiet time”…

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She was very proud of the final product and I had a blast craftin’ with her. What to do next…

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A Wee Baking Post

I’m knitting a new project but don’t want to share it quite yet. Also, I need to share the lace shawl mom is so excited to start for me but a quick baking blog instead.

First a huge shout out to mom who just finished the most gorgeous apron ever for me…
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She really is the best. She found this amazing macaron fabric. Not only little pretty macarons but other yummy patisserie treats as well. I love the ruffle at the bottom. I think it was a MaCall’s pattern. Mom, want to weigh in on that in comments? If you are lucky she will post the pattern number. It’s simply the cutest. She shortened the neck a bit because I don’t like it too droopy in the front.

I baked my first item in the apron tonight too….

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I whipped up banana date scones from my new Bunner’s cookbook. All gluten free and vegan. Whilst I don’t need to eat gluten free, I know a lot of people who do and I like to experiment and try new techniques. Bunner’s has a cafe in Toronto apparently but I haven’t been yet. This is their first cookbook I think. I saw it on a table at Indigo and just impulse bought…

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Really rather tasty recipes I’d have to say! The sugar donuts are a favourite already and the Pumpkin Chocolate chip muffins. I often find a bizarre aftertaste with gluten free items but these seem to be ok. I recommend to check it out!