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

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!

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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Back to Sewing

Yesterday John and I drove to Guelph to Greenwood Quiltery to get a few bits of fabric. Of course we then had to have lunch at With the Grain. Our detour stop was to go to the Triangle Sewing Centre down the road because I need to get my sewing machine serviced. They are also having a sewing machine sale so I had to check out a new Janome…

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I test drove the Janome Horizon 8200. It was pretty smooth and boasts many more features than my little Janome mechanical machine. I loved the extra room in the arm for larger projects. Dreams, dreams, dreams…I did get a brochure to put by John’s side of the bed though!

When we got home I settled into some sewing in my new sewing room upstairs. Not quite as glamorous as my room in the UK but it does have a nice view of the lake from the golf course behind. I’m glad to be finally set back up…

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Moving Days?

I bet you think that because the moving company is packing us up to move to Canada that I’d have been frantically clearing out on the weekend, right? Well we were but of course there were some last minute sewing projects to finish! Moyna, my lovely apparel guru, came back on Friday and I finished up a custom corduroy skirt. Didn’t have enough material to do a waistband so did a facing with lining. Also, we experimented with a lapped zip which you normally wouldn’t do with this type of waist but it worked out fine…
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Hand hemmed…
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Fits great I think. Don’t mind the bottom shots but wanted you to see the full effect!…20140113-023142 pm.jpg20140113-023204 pm.jpg20140113-023219 pm.jpg20140113-023229 pm.jpg20140113-023239 pm.jpg20140113-023249 pm.jpg20140113-023257 pm.jpg

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I also whipped up a special beach tote with oil cloth for Lady Fia and Lord Isaac for when then summer in the Channel Islands…

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Oil cloth is a bit sticky to sew with, to say the least, so I took some internet advice and used masking tape on the foot. It helped a lot I think. I also tried putting tape directly on the area I wanted to sew and then pulled it off afterwards, that worked too…

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Packing in full swing now and I’ve had to say goodbye to my extraordinarily lovely UK sewing room…

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Dress Making Class

I’m so excited to tell you about my weekend sewing course at Raystitch in London. They were very full days but who doesn’t love a weekend of sewing right! It was also really nice to meet other like minded people. There were six of us as well as a lovely instructor, who was very patient. Don’t we look a happy bunch!…

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The pictures below are of the Deer and Doe patterns that we aimed to make in two days. Check out their website here

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On Saturday we started with the Chardon Skirt. Moyna Hamilton, the instructor, made this example for us to check out…

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It actually turned out to be more work for a skirt than we thought but I learned a few things. I was thrilled with my invisible zipper for example…

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See, all smiles!

The belt loops were a bit tedious as well but in the end I’m glad I did them because I think it looks nice with a belt. I got to sport it today, yeah…

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Sunday’s Sureau Dress didn’t turn out as well but I think it can be fixed. I learned I’m smaller on top than the bottom, typical right. I chose to cut the larger size than the model Moyna made but it looked a bit sloppy. I am going to adjust the darts at the back. Here is my semi-finished version…

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It should look a little more fitted…

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The bodice of the dress was fun to make with the gathers. Here of some of the others in the class…

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I love the bird and moon fabric from Cloud 9 fabrics. Unfortunately, another sewer got the last of this fabric so I’ll have to order some online I think!

So many things I want to make now! I want to do another version of the skirt in a more summer weight fabric with a bottom contrast fabric like the sample and the dress in a funkier fabric with short sleeves for the summer. If I feel up to it I may fix the dress tonight so that I can wear it tomorrow.

Get Your Own Blog Mom!

No it’s not the new year yet but my mom keeps coming up with little blog ideas and I thought I would share some of her handy work for a change. She’s very funny though because I keep telling her she should have a blog of her own because she is really going nuts with the sewing lately. I think we have decided that she will make more regular contributions here as a guest blogger (her posts when she a visiting in the UK were well received). I was teasing her this morning to get her own blog but really I’m proud to share her craftiness.

There have been some interesting renovations going on in my parents house here in Cambridge. Now that the children seem to be moved out for good, look at what my room has become…

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Of course her new sewing room is exceptionally neat and organised. There have been many pieces of furniture that have been taken from else where in the house and are now the loving home to a major fabric stash! She even got a professional ironing board for Christmas that will hopefully iron a fat quarter in one go. I’m really happy she has this space and I’m sure the projects will come fast and furious now. (Although, dad says she has been spending many hours already up in her “studio”.)

Mom is a knitter from way back and blames me for her recent foray into the world of quilting. Here are some of her Christmas crafty pressies for this year…

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(The water bottle cover and wreaths are lovely little Church Mouse patterns from the Needle Emporium. )

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Also…

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(These are like the ones I made for John’s parents for Christmas. She also did about 10 sets for my Grandparents for each season and holiday of the year!)

And last but not least…

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I think she’s done an amazing job on these items and I don’t know where she gets the time. I’m looking forward to completing some new things in the New Year too, now that I will be just supply teaching again. Although, I think I will first have to re-tidy and organise my lovely sewing room before I can start, mom’s space puts mine to shame!