May the Force Be With You

July 9, 2012 at 11:34 am | Posted in sewing, thirfting | 2 Comments

I’ve been busy, oh so busy.  We’re having a beautiful summer here in Ontario and I’m loving the gardening, auctions, and the awesome yard sales.  I’m on the hunt for wonderful things to decorate our family cottage and of course fabrics of all kinds.  It’s amazing when you can buy great quality cottons in funky patterns for a few dollars.  Sheeting is the way to go!

I picked up a Star Wars sheet and made two of these robes from making children’s clothes by Emma Hardy.  I made them for a lovely lady who has given them to her grandsons.  Her son used to have these sheets and his kids are big Star Wars fans.  Perfect!  I’ve lined them in an oh-so-soft yellow gingham sheet.


I also made this cute little guy from One Yard Wonders.  So simple and such a cute giftl


I’m left with a few scraps which I’ll hold on to until some great idea comes my way.

February Challenge

February 10, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Posted in sewing | 1 Comment
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I have finished the Everyday Shopper  for February and it was a much easier go than the Cosmo.  The directions still baffled me a little and I ended up putting a pocket on either side of the exterior pieces when I should have one on the inside.  I guess I would have if the pocket pieces were both contrasting.  Turns out only the outside one contrasts.  The inside one should though if it is  truly  reversible.

Anyways. .. It’s done and I’ve even started working on March’s bags.  There are 6 in the set and I’ve completed one.  The second has been held up due to a lack of zippers.  I hate that I have to make a 45 minute journey to town to get zippers.  I’ll wait until someone else is going for other supplies and tag along.

Follow the challenge here.

In the meantime I made these little guys from One Yard Wonders.

I especially like the Zzz fabric.  It is actually called Goodnight Monday by Erin Michael for moda fabrics.  I embroidered the eyes and nose so they would be baby safe.  I love how kooky they look.

A Challenge

January 18, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Posted in sewing | 4 Comments
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Just what I need at this sleepy, frigid, dark and depressing time of the year.    So here it is,

If the link doesn’t work here there is a badge on my sidebar that does.

I was cruising Flickr for inspiration on the new Cosmo Bag from Amy Butler’s Style Stitches when one link led me to another yada yada and I found this challenge.   I had already decided that this was my next project and what better way to stay inspired then to  make it with a bunch of other like minded sewers?  It really helps when people post their problems and ideas on the discussion pages of the Flickr group.

I’m not expecting that I will  make all 17 bags.  If I get five or six completed I’ll be delighted and I won’t need to feel guilty about the book purchase.

Here is the fabric.  I confiscated the chenille from my dh workroom.  It was in with his parents belongings and he thought since it was damaged I wouldn’t want it.  DOES HE KNOW ME AT ALL!!!

The bag wasn’t too difficult, but the “easy” rating in the book is a little off.  I had trouble with some of the instructions but somehow muddled through and figured it out.

It’s a big bag and pretty WOW.  I’ll have to see if I actually have the chutzpa to carry this thing.

I didn’t make the side pockets quite as deep as the instructions would have you.  Before I sewed the side panels on I stitched two lines about 7 1/2 inches down from the top of the pocket.  I looked around on flickr and found some great ideas for smaller interior pockets as well.  There are some good questions and answers in the discussion section of the bag challenge.  I would recommend doing some research before you start this project.

Here is the interior.

I added the little pocket for keys or a cell phone.  I think smaller things will just get lost in the giant pockets.

Next month is the Reversible Everyday Shopper.  I’m thinking denim and maybe just a little orange this time…umm

Tea Towel Love

December 14, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Posted in decorating, sewing, thirfting | Leave a comment

Yes, lately I’ve been attracted to tea towels.  I scan the racks at Value Village and I especially love the calendar ones.  Bought myself a cutie from 1987.

I’ve been pursuing   Spoonflower recently and was finally enticed to buy  some awesome tea towels.  This site has totally unique stuff.  I ordered this one and this one.   They arrived rather quickly and now I’m in the process of edging them for  Christmas gifts.  The online support  was super helpful with a couple of questions I had as to size and fabric type.   For just $1 I ordered a fabric sample pack which will come in handy next time I order, and I will.  I even received a very nice email from the designer, thanking me for my purchase.  I ordered the linen cotton canvas for my tea towels.  They haven’t been washed yet but, I’ll report back as to how they work for absorbency.  These towels are so cute though, I wonder if the gift receivers will even want to use them.

Here’s a peek before hemming.

And here they are  finished.

I did a 1/4 inch double hem along all sides. Simple.

I highly recommend  Spoonflower. There are many more prints on my wish list for the new year.

summer sewing and whatnot

July 19, 2010 at 9:44 am | Posted in Life, sewing | 2 Comments


These aprons are reversible. I made them using the emmeline apron pattern from Sew Liberated.  I added pockets to the second one.


I made the one on the left by copying a bag my DD already owns and the messenger bag from directions from Sew What! Bags. 

I’ve been very busy sewing lately.  I just love it when my daughter is on her summer break and life seems to slow just a little.  Enough to sleep a little later and not fret about getting to bed in time for an early morning to get her off to school.  I’m most productive with my sewing late at night, provided I’m not exhausted anyways.  During the day there are so many more distractions. Phone calls, questions, pick this up, take this here, we need more of this, DD needs a ride here….

This is our second summer with air-conditioning.  LOVE IT!  I’m still very appreciative of it and don’t take it for granted. Having the geothermal installed has been our best reno so far.  I try not to blast it though.  It is summer after-all and I kind of don’t mind being a little on the warm side.


The Tour is Over

June 18, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Posted in farm life, sewing | 2 Comments

I’m so glad I did it and I’m so glad it’s behind me.  Much like child-birth I guess.  My house looked great for a few days and now things are getting back to their normal state of messiness.  I am keeping up on dishes and trying to make the bed but, how long will that last really?

The weather wasn’t great as it has been in previous years, but the rain held out and a few people walked around the gardens and to the gazebo.  I wasn’t at the house during the tour though.  I was manning our (my daughter and mine) booth at the local farmer’s market.  Considering it was the first day of the market ever and the weather, all went really well.  My daughter’s jewellery outsold my few sewn goods and she was very pleased.

The crowds through the house loved my store-bought Costco cake. (shh our secret)  I never actually said I made it but I did take the compliments.  I knew when I spotted it across the baking department that it would look good in my kitchen.  Tasted nice too.

Yes, a new counter top is in the planning stage.

My Bliss

April 19, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Posted in decorating, sewing | 6 Comments

After years of waiting for this room to be built I’m finely getting very close to finishing my sewing room.  I’ve mentioned before that I have agreed to be part of the local house tour this June.  I knew this would motivate me to put the finishing touches on my house and complete some projects that need doing.

Today, I made two pillows for the pull out sofa in this room and I love the way they turned out.   I used some bark cloth from a set of old curtains I picked up at a junk store and part of a chenille bedspread which I dyed hot pink quite some time ago.  I used some Belle fabric from Amy Butler and some Lotus on the back of the floral square pillow.

I made the curtains last week and sewing on that jumbo rickrack just about did me in.  I know there is probably easier ways to do it but, that’s not my way.  I machine sewed down both edges, zigzagging back and forth along the way.  Crazy, I know.

I made the bird cutout from some  vintage wallpaper left over from my husband’s parent’s cottage.  I have a case of assorted patterns.

I also  repainted this bookcase which my friends so kindly donated to me.  I used stem green from Benjamin Moore and I used the new Aura paint in Satin.  Covered well and looks great…To me.

I’m really happy with how things are turning out and can’t wait to get some serious sewing done here.

The other side of the room is nearly done and I’ll take pictures when I’m happy with it.

The Easiest Sundress Ever

March 26, 2010 at 11:38 am | Posted in sewing | 2 Comments

I was in Toronto last week visiting  Canada Blooms and couldn’t resist dropping in at a couple of fabric stores while there.   My local Fabricland is closing and is almost completely empty at this point.  So, while shopping for some black and white fabric for a friends duvet cover I came across this

Please ignore the mess in the background.  I’m trying to make a few things for the farmers market when I was distracted by this bit of loveliness.  It was $17 a metre, but I had to buy it. The top of this fabric is smocked . Normally I wait for sales but I was afraid the prints that my daughter would like would be gone by then.  So, for just around .8 of a metre or $13.60  she has another new sundress.   The fabric was printed with some horizontal stripes along the bottom edge.  These can be cut off and made into straps if you’d like.  I cut them off to achieve the desired length and she decided not to put straps on this dress just yet anyways.


I couldn’t decide which picture is least dreadful, so I’ve included both.

Now, back to business and cleaning up the horrendous sewing room.

An Education

March 11, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Posted in sewing | 2 Comments

My daughter has been asking for a couple of years now if we can get a booth at the local farmer’s market.  Well… I’ve relented.  I was happy to see that Bobcaygeon, the town we are actually a part of (on the outskirts of) is starting a market this spring.  Many years ago when our greenhouse business was starting out we took our wares to the Lindsay Farmer’s Market (30 minutes away).  Once we had enough wholesale buyers we stopped going and I sort of missed it.  Maybe not the early hours and the rain but, it was nice to feel part of a community like that.  This new market is closer and they have a shelter in the event of rain.  As well our honey producing neighbours will be participating.  How nice!

My daughter wants to sell her jewellry and I thought I’d sew up a few things to round out the table a little.  We will probably be bringing planters and hanging baskets once the season starts as well.  I’ve made these

so far anyways.  They are a combination of tutorials I’ve been collecting lately.  One is from here and the other from here.  I changed the size and methods but both are really good to get you started.  The fabric for the one on top came from scraps included in a fat quarter swap from Amanda.  They look great and I’ll probably  be looking for more of these fabrics from Amy Butler.

I’ve also made three yoga bags inspired by Amy Butlers free pattern here.  I changed them a little as well.  I’ve made it before for my daughter and myself and found it quick and easy.  I think I’ll make at least 15 of these to get started and then maybe some shopping bags.  I hope they go well seeing as it is a farmer’s market and people will need shopping bags.  Pricing is always a problem.  I don’t want to under value my time and ability and price things too cheap, but I still want to make enough sales to pay for the booth.  I’ve read lately just how important it is to place a fair price on these handmade goods.  They should be valued more than cheap imports.  By underpricing we hurt all the people trying to manufacture good quality goods locally.   I’m not trying to get rich.  Trust me this wouldn’t be the way to do it.  I’m trying to give my daughter a taste of business.

Pattern Challenge: McCalls 5919

February 27, 2010 at 11:12 am | Posted in sewing | 2 Comments
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I’m so glad to get one more project accomplished on my to do list.  A friend of ours is having their second child anytime now and I wanted to make something special for child number one.  The older sibling sometimes gets a little forgotten at these times so I wanted to be able to present her with a gift when we brought something for the baby.  It’s a special time in her life too afterall.

I use to sew clothes all the time.  Blazers, dresses, even my own wedding dress.  Yes, one day I will purchase a scanner and be able to post it all.  Over the last few years of renovating I have turned my attention to home projects.  I sew drapery, blinds, slip covers, duvet covers, and lots of pillows for myself and clients.  I have a stash of oh I don’t know…100 patterns.  Maybe more, and I ‘ve given away about the same quantity.   I use to work at a fabric store and when there was discontinued patterns they let us take them.  It wasn’t unusual to drag home one or two huge bags packed with patterns.  Hoarders?  Ya, maybe a little.  I have given many away as styles and ambitions changed.

It has been good lately to get back to garment sewing if only on smaller simpler projects like the sundress from OYW and this  little tunic above.  I think joining the Pattern Challenge really helped me to get motivated.  I especially like sewing for kids.

As for a review of this pattern, I’ve done so on Pattern Review here.

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