Tuesday, December 13, 2011

simple neck warmers

Just popping in to show you a quick little project today. 
It's one that's great for Canadian winters. 

It will soon be time to bundle my little guys up and they needed some new scarves. 
I actually prefer neck warmers to scarves. They fit nice and snug inside their coats and there's no risk of them getting snagged on something. Fleece is a great choice for these, not only for the warmth, but also because it doesn't fray!

I whipped these up in no time by cutting a piece of scrap fleece into a rectangle about 10 x 20 inches long. I folded it in half and stitched up the middle to form a tube.

And that's it!
I love simplicity.
Now we're ready for winter!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Boy it's been quiet around these parts lately. Sorry about that! I've had a lot of great changes in my life lately, particularly a career change. So my family has been adjusting to new routines and I've been pretty focused on work these past few weeks.

Despite all this, I finally managed to get back into my sewing room and start on my Christmas list of things to make.

A good friend of mine celebrates Christmas with her family by getting new pajamas for everyone. Each year they keep it fun by creating a different theme or colour of PJs to get and they spend Christmas morning opening presents and enjoying each other's company in their new PJs. 

It's a simple tradition but I've always thought it was a wonderful one, especially for families like hers that live in different cities and come together over the holidays. Then all winter when they put on those jammies, I'm certain they are reminded of their special time together. So heartwarming.

I've decided to adapt this little tradition to my own family. My children are still quite young and always need new clothes. So I hope to make them each a brand new pair of pajamas for Christmas every year. Perhaps it will be their one gift they can open on Christmas Eve night and wear them to bed for the next morning.

I've got one pair down, one more pair to go.

What's your favourite Christmas tradition?
Tis the season!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

watercolour: starting point

I hadn't intended on posting any of my watercolour attempts until I got much better at it.
But I've been neglecting my blog lately so today I thought I'd show one of the pieces I've done. 

I've learned that watercolour is hard!! But I really enjoy the challenge.

As you can see, I have much to learn. But it might be kinda neat to track my progress as I go. So here is my starting point.

On a personal note, I have so many things going on in my life and have not had much time to create. Bear with me a little longer while I ride this wave and I'll be back to posting more very soon.
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

the henry shirt

By now I'm sure you've seen this book floating around blogland.

'Sewing for Boys' by Shelly Figueroa & Karen LePage

Having two boys of my own, I just had to have it. So when I recently scored some really great pillowcases at the Thrift store, I decided to use one of them to make the 'Henry Shirt' from the book. And believe it or not, the size 4 can be made using just one large pillowcase (+ 1 contrasting fabric).

The pattern said it was for the advanced sewer... but I of course I didn't read that until after I had cut all the fabric. 
There was no turning back.

And yes, I was in over my head. 
And there was a lot of seem-ripping.

One of my favourite features in this pattern is the built in pocket on each side.

All in all I'm happy that I attempted this pattern because I learned a LOT.
Now to put the snaps on!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Trick or Treat

I just added these to my Etsy shop!

Halloween bags for lil Trick or Treaters.  
Just the right size to hold a fair amount of candy but they're not so big that they'll drag on the ground or get too heavy. I recently made some 'doctor' themed ones for a custom order too (sorry no picture).

They come in handy for storing all that loot after the big night.... if you can get it to last that long ;)

Friday, October 7, 2011

baby alexa

I'm starting to think I could devote an entire blog to just baby gifts!
Yes it seems that many of my friends are having babies these days. And it's wonderful.
I love making things for children and new babies. 

Alexa is the second baby girl in this family and mom wanted something with baby's name on it to hang on the wall above her crib.

This is another project inspired by the Art to Heart: Winsome Baby book by Nancy Halvorsen, but I chose to use fabrics with a lot more punch and impact.  

homemade soup and bread

I also like to give the gift of food when a friend has a baby. I've been there and really appreciated those homemade meals the most. It's like giving the gift of time. New parents don't have to worry about cooking for one night and can just focus on themselves and of course baby.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

pajama pants

A good friend of mine is celebrating her birthday this week and I made her a little gift.

She's the kind of girl who has everything so it's a big challenge finding just the right gift for her. But really, who couldn't use another pair of comfy pajama pants?!

This friend of mine also has amazing taste. 
In her home the backdrop is taupe. But I also know that she's not afraid of bold colour. So with this in mind, I thought it would be fun to make some 'Indian/Asian' styled pants.

I used New Look pattern #6139 and shrunk it down to an estimated size 6, because this friend is petite. 

I like to look of a flat front so I altered the top of the pattern - encasing an elastic just in the back, rather than all the way around.

I also changed the bottom of the pants, making long slits up the side.

I made these using my favourite kind of thread. 

Organic cotton thread. 
Which sounds really expensive but really it's not when you buy it in bulk like this. This stuff sews like a dream and doesn't pill at all. It's amazing. If you are an avid sewer - give Wonder-Fil thread it a try. You won't be disappointed. This particular one I bought is variegated and I can get a lot more use out of it than just a solid. But solid colours are available too, although maybe not quite as many as Gutterman.

What do you like to give to that friend who has everything?

Friday, September 23, 2011

batik bags

Really good friends of ours are parents to twin girls who are turning 7 this month.
We bought them some small gifts but I wanted to give them each something handmade as well. I decided on little bags to carry  small trinkets around with them.

I added a long strap to hang from the shoulder and a snap to keep them closed.

It was my first time sewing with batik fabrics and I think I might try to use them more often. They are stunning in person. These ones are from Benartex Fabrics. Bright, colourful and fun. And perfect for these girls. One favours pink and the other loves blue.

 What do you like to sew/make for this age-group?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

what I've been up to

Just thought I'd pop in to show you what I've been up to lately...

Although it doesn't look like much here...

I'm learning how to paint with watercolour! And I've got lots to learn so I don't have any pieces that I love enough to show you just yet. I'm hoping that will come soon.
Stay tuned...

Monday, September 12, 2011

a new era

It's been quiet on this blog lately.
We've been really busy and of course, we're all adjusting to the new school routines. 
Especially now that Evan has finally started school.
He just loves riding the school bus with his big brother. 

And I think his big brother likes having him come along for the ride as well.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

apple pie

With the recent cold weather, I find myself wanting those Fall-type comfort foods. 

You know the ones. The kind that fatten you up for those cold months ahead. 

There's something about the changing of the season that brings about that nesting / baking thing in so many of us. We can get into the kitchen and start warming the house with baked goods once again.

The start of school has also played a role in my recent baking hobby. A new school year brings new commitments and high expectations of packing healthier, more homemade lunches for my kids.

Well, at least more homemade anyway.

What do you do with that little bit of pastry left over from your pie?

Monday, August 29, 2011

a blanket for baby Dylan

A few months ago, a very good friend of mine gave birth to her second baby boy.

I wanted to give baby something handmade. I decided on a blanket. His nursery is painted a beautiful pale blue with one bright orange wall that gives it a real punch of colour.
There are large vinyl polka dots on the wall above the crib that make it so much fun. I wish I had a picture to show you because it's really well done.

I lined the back with the softest cream-coloured flannel and quilted it by hand.

The pattern for the quilt can be found in this book.
My friend's tastes are quite contemporary so I had a lot of fun choosing the fabrics for this project. I used much bolder fabrics than in the book.
I'll pop it in the mail today. It's a little late but I hope mom and baby like it just the same.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I'm back

It's been a while!
Sorry. It hasn't been intentional. Just trying to get caught up on some things here and there. My biggest struggle in life always seems to be lack of time.

I've been reorganizing my sewing/craft room. And that always seems to lead to a trip to the fabric store somehow. I picked these beauties up - on sale!

Not sure what I'll make with them yet but I love the colour combinations and patterns. 
Wish I could have bought more of each, but I had to behave. And really have no more room for fabric!

I managed to make it out to the Thrift store recently too. And I'm thankful I did! I picked up all of these clothes, most for $2 a piece! A few of them are future projects. Quick sewing projects for a better fit or repair.
One will be a refashion that I hope to tackle someday soon. If it turns out I will post it here.

Oh and did I mention that not one of these is for my boys?
That's a rare treat for me!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Back to School Week - Day 5

Okay so I'm a little slow getting this post up. My apologies!

Today we're going to talk lunch bags. 
With my youngest starting school soon, we needed to get a new one for him.
We took Evan to see the Yogi Bear movie back in the spring when it came out. He loved it so I couldn't pass up this fabric when I saw it. And I thought it would be perfect for his lunch bag.

I wanted the inside to look like a picnic blanket so I lined it with red gingham.

I used this tutorial but used cotton fabric and batting instead of waxcloth.
I'm hoping to make these super cute snack bags from Noodlehead to go inside the lunch bag.

Can you guess how she made these cuties?
You can find Anna's tutorial here on her blog Noodlehead. While there, check out the adorable pencil pouch that she made too. I love Anna's blog because she is amazingly talented and all of her creations are so lovely. So simple and so perfect!

Just a couple of short weeks left before the big day!
Happy sewing!

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