Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pumpkins and Pirates

As I mentioned before, I love sewing Halloween costumes! I have made myself some wicked costumes in the past and now I have turned my attention to creating costumes for Ethan. Here are some of Ethan's costumes over the years:

Lobster Costume purchased from Winners

Frog Costume also purchased from Winners. At this point I realized there are no good quality/cool costumes for boys.

Pirate Costume and Pumpkins. First Costume I made for Ethan.

Canadian Peace Keeper Costume. He wanted to be an army guy, I'm a pacifist...this was the compromise.

This year Ethan decided he wants to be a pirate again. I haven't settled on a pattern yet...but I am leaning towards using this Burda pattern.


Illustration By Nan Lawson

This time of year is always bittersweet for me. I love that the nights are getting cooler. I love that soon I will be picking apples and pumpkins from Davison Orchard. I love the fact that I can start planning/sewing Ethan's halloween costume. Nevertheless, I will miss the warm, lazy days of summer.

But out with the old and in with the new...

Earlier in the summer I picked up a fall wall hanging kit from Cottage Rose Quilt Shop in Cranbrook. The pattern is very country and not really my style but for under $40 I was sold! The pattern also let me try out my applique skills (the pumpkin and stem were easy but the beak on the bird was murder). For those of you looking to try applique I suggest using Appli-Glue...it saved my butt.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Road Trip Treasure

This summer I visited the Last Stitch Quilt Shop in Kaslo. While rummaging through the shop I spotted the most amazing quilt kit. The pattern was incredibly easy to sew (I added a 3" border). I LOVE Jessica Levitt's fabric.

Eat, Pray, Sew

Ever since I first saw Christy Turlington on the cover of Vogue (October 2002) I have wanted to learn yoga. However, being a very awkward and uncoordinated person I was convinced I could never muster the grace these yoga poses required. 8 years later I finally got up the nerve to attend a drop in yoga class, while I wasn't graceful I did manage to do most of the basic poses and best of all...I loved every minute of it! I left the class completely relaxed and content.

Later that day I contemplated the fact that I may have actually found a form of exercise I actually ENJOY. To celebrate I made myself a fancy shmancy yoga bag. I found the pattern on Amy Butler's website (it was free!). For the exterior of the bag I used a pint paisley print fabric. The interior is a burlap print cotton. I changed the pattern in a couple small ways: I didn't put pockets on the exterior and I added a drawstring.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Smelly Socks

I bought a new cell phone a couple months ago. Too poor to purchase an iphone, I opted instead for the Samsung touch screen model. The phone is pretty sleek compared to the old dinosaur I previously had. I was as pleased as punch with my new purchase until I notice a couple small scratches on the touch screen. I freaked and started searching everywhere for some sort of case that would protect the phone while it was in my purse. There are not many options for this model and those I found were pretty ugly. For the time being I started protecting my phone by stuffing it into a sock. Surprisingly the sock, while not stylish, did work fairly well. Regardless I needed a more permanent (and chic) alternative. Here is the case I made...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Summer Fun and Fairs

I grew up in a small town and this weekend was the annual summer fair. 3 whole days of amusement park rides, a kick ass parade and lots of food! Ethan and I enjoyed every moment. Here are some highlights:

Ethan waiting for the parade, pretending he can't smile because the sun was in his eyes.

The rides. He went on 16!

The art/craft show. I purchased a print from Camilla D'Errico. Camilla and I graduated from the same high school and I feel so lucky to own one of her amazing paintings. I can't wait to get it framed!

By the end of the day we were sunburnt and exhausted but very happy!

Ruffle a few feathers

The end of the school year is approaching. My full time teaching contract has ended and I am back on call, thus I have some time on my hands. Here I am bored looking for inspiration when I stumble across Jennifer's blog Tattertots and Jello. I loved her burlap ruffle table runner. But not having any burlap at home I decided to take her idea, tweak it and turn it into a pillowcase. Luckily I just happened to have a feather pillow laying around just begging for a pillowcase.

I had a whole bunch of Amy Butler fabric in blue/green tones so I grabbed a few, cut them into 3.5" x 40" strips and created 7 long ruffles. I used 2 fat quarters for the front and back of the pillowcase, attached a zipper and created a pretty funky pillowcase.

The front:

The back:

Did you notice my last 3 posts are all colour coordinated? Ha!

Eco Lunch

For the last couple weeks it has become glaringly obvious that I have the ugliest lunch bag. My lunch bag looks like a suitcase...and yes I have had some snide comments tossed my way at work. For example: 'wow! you must be hungry!' or 'Are you moving in?'. I happened to have some extra fabric left over from the purse I made so I purchased a pattern off of Etsy and low and behold my lunch bag is now to die for!!!

My old lunch bag:

My new lunch bag:

This pattern was ridiculously hard to sew. I actually had to bust out my sewing machine's walking foot for the top stitching. I used oil cloth for the inside and sandwiched between the interior and exterior is insulated batting. As difficult as it was to sew I am pretty pleased with the finished product, it keeps my lunch cold and it is tiny. No more snide comments!

Pretty Perfect Purse

Ok, I finished my Amy Butler purse eons ago but I have been so busy admiring it that I forgot to post some pictures. Amy Butler patterns have, hands down, the easiest and clearest instructions to follow. It took more time to fuse the interfacing and fleece than it did to sew the purse.

I have had so many compliments on this purse it is crazy. Random people will stop me and ask where I bought my purse. I love being able to tell them that I MADE it!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

This and That

ok.... so once again I am extremely behind with my posts. Let rectify that shall we?

1) Left over Easter goodie: I made Ethan another little bunny stuffie for Easter. This pattern was super easy (and I think its cuter than the sock bunny). For the fabric I used 2 of Ethan's old baby t-shirts. I love the stripes and the embroidery on the face kinda makes him look like a chubby, grumpy bunny! I found the pattern at Chez Beeper Bebe.

2) Ethan's birthday party: This year I decided that I would throw Ethan a REAL birthday party (i.e. one that did not just include family members). So Ethan invited all his little friends from daycare. For a theme Ethan picked robots...I thought that this was a pretty do-able theme, after all you can still find tons of transformer merchandise. Well I was very wrong! I did manage to find wonderful robot party invites and goody bag toppers at Wendolonia. After scouring all of the shops in my small town I was unable to find any little plastic robots for cupcake toppers. Here is what I can up with:

The party turned out pretty well! Ethan and his little buddies had a blast. We found a Transformers pinata that the kids could not break into! They ended up tearing this poor Transformer apart with their bare hands! So savage!

3) Our new pet: Ok I know this has nothing to do with sewing or craftiness...but I would like to introduce you to our first family pet: Peanut. Peanut is a butterscotch teddy bear hamster.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


So I haven't had a chance to finish the purse yet but I did manage to whip up a little Easter treat for Ethan today. Meet Roscoe, I named him after a pet rabbit I had growing up!

Making a sock bunny is very similar to making a sock monkey. One sock is for the legs and body, the second sock is for the ears, arms and snout. Little felt teeth, buttons and some embroidery floss and.... voila! You have a bunny!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sweet Dreams

Here is Ethan's finished pillowcase. The pillowcase is super basic so it took me about 30 mins to sew...not too shabby!

While we are talking about pillows...here is a pillowcase I made Ethan last summer when he took his first trip without Mommy. Ethan was taking a 11 day vacation with his father to NFLD. So here I am: recently separated, never been away from my son for more than 2 nights, and ridiculously stressed out the whole idea! I decided to make Ethan a little travel pillow that he could take on the flight. On the back of the pillow I made a secret flap that hid a picture of Ethan and I. This way if he missed me he could look at the picture and know that I was thinking about him. He also kissed the picture good-night every evening!

Here he is all snuggled up with his 'big boy' quilt and pillow.

Deliciously Practical

I started a couple new projects today: 1) Birdie Sling by Amy Butler 2) A pillowcase to match Ethan's summer quilt.

I will post some photos of the pillowcase soon. Until then, here is what the Birdie sling will look like when it's finished.

I originally had the exact fabric pictured above, however, I used the large floral fabric for my watercolour wall-hanging!!!!! So I had to purchase all new fabric. Here is what I picked:

Summer Loving

Ethan's summer quilt is finished!

To create this quilt I used a Ticker Tape pattern I found on Sew Mama Sew's blog. I love how bright the colours are! This being a child's quilt (i.e. prone to frequent washing) I decided to machine sew the binding, it was a pain in the butt but I think it will be far more durable.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


HAHA! 2 posts in one day! I'm making up for lost time!

Ok. I know I should be working on Ethan's quilt but I could not resist making this super cute nightie! Its sooo pretty! I did not have enough coordinating fabric at home, shocking considering how much fabric I have acquired over the last year. Instead of buying more fabric I decided to 'recycle' some of my bedroom linens (this screams 'The Sound of Music" doesn't it?). I used an old duvet cover for my nightie and I happened to have some medium white rick-rack laying around. The best part: I didn't have to pre-wash my fabric!

Here is the finished product. I think it has a kind of 'Alice in Wonderland' feel to it. Sorry the pictures did not turn out too great.

Busy, Busy, Busy

Whew! It has been a while, hasn't it?!

I have been incredibly busy teaching :) I FINALLY had the chance to teach Home Economics (yah! sewing!!) and I have been teaching the most wonderful elementary class for the last three weeks! Between marking, lesson planning and motherly duties I haven't had much time to work on any of my sewing projects. Nevertheless, Spring Break has arrived and I am looking forward to getting back to business! My main goal is to finish Ethan's summer quilt. I have 1/2 of the squares sewn on and I bought the fabric for binding so its all down hill from here, right?!

I did manage to start (and finish!) a quilted wall hanging which turned out quite wonderfully, if I do say so myself! Last month our School District had a professional development day, I was lucky enough to be invited to attend a watercolour quilted wallhanging workshop put on by a local Home Economics teacher.

I decided to do the floral wreath pattern (the other choice was a floral heart shape). I had some beautiful Amy Butler fabric at home that worked well with the pattern. This was also my first time sewing on a binding...NO ONE told me you had to hand sew the binding to the back of the quilt! My fingers did not enjoy that part but here is what the quilt looked like when it was finished:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Valentine's Day

Normally I am a cynic who believes Valentine's Day is a cheesy, commercialized, Hallmark created holiday. However, when you have a child every holiday is special. So I shelved my cynicism and created some Valentine's goodies for the kids at my son's daycare.

I created conversation heart bags out of felt, very similar to the ones created by Simply Feather. The difference being that I was too cheap to buy red fabric paint so I embroidered the messages. This worked for me because I only had 5 bags to create...but I would not suggest it if you are making a large number!

I stuffed the bags with various goodies: heart magnets inspired by Heidi Kenney, I used foam hearts instead of wooden ones (not the best choice) but my town is lacking in craft essentials. I picked chocolate instead of candy because there are some younger children at the daycare (no choking!). Finally, the typical drug store Valentine cards. Ethan picked Transformers for the boys and I convinced him to give the girls beautiful vintage inspired Valentine's that I picked up last year.