Archives for category: fabric

No, I’m not talking about the musical, but about my coming out of hibernation and starting to sew again.  Kids Clothing Week Challenge was just what I needed to get me motivated, and I eased into Day One with 3 little bibs for a friend of mine who has just had a baby girl.

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He’s a sushi lover, so I had to throw in a little sushi number just for him.

I used a pdf pattern from a pinterest search for bibs. The pattern and instructions are really clear and easy to follow.

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Yesterday was Day 4 of KCWC, and after reading about the mini-challenge-within-a-challenge started by Kristen and Rae (read all about it on their blogs) I thought I would join in on a mini-challenge-within-a mini-challenge-within-a-challenge (Inception people!) and make the catalog-inspired item. I pinned this coat last week as it’s adorable, and there’s no way that one of my kids can have this beauty when the price of this one coat has to clothe all 3 of my kids for the winter.

My mum bought the fleece with her when she last visited from the UK, and I had some jersey left over from when I was going to make onesies etc for my oldest (who is now 13 years old). I would have made them too, except for the fact that the first day of my mat leave, when I had set up my sewing machine ready to make receiving blankets etc, was also the day my waters broke…(but that’s a story for another day).

My sewing machine missed me on days 2 and 3 because I had to go to work, so yesterday, I spent most of the day drafting a “pattern” from an existing coat and a print-out of the coat, and was really proud of the result. It looks pretty close to the inspiration in terms of construction, and it was completely free. It’s also pink, flowery and girly, so when my daughter returned home from school, I expected squeals of delight. Instead, she informed me that it looked weird, and that only the teachers at her school would like it. She has since agreed to wear it in the house as a dressing-gown. (translation: bathrobe).

I love rainy days (except when I’m camping). I can hunker down in my studio creating things, without experiencing any of the guilt I might feel on a sunny day. On those days there’s always a little nagging feeling that I should be doing something else like sorting out my garage/shed, weeding my garden, getting some fresh air or something else that’s good for me. On rainy days I can snuggle up with a good book and a cup of tea, knit a few rows of the sweater I’m working on, or plan lists of future sewing projects.


It’s been pretty damp this week, so I have enjoyed participating in KCWC, and have these to show for it. As usual my list of projects was far too long, but I’m really happy with what I achieved, and so are my kidlets!

What’s your favourite thing to do on rainy days?


I made some Thanksgiving napkins yesterday, while the turkey was roasting in the oven. I’m thankful that I found all the fabric I needed in my fabric stash. I sorted out my fabric cupboard a couple of weeks ago, and organized everything by colour, so I was able to put my hands on all this orangy goodness really quickly.

There are a lot of really good tutorials on the internet for making napkins, here are a few of my favourites:
make your own cloth napkins at skip to my lou
these next ones are all from the purlbee, I love the variety of styles she has made.
handsewn napkins (these are great for using up all those tiny scraps you can’t bear to part with)
linen thanksgiving napkins
spooky cocktail napkins (love the zigzag detailing on these)

If you start right away, you can make some for Halloween….I’d love to make some in this:

Once upon a time I used to make clothes for my children.  Then I started my own business making clothes for other people’s kids, and since then, besides an annual birthday T-shirt, their clothing has been store-bought.   My daughter does at least get the chance to model some of the dresses I make to sell, but my sons aren’t really in to cross dressing (except my middle one informed me yesterday he wants to be a princess for Halloween, but that’s another blog post).

So, I’ve signed up for the kids clothes week challenge. I’m hoping to make at least 3 pairs of PJs, and my middle son wants a shirt made from this:

Erin from house on hill road has thrown down the gauntlet in the form of a pillow challenge. Not satisfied with preparing for Boy’s birthday next week, and painting Iron Man’s bedroom, I have decided to join in. Here is a pile of fabrics I’ve pulled out of my stash. I hope they will become pillows by the end of the week. They will be going in Iron Man’s bedroom, which is now a delightful purple and pink (Ironman is my youngest, a girl, not that there’s anything wrong with purple and pink for a boy’s room, just that in this case the pillows are for a princess, hence the need for some Heather Ross Princess and the Pea).


The idea is that pillows are pretty quick items to make, and so you can whip up quite a few in a week (well, you could if you weren’t starting 3 days into the challenge!). I have been following Erin’s blog for several years, in fact it was through reading her blog that I became inspired to start my own business, and then my own blog.

She has some extremely helpful tutorials posted, including some for pillows. Here’s a link to the start of the challenge, care to join me?

Comments are now closed for this, while I pick 2 lucky winners out of the virtual hat!

I ordered some of this to make PJs for my friend, thinking it was flannel but it’s not (it is available in flannel, I just misread the etsy description). It’s called Wanna Be A Cowboy, designed by Samantha Walker for Riley Blake. I am giving away 2 fat quarters to 2 lucky winners as part of the Giveaway. There could be other goodies too!

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Please make sure to add your contact information as part of your comments, and good luck.

Update: you can get this fabric in flannel, in case you don’t win this giveaway (or just need this in flannel!) My favourite supplier for flannel is Sara, aka the flannel queen. The flannel is really good quality, shipping is reasonable, and quick.

I have been following the blog of Michelle Engel Bencsko since about March of this year, when I discovered Cicada Studios and some of her amazing fabrics.  At that time she was blogging about her up and coming line of organic fabrics, called appropriately Cloud9, because that’s where you go when you see them, and I have been following her progress with this collection all through the summer.   Both the 100% cotton that she prints on, and the inks she uses are environmentally friendly (you can read more about that here). 

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I am a little envious of  her, and other fabric designers like her, because 12 years ago when I started to study fabric design and printing at OCAD, I was bothered by the use of toxic inks in the printing process, but back then there really wasn’t much available in the way of environmentally friendly inks, and organic fabrics tended to resemble burlap, which didn’t make printing on them very easy!   Part of me is ready to set up my own screen printing studio in the basement and get on down to turning out yardage of my own, but it’s way easier  (and less messy) with 3 kids to just buy the fabric that others are printing. 

The fabric finally hit the stores last week, and my order arrived on Friday.  The fabric is even more beautiful in real life, and so very soft, it’s absolutely perfect for baby items.

I showed pictures of it to my friend, and she ordered a cushion to be made immediately.  Here it is, and there’s another one available in my etsy store. 

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I hope it gets snapped up quickly, because I adore this fabric, and want to buy more!  Next project, a baby quilt using pieces of the entire collection.

Angela at Raggedy Owl spent a weekend sewing in Vermont with two fabulous fabric designers, Heather Ross and Denyse Schmidt. To celebrate she is giving away a Heather Ross autograph along with a thirty piece, 5-inch square charm pack from her own collection. Her collection includes all those Heather Ross fabrics that are so difficult to get hold of now because they are out of print/rare and highly priced so I’m hoping to score some. Head on over to see how you can win (or perhaps I should have kept this a secret!)

trueupheader-600Over at TrueUp you have a chance to win more divine fabric.  I am a huge fan of Michelle Bencsko’s designs and she has 2 collections just hitting the stores.  The colours and patterns of  Shade Garden are delightful, and My Happy Garden is the debut line for her new organic fabric manufacturing company, Cloud 9 Fabrics.  Back when I was at the OCAD, studying surface design, I loved fabric printing, but baulked at how toxic the printing inks were (and we just washed them down the drain!)  At that time there were no earth friendly alternatives, so I am so excited that Michelle and her partner have produced this beautiful collection.  I have plans to make baby quilts with it, as soon as I can get my hands on some.)  Good luck with your entries.

I had an entire day to myself last Friday, so decided to take a class at the workroom.

I met the lovely Karyn, and her dog Maisy, and spent 3 hours immersed in learning a new technique; how to make a log cabin quilt block. Here’s the start of mine:

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Besides spending my free time learning something new, I discovered how great it is to be with other sewers. I have sewn on and off for over 30 years, but a lot of that time is on my own. I glean bits of information from blogs, online tutorials, and books, but you can’t beat being having a teacher who can show you in 2 minutes the best way of using a rotary cutter. Especially if your teacher is also a lefty like me, thanks Johanna!

The class is the first in a series of “a la carte” classes, where you can pick and choose which quilt blocks you would like to learn how to make. You can see more images of the quilt blocks here.
In the future they have plans for a class which will teach you how to finish and bind your quilt, once you have completed all those blocks.

In addition to the classes, The Workroom has an amazing collection of fabrics, some of which I have seen on line and was excited to see in real life (I know, I should get out more!). In addition you can pay an hourly rate to use a sewing machine or serger there, and Karyn is always around to help.

If you get a chance, go sign up for a class there, who knows, we might bump into each other!