Archives for category: Family

After about a six month hiatus, where I didn’t really feel like making any kids clothes, the KCWC has got me excited again.  I’ve made friends with my sewing machine, and today I sat down and knocked up this little skirt for my girlie, from fabric in my stash.


The pattern is the Lazy Days Skirt, a free tutorial from Oliver + S, which I printed out last summer but never got around to making.  The tutorial is really easy to follow, and took me less than an hour to complete, so I had time to make the first of the three pairs of PJs on my list.

I hadn’t realized until today that Oliver + S make digital patterns as well as paper ones, so now I’m considering making this gorgeous coat.  I have a large piece of fleece in my stash and I’m trying to make as much as I can for KCWC without purchasing new fabric, so I’m just wondering if anyone has made this in fleece?


It feels like I’ve been running on empty/low for so long that I don’t really know what a regular pace is.  Since I started my business in 2009 I have lived in what feels like a constant whirlwind; juggling my own business, my family life and the lives of 3 children; making costumes for our local youth theatre company, working part-time, and attending craft shows as a vendor.  This week I’ve decided to stop.   For now.  And just see what that feels like.

I’m not stopping everything.  I have a new part-time job which I love.  You would have to drag me out of the theatre world screaming.  Kids and husband need to come first again.  So for now I have put the craft shows on hold.

I love craft shows.  I really enjoy the atmosphere, hanging around with crafty types, meeting vendors and customers face-to-face.  But they are physically and emotionally exhausting.  There’s all the time spent in my studio sewing things I love, in the hope that other people will love them too (and buy them).  There’s the planning and preparation, set-up and tear-down of booths.  And this is before putting on my happy face to meet the public.  Don’t get me wrong, I REALLY enjoy meeting my customers, both old and new, but for every person who loves and buys my work, there is someone who thinks my prices are too high (they’re not) , they could make it themselves (they could, but they didn’t), or they want to haggle for a deal (they’re already getting one).  There are some people who walk into my booth and just scowl.  Seriously, how can pretty little girls dresses and bloomers make someone scowl?

So, I’m finally going to work on the list of household projects that I always keep meaning to get to but never do because there’s another craft show deadline approaching.  Ironman needs frilly curtains in her room, Boy needs cool blinds in his room, Guy wants a bean-bag chair.  I have 2 deckchairs to recover, and numerous cushions to make…for me.

This weekend I had the privilege of working with our local youth theatre group to put on the musical “Oliver”.  In 15 rehearsals a show was learned, memorized, blocked and choreographed…an amazing feat in itself.  My children and I have been involved with this group for 5 years now, and every year I am in awe of what this group of young people, aged 4-14 can achieve.  This year was particularly sweet for me because I coordinated the costumes for 2 shows, each with a cast of around 50 kids. (Below are some of my workhouse kids, in karate gis teastained for the production).

Since September I have enjoyed getting to know both casts and so during the performances I was proud not only of my offspring, but every one of those children on stage. I’m glad it was dark backstage so they couldn’t catch me blubbing.

Last night’s Grammy ceremonies may be celebrated around the world, but these kids deserve all the awards.

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?

Here’s the invitation, now to work on decorations, party favors etc.

sleepover invitation1 incognito

The moustaches over my address, phone number etc are a free edit from picnik, love a fun way to make something incognito.

Reason 1.  The boys are off to school this morning, and were positively leaping out of bed to get ready.  This makes such a change from last year, when we endured several months of tears every morning from Boy, which was absolutely heartbreaking.  Thanks to 2 special teachers last year, who must have made him feel incredibly happy and safe at school.

Well, I only managed 2 of the things on our remaining list of things to do, but IronMan was sick this weekend.  While she was sleeping, and during the mountains of laundry I had to get done before today (so that Guy and Boy had their choice of natty outfits to wear to school), I managed to make these 3 stuffed pumpkins, and listed them in my store this morning .  That’s reason #2!



Ironman has requested a dress for the fall, and I have tons of the orange floral, so it’s off to the sewing room with me today.  (Reason #3).

Final reason (for today anyway), is that Guy is off to his 2nd year in the gifted class, and I want to celebrate how lucky we are in this part of Ontario, to have access to special education for gifted children.  This opportunity would not be so easily available if he went to school in the UK where I come from, and since joining this class last year he has experienced and learnt so much, that he was excited to be going to school again this morning.  Have a good day all of you whose children are off to school today, and enjoy those little ones who are still with you if you are at home with them.  Ironman starts nursery school on Friday, and I don’t know where the last 3 years have gone.  Treasure those moments with them, they go by in the blink of an eye.

I’m feeling torn between spending  time with my children, who start back at school in a week, and with getting going on a huge list of crafts that I want to start.  I haven’t touched my sewing machine for over 2 weeks and I really want to start something now, but I also want to relish this last week, and pack in some of the things we planned in June but haven’t got around to yet.  Here’s the list: 

milkshakes at Troy’s Diner  (did that this morning, I recommend the “Chunky Monkey”)


swim at Rotary Park
go to the zoo
craft day part 2
Ontario Place
Centre Island

Besides this, I’m experiencing that feeling I always get around this time of year, of wanting to get some order back into our lives and organize my house (and my head!)…..hmmm, I feel a trip to IKEA beckoning (perhaps I can add breakfast at IKEA to the list!)

I signed up for the Seasons Round Exchange, and besides 1 thing I made on a trip to St Marie Among the Hurons, I have still to assemble the rest of my items and mail them out (and my partner has already mailed her items to me, to add to the pressure!)   I have lots of ideas, but none have actually come to fruition yet, but here’s something I’m going to be using for one of them):