Friday 31 January 2020

....and sew it begins!

Sew My Style 2020 - How I saved my Tania Culottes!!

                                                            January pattern choice

I chose to make the Megan Neilsen Tania Culottes because I love culottes. These looked perfect - the comfort of a pant but the look of a skirt. They looked so flattering in the picture so I jumped right in, ignoring all the rules of measuring, fitting, etc. etc.  I found the perfect fabric and dreamed of what I would wear with these for the photo shoot (even though I hate having my pictures taken). I purchased a beautiful black cardigan to complete the outfit.

I would say the hardest part was the laying out and cutting. I'm not a huge fan of laying out on a single layer of fabric and because the pieces were so wide the idea of perfectly matching went out the window. I managed on my tiny table to get all the pieces cut and even cut out a flower detail to add to the cardigan. I may or may not use, but it is cute.

Why I never bothered to test the fit I'll never know! I starting sewing right away, it was easy and although the pleat detail seemed daunting it was super easy and so so cool. These were going to be so pretty.
I haven't sewn a hidden zipper in quite some time but watched a tutorial and felt confident. I sewed the one side seam - easy. At this point though (before tackling the zipper) I thought I would check the fit. OMG I'm glad I did. The waist sat just under my boobs and the crotch was half way to my ankle - yikes now what.  I figured they were ruined so what the heck lets take a leap and see how they could be saved. I cut off just over 4 inches from the waist down (still saved some pleat - enough to still do what it was suppose to). I cut a new waistband piece 8 inches but this would be folded in half to make up the approx. 4 inches I lost. Because I cut down 4 inches, the culottes slipped on with no need of a zipper. I threaded elastic through the wide waistband and drum roll - it worked. They look perfect and are so comfortable.

I will definitely make these again but I will take the time to properly fit the pattern first.

Monday 20 January 2020

Love handwork

I am the kind of person that has to keep her hands busy - I can't stand just sitting and doing nothing! I was searching for a project and my daughter suggested I look at embroidery. I haven't done any stitching for sometime but thought why not. Her suggestion was not just for embroidery though, it was embroidering on clothing. We both love to sew and like to make pieces that are unique and one of a kind.

I dove right in, I wanted to start on the big project right away so did very little practice. I had purchased a beautiful gold boiled wool - gosh - over 4 years ago and decided this was it. It's near impossible to find embroidery transfers here so I just freehanded a design of my own. 

After much thought on color I decided to stay within the gold tones and accent with blue and green.

The pattern for the cardigan is a Kwik Sew - very basic because I wanted the embroidery to take center stage. The boiled wool was surprisingly easy to embroider on and the pattern was super quick to sew. I pondered over the neckline wondering whether to add a ruffle but finally settled on simplicity. I absolutely love the finished product and will be wearing this often.

Monday 1 January 2018

..I've committed...

I have committed to a year of not buying any clothes (RTW (Ready to Wear) Fast) and I'm pretty excited.  Sarah Gunn from Goodbye Valentino ( is hosting this adventure and it promises to be a fun challenge.  I have recently retired and have felt a little adrift, not sure what to do next. Don't get me wrong I absolutely love being retired - I get to be creative and do all the things I want to do when I want to do them but sometimes you just need that challenge. When I was beading I was always challenged but that mojo has still not come home so on to something completely different. I have always loved sewing but I have done my fair share of keeping the retail industry going. I still love shopping but with respect to the environment and my pocketbook I have to be more conscious.

The rules are pretty simple - no ready to wear clothing.

I am even committing to making my own under garments - my first two bras and I'm addicted - shopping for lace in NYC at Mood was such an experience and one that will be repeated as often as possible.  Of course I made matching panties and they are oh so comfortable and a perfect fit.

My interest has also peaked with making clutch purses/handbags so they will likely become a regular addition to my blog as well.

I have quite the stash of fabric from my shopping trip to Mood and B&J Fabrics in NYC so now to get down to some serious business - picking my first project!

Happy sewing all!

More Quilts and other things

I just love quilting, I love the process - the complete process. And I especially love when I make a quilt for someone special to me. It is my way of wrapping them in my arms and giving them love.

This year for Christmas I made my daughters quilts and was so excited for them to open them. Now except for my son in law my family all have a quilt made by me! I even have a couple on the go for my soon to be born grandson.

Meagan's quilt

This quilt was for my daughter Meagan (soon to be mom of two). It was made with Kaffe Fasset 5 inch charm squares and because the fabric is so outstanding I kept it simple - framed 9 patch squares. I love to personalize my quilts with something from my heart so I stitched the following on one of the borders "You were a blessing from the start, I love you Meagan with all my heart". I hope she likes it!

Molly's quilt

For my daughter Molly I made a more modern design, I found this pattern on line ( and just loved it, I did change it up a bit and introduced red - red and black are my daughters company colors. It was a challenge and not all my points line up but it is a beauty. The message was "I love you to the moon and back LaLa, forever in my heart". She did have a sneak preview and said she loved it so all is good.

Robyn's quilt

Pretty in Pink and it is oh so pink.  I was trying a new technique - mile a minute quilting - and was only going to make a small sample. But as I was working on it I was thinking of my beautiful sister in law and the more I worked the more it became hers. I added simple nine patch squares to tone it down and I love the results. I can't wait to give it to her. "love you so much" says it all.

Not only do I like quilting but I like painting as well - I just don't have a dedicated space so I don't paint as often as I may like. I want to do a large version of this technique (acrylic pour) but I will need to find a space to do it and that could be a challenge .... I just love the colors in these two (my favorites so far) - it is very addicting and I have lots of canvases stacked in the corner with no where to hang!

Friday 25 August 2017

....and now for something completely different....

Exciting news, I have made the decision (monumental for me) and I have retired. I am just so happy and really wonder why I didn't do it sooner. When you work in an increasingly poisonous environmental and you are constantly surrounded by people with huge ego problems, it tends to drain the creative juices, it was time for me to think of me!  I was worried I would be bored..... hah! For one I have just discovered free motion quilting and I am hooked! Not sure why I even went down this road but now that I'm on it....I am having so much creative fun! A few quilts I have made since retiring. These were quilted on my home sewing machine, but I have just finished a long arm quilting course and I am thinking that is the way to go.

Thursday 16 June 2016

...wanting to keep in touch

Still haven't found my beading mojo but I am looking! I even packed several beading projects to take on our glamping trip....worked on one....not sure I really like it so may do it again, but it was nice to get a taste of beading again.

I have gotten the knitting bug though and to be more specific lace shawl knitting. I love all the artisan yarns out there, the colors are so rich and deep; just makes you want to caress them all especially the alpaca and silk and the merino's. We don't have a lot of yarn stores in Edmonton especially ones that carry artisan yarn so I have scouted out a few sites and have been shopping, shopping, shopping. I really must stop. When I was in New York I purchased some fabric that begged to be made into a jacket and of course what goes better with a new jacket than a hand knit lace shawl in complimentary colors - jackets not done but the shawl is!

A blustery weekend glamping trip provided the opportunity to get behind the lens and shoot some spectacular storm clouds. I love glamping in the rain and we had an incredible relaxing weekend - a much needed get away ...

....although I missed my little Beasty so much