Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Not kidding. About three weeks ago I very firmly stated to a co-worker that I would rather cut out and sew an entire quilt from scratch than sew on a button - that's how over garment sewing I am. Or was. The next day (not kidding), like some sort of challenge coming from the cosmos, I see the Lady Skater Dress posted on a blog and the narrative tells me it is easy and boy, is it cute! And the brain starts moving and I think "my girls would love a dress like that" and "oh, they have some really pretty knit fabrics now" and before I know it, I had fallen down the slippery slope from "ain't never sewing clothes again" to "I'll go to bed as soon as I finish altering this bodice pattern".

Several patterns removed from Lady Skater, I present my first Washi dress:

 I admit, when I started seeing these pop up on blogs last fall, they didn't do much for me. First of all, I thought I was still the person who no longer sewed clothes. Second, I didn't really dig the neckline. Third, "quilting cotton" and "comfortable dress" are counterintuitive for me so I quickly closed my mind to the idea. But as my Lady Skater texts to my daughters turned into involved Pinterest and Flickr sessions, the Washi pattern came to the forefront as the "must have" pattern for a summer dress. And Anna Maria Horner's voile naturally became the only fabric option.

I downloaded the PDF pattern (all 3, 789 pages, it seemed) and set about cutting, matching, and taping until I had a pattern. And then (I can't believe I'm saying this) I made a muslin. Yes, kids, unheard of in my past sewing life. Not only did I make the muslin, as the pattern suggested, but I took the seams apart and fooled with it and altered it until the bodice fit my daughter nicely. Then I altered the actual paper pattern. No kidding, I really did that. Then I waited. Patiently (or not). We ordered the fabric from the nice people at Hawthorne Threads and had it sent to the border because mail coming into Canada from the US needs to be manhandled by everybody at Homeland Security, Canada Border Services, and Canada Post. That's a lot of people; that takes some serious time and I needed to get these sewn before I lost my dressmaking mojo!

As you can see, I took out that scoopy cutout thingy on the neckline. What you can't see is I lined the bodice back and front following Rae's directions (super easy) and I used French seams throughout. I made each dress in an evening (disclaimer: I used to sew all my girls' clothes when they were little, so I have had some practice).

I worried a bit about sewing with voile; I read some posts online before getting started but really, it was a breeze. I didn't encounter any issues or difficulties (but it does wrinkle easily, as you can see from the photo). The pattern itself is very well written and super easy to follow. Rae generously created a series of videos which show how to do the lined bodice; they are posted online and a great resource.

So that is what I was up to last week. A second Washi dress is also finished and I'll get some photos of it when my daughter has a chance to come over and model it for me.

As for the Lady Skater? Pretty sure I'll be making one of those real soon...


Sunday, July 21, 2013


I've been having fun working on some projects for the Modernista swap going on over at Flickr. I am new to this swap (not sure how long it has been going on) and the theme this time has been "the bedroom".

My big project was a 24" throw pillow cover which I did in my partner's colours (blue, purple, green) in a courthouse steps design. I made each block individually so I could make sure my steps matched the adjacent block - it didn't take long at all and I didn't have to repeat any of the fabrics in the top.

For my small gift, I made a bunting using similar colours; my partner had given she might like one with the word "LOVE" on it. By checking out her Flickr photos and her blog I also learned Kate Spain is one of her favourite designers so I used a Central Park scrap in my partners colours to make the heart in the middle.

I tucked in some coordinating fat quarters and wrapped it all up in Jeni Baker's Lined Drawstring Bag in the Project size. I had another fat quarter of Central Park on hand and it was just enough. I finished it really late Friday night and didn't remember to get a photo of it yesterday morning before I ran the package over to the post office, but it turned out super cute.

I have a couple of fun projects coming up this week which hopefully I will get done to the point of having something to show. I love summer, I love summer weekends - time to go and enjoy a bit of both.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Why is the weekend always gone?

Sigh. I am usually sad to see the weekend leave; they go by so quickly, don't they?

First of all, I got so caught up in doing things I forgot to post about the Let's Get Acquainted blog hop on Friday so please, forgive my tardiness and visit these bloggers to show them some love:

Hilltop House Creative Works
Sew Happily Ever After
Christa Quilts
Wonderland by Alyce
the crooked banana
Caroline's Craftiness
Sassafras Lane
quarter incher

Every week I find more amazingly talented people through their blogs. I love it. 

I'm in a little swap going on over at Flickr and managed to finish piecing and quilting my main project today:

Between the late evening light and my (lack of) photography skills, it is hard to tell these are purples, blues, greens, greys, and whites - but they are! It's both fun and a bit nerve-wracking to come up with something I hope is just perfect for my swap partner. I pulled out my trusty old Bernina 830 (as in the old one from circa 1978!) and spent some quality time meandering around this piece. I do most of my sewing/piecing on a much newer Husqvarna but she just doesn't to a nice job when it comes to FMQ, for some reason. I've had that Bernina for a long time and she helped me make entire wardrobes for my girls many, many years ago. I had to have her serviced and this was the first time I'd used her since - she worked like a charm!

Hoping everyone had a good weekend and especially my American friends who celebrated their big holiday a few days back!


Monday, July 1, 2013

City Sampler - Blocks 16, 17, and 18

Happy Canada Day!

Last year, I purposely made a red and white project in honour of my country's birthday; this year, no red to be seen:

When the TP City Sampler sewalong got started I was on a roll making one block every day. For 16 days. And then life just kept happening and I guess I lost my mojo. No biggie, I told myself, I'm way ahead anyway. Until today. Yikes! Thankfully, the blocks this week are dead simple and didn't take a lot of time. Oh how I wish every Monday were a day off! Glorious, glorious long weekends - I love you!

The good thing is, I'm caught up again (for the moment) on this project. Summer is finally here (yay!) and so are the hot temperatures. I really like the sun and the heat but I do wish I lived closer to a body of water - either a nice pool or a lake - but they are a bit more difficult to come by here on the prairie. Thankfully, my sewing room is down in the basement, where it is encased in (mostly) concrete walls and a tile floor, all of which help keep it cool. I really don't like that in the winter when it is -20 degrees outside but this week, it's a great place to hang out!

Linking up to the sewalong here.