Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Okay, so for my birthday I bought some unbelievably soft, and breathtakingly beautiful Nani Iro fabric.

Blue Little Letter
It is the fancy double weave version and everything! With such a beautiful fabric I now am faced with a choice, do I make something simple and comfortable that I'll wear all the time, or do I make something beautiful, and more special occasion-y?

Unfortunately I am pretty polarized in my wardrobe. Its either chilling hard, or going hard with little in between. I swear part of that is student life, as I always feel a little awkward rocking business casual on campus.

Cute top? Cute pants? Cute Dress? I mean what an awesome dilemma to be faced with, but a dilemma none the less.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Bacterial Break Briar

In celebration of finishing my mircobiology midterm, I made a briar last night!

Its a super cuddly black french terry my boyfriend got at fabricland for one of his projects. Fortunately for me he decided it was too heavy for his purposes and I got to use the scrapped project to make this beauty! 

The cropped version doesn't take much fabric, and you can cut the front and back in two pieces if need be. 

Sorry for the horrible photos, I'm in a classroom studying plant physiology, so I used my laptop and the fluorescent lights aren't doing much for me either. 

I cut a size xsmall in the neckline (I like I higher neck), and a medium in the shoulder/arm/chest area and graded back down to an xsmall. I also graded the sleeves from a medium to an xsmall and added a couple inches of length to them. Next time I think I will cut a small in the shoulder/arm/chest region just because there is a bit of unnecessary pooling under there. 

The briar seemed like a summer top to me, but it has been really nice to wear on these blustery days (still snowing a bit where I live). Additionally, it doesn't get all bunchy at the bottom with my coat, hoolllaa for cropped sweaters! 

ALSO THE SLEEVES ARE LONG ENOUGH. This is a big deal for me. I feel my wrists are the most scandalous part of arm. They always seem to be bare, or flashing out of sleeves. Alas, they have finally be tamed by french terry. 

Here is my last attempt at classroom photography! 
I feel like is definitely cake, but special cake you know? Ice cream cake! Its simple and comfortable enough to wear with a lot of different things, and all the time, but the design is just a little fresher than my other staples.

I love independent patterns as I have said before. LOVE. Obsessed! I think Megan Nielsen is my favourite right now though, because her patterns are a little less formal that a lot of other designers. For example, Colette, oh my goodness, beautiful! Sadly though, when I'm at the library, class, or lounging around at school I just don't find dresses as comfortable to sit in for long hours. Additionally, my campus is made mostly of hundred year old limestone buildings in Canada, i.e. draughty in a parka.  Sadly beautiful dresses, then require leggings and sweaters, and I feel a little ridiculous wearing a dress when I don't really need to be wearing it. As in I could be just as easily be wearing only the leggings and sweater. I think there is also such an easiness and chill vibe I get from Megan Nielsen's designs that resonate with my personality a bit better. I am just super into it right now!! I already have plans to make a bunch more Banksias and I can't wait!

Now back to everyone's favourite... GLYCOLYSIS!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sewing Spectacular

If anyone lives near Toronto, or is a sewist planning on going to Toronto, I highly HIGHLY suggest you visit the Workroom. It has the most amazing fabrics, Robert Kauffman, Nani Iro, Melody Miller, Liberty of London, and so many more. The space is so light and airy, very nice place to sew in, even with 5 other people at there stations!

I should explain! The Workroom is not just a fabric, notions, independent patter, and sewing book store its also a sew by the hour store where you can use their machines/sergers/space/etc. to sew your own projects.

I was lucky enough to take the zippered pouches class there this weekend! Such a spectacular birthday gift from the boyfriend, he also let me buy what ever fabrics I wanted for it, so of course I went big.

I have always wanted to sew something with Liberty of London fabrics, but the student budget doesn't leave much room for them, so I am so happy to have even a small project in such a gorgeous floral.

The other fabric is by one of my most favourite designers, Jay McCarrol, who is to this day, probably also my favourite Project Runway contestant.

I also lined them oppositely to make a nice little set. I like the contrast of the Art Deco-y florals with the ultra modern spore like fabric.

I can't rave enough about the space, the class, or the teacher/owner Karyn! What a patient, kind, human! One struggles not to enjoy her company. If you've ever wanted to get into sewing, but were unsure about how, I really recommend taking the Sewing Essentials or other beginner classes at the Workroom, you truly can't go wrong.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Kelly, I'm Spiralling Out of Control!

Sorry for the continuous updates on this kelly skirt, I am writing finals and every step feels like I have concurred the sewing world!!! All that's left on this galpal is the buttons! I decided not to do any scallops only because the skirt ended up shorter than anticipated, and time constraints before my family vacation!

I have to say I am have fallen even deeper in love with this skirt pattern. New number one skirt pattern. I am in love Megan Nielsen and her patterns. The Banksia is already my got to, number one woven top pattern, and I plan on investing in a Briar pronto.

It has been such a pleasure to sew, but a few things I would change about my approach.

Make S instead of M next time! Also, check the fit around the waste BEFORE sewing french seams. I won't lie, I didn't unpick them, I just introduced a third seam making it... a SUPER french seam?

Additionally next time I REALLY want to do scallops!!

All I have left are those pesky buttons!

Hopefully I will get the buttons on soon! I am so happy the way this skirt is turning out! 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Just little by little

I am so impressed how fast this skirt is coming together! There is something to be said for simple patterns, and their immediate satisfaction results. 

I was thinking today while sewing that I could have drafted a skirt equivalent to this one on my own, as I have seen others do around the blogsphere. To be honest with you though, I just don't feel right about it with independent designers. Its like I know them! I read their blogs, I see pictures of their children, I actually get so much happiness about supporting their businesses. As always the instructions are beautiful, but I also find the supplementary stuff designers like Megan Nielsen and Tasia provide online are a huge component of why I love buying their patterns! Its like I am never alone in my sewing. The effect could also be amplified by all the other bloggers who are sewing the same patterns as you. Such a wonderful sense of community and support. 

As a student sometimes it is hard to justify the cost of independent patterns, but for me, if it means owning less patterns, but supporting the businesses with practices I believe in (like printing on recycled paper for example) I think its worth it.

Anyway, I am in love with this pattern, and am so excited to sew those scallops!!!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Upcoming Project!

I am swamped under a heart crushing essay on the experiences of Aboriginal women living with HIV/AIDs in Canada right now, so I am going to give myself a little pick me up by talking about my next sewing project!

Has anyone else seen the scalloped hem tutorial on Megan Nieslen's blog? I have never had any desire to make a scalloped hem before I saw this beautiful skirt!

I love the colour, and the length too, but darn those scallops are cute! Plus I am going to take this opportunity to do some stash busting.

Sundials in Glow, Anna Marina Horner
I think the scallops plus the goofy shaped circle of this fabric will be really fun together, and I don't own any patterned bottom so more than stash busting I am wardrobe hole filling!

Okay that's it for now! All the bloggers seem to have cats, but I am deathly allergic, so I will have to leave you with this nugget instead.

Monday, April 1, 2013


Sorry for the over exposure! Doing this post between assignments

Banksia meet Hollyburn, Hollyburn meet Banksia :) At my university, we do faculty wide formals at the end of the year, this year's Biology Formal theme? Bioluminescence! I knew I wanted to make a shirt/skirt to get more wear out of each piece than a dress, so I paired together my favourite top pattern, and my new exciting skirt pattern! 

This Banksia version took me not one, not two, not three, but four muslins to fix the problems I had the first time I made this top. I started out with making a medium again, but found the loose style quite big for my tastes (I really need to learn to take pattern notes so I know what sizes I have already made!). Going to a small and then an x-small I was finding that I could NOT stop the neckline from gaping! Eventually, after trying unsuccessfully to take away fabric from above my bust, I realized that my bust was actually pulling the fabric out and causing this above boob tenting/tension/gaping situation. A quick FBA and voila! Almost all my gaping problems vanished! 
 Additionally I had to cut the arm scythe much larger to accommodate my arm-body-attachment area (I have to do this on a lot of patterns, perhaps I naturally just have a large arm-body-attachment area... maybe that's a good thing though...). 

Okay soo... I don't own a zipper foot, let alone and invisible zipper foot, so I hand picked the zip in! I actually did a pretty good job on physically stitching side... but that whole covering the zipper itself thing apparently did not occur to me. Oh well haha! Learn something new right?

Inside Waistband
I really took my time with this project though! For example I fell stitched (catch stitch? haha I can never remember which is which!) the waistband down by hand!

Outside waistband

I also hand did the hem, which took forevvvaaaa (due to my dearth of experience in the area), but I think is so worth it whenever I look at (or I guess don't look at..) than be-a-utiful blind hem! 

 I also did both the top and the skirt in french seams! The woven cotton I was using wasn't bulky at'll so they came together nicely! The fabric I used was from a fabulous Canadian retailer, www.flarefabrics.ca

Also, you may have noticed all the up close photos are plagued with hair! Sorry about that, they are a result of this little angel losing her winter coat! 

Keller, so innocent, so hairy
Super happy how these projects turned out! Sadly I didn't think to take pictures the night of, so I will give you the best ones I could find!
Some pals in my program who I also work with!

Evil Gremlin Spicegirls Shot

I want you to know, from me, to you, that I usually don't look as stone-cold faced creepy as I do in this photo. It is literally the only full body shot taken of me all night. 

P.S. note the glow sticks, bioluminescence done right. 

Ginko Bobbins :)

A little bit sewing, a little bit of knitting, and a whole lot of crafting love.

My first projects coming soon :)

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