Thursday 11 February 2021

Sew Yourself Some Love with Winterwear Designs

Well, I haven't posted in over a year. I want to blame the craziness of COVID but it might be more the craziness of life. I opened a small shop this fall focusing on mask sewing. We've also spent alot of time outdoors and in the mountains as a family since we've got nowhere else to go!

When Suzanne mentioned a possible Winterwear Designs Valentine's day blog tour with PJ's and loungewear, I jumped in with both feet. Then I went off script and decided to try the new Y Back sleep set in a soft and flowy bamboo knit. I sized down with this pattern and used fold over elastic instead of a facing. Despite sizing down, I probably needed a few more modifications to make this pattern as perfect for knit as it is for woven. If I was to start over, I'd probably just make it in woven since all the tester photos look FANTASTIC!

The front of my knit version was a little too drapey but I found adding in some clear elastic to make a gathering in the front helped alot. I also ended up cutting off about 8 inches off the bottom and finishing the hem with a 2 inch stretch lace trim. I'm super happy with how this nightie turned out and cannot wait for the temperatures to warm up out of our Alberta Polar Vortex so I can actually wear it longer than the requisite 5 minutes for photos! 

Tuesday 26 November 2019

The Holidays with Winterwear Designs

Can I start by saying how excited I am for this Holiday Blog Tour?! I've been waiting for this one for months... Of course, that could be because I bought this fabric through a Destash back in July. I found these panels to be an off size --> very tall and skinny. I took a photo before cutting out and it looks like they were approx 13" wide by 22" long. When I saw how skinny they were, I new the absolute best pattern to use would be the Perfect Panel Tee by Winterwear Designs. I tested this pattern back when it was released and my kiddo still wears the top although a year and a half later, it is getting a little small... 
For the Elsa and Monster's Inc tops (made for 3 and 6 year old girls) I made the A-Line back and extended the entire tops by approx 2 inches to make them closer to a tunic length. I also used the cut line for curved front yoke to colour block and make best use of the panel for image placement. I absolutely love that the colour blocking is all built into the pattern.
For the Spiderman top (made for a 6 year old boy) I made the regular back, regular width. In retrospect, I probably could have cut on the slim line given this will be for PJ's but I'm digging the look of this one. I also used the front yoke for panel placement and to help with the matchiness of the  three tops.
These tops are fully intended to be worn as PJ's. I've cut out Solid PJ bottoms in each of the three solid colours but wasn't able to get them finished prior to this post. Luckily, I've still got a month until Christmas, so there's still time to get them finished. I slightly modified Suzanne's free PJ pants pattern from last year's 12 days of Christmas and will post a photo once they are complete.
I'm super excited for the kiddos to open these PJ's a few days before Christmas. I sure hope they'll be as excited as I am. Check out the Patterns at Winterwear Designs and don't forget to check back to Suzanne's blog for the 12 Days of Christmas coming Dec 2-Dec 14th!
Don't miss out on any stops along the tour:
November 25
Suzanne of Winter Wear Designs
November 26
November 27
Alyssa of the Sewing Goat Herd
November 28
Patricia of Sew Far North
November 29
Livia of Liviality

Monday 28 October 2019

Sew Fall with WWD

I've had the Winter Wear Designs Coquette on my "to sew" list for a long time. When I received the butterfly and pink solid fabric from Black Rabbit Fabric to sew off for strike-off photos, I knew this would be the perfect pattern to showcase the gorgeous print.
Due to the amount of fabric that I had, I ended up doing a tunic version for length by using the short bodice (with contrast strap) and knee length skirt. I also did 3/4 length sleeves although in hindsight given this is for fall/winter, i probably should have done full long sleeves. I am still debating whether it would be worth it to add in a cuff but that would mean getting it off her long enough to sew it on.
This tunic has been a total hit with the little miss. She has been insisting on wearing it paired with some comfy french terry leggings both for bedtime as PJ's and for daytime as play clothes. I still can't decide which I like it better for, so I'm not complaining too much. 
I absolutely love the butterfly print which is coming straight to retail to Black Rabbit Fabrics in November. There are so many colours featured in it that you really could pair it with almost any solid. Plus the quality is second to none with virtually no fading or pilling. I also love that the fabric is printed extra wide (68-70 inches versus the normal 58-60 inches wide). I can get a whole adult small romper out of just one meter which is unheardof!

Don't miss any of the stops along the tour:


Laura Hinze of Custom Made By Laura

Laurie Roberts of The Bear and the Pea Atelier

Patricia of Sew Far North

Livia of Liviality
Laurie Roberts of The Bear and the Pea Atelier

Friday 13 September 2019

Sew Long Summer Fall Mini Capsule

I cannot believe I managed to go an entire year without any blog posts! I think I blinked and an entire year passed by. To be fair, we did do an entire major house renovation in there so my sewing room was (and still is) mostly packed up. So here we are in September, the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder, and winter will be here soon in Alberta. Seriously, as I sit here it's 11 degrees Celsius outside (feels like 8). For those in the US, that's 51 and feels like 46. Brrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!
So, I bring you the perfect fall Mini Capsule for Miss 6 which includes 2 Cardigans, 2 tees, and 2 pairs of pants which all coordinate into many different outfit possibilities. This is the best back to school wardrobe as she can mix and match to her heart's content without fear of any fashion faux pas. Also - after we finished back to school shopping, she decided her new favorite colour is green so we NEEDED some green pieces.  
For the 2 cardigans, I made 2 similar styles from 2 different designers. The first (cream) cardigan is the Seville Cropped Cardigan from New Horizons Designs. I tested this pattern when it released and made it initially in a white cotton/lycra and it literally matched with every top/dress she owned at the time. I absolutely love how this pattern goes together and the fit is just perfect. As of posting date, this pattern is free using a code found in the New Horizons Designs Facebook group. I used a soft french terry I found locally at Marshall Fabrics in the remnant bin a few years ago. For the second cardigan (green), I made the Patterns for Pirates Butterfly Cardigan. It was my first time making this pattern and my only complaint is that the circle that goes around the main part of the top is made up of straight bands so it does not lay very flat as compared to the contoured bands on the Seville. I made the tunic length and went halfway between the short and tall bands. I made this out of bamboo french terry in "moss" found at Black Rabbit Fabrics. If you've never used bamboo french terry, you need to try it. It is my favorite fabric to use for fall/winter due to its beautiful drape and crazy softness.
For both tees, I used the Brynn top from Sew a Little Seam. There are so many options in this top that you can make many different looking tops with only having to print out one main pattern.  For the flower tee, I used a fat half (FH) of a light cotton/lycra swaffing bought locally through a destash. I made the front tie option with curved back and cap sleeves. I ended up having to cut two half back pieces due to having such a small piece of fabric but it all worked out. My daughter currently loves sloths so I also bought a FH of sloth fabric from Black Rabbit Fabrics. Luckily their fabric is extra wide so I had enough in the FH to make a long sleeve shirt and I didn't need to piece the back either! So for the Sloth top, I made the long sleeve option with curved back hem. 
The pants were a last minute addition to this mini capsule. I decided she needed extra warmer pants for fall/winter but none of our usual shops had RTW french terry leggings yet. So off I went to Marshall fabrics and found the light pink bamboo french terry and brown in a cotton french terry. (The pink matches closest to Mellow Rose and the brown matches closest to Rose Brown on my Black Rabbit Fabrics bamboo colour card). For the pink leggings, I used the leggings pattern included with the Shenanigans Skort from 5 out of 4 Patterns. I believe this is the same pattern or at least a similar pattern to the FREE Little Ninja Leggings. I made them extra long as my kiddo keeps growing out of the lengths of her pants long before they don't fit in the waist. For the brown pants, I finally used the Wild and Free lounge pants pattern by Coffee and Thread. I've been meaning to try these pants for ages and they were the perfect base to try out this moto hack I found since there is already separate front pattern pieces that break at the knee. I love how they turned out and I cannot wait to make myself some moto leggings.
All said, I absolutely love how this mini capsule turned out and I will definitely consider making more mini-capsules for future back to school sewing. What do you think? Have you ever done any capsule sewing for yourself or your kids?

Cheers! Michelle

We're kicking off the Sew Long Summer blog tour this week. We have some really fun and inspiring creations for you again this year.

Sew Long Summer is all about getting those transitional wardrobe pieces ready; finishing up all those things we meant to make this summer; and well, basically whatever Sew Long Summer means to you.
The full tour includes these talented sewists, so I hope you'll follow along and comment on their posts this week.

Sept. 9th Sewing A La Carte, mahlicadesigns, Sewing Vortex, Sewing With Sarah
Sept. 10th The Bear and Pea Atelier, Auschick Sews, Stitched by Jennie, Miss Marah Sewn Sept. 11th Sew Cute Couture by Kathy, A Rose Tinted World, mahlicadesigns
Sept. 12th Little Heart Threads, Lulu and Celeste, The Crafting Fiend, Fils Anddraps
Sept. 13th Petite Font, Sew 4 Five, The Sewing Scientist, Sew Cute Couture by Kathy, Kitty Makes It

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Poolside with WWD

Well, today is my turn on the Winterwear Designs Poolside Blog Tour. My stop on the tour is all about swimsuits, specifically girls one piece swimsuits. I love making swimsuits and have made many for my daughter in the last few years. Her favorite by far has been the one piece swimsuit I made her during testing for the Fly Girl racing suit last spring by Winterwear Designs. 

This year she is another year older, and while she is still as skinny as last year, she has sprouted up in height which means her favorite polka dotted swimsuit no longer fits. I found this incredible princess swim fabric on destash and thought it would be perfect to replace the beloved one piece. One of my favorite parts about sewing is making practical yet fun pieces for my girl.

I made a straight size 4 for this suit but ended up having to take in the sides of the bottom piece as the entire piece was way too saggy. I likely could have made her a size 3 width like last year and just added in some height. Regardless, the fit is great and it is a dream to swim in. No wedgies, no straps slipping down, and no wardrobe malfunctions.

Because of the sporty fit of this suit, my 5 year old does need some minor assistance getting it on and off. She loves this suit so much and I can honestly say that I will probably make a new one each year as she outgrows the last because it is such a perfect, practical suit for swimming lessons and pool swimming.

Thanks so much for reading. As always, check out some more of my projects on Instagram and don't forget to check out the rest of the tour!

Cheers! Michelle

Pull up a lounge chair and a cold drink, and don't miss a single stop on the Poolside Blog Tour:

Jackie Burney for Winter Wear Designs
Meriel of Elli and Nels



Diane of Sewing With D

Livia of Liviality
Patricia of Sew Far North
Laurie of The Bear and the Pea Atelier 

Congrats, you've made it to the end! There's also an incredible giveaway happening in the Winterwear Designs Facebook Group which you can check out here!

Tuesday 26 June 2018

Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Red Polka Dot Bikini

I do alot of fabric and strikeoff testing as part of a core group for Black Rabbit Fabrics, located in Penticton, Canada. When Yvonne asked if anyone wanted to sew up a swimsuit to show off the in stock swim fabric for summer, I literally jumped at the chance. I love sewing swimsuits. I need at least once new suit each summer. Last year I made myself an Agility Swimsuit from 5 out of 4 patterns (affiliate links) that I absolutely love and blogged about it here. My hubby is definitely not keen on the full coverage of that suit (as practical as it is) so I knew I wanted to try for a true bikini this year.
I have a love affair with Ohhh Lulu Patterns. I have made a number of bralette and undies using her patterns and have even blogged about a few of them. I decided it would be fun to try and adapt (mostly) free patterns in order to make this swimsuit. I used the Hyacinth Bralette and Celeste Panties to create this look. The bralette top and undies patterns are both free patterns but I did purchase a $6 Hyacinth expansion pack that comes with a variety of backs for the bralette. I was able to use the pattern pieces as is but did need to make a few adjustment to make these patterns into a swimsuit.
Once of the biggest complaints I've had so far with the swimsuits that I've made has been the lack of bra cups. Most RTW swimsuits seem to have built in or removable bra cups and I love the removable ones the most. I opted to make this suit compatible with the Lululemon bra cups that I already have on hand for other RTW tops I own.
For this top, I used the pattern pieces to cut out the swim fabric, I cut an extra front in swim lining (no need to line the back), and I also cut out an extra front out of a beautiful red power mesh that I found locally in the scrap bin. I sewed a line down the power mesh and liner to create two cup sides. I then only attached the tops and bottom of the power mesh and left the two sides open when sewing it all together so the removable cups could slide in and out. Instead of using a Fold over Elastic (FOE) which likely isn't very chlorine resistant, I opted for binding made of the same swim fabric. I like to cut mine 1.5" wide. I had to guess the length of the bands by measuing on an RTW racerback bra that fits well. When the top was done, I zigzagged up the racerback straps to have them attach a little higher.
I'm not going to lie, these bottoms are super low rise and super tiny. I didn't make any adjustment to the bottoms pattern other than to eliminate the seam at the bottom. I cut one continuous piece and also cut a full piece of swim liner so that the entire bottoms are lined. One of my biggest fears is a see through swim suit, so I try my absolute hardest to avoid that! I used swim elastic (80% of the opening) around the leg holes and top stitched. For the waist, I again used binding of the same swim fabric. I think if I were to make another pair of these bottoms, I would add a 3/8" seam allowance to the legs and add a band to the top rather than doing the binding just to add slightly more height and some stability.
All in all, I am in love with my new swimsuit. I cannot believe how quick and easy swimsuit sewing can be once you get used to sewing with a slippery fabric. I do have some polka dots left so i'm debating whether I need a matching rashguard or I may just use it to add a band to the bottom of the top and to the top of the bottoms to help with coverage and avoid any possible wardrobe malfunctions.

Thanks so much for reading until the end, now go make yourself a new swimsuit!

Cheers! Michelle
(as always come check me out on Instagram)

Monday, June 25: 
Tuesday, June 26: 
Wednesday, June 27: 
Thursday, June 28:
Friday, June 29: