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:

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Romp On Tour - Boho Style

When I found out the next Winterwear Designs Blog Tour would be Rompers, I think I literally jumped for joy. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE the romper I made last year (Also from WWD) found here. I was slightly skeptical the first time I wore it but it has become a staple in my weekend summer wardrobe. I even more it during our 40 degree celcius Disneyland Experience.

Fast forward to this year and I jumped at the chance to make a new Romper. I was originally going to make another version of the Riviera Romper but swtiched to the Boho Breeze at the last minute. I could not get over how gorgeous some of the other bloggers Boho's were turning out. The neckline is absolutely fabulous and I'm definitely keen to try this Romper dressed down with my Birkenstock's at the Saturday Farmer's market as I am to dress it up for date night with heels.

The Boho Breeze pattern is definitely a very versitile pattern to add to my collection, I was able to make a romper version with very short sleeves this time but there is also a dress option included with the pattern! I was also able to print, cut, and sew this pattern in approx 3 hours. I am not a fast sewer so do not be too alarmed, I tend to putter and take my time. I also skipped the gathering stitch requested when putting the top and bottom together as I was too lazy to drag up my sewing maching from the basement. Instead I just stretched to fit since I made the entire outfit in Cotton/Lycra (I was able to complete this entire pattern using my serger and coverstitch).

I am in love with the print that I used for this pattern. This custom print is a strikeoff called "Vintage Floral" from the Sweet Summer pre-order open until June 8th at Black Rabbit Fabrics. Amazingly enough, I was able to get an entire size small romper including pockets out of just 1 meter because this fabric is printed extra wide at 64". I wish I had measured the piece before I started cutting to be sure of the exact size.

As always, come check out my Instagram for more sewing adventures (and even some other outdoor craziness I keep finding myself getting in to!)

Cheers! Michelle

Disclaimer - I was given a copy of this pattern but all opinions are my own.

Don't miss any of the spectacular rompers
 on the Romp On Tour!!!





Monday, 12 March 2018

Breaking Ground with Emerald Erin

I absolutely love supporting Canadian Pattern Designers whenever possible. When I saw that Emerald Erin had just put out her very first two patterns, I just knew it would be a perfect fit for the Breaking Ground blog tour. 

I first heard of Emerald Erin during Canada Cups Blog Tour (an all Canadian Bra and Lingerie Making blog tour that I participated in a few years ago). She has a little storefront shop in Trenton, Ontario and focuses mostly on lingerie and swimsuit sewing supplies as well as hosts a bra making supply shop online. She is also an avid blogger and has many amazing lingerie making tutorials and how to's available on her blog

For these patterns, I used some gorgeous cotton/lycra strikeoff floral fabric from Black Rabbit Fabric available here for preorder until March 13, 2018. I paired it all with a bralette kit that I bought online through the Emerald Erin etsy shop. It got to me just in time to get my pattern sewn up.

For the Jordy Bralette Pattern, there are three variations included within the pattern. I made the Foam version which is what is recommended with stretch knits. It was my first time sewing with cut and sew foam and honestly it was super straight forward. My sewing machine usually has issues sewing with knits but with the foam attached, it made a beautifully stable surface to sew on.  I made one critical mistake when measuring which was to underestimate my cup size. FOLLOW THE PATTERN PEOPLE! Oops! Luckily, I absolutely love this and plan to make many many many more. I also have some leftover floral fabric as well as what I would need to make a set of bigger cups so I made do that as soon as I have some more sewing time.

My absolute favorite part of this bralette pattern is that there is proper bra sizes (cups and bands both) rather than the standard S/M/L. I am hoping that with a few more sewn up I can really get a good fit and bring what I always thought as the weekend bralette into the every day. There are so many options and fabric combo's available with this pattern that the possibilities are literally endless. Emerald Erin has also posted some gorgeous examples on her Instagram page.

For the Tuesday Boyshort there are two variations included. I made the solid front variation. These are incredibly comfortable boyshorts and I love that the seams of the gusset/lining are fully enclosed. I have never sewn undies with fold over elastic but Emerald Erin has the absolute best fold over elastic instructions included in the pattern. I will definitely be using this technique on some of my other underwear sewing patterns.

So what's next for Emerald Erin Patterns?! I have no idea, but i'm definitely sticking around to find out.

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of these patterns free of charge to sew up for the blog tour but clearly all thoughts and opinions are my own.

As Always, Come follow me on Instagram.

Welcome to the Breaking Ground Blog Tour 2018. This week over 20 bloggers are joining together to break new ground by trying a pattern designer that is new to them, try new techniques, new styles, or whatever way they want to push themselves. The Full Tour includes all these creatives... we hope you'll visit us each day: Monday March 12- mahlicadesigns, Sewing Vortex, Sewing A La Carte, Little Heart Threads, The Sewing Scientist Tuesday March 13- Musings of A Seamstress, A Custom Clothier, Octaves of Color, Aurora Design Fabrics, Sew Altered Style Wednesday March 14- Flaxfield Sewing, Chook n Duck, Tales of a Tester, Sewing By Ti, Sewing Vortex, Kathy's Kwilts and More Thursday March 15- Very Blissful, Manning the Machine, Sew and Tell Project, Musings of a Seamstress, Stitches by Laura Friday March 16- Lulu & Celeste, Tenille's Thread, Sewing A La Carte, The Bear and Pea Atelier, Aurora Design Fabrics, Sprouting Jube Jube, Kathy's Kwilts and More

To make the tour even more fun, our Breaking Ground blog team member, Gail is offering 2 patterns of choice from her pattern shop Flosstyle to one lucky winner.

Enter Here!

We'd love to see how you're Breaking Ground this month. Share with us what you're working on by using the hashtag #BreakingGround2018 across social media. Better yet, join the Sew Alongs & Sewing Contests facebook group to sew along with the Breaking Ground theme for the entire month of March. In the group you'll find support and encouragement for your projects and fun themed challenges.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Canada Cups - Coming Unwired

Another year..... another lingerie blog tour. At least that's kind of how it seems! This year for Canada cups we decided to focus on unwired lingerie like bralette's, nighties, and bodysuits. We also chose to stay local - so every pattern made for this tour was designed in CANADA! How cool is that?!

For my project, I elected to use 3 separate Ohhh Lulu patterns. The Romy Bra, the Ultimate Lace Panties, and the Celeste Panties patterns. If you remember back to last year, I also used mostly Ohhh Lulu patterns. My chest size is a 33 inch bust with a 29 inch underbust so I technically don't fit into the Ohhh Lulu sizing because i'm an inch too small. The Ohhh Lulu patterns are not layered so when you print out the pattern, all sizes are printed. I ended up drafting a small size by hand by following the sizing difference between the other sizes and i'm loving the fit of how it turned out! This is the 2nd bralette I've tried this one and both fit great so it definitely opens up the entire pattern lineup for me. You can see my first Brallette on Instagram here.

For these 3 pieces, I used a combination of cotton/lycra with a lace look that I got through a destash as well as some stretch lace that I found locally. I also used some white fold over elastic (FOE) and ligerie elastic. Part of the straps/loops and back piece were actually upcycled from an ill fitting bra that I could not wear anymore. I took a few phtos as I was sewing to show the process a little better...

I find bralette's to be incredibly comfortable. They are wonderful for wearing around the house with loungewear or under baggy sweatshirts.... I am personally a big fan of foam cups much of the time though due to the whole nipple issue (although i hear it's "in" to show them off these days). Sarah from Ohhh Lulu has instructions on her blog to add in a foam cups as well as to use cut and sew foam padding. I definitely see myself experimenting with these in the future to move my weekender bralette's into the every day rotation.

I have to say, sewing lingerie can be challenging at first, but once you get the hang of it, it is also a lot of fun. Plus, you might be able to sew too many tshirts, but you can never sew too many bra and underwear sets!

As always, go check out my other projects on Instagram

Cheers! Michelle

Tour Schedule

Hang with us as we reveal our inner secrets. ;)

// Please note that none of these post links are available before the scheduled date. If you click on one too early, you will get an Error 404: Page not found. You know about those, right? //

Sunday, October 15
Monday, October 16
Tuesday, October 17
Wednesday, October 18
Thursday, October 19
Friday, October 20
Saturday, October 21
Monday, October 23
  • Giveaway winners announced on all the blogs:
Little Heart Threads, Glitter in my Coffee, Michelle's Creations, Mrs. Weaver's Finest Unmentionables, Gracious Threads, Élégantine!, That's Sew Venice, Sprouting Jubejube, Flying by the Seam of my Pants, Filles à Maman

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Back to School with Gracious Threads

I am so excited to show off the outfit I made for the Back to School with Lulu and Celeste and Sprouting Jube Jube Productions! In case you haven't figured it out yet, Jess from Gracious Threads is local to me. Her Lazy Days lounge pants are one of the first PDF patterns that I purchased when I first started sewing clothing. The first pattern test I ever did was also for Gracious Threads when she re-released the Starfish Shorts a couple of years ago.When I saw that Gracious Threads was on the list of pattern designers for this Back to School blog tour, I just had to jump at it and make an entire outfit using her patterns!

Of course, we had to take that one step further and make a colour pallette and take photos of our kids together. Jess decided to sew for her 4 year old too so we got the kids together for photos, a tour of the dairy farm, and then for some playtime! For this tour I made 5 different pieces to create a Minnie Mouse inspired outfit. 4 clothing pieces from Gracious Threads and 1 lunchbag which I will show you below. For the clothing I made the Raindrop Tee, Henday Zip Up Hoodie, Lazy Days Lounge Pants, and the Puffin Vest

The vest is actually an upcycle from an adult vest and is full of down feathers! What a mess that project was. I'm planning a blog post entirely dedicated to how I upcycled the vest because i do have a few pointers for anyone wanting to take on that project. I made the tshirt and hoodie according to the patterns without any changes. For the pants I used this amazing stretch woven that I found in a clearance area for $3 per meter! My skinny mini probably needs a size 3 pants with size 4 length but I did a straight size 4 for her since I was using the woven. They are plenty big and should fit all fall/winter no problem. I used my coverstitch to put some fun detailing on the seams to make them more sporty.

I think it is officially fall in Alberta. On the drive out to Jess's farm my car was reading 6 degrees celcius, the leaves were starting to turn, and we saw some geese flying south. Needless to say, in Alberta, back to school means that Winter is fast approaching and the kids need long sleeves, pants, and lots of warm layers. (We've even already had snow but luckily it melted right away). The Henday Zip Hoodie paired with the Puffin Vest are perfect for fall layering. Jacket weather is fast approaching but I had to pack up my entire sewing room as we started house renovations so I didn't have time to make one. I absolutely love the Whale Softshell Jacket that Jess made for her little man (pictured below) and it will definitely be on my spring sewing list. 


We didn't get too many photos of the kids together. The kids were cold, shy, and getting two 4 year olds to pose together when they just met doesn't exactly lead to the best photos. Luckily we tend to go for the close-ups since we dont show any pictures of my daughter's face online. And how cute is that calf! During our tour of farm we found out this little girl is only a few days old! Go check out Jess's post for today to see all about her little man's outfit and to see a few more pics of the kids together.

I also got to test this pretty awesome Hobo Style Lunch Sak from Gingercake Patterns and Design. I used Insulbrite for the first time and really like how this bag all went together. I used a stiffer fabric that I already had on hand that I had bought for another project and then never completed so I didn't need any interfacing. For the liner I used the same ripstop from the Puffin Vest. Unfortunately I didn't
get any "modelled pictures" with the lunch sak because I forgot to bring it with us - but that's okay! This lunch sak is for me anyways. My little's food for pre-k and daycare is entirely supplied by the daycare facility. When she starts Kindergarten next year I will probably have to at least pack her a snack so I will get her to pick out her favorite character fabric and sew something she will adore! I started a new job the same day that school started here so I think I deserved a little something new!

I hope you enjoyed the post. As always check out some more projects on Instragram and also stay tooned for my post all about the vest upcycle - coming soon!

Cheers! Michelle

Monday, September 25, 2017
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Thursday, September 28, 2017
Friday, September 29, 2017