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

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Sew Long Summer Metro Hoodie Review

I want to introduce you to my FAVORITE hoodie. (well technically it's a pullover because it has both an option of a hood as well as a cowl, but you get the idea...) I was planning to review the hoodie here for the SewLong Summer Blog Tour but honestly, the Metro Pullover is well drafted like all SS&G patterns, I love all the options, and i've made a tonne of them... so instead, I present you my Metro timeline.

I pattern tested the Adult Metro Pullover from Sew Straight and Gather back in December 2015. I absolutely love the first cowl version that I made out of birch organic interlock and a soft cotton lycra french terry. Since it was almost Christmas, I decided to give that version to my soon to be sister in law. I love how the pattern test turned out and I even managed to get a pic featured in the pattern!

Well, I was pretty sad to give away my first version so I splurged and bought some gorgeous soft bamboo french terry in a deep purple and light grey from my favorite local fabric shop - Marshall Fabrics.  I made up this version pretty quickly after Christmas (my Instagram post is Dated Jan 3, 2016). I absolutely love this version and still wear it. Often.

Fast forward to a fabric strikeoff from Black Rabbit Fabrics. When this strikeoff arrived, it was just asking to be made into a Metro Hoodie. Since I hadn't yet made the hooded version I decided it was time to make myself one. Unfortunately I used a lower quality solid french terry that I bought at fabricland for this once since it was all that I had on hand and there really wasn't any stretch to it. It knew it would fit my soon to be sister in law better than me so she got yet another Metro for Christmas. Incidently, I love these wintery sunny photos!

Next up I decided to try my hand at the kid's Metro. I actually bought it at the time it was released since it was 50% off (The kid's release coincided with the adult release). Fast forward to December 25th of 2016 and I finally got one made. I did an unlined hood with a binding around the opening. This Sky hoodie was waiting under the tree for a Sky obsessed 3 year old to open up! I also made the superhero one below. in March 2017 This one was a birthday gift for a dear little boy who turned 6!

Lastly (and most recently) I made another Metro Hoodie for myself. This one was made in a gorgeous wintery cotton lycra strikeoff again from Black Rabbit Fabrics. I paired it with a navy solid and left off the pleat in the back (on accident but luckily it all worked out)

So in summary, 6 Metros's (4 Ladies and 2 Kids), 4 different fabric types (organic interlock, cotton lycra french terry, cotton lycra, and bamboo french terry) and 1 very satisfied customer.

Go grab it, what are you waiting for?

Cheers! Michelle
(As always, come check me out on IG)

Check out the Sew Long Summer blog tour lineup!!!

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Sew Swimwear - Supermom Swimsuit

I jumped at the chance to join the Lulu and Celeste Sprouting Jube Jube Productions Swimsuit Edition Blog Tour. (Wow, That's a mouthful!!!) I sewed up this amazing floral stripe swimsuit using a swim strikeoff from Black Rabbit Fabrics back in March (AKA very much still winter in Edmonton) but have yet to blog all about it. As of today there's even some of this swim knit left on the BRF website! Black Rabbit Fabrics is also currently celebrating 3000 members in their facebook group. Enter the 3000 member giveaway here.

When I saw this gorgeous floral stripe strikeoff, I just knew it had to be turned in to my very first Agility Tank. I actually won the Agility Tank pattern from 5 out of 4 Patterns (affl. link) awhile back but with my very tight testing schedule had not made one yet. I brought my strikeoff with me to my local gem sewing store Marshall Fabrics to look through their solids to find one that matched. They didn't have just the right blue to match with the stripe so I decided on a bright neon coral colour instead.

The Agility Tank Pattern went together beautifully. I used the strappy back version with the lower arm cut for the overlay. I also did the drawstring around the bottom which I love because I can make it tighter for when i'm in the water so the overlay doesn't float up. I have had alot of questions about sewing with swim knit and how tough it is. I probably wouldn't suggest this pattern in swim knit for a total beginner but it is definitely doable for someone who is comfortable with sewing knit binding and who has sewn with swim knit before. If you're used to sewing with cotton lycra, you will probably find swim knits to be quite slippery. It does take some getting used to but the end result of a few practice suits is totally worth it!

For my swim bottoms, I decided to make them reversible. I used the free Celeste Panties from Ohhh Lulu as a base pattern with a few modifications. I had to add seam allowance to both legs as they are finished with stretch lace in the original free pattern. For the full construction of these bottoms I was able to follow along with the instructions on the Ultimate Bikini Bottoms from 5 out of 4 Patterns. I highly recommend that pattern as a starting point for bikini bottoms especially if you want to learn how to make them reversible. I didn't use a swim liner with these bottoms since I had 2 layers of swim knit. In the future, if I have a lighter print and a darker solid, I would probably add a layer of lining in between so that solid doesn't show through quite as much.

 What do you think? Which way do they look best? Which way would you wear the bottoms? Please feel free to leave me some comments to let me know your thoughts!

Cheers! Michelle
PS As always check me out on instagram for more pics

Monday, June 26
Tuesday, June 27
Wednesday, June 28
Thursday, June 29
Friday, June 30

Enter friday's Contest:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Two ways to enter: Enter the Grand Prize Rafflecopter, and/or post a swimwear item you’ve sewn on Instagram. Readers can enter more than once on Instagram but must use a different photo/different sewn swim item per entry. (Ie. multiple photos of the same outfit only count as one entry). Items allowed: swimsuits and swim coverups for the entire family (women, men, children). To enter on IG: Post your photo and use the hashtag #TheSwimsuitEditionTour and tag @luluandceleste and @debzaleski in your post. Items can only have been sewn since the beginning of June 2017. Closes July 2nd 11:59pm EDT.
 Prize: Phat Quarters $25(USD) gift card + Boo Designs $100(AUD) gift card + Sewing by Ti -$20(USD) gift card + Made by Jack's Mum - swim pdf pattern bundle

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 12 June 2017

Sew What Do I Wear - Sunshine Vacation

Well there's nothing like leaving things until the last minute and getting this post up when i am literally ON vacation. I always have all these great plans to get my projects sewn up early and my posts done with time to spare but as you all know I tend to procrastinate and think I have more time than I really do. Hence, finishing sewing and writing this the day before leaving on vacation. I still need to finish laundry and pack!

So sit back, read on, and enjoy a mimosa, fruity summer beer, mojito, sangria, or your own drink of choice!

The weather in Alberta has been pretty all over the place so far this summer. We've had unseasonably hot weather and also unseasonably cold weather. Hubby and I were supposed to be climbing a mountain this weekend but it had to be postponed (at our guide's recommendation) due to crazy cold temperatures at the higher elevations.

And here is my Crossover Sunshine dress! I love all the dresses available in the Patterns for Pirates collection but I decided that I really wanted a dress with pockets and love the look of this cross over front with the gathered sides. There are 3 different bodice options, 3 different skirt lengths, and 2 different skirt looks meaning endless (okay 18) different options.

For this blog tour I decided I wanted to use my gorgeous boats border print that I found at my gem local sewing shop Marshall Fabrics. I have gotten so many great finds there! The panel/print was exactly 0.8m which is just under a yard. I knew it would make a great longer skirt portion of a dress. There wasn't quite enough fabric to make a maxi length dress so i'm coining this an "ankle length" dress. 

I am pumped to wear this dress all summer long. I used a birch organic cotton lycra for the upper portion and pockets. I like the structure and compression that this fabric brings. For the bottom, the border print is a nice rayon lycra with 4 way stretch. In the future I would love to make another Sunshine dress in a buttery soft bamboo lycra knit similar to the fabric used here in my romper.

When we head to LA in October I can guarantee this dress will be at the top of my pack list. I feel like it is dressy enough to wear out to a nice dinner, but casual enough to wear on the beach. Oh and check out those pockets!!! I can also wear my new dress to work with a cardigan and have somewhere to put my work ID/Pager/Coffee Money. Score!

As always, check out my other posts or follow me on Instagram.

Cheers! Michelle