Category Archives: Sewing

Days of wine and roses…

I’ve been wanting to do this for quite some time and finally got around to it.  I made a stuffed toy/pillow thing.  I didn’t follow any tutorials or use a pattern.  I just drew my shapes onto some paper to make stencils and went from there.  It’s not perfect.  There are some things I’ll change when I make another one but here it is all the same.

I wasn’t sure how much stuffing to use so I think he’s a bit under-stuffed. I have a couple of other animals in mind to try as well but first I’m going to make another owl. I drew out a different owl that’s smaller and fatter (which I like) so I want to try him next.

I see owls everywhere. They’re the “in” thing right now. There’s tons of softies, they’re on fabric, I even saw an owl paperweight thing at Chapters. I just used all the owls I’ve seen as my inspiration for this so I’m not claiming it’s original by any means, only that I drew the pattern myself and didn’t follow anyone’s instructions for making it.

I think I won’t be lazy next time and I’ll blanket stitch the face part on as well. I really am not a fan of felt but I couldn’t bring myself to make applique pieces out of fabric for my first go. Maybe next time. I know some people love felt but for me it just seems like something you use for kiddie crafts (not there’s anything wrong with kiddie crafts!) and I like to use materials that are a little more sophisticated. Plus I would think that if a child actually handled that the felt would start to tear and come apart fairly quickly. It’s not exactly a sturdy material. So yeah, eventually I’ll probably make the entire owl out of fabric though it is much easier to just use felt.

The front fabric is a heavier cotton, not quite canvas but a little heavier than normal quilting weight. The back of the owl is made out of fleece. I can’t explain why I wanted to make a stuffed owl but it’s been on my mind for many months. It turned out ok I think.

I keep eying the patterns at Oliver + S. I have to keep reminding myself that I don’t have a child and it makes no sense to spend that much on clothing patterns for children but damn they’re cute!

I’m trying to design a bag pattern but I’m scared to actually try making it in case it’s a total disaster. It’s not even a complicated design so I don’t know why I’m nervous about it. I really wanted a certain style of bag that I could make and sell and since I couldn’t find a pattern for that style that would also allow me to sell, I’ve got to come up with something myself. It’s definitely inspired by a few bags I’ve seen on other sites but however it all comes together will be my own. If I ever suck it up and make it, I’ll post photos. Unless it’s a disaster. Then I probably won’t.


Filed under Sewing

It’s only life, after all…

I’ve wanted to try screen printing for a very long time.  When I got interested in sewing I quickly became even more interested in the idea of printing on fabric.  Like a lot of things, I never really took the time to figure it out.  Recently I bought a Speedball screen printing kit from Michaels.  I’ve been eyeing that thing for well over a year and I finally thought, what am I waiting for?  So it’s been sitting on my desk waiting for that right moment when I decide to figure it all out.  I anticipate that this will be a kind of messy project so I’m waiting for an afternoon when I feel like I’ve got time to kill and won’t mind the mess.  I think that day is coming soon.

I’ve been sick, really sick, for about 3 weeks and I’m only now starting to feel better though I still sound terrible.  I can’t sing at all which is absolutely tragic for me.  Not that I have a nice singing voice, I don’t, but I do like to sing when I’m alone and I keep forgetting and trying to sing and nothing comes out but weird hoarse noises.   Somehow during the illness I managed to really, really hurt myself coughing.  I know it’s not a pulled muscle.  I’ve pulled muscles and they don’t feel like you’re being stabbed with a giant sword.  It’s meant that I can’t lay down properly, I can’t really reach above my head, basically it just hurts and because I’m unable to sleep and move around properly, my back has started to ache.  It feels a lot like when I tore my calf muscle only it’s in my ribcage area.  So, basically, I haven’t quite felt like myself for nearly a month now and while I’ve still been doing some sewing, I haven’t felt like going all out on a new craft or anything like that.

This year both my mother and I were sick during Chanukah so we postponed the family dinner that we always have and we’re going to have it Christmas day instead.  It’s always been a fairly dull day for me.  Nothing to do, none of my friends around, so I’m always glad when we decide to have a family dinner that day just because we can.  I’ve made gifts for my aunt and my father’s cousin who come over every year for Chanukah and for Thanksgiving.

Here’s their gifts:

The bigger bag is for my father’s cousin Rhoda. She kept hinting she wanted a bag like mine. The bag I use is actually the Highbrow Hobo pattern from U-Handbag. The bag I made for Rhoda is the Everything Bag. The main outer part of the bag is a cotton twill so it should be nice and sturdy.

My aunt Edie had seen the metal frame purses I was making and really liked them. I didn’t have anything made that suited her so I made the one in the photo for her. It’s actually made from a Japanese linen fabric and I really like the way it looks and how nicely it sits up on its own.

I have a few other things that I’d like to make. I won’t post about them because they’re gifts and, unlike Edie and Rhoda, the intended people who will receive them are online. There are several other sewing related projects I’d like to try. Different patterns and techniques and things. Now that I’m starting to feel more like myself I think I might actually get around to trying them. Of course I’m avoiding reality and the thought that eventually I won’t be able to spend my days in my sewing room because it’s where I’m happiest and ever since my best friend Kate moved happy has been a bit hard to come by.

I’m actually going away toward the end of the month. My friend Rachel is having a New Year’s eve party and I’m heading to Virginia to stay with her and her boyfriend for a few days. I’ve never been to Virginia but they seem to be getting a fair bit of snow while over here on the Atlantic coast of Canada, we’ve got none! Go figure.

I did buy myself another present. Awhile back I read on one of the blogs I follow that Silhouette was having a Cyber Monday sale on their Silhouette SD machines. It had been in the back of my mind for awhile that I might like to have one and when I saw the deal I figured, why not? I freely admit that I have impulse control issues. Anyway, I’ve got that thing and I’ve been having some fun with it. Originally I’d wanted it so that I could make some really interesting stencils but then once I got it I started making cards and things and I’m kind of excited about that. I’ve already used it tons so I know I didn’t make a mistake in getting it. I’d like to try glass etching at some point, that might be fine. Or a fun way to seriously injure myself!

Well, I think I’ll kick back and relax some more. The cocktail of pills (all legal, otc) I took to combat the pain has actually really helped but it’s also made me feel sluggish. It’s a good night to relax with some CSI, I think. Oh wait, that’s every night!


Filed under Crafts, Sewing

Long Live The Geek!

As I was jotting down fabric requirements to bring with me to the fabric store I realized that I was wasting my time and not using the wonderful nerdy resources at my finger tips.

I have this program called Bento. It’s amazing. I love it. Now, if you were inclined you could simply make spreadsheets but Bento has the bonus of being visually pleasing. It also exists as an app for the iPhone. So here’s what I’m in the process of doing.

I created a new Bento library. I called it “Sewing Patterns iPhone”. This library will be synced to my phone. I created a template that exists of a title of the pattern, the pattern designer, sizes (if relevant), the category (for example, handbag or baby shoes), a required materials list, a photo of the finished product and a section to write down any suggested materials.

The purpose of this library is so that I don’t need to jot things down on scrap paper. This way, if I’m in the fabric store and I want to make a certain item, I can just open Bento on my phone and look up what I need to make that pattern. The added bonus of having it on my phone is that I can see a photo of the finished product which at times is really helpful in deciding what materials I want to use.

I’ve downloaded many sewing apps but the problem is I don’t have the ease of adding the content via my laptop and simply syncing it up to put the information on my phone. Bento isn’t free of course but it’s worth every penny in my opinion. I took a couple of screen captures so I could share what it looks like.

Bento is really easy to use and fully customizable. It comes with several templates and the website has a section where you can browse and download many other user-submitted templates. I’ve submitted a couple in my time and I’m submitting this one as well. It’s a very simple template but it’s useful for me and I’m guessing probably will be for others as well.

Unfortunately for Windows users, Bento is strictly a Mac program as far as I know. That said, you can certainly use the iPhone version if you have an iPhone, you don’t need to have the desktop version, you just won’t be able to sync up with your computer.

This is what happens when a techno-geek is also a sewing-geek!


Filed under Organization, Sewing


I’ve finally started to list items in my Etsy shop. If you’re interested, please check it out.

I’m still in the process of listing items so keep checking back.

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Filed under Sewing

Whirlwind Weekend

The Botsford Bazaar has come and gone.  What a great weekend.  The event was really successful and I’m very excited to do it again next year.  For my part, being in my first ever craft fair, I had a wonderful time.  Definitely a learning experience as well.  I know I need to work on my booth set up and I made a few notes about some items I’ll make sure to carry next year.  That said, having people walk up to my booth and admire my stuff was a great feeling!  That people actually bought my stuff just blows my mind!  I think I was floating in the clouds the whole weekend.

We had a great bunch of people there and I met lots of new people that I hope I can continue to have contact with as well as having the pleasure of having my booth between two friends.

Here’s a photo of my booth on day 2.  Nothing fancy but it was mine!

I got lots of compliments on my business cards, on the logo itself and on my business name. That was pretty cool too. My logo was designed by Jon at Fighter Jet Studios. You can see the logo by going to

Here are some more photos from the event.

Iron Designs by Joel Sullivan

Apron by Michelle Claire Textiles

Shelley & Kylie

Meg & her handmade tags


Teensy Toes (Shelley's booth)

My friend Erin from Charmed Frog

For all of the photos, please see my Flickr album. Lastly, before I go, here’s where you can find those vendors online:
Charmed Frog
Teensy Toes
Michelle Claire Textiles
Iron Designs

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Filed under Craft Fairs, Sewing