Project Fabric Fast

Hey Everyone! How are you? If you follow me on Instagram and have been watching my stories, you’ll know what’s coming. A fabric buying ban!! My stash has been growing and growing, and it’s really getting out of hand. I mean, I’m running out of places to put it! I have had a fairly substantial stash for quite sometime. It kind of started because I was buying a lot of fabric when we were away on trips. I mean have you ever gone fabric shopping in London - that place is dangerous! When I first started out there wasn’t very many places to buy good dressmaking fabrics, so whenever we went somewhere where there was fabric, I bought some and brought it home. Then of course more and more online shops opened and my collection just spiraled from there! (I’m looking at you Blackbird Fabrics, and you Threadbare Fabrics. LOL) In fact, if you listen to the Love to Sew podcast, you might remember Helen and Caroline mentioning my “collection” in one of their early episodes (I went back and looked, it’s episode 3). They brought me up becuase they both know about my giant stash, but also I was coincedentally on a fabric buying ban at that time. LOL. I was so incredibly flattered to be mentioned, and I was all about not feeling guilty about my stash, so I even called in and left a voice message about it too (found it on episode 7).

But that was 2 years ago now, and while I still don’t want to feel shame or guilt about my fabric stash, I am starting to. I have noticed that having so much fabric is starting to feel overwhelming, and it’s really starting to zap me of my creative energy. And that is not good!! I do not like feeling this way, so I want to do something about it. Now in all honesty, I probably need to be on a fabric buying ban for a solid year or two, but I don’t think that’s doable for me. So I decided that I’ll start off small for now. I have made it a month before, so I figure I should be fine doing 2 months. And why not do it for the summer, July and August.

I have been thinking about this for quite some time, but have always frozen up at the thought of mentioning it publicly. I mean once you put it out there, this goal of not buying fabric, then people might expect you to actually do it. Ha ha ha!! So as I often do, I chatted with my husband about it, and he was like, “I think you know what you need to do Heather. There is no reason you need to buy more fabric. You have lots!”. And he is so right. So I decided to announce this idea on Instagram, and now here on my blog.

I have noticed in myself, that I tend to stick to these kinds of challenges a lot better, and for a lot longer, with some accountability. So the other reason, I decided to bring it up on Instagram, was to see if anyone was feeling like maybe they were in the same boat. I was so excited to find out that yes indeed, a number of people are feeling the same way as me. I had over 20 people message me and tell me that they were in. They want to do this with me! Hooray for accountability partners!

So here is my proposal - no buying fabric for July and August. That’s going to be my goal. I am very confident that I have enough fabric to make pretty much any project I would want to sew over these next two months, so for me I think the real challenge will just be resisting the urge to bring home more beautiful fabrics. I seem to always want to add to my collection. LOL. I’m a bit of a magpie. I am going to allow myself to buy things like notions, interfacing, bias tape, or any of those types of things I don’t have in my stash but need for a project I am working on. I will not be hitting up sales looking for those things, just to stash, but will allow myself to buy if need be.

Anyway, I recognize that 8 weeks can be a long time, so if you are thinking of joining in, but don’t want to do the full 2 months, please feel free to adjust as you see fit. I think that each individual sewist is different, so having a different pledge makes sense. We all have different stashes, different sewing times, and different needs, so I encourage you to come up with your own challenge. For example, perhaps you want to make a goal of making 80% of all your sewing come from your stash fabric, or maybe you want to stop buying fabric from July 1st to August 10th when your vacation starts. Or maybe you vow not to buy any fabric unless you absolutely don’t have something that will fit with the project you are making, or there is something out there that you just cannot resist and you know will not be available when your fabric fast is over. Really, I think there are lots of different parameters out there, and I want you to chose something that will work for you, and that seems manageable. I am envisioning it to be like MeMadeMay, you can come up with your own pledge within the challenge.

The purpose for me, of involving other people in this challenge, is to provide some accountability for myself, but also to support other sewists with the same goal, and to have some fun with it. I really think there is strength in numbers, and sometimes announcing your goal to the public, or someone you know, can really help you to accomplish it. Sometimes just saying it out loud makes it real. I want this challenge to be fun and have it be about supporting each other. So there will be no judgments or policing. And if you (or I) fall of the wagon. That’s okay. You are welcome to jump back on at any time, or readjust your pledge as you see fit.

I had thought of trying to make it into a contest with some sort of prize at the end, but then I dedided: a) that would be incredibly hard to track and make fair, but more importantly b) this challenge is about acquiring less, so getting a prize at the end kind of defeats the purpose. 

Also, because this challenge is about community too, I came up with a couple of hashtags for us to use on social media. So the first one is #projectfabricfast, and the second one is #theseasonofthestash. I hope you guys will use them, and follow along with your progress. I’m shying away from calling this the summer of the stash, as I don’t want to exclude my friends living in the other hemisphere where it is winter, and I also like the hashtag using stash, because I figured, if you are another type of crafter, for example knitter, and you and to participate by whittling down your other craft supply stash, you can use this hashtag and join us too!

So, if you would like to join me in this challenge, and you want to make your intentions public, please feel free to comment here with your goal/pledge.

I’m so excited to be doing this with you!!

Also, stay tuned as I have another blog post planned with some tips for helping us get through this challenge. Ha ha!

Persephone Pants (Wearable?) Muslin

So I sat down the other day, wrote about 3/4’s of a full blog post about these Persephone Pants and then my browser crashed and I lost it all. Ugh I was mad! So mad that I couldn’t bring myself to come back to my computer for a couple of days. I thought I had my blogging platform set to autosave, but I guess not. Oh well, I hope this post will be as good as the one I erased.

By now I’m sure you’ve seen the cult favourite Persephone Pants somewhere on the internet. They are a super high waisted, wide leg, sailor inspired pant and short, with a super cool feature: no side seam. When I first saw this pattern by Anna Allen, I dismissed them. I didn’t think I’d be able to pull off such a high waisted pant, let alone a cropped wide leg, but as time went on, they grew on me. And then one day, I realized I was obsessed! I just kept thinking about them and dreaming up versions to make myself. So finally I decided I better just bite the bullet and give them a shot.

I was a little conflicted about which size to make as my hip measurement put me firmly in a size 10 but my waist measurement put me in a size 14. Side note: why is it you don’t see more tutorials about grading up from the hip? It seems like they are alway about grading in at the waist and out at the hip.

Anyway, I had read that a few people actually sized down so I decided to go with a size 12 in the waist with a size 10 everywhere else. This probably would have been okay if there were a side seam, but alas there was not. So these babies are pretty tight. Like I can really only stand in them, and they aren’t that comfortable doing that. They sit right under my bottom rib and the tightness doesn’t feel nice.

I did interface the waistband, and had I not done that then this pair might have had a better chance. But I don’t think the waistband is going to give at all.

I should mention that the fabric is a lovely, light green, cotton duck canvas from a new to me Canadian, online fabric shop, Matchpoint Fabrics. I was actually worried it would be too stiff to be comfortable but it softened up really nicely in the wash and if these fit better in the waist, I’m sure it would be lovely to wear.

I actually quite like the cropped wide leg of these pants, and I bet if I got the size right in the waist, I would wear them a ton. Sadly, I don’t think these will get much wear. But the nice thing is, that because of the no side seam feature, it should be really easy to use the fabric for something else. Like a bag or something maybe. We’ll see.

The construction was quite simple and the instructions were great. I had a bit of trouble with the fly, but I think that was all user error. I unpicked it and redid and it turned out fine, although I wish I had done my fly topstitching slight narrower. I skipped the cool hidden front pockets as this is my wearable muslin, and I’m lazy. Ha ha! I think the front crotch curve needs some work; maybe shortening a little, or straightening out a little? I still haven’t quite figured out the mysteries of the front crotch curve. LOL. And I probably need a little more room in the back thigh. I did scoop out the back crotch curve on this pair by about a 1/2” and I let out the back inseam as much as I could to get more room which left about a 1/4” seam allowance. So if I were to make these again, that would need some work. Oh I also shortened the legs by 2.5”.

So there you have it. I think this has cured my obsession, and I’m ready to dream about other patterns now. I think the best thing I can do is maybe hack my custom Dogwood Denim jeans pattern into something like this. What do you think?

Also, I just realized that I didn’t really ever blog about my custom jeans pattern? I definitely talked about it on Instagram last year (😬) when I got it, but I didn’t blog about it. Do you want to hear about that?

Also, I never really did a catch up when I came back to this space so you might be wondering about the 2 pugs lurking in my photos. Last November, we lost our sweet Jackie Boy, the last of our original grumble of 4 pugs. Even though he was 14 when he passed away, he had been in seemingly good health, so his sudden death was quite shocking. He had a debilitating seizure and we had to let him go. It was incredibly hard and I still don’t think my heart has recovered. I can’t even describe the depths of my loneliness having to be in a house without a pug (or multiple pugs). It was like grieving the whole lot of them all over again too. Anyway, John and I took some time to grieve, and then we took in a foster pug in January. Of course we immediately feel in love with him, and we decided to make Comet’s residence permanent. He’s about 7 years old, incredibly handsome, athletic, sweet, super affectionate, and we love him madly. (Comet is the black pug). Then in March we decided we were ready to expand, and we brought a little 4 month old pug home with us. His name is Archy, and he is such a character. (Archy is the fawn puppy.) He is a true pug through and through already, and he makes us laugh everyday. We couldn’t have asked for better puppy. Comet has adjusted really well to our new addition and is being a fantastic big brother. They’re getting along really well and bonding quickly. So there you go, a quick update in case you don’t follow me on Instagram, or just in case you missed a post or two there.

Hope you all are doing well!

Helen’s Closet Yanta Overalls

Hey Everybody! I’m back with another overalls post. I can’t seem to get enough of them lately and based on some recent pattern releases, and what I see in stores and on Instagram , neither can anyone else. LOL


I was lucky enough to be a pattern tester for Helen again, and when she sent me the line drawings and sample photos for the Yanta Overalls, I squealed with delight. They looked like the perfect combination of comfy and stylish. I believe she describes them as “artist overalls” which I just adore. I love that they aren’t overly fitted, yet aren’t shapeless and I especially love the back detail. I mean look at those straps and the cool triangle. It’s great! (You can still sort of see my chalk marks in the photo below. Oops!)


I made a straight size 12, which is my usual size in Helen’s Closet patterns. The only alterations I made to shorten the body by one inch at the crotch lengthen/shorten line, and then by another inch at the leg lengthen/shorten line. I think those adjustments worked out perfectly. I could probably take another inch out at the leg for a more cropped look, but I’m happy to cuff these if the weather ever warms up. ;) In some of these photos I’ve turned the hem up by one cuff.


The only major change made to this pattern during the testing process was to swap out the inseam pockets for front patch pockets. The inseam pockets look great when your hands are in them, but depending of the fabric you choose, they can look a little floppy or heavy as you can see in the photo below.


This really didn’t bother me in my version, but I can see how it might bug you, especially in a more fluid fabric. Speaking of fabric, I used Viscose Linen Slub from Blackbird Fabrics for these overalls, and I LOVE it. It’s such great fabric. It has great drape and feels really soft to wear like linen, but I find it doesn’t get as wrinkly. I actually have it in a couple more colours because I love it so much.


I should also mention, the instructions that go with this pattern are awesome! Helen does an excellent job with her illustrations and graphics, and her instructions are always chalk full of tips and tricks.

Can you tell I love this pattern? I imagine I’ll be wearing these a ton and I’ll probably make a couple more pairs too. I think a shorts version is in my future for sure! One other thing worth mentioning, my husband really isn’t into overalls or jumpsuits, but he really likes these. When I finished them, and showed him, I expected him to be like “meh”, but he was like, “hey, those are pretty cute!” So win win! Ha!

Hope you all are having a nice Spring so far (or Fall depending on your hemisphere)!

Burnside Bibs

Heeeellllooooooo Everyone!! How are you? So that was a blogging hiatus I didn’t really mean to take. But nonetheless, I am back, and with brand new pair of overalls to boot. These are the Burnside Bibs by Sew House 7. I’ve been eyeing this pattern since it came out, but was never sure if this style would work on me. After a lot of thought about overalls, I decided it was silly not to make myself some.


I have always been worried that overalls would make me look frumpy and childish, and yet I kept pining after them (not to mention collecting overall and dungaree patterns). So last year I finally bit the bullet and made myself some Roberts Collection dungarees, and I loved them so much I made 2 more sets (see here, here and here). And I have been steadily working through my collection of overall patterns ever since. I just love them! They make me feel good. I don’t get it really, maybe it’s because I had some amazing denim overalls that I wore all the time when I was in my very late teens/early twenties that I adored, and that I remember wearing in a lot of great memories. I don’t know, but whatever it is, I’m embracing it.

Anyway, back to the Burnside Bibs. This is a great pattern that comes with two bib options (a curved one and a straight one), two leg length options, and two fit options, one with a more fitted waist and an invisible zip (which is the version I made) or one with a more paperbag waist. I think these are quite a fashionable, almost sophisticated version of overalls, and they kind of have that chic art teacher vibe (which I love). The instructions included with this pattern were very thorough and clear (as long as you actually read them LOL), and the pdf went together smoothly.


I decided to go with version 1, with the curved bib and a cropped leg. Unfortunately, I misread the instructions and chose my size based solely on my hip measurement. Turns out, that is the direction for picking a size for version 2 (the looser waist version). So, I went with a size 10, when really, I probably should have taken my waist size into account and went with a size 12. Luckily, the seam allowance is 5/8”, so I was able to let the seam allowances out a little and get some extra room. They fit pretty well albeit a little snug around the belly, but if I make them again I will definitely go with a size 12. I also left out the invisible zip, because I let the side seams out so much, there really wasn’t enough seam allowance left to have a securely installed zip. That being said, I can JUST get these over my hips, which makes for interesting bathroom breaks. LOL. The invisible zip probably would have made things easier there. Ha!


I cut out the cropped view, and made no adjustments whatsoever, so I think the fit is pretty darn good. I wasn’t sure exactly where the cropped leg of the pant should land, so I took to instagram for advice. The general consensus was to have the cropped hem hit about 1 inch above the ankle bone. So that is what I went with and I am pretty happy. This required me cutting 2 inches off the bottom of the hem, so I’ll make that adjustment to the pattern piece next time. I think anywhere from 1 - 3 inches above the ankle bone is the right answer for crops, it’s just down to personal preference. I wore these for a full day and am quite happy with the length. I always like having a little ankle cleavage.

These are also giving me hope that I might actually be able to pull off the cult status pattern: the Persephone Pants. I sooooo want to make those, but I’m so worried they’ll look more clownish than fashionable on my short legs. LOL. But you gotta try, and I find as I get older, I’m more likely to embrace styles that I like, even if other people don’t think they look “flattering”. How do you feel about that? Do you wear styles that aren’t traditionally flattering? The Hubs does not like these at all. He’s warmed up to my other overalls, but he is not a fan of these at all. I think it might be the wide legs.

I’m also not 100% sure what tops to style these with but I think tanks will be great for summer (this little striped number is a Greenwood Tank).


Oh, I should also mention the fabric. This fabric is quite special because I bought it at the now closed Fabric Store in LA , when I went to meet Katie a couple years ago (the Fabric Store is still online and in Australia, but they closed their LA location). I got this and another piece of linen which I have been hoarding in my stash. It feels really good to get something made with it, and now every time I wear these I’ll think of Katie and that trip. Yay!

I should also mention, I felt motivated to sew these Burnside Bibs because of my friends Heidi, Meg, Teri, and Jessamy, and the #sewbibs challenge they put together. This is the last week, so I’m just squeaking in, but I had a lot of fun following along on Instagram. So much inspiration!

Anyway, hope you’re all well, and thanks for reading!

Sewing Meet-ups and Anxiety: I went to PR Weekend and Survived

So I haven't even started writing this post yet, and the sighs are already coming out. I have been planning to write this post for over a week now, and really struggling with exactly where to start with it. So I'll just start at the beginning. Lol

Back in February, while I was lying in bed with the flu, I got a message from one of my favourite sewing bloggers, Gillian. Gillian told me that she was speaking at PR Weekend in Ontario, and that she would really love it if I could come. First of all, I had no idea what PR Weekendwas and I had to look it up. LOL. And secondly, while I have always wanted to go to a sewing meet up, and I see them happening through instagram all the time, I've been mostly way too anxious to ever go. I am fairly introverted, and as I get older and start to realize more things about myself, I have noticed that socializing, especially with strangers really takes a lot out of me. I can do it, and sometimes I find it quite enjoyable, but it takes a lot out of me.  I also worry all the time. I worry about saying the wrong thing, about whether or not I have offended people and whether or not people will like me. It kind of sounds silly when I say it out loud, but the feelings are real, and they can sometimes be overwhelming. Sometimes it's easier to just stay in my little bubble where it's comfortable.

On top of all that, I have become a bit of a nervous traveller, which sounds kind of ridiculous because John and I travel quite frequently, and once I get to the place we're going to, I usually love it. But anyway, it's all stuff that I am working on, and I think it's really important to push myself out of my comfort zone sometimes, and build up some strength with experiences. I mean I'm never going to get better at something if I don't practice right? So after figuring out that PR Weekend is basically the website Pattern Review's, annual meet up and conference, I decided that I wanted to go. I also discovered that Stratford, where this year's weekend took place, is only about 30 minutes from where our middle son (Nick) is going to school. So perfect, John could come with me and visit with Nick while I went to Stratford. So I talked to John and we booked everything (along with tacking on a bit more travel to Montreal and to Halifax as well - go big or go home right?). I was a little nervous thinking about it, but I discovered that Helen and Caroline (who I have great online relationships with - and you might also know from the Love to Sew podcast) would be there, as well as my fellow Calgarian, Anya, who I had already met in person a couple of times. So that gave me some comfort - at least there would be some people I knew there. And I really, really wanted to be there to support Gillian.

To be perfectly honest, I knew I would be okay for day one of the weekend. Day one involved some great talks (Gillian's included), a pattern swap, a lunch and a dinner but it was all in the same place, and I told myself that worst case scenario, I could always escape back to my hotel room if I was feeling uncomfortable or not enjoying myself. It was day two that I was super nervous about. Day two involved travelling by bus to a town about 1.5 hours away, and then spending the day in that town shopping around, finding lunch, and then returning on the bus. I was super freaked out about the bus ride. Basically, my bladder is about the size of a walnut (and when I'm nervous, it's even smaller) and I'm not really great with car travel when I don't know exactly where I'm going, and where the pitstops are. Plus the idea of being cooped up on a bus wasn't very appealing. But I convinced myself, that the PR crowd is pretty much all women, and mature women at that, so I figured we would probably be in a coach style bus with comfy seats, air-conditioning and a bathroom, which would make it all bearable. I also thought, that absolute worst case scenario, I could just opt out of the second day. Which is probably what I should have done, but more on that later.

Here are some pics from the first day. It really was a lot of fun. I met some great people and actually enjoyed the socializing. It's really amazing to be in a room filled with people who are just as passionate about sewing as you are. It was really cool to chat with people about the outfits they were wearing and things they were making. I got to meet the mother-daughter duo behind Jalie Patterns, and chat with them about their new collection (and buy a ton of their new patterns LOL).  A couple of people even came up to me and told me they recognized me from my blog and instagram. That blew me away! 

This is me, and Diane. Diane and I have had lots of interactions on Instagram, but I didn't recognize her until she told me her instagram name. What a world we live in?

This is me, and Diane. Diane and I have had lots of interactions on Instagram, but I didn't recognize her until she told me her instagram name. What a world we live in?

This is me and Anya. Anya is so lovely and incredibly funny. When you're around her, you immediately feel at ease.  Not to mention she is an incredibly talented sewist. I am so lucky to have her in my hometown (when I'm there) and I look forward to hanging out with her more.

This is me and Anya. Anya is so lovely and incredibly funny. When you're around her, you immediately feel at ease.  Not to mention she is an incredibly talented sewist. I am so lucky to have her in my hometown (when I'm there) and I look forward to hanging out with her more.

And here I am with Caroline. Caroline and I have been emailing back and forth for forever and she is just the sweetest friend. It was so amazing to finally meet her in person, and someday I'll get to Vancouver and hopefully get to sew with her too!

Me and Gillian. Gillian has been a huge inspiration to me ever since I started sewing and found sewing blogs. I love her style and her attitude. She is incredibly supportive and her smile lights up a room. She was so fun to hang out with, and I know if we lived closer together, we'd hang out all the time.

Here is Gillian during her talk about photography. It was excellent, and if you haven't already, you should check out her  Better Pictures Project  on her blog. Sooo much good information.

Here is Gillian during her talk about photography. It was excellent, and if you haven't already, you should check out her Better Pictures Project on her blog. Sooo much good information.

This is me and Lori. During Gillian's talk, she asked us to pull out our phones and take a selfie. Lori was right beside me, so we did it together. Lori is so friendly, and I loved that when I looked over at her during some of the talks, she was knitting. She is also one half of the duo, the Clothes Making Mavens, which is another fantastic sewing podcast.

I kept missing selfie opportunities with Helen, but I did get this one. Helen is amazing - she is incredibly talented, really grounded, and she is super fun to talk to. You guys probably know that I am a pattern tester for her, and she is so awesome to work with. I'm wearing my York Pinafore which she designed, in all of these photos. 

This photo was taken after the break on the first day. We did a costume change because after dinner, they were planning to judge the optional camp shirt and pj contest. Spoiler alert, I didn't win, but Anya won the camp shirt contest. 

I feel like this photo encapsulates Gillian and my personalities so well.

So this brings us to the dreaded day two. Ha ha! I had asked one of the PR organizers on day one, what to expect in terms of buses for day 2, and I was surprised to find out that they had rented school buses. Plain, old fashioned, yellow school buses. I found that quite crazy especially because it had been so hot in Stratford, and this was a group of women, not children. Anyway, I understand organizing something like this takes a ton of effort and I also know that school buses are probably cheaper. Anyway, I wasn't the only one not looking forward to school buses. Ha ha! Gillian, Anya, Helen, Caroline and I all decided it would be better to go in a car. And we bumped into Helena and Lori in the hotel lobby, who also decided to take their own car. 

This is from left to right, Anya, Gillian, Caroline, Lori, Helen, me, and Helena (the other half of the Clothes Making Mavens duo). This is us just before we left the hotel on day 2.

I should mention here, that I had not gotten much sleep during the night, I had eaten way too much sugar, and I was a bit hopped up on excitement and nervousness. But all things considered, I didn't feel to badly. Anyway, we all hopped into Caroline & Helen's car, and it wouldn't start right away, I'm not sure why, but it did end up starting in the end. But this made us all feel a bit wary of getting stuck somewhere, so we decided to go in Anya's little rental car instead.

We had planned to eat breakfast in Stratford, but the restaurant we wanted to go to was packed and the wait looked huge, so we grabbed a coffee and then were on our way. Oh, and this had been another factor for me throughout the weekend, I wasn't eating enough - I'm currently on a pretty strict elimination diet, so I'm not eating eggs, dairy, or gluten, among other things - and my plan is to be on it for at least a year, so I couldn't just go off of it for the weekend. I hate being such a pain in the butt when it comes to food (or anything really) and I was lucky that there were some gluten free options at the included meals, but staying away from eggs and dairy on top of gluten is really tough. So anyway, I had mostly been eating granola bars I had brought, coffee and some candy that Helen and Caroline brought (Sour Patch Kids? Yes please!).

Anyway back to the story, I was in the back of the car between Helen and Caroline, and I started to feel a little uneasy, but I figured I'd take a few deep breaths and be okay once we got going. So I did, but then I started to feel a little claustrophobic, and then it seemed like we were driving way out into the country, not on the main highway, and I started to feel more anxious. I had looked at the route on my phone before we left and I thought we would be on the main highway, which has lots of gas stations and places to stop (which was how I was reassuring myself about the drive), so when we seemed to get off that route, I started to feel even more anxious. Of course, we all had our phones and a car GPS, so we weren't ever going to get completely lost, but anxiety isn't rational - fear isn't rational. Anyway, I'm sure my breathing must have changed a bit, because Caroline looked over at me with concern, and said are you okay? And that was enough for the flood gates to open. The tears came out, and I couldn't stop them, and then it became a vicious circle.  I was crying because of my anxiety, and because I was feeling trapped in the car, and then crying even more because I hate causing a scene, and then crying more because I was embarrassed and I felt like I was ruining everything and crying more because I'm 38 years old and I should be able to sit in a car for an hour and a half without having a panic attack. Then on top of that, I had to pee and my stomach started gurgling. It was not fun! But luckily, the car that I was in was full of amazing, caring and understanding women, (thank you again Helen, Caroline, Gillian and Anya!) and they took really good care of me. They made a bunch of stops, gave me lots of hugs and reassurance, and then helped me make a plan to get into a better space. It was really incredible actually. So what ended up happening, was, the ladies got the GPS reprogrammed to go off the planned route, and go to Waterloo which wasn't very far, and I texted John and Nick to come and pick me up at a Tim Horton's near the highway. I didn't feel really good about missing out on the day, but at this point, I knew that I wouldn't be able to calm down if I stayed in the car, and I also didn't want the rest of the group to spend the day worrying about me. And even now, I know it was the right decision. All the ladies were really great and texted me later in the day to tell me they still loved me, and to check on me, and that really meant a lot. I was sad to have missed out on the fabric shopping (and more camaraderie), but I think we all know I have more than enough fabric, so that wasn't the end of the world either.

You might wondering why I would share all of this. Well, a few reasons really. I feel like it's really important to be honest about who I am - I mean it can't be all sunshine and rainbows all the time. And, I really think that I am probably not alone in my struggles with anxiety. I was pretty embarrassed at the time, but I'm human, and I cry, and I have anxiety; it's part of who I am. I think that it's important to talk about our feelings and experiences, and also mental illness of all varieties. It's important to be open about not only our successes but also our struggles and imperfections. I mean we're all human and we all go through similar experiences, no matter how unique we think we are. I know I take great comfort in knowing I'm not alone, and when I read about someone else having similar experiences to mine, I feel less alone. I am a huge worrier, and that's one of the reasons why I love sewing. It really grounds me in the moment and keeps me present, so I can imagine there are other people out there sewing/knitting/crafting/arting for the same reasons.

So, do I regret pushing myself and going to PR Weekend? Absolutely not! I had a really great day that first day, and I learned a lot about myself on the second day. I wanted to go to support Gillian during her talk, and I did that. I am also proud of myself for not hiding my true self, and for being vulnerable. Would I go to PR Weekend or something similar, again? Yes! I know now some things I could do next time, to help make it better/easier for me, but I also know that I can do it. And I feel like I made some really true friends through all of this (hopefully, they feel the same way). So moral of the story, if you push yourself to go to a sewing meet up (if that's important to you), and your worst case scenario happens, it can still be okay - it's okay to be vulnerable, and to be yourself. Plus, this just gave me more evidence that sewing people are the best people. ;)

So there you go, if you made it through this super long post, thank you so much! I hope you aren't thinking, boy that Heather is a complete basket case, but if you are, that's okay too. Now you know. Ha ha ha! If you've had similar thoughts or experiences and you want to share, please do in the comments, or if you don't want to share publicly, feel free to send me an email. 

As always, thanks for reading, and I hope to be back here again soon!



Dogwood Denim Apron & A Giveaway!

Hey Everybody! How are you? I'm back in Calgary and starting to get settled in. This week has been a bit of a whirlwind with packing up, travelling, unpacking, and catching up on things at home. Anyway, the weather is starting to warm up so it's all good. 

I have a bit of a different post for you today, because I didn't actually make this apron, but I've sure had a blast using it. Ha! A few weeks ago, my friend Alina (from Dogwood Denim), asked me if I would like to try out one of her denim sewing aprons and review it on my blog. And you know me, it's hard to turn down anything denim. 😜

*Disclaimer: Alina did send me this apron for free, but as always, I promise to give you an honest review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

First lets talk about the details. This sewing apron comes in 4 different colours, and I chose medium blue. I'm a sucker for a nice medium blue denim. This is a 12 oz, raw denim, and it's the perfect weight for an apron. The backing, and lining of the pockets, is made from an organic cotton twill, which helps keep the apron soft and not too heavy. 

The first thing I noticed about this apron when I pulled it out of the package, was it's precise construction, and secondly, it's sturdiness. And it has so many great pockets! The belt is adjustable and it has a heavy duty plastic buckle, which makes it easy to get on and off.


I've had that little Frida button (it's by Mindy Lacefield) on my table for a long time, it just seemed right to add it to my apron. 


As you can see, I have had no problem filling up the pockets with all my trusty tools. Alina told me that this apron was actually born when she was at one of the Fashion Incubator Boot Camps  she attends (essentially, she goes and works in a factory and learns the ins and outs of clothing construction and manufacturing). She needed a sturdy apron that would hold all her tools, and allow her to easily move around the factory. Alina created this design, and it wasn't too long before everyone in her camp wanted one, so she decided to start selling them on her website. 


Anyway, I don't know about you guys, but my "sewing" room is set up so I have to move around quite a bit, from machine to table to ironing board and back again, and I'm constantly leaving my tools everywhere. This apron makes it so nice having everything right at my finger tips. When I first got it, I was worried that I might not use it, but honestly, it's so handy! And now that I've been wearing it while I sew, I'm not sure I'll be able to go back. 


Here I am in action. Seriously, it's so nice to have everything in one place, and I always lose my rotary cutter or my seam gauge underneath fabric scraps or pattern pieces, so it's nice to have easy access to everything.


In these photos, I'm wearing jeans, but often I sew in my pyjamas or leggings which don't have pockets, so this apron really helps me out then too. And if you look closely, you'll see it's getting some wear, as I've already dribbled coffee on it, so it saves my clothes too. 


So I've talked a little bit about Alina and Dogwood Denim before, but I had a great phone conversation with Alina just before she sent me this apron, so I feel like I can share a little more about what she does now. Dogwood Denim was born out of Alina's love for jeans, and not being able to find a great fitting pair.  Not only has she had her own struggles finding nice jeans to fit her body, she's watched several of her friends go through the same thing. I think as sewists, we can all relate to that. Anyway, her goal is to make women a great fitting pair of jeans, out of high quality, sustainable (and possibly organic) denim, that will last. She is about to start taking orders for custom jeans, and she is hoping that once she has a good sample of women's bodies, that she'll be able to come up with a few great fitting styles that she can then make and sell, along with her custom fitting. Doesn't that sound awesome? Anyway, if you are interested in having a custom pair of jeans made just for you, head over to the contact page of her website and message her.

And in the meantime, Alina has kindly offered to give away one of her fantastic aprons to one of you lovely readers. The winner will be chosen by random draw, and to enter, simply leave a comment here, or head on over to Instagram and follow Dogwood Denim. There will be a post there too with the giveaway details, and if you would like extra entries, just tag a friend under the post. The contest closes Sunday November 19th at midnight MST.

Blackbird Sewing Club

Hey Everybody! Finally, I'm back with some current sewing!! Woo hoo! And as you can see, I'm also here with some snow and cold weather. I took these photos on Sunday at the Lake, as we drove back to Calgary on Monday for the winter. I cannot believe how much snow we left in BC, and how much we came home to in Calgary. It's kind of crazy, and it's cold!! I'm just not ready for this! I was just settling into fall.

Anyway, this is a collaboration post of sorts. A couple months ago, Gillian (from Craftin' A Rainbow and the Sewcialists) and Margo (from Creating in the Gap) and I were chatting on Instagram, and we thought it would be cool if we all sewed a garment from the same fabric, and then shared it on our blogs and Instagram at the same time.  And to make it even better, we thought because we're all Canadian, why not get our fabric from our a Canadian store. 

Of course, Blackbird Fabrics was the answer. If you've followed me for even a short time, you already know that Blackbird Fabrics is one of my all time favourite shops. Caroline (the owner)  really has a great eye, and a fantasticly curated selection of gorgeous fabrics, and with free shipping in Canada when you spend $100, how can you not shop there? I mean for us Canadians, with a terribly weak dollar, and horrendous shipping costs (not to mention customs and duties fees) when you shop from the States, Blackbird Fabrics is a no brainer.

So, then came the hard part: choosing a fabric. Being the indecisive person that I am, I was no help. So we decided to contact Caroline and see if she had any suggestion for us, and not only did she agree to choose a fabric for the three of us, she sent us each 2m for free. How awesome is that? She kept it a secret from us, and sent us each a mystery package. It was so fun to open the surprise package, and find this gorgeous double knit inside. It was love at first sight. Plus it feels amazing too.

Originally, I was thinking of making some sort of dress, although I really didn't have a pattern in mind, but when I showed it to John, he was like, "you need to make a sweatshirt out of that! Something you'll wear all the time, because that fabric is beautiful". So naturally, I went back to my TNT Hey June Halifax Hoodie. I just love this pattern, and because of the lovely drape this double knit fabric has, I knew it would be perfect for the cowl neck.

This sweatshirt is my new favourite thing. It's so warm and snuggly, and I love the colours so much!! Plus every time I look at it, I'll think of Gillian and Margo, and that makes me happy. Sewing friends are the best!  Sadly, this fabric is already sold out. Blackbird Fabrics is definitely one of those shops where when you see something you love, you need to jump on it right away, because things sell out fast. I was shocked at how quickly both colorways of this fabric sold out (well not really, because I know how amazing it really is. Ha ha!). Anyway, I hope you'll check out both Margo's and Gillian's blogs for their posts, and if you are looking for more details about how I sewed this pattern, see this post or this post).

Hope you all are enjoying your November so far!

Hey June Cheyenne

Hey Everybody! I'm back with some more old photos, and some seemingly old makes. I guess they're not that old, but January for the jeans, and April for the shirt seems like sooooo long ago.

So I've already talked about the jeans, but I'll go over the details of these ones quickly. These are the Itch to Stitch Liana Stretch jeans again with the skinny leg in a size 8.  I didn't make any alterations to these ones, except to change the back pocket. I stole the pocket piece out of my Angela Wolfe Angel Jeans pattern, as I really like that pocket (it's a bit bigger that the Liana jean pocket). This black denim came from Threadbare Fabrics, and unfortunately it's sold out. It's a really nice denim, and probably the blackest denim, I've sewn with yet. So there you go, those are the jeans. ;)

Now, onto the Hey June Cheyenne Tunic. After my great succes with the Halifax Hoodie pattern, I was anxious to try the Cheyenne Tunic. This pattern comes with two veiws, but as you probably know, I'm a sucker for a collared shirt, so I went for the traditional view A.

Based on the size chart I fall into a size Large, but I thought based on the finished measurements, that might be a bit too big/oversized for me. So I compared the pieces to my Sewaholic Granville pieces and decided the Medium would be fine, and I was right. I think the large would have definitely been to big in the shoulders.

I ended up shortening the sleeves by 2', but I left the body at the regular length. This length is perfect for tucking in, but I think next time I might make it slightly shorter if I want to leave it untucked.

I'm super happy with how this shirt turned out. The pattern instructions are fantastic, and if you've never made a button up shirt before, this would be a fantastic pattern to start with. This flannel fabric is also from Threadbare Fabrics, and I just love it. The only thing to be aware of, is that it shrinks!! ALL flannel shrinks, so it would be a good idea to give it a couple of runs through the washer and a hot dryer before you sew.

I love the pockets and cuffs on this pattern, and the tower placket on the sleeve is great! It's also worth noting that the collar on this shirt is quite a bit bigger than the Grainline Archer or the Sewaholic Granville. I actually quite like it, but it took a bit of getting used to. ;) I think the fit is right in between the Granville and Archer. The Archer is quite boxy, while the Granville is quite fitted, so the Cheyenne is a happy medium. This is all dependent on which size you choose though.

So there you go, another post on the books. Hopefully I'll get to some more recent makes soon, but as it's snowing here today, at least this one is seasonably appropriate. 😜