The Christmas Sewing Post (Better Late than Never)

Hi Guys! Me again! Can you believe it? I'm on a roll! I know Christmas seems like it was ages ago now, but I thought I would share a few of my Christmas makes with you.

My Dad loves to wear sweatshirts, and he used to buy these great ones at Mark's Work Wearhouse (I'm dating myself because I guess they just go by "Mark's" now) all the time, but recently, he's been complaining that they aren't the same and that it's getting harder and harder to find the style he likes. So when I spotted this Kwik Sew pattern, I knew he would really dig it. I wish I had gotten a photo of him wearing it, but I forgot when he tried it on for me. Anyway, he has worn it a ton (which my sister has attested to), and phoned me a number of times to rave about it and ask how he can get more. LOL The fabric is a "Roots" sweatshirt fleece I picked up at my local Fabricland and the ribbing is the closest I could find on the shelf near by. Why is sweatshirt fleece and matching ribbing so hard to find?

I decided to cut out at little triangle detail because I've seen it on lots of RTW. I interfaced the little triangle piece and then just zigzagged it on. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Sorry that I don't have a better photo of it, but it looks really good in real life. 

The rest of the Christmas sewing is centred around the boys (my stepsons - I guess they are more men now than boys. Ha!). Last year I made them matching map shirts and they loved them. So early last year, I started hunting for more fun novelty fabric.  When I spotted this cool galaxy print at, I thought it would be perfect.


I used McCall's 6044 again, only this time I went down to a size medium. Last year the boys complained that the shirts were a bit too roomy. So for two of them I went with a Medium but sewed everything a 1/2" seam allowance (except the collar and button bands) instead of a 5/8", and then the other one is just a straight medium. I think it worked out pretty well, and they all seemed happier with the fit. 

Because I had so much fun making these shirts for the boys last year, I decide to make them each an individual one as well. John actually picked all these fabrics out with me when we were at Thread & Paper in Salmon Arm during the summer. They are all really nice quilting cottons which seem to work really well for a button down shirt, especially a novelty one.

 I also have to include this silly shot. Such hams for the camera.

With short sleeves, this shirt sews up really quickly. I think it took me longer to cut everything out and get it all interfaced than it did to sew them up. If you are looking for a good place to start with some sewing for the special dudes in your life, either of these patterns are great! And when it comes to shirts, men just seem so much easier to fit.

Do you sew for the man in your life? What are your favourite patterns?

Handmade Christmas Part 2: Dude Sewing

So I have fallen super behind in blogland. I contracted the plague and spent close to 5 days cuddled up in bed with the pugs and Netflix. I wouldn't say it's the worst cold I've ever had, but it is definitely the most persistent (and I'm a huge baby). I thought I would spend 2 days in bed and feel better, but I actually felt worse after the first two days and decided to spend a couple more days in bed. Yuck! Anyway, I have just finished catching up on reading everything in my feed, so now it's time to update. I really want to do a year-end post, but first I wanted to share the rest of my handmade Christmas gifts with you. First off, the shirts I made for the boys:


Don't they look handsome? I had so much fun making these shirts. John and I picked out the fabric last spring on Goldhawk Road. The boys love to have matching shirts for some reason, and when we saw this map fabric we both thought it would be perfect. I used McCall's 6044 and I made them all the same size. Matt's could stand to be size smaller, but otherwise I am super happy with the fit right out of the envelope. The boys were thrilled to, and impressed that I actually made them. I'm thinking it may end up being a bit of a tradition!

Next up, I made a shirt for my Dad:


For this shirt, I used Jalie's Men's Polo Shirt pattern, and I opted for a collared long sleeve version with no pockets. I have never made a collar or button placket in jersey, and I have to say, it was difficult. I unpicked the button placket twice, and to be honest, I'm still not thrilled with it. The fabric is a super soft, and super stretchy cotton lycra from Girl Charlee. It's really nice and the colour is gorgeous, but it was tough to work with for this type of project. Next time, I will interface all the placket and collar pieces which I really think would help. Anyway, my Dad is thrilled with it, and has worn it a ton already.

Next up I thought I would show you the shirts I made for our little Shanny. They weren't really for Christmas, but I think they go along with the unselfish sewing theme I have going here. Shanny had to have a couple of lumps removed from her chest/neck, and the best way to keep her from scratching at the stitches was to have her wear a little shirt. The first one I made her fit pretty well, but it didn't come up far enough, so I had to make her a second one.



Both shirts are made from super soft jersey remnants that I bought from Girl Charlee. I have no idea why I bought them, but I thought they worked really well for this project. Both shirts sewed up super quick and they did their job, plus Shanny really doesn't mind wearing them. I am also happy to report, that while one of the lumps was cancerous, they got it and she is now cancer free. Hooray!

That's pretty much it for the Christmas sewing. I made my Mom a Linden Sweatshirt too, but I somehow didn't get any pictures of it.

How is your holiday season going?

Blue Hair, Quilting and Sewing Seams: The Things That Dreams Are Made Of

Did I tell you that John bought me a serger for Christmas? We don't usually give each other Christmas gifts as a rule, but this year John broke the rule and bought me a beautiful serger. I have no idea how to use a serger, but I remember seeing one long ago when I was a child and being mesmerized by it. It sews and cuts? What?!? Anyway, I have mentioned a few times over the years that I would like one, but had mostly forgotten about it until now. (My husband really is the best gift giver ever!) To be honest, I am a little intimidated by it and it took me a couple days to take it out of the box. But I have finally unpacked it and have been planning, reading and preparing to make amazing things with it (youtube has lots of great videos about sewing and serging by the way). I have played with it a bit, and set up a time with the lady who sold it to John, so that she can show me how it works (how cool is that?!). Unfortunately that won't be happening until Friday - only two more sleeps.

In the meantime, I have been working on the quilt that I promised John two years ago. I have no real good excuse as to why it's taken me so long. We had even gone and picked out all the fabric for it and everything. I actually started it two years agao, but then got intimidated by the pattern I chose and kind of stuck everything into a corner in my office and pretended it wasn't there. I then got it out again about 6 months ago, after much prodding from John, and realized again, that the pattern was just too much for this beginner - so back into the corner it went. I have felt really guilty about not finishing it, but did my best to forget about it. Anyway, while we were in Hawaii, I searched online for an easier pattern, and found one, so now I am bound and determined to get this baby finished! Here's a peek at how it's coming together:






I think it's going to look really cool when it's all done, and it's actually really easy (it looks much more intricate than it actually is). John picked out pretty much all of the fabric. I had to supplement it a little because I already used some of the fabric when I was attempting the original pattern. I may end up making a nice little lap quilt out of those original blocks too. I would have added them into this quilt, but I think it would look funny.

The serger has gotten me really excited about making my own clothes. It's something I have always wanted to do, but just never attempted.  Well, actually I did make some pyjama shorts back in junior high home-ec class, and a top with the help of a friend's mom, but that's it. I'm not entirely sure why I haven't ever tried, but the serger has rekindled my love for handmade things. Anyway, in between quilting and waiting for my serger lesson, I was able to whip up a couple of skirts. 

This first one is a very simple, elastic waist band skirt. I used this tutorial to make it and I am quite happy with how it turned out. I bought the fabric from the clearance section at Fabricland and it cost me a whopping $3.20/metre.



I really like it, and I think it turned out well for my first try. I think if I make another one, I would like to add pockets. It will be a great little skirt for summer.

My next project was a straight skirt from the DK Dressmaking book. It also turned out really well and it was my first attempt at an invisible zipper and also following a pattern. It's super cute with tights, and the fabric is very soft. It was kind of slippery to work with so maybe not the best for beginners, but I am still happy with how it turned out.




I took these pictures after wearing it all day so it looks a little stretched out. I also apologize for my headless shot, but I'm a little self-conscious when it comes to full body self-portraits. Anyway, you get the idea:


I also have to share this shot of the pugs:


This is what they look like while I am sewing. I'm not sure where Solomon was when I took this, probably snoring under the table LOL.

And finally:


Yup, I have blue hair, or rather teal hair. I have always wanted to do something really funky, so I finally did. I was waffling between pink and teal, and finally decided on teal. When I first got it done, it was really dark, but it has faded quite a bit now. Here's what it looks like about a week and a half later.IMG_5473


I like it, but I don't think I love it. The colour is absolutely beautiful and it definitely turns a lot of heads, but I'm not sure if it's me. I think I might have been happier with pink to be honest. The blue is a bit dark, but I am liking it more and more as it fades.

So anyway, that's all that's been happening in my world. I hope to keep sewing up a storm and to get better and better with practice (and to also finish John's quilt LOL).