2.3.15

Monday Reflections: The End of a Season

Here we are! It's March, and spring is just around the corner. I feel like we've been cooped up in the house for the past month. We love winter, but February has turned out to be the coldest on record. And what we temps that felt like -30 with windchill on a daily basis, we didn't wind up venturing out as much. But the weather is warming up slowly, which means venturing outside will be fun again (no complaining after 30 minutes that someone is cold!)

 

For now though, I'm glad that we have these little things we we've been able to enjoy on the weekends! This weekend in particular made me realize that it's often the small things that we do, when we get the chance to take it slow at home, that we really enjoy as a family. Running around and doing all these activities is great and all, but it's the slowing down and enjoying the moment that really make me appreciate what we have.  
 
For instance, we busted out the watercolour paints. Something I haven't done in a LOOOONG time. And I don't ever really recall the kids ever doing. So we had an afternoon full of contained mess and chaotic organization, it was great! We all took our turns, created loads of rainbows, played with colours and even just scribbled paints on the paper. 
 
 

Later I found the kids creating the biggest tower they could! The thing is as tall as A and C!!! And surprisingly still stands today (I'm surprised one of them didn't knock it down).

Over the weekend has also made me realize how much time flies. I'll probably be saying this a lot this week! But the first thing that pushed me in the mind set was the hockey season. C started playing hockey this year, and our last game was on Sunday. It feels like we just started (waaayyy back in late September!) and I can't believe it's already come to a close.

I can't wait to see what the next couple months bring now! Looking back is great, and unbelievable, but looking forward is always the best, there's always so much possibility! I'm hoping to write some quick reflections on Mondays from now on, to give a glimpse of life, inspiration, goals, what I'm working on and other little things. I'll be back this week with more sewing (and maybe even some knitting talks ;) )

27.2.15

Aztec Hudsons

Oh man guys, it's been sooooo cold lately! I know you've probably been hearing it from just about everybody already. But damn! Apparently, we're going to break records for the coldest February! And with all this cold weather, A has turned to yoga pants and sweat pants as her daily wears. I know, where did my girl that only wants to wear dresses go?!? I guess one can only take so much...
 

So in the hopes of making something fun and new for her to wear (you know, other then the 2/3 pairs of pants she'll put on her body these days) I decided to sew up a pair of Mini Hudson Pants by True Bias. I'm pretty sure I was just as excited as everyone else was the mini version of the Hudson's was released. I bought it, and I waited, and I waited and I waited for the perfect fabric to make it's appearance.


And last week, when Rachael of imagine gnats asked if I'd be willing to quality test some of her new ponte I wasn't going to say no! I mean, we've been messaging about this ponte since she ordered it and damn I needed to get my hands on some of it (if not all!). My first choice was this awesome black and white geometric Aztec print. I had this gut feeling as soon as I saw it that I needed to make some comfy pants with it. And of course I needed an accent colour, so I went with this ponte in wine. It's a little hard to tell but this purple is beautiful. This stuff is just awesome to cut into and sew up! The drape is good and it is so darn comfy! I find this pictures just don't do it justice.

 

So for this pair I decided to cut out the size 6, with a 7 length (according to A's measurements). And the fit is good. I'm going to be honest, they're a little bit big for her around the bum/waist. I know it's the look and the size I went with, and really, it's not that much of a concern for me, since I do want them to last a while. She's been growing and growing like crazy since the fall. But just something I thought I should mention. And my print matching.... let's be honest, it's definitely a skill I need to work on. As I was cutting I should have been paying closer attention, since I had lined things up to match, when clearly, they didn't quite match. Oh well, when she's on the move, you barely notice it ;)


So these were a definite hit. As soon as this print was spotted it was a race to who got it with the kids. A won out, but I have a bit left over still to make something for C. Now I'm going to be moving on to my next ponte de roma project! Oh, and if you're interested, Rachael is hosting a sale on all the new knits starting today! Definitely worth a look :)

10.2.15

Haven Acres Mini Collection Tour

Hey guys! So today I'm going to be talking to you guys about the Haven Acres Mini Collection that Jenn of Jennuine Design just released last weekend. The collection includes the Dressage Leggings, Haven Acres Blouse and the Sweet Pea Cap. I was part of the tester group that has been working with her for the past month! And let me tell you, what a month it has been. I've made several versions of these patterns, but I'm sticking to my favourites for today. I'm also going to share with you how I adjust my patterns for length for my string bean girl here!
 


So first up, let's start with the hat shall we!? I have never sewn a hat until now! And I can finally check that off my 'to sew' list! The Sweet Pea Cap is actually super simple to sew, and it's a great one to start with if, like me, you've never sewn a hat before. Thanks to this confidence booster I just want to sew ALL THE HATS!


I sewed up a size M, and for the fabric I used a wool blend that I got out of my grandmother's fabric stash over the holidays. For the lining, I just used a blue quilting cotton solid that matched with the blue that you can see in the wool. Nothing special here, but it still turned out pretty good. I also chose not to put the ears on this one, since I knew she would use it more without the ears. Which she has, she's worn it a few times already :)


Next is the Haven Acres Blouse. This patterns includes a separate skirt piece, which you can use to showcase an accent fabric, and a couple of ways to attach the keyhole part. I like how you can vary the look with these little things but still get a great looking pattern. Plus this is a classic style top! For this one I sewed the size 4 with the size 6 length.


For my fabrics I used a double cloth from imagine gnats with the black on the outside. Although when this girl saw the checkered side she promptly asked me to make her something with it... I guess I'll have to order more! Since I used my last bit for the main bodice, I opted to use this black and white Riley Blake print that I got from an IG destash last spring. I have so much of it! Once I got it I had no clue what to use it for, but I think I've finally fallen back in love with it.


For the closure, I opted to go with the elastic loop and button. I'm glad I did on this one, since it keeps the look really simple and classic. You can also do a bias tape tie closure, but I really wanted the look to be streamline for this top, what with the colour and all.


And finally we have the Dressage Leggings. Let me perfectly up front with you guys.... These are the best fitting leggings EVER! I sewed up the size 4, with the size 7 length. I know, holy cow she's tall! For this outfit I'm showing you guys the classic legging option. There's obviously the fun dressage legging option but I didn't want to overload this one outfit.


The knit is AGF's Plummage in Apricot knit from imagine gnats. Seriously, love it! When I first back this fabric I had imagined making myself leggings, but now that I've used it almost all up I won't have enough left for me, unless you know, I order more ;) But I'm glad SOMEONE got leggings out of it!

Now, I said I was going to share some tips for lengthening right?!? Well A is pretty tall but measure pretty small. She's got a 22" chest and 21" waist, which typically puts her in the size 4 range. But she's tall, she measure 49" for height, which puts her between the 6-7 range.


So when I go to sew for her, I will check both sizes. The pictures above are of the size charts from the leggings. I start with the waist/chest measurement to see where she'll fall in to. But then after I will check for length. This gives me a clearer idea of how long the pieces will be, if I need to adjust the length, or I can stick to the regular pattern. For these pieces, I had to go up to the size 7 length. Now, if you don't have a length/height chart for your pattern, just grab a piece (top or bottom depending on the pattern you're using) that fits well already and compare it to the pattern once it's pieced. If you see you need to add length, now is the time to mark it.


As you can see from this picture above, it's really pretty simple, this is the top of one of the leggings pages. I will mark the width that I want, bring the line up (purple) to the height that I want, and then I will cut from there. For the leggings I opted to add the height to both the waist (top of the pattern) and hem (bottom of the pattern), and it turned out awesome. Now for the top, it's always a bit harder because of the armscye. So I will usually only add the length at the bottom, since this will save me from adjusting the sleeve pattern piece as well.

Since there is a skirt portion on the blouse, I suggest that you take your time. You measure you're bodice piece down to the length size that you need. But when it comes to cutting the width of the skirt, go up a size or two, since the bodice will now be a bit wider then the original. Once you cut, sew your skirt pieces together, pin to the bodice like describe in the instructions from the center out to the seams, but DON'T sew. Check to see how much width you have. It will probably be a bit too wide at first. This is the time to see how much you need to take off the sides. Adjust your piece, once you feel confident, sew! :)

And that's all there is to it. Granted, adding length can be a bit of trial and error. If you're really not sure, make a muslin first. But remember, the more you do it, the better you'll get at it. Hey, I'm still learning, but with 3 kids that are both 'above average' height for their chest measurements, there's no other way to do go but practice and learn.

 

Well, make sure to check out all the other lovelies on the tour! They're sharing loads of tips, tricks and techniques as well over the next week!

9.2.15

Writer's Block and How I'm Moving On

Well it's been a tough decision, and something that hasn't really been super easy to finally just go through with it. When I first decided to start writing my posts in both English and French, I knew it would be a lot of work. I'd been thinking about it for a looong time and finally went for it in November. But along the way, I feel like I've slowly lost a bit of my voice.

Je sais que je viens juste de commencer a ecrire en francais sur le blog, mais malheureusement, pour l'instant, ce ne sera plus le cas. J'espere que vous comprennez, car le moment n'est juste pas bon, et j'aimerait essayer de concentrer mes efforts a trouver mon ecriture au tant qu'en francais qu'en anglais. J'espere que vous comprendrer. Merci :)  


See, when I originally thought it was time to start writing in French as well, I thought it about how it would effect my writing style in English. Unfortunately, I was being overly optimistic and thinking it wouldn't effect it at all. I found over the past few months that not only did it change the way I was writing, but it change my process. Instead of just writing freely and then editing a bit, I started thinking about everything I was writing as I wrote it and how it could be translated. The problem with this was, I wasn't sure how to translate everything, because you can't really directly translate sentences with them making much sense or getting the same meaning out of the words.


So I translated down to the bare bones in French, and felt like I wasn't coming across very well. I reread now and feel like I've been coming across a bit cold. Not only that, I just feel like I've lost myself a bit in English too.


I know it hasn't been that long, and it may seem like I'm quitting to some of you, but I feel like this is the right decision for me. It's not like I'm going to stop thinking about writing in French more, or even on this blog. But I'm just not making it a priority for me, since it doesn't make sense for me at this time. I hope you guys will understand!