Where to find... Pattern Hack's.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

If you are looking for a complete list of Pattern Hack's, Sew Along's and Tutorial's, please visit the "How To" section of my blog.

Baby Makes... clothes!

Friday, September 26, 2014

 Ahh! I still have so much work to do and I'm down to three weeks until my due date.  I was hoping to finish work a couple weeks early so that I could try to relax and prepare a bit more for having a new roommate, but I'm not sure that is going to happen. I'm really feeling down to the wire now.

Over the last few months, I have snuck in a bit of baby-sewing.  I bought a bunch of patterns from Brindille & Twig on Etsy. They were super easy to sew and a great way to use up some of the smaller pieces of jersey I had kicking around my studio. The thing I'm loving about sewing kids clothes is that it takes absolutely no time to make an outfit... they are so small!

The slightly less exciting project I had been working on was cloth diapers.  We decided we would use cloth to save a bit of money and reduce waste.  When we made that decision, I had no idea how incredibly complicated cloth diapers were... All in ones, pocket diapers, prefolds, flats... Then when I walked down the disposable diaper aisle at Target, I got even more confused... Diapers are as complicated as strollers and car seats (all of which we finally did figure out).  I ended up making 25 prefold diapers using cotton flannel and bamboo fleece.  I also made a few diaper covers, and bought a few too. I am a little nervous about this endeavor, and I really hope they work. I've only changed half a dozen diapers in my life, and they've all been disposable kinds.  I've been tempted to borrow a baby for a diaper test drive....

Making diapers this way was definitley way cheaper than buying fancy all-in-one diapers. I did buy several premade covers because I found that they were too time consuming to make.  The best part of diaper making was when Dan sewed half of them for me.  Everyone loves a cute guy with a beard sewing stuff for his baby, so here's a picture:

Ohhh Lulu Pattern Hacks: Lace-Back Lola's

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Lola Pattern is another one of my favourites... they are great for under everyday clothing and I especially love them in lace under tight leggings and clingy pants (I'm a yoga-pants-everyday kind of girl, I even sometimes do yoga in them).  Here, I'm going to show you how to use scalloped lace for the back of this pattern. There isn't a huge change to the way you sew these using scalloped lace, but there are a few tricks to getting a nice finish.  You can easily use the method I'll be demonstrating here on the Grace Panties as well.

What You Will Need:
2. About 1/4 yard stretch knit fabric (like jersey) for the front.
3. About 1 yard scalloped stretch lace approximatly 7" wide or more (you can use narrower lace, but will have to be creative with your center back waistline, or alter the rise).
4. Elastic for waist (I use Foldover Elastic)
5. Twin needle
6. Two Spools of thread

1. Using a pencil and ruler, draw a line along the leg opening of the Panties Back, approximately 1/4" up from the original hemline.  Place the pattern piece with the leg opening along the scalloped edge of the lace, so that the NEW hemline lines up with the scalloped edge. You will notice that the leg opening is slightly curved, so it won't lay perfectly straight against the edge of the lace. 

2. Cut out two pieces of lace in the manner described above, plus the Front Panties and Gusset Lining piece.

3. Using either a seger, or straight stitch and zig-zag, sew your Panties Back along the Center Back Seam.

4. Assemble the crotch as indicated in the pattern instructions so that the seam allowance gets encased between the Panties Front and Gusset Lining. Your Panties Front & Gusset Lining Hems should extend beyond the scalloped edge of your lace by about 1/4" on either side.

Hem Allowance on Panties Front extends beyond the finished edge of the stretch lace.
5. Using a serger or zig-zag stitch, finish the raw edges of the Panties front.

6. Turn the hems under by approximately 1/4" and top stitch down using a twin needle.

7. With a straight stitch, sew your side seams so that scalloped edge of lace meets up with the finished edge of the panties front.  Be sure to backtack at the beginning and end of this seam.

Scalloped Edge of lace meets up evenly with twin-stitched hemline.

8. Tie off any loose threads, and press the seam allowance towards the Center Front of the garment. Sew a small bartack along the hemline, anchoring the seam allowance in place.  I do this because it is a potential weak point in the garment, where stitches may be prone to break. By tacking the seam allowance down, you will have a more secure join.

9. Finish with waistline elastic and embellishments as indicated in the pattern.

That's it! It's pretty easy to substitute with scalloped lace.  I'll leave you with a few pieces of inspiration...!

Baby-makes... the nursery!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

 I think we finally have everything we need for the baby. We have a car seat, we have a stroller, we have diapers, baby bath stuff, wipes, diaper cream, clothes... and a room! Dan spent a good portion of his vacation this summer assembling furniture and painting. I'm really happy with the room. It's nice and neutral, with a few special touches. I'm enjoying spending time in there right now because I know it will probably never be this tidy again.

These are two of my favourite things in the room... a handmade pug stuffy that a friend's mom made, and the Fawn Art Print by Burrowing Home on Etsy.

I made the little cloud and heart mobile for over the change table, and hung another print from burrowing home next to it. The cloud mobile started out a total disaster, but I actually am pretty happy with it now!! I used some sequin fabric on some of the hearts to make them a little more eye catching.

We have been so lucky to have been given so many of the things we needed. It has made preparing so much easier. I'm so well stocked with sleepers and blankets, towels, books, pretty much everything one could need, plus a bunch of frivolous stuff that is just nice to have.

The only last thing I really would like to get is a baby carrier - like a wrap or sling. I'd love to hear your opinions on which you found best. The wraps look complicated to me, but I've heard people swear by them...

I'm still working away on getting all of my orders out, but in between I've been trying to get a few things done, like making room in my crammed cupboards for bottles, etc., and making some meals to freeze. I am definitely not usually this domestic, but I've come to the realization that eating out every few nights probably won't be an option for us in the very near future, so I best be prepared with some food on hand! I am a lazy cook so this has been working out well for me. Last weekend I made chili, soup, and ratatouille.  Monday I made a couple vegetarian shepherds pies to freeze.  It may be total chaos here in a few weeks, but at least we won't be hungry!

Changes are happening at Etsy

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

In March, Etsy started rolling out a series of tests with their homepage, shipping interface, and shop layouts.  If you are a frequent Etsy-user, it's been a pretty tumultuous few months, but it seems as though decisions are finally being made.

Etsy has phased out their old homepage, which featured member-curated treasury collections, for a facebook/Pinterest-style activity feed. 

The feed-style homepage is supposed to show users content that is more in-line with their likes and favorites. That sounds good in theory, but there are some problems. The old homepage, while it was my preference, also had it's issues. Certain sellers and members seemed to get featured frequently, while many others never had a chance to make the Front Page... 

I can't say I like this change, personally. It's affected many community members who had been involved with treasury teams, and has changed the way that sellers promote on-site - not entirely a bad thing, but in the lead up to the holiday rush, this can be a huge hurtle to overcome.  Like any change, there is a learning curve... I miss the old, crisp, merchandised homepage. I find the new homepage to be a jumble of random, but ultimately Etsy has the final say and based on past experience, I don't think they are that interested in user input on the matter. The problem with this new layout is that it assumes Etsy Shoppers want to play the favoriting and following game.  If you don't, you'll end up with some pretty random items on your "personal" homepage (Dan just opened an account and had lots of pastel women's clothing and some lovely dishcloth's in his feed... maybe a sign he should wash more dishes).

What are your thoughts on the new homepage? I feel like I've talked about it until I'm blue in the face.  I still don't like it, but it is what it is... I don't love the new direction (I am still pissed about the "redefinition" of handmade), but I've had great success at Etsy so I'm torn.

Old vs. New Etsy Homepage

As a result of these changes, the team that I run with Kathleen has had to adapt and change... and this has actually turned out to be a pretty exciting thing! We used to just be a small treasury-making team that focused on highlighting Canadian members. We've re-vamped, and re-named and now hope to become a hub for Candian Etsy Sellers, and shoppers looking for the best Canadian handmade and vintage goods.

Why the focus on Canadian-Content? Canadian sellers and shoppers face a few more challenges that my friends to the south.  As a seller, there are challenges staying competitive on a global marketplace such as Etsy because my cost of running a business is so much more expensive. I have to pay customs and duties out the wazoo to have fabric imported. Postal rates are about double what they are in the US, and often come with far fewer features (like tracking)... Shoppers too often face similar challenges when buying online. Shipping an item into Canada can cost an arm and a leg not just in shipping fees, but the customs processing charges and duties as well... Plus, it's nice to support local artists and makers. If you're in interested in seeing some unique Canadian Finds, you can check out our facebook page or join our seller team.

I was pretty overwhelmed with the change that happened last week... it really has impacted the way that I market myself on-site as well as the way that I interact with the Etsy seller community (something I enjoy doing).  I'm glad that we've been able to come together as a group and reinvent ourselves.

A new project...

Baby Shower, etc.

Monday, September 22, 2014

So.... I tried to not make this into a baby blog, but it's really hard! It's not every day you get to have a human being grow inside you.

I'm feeling pretty large these days. I've been so lucky to have a very uneventful pregnancy. Lately though my ever growing belly has really been impacting my sleep... But, last night I actually was able to stay in bed for a whole eight hours. It seems terribly unfair that biology won't let a pregnant lady catch up on her sleep before the baby comes. I guess it's all in preparation.

My experience of being pregnant has been nothing like what I thought it would be. I'll be the first to admit, I had a very negative view of pregnancy. I thought my body would be wrecked, I thought I'd feel miserable for 9 months, I thought I'd feel like a stranger in my own skin! None of that has been true for me.  I'm pretty happy about how I look. I've been able to keep exercising and doing pretty much everything I did pre-pregnancy.  Sometimes, when I get really busy, I even forget I'm pregnant.  I've realized that the body is a pretty amazing thing, and I'm lucky to have genes that resulted in me not getting stretch marks ;)

One of the reasons I never really saw myself having kids is that I was so terrified of the idea of actually giving birth (oh, how I used to shudder at the thought). I don't know if it's a hormonal thing that happens or what, but that fear has pretty much gone by the wayside.  In fact, I'm kind of curious to see just how tough I am...!

Me at 36 weeks!

As I mentioned earlier, I had my baby shower last weekend. My two cousins (who are like my sisters) prepared it for me. They did such an awesome job! It was a fairly small gathering of family on both mine and Dan's side. It was so nice to see everyone! My cousins did such an amazing job... we had lemon meringue pie in a jar, pineapple cheesecakes, tea and lemonade... It was pretty perfect!

Count down...

Monday, September 15, 2014

I have this little pregnancy tracker app on my iPhone, and today it's telling me I have 29 days to go until my due date. Seriously, where does the time go? Yesterday was my baby shower. It was so nice, just a small gathering of family. My cousins did such a beautiful job. I'll share photos later. I feel so spoiled and loved and supported! I feel like we have everything that we need for the baby, aside from a few odds and ends. 

I still have about 12 orders to sew, but I am hoping to have all of my made-to-measure items out the door in the next two weeks. In the meantime, I have sewn a collection of ready-made items (and sleepmasks), so that I can keep my shop stocked leading up to Christmas! Already, quite a few pieces have sold, so I'm hoping that once I finish all of my orders, I can restock again. Once I am adjusted to life with the baby, I'll resume taking made-to-measure orders again.

Cabin Fever Sleepmask

'Doe' French Terry & Lace Lingerie 

Flannel Sleepmask in Floral

Dapper foxes sleepmask

'Honey' Gold Satin & Black Lace Bra

'Goldenrod' Lingerie Set

'Homestead' Plaid & Lace Bralette

'Sage' Floral Bra

'Watercolor' Autumn Bralette (there are high waist knickers to match)

Woodland lightweight plaid and lace lingerie

'Tea Rose' Lingerie Set

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