A few more kits

Thursday, April 28, 2016

That last batch of Lingerie Sewing Kits sold out within an hour or two, so I put together 9 more in a variety of prints and colours. There is just enough fabric to sew a Grace & Jasmine set, or pretty much any bralette and low-rise panty combo.  The kits come with everything you need, excluding the pattern, thread, and sewing machine needles! They even have a little piece of organic cotton jersey for the gusset lining.

Amethyst Satin & Lace Kit

Modern Floral in Black, Purple and Coral Lingerie Kit

Black Lace Print Lingerie Set

Mint Gingham Cotton Lingerie Kit

Daisy Floral Lingerie Sewing Kit

Classic Pink Satin and Black Lace Lingerie Kit

Rosebud Lingerie Sewing Kit

Navy and White Polka Dot Lingerie Sewing Kit

New Old House Tour: The Good, the bad, and the ugly.

I want to start this post by saying "I love our new house." It really is beautiful with lots of old-fashioned charm. That being said, it has a lot of "issues." Some of them cosmetic, others a little more serious.

This is our second house purchase. Our second old house purchase. Our second old, neglected house purchase, because that's up our price range. A lot of the stuff we are doing feels like old hat - like replacing old wood supports with metal jack posts-  while other things feel a little more overwhelming (our whole chimney situation). I hope to do a series of posts about the work we are doing in our house, as it's something that I really enjoy! I hope you do too.

We kind of moved on a whim, but had been considering relocating for a while. We (mostly me) had some negative experiences in our old neighbourhood and the idea of moving out of town was becoming more appealing. Also, after Isabel was born we were starting to find our starter house a little small, especially since my office had taken over the Master Bedroom. Our yard was tiny, we were next door to a parking lot, on a very busy street. We were just ready for a step up.

I kind of happened upon this house one day when I went out for lunch with my cousin. When I saw the outside I immediately needed to see the inside, so I talked to Dan and we went to see it that night! On the drive back to our house that night, we talked about how we both could envision Isabel learning how to ride her bike in the nice, long driveway, or playing in the spacious backyard. So, after getting some second opinions, we bought it.

As I had mentioned in an earlier post, the purchase didn't go quite as smoothly as with our first house. I'm still a little irked but in the grand scheme of things, it all has worked out in the end.

Over the last 4 months we have been putting so much work (and money!) into the house. The previous owner had done a lot of upgrades but I think over the last few years a few things got a little out of hand, so I'll start with what's Bad. As you can maybe tell, the exterior needs some clean-up and paint, but the biggest problem was the Chimney. In December we had a new furnace installed that wall vents instead of chimney vents so that we could tear down the crumbling masonry. This was a very big job, and I was happy to pay someone else to do this for us!

Scaffolding around our very scary chimney

The chimney was in such a state that there was some ice damage in the front room and the fire place will need to be entirely pulled out.  So far we have had the chimney torn down to the roofline and are pondering and saving for the next step. The nice thing about this house is that it is big enough that this room can be kind of blocked off for the time being. In our old house, every square foot was precious.

Bye-bye fireplace...
The new furnace and chimney demo were pretty costly for us but I'm glad to have them out of the way.  I'm still a little stressed about how we will finish the job, but it will get done! At least now we have stopped any further damage from happening inside.

The other, much less serious, but on the Ugly side of things is that every room is painted a colour. Like my favourite palette of Folk Art Acrylic Paint colours from the painting class I took in 1998. I like colour in my lingerie. I want my walls white, or perhaps a nice light grey. The house felt so dark and the rooms felt small with all of the dark coloured walls and woodwork. We've been working our way through room by room with a more neutral (ie. white) colour scheme and it is really brining out how big this place really is! I also like the original woodwork, and I find it stands out more on a neutral wall...

dreaming of turning this into a boutique/fabric shoppe.

Eye Spy with my little eye, a blur that looks like Dan.

The tile... oh the tile.

Aside from covering everything in a neutral coat of paint, we've also had to do quite a bit of work in the kitchen. I was able to give the original cupboards a fresh coat of paint, but the room needed new flooring ASAP.

Aside from painting and a bit of flooring, we've also had our dryer vents clean (do this! Seriously. dryer vent fires happen), had several large trees taken down that were overhanging our house (another very costly undertaking), replaced jack posts, repaired some plumbing, sealed a leaky window, replaced light fixtures... In other words, we've been pretty busy and still have a lot to do.

It feels a little overwhelming when you buy a house like that this needs some serious upfront repair, especially when you are DIY-ing and working with a limited budget, but this house has some great features (which is the Good part of this post): New windows, new wiring, new plumbing, huge deck, newly insulated, relatively new fixtures (though I would like to replace the tub for a more environmentally friendly, smaller version!)... It just needs a little TLC to get it back to where it should be.

One of the funny things that I love most about this house is it's maze-like layout. I've had three people get lost going from the bathroom to the kitchen, and when I had my nephew over a few weeks ago we had the best time playing hide and go seek. There are so many great little hiding spaces... that's what I love about this house. It's fun. I feel like it will be a fun place for Isabel to grow up.

I think we are pretty much down what we will do inside for this year while we build our saving up again! There are extensive gardens that will need my attention for now, and the house is mysteriously only half painted, so we will need to clean the stucco and paint the woodwork. Now that we have finally been having some nicer weather, I've really enjoyed spending time in our beautiful backyard (which I will show you another day).

In my next post I hope to show you a little of what we have done inside!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Everything takes me 10000x longer these days.

Isabel is in daycare 4 days a week, but they are relatively short days. It's nice because she and I still get lots of time together, while still giving me time to focus on work.

I've been working on a new pattern collection on and off since... October.  I've learned, since Isabel entered our lives, that things need to go at a different pace. I get frustrated sometimes because I have all these ideas and inspiration and motivation, but the time just isn't there right now. When I feel like that, I always try to remind myself that Isabel will only be little for such a short time, so I'm trying to stay cool with a slower pace of life...

That's not to say I'm not cramming as much into my work-time as possible!

I'm really excited about this pattern collection because it includes some pieces that outside of my normal drafting comfort zone. I'm still trying to figure out a few complicated bits and pieces for one large pattern, but I'm really getting close to a new collection!

A few kits just landed in the shop...

Monday, April 25, 2016

Last year I had the opportunity to teach a class at the Design Exchange in Toronto! It was fun and a gigantic learning experience for me. Teaching is something I really enjoy and I hope to do a class again someday.

I had a few kits leftover from the workshop and have just posted them in my Etsy Shop. There are only 3 Fabric/Notion kits and 1 Notions kit! So if you are interested, don't wait, snatch 'em up now!

Current Kits Available:

Black and Coral Floral

Shop Kits

Seafoam and Champagne Kit

Seafoam and Champagne Kit

Abstract Floral

Abstract Floral

If the demand is there, I'll make up more kits as I have the time!

Shop all Kits by clicking HERE.

Non-lingerie making!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Have you ever tried doll-making? I had never really made stuffed toys, besides some witch legs last halloween, but I wanted to try to make Isabel a rag doll.

I wasn't entirely sure where to start, so I bought a pattern on Etsy from Create Joy Make Stuff. I followed the directions exactly for the body, but decided to do yarn hair instead of felt. I also embroidered on the face, which was a real challenge for me, but I am happy how it turned out! I don't have a lot of experience with embroidery so I did a lot of stitch ripping.  I found this blog post from Big Little to be really helpful. 

I embroidered a little french knot for a belly button. Isabel is obsessed with belly buttons. She always wants me to show my belly button to everyone in the grocery store...

Anyway, I was SO happy with how the doll turned out that I decided I'd try another toy. This time I kind of made up my own pattern, using the doll pattern as a bit of a jumping point. Since it was Easter, I throught I'd make a bunny doll.

I made the tiniest little underwear set for her to wear, as well as a matching easter dress using a Riley Blake Bunny Print.  I used Heidi & Finn's Pumpkin Spice pattern for Isabel's dress. I really love this pattern! I want to make Isabel a ton of these. It has a comfortable loose fit, is easy to sew with three sleeve variations, and looks super adorable!

Bunny's Top

Isabel's top
So I'm kind of obsessed with making them matching outfits now. I made a striped replica of a Brindille and Twig Ragland Sleeve Top I made for her earlier in the winter.  

Doll making is almost as addicting as lingerie making!

Ohhh Lulu Pattern Hack: Easy front closure

Friday, April 22, 2016

I had a customer email me a month or so ago asking for advice on how to add a front closure to one of my bras. She had some mobility issues and wasn't able to easily get in and out of a back closing bra herself.  Last week I came down with a cold (my second cold of the month, unfair!) and my whole body was aching. Strangely enough, my right hand really ached and I could barely do anything with it! I really felt for this customer who had to deal with aching hands on a daily basis. 

I like this method because it uses a simple G-hook, but you can also use this method with a front clip. I sometimes also like to add a metal ring to the center front of my pull on bras, which uses basically the same steps. 

What you need:
1. Any triangle front bra pattern, like my Josephine, Scarlett (which I have used here), or Brigitte Pattern.
2. Supplies as outlined in the pattern.
3. G-hook or Front Clip


1. Following the pattern instructions, assemble cups and apply elastic around front edge.

2. Beginning at the center front and leaving a 1" tail, apply the band elastic along the lower edge of the bra. Leave a 1" tail and the end.

3. Feed one end of the elastic "tail" through the closed end of the G-Hook. Turn elastic towards garment and stitch in place.

4. Wrap the tail on the other side of the bra around the open end of the hook and stitch in place. This creates a small loop to catch the hook into.

Your hook should be upside down at this stage! It will get flipped around soon.

5. Turn the band elastic under and topstitch in place with a wide zig-zag stitch. Make sure to securely backtack at the beginning and end of your stitching line.

6. Finish the garment following the instructions in your pattern.

That's it! now you have a neatly applied front hook closure! Enjoy!

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