A Bamboo Sweater for Boo

Boo's Bamboo Gup-A Sweater
I’ve been having a bit of sewing guilt for the lack of boy sewing on the old blog. Apart from Boo’s ring bearer suit, I haven’t sewn anything for him since his birthday. The suit was a big project, but it’s unlikely that he’ll have an occasion to wear it again. The boy needs some everyday clothes.

I wanted to make something for Boo that he would WANT to wear. I usually dress him in cute preppy outfits, since I’m the one looking at him for most of the day. Hee hee. He doesn’t fuss about clothes, but he’s starting to notice that other boys dress differently–in the graphic tee and sweatpants kind of way. I would love to say that I wouldn’t mind if he dressed like that, but I just can’t. I can’t handle the way most graphic tees are too wide and too short. Too loud and super hero-intense. Too many cheesy clichés. Not to mention, some weird poly blend knit that pills with lint balls. Don’t even get me started on sweatpants…

Anyhoo, Boo’s all-time favourite tv show/toys/books are the Octonauts! They are the cutest crew of ocean explorers who learn about sea creatures on their adventures aboard the Octopod. When we were in Vancouver for Uncle E’s wedding, Boo drew this picture of his Gup-A:
Boo's Drawing of a Gup-A
I was shocked. Seriously amazed at my little boy’s ability to depict a 3D tangible object on a piece of flat paper, using only a handful of markers. Before Boo produced his work of art, I had only seen him draw scribble scrabbles–colouring pages without even looking down at the paper. A huge milestone. I mean, what kind of sewing mommy would I be if I didn’t make him a sweater with the Gup-A on it?

I used the field trip raglan t-shirt pattern by Oliver+S to make Boo a bamboo stretch French terry sweater. I can’t get over how soft bamboo is! Boo’s stripy field trip raglan has been in constant rotation and is starting to get small, so I made a size 4 and increased the sleeve length by 0.5″.
Boo's Bamboo Gup-A Sweater
I used Pellon Wonder-Under to applique each shape onto the front of the shirt before using a triple-stitch to secure the fabric pieces. I placed a piece of Swedish tracing paper underneath to stabilize the fabric, tearing it away afterwards. I’m really happy with how my Gup-A turned out!
Boo's Bamboo Gup-A Sweater
This is my 3rd go at the pattern and each time I make it, I have trouble with the neckband–it always seems too short and narrow. I tried attaching the neckband with the same fabric (twice), but then I gave up and used ribbing, adding 0.5″ to the width. Soooo much better! Just a small tip: when attaching the neckband using a serger, disengage the cutting knife, just in case you have to try a 3rd time to get it right.
Boo's Bamboo Gup-A Sweater
I added my usual cuffs and hem band. Since there is a lot of stretch in the ribbing, I shortened them for a tighter fit. I like how the sweater stays put at the waist.
Boo's Bamboo Gup-A Sweater
Boo is really happy with his new Gup-A sweater! The Gup-A he’s holding is not the same as the one in his drawing. His collection of Octonaut toys is getting bigger with each visit with Mama & Yeye. This boy even watches Octonaut toy reviews on YouTube–he is an expert on all things Octonauts.

I paired the sweater with his linen art museum trousers. I had to let down the hem by 1.5″, giving the trousers new life, but they are still a bit short! I’ll have to let them down some more–the only thing worse than sweatpants are pants that are too short.
Boo's Bamboo Gup-A Sweater
Boo's Bamboo Gup-A Sweater
Boo's Bamboo Gup-A Sweater
Boo's Bamboo Gup-A Sweater
My sewing guilt has been absolved! I even sacrificed my old turquoise pajama tee for the Gup-A applique. The blue fleece is from Boo’s garden gnome costume and the grey French terry is from the sweater that I made for Mama (which she still wears!). The yellow is from the beak and feet of a penguin stuffy I made for Froo. When I was pregnant with Froo, I became obsessed with the book Cute Dolls and churned out stuffy after stuffy.

These little guys welcomed Froo into her nursery:
Cute Dolls
Thanks for visiting!

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The finale: flower girl dress & ring bearer suit

Uncle E & Auntie Y's Wedding Day
Finally, a post about the wedding! We are back in California, still recovering from an amazing visit back home. The hubs’ little brother has all grown up–I’m so proud of him! He was still in high school when he was a groomsman at our wedding and now he has a beautiful wife, ready to begin the adventure of married life.

I took the photos of Froo & Boo’s flower girl dress and ring bearer suit after they had been squished in a suitcase for several days, with chocolate mousse stains, donut frosting and all. Yikes.

This dress:
Froo's Fairy Tale Flower Girl Dress
Ooh. Aah. The one and only fairy tale dress pattern by Oliver + S, in size 6. It was a tonne of work, but it really saved me when I needed to work out the vision stuck in my head. The main fabric is a heavy polyester satin in ivory and the skirt looks like rosettes stitched onto tulle. Both fabrics were purchased at Fabric Outlet in San Francisco.

I made a couple of modifications. I mentioned before that I lengthened the bodice by 1 1/2″ and took in the center back by 1/4″. With this dress, it’s important to make a muslin to get the exact fit. Instead of taking the bodice in at the sides, I chose the center back because the side seams were located in just the right position–most likely from what’s left of Froo’s toddler tummy. As of next week, she will no longer be a toddler!

I also cut a one-piece skirt and widened it to 60″. I did this because the width of the satin was 60″, which meant that I could cut a single piece from selvedge to selvedge, eliminating the need to finish the seams. There are 4 layers of the skirt! The rosette tulle over a layer of satin over a layer of crinoline over a layer of lining. Fewf!
Froo's Fairy Tale Flower Girl Dress
The back of the dress:
Froo's Fairy Tale Flower Girl Dress
This is probably my favourite detail about this dress. Just a simple angled line to create a dramatic v-back. The bodice is lined with the same fabric because I wanted to ensure the neckline would stay fairly stiff. I really like the polyester satin because it doesn’t wrinkle very much.

The invisible zipper was a little tricky with all of the skirt layers. To get around this, I basted the rosette tulle onto the satin skirt, leaving an inch unsewn at each end. I sewed the zipper onto the satin skirt only and continued to follow the instructions. Afterwards, I hand stitched the rosette tulle close to the zipper seam. I hope that makes sense!
Froo's Fairy Tale Flower Girl Dress
I almost forgot to include Froo’s hair jewels! It’s a jeweled and beaded applique that was stitched on tulle, purchased at Britex Fabrics. I hand stitched it to a piece of white felt, then carefully cut around the finished edge of the applique. Afterwards, I used E6000 glue to attach it to a satin covered headband that I bought at Jo-Ann.
Froo's Flower Girl Hair Jewels
Boo’s ring bearer outfit is a cute little black suit. The fabric is pretty awesome, also from Fabric Outlet. I reckon it’s the absolute best fabric to make a child’s suit. It’s a thick stretch sateen cotton, with 2 layers fused together. The sheen of the fabric makes it formal, with enough stretchiness for a squirmy boy and the thickness of the suit makes it virtually wrinkle-free.
Boo's Ring Bearer Tuxedo
Boo’s blazer is the Basic Blazer pattern by Blank Slate Patterns. If I were to make it again, I think I would try to get a better fit on Boo. There was just a little something that didn’t lay flat at the shoulders. I think it’s the shape of the arm scythe and the way the sleeves are set-in. I noticed it in his practice blazer, but thought it might be a problem with the sleeves being too short on Boo. But I’m being super picky and Boo was ever so cute!

A salesperson at Britex Fabrics recommended satin covered buttons for a tuxedo look. They aren’t something I would have previously considered, but they do look sharp and I’m happy with how it turned out.
Boo's Ring Bearer Tuxedo
The lining is a cotton voile in black plaid. I also added a hem facing to the lining, to ensure the blazer had a nice crisp hem.
Boo's Ring Bearer Tuxedo
The pants are the art museum trousers by Oliver + S. I didn’t add the belt loops because tuxedo pants are not worn with a belt. For the elastic, I placed it at the side seams instead, to keep the front waistband flat. The fit is perfect.
Boo's Ring Bearer Tuxedo
I had a major hiccup with one of the welt pockets. I had to throw it in the bin and cut a new pant leg. I couldn’t risk another frustrating pocket, so I decided to go without. I’m pretty sure it was because the fabric was too thick, because I know I can make a great pair of welt pockets!
Boo's Ring Bearer Tuxedo
I took a couple (hundred) photos of Froo & Boo in their finale flower girl dress and ring bearer suit. They are such crazy clowns! By the end of the photoshoot, the artwork from the magnet board had disappeared. It’s always a surprise when I upload my batch of photos. Please know that these sweet looking kids are really full of mischief.
Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit
I mentioned in my previous post that I didn’t take too many photos on the day of the wedding. My photography is usually limited to a tightly controlled environment, where I can set up my camera and shoot 500 photos in 3 minutes, with sweet and sticky bribes as a reward (see above). When in public, I usually feel like a fraud, holding a dslr, while taking blurry photos, with sweat running down my face, ruining my makeup. No thanks.

So here’s a combination of iPhone photos and some random shots:
Uncle E & Froo Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer SuitFroo's Flower Girl Dress Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo's Flower Girl DressBoo eating donut frosting
I do regret not getting a photo of me with the kids. The hubs asked the wedding photographer to take a couple of shots of our family, so we’ll have to wait for those. I’m not sure if he was being sweet or frugal–hoping they turn out so I won’t make him take family portraits again!

Froo & Boo with my older sister and younger brother:
Uncle E & Auntie Y's Wedding Day
Uncle E & Auntie Y's Wedding Day
The wedding was oh-so-beautiful. It was heartwarming to connect with Uncle E’s bride. They started dating at around the time I was pregnant with Boo–I have no idea how we survived that year with a toddler and newborn! My memory is still hazy… then we moved to California when Boo was 1, so the distance has made it difficult. But I’m confident that Uncle E and Auntie Y will have a wonderful marriage! She is lovely, genuine and makes Uncle E happy. I can see how the love Uncle E has for Auntie Y has really transformed him into a man who will become a wonderful husband. He gave an emotional speech at his wedding that had me (and everyone else) in tears.

Congratulations Uncle E & Auntie Y! xoxo.

Practice Flower Girl Dress (An Update)

Fairy Tale Dress Pattern
After my first attempt at a flower girl dress, I reverted back to my go-to pattern maker of choice: Oliver + S, with the fairy tale dress pattern. It irks me that I didn’t have enough foresight to order the paper version when it was on sale, but the convenience of an instant download was a life-saver! With less than 2 weeks until the wedding, I am seriously running out of time.

So you might wonder why I chose the fairytale dress, when it doesn’t seem to meet the criteria I was looking for in a flower girl dress (circle skirt and v-back detail). Here are my reasons:

  • circle skirts are overrated – although twirly, the movement and drape make it difficult to straighten out for photos. A gathered skirt behaves predictably and cooperates with the camera.
  • the v-back modification is rather simple – draw an angled line and shorten the zipper.

What I gain: a wonderfully fitting bodice and impeccable construction of an Oliver + S pattern. I’ve also been combing through the fairy tale dress forum to glean useful tips on sewing the dress. There are some great discussion about things that I need to know that I didn’t know that I needed to know. For instance, creating a one-piece skirt, instead of cutting out 3 separate pieces. Brilliant!

I don’t have time to make a practice fairy tale dress, so I just made a muslin of the bodice to get the perfect fit for Froo. Size 6 with an added 1 1/2″ to the length (long torso) and 1/4″ removed from the centre back piece.

I considered adding the tulip cap sleeves because they are so darn tootin’ cute. I made a pair of sleeves, had a bit of a hiccup trying to figure out the construction, added a thread for discussion, and within a matter of minutes, I had helpful people offering suggestions! The internet is one of my best sewing tools! I then sewed one sleeve, had Froo try on the dress and took a FaceTime poll with the in-laws. Sleeveless won by a landslide. I unstitched the sleeve and now, I’m almost done making the BEST DRESS EVER. Seriously, after this dress, I should stop making dresses, because nothing will ever be as awesome. Except maybe another fairy tale dress with tulip sleeves…

I realize that I can’t very well post photos of the finished dress before the wedding, so I’ll leave you with a sneak peek of the fabric:
Flower Girl Dress Fabric
Isn’t it gorgeous?

I am both scared and excited–the makings of a nervous wreck. It is such an exhilarating feeling! I still have a mini ring bearer suit to make and perhaps, finish the grey suit. At this point, I think the plaid shorts are good enough perfect for the rehearsal.

I hope you’ll visit again! The next time you’re here, I should have the actual flower girl dress and ring boy suit to show you!

Tutorial: Adding piping to a skirt hem

Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem
Froo had a cute dress from Target with a piped hem. The finishing is horrendous, but I guess that’s the way it goes with store-bought clothing on the cheap. When I made Froo a skirt awhile back, I decided to write up a tutorial on how to add piping to a skirt hem, that is completely encased. I tend to put piping on just about everything, since it’s such a great way to add a pop of contrast and create dramatic lines.

I used the free Lazy Days Skirt pattern by Oliver + S because it is oh-so-simple (a 1-piece skirt!) and the hem is completely straight. If you are going to add piping to a skirt with a curved hem, you will need to modify the tutorial by creating a curved bottom hem (at Step 6).

Step 1
Cut your skirt pattern. For my almost 6-year old Froo, I cut a 17″ skirt. Cut another length of fabric 3″ wide. This will become the bottom hem.
Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem
Step 2
Following the pattern instructions, sew up the skirt to make a tube. Line the edge of the piping to the front edge of the skirt. Using a zipper foot, sew the piping onto the skirt. Position your needle to sew as close to the cording as possible–I sew directly on top of the stitching on the piping. Start sewing 2″ from the back seam and finish sewing 2″ to the back seam. Leave a tail on each end that extends 1-2″ beyond the back seam.
Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem
Step 3
To ensure you get a nice finish on your piping, follow the next set of instructions. Sophie, from the blog C’est la vie, has an excellent tutorial on adding piping with clear photos on finishing piping ends.
Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem
Step 4
Pin or clip the piping into place. Line up the piping fold with the back seam. Finish sewing the piping to the edge of the skirt hem.
Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem
Step 5
Sew the bottom hem into a tube with the same seam allowance as the skirt tube. Iron seams open. With right sides together, pin or clip the bottom hem to the skirt, sandwiching the piping in between. Match up the back seams.
Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem
Step 6
Using the original stitching as a guide, sew 1/16″ (or super close) to the left side of the seam. This ensures that any thread that is sewn on the piping will not show through to the other side.
Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem
Step 7
Fold and iron bottom hem 1″. Then iron entire bottom hem up so that the piping is at the bottom.
Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem
Step 8
Replace the zipper foot with the regular foot and topstitch the hem in place. At this point, you will want to match your thread colour, since it will show on the front of the skirt.
Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem
Step 9
Finish the waistband of the skirt. That’s pretty much it! Iron your skirt, or don’t (I didn’t!). It’s up to you, really. I’ve found that with piping and an additional bottom hem, there’s enough weight to the hem that it doesn’t wrinkle as much.
Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem
I guess I should have ironed. Oops.
Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem
Step 10
Take photos of your model wearing the skirt, if she’s willing. I love that the piping on the hem is completely encased–you can see a peek of the inside of Froo’s skirt and it still looks great.
Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem
Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem
About the fabric: it’s definitely a favourite–both Froo & Boo love to point out different sea creatures (Boo is obsessed with the Octonauts) and it just feels happy. I pinned it a couple of years ago–it’s called Kelp Forest by Kokka, but I’m pretty sure it’s nowhere to be found on the Internet. Sorry to have kept the good stuff hidden, but I thought you’d like to know. I’m always so curious when I see awesome fabric on a sewing blog and the fabric is unidentified, but anyhoo…

Happy sewing!
Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem

Navy & Pink Popover Sundress

There is a very good reason for this girl’s closed-mouth smile:
Navy & Pink Popover Dress
A missing tooth!
Navy & Pink Popover Dress
I think it looks awesome. Or rather, the absence of her tooth looks awesome.
Navy & Pink Popover Dress
The little tooth next to the gap is wobbly. At this rate, it will fall out before her new tooth has a chance to grow, widening the gap. I’m not sure why I find this super exciting.
Navy & Pink Popover Dress
Anyhoo, I made Froo a dress! The Oliver + S popover sundress. A free pattern for the best kind of summer dress–one that can quickly slip on and off over a swimsuit. The pink anchor print knit fabric is the same thin jersey knit that I used for Froo’s scoop neck shirt. I love the hungie gungie version of the knit popover and wanted to make a similar dress with added gathers for fullness. I started with a size 6, then added 6 inches to the width and 2 inches to the length of the dress.
Navy & Pink Popover Dress
I opted for packaged bias tape and piping in navy. I added fusible interfacing to the yoke to give it more structure. Otherwise, I sewed up the knit exactly the same way I would sew a woven, since the seams don’t need to be stretched.
Navy & Pink Popover Dress
This is the best full-length photo I got of Froo’s dress. Every time I ask Froo to stand for a photo, she starts to dance, causing all sorts of blurriness and pulled faces. The dancing is pretty funny, as are the faces.
Navy & Pink Popover Dress
This smile. Hee hee. Not a bad way to end my 100th blog post.
Navy & Pink Popover Dress

A Summer Skirt for Froo

Embroidered Hem Summer Skirt
It’s been awhile since my last post! Life has been changing and moving forward quite rapidly, with hardly a moment to sew. I was finally able to squeeze in a sewing project, so I took it slow with embroidered hand stitching. I know, it makes absolutely no sense. I should be whipping up a quick project or checking off items in my sewing queue for instant gratification. Instead, I was led by a pair of purple sandals.
Embroidered Hem Summer Skirt
I bought Froo a pair of white Saltwater sandals for the summer. I ordered a size up, since my girl is growing like a weed. They were much too big, so I’m saving them for later, but in the meantime, I ordered another pair in her size. Except she wanted them in purple. Shiny purple.

It’s hard keeping up with Froo’s favourite colours! I searched Froo’s closet–she has one purple polo shirt–the one she wore with her Max & Ruby Halloween costume. I’m all for bright show-stopping shoes, but a bit of coordination would bring balance to Froo’s overall look. Besides, these are the shoes she will likely be wearing all summer long.

Instead of going for matchy-matchy, I settled on taupe polka dot fabric and decided to embroider the hem with purple stitches. To keep the skirt simple, I used the (free!) Lazy Days Skirt pattern by Oliver + S.
Embroidered Hem Summer Skirt
Using this amazing Sashiko embroidered pouch as inspiration, I proceeded to hand stitch some purple perle cotton to the bottom hem. I had 3 shades of purple, so I used all of them to create an ombre effect.
Embroidered Hem Summer Skirt
The hem is finished with piping and the inside of the skirt has an additional band of fabric to hide the stitching. The extra weighted hem gives the skirt structure, which I’m hoping will eliminate the need for ironing! I love how it turned out!
Embroidered Hem Summer Skirt
My thoughts on hand stitching? It’s incredibly slow. In a good way. It feels like time slows down, that the world becomes quieter–creating a peaceful space to think clearly. The task is not difficult, yet still requires focused concentration and care. In those quiet moments, I feel like I’ve just hit the “pause button” on life.
Embroidered Hem Summer Skirt
Embroidered Hem Summer Skirt
Embroidered Hem Summer Skirt
After my last post, I was planning on taking a short break, but it ended up lasting several months! I wasn’t even sure if I would continue to blog–I had my final blog post in draft mode and was planning to publish it. I came to a point where I just thought, “what am I doing this for?” The easy answers always hold true–that I enjoy sewing and blogging, I get a thrill out of chasing new designs out of my head and I love to create. I just needed to define some new goals.

My previous goals centered around learning new sewing skills. Everything was so exciting–invisible zippers, welt pockets, lining! But once I had accomplished a set of skills and my confidence grew, I knew that I had the ability to pick up new sewing skills. While gaining confidence, I felt that I was losing excitement–which was so discouraging and surprising at the same time.

While my sewing machine was collecting dust, I donated outgrown kids clothes/toys/stuff, put up a gallery wall, transferred Froo & Boo into bunk beds, transformed Froo’s room into a playroom/guest room, built some IKEA furniture, hosted house guests (twice), looked for a job and found a job! I am excited about working at a start-up in the Silicon Valley. The hubs and I LOVE the HBO show, but rest assured, I am nothing like the Canadian guy, Gilfoyle!

My new goal? Instead of collecting sewing skills, I just want to live a creative life. How’s that for a completely vague and unmeasurable goal? I recently read the book “Show Your Work“, by Austin Kleon. I think it’s just the book I needed to read. Keep on creating, keep on sharing. Now, more than ever, I won’t have much time to create, but when I do, I have this space to share my work. I will post when I can.

So I’ve thrown out my old sewing queue. With limited time, I want my sewing projects to count. While redoing the kids’ room, I bought a pair of fabric bins. The horror! I could have made them myself, for cheaper, with just the right fabric… but it felt GOOD. I’ve come full circle–one of my earliest memorable sewing projects were fabric bins for Boo’s nursery. That felt AMAZING! But who knows, maybe projects will still be driven out of necessity, as in this case, to coordinate with purple sandals!
Embroidered Hem Summer Skirt

KCW Spring 2014: Froo’s Mini Me

Froo & Boo: KCW Spring 2014
I’ve missed the last 2 seasons of KCW (Kids Clothes Week), so I was determined to participate in this one. As luck would have it, we are away the entire week, so I made Froo & Boo’s outfits last week and photographed them wearing their new outfits this week!
kid's clothes weekThe theme for KCW is “mini me”. I already have several examples of handmade “mini me” garments with both Froo (matching dresses / shirts) & Boo (grey shirts), so instead, I thought Boo could be Froo’s “mini me”. Besides, they were both in need of a pair of easy-wear bottoms and spring-time shirts.
Froo & Boo: KCW Spring 2014
For Froo & Boo’s bottoms, the common fabric is Essex yarn dyed linen in denim. The fabric looks like chambray, but with the linen content, has a more textured feel. Froo’s pants are pattern “O” from the book, Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids. Boo’s pants are the art museum trousers by oliver+s. If the combo looks familiar, it’s because I repeated the bamboo knit versions I made for Project Run & Play. Can’t go wrong with what works!
Froo & Boo: KCW Spring 2014
While Froo’s pants are wonderfully simple, I love the details of the art museum trousers! The welt pockets took some time sewing in, but give the trousers a professionally finished look. The pockets look a little funky from the inside and I’m not sure if they will be comfortable sitting in–which shouldn’t be a problem, since Boo does not sit still.
Froo & Boo: KCW Spring 2014
I thought navy blue would be the perfect pairing for linen pants since the colour works well for both girls and boys. Froo’s pinafore is pattern “R” from the same book. I omitted the frilly sleeves and added a colour block hem, shortening the dress into a top. The navy blue fabric is part of the Uno collection, from the Danish company Stof. The bright pink fabric is Kona Cotton in Pomegranate–also used in Froo’s self-designed dress.
Froo & Boo: KCW Spring 2014
I wanted to make Boo a super lightweight, long-sleeve shirt, using the field trip raglan pattern by oliver+s. I have a hard time getting Boo to wear a jacket, so long-sleeve shirts are our happy compromise. The navy slub knit sleeves are slightly sheer, but nice and soft. I added banded cuffs on the sleeves and hem for extra length. I even managed to match up the stripes on both sides!
Froo & Boo: KCW Spring 2014
We have enjoyed an early start to spring break with a trip to Legoland, where we celebrated Boo’s 3rd birthday! We celebrated a little early, leaving Legoland yesterday, on Boo’s 3rd birthday. We took advantage of his last couple of days as a 2-year old to get free admission and meals. We are currently enjoying a great time in San Diego!
Froo & Boo: KCW Spring 2014
Froo & Boo: KCW Spring 2014
Froo & Boo: KCW Spring 2014
Froo & Boo: KCW Spring 2014
Boo is in many ways, Froo’s “mini me”. He follows her, repeats what she says and mimics everything she does. But with increasing age, begets increasing wisdom–he is completely unafraid of telling his sister she is wrong. Froo is unaccustomed to being told she is wrong–resulting in heated arguments between a 3 and 5 year old pair of accusatory (but loving?) siblings. My ears cannot handle the loud squabbles. I just need to remember the tender moments between them–usually when they are in cahoots, trying to hide something from me. Oh brother.

Boo’s shirt stayed clean for roughly 30 minutes, until it was time for breakfast and became spotted with red smoothie. I can’t believe my Boo is 3! When I asked him if he was big or little, he responded with, “I’m a little bit big, but I’m still little.” I think I’m ok with that. xoxo.
Froo & Boo: KCW Spring 2014

Frozen Elsa Cape

Frozen Elsa Cape
My friend asked if I could make her daughter an Elsa cape from the Disney movie, Frozen. Apparently, Elsa costumes are sold out everywhere. I thought the oliver+s “little things to sew” red riding hood cape pattern would be perfect, so I agreed. Besides, I’m participating in Lightning McStitch’s cover to cover challenge and I’ve been wanting to make another lovely project from the book.

Froo wanted one too, of course. I asked if she would prefer an Anna cape–being the nicer, warmer, happier, and care-free younger sister (ahem), but she was insistent. We also went to a Frozen-themed birthday party for Froo’s BFF, so I thought I would make her one as well. Yup, that’s right, a total of 3 capes! I don’t even like princess dress-up clothes! Seriously. But I loved the movie and I love winter capes even more–so I was determined to make my own version of the Elsa cape and make it right.
Frozen Elsa Cape
I made one small cape and 2 large capes. I lengthened each cape by 10 inches to give it a dramatic princess look. We had to outfit Boo and his bunny to get some photos of all 3 capes.
Frozen Elsa Cape
Frozen Elsa Cape Frozen Elsa Cape
I purchased all of the fabric from Jo-Ann. I scored the polyester shantung in the redtag clearance section for $3/yrd, after an additional 50% discount. It is the PERFECT colour with an amazing flowy drape. Cutting & sewing it, however, was a nightmare. It’s shifty and slippery. I’m pretty sure I started with some skewed pieces (the fabric had to be completely flat before cutting), but the shantung didn’t always match up after sewing it together, whereas, the lining did.

The great thing about making a winter cape in March–the lining fabric was also on clearance. The drawback: there wasn’t quite enough. I used a super cute aqua flannel with white snowflakes for 2 capes and a subtle tone-on-tone white snowflake quilting cotton for Froo’s. There wasn’t enough of that one either, so the hood is self-lined.
Frozen Elsa Cape
The overlay is really quite spectacular. I found a sheer, stretchy fabric with glittery silver sparkle swirls that looks amazing, with even the slightest movement. However, the shimmer comes at an annoying cost: it sheds pixie dust everywhere. The good news–no finishing required! I was going to trim the edges with sequins, but I thought it would weigh down the fabric and seriously, I’m not that crazy. Maybe just a little.
Frozen Elsa Cape
Frozen Elsa Cape
My favourite part of this cape is the fur lined hood! There are iridescent tinsel “hairs” dispersed within the fake fur, giving it a subtle sparkle. Love it. The hood is embellished with snowflake crystals and buttons stitched at random.
Frozen Elsa Cape
I used a big rhinestone aqua button as a closure. I like the bright pop of colour it adds to the cape.
Frozen Elsa Cape
Finally, I bought a couple of bead and rhinestone appliques from Britex Fabrics to make hair clips. There were so many beautiful ones to choose from, but finally, I chose one that resembles a snowflake. I used E6000 glue to attach an alligator clip to the applique.
Frozen Elsa Cape
So my thoughts? The red riding hood cape pattern is amazing. It really is. The shape is circular, while accounting for the curves at the shoulders, with clever arm openings–the design is brilliant! The hubs even said, “that is the best thing you’ve ever made.” I was completely surprised. I mean, I’ve made oodles of things, to which the hubs either says, “that’s nice” or on rare occasions, “that’s very nice”, but this one definitely has that wow factor. An hour later, he scowled at me after vacuuming up all the pixie dust. Hee hee. I should have made the overlay detachable, maybe?

I took some photos of Froo wearing the Elsa cape with her winter wonderland tutu and my wedding shoes. The girl would not stop twirling.
Frozen Elsa Cape Frozen Elsa CapeFrozen Elsa Cape Frozen Elsa Cape
Frozen Elsa Cape
My final thoughts? I sincerely hope Disney does not come out with a new princess movie for a long time. I’m hoping this cape will hold enough magic to last until Halloween! Although, now Froo is asking for an Anna cape and I might be crazy enough to make one…

A Special Baby Quilt

A Special Baby Quilt
The best man at our wedding welcomed his first child, a baby girl into his family on February 10! I am incredibly happy for the new parents and I can’t wait to meet their precious daughter, the next time we are back in Vancouver to visit.

This couple holds a very special place in my heart because they adopted our first baby… a yellow labrador retriever named George. It was a difficult decision to find George a new home, but it was the right one and we are thrilled that he was adopted by friends. Friends who love the outdoors and take George out on nature-filled adventures.
George
George
When I first spotted the Fort Firefly fabric collection by Teagan White, I knew it would be perfect for the new baby. I think her parents would appreciate that it’s not too girlie and the colours are varying shades of earth tones, with a vintage feel. The fabric is also 100% organic cotton, which is perfect for newborn babies. Besides, there are woodland creatures, fireflies and tents!
A Special Baby Quilt
A Special Baby Quilt
Froo & Boo use the quilts that I made for them every night, but they also use them regularly to build forts. We use their kitchen chairs with some extra-large binder clips to keep the quilts “pitched” to the chairs and furniture. (Froo’s quilt is blogged here; Boo’s quilt is blogged here.)
A Special Baby Quilt
These photos were taken last summer:
Quilt Fort
I chose the Firefly Hexi Patch print as the top of the quilt. I love that the hexi print already takes on the look of a patchwork quilt, so all I had to do was quilt on the existing lines with matching thread.
A Special Baby Quilt
The Tree Fort print was used for the backing of the quilt. The print is busy, with animal friends having all sorts of fun in the tree forts. As the baby grows up, I think this print will provide her with oodles of visual stimulation.
A Special Baby Quilt
I used Warm & Natural cotton batting in between the two layers of fabric. The quilt measures 35″ x 35″. I chose this size because I only had to purchase one yard of each print. There was a tiny amount of shrinkage in the wash and after squaring up the fabric, those were the final dimensions.

The binding is from Denise Schmidt’s Flea Market Fancy fabric collection, that I’ve had for quite some time. The brown coordinates with the quilt and the posies add a pop of colour to the binding. I machine stitched the binding onto the quilt for a quick finish.
A Special Baby Quilt
I had 2 skinny pieces of fabric leftover, measuring 6″ x 36″. Not really useful for anything else, besides juggling balls! I figured it could be something that the baby could play together with George, since February 10 is also George’s birthday. I’m not even making this up–Happy 7th birthday, old buddy! Hopefully, he’ll know not to rip these ones apart. I placed a small rattle inside each ball, to add auditory stimulation to the development of fine motor skills.
A Special Baby Quilt
Having a baby is an incredible miracle of life. While looking through the photos of George, I found this one. It’s my favourite of the bunch. The mother-daughter bond is a strong one that keeps growing stronger.
Mommy & Froo
Congratulations to the new parents and welcome to the world, baby girl! The Froo & Boo family is celebrating with you. xoxo.
A Special Baby Quilt

Some sewing happened in 2013

I feel like it’s really late for a year-end review. It’s not even the full list, just a partial selection of sewing projects by the pattern co. oliver+s, designed by Liesl Gibson. Every time I use an oliver+s pattern, I learn something new: a sewing technique, a better way to do things, elements of style and functional design–all things that make me a better sewist (sewer, seamstress, home-sewing enthusiast??). It’s one thing to churn out handmade clothing, but to thoughtfully grasp the meaning behind the process–this is what I am striving for.

I’ve always thought the term “self-taught” was a complete misnomer. It discounts the significance of teachers in all forms: bloggers who write/photograph online tutorials, authors of how-to books, pattern designers, mentors, and the list goes on. As a former teacher, I used to spend hours creating lesson plans to teach students computer software skills that they could pick up rather quickly on their own. My goal was to put together a framework for those skills to be used in a meaningful way–that there is a purpose behind everything. That way, new skills can build upon previously learned skills, opening up possibilities for incredible and original work.

I think a better term would be “self-learned” or even more specific, “self-motivated learner”. It somehow implies that the learning never stops. Even though my basic sewing skills were learned in my home ec. class over 20 years ago, I have learned from countless sewing blogs, YouTube videos, online courses, books, patterns and my mom. This blog helps me document what I’ve learned and also, to give back to the sewing community, from which I have gained so much. (Although, most of my sewing is virtual and only happens in my mind as I scroll through Pinterest…)

For me, improving as a sewist and learning new skills means that I can take my own designs and actually create them into wearable garments. I find this incredibly exciting! On January 13th, I will be sharing my original designs on the Project Run & Play website. I am still amazed at this opportunity. I have gained so much confidence from my continual effort to keep on sewing new things. Receiving positive feedback from this blog is immensely rewarding and gives me that extra “oomph” of motivation.

A couple of my Project Run & Play designs were inspired by the designs of oliver+s. They have my style stamped on them, but were only made possible by the skills I have learned in the past year, from using the patterns. Thank you so very much, Liesl!

For all the sewing tutorial writers out there, keep doing what you do. Chances are, I’ve been to your blog, but haven’t left a comment thanking you for your time and effort. 2014 will be a new year for me to try my best to leave thank-you notes, in the form of warm fuzzy comments. If a retroactive thank you counts, a HUGE “thank you!” for teaching me on my journey to learning new things!