Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sew What! Challenge Numero Uno!

Hello, hello! I have been so busy sewing and living and more sewing and more living that this poor blog has really paid the price! But, not to fear, nothing like a sew along and a theme month to revive us!

Today marks the first day of the Sew What! Sew Along! Woo hoo! I have already given the first assignment here and here but to make it officially official, here is the first assignment and the parametres that go along with it.

Challenge 1a) You are making a skirt, it can be for mama or child, but I know that Cynthia & myself are both making skirts for Mama.

1b) The entire challenge requires you choose one fabric and one fabric only for the month but due to a clerical error, we are allowing that this challenge you may choose either A) Your chosen fabric for the month long challenge, or B) Recycled denim. It is a long story that maybe Cynthia will explain and maybe not, but it has worked out in everyone's favour especially mine.

1c) You may use one or two fabrics more for embellishment by applique only.

1d) Challenge commences tonight (Sunday May 30th, 2010) and will run until Sunday @ Noon EST June 6th, 2010 where your entries will be upload to The Sewing Dork's Flickr Showcase Group or emailed to myself or Cynthia via our blogger profiles.

1e) On Sundays we will announce the next challenge and within a day or two we will showcase the submissions.

For a more comprehensive explanation of the sew along you can go here.

Below is a list of co-conspirators who have signed up for the challenge:

Steph of Mon Petit Poppet
Erin of Luck & Bliss
Donna of Comin' Home
Jaimie of Two Chicks & A Hen 
Deci of Rick Rack Shack 
Mandi of The Common Thread Kingston 
Angela Pea of Keeping The Faith

And of course, my partner in crime for this adventure Cynthia, The Sewing Dork herself.

If you think you would like to play along please leave a comment at a related post (This one or the original so far) and I will add you to the list!
That is it folks.Neither Cynthia or myself have ever hosted a sew along, so this is all new to us. We are still working out kinks so if you have any input please do not hesitate to share it with us!

Don't forget to have fun. Rules are really just guidelines if your creativity takes you elsewhere BY ALL MEANS go with it! ♥

Don't forget to grab a button to help spread the word!

sew what button

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wednesday on Wednesday (Or Thursday)

@ The Beach

One year ago this week we were dressing up for the beach. Witht he heatwave that is upon us, we will most definitely be dressing down this weekend!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My Crafty Weekend : 11 1/2" Edition

I just want to say that it is really hard to put together a pictorial post whilst watching a movie! I am watching Tin Man part one right now and it is very intriguing. It is also starring one of my favourite actresses Zooey Deshanel. Love her too? Who doesn't? Satan maybe.

But, yes, crafty posty thing..hmm..what? Oh right, My Crafty Weekend. Well, as I mention yesterday it was a holiday weekend here in Canada. Victoria Day Weekend, or La fête de la Reine in Quebec. And it was wonderful. We gardened, painted, went to fireworks and just generally lazied about. Did I mention it was awesome? So, not much crafting happened, but I managed to squeeze in a little sewing! (Ha, good one eh?)

These will not win me design awards, but I am nonetheless extremely happy with the results!

A few months back we bought Wednesday a couple second hand 11 1/2" dolls complete with hair cuts. One had a worn out dress and one had a hockey tape dominatrix thing going on. neither were very attractive but Wednesday was happy. That is all that mattered. Wednesday proceeded to undress both dolls as she does with every doll she owns. She find doll clothes quite cumbersome regardless of size.

Anyhoo, It finally occurred to me that I have both a sewing machine and the ability to use it. Sew I did (use it)! (HA see what I did there?) Yeah, moving on...
The Mister recently cut off the sleeves to a few work shirts (A very colourful assortment I might add.) and I got to work making these rudimentary (albeit pretty) dresses. The designs are not just simple for ease of sewing but Wednesday can get them on and more importantly off easily. I thought I might rig up a tute but this movie i getting the better of my time and I still have two more eighty seven minute movies to watch in the series. So maybe this weekend.

Oh! And don't forget about the Sew What! Sew Along beginning next week! Click here for the details! And in case you already know you want to play along, the first project is a skirt (for mama or child). Remember no embellishments not made of the fabric of yur choice, but you can do whatever you want with that fabric!

Okay, my movie is starting to get good! So I will bid you adieu! Show us what you got! What have you been up to? Baking? Gluing? Sketching? Sewing? It's all good in the hood! As always, here are you buttons! Usage is optional but I love seeing them on other blogs, seriously it almost makes me giddy!

P.S. Since I baked a couple pies yesterday (Blueberry & Blueberry/Rhubarb) I am linking to a post I did with the best recipe for Blueberry Pie!


Monday, May 24, 2010

Just a quick note...

Today is a holiday here is The Great White North and we have been enjoying it very much. My Crafty Weekend will resume either late this evening or first thing tomorrow morning.

The Management

p.s. Happy May 2-4 to my fellow Canucks!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Creative Space - Times, they are a changin'

I am at it again! Playing with Photoshop that is. Rummaging through my digital scrapbooking files looking for 'just the right piece'. I almost have it. Just a few more tweaks, and of course there is the great button decision! I have it narrowed to four five OK, I don't have it narrowed down at all but I will. Soon. I hope!

I am not going to lie, I love where it is going, and with every layer I learn something new about Photocshop and this crazy thing called Digital Scrapbooking. I think, I might even be ready for a tutorial. Just the basics, you know beginner to beginner in beginner language.

We'll see. For now, what with the Sew What! sew along and my upcoming Denim Month in June (Oh my goodness I am excited about that!) I have no time for billions of screen shots and labels. But sooooooooooon I promise hope.

Visited Kootoyoo yet? Creative Spacers are always fun!

Wednesday on Wednesday


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How To : Ribbon Toys

Two posts in one day?! I guess I am making up for the slacking effort of last week! But here it is, ribbon toys for those breezy days or music and movement fun times. It was the perfect excuse to use the Glitter Mod Podge I had just acquired. And did it ever turn out groovy if I do say so myself!

Ribbon Toy Close Up
This tutorial is super easy, and super pretty and super fun! All the while being perfect for a birthday gift, or loot bag or just because!

Wooden curtain rings approximately 2 3/4 inches in diameter
Mod Podge I used glitter my new favourite thing in the world!
If you don't have or do not want to use Mod Podge, you just need to seal wood, white glue would work just as well I suspect.
Ribbons I found polyester ones worked really nicely. If you have satin or silk that would be super awesome too. I didn't try grosgrain but I just didn't think it would flow well, ya know?

A note from the author:
This is easily a no sew project if you just want to hot glue where I sewed. My glue gun and I only get along half the time, the other half well, it takes a while to heal after wards.


Super pretty ribbon toys!

It took a day to seal and dry the two coats of Mod Podge, but I was an hour out of town for most of the day so I didn't rush the drying time. This a.m. when I did these up it might have taken an hour from start to finish and that is with the fray checking and thread changing on the machine.

Have fun crafting!
Proudly linking to:

Whatever Goes Wednesday @ Someday Crafts
Idea Sharin' Wednesday @ Women Who Do It All
Creative Share Wednesdays @ Trendy Treehouse
Show & Tell @ Blue Cricket Designs
Show US What You're Workin' With @ Me & My Bucket
Looking for that Creative High @ Those Northern Skies

Sew What!

sew what header
One part attitude, one part sew along and all fun baby!

This is something that has been in the works since April. Albeit a little halfheartedly until recently because I just couldn't get inspired for the graphics. I know, I can be weird sometimes. But, the more I sewed, the more I got 'into it' and the other night it just fell into place.

What the gosh darn heck am I talking about? A sew along of course! This is the brainchild of Cynthia from Confessions of a Sewing Dork and myself. But mostly Cynthia. I had initially asked her if she wanted to contribute to my denim month (Also coming in June, expect a post soon.) but she voiced a fear of denim but made up for it with an affinity for linen. I own linen but have never sewed with it so I just had a deer in the headlights sort of look. Then, she suggested a sort of sew off. (Not the sort that gets judged though.) I would work with my chosen fabric (recycled denim) and she would work with hers (linen). Brilliant I thought!

But wait, there's more! I thought, why not do a project a week?! Awesomeness. Then Cynthia had the brilliant idea to make rules! Normally, I am more of a guideline kind of person, but these rules are fun! Each week, along with a project, rules will be given, such as what materials you can use (if any) and/or techniques.

You're invited to play along! That's right, this is not just about The Dork and I. We really want everyone to sew along. Cynthia created a Flickr group (you have to be a member to post to it)to post your creations. We will feature reader's projects on the blogs as well.

The sew along is set to begin in June. I will give you a heads up on the first project now, and a reminder once a week for that and each following project.

Quick rundown of the project and rules:

Choose a single fabric. Choose wisely because this is the fabric you will be using to participate all month. It does not have to be from the same bolt or anything, just the same type of fabric e.g. recycled denim, linen, 100% cotton weaves, recycled t-shirts etc.

The first project is a skirt. It can be for mama or babe, but as a little hint Cynthia and I are making skirts for mama. Just a heads up, not every project will be an item of clothing, we tried for some variety!

We went straight up denim for these, no extra materials. Feel free to do whatever you want with your chosen fabric though.

Okay, there you have it. Sew along is set to begin Sunday May 30 and will run through the month of June. We will try to give you lots of notice for each project and it's guidelines as well as reminder posts.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your participation PLEASE feel free to contact myself (There is a button on my sidebar) or Cynthia. We welcome your questions and comments.

Class dismissed!

Don't forget to grab a button to show you are playing with us!

sew what button

Monday, May 17, 2010

My Crafty Weekend : Where did it go?!

What a super busy weekend! I feel like I didn't get anything done, but I did. I painted a ceiling at the new place and began disassembling an old swim deck. (That will be one of the greatest recycling projects ever! I can't wait to show you what we are doing!)

I did some graphic work for a Sew Along I'll be announcing later (But the barest of details can be found here @ The Sewing Dork.) I did some more graphics for an Etsy shop I have in the works and even started brainstorming a new look for this place!

My creation
But in the tactile world, this is closer to being My Crafty Weekend.

I gathered stuff together to make something awesome, which I'll be posting as a how to tomorrow.

I finished one of the projects for the aforementioned sew along.

I practiced cutting and folding fat quarters.

I moaned about only getting three buttons to cover in the package. (Good thing I only needed two for an upcoming how to!)

And that's it. Like I said, it felt like I didn't accomplish anything even though I know I did!


But, KJ of Let's Go Fly A Kite was accomplished. Such a crafty mama. Last week she linked to these adorable felt Matryoshka (nesting) dolls. Who doesn't love nesting dolls? And felt? So when you combine the two, you get a brilliantly adorable combo of felt puppets! If you follow the link you will get to see pics of an enviable collection of the real things, and I LOVE that the only one that is off limits is a porcelain one from Anthropologie. I think having toys in the house that kids cannot touch is just mean! :)

Okay folks, show us what you got! What have you been up to? Baking? Gluing? Sketching? Sewing? It's all good in the hood! As always, here are you buttons! Usage is optional but I love seeing them on other blogs, seriously it almost makes me giddy!


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wednesday on Wednesday

Having a nap

To make up for the crappy weather this morning, I set up Wednesday's princess tent on the bed to read in and watch movies from. We ended up having our nap in there as well and when Daddy came home he snapped a couple photos. Is there anything more lulling than a child's warmth and rhythm? Sometimes it is just too hard to get up after she falls asleep.
I know it is late but it is still Wednesday here in Ontario, for almost four more hours in Western Canada! 

Monday, May 10, 2010

My Crafty Weekend - Only Not So much...

Happy post-Mother's day folks! I trust you had a brilliant weekend? I hope the weather was good for most of you. The weather here was the pits all weekend. Cold, wet and windy! But it was a wonderful weekend. So wonderful in fact that I didn't get too crafty! I did some sewing on Friday but that is for another post and I started some refashioning this morning but that is for another post this week. So what do I share with you?

I thought about sharing with the you the pictures of the gorgeous fabrics I have been acquiring lately, vintage sheet style. But instead of inspiring stash envy, I will share with you my favourite link from last week.

I love this dress I mean frock. Made by Erin of Luck & Bliss it is indeed frock-a-liscous! The garment is lovely, and springy and I adore the little guy and his fedora! The reason this was my favourite post was because after reading it, it really drove home the importance of making a muslin mock up. Right now, most of my sewing is refashioning so muslin mock ups have only been a thought, but the more confident i get in my skills, and the more patterns I acquire, the more I will need to adjust my techniques and understand my skills and limitations and I think muslin mock ups are a perfect way to do this.  Luck & Bliss though, is one of my new favourite blogs to read. I found it through Wardrobe Refashion when she posted her freshly made bathing suits. I fell in love with her writing style and have been reading ever since. I encourage you to do the same. :)

Okay folks, show us what you got! What have you been up to? Baking? Gluing? Sketching? Sewing? It's all good in the hood! As always, here are you buttons! Usage is optional but I love seeing them on other blogs, seriously it almost makes me giddy!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Recipe : Strawberry Banana Cheesecake

Strawberry Banana Cheesecake

What says Mother's Day more than cheesecake? Nothing. I defy you to find me a woman who does not enjoy a quality cheesecake. So, naturally it fits that you would make the mother in your life a delicious cheesecake. This one is a New York style made with bananas and topped with fresh (and cooked) strawberries. It is big, and rich and there is nothing healthy about the combined ingredients but I promise you,it is one of the best cheesecakes you have ever eaten!

2 pkgs Lady Fingers biscuits (Should equal two cups when crushed) (Or Graham crumbs if that is what you have/prefer.)
3/4 Cup butter (melted)

Mix crushed biscuits with melted butter and press into bottom of springform pan. This recipe is large enough for a 12" pan.

(3) 8 oz pkg of cream cheese (softened)
1 sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
4 eggs (room temperature)

Beat cream cheese until soft, add sugar and salt. Add eggs one at a time and beat until super smooth. Pour over crumb crust and bake @ 350 for 50 minutes.

Take out and let cool for 15 minutes.

1 1/2 cup sour cream
1 large very ripe banana
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Mash banana really really good. The more you mash it, the less you see the bits. Blend all ingredients as smooth as possible. Pour over cake after the 15 minutes is up. bake @ 450 for 10 minutes.

When cool, top with fresh fruit. If you want even more delectable goodness, make a super quick berry reduction by heating one cup of berries with a couple tablespoons of sugar. Simmer until thick. Pour over individual slices of cake.

This cake can be made in a twelve inch pan and feed twelve easily. Or it can be made in a ten inch and still feed twelve. It just bakes higher in a ten inch, but the slices are just as heavy, just not as thick.

Bring this to yoru Mother's day tea party luncheon and you will leave with more than one Mom!

Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wednesday on Wednesday

May is here. The weather is gorgeous and we are still trying to get outside as often as possible. The Great Outdoor Adventure Challenge being hosted by 5 Orange Potatoes is technically over but the spirit keeps on. In light of last month being so very wonderful partly in thanks to the challenge for Wednesday on Wednesday I am posting a slide show of my Outdoor Adventure Challenge Flickr Photo set.


Thank you Lisa and family for giving us that extra bit of motivation we may have needed on those cloudy and cool days. Here is to many more days of making dandelion chains and jumping in puddles.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How To: Add Ruffles To A Swimsuit

Hello and welcome! I cannot believe it is already after four! Busy day busy day! But, I have the photos uploaded and I am ready to show you my latest attempt at refashioning. A couple weeks ago I came across some brand new swimsuits at the thrift shop. I wasn't sure if it would fit Wednesday (Although the tag said 4) but I thought for two dollars, it was worth a shot. Well, at first it seemed to fit but I think I was distracted by the utter plain Jane-ness of it. This swimsuit was all business. I thought great, you can never have enough swim suits in the summer and I am sure I can girlify it somehow. I did, and it looks darling!

Swimsuit Collage

Isn't it adorable?! I think it is. But alas, when I was taking an action shot, I noticed side of the suit crawling right up her little butt. Boo-urns! But it was not all for naught. I did take photos, and I did get a tutorial out of it. And I did learn for next time AND I cannot wait to do this to one of my suits! (As soon as I dig them out and brave the mirror.) Okay, on to the instructions!

Swimsuit (Preferably one that fits, but whatever makes you feel good.)
Stretchy material. Something with a lot of Lycra I guess. To be honest the polka-dotted fabric you see was bought as a remnant with not description. If I had to hazard a guess I'd say it was something you would use for dance or skating outfits?


Swimsuit & Fabric.

Measure, add and multiply by three. That will give you the length of fabric you need to cut for the ruffles.

Measure & Cut

Keeping the ruffle lengths with the stretchiest direction, cut your pieces for ruffles.

Lettuce edging.

Pulling both away from you and toward you with each end edge stitch your Lycra to give it the lettuce edge. If you are not familiar with the technique I have a tutorial here that turns a onesie into a top.

Finished Lettuce Ruffles.

Finished ruffles. See the edges that are curling themselves? That is the 'lettuce edge'.

Pin ruffle end.

To cut each ruffle, I pinned it to one side and then cut about a half inch past the the other side. repaeat this for all your uffles. (Or just eyeball and cut, whatever works for you.)

Coffee can dress form.

If you don't have a toddler sized dress form like myself, just use a 1kg plastic coffee can to keep the suit taught while you pin. We do not enjoy this kind of coffee, we are self proclaimed coffee snobs who try to only drink organic, fair trade varieties. But that is a whole 'nutha bag o' beans!


To sew ruffles, I used a three step zigzag stitch while pulling a little on both the suit and the ruffle. I tacked it in three places along the edge of the ruffle to help it keep it's shape.

Repeat for front.
Rinse and repeat for the front ruffles as well. I found it do-able to pin and sew three ruffles at a time.

Close Up Top
And you are done. This is the front of the suit. It turned out great, although the ruffles are more taught when it is stretched out, but like I said the suit is too small for Wednesday.

Close-up Bottom
The back ruffles turned out great both on and off the model. They do not cover the bum because I didn't realize the bum was so low.

It does look great though. I can't wait to do this to my plain Jane black and white swim suits. I also have some purple Lycra I am just itching to do something with!

Okay, I am running really late so I am going to post this now. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask! Happy refashioning ladies!

Proudly linking to:

Creative Share Wednesdays @ The Trendy Treehouse
Idea Sharin' Wednesdays @ Women Who Do It All
Whatever Goes Wednesday @ Someday Crafts
Make It & Wear It @ The Train To Crazy

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My Crafty Weekend

Oh my goodness it is a new week already! heck, it is a new month! May is officially in full swing. We were busy around here with a 50th birthday celebration, some baking and some sewing.

citrus cupcakes

Cupcake recipe Triple Citrus cupcakes from Martha Stewart Cupcakes. The glaze is my own recipe of Lemon Rum, Lemon juice and icing sugar. Don't let the smell of the rum fool you, they are delectable (That is a fancy word for delicious!). be warned though, the cupcake recipe calls for nine eggs. Personally, without the glaze they taste a little too egg-y for me. Just saying.

measure and cut

The only sewing I did was some super fun ruffle-making and adding to a swimsuit for Wednesday. It just was not girly enough! You can bet this was so awesome I will be doing it to a couple of my own swimsuits! Stop by tomorrow for the full tutorial.


I got in an action shot of the bubble skirt today! I am going to try hard this week to write up a new tutorial. One with bigger pictures. But for those interested the flickr set that collage came from has all the steps with instructions. I just love this skirt so much I am making another soon. I'll give a heads up when it is posted.

Okay, enough about me, lets talk about you. well, one of you in particular.

This is a lovely dress made by B @ Sweet Limes. I thought since last week I had been on a girly streak that this would be the perfect link to feature. Not only is the dress stunning but the post is about how every woman needs a pretty dress and sometimes, we need to make the occasion to wear it. I wholeheartedly agree. It is a rare treat that I get to wear a pretty dress and in the past two weeks I have worn two! Mine were thrifted treasure (that fit off the rack none the less.) and not handmade like this pretty lil' number though. If you enjoy quality sewing be sure to visit her blog for great examples of sewmanship particularly The Headache Shirt (another incredibly feminine number).

Okay folks, show us what you got! What have you been up to? Baking? Gluing? Sketching? Sewing? It's all good in the hood! As always, here are you buttons! Usage is optional but I love seeing them on other blogs, seriously it almost makes me giddy!