Friday, December 8, 2017

Comfy Winter Boutique Blog Tour

Who thought I'd sew myself socks?!
I've been wanting to try out some of the sock patterns from The Wolf and Tree before so when the opportunity to do a blog tour came up, I knew I wanted to join.
I chose to sew up the Ladies Knock-Out Socks.

They're the perfect length for wearing in boots and they're great for when you want to keep your legs warm in the cold winters here! 
I chose to upcycle a turtleneck sweater I found at the thrift shop--I love a good upcycle. 
The neck part of the sweater became the optional heels and the rest is made of the body with a small part used from the sleeves for the bands.

When I saw the sweater, I knew that some of my vintage lace would be a perfect match to add that special touch. Who doesn't love a bit of lace peeking out over the top of boots?
The pattern has an optional top of toe seam as well as at the end of the toes, so I chose the top of the toe seam. 
I did have to slim the toe and front of foot part down a little from the pattern but otherwise, there are no modifications made. 
I do think with my fabric choice that I'd put elastic in the band next time or make the bands tighter. This fabric has a lot of stretch so they do start coming down after a bit of wear. If they were made with a fabric with better recovery they'd stay up better. 

Overall, I'm quite happy with the pattern and the socks. 
With the option of 2 way or 4 way stretch there are so many fabrics you can use.
Plus, there are a lot of options on how to finish the top to make them fit your style. 

All patterns in the shop are on sale until the end of the blog tour, so be sure to stock up on all the $5 and under patterns! 

The Wolf and the Tree Comfy Winter Boutique Blog Tour
Stitched by Jennie 
Cross Stitches Custom Clothing
Rikipedia Wear
The Wolf and Tree

The Sewing Scientist
Elli and Nels in Stitches

Kate Will Knit
Once Upon a Sewing Machine
Fabulous Home Sewn

Rebel and Malice
Blooming Skies

Lulu and Celeste

Monday, December 4, 2017

Holiday Blog Tour

I am not a winter person.
At all.
Up here in Alberta the weather gets cold. And it is a long winter often starting in October and ending with a final burst of snowfall or frost on the May long weekend. We don't plant gardens until after the May long weekend for that reason, though the weather can be decent for two months before that weekend.
But, I do love the coziness of having Christmas decorations up and all the yummy baking.
Add in cozy blankets, warm drinks, books, and friends and I'm all set.
It is a 'gezellig' time of year!

When I finally decided on how I wanted to sew up the Nancy Raglan from 5 Out Of 4, I decided to add long sleeves to combat the cold. 

I color blocked the sleeves to give a bit of a layered look and then tied the black back in with the neckband. 
The sleeves are the extra long length so I can warm up my hands as well. 

 The raglan is sewn up as the tunic length because I love long shirts. 

One of our traditions is to fry Oliebollen for New Years! 
It is a Dutch treat that I grew up with--I remember helping my mom fry Oliebollen in the shop every year. Our neighbours would come over and we'd have pails of batter to fry.
They were always the best straight out of the fryer after they cooled enough to bite into. 
But, they're delicious for days after with a bit of icing sugar sprinkled over them or a pile to dip them in as you eat it. 
You can even freeze them and reheat them in the microwave. 
This is the recipe I've started to use--it's not the same as my mom's as she used the boxes from the Dutch store...
I like the ease of that but I don't get out to the Dutch store often enough. 
So I searched and searched and finally found a recipe which I've tweaked a little and translated. 

  • 150 gr. Currants
  • 200 gr. Raisins
  • 200 gr. Apples cut into small chunks
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice (or juice from 2 lemons) 
  • 80 gr. butter, softened
  • 1 litre milk, scalded and cooled to luke-warm

  • 1 kg flour
  • 80 gr. yeast (about 8 tsp)
  • 3 tbsp white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Icing sugar for dipping! 
  1. Soak raisins and currants in hot water for a couple of hours. 
  2. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the apple chunks to keep them from turning brown. 
  3. Place raisins, currants, and apples in a bowl. 
  4. Let the yeast 'soften' in the warm milk.
  5. Put the flour in a large bowl (it will need to have room to rise!) and make a dip in the middle. 
  6. Add the eggs and the butter. Mix well. 
  7. Add the sugar. 
  8. Now, slowly add the milk/yeast mixture, stirring as you add.
  9. Make sure there are no clumps in the dough. None. 
  10. Add the raisin/currant/apple mixture.
  11. Now, add just a dash of lemon juice. Mix.
  12. Add the salt and mix again. 
  13. Let it rise in a warm place with a tea towel covering it until it is risen 1/3 or so--about 45 minutes.  
  14. Now, comes the fun part! Deep frying them. Heat the oil in your deep fryer and take a scoop (about an ice cream scoop at a time) of the dough and drop it in the oil. Fry and flip halfway through until it is a nice golden brown color. 
  15. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and place them in a paper towel-lined bowl. 
  16. To serve, serve warm with icing sugar to dip or sprinkled over. Delicious! 

(Recipe is modified and translated from this Dutch recipe!) 

Giveaway *CLOSED*
For a chance to win a pattern of choice from 5 Out Of 4, leave a comment letting me know your favourite holiday tradition! 
**Please leave an email address to contact in case you win!** 
***WINNER: CarrieAnn13***

Be sure to stop by the other stops on the tour to see what they sewed up out of 5 Out Of 4 patterns and for more favourite recipes, and giveaways!

Blog Tour Schedule
December 3 - Pattern Revolution
December 7 - Turtle Birdies

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Anegada Boat Neck

It's always neat to try out new-to-me pattern designers. 
And, to test a pattern for them is a lot of fun as well as you get to know the amount of work that is put into their patterns. 
One such shop is halfmoon ATELIER.

The Anegada Boat Neck is a simple pattern in a way but there are some neat details that set it apart.
It has 2 views. I chose to do view B which includes a neckband and pleats. 

The longest part of sewing this pattern is forming the pleats--the rest is a quick and easy sew and the neckband cut on the bias provides some stability to the boat neck, preventing it from stretching out too far. 

The fit was spot on for me.
And, depending on fabric choice, you can change up the look significantly.
Plus, with a view A which does not include a neckband but instead folds the bodice back a little at the neck to reveal some of the wrong side of the fabric and a waistband and sleeve cuffs, you have even more options! 

You can buy the pattern here.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Sharks, Hoodies, and a New Pattern

I've been doing a lot of testing lately it seems! 
One of my favourites is the Dress Up Hoodie from Mouse House Creations.

This hoodie has so many options.
A basic raglan hoodie and a variety of pattern pieces that you can use to dress up your hoodie. 

Line drawings of pattern pieces included!

I chose to do my final test as a shark for my youngest. 
The hoodie comes together very easily and quickly. 

I used a freezer paper stencil to paint the eyes on the hood and the words 'FEED ME' on the front.

To stabilize the fin, I added some fusible fleece on both pieces before sewing them right sides together.
Another tester came up with the idea to put the teeth on the lining of the hood and I love how that turned out. It's not as costume-y and more of a wear-every-day style which is my style. 

The neat thing about this pattern is that you can use the pattern pieces included and use your creativity to come up with all sorts of creatures/ideas. 
Each hoodie can be made as you want. 
I can see the deer ears being used to make a cow, some have made a fox, angry bird, etc.
 So many ideas!

In the meantime, I need to go feed this hungry little shark! 

You can buy the pattern here for $8.50 for a limited time. (Regular price is $10.50.)

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Apple Cardigan

I recently had the pleasure of testing a pattern for Bella Sunshine Designs!

When I saw the preview pictures, I knew I wanted in on the testing--I loved the look of it and my sewing to-do list was almost empty. 
But, I had to make sure I had enough fabric as the fabric requirements weren't the usual 1.5 yards or so for a cardigan but 2 5/8 yards. 
After finding this fabric in my stash, I signed up and soon found out why the fabric requirements were larger than I expected: the cardigan has a half circle skirt which takes up a fair amount. I think I used around 2 yards with stripe matching on a size 6. 

There were a couple adjustments made after the version sewn here (and that version was tested by the stage 3 testers!) The sleeves were slimmed down below the elbows and widened around the biceps. 
As with all the patterns I've sewn from Bella Sunshine Designs the pattern came together very well. 
It was a super easy and quick sew and it's perfect for fall layering! (If you have a fall...I think we skipped it as it was cold and snowing when we took these pictures!)

You can get the pattern here and there is also a girls' version of this pattern which you can get here
The ladies' version is on sale for $6.50 until October 24th, no code needed! After that it'll be $9. 
The girls' version is on sale for $5.50. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A Fall Outfit

I've been wanting to sew up a Military Messenger Bag in faux leather for quite sometime now. 
When I got some faux leather in a destash/sale from West Coast Fabric, I knew exactly what it'd be for. 
I had already bought some webbing from a neat little quilt shop in Canmore, AB so I was all set. 
Yet, I was a little intimidated--I knew if I made an error you'd be able to see where I had to seam rip.
So, I put it off. And off. 

Finally, I got up the nerve and just started cutting and then sewing. 
The hardest part was the fact that the faux leather would stick to the presser foot and not move as it was supposed to. 
Some people gave tips, and I ended up taping some masking tape to the bottom of my presser foot to make it more slippery. 
I'm so glad it got finished--I love how it turned out! 

The sweater is also a newer sew.
The fabric is (or shall I say was) an XXL men's shirt from Walmart for $3. 
I did a lot of seam ripping to be able to re-use the neck band, hem and sleeve bands, and was even able to keep the fancy V on the neckline! 
I had to do the 3/4 sleeves as I didn't have enough fabric to get a long raglan sleeve out of a regular sleeved men's shirt. 
The sweater is super comfy and a bit of a step away from a lot of my pinks and florals that I love so much.

You can read more about the jeans here

Friday, September 29, 2017

Back to School Tour

This post contains affiliate links--they help support my sewing addiction so if you are inspired to buy a pattern because of what you see on my blog, please buy through my links. Thank-you! 

Or, the Not-Back-To-School stop on the tour...
We're not heading back to school as we homeschool, but each fall the kids are in dire need of some new, well fitting, un-torn, un-stained clothes. 
We do often leave the house for swimming lessons, co-ops, and other functions after all. 

So, first up is the Nivalis Dress from Sofilantjes and the Caramel Leggings from Filles a Maman. 

My daughter is thrilled with this outfit! 
I love the style of the Nivalis--I'm a sucker for European style. 
What I love about these is that they are not just plain leggings. 
They actually have design features, and the fit is great.

Next up is the Dax Trousers from Gracious Threads, the Military Messenger Bag from FABulous Home Sewn, and Rascal Raglan from Ottobre 4/2013.

So for this one, the Dax Trousers are such a classic pant style. 
The functioning fly, adjustable waist, and welt pockets make it so you can have play pants with a sturdy denim or you can have Sunday pants with a fancier fabric. 
My son uses the Military Messenger Bag for taking his Bible, pen, notebook, and other 'necessities' to Church. 
It makes a great book bag! 
(You can read more about this pattern and bag here!)

The shirt is a staple in this house. I keep turning back to this pattern for my kids. 
I do put a different cuff on this shirt than is provided in the magazine.
They have you put a cuff on single-layered and then still hem that. I do a folded over cuff so I don't need to hem the sleeves. It makes it a bit of a quicker sew and I prefer the look. 

Be sure to stop by all the other great stops on the tour!
Monday, September 25, 2017
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Thursday, September 28, 2017
Friday, September 29, 2017

Saturday, July 29, 2017

My Favourite Favorite Tee and Skinnies

This is one of my all time favourite outfits so far.
I love the flowy-ness of the top combined with the slimness of the skinny pant. 
Plus, the shoes. 
I picked them up for $5 at the thrift shop.

I used Jocole's Skinny Pants pattern with yoga waistband. 
My fabric has no stretch at all and is a pretty thick/heavy-weight denim so I did have to sew a narrower seam allowance.  
It is from here.

I don't have a picture of it, but I added some fun top stitching to the back pockets and actually sandpapered it a little to make it look a little worn. Just a little. 

The top is Patterns for Pirates' Favorite Tee in a lovely rayon/spandex from Water Tower Textiles. It's available here.
One thing I'd take into consideration next time with this type of fabric is that rayon doesn't have as much recovery as some of the other knits I use so the neckband can be pulled down quite easily by little baby hands. 
But. the top is super comfortable and great for summer as it's so airy and light. 

I did raise the neckline a bit but that was the only mod I made. 
I want to try some more of the options on the Favorite Tee such as the curved hem, and I'd love to make some more in this style as well. 

Patterns Used: 
Jocole's Skinny Pants
Patterns for Pirates' Favorite Tee

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Duchess and Hare Blog Tour

It is sometimes a little 'scary' using fabric for a pattern that comes from a new-to-me designer.
I'm pleased with the results of this one.

I sized up for length as I like my girls' dresses a little longer than a lot of dresses are designed.
They out-grow them slower and it's a little more modest.

Overall I'm happy with how this pattern turned out--I've had a number of adults saying they would wear a dress like this!
The only thing that was new to me on this pattern was the method of sewing the bias trim around the bodice. It is a method that needs to be done with care so you have no raw edges poking out.
But, the end result is pretty sweet!

I love how the lace pops out and breaks up the print.
The pattern has the option to do a solid skirt and one with lace/bias binding trim.
The bodice runs a little wide at the shoulders but my daughter is petite and is on the low end of the size range.

Fabric was a thrift store find a number of years ago.
This was the perfect vintage-esque pattern to use it for.

Be sure to enter to win the giveaway for
5 Duchess and Hare Patterns and a $25 gift certificate to Threads and Stitches Fabric. 

Be sure to stop by the other blogs on this tour to see some more of Duchess and Hare's patterns sewn up!

Monday July 24 Neva Couture Curtiepie
Tuesday July 25 Seams Sew Lo Auschick Sews

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Modest Swimwear! A Blog Tour

I have always hated swimming suits on myself. 
There I said it. 
I dislike how they show most of my body, I dislike how uncomfortable I feel in them.
So....why did I join in on this blog tour?
Because I'm excited to share a modest swimming suit that does not make me feel uncomfortable.

After years of trying different swimming suits--all of them failing in the comfortable-ness (is that even a word?!) department, I decided to make my own.
And, not with an actual swimsuit pattern.
So...that is what I did!
I can now post a picture of myself in a swimsuit on the internet.

Patterns used:
Patterns for Pirate's Layer Me Up Shirt
Fabric is from Marshalls Fabrics in Edmonton.

The Lille I used the sports bra version and then the Layer Me Up is the top shirt. 
For the bottom, I attached both the Leggings and the A-Line Skirt to the yoga waistband. 
I did modify the skirt a little with side panels as the fabric has less stretch than the recommended fabric and it was hard to move in it.
But, I'm thrilled with how it turned out....I can now go swimming in comfort! 

Grand Prize:
Two ways to enter: Enter the Grand Prize Rafflecopter, and/or post a swimwear item you’ve sewn on Instagram. Readers can enter more than once on Instagram but must use a different photo/different sewn swim item per entry. (Ie. multiple photos of the same outfit only count as one entry).
Items allowed: swimsuits and swim coverups for the entire family (women, men, children).
To enter on IG: Post your photo and use the hashtag #SwimsuitEditionTour and tag @luluandceleste and @debzaleski in your post.
Items can only have been sewn since the beginning of June 2017. Closes July 2nd 11:59 pm EDT.

More details here: Instagram Contest

Prize: Phat Quarters $25 (USD) gift card + Boo Designs $100 (AUD) gift card + Sewing by Ti -$20 (USD) gift card + Made by Jack's Mum - swim pdf pattern bundle

And, to win today's giveaway,  5 out of 4 - 1 pattern of choice + Fabric Fairy $30 (USD) gift card enter the rafflecopter below!
Giveaway closes at 11:59 pm EST Wednesday night.

Be sure to check out all the other amazing swimsuits that have been sewn for this tour!