From teacher to student: why I still take lessons

After 20+ years of sewing, you would think I’d know it all. But sewing is a lot like engineering – just because your title is similar, doesn’t mean that you can do it all. You wouldn’t trust a civil engineer to build your spaceship, and you wouldn’t take your MacBook to an aerospace engineer for simple repairs.

In the same way, there are seemingly endless types of fabrics & projects, each requiring its own set of skills or expertise. Sure there’s some overlap, but just because I can do one thing really well doesn’t mean I’ll rock every sewing project. Sometimes it’s trial & error, and my family gets to be my guinea pigs.

Because there is still so much that I don’t know about sewing, or have never tried, I love taking classes & learning new things. Last week I snuck in the time to take a class that I was really excited about – snack & wet bags!

The class was offered at Sewing a Rae of Sunshine, where I often teach but have never been a student! I have to say, now that I’ve gone as a student I may never want to go back as a teacher!

But really, even though I already knew the basic concepts of how these bags go together, it was nice to sew in community. And in an organized, dedicated sewing space. And before the sun went down. And before the kids were in bed. All things that normally just don’t happen if I’m sneaking in sewing time at home – where I sew after the kids are in bed, in the dark, wedged into the corner of our guest room that’s sort of set up with my sewing things. Or I work on the living room floor or the kitchen table, where my cutting mat sort-of fits. You get the idea…

Anyways, I signed up for this class in particular because I knew nothing about sewing with PUL – the waterproof fabric that keeps the wetness IN your wet bag, rather than spilling out into the world. I didn’t know what stitch to use, or if there was a special foot, or any secret tips from the “pros” that I should know about. I didn’t even know what type of needle or thread to use with it! And then there’s snaps – do you install them any differently? Any wise words about where to place them?! (It turns out there’s some serious logic to the snap placement on this wet bag – who knew?!). But seriously – sew many questions!!! The teacher, Laura, was patient & all of my beginner-level questions were kindly answered.

Sure, I could have Googled & YouTubed all of that & after some digging probably would have come across the right answers. But you can’t always trust everything that you read on the internet – I’ve come across enough sketchy sewing bloggers to know there’s a whole wide world of crazy to sift through. Then you have to factor in the cost of materials & time for trial & error. I have to say now that I’ve taken the plunge & taken my first class, I will probably just always want to pay for lessons when learning something new!

And yes, I could also just buy wet bags or snack bags, but then my husband wouldn’t have a Wookiee bag to show off BAHAHAHA!

Advertisements

The perfect nursing hacked hoodie

It’s here!!! After 5 straight days of over 31C (40C+ with the humidity!), our fall weather has finally arrived, and I for one could not be any more relieved! To keep myself preoccupied & to help hold onto the hope that fall & winter are actually coming to stay, I’ve been going through my closet on the hunt for cold weather nursing clothes. Last week I found this hoodie that I made & photographed 2 years ago with baby #1.

The original pattern is a women’s Henley that I modified to have nursing access. Some parts need to be repaired & altered before it can be worn again this year, so it’s out of commission for now. It was always the plan to make another, but spring came early that year & there wasn’t much point.

After closer inspection and another fit check (since it was intended to be a wearable muslin), I tweaked my approach to come up with this year’s design for muslin #2.

Both the inner & outer front panels changed significantly for this version, and even though it’s comfortable & I love wearing it (likely because this fabric is divine & I’m in love with the basic, crisp colour combination), there will be more changes made to version 3.

I’m thinking that I will be most happy with the outer layer from #1 and the inner layer from #2. Hopefully the third version will be faster than 2 years in the making! In the meantime, version 2 was perfect for today’s cool weather – a quick run over to Sewing a Rae of Sunshine to help with some “office” work (in my lounge pants too, because morning) & our afternoon family walk.

My only regret is that these photos do not do this green justice no matter how I edit them – it is gorgeous in person.

Yes, I take my coffee (or tea or water) on family walks…don’t you?!

Pattern:

Patterns for Pirates Women’s Henley

Fabric:

Bamboo Stretch French Terry in Olive

Black 10oz Cotton/Lycra

*fabric from 2 yrs ago no longer available

Pattern Testing: Women’s Camilla Cowl

Hey there world! It’s been a long time since I last posted (you know, for my 3 loyal fans) but so much has happened in our little family over the last 6 months! This past week I was busy helping Jessica over at 5 Out Of 4 Patterns test the maternity version of the women’s Camilla Cowl (In case you missed it on Facebook & Instagram, yes I’m pregnant & not just getting fat!).

I’ve been through a few pattern tests now, and every time I’m selected to participate it’s always such an honour. I feel like especially because I’ve tested for this company before, it would be so easy for her to say “Meh, I want someone new.” Or “Meh, she didn’t really help much last time.” But for some reason she keeps picking me, and it’s always a week of fun, excitement, and stress all jumbled together. My son was VERY excited that mommy was always taping so many pieces of paper together, he even learned how to say his own version of the word “ruban” & took great pride in passing me each piece. Pattern testing is now a full family affair!

I was skeptical of this test at first, because I thought that I wouldn’t love this shirt as much as my other 5oo4 patterns. Cowl necklines aren’t usually very forgiving for my body type, and bending over chasing #BabyRydz around can take them from a PG to an R rating pretty quickly. It’s not exactly my ideal for the lineup of play dates, play groups, and doctor’s appointments that we have scheduled over the next few months. Jessica surprised me, though, by finding a great balance between drapey cowl & cleavage covered, so I’m thrilled.

5oo4_WomensCamilla_M_Maternity_Maryam_02

The options in this pattern are endless and at first I was overwhelmed, but in the end I chose:

  • shirt length,
  • elbow length sleeves: because even though there was a snow storm this weekend, there WILL be spring weather soon! I wanted something different from the usual 3/4 or short sleeve options that most patterns have, and I’m about the temperature of a sauna at this point in the pregnancy so long sleeves are a no-go,
  • banded sleeves AND bottom, to avoid hemming (Yep, that’s right: NO HEMMING!!! ALLLLLLL the love for a pattern that doesn’t make me hem!)
  • maternity ruching: this one seems pretty obvious, but I’m thrilled that there’s enough room for me to keep growing – it should fit right to my due date. Check out that gorgeous ruching:

5oo4_WomensCamilla_M_Maternity_Maryam_01

I originally planned on making a shirt that would be a nice match to my casual boot cut maternity jeans. In the end I was surprised to find that I made a really versatile shirt that paired nicely with khakis for church, and will work with most of my skirts too.

And how much do you love this floral?! I’ve had my eye on the Knottingley print for a while over at Water Tower Textiles Canada, and when they asked if I would be willing to sew up a sample of the new rayon/spandex that’s stocked for the summer, I knew exactly which one I wanted! The cream background is a touch sheer, because the fabric is so lightweight, but I like to layer tanks & camisoles under most of my shirts anyways so I didn’t mind. Really, it’s a small price to pay for such a gorgeous summer weight fabric, and I’m assured that the darker backgrounds aren’t nearly as sheer (if at all).

 

5oo4_WomensCamilla_M_Maternity_Maryam_125oo4_WomensCamilla_M_Maternity_Maryam_13

The moment of truth for this shirt was when I came home & decided that I wanted to wear comfy lounge clothes the rest of my Sunday afternoon. What did I change into? Well, leggings and slippers of course…but the shirt was too comfy to switch, so it stayed on for the rest of the day! The next morning, I stared at it sitting on top of the dirty laundry basket & debated long & hard if I could get away with wearing it for a second day. Would anyone notice?! I mean, did Instagram it the day before. And share it on Facebook. But was I going to see anyone who saw the posts?!

5oo4_WomensCamilla_M_Maternity_Maryam_045oo4_WomensCamilla_M_Maternity_Maryam_15

In the end, I decided it was wise to leave the shirt in the laundry, and make myself another one instead. Once the next shirt is done, I’ll probably get to work trying to piece together the scraps of this Knottingley into a pair of maternity undies. Seriously, the fabric is that comfortable!

Looking for the pattern? Find the Camilla Cowl here: https://5outof4.com/product/camilla-cowl-neck-top-dress/?affiliates=49

Looking for the fabric? Find the Knottingley rayon/spandex in cream here: http://watertowertextiles.ca/product/knottingley-rayon-spandex-watercolour-cream/

Men’s Halftime Hoodie Release

Hi there Internet world! I know it’s not been my thing lately to post outside of Sundays, but the ladies over at 5 Out Of 4 Patterns have been working hard to release the Men’s Halftime Hoodie today, and I want to give them a quick shout-out. PSSSSTT…be sure to read all the way through, there’s a discount code at the end of this post that’s good for ALL 5oo4 PATTERNS AAAAAAND a chance to win $50 in free fabric!!!

 

This has been the easiest pattern test for me so far. Despite a house full of illness (myself included), I didn’t feel manic or rushed at all, there were very few drastic changes in the size that I was making (medium), and the two that I made are completely wearable. For the first I used bamboo stretch fleece for the entire sweater, including cuffs and band, and a plaid cotton to line the hood (more on that later!) – it is exactly as the final pattern is written. For the second I used brown sweatshirt fleece for the body and hood outer, with green bamboo french terry for the cuffs, band, pocket, and hood lining. This one is made from a previous draft, where the body of the pattern is a smidgeon different from the final pattern, so fits a little baggier than you can expect from the purchased pattern – but the hood, sleeves, pocket, and band did not change between this version and the final, so it is very close.

5oo4_halftimehoodie_m_hood_tallpocket_0295oo4_halftimehoodie_m_hood_tallpocket_003

The options for this pattern include hood or crew neck, tall or regular pocket, and thumb hole or regular cuffs. Based on my husband’s personal preferences, both of these have the tall pocket, regular cuffs, and lined hood.

5oo4_halftimehoodie_m_hood_tallpocket_0175oo4_halftimehoodie_m_hood_tallpocket_042

5oo4_halftimehoodie_m_hood_tallpocket_0225oo4_halftimehoodie_m_hood_tallpocket_016

I used grommets for the drawstring holes, rather than sewing on a button hole, and I used non-stretch spaghetti strap as the drawstring itself.

5oo4_halftimehoodie_m_hood_tallpocket_040

Although the pattern isn’t written that way, two of us testers used woven fabric as the hood lining, and the other woman even used woven as her pocket – time to break out all those wovens you’ve been hoarding, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for! Here I chose a brushed cotton plaid, cut on the bias (because pattern), to line the hood.

5oo4_halftimehoodie_m_hood_tallpocket_0135oo4_halftimehoodie_m_hood_tallpocket_0010

This is the perfect casual, relaxed hoodie – it’s a simple, easy to follow pattern for a beginner (though a word of caution if you have never sewn thumbhole cuffs or installed grommets before: watch the videos!!!). Be sure to use a thicker sweatshirt material and avoid drape-y fabrics like french terry for the body & sleeves, unless you’re going for a very oversized shirt. Otherwise, you might want to think about sizing down.

5oo4_halftimehoodie_m_hood_tallpocket_0125oo4_halftimehoodie_m_hood_tallpocket_0445oo4_halftimehoodie_m_hood_tallpocket_0395oo4_halftimehoodie_m_hood_tallpocket_045

Overall, this pattern gets the thumbs-up from my husband, which means it’s a thumbs-up for me!

5oo4_halftimehoodie_m_hood_tallpocket_019

With the weather soon turning cold all day long, this is a perfect addition to your man’s wardrobe. Or, if you’re the kind who likes to snag a sweater from the other side of the closet every now & then for those extra-cozy days, this will do just nicely! I might need to make one for myself so that he can have this one back…

5oo4_HalftimeHoodie_M_Hood_TallPocket_047.JPG

If you’re looking for the pattern you can find it here at 5 Out Of 4 Patterns, and be sure to join their Facebook group for ideas, tips, suggestions, and free pattern support directly from the designer herself! The discount code HALFTIME is valid for 20% off all patterns until Sunday, October 9, 2106. 

Need fabric to start creating? To celebrate the launch of this much-anticipated (by our men) pattern, 5oo4 is having a drawing for a $50 Purpleseamstress Fabric gift certificate! To enter, make sure that you purchase your pattern TODAY, Thursday, October 6, 2016. Happy sewing!

5oo4_halftimehoodie_m_hood_tallpocket_037

Sunday Lately (Week 88)

New to Sunday Lately?¬†It works like this: every week there are¬†prompts from the Blogger Tribe (led by¬†Katy, Angelica, Meaghan, and Nicole)¬†to describe what is happening in your life. Then you¬†join the linkup¬†and we¬†e-hang out every Sunday, sharing that small glimpse into everyone else’s corner of the¬†world. Trust me, it’s really fun.

This week’s prompts are: Creating, Finding, Switching, Forgetting, and Craving.

Creating

I’ve been on the hunt for a dolman shirt that won’t become too boxy when I use a thicker, more solid cotton/lycra to make it. Ages ago I bought some custom knit material that is gorgeous, with the dream of making it into a dolman, before I ever had the exact pattern in mind. Now it’s months later, and I have the actual material in hand…but no pattern! On Thursday I put out a call in one of my go-to Facebook groups for sewing, and the feedback I got was overwhelming – I had no idea so many women were so passionate about their dolman-style tops! In the end I chose the Weekender Tunic¬†(aff) from 5 out of 4 Patterns, and I have to say that I am just pleased as punch! So pleased, in fact, that I made another one to wear to church today. It is everything that I wanted in a dolman pattern, and even though I know & love this company, I had completely overlooked it/would have missed it without someone’s suggestion (so thank-you, you know who you are!) Here’s my muslin (with & without the belt), what do you think?

Finding

New shows on Netflix! Has anyone else watched¬†When Calls The Heart?! It’s dorky, and I love every second of it. In 3 days, I’m already on episode 6. Watching while I’m pumping, taping & cutting patterns, & cutting fabric. I just keep finding reasons to watch, even if I don’t need one.

Switching

Switching gears into fall mode: on Monday I had my first committee meeting for a fall/winter activity, which officially means that fall activities are nearing full swing! The nights are cold, the pumpkin spice syrup is flowing, and the slippers have come out РI am more than ready for the return to routine and the seasons that I love.

Forgetting

Speaking of fall activities, I forgot to register my son for his swimming lessons. Yikes! When it comes to activity registration with the city, there’s usually drama of some sort, and parents wait online an hour or so before registration opens just to make sure that they get a “good” time slot. And registration opened on August 8th. Whoops! On the bright side, we like to sign up for the French lessons, and since we live on the mostly English end of town, there were¬†still 8 spots available for our preferred time slot.¬†Thank God we like to buck the trend on this one – consider him registered, and adorable Duck-level pictures will follow (or, should I say, <<les photos du niveau¬†canard>>)!

Craving

Dairy. Every. Little. Thing. Dairy! Seriously though, this week I’ve wanted chocolate, Nutella, a big cold glass of milk, Kraft Dinner, croissants, lasagna, yogurt, ice cream, and cheese to go with my apple – all things that I haven’t had in almost 9 months (we had to suddenly cut dairy out of my diet at 3 months postpartum, so it has been a looooooooong 9 months). #BabyRydz has almost fully re-introduced dairy into his diet, and when he does then I will be free to eat it too! I *might* have already binged yesterday at family brunch, though, so we’re praying that he actually takes it well, or else we will be in for a fairly awful rest of our long weekend. But OH. MY. WORD. Those croissants were worth it! And the chocolate chips melted on them. And the cheese on my egg. I think you get the idea…

Have a blog? Don’t forget to share your Sunday Lately post in the linkup too!

Sunday Lately with Blogger Tribe

Real Life, Real Sewing

Note: this post includes affiliate links! Check out the list of all affiliate links that help support #RandomsByRydz here.

sew20junetourgraphic randomsbyrydz

Well it looks like I’ve been bit by the blog tour bug! The good news is it doesn’t hurt too bad, and the better news is that (I think!) I worked out most of the kinks in the last go-round, so this one¬†should¬†go a lot more smoothly than my first blog tour post!

The challenge from Roxanne¬†at PenSeb&Rox and Sew20¬†is to show that you actually wear what you make – Real Life, Real Sewing. No staged photos are allowed, just pictures of us in our creations, doing our everyday thing. It can be a new item, or an old favourite that gets lots of wear. Oh yeah, and questions! She gave us questions to answer. So thanks for joining, sit back & relax with a coffee (or keep telling your baby not to eat your phone because you’re trying to read), and enjoy!

1. What do you look for when choosing a sewing project?

I like to ask myself¬†“Will (insert name here) wear it?” The same question applies when buying fabric, but for patterns it’s really the most important question, because to me there’s no use having it if it’s not going to be used. (See what I did there?! Use, and used. Never mind, carry on…)¬†The whole point of sewing for my family is to make clothes that we love and will wear, and that fit us properly.¬†As much as I love sewing, there is no point spending¬†the money on supplies, and time on assembly, if we won’t wear it – because that would be money and time better spent somewhere else, like with my family (who will then be¬†naked because they won’t wear the clothes I made?!).

But the clothes¬†that I have made are actually our most-worn items, and it’s such a relief –¬†because let’s be honest, how many of us have closets full of clothes & think “I have nothing to wear!” Yep, guilty. Right here. That’s definitely me. If there’s something me-made in there, though, I never hesitate. And I want that feeling when I pick a project – I want to love the fabric and the fit of the pattern, and I want to want to wear it every day. Like if all my clothes were dirty and I had to pick something from the dirty laundry pile to wear, would I pick that? If the answer’s yes, it’s worth making.

Other things to consider are whether I can alter a pattern that I already own to be similar to save on the expense of buying a new one, and how many projects I already have on the go (will it get done any time soon, or can I wait to buy it later when I actually have the time to use it?). Also worth factoring is how much have I spent on fabric lately? Since I don’t (usually) sew to sell, there has to be a plan for any fabric or pattern that comes into the house.

Oh, and is there a nursing version/hack included or out there in the Facebook sewing world that I can use/I like, or can I figure out my own hack? The perfect example is this Agility Tank from 5 out of 4 Patterns. In the original pattern there is a clip-down nursing option, but I altered how the bra is constructed to make it a lift-up option since the tank is already open on the sides/has access to the bra without lifting the whole tank up.

2.  Is there anything you would like to (or wish you could) do differently when selecting projects?

Yes! I wish I could sew faster to get more done, and not have a budget. Then I’d never¬†have to think about what I would do differently, and my husband wouldn’t panic every time he sees new fabric on the table! haha. ¬†

3. What is your most used/worn sewing project? This either could be of all time or currently.

The first thing I thought of was¬†my black & camel striped Layer Me Up (LMU) tee from Patterns for Pirates (P4P) – this is the first item I ever put a full bust adjustment (FBA) in, and I wear it ALL. THE. TIME. Like, if it’s not in the dirty laundry pile, it’s because I pulled it directly from the dryer to put it on. In fact, it has already put in an appearance on the blog! As with anything I’ve made for myself, though, it rarely makes an appearance in a picture unless it’s a selfie or it’s a planned photo shoot.

But then, I remembered the collection of pants that Baby Rydz has, and thought for SURE those get worn all the time, because they always seem to be dirty!¬†The reason I even started sewing with knits at all was so he could have some affordable Maxaloones¬†to fit over his adorable, fluffy cloth diapered bum. Then I moved on to Yoggers, because who doesn’t love little baby harem pants?! Then I discovered custom print knit fabric and the world of Facebook sewing groups, and all hope was lost. BUT, if the temperature is cool enough you can be guaranteed to spot #BabyRydz in some me-made pants, a bibdana, or the occasional shirt a few times a week. Our very favourite is this pair of Maxaloones made from a sheriff/cowboy/Texas Ranger print.

4. Do you have a project that you thought would be used/worn frequently but just did not end up working out?

YES! There are a bunch, but most of them can be taken apart, altered, and put back as something that I’ll wear pretty easily. Recently there was a case of serious “mom brain” around here & there was a pair of Mamaloones¬†that were beyond saving. I had measured myself, cut, and taped the pattern just a couple weeks after Baby Rydz was born, because my maternity clothes were cutting into my c-section incision & my pre-pregnancy sweatpants either also cut in, or were still just waaaayy¬†too small. But the project was put on the back burner, and months later I remembered that I still REALLY wanted this comfy pair of ‘loones for myself, so that I could have a bum circle too (yeah I’m dorky like that, it’s ok). Plus kind of, I was excited that my booty would fit into a pair of sweats without them stretching tight across the bum. #BigBumProblems¬†

Anyways, I forgot that I had measured & cut according to my size so soon after birth, PLUS I had been lazy (read: still on pain killers & really shouldn’t have been assembling pattern pieces on the floor) & didn’t bother shortening the pattern to my 5’1″ frame. By the time I was done, they were about 2 1/2 sizes too big, and a good 8″ too long. And they were entirely serged. I thought about fixing them, but was just so exhausted from a crazy day with the baby & the amount of work involved seemed too ridiculous. So I offered them to the ladies in my book club & one of them generously offered to buy them from me. Then she told me how incredibly comfortable they are, and how she wants more for herself & her daughter. Yeah, thanks. You know who else wants incredibly comfy Mamaloones? THIS MAMA! Haha. But the good news is that someone loves them & wears them often, PLUS just last week I finally made myself another pair. Another 3 months after sewing up the first pair. There’s no pictures of me wearing them other than the fit pics though, since I spilled food all over them the first time I wore them, and they’re light coloured. That’s just how I roll…

IMG_0890

5. What is your favorite tip or quote that applies to sewing for real life?

If you can dream it, you can do it. So often a friend will ask me if I can make something, or if it’s possible to re-create something they’ve seen online or in store, and it surprises them that the answer is always yes. Yes it’s possible. I may not want to, I may not have enough time, it may be easy, or quick, or cheap, or hard, or fast, or expensive. It may be worth re-creating, or it may just be worth buying it from the store, but the answer is still yes. So if you’re looking at a pattern thinking “I love it, but…” just remember that it’s within your power to change it! The beauty of sewing for ourselves is to make something exactly how we want, and if we don’t like it, we don’t have to make it that way! I love that this makes clothing shopping so much less stressful, because I don’t panic when I can’t find what I want, and in the end I have a closet full of clothes that I love and that actually get worn.

Do you have any examples of Real Life, Real Sewing to show off? You can play along by using the #realliferealsewing on social media. You can also win one of two $25 gift cards. More details at Sew 20.
Be sure to visit the other participants on this tour!

6/20 | Sew 20 Tour Kick-off | The Wholesome Mama | Wild & Wanderful | Randoms by Rydz

6/21 | Daydream Believers | Sugarplum Cuties | Friends Stitched Together | The Inspired Wren | PenSeb&Rox

6/22 | Sewstarly | Very Blissful | House of Estrela | The Berry Bunch | Musings of a Seamstress

6/23 | mahlicadesigns | sewingbyti | Candice Ayala | Call Ajaire | Sunflower Seams

6/24 | Beri Bee Designs | Lulu & Celeste | FABulous Home Sewn | Mae & K | Sew 20 Social Media Round-up

6/25 | Sew 20 Tour Wrap-up

Make Laundry Don’t Do Laundry – the Lady Hazel Top

Note: George & Ginger kindly gave me this pattern for this blog tour, but they have no idea what I made or wrote. The faith they have in their pattern says everything – thank-you for your faith in me too!

Screenshot 2016-06-08 19.56.08

When I first started blogging I remember thinking “Definitely, I will never be up for doing a blog tour, it seems like SO much work. I don’t know how those women do it – I can’t even keep up with the laundry, never mind professional blogging!”

Well, I haven’t jumped into the world of professional blogging, BUT when I saw a call for this tour where women would rather make new laundry than wash the dirty clothes, I knew I had to jump on! Karly, Jeanine, and Cassandra put out the challenge to prove that sometimes, it’s actually faster to make new clothes than it is to run a load of laundry through the washer and dryer. Though¬†I’m pretty sure in our house, it’s ALWAYS faster to make new clothes – even if it’s a project that I procrastinate forever and delay finishing!

Screenshot 2016-06-08 20.01.47

Exhibit A: the Lady Hazel by George & Ginger took me 3 days. THREE. DAYS.¬†to complete. Is that actual sewing time? No,¬†because if it were I would never¬†try to sew again. But it IS how long it took from the time I started until the time that it was ready to wear in public. Because life: Baby Rydz demanding attention, poopy bedsheets,¬†a monstrous spider invading my car, Bible study, hemming all 87 feet (!!!) of a prom dress, Baby Rydz puking on the sewing table (no, I don’t want to talk about it), and every other interruption you can imagine. You know,¬†life things. But then that’s the point of this tour, right? When we’re made to choose between¬†family time, sewing, and laundry, it’s family time & sewing that win. Unless there’s poopy AND pukey baby laundry. Sometimes, the laundry has to win.

But my reality is this: I am not one of those organized bloggy moms who gets a load of laundry washed, dried, folded, and put away every day in order to reduce the clutter/stress/chaos/wasted time/sanity/whatever else their Pinterest tag is peddling. I am that almost-losing-her-mind, way-out-of-her-league, totally-disorganized-FORGOT-TO-PACK-DIAPERS¬†mom who just had a poopsplosion happen in the middle of playgroup. ¬†Which means more often than not, it takes a good 10 days for laundry to get done around here. And no, I don’t mean all of the laundry gets binge-washed every 10 days (if it does, that’s probably because my husband has gone on a crusade, or I’ve had a REALLY good night’s sleep!).

It’s more like:
Day 1: Put laundry in washer.
Day 2: Don’t think about laundry.
Day 3: Remember laundry when we are across town & won’t be home for another 3 hours. Make mental note to switch load when we get home.
Day 4: Remember to switch load. But now it smells funky, so re-wash instead.
Day 5: Husband goes looking for soccer clothes, switches load to dryer but still doesn’t know where his favourite shorts are.
Day 6: Make mental note to wash load that has husband’s soccer clothes from last night before they get funky. Must also find other probably-funky load with lost soccer shorts.
Day 7: Husband takes load from dryer & puts in basket in middle of living room, as a passive-agressive attempt to get me to fold it. He puts baby load in because baby no longer has any clean towels for bath time. Or has made a mess of every crib sheet we own. Or both.
Day 8: Chase baby away from laundry basket 8 thousand times so he doesn’t drool on clean clothes, rather than take 10 minutes to fold it.
Day 9: Find wet swim clothes in swim bag that was used on Day 2, throw in washer & fold drool-encrusted load from living room basket so basket can be emptied/used. Empty said folded laundry to bench at the foot of the bed.
Day 10: Dress self, husband, and Baby Rydz using clean clothes on bench at foot of the bed. Realise we are all short on clean clothes, so print a PDF pattern to make. Put swim clothes in dryer, throw a new load in the washer, and re-start at day 1.
And now, an interlude of Baby Rydz, with a background of piled-up living room laundry, just to prove my point. Why is there ALWAYS laundry haunting the background of otherwise cute photos?! Oh right, it’s because I haven’t done it yet…
For anyone who neeeeeeeeeeds to know, this is how much time it actually took:
Day 1:¬†Printing, taping, cutting pattern & cutting fabric – 1 hour, 30 minutes. But that’s not *really* accurate, since part of that was spent chasing Baby Rydz away from the pattern pieces, taking breaks to hold him, and trying to work one-handed. Not to mention snack & rehydration. It’s always important to rehydrate…
Day 2: All of the sewing except hand-stitching & hemming Рand including seam-ripping one arm hole because I sewed it in backwards due to lack of caffeine Р45 minutes. Note to self: properly caffeinate before operating sewing machinery in order to avoid do-overs.
Day 3:¬†Hand-stitch & hem. I didn’t time this part, but I was done by the time hubby was done cooking a 1/2 pack of bacon.
Screenshot 2016-06-08 20.05.58
So why did I take¬†so long? First, it’s a new pattern. I’ve never made a G&G pattern before, so it’s getting to know the designer’s style and the pattern instructions. Second, it’s the hand-stitching. I HATE hand-stitching. Seriously, it took me 2 days to work up the courage to get to it. And in the end, it took less than 10 minutes. Was it worth it? To be honest, no. I’m not completely sold on the style, even though I was convinced that I would love this shirt. My husband¬†says it looks weird, and wants to know why I call it “done” when there are no sleeves? Whatever. But my least favourite part? The fabric I picked needs to be ironed. Badly. From the pictures you can’t tell that I’ve ironed it repeatedly, but I have. In the end¬†a drooly baby rolled all over it, and I decided to go with it because what’s an honest post about hating laundry if we don’t talk about avoiding the iron too?!
What I do like, is how airy/flowy it is – I’m sure this will be comfortable & light for summertime, even though there are 2 layers of fabric. I think I will give this pattern one more try, but now I’m on the hunt for juuuust the right fabric. And next time, I think I will cheat and alter the arm holes so that I won’t have to hand stitch at all. It won’t look as pretty, but since it’s just for me, I don’t mind. It’s not my absolute favourite top for this summer, but it’s a nice change from my usual “momiform” – which, if I’m being¬†honest, will always be my absolute favourite.
Screenshot 2016-06-08 20.27.33
Thanks for following along on his leg of the Make Laundry, Don’t Do Laundry tour! Don’t¬†forget to sign up for your chance to win some amazing prizes, AND get some amazing discounts from our sponsor designers, including George & Ginger, designer of this Lady Hazel!
My favourite part of a blog tour is discovering all of the new-to-me blogs. Be sure to check them out – some of my serious girl crushes¬†are on this tour – it’s like I’m mingling with the celebrities! HAHA! So really, go look around!

 

Thanks to all of our amazing sponsors for being a part of this tour.

A few of the designers are having sales for the duration of the tour, so here’s the codes!
George & Ginger use code MAKELAUNDRY25 for 25% off her patterns
Blaverry use code MAKELAUNDRY for 25% off her patterns
Stitch Art use code MAKELAUNDRY for 30% off patterns
Paisley Roots use code MAKELAUNDRY for 25% off patterns
These codes are good through June 12th!

Then Laela Jeyne’s Emily Womens T-shirt & the Deluxe Charlotte Kids Leggings are on sale through the 11th! No code needed!

I know everyone loves a good giveaway so here’s the prize packages:

Link-up Prize Package
Prize Package 1
Prize Package 2
Join the Rafflecopter fun here:
And don’t forget that there’s a prize pack for linking up your Laundry creation!¬†Link Up at¬†Pear Berry Lane,¬†Paisley Roots, or¬†The Crafting Fiend

Haben Sie deutsche Muster n√§hen?

It means “Do you sew in German?” Or so Google translate tells me. Is it right? Well, I really have no idea, so if I insulted your mother’s hairy back or complimented her moustache, I’m so sorry! BUT…more important than your mother’s esthetics nightmare – I can officially say that yes, in fact, now I do sew in German! Behold, exhibit A:

I’m part of a Facebook group that takes foreign language sewing patterns & does sew-alongs for the members, translating the instructions to English. This way, all if us English-speaking folk stand a chance against the nightmare that is trying to remember what the words on your pattern piece actually mean after you’ve lost your translation key. Why didn’t I just write the translation directly on the printed pattern, you ask? Yeah I’m not really sure. Because you weren’t here to think of that for me? Or because sewing & pattern piecing usually happens after 10pm in our home and I don’t actually function at that time? Really it’s a miracle this sweater doesn’t have 3 arms.

Anyways, even though I’m not really sewing in German, and I still have no idea how to speak German, I am very proud of this accomplishment. But you also need to ignore that someone had translated the instructions to English for me, because that doesn’t make it sound as cool.

Even though the pattern itself is really easy and is quick to put together, the translation wasn’t the greatest so I spent a lot of time  reading & re-reading. Eventually I gave up on the written directions, and mostly just stared at the photos & pattern pieces, willing them to make sense. As it turns out, this approach helped save my sanity (and my sweater!)

This time I made the tunic length because we’re between the seasons now and I always want a sweater dress at this time of year. Being short means I didn’t have to add any length to the pattern to make a dress. In fact, wanting a dress actually saved me the work of having to shorten it to fit properly. Win! 

I did the nursing mod AND a Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) according to the pattern’s directions/photos. The entire time I kept thinking this wasn’t the right way to do a FBA & wouldn’t really turn out properly since it only calls for added length, with no adjustment to width, arm scye, or hem. Now the “under bust” of the shirt sits at my natural waist rather than under the bust, and at this point it’s easier to make a new one with a proper FBA than to rip this one apart. BUT the nursing mod works, and really that’s the important part!

I also chose to do the “large hood” option, rather than a cowl or the “regular hood” – but I didn’t understand just how large it really is! My husband says it makes me look too Middle Eastern (ummmm…but I AM Middle Eastern, so I “look” it every day?!). I like to think of it more Red Riding Hood or gypsy style. It’s still gigantic no matter how you phrase it, so lesson learned & I’ll do the regular one next time!

My husband makes an appearance in this one! Or at least his shadow does. Hi honey!


The fabric was a Fabricville find (95/5 cotton/spandex), though next time I’d rather try a bamboo French Terry or another soft, cuddly fabric. And maybe this fall I’ll be brave enough to give it a go with a stretch fleece! 

In the end, I’m happy with the pattern & the final product, but there’s still more I would change for the next time. For now, it’s perfect for a spring walk with #BabyRydz & his papa!

This isn’t real life!

12512748_10156642191615545_6859586719552438673_n

Back in March, there was a week that my husband went out & left me home alone with a teething, sick, cranky, crying baby so many times that he felt guilty. He felt so bad that he decided I needed a night out to have fun, and he would stay home with the sleepless terror.

While I really appreciated the sentiment, and thought it would be fun to go out with the girls, I knew I just couldn’t do it. After such a long week, nothing sounded better to me than a long, hot shower, enough time to myself to finish a cup of tea while it was still hot, and some totally un-interrupted sewing time. I wanted to go to bed early as well – but no matter how often I say that I will do it, that never seems to happen. Oh and leggings. I definitely wanted to be wearing some comfy leggings. Leaving the house for a girl’s night usually involves public-appropriate clothing, and in my world leggings are not public-appropriate.

In the end I negotiated the chance to stay home and do all of those things – but really, I was most excited for the un-interrupted sewing time. I had a ton of projects started that really should have been wrapped up (including some paid ones!), but with an opportunity like this, I really just wanted to relax & sew for fun. I had been stalking my regular sewing & pattern Facebook pages (see a list of my favourites here) and noticed that there is a free pattern on Made for Mermaids for a mermaid tail blanket! Of course there’s no adult version, but then I wondered why not – what self-respecting adult wouldn’t love a mermaid tail blanket?! More than anyone I know, my sister would want this!

So I did what had to be done, and hacked the pattern to made it adult-sized. I used a thick sweater knit, so it would be both cozy and warm, and I tested the finished project for myself to make sure. Well, and to snap a picture of it, if I’m being honest. 

After wearing it for about 2 minutes, I realised that light pink is actually less mermaid and more salmon than I was hoping for. Everyone who’s seen the pictures has been kind & said it looks more mermaid-ish, but the reality is this: I made my sister a fish blanket for her birthday! BAHAHAHA!!!! Because I finished late at night I wasn’t able to get any really great shots, but I’m hoping that when she gets it, my sister will be willing to model it for a mini photoshoot. 

When she opened it up she put it on right away, because: mermaid tail! Of course that means she had to text pics to make her friends jealous, so I snapped this one. And didn’t tell her it would be posted here. EEEEEK I LOVE YOU!!!


It took all of my un-interrupted sewing time, but I finished it & wrapped it up for my sister’s present that same night. Even though her birthday is more than a month away. Whatevs. I felt SO accomplished! Plus, I MADE A FREAKING MERMAID TAIL! Honestly, it doesn’t even feel like real life. #DreamsDoComeTrue

My Favourite PDF Pattern Designers

The #1 rule of Pattern¬†Club, is you don’t talk about Pattern¬†Club…

This is going to sound totally ridiculous if you’ve never lived with a sewist (or sewer, seamstress, tailor, quilter, or whatever else they choose to call themselves), but the fabric & pattern world is a cutthroat business, with all sorts of copyright battles, cat fights, embezzlement, & huge drama. Think of a profession that is almost exclusively women, then add teenage angst, PMS, and menopause to a mob mentality. On the outside it’s pretty, but on the inside¬†it is nothing but darkness and drama if you don’t work hard to push back against it.

Since I don’t design or sell fabric or patterns, I’m able to steer clear of the insanity & choose to remain a casual observer (read: lurking to ensure that none of the people I order from are either psycho or a huge fraud).¬†Really, my favourite part of “Pattern Club” is to see what others have been creating, and to get ideas for my own creations. What was most confusing when I first started this journey is that *sometimes* it’s ok to ask the poster which pattern they used & where they got their fabric, and other times it is totally inappropriate, and they will become very angry or frustrated with you (and the 40 million other people who want to know) for asking.

The main reason for this is that anyone who sews to sell¬†(most are Work At Home Moms – WAHMs) does not want someone to go out and reproduce their one-of-a-kind creations & suddenly become the competition, or start under-selling them. The other reason is that while their item may be made from a base pattern, it’s likely that at some point they have mashed two or more patterns together, or used a pattern of their own creation, to design the item, and sharing that information with you for free in a public forum would again create competition, but also discount the tons of hours they put into testing to get it just right. Really, the seriousness of Pattern Club, right here. So you can imagine the drama when someone goes ahead & copies/scams someone else. Ugh.

ANYWAYS. While I’m also not willing to share every little detail of everything that I make, I do love sharing some of my favourite pattern shops,¬†because these owners¬†deserve some crazy credit for being as awesome as they are! In no particular order, here¬†we go:

PATTERNS

Patterns for Pirates – this is the only affiliate link that I have on my entire blog! But also, I’m am in LOVE with her patterns, they¬†are so easy to¬†alter for the perfect fit (I’m short, so there is no perfect fit for me without alterations), and even easier to sew up. The Facebook page is here if you want to see what people are up to with her patterns, or if you need some help putting one together.¬†If you’re going to get anything from Judy, please use my link & help feed my sickness addiction pattern collection!

Max & Meena¬†– most of these pants patterns have an option for cloth diaper bums and disposable diaper/slim fit bums, which we love. Plus you can’t argue with a pair of pants that will fit your kid from 6 months to 3yrs old. #MaxaloonesFTW
The Facebook page is here for ideas & help.

Made for Mermaids – she is actually the sister of Judy from Patterns for Pirates! Their style is similar, but different, and if I’m sewing for myself I will almost always choose a P4P over a M4M – but for the kids, it’s one of my go-tos. This one is especially great if you’re sewing for a whimsical, girly-girl little girl. Facebook group here.

Beautiful Pie Shop – one word: slippers! Really, enough said. Other than here‘s their Facebook page.

Stitch Upon a Time¬†– seriously, these are THE most comfortable underwear you will EVER wear in your life. After my c-section every single waist band on every single pair of underwear I had dug into the incision, and no matter where it fell on my belly, it would settle itself in that exact spot. Scrundlewear to the rescue! And their Facbeook group, here. ¬†One of their dresses is next on my must-try list this summer, whenever I get around to finishing some of the projects I’ve already started…

Did I miss one of your favourites? Maybe I just haven’t tried them yet! Leave a comment to let me know – I’m always on the lookout for designers to love and promote!

XOXO