Welcome to my blog!

The purpose of this blog is to explore my development of scrapbooking techniques. I will also provide reviews of products when I find something great or something terrible, and will show off all the work I enter in challenges and contests. Please check out my Welcome note if this is your first visit.

Feel free to ask questions about any of the materials or techniques shown here!

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think, or follow my blog so you can keep updated!

Happy Scrapping!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Sofilantjes Turns 1 - Summer Surprise Anniversary Tour

Big Congrats to Anne Jacobs, the talented designer of the Sofilantjes patterns! She has been publishing her patterns for a year now! If you're not familar with Sofilantjes, you can check out her patterns on her website, Etsy or her Facebook page.

To celebrate, we are having a fun Anniversary tour of a ton of blogs this week, and we have all made a version of the Summer Surprise top, tunic and dress pattern. This pattern has been re-released to a  revision to include layers in the pattern pieces and revise the instructions to the new format you may be familiar with. If you already have the pattern, you can get the update from your account, or, if you got the pattern through Etsy, won it or tested it, email info@sofilantjes.com with proof and you can have the new pattern!

This pattern is super cute and classy. I made the dress for my husband's 30th birthday, and the older girls were eyeing it up even... so definitely buy both size ranges, your daughters won't be disappointed.

Even good for hanging in a camp chair

 I decided to mash-up my Summer Surprise with the Gemini skirt view A. I really wanted that pocket.
I had thought about bringing the side seam to the front all the way around, but was worried it would bug Izzy's little chest, and of course she couldn't tell me.

I made the 18m top and used the 18-24m pocket as the back skirt matched the width of the back piece of the Summer Surprise dress. I overlaid the front piece onto the pocket piece to match the curve, since the bottom of the Gemini skirt is straight and the Summer Surprise is curved.

I attached the binding strip as in the instructions, and then just ironed over the top and sides about 3/8" and stitched it on. I basted the bottom of the pocket to the bottom of the dress within the seam allowance to keep it there while I folded and hemmed the bottom. Alternatively you could also serge the bottoms together before hemming.

I really like this pattern because although it looks really fancy and classy, its a super quick sew! The instructions are really well thought out to make the construction simple and to prevent issues like readjusting the bow placement and doing a lot of seam ripping. This is the first time I have tried directly serging binding without stitching it on first, which I did around the arm binding, and wow, does that ever take a lot of time off! So if you're afraid to try it, don't be, its really not that hard!

For this project, I used a 100% polyester knit for the dress itself, which I found at Len's Mill. Unfortunately there were no details on the bolt. The yellow solid is a 100% poly solid from Fabricland I bought a while ago. The navy and turquoise are actually cotton/lycra tank tops from Old Navy that I bought for $3.50! I got the XXL size to make it much easier for me to reuse. A good way for my Canadian friends to get some cotton lycra (95/5) to work with. It is a bit thin and has a ribbed side and a smooth side but it seems so far to have good recovery.

I hope you all like it and are starting to think about how you could alter the Summer Surprise! My next goal is to make up a top for her to wear... but I will be checking out all the other blogs in this tour to see what fun ideas others have come up with that I can possibly steal.

Check out all the fabulous sponsors for this Anniversary tour!! You definitely want to come back every day and visit the other blogs to enter!!
Today's giveaways are as follows:
E+M Patterns, winner's choice 
-Izzy & Ivy, winner's choice
-Mandy K Designs, winner's choice
-Paisley Roots, Saffron Twirl 
-Rose & Lee Designs, winner's choice 
-Aivilo Charlotte, winner's choice 
-Funktional Threads, winner's choice 
-Sofilantjes, winner's choice

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Run!!! Go! Quickly! Enter to win! The Izzy Monster is after you! 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Popolok's Janet Top - A Pattern of Versatility

I was just granted the opportunity to test the Janet pattern for Popolok Design, a great little pdf pattern company out of Malaysia. Designer Alviana really puts a lot of thought and quality into her designs. This definitely is a shop where you won't find the same old same old!

I love this Janet pattern off the start because there are so many options! 5 neckline and 5 sleeve options gives you a ton of different style shirts, all in one pattern!

Here it is on my little princess, with the puff sleeve and the Peter pan collar! I made size 1, and it fit just wonderfully! No modifications necessary!

She thought it was lots of fun and was happy to wear it all day until... you guessed it... she got it all dirty and wet digging in the garden!

This pattern is definitely not for the beginner, it requires a lot of techniques and a very good hand with the iron. That being said, it is worth the labour, even when you are dumb and cut two left fronts and no right fronts and it takes forever to figure that out. Ha. Ha. :)

It is best suited to light to medium weight fabrics, and the instructions include information on how to fully line (bodice lining is included in general) and also how to add a lace topper over the yoke section.

The pattern is very well written in general with all the terms defined. It might be a bit confusing with all the options to read through, but once you actually get sewing I think its super easy as the end of each step tells you where to go if you aren't doing the part that is shown next. There are lots of color photos too.

Skills required: understitching and topstitching, good ironing skills, lots of gathering, snap insertion or buttonholing. There is no "stitching in the ditch" which is common with collars :) 

You need a good hot iron with steam for this pattern if you're using cotton. 

Materials required:
Lightweight woven fabrics like chambray, poplin, voile, batiste, lawn, dotted swiss etc. Or mediumweight woven fabrics. I used broadcloth for my solids in black and pink, and the pattern is a heavier poly/cotton blend woven (on the heavier side of medium) which was in the stash from a stash-clearout sale where I got 7 garbage bags full of fabric for $40. So in all, my fabric cost was only maybe $2 for this whole shirt!!
Regular thread (I used Gutermann all-purpose)
Snaps or buttons
Fusible interfacing (I always use Pellon) 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The new Brueram Dress & Top from Sofilantjes!!

Hi everyone,

I've decided this blog is now going to be about ALL my crafting, sewing, scrapbooking etc. Because let's face it - many of my lovely friends and followers do more than just scrap or make cards, and if you don't, I hope to inspire you to get started sewing!!

Having a daughter I've gotten back into sewing. Most dresses for her take maximum 2 yards of fabric so its not a huge cost at our inflated Canadian fabric prices, and the projects aren't that long in duration so I don't get bored (haha)

I was given the privilege to test the Brueram Dress and Top from Sofilantjes over the past week, and boy oh boy do I love it!

This is the first Sofilantjes pattern I've tested, and I can tell you I will be begging for more! Designer Anne Jacobs has a very classy style even for our littles, and her patterns are very well written such that I would even recommend this one for a beginner if you have some good guidance from a more experienced "sewist".

 As you can see, there is a peplum top, a tulip style skirt and a maxi dress option.

In addition, the back of the dress is designed to either be shirred or to use elastic in casings.

You can even run in it!
The option I made was the 12 month size. Iz is 31.5" tall, has a 19.5" chest and a 20" toddler tummy.

I was super worried about this not fitting since she has quite the tummy right now, but it fit very well. She was very comfortable in it and wore it all day until she got soaked playing in the garden.
Great for looking at the flowers
Checking her shadow in her pretty dress!
The back option I used was the elastic casings back. You can hardly tell its any different from shirring. I would strongly suggest learning to shirr though. I had quite the battle when I lost one of my elastics inside the casing when I missed it baste-stitching the other elastic ends in.
Check out the back!
That being said, I am so so happy with the dress despite the issues stitching it up.

This was a simple dress to sew up. The option I selected had the most pieces - 5, and took about 1.5 yds of fabric. I am very excited to sew other options from this pattern because I love the look of the bodice on Iz.

I loved that the front bodice and straps are one piece which really helps keep the front very even and uniform. TIP: pin or anchor that piece down good because the straps are long to be able to cross and may shift when you are cutting

The pdf pattern includes the "layers" function AND page numbers so you know exactly which pages to print for the pieces you need and you only need to use ink to print those pieces. The pattern is very easy to lay out with shaded circles in each corner to match up. Rectangle pieces for the other skirt options on this pattern are listed in a nice table. There are no pieces for the rectangles if you prefer that. I do not, I use a large quilting cutting mat and it has all the markings on it so I just use that for cutting all my rectangles. 

The pattern includes sketches of the design, a measurement chart and a finished garment measurement chart... all the things on my wishlist! A big check there for Anne! 

The sizes included are 12 months to size 14, for the non-developing figure. I sort of wish she would make one for the developed figure too, Mama would love a dress like this one!! 

She also includes instructions about how to grade the size of your pattern to fit a girl who needs either a skinnier or a wider dress based on her torso vs height measurements.

The instructions are well written and included photos and images for each step. There are also hints and tips along the way to help you out. For those who prefer text instructions only, there is a summary of instructions to follow as well, and even a summary page of all the sketches which I particularly like and will probably use next time I make the dress. 

In all, this pattern covers nearly every single thing I think most sewists would like to see in patterns, and has it arranged for different types of sewists and dare I say even different types of learners.

This is my first pattern from Sofilantjes but will not be my last... head over to the site and pick yours up as it is on sale for its introduction as well!!

Skills required: understitching (that is stitching the seam allowance to the lining, an alternative to topstitching), hemming a circular hem, shirring or patience, good ironing skills

You need a good hot iron with steam for this pattern if you're using cotton. As with all woven dresses, you need to iron frequently and press well to get the most beautiful, crisp dress. 

Materials required:
Lightweight woven fabrics like chambray, poplin, voile, batiste, lawn, dotted swiss etc. If you feel the fabric is light and flowy, something that exudes summer breezes, its probably going to be perfect. I used something from the spring collection at Fabricland (West).
1/4" elastic OR elastic thread for shirring
Regular thread (I used Gutermann all-purpose)

Remember, visit Sofilantjes and pick up this pattern for your little!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Scrapfest 2015 and my first canvas

My goodness it has been a while!! 

I have been around and I have been crafting, and shortly you will get to see a lot of my work. Let me tell you, having a baby that doesn't sleep wreaks havoc on the blog and crafty time!!! 

I attended Scrapfest this weekend (love it!!), the Kitchener version, and was lucky to be able to take a class with Agnieszka Bellaidea called the Centre of Attention Canvas workshop. You can see the description here.

To say I was scared to death is perhaps an understatement! I was so nervous. 

If you checked out the link, you will have seen the materials list where it said this: 
  1. Anything you want to add on your project like; broken costume jewellery, shells, handmade flowers, lace, feathers, etc.
 And now you see why I was freaking!! What does that mean? What should I bring? What could I use?
I filled my entire rolling scrapbook tote with this bullet point only. There was ribbon and burlap and every kind of trim and lace I could dig out of my scrap room and my sewing supplies. There were doilies and handmade flowers and purchased flowers and anything else random I could find and throw in!

As I shopped on the Scrapfest floor with my BFF, I got less and less nervous and started to get excited. I loved my photo I was going to use, taken by my good friend Dawn at Smile for the Birdy, and I was excited to see what I could make!!

What do you think? 

I chose to use the "back" side of our canvas to be able to have that bold framing on it, and also so that I could get DH to put a piece of Lexan over it to protect everything from the dust. 

My basic process was as follows: 
  1. Prep canvas with gesso, including the sides and the "frame". Let dry.
  2. Select papers to use and glue on (I covered the whole frame in papers which I fussy cut around the flowers and details) 
  3. Add texture and detail with gesso or modelling paste and stencils. I used primarily modelling paste to get the crisp, highly detailed roses, striping and hearts. Let dry.
  4. Mist texture details and canvas in general
  5. Mount the photo on the mat paper, and mount that assembly on chipboard. Affix to the canvas. 
  6. Paint the chipboard elements first in a berry acrylic paint and then on top a gold glaze. Let dry and affix in place. 
  7. Add lace, pearls and flower accents as needed

Supply List
Papers: vintage music, My Mind's Eye, unknown
Chipboard: Imaginarium
Lace: Webster's Pages
Pearls: Recollections
Mediums: Gesso, Liquitex Modelling paste (regular)
Stencils: unknown
Photo: WalMart photo studio 8x12 matte
Paints and Mists: unknown
Adhesives: 3M, Tombow, Glossy accents
Tools: Martha Stewart, Cutterbee scissors, Pampered Chef scraper (to apply the modelling paste), foam brush, paintbrushes

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Amanda's Stitch a Shape Challenge

OK - so at the 2SF blog in February, Amanda issued the challenge to "stitch a shape".  How hard can it be? 

Hard. The answer is very hard. At least when you can't for the life of you draw a danged fish to look at least half as decent as the fish stickers!  So finally I settled on waves. Yep. They are ugly. But you can too!!! 

No seriously though, if you want to "stitch a shape" - use something to trace to place your holes around. Unless you can draw way better than I can!

Supplies: Momenta, Creative Memories, unknown

Oh! I guess you are wondering where this is - Georgia Aquarium - went there for a hospitality thing when I was at the IPPE trade show in Atlanta this year (IPPE is the poultry production expo, how exciting, eh?)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Shelby's Pile it On Challenge

So over at the Two Scrapbook Friends forum, Shelby issued the challenge to "Pile it on". Aka use a lot of stuff.  Normally, not a problem, but for this one I wasn't sure, so I decided to "pile on" the stitching using my brand new Husqvarna Opal 670. If you're just a scrapper, this machine is likely a little out of your price range, but if you sew too, its a DREAM !!

I even stitched the title using one of the built-in fonts. It didn't work so great in the paper, but its legible. So I stitched the top and bottom borders, around both pieces of Crate Paper paper and the title. Other supplies: American Crafts, Creative Memories and Gutermann (now that's a name you won't see much on scrappy pages!)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Ann's Sketch March

Isn't this a gorgeous sketch by Ann over at the Two Scrapbook Friends Forum? 
I love how this one turned out, I wasn't sure in the beginning but as long as you keep going with it, it usually turns out fine. 
Supplies are MME, Precocious Paper, Cosmo Cricket, Recollections, Thickers :)