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!

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Happy Scrapping!

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