Time for New Booties

Sewing for my Pup

I’ve made dog booties three years in a row now. That’s how long we’ve had our rescue pup. It seems each year, I have to make him new booties because one got lost, or one fell apart. Here’s what’s left from the last two years.

Three of one set. Two from two different sets, but the same material. Only one sad little one left from some that were gifted to us. Since losing those first booties, I’ve been using the old mittens-on-a-string trick to keep him from losing any more.

Here are last year’s. Thanks to the ties, he still has them all, but…

They’re in really rough shape. He and my hubby like to go off the beaten or plowed path. So they’re off in the bush for their walks. Not me. I’m on the sidewalk. Still my pup is rough on his booties there too. He catches a scent and he’s kicking up a storm with his paws. No wonder they wear out so quickly.

It’s time to make him some new ones, especially considering we got snow this week!

  I’ve got things all cut out, but I’m not going to cut out the little circle of faux suede this time. I’m going to use a full square on the back to hopefully make these last a little longer.

If you’re interested, here‘s where I got my pattern. And here‘s a great video to show you how to sew up a pair on your own.

Adorable

  I have so much Christmas sewing to do, and I found this. This is the Color Wheel Pin Cushion.

This is the most adorable tuffet pin cushion. I was told it hardly takes any material, so it will be great for all those little scraps I just couldn’t throw out.

However, as adorable as this is, I have to make booties, and slippers, and a scarf, and two lap quilts, not to mention I want to get back to my bra draft. It was just too adorable not to add to my list of sewing plans.

Happy creating!

Winter Survival

We have had a lovely Autumn. Even though I live in the Great White North, we didn’t see very much of the white stuff or experience freezing temperatures until December.

It was in December I realized we had a real motley crew of dog booties left over from last year. I have no idea why either.

Missing Boots

We have one animal print boot.

I wonder what happened to the other three.

We have two of the full pad bottoms.

And one left that I made from an actual pattern and put straps on. I often referred to these as the mittens of shame because he’d lose a boot and usually my husband would have to turn around and try to find it. With these ties, they weren’t getting lost because they were pinned to his sweater.

I was sure these ones would last, however, there was only one left.

It was time for new dog boots. At least I had enough experience making them last year that I knew how to put them together quickly and well.

New Boots

Here are my pup’s 2017 winter boots.

He doesn’t love putting his boots on, but there are days when it’s -20 Celsius or worse and he simply stops walking. It’s just too cold for him. These booties also have the long tie to attach them to his coat. I have no desire to make dog boots over and over.

This pattern comes in one size, that’s probably a medium-large, but I reduce it on the computer and it’s been great. Seeing as he’s a small dog, at times we have trouble finding him the right size.

You can find the pattern on this blog post here. And there’s a great video for making dog boots here.

I’m Missing Things Too

One other winter survival item that went missing was my cold weather face mask. I usually put it in my coat pocket when I’m not wearing it. I went to go out on a -16 Celsius day, and it was nowhere to be found. It was back to holding my scarf over my mouth.

I was upset for two reasons. I didn’t have my mask, and my son had given it to me. It was such a thoughtful and practical gift. I loved it!

It very quickly became time to make something else.

What I Had

What I Tried

Here’s the free pattern I found.

Well, they’re not the same shape, but I was hopeful. You can find it here.

First I made one out of fleece and cotton just to see how it would all come together. It fits and I thought, maybe. It doesn’t do a thing outside.

Once I knew the size would work, it was time to break out some serious materials and stash bust at the same time. Boiled wool, left over lace from my Pin-Up Girls Boy Shorts, and coordinating cotton.

I’d hoped this one would really be warm with the boiled wool. It was better than the red one, but shape of the mask isn’t right.

The one my son bought me stood out from the face to allow a warm air pocket to develop. These don’t. I kept looking.

I found this photo online. Here’s a side view of the mask and shape I need.

I used that photo to make a template for a pattern. I enlarged it, and figured out the sewing process and…

I have a new cold weather mask.

It’s boiled wool with a cotton lining. I do need to adjust the elastic a bit more to make it snug on my face, but this is good. The boiled wool will be nice and warm, and the cotton will make it comfortable to wear.

I have a few more fun sewing things planned, so I may just leave this mask unadorned for now. It works and that’s what I was wanting.

Happy creating!

Dog Boot Update

I’m on pair number five of the dog boots and I’m really hoping I’m done. Some good news: the boots I gave to a friend for her dog fit perfectly. Yay! Some not so good news: we’re now down to three of the boots I’d made last week, and three of the boots my friend gave to me.

Right there, I need to fix something because there is no way I want to spend my winter making dog boots. I’d much rather sew for me.

Here is the pattern I used:

boot-with-pattern

You’ll notice my boot looks a little bit different than the one in the photo. I used Velcro all around the boot, which is one change. I also added a long strap and pin to the end of the boots. If my little pup is going to lose his boots then I’m going to pin them to his coat just like we pin mittens to kids’ coats.

Here are all four new boots. Having an actual pattern helped so much in making them all the same shape. You can see two of them from the top with the Velcro wrapping around the front of them, and two from the back with the soft microfiber pad to help keep my pup’s feet dry.

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Here’s one by itself with the strap and pin. I may end up shortening the strap, but until he stops losing his ‘mittens’, I’m going to pin them to his coat.

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Happy creating!

Dog Boots I, II, III, and IV

Can you guess what I’ve been working on? Our sweet pup came to us 10 months ago from California. From Cali-Can Rescue Foundation. Oh, I love him. I tell people, ‘We stupid love him.’ We’re all just over the moon for this little pup, He had to acclimatize coming from California; he needs to dress warmly now he’s in Canada.

We got him a coat last year, but it was almost the end of winter and we couldn’t find dog boots anywhere. This year, there were lots of them, but they’re $50! That’s more than I paid for his coat! I started looking for patterns.

The snow came before I had anything made, so I used some left-over material and made some quick little boots just to help keep his feet dry. They didn’t help a lot, but a bit.

First-pair-front

Just to keep them on, I sewed on some elastic as I didn’t have any Velcro floating around. As you can see, I really just threw these together, and we lost one after a couple of walks. On the far right one, you can see holes starting already. These are from skirt material scraps  and really weren’t suited for this project. Just a hint here: you’re going to see more of this material before I’m done with it.

A dear friend, who happens to run a cat treat and toy company, saw these temporary boots and said she’d get me some boots for our pup. She gave me these boots and a matching coat. The coat is great – it has a water-proof layer and then the fashion fabric. The coat is too big though. I could move the Velcro over a bit and make it work, but she wants to get us a smaller coat, so that will be great, especially for rainy days.

Gifted-Pair

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Oh, there’s my sweet puppy baby! I just love him so. I could sit here and just look at that sweet face. See, I told you – stupid love.

Back to the doggie boots.

While I was waiting for that wonderful gift to come, I kept working on the doggie boots. I found a video on YouTube, and it looked great! I thought I’d give it a try, but without an actual pair of boots to look at, I really wasn’t sure how I was going to attach the Velcro. Here’s the video.

My pup doesn’t really like anyone to hold his paws, so measuring his paws was a bit of a hassle, until I decided to just put his paw on my fingers and use them to measure. His paws are two-and-a-half of my fingers wide, and two-knuckles long. It worked. That was what I’d used for the first red booties.

Third-Pair---too-small

They look cute and all. I added some faux leather to the back of them from an awesome leather score I got.

leather-pile

I’d stopped in a second-hand store and saw these sitting in a box. I asked how much they were. Five dollars for the whole box. Yes! About one-quarter of this is faux leather/microfiber, which was perfect.

So these fleece booties are better for the weather, but I didn’t take into account that the material is thicker and the boots would need to be a little wider. These will go to another sweet Californian pup who came up to live with a friend of mine.

These are the last pair of boots I made this week:

forth-pair

This time instead of faux leather they have microfiber on the back. These work well enough, but I think there will be a fifth pair of booties where I take what I learned from each pair, and add a little more.

The video, which really is great, didn’t show me how to attach the Velcro. The boots my friend gifted us does allow me to see how that goes on.

The video also didn’t have a pattern – she just winged it. And all my boot parts were cut out following the video’s information.

The next pair I make, I will use a pattern that is pre-cut, so pre-shaped. That way I’ll get a more uniform shape (which clearly I can use). I will continue to add the faux leather/microfiber to the bottom to give a little more insulation to my pup’s paws. But I will change the elastic out for only Velcro – it gives a stronger hold around the boot.

Happy creating!

A Lacy Maxi

I really do live in skirts all summer long. I love how comfortable they are, and if you knew me, you’d know I’m not a jeans girl. I like to be a little more dressed up than that. A few years ago I could even say I didn’t even own a pair of jeans, but I had to buy a pair for a job. Those jeans have been in my closet for a couple of years now and I haven’t worn them. That just makes me think, what are they still doing in my closet?

Back to skirts. I wanted a Maxi skirt, and knew the exact look I wanted.  For this  skirt, I modified my Flirt Skirt pattern to use for both the skirt and the slip.

I’d picked up some black cotton lace-like material.

Material

It’s lovely, but it’s also not the perfect material for a skirt on its own. It would show just a bit too much. So, to use this, I made a lining for it with a light-weight cotton, also in black. Both materials are so light, making this a great summer skirt.

Skirt

Oh, I love it! It doesn’t show here on Catherine (my dress form), but I didn’t want the slip to go the full length of the skirt. I wanted some of that open work to show that it was open. So, the slip only goes part way below the knee. Originally, I’d thought of making the slip shorter, but I’m really loving this skirt just the way it is.

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Here I am out with my pup. You can see where the slip ends and the light shines through the bottom of the skirt.

There’s one thing I miss about RTW clothing when I’m wearing clothing I’ve made myself – the garment’s tag. I don’t miss it for any of the reasons it’s likely there – like the brand, or the fabric content, or the care instructions. I miss it because it’s a really quick and handy indicator of the front or back of the garment. With the Flirt Skirts I’ve made, I’m always checking the seams to see where the front or back is before putting it on. I came up with a quick little tag that is uniquely me.

tag

I cut a flower out of some scrap lace that was heading for the garbage and gave it a quick zigzag onto the back seam. Now when I pick up my skirt, I’ll know really quickly where the back is. I didn’t match the thread to the flower thinking I didn’t want pink to show on the skirt. I was tired and not really thinking there. I could have easily used two colors of thread – I’ve done it before. However, I let it be; I chose function over form for this one. Maybe I’ll be my normal more finicky self for the next one and pull out some matching thread.

Happy creating!

A Pale Yellow Flirt Skirt

I definitely have my favorites when it comes to clothes I’ve made, and clothes I’ve bought. One of my habits is to go through my wardrobe twice a year. I only keep what I can wear in my closet, so if it’s Summer, you won’t find Winter clothes in there. Same goes for Winter time – no Summer clothes.

I take advantage of that twice yearly sorting to clean out anything I don’t wear. I just gave away a few cardigans I hadn’t worn all winter when I did the Spring switch-over. I don’t like to keep things around if I’m not using them.

I also notice when I love something. If I end up wearing a garment all the time, I know it’s a keeper. My denim Flirt Skirt is one of those garments.

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I found myself wearing the skirt all day, and then thinking it’s needs to be washed, so I’d go home and wash it right away so it would be ready to wear again the next day. I decided, if I’m wearing something that much, I need to make another one.

So, here’s my pale yellow denim Flirt Skirt.

skirt front

This skirt has two things I love: I really love pale yellow. The last two years I’ve been seeing more of it, and I’ve been picking up a bunch of pale yellow garments. So when I found this pale yellow denim, I scooped it up right away. The other thing I love is this pattern.

From the front it looks straight – which is something I can’t wear. I’m just too curvy for straight styles and always have been. I also find straight styles suit taller women – something else I’m not. However, this does look more straight-ish, at least to me. But the back… well, that’s just fun, and whimsical, and flirty.

The Flirty Part

There’s the flirty part of the Flirt Skirt. I love that! It acts a bit like a kick pleat but material has been added to serve the same function the kick pleat serves – it allows me to walk when wearing it! I’ve also hear it described as a fish tale. But no matter how one wants to describe that – it’s just fun. I was wearing my skirt this week, and that flirt part at the back was what was getting noticed and complimented. It is very fun and flirty.

The Flirt Skirt is a super easy pattern, and I made this up in an afternoon. I think these are quickly becoming my summer wardrobe! Both my dark denim and my pale yellow denim skirts just went to the mountains with me. That back flirt section of the skirt makes it great for walking in, whereas a straight skirt isn’t great for that. There’s lots of room for a full walking stride.

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Here I am on a rainy day. My hubby helped me out with some pictures. But he wasn’t the only one helping me out. Our rescue pup, Tiberius, came and helped out too. Anything I’m doing, and he’s right there with me. His toys are all around my sewing room! He’s with me for every project.

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Here we are showing the flirtier part of my skirt. He’s not always quite so agreeable though. I took my son to an appointment, and thought I’d read while waiting. Nope. My pup wasn’t going to let me read. Thankfully, he’s fine with my sewing!

Tiberius on my book

Happy creating!

A New Family Member

We just celebrated Valentine’s Day, and today is Family Day in Canada. So, it’s a perfect day to show you all our newest family member.

Gibson face

This is our new dog, Tiberius; Tibbers or Tibby for short. Tiberius is a rescue dog. He was found wandering the streets of California and was taken to a rescue shelter there for a month. After that he made the trip up to Canada and another shelter for a few more weeks. Now he’s with us. This photo was taken while he was still in California – you can tell by the lack of snow!

What a wonderful Valentine’s day gift to our family. He came over on Saturday, so our Valentine’s celebration was all about getting to know him and him getting to know us.

Gibson

Without seeing his parents, there’s no sure way to tell exactly what breed mix he is, but the pet adoption agency thinks he’s Dachshund/Manchester Terrier mix.

We found a great adoption agency in the city near us. Calican Rescue Foundation. They specialize in adoption of small dogs, which are a lot rarer here. Everywhere else we looked were only large dogs. We just don’t have the room for a large dog. Calican bring them up from California, which has a lot of smaller dogs available. We loved what they were doing.

Something else that really impressed us with this organization was how they don’t even place the dog with you unless they think it will be a good fit. The first part of the process is a phone interview. After that, there’s a one week trial in the home. So our Tibbers has a week to get used to us and us to him. I can’t see any troubles though; he is a really sweet dog.

A big inspiration for me came from Novita over at Very Purple Person. Novita blogs about caring for foster dogs, and has had a few go through her home in the few years I’ve been following her blog. That sounded wonderful to me. I thought I’d suggest it to my family. Well, there was no way my family wanted to care for a dog and then let it go. No way! That conversation did open the door to some talks about adopting though.

He has quite the personality too. He’s very well-behaved and learning commands quickly. He loves to cuddle, and is a bit mischievous. I came home to find only one slipper at the front door when I’d left two there. He’s made off with one of my son’s socks, and pulled a stuffed toy off the shelf. After that, we bought him his own stuffed toy and he’s content to leave the other one alone.

We’re having a wonderful Family Day with our newest family member.

Michelle