Another Agnes Dress

I have a few sewing projects on my list of things to sew. Three of them are gifts for my son’s birthday this month. His girlfriend wants me to sew her a bralette. And let’s not forget I want to get back to bra drafting.

In the midst of all that, I’m planning to sew some new clothes for summer.

Thankfully, with all these projects, one project I’m planning for me is really quick and I know turns out well. It’s the  hallå patterns’ agnes swing top & dress.  It’s quick to cut out and quick to sew.

My last one turned out pretty much perfectly with no adjustments. The armhole was a touch big, so I trimmed a 1/4″ off the shoulder to bring that up and am leaving the rest of this as is. I was thinking I’d make another dress, and a couple of tops.

As it turns out, I cut out three dresses and one top. Here are the fabrics I’m using.

The blue and red floral is a dress, and so is the blue splotchy one. The red splotchy one is an agnes swing top. All of these fabrics were Fabricland finds from my trip to Ontario last year, and they’re all gorgeous cotton Lycras.

I also cut this fabric out as a dress.

For this dress, I have some black cotton Lycra in my stash left over from panty-making. I think I’ll use that for the neck and arm bindings. It will give it a nice color block feel, and a pop of contrasting color. This fabric was another one of my Fabricland finds, but this time at 70% off here at home. I love a great deal like this.

Birthday sewing had to come first though, so although I’ve cut these dresses out, only the top got sewn up so far.

Here’s my first agnes swing top. I’ve been wearing it and it’s so very flattering. I love it.

I did have some fun while finishing this off. I’m using my CoverPro machine. I really do love how neatly it finishes the hems.

Oh, that’s a pretty hem.

I’ll have to do a fashion show with all my dresses and tops in an upcoming post. My husband/photographer is out of town today, so a photo of me in my new top will have to wait. I can say, I’m loving this top!

Happy creating!

Trying Some Recipes

Next month, my fellow Craftsy Review bloggers and I will be covering Vietnamese Classics: Pho, Noodles & Beyond. We thought in the time between now and then, we’d each review a recipe or two from the class.

pho-class

This is really exciting for me as my favorite restaurant is a Vietnamese restaurant. I hope I can learn to make a few of my favorites.  Here are the recipes I tried, and Marsha and Naomi will be in the next couple of weeks. I’m making Goi Cuon or Rice Paper Rolls, and Pho Bo (Traditional Beef Pho). Yum! One of my standard orders at the restaurant is for Salad Rolls, so the Rice Paper Rolls are perfect for me.

First up was a shopping trip. Andrea gives you all the ingredients and supplies you’ll need to make these recipes. Oh darn. I had to go buy more fun kitchen supplies. I think kitchen utensils are the cooking equivalent of a sewing stash!

I needed a skimmer for making my broth. Unfortunately, I bought a skimmer that looks like this:

chinese-wire-skimmer-chinese-spider-803-p

It didn’t do a thing. Then watching the video again, Andrea is using a skimmer that looks like this:

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This is a fine mesh skimmer and it actually skims. I don’t have that exact one, but I do have a fine mesh skimmer that worked a lot better than the one I just bought.

Something I had to search for were the spices. I could not find them at my local grocery store. However, I did find them at a local Bistro. They have a whole wall of spices.

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They had everything I needed.

As far as the recipes go, I’ve made Rice Paper Rolls before. I really love some of the tips for making them more presentable that Andrea shares. Edible is one thing, pretty and appetizing is taking it to a new level.

For both of the recipes I’m trying, I’m using screen shots from Andrea’s Craftsy class and then comparing them to my makes.

Here is one of Andrea’s Rice Paper Rolls:

andrea-rice-paper-roll

And here are mine:

I had a little more trouble with my second roll (top in the photo) than my first one. This is definitely a skill one would need to practice. My husband had no complaints though. He enjoyed them and said the recipe is a keeper.

I can’t have seafood, so I left out the shrimp and added some seasoned chicken, but everything else that’s yummy is included. They were a wonderful lunch.

Next up is some yummy Pho. Again, I’ll start with Andrea’s beautiful Pho Bo. Hmm. Maybe I need new Pho bowls…

beef

I decided I didn’t need new bowls. I’m using the bowls I have now.

Here is my Pho stock simmering away. My house smelled wonderful while it was simmering.

Pho Ba stock

I’ll skim it again when I’m straining it. There are too many flavorful goodies floating on the top too. I want them in there adding flavor.

Just before I show you the finished Pho Bo, I want to show you my assembled bowls. My son decided he wanted a small bowl, so he got a small one.

Here they are waiting for the broth to be added.

In this next photo the broth has been added to the small bowl. Can you see the difference in the color of the meat and how the hot broth cooks the meat? That was fun to see. It happens right away too.

Here’s the second bowl all ready. I’ll warn you right here; there’s no photo of all three bowls. Once that third bowl was ready, we were all ready to eat. In fact, my hubby started eating right at the counter! We had to call him over to the table to join us.

Check out Marsha’s post next week on Flying by the Seam of my Pants for her recipes makes from this same class.

 Happy creating!

A Little Upcycling

I love to find a new use for something. I love to go to thrift shops too. I really like a good bargain.

Here’s my latest find. It’s an old wooden spice rack that will now happily serve as a thread holder. And look at how much more room I have! The little plastic thread box I had was full. This is much better.

spice-rack-with-dress-forms

How do you like my little toy dress forms? They add the perfect touch of whimsy to my thread rack.

Recently, I was inspired by reading Emerald Erin’s blog. She was going through her closet and working towards a capsule wardrobe. That is something I’ve been thinking about doing too. I have a full closet, but open the door and feel like there’s nothing in there.

After reading Erin’s post, I went through my closet. The problem was, although there were things in there I really had no problem getting rid of, there were some things in there I really did. Even though I never wore them, I loved the material. I didn’t want to get rid of them.

I set them aside. I had three piles on my bed. Pack away. Give away. I don’t want to give away.

3-piles

I was not going to put that third pile back in my closet or pack it away. Then I thought of what I could do. Upcycle!

I have Betz White’s class on Craftsy. There’s a link in the photo to take you to the class on Craftsy.

project-upcycle

As well, I just bought a new pattern. (ClubBMV has too many sales!)

I’m sure I can use some of this material towards something like this:

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Or maybe more like this:

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This second pattern is used in the Craftsy classes The Ultimate T-Shirt and The Artful T-Shirt. Both of these classes are by Marcy & Katherine Tilton.

In the photo for the Artful class, they show this same T-shirt with a lot more piecing.titlecard

I’m thinking there must be a way to use some of these materials I love so much and make something new.

tops-and-skirts-use

There’s one other thing in that hard-to-give-away pile: a silk skirt. The blue floral material? That’s silk. I’ve been holding onto it for years. I think I wore it once, maybe twice. This is going to make a few lovely bras.

Time to get cutting out. Have you upcycled anything? How did it turn out? Do you love it? Will you upcycle again? What’s your favorite thrift store find? I’d love to hear.

Happy creating!

When Bloggers Meet-Up

There’s a blog tour coming.

picmonkey-image-banner-2016Isn’t that exciting? You’ll have to come back to see more, but there will be lots! You won’t have to wait long either. The tour starts tomorrow! That’s all I’m saying about it for now. Well, I will tell you one more thing. There are two teams – an Eastern team and a Western team. I’m a Western girl, so I’m on the Western team.

We’ve been planning, sewing, and putting everything in order, and we’ve been having a really good time. We even decided to do a Western Meet-Up.

We had :

Jessica of Gracious Threads

Karin of Mrs. Weaver’s Finest Unmentionables

Lisa of Glitter in My Coffee

Michele of Pink Lilli Bad Gramma

Michelle of Little Heart Threads

And of course me.

We had our meet-up all planned. In order for us to all get together, we met for lunch. Some of us have to work. After our lunch it was time for a shopping trip.

It really was great to have a meet-up, but not all of us could make it in person, so… We got creative.

Me and Lisa first to arrive (2)

Lisa and I were the first to arrive at the restaurant. Lisa lives a little too far west for her to join us, but we just couldn’t leave her out!

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Here we all are. We’re just waiting for our lunch to arrive. While we were waiting, we didn’t miss an opportunity to chat up our waiter and let him know we were all bloggers. It turns out he is a fan of blogs, but he only reads sports blogs, not sewing.

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We’d had our lunch, and had to say goodbye to one of our Michelles at this point. (There were three of us!) The rest of us hit Marshall Discount Fabrics store.

Lisa and some lovely lace I've seen before

Lisa found this gorgeous lace! (You know I love lace and there were other lace-lovers there that day too.) I kind of have my eye on that polka dot material behind her too. We really were determined not to leave Lisa out of our day.

It was really great having someone like Karin along. She has so much knowledge, and we were all asking questions.

We spent a little longer in Marshall’s than we planned. We were hoping to hit Deep Fabrics too – an East Indian fabric shop. We ran out of time. Hmm. I should still plan a little trip there.

Jessica Lisa and Michele

Just before we all headed back to our blogs, Jessica, Lisa and Michele took one more photo. (I know this is not the best photo, but their smiles are all so great. I had to include it.)

It was short, but it was sweet to meet-up.

Happy creating!

Unfortunately, Michele of Pink Lilli Bad Gramma wasn’t able to continue as part of our tour. We had a wonderful time meeting with her though. Thanks for joining us while you could, Michele.

While in Germany

My hubby recently made a work trip to Germany. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go with him. My thoughts were, if I can’t go with him, he’s bringing me something back. I was ready to help him with that.

First I looked at Kantje Boord. I have dreamed of ordering from them since I first started thinking about bra-making and had started to follow Sigrid‘s blog.

Sigrid made one bra, and I loved it. Seriously. Loved it. I contacted her to find out where she got the material. It turned out to be Kantje Boord.

I found it. I found it way back when I’d asked her, and I found it again just last week. You can click on the photo to find it yourself.

pak00709

It was so pretty made up. I looked again to find the photo of Sigrid’s bra, but that I couldn’t find again.

My one problem with this is it’s lace and Lycra. I have a few lace and Lycra bras and bra kits; they just aren’t as supportive as a lace and duoplex bra for me. I decided I wasn’t going to buy it after all.

A few days went by, and I was still thinking about my hubby’s upcoming trip and how I could take advantage of it. Then I had another thought… Sewy! Sewy is right in Germany. I quickly made my way to their website.

I already have a few of their patterns, so didn’t look too closely at those. I did look at the bra kits, but just looked. As I was looking, I decided I wasn’t going to be tempted by anything with Lycra. So what else did Sewy have other than bra kits and patterns?

Well, they had one thing I’ve been trying to find for quite some time: Pareostoff.

Can you make that word out? According to Google Translate Pareostoff in German is… Wait for it… It’s Pareostoff in English. Well, that didn’t help. I was thinking the ‘stoff’ part of the word is close to our English ‘stuff’, so was good with my translation Pareo ‘stuff’. Stoff alone translates to ‘material’. Pareo material. Perfect!

PareoI love it! Don’t look for it though. Sewy only a little left. Once I’d made my purchase it was gone from the website. It even came in that adorable Sewy bag for storage.

So, I’d ordered some gorgeous material and was sending it to the hotel where my husband was staying. Then I received this in an email:

“Guten Tag, MRS Michelle,

wir haben soeben folgende Artikel versandt, viel Spaß beim Verarbeiten!

Die Sendung geht an:”

After that, it had the hotel address. The hotel address was all I could make out. Hmm. It was time for Google Translate again:

“Good day, MRS Michelle,

we have just sent the following products, a lot of fun while processing!

The show goes on:”

Isn’t that great? I’m glad they had a lot of fun. It’s been fun for me too.

I’ve been looking for black with polka dots for over a year now. I have a black and white polka dot bathing suit and wanted a cover up. I wanted polka dots.

bathing suit

The Pareostoff is perfect.

Bathing suit and PareoThere were no problems with my German order at all. Thank you, Sewy!

Remember a few weeks ago I was working on organizing my patterns? Once that job was done, I decided to make a similar catalog of my Craftsy classes. I was on a roll!

UntitledThese will go right behind my nicely organized patterns in my sewing binder. I also plan to work through all my classes. Some classes I devoured as soon as I bought them; others well, others have never even been opened. It’s time.

Happy creating!

Ivory and Lavender

I just finished reading Mrs. Weaver’s latest blog post. Oh my! That’s about sums it up.

two bras

Honestly, I thought Lavender and Lace was such a lovely bra. This new color combination and the lace simply push it over the top.

Mrs. Weaver has a new website coming and this kit can be ordered on there. Just look how pretty this is:

kit

Oh, that is so pretty! I want. It’s really simple.

Happy creating!

Just One More Stop at the Fabric Store

You all must really be wondering if I’m sewing at all anymore. I am, but I can’t show you… yet. All I can do is give you a tease of what’s to come.

photo teaser

Isn’t that beautiful fabric? I’m going to make you wait to find out what I do with it, but I won’t make you wait very long. Just wait until Monday, April 4th and I’ll tell you more.

So, I have one more adventure to share with you from my recent trip to Ontario. I stopped at Fabricland. In fact, I stopped at Fabricland… a few times. I told my hubby I had to go. I kept remembering all the sewists on a forum I follow who had found wonderful printed Cotton Spandex at their Fabricland stores in Ontario. There was none at my store, so I had check while I was there. I found a store close to my sister’s home. Let’s call this Store One. You’ll understand why shortly.

I scored some wonderful Cotton Spandex at Store One, which I showed you in my last post. Then I saw another store as we drove to my Mum’s. We’ll call this Store Two. I did go in, but there was nothing new there. In fact their sales were different. In Store One, the Cotton Spandex was 50% off, in Store Two it was only 25% off.  Store Two was a different division, I was told. However, there was a new sale starting in a few days, so a few days later I went back to Store Two.

My hubby dropped me off and in I went. Right away I could see the Cotton Spandex was not on sale. I had a few minutes before my hubby came in so decided to look around. Just look what I found:

black lace with gold flowers

black lace with red flowers

black lace 1

I couldn’t believe my find! I also couldn’t believe the price. It was $4.95/meter. Well, forget Cotton Spandex. I was buying lace!

I had just had a big shop at Bra Makers Supply, so I knew I had to be a little more careful with my spending – my Christmas money wasn’t going to last forever. I only planned to buy those three laces. I was really pleased to find them and with their price. Just imagine my delight when I got to the cashier and found out they were on sale by half again! I only paid $2.50/meter for the laces!

My hubby had come into the store by then, and was still helping me keep to our schedule. I really wasn’t in Ontario to shop. Once we were in the car though, I told him I needed to go back to Store One and see if they had laces too. His reaction was typical of a non-obsessed, non-stash-building, non-bra-maker. ‘What? You were just there!’

Then I explained the savings we’d have. This lace is what I need for bra-making. It’s a great saving. It’s only on sale for a limited time. I persuaded him it was a good thing for me to go back to Store One again.

Store One had only one little bolt of lace, but I bought a meter of it.

brown lace

Now my truely obsessive bra-making nature came out. I had to go back to Store Two and had to buy more of the laces. My hubby was done. He was not going back to Store Two for a third time. So this time, after a family visit, my niece and I went back while the sale was on. All these laces were $2.50/meter. Talk about a score.

black lace 2

black lace 3

black lace clovers

purple lace with pink

purple lace with silver

white lace with peach shimmer full

white lace

Once I was back home, a friend wanted to make some panties. Off to the fabric store we went and what do you think I saw? Thankfully, it wasn’t lace! There were bolts of Cotton Spandex though. I’m still very happy with all those trips to Fabricland One and Two.

Happy creating!

My Spring Lingerie Wardrobe Plans

We all have plans of things we want to make or sew, but last fall I realized I had so many projects to make on my list that I needed to break things down a little. I made a Fall/Winter list and left everything off that I wouldn’t be wanting over the winter. That helped me tremendously.

I did the same again just recently when I was planning a trip to Bra Makers Supply. When I started to make my list, there were a lot of darker colors on it like Black, Black Cherry, Chocolate… I took a look. Well, I took a look after I added up what it was going to cost me if I bought everything on my list, and I decided to re-do it for only Spring and Summer.

The first thing to do was to go through my stash and see what I needed to complete what was there already. I have a Pink Bra Kit but I didn’t have a Finding Kit. I had an Ivory Bra Kit too, but again no Finding Kit.

Finding Kits were on my list.

findings and bra kit

As well as the Finding Kits, I picked up a Lavender Bra Kit and Finding Kit. All of these will make a lovely light-colored Spring and Summer bra wardrobe.

While at home I looked at the cotton I had for panties. I had some Beige, and some Pink. So I needed some Ivory. Bra Makers doesn’t have Ivory in their Cotton Spandex, but they do have lovely Modal in an off white that looked nice with the Ivory Duoplex. I loved placing the fabrics beside one another and seeing how close the colors were for myself.

bamboo 2

I had my hubby with me (he was the one rushing me out of the store), and I told him to look at the Bra Kits and pick the one he liked. On his third pick, we agreed. We chose the Lavender Bra Kit and Findings, with Lilac and Lavender lace. The kit is showing above, but here’s the lace.

LS-63.5355%20Lilac%20and%20Lavender

Oh, it’s so pretty! I did realize after I left the store that I didn’t buy the Lilac Cotton Spandex, but BMS does carry it, so that will be something I still need to purchase.

Two more bras will round out my Spring and Summer wardrobe and they’re both Beige. I bought some Beige Polka Dot Tulle, with Beige Sheer Cup Lining, and a Beige lace to make Beverly Johnson’s Heather bra that was shown in her Craftsy class.

Heather on Ashley smaller

This photo is from Beverly’s blog. You can read how she made it and what pattern adjustments to make here. It’s such a beautiful delicate looking bra. I can’t wait to make my own version of it. Here are my materials for it.

beige lace beige tulle beige sheer cup lining

For the last bra on my Spring/Summer list, I chose Beige Cut and Sew foam with a gorgeous Beige and Copper stretch lace.

beige lace over beige cut and sew foam

It was love at first sight when I saw that lace. Just imagine of my delight when watching Beverly’s last bra-making class and I saw she used the same lace over a beige foam cup! It’s beautiful together.

One last purchase and (gulp) possible plan – a bathing suit. Bathing suits simply don’t fit me. If I buy them to fit the bust, they float around me. If I buy them to fit my frame, I’m spilling over the top. They have not been one of my favorite things.

The Princess Tankini Pattern.

tankini 2

Sewing a bathing suit is at the bottom of my list, so if I don’t get to it, I won’t feel overly upset about it. In fact, I didn’t buy any material for this project. The pattern is enough for now.

I can’t wait to start sewing. Happy creating!

A Trip to Bra Makers Supply

We all have plans and we all have schedules. Mine changed suddenly last week, and my husband and I found ourselves flying to Ontario, Canada with only a day and a half notice. I knew right away though, there was no way I was going to be within hours of Bra Makers Supply and not go there. I started to make new plans right away.

So here’s a little post about my trip to Bra Makers Supply. I was so excited to go, and to meet everyone. However, I arrived the same morning everyone was leaving for the Bra Makers Cruise. That was a small wrench in my plans, but I did get to meet Beverly and some of the staff. It all worked out great.

Beverly and M

Beverly is as wonderful as you think she is, and so is the store! Due to our own schedule, my DH had to rush me a little to get me out of the store. I arrived with a list in hand, and wanted to take my time and enjoy the whole process of being there, looking at everything, selecting what I wanted, taking photos all along the way. Our schedule demanded otherwise.

I did buy all the things on my list, but I didn’t take anywhere near as many photos as I wanted.

There were shelves that went almost to the ceiling. Everything is wonderfully organized; truly a bra-maker’s delight. Along one wall there were plastic baskets of rings, and sliders, and wires, oh my! Along the opposite wall were more shelves with laces, elastics, simply everything we need.

shelves

Just imagine shelves of laces!

wall of lace

Next to these were the Stretch Laces. I really could have spent a lot more time there. Well, my money would have run out eventually.

Below are just a snippet of the elastics. Right in the middle of the lower shelf that’s showing in the photo – the new Grey and to the right of it, the new Black Cherry. Oh so pretty! I heard they are going to be part of complete Finding Kits in those colors. Yay!

elastics

It was so fun, but DH was keeping me to my schedule. So a few quick photos, and it was time to seriously shop and hit the road again.

I bought everything I need for my Spring/Summer bra and panty wardrobe. That will be another post.

haul

Oh, just look at that wonderful stash and me not at home with my sewing machine.

After we went to Bra Makers Supply, we made another quick stop: the location of the original Tim Horton’s restaurant. This may be the original site, but a new building has been put up.

building

This location is part restaurant – you can buy your coffee and whatever else Tim’s offers – but it’s also a museum. It was really a fun walk-through. Here are a few photos from the upstairs.

Does anyone remember these prices?

prices

Here are the original donuts that were offered. I don’t remember any of these.

donuts

I thought this was a cute sign, so took a photo of this too. I have no desire whatsoever to be a Donut Maker, but a Bra-Maker. Yes, please!

sign

This poster was great. I love how it tied the donuts to hockey. For all the non-Canadians reading, Tim Horton was a Canadian hockey player, who after that career, opened this chain of famously popular coffee shops, that are still very popular today.

wall

My hubby is a Timmies fan, so this part of our stop in Hamilton was a highlight for him. With me not shopping, I had a little more opportunity to take  few photos.

D and sign

I can’t wait to get home and start sewing. Happy creating!