Making more stuff!


The Any Yarn Will Do Sweater is off the hook! I went with short sleeves as it’s a cotton sweater with a summery vibe. It’s had a nice bath and is currently drying on the table on my deck, where it’s benefiting from the warmth but in the shade.

As am I! I am feeling very relaxed and blessed, with a weekend off and nowhere else I have to be and nothing else I need to be doing. Even though the thermometer says 30 degrees Celsius, it’s very comfortable on the covered deck, with a bit of a breeze.

I had two days off mid-week and the first was all errands and housework, but the second was wall-to-wall sewing, not counting cooking and eating.

These headbands were made from a YT tutorial by Anjurisa. I made the baby size first and then I decided I needed an adult sized one using the gorgeous crab print.

I have short hair and I don’t think this style of headband suits me so it may end up going to the mum of the baby who’s getting the small one!

The baby gift includes this, which I forgot to get a photo of when I finished it.

I’m getting a lot of mileage out of this panel. I bordered two of the squares with extra solid fabric, and put them back to back with batting and a piece of crackly plastic from a muesli box inside. It makes an interesting noise to entertain the baby when it’s chewing on the ribbons.

I then pulled out a couple of remnants and used the same pattern as the tank top I made last week to make another in this yellow daisy stripe.

And then I added some sleeves to this version but the brushed knit was thicker and made the hems too sturdy so I ended up tweaking the side hems and sleeves to look better (after taking this photo).

My next adventures will be tops made with woven fabric, rather than stretch, with another pattern I bought for only $3 because it was discontinued.

One ball of yarn forward…


…one ball back!

Here’s the Any Yarn Will Do Sweater after I split the yoke for the body and sleeves. A couple of people commented on my last pic of the circular yoke laid flat, wondering how it would end up as a sweater. Well, when it’s folded and you start working on only some of the stitches, it becomes a three dimensional shape.

Unfortunately, after taking that photo, I tried it on (a bonus of top down construction) and realised it was going to be far too big. I frogged all of the blue so that the last increase round was removed, added a few plain rounds, and tonight split the yoke again. It may still be loose on me but hopefully not ginormous. Because my stitch count doesn’t quite match the medium size count, I fudged the numbers by giving the front 6 more stitches than the back. Makes sense when you have boobs, anyway!!

Onward and…er…downward!

It’s been really smoky in the valley for two days now, with forest fire smoke wafting in from other parts of BC and Alberta.

The surrounding mountains weren’t visible and the sun was orange (my phone doesn’t quite manage to catch the orangeness).

Today I felt quite chesty due to the poor air quality. After my grocery errand, I spent the afternoon downstairs, faffing about with bits of vinyl and fabric.

The blue vinyl was a remnant that had a stitched join across it in a wavy line so I cut what I could to make a zipper pouch. And then I messed about with an even smaller bit and made a tiny pouch with an attached clasp.

And here comes the thunder. It just crashed outside and I’m going to go look for lightning.

Pause for relocation to deck to enjoy the storm.

Thunderstorms are a mixed blessing. We usually get hundreds of lightning strikes which can set off new fires in vulnerable areas. And if it gets windy it can fan the flames. But we need the rain to damp things down. Nothing like the smell of petrichor.

This was my other FO today. A pattern I already had. A remnant in the stash. And boom! A new tank top. Super easy and cute.

Take care, people!

Relaxing weekend


I thought it was going to feel hotter this weekend. My weather app was giving me a heat warning. It didn’t actually feel too bad, even though it went up to around 30.

Even sleeping was OK because it cooled off at night. And my sewing room stays cool because it’s on the north side of the house and half of the wall is below ground level. Seems like a good reason to sew!

I made another mug rug because I liked the first one so much and wanted to make a second one that was better (I got the binding right this time).

And I wanted to make a bag to contribute to the Dodgy Bag MAL that Ali of Little Drops of Wonderful is running this month.

I used a remnant of green vinyl and some quilt cotton with a light interfacing. The print dictated the height but to my eye it’s a little disproportionate. Too tall for its width.

I used the same fabric for the lining. I’m rather pleased with the way the print runs along the side of the zipper.

It’ll hold a larger project and yarn, at least.

And last night I spent two hours making another Frankenhoodie out of fleece pieces. I had put these bits of fleece and the pattern pieces aside a long time ago, and finally got around to cutting and sewing it all.

I’m really getting my money’s worth out of this pattern.

It’ll be a pyjama/lounging at home hoodie. Unlike the one I made out of three different buffalo plaids, which I love and have worn lots, this one isn’t going to be worn out in public!

Next time, I’ll do a crochet sweater update. The yoke is done and I’ve started crocheting on just the body stitches. I think it’s going to end up a bit big but I’ll get a better idea after a few more rows.

My favourite kind of day


Today was another sewing day with friends. This usually involves me making soup for lunch, and a dessert, especially if it’s someone’s birthday, and carrying all my sewing stuff upstairs to the dining room.

Iron and ironing board, heavy table, cutting mat, quilt rulers, sewing machine, extension cords, etc etc. The beauty of hosting is that if I forget something I can just go and grab it.

It’s takes a little effort to set it all up but I am more than rewarded with a lot of fun and great memories.

We made a mug rug this time. We followed a YouTube tutorial by The Sewing Room …

It was perfect for helping my friends learn some of the techniques of quilting in a small achievable project. Piecing, sandwiching, quilting and binding are all included. Mine is pictured at the top of this post. Whilst I have more quilting experience than the others, their mug rugs came out beautifully, and in fact their finishing on the back was better than mine!

My harem pants are finished! After I’d had some dinner (leftovers from lunch) I finished off the waistband (which has 10 rows of thin elastic sewn in with zigzag stitches) and attached it to the body.

The good news is that they fit! Now they have to go to work to be hung up for a month on display. (Excuse the odd look of my son’s hands holding them up for the photo!!!)

My crochetalong sweater has grown a decent amount this week. I’ve finished the yellow stripe and just started the first of the three blues. I have a few rounds left of the yoke, and then I can check that it’s deep enough before splitting for body and sleeves.

The pattern is the Any Yarn Will Do Sweater by DoraDoes and I’m crocheting it with Berroco Modern Cotton (the worsted weight one) and a 5mm hook.

We are three weeks into the CAL, five weeks to go.

It was a lovely day today and the temperature was perfect. This weekend, however, it’s forecast to shoot into the 30s (90s to US peeps) and I’m not exactly excited about that!



It’s Friday night and I’ve just quit the sewing for today.

This is my work-in-progress. I’m making the longer version. It’s similar to a style I sewed myself when I was in my 20s. I loved those pants. So comfortable!

They aren’t difficult, but I did sew the side panel on the wrong side and had to cut off two seams that I had sewn and zigzagged.

This is the fabric, a lovely rayon linen blend, but it has a strong vertical design which of course is going to be non-vertical in this garment.

The waistband will be a new experience – shirring! I’m leaving that til tomorrow.

These colours are the Berroco Modern Cotton that I’m using for the DoraDoes Any Yarn Will Do Crochetalong. She has two patterns with that name, a circular yoke sweater and a raglan cardigan. I’m doing the circular yoke.

Today I started on the mustard. Currently I’m on round 20 of a 30-round yoke.

And I have a finished object too.

This water bottle holder is inspired by a more complicated one I saw on YouTube. I made it up from scratch, but learned an important lesson. I cut the squares out for my boxed bottoms ahead of time and they turned out to be too big. Instead of a square base I have a skinny rectangle.

I may make another and improve my design but for now I have other things I want to do.

I’m working the next few days but hopefully I’ll have the energy to sew my waistband tomorrow night. At least it’s a 9 to 5 shift which means I finish a little earlier than usual.

In spring…


…a young man’s fancy is said to turn to thoughts of love. And older people, maybe gardening! But me, I just want to keep spending quality time with my Janome!

I work alternate weekends. When I have two weekdays off in a row, that’s my weekend! And the first day usually involves housework and errands. Yesterday I did the vacuuming, kitchen and bathrooms and freshened up my coffee table with a different quilt and spring-like accoutrements.

Today I did my 30 minutes of power yoga and got on with some bag-making. This bird pouch is from a tutorial by Handmade Creator on YouTube. I was in two minds about the ‘beak’ and button, as the fabric is quite busy, but did it anyway.

And then I made this envelope style make-up bag from The Stitchin Sisters. Super easy.

These two items are destined for a co-worker who is leaving at the end of May. Guess what her name is! Clue: check out the birds on the fabric!!

The Tetrapak


When I was a child, our milk came in tetrapaks, which were like little pyramid-shaped cartons. You’d snip off a corner to pour out the milk.

This backpack is the same idea. If you make a tube and sew across one end, then sew across the other end perpendicular to the first seam, you get this shape.

So my bottom seams are perpendicular to my zipper.

I included D rings at every corner for straps, and when worn the unattached top corner folds over the bag. I made sure to keep it all flexible. No interfacing except for a small square at the top corner of each inside pocket. Slip pockets inside.

It came out exactly as I envisaged.



I cut into my precious turtle batik for this zipper pouch. I have a set of fat quarters that I bought during my first holiday in Maui which is probably 5 years ago now. We found a lovely quilt shop in Kihei and I brought home a few souvenirs.

The idea for this bag came from a YouTube video in which a knitter was showing off her custom-made bag from Etsy with pockets inside for needles and hooks. The pockets had needle sizes printed on them too.

I cut my bag pieces 11″ square which gave me 10 little pockets on both sides of the lining. A typical set of Knit Picks interchangeables has 9 pairs of tips.

I added a D ring, wristlet and turtle bead zipper pull.

One thing I’d change if I make it again (and I probably will) is to make the bag a couple of inches wider, or change the zipper opening to one where the bottom of the zipper hangs outside the bag. Access feels a little tight as it stands.

But that’s a minor complaint.

I do recommend this tutorial for putting a zipper into a bag with tabs. It works well for a neat result.

Itching to sew…


With my crocheted Elevation Cardigan off the hook (photo above, it took 4 months to get finished) my knitted Sporto hooded sweater still on the needles (but at the point where I should decide what to do on the colourwork section) I just wanna sew!

Two evenings ago, I got home from work and after dinner ended up falling asleep on the couch before 9pm. Not really wanting to do the same thing last night, I went down to my sewing room and continued to work on a zipper pouch idea based on one I saw in a YouTube video. It has pockets inside, across both sides, to hold crochet hooks and interchangeable needle tips. I’m making mine with a zipper pocket on the outside too which can hold cables etc.

It’s nearly done and I’ll show it off next time.

This is a small drawstring bag that I made from more scrappy fabric. It’s nice to use scraps that would otherwise have gone in the trash. (You can probably see a bit of Olaf the snowman from Frozen in there).

And this is a “thing” that I made which is similar to a commercial case for an interchangeable needle set. The pockets were a bit loose so I added the nonslip vinyl but I don’t know if it was a good idea.

I really feel like booking a week off work and creating a sewing retreat…at home!

The bag lady strikes again!

The bag lady strikes again!

This week, a friend celebrated her birthday, so our gift to her was a sewing day at my house where we all made the same kind of bag and helped each other to finish them.

There were five of us with varying skill levels. I have made a crapton of bags but obviously some of my zipper skills are rusty. We had a lot of fun, despite the frequent cursing when someone was struggling with a technique, or ripping out a seam, or forgetting to open the darned zipper before sewing around the bag and turning it out <ahem>.

I started out with two of the make-up bags. We used a video tutorial by sewingtimes on YouTube. The chick one is small and the daffodil one larger.

Then, as I had time, I made a simpler pouch from a piece of fabric that I’d built from scraps ages ago. And then a keyfob/wristlet thingy which has a gorgeous rainbowy metal attachment. One of my friends had a whole bag of these plus the special pliers for attaching them. These wristlets only take about 5 minutes to make!

In between all the sewing and chat, we had lunch for which I’d cooked a vegan “seefood” chowder (with shiitake and oyster mushrooms, roasted potatoes, corn etc from Lauren Toyota’s book Vegan Comfort Classics) and a chocolate cake with raspberry buttercream icing and fresh raspberries.

Rather than put all my stuff back in my sewing room, I decided to leave it in the dining room overnight to encourage me to do more sewing. It’s so cold in the basement when the weather starts to warm up. The furnace doesn’t fire as often.

So I used another scrappy piece of fabric to make another zipper pouch and lined it with this candy corn print as there is a small piece of it on the outside of the bag.

And this evening I finished a project that’s been hibernating for a really long time. My oldest son bought canvas and thread to make himself a tool roll for wrenches. He started planning it out but put it aside and it sat around my sewing room for at least a year.

As it’s his birthday tomorrow, I decided I was going to finish the thing and when I pulled it out I found that half the sewing was actually already done.

I can’t remember whether I did it or he did it. But I carried on adding pockets for the tools and hemming the top edge and adding webbing and now it’s finished and he can actually use it.

It even has a little square of vinyl with his initials on it.

So many people are looking forward to time off this weekend but unfortunately that isn’t me! I’m working Friday, Saturday and Monday. The only reason I have Sunday off is that the store is closed. Working sure cuts into my crafting time!!