The Promise by Duck Butt Designs

I saw this pattern and fell in love with it – The Promise.

It would cover my wobbly bits. And would be very nursing friendly in the future! (I love multi purpose tops)

I had never REALLY sewed anything for myself before (minus a few pairs of NOT.SO.GREAT. pajama pants….).

But I had been sewing a few successful projects for Little Mister A, so…

When, at a little, local, hole in the wall fabric shop (literally in a ladies garage) I found the PERFECT grey fabric – and it was on sale – I just HAD to buy it! Honestly, I have no idea what kind of fabric this is. It is slinky and flowy, and has great recovery.

I bought two meters.

Got home and bought The Promise pattern.

Requirements: 3 yards…..

Crap.

I fished through my stash of fabric and came up empty handed for any knit fabric that would match. But I did find some gorgeous floral woven apparel fabric I had bought a few months prior to make a top.

After a quick ask on the DBD Facebook help page, the designer – Katie Anne Cook Wilson, confirmed that she thought making the Promise with a woven back was doable.

PHEW!

From there is was smooth sailing! The top came together quickly and I am so happy I did the floral backing. It has become one of my favorite tops to wear.

(The only other modification I made to the pattern was that I followed the hack to make into a pull over shirt without the side snaps.)

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The Sewing Room

I’ve developed a shadow.

He comes running (or crawling actually) any time he hears the purr of my machine.

You see, when Little Mister A was a babe, my sewing area was nicely set up in our unfinished basement.

It was nothing glamorous. Folding table. Hand me down table. Office chair. Rubbermaid bins. Grocery bags. You get the picture.

Little Mister A would swing in his swing or bounce in his bouncer while I got some sewing done.

Fast forward a year: now we have started to finish out our basement. My furniture is piled in a corner. My fabric is stacked in bins in our bedroom. And my sew machine plus STUFF has exploded ALL. OVER. OUR. DINING ROOM. Which spills all over the main floor (since it is an open concept space).

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Getting anything sewn is now a bit of a stressful, lengthy process as nothing can just be left as is.

And to my help (or my hindrance) any time my machine starts to purr that little, one year old, shadow of mine has to crawl up onto my lap and hit his “red button” (the ‘S’ Signer logo).

…. he also has an uncanny ability to hit the BACK stitch button at the wrong time….

But gosh darn it he is cute!

No-fuss Grocery Bag

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No-Fuss Reusable Grocery Bag Tutorial by BritishFarmWifeInTraining

Plastic bags have a place in my house.

I have a bag holder FULL. OF. THEM.

They make great garbage bags, throw away lunch bags, etc. But I hate using them in the grocery store. They can hold enough and always feel like they shall break.

Enters stage left: reusable bags!

A few years ago I bought three for $2 a piece. Since then, they have been put through the wringer and only one survives to tell the tale… I have tried buying others, but have never found any that compare to those first three.

Enters stage right: my sewing machine!

When I got my sewing machine, 2 years ago, I bought some trial and error fabric at the MCC thrift store (still my favorite place to buy fabric). Some of it felt like my shopping bags! (A woven, polyester of sorts)

Enter center stage: an idea to make my own shopping bags!

Those bags are still going strong after two years. Now I was asked to make a few more as a gift! Of course, I couldn’t find my self drafted pattern anywhere so it was back to the drawing board.

Just remember, this is a no fuss pattern.

Its a bag.

Your groceries go into it.

Your parcels aren’t going to complain if you alter the size, shape, or choose not to finish your seams!

(I won’t tell anyone either!)

Here is the new pattern I came up with: (sorry no PDF – yet)

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No- Fuss Grocery Bag Pattern

Grab a piece of parchment paper, news paper, or something else of the like. Draw a rectangle 10(width)x15(height)”. Add another rectangle to the top, 10×2″. From the top of the first rectangle, make a mark 2″ in and 10″ height. Draw a curve up. (Mark this side of the pattern to be cut on a fold). At the top of the curve, draw a straight line 2.5″ across. Then create another curve down to the top of the second rectangle that was drawn (it is nice to “flatten” the curve out for the last 3″ so it is touching the second rectangle top).

Materials:

  • Pattern
  • Approx 1 yard fabric (Polyester is what I use, but any woven should be suitable)
  • Typical sewing supplies (machine, thread, scissors, etc)
  • Use a 1/4″ seam allowance (or so)
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The photo-bombing toddler

To assemble:

One color – Cut out two pieces of the pattern on the fold

Two colors (color blocked) – Cut the pattern in half an inch or two below the handle. Cut out two rectangles on the fold (for the bottom), cut out two of the top in a contrasting color/pattern on the fold.

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No-Fuss Reusable Grocery Bag

If color blocking…. Take one top and one bottom piece. Match up with the right sides of the fabric together. Stitch together. Repeat with other two pieces. Finish seams with a zigzag stitch or serger. Fold seam up and top stitch in place (optional).

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No-Fuss Reusable Grocery Bag

Match both pieces of the bag, right sides together. Start on one side of the rectangle (under the curve) and stitch along the side, bottom, and up the other side. Finished seams with a zigzag stitch or serger.

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No-Fuss Reusable Grocery Bag

Match up tops of handles. Stitch across the top of each handle. Finish seams with zigzag stitch or serger.

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No-Fuss Reusable Grocery Bag

Now, (if you aren’t lazy like me) you can use bias tape to finish off the handles/tops of the bags. Or, (if you ARE lazy like me) you can create a rolled hem around the edge as you go and stitch into place.

(Optional) Mark 3″ in on each side of the bottom of the bag. Folder each corner inwards the 3″. Stitch into place. (This makes the sides on the bag fold inward)

Lastly, the BEST thing about these bags is that they fold up teeny tiny to fit into your purse. So to make the bag holder…. (I have not perfected this part so if someone can think of a better way to sew it please let me know!)

Cut a piece of fabric 13″x6″. Finish the seams (zigzag stitch, serge, rolled hem, sheer, or just leave them be!).

Mark the center of the length on both side. Fold the top down 0.5″ past the center mark and pin in place (wrong side of fabric facing out). Fold the bottom up 0.5″ past the center mark and pin in place. (The fabrics will over lap). Stitch down both sides to create a pocket.

With pocket still folded with fabric wrong side out, stitch pocket to the inside of the bags top seam.

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No-Fuss Reusable Grocery Bag

Then fold it all up and you are done!

January #mendingfriending Challenge

@mellysews and @onegirlcircus came up with this awesome idea for a January #mendingfriending challenge on instagram!

You can read about it here!

Now, if you are anything like me, when your husband comes home with his work clothes that need mending they get done ASAP (because he actually needs them). But… when it is your own clothes they sit in a pile for MONTHS!

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#mendingfriending basket

Luckily for me – my pile was very small:

  1. Mustard yellow sweater – the last time I worse it the metal zipper got stuck (not on anything visible) and nothing I or theBritishFarmer tried could get it undone! Time on the bedroom floor unworn: 4 months
  2. Purple sundress – the last time this got washed the dryer ATE one of the spaghetti straps and snapped it in half. Time in the sewing room scrap pile: 1 year (give or take)

I wasn’t sure how I was going to fix the sweater, so I tackled the sundress first. It was obvious that it needed new straps to be wearable again. After a quick pinterest search I found pin-speration here!

I used the blog post to get an idea of measurements. I measured my old strap for the length by 6″ width on the ends and about 7-8″ wide in the middle (one side of the strap is straight, one is curved to accommodate the width change).

I hemmed the edges, did a quick ruffle on both ends and attached one of the new sleeves to the dress.

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#mendingfriending in progress

And then a quick selfie to see if it looked okay…..

Over all I was happy with the look to I whipped up the other sleeve and that was that! The whole process probably took less than an hour!

If you think that was an easy fix just wait till you hear about the sweater!

I turned on a movie. Grabbed my stitch ripper. And settled down for TAKING. THE. ZIPPER. OUT!

But upon closer examination there was no where easy that I could just take one seam out to get to the zipper so…. I just cut as close to the fabric as possible and cut the zipper out!

Is that cheating? Probably.

Will anyone notice? My mom didn’t.

And you know what? Since I (almost) always wore it open anyways, now I don’t have a big, scratchy metal zipper catching on everything!

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#mendingfriending success by BritishFarmWifeInTraining

I think this January #mendingfriending Challenge has been a success! A big thank you to @mellysews and @onegirlcircus for the motivation to get it done!

Cheers mending pile, until next year! (Or not…)

Fat Quarter Skirt by Thread Riding Hood

Shortly after I started sewing I stumbled upon the blog Thread Riding Hood. I’m 99% sure it was because I was looking for online Canadian fabric stores (remember this from the last post?!).

Since then, it has been a blog I visit and visit and revisit again! So last week when I saw her put out a call for pattern testers for her new Fat Quarter Skirt, well I just had to apply!

Now I never thought I would be chosen (since no one in the sewing world knows me from any other door knob). But I really had nothing to loose!

To my shock. Surprise. And horror (just kidding!). I got the GREEN TICKET email with a copy of the coveted Fat Quarter Skirt pattern.

Problem is…. I only have a son…. and I don’t think theBritishFarmer would be too happy if I started putting Little Mister A in skirts even if it was JUST. TO. TRY. IT. ON.

Solution! I have a beautiful niece that is the perfect age to be my tester (insert snicker here).

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Fat Quarter Skirt pattern by Thread Riding Hood
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Fat Quarter Skirt pattern by Thread Riding Hood

Now, lets go through why this is such an awesome pattern:

  • It uses TWO fat quarters (which is great if you are like me and initially you build your fabric stash with cotton)
  • It is for KIDS size (not babies as most fat quarter patterns are)
  • There are no paper pieces to print off
  • The PDF pattern is colorful, interactive, and just fun to look at
  • It is beginner level (so everyone can make one (or hundreds)!)
  • It sews up within one nap time (always a bonus in my books!)

And doesn’t it look cute on?! Its a bit chilly here right now so we opted to throw on some tights underneath.

It is also TWIRL-TASTIC!! (Niece S approves!!)

The pink heart fat quarter I picked up spur of the moment a while ago at Walmart (with my nieces in mind) and the light pink cotton linen…….. I’m thinking I must have picked it up at Artjunktion and I cut it into a fat quarter before starting on the skirt.

Now… I’m not EXACTLY sure when this pattern is getting released…. But it is soon! So keep your eyes and ears peeled!

Off I go to sew a few more up — I’m seeing birthday presents dancing in my head!

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Coming up…. Fat Quarter Skirt new fabric combo!

 

Free Raglan Hoodie by Brindille & Twig

Brindille & Twig Raglan Hoodie - BritishFarmWifeInTraining

(This was scheduled to ‘publish’ yesterday and it didn’t…. Guess I still need to figure this WordPress thing out….)

Raise your hand if you think fabric shopping in Canada could REALLY be improved?!

Now, I have noticed there are some fantastic Canadian online shops but that shipping. Who likes paying for shipping?! It’s always such a shame when $15meters of fabric is accompanied with $15 of shipping…. Since I rarely buy a LOT of fabric at once, the shipping costs often double the price of the fabric.

Rant done.

(Side note: I have found some fantastic deals at some fantastic shops and really do LOVE them!)

Thankfully, we live only about an hour north of the American boarder. So about 6 months after Little Mister A was born, we went down with my girl friend so find (you guessed it) FABRIC!

I came across this gorgeous flannel, unlike anything I had ever felt before (what I have now found out is called flannel shirting). So I bought it without a specific pattern in mind, but in hopes to make Little Mister A a sweater of some kind.

Fast forward to 6 months later and I still hadn’t touched the fabric. (Partly because I was too scared to ruin it and partly because I was too wrapped up in sewing Christmas presents). Well after realizing that now 0.5meters of fabric will not be enough to make a 1 year old (who wears 12-18m clothing) a sweater I went out and bought some black jogging fleece (sweater material) to tackle the free Free Raglan Hoodie by Brindille & Twig that I had heard such great things about!

Brindille & Twig Raglan Hoodie - BritishFarmWifeInTraining
Free Raglan Hoodie by Brindille & Twig – BritishFarmWifeInTraining

Let me just say – the hype around this pattern has NOT. BEEN. EXAGGERATED! Even though I am very late to the party.

I sewed a 2T which fits beautifully, with plenty of room for him to grow into. The pattern was easy to follow (first sweater and first hood I’ve sewn) and I have ZERO complaints about it. Honestly, the hardest part was trying to decide if I should have the plaid or the black as the outside of the hood!

Little Mister A seems to like it too! We have had a ton of compliments this week as he has worn it around town (trying to stay warm in this -30 weather)!

Now where do you think I can find more flannel shirting to #makeallthesweaters?!

(Too bad the pattern isn’t in adult size – more on that to come….)

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HERE. WE. GO.

Welcome, welcome!

Did you actually find your way here?

AMAZING!

This was not really how I was planning to spend my new year, but 2017 just decided to pop this idea into my head on its own.

You see, I started sewing (really sewing, not like ‘I learnt how in Home EC in grade 8 sewing’) about two years ago. I had asked my parents for a sewing machine for Christmas. I’m not entirely sure why, but I wanted to learn to sew.

A few months later we found out that I was pregnant. Yahoo!! And that set me off on learning how to sew ALL. THE. THINGS! From quilts to baby clothes, I attempted it all.

Fast forward to the last few months…. I have discovered this fantastic WORLD of sewing, sewists, seamstresses, pattern makers, etc etc etc online and on Facebook. So to join in their ranks this will be my little corner of the internet to showcase my adventures and misadventures of sewing, cooking, and anything else that suits my fancy really.

Please join me if you will!