Rainbow Peppermint Swirl

She’s FIVE!  Well, she turned 5 almost 3 months ago, but I’m still in a bit of denial.  My little girl is growing up.

You may remember the first rainbow dress I made for Maya.  She was turning 3 and insisted on having a rainbow-themed party.  So of course I had to make her a rainbow dress.  Fast forward two years and she still loves rainbows.

When the Peppermint Swirl dress was released from Candy Castle Patterns several years ago I swore I would never make one.  Not so much because I didn’t like the look, but because it was SO popular.  It seemed everywhere I looked in my online sewing life, there was another one or two or three.  I wanted to keep my sewing more unique.  But I kept coming back to it.  And then I saw the most beautiful rainbow swirl dress.  I figured Maya was only going to be my twirly princess for a very short while.  So I purchased the pattern and set out to find the perfect rainbow colour combination.

Happy Birthday Maya!

Happy Birthday Maya!

I didn’t want the colour palette to be like the original rainbow dress I made, I wanted the colours to be softer.  So I headed to my new favourite fabric store, Mad About Patchwork, and spent a good hour deciding on the perfect colours.

Then came the dreaded part of cutting out the swirls.  Let’s just say there are 14 swirls and each swirl is made of of 2 parts.  That’s a lot of cutting.  But thanks to my handy dandy rotary cutter, it really wasn’t that bad.  I took the advice given in the pattern and just serged them all together and didn’t bother ironing the seams at all.  The skirt came together remarkably easily.

I think she likes it

I think she likes it

I changed the bodice slightly as I didn’t care for the deep sweetheart that was part of the pattern.  I just drew a straight line across and called it a day and followed the directions exactly as written, just ignoring the bits about sewing around the curves.  I don’t LOVE the bodice, but I do LOVE the dress.

Maya and Star Lily

Maya and Star Lily

I decided to make the sash as a separate piece.  I’m not sure that was the best idea because when she wears it, it rides up and looks a bit silly.  I may still attach some belt loops (a la Butterfly blouse closure), but for now Maya wears the dress sans sash.

For the hem I used single fold bias tape.  I like how it gives it a bit of weight and makes the dress really stand out when she is twirling.  And let’s face it, Maya is ALWAYS twirling.

maya rainbow swirl 3

Butterfly Blouse and a Swingset Skirt

I haven’t been in a very “bloggy” mood recently.  Mostly because I don’t seem to have time.  Or the energy to do so.  It’s not for lack of sewing though, that’s for sure.

I set out in the later parts of winter to sew much of Maya’s summer wardrobe.  This is just one of those outfits that I’m particularly happy with.  I think I made it back in February or March, but seeing as we didn’t get spring weather till a couple of weeks ago, this is the first time she’s actually worn it.

tulip fest 2016

The top is the Butterfly blouse by Oliver and S in a Liberty of London Tana Lawn that I purchased in from B and J Fabrics in New York City on a (sort of) recent trip.  It’s a straight up size 5 and fits beautifully.  There are flutter sleeves which I love.  This top is super cute and really quick to put together.  Like usual, I learned something new while sewing yet another Oliver and S pattern.  I hadn’t made a thread chain button loop before.  I was intimidated at the idea, and I actually left the shirt in a bag hanging in my sewing room for about a month before I actually attempted it.  But a little googling and YouTube-ing came to the rescue.  Turns out thread chains are really easy and quick to make.

tulip fest 2016-12

The skirt is the Swing Set skirt, also by Oliver and S in a pink Yarn Dyed cotton-linen from Purl Soho (also in New York City).  I could live in that store.  It’s so very, very awesome.  This skirt is a size 5 length and a size 4 width.  This skirt is a quick sew, complete with lining, a drawstring waist as well as elastic.  To make it even quicker, I decided to skip the three rows of casings that would normally house the drawstring and elastics, and instead made it a single casing for a 3/4″ elastic.  Super fast, and still super cute.

Bunny is part of our family. She is very well loved.

Bunny is part of our family. She is very well loved.


I’ve made at least 7 of these skirts in the past couple of years.  It’s my go-to pattern for skirts.  It’s such a fantastic pattern for such a great skirt.  It used to only go up to size 5.  I’m so happy that it has been released all the way to size 12 now.  It’s a twirly-girly kind of skirt.  The perfect skirt for my twirly girl.

tulip fest 2016-3

Hopefully I’m back again soon.

tulip fest 2016-13

Sharing ice cream.

Sharing ice cream.  I just love how much they love each other (usually, anyway).  🙂


Nature Walk Pullover for Jacob

I haven’t been blogging nearly as much as I used to.  I blame this on several things.  Firstly, I am seriously lacking time.  I’m lucky if I get sewing time these days, let alone find time to actually blog about what I’ve made.  Secondly, I realized that I don’t really NEED to blog about EVERYTHING I’ve made.

I knew I wanted to make the Nature Walk Pullover by none other than Oliver and S, for Jacob as soon as I saw Gail’s version.  I even sort of copied her fabric choice.  Well, I didn’t “sort of copy”.  I pretty much entirely copied, except for the colour.  It’s Shetland flannel in denim from Robert Kaufman.   This was the first time I’ve sewn with really nice flannel.  I think what I’ve thought of as flannel, has actually been flannelette.  Which is fine for jammies, but THIS is fantastic for garments.   I had no idea!


I actually made this around five months ago.  Maya and Jacob were having class photos taken and I wanted them each to have Mommy-made clothes on, but I didn’t want them to be matchy matchy.   Maya wore her Jumprope dress and I wanted Jacob to wear this.

It was a really enjoyable sew.  I was even able to use some coveted fabric (Moon Patrol by cloud 9) as subtle details in the facings of the pockets.  Like Gail, I chose to use all one fabric for the pullover.  I like the simplified look of a single fabric sometimes.



I love the kangaroo pocket on the front, though I do have to remind Jacob that it’s there.  He doesn’t have near the obsession with pockets as Maya has.  🙂


As much as I love it, it is a little tricky to get on.  It is a woven pullover afterall so I suppose that’s to be expected.  I’m not sure it would work in a knit. If someone has tried it, I would love to hear about it.

These two steal my heart every day.

These two steal my heart every day.

And yes, those are photos taken in line to see Santa Clause…..on Christmas Eve.  We made it in the Nick of time.

I had a sad moment the day I got the proofs back for the kids’ class photos.  Jacob was wearing his fleece jacket on TOP of his awesome shirt!  Now I don’t know if he didn’t want to take it off, or if his teachers thought that his jacket was a sweater.  Either way, he’s super adorable in his photo.  And I can’t very well post Jacob’s school photo and not Maya’s, so here she is, too.  🙂

30190610_01 30191084_01

This photo was taken on Christmas Eve.  We live in Ottawa, which is ridiculously cold in the winter.  And the kids are eating popsicles.  It was unseasonably warm this year and there was no snow to be seen.  In fact, if I hadn’t put their bikes away for the season a month earlier, they would have been able to bike.  On Christmas Eve, 2015.  Craziness!


Another Cinderella

I believe I mentioned that the Cinderella dress I made last year for Maya was not authentic enough for her.  “Her dress is all blue.  She doesn’t have any white”.   It was getting really short on her anyway, so I didn’t mind making a more authentic dress for our most recent Disney World trip.

Last year's Cinderella

Last year’s Cinderella–look how little Maya is!!

The pattern for Cinderella is included with the Snow White pattern I used here.

I made the dress extra long and then hemmed it several inches so that she will be able to wear it for several years.


This dress came together pretty quickly compared to Snow White.  There’s no big detachable collar nor cape.  And I must say, my invisible zippers are getting easier to install.

So there you have it.  Another Cinderella.  🙂


And here’s Mr. Jacob.  Really not impressed with Cinderella this year.  lol.




The Prince (aka Prince Ferdinand) – a little tutorial

I’m a wee bit late with my Disney posts…but better late than never, right?

You can’t have Snow White without her Prince.  And a handsome prince he is. (If I do say so myself).  I had to google it, but yes, Snow White’s prince’s name is Ferdinand.  But I think in the movie, he is referred to as “The Prince”.


I had a hard time finding a pattern for his outfit.  In fact, it’s hard to find Disney-esque costumes for boys.  That is why I am forced to come up with my own from patterns that already exist.

The Prince’s top looked sort of art smock-ish, so I started with the “bias-trimmed apron” pattern from Little Things to Sew (by Liesl Gibson of Oliver and S).  I pretty much just winged this costume, but I took some photos as I was going along so I’m going to explain my process as I go.

The Bias-trimmed apron has full sides and a velcro or snap back to make it easy to pull on.  I wanted to make it even simpler, so I used only the front pattern piece and used it for the front and the back.  Because it’s made with woven fabric with no stretch, I cut the front neckline a bit deeper so it would go over Jacob’s head.  I kept trying it on over his head, till I was happy.  In hindsight, I probably should have kept some sort of opening at the back, but as a costume, I think it turned out just fine.


I didn’t use the instructions for the apron, just the pattern piece.

I started by sewing and serging the shoulder seams.

I wanted it to go over his head and I also wanted it to close with tabs instead of being fully enclosed on the sides.  I knew I was going to be wrapping some sort of gold rope around so I wanted it as open as possible to decrease the bulk when the rope was tied.

To create the tabs, cut out 8 tabs from your fabric.


Sew 2 of them them wrong sides together  (4 times, to make 4 tabs), and flip them right sides out pushing the rounded edges out with a knitting needle to make a smooth curve.

IMG_0033 IMG_0031

Attach  each tab partway up the sides.  There were notches on the pattern piece where the original sides should have been attached; use these for placement.

IMG_0035 IMG_0036

Baste the tabs to the wrong side of the smock.


I bought some gold bias trim by the meter and attached it cheater-style to the outer edge and the neckline.  By cheater style, I just sandwiched the fabric in the bias and edge stitched it in place.


Lastly was the fun bit.  Not!  I bought some gold cording in the drapery department of Fabricland and hand stitched it to the back neckline, up to the shoulder seam.  By stitching it only at the back, it’s easier to adjust the fit as kids get bigger.  I just sort of wrap it around and tie in the front.


Now for the cape.  I just sort of winged this one as well.  I found several tutorials online for Prince capes, but in the end I just sort of drew the general shape on my fabric and attached the same gold bias, leaving tails long enough to tie.

So there you have it.  One Prince Ferdinand costume.


I know I’m biased….but how cute!  Prepare for photo overload.


Cape and autographs!

EPCOT_WSGER_7512730062 EPCOT_WSGER_7512731736 EPCOT_WSGER_7512731739 EPCOT_WSGER_7512732541 EPCOT_WSGER_7512731745 IMG_0198



Snow White

Maybe we went to Disney World a month ago.

So that means my kids needed some additional costumes.

Last year, you may recall, I made both kids a bunch of Disney outfits.  The good thing is they all still fit!! Thank goodness because I didn’t have it in me again this year to make all the costumes.  Maya’s grown a couple inches over the past year, so her dresses are getting shorter on her, but that is OK.  And Jacob’s were starting to get a wee bit short, but they were fine for this trip.

I asked Maya if she could have one new princess dress, what would it be.  Hands down, Snow White.  She has a dress up Snow White costume that she received for her birthday one year and she loves it.  She’s never actually seen the movie, but she knows who Snow White is.


Maya is all about her dresses being authentic.  She even pointed out to Minnie Mouse last year that her dress was similar, but not the same (I added lace to the bottom and clearly Minnie doesn’t have lace on her dress).  So I knew I had to find an authentic Snow White pattern.

In comes Simplicity patterns, pattern 2817 to be exact.  This is my third time using a non-pdf tutorial based sewing pattern.  I’ve come a long way in the past couple of years in my self taught sewing ability, so I didn’t find it as complicated as I thought I would.  There were a couple of parts (sewing in the zipper and attaching the cape loop) that I know I didn’t do properly, but even after going back, I still don’t really understand what the instructions were trying to tell me.  So I did my own thing.

This dress has everything!  A detachable collar, cape and headband.  Except for the slight colour differences, if this isn’t Snow White’s dress, I don’t know what is.

Version 2

The bodice front and back have darts.  This was my first time sewing darts that actually gave shape and structure to a bodice.  And it was first time making my own piping.  I will be adding piping to garments from now on.  It was so simple and gives such a nice look.

Version 2

I didn’t have the heavyweight interfacing required for the collar, so I used medium weight but interfaced both sides of it, so I think the end result is the same.


The headband is covered in fabric with a poly filled bow on top.

Maya loves this dress.  Like LOVES this dress.

Seeing as this post is about Maya’s Snow White dress, I will save Jacob’s Prince Ferdinand’s costume for another post.  But there’s a little sneak peak up there.  I may even try to add a bit of a tutorial for it.  Hopefully I can get back into the sewing groove again.  I have a whole list of things to make before Christmas and time is a tickin’.


Till next time.  Happy sewing.

My favourite Oliver and S Pattern

A few things have happened over the past couple of months that prevented me from blogging (and sewing) as I would have liked. I had jaw surgery (I am fine, healing slowly…but at least I can eat solid food again), we took a family vacation (will talk about that in some future posts) and I was writing a post (and sewing) for the Oliver and S blog.   When Rachel asked me to contribute to the “my favorite pattern” series, I was beyond thrilled!  I even sewed 2 more after she asked.

To find out what my favourite pattern is, you’ll have to jump on over to the Oliver and S blog to see. 🙂

Back to School

Well, both kids are back to school.  I realize Jacob is only 2.5, so saying he is in “school” seems like a stretch.  But alas, they are both at school.

This year Jacob moved from the toddler program into Casa.  So he and Maya are actually in the same class.  They were both so excited to be together.  They aren’t actually together the whole day.  They have a work period with the whole class (casa 1, 2 and 3) and then they split up for much of the rest of the day.  Jacob goes to the sleep room in the afternoon for a much needed nap,  and Maya goes to the resting room. I wonder how much “rest” she’s actually getting.

Anyway, onto the clothes.

As you may recall, my husband and I went to New York City for a quick weekend getaway for our 5th wedding anniversary in May whereby I discovered the mecca of all fabric stores:  Mood Fabrics.  You could literally spend a week in that place and not see it all I think.

I bought this shirting fabric there.  It is so soft and drapes so nicely.  And though it’s 100% cotton, I don’t think I could wrinkle it if I tried.  Which is perfect, because I hate ironing finished garments.  (Just ask my husband about his button up shirts).

I think it works just as well for dresses for girls and shirts for boys.

This is the first time I’ve sewn both of these patterns.  Maya’s dress is the “Jumprope Dress” by Oliver and S and Jacob’s shirt is the “Sketchbook Shirt” also by Oliver and S.  Have I mentioned before how much I love Oliver and S?!


Neither of them were a quick sew.  But I knew that going in.  I’ve seen plenty Jumprope dresses in blog land to know what I was getting myself into.

There’s a collar, button placket, sleeve tabs, belt loops and buttoned pockets.  Nothing necessarily “new” to me, but I haven’t sewn so many of these elements in a single garment before.

maya details

It’s not that the pattern is difficult, it was just time consuming.  Combining the facts that the kids are going to bed later (bye bye 6pm bedtimes), I work full time and I’m trying to keep on top of all things family and home related, I don’t get as much time sewing.  So my hour or two here and there are really precious.  I think this dress took 4 or 5 evenings from start to finish.  But I LOVE it.  Like, really love it!  I kind of want one for myself.


I may have had to cut the bodice out a couple of times because I forgot to match my plaids the first time around.  But I’m glad I noticed and that I had plenty of fabric to recut the back and match it to the front.  That’s the only problem with plaids…the matching.  But it’s not difficult to do, especially with well marked patterns.  It’s easy just to match the notches on a certain “mark” on the front, find the same repeating “mark” and place the back piece.  I love Oliver and S for that.  It makes matching patterns really easy.  As long as you actually remember to do it and don’t just put your pattern piece down willy nilly.  But enough about that.


Maya actually likes this dress!  It’s all in the delivery.  I told her it was twirly and had secret pockets and bam! instant love.


I decided to use pearl snaps instead of buttons.  A bit finicky, but I love the look.

Now onto Jacob’s shirt.  This was my first time making the Sketchbook shirt.  I’ve made the shorts before (here), and I have made button down shirts (here and here).  But this pattern was new to me.


I chose to do a combination of view A and B.  The collar from A with the short sleeves from B.  I definitely chose well by making it short sleeved for several reasons.  One, it’s chilly in the morning, but still gets quite warm by noon.  Also, the kids’ classroom is quite warm and my kids are furnaces on a cool day.  But mostly because the short sleeves are simple.  A hem and that is all.  I “may” try to make a long sleeved one some day, but all the details that make it super handsome (extra buttons and plackets) are also that details that are still a bit intimidating to me.

Goofy boy

Goofy boy

My collar is definitely not perfect, and I had a bit of trouble attaching everything (seems to be a common occurance based on my research), but I still like it.  It doesn’t help when you start something the day before your child needs to wear it either.  I would recommend giving yourself 2 to 3 evenings to sew this shirt, instead of the afternoon and evening I took.

Jacob button placket and collar

I cut the placket and the back yoke on the bias.  I think it adds a little something extra.


When I finish something for the kids, it’s always at night when they are sleeping.  I don’t sew when they are awake.  I barely get to see them with school and work getting in the way, so I always wait to sew till they are sleeping.  Because I finish at night, I like to put whatever it is on a stand or mannequin and then put it in their room so they see it when they wake.  It seems to make them really want to wear it.  The morning they saw these was extra special, not only because they had matching outfits (I’ll be sad when they don’t want to match each other anymore), but also because it was Jacob’s first day of Casa and them being in the same class.



How have my babies grown so much!?  Wasn’t Jacob just born?!

Jacob first day of school blog

A Sailboat Shirt

It’s about time I sewed some clothes for my little guy.  He gets so excited anytime I make him something.  His eyes light up and he’s so appreciative.


I purchased this red striped knit when we were in New York City from Mood Fabrics.   I made Maya a dress from it (haven’t blogged about it, but I really should) and I made Jacob a “matching” raglan T-shirt.  They were beyond excited to have “matching” clothes.  Unfortunately, the t-shirt was a tad too small for him.  He wore it a couple of times, but his tummy liked to peek it’s way out.  He kept asking for his shirt when Maya would wear the dress, so I had to get my butt in gear and make him something.


He saw me cutting the fabric one day and asked me, “Is that for me?”  And when I said yes.  In his cutest little voice every said, “thank you thank you thank you”.

This is not the first time I’ve sewn a sailboat shirt from Oliver and S.   I made one for Jacob about a year ago, but it looked like jammies, so he didn’t wear it very often.

This pattern can be sewn in woven or knit.  My first was woven, and this one is knit.  I think I prefer it in knit to be honest.  Mostly because it’s way easier to get on a squirmy 2.5 year old.



There’s not much to say about the pattern.  Like usual the instructions and the end result were perfect.  I really like the curved hem and boat neck.  I also love using facings instead of hemming, especially when there is a curve like this one.


I used snaps instead of buttons and button holes.


Jacob was a little sad in the morning when he saw the shirt.  He was expecting it to be a dress just like Maya’s.  His exact words were, “That’s not a dress.  That’s a shirt”.  But he eventually decided he liked it and he wore it to preschool.


I made this in a 3T.  It’s a bit big on him, but that’s okay.  He’ll definitely be growing into it.


Notice it’s long sleeved?  Yeah…it got cold here….fast!



Backpacks from Little Things to Sew

Maya started ballet last September.  I had the idea to make her a “ballet bag” since then, but never actually got around to making one for her till now.    

I had the perfect fabric to do so.  It’s a canvas with adorable little ballerinas all over it in Maya’s favourite colour, purple!  This is the first time I’ve sewn with canvas.  It was quite different than I thought, it was really soft.  I guess I expected it to be more like home dec weight or denim or something.  
And since I was already making one backpack, why not make another one for my little man.   I let Jacob choose his fabric.   Both kids are really into the tv show “Dinosaur Train” right now and I had this Lizzie House dinosaur print so I wasn’t surprised when Jacob picked it.

The pattern I used was the “Penguin Backpack” from the book, Little Things to Sew from Oliver and S.  Instead of making it a penguin, I just used the lining piece as the front piece, but kept everything else pretty much the same (minus the penguin bits).

There’s really not much to say about this pattern.  Like usual, instructions are great and the finished product is perfect.  

I decided to hand stitch their names inside.  

 There is a double pocket on the inside that Maya thinks is perfect for her ballet slippers.  I agree!  

I used an unbleached linen I had in my stash for the lining.  I really like how they turned out.

Having my two kids just over a year and a half apart was really hard for the first couple of years, and to be honest, I forget a lot about that blur of time.  But I wouldn’t change it for anything.  They love and adore each other so much.