Canadian Designer Blog Tour and a Holly Dress

Cover Photo Blog Tour

It’s my turn on the Canadian Designer Blog tour.  When I saw the call for bloggers, I was excited.  Firstly, I love to support indie pattern designers.  Secondly, I really love to support Canadian indie pattern designers.  Before this tour, I had no idea just how many Canadian designers there were.  Thank you so much to Ula of Lulu & Celeste for putting this whole tour together.

I decided on the Holly Dress by Audrey and Tiffany.  It was the partial circle skirt that sold me on it.  The twirlier the better, and my daughter is a sucker for twirl.  I must admit, I also prefer a circle skirt to a gathered skirt.  There’s something about the clean look of it and also NO massive amounts of gathers!  Don’t get me wrong, I also love a gathered skirt.  But it’s a nice change not to.


I made this in a size 4 with the gathering option instead of the pin tucks.  I love both looks, but I haven’t made a dress with a gathered bodice before, and I wanted to give it a go.


This is my first time sewing an Audrey and Tiffany pattern.  I’m always willing to try a new designer and I’m glad I did.  I’m a sucker for under stitching.  I much prefer it to topstitching.  I’ll often substitute it for topstitching in a pattern to prevent the lining from peeking over the top.  But I love it even more when a pattern actually tells you to under stitch; which this one did.

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Another thing I loved about this pattern.  The button placket on the back.  It was probably the part I had the most trouble with.  The photos really helped me muddle my way through it.  It may have been my first time doing a placket like this and I think it turned out really well.  I was worried at first, when I was trying to line up the contrast band at the back.  I’m not always perfect, but in this case, both sides lined up pretty much bang on.



I picked up some really sweet buttons that I think suit the fabric.  I really like the button loops at the back instead of button holes.  I think it makes the dress that much more special.  I really love the elegance and simplicity of the entire dress…but I especially love the back!


We decided to take the kids to the Tulip Festival in Ottawa.  We try to go every year.  There is so much that goes on in Ottawa every year and we really don’t take advantage of everything that is available to us.  What I didn’t realize is that we went on the last weekend of the festival.  So the tulips were pretty much dead.  It didn’t bother the kids at all.  They still had a blast.   If you’re ever in Ottawa in May, it’s a great time.  Especially if the tulips are actually in bloom.

Who needs tulips when you have dandelions?

Who needs tulips when you have dandelions?

And what would be a day at a festival without a ginormous bag of popcorn and ice cream?!



Now for the fun bits.  From June 11th to 15th only, Audrey and Tiffany are offering 25% off their patterns with the coupon code OHCANADA.

Also, you can enter the rafflecopter below for your chance to win the Holly and Secret Garden pdf dress patterns.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

There are so many bloggers taking part in this tour.

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And also so many sponsors.


Head on over to Lulu and Celeste to sew along and enter to win some amazing prize packages.


A long overdue Ice Cream Dress (and a pseudo pocket tutorial)

I have had this exact dress on my mind for over a year.  I bought this combination of fabric to specifically make an Oliver and S Ice Cream dress.  I loved Gail’s version here and had to make one.


This is a super sweet dress.  It’s not structured, so I imagine it’s probably pretty comfy.  Maya wore it all day, even though it doesn’t twirl.  She did twirl in it though and I made a big deal that it “does” in fact, twirl…a little bit.  Well…not really, but if I can convince Maya that it is twirling, she is more likely to actually wear it.

Here she is...mid "twirl".

Here she is…mid “twirl”.

There are different ways to make this dress.  A top or dress, with/without pockets, with/without notch and you can also play with colourblocking.  I chose to do View A with notches.


The pockets are perfect for my dandelion loving little girl.

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I think Maya will be able to wear this for several years.  I have a love/hate relationship with dresses for Maya.  I LOVE making them, I love making them so much, that when they last for so long, it means I really shouldn’t make so many.  But I still do.

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This was a very straightforward pattern, as is standard with Oliver and S patterns.  For the most part.  I had a feeling I would run into a bit of trouble with the back closure because I had read about it on several occasions.  I don’t really know how to describe the issue, but I feel like if you are SUPER PRECISE when clipping the seam allowance at the closure, you MAY not have an issue.  There is a bit of raw edge peeking through that drives me a little batty, but I tried to stitch over it and I think unless you know it’s there, you would never see it anyway.  But I’m a bit of a perfectionist so it will continue to bother me.

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Despite the closure issue, I really love this dress. And I will most likely make another one.

This is a straight size 4.  No modifications whatsoever.  Both fabrics are from JoAnn’s.

I have never done a “tutorial” before, and I don’t even know if this qualifies as one.  It’s more of a, “hey there’s this really cool technique for adding patch pockets that I read about somewhere and I thought I would show you how I did it” post.

I honestly don’t remember where I saw this.  I wish I did so I could link it.  But it’s brilliant!

Basically it’s this.  Cut the pocket out of the the “pocket placement” guide on the pattern piece before you pin (or iron in my case)  your pattern piece to the RIGHT side of your fabric.  (You can do it afterwards if you’ve forgotten.)  Continue as normal, but leave your pattern piece on the cut fabric.  Prepare your patch pocket and place in the hole of your pattern piece.  Pin it.  Remove pattern piece.  Stitch on.  Tada!  Done!  Easy peasy.  No measuring in so many inches, up so many, trying to use a marker underneath the pattern piece, no more chalk papers and tracing wheels.  Seriously.  Mind blowing and so simple.  Maybe everyone knows this, but I did not, and so I share.

Step 1:  cut the pocket placement markings out on your freezer paper (or whatever you used to transfer your pattern to)

Step 1: cut the pocket placement markings out on your freezer paper (or whatever you used to transfer your pattern to)

Step 2:   make your patch pocket as per instructions.

Step 2: make your patch pocket as per instructions.

Step 3:  place your pocket in the hole and pin into place

Step 3: place your pocket in the hole and pin into place

Step 4:  remove the pattern piece (freezer paper) and sew pockets into the perfect place.

Step 4: remove the pattern piece (freezer paper) and sew pockets into the perfect place.

Happy sewing everyone!

Tiptoeing through the tulips (?) in his sketchbook shorts

Before I looked through Jacob’s dresser for his summer clothes, I decided to make these shorts.  It’s a good thing I made them before I knew he had about a bazillion pairs of shorts, because I probably wouldn’t have otherwise.

Look how cute!


These are the sketchbook shorts from Oliver and S.  Such a fantastic pattern.  Like usual, all the pieces fit together perfectly.  The little details, like the fake fly and the side pockets put these shorts over the cuteness edge.  I even added a button to the front.  There’s an option to do a flat front, and if these were a dressier pair of shorts I would have chosen that.  But seeing as these are pretty casual shorts, I kept it simple and just added elastic throughout.


Jacob isn’t a very big boy.  He still wears 18-24 month store bought shorts.  2T normally look like capris and fall down when he walks.  That’s the great thing about making clothes yourself.  You are able to adjust the waist and shorten or lengthen the legs among other things.  I decided to still make the 2T in these because based on the pattern pieces, the length looked okay and it is simple enough to shorten the elastic in the waist to ensure they don’t fall down.  Also, this way I’m pretty sure he will be able to wear them next summer as well.


We went to the Canadian Tulip Festival a few weekends ago.  Turns out, going on the last weekend of the festival means the tulips are pretty much all dead.  In past years we’ve gone  closer to the beginning of May and there are many more tulips in bloom.  The kids still had a blast.  There was a clown, afterall.  And ice cream.

These two love each other so much!

These two love each other so much!


The fabric I used was Military Plaid from the Military Max line by Riley Blake.  I love the plaid. Originally I bought it to make a button up shirt, but I much prefer them as shorts I think.  I thought it was going to be tricky to match up the plaids, but it turned out to be easier than I thought.  Not too shabby.

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This little guy steals my heart every day.  He is such a happy, sensitive, loving little boy.


He’s definitely not a baby any more.


But he sure is handsome!