Friday, 15 August 2014


Simplicity 1873, Sewing Welt Pockets, Dressing Your Truth Type One

August is The Sewcialists Tribute Month.  An opportunity to pay homage to a sewing blogger that inspires. It was my intention to watch from the sidelines on this one.  You ALL inspire me...tremendously. You might be a sewer, or a forty plus personal style blogger. You might be a foodie, a wordsmith, an artist. You might work your magic in the garden or your home. Whatever your medium, you inspire with your creativity.  Yep, I didn't want to stress about who to choose, so I decided to just buckle down and sew a couple of projects that have been waiting in the wings.  Like these shorts. Summer is half over after all.  It was actually pretty quick sewing, these lightweight summer shorts, Simplicity 1783, and a self drafted t-shirt.  So, why did I wait until August? Well, I really wanted to add welt pockets to my shorts.  Let me re-phrase that. I really wanted welt pockets on my shorts, but I really didn't want to sew them. Let's be real. Raise your hand if you actually utilize those cute little welt pockets on your backside? Thought not. But. For whatever reason, don't you think they up the style factor on a pair of pants, or in this case, shorts?  The thing is...welt pockets...tricky beasts they is.  Or so I thought.  Until now.  You see, Nicole of  Nicole at Home posted a welt pocket tutorial complete with pattern PDF here. I've had it printed off and ready to go for months, and I finally decided it was now or never. I followed her flawless tutorial step by step, with nary a hiccup.  not. one. Not even a scratch of the head, or a huh moment. And then it dawned on me. Lovely Nicole, had not only inspired me to up my sewing game, but she had also provided me with the tools and support to make it happen. about a home run. So yes, this post is with special thanks to you, Nicole.  I met you a year ago during the Super Online Sewing Match.  Back then, I had you pegged as my main competition. Now, I have you catalogued as some serious inspiration.

Okay guys, here's a good one for you. Last Saturday, the mister and I were getting ready to go see Red Rock Diner, a rock 'n' roll musical with a Vancouver plot.  Set in 1957, it was a no-brainer that I would wear my Betty Draper Dress. We had matinee tickets and we are routinely a bit rushed to get out of the house on time for these early shows.  We have long done the check know...keys, check; glasses, check; tickets, check.  As I picked up the tickets, which may I say are not nearly as special now that they are printed on our home printer, I gave pause. Errrmm, I it the 16th today?  Odd. I thought today was the 9th.  oh. dear. and. oops.. Wrong Saturday. about a full dress rehearsal. I guess the bright side is that the tickets weren't for the week before. but. really.  With an afternoon suddenly free, I switched out my fancy-schmancy for my Midnight in Paris Dress and flip flops and off we went to Trout Lake Farmers Market, upping our total number of market visits this summer to about six so far. Not bad, eh?  On Sunday, we did a long, but leisurely cycle on The Vancouver Seawall.  Yes. I had my camera. No. I didn't take photos. Managing a bike and a camera at the same time was not working well.  Next time, I'll try harder. Okay, that's all she wrote today...thank you for reading, and inspiring me!

Shorts : : Me-Made, Cynthia Rowley Simplicity 1783
T-Shirt : : Me-Made, Self-drafted Pattern
Espradrilles : : Payless

Linking up with:

Sewing Adicta: Share In Style

Thursday, 31 July 2014


A Colourful Canvas, Vogue V2958, Palazzo Pants

A Colourful Canvas, Vogue V2958, Palazzo Pants

A Colourful Canvas, Vogue V2958, Palazzo Pants

Hi Everyone! Weeee!  We's in a different country for photos today!  Yeppers!  I'm frolicking about in Peace Arch Park, a beautiful and rather unique park that straddles the International boundary of Canada and the USA. It's super close to home and the perfect venue for today's post.  Why? Well, one of the fun and unexpected joys of blogging has been experiencing a wonderful sense of community.  I've come to know so many lovely and interesting people from all over the world.  My peeps are a diverse bunch, and I love that! Today, as part of Oonapalooza {July's sew-a-long as cooked up by the Sewcialists}, I'm happy to give a shout out to fabulous Oona from Oonaballoona.  Oona lives in New York City and her world is one filled with colour, pattern, and mad sewing skillz! Needless to say, I'm a huge fan and I pretend we're besties and now ain't that embarrassing.  Yep, Oona accompanies me to the fabric stores, whispering sweet nothings in my dis, buy dat, more colour, more crazy!...Seriously though, if she didn't live on the other side of the continent, in a foreign country, I'd totally do my dangest to get her to hang out with me. 

Okay, I know some of you have been waiting for them...these patterned, palazzo pants, Vogue pattern V2958.  And I'm sorry it took so long, but it was a challenge finding just the right fabric. When I finally bumped into this swishy rayon...well, I kinda flipped for it.  So much so, that I bought enough fabric to make a top to go with. At the same time,  I was keen to step up my pattern/colour game. This is Oona inspired after all.  And. Yes. This fuchsia print had me at hello. I bought .6m with the intention of adding it as a fun accent at the neckline or waistband, but I tell ya, that Michael Miller pink plain wiggled it's way into an entire top. It just had to be. I pretty much held my breath while laying out pattern pieces on my precious and tiny piece of fabric. That top pattern, New Look 6799 by the way, is simply the bodice of my Paris In The Springtime Dress, lengthened a little, with the zip moved to the side seam. And, um...I added the length mid-bodice which was totally dumb; it messed up the dart positioning...duh...resulting in a bit of an old lady boob thing going on...but I'm willing to overlook that, and I sincerely hope you will too!  At the end of the day, I quite love these pants; they might be the most comfortable I've ever long as I'm not catching my reflection in a store window...I have to say, I'm totally down with the top too.

All righty, that's all she wrote for today. Want more colour and pattern?  Check out the many Oona inspired outfits on Sewcialist's  Flickr Group.

And!  I'm excited to be linking up with Patti for Visible Monday over at Not Dead Yet Style.

Palazzo Pants : : Vogue Pattern V2958, also sewn here
Top : :  New Look 6799 Bodice, dress sewn here
Wedge Sandals : : Aldo
Zoya Polish : : Purity, Wednesday, and Lara

Wednesday, 16 July 2014


Summer Sundress Sew-a-long, Stripes

Summer Sundress Sew-a-long, Stripes

Ah...hello my peeps!  We've got some lovely summer heat happening in Vancouver right now!  And lucky me...I had some time off work and was able to sneak away for an impromptu mini holiday for a few days. The mister and I drove up to Whistler to get together with a work colleague of his that was visiting from Texas! Turns out, it was a Texas sized occasion with 24 of us sitting down to dinner at Earls Restaurant.  And I'm here to tell ya that we were enveloped in hospitality, Texas style. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of our visit!

I wore this stripey sundress all most of the time we were in Whistler.    It's  summer sundress sue style. Not so much strappy, but definitely happy. And why?  Where the skin doth show, sunscreen must go. I don't profess to be the fairest in the land, but I do confess to having sun-sensitive skin.  Sigh. Such is the reality for a redhead.  Life experience has taught me the value of keeping shoulders and other rarely exposed bits of skin safely covered when summer's rays are at their fiercest, so when I stumbled across this cute dress on pinterest I knew it would be a perfect summer make!

A few posts back, I shared my technique for making a t-shirt pattern.  Okay, maybe the word technique is a little fancy schmancy.  After all, all I did was cut apart an old t-shirt. But, it worked!  I've made a few tees already, and how 'bout we call them basic t-shirts, view A. 'bout we call my summer sundress, view B. Yuh-uh! This sundress is a direct descendant of my humble t-shirt.  How to?  Well, I added to the length obviously. And, I added to the side seams, creating an A-line shape. I added some fullness to the sleeves with an inverted pleat, and the ruffled hemline is a looooong, gathered rectangle of fabric.  The ZIPPER, although completely unnecessary, is the design feature I love the most. It's my first exposed zip...{can I get a wahoo}...I know, I'm totally late to that party, but what can I say.  It was a little tricky working that zipper in a knit fabric, but I do love the final outcome, especially where the red stripe intersects with the red zipper.  Hello, is that Vogue Magazine a calling? Since we share the good, the bad, and the ugly here, I must share that I did a little hand stitching at the base of that zipper. After I had sewn the zipper in, I spotted a couple of tiny areas that I was concerned might run, so I hand stitched the corners just to be safe. Knit fabrics don't fray which is a definite yay. They do, however, sometimes run, just like when you snag a pair of nylons. Or...when you give your cat corporal know...the punishing of a cat by picking it up and cuddling it.  Naughty cat has not chosen to be cuddled, and he/she tries desperately to free him/herself from evil clutches of human being. This always involves claws and almost always results in snagged t-shirts.  Erg, where was I?  Oh yes, my dress. I had the most fun figuring out the layout.  This double knit fabric, at a whopping $1.99 meter, was unearthed in the bargain center at Dressew.  I think it might have been there because the pattern repeats, oh, about every 50 feet or so. Seriously, it's not, but the pattern seems almost, nearly random. There are different widths of blue and white stripes, and then a surprise random red stripe thrown in here and there.  And I really, really wanted that red stripe to be featured in my dress, so, yes, I played at that for a while. At the end of the day, it definitely passed the travel test; and I like the dress a lot, and I wanna make another one out of a woven fabric!  I have to tell you, if I like a garment I've made, I always so look forward to making it again...all the ifs, buts, and what just happeneds are sorted out, and garment number two usually goes together in about half the time!

Not much else newsy to far the hives have not reoccurred...keeping my fingers crossed.  I've reintroduced everything except the laundry soap. And I'm thinking that I'll try it again....oh, never.  The mister and I have been heading to local farmer's markets on the weekends, our lofty goal being to visit every community market at least once this season. So far, we've been to a grand total of three, so as I type this I'm thinking that we might need to adjust our intentions. Especially since we seem to make a beeline towards the baking stands. every. time. That and homemade jam.  Homemade jam is experiencing a real renaissance chez A Colourful Canvas.  Big time. All righty, 'nuf said. Thanks ever so much for stopping by!

Dress : : Me-Made
Sandals : : American Eagle for Payless
Starfish Earrings : : Me-Made from buttons

Linking Up with Handmade By Heather B for Summer Sundress Sew-a-long