Tuesday, May 31, 2011

the good, the bad and the ugly!

No I am talking about a movie,
(one of my favorites!)
but about life.

In 2 weeks, the kids and I will take a long trip
to France, we are so excited!
It has been almost 4 years since
we visited last,
4 years without seeing Grandmothers,
uncle, aunt, cousins and friends,
and 3 years without seeing my parents,
a really long time!
(we do talk on the phone 2-3 times a week)

(St Malo and my favorite beach)

So where are the bad and the ugly?
Well because of the ugly part,
my parents will not travel to Provence
and bring back fabric,
I know I have a hard life,
I need to keep laughing at little things!

The really ugly part is my grandmother's health,
last year I wrote about her 40+ years fight with cancer,
well the winter has been really hard, she just spent 2 weeks
at the hospital, and found out that her cancer has now
spread to her kidney, lungs and back bone.
Her doctors have just given her weeks to live,
 I know they are doing their best to keep her comfortable
and I know she is fighting to stay here and see me one more time.
This is just not the way she wanted to see the kids and me,
she had been working hard on her garden
so that Miss C. would steal all her strawberries,
so that we would spend some silly time together....

I just hope now that we can make it on time.

To keep me from thinking too much,
(and crying)
I am sewing, it seems to ease the sadness,
after all my grandmother was a country seamstress.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

shorts, part III, the end!

Tiered of shorts yet?
Well this is the last ensemble,
then we are done!

For this one, I did not use my stash,
I purchased fabric!
I know, it is bad but it was kind of an accident!
Brick Master needed a gi for his karate test,
he is really into it,
I understand, I have practiced Judo, Karate,
Aikido, Kick Boxing, and self defense,
(not that I am good at any of them,
but I can fake it for a few seconds!)
Anyway next to the Karate store,
there was a .... quilt store!
I had not been in one in months,
and I had not purchased fabric since December.
The inevitable happened,
and I came home with some cute fabric!

Here is what I made:

you might recognize the fabric,
it is "sherbet pips" from Moda,
it is so soft, enough to make clothes!

For the top, I used this pattern

and just changed the length to a top instead of a dress.
Quite cute and easy to sew.

The shorts are from the same pattern than the other shorts.

I always put a button on the front of the shorts/pants to indicate the front,
I dislike labels, I always find them itchy,
my kids feel the same way,
so it can be hard to figure out which way to put on clothes,
but it is easy to remember button on the belly button!

It will be a great outfit for hot summer days!

Happy sewing!

make it wear it

Friday, May 27, 2011

more shorts, part II

I am continuing on my short collection,
well Miss C.'s,
I am pretty sure nobody is interested in mine!

This time I used some lime green cotton
and pink seersucker.

The green is felt over from my sister's lingerie bag.
I just love shopping my stash!
It is the same weight than the pink one that I used for the bermuda.
I used the same pattern again for the short.

The top was made from this older pattern,
easy but a little too wide and short!
If I make it again, I will add a couple inches at the bottom,
there is no need for belly action!

It does have a cute little detail at the neck line,
and it feels very breezy!

I added some pockets to the shorts using Dana's
tutorial, hers are for 4T, but they fit just right
on these size 6 shorts.

The fabric is horizontal on the pocket,
opposite to the way of the top,
I thought it would be fun,
now I am not so sure!

I have found a nice way to attach the elastic to the waist band,
without adding thickness where the elastic has to be sewn to itself.
I have read about it a while ago (probably heirloom sewing magazine)
and love using it.
I sew one side of the elastic to a small piece of fabric,
then the other side of the elastic to the same fabric
without overlapping the elastic,
the fabric reattaches the 2 sides,
it almost disappears, and there is no bump int the back.

Miss C. has been quite happy
to wear all new clothes this week!
And they have been tested in the heat,
almost 90 everyday!

Tomorrow will be my last version,
and it is the cutest!

Happy sewing!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

more shorts!

Yesterday, I started showing you
Miss C.'s new short collection,
well here is today's version:

I used the same pattern than the pink bermuda,
but made them shorter.

I used this multicolor stripe seersucker
and paired it with the orange T-shirt.

Miss C. decided that it was cute enough,
and did not need anymore embellishment,
I am OK with keeping it simple!

And yes there are more!
See you tomorrow

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

spring outfit

The warm weather is here,
almost really hot already!
It is short season!

Miss C. does not want to wear dresses anymore,
apparently it slows her down!
I understand I am a short kind of girl.

The difficulty is how petite Miss C. is,
she is finally big enough for size 6, but
it does not hold onto her belly.
And the shorts with adjustable waist have just too much fabric!

So I decided to make her a new short wardrobe.

It all started some new t-shirts from Target,
beautiful color, and plain.

(the bottom one is from last year)
3 T-shirts for $10, just perfect.

With them, I shopped my stash,
as I am still not purchasing fabric!

I found a couple seersucker (purchased from the heirloom store
last summer, may be the one before), beautiful and summer perfect.

There were also some colorful fabric, a little heavier,
perfect to make bottoms.

I did not have a pattern for shorts,
but I have this beautiful book:
Sewing with Whimsy from Kari Mecca.

There are mostly dresses and tops,
but also a pants/shorts pattern,
which I used.

I also followed the directions to add some cute pockets,
they are made of Liberty of London fabric,
and trimmed with some ribbon.

Making the pockets too longer than
sewing the shorts.

To complete the ensemble,
Miss C. decided we should write Love
on the T-shirt.
So I just simply appliqued the letters
and machine stitched all them.

It adds a nice detail,
she decided on the heart for the O.

She is happy to wear her new outfit,
and it is perfect for school
and for running around!

Tomorrow, more shorts!

Happy sewing!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

grocery bags, part III

A few weeks ago,
I made a couple of grocery bags,
here and here,

A friend of mine saw them
and asked me to make her some
so she could be fashionable at the farmer's market in Arkansas!

what's a good friend to do but oblige?

I decide to keep using my stash of Provence fabric,
I had this nice blue and yellow fabric.
I also had a large piece of blue linen, the exact blue,
I must admit, it used to be my favorite shade of blue,
I purchased this linen to make a skirt or dress for me,
but just after buying the fabric,
the lab where I was working at the time,
decided to change our lab coat from white to this lovely blue,
a great idea, I got to wear my favorite color everyday...!
But there was no way I would wear it outside of work anymore!

Here it worked perfectly!
I also used another Provence fabric for the handle,
with still the same blue, but a lighter background.

I made 2 different versions of the bag,
one with the blue handles,
the other with the flower handles,

both versions are lined with the blue linen.

Because the Provence fabric is so wide,
I was able to make 3 bags,
instead of 2, sending one to my mom.

I like both version,
and hopefully my friend will like them too,
and my mom of course!
There are no more free plastic bags at the grocery store in France,
so it is definitively a necessity!

Here are of the grocery bags I made,
with only one left for me!
Luckily there is still some fabric from Provence....
and my parents are going there next week,
maybe they will get some more for me!

Happy sewing!

Monday, May 16, 2011

little tags

A couple days ago,
it seems like a nice publication,
but $20 is a little steep.
In the same email, there was a simple tutorial for tags.

I could not help myself,
and went to make some right away!

So cute, right?!

After working on my circles quilt,
I had a lot of scrap pieces of Liberty of London,
it is a shame to waste these fabric,
so I used them up to make 4 little tags,
following the directions from the email,
I believe there are also in the magazine.

I used some off white cotton sateen for the center,
and just did some free motion embroidery
to write the name,
just perfect to send away my Mom's present.

I still have 3 gift tags/ name tags,
I will have to keep one for myself,
so with 2 left, I will be ready for some unexpected
birthdays or events!

 Happy sewing!

sew many ways

Saturday, May 14, 2011

strawberry shortcakes

For the last few weeks,
I made a couple tartes aux fraises,
they were delicious.

When I got to eat out
I always check out dessert first,
just so that I know if I should get just an appetizer,
it is so terrible to not have space for dessert!
I am a "huge" believer of
"life is uncertain, eat dessert first".

At this time of the year, it is strawberry everything,
which is wonderful.
Since we are on a tight budget,
we have not being eating out in months.
So time to learn a new dessert:
Strawberry short cake.

Somehow I always ordered and
I never tried to make one at home,
a total American dessert!

I got my red and white cook book : Better Homes and Gardens
and just followed the recipe.

I was surprised by how easy it was to make shortcakes.
I made my own whipped cream with
1 cup of heavy cream
3 tbsp of powder sugar
and 1tsp of vanilla
It is really bad for one's self
but it is delicious!

For the strawberry sauce,
I pured 1 cup of strawberries,
 added 3 tbsp of sugar, and stirred it until mixed.
Then I added 3 cup of cut strawberries,
let it marinated for 30 minutes in the fridge.

The hardest part:
putting all together without
leaking the cream or stealing other people strawberries!

Oh yes it was good,
better make some more,
perfect timing I went to Costco
and got so many strawberries!


total circles

I wrote this post a couple of days ago,
but Blogger crashed very nicely (!)
and has erased everything written since Wednesday.
I guess that is why we should do back up....

All right, moving on,
this is the project I made for my Mom
with all my circles!

a sewing machine cover.

I was inspired by a quilt seen at

I basically followed their directions,
I just changed the sizes of the circles
since my "quilt" is a little smaller.

I hand appliqued the circles
but machine quilted around them,
I also did it before putting the back,
skipping the need for binding.

I attached ribbons at 5 inch from the tops
and bottoms, before sewing the back.

All the circles are Liberty of London fabrics, all different,
the background is a off-white sateen cotton.
I hope my Mom like it
and if she does not, she can always use
it as a table runner!

Happy sewing!

sew many ways
Amy's Creative Side

Sunday, May 8, 2011

happy Mother's day

Happy mother's day!

Maman and Moi,
very fashionable,
in the 70's.

She had made my dress,
I am not sure about hers.

I miss you Maman,
but I will see you soon!

Happy day!

Friday, May 6, 2011

grocery bags, take II

I had such a good time making
the previous grocery bag,
I decided to make some more,
but this time, I used my fabric from Provence.

I have been holding onto my stash of Provence fabric,
like a precious commodity,
but since I started using it for my sewing room,
the seal is broken,
and I am going to town,
using it guilt free!
It is not like there are no more
where they come from!
( my parents will go there for vacation soon!)

For this project I used this fabric:

and some osnaburg for the handle
and lining, like my previous one.

I made them for my mother in law
as a happy mother's day present,
she reads my blog,
but since she is travelling to visit us,
it is safe to post today!

It is hard to tell on the picture,
the handles are top stitched in dark green,
matching the fabric.

For fun and pleasure, I added
a little tag, as a little logo.
Since I am not selling any of my work,
but I still want fame and glory
(not really!)
I went low key:
just a stamp on a piece of osnaburg!
a cute sewing machine and a little M:

I was inspired by this post by See Kate Sew
who made her own label.

Happy sewing!

Coffee, bunny and Easter eggs

Can anyone have too many bunnies, really? OK, maybe, but I am not there yet! I changed my cocoa station from last winter to a spring coffee ...