Thursday, November 14, 2013

Noodlehead Super Tote | UK Michelle Gift

So two bags done and an upcoming trip to the UK where I spent some time at Michelle's home.  She and I used to be flatmates, and she got me into knitting.  She is an avid knitter who does fine work.  I have several baby items she has made my kids including hats and blankets.

Of course I had to make her a knitting bag too!  Just to remind you, I had seen a post on Probably Actually of this great bag and thought - perfect knitting bag - called the Super Tote by Noodlehead.

Love the rick-rack at the top of the pocket.  Had some in my stash.

Love the details in this pattern, including the zipper tab.

Love the inside.  I wanted to use the lighter fabric as I hate digging around a dark bag!  Lots of yarn room...

Did several rows of stitches along the handles, just to give more texture and subtle interest. 
And here are the fabrics used...just in case you get the urge to get some!

Noodlehead Super Tote | Mum

So now that I had a great knitting bag, thought my mum should too.  Just to remind you, I had seen a post on Probably Actually of this great bag and thought - perfect knitting bag - called the Super Tote by Noodlehead.

Since she gave me so many of her fabrics last year, it's long overdue that I make here something!  So she went through her fabrics to find something appropriate.  She had some Monet printed fabric.  Couple fat quarters and some yardage.  Perfect.

This is the front of the bag with the pocket.  Tried to use the fabric carefully and the yellow definitely went with the flowers and grass.

Then for the back, there is a seam versus a pocket, so I used the variegated print.  You never quite know how things will look in the end, but I think this worked quite well.

Then I used some of the yardage print for the zipper gusset and inside.

Mum I hope you're loving your knitting bag as much as I love mine!

Noodlehead Super Tote | Knitting Bag

I started knitting again last year when I took a learn to knit sweater class at Prairie Lilly Knitting here in Saskatoon.  I have knit before, but forgot some of the simplest things, like casting on (a must).  Well I'm now hooked on a second hobby.  Oh boy - I have enough sewing stuff.  Now I have knitting stuff.  Thankfully I have a wonderful husband who embraces it.

I go to a weekly knitting drop in session  - such fab people there!  I realized going to class, the projects in ziplock bags, old bags with holes weren't cutting it.  I was also forgetting some critical knitting supplies.  So it was time to make a knitting bag. I had seen a post on Probably Actually of this great bag and thought - perfect knitting bag - called the Super Tote by Noodlehead.  Here's a peek at my messy sewing room, and the bag of course...

 Getting ready to make it, deciding on the trim at the top of the exterior pocket.

So I went through my stash and found a couple cottons then headed to Periwinkle Quilting to find the brown front fabric (Art Gallery I think), then Unique Textiles to get a coordinating print for the inside.  Thankfully I had one piece used up from stash.  That's my motto - cannot buy new fabric unless it is to use on a project from stash (and yes I have broken my motto).

Front and back I used the same fabrics.  This was a pretty easy and quick project to put together.  You just have to be careful cutting things out that you don't get pieces mixed up, especially when using multiple fabrics.  I used a heavier interfacing (I don't know what kind it was) on the outside parts and handles, to give the bag more shape, as this is quilting cotton.    

I put buttons from my stash on the bottom of the bag to help with wear.  I've seen this on high end handbags, so why not on my knitting bag.


Really enjoyed trying the concealed magnetic closure on the front pocket.  I thought it was going to be hard...but it was so easy.  Kind of like a snap but you don't need the installation tools.

The inside has 4 pockets that have elastic at the top to keep things in them when full - how clever Noodlehead!
I think I'll be making this bag again...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Navy flower dress | Sil 4019

This is my first time using Silhouette Pattern's 4019 Diane's Wrap Dress pattern.  Wow was this quick to make - wish all projects were this straight forward.  Took only two evenings from prepping the pattern to wearing the dress.  

This dress was made back in the Spring (yeah I'm a wee bit behind in posts - but now than never!)

Last summer I was out at Prairie Chick in Hague, SK when they had a crazy sale on where I picked up this really fun quilting cotton for $4.99/m.  I purchased 3m ($15).  I knew it would be a dress, I just didn't know what pattern.

I love the way Silhouette Patterns are done - they are so very fast to put together.  I really appreciate the speed and easy of doing the collar where you press under the seam allowance, and slide it onto the garment body, then topstitch.  Took less than 5 minutes to do -- and the edges are perfectly aligned with the bodice -- something that never seemed to happen when I did it the 'traditional' way.

Somehow this feels a bit 1940's.  I can't put my finger on what it is, but I adore it.

There are ties inside and out to hold the dress in place and the front is double fabric which ensures the facing don't roll out.  Added bonus - it 'holds' you in.

I will be making another very soon!


Butterfly Tops | Sil 219

Here is another very quick and easy top that I did this spring using Silhouette Patterns 219 - Rachel's Knit Top.  The best bit about this pattern is under the arms.  I've seen this style out there in RTW and it's open under the sleeve -- you can see the person's bra.  Not exactly classy.  But on this pattern it's all about what you don't see.  You don't see your bra under the arm as there is a bit of fabric there, like a normal shirt.  Hurrah for modesty.

You must make this top from a drapey fabric, or the sleeves won't fall correctly.  So I grabbed a printed rayon knit (from Unique Textiles here in Saskatoon) and made it up.  I've had so many compliments on it. 

So I thought - challenge to myself - let's do it in a solid knit.  But on it's own it was too plain.  So I went into my trims and found I had some gross-grain ribbon that was about the same shade.  I just randomly cut strips and placed them on until it looked right to me.  Simply topstiched them down before doing neck hem.  It pulls at the bust a bit -- but won't anymore as I'm smaller.  This is also a rayon knit that I purchased online from Nancy's Notions a couple years ago.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

P1: My Breast Cancer Journey - Phyllodes Tumour

I have really struggled whether or not to share my story.  But if it helps one woman / friend / family member to through an experience, it's worth it!

Not only that, I have found writing email updates to my friends and family through this journey has been extremely cathartic.  So blogging about will help even more!

Overview of my Story

Three years ago I found a lump, which they diagnosed as a common benign fluid-filled tumour.  It then grew to the size of an egg. 

They took it out February this year and they discovered it was this rare type of breast cancer called a Phyllodes Tumour. 

They went back in to excise area to get clear margins in May.  Unsuccessful. 

They wanted to do the same again, but I asked for mastectomy.  I received it a week later in June (on the last day of my kid's school).  I enjoyed the summer and recovered.  Sure glad I asked for mastectomy - the tumour grew throughout the breast!  I have clear margins of 0.4 cm on the chest wall. 

Now I'm in the reconstruction stage, with a spacer and two more surgeries to go.

What is a Phyllodes Tumor?  A really rare form of breast cancer.

Phyllodes tumours account for <1% of breast tumours and effect like 1 in 2 million women.  Rare. 

It's a tumor of the connective tissue versus the ducts (the majority of breast cancer) and is classified in three ways - benign, borderline or malignant. 

In fact it was shown under the category of benign tumours on the breast cancer poster in my doctor's office.  That's because only about 30% of phyllodes tumours are borderline or malignant -- like mine.

It grows extremely fast (some women had massive tumours within 2 weeks) and will return within a couple of years if not all the cells are removed.  Borderline tumours are likely to turn malignant.

Chemo doesn't work on this type of tumour and there is still some discussion on whether, and when, radiation is successful. 

Surgical removal is the solution in most cases, with possible radiation if clear margins are not obtained on the chest wall.

Coming Up

I will write in more detail about each stage in later postings.  Hopefully this will help those in similar circumstance. 

Please note this is my experience, and I am not a medical professional.  Please seek the guidance of your doctor for your situation.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Thank You Gift for a Great Neighbour

My neighbour is doing a massive house clean-out now that school is upon us.  She received several bins of fabric of her grandmothers, but doesn't have the time to sew she asked if I was fabric.  Uh yeah! 

To thank her for her generosity, I got her and the kids to pick out tissue holders.  I took a chance on what the husband may like - couldn't leave him out!

So I helped her sort it out.  A pile to donate to a local non-profit Cloth for Kids who make clothing for in-need kids in Saskatoon, a pile I was interested in, and a final pile that was neither.  I posted the last pile on Kijiji for free and it was gone in 5 minutes.  Easy.  Here's a sampling of what went for free.


Now I have many new pieces to add to my costume fabric stash and have enough trim to tie up my children until Halloween!  And there may be a piece or two for new clothes for me in there (yippee). The bag was full to the brim (I've already got some washing) and the trims are so perfect for kids stuff.



Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Denim dress | Sil 4300

This is a long overdue post of a much loved dress.  My dear husband bought me the fabric at our local fabric boutique, Unique Textiles, as a Christmas gift for me.  It's a nice, almost shirt-weight denim that has some drape.  I have worn this dress so many time since finishing in January, I've lost count!

When I was in the UK last summer I saw this cute dress in Whistles in Bath with my friend Michelle. I loved the smart yet relaxed air about it. Then we went to another shop and saw a non-denim version in the same shape. I've since seen many in magazines etc.


I looked through my patterns and realized it was the Silhouette pattern 4300 without the bottom front and neckline lowered (for my body shape especially).

Birthday Gift | Monique (+ Mum)

My best friend's daughter, M, turned 19 this March and I wanted to do something a bit fun.  Yes, I know I'm a bit late doing this post, more on that later.
I sewed up this zip bag (got the idea from one of my favourite blogs, Noodlehead.  She has a great tutorial on how to make different sizes.  I made a matching tissue holder.  Thought this would be a good 'set' for travelling considering M was going to France this summer.
Oh and I put in my favourite Gin into the bag for a giggle.  I was asked if it was from London and I said yes, but I purchased it at the LBS (liquor board store for those not in SK)!

I love the photo of my daughter and Monique - they are so sweet together. 
Of course they are personalized...I wouldn't want her mum pinching her bag and tissue holder!


Which brings me to the gift I gave to her mum a few days later.  Guess it's just the right size for make-up brushes!  I lined this one with remnants of her napkin gift given last year. 

The fabric are spare pieces from the quilt I made from my bed, from Prairie Chicks in Hague (soon to be Warman, which my pocketbook is dreading as it's much closer to my house.)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Little Presents for Little People

Alistair has made many friends at his day-home.  Several of them are turning 5 this week, so I wanted to do a little something special.  Since my friend who runs the day-home is an amazing baker, I can't measure up on that front.  Jennifer is always so thoughtful sending baking treats home with the kids on special days so I wanted to return the kindness.

I sew better than I bake, so I whipped up some tissue holders.  With my 'icing' I added their names on it with home-made labels. I sewed up a couple fat-quarters from Periwinkle Quilting and busted a few stash pieces.  My sewing pantry is far from empty, but its looking less like a hoarder!

To make these tissue holders, I cut a piece 6" x 16" then sew it into loop.  If the scrap wasn't big enough, then I cut 6" x 8.5" and stitched two seams to form the loop.  Then fold into tissue holder, overlapping edges and stitch ends.  Turn right-side out.  Add your tissues.