I did a hard thing and it was hard

About ten years ago I relined my husband’s boxy car coat. I think it took me two days? Maybe? So when his sister asked me to reline her winter coat I said “sure! love to!! no problem!!!”

Ahem. It turns out that fitted, princess line, hooded coats are a different beast. Especially when the original lining was so trashed it was nigh impossible to use it as a pattern for the new lining.


This is an armpit to show you how bad it was.

It was a very challenging project, both for sewing skills and mentally. I’d do a bit then get overwhelmed, then procrastinate. Repeat.

Easiest thing was the new zipper, and surprisingly, the pocket bags. Most difficult was maybe the hood/body seam.


It’s done. She’s happy. I’m relieved. And now I can sew quilty things guilt free!

A new project, a fast project

A project in which I was the mere technical director, working to support the vision of the artistic director. A quite specific, rather uncompromising six point seven five year old artistic director. 

Let me back up a little. This weekend was the bi-annual quilt show and sale of the Victoria Quilter’s Guild. I could only attend on Friday which happened to be a day off of school for my kids, so they also got to attend a quilt show.

I bribe them with candy because it works (and is a rare treat). This year I could have bribed them with fabric it seems. W, the 6 3/4 year old fell in love with a 2$ FQ. She promised to pay me back from her hoarded allowance if I lent her the money to buy it. Her initial plan as we toured more booths was to make a cushion. Then a shawl. Then a skirt, but there wasn’t enough for a skirt. Did I have more fabric I could lend her to finish the skirt? Yes of course. But then it won’t match. Did I have fabric that DID match? 

Well for two dollars I’ll buy you some fabric that matches. So that was a win.

Then I broke her heart by working for two days straight.


After my work today we buckled down and made this wondrous garment!


Flat felled seams for speed and convenience. W ran the foot pedal while I kept everything straight.

I also dropped the ironing board down to her height so she could do the pressing. (I had to go on my knees!) She thought threading the elastic through the casing was magical.


She was adamant that the zig-zag be oriented vertically to make the skirt as long as possible.

And it twirls. And poofs.

I have a happy girl. Me? I’m toast. Stick a fork in me, I’m done. Time for bed.

Belated birthday dress

The fabric bought for the fifth birthday dress last year (ahem, bad mum) has finally been transformed.

I had imagined a tunic-y A-line sleeveless dress with either a contrast hem or yoke and bought yardage accordingly. That was not on with the little miss. The dress pattern she did like required more fabric than I had, so a compromise was reached.

I can attest that I still hate ruffles (fiddly, nasty things). And sometimes home-made looks a little …home-made. But there are hearts hemming the purple layer.

She’s happy. I don’t feel guilty anymore. Happy fifth birthday W, ~60 weeks late.



Dirty feet, a sign of a successful summer.

Because it’s finally finished I am linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts!

And this was on my list for the 2017 Q3 Finish A-long.

Edited to add: the skirt has calmed down with a few wearings and washings, and I am much more pleased with it now.

Non-quilt sewing

Nine years ago I started doing something that is now a tradition in my family; each year I make my daughters a dress for their birthdays. I give them a short list of patterns to choose from and I allow them considerable veto power over fabric choice and decisions.

This year B wanted overall-shorts but I re-directed her to just shorts.


These are longer than hotpants if you can believe it.


I personally wouldn’t have chosen sparkly stretch denim, but then I’m about 30 years too old for that to be my favourite.


And if you’re working with sparkly stretch denim then sparkly rainbow metallic thread is a good choice too.

I’ve never done that style of pocket before. Nor that kind of fly zipper. Last night was a steep learning curve, but a quick one. Start to finish was less than three hours. And B is tickled to death with these.