Thursday, 28 July 2016

Refashion Month 2016

I am extremely excited to join in on the Refashion Month Blog Tour Hosted by House of Estrela. Head on over to her blog to see so many amazing examples of ways to reuse your otherwise discarded clothing. Learning how to refashion existing clothing is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and an extremely affortable way to sew your own clothing. I always love a good refashion (although I usually call it an upcycle). I might switch to refashion though because it is a much nicer and more upscale word, worthy of custom made to measure clothing. Read on to see what I made...

For the top, I decided to upcycle a nightgown into an Essential Tank from Pattern for Pirates. I bought this pattern during their memorial day sale and wanted to test out the tank version before I try the maxi dress. The fit is great and it is super comfortable and light. 

Earlier this spring I started to plan out a capsule wardrobe using the sudoku style wardrobe I learned about through the Free Notion Blog. One of the pieces I decided to try out was a woven version of the very popular Brassie Joggers from Greenstyle Creations. My hubby had this amazing pair of woven athletic style pants from Lululemon sitting in his drawer that he hadn't worn in 5+ years. I elected to size up one from my suggested knit size and I love the results. I used the lower rise option but would likely opt for the mid rise option if I made these in woven again. If you look closely, you'll notice the lululemon logo and mp3 pocket I was able to keep on the back!

This outfit is the perfect lazy summer day outfit to head to the farmer's market or do some gardening in the yard. The best part is that other than my time it was virtually FREE since I used existing clothing and scrap pieces. I hope you like my outfit as much as I do!

Cheers! Michelle

As always, check out my instagram account for other projects

Friday, 1 July 2016

O Captain! My Captain! A new swimsuit from The Wolf and the Tree

I've been testing for Saskia Smith with The Wolf and the Tree (aff. link) for awhile now. So far, all of the patterns I've tested have been much loved staple patterns that I've been able to use again and again. This new swimsuit pattern, O Captain! My Captain! (aff. link), is no exception. There are literally too many top/bottom combinations for me to count. (Although I'm sure someone who can math well could probably figure it out.)

I pre-tested this pattern using one of my most favourite swim fabrics, a wonderful grey and white striped swim knit with mint polka dots from Marshall Fabrics in Edmonton. I've also used it for a swimsuit of my own, posted here. I love the print on this swim knit and I also love that it's not the typical bright pink princessy colours you see for toddler girls suits in the stores. This is an early version, so fit has changed a little, but the overall looks is very much the same. The top is the full length tankini with short sleeves. The bottoms are the regular rise with yoga band.

For the Official Test, I changed it up and made the colourblock bikini length with short sleeves. I found an awesome ladies swimsuit at a local thrift store which I was able to cut up and upcycle into this suit. I didn't have quite enough of the pattern/purple so I did add in some pink sleeves from a swim knit I had on hand.

I also did up another tankini length top with long sleeves in this solid hot pink swim knit. I love having the option of a long sleeve top for the sun protection (and extra warmth in cooler water). Plus the hot pink top matches great with the patterned bottoms as well as both of the swim and surf shorts I made a few weeks ago and blogged about here.

This pattern has a massive size range of 12 months all the way up to 14. My little one is only in size 2T now so I forsee MANY uses of this pattern over the next 10 or so years. Oh, and there's talk of a Ladies pattern, so I guess she'll be covered for life! Don't forget to grab your copy of O Captain! My Captain! (aff. link) while the pattern is on sale for $8.

As always, check out more of my projects on Instagram

Cheers! Michelle

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Pattern Testing the Swim and Surf Shorts by Gracious Threads + Giveaway!

I have a very special place in my heart for Jessica from Gracious Threads. First, because she gave me my very first pattern testing gig for the Starfish Shorts. Second, because she lives super close to me and I love to know that people are designing patterns in my own backyard!

 ... but seriously, how cute is this little bug! She had a lot of fun playing while I snapped photos back then, but we've definitely both gotten better at photos over the last 15 months.

I decided to hit up the thrift store for fabric for this pattern test because there is no board short (microfibre) fabric to be found anywhere in Edmonton and I didn't have the time or patience to order any online. I ended up finding two different pairs of shorts to use for this test. The blue pair are a men's large and cost $3.99 and the stripes are a youth size 14 and cost $4.99.

These Swim and Surf Shorts are a size 2 for my mini 3 year old. There are two length options with this new pattern but I chose to use the shorter length. This first pair was made with the board short fabric for the main and waistband and quilting cotton made into binding.  There is instructions right in the pattern tutorial to make your own binding. I also included the optional swim bottoms with this pair. I absolutely love the colour pairing of the dark blue (my 3 year old's favourite colour at the moment) with the bright pink to make them girly!

I couldn't be happier with how this second pair of Swim and Surf Shorts turned out. I ended up having to use the stripes turned vertical for the waistband in order to have enough length for the fabric (one of the joys of upcycling) but to be honest I think it worked out great as an accent. I also painstakingly removed the binding from the original pair using my seam ripper and re-used it for this new pair. I decided not to put the swim bottoms in this one because I have a purple women's swimsuit that I will be making into a 2 piece suit for her in the next few weeks.

 ...And now for the best part, my very first giveaway. Jessica from Gracious Threads has donated a copy of this amazing pdf sewing pattern for me to give away for free! Just post a comment at the bottom of this blog post telling me who you will make these shorts for if you win the pattern and I will choose a winner using on Thursday, June 23rd around 8pm MST.

Thanks for stopping by!

Read more about these shorts on the Gracious Threads Blog

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Friday, 27 May 2016

Gazelle Biker Shorts - The Wolf and the Tree Blog Tour

I'm so excited to be a part of this blog tour for The Wolf and the Tree! (affiliate link). I've already written about Gazelle here but I'm back with another pair of biker shorts "AKA Run Shorts"

I love longer run shorts. No matter how good of shape i'm in, I always have a little thigh chafe after running unless I'm wearing proper spandex (long) run shorts. I have a pair that I truly love from lululemon (bought long before I started sewing clothes) but at $60 per pair, I've been making it work with just the one.... and let's be honest, a girl needs more than one pair!

...enter the Gazelle. I made a pair of biker shorts length during testing out of a mystery thicker cotton lycra to try things out and although they do work for running, I'm a little worried about their non-wicking capabilities. I set out to find some athletic wicking knit at my amazing local fabric store Marshall Fabrics and was able to grab some deep blue athletic fabric for $14.99 per meter (and I only needed 0.7 meters!). 

So, basically I managed to make myself a brand new pair of run shorts for $10.50 CDN and about 30 minutes of sewing time. I used the lowest rise and made the yoga band double wide. I tested them out this week and they work great. Best of all, hubby looked at me all ready for my run and said "did you make those or buy those" to which I replied, "I made them", and then he said "wow, good job". I will take that as a sewing win!

Somehow, I managed to go from running in jacket, pants, toque and mitts on Monday to running in (unfortunately store bought) tank and my Gazelle shorts on Tuesday. I'm not entirely sure what to think about the current weather situation, but i'm sick of Winter so i'll take it!

I also thought i'd share with you a fun little collage I made mostly from tester pics of many of The Wolf and the Tree patterns. I have a designer crush on Saskia Smith, she makes such awesome staple patterns that I will be using again and again and again and again and again!

You can get your own copy of the patterns HERE (affiliate link). Use the code YellowRibbon to save 25% through Monday May 30, 2016. Be sure to check out the other blogs this week as no two have sewn the same item!

5/23/2016 Amy Carter
5/24/2016 Patricia
5/25/2016 Heather Tinkey Jones
5/26/2016 Essence
5/27/2016 Michelle
5/28/2016 Kelly
5/28/2016 Larissa

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Pattern Test: Gazelle Footed Tights

I have had the honour of testing 5 patterns from The Wolf and the Tree and have enjoyed every minute of it. Saskia Smith has been a dream to test for as she truly listens to her testers and works as hard as possible to release a a top notch pattern. The Gazelle (Affiliate Link) is no exception. Start to finish this pattern test lasted for a whole month and was given major revisions throughout the test.

My first version of the tights were made of a solid grey mystery fabric with 4 way stretch that I found locally at Marshall Fabric on clearance for $3.50 per meter.

Next, I used some 95/5 Custom Cotton Lycra with wonderful 4 way stretch from Black Rabbit Fabrics. I love how these ones turned out and I love that I can be even lazier with my winter wardrobe before work. (Dress, Tights, Boots, Done.)

My next pair was made with 2 way stretch sweater knit. Yes, you heard that correct - I made sweater knit tights using the 2 way pattern that is included with the Gazelle. I cannot wait to make more of these next winter. I used cotton lycra for the yoga band to keep them comfy and fitting like a glove all day long.

 Lastly (for now) I made a pair of biker shorts with yoga waistband. They are Super comfortable and worked well for my run today. I made this pair out of some more mystery knit with 4 way stretch and plan to make another pair with some athletic knit for my summer runs. This is the perfect length run shorts to avoid any thigh chafe - an added bonus!

So RUN and get your copy of GAZELLE (Affiliate Link) while it's on sale! Use code "Gazelle"to get 30% off any pattern in the shop until Tuesday April 18th.

 Don't forget to join us in the TWT Sewing Pattern Den Facbook Group to show off your creations!

Check out my Instagram Account @michelledschuh to see what else I've been up to lately.

Cheers! Michelle

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Tutu Twirl Tunic featuring Black Rabbit Fabrics

I was chosen to test the T Shirt Tunic from Winterwear Designs. I have been testing Free Motion Applique (FMA) for Suzanne Winter the designer behind Winterwear Designs for awhile now, but this is my first pattern test for her. I made 2 different versions of the Tunic, the first with 3/4 sleeves and the second with tank cuffs.

I used all knits from Black Rabbit Fabrics, an online Canadian company from British Columbia. The owl is a gorgeous custom knit that you might remember from here. I love that it's a print that looks just as good on a 2 year old as a 32 year old!

The "Read." is a cutting file for the Silhouette or Cricut cutting machine. There are 5 different files included with the pattern. I got a Cricut Explore for Christmas a few years back and I love it! I didn't have any iron on vinyl left in my stash so I chose to do a freezer paper stencil. I love freezer paper stenciling with fabric paint. I followed this tutorial from Dana Made It the first time I did one.

As you can tell we had a lot of fun taking these photos. Jumping on the bed gets a lot of giggles and when you're 2, and every new dress deserves a good twirl!

For the Tank Tunic, I used this gorgeous strikeoff fabric also from Black Rabbit Fabrics. I couldn't resist adding in a book with this one too. How gorgeous are these prints! Preorder should open today and run through March 25th.


And how awesome are those tights! As always they are the Abby's Footed Tights from The Wolf and the Tree. They are probably one of my top patterns. I love having them in some fairly neutral colours so that I can pair them with almost anything.

In fact, they are so awesome they help you fly!

...and another spin with another new dress!

I had some extra strike off fabric so I decided to make yet another dress. What a lucky girl! This time I used the Urban Garden Dress from Sew Straight and Gather. This might be one of the cutest dresses I've ever made! I love the little flounce and I'm glad I decided to use it since it is optional in the pattern.

Photo shoots 3 days in row might have been a bit annoying for this girl but she powered through like a champ. And to celebrate, I made her a matching doll outfit (Swirly Pop Doll Tights are in testing right now from The Wolf and the Tree!) 


I better run before this post gets even longer! Remember to checkout my instagram feed for other sewing creations.

Cheers, Michelle