Archive for the 'DIY' Category


nani IRO scarf with glitter pom trim

Here’s a quick project that totally made my day on Friday. The inspiration came from this awesome nani IRO scarf.

I have some bits and pieces of nani IRO double gauze, some are too small to make clothing with but I can’t resist collecting this gorgeous fabric. I had one metre of the green Fuwari print that I knew would be just right for a scarf. I made a special trip to Mokuba in search of some pom pom trim, which is clearly an essential feature of this scarf. They didn’t have true pom pom trim, but I found this golden glittery pom-like trim that seemed kinda perfect for me.

Here’s a quick run down of how the scarf comes together. Square up the ends of your fabric and then cut the metre piece down the centre fold. You will now have two pieces that are about 22″ x 1 metre long. Sew those two pieces together. You will now have a piece that is 22″ x 2 metres long. Fold the fabric in half with good sides together, it will now be 11″ x 2 metres. If you’re planning on adding trim, cut an 11″ piece for either side and baste it in place on the inside of your folded fabric. The trim will be placed good side to the front side of your scarf. All the trim should be laying on the inside of your scarf ‘sandwich’, so that it will end up on the outside of your scarf, not the inside! Sew around the 3 open sides of your fabric, leaving a space of a few inches along the longer side so that you can turn the scarf inside out. You will need to hand or machine stitch this closed after. That’s it! Think of how many of these you can whip up in a night?!

It’s been cold here in Toronto, so I’ve been wearing my scarf inside, since I refuse to turn on the furnace just yet. The little glitter pom trim makes me incredibly happy and reminds me that a little bit of trim is always a good idea.

p.s. I hope you’re thinking the same thing…. This is a great (& simple) handmade gift idea!!

nani IRO scarf with glitter pom trim

nani IRO scarf with glitter pom trim


Enchanted Bow Skirt

I’m so excited to share my 1001 Peeps Summer Camp project with you today! Have you been following along with the other great camp projects every Friday?

Since I love making clothes so much, I thought I would create a skirt pattern that is very easy to sew. You will start and finish this skirt in a few hours! Also, I show you how to do elastic shirring with this pattern. If you’ve never tried it, this is a magical technique to learn. It’s also very addictive. You may have seen it in this dress, this dress or this dress.  Since I know how much Lizzy loves bows, I had to make sure it had a big bow on it too! My Enchanted Bow Skirt features a ruffled paper bag waist, an elastic shirred waistband and an adorable contrasting bow.

It was pretty hard to choose just two fabrics from the 1001 Peeps fabric collection for the skirt, but I’m having a love affair with purple right now, so I chose the Purple Pearl Bracelet for the bow and the Scheherazade for the skirt.

You can download a pdf of the instructions to make this pattern here. I’ve added the elastic thread that I use to our online shop, in case you don’t have a place near you that sells it. Please let me know if you make one, I’d love to see it!

the workroom will FINALLY be receiving our shipment of 1001 Peeps next week. Just in time for Lizzy’s arrival. There will be sets of all 24 prints for sure! Fat quarter, half metre and full metre. If you need one, (I definitely need one), let me know and you can pre-order.

There are just two more weeks left of the 1001 Peeps Summer Camp. Be sure to visit Whipstitch next Friday and Happy Zombie on August 26th!

p.s. The bow on this skirt is totally enchanted. Take a look at the last photo where the magical bow is trying to fly away!

Finish Enchanted Bow Skirts :
– Jeni finished her skirt within a day of posting the pattern! It’s amazing with the Royal City print in orange.
– Lizzy House made TWO enchanted bow skirts while she was in Toronto. Here’s her first one made with Heather Ross’ Far Far Away 3 fabric.

Enchanted Bow Skirt

Enchanted Bow Skirt

Enchanted Bow Skirt

Enchanted Bow Skirt


1001 Peeps Summer Camp

Summer camp fever is everywhere! Next year I’m plotting a trip to Squam in New Hampshire. Lakeside cabins and crafty workshops sounds pretty perfect to me. Check out Anne’s photos here.

We’re also getting pretty excited for the workroom’s Summer Camps in the city. There are still spots in our Amish Bars, Machine Foundation Paper Piecing, Natural Dyeing and Japanese Dress Books camps.

The incredible Lizzy House will be joining us in Toronto to wrap up our camp schedule with Colour Theory + Mini Quilts, Pattern Design + Block Printing and Champion Ribbon classes. There are still spots in the Champion Ribbon class and we are taking wait list names for the other two classes. It’s going to be such a fun week.

In the meantime, get ready for 1001 Peeps Summer Camp online! In anticipation of Lizzy House‘s new fabric collection, there will be a summer long camp that you can participate in. It starts today with Sew Mama Sew and every week you can visit another blog to find a fun project to make with your 1001 Peeps fabric. There will be giveaways each week and Lizzy’s new book will be released in July. I’m am thrilled to be a camp counselor for this year’s camp.

Here’s the schedule!

June 24: Alexia Abegg, Craftopia
July 1: Beth, Lemon Cadet
July 8: The Fat Quarterly!
July 15: Susan Allen, The Quilt Asylum
July 22: Amanda, MrsMcPorkchop
July 29: Anne Weil, Flax and Twine
August 5: Heather Bostic, Heather alamode
August 12: Karyn Valino, Make Something – that’s me!!
August 19: Deborah Moebes, Whipstitch
August 26: Monica, Happy Zombie

If you’re joining the summer camp fun, you can grab this troupe button to post on your blog.

the workroom will be receiving the ENTIRE 1001 Peeps collection in July, so start planning your projects! Every single print in this collection is amazing and I’m loving the colour palette so much. I can hardly wait til it gets here.

AND. Today is Lizzy‘s birthday. Happy Birthday Lizzy!!!

bottom photo courtesy of Lizzy House.



Sunday Patchwork #3

For the first Sunday of the year, I wanted to try out making a Wonky Star block. I used this great tutorial, but changed the dimensions. I cut my individual squares at 1.5″ x 1.5″ and my finished blocks were 3.75″ x 3.75″. They’re so cute and tiny! Wonky Stars are fun to make and really easy.

I made them extra small because I wanted to put the blocks on the covers of my new Moleskine cahier notebooks. I like to have a couple blank notebooks on the go to carry in my Birdie Sling for jotting down notes and ideas. For the first one, I used my sewing machine and just zigzagged the block on. I should have used a walking foot for this. Perhaps it wouldn’t have made the block even more wonky. Then, I had the idea to use fusible web to attach the second block. I used Heat N’ Bond from the workroom and simply ironed the block to the notebook cover. Fusible web is such a great thing to have around for craft projects, you can use it on so many materials and it gives an appliqué look without any sewing. I like the way this block looks on the cover much better, though I’m tempted to stitch over the edges, now that it’s secure.

Stars are my favourite blocks to make, without a doubt. So, I’m going to add ‘making a star sampler’ to my list of quilts to make.

Sunday Patchwork #3

Sunday Patchwork #3

Sunday Patchwork #3


ReadyMade October 2010

A few months ago, Jane Flanagan approached me to create a fashion DIY for a piece she was doing for ReadyMade Magazine. I jumped at the chance to be included in one of my favourite magazines and to work with the lovely Jane. Originally I had another idea for a necklace. Unfortunately when I sat down to make it, it looked nothing like the cute vision I had in my head. Drat! I remember looking desperately around my dining room/sewing area for a Plan B. I spotted a zipper and immediately thought that there must be something I could do with a zipper. I unzipped it and slipped it over my head like a necklace. Perfect. I knew if I added a cute ruffle, it would be a sweet accessory.

I think this project is almost like a girlie version of a necktie. You can totally wear it with a simple tshirt or dress. Plus, it’s really easy and quick to sew. You can find the complete instructions in the October print issue of ReadyMade.

One of my favourite parts of this project was getting to meet Jane in person! She met up with me one afternoon to watch me make one of the necklaces, so she could write out the instructions for the project. Thanks Jane, this was so much fun!

ReadyMade October 2010


New Camera Strap

To christen the new camera, I had to make a camera strap for it. Or rather, recover the Nikon strap that came with it. I really loved my old camera strap in Zain Liberty of London. Rather than remake that one (which I considered), I thought it best to have a fresh start with a fresh new fabric. I knew the fabric needed to be rather dark, as it would probably get a bit dirty. The reproduction fabric I chose from the Regency Collection was the perfect fit. The print is so unusual and I love the mix of black with bits of odd pink, green and blue.

I had to refer to my original blog post about making my first camera strap to refresh my memory on just how to do it. This project is so easy and the results are totally satisfying. I love the final step of sewing through the strap around and around in concentric rectangles. I just used the edge of my presser foot as a guide for the spacing, which is why my sewing looks so straight.

I am now quite bonded with my new Nikon D90. It’s a heck of a lot of camera, so I have a lot to learn still. My latest discovery was learning to customize the picture controls. I keep the manual beside my bed, so I can dip into it before I fall asleep.

New Camera Strap

New Camera Strap


Fabric Fish

Last year I got Andrew’s dad & grandfather some fishing lure for Christmas. These jigheads have a super sharp hook, so I thought it would be cute to sew up little fabric fish from scraps and safely hook these little guys into them before wrapping them up. It was something I did at the very last minute, but I think it looks so cute!

For some other ideas, I thought I would just point you in the direction of my holiday posts from last year, since I can’t really share this year’s ideas just yet.

A couple people have mentioned to me that they’ve made some of the French Chocolate Granola for gifts. I personally think food gifts are awesome.



It might be a bit ridiculous to even mention this project, I mean we’ve all cut the legs off a pair of jeans before to make jean shorts. These particular jeans have really special significance to me though, so I wanted to document them as they went into their next phase of life. These were my first pair of Seven Jeans and I bought them at Barney’s. It was the first time I spent that much money on a pair of jeans and they were the beginning of my little denim collection. These jeans looked so great that my friends Angela and Cassandra also bought the exact same pair. I wore mine to death and have repaired them dozens of times, the denim is pretty thread-bare now. I thought I could get at least one more summer out of them as shorts though.

The one little detail I added, that I think is pretty sweet, is some lace trim around the cuff. Just use the zig zag stitch on your machine to stitch along the edge of the lace. The legs of the jeans have gone into my ‘denim box’ for a future quilt made with all different denim. (inspired by this and this.)


Liberty of London Summer Challenge : Project #1
Camera Strap in ‘Zain’ Tana Lawn Cotton

My first Liberty of London project is a simple one, but damn, does it ever make me happy. When I got my Nikon camera last year, the first thing I wanted to do was make myself a new camera strap. I cringed every time I looked at that black and yellow strap.

I planned on making a new strap from scratch and this is likely one of the reasons why this project was so slow to get off the ground. As I thought about where I would get all the right hardware to do this properly last week, I realized that it would be much much easier to just re-cover the existing strap. Sometimes there’s no need to go building something from scratch when you can just hitch a ride on something that works perfectly fine.

How could I resist having a posh Liberty of London camera strap? I chose the print called ‘Zain‘, which seems to be perfectly suited to being a camera strap, don’t you think?

Since this project requires only a small strip of fabric (approx. 4″ x 20″), it hardly seemed painful at all to cut into this precious fabric. I cut the fabric along the selvedge so that I could use the finished fringe as my exposed edge. I ironed fusible interfacing on the back to make it a bit sturdier. Next, I pressed a small fold along the two short sides and then put a layer of ‘Steam a Seam 2′across the back of the fabric. I carefully wrapped the strip around the existing camera strap, overlapping the fabric with the selvedge edge showing. Using a hot iron, I pressed the fabric covering the strap to activate the ‘Steam a Seam 2′ and glue the fabric to the strap. The last step was to sew/quilt concentric rectangles along the length of the strap to secure the fabric to the strap.

I’m so happy. It’s the prettiest camera strap I’ve ever seen and it will be perfect for Paris. We leave a week today!


I made this pink dress ages ago. It’s from a 1960’s pattern that was a bit too big for me, so I sized it down to fit me. In my re-sizing, I didn’t take the neckline into consideration and made it a bit too small. With the mandarin collar, it not only looked too small, but it felt really uncomfortable.

In all these years, I’ve only worn it a few times which is a shame since I just love the pink stretch cotton fabric, the button detailing and the sleeves. In order to refresh this dress, I decide to cut the entire collar off. When I think about it, I don’t even like mandarin collars!

I tried the dress on and marked a new neckline with chalk. When I took the dress off, I refined the neckline to be symmetrical and cut away that tight mandarin collar. Rather than create a new collar, I thought I would just do a simple bias tape trim. Unbelievably, when I looked in my stash of fabric, I found the scrap fabric from this dress and there was enough to make my trim from it. It’s nice to know that my scrap hoarding comes in handy every ten years or so!

Now, I’m totally excited to wear this spring perfect dress.