Tag Archives: not sewing

Baby Steps


Of the organizational variety, that is.

In the wake of the Wedding Sewing Marathon, I’ve been attempting to regroup with a bit of tidying. I’ll warn you, this does not come naturally to me, and what with the inundation of my sewing space (the waters have receded but the entire area remains damp and untrustworthy) and the other upheavals of the last year, well, I can’t find ANYTHING. Or rather, I find it one day, nod sagely to myself and go “okay, there it is!” and then promptly loose it again. I even lost a sewing machine last week—you know things are pretty bad when. (Don’t worry, I found it.)

So, I took the plunge. Okay, maybe dabbled my little toes in. I bought a couple of sturdy, transparent Rubbermaid tubs. I wish I had the funds to buy a jillion more, but I’m hoping if I can buy one each time I’m at the grocery store, I’ll have enough to keep everything in by, oh, Christmas. /sigh.

One tub is already full of the fabric that had migrated up to the sewing room* during the wedding sewing. I want enough of those to sort my fabrics by type again—I haven’t had that since before we left Calgary.

The second tub, pictured above, is holding patterns. It’s not quite deep enough—a half inch more would be perfect—but I think it will do, at least for the regular-sized envelopes. The contents are sorted, roughly, by company. I’m pretty sure I can fill at least two or three more of these tubs just with patterns. My name is Tanit-Isis and I am a pattern-aholic.

While sorting patterns, I’ve also been working on transferring my pattern info, which I’ve been tracking in a phone app called Sewing Kit (as reviewed here), into a different app, MyStuff2 (as recommended by several commenters in my review of Sewing Kit). Although Sewing Kit worked fairly well for me for a long time, once I got to about 500 patterns I found it crashed more and more and more. It still has one or two features that MyStuff2 can’t replicate, and MyStuff2 takes some setting up to get the categories and attributes all the way you’d like, but if I can’t use Sewing Kit because it always crashes, it doesn’t do me much good. I don’t have MyStuff2 up to 500 patterns yet, but by all reports it’s a much more reliable program all around (people use it to categorize all kinds of things—it’s actually really awesome for books and movies because you can scan the barcode), so I’m hopeful that all will be well.

I’m going to need another shelving unit for sure, but I’m optimistic if I can get the fabric and patterns tubbed up, I can re-organize notions and thread and things into the other plastic-drawer-storage unit I already have and then maybe, just maybe, be able to actually find things. Of course, what I really should be doing is tracking the fabric stash, so I can paw through that digitally… but somehow it’s not as satisfying as tracking the patterns.

Of course, assuming I get everything organized, then there’s the task of KEEPING it organized. Which always seems to be the one that defeats me. Aiee.

*Formerly the computer room. My husband is not happy about this.



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Another Blogiversary

The dress formerly known as Simplicity 3965, alias the Star Wars Dress.

The Star Wars Dress, probably my crowning achievement of the year

My blog is three today! I had totally forgotten. It would’ve been so nice to make a pretty dress, too. I didn’t do anything special like make up a little pattern to share, and since I still can’t seem to manage to mail things (don’t ask about all the Christmas cards still sitting, in stamped envelopes, on my computer desk) I don’t dare even do a regular giveaway. In fact, the only reason you’re getting a post at all is that a) I happen to be off work today, and b) I am bumming around because I have a cold, and c) WordPress sent me a notification via the mobile app reminding me it’s the blog’s birthday.

A lot of things have been intersecting lately that make it harder to blog. At least, harder to blog well. I’ve never had a backlog of projects unblogged the way I do now—at least three or four items, although none are terribly spectacular. Winter, of course, is always a problem in the photography department, and I don’t have a good indoor photo location here. Having the family and old friends around is awesome, but it means we have more stuff to do and people to see than we ever did in Cow Town. My sewing stuff is scattered over three different locations, so when I do get a few minutes here or there, I am often stymied by needing this thing or that. Worst of all, my growing kids are no longer going to bed at 8:00 every night! I depended on that two hours of “me time” to do most of my sewing and blogging. (I don’t have my train commute to read blogs anymore, either, so I am way behind there as well.) Now, by the time they’re in bed it’s pretty much my bedtime. I rarely do any sewing on a weeknight, and if I do get some done on the weekend it’s usually a little bit stolen in the morning before everyone else gets themselves going. And I’m not a natural morning person, either.

This is not a goodbye post, mind you. I’m still a diehard obsessive. I fall asleep thinking about sewing at night. I wake up thinking about it in the morning (if not the middle of the night). My fingers itch with the desire to be making something, or talking or writing about it, pretty much every minute of the day. And there are lots of great things about sewing in my hometown, from meetups to brainwashing mentoring my sisters-in-law, to fun and quirky fabric stores other than Fabricland (even if they are small.) And I’ve been having a tremendous amount of fun doing the digital linework for Cake Patterns—almost as satisfying as making the patterns myself! I’ve mentioned on twitter that we’re moving again at the end of the month—I’m hopeful that I’ll have better photo locations, if nothing else, once that goes down, although the prospect of moving again, even just within town, is exhausting. I should be able to get all (most) of my sewing stuff back together, too!

And on that inspiring note, I think I’ll maybe go have another cup of tea and tidy my little sewing space. The fact that it’s always an insane mess probably doesn’t help my productivity one bit.

Want to cheer me up? Tell me about the most exciting thing in your sewing queue right now! 😀


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Where you at?

Tanit & Oona Meetup

As  most of you know, I recently relocated from a major (for Canada) city to a fairly minor (even for Canada) city. In terms of family life, this is awesomesauce. In terms of feeling part of the wider world, maybe not so much. I mean, in Cow Town I managed to meet up with such sewing blog luminaries as the Selfish Seamstress and Oonaballoona (not to mention Funnygrrl). I don’t really see those opportunities presenting in Saskabush. Meanwhile, it seems like those New York bloggers are meeting up every other week, and even the GTO crew are getting their act together. /sigh. Jealous.

So now I’m kicking myself for never, while I WAS in a larger centre, trying to get the local bloggers together. I know there were at least a couple of others I never even met, and probably more readers that I don’t even know about. The odds of a sewing blogger meetup out here seem, well, slim, unless Zena dropping by for coffee that one morning counts.

Which is a long, rambly way of saying that, when there ARE other bloggers around, well, wouldn’t it be cool if we linked up more? And how to do that, hmm?

Well, Vicki the Sewing Scientist had a nifty notion the other day and set up a Google Map for anyone who likes to put up your (general!) location, in the hopes of facilitating future in-person networking. Because awesome as a blog is, there’s nothing quite like getting together in person to shop, swap, and squee. So far there’s lots of Canadian bloggers I hadn’t even known about.

I’m going to copy Vicki’s directions, just in case:

Here’s how to participate:

  • Open this link to get to Map the Sewintists
  • Click on the red Edit button on the left
  • Click on the blue pin on the upper left of the map
  • Click on your location to drop the pin
  • A box will open that will allow you to add your name or blog URL in rich text 
  • Save et voilà!  

I would strongly advise people to only pin their general location or closest city, since we don`t want creepers peeping in our windows while we sew in our unders, do we?

So, if you’re not in witness protection or otherwise hiding your location, I think it’s a totally fun way to get a sense of where we’re at—and how many of us there are out there! 🙂


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Dear Internet,

Round about 1986 (or was it ’87?) my grade 1 class did art projects making illustrations with plasticine. I think we were reading a book illustrated this way. And learning about les oiseaux. Well, plasticine is not noted for its archival qualities, and a quarter of a century later the piece is showing its age. Not to mention taking up space in my mom’s basement. So this post is to document it, in all its childish, bedraggled glory, so that my mom can let it go to its eternal reward.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled sewing. I promise if I feel the need to archive more childhood relics, I’ll give them their own blog (maybe a tumblr) and not subject all of you to it.

Man, I was proud of that bird, though. I


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Last year at this time I managed to pull together a pattern to share. This year, what with moving, I fear that’s been the last thing on my mind. And, frankly, with a lot of the big changes in my life recently I could pretty easily be pretty whiny and down on this birthday. Which wouldn’t be very fun for anyone, least of all me. So let’s focus on the good things.

I have (often) happy, (generally) healthy kids, who despite their loud protests are settling in to their new lives just fine.

I have a man whom I love and who loves me back, and we’ve managed to make our way together for more good years than any of our parents had. Even if he did go and beat Darksiders II last week while I was busy.

I have loving and supporting family on all sides. (Even better now that they’re no longer hundreds of kilometres away.)

I have a head full of ideas, interests, and dreams, even if I can’t quite manage to figure out how to make any of them particularly practical.

And, not to be too maudlin, but I have your support as readers. It’s really, really awesome.

Oh, and Osiris took me across town on the motorcycle to pick up my birthday present:




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It has been brought to my attention…

That yesterday, I wantonly and willfully, with complete disregard for public health and wellbeing,  planted the Spiderman theme song (and Simpsons version), in the minds of hundreds of innocent readers.

For this, I humbly apologize, and, in meagre recompense, offer you this:

Spiderdress Throwdown

Yes. Photoshopped Spider Dress Throwdown Sewdown.

Unfortunately, I was too lazy to go back and take photos in more active, cooler poses, so this is what you get. I like to think we’re about to go rescue some poor soul from the curse of ill-fitting storebought clothing…

Also, this is totally Oona’s fault.


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My baby

Those of you who come here just for the sewing, feel free to skip this one. I’m taking a moment to mush out.


Dear Tyo,

When you were born, I looked at you and was overwhelmed by how much love there must be in the world, if every mother feels this much looking at her baby for the first time. I was young, and scared, and excited, and uncertain of just about everything,  but my love for you was instant and immense and unremitting, and being your mother has been, and continues to be, the most exhilarating adventure of my life.

Today, you graduated from grade six. In a few weeks you’ll be twelve. You’re not yet a woman, but the shape of your childhood is changing, and everything about you hints at the changes that are coming. You amaze me, challenge me, and drive me nuts every single day, and the privilege of watching you grow is the most amazing gift you could ever have given me. You are strong and confident, passionate and compassionate, vulnerable and astounding. I know you’re going to have to work hard in life—as you already do—to overcome your particular challenges, but I also know that you have the will, determination and, yes, the charisma, to do just that. You are already becoming  the person you dream of. And I can’t tell you how excited I am that I am privileged to watch you, be there for you, and probably even get in your way from time to time, on this journey.

I love you to the moon.

I know you’re sad to be leaving your school and moving away from so many friends—and you have wonderful friends—but I am so excited for the things that you are doing, the person you are becoming, and the adventure that lies ahead. I know that wherever you go, whatever you do, you will shine like a beacon. You are one of those people who lights up a room, whose smile gets under the skin, who inspires us just by breathing, and if you choose, I know you’ll change the world, just as you’ve already changed all of us who know you.

As the story says, I love you to the moon

and back.


Ok, I’m going to go blow my nose now. I’ll be back with some sewing stuff later…

PS, if anyone asks, I’m blaming this whole post on K-Line.


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My pre-stitched fabric

Pre-stitched fabric

Some people expressed a desire to see the dress I bought (aka pre-stitched fabric) while back home for May Long, actually on a body. It’s “vintage” in that it’s a fairly timeless style and came from a vintage clothing store—as I said before, if it’s older than a couple of decades I’d be extremely surprised.

These are not the best photos, mostly because it was a work-from-home day and my hair was pretty abysmal. I need a haircut in the worst way right now, and while I can still coax it into a fun style, it’s not long-lasting and takes a lot of work. This day, I did not put in all that work.


This dress has the exact feature that set me off on Project Drop-Waist, the full skirt beginning at waist. It’s still a little touch and go, but I think the fact that this one is pleated rather than gathered and not overly full, helps a lot.

Back view

I even tried to take pictures outside, but wound up all squinty, so I’ll just give you this rear shot highlighting my lop-sided self-tied bow and complete failure to make appropriate use of my iron. Also, I could totally do a better invisible zipper. 🙂

There’s some horizontal wrinkling on the bodice, partly because it’s tight, and partly because it’s (zomg*) too long. By shortening the straps I can get the waist to end at my waist, but it still comes quite (almost uncomfortably) high under my armpits, and there’s still a little bit too much length. None of which I would’ve noticed before I was sewing.

In any case, I feel pretty cute and not too poufy, so I’ll call it a win.

Also, anyone who complains about quilting-cotton as a garment fabric (and I am one of those people 😉 ) should take note of the complete lack of drape of this fabric. It’s not quilting cotton, but the way it hangs (and wrinkles!) is eerily similar…

drawing tablet

In other news, Whee! Do you see that? That’s my Wacom drawing tablet, which I got as a birthday present from Osiris yonks ago. Most importantly, though, is that’s the stylus for it, which has been missing in action for most of the past two years. It had resurfaced briefly last fall, only to vanish again within weeks. Most recently it was retrieved from the depths of the couch (how the heck did it even get into the living room? I *never* take the tablet in the living room). I am thinking this time I will chain it to the tablet…

*Sarcasm font.


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I bought fabric.

Adorable fabric.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective), it’s already been fashioned into a dress. An adorable little full-skirted sundress, in fact. Are you surprised?

Pre-stitched Sundress

We are back in our hometown for the weekend, and my hometown Sewing Friend suggested that we check out a new vintage clothing shop in her neighbourhood. So we abandoned our spouses with the children and dashed off for a few minutes of precious child-free time at Tikkityboo Vintage, a teensy tiny, exquisitely elegant little store in a sadly-dilapidated stretch of minor commercial real-estate. It’s one of those areas that looks just like that really cool, chic part of town with all the nifty boutiques, about ten years before everyone realized how nifty and chic it really is. Except in this case, it’s been like this for as long as I can remember. Which is a pity, because the other street of chic, stylish boutiques in town has long since lost most of its eclectic charm under a swarm of high-end clothing shops and hair-salons.

Amidst the racks of gorgeous (and not so gorgeous) vintage dressses, I found a lovely flocked-print circle skirt, unfortunately with a waistband that *might* have fit Tyo, and this cute little dress, which fits me just about perfectly. I’m not convinced it’s *especially* vintage—the label is Made In China and identical to something that you’d find in a modern garment, and nothing about the construction suggests any great age. But it’s cute, the fabric is adorable, and the price was low.

In need of repair.

There’s a tiny bit of discoloration on the sash that hopefully a bit of a soak with some Oxy-Clean will do away with, and it needs a touch of repair at the bottom of the bodice. And while the weather is actually fairly good for May Long*, it’s not quite strappy-sundress weather, so I won’t be wearing it right away.

But I still think it’s really, really cute, and I get to have that warm supporting-local-small-business glow, which I rarely get in my usual haunts, as I live in a fairly modern suburb that is the natural habitat of big box stores and chain everything. Unfortunately I’m not likely to have any sewing to report for several more days, unless Sewing Friend and I manage to dodge our husbands again and duck off to the fabric store…


*The long weekend in May in Canada is officially Victoria Day, when we celebrate the Queen’s birthday, but most people call it May Long. It’s the official (usually miserable) start of camping season, and is generally celebrated with bush parties and snowstorms.


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I meant to sew today…

But there was a problem.


I hear it’s supposed to rain tomorrow…


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