sew fancy

My grandmother was a pretty fantastic lady who taught me skills I utilize on a daily basis: cooking, baking, crafting, a random assortment of phrases in French, and how to put up with a stubborn German man (this last one isn’t something I have to do on a daily basis but is still quite important). Mamman was also the first person to teach me how to sew (I say first because it took follow up instruction from Girl Scouts and mum). She was an avid quilter and helped me to sew my own little quilt out of her leftover squares of material. It was barely big enough to cover my feet, but it was hand stitched and had filling and lining and backing and everything so I was am pretty proud of it.

Since then I have dabbled with a few sewing projects and attempts to figure out what all the buttons and knobs on my sewing machine do. Like any good quilter, Mamman had a penchant for collecting fabrics in every pattern and colour along with buttons, thread, ribbons, and anything else you could need for a sewing room to rival Joann Fabrics’. When she died we donated most of her stash to her quilting group, but I managed to snag some things for myself. This little sewing box is one of my prized possessions and whenever I use some of her fabric it’s like I’m 10 years old again and I hear her telling me to use smaller stitches and sew in a straight line.


E is aware of my proclivity towards sewing and fashion and the colour purple, so picked me up the perfect souvenir of a ginormous roll of fabric on her trip to Rwanda last summer. A couple months ago I finally put a small piece of it to use by sewing myself a pencil skirt. I’ve done some small clothing alterations and made some pretty cute little zippered bags as presents for some of my friends and family, but I’m no master seamstress. Although I still harbour fantasies of being on Project Runway and Tim Gunn telling me to make it work, this was a first for me. I used these instructions but because the material has no stretch in it whatsoever, I added a back zip. Partly because it looks cool and partly because I’m not skilled enough to do otherwise, I ended up with an exposed zip which runs the length of the skirt. I then added a waistband following these instructions and voila: fancy-ass pencil skirt that fits me (almost) perfectly. Because there’s a whole lot of pattern going on there, I paired it with some basics: t-shirt and flats. image_1 image_4

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  • Top: Baja Rosi’s Consignment ($18)
  • Skirt: Handmade! 
  • Shoes: Superstore ($2)
  • Jewelry: Gifts
  • Clutch: Hand me down

Happy Belated Birthday Mamman. I love you and miss you. ❤1209146_10153293502115648_1012037042_n


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