I really wish the internet had a scratch-and-sniff option because I assure you, they smell just as good as they look. Both lilac trees outside my house are in full bloom right now (It’s not even June yet!). They are very mature (I suspect they are original to the house) and reach up to the second story, so the smell wafts through the open windows at night. I have also used every vase and jar and can possible to bring them inside as well!

Hello dreamy summer. I have been waiting for you.

Sleeveless in the City Dress

This was my second version of Butterick 5454. I wanted something super comfortable – but still cute – to wear this summer while I am traveling. I wanted a dress that I could wear with flip-flips during the day, and heels during the night.

I loved the colour of the jersey and knew it would be perfect for just such a dress! This time around I added 2 inches to the front of the bodice pieces, so that I would have a little more coverage than my long-sleeved version and again, I opted not to sew down the pleats on the skirt. I also opted out of the short-sleeve version of the pattern and instead added just enough around the armhole for seam allowances.

I’m really happy with how it turned out! I think this will be perfect for just throwing on (maybe even as a bathing suit cover up) and just throwing in the suitcase. Here’s to a carefree summer! Thanks to Denis Duquette for the fabulous photos!

Colette Palette Challenge – My Moodboard

In an attempt to be a little more organized when it comes to my sewing projects I am participating in the Spring/Summer Palette Challenge from Colette Patterns.  I would like to pack as many hand-made items on my travel adventures this summer (more on that later), so I will be sewing with those trips in mind.

After a dreary Canadian winter, I am really looking forward to a wardrobe full of bright colours! I have been keeping some inspiration images on Pinterest (here and here). I’ve got a yellow Minoru on the go at the moment and already know that I want to make a fuchsia one as well. I know there will definitely be more maxi-dresses in my future and more knit fabrics, and that I am in need of skirts.

So, it’s a loose plan, but at least it’s a colourful one!

Image Sources: Blue Suit, Dress, Orange Skirt, Shoes. Tulip photo: my own.

Style inspiration: Maria


When I saw the dress above (from the new Madewell spring collection), I immediately thought of The Sound of Music but couldn’t quite figure out why. It took a little research, but I found the “Maria” dress that was wandering about my brain. There is a very interesting post about the original dress here, and see if you can spot the one I mean in the video.

I think a peony pattern would do just fine to re-create the Madewell version, don’t you think?


Palm Springs Dress

Photographer: Denis Duquette

Photographer: Denis Duquette

Photographer Denis Duquette

Photographer Denis Duquette

Photographer Denis Duquette

I wanted to make a maxi dress for awhile, but I was having a hard time finding a pattern I liked. Being curvy, I was looking for a style that was not strapless or with spaghetti straps. This is Simplicity 2692, but I took out the sleeves. The dress came together pretty easily, once I very carefully cut out the material. I left the zipper fairly exposed, as I was able to find one that perfectly matched the print. I just lined the bodice, however, when I tried the whole thing on I decided that lining the skirt was definitely not optional. I wore it to two weddings in August and I felt so comfortable. The skirt has a lot of gathering, but isn’t too full either.

Thanks to photographer Denis Duquette I was able to get some great images and let my usual conscript have a break. We did a quick little shoot one night right before sunset. Between my dress, the sky and the water, I felt a little like a mermaid. Check out more of Denis’ beautiful work here!


On the wedding trail

A list of ten things that have happened over the past ten days, in no particular order:

1. Hours on the road. Officially caught up on podcasts.

2. Fox sightings.

3. Two lovely weddings which included sparklers, tap-dancing, mojitos and even a pig on a spit.

4. Homemade blueberry pie.

5. The beach – twice, in two different provinces.

6. So many bug bites that I was unable to wear normal shoes for days. Still scratching.

7. Visit to the cottage in the Land Without Internet.

8. Glorious naps.

9. Houses made from bottles.

7. Laundry, laundry, laundry.

8. Simultaneous tea-drinking and blue-heron-watching.

9. Fabric shopping at a price of $3 dollars a metre.

10. Boggle tournaments.

It was a great way to wrap up the summer! Now onto September, and all those emails in my inbox.

Summer Shows – Arcade Fire!

I didn’t take this video and I wasn’t quite that close, but this gives you an idea of what a jumbled, chaotic, and completely awesome time I had last night. The show was actually on the other side of the harbour, so (what seemed like) half the population of my side packed onto the tiny ferry en-masse and headed over. I can’t believe I got to see them in such a small venue.

I loved that by an accident of lighting, there were giant shadow puppets of the performers dancing on the sides of the pavilion. We sang and yelled and came home with ringing ears and happy hearts. My other favourite moment had nothing to do with the music, but with the one gentlemen getting off the ferry (on the concert side) after it was over and his utterly shocked expression at seeing so many people waiting to get on!