Archive: Dec 2013

A Sewing Year in Review: 2013


It’s been really fun to reflect on how I’ve progressed this year. I’ve started out thinking I hadn’t really progressed, and then realized that I had actually accomplished a lot! It goes to show how important it is to stop to see how far we’ve come sometimes!

2013 was the year of sewing breakthroughs for me. It’s been mostly an internal process, rather than a change that manifested itself in the actual things I’ve made:

1) I’ve finally realized my dream of taking a college-level course in pattern drafting this winter and I’m so incredibly happy I did. The ironic thing about it is that it brought me closer to commercial patterns. Fit for Real People and my sewing guru, Lorraine Henry, have also contributed to this big time, but for a variety of reasons, 2013 has been the year where I’ve suddenly had the revelation and the skills to pick up pretty much any pattern and work with it. It’s felt like a world of possibilities!

2) But a world of possibilities can also feel overwhelming sometimes. And I’ve had to stop and think about what it is I wanted to make. I’ve slowed down the actual sewing in the fourth trimester to take a step back and refocus my sewing aesthetic. I’m so excited to report that my vision has never been clearer and I look forward to aligning my sewing with this new vision in 2014.

New direction in snippets:
– Quality over quantity.
– Lux fabrics.
– Cohesiveness.
– Dress shirts, wool blazers, classic pants and smart, structured dress in neutral colours.
– More to come on that later!

Other thoughts about this year:

Sewing Friendships
It was sad to leave Toronto just as I was getting to know so many local sewists after organizing the sewing meet-up with Gillian of Crafting Rainbow in February. That said, the beauty of our community is that it’s transnational, so I’ve been able to enjoy keeping up with all of you on your blogs. I’ve also slowly been building a sewing community of my own in Sweden, meeting up with Joëlle from Handstitched Files, fabric shopping in Kinna, in addition to joining my local sewing club. I’m so grateful for these friendships.

Blogging Consistency
I’ve been keeping this blog alive for three and a half years, so I know something about consistency. However, there is still plenty of room for improvement! The ability to stick with something for a long period of time is a good skill to have in all areas of life — whether professional or personal — so I really want to work at it. One strategy that’s proven effective for me is to plan my blogging a couple of weeks in advance, and I want to do more of that going forward. It’s less about the blogging per se (because, let’s face it, posting 2, 15 or 45 posts a month won’t really make a difference to anyone) as it is about the exercise of developing consistency and dedication over a long period of time. 2013 has been the most consistent so far, so I hope 2014 will be even better!

More Sharing
I still find it difficult to assess how much of my life to share with you guys here. How I’ve dealt with this in the past has been “if it’s not sewing, don’t share” and “whenever in doubt, don’t share.” But your positive reactions to posts about snippets of my life in Sweden this year have made me reconsider. And I really do enjoy reading those kinds of posts in other blogs. After all, it’s not as if the sewing is happening in a vacuum in our lives! Of course, there is a balance to everything (don’t worry, I won’t start blogging about my dog’s eating habits. Although you’d be surprised at how interesting that would be!) and defining that balance is a very personal thing. All this to say: in 2014, expect to read more about the elements of my life that are intertwined with the sewing.

I’m going to conclude this post (and this blogging year!) by thanking you all so much for your continued support. I deeply appreciate your visits and comments and I’m sending you all my best wishes for a new year filled with love, peace, community… and productive sewing!

Happy New Year everyone!
Adrienne xo

read more

A Sewing Year in Review: 2013


It’s been really fun to reflect on how I’ve progressed this year. I’ve started out thinking I hadn’t really progressed, and then realized that I had actually accomplished a lot! It goes to show how important it is to stop to see how far we’ve come sometimes!

2013 was the year of sewing breakthroughs for me. It’s been mostly an internal process, rather than a change that manifested itself in the actual things I’ve made:

1) I’ve finally realized my dream of taking a college-level course in pattern drafting this winter and I’m so incredibly happy I did. The ironic thing about it is that it brought me closer to commercial patterns. Fit for Real People and my sewing guru, Lorraine Henry, have also contributed to this big time, but for a variety of reasons, 2013 has been the year where I’ve suddenly had the revelation and the skills to pick up pretty much any pattern and work with it. It’s felt like a world of possibilities!

2) But a world of possibilities can also feel overwhelming sometimes. And I’ve had to stop and think about what it is I wanted to make. I’ve slowed down the actual sewing in the fourth trimester to take a step back and refocus my sewing aesthetic. I’m so excited to report that my vision has never been clearer and I look forward to aligning my sewing with this new vision in 2014.

New direction in snippets:
– Quality over quantity.
– Lux fabrics.
– Cohesiveness.
– Dress shirts, wool blazers, classic pants and smart, structured dress in neutral colours.
– More to come on that later!

Other thoughts about this year:

Sewing Friendships
It was sad to leave Toronto just as I was getting to know so many local sewists after organizing the sewing meet-up with Gillian of Crafting Rainbow in February. That said, the beauty of our community is that it’s transnational, so I’ve been able to enjoy keeping up with all of you on your blogs. I’ve also slowly been building a sewing community of my own in Sweden, meeting up with Joëlle from Handstitched Files, fabric shopping in Kinna, in addition to joining my local sewing club. I’m so grateful for these friendships.

Blogging Consistency
I’ve been keeping this blog alive for three and a half years, so I know something about consistency. However, there is still plenty of room for improvement! The ability to stick with something for a long period of time is a good skill to have in all areas of life — whether professional or personal — so I really want to work at it. One strategy that’s proven effective for me is to plan my blogging a couple of weeks in advance, and I want to do more of that going forward. It’s less about the blogging per se (because, let’s face it, posting 2, 15 or 45 posts a month won’t really make a difference to anyone) as it is about the exercise of developing consistency and dedication over a long period of time. 2013 has been the most consistent so far, so I hope 2014 will be even better!

More Sharing
I still find it difficult to assess how much of my life to share with you guys here. How I’ve dealt with this in the past has been “if it’s not sewing, don’t share” and “whenever in doubt, don’t share.” But your positive reactions to posts about snippets of my life in Sweden this year have made me reconsider. And I really do enjoy reading those kinds of posts in other blogs. After all, it’s not as if the sewing is happening in a vacuum in our lives! Of course, there is a balance to everything (don’t worry, I won’t start blogging about my dog’s eating habits. Although you’d be surprised at how interesting that would be!) and defining that balance is a very personal thing. All this to say: in 2014, expect to read more about the elements of my life that are intertwined with the sewing.

I’m going to conclude this post (and this blogging year!) by thanking you all so much for your continued support. I deeply appreciate your visits and comments and I’m sending you all my best wishes for a new year filled with love, peace, community… and productive sewing!

Happy New Year everyone!
Adrienne xo

read more

Top 13 Real Food, Real Good Recipes of 2013

13 has always been fine by me.  Not one to believe in luck/unluck, I’ve never had a problem with 13. 2013 was a good year.  Sure, it was full of ups and downs, but as I pause to think of that for which I am thankful this year, I am overwhelme…

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Top 5 Goals for the New Year, 2014.

Top 5 Goals for the New YearA few weeks ago, Mood Fabrics tweeted that they were seeking two new bloggers for their Sewing Network. This got my attention right away. How cool would it be to join the elite group of Mood Sewing Network Bloggers!&nbs…

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Top 5 Reflections of 2013.

Top 5 Reflections: What did you learn about yourself or sewing this year? What did I learn about my sewing, myself and blogging this year?I learnt that I only completed 9 garments! That’s waaaaay less than 2012! In 2012 I finished 27 gar…

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Gone fishing… or skiing

Lake Louise (source)I hope you’re enjoying the holiday season as much as I am, here in Canada. :-)I’ll be away from home until the end of January, so I’ll be posting less frequently because I want to spend quality time with my family and friends. But I…

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4 Easy Christmas Treats

This Christmas has been one of the more joyful ones I’ve had in some time.  Why?  Because I’ve been using a two letter word more often:

“No.”

“No” to stressing myself out just to bake every type of cookie I can.

“No” to worrying about a few of the decorations that haven’t been placed around the house.

“No” to baking a homemade gingerbread house (Trader Joe’s pre-baked one is wonderful!)

and have been saying “yes” more too:

“Yes” to slowing down and reflecting on all of God’s good gifts I’ve already been given.

“Yes” to being okay with not doing it all.

“Yes” to Joy…Peace…and my imperfectness.

So one of the many decisions I’ve made is to allow myself to wait until after Christmas to post a new recipe.

Until then, here are a few treats that I will try to make later this week, or…maybe not.  After all, sometimes saying “no” to doing something means saying “yes” to sanity and self-preservation.

But if you’re looking for an easy treat or two to make for *fun*?:

Gingerbread Dip:

Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti:

Candied Orange Peel:

Chocolate Drizzled Macaroons:

Merry Christmas!
SPC

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PVC clear elastic tape for the shoulder seams?

First of all, I just wanted to thank Dibs from Dibs and the Machine for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the wrap dress sewalong! I’ve been a huge fan of her and her blog since we met in 2011. Believe it or not, she is just as funny in real l…

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Make Again Enchiladas

Okay, so I’ll start with a confession:  these enchiladas are full of crumbled, sautéed tofu.  Have I lost any of you yet?

Still with me? Good.

Good for you for being open minded about tofu and good for you…since these enchiladas are super tasty and healthful.  The tofu resembles ground meat or turkey in these enchiladas, taking on all sorts of yummy, zesty Mexican flavors.

“Make again” is the term our family uses when a dinner is something the boys would like to see again on their plates.  Both boys declared that these were “make agains!” with enthusiasm, and R added, “I think they’re make agains for next week.”  High praise indeed.

Make Again Enchiladas

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic minced
1 poblano pepper (or bell pepper), seeded and diced
1 – 12 oz packet extra-firm tofu, drained
1 batch homemade taco seasoning (or store bought is fine)
1 bottle enchilada sauce, divided use
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided use (optional)
12 corn tortillas

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, garlic and pepper and sauté 4-5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.

Add the tofu to the pan, crumbling the tofu as you add it.

Add the taco seasoning too, and stir well.

Allow the tofu to brown in the pan, using a metal spatula to stir it every few minutes.

Once browned, add 1/2-3/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, stir well and then remove from heat.  Add 1/2 -3/4 cup of the cheese, if using.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

As the tofu cools, add some boiling water to a pie pan or 9×9 dish.  One by one, place an enchilada in the hot water (it’s okay if it cools a bit) for a few seconds to soften, then add 1/4 cup of the tofu mixture and roll up and place seam side down in a baking dish.  Repeat with remaining corn tortillas and tofu mixture.

Once all enchiladas are rolled, cover with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese, if desired.

Bake for 30 minutes or until browned slightly.

Makes 12 corn enchiladas.

Life is sweet,
SPC

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How to do a SBA on a Wrap Dress or Wrap Top with a Shawl Collar

Looking at those unusual pieces for the front panel pieces of Vogue 8827 left me scratching my head… How… will I do… a Small Bust Adjustment… on that?Thankfully, it’s not too difficult. Today, I’ll be sharing a way to adjust pattern Vogue 8827 …

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Completed: Vogue 8827

The original inspiration for this dress was Sallie Oh’s magenta version, but when I finished sewing it as per the instructions, it somehow didn’t end up looking right.I brainstormed for a couple hours and finally found a solution I couldn’t b…

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