Baby Boy Bimaa Shawl Collar Sweater Gift Set on! #sewing #bimaa #boy #baby

I love babies and lately a few people I know have been having some gosh darn cute ones and surprise, surprise....I'm way behind on sewing up the baby gifts.

I got a chance to redeem myself for one baby in our family this past weekend. It's a boy so when that happens I get really excited (since I have girls), but after the excitement wears off, I realize I own mostly girl patterns and girl fabric. Luckily the last few Girl Charlee orders I made I stocked up on some adorable gender neutral prints for both myself, my kiddos, and any boy gifts I may need to make.

When I set about looking through my pattern library I realized that no matter what I saw all I wanted to make was the Bimaa from LouBee Clothing. One of my all time faves. I think this one is my 4th?  I adore this sweater. I figured the shawl collar or hooded version are gender neutral but my heart kept longing for the shawl collar. I really like shawl collared sweaters on grown men and knew I would like it just as much on a cute baby boy too. And boy was I right. I love how it turned out!
Baby Boy Bimaa Shawl Collar Sweater Gift Set on! #sewing #bimaa #boy #baby
Baby Boy Bimaa Shawl Collar Sweater Gift Set on! #sewing #bimaa #boy #baby
Baby Boy Bimaa Shawl Collar Sweater Gift Set on! #sewing #bimaa #boy #baby

I really liked the combo of simple and easy everyday leggings paired with something a bit more interesting than a simple tee or pullover for the other garment. And really.....who could go wrong with penguins?  They are a fave around our house and I think I've made 2 other baby gifts with this much hoarded fabric. Every time I go to use it I find myself taking a lot of inner mental cajoling to cut into it. I'm so scared to use it all up because I love it so much and I think it's sold out now. I really want a pair of legging jammies for myself in the penguin print. Don't judge But seriously? How cute would that be!?!! I would wear them every night. The hubs loves penguins + penguin jammies = awesomeness in our house.

PATTERN |  Top - Bimaa Sweater from LouBee Clothing / Leggings - Baby Sweatsuit Pattern from Heidi and Finn
FABRIC |  Penguin print from Girl Charlee (I think it's sold out now), Dark Grey from stash.
SIZE MADE |  Top - Size 12mths, Leggings - Size 12/18mths
TAGS | Labels both from InkedPapers.

What's your favorite baby boy sewing go to gift? Do you love the Bimaa too? Would you rock penguin jammies? C'mon...spill the beans....


Jocole Ladies Skinny Pants Pattern Review | #sewing #pants

I made myself some skinny pants and I'm so excited!

I'm part of the Jocole Pattern Tour today and when they reached out to me to join in I knew I had to make the fabulous Ladies Skinny Pants! I've been writing on the blog for about 3 years now about how badly I wanted to try my hand at sewing some pants for myself. To be honest - it's frightened me. But just like the zipper, I didn't want it to slow me down or hinder me any longer. It was time to just jump right in! So I did! I'm now addicted! I hate buying pants and they never fit me right so the idea of making pants to fit my body is fabulous!

First let me tell you these pants are so quick and easy to sew!

They are a skinny, pull on pant with a comfy knit waistband with multiple style options (read more about this at the bottom of the post) for the waistband and length. I was shocked at how fast they come together and how easy they are. Jocole patterns are super easy to follow and included tons of information and helpful tips. All the work and time is in the fit. And let me tell you - it's important. I knew I had to do a fit muslin for sure. And boy was mine The first rough sew was HUGE. Like way too big! I went by my hip measurement but it's really tricky for me as my my problem area and adds to my hip measurement if that makes sense. So sometimes when I go by that my hips are not in fact that wide - it's just my baby So the size I made was giant. So I started by following the fabulous fit tutorials included in the pattern. This is so helpful! There is a link where you can go and see how to make alterations and fit adjustments. I found this helpful as I'm someone who is really visual.

Jocole Ladies Skinny Pants Pattern Review | #sewing #pants
Jocole Ladies Skinny Pants Pattern Review | #sewing #pants

I went down about 2 sizes in the hip, 3 in the waist and took my legs down to match a pair of skinny pants I already own. I would guess this was 3-4 sizes down from my hip measurement. The pattern also gives you thigh measurements which is so helpful! I then also made further adjustment to my back seam up near my waist. I had to take in about another 3/4" here as well. Also, when you attach your comfy waistband (yes, there are no zippers in these pants which makes them a great starter pair to sew) I had to take inches off my size for the stretch as well. Overall the fit is ok for these. For my first pair of pants I am satisfied. They are flattering and were fun to make.

Would I make the Ladies Skinny Pants again? For sure! I would definitely make more than 1 more of these. I need 3 - 4 at least! I want to get some nice stretch denim and make some with that. I would also love a black and grey pair too! Really the possibilities are endless with these pants! So easy to customize!

Would I change anything on my next pair? Yes. I made the knee area on my pants too tight. Because I used a chambray from Robert Kaufman (I'm addicted to these) I find I need a bit more room to bend my leg in this area when going up stairs etc. I think I went a bit too aggressive in this area for fit. They look good standing but not when walking.  I would make my waist a bit smaller and definitely make my waistband smaller still. The pants slide down a bit when I'm walking. I definitely had room in the waistband to come in. I also didn't really like the stretch fabric I was using for the waist so I think next time I would change to a sturdier stretch. Mine was a bit too flimsy I think.

What was my favorite thing about this pattern? How easy they are to make! Also, the pockets! I am in love with the front pockets! So fun! I really love topstitching so getting to add details like that to the front and back pocket was super fun to me. My next pair I'm going to do a fun design on my back pockets. For the first time round I kept mine simple with two rows of topstitching as per the pattern and I like that look too. It looks pretty with the chambray! Next time I will add the topstitching on the seam of my pant leg too for a real denim look. I skipped that this time round but now wished I had done it. I also really like the waistband options. So versatile and comfy.

Jocole Ladies Skinny Pants Pattern Review | #sewing #pants

After sewing these I'm definitely going to be making more pants for myself!

It was fun, exciting and I learned a ton! The Ladies Skinny Pants are so comfy, flattering to all body types and seriously, they come in Sizes 00 - 28W!!!!! They are also available with 3 different waistband options - skinny, regular, or fold-over (wear yoga waistband up for more coverage and support)! There are also tons of length options! That's right! You can make capris and shorts from this pattern too! There are 7 in total - shorts, bermuda, clam digger, capris, petite full, regular full and tall full! Wow! Plus 2 pocket style options!

I loved all the options and choices to make this pattern work for your needs and figure. My curves are happy! The pattern also includes easy to follow instructions, color photographs & illustrations, and tons of helpful information on sizing and fit as well as sewing! 

So, are you ready to give pants a try to? Or have you made yourself pants before? Have you tried the Ladies Skinny Pants from Jocole? What are your favorite pant sewing tips?

PATTERN | Ladies Skinny Pants from Jocole
FABRIC | Chambray (color denim) from Robert Kaufman
SIZE MADE | Adjusted from multiple sizes on pattern to fit my body
MODIFICATIONS | None other than fit adjustments.
BOOTS | Old Navy
TOP | TNA Pomona T-Shirt from Aritzia in black.


Pattern review of Coco by Tilly and the Buttons ||

I made a Coco. I made it a few months ago and figured it was about time I got around to taking a pic of it for you guys.

I was in the mood for polka dots and something easy to wear with a little flair. I landed on Coco by Tilly & the Buttons. This dress pattern is versatile, comfy and quick to sew. This one is my wearable muslin. It's not perfect but I'm ok with that. It sort of matches these pics. This is what my children have done to me this week and it was only Monday when these were taken. Bad sleep, bickering sisters, teachers still on strike, my need for a shower (thus the bad hair day)...the list goes on, but then, I'm sure all you mommas can relate. I know I'm not the only one counting down the hours till they go to bed and I can finally take a breath. Bless their hearts I love them but sometimes they drive me

This left me with pics of me looking bootylicious (I'm not) while staring wistfully at a painting in our dining area or a chair like a weirdo, like what the heck am I doing in these shots? Ones I had to crop my face out of because I looked slightly crazed (remember...don't judge Then there is me laughing hysterically as my kiddos make faces at me because they think I'm nuts when I do photoshoots with the remote, which I totally agree with, I do look nuts when I do them. I need to practice more. It's dang hard to take a photoshoot of yourself peeps. The pics below prove it. Especially when you're not photographic and don't photograph well. Plus a girl wants the camera to help you lose 10lbs not gain them. Just keeping it real here folks. So pardon me if I show some pics of my new boots below. Aren't they cute? Some of my favorite boots are from Old Navy so I was happy to give these ones a new home on the weekend. They look a heckuva lot better than I do today.

Pattern review of Coco by Tilly and the Buttons ||
Pattern review of Coco by Tilly and the Buttons ||

Pattern review of Coco by Tilly and the Buttons ||
I feel like when I made this muslin I had one of those situations where I kept making silly mistakes - too much coffee and not enough sleep. That's the excuse I'm running with.

Or I could use that it was one of the first few things I made on my new serger (which it was) and I'm still learning how to use the darn thing so this ended up being half sewn on my Pfaff Ambition and half sewn on my Babylock Imagine. Heck the excuse doesn't matter. It's got some issues but it's all good. The hem is a tad wonky but not too noticeable. The side seams ended up pulling a bit and the bust....well I think I need to make some alterations on the armhole and shoulder. It's hard to see in the pics but the armhole's underarm area is about 2" over too far. I don't want to make a smaller size though as the bust coverage doesn't pull and I like the fit. So my good ol' sloped shoulders and small back are going to cause me to do a bit of tweaking. I need to lift up the armhole a bit and take the end of the top of the shoulder in about 1/2" or so give or take.

I love all the variations you can make with this dress too! But the collar? That was what sold me. I heart that collar. It's so flattering and just adds a certain bit of interest to a simple dress. I didn't put pockets on this one but next time I will for sure. I miss them. I can't seem to make anything without pockets lately or I feel nude and silly always wondering where the heck to put my hands.

I definitely think this is a curve flattering dress. If you get the right size for your shape and do a few alterations I think it could be a go for most bodies. 

I feel pretty good in it even though it hangs quite close to my problem area which is my tummy. The skirt seems to kick out a good spot which doesn't show it too bad from the side view but also doesn't add width either so overall I like that. It's a nice slimming a-line. My next one will be a tad longer too. I didn't have enough fabric and just barely made it for this length. So it's a "must wear leggings under" sort of dress. Mine ended up more tunic than dress though I did make it with the intention of wearing it with tights and cute flat shoes. Next time at least 1" will be added for my frame.

I can't wait to wear this for the fall and winter! It looks great with knee high boots and this polka dot print from Girl Charlee is warm and cozy. Just perfect for the climate I live in here on Vancouver Island. Once the rain starts that's all we get for months. So boots, sweaters, warm fabrics and cuddly cowls are a must at all times.

Have you made a Coco yet? Did you sew up a top or a dress style? What variation did you choose? I'd love to see and hear about it ladies! Show some pics! 

PATTERN || Coco by Tilly and the Buttons
FABRIC || Similar to this Light Gray Dot on Black Ponte de Roma via Girl Charlee
SIZE MADE || Size 7 (which is for Size 42" bust, I'm a 41" bust)
MODIFICATIONS || None, but had made an error sewing hip and hem. Need to do adjustments on  armhole and shoulder for next one.
BOOTS || Old Navy


Review of New American Knits by Amy Christoffers ||
New American Knits by Amy Christoffers Interweave/F+W; $24.99  

I've so excited to review the knitting book New American Knits by fab designer Amy Christoffers on the blog today!

I'm a big fan of Amy Christoffers work and I was super excited when I first heard she had a knitting book coming out. You all know I can't resist a good knitting and sewing book! Amy's patterns feature clean lines and are effortlessly wearable. They are the kinds of items you just want in your wardrobe. The kind that are easily incorporated into your daily life.

Review of New American Knits by Amy Christoffers ||
Jasper Pullover
Her designs always feature simple-but-sophisticated construction and her sweaters are truly drool worthy. I mean look at the cover shot of the Nevelson Lace Pullover below! I heart this sweater! The fit, the stitch pattern - pure Amy. Some of my favorite pieces in the book feature those special details that make me swoon. For instance the Serra Turtleneck (shown top right below) has that showstopper neckline and faux seam lines. I'm just loving the silhouette of this piece!

Review of New American Knits by Amy Christoffers ||
Review of New American Knits by Amy Christoffers ||
1. Moses Hoodie 2. Serra Turtleneck 3. Sargent Pullover
Then don't get me started on my favorite pattern in the book - the Moses Hoodie (shown above left). Seriously. I'm dying to cast on for this. The sewer in me is loving that there is a zipper! Then pockets...hello....gotta have pockets and then there's a hood! Could it get better than that? But wait there's more....a surprise stitch detail along the upper back. So lovely.

The book also features some pretty patterns for accessories and more! There are hats, shawls, cowls, mitts and more! The book is filled with bright, full color photography, clean graphic design accompanied by the patterns which are easy to follow and read.

What I really found interesting and enjoyed a lot was the premise behind the book and the names of the patterns. I have to say this was my favorite part of this book. Amy has named each of the pieces after an American artist that she finds inspiring! At the beginning of each pattern she has included the story behind each inspiration and name. So fun!

Overall I really think New American Knits accomplished what it set out to do - applying traditional knitting skills & textile motifs to contemporary wearable knitting. 

I think this is a book that can be enjoyed for generations to come no matter what the trend. A great addition to any knitters library. Have you gotten a copy of New American Knits yet? Are you also a fan of Amy's work? Which pattern would you make first?

Review of New American Knits by Amy Christoffers ||

Get more information and purchase a copy of New American Knits below:
by Amy Christoffers


cherry blossoms on

I love cherry blossoms. 

It means spring is here with it's blue skies to bask in, sunshine to soak in and new projects to dive into. Where I live the streets become lined in cherry blossoms. Tree after tree, row after row, the pink blossoms fill the sky. As islanders we know to soak it in and relish in it for the rain could just be right around the corner. I've always loved cherry blossoms and the experience of watching my little girl laugh and experience joy in what we call the "snow blossoms" as they fly through the afternoon breeze and flutter across our heads, faces, twirling and dancing in the sky, was one of those moments I'll remember for always.

I always say when the blossoms are blowing and line the sidewalks it's like walking on heaven. A heaven of puffy pink petals. It's bliss. I think we stood there for at least 5 minutes today in one spot just laughing in the blowing blossoms. Thankfully I am not the only loony toon who does this. I'm happy to have passed down my weirdness to my children. Poor things.

Aside from cherry blossoms, though I could talk about those purdy things for a few more paragraphs but I digress, I must admit I missed February. Yep. Didn't get my "Creativity" post in. It was a nutso month and I think I may have fallen a bit off track if I do say so myself. I tried my darn hardest to stay true to my January resolution post (read it here) but life does like to put me up for a challenge. It likes to say "hey Shannon, wanna play?" and then take me for a life ride.

cherry blossoms on

I want to try to write this post at the start of each month to keep myself on track for the year. I like that I can write in this post honestly and openly and that you can all see that I'm a normal gal just like the rest of you. I need more sleep, I need to exercise more, balance my time better, remember to slow down and enjoy the little things and so get my drift. I'm not perfect. I work too much. I lose my temper. My house is a mess. I take on more than I can handle - daily. But each night I know my little family and I are getting by and that most hours are spent happy. It's those hours that I feel like things are out of whack that I need to work on. The ones when everyone seems to need me for something and I just don't have it in me to do it all. The ones where you just want to curl up in bed and drown out the "to do list" that keeps you up at night. I hear ya. I'm right there with ya. I know you all can relate.

So this past month I didn't do so hot. I finally got up the courage these past weeks to start eating gluten/wheat again since my doctor gave me the requisition back in May of 2013 to get the tests done for Celiac Disease. Truth be told it scared me so bad to eat it again that it took me going to Seattle the other weekend to do it. We ended up cheating on our eating plans and I figured since I had already cheated I might as well finally get the scary thing done. So I've been eating the enemy and feeling horrible. Like an alien version of myself. It has not been fun. It has been hard. I have cried. I have felt sick every day but today is my first day back on my plan again. Goodbye wheat. See you never. I can't wait to fill my body with green smoothies, salads and whole foods and get back onto my exercise plan.

Besides working on JOURNEY events and travel for that I've been busy behind the scenes on a new sewing pattern - yay! Watch for the call for testers this month (fingers crossed)! I'm so excited to show you all! I can't stop making versions of it because I find it such a fun sew. I've also got a few knitterly things up my sleeves know me - never without my needles and a sketchpad. You can also read a fun interview about me and more funny things here on Nora Meets the Maker! I was so excited to be asked by Kollabora to be interviewed by Nora! It was a great time! I heart Kollabora and if you aren't already a member I strongly urge you to join. It's so fun! You can also purchase some of my patterns on there as well! Come follow me!

So what's next for this month? Family. My folks are in town for 2 weeks. They get here tomorrow which means things may be sporadic and slow around here till they leave. I only get to see them once or twice a year and I love them to bits and pieces and I promised this time that I would not be a nutso working freak when they are here. Normally I am a stress So this year I plan to take the time to enjoy their company without fretting over deadlines and work. I cannot wait to see them! I miss them so! It will be a good test of my January post to see if I can balance everything this month.

We are also in the middle of tax season. And if there are any other "tax widows" out there, and those of you who are know what I mean, you know April is hell. It's my most dreaded month of the year. Except for the 20th. That's my wee ones bday so I can't hate that day ;) And did my first baby get to be turning 7? Wahhhhh! I cry every time I think of it. But yeah, April is not fun at all. I go into survival mode and we all just try to keep our heads above water until it's over and we can breathe again. I love hearing from other gals who live with accountants. We all need to support each other during this crazy time.

Even though April is usually insane for us I'm going to attempt to do my darnedest to make it better. I'm going to slow down a tad and find the wee bit of balance I had for January and February again. I miss it. March kicked my butt and I don't intend April to do the same. I'm going to try my best to stay on track and I hope you'll join me. I love knowing that I have these posts to answer to and that I can share my creative journey with all of you and hear about yours too.

So who's with me? Anyone else a bit off kilter with their balance this last month? Who else is starting a new eating/fitness plan? Anyone else feeling the need to slow down a tad and rejuvenate their creative energy? Please chat. I so love to hear from you my friends :)

// PS - the winner of our Very Shannon Fat Quarter Fabric Bundle from Fabric Spark is.....commenter #193 - Marti Taylor! Congrats! I'll be in touch soon!


Tim Horton's and knitting \\
Yarnster Hat in Malabrigo Rastita //
Lotta Jansdotter Syliva //
Sweet as Honey //
My handmade lovelies //
My handmade lovelies //

I love having works in progress. I love the idea of new possibilities, new ideas, new projects & new designs. The whole essence of making just gets me all giddy. 

I realized I hadn't shown any pics of my recent wip's on the blog lately. So I've got a few lovelies to share above of what I've been working on. If you follow me on instagram you have seen the progression of some of these for sure. My fave new socks in progress using the amazing Caterpillar Green yarns! I die. This self striping yarn is so AWESOME. But more on them next month! Stay tuned to win some of your own..hehe.

I'm also using the most gorgeous skein of Malabrigo Rastita to finally make a Yarnster hat for me! I loved this hat when I designed it last year (it's FREE!) but it resides in a local yarn shop and not on my head so my lovely friend Arika so sweetly gifted me this skein to make my own since the pattern is named after her generous self. It's going to be so pretty and I cannot wait to wear it! Aren't those tones just so lovely together?

I also have projects coming up soon with the new Lotta Jansdotter line Sylvia! You guys know how obsessed I am with anything Lotta related. I even have Lotta washi tape thanks to my pal Holly! I am currently planning on covering my house in these prints to match my fave rug. I can't wait to show you them and when I may get some too!!!!! I love being sneaky...hehe.

Then I have been drooling and I mean drooling over the gorgeous new line Sweet As Honey from the oh so insanely talented Bonnie Christine from Going Home to Roost for Art Gallery Fabrics! Seriously, even my package that came with my fabrics from her was drool worthy! I'll be showing you all what I will be making on the 25th as I'm lucky enough to be part of her Sweet As Honey Blog Tour! There have been some lovely projects made already! You can see them all here!

And those last 2 pics above...yep....that lovely stacked pile of goodies? I get so excited just looking at it! I loooove that everything in that pile is made by me (sans the wood buttons)! I hope to wear some of them this weekend! That's right! That is what I'm packing for our trip tomorrow!!!! YAY!!!! It's here! Jane and I leave tomorrow for the US! Don't forget we will be at Tolt Yarn and Wool on Thurs night from 6-8pm (come see us!!!) for a signing/trunk show and then you can find us at Vogue Knitting Live in Seattle all weekend! Our trunk show will be up at the Stash Local Booth #310 and we will be doing a book signing on Saturday from 12-2pm! You will be able to see pics from this weekend on my instagram! We can't wait to see all of you! And just in case you are nosy like me the items in the pile are as follows starting from the top of pile...Antrorse, Josephine, Tova, Sigma and Saiph! YAY!

So what have you been making? Any projects you're dreaming about? Grab a cuppa Tim Horton's and join me! Let's chat!!! See you all next week! Happy creating!

Tim Horton's and knitting \\


Josephine Tunic by Made by Rae // Sewn by
Josephine Tunic by Made by Rae // Sewn by
Josephine Tunic by Made by Rae // Sewn by

I recently got some time in to do some sewing for me. One of my goals this year is to sew as much of my wardrobe as possible & I've been having so much fun with it!

When Rae released her newest pattern - Josephine I knew I had to make it right away! Luckily I had just gotten my hands on Dear Stella's new line Ludlow that is a lovely cotton shirting! I fell madly for this adorable floral print Rosebuds that I thought would pair nicely with the feminine pleats and style of this tunic! As some of you discussed on instagram...I feel very Anne of Green Gables in this dress and love every bit of it! The puffy sleeves, pleats....need I say more? I looooooove Anne of Green Gables so this dress just makes me happy.

Josephine is filled with options! It's an awesome pattern but the best part - you can make it for your bust size!!! You can choose to make either A/B cup or C/D cup! I swear I did a happy dance Rae! I had to make zero adjustments for my bust! And not for the back either! That is a win win for me!!!! Plus those pleats - so fun to sew!!!! I loved that detail! I decided to make Option A but with the back of Option B (the elastic waist)! See - options! You can mix and match!

Josephine Tunic by Made by Rae // Sewn by

I can't wait to make another one with a more flowy fabric so I can try out the wider sleeve with elastic on the cuff! I think the blouse version will be next for me in a lovely solid! Rae's patterns are always clear to follow and easy to sew! I highly recommend Josephine especially for someone looking to hide some of those "parts" they don't want to highlight. This dress skims over the tummy instead of highlighting my problem area! It's a great length so I can show my legs but I also don't feel like my bust is exposed and I like that! It's nice to have a cute tunic that I can wear doing all my daily errands but can still play with the kids in since I don't have cleavage falling out everywhere!

I sewed the size XL for upper portion of the dress and graded out to the XXL for the lower. Now that I've sewed this one up though I would just make the XL for the whole dress next time. I didn't need the excess fabric that I thought I would for the waist/skirt portion. Since I'd like to try one without the elastic casing on the back this would be a must make adjustment for me. Before the elastic casing this tunic was way too big on my hips/back portion. Overall though Josephine will be a repeat sew in my house. I cannot wait to make another one!!!

Josephine Tunic by Made by Rae // Sewn by
Josephine Tunic by Made by Rae // Sewn by
Josephine Tunic by Made by Rae // Sewn by

I paired my Josephine with some cute boots, black leggings and my fave socks! How would you wear Josephine? What fabric are you going to use? Options you're making? Have you made one already? I can't wait to hear!
 Tunic: Josephine by Made by Rae
Size Made: XL graded out to XXL
Fabric: Rosebuds from Ludlow by Dear Stella
Boots: Payless Shoe Store

P.s. Yes, I know my little size tag says "L". It's for large. I like to label my clothing what size I would wear from a store (ready to wear) instead of my "sewing pattern size". Weird I know but it's how I remember what size I sewed.