reusable mask pattern

Had a vir­tu­al hang­out with my fam­i­ly fol­low­ing the pub­lic health announce­ment rec­om­mend­ing the wear­ing of home­made face masks when in sit­u­a­tions where prop­er dis­tanc­ing can’t be eas­i­ly followed. 

My mom said, why don’t you keep your­self busy and make some masks?

When we moved last spring I donat­ed all of my fab­ric stash to the art ther­a­py school for their pup­petry course, because I was try­ing to min­i­mize the amount of things we had to move. I kept, how­ev­er, a piece of fab­ric that was gift­ed to me along with some tobac­co from a woman who was part of an expres­sive arts group that I co-facil­i­tat­ed 7 or 8 years ago. Over the years I nev­er found a project that was worth using this gift. I also had anoth­er piece of vin­tage flo­ral cot­ton that I bought from Etsy and was sav­ing for mak­ing a dress (that I would nev­er wear any­way). So, mirac­u­lous­ly, I had fab­ric to work with.

Mike found this video tuto­r­i­al, which is by far the best one I’ve seen. It’s straight­for­ward, easy, and has fil­ter pocket.

The liv­ing room/corner now a mask-mak­ing station.

So I’ve been mak­ing them for friends and fam­i­ly, espe­cial­ly those who are still work­ing in essen­tial ser­vice roles. The gift that keeps on giv­ing. Final­ly a project worth using the fab­ric for.

It’s a good pat­tern that works well, form-fit­ting to the face.

I did­n’t use elas­tics for the ears because I don’t have enough of it, and I was read­ing that elas­tics irri­tate the ears any­way. So I cro­cheted the ties.

Run­ning out of fab­ric soon, ordered some from a local yarn store, eweknit. If you’re in the Toron­to area and want to buy fab­rics, please con­sid­er sup­port­ing them — they’re offer­ing 20% off till end of April and free ship­ping over $75.

If you don’t have a sewing machine, the CDC also has how-to’s for no-sew ver­sions using a t‑shirt or a ban­dan­na and some hair elastics. 

If you do sew and want to sup­port front­line work­ers in Ontario, masks can be donat­ed to the Michael Gar­ron Hos­pi­tal, Tril­li­um Health Part­ners, this Face­book group that coor­di­nates mask orders and dis­tri­b­u­tion, Sew for TO, and The Sewing Army. (There may be oth­ers, these are the ones I know of.) 

Hope you’re stay­ing well as you’re read­ing this, and please wear a mask if you must go out so as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble can stay well too.



holiday crafting

I was wait­ing until the last presents were opened to post this :D And by the way, if you’re vis­it­ing because of the grown-up cardi­gan, thanks so much for drop­ping by! I don’t think I’ve ever had that many views in a day before. Thanks so much for check­ing out the pattern!

So, hol­i­day craft­ing! This bon­sai is a cus­tom order. I’ve nev­er made any­thing like this so it was all an exper­i­ment. I nev­er real­ly do prepara­to­ry sketch­es (or check gauge, or make swatch­es) but I actu­al­ly drew a pic­ture of how I want­ed the branch­es to twist this way and that. It did­n’t turn out look­ing like the pic­ture at all after I insert­ed the sculpt­ing wires, they seem to have a mind of their own? But I’m glad it worked out look­ing like a bon­sai any­way :D

bonsai 1

And we even had a bon­sai pot hid­den away in our clos­et, wait­ing for years to be used for this of course! It was from a bon­sai that did­n’t live :( appar­ent­ly few peo­ple can keep a bon­sai alive for long — hence the need for a bon­sai that nev­er dies!

And I added a tiny gnome because I thought the bon­sai looked a bit lone­ly. Here’s a close up of the gnome. It was cro­cheted with embroi­dery floss with a 2.3mm hook (2.3 is kind of an odd size for a cro­chet hook don’t you think? But that’s what it says on the hook… any­way, I digress).

bonsai 2

He’s kind of like a can­dy corn, except with eyes and a beard. Maybe I can even make a can­dy corn gnome in the fall… I like the gnome so much that I put him in the shop :D With a new and improved extra fuzzy beard. He is a pin :)

wee gnome

And then Mike request­ed a tiny yeti pin for his co-work­er who is rather fond of yetis. So I thought I could use the same method as the tiny yeti, except with the thinnest yarn I have and the trusty 2.3mm hook…

Behold the tini­est yeti!

tiniest yeti

Does­n’t he look like he’s ready to give the most sin­cere hug? :D He’s in the shop as well. Both the gnome and the yeti are about an inch tall. My hand is in the pic­tures for scale.

And I made these for Mike — they’re soot spir­it hand warm­ers :D

soot warmers

I decid­ed to make hand warm­ers for Mike because his hands get real­ly cold in the win­ter, to the point where he has dif­fi­cul­ties typ­ing when he first gets into work in the morn­ing. So I thought these would work great if he pops them in the microwave for 30 sec­onds before he heads out to sub­way to work in the morn­ing and before he heads home from the office at night. There are many tuto­ri­als on the web show­ing how to make them (with rice inside). But because I have black flan­nel on hand I thought it would make real­ly great soot spir­its! They appear in My Neigh­bour Totoro and Spir­it­ed Away. Here’s a love­ly video mon­tage of them in action if you haven’t seen the movies already :D

Also made these for my friend’s shop, cat ear­rings and necklace!

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

cat 3

I bought them from a local Etsy sell­er, Yum Yum Objects. The shop own­er is super friend­ly, and the pack­age was wrapped in book pages and pat­tern tis­sue, with extra cat beads! The cat beads are a beau­ti­ful translu­cent grey that have an iri­des­cent qual­i­ty to it in the light. And so of course I have to imme­di­ate­ly make myself a neck­lace (and a pair of ear­rings) when the beads came in the mail! :D I’ve been wear­ing it for the past few days. So excited.

I also knit­ted and cro­cheted an assort­ment of scarfs/neckwarmers, a shawl, a hat, a few brooches and a loop stitch bath­mat for var­i­ous fam­i­ly mem­bers, but did­n’t take pic­tures of them. Aaaand there’s one more gift that I haven’t yet men­tioned because it will come with a pat­tern! So stay tuned! :D

Have a won­der­ful week everyone!


going away outfit

So, when we were plan­ning our wed­ding 7 years ago I learned of this term, “going away out­fit”. It’s sup­posed to be the out­fit that the bride changes into when the cou­ple leaves the recep­tion to go on their hon­ey­moon (at least that’s what I heard).

I nev­er had any dress change dur­ing my wed­ding, let alone a going away out­fit. But sum­mer trips are also great oppor­tu­ni­ties to make new clothes! Last year I made a new shirt for our trip to Chicago.

And so this year I thought I’d make a new shirt too. Brings new mean­ing to the idea of a “going away out­fit”. The new shirt is made from a thrift­ed shirt from Black Mar­ket. There was this whole lot of them and they looked brand new. Over­stock that’s been sit­ting in some base­ment for years, I guess? They all fea­tured exag­ger­at­ed pointy col­lar. I think it’s a love­ly shirt, the pointy col­lar is quirky, my friend bought the same shirt and she looks super fab­u­lous in it. It just… did­n’t look like some­thing I would wear. But I LOVE the print.

So I removed the col­lar, cut the sleeves short, took in the sides a bit, and hemmed the neck and sleeve edges. Bet­ter, isn’t it?

black market

I’m even able to pre­serve the pock­et! And I love its length. Here’s a clos­er look at the love­ly print.

black market 2

But next time I’ve real­ly got to mea­sure. I cut away too much fab­ric around the sleeves and it almost did­n’t fit, had to reduce the seam allowance to 1/4″ (>_<) I’ve real­ly got to mea­sure from now on…

These shirts were 5 bucks each! Maybe I should get a cou­ple more with dif­fer­ent prints…

SO! Where are we going, you ask? Que­bec! Haven’t been there since my fam­i­ly took a bus tour there when I was a kid. Can’t wait to see it again with new eyes. Will be post­ing pic­tures when we’re back, of course!

Wish­ing you a fab­u­lous week with fun and inspir­ing adven­tures, wher­ev­er you are :)


trip to the capital city


Two weeks ago we went to Ottawa for my cous­in’s wed­ding. It was a rather short trip but we got to vis­it the Rideau Canal before head­ing home. The fall colours were love­ly. And I found an owl! :D



The wed­ding was held at this cas­tle-like hotel. It was one of the most glam­orous wed­dings I’ve ever been invit­ed to, and so very hap­py to see my cousin mar­ry­ing her true love! :D



So through­out the sum­mer I worked on adding a sash to this dress so it looks a bit more for­mal for the occasion…



… and I clipped this fab­ric flower I made on the back. I also bought this vin­tage porce­lain rose ear­ring and neck­lace set from a very friend­ly shop own­er on Etsy. I thought it matched my dress well :) 



The hotel was right next door to Par­lia­ment Hill. A lev­i­tat­ing pho­to is in order.



Hope every­one’s hav­ing a good weekend! 


weekend quick sew


I inher­it­ed a bit of pale yel­low eye­let fab­ric from my mom, but it was­n’t quite enough to make a whole square top, so I made a sort of colour block top :D

The sleeves were stick­ing out too much off my shoul­ders so I sewed some elas­tic on it.


Have a great week everyone!

what to do with a too-wide collar

I have a t‑shirt that has gone through a cou­ple of refash­ions, and to refash­ion it again I had to cut more off the col­lar, result­ing in a neck­line that was way too wide (it was a shirt that was big on me to start with). It was prac­ti­cal­ly falling off my shoul­ders and I could­n’t wear it :(

It was still a per­fect­ly good shirt so I was deter­mined to make it wearable. 



And after some exper­i­men­ta­tion, it trans­formed into a tank top :D total­ly wearable!


I should also men­tion that I gave it a bit of galaxy treat­ment before the refash­ion. (There are many galaxy shirt tuto­ri­als in the blo­gos­phere, but if you’re inter­est­ed in what I did, it was sort of a com­bi­na­tion of this and this.)

I thought I’d share the refash­ion process here, in case you, too, have a shirt with a too-wide col­lar, or if you have a t‑shirt that is ask­ing to be trans­formed into a tank top :D

In the lat­ter case, you can start by cut­ting around the col­lar of a t‑shirt to make a wider neck­line. On my shirt I have about 1.5 inch­es left between the neck­line and the shoul­der seam. You can cut the cuffs off the sleeves as well.

And now the t‑shirt is ready for trans­for­ma­tion! :D

1. First, I put on the t‑shirt. I then flip one sleeve up and inside out, so that the edge of the sleeve meets the top of my shoul­der. Fold the sleeve inside out all the way around, includ­ing under the arm. I had to kept pulling and adjust­ing here and there to make sure that the front of the shirt is not sagging. Repeat with the oth­er sleeve. 



2. Pin the sleeve to the shirt in the front and under­arm, as fol­lows… (the shirt is still on me at this point… my phone cam­era just did a weird thing with the white bal­ance which made my skin look all washed out)

Photo 121438


3. Very care­ful­ly (to avoid being pricked by the pins) take off the shirt, and pin the sleeves on the back.

Photo 121835


4. And now very care­ful­ly put the shirt back on again. Take the out­er edge of the now fold­ed sleeve and fold it in half, up to the shoul­der and all the way around. 

Photo 122309


5. Then tuck any excess mate­r­i­al under, like so…

Photo 122514


6. Pin the new­ly formed shoul­der strap through all the lay­ers. Repeat steps 4–6 with the oth­er sleeve.

Photo 122722


7. Very care­ful­ly take off the shirt, and re-pin around the arm­holes to secure the folds made in step 4. 


Photo 123231

Here you can adjust the folds to make them more neat, then pin them down. Try to place the pins so that they look sym­met­ri­cal on the shirt. I placed the pins in the under­arms, top of shoul­ders, mid-front, and mid-back.

Photo 123158


8. Final­ly, with dou­bled thread, sew through all lay­ers for two inch­es or so where the pins are placed. I hid my stitch­es by sewing along old serged seams where pos­si­ble. I used black thread to match the shirt so you can’t see my stitch­es, but I drew a zigzag line to show you what I mean…

Photo 12456


Ta-da! A new shirt! :D



Per­fect for soak­ing up the last bit of glo­ri­ous sum­mer before fall arrives :D

May your week­end be filled with awesomeness!


out of the flame…

… grows a peony!

out of the flame

There are lots and lots of tuto­ri­als for these fab­ric flow­ers and I’ve long been fas­ci­nat­ed by them, but I was just a bit intim­i­dat­ed by the fact that it involves using an open flame. Recent­ly I’ve been work­ing on sewing a belt to this dress (you will see the result lat­er in the fall :D) but acci­den­tal­ly cut the fab­ric too short (this hap­pens ALL the time with my sewing. When will I ever learn to mea­sure prop­er­ly?) so I need­ed a large-ish fab­ric flower to hide the gap between the ends of the belt. So! I final­ly con­jured up the courage to make this.

I fol­lowed this peony tuto­r­i­al on Crea­ture Com­forts. I must say, the small flame of a tea light is hot­ter than I thought. I was hold­ing the fab­ric sev­er­al inch­es above the flame and it still curled up rather quick­ly. The fab­ric also caught on fire a few times :S Just a real­ly small flame, which I quick­ly blew out.

This is the first round of curl­ing before the petals were cut. I took a pho­to of it because I thought it looked like the cap of a jel­ly fish :D


And this is the fin­ished peony! :D


The petals aren’t cut exact­ly the way the tuto­r­i­al instruct­ed, main­ly because I for­got how they were cut and did­n’t both­er to look it up again… but I think it looks alright! I sewed pearly beads in the centre.

This was a lot of fun! I think I will make more of these with oth­er kinds of fab­ric! The chif­fon I used was the same mate­r­i­al I used for the dress and it’s real­ly light, so maybe that’s why it caught on fire so easily…? 

As for how it will look on the dress… it will be posi­tioned on the cen­tre back of the waist because of the belt, and the first com­ment that Mike made was, “would­n’t it look like a rab­bit’s tail?“ 


I haven’t tried it on. It is indeed a pret­ty fluffy flower. We will see…

Hope you’re hav­ing a good week! :D


new top!

I made this tank top and brought it on our trip to Chica­go. It was per­fect for the heat wave that hit us (day­time temp of 40°C+!!) dur­ing the trip.

new top 1

I bought this fab­ric from a craft show last year. Prob­a­bly a good mate­r­i­al to make dress shirts or blous­es, but I don’t have pat­terns to make those. I just traced a tank top that I had, and after all the seams were sewn I hemmed all the raw edges by rolling them in a cou­ple of times and sewing them in place. After the top was made I thought adding a pock­et would make it look more inter­est­ing with the diag­o­nal stripes. 

Pret­ty rudi­men­ta­ry. I did­n’t even mea­sure, which result­ed in the top being too nar­row when it was first made, so I resort­ed to adding a strip of fab­ric on each side under the arm. You can kind of see it in this picture…

new top 2

… which made the arm­holes a bit too big, but I don’t mind it too much. Oh yes, and I make a diag­o­nal hem­line where the back is longer than the front. It was kind of an exper­i­ment. I keep see­ing dress­es and skirts with that kind of hem­line and was won­der­ing if I just have to cut the fab­ric diag­o­nal­ly to achieve the “high-low” effect. 

And we took the pho­tos while walk­ing through Grant Park :D

Next time I make a tank top I can prob­a­bly trace this one, except make the arm­holes small­er. Mea­sur­ing before cut­ting would prob­a­bly be a good idea too :P

Hope every­one’s hav­ing a good week!


pocketed, lined, with waistband, whoa!

I love to sew. But I don’t real­ly use pat­terns, and I bare­ly measure.

Most of what I sew are sim­ple square tops and shape­less dress­es (actu­al­ly, they do have shapes, they are rec­tan­gles and, if I’m feel­ing adven­tur­ous, trapezoids).

Then one day, I sud­den­ly thought that it would be a good idea to have a gath­ered skirt. It would be use­ful for semi-for­mal events and such. I took a trip to the local thrift store but could­n’t find any­thing that I liked. Then I went home, and saw this tuto­r­i­al.

It was the per­fect gath­ered skirt! A skirt I think I can make… 

And here it is! A skirt! With a waist! :D



It’s the per­fect tuto­r­i­al part­ly because it does­n’t have a zip­per. I don’t know how to install a zip­per. I avoid tuto­ri­als with zip­pers. It looks nice and flat and dressy on the front, and has an elas­tic on the back :D



I bought this sweet laven­der fab­ric a long time ago and nev­er knew what to do with it. It’s now put to good use!



I used less fab­ric than what is used in the tuto­r­i­al. Instead of 45″ across for each of the front and back pieces, I used 37″ and it’s quite pouffy. I also sewed on a skirt lin­ing that has the same cir­cum­fer­ence as the waistband.

Pock­ets! :D


And as you might have noticed — a new hair­do! For the sum­mer :D

It was fun to make, and not too dif­fi­cult (except I messed up the part about sewing on the elas­tic and end­ed up spend­ing near­ly an hour try­ing to get an elas­tic into the waist­band with­out a safe­ty pin or any­thing to guide it). I think I might make anoth­er one with the vin­tage bed sheet I bought last sum­mer :D

Have a sweet rest of the week!


summer sewing begins :D

Sum­mer sewing begins with a ban­dana dress :D

bandana dress 3


It actu­al­ly start­ed as a ban­dana top last sum­mer, made with two ban­danas, each cut in half, then sewed togeth­er in the mid­dle-front, mid­dle-back, and side seams, leav­ing space for arm­holes and a v‑neck.

But it did­n’t look right when I tried it on. It was pouf­ing out in all sorts of strange places. I got dis­cour­aged and left it in the clos­et for the entire fall and win­ter. Then recent­ly I thought maybe if I extend it into a dress it might drape more nice­ly. So I went back to Hon­est Ed’s where I found the ban­danas, and was able to find two more in the exact same colour and pat­tern! Almost could­n’t believe it.

I sewed the two ban­danas into a tube to make a skirt, then sewed them to the top at waist line.

This is the back of it…

bandana dress 1

It clear­ly need­ed some waist shap­ing, so I used the same trick as I did with this top, with but­tons and but­ton loops. I real­ly like the blue but­tons on the brown/white/orange pat­tern :D

bandana dress 2


(Please excuse the out of focus pho­tos :S)

Can’t wait for the weath­er to be warm enough to wear it out­side :D


Hap­py May!