Monday, April 29, 2019

Jurassic Hoodies

It's been a long time since I've done much sewing for the little boys that didn't involve a Halloween costume or Christmas Eve pjs, but I've had this dino fabric sitting in my stash for almost a year now.  It was a pre-order from Saskatchewan based Blended Threads last spring and since the boys were obsessed with anything Jurassic Park/World this seemed like the perfect fabric for them.  I meant to make them hoodies last year and then got distracted by a million other projects and left it sitting in my fabric bin thinking I'd get to it "next".

Well, I finally got to it just before the Easter weekend. Now I should do something with the batman, hockey, wildlife, etc lengths of fabric I've bought for them over the last two years too... When I mentally take stock of all that fabric I've bought with all the best intentions I realize how really bad I am at this "stick-to-it-ive-ness" thing when it comes to plans.  LOL

Baby steps.  We'll go with that.  One fabric at a time... So starting with the dino fabric, which is the same great quality as all the fabrics I've bought from Blended Threads, I decided to make the New Horizons*  Summit Peak Hoodie.  The Blended Threads Facebook group had recently done a Summit  sew along and I was feeling pretty inspired by all the great hoodies I had seen during it.

Having not made any kids patterns from New Horizons before, I thought it would make sense to make the 12 and try it on both boys first and see how the sizing looked before making the second one, figuring it would be easy to go up a size or down a size depending on which kiddo that the first one didn't fit. In the end it fit both of them pretty well, so the first one became Baby Boy's and while it's a touch long on him, it actually fits really well.  I also made a size 12 for Little Man, but added length to it, because although he's slender, he's long and lanky, gets taller by the minute and if it fits him around, it's almost guaranteed to be short on him in no time at all.

I had two metres of the dino fabric and then a yard of the charcoal grey from The Fabric Snob and a yard of the khaki green from Midnight Mountain Fabrics.  Both are a cotton/lycra blend and both are the same nice quality as the cotton/lycra dinos.

I had initially planned on doing both the hoodies with the green, but then decided to go with the grey partly because I was worried I'd be cutting it close with the amount of fabric (I think I figured I'd be short by about half a waistband if I remember correctly) and having a slight difference would save a whole lot of "HE'S WEARING MY HOODIE" type arguments.

I love how the hoodies turned out.  More importantly the boys love them!  Being cotton/lycra they've been perfect for the on again off again spring weather we've been having too! They were really quick to sew (always a bonus!).  The instructions were really straight forward - I did do a bit of head scratching at first over the pocket, but then watched a quick YouTube video on how to sew it, and after I watched it of course the instructions seemed perfectly clear and I have no idea why I was confused in the first place.  I think it was a case of over thinking things too much.  I put eyelets in the hoods for a draw string, but haven't managed to actually thread one through yet.  I should really do that one of these days.  (I was just planning to cut a strip of the solid CL and yet somehow as simple a task as that is, I haven't quite got around to it... )

I do have all three of the Summit Peak Hoodie patterns so want to make the adult sized versions too.   I want a pullover hoodie for myself and have quite a nice stash of floral french terry I could use (my french terry Halifax hoodie, that I'm pretty sure I never blogged about, is one of my most worn tops - in fact I'm wearing it today as I type this - so I'd love another design in french terry!).  For my husband, I think I'll do the zip up version and need to order a suitable cotton lycra or french terry for his.

First things first though. I'm in the middle of a pants sewing endeavour right now and must focus on that before I dive headlong into any new projects.  Someone get the mental blinders on me quickly so I don't get distracted by all the other ideas floating around my head...

Tuesday, April 23, 2019


So, after taking a bit of a break from pattern testing I dove back in recently and I'm happy to report that during my hiatus nothing has changed with Itch to Stitch* designing and pattern drafting.  It's still the same amazing quality as always, with the same careful attention paid to every detail!  I'm always so impressed every time I sew an Itch to Stitch pattern.

This time around I tested the Isidro top, which is releasing today, and I'm telling you that this is a top you will definitely want need in your wardrobe all summer long and can tell you one of the testers, who lives in the Southern hemisphere, and I were just chatting in our Facebook group about how Isidro layered with a cozy Aveiro cardi would be perfect for getting you through the colder months as well!

Itch to Stitch Isidro

Let's get down to all the important details!  Isidro is a simple little knit top that features gentle gathers at the centre front of the neckline.  It can be a sleeveless top finished with bands along the armscye or you can add sweet gathered butterfly sleeves.  I love the practical layering potential and perfect for warm weather sleeveless version, but I also love the feminine touch the gathered butterfly sleeve too which feels like a dressed up version of a comfy summer t-shirt!  The best part of the butterfly sleeve is that the inside of the armscye also uses the same bands as the sleeveless version giving it such a polished finish.

My first version was made from a random clearance purchase - pretty sure it was from Marshall's Northwest, but maybe from Fabricland - it's of unknown fibre content, and quite thin but despite it's thinness it has a bit of structure too it.

Itch to Stitch Isidro Photo 2

The pattern was so quick to sew up - which in my books is always a bonus when I'm busy going in a million different directions at once.  While it's nice to be able to sew something a little more involved when I have the chance, there is something definitely satisfying about an instant gratification project that can be sewn in a fairly short chunk of quiet time!  As per usual too, the fit was pretty much spot on for me.  My standard 1 1/2" added length to accommodate that 10" waist length I possess and a bit of blending sizes at the hip and I was good to go!

My second version is made from a tri-blend jersey I picked up from the "affordable knits" section of The Fabric Snob several months ago likely on sale as well (I'm nothing if not thrifty! LOL)

The fabric is very soft, and has a lovely drape to it, which made it perfect for the butterfly sleeves I thought!  I can't seem to get enough of fluttery sleeves these days.  They really are my favourite!

I have so many more versions I want to make because I really think this will be a wardrobe staple for me!  If you want to get your copy of Isidro while it's on sale for the release week, head on over to the Itch to Stitch site!  It's 20% at the moment and I think you'll find you're just as happy with it as I am!  I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Pasta Pomondoro with Italian Sausage

Well, this is a bit different!  It's been approximately forever since I posted a recipe (and I'm still definitely no food blogger/photographer by any stretch of the imagination), but given how long it took me the other day to find the piece of paper I jotted down the ingredients on years ago, I thought it might be handy to just pop it up here on the blog.  If for no other reason, I will be able to find it again next time I want to make it.  I'd forgotten how tasty this dish is until I was grocery shopping with my husband the other day and he reminded me of it and asked if I could make it again soon.  Its pretty quick and easy so I made it on the weekend after we'd had a busy day running around doing errands.

The "recipe" is something I came up with about 15 years or more ago after having a similar dish in a restaurant.

Not sure why I was using 1/4 cup of oil at the time - that seems really quite excessive! So we'll just ignore that and carry on and I'll tell you how I made it the other night!


1 package of Italian sausages, mild or hot
Angel Hair (Capellini) pasta

2 TBSP Oil
1 white or yellow onion (medium sized), chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 cup of chicken broth
2 TBSP Balsamic vinegar
red pepper flakes (to taste - I just did a light sprinkle)
2 TBSP basil (I'm really liking the organic freeze dried basil in a jar right now while the herb garden is still buried under eleventy billion feet of snow)
salt and pepper to taste
small can of sliced black olives
1 TBSP capers
grated parmesan cheese


Pre-heat oven to 375*F
Poke sausages with a fork so the grease drains out when cooking, then place on rack on a pan (or on  a broiler pan) and bake in oven for approximately 25 minutes or until fully cooked.  Remove and let cool slightly then slice into pieces and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil then saute onion, garlic and red pepper together until soft.  Then add in the sausage pieces you set aside earlier.  Add the remaining ingredients except the parmesan cheese, turn to low and let simmer until it reduces.

In the meantime, prepare the pasta according to package directions.

Once the sauce has simmered enough for your liking (really it's all preference and how patient and/or hungry you are - there's no right amount of time or amount it needs to reduce if you want it a bit runnier, leave it less time, thicker and leave it longer.)

To serve you can top the pasta with the sauce or you can mix it all together in the pot first - I've done it both ways!  Garnish with parmesan cheese and enjoy!  Leftovers freeze and reheat well too by the way!