Category Archives: Handmade Therapy Shops

Sourcing Fabric

IMG_9248The question I get asked the most when I’m selling at craft sales, and when people hear I sew is “Where do you buy your fabric?”.  You’d think, living in a large city would mean lots of really great, affordable fabric stores but unfortunately that’s not case.  I’ve heard good things about a couple of smaller quilt shops in Calgary but non of them are near the area of the city I live in and lets be honest, I don’t really want to take kids to the fabric store regardless of how near, or far it is.

This means that I buy about 90% of my fabrics online.  The only big exception to that are the solid fleece fabrics I use on my Baby Booties which I buy at Fabricland.  So far they seem to carry the best quality of solid fleece fabrics that I’ve found anywhere.

So where do I buy my fabric?

I would guess that around 70% of the fabrics I buy are from  I kind of have a love hate relationship with but it’s the most convenient place for me to source supplies.  It’s a give and take.  The pros fall in the line of most affordable, largest selection, and fairly quick delivery time.  Note that I said delivery time, not shipping time. is horrendous for shipping your order quickly.  It used to be better, but in the last year I’ve found that it’s a solid week to ten days from when I order to when it’s shipped.  Thankfully once it has shipped it’s usually at my door by late afternoon.

Another pro to is that they tend to carry a fabric print for a lot longer than most places.  That means that when I make a bag, dress, or pair of booties that sell really well I can be fairly confident that I’ll be able to keep that item stocked for a long time.  I also love that they carry a wide selection of notions and patterns so I can get the majority of my supplies delivered to my door.  Another bonus is their large selection of organic cotton, which can be next to impossible to find at our local big fabric chain, Fabricland.

Customer service at can be either really good, or really bad.  I’ve had excellent service when I received a wrong item, and I’ve had terrible service more than once in regards to items being out of stock that I had ordered.  All in all I’d say they do not have reliably good customer services, but they do have their moments.



A.L. Francis Designs

All my waxed canvas comes from A.L. Francis Designs on Etsy.  The quality is fantastic, prices are really good, and I’ve been more than happy with shipping times and customer service.

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When I’m looking for something a little more unique I browse Etsy for fabric shops.  There’s a great mix of small fabric shops, and gorgeous hand printed fabrics available so it’s usually where I go to splurge on something really nice.


I haven’t ordered through Spoonflower very often, but when I have I’ve been very happy.  My favorite part is that when I’m ordereing fabric I’m also supporting an independent fabric designer and that always makes me happy.  I very recently purchased some fabric from a Calgary local designer, Tara Put and I look forward to turning her gorgeous designs into a bag.

Thrift Stores:

Thrift stores are a fabulous place to buy fabric.  Sometimes you’re not successful in finding usable, great fabrics, but when you do it’s so worth it.  The prices can’t be beat, and you can feel good about using fabric that might otherwise have been thrown out.


Of course with finding great fabric shops, you also sometimes don’t have the best experiences either.  Here’s are some thoughts on places I most likely won’t buy from again.

Girl Charlee Fabrics:

I’ve been continually disappointed with the quality of the knits I’ve ordered from Girl Charlee.  Often the fabric fades and pills quite quickly.  Aside from that, I have ordered from them a lot in the past.  I was a big fan of their bargain lot sales as the prices were unbeatable, and the slightly flawed bundles were great for using to sew either a new pattern or clothes for the kids.  A few months ago however, they stopped shipping the bargain lots outside of the USA.  That kind of rubbed me the wrong way so I really can’t see myself purchasing from them again.

Where do you purchase your fabrics?  Do you have any amazing shops to add to my compiled list?




Canadian Christmas

There’s a big sale happening on Etsy, members of the Canadian Collective are offering discounts anywhere from 10%-20% off in their shops with the coupon code canadianchristmas . Both of my shops are offering 10% off but it’s only until the 24th!

The above shops are all offering discounts and if you click through you’ll see a few more.

I just added several new items to both of my shops so if you’ve been eyeing up Christmas gifts, now is the time.  Holiday shipping cutoffs are happening really soon!


Canvas Tote Bag


Nordic Snowflake Booties


Wrist Key Fob


Etsy: Made In Canada Day!

Made-In-Canada_1200x627_EN_grayIn two short weeks, all across Canada markets will be popping up in select cities!  Calgary’s location will take place at Symons Valley Ranch and includes some really fantastic vendors.  Not only will you be able to shop from 40+ different locally based Etsy sellers, you’ll also be able to shop the Farmer’s Market!

Below are some of the Etsy Vendors participating in Calgary’s Etsy Made in Canada Day

 MICbeckywarren  bubblegumsass chikaando cosmikgoo craftedbylindy creationzbycatherine  follyatet glimpseglass gregoireprint harmonygrace hekkalandhyde  jenneafriskecuriouscatvintage jewelnotes joyoflittle kiwitini knitatude logeephotography lovespurelight magpiequilts mammothbeard medicineriversoap natureofcraftythings oldwolfs pictorialromance quadrophoic quirefy RainyGator handmadetherapykidssidonieyang sleepyhollowleather thebleacedtee tickledcherub tinged tribessoceity twistedlinks urbanglassglowart  weethingmee handmadetherapy


In addition to all the great shopping we will have a photo booth set up so come prepared to dress up a little, take some pics, and share!

The first 50 customers to make it through the Etsy doors (located in the bottom level of the market, through the marked doors) will receive a pretty amazing Swag Bag!  I’ve been collecting swag from all the vendors over the past few weeks and I have to say I’m sincerely disappointed I can’t get a Swag Bag for myself!

We have a couple of other exciting things in the work for the Market as well and will keep everyone updated through our Facebook Event Page.

You can also find the Calgary event on twitter: @EtsyCalgaryMIC and see what else is happening with the other markets across the country with the hashtag #etsymadeincanada

Want to learn more about Etsy Made In Canada?  Watch the video below or go to the Etsy Made In Canada homepage to find a market near you.




The Market will take place from 10:00am – 5:00pm at Symons Valley Ranch 1455 Symons Valley Road Northwest Calgary,AB


The Satchel Bag

Satchel Bag

This Spring’s Sew Fab Sale includes my own pattern, The Satchel Bag!  The Satchel Bag is one of my best selling patterns.  It’s an easy pattern, no zippers, no fancy stitching, and it has a nice simple look that can be changed up easily with different fabrics.

Satchel Bag

I love a good canvas bag, which is pretty obvious by my choices in fabrics.  A nice organic cotton canvas is actually pretty easy to find, which makes me love using it even more.

Satchel Bag

Satchel Bag
HT 008 Satchel Bag

I get most of my organic cotton canvas from and all my purse hardware from a great shop called Tantalizing Stitches.

Today is your last chance to purchase The Satchel Bag through the Sew Fab Bundle!  The sale ends tonight!

Read more about the Sew Fab Bundle below!

For one week only, you can have nineteen patterns (plus a fun bonus pattern), chosen specifically for this sale, for only $29.95!  That’s over 80% off the retail value of the bundle!  Plus you can enter to win one of two amazing sewing themed giveaways!

For less than $30 you get a library of sewing resources that you can use over and over again.

Buy It Now

If you’ve never sewn with a PDF pattern before, let me tell you how great it is!  After downloading your pattern, you will print out the pattern itself, creating pattern tiles, if you will.  Simply tape the tiles together to create the full pattern!  At that point you can cut out the size that you need and pin the paper pattern directly to your fabric, or you can trace the pattern size that you need onto sewing paper or tracing paper and cut it out, saving the paper pattern for later when you need to sew another size.  PDF patterns are so convenient because you can print them out as many times as you need!

Now for the part you’ve been waiting for… the patterns!

A collection of 19 PDF Patterns from 19 well-known and up and coming designers are instantly accessible to you by PDF download upon purchase of the Sew Fab Pattern Bundle.  Imagine all of the combinations that you can put together with this bundle of patterns, with many transitioning to fall and winter as well!  Here are the patterns that you will receive (click on the links below the collage for more  information about each pattern.):

Sew Fab Spring 2014 collage

The Laurel Dress or Tunic by Greenstyle Creations, The Satchel Bag by Handmade Therapy, The Lexi Knit Dress and Top by MODKID, The Piko Top by EYMM, The Bowling Shirt from Scientific Seamstress (unisex), The Seraphic Pant by Figgy’s (unisex), The Tulip Pinafore by Too Sweets Patterns, The Big Tote Bag by Things for Boys, The Doll and Carrier by Patchwork Posse, Poppy and Pip Penguins by Betz White, Leather Accent Foldover Pouch by LBG Studio, The Norah Dress and Tunic by Mouse House Creations, Crayon Art Folio by Gingercake, The Tennis Skort (12M-12Y) by Heidi & Finn, The Ruffled Bustle Top by Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, Long Beach Board Shorts (unisex) by Terra’s Treasures, The Cupcake Top (unisex) by Sewing Mama RaeAnna, The Saffron Twirl Dress from Paisley Roots Designs, The Sweet Tea Shorties by Molly Blossom Designs.

New this year is the Sew Fab Pattern Tour!  Some of our favorite sewing bloggers will be sharing their versions of the Sew Fab patterns on their blogs this week, so be sure to check in with them throughout the week of the sale to see how versatile these patterns are!  Here are the stops on the pattern tour…

Sew Fab Pattern Tour Graphic

This Sew Fab Pattern Bundle is only available for one week and will never be available again!  You can purchase the bundle from May 5th at 8 a.m. EST through May 13th at 11:59 p.m. EST and there will be no late sales offered.  Due to the nature of the sale there are no refunds. The pattern bundle expires six months from the end of the sale, so please download and save your patterns upon receiving them.

You don’t want to miss this unique opportunity to purchase a ready made collection of 20 PDF sewing patterns from 19 of the best designers out there!

Buy It Now

This post contains affiliate links.  When you purchase the Sew Fab Bundle through those links I earn a percentage of the sale.  Thank you so much for supporting the Sew Fab Sale!  We all appreciate your business!


Long Beach Shorts

Long Beach ShortsA couple of weeks ago I pulled out my older boys’ summer clothes only to realize that ninety percent of their shorts are now too small.  Thankfully shorts are a really quick and easy sew and the Long Beach Shorts from Terra’s Treasures are no exception.

Long Beach Shorts Long Beach ShortsI love the flat front of these and the piping on the back is a really great detail.  Brayer loves them and Kaed is patiently waiting for a pair for himself.


I used some fabric I picked up years ago, literally.  I had always planned to make shorts out of it but never got around to it.  When I saw the Long Beach Shorts pattern I knew it was time to cut into it.IMG_6360 IMG_6356 Long Beach ShortsThe Long Beach Shorts are a part of the Sew Fab Pattern Bundle. You can purchase yours here!

This post contains affiliate links.  When you purchase the Sew Fab Bundle through those links I earn a percentage of the sale.  Thank you so much for supporting the Sew Fab Sale!  We all appreciate your business!


Kara Tote Sewing Pattern Release

Cover KTote

I finished it! The Kara Tote PDF Sewing Pattern is finished and ready for purchase!  I sent it out to pattern testers on Sunday and a couple of them were so fast at getting back to me I was able to get the pattern up for sale much faster than I had hoped.

2014 02 07_0561_edited-1This is one of my favorite bags.  I’ve been making it for years and it has always been a best seller in my Etsy Shop.

Some of my testers sent in some gorgeous pictures of their Kara Tote.  Erin of Diedelbug Handmade made this amazing bag.

kara tote Kara tote2I love how she switched up the fabric on the straps and handles.

The Kara Tote Sewing Pattern is available for sale in my Etsy Shop as well in my Craftsy Shop.

Simple Organization for Patterns (and Lego manuals, recipes, and more!)

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I’m a PDF Sewing Pattern junkie. I’ll admit it.  I have way more than I’ll probably ever sew and only half of those are already printed out.Blog 065 The problem with having so many patterns is trying to keep them organized and sorted so I don’t  print them out a second time when I can’t find the original one I printed.Blog 060

On top of all the bought PDF Patterns I have I also have all my own patterns and templates to store so I needed some kind of filing system for them that didn’t take up much space.  I thought about a small filing folder but I didn’t really have a place to put one so I went with the same system I use for printed out recipes I want to keep.Blog 064

Now each of my patterns, my own or bought, have their own sheet protector.  I often print out a copy of a pattern I really like several times and cut it out in the different sizes that my kids are wearing.  All the sizes of one pattern go in the same sheet protector.  Then I organize the patterns into categories with binder dividers and the whole stack goes in one monster binder.

I love that I can flip through my binder and visually see each of the patterns.  If it’s not obvious to me which pattern it is I write the name of it on with a sharpie on the plastic sleeve.Blog 061I think it’s time I stop buying new patterns. Or I could just get a second binder.

I use this same system for recipes and recently I put it to use for Lego instruction manuals.  My kids love looking through their old manuals to find something new to build but they kept loosing pages and entire manuals.  Now each kit has it’s own sleeve for all the manuals that came with it.  Most kits only have one manual but some of the bigger Lego sets they’ve gotten have had several.

Blog 068The best part about this is that the kids can flip through the pages and find the manual they want without taking each one out.

Blog 069 Blog 071 Thankfully the Lego manuals still fit in one small binder.

You can get sheet protectors at most office supply stores and department stores.  I bought mine at Costco.

Are there other things you can think of to organize this way?  My next thought was for organizing seed packets…

Fancy Pants – Mustache Style

This post contains affiliate links.  When you purchase the Sew Fab Bundle through those links I earn a percentage of the sale.  Thank you so much for supporting the Sew Fab Sale!

September 2013 324It’s almost November so I figured it was a good time to cut into the mustache fabric I got from Girl Charlee.  I also thought it was a great chance to use that fabric on a pair of Fancy Pants Leggings from Titchy Threads! September 2013 322The Fancy Pants Leggings are part of the Sew Fab Sale that is happening for a just a few more days. September 2013 314 Fancy Pants LeggingsI had been eyeing up this pattern for a while.  I’ve sewn several different legging patterns in the past, some bought and some I just drafted myself but I can confidently say this pattern is my favorite.

September 2013 345I can’t decide if my favorite part is the extra panel on the bum, or the fact that you can make them without any elastic on the waist.  The extra panel is amazing, especially for those cloth diapered bottoms.  Not having to put in an elastic makes the whole project faster and easier than most pants patterns. September 2013 335 September 2013 369I’m a big fan of leggings on babies both because they are super comfy for them and because they work so great with my Baby Booties. Finding leggings that aren’t completely girly however can be seriously difficult.  I think I’ll make Lachlan’s from now on. September 2013 362 September 2013 373Next up I plan to sew a pair of these in Ara’s size and maybe some for the boys in some thermal knit for long john’s!

This post contains affiliate links.  When you purchase the Sew Fab Bundle through those links I earn a percentage of the sale.  Thank you so much for supporting the Sew Fab Sale!

Sally Dress!!

This post contains affiliate links.  When you purchase the Sew Fab Bundle through those links I earn a percentage of the sale.  Thank you so much for supporting the Sew Fab Sale!

September 2013 182
My girl got herself another new dress.  When Shannon released her newest dress pattern, The Sally Dress I knew I wanted to make one for Ara.  One of my favorite things about this pattern is the option for longer sleeves.  It gets cold here so wearing any kind of sleeveless dress in the Winter is just not going to happen.  I’m a little suspicious Shannon included longer sleeves because She’s also Canadian and knows a little about cold, even if she does live in a warmer part of the country!

September 2013 184 The Sally Dress came together nice and quick, always a plus with me and it has such cute details.  I love love love the shoulders on it and Ara is obsessed with the pockets.September 2013 198I love that I can pair this dress with tights or leggings and it’s perfect for cool Autumn days.

September 2013 209Ara loves that she can twirl in it!IMG_3062Cute shoulders hey?

IMG_3069 IMG_3072 The Sally Dress is another great pattern that is included in the Sew Fab Sale Get your bundle here and you get this pattern for just over $1.00!

This post contains affiliate links.  When you purchase the Sew Fab Bundle through those links I earn a percentage of the sale.  Thank you so much for supporting the Sew Fab Sale!

Bimaa Sweater

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So as I mentioned, there is this huge pattern bundle sale going on right now. The Sew Fab Sale and I’m not going to lie, this is my favorite pattern in the bundle.  I guess I can’t really say that because I haven’t had the chance to make every pattern but seriously, I LOVE this pattern.  It’s the Bimaa Sweater by Sarah at Lou Bee Clothing.Bimma Sweater, Red


The fit on it is so great.  I love a nice fitted hoodie on a girl, something about it makes it a bit more feminine, no matter what the print.  I also love the length of the sweater.  Sarah’s instructions and photos are so nice and clear.  Shirt patterns come together pretty quick for me now but I’d say a beginner could sew this sweater as well.September 2013 278 I’ve made this pattern twice now.  The first time around I made it too small.  My own fault, I picked a size smaller than I usually do for whatever reason and it was just too tight.  Second time around I sized up a bit and despite the fabric not having a ton of stretch it fits just right. September 2013 284

If you do decide to make this sweater I highly recommend you go with Sarah’s recommendations and use a four way stretch knit fabric.

September 2013 275 September 2013 299

I also love the large hood.  I used a fleece outer and lining on Ara’s and next time I think I would go with a lighter weight lining just because the hood is a bit stiff.

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The pattern also comes with a cowl neck option or a shawl neck.  I plan to do the cowl neck next.

September 2013 271 September 2013 268 September 2013 261 September 2013 256 Forgive all the photos but I’m a little biased in the whole “my daughter is adorable” thing.

Want to get the Bimaa Sweater Pattern along with 25 other ones?  You can get the whole bundle here!  The Sew Fab e-pattern sale event is only on for one week!

Want more information on the Sew Fab Sale before you buy?  Read all about it here: Sew Fab Sale

This post contains affiliate links.  When you purchase the Sew Fab Bundle through those links I earn a percentage of the sale.  Thank you so much for supporting the Sew Fab Sale!