I was recently given a book called Doodle Stitching by Aimee Ray. It’s a book full of embroidery patterns from easy to elaborate, with basic stitching instructions included. All the patterns are on transfer paper which makes it really easy.
The second I pulled the book out of the box, Kaed, my eight year old asked if he could embroider one of the designs. He ended up doing two which he later turned into a lavender sachet and a small heat bag filled with flax seed.
My favorite part about this book is how easy it is. If my eight year old can do it with very little help, I’m happy. We have plans to get a few new patterns prepped and into hoops for him for our next road trip. I also love that it’s got designs that are a mixture of easy and hard. I’ve already picked out which design I’m going to do if I ever finish the cross-stitch I started well over a year ago!
The 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.
I would guess that around 70% of the fabrics I buy are from fabric.com I kind of have a love hate relationship with fabric.com 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. Fabric.com 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 fabric.com 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 fabric.com 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.
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 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.
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?
This year we had yet another great hunting trip in Saskatchewan. We had fantastic weather, good company, and good hunting. This year was especially great because I actually managed to get a few hunts in. There are definitely some perks to not having any more babies breastfeeding or on the way!
I even managed to bag a few birds! This was my second goose and first snow so I was pretty stoked.
I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed the bush aspect of big game hunting but I can’t say I complained about sitting in one place, watching the sun rise or set, with my coffee mug and camera. Watching the massive flocks of geese fly overhead was just as amazing as actually putting a few of them in the freezer.
We also did a bunch of duck hunting. Duck hunting was a lot of fun with the kids. They loved to run and get the ducks once it was safe.
Since we’ve been home we’ve had several requests to skip school and go duck hunting instead. I think one of these days we’ll just have to do it.
We turned nearly all those ducks and geese into sausage. It’s fantastic.
Last week Saturday brought about the first ever Etsy: Made in Canada. Twenty Three locations across Canada hosted a pop up marketplace, bringing together local Etsy sellers and communities in celebration of the country’s maker movement. Calgary was one of those cities and I had the privilege of organizing the event with Jillian of Logee Photography.
Jillian, Hilda, Lindy, and Suzanne, our dream team standing with the incredible 3-D wood sign Lindy crafted with the help of her Dad.
A job this big required some extra help though, so we enlisted the volunteer hours of Suzanne of Tinged and Leonie of Maple and Oak Designs. On top of that we used the talents of Lindy Turner of Crafted by Lindy to do the decorating for the event.
Having some fun with the photo booth we set up at the market.
The event was held at Symons Valley Ranch Farmers Market. The Made in Canada event took place in a large tent area as well as a section of the second level of the market. There were 40 Etsy Vendors in total.
The interior section of the Etsy area.
Outside in the tents!
If you were lucky enough to be one of the first fifty shoppers the morning of the market then you got one of our incredible swag bags, filled with goodies donated by the vendors. We had an unanticipated number of shoppers lined up bright and early!
Shoppers lined up to receive their swag!
The day was cool and cloudy but despite the less than ideal weather we had crowds!
Made in Canada included a fun photo booth area, a coloring table for the kids, and seating areas to rest up for a while.
I’m incredibly thankful to all the hard work put in by my fellow organizers, as well as to Etsy Canada who were a huge support throughout the entire process. Here are a few more shots of the fun that day.
Once again a HUGE thank you to everyone who came out to Etsy: Made in Canada. It was an incredibly fun and successful day thanks to all of YOU! If you’d like to see a list of all the vendors that participated go here.
Click on the photos below to see larger versions!
Thanks for coming!
For more pictures and details on the decor visit Crafted by Lindy’s blog! All photos in this post were taken by myself, Hilda, or Lindy Turner.
In 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
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
The Calgary Home + Design Show is where it all comes together for every home improvement project! With big names like Colin McAllister & Justin Ryan, stars of Cottage Life TV’s Colin & Justin’sCabin Pressure, Bryan Baeumler, host of HGTV’s Leave it to Bryan, and celebrityChef Corbin Tomaszeski, plus more than 350 exhibitors and a slew of sensational new features, there’s expert insight, innovation and inspiration for stylish living at every turn.
This year they have added a Family Day and it looks pretty great. Bring the whole gang to take part in kid-friendly fun like a children’s take-home craft and a canine show benefitting the lovely pups at AARCS. Kid inspired presentations on the cooking stage and exclusive goodie bags round out the perfect day for parents and little ones alike.
Personally I’d be all over the Trail Appliances Cooking Stage. I could use a little kitchen inspiration!
Once again I’ll be holding a giveaway to win two tickets to the event! Enter below!
You totally can’t tell, by the snow that is currently falling from the sky, but we’ve actually had a few nice spring days in the past couple of weeks. This prompted me to start thinking about maybe, possibly, sewing myself a spring jacket.
It’s a project I’ve wanted to try for a while but put it off for many reasons. I was sure I would make a major mistake or finish the project and have it not fit properly, both bad news when the project calls for close to 6 yards of fabric in total.
This was not aided by the fact that I used all organic cotton for the project. Despite my fears I went ahead and bought a pattern and fabric and did it. And it turned out great. It fits great, I made no big mistakes, and I’m really happy with the whole process.
I used Amy Butler’s Rainy Days Runabout Jacket for the pattern. The pattern calls for laminated cotton but I was going for more of a dress coat then a rain jacket so I used an organic cotton twill from Fabric.com and a cute polka dot organic cotton for the lining. The weight turned out perfect and the fabric is so nice. I only did a couple things different from the pattern. I attached the belt a little differently and I used wood buttons instead of making my own covered ones.
If I make this jacket again I’ll do it in a another color and add some pockets to the lining.
A few weeks ago Pattern Anthology released their Just Add Jeans Collection. I was immediately drawn to the Day Tripper both for it’s looser style and the options to make it long. I wear leggings a lot so I love a top that is long.
I bought this feather knit from Girl Charlee a couple of months ago and have made myself a couple of tops out of it now. This one is my favorite. I used a cream colored organic rib knit for the rest of the shirt. I also made the long sleeve version in another Girl Charlee knit.I plan to make at least one more Day Tripper this spring, in a smaller size. I opted for a slightly larger fit for these tops but I’m curious to see how it would look a bit smaller.
I’m still hoping to make a couple more of the shirts from the collection but they might have to wait until Fall!
The Calgary Home and Garden Show is coming up next month and I’m giving away some tickets! The Show is set to run from February 27- March 2 at the BMO Center and Corral at Stampede Park. If you’re looking to renovate your home or do some landscaping this is a great place to go for ideas and advice.
The Garden Stage Schedule looks pretty great. There will be some talks by Janet Melrose (of the Calgary Horticultural Society) on square foot gardening as well as edible container gardening so if you’re looking at growing some more veg those could be pretty interesting.