– Tagged "sewing" – Fridays Off

open wide zippered pouch

IMG_3289 open wide zippered pouch

I'm baaack!

Life has been busy around here. I've been finishing up work, focusing on the fabric shop, doing lot's of blogging for Urban Moms and then of course the usual family stuff with L'il E and the Hubs. Now that I'm off work and on mat leave again (it feels like I was just on mat leave!) I'm hoping I'll have more time for y'all, at least until #2 arrives in just less than 5 weeks!

One thing I haven't been neglecting is sewing. I've got so many gorge fabrics just staring me in the face that I'm always looking for little projects to work on and test them out. Recently I made a few of these open wide zippered pouches using the tutorial on Anna's blog, Noodlehead. What I like the most about these pouches is they open up SO wide. No time wasted digging around looking for that tiny eye liner pencil. The medium one (photo above) measures in at 12" wide and 7" tall and it's perfect as a travel cosmetic bag because you can cram everything in there.

For the exterior I used Anna Maria Horner's Sundials in Amethyst and for the interior I used Designer Solids in Chartreuse. I also made a smaller size for my Mom using Anna Maria Horner's Mind's Eye in Jazz  for the exterior and Carly Griffith's Matryoshka Dots in Purple for the interior. All fabric is available in the shop!

Why not give this tutorial a try.

Happy sewing.

fridays off fabric shop now open

Fridays Off Fabric Shop logo


I am so excited to finally tell you what I've been busy with for the last several months!

Today I'm launching my very own online fabric shop - aptly named fridays off! The idea came to me early in the new year and I immediately sprang into action meeting with fabric distributors and immersing myself into the world of 100% cotton fabrics.

My shop is being hosted over at, an amazing ecommerce platform and proudly Canadian (woot!).

I'm so stoked about this venture and I can hardly wait for it to take off. Some may think it's bad timing given the Hubs and I have another baby on the way, but I couldn't think of a better time to get this started.

I am so thankful to my pal Matt for creating my awesome logo and helping me doctor some photos. I also love my fabric "dealer" Erika she really helped me brainstorm some fantastic ideas and made me feel like I could do this, when I started to get cold feet.

With this venture kicking off within hours, sadly my domain will be moved to my shop so if you've got this in your readers or bookmarked or whatever please change it to I will continue to blog but the focus will likely change slightly.

I hope you stick with me as I forage down this entrepreneurial path. I'm going to need all the encouragement I can get. Also, if you're into fabric check my stuff out. There will be much more coming and I promis you will love it all. In addition to fabric I will be selling patterns and making up kits - bundling curated fabrics with specific sewing cards - for those that need that extra bit of inspiration.

Check back often and wish me luck!!






Quilted pocket advent calendar

The last few weeks have been hectic around here and I apologize for the lack of posts, but there are only so many hours in a day (right?!).

Merry Christmas to all of you. I hope everyone had a great holiday and that you're all rested and well fed. We had a fantastic Christmas, so good that I'm still recovering from all of the excitement.

This was our first Christmas at home with L'il E so I wanted to create new traditions of our own as well as incorporate existing family ones. I believe that traditions organically evolve (they can't really be created) and I'm so glad there are a few that seem to be surfacing (ok and one I created).

One of our  traditions that has evolved over time is homemade pizza for dinner on Christmas Eve. For the last few years that we have stayed in Toronto, the Hubs and I have made our favourite homemade pizza, uncorked a bottle of red and enjoyed a nice relaxing meal before the feasting of Christmas Day. This year we shared that with L'il E and for me it sealed the tradition for good.

Growing up I always had one of those yummy chocolate advent calendars, but always envied the families that had a homemade one with pockets or drawers (no I didn't feel deprived mom, I loved my chocolate advent calendar just as much). With that, I decided to sew up a quilted pocket advent calendar (I used this tutorial) and be one of those families I envied. I finished it just in time for the beginning of advent, but alas I wasn't organized enough to fill the pockets.  Next year I plan on filling the pockets with little notes, chocolates and trinkets as the days lead up to Christmas Eve. A new tradition in the making?

As for the rest of our Christmas celebrations it's mostly what the Hubs and I grew up with and surprisingly they don't differ very much! I imagine that many more traditions will arise as we celebrate more Christmases at home with our growing family.

What are your Christmas traditions? Do you stick to family traditions or make up your own?


weekend whirl wind

I am totally sewed out!

Thank you to everyone who came out to support me this weekend. It was my first time at the Queen West Art Crawl's  Art in the Park and I had a great time. It was so fun to be part of such a creative community!

I didn't have a lot of opportunities to escape my booth and check everyone out, but I did manage to find some like minded sewers over at Quilted City and foxymop quilts. Sadly I missed Melanie LeBlanc, my fave jewellery gal, but I know she sells her stuff at Made You Look. I also loved the booth diagonal to me -  Rare Birds Clothing. Carla won in my books for booth design. It was so creative and her kids clothes are super cute.

While I had many awesome people come through my booth, the highlight was Sarah Polley, her husband and their little baby daughter. She liked my soft baby cubes and contemplated between the yellow/grey cubes and the red/black moose pattern, but in the end continued on her way. Maybe next year...

I've got inventory left folks, so when I have the time I'll be getting my etsy shop back up and running. Stay tuned!



me and the queen west art crawl

I'm so stoked!

I just found out that I've been selected to have my very own booth at the Queen West Art Crawl Outdoor Art Show & Sale!

So, mark September 14-16 on your calendar friends and come out to Trinity Bellwoods Park to check out my stuff.

I've got a lot of sewing to do before then, but I'll have some cool designs and affordable items you can stash away for gift-giving.

This celebration of creativity and community has been going on for 10 years now and it's amazing. Last year I bought this at the show and could have bought so much more. It's a great way to spend a lazy Saturday and Sunday and support our local artists!

I will keep y'all updated as we get closer, but I just wanted to share my news!







i spy with my little eye something that is...

This sweet little quilt is my latest creation and a keepsake for L'il E. At 47'' by 47" it's the perfect size for a cuddle on the couch, but it also doubles as an I Spy game. Each patch is a different picture so your little tot will love looking at every patch. Hours of entertainment (okay maybe minutes!)

It's taken me months to finish, but it really is an easy pattern to follow. So start cutting your scrap fabric into patches and get sewing! I'd love to see your creations when you're finished.

Happy quilting!


March 07, 2012 by AlannaB

diy chairs




So my best gal pal, RV, recently transformed a pair of old and dank dining room chairs into beauties. She's not even an expert in furniture repair or reupholstering.

A couple of weekends ago I was at her place and was totally gobsmacked by the updated seats. Naturally, it made me want to do the same. So here are some tips if you're planning on giving it a go:

  1. Buy a couple of old chairs - RV bought hers for $15 a piece.
  2. Give them a good wash and sanding - you really have to give them a smooth surface.
  3. Buy good, heavy weight fabric - don't go to Fabricland! I suggest the workroom, Designer Fabrics or macFab Fabrics.
  4. Gather your tools - staple gun, scissors, glue, foam, good quality interior paint.
  5. Check out this tutorial!

Happy updating!



the truth

Well yesterday was my intro into the crazy land of craft fairs. I had a good day, it was a good experience and I made money BUT let's put it this way...I'm glad I have a day job. The fair wasn't as well attended as I had anticipated and most of the people just touched all my stuff and then would walk away - they weren't there to buy. My stuff is better suited for the Queen West craft crowd and thank you to my friends who came and bought stuff, I know it was tough being sandwiched between ugly jewellery and airbrushed jean jackets (who wears that stuff?).

I'm setting my sights on City of Craft for next year. That will be my goal for 2012. In the meantime I have lots of eye pillows left so if you want one just holler.


santa's workshop

My dining room is swimming in metres of fabric and the rest of my house has been trashed by L'il E (toys and books everywhere), but I don't care because I'm busy getting my items ready for the Artisans' Gift Fair!

I'll be selling my lavender eye bags, knitted xmas ornaments and dinner napkins SATURDAY DEC.10 . It's at the Tranzac Club in the Annex (292 Brunswick Ave.). Come on out and even if you don't want to buy anything it would be nice if you just dropped by to say hi (I'll twist your arm). I will have treats at my booth so at least come for the sweets!

Back to the grind and you won't likely be hearing from me for a while. Sorry!




summery napkins

I just finished my latest sewing project - outdoor dinner napkins and pillow slips for a patio set. Don't they just make you want to sip pink lemonade on the back deck?!

I used my fave sewing book Simple Sewing by Lotta Jansdotter (it's full of super quick and easy contemporary patterns for the home) for the napkins and the fabric (Sherbet Pips by Aneela Hoey for moda) is from the workroom.

If you have a craving to make some summery napkins too here's all you need to know:

You'll need:

  • 2 metres of fabric 44 inches wide
  • thread
  • sewing machine

Then you:

  1. Cut fabric into 21" by 21" squares (2 metres of fabric makes 6 napkins)
  2. Fold and press all four sides 1/4" and fold again and press 1/4"
  3. Topstitch around all four sides.

That's it!

June 30, 2011 by AlannaB