Berlin Winter Coat – pattern by Straightgrain


Alix (1 of 1)-6

This is the Berlin Winter Coat from StraightGrain.  It had been a while since I had undertaken a more complex sewing project… and I loved every second of it.  The finished product is impeccable, and something to be very proud of.  It’s described as a warm winter coat but in Ottawa, it makes a perfect spring jacket, ideal for a temperatures between 0 and 15 I would say.  Alix has been wearing it everyday this spring, as Canada is still quite chilly.

Alix (1 of 1)-2

Photography Class Week 6

Every Wednesday night, locals meet directly in front of City Hall for an amazing evening of salsa.  It starts with a one hour lesson, followed by hours and hours of live DJ music and dancing.  This was the perfect venue for the class to practice photographing strangers.  I have to admit I was quite nervous as the introvert in me generally prefers not to bother others.  But as the evening wore on, I got into the swing of things and managed to capture the following moments…


SPAO July Salsa1


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Photography Class Week 4

Week 4 demanded that we think outside the box.  The class went on an architectural shoot, concentrating on composition and framing.  We had to hit different elements, such as geometric shapes, lines, reflections and such.  The purpose was to understand how these elements can influence the outcome of the image, make it impactful and memorable…

Here’s my take on Geometric Shapes




MovementRhythm and patterns…

Pattern ReflectionsReflection

Symmetry and asymmetrySymmetry



Triangle2We were also asked to take 10 consecutive shots of a subject, in manual mode of course, without deleting any… It’s meant to push us towards an instinctual understanding of the proper settings on the camera.  It is also meant to replicate what it was like to be a photographer before the digital era.  Here are my ten images, in a row… I took the easy rode and chose a three year old completely captivated by Caillou on the iPad… SPAO Week 4 1 SPAO Week 4 2 SPAO Week 4 3 SPAO Week 4 4 SPAO Week 4 5 SPAO Week 4 6 SPAO Week 4 7 SPAO Week 4 8 SPAO Week 4 9 SPAO Week 4 10


And finally, this was not part of the homework but I just loved this image of Gaëlle’s long lashes and had to post it…

SPAO Week 4 my fav

Photography Class Week 3

The theme this week was colour.  I had to go out there and find colour! But it proved to be more complicated than I might have imagined at first.  As I walked around downtown Ottawa with my camera during lunch hours, it came apparent that I am surrounded by grey… and brown… and dirty beige.   I had to squint to see pops of colour.     Here are a few that I found in the core of the city, as well as others taken at home in preparaton for Maïan’s 13th birthday party….

Thanks for reading!


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Cosi Swimsuit

Busy week so I thought I would just quickly share a swimsuit I made recently for little Gaëlle.  I was blown away by how easy this was to make.  Who knew sewing with spandex was so easy and forgiving?!  And I have to point out that I had never attempted to sew with double needles before.  Am now a convert!

Pattern is the Cosi Swimsuit pattern by Sewpony Vintage.  Heart fabric is from some mysterious little shop in New York that I unfortunately can’t remember the name.  Yellow fabric is from my local Fabricland.

Et que l’été commence!



Cosi1 Cosi2

Photography Class Week 2

Homework for week two at the SPAO consisted of taking close up images of a larger object.  I decided to choose the busy street corner where I work in downtown Ottawa.  It seemed fitting as it’s a part of the urban decor that I see on a daily basis, yet rarely “see” on a daily basis…  It’s only once we were reviewing all student’s homework in class that I realized that I may have cheated somewhat… everyone else had chosen one particular object, and then taken closeups from various angles (like a food item or a pet).  Picking a street corner meant that I had way more options to shoot what caught my eye, instead of examining one single object from different perspectives.

Regardless of my “cheating”, I’m not all that thrilled with my result.  I think I am definitely happier taking pictures of people.  Inanimate objects just don’t seem to ignite my passion as much.  But at least they stay still without bribing!!!  What do you love to photograph?

Here are my ten best pictures from Week 2, straight out of camera, zero editing (except resizing).   What do you think… anything here interesting?  Would love to hear some thoughts on composition…

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Photography Class Week 1

After spending the better part of the last year struggling with manual mode, I’ve decided to sign up for an in person 10 week Digital Foundations class at the School of Photographic Arts Ottawa.  I am determined to improve my composition, understand lighting, and nail my focus.  Week one’s homework was to take pictures of any subject of our choice, using AV mode.  I chose to photograph the two youngest residents in this household….  I thought it might be fun to put up my weekly homework here, in order to see a progression (I hope!) in my photography skills.  Here are the 15 images that i turned in as homework (all straight out of camera, absolutely no editing).


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The Ziggy Unisex Top

The last few months, I had dropped my needles and threads and my poor little sewing room sat dark and abandoned.

Other things were finding their way to the priority list…

The holidays, a new job for me involving travel, Alix’s birthday, the girl’s first winter on skis and snowboard, joining a gym…

You know, life!

But when Olu of Needle and Ted challenged me to make the Ziggy top, she sent my creative juices flowing!

Here’s my version of the Ziggy Unisex Oversized Top by Madeit Patterns.

March Post4 Ziggy Top 6March Post2

March Post3

March Post5Her sister had scribbled on her neck with blue marker… I decided Photoshop was not necessary. #lifeasafiveyearold

I actually made three Ziggy tops so far, but the weekend was far too busy for a photo shoot.

Here’s one for Gaëlle…

Ziggy Top 7 And another…

Ziggy Top 8Want to make one?

For the next week, MadeIt Patterns is offering it’s Ziggy top at 20% off.

20% off Ziggy

I’m now off to check out all the other Ziggy tops… follow me here:

When We Were Young – La gang à Nat



With spring sort of in the air, I thought it was time to bring home home a guest post from last year.  Here’s a little creation that was seen on SewPony last April for Suzanne’s When We Were Young Series….

I am very much smitten with this series created by Suzanne… it’s been lovely taking a peek into the childhood of fellow bloggers, and then seeing the wonderful creations inspired by their youth.


I was born and raised in a small town in Northern Ontario, Canada, who’s main industry was a pulp and paper mill.  (Don’t worry, this post is NOT about pulp and paper mills!).  Our little town was, and still is, primarily francophone.  I did all of my schooling in French, including high school and university.  In fact, even though I grew up in an anglophone province, my English was quite limited until I started university.  Today however, I am fluent in both languages and can slip from one to the other with ease, with only a slight trace of a French accent.

I grew up alongside my younger brother Alain, as well as a succession of family pets:  a bird, a cat, two dogs, a few hamsters, loads of fish, even a chicken family at some point!  We lived in the countryside, on the shores of a lake and spent amazing summers swimming, snorkelling, water skiing, fishing, and playing in the woods.  As my parents were both high school teachers, we travelled quite a bit as well during the summers, even crossing the entire country in our camper one year. Winters were spent cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, skating, and as a teenager, snowmobiling on the lake and on forest trails.

I have three girls now and even though they are all very different from one another, I see bits of myself in all of them.  Maïan is sensitive, intuitive, empathetic… she’s also insecure at times when she definitely shouldn’t be (as she is quite amazing!).  Alix is strong, determined, stubborn even, yet she is incredibly caring and nurturing and nobody makes me laugh the way she does!  And little Gaëlle is calm, happy, at peace with life… but step on her toes and she will let you know you are out of line!  Pushover she is not.   


Here are some pics of me taken when I was three years old.  I’m actually quite fond of the little outfits I’m wearing in all of them and had difficulty picking what I was going to reproduce from one of my girls.  That little romper above would make for a great modern pattern don’t you think?

Oh, it certainly looks like polyester was the fabric of choice back then, haha!

Here I am, celebrating my third birthday… gosh I loved that Fisher Price camper!


And here I am, ready to head off to my first day of school.




This yellow jumper dress is the outfit I decided to recreate for my little 2 year old Gaëlle.  Only when it was all done, I realized that it was way too big for her!  But lucky me, it fit perfectly on 4 year old Alix!  Phew! How did I screw up that sizing so badly??  Oh yeah, my fabric has stre-e-e-e-e-etch!!!!  Ooops!


The bodice is based loosely on the Perfect Little Party Dress by Heidi and Finn.  The attached jumper skirt is self-drafted.  The yellow mustard fabric is Ponte de Roma from my local Fabricland, an appropriate fabric to reproduce 70s fashion as it is basically 100% polyester.  I totally forgot to note what the floral fabric was but it is definitely in the silk family… perhaps charmeuse?

As a first prototype, I did make quite a few mistakes on this dress (the stitching on the pocket is OH SO BAD!) but regardless, I am still very happy with the overall 70s vibe that it projects…  And I love those big handmade fabric buttons!


I was hoping to recreate the image of happy 3 year old me sitting in the stairs… but unfortunately, Alix was in no mood to model for me. She was refusing to give me any smile whatsoever.  As I mentioned earlier, she is by far the most stubborn of all of my girls, hahaha!  So  I simply followed her around for a bit and decided not to push things…

Not identical but close enough!  How do you like that red shag carpet???






I haven’t quite decided on how to finish the back yet.  I am debating whether the straps should be stitched at the shoulders to keep them from falling down?  Or perhaps sew together the straps where they meet in the back?  I suppose I would need my little model to try the dress on again to help me decide…   hummm hummm….



Et ben, merci beaucoup Suz!  It was lovely being here again on Sew Pony!  I really hope you enjoyed this little glimpse of my childhood in Canada, circa 1975!