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


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:

J’aime Marcel Marlier! A Tinny Dress and Aster Cardigan…

Modified Tinny Dress and Aster Cardigan, inspired by Martine books, sewn by La gang à Nat

Ah, les livres Martine!!!

I grew up reading the Martine books so when Suz and An asked me to participate in this sewing series, I was all “Mais oui!”.

(Actually, I am lying… I said “Mais oui!” to myself … and then promptly tended to kids, went to work, battled traffic on my way home, cooked dinner, helped Maïan with homework, gave baths, got woken up at night by Gaëlle, got the little ones ready for school and daycare, went to work, made dinner, cleaned the house, drove to soccer, tossed and turned all night, went to work, etc… you get the picture.  Yep, I forgot!  Luckily, Suz sent me a second email and then I promptly wrote back my “Mais oui!” and the rest is history…. hehehe….)

Modified Tinny Dress, inspired by Martine books, sewn by La gang à Nat

Looking back at those amazing Marcel Marlier images, I was instantly inspired to sew.

Seriously, I’m not sure there’s another book that motivates me to hit the sewing room as much Martine does!  If I have to describe my design esthetic, this would be it!

Every book, every page, every illustration is beautiful and demands to be carefully drafted and sewn.  My head swarmed as I tried to pick one, just one, to make for this sewing series.

Modified Tinny Dress, inspired by Martine books, sewn by La gang à Nat

And I couldn’t pick just one… so instead, I just went with the vibe of the books and chose to make Gaëlle a beautiful yet simple vintage style dress with a cozy little cardigan.

I think Martine would have loved this, non?


Modified Tinny Dress and Aster Cardigan, inspired by Martine books, sewn by La gang à Nat

Funny enough, a few days after signing up for this series, I happened to see these Martine books at Costco of all places.  I snapped them up!  Sadly, I have no idea where my original books have ended up…

Modified Tinny Dress, inspired by Martine books, sewn by La gang à Nat



Modified Tinny Dress, inspired by Martine books, sewn by La gang à Nat

Let’s talk pattern:  it’s basically a Tinny by Straightgrain with no collar or sleeves, and a circle skirt.  I modified the neckline by bringing it up by about an inch and widening it so that it would end up oval instead of circular.

As it’s getting colder in these parts of the world, I decided to line the entire dress by following the instructions for the Caroline Party Dress by Mouse House Creations.

Modified Tinny Dress, inspired by Martine books, sewn by La gang à Nat



Modified Tinny Dress, inspired by Martine books, sewn by La gang à Nat

 I added a row of checkered binding to the lining hemline… It pokes out just perfectly…

So I have a question:  When you line a dress like this, should the skirt lining be facing out or facing inside.  I made it face towards the inside (like the bodice) but I find that when Gaëlle moves around, you end up seeing more of the backside of the lining that the pretty ombre dots.  I’d love to hear what you normally do…

Modified Tinny Dress, inspired by Martine books, sewn by La gang à Nat


The cardigan is a modified Aster.  I rounded out the neckline and the hemline to give a slightly more vintage look.

Modified Tinny Dress and Aster Cardigan, inspired by Martine books, sewn by La gang à Nat


Let’s talk fabric:  The cardigan is from an old cashmere sweater of mine that had some holes yet still deserved a second chance at life (and yes, I should have taken a picture of it… but I didn’t!).  I had the exact amount of ribbed knit that I cut off from the original hem and neckline to go all around.  That was a close one!  I top stitched the continuous ribbing in place.

The sleeves are the original sleeves, cuffs and all, shrunk down to fit Gaëlle’s little arms.  Do you see that row of stitching halfway up the arms?  I had a big hole on the back side of one of the sleeves so I ended up cutting the sleeves in half and restitching in place, with a bit of edge stitching to give it some flair and to make it look intentional.

And that big wooden button? … It’s vintage from Maman who gave me an amazing endless supply of old buttons a couple of years ago.  Totally oversized in such a perfect way!

The fabric for the dress is quite special to me.  I went to New York this summer and met up with fellow bloggers Lauren, Hayley, Jennifer and Farrah.   It was a truly amazing trip on so many levels.  While there, I had the opportunity to meet up with Kait and the crew at Michael Miller Fabrics.  (I even met Michael Steiner himself, who, by the way, is half of the brilliant mastermind behind the company, the other half being Kathy Miller!!) After our meeting, I was offered some fabric of my choice… my eye instantly leaped to this amazing butterfly fabric by Patty Sloniger called Aflutter in aqua, part of the Emma’s Garden collection.  It was obvious to me that it was going to become a vintage-style dress for Gaëlle….  It is insanely soft and perfect for such a special garment.  I was also offered some Brazilian chocolate by Michael, LOL, and some other gorgeous fabric which I’ll save for another post… Oh, it was a goooooood meeting!!!

Modified Tinny Dress and Aster Cardigan, inspired by Martine books, sewn by La gang à Nat

 See below, the famous Gaëlle pout, announcing that the photo session is most definitely over…  At two and a half, she gives us this pout A LOT!!!

How am I not supposed to find that just freaking adorable???  Argh, melts my heart every time…

Modified Tinny Dress and Aster Cardigan, inspired by Martine books, sewn by La gang à Nat

Now I’m not kidding, you have to check out the other amazing Martine inspired garments that have been made so far… really really special!!!  Just click on the links below for the ones that have posted so far…



Made by Sara

La Folie Sewing Booth

Compagnie M

Stitched Together

La Inglesita


final calendar


Inspired yet?  Then sew along by adding your garment HERE!!!

And finally, there are amazing prizes to be one so make sure to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sewing for Kindergarten: Alix starts school!


Alix Maternelle201404(blog)

Four year old Alix is starting school this year! And to celebrate, I am taking part in a very special sewing series hosted by my friend Mie of Sewing Like Mad :Sewing for Kindergarten.

I love the idea of honouring this important day in Alix’s life by preparing something unique made by me, by hand, with love and hard work, and made specifically for this precious little girl.

 Alix Maternelle201405(blog3)

Mie asked the series participants the following questions:


Is this your first time sending a child to Kindergarten? 

Nope, Maïan was the first 8 years ago (she started grade 7 this year!).

If not, what number child is this?

Alix is my middle child.  In two  years, Gaëlle will get her turn in “maternelle”.  In Ontario, children start school at age four, which means technically that Alix is starting pre-kindergarten.  In French, we call that “maternelle”, while kindergarten is called “jardins d’enfants”.   But as this is Alix’s first formal year of school, Mie still felt that I met her criteria for Sewing for Kindergarten.

Do you feel like crying or celebrating?

Haha, definitely celebrating.  As wonderful as the baby years were, I just feel more in my skin as a mom with older kids…

And what about your child? 

Alix was extremely excited to be starting school.  She is definitely feeling like a “grande fille” and hordes all the independence she can get.  That said, the tears did flow as we left her on that first day.  A week and a half into the new school year and there are still a few tears in the morning…

What type of school (public, private, homeschool) will your child attend?

In Ontario, there are four school boards that are funded by the province:  English Catholic, English Public, French Catholic, French Public.  Alix is in a French Catholic school.  Our first language is French and since we’re a linguistic minority in our province, it’s crucial that Alix learns to excel in our language before learning English.  Not anyone can send their children to a French school in Ontario… you have to have certain “rights” to it (meaning that at least one parent is francophone or studied in French as a child).  As for the Catholic aspect of the school, even though I am atheist today, I was baptized as a child, giving my children the “right” to attend a Catholic school.  I’ll admit that it wouldn’t have been my first choice but in light of the fact that the school is literally a 5 minute walk from our home (versus a 45 minute bus ride for the public school), it was a no-brainer.

What was your own first day of school like (if you remember ;-)?

I’m about to turn 42 so unfortunately no, I don’t remember.  (And my memory was never that good regardless).  But knowing me, it was probably full of excitement and trepidation.  Kind of like Alix actually.  Hummm…


Charlie Dress and Aster Cardigan Sewn by La gang à Nat

All of these photos were shot on Alix’s first day of school… we just took a quiet stroll down our street a few minutes before leaving for school…

Not sure if you can tell but I’ve been working hard on my photography skills lately and these are the first ones to be shot in raw.  They were also my first series of images to be processed entirely with ACR and Photoshop.  The more I learn, the more I realize how much further I need to improve.  Next thing on the list will be to improve my focus… can you tell that almost all of these images are out of focus?  No amount of Photoshopping can fix that unfortunately…  The weird thing is that I never realized before that I had an issue with focus… it’s when you start looking at them closeup in Photoshop that you cringe!  No worries… I’m on it!

Alix Maternelle201407


Alix Maternelle(blog4) Letting go of Papa was hard to do on that first day…

Kindergarten Dress La gang a Nat

 Recognize the dress?  It’s a Charlie by Mingo and Grace.  An easy and quick sew, with full of possibilities.  The little pocket is my own addition.

I made a size 6 which is a bit big on her so it will fit her for a while still (Alix is 4.5 years old and quite tall for her age so making a size 5 would have been risky… ).

The gingham fabric was purchased from J. & L. Sewing on St.Laurent in Montreal.

Kindergarten Dress Aster Cardi La gang a Nat

The cardigan is the Aster from Willow & Co.  You are bound to see more Aster’s coming out of my sewing room.  I’m dreaming of a collarless version with bias tape ties at the front.

I totally predict this will be the next “it” sewing garment this fall.

The navy blue ponte is from my local Fabricland.  The blue flower buttons are from M&J Trimming in New York.

Now, my lovely friend Christine at 2 Little Hooligans is also sewing for her little girl who started kindergarten so head on over to see what she created!

And to see what everyone else came up with, click on the image below.


SFK 14 participants

You and Me Sewing Series – A Japanese Sewing Pattern

Enjoying the summer so far?  My six weeks off were amazing and filled me with ideas and inspiration.  I’ve got great plans ahead, including improving my photography and Photoshop skills, as well as getting started on creating patterns.  Look out for that in the months to come!  In the meantime, I am bringing back a little post that appear on my friend Jenya’s site While She Was Sleeping a couple of months ago.   I’ll be back soon with more details about my six weeks off (including scoop about an amazing trip to New York City to shop for fabric)!


When Jenya first told me about her idea for the You and Me sewing series, I loved it right away!  Sewing has brought me closer to my girls in so many ways but mainly, I really enjoy creating something that brings them joy.  And having them wear with pride something that I made by hand creates a special bond between us.  My friend Thea made me realize recently that my sewing, photographing and blogging was creating a legacy for my girls, a beautiful memory piece for them when they are older.  I love to think of it that way…

Mommy and Me Japanese Sundress1

I have fully enjoyed how fellow bloggers in this series have taken Jenya’s idea and interpreted it in their own special way.  My first thought was to make a matching outfit for myself and one of my girls.  Now, I have to admit, I have never made matching mommy-daughter outfits and the thought of it certainly made me giggle.    Not really my style.  But then again, it hit me that I did have a women’s pattern that I had just been dying to make… the Caroline Party Dress.  And of course, it comes in both kids size and woman’s size.  I had already made it HERE and HERE for the girls, but I hadn’t yet found the time to make one for me.   Hummmm… perhaps I could make matching Carolines that would be based on the fabric that I would choose for the adult dress?  Brilliant!  And so I proceeded with taping my pattern, tracing my size, pinning my fabric, cutting my fabric….

But then something starting nagging at me…  every time I would toil away in my sewing room, my eyes would fall on this book.  It’s a Japanese sewing book that I purchased last year.  I already made a couple of breezy summer dresses for Alix from it and she loves them.  But from the day the book arrived from Amazon, Alix  had not stopped asking that I make her a dress like the one on the cover.  I had told her last year that yes, I would make one like that.  And then fall arrived and it just seemed to make no sense to make such a summery sundress.  Yet she kept asking me if I could make her that dress.  And I would say yes…. right after I finish this or that.  And next thing you know, a year went by…

Mommy and Me Japanese Sundress8

Now we all know that when a child points to a garment that they like, they are normally referring to the fabric.  At least that’s the case with Alix.  Although I’m sure she was attracted to the bubble skirt and the flower-shaped ribbon at the waist, what was really catching her eye was the white polka dots on the sky blue background.  Luckily, sometime during the fall, I had been shopping at the local thrift shop and had found a large fitted sheet with the exact white polka dot on blue pattern.  Serendipity!  I had excitedly shown it to Alix and told her that now, I could make her the dress!  And yet that fitted sheet still lay folded in my fabric stash 8 months later….

Do you see where I’m going with this?  Jenya was asking me to show how sewing nourished the bond between mother and child.  I couldn’t think of a better way to show that than making exactly what Alix had been asking for, pattern, fabric, headband, ribbons and all.  My Caroline dress would have to wait…

Needless to say, she was beyond excited to see the finished dress and had to wear it immediately.   What follows is our 6:30am photoshoot, since she HAD to wear it to daycare that day and I knew that it would never look as clean and ironed ever again, haha!  So I just followed her for a while, letting her be herself…

Mommy and Me Japanese Sundress2


Mommy and Me Japanese Sundress3

Notice that long string hanging from the dress in the picture above?  No?  Me neither…

Mommy and Me Japanese Sundress4

Mommy and Me Japanese Sundress5

This little girl… there is truly no one like her…  she’s passionate, she’s loud, she’s fearless, she’s strong, and of course, she’s incredibly stubborn… Yet at the exact same time, she’s also gentle beyond her years, generous, nurturing and maternal.  And funny, she is insanely funny!  Alix is my middle child.  From the moment she was conceived, she has kept us on our toes and made her presence known.  She never ceases to amaze and surprise us…

In June 2009, I was in my final month of training for my third Ironman Triathlon competition.   I was in top shape and confident that this race would be my most memorable yet…  Little did I know how true that would be!  With four short weeks to go before the race, I learned that I was eight weeks pregnant.  I was shocked!  Happy of course, beyond thrilled actually!  But still shocked!  Chaughan and I had many long conversations about the upcoming race.  We spoke with doctors and sought their advice about the safety of completing such an arduous endurance event while pregnant.  We concluded that since I was already fully trained for the event, and in fantastic shape, it should be fine to race as long as I kept it at a slow and steady pace, and be fully prepared to stop if it was all too much.  Four weeks later, Chaughan and I proudly crossed the finish line at Ironman Lake Placid 2009, hand in hand.  I was three months pregnant.

And from that day on, Alix has not stopped “racing”…  she moved something fierce while in utero.  I was past my due date and she still wouldn’t settle into a final head down position.  My “unstable lie” had to be manually turned and still, she kept doing backflips, kicking around all internal organs along the way.  And then, five days past my due date, there was another surprise.  I had excruciating pain on my lower right hand side.  I knew I wasn’t in labour.  This was very different.  And it wasn’t going away.  After 48hrs of intense pain, doctors finally realized that I suffering from a torsion of my right ovary and as blood flow had been cut off, the ovary was quickly necrotizing.   My dream of a beautiful and natural home water birth was instantly replaced with the harsh reality of an emergency c-section in the middle of the night.  But everyone was healthy and in the big scheme of things, everything was perfect… (besides, I didn’t know then but little Gaëlle would arrive two years later at home, in the water, just like I had imagined it…)

Mommy and Me Japanese Sundress7

And today, that little Ironman baby is still racing through life at full speed, slowing down just long enough to smell the flowers or spill some milk!  Fiercely independent, she’s constantly surprising us (and often scaring us!) at what she’s able to accomplish once she puts her mind to it….

Mommy and Me Japanese Sundress6

And of course, by dinner time, Alix had DIYed a princess cape to accessorize with her new dress…  Maman t’aime Alix!!! XXX

Jenya, thank you so much for inviting me to join this beautiful and heartfelt sewing series.



Pattern Review: Matinée Dress by Jennuine Design

Color Block Version of the Matinée Dress by Jennuine Design, via


 Another pretty little dress exited my sewing room lately, to the great delight of 4 year old Alix.

This is the Matinée Dress by Jennifer of Jennuine Design.  It’s a beautiful design with a striking back bodice.

 Color Block Version of the Matinée Dress by Jennuine Design, via

Color Block Version of the Matinée Dress by Jennuine Design, Sewn by La gang à Nat

Color Block Version of the Matinée Dress by Jennuine Design, Sewn by La gang à Nat

Color Block Version of the Matinée Dress by Jennuine Design, Sewn by La gang à Nat

Color Block Version of the Matinée Dress by Jennuine Design, Sewn by La gang à Nat


Color Block Version of the Matinée Dress by Jennuine Design, Sewn by La gang à Nat



Color Block Version of the Matinée Dress by Jennuine Design, Sewn by La gang à Nat

Pattern  The Matinée Dress and Peplum Top by Jennuine Design

Size 5

Chosen options Dress length, no sleeves, modified to create a colour-blocked bodice (both front and back bodice patterns pieces were sliced at the same level as the band, with seam allowances added)

Fabric Various remnants, second hand or hand me down fabrics from my sewing stash

Comments Jennifer is a graduate of Lauren Dahl’s Pattern Workshop and it shows.  The pattern itself is impeccable and the instructions beautifully illustrated.  I have to admit that I am becoming quite partial to illustrated tutorials (instead of photo images).  It brings them up a notch and is much easier on the eyes.  This is, without a doubt, a professional pattern.

I had first spotted the Matinéee dress over a year ago on Project Run and Play  and it was love at first sight.  I drooled over the beautiful back bodice and printed out an image of the dress to hang in my sewing room for inspiration.  You can imagine my excitement when I heard that Jennifer was transforming her amazing design into a PDF pattern.  HAD TO HAVE IT!  Huge thumbs up on this pattern… and the possibilities are endless.  I chose a dressier look but am dying to try it in ponte or a cotton bodice paired with a chiffon skirt.  Lots of colour/fabric/pattern options!

Color Block Version of the Matinée Dress by Jennuine Design, Sewn by La gang à Nat


CLICK HERE to buy your Matinée Dress and Peplum Top Pattern and use the code matineetour20 for a 20% discount while the pattern tour lasts.

And there are amazing prizes to be won.  Check it out below and enter through the Rafflecopter!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

And finally, there have been some amazing versions of the Matinée dress popping all over the blog world… Check out the fabulous bloggers below!

Matinee Blog Tour

Pattern Review: Bohemian Babydoll Dress by Elegance & Elephants

Bohemian Dress E&E 9

A sweet little pattern landed in my sewing room lately… it’s the Bohemian Babydoll by my friend Heidi of Elegance & Elephants.

Let me show you what I created with it….

Bohemian Dress E&E 2

 An adorable little dress for Gaëlle…

Bohemian Dress E&E 3

Bohemian Dress E&E 4

Bohemian Dress E&E 5

Bohemian Dress E&E 6

Bohemian Dress E&E 7

Bohemian Dress E&E 8

Pattern  The Bohemian Babydoll by Elegance & Elephants

Size 3

Chosen options Dress length, no flutter sleeves, contrasting fabric at bodice and hem facing

Fabric Miraleste Organic Cotton Voile Fabric , Palos Verdes by Leslie Shrewing for Cloud9, purchased from Finch Sewing Studio on Etsy

Comments I love that Heidi guides you through a few sewing techniques that make this pattern really special:  the first is the finish at the waist which has you sew the bodice lining to the skirt together, and then fold and sew the bodice main to the skirt to create an impeccable finish inside and out (no more scratchy serger finishes on tender little bellies);  the second is the hem facing (seen above) which is just lovely and adds that polished look to the dress. I also love that Heidi reminds you of the proper time to stitch your sewing label (I ALWAYS forget!).  The result is a beautiful breezy summer dress, with no buttons or zippers to worry about.  Totally recommend this little dress!

This is the second pattern from E&E that I make and I have to admit that I have become a big fan of Heidi’s work. See the Spring Showers Jacket HERE.

Buy the Bohemian Babydoll Pattern HERE

(Affiliate link)

The Fashionable Type

Fashionable Type Je t'aime Skirt1

I’m up today on an innovative sewing series called “The Fashionable Type” hosted by Stacey of Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy.  It’s a series devoted to letters and words in fashion! All week, bloggers have been showing creations based on all aspects of typography: graphic tees, home decor, and clothing items inspired by type in the form of words, letters or numbers. 

This challenge was a new one for me, as so far, I’ve never included any letters or numbers in my sewing.  I came close to making a pillow with a huge JE T’AIME! embroidered on it…  but since embroidery is a tad foreign to me, I quickly altered course.

I pondered on my own connection with letters and words.  I remembered that as a little girl, the best thing in the world was to receive a letter in the mail!!! I would get so excited imagining the message hidden within the travel weary envelope adorned with colourful stamps.  And that memory led me to creating a little skirt for Alix, with a heart kissed envelope pocket hiding a secret missive of love….

Fashionable Type Je t'aime Skirt5


Fashionable Type Je t'aime Skirt8Fashionable Type Je t'aime Skirt10

The pattern is self-drafted, although loosely based on Straightgrain’s Tiny dress.  The pocket design was completely trial and error (with a huge emphasis on ERROR) but I had a blast doing it.  Oh sure, it’s missing refinement but I kind of love it that way (or so I like to tell myself)!  Besides, you don’t see any mistakes, do you?  Wink wink!

The letters for “Je t’aime” were written using my Janome machine.

Fashionable Type Je t'aime Skirt9

Fashionable Type Je t'aime Skirt3

For the back of the love letter, I chose a fabric that Alix has been in love with since I made a Caroline dress with it for her little sister…

The main fabric is ponte di roma in navy.  I added red bias tape to the hem of the skirt and I am sooooo proud of my application.  Seriously, I have to publicly pat myself on the back with this one… oh, bias tape and I have not been friends in the past.  Like not at all! I’ve been left quite frustrated on numerous occasions after some completely failed attempts at sewing it on.  But this time around, with the help of a new foot, it was a success!  Woohoo!

Fashionable Type Je t'aime Skirt4

But….. the photoshoot…. this was a tough one.  If you visit my little blog often, you’ll know that photographing Alix is a feat that has literally taken me to new heights!  Generally, the issue is that Alix won’t stand/sit still for me… so I end up running madly after her, trying to change my manual settings as I go.

But in this case, sweet sweet Alix was simply in no mood to be photographed.   She was refusing to look at me, pretended she couldn’t understand my prodding, tried to remove her clothes, and then finally broke down crying.  What follows is the best of the bunch (minus tears)… I tried again on a second night and there was no getting her to cooperate.  Oh well! I know better than to push things!

Fashionable Type Je t'aime Skirt2

Fashionable Type Je t'aime Skirt6   Fashionable Type Je t'aime Skirt7

Fashionable Type Je t'aime Skirt11

Everyday of this series Stacey is having a giveaway on her blog.  Check out the shops in the giveaway below and be sure to enter!  Make sure you check out all of the other posts by some fabulous bloggers as well!  So much inspiration!

Mon. 5/5- Sew Fine Fabric
Thurs. 5/8- Sweet Lucy Jack
Fri. 5/9- Sew Me A Song
Sat. 5/10-  World Tangles
Sun. 5/11- Bio ME5
The Fashionable Type Button

And if you’re feeling inspired to create something with typography, head over to Stacey’s blog to link up! 

Spring Showers Jacket – A Pattern by Elegance & Elephants

Sprint Showers Jacket - A Pattern by Elegance & Elephants, Sewn by La gang à Nat

Well hello dear friends!  When my fellow Canadian Heidi from Elegance & Elephants asked whether I would be interested in sewing up her latest pattern, the Spring Showers Jacket, I didn’t hesitate for one second.  YES!!! And then I got a little bit scared… a rain jacket???  Ok, now I am pushing things a bit aren’t I?  Is it me or doesn’t that sound a tad complicated??? Turns out, it’s not!  It’s actually brilliant and completely awesome!!!

Sprint Showers Jacket - A Pattern by Elegance & Elephants, Sewn by La gang à Nat

Oh yeah, I did that, I did that!   Spring Showers jacket all zipped up….

And below, open!

Sprint Showers Jacket - A Pattern by Elegance & Elephants, Sewn by La gang à Nat

This pattern rocked!  There was nothing complicated at all except choosing from the endless possibilities of fabric.  Heidi guides you step by step to an impeccable garment, complete with great images (that’s always important for me… don’t you just hate when the main fabric and lining are almost identical?  What’s up with that???).

And the finishing details are flawless… topstitching baby! See below!

Sprint Showers Jacket - A Pattern by Elegance & Elephants, Sewn by La gang à Nat

Like others on the pattern tour before me, I decided to add two little snaps on each pocket.  They’re actually only decorative as I chose not to hammer in the back part of the snaps.  It’s not like Alix is going to put her wallet in there or something, haha!  Besides, she’s sporting a cast lately and I didn’t think she needed the added complication of trying to open up capricious little button snaps.

As far as the fabric goes, I tried to think outside of the  box and be über creative… and started off by using a plastic table cloth.  I got as far as sewing the first arm hole when I decided to abandon ship. The tablecloth fabric was stiff and uncooperative and it seemed obvious that 10 second on my kid and it would be ripped to shreds.

So, a quick trip to my local Fabricland and I came back with some clear vinyl fabric (yes, I know, basically more table cloth material, haha!), along with some really soft upholstery fabric that I fell in love with.  Bonus is that vinyl, unlike laminated cotton, is extremely cheap.  I paid less that $5 CDN a metre.

Don’t you love how the big flowers on the outer fabric match the little blue flowers of the lining?  Total coincidence my friends!  In fact, I had already cut the lining to match with the original fabric (tablecloth!) I was intending on using… who knew it would turn out to be the perfect lining for fabric #2!

The main fabric is a screen print by Mill Street Fabrics (sorry, couldn’t find it online), and the lining is Dress Up Days by Riley Blake.

Sprint Showers Jacket - A Pattern by Elegance & Elephants, Sewn by La gang à Nat

Now I won’t lie…  sewing with vinyl is not easy.

Here are a couple of tips:

1. Lenghten your stitches.   On my Janome, 3 was the perfect stitch length.

2. Omit the topstitching in curvy areas.  I skipped it on the hood and around the shoulders.  Vinyl is not pliable so sewing in curvy areas is hard.

3. Take your time to pull and tug at the fabric as your go along in order to decrease the chances of getting unsightly folds.

4. Accept imperfections and move on.  I have tons of imperfections on this jacket.. can you see them?  Neither can I!  😉

Sprint Showers Jacket - A Pattern by Elegance & Elephants, Sewn by La gang à Nat

I always forget to add my little tag at the neckline, so a huge thanks to Heidi for pointing out the perfect moment to sew it in, along with a handy little hanging loop.

Fabricland staff suggested that I create little air vents under the arms holes, as vinyl can get a tad hot.  Hello sweet little grommets!  Two under each arm should do it.

Sprint Showers Jacket - A Pattern by Elegance & Elephants, Sewn by La gang à Nat

I am seriously in love with this jacket, if not for the sheer fact that it can easily be transformed into a windbreaker, a preppy fall coat, a summer camping jacket… the possibilities are endless based on the fabrics that you choose.  It’s not often that I sew the same pattern twice, but I can actually see making this one many more times.  In fact, a small argument broke out between Alix and her little sister Gaëlle, who thought the jacket was for her.

Sprint Showers Jacket - A Pattern by Elegance & Elephants, Sewn by La gang à Nat

And here we go for the photo shoot (AKA me running frantically after Alix, trying to change the settings on my camera as we move from place to place!)

Oh, hello little pocket! How cute are you with your sweet little lining!!!!  Let me shove my shades in here until the sun comes up…

Sprint Showers Jacket - A Pattern by Elegance & Elephants, Sewn by La gang à Nat Sprint Showers Jacket - A Pattern by Elegance & Elephants, Sewn by La gang à Nat S Sprint Showers Jacket - A Pattern by Elegance & Elephants, Sewn by La gang à Nat

The life of a blogger… I am actually up on the monkey bars in order to bring you the picture below (I think I shared before that Alix does not pose standing in front of a wall… it’s more “Catch me if you can mom!”).


Sprint Showers Jacket - A Pattern by Elegance & Elephants, Sewn by La gang à Nat Sprint Showers Jacket - A Pattern by Elegance & Elephants, Sewn by La gang à Nat Sprint Showers Jacket - A Pattern by Elegance & Elephants, Sewn by La gang à Nat Sprint Showers Jacket - A Pattern by Elegance & Elephants, Sewn by La gang à Nat Sprint Showers Jacket - A Pattern by Elegance & Elephants, Sewn by La gang à Nat

There have been some really fine jackets making their way around the pattern tour… make sure to check them out HERE, HERE,  HERE,   HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE

Elegance & Elephants

And BONUS, during the tour, you can receive a $1 off on your purchase by using the discount code TOUR.

Click here to visit Elegance and Elephants.

(Affiliate Link)

Thank you so much Heidi for having me on your pattern tour.  I love love love this jacket!!!!!

Spring showers collage

Lua Sleepsack – A Pattern by Straightgrain


Lua Sleepsack 3

I was recently selected to test Straightgrain‘s latest pattern… the Lua Sleepsack!  The timing could not have been better, as little Gaëlle had by far grown out of her 12-18 month old “gigoteuse” and needed a much much longer one.  When I saw that An had created a pattern that was not only lined but also went to size 2Y, I applied immediately to test.  I was still expecting however that since Gaëlle had just turned 2 and is actually tall for her age, I would have to add a few inches to the bottom of the sleep sack.  Nope, not so.  An has taken toddlers into consideration and has ensured that there’s lots of room for their little toes.

button slaapzak

As with all of her patterns, An explains all steps in great detail, throwing in tips and tricks along the way.  The instructions are meticulous, leaving your with a well crafted garment you can be very proud of.

Lua Sleepsack 1

The Lua Sleep is lined with a layer of batting, and has a long zipper at the side for ease of use.

Lua Sleepsack 2

Although walking around in a a “gigoteuse” is not the easiest thing to do, I thought this illustrated well the size of the garment and the wiggle room for the feet.

Lua Sleepsack 4

Bonjour petite Gaëlle!  Réveille-toi!!!

Lua Sleepsack 5

On te sort de ta gigoteuse? Ah… tu étais bien au chaud n’est-ce pas ma cocotte!

Lua Sleepsack 6

Lua Sleepsack 7

Head over to Straightgrain to see all the lovely sleepsacks made by An’s testers…. the amazing choices of fabrics will astound you!

Lua Sleepsack collage