Thursday, 31 July 2014


Hi Everyone! Weeee!  We's in a different country for photos today!  Yeppers!  I'm frolicking about in Peace Arch Park, a beautiful and rather unique park that straddles the International boundary of Canada and the USA. It's super close to home and the perfect venue for today's post.  Why? Well, one of the fun and unexpected joys of blogging has been experiencing a wonderful sense of community.  I've come to know so many lovely and interesting people from all over the world.  My peeps are a diverse bunch, and I love that! Today, as part of Oonapalooza {July's sew-a-long as cooked up by the Sewcialists}, I'm happy to give a shout out to fabulous Oona from Oonaballoona.  Oona lives in New York City and her world is one filled with colour, pattern, and mad sewing skillz!  Needless to say, I'm a huge fan and I pretend we're besties and now ain't that embarrassing.  Yep, Oona accompanies me to the fabric stores, whispering sweet nothings in my dis, buy dat, more colour, more crazy!...Seriously though, if she didn't live on the other side of the continent, in a foreign country, I'd totally do my dangest to get her to hang out with me. 

Okay, I know some of you have been waiting for them...these patterned, palazzo pants.  And I'm sorry it took so long, but it was a challenge finding just the right fabric.  When I finally bumped into this swishy rayon...well, I kinda flipped for it.  So much so, that I bought enough fabric to make a top to go with. At the same time,  I was keen to step up my pattern/colour game. This is Oona inspired after all.  And. Yes. This fuchsia print had me at hello. I bought .6m with the intention of adding it as a fun accent at the neckline or waistband, but I tell ya, that Michael Miller pink plain wiggled it's way into an entire top. It just had to be. I pretty much held my breath while laying out pattern pieces on my precious and tiny piece of fabric. That top pattern, by the way, is simply the bodice of my Paris In The Springtime Dress, lengthened a little, with the zip moved to the side seam. And, um...I added the length mid-bodice which was totally dumb; it messed up the dart positioning...duh...resulting in a bit of an old lady boob thing going on...but I'm willing to overlook that, and I sincerely hope you will too!  At the end of the day, I quite love these pants; they might be the most comfortable I've ever long as I'm not catching my reflection in a store window...I have to say, I'm totally down with the top too.

All righty, that's all she wrote for today. Want more colour and pattern?  Check out the many Oona inspired outfits on Sewcialist's  Flickr Group.

Palazzo Pants : : Vogue Pattern V2958, also sewn here
Top : :  New Look 6799 Bodice, dress sewn here
Wedge Sandals : : Aldo
Zoya Polish : : Purity, Wednesday, and Lara

Wednesday, 16 July 2014


Summer Sundress Sew-a-long, Stripes

Summer Sundress Sew-a-long, Stripes

Ah...hello my peeps!  We've got some lovely summer heat happening in Vancouver right now!  And lucky me...I had some time off work and was able to sneak away for an impromptu mini holiday for a few days. The mister and I drove up to Whistler to get together with a work colleague of his that was visiting from Texas! Turns out, it was a Texas sized occasion with 24 of us sitting down to dinner at Earls Restaurant.  And I'm here to tell ya that we were enveloped in hospitality, Texas style. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of our visit!

I wore this stripey sundress all most of the time we were in Whistler.    It's  summer sundress sue style. Not so much strappy, but definitely happy. And why?  Where the skin doth show, sunscreen must go. I don't profess to be the fairest in the land, but I do confess to having sun-sensitive skin.  Sigh. Such is the reality for a redhead.  Life experience has taught me the value of keeping shoulders and other rarely exposed bits of skin safely covered when summer's rays are at their fiercest, so when I stumbled across this cute dress on pinterest I knew it would be a perfect summer make!

A few posts back, I shared my technique for making a t-shirt pattern.  Okay, maybe the word technique is a little fancy schmancy.  After all, all I did was cut apart an old t-shirt. But, it worked!  I've made a few tees already, and how 'bout we call them basic t-shirts, view A. 'bout we call my summer sundress, view B. Yuh-uh! This sundress is a direct descendant of my humble t-shirt.  How to?  Well, I added to the length obviously. And, I added to the side seams, creating an A-line shape. I added some fullness to the sleeves with an inverted pleat, and the ruffled hemline is a looooong, gathered rectangle of fabric.  The ZIPPER, although completely unnecessary, is the design feature I love the most. It's my first exposed zip...{can I get a wahoo}...I know, I'm totally late to that party, but what can I say.  It was a little tricky working that zipper in a knit fabric, but I do love the final outcome, especially where the red stripe intersects with the red zipper.  Hello, is that Vogue Magazine a calling? Since we share the good, the bad, and the ugly here, I must share that I did a little hand stitching at the base of that zipper. After I had sewn the zipper in, I spotted a couple of tiny areas that I was concerned might run, so I hand stitched the corners just to be safe. Knit fabrics don't fray which is a definite yay. They do, however, sometimes run, just like when you snag a pair of nylons. Or...when you give your cat corporal know...the punishing of a cat by picking it up and cuddling it.  Naughty cat has not chosen to be cuddled, and he/she tries desperately to free him/herself from evil clutches of human being. This always involves claws and almost always results in snagged t-shirts.  Erg, where was I?  Oh yes, my dress. I had the most fun figuring out the layout.  This double knit fabric, at a whopping $1.99 meter, was unearthed in the bargain center at Dressew.  I think it might have been there because the pattern repeats, oh, about every 50 feet or so. Seriously, it's not, but the pattern seems almost, nearly random. There are different widths of blue and white stripes, and then a surprise random red stripe thrown in here and there.  And I really, really wanted that red stripe to be featured in my dress, so, yes, I played at that for a while. At the end of the day, it definitely passed the travel test; and I like the dress a lot, and I wanna make another one out of a woven fabric!  I have to tell you, if I like a garment I've made, I always so look forward to making it again...all the ifs, buts, and what just happeneds are sorted out, and garment number two usually goes together in about half the time!

Not much else newsy to far the hives have not reoccurred...keeping my fingers crossed.  I've reintroduced everything except the laundry soap. And I'm thinking that I'll try it again....oh, never.  The mister and I have been heading to local farmer's markets on the weekends, our lofty goal being to visit every community market at least once this season. So far, we've been to a grand total of three, so as I type this I'm thinking that we might need to adjust our intentions. Especially since we seem to make a beeline towards the baking stands. every. time. That and homemade jam.  Homemade jam is experiencing a real renaissance chez A Colourful Canvas.  Big time. All righty, 'nuf said. Thanks ever so much for stopping by!

Dress : : Me-Made
Sandals : : American Eagle for Payless
Starfish Earrings : : Me-Made from buttons

Linking Up with Handmade By Heather B for Summer Sundress Sew-a-long

Tuesday, 1 July 2014


Simplicity 2444, Dressing Your Truth Type One

I've got an old birdhouse in the garden.  I've had it for years... it was one of those things I picked up second hand. I sometimes nose around garage sales and thrift stores and buy questionable goods and call them garden art. When we moved into our current home, my birdhouse sat forlornly on the back stairs.  For years. Last fall, during my autumn yard clean-up, I decided it was time to let it go...but. I couldn't. so. I didn't.  I hung it in the wisteria vine and promised to deal with it come spring. Well, spring blossomed, and with it came a lovely pair of chickadees. And yes! They chose that old and tired birdhouse to be their honeymoon cottage. I was surprised, delighted, and thoroughly conflicted about the fact that my little bird hotel (they don't stay long) was smack dab in the middle of cat country.  I have two cats. Two cats that go outside with moderate supervision.  We have a fenced in garden, and my cats are, for the most part, disinclined to jump over, crawl through, or otherwise attempt to explore beyond their confines.  And why would they?  Especially given the fact that their provider of all things earthly has now generously provided front row, interactive, live entertainment.  Sigh.  I assigned myself to guard duty...lounging on a nearby chaise...with a book...and a bevy...I know, I know, it was a tough gig, but someone had to do it.  I also set up a little perimeter fence underneath the birdhouse in an effort to give the young parents at least a little privacy.  I imagine it would be disconcerting having a keen eyed cat sitting directly below one's doorstep 24/7.  Not that my cats are out there 24/7...but I do like to dramatize my boring stories at least a little.  And this story really has no drama. Which is actually very good. Because cats and birds and drama in the same story has a sinister sound to it.   Mama and Papa bird nested,  and then proceeded to feed and nurture those chattering baby chickadees incessantly for a couple of weeks. Then...BAM...they literally flew the coop.  The nest, once a very busy hub, was suddenly very still.  The very next morning the young birds were spotted sitting in our bamboo patch, fluffier versions of their parents.  It was as if they wanted us to know they had their wings and all was well.

So yes, I have been a bit bird obsessed lately.  If you're a blogger, and you've posted anything bird patterned recently, you probably knew this.  As much as one can swoon in a comment, I have been swooning. Most, errr let's make that all, of your bird patterns are pretty...pretty birds, pretty colours. I adore them. Truly. I do.  With that being said, this cartoonish print squawked hello the minute I saw it.  I tried. I tried really, really hard to ignore it, but even when I was at the far end of the store, outta sight, I could hear it calling me. And. Sometimes you just have to give in.  Just like my I'm a Bird in Paradise Dress; this dress, my Birds of a Feather Dress, makes me smile. Big. It's whimsical, it's colourful, and it's me.  Not too much to say about the construction.  The pattern is identical to my previous bird dress, with one exception.  I inserted a centered zipper instead of an invisible one. Why? I wanted a matching turquoise zipper, that's all. sez me.

Okay, real quick now and then I'll let ya go...I got a crazy case of hives last week, and I've been beyond itchy. I think it might be new laundry detergent.  I usually buy Tide Free and Gentle powder, but I bought the liquid TF&G.   The grown-up me knows not to scratch, but, seriously, look at the dress I just sewed. I think I need to wear oven mitts secured to my wrists with duct tape.  Although not entirely gone, they did resolve well enough to allow me to thoroughly enjoy seeing Spamalot this's a hilariously funny musical comedy spawned from Monty Python and The Holy Grail. Oh My Goodness! We did laugh out loud a lot! I've got a new striped, yes STRIPED, sewing project ready to go! I'm planning to sew a summer sundress, and I'm still on the search for the perfect palazzo pants fabric. Weather's been...meh...and...the wisteria vine seems to be dying. We can't understand it. It had a great show of blooms, and then, just, nothing...not much leaf development, and what's there looks limp and lifeless. I am trying look on the bright side of life ala Spamalot, but things are not looking that bright in that corner of the garden right now.

Happy Canada Day to my Canadian Peeps! 
And an early Happy 4th of July to my American Cousins!

Dress :: Me-Made Simplicity 2444
Shoes :: Nine West

Linking up with The Sewcialists for Oonapalooza