7.5.15

HandMade Spring Market


I've been busy today packing up all my aprons, robes, cosies and zipper pouches for the HandMade Spring Market, happening this Friday and Saturday at 13th Street Winery in St. Catharines.

If you still haven't bought your mom a Mother's Day gift, this is the place to do it. Or better yet, bring her along! In addition to some amazing art and craft, there will be food trucks, damn fine wine and some of the best buttertarts I've ever had. And buttertarts are kind of my thing.

It's supposed to be a beautifully warm and sunny couple of days, and apparently I'll be set up in the greenhouse, so feel free to bring me cold drinks (and buttertarts) when you visit. Just sayin. ;)

Hope to see you there!

30.4.15

Chevron Crochet Baby Blanket


This project kind of fell under the radar. I completed and gifted it back in March for a friend at her baby shower. In the deep freeze of January and February, I love having a crochet project to keep my hands warm in the evenings and this one certainly kept me occupied. It was probably the most tedious afghan I've ever made, being all single crochets, but the lush result was well worth it.


The pattern I used is by Krista Winters and is posted for free on her blog. I had no problems at all with the main chevron pattern. Although, it is helpful to know that you start your three single crochets in the first of three single crochets from the last row. Thanks to Jessica in the comments for that tip.

I did, however, ignore the instructions for the triangles on either end. I spent many hours trying to figure out why the instructions weren't working out and even tried some of the methods posted in the comments, but nothing was working. In the end, all I did was stitch it exactly the same way as the rest of the blanket, reducing each row by one until the "V" met in the center. Worked like a charm. So simple. I don't know why no one else suggested it. If you need a more detailed description, just let me know and I'll stitch a sample to remind myself. I have the worst memory.


I used a combination of Bernat Satin in Silk (white) and Red Heart Soft Touch in Shade (blue), because I had it on hand and because acrylic is so soft and washable, perfect for babies.


Now here's the up side of tedious crochet projects like this: you can watch TV while you work. Always a plus in my books. I crocheted through several seasons of The Good Wife for this one, and that's something to be proud of. That and a beautiful baby gift, I guess. Haha!



23.4.15

Mother's Day PSA



Mother's Day is quickly approaching, guys. May 10th! Consider this a gentle reminder to be prepared and avoid the guilt trip entirely this year. As always, Etsy is full of shops with lovely gift ideas to make your mom happy, including Dear Edna. But don't forget shipping times. For my shop, Mother's Day orders should be placed no later than tomorrow (Friday, April 24th) for U.S. delivery and next Wednesday (April 29th) for Canadians. Happy shopping!

20.4.15

Shop Update: Kimono Dressing Gowns


I'm thrilled to be back again this week to announce another new product for Spring — dressing gowns

These have been in the making for a very long time (I made my first one back in 2012), so I'm both excited and relieved that these are finally ready!

And just in time for Mother's Day. But these would also make great gifts for bridesmaids, new or expecting mothers, or just to get your bestie through a rough patch. Sometimes we all need something soft and sexy to make us feel beautiful.


They're a one-size-fits-all, knee-length kimono style that drapes beautifully off the shoulder. Prefer a shorter sleeve? They look equally as cute rolled up.

Currently available in five different floral prints and made of a beautifully soft and lightweight cotton called voile. It feels almost like silk, but breathes and washes like cotton. Triple win.


After some testing, I chose to sew all of the robes with French seams. This method completely encloses the raw edge, which maximizes comfort (no itchy serging against your bare skin) and minimizes fraying (a concern with such a delicate fabric).


There's a little loop on the back so you can hang it up on a hook easily. I like to store the belt in there sometimes too, as there are no belt loops.


I also chose to include a set of "modesty" ties on the inside of the robe. You may not always choose to tie them, but they do prevent wardrobe malfunctions in front of the mailman.

Please visit my shop for even more pictures and details and feel free to contact me with any questions.

10.4.15

Shop Update


I'm thrilled announce that there are now three handmade quilts available in my shop! Two patchwork baby blankets and a whole-cloth lap-size. Perfect for all your baby and bridal showers this Spring.

I think I've mentioned here before that quilting is something I've dreamed of my entire life. My grandmother was a talented quilter, often sewing them completely by hand, and I have memories playing underneath her quilting frames. I recently learned that my other grandmother quilted from time-to-time as well and that some of my aunts quilt too. So I was eager to carry on the family tradition.

It didn't take long for my interest to turn into a passion. The world of quilts is a never-ending well of inspiration for me and has renewed my creativity at a time when I really needed it. It's taught me to value slowness, accuracy and quality. It calms and focusses. It's made me a better sewer.

In short, I love it and I'm super excited to finally be able to share some of that love with you! 


Given how labour-intensive quilting can be, I'm not sure when I'll be able to post more designs, but I'm definitely open to taking commissions, if you have something or someone special in mind.

Speaking of custom requests, embroidery works really well on quilts and adds  a sweet personal touch to a special gift. Here are some examples of embroidery I've added to quilts for friends.


26.3.15

Wooden-Handled Bag Tutorial


When I made this project last month, I promised a tutorial. So here it is! The original purse belonged to my grandmother but I mostly remember my mother using it to hold her crochet projects. She recently passed it along to me, and I love those vintage "made in Canada" wooden handles, but the orange had to go. So I swapped it out for this gorgeous red Dear Stella print. If you want to make something similar, follow along! 

Obviously the wooden handles are quite specific, but they are certainly easy to find in thrift stores, craft supply stores or Etsy and all you would have to modify is the width.


You will need...
  • a pair of purse handles (mine were 12-1/2" long with 9-3/4" openings)
  • 1/2 yard of main fabric
  • 1/2 yard of lining fabric
  • thread
  • pins, scissors/rotary cutter, marking pen/pencil, sewing machine


With your fabric folded, square it up and cut the length to 16". Now measure your purse handles. You want the bottom to extend out a little, so cut to a width that is 4" inches longer than the handles (2" for each side). So, my piece was cut to 16 x 16-1/2".


To make the corners curved, I find it easiest to trace something in your house that makes a nice-looking curve. I used an old embroidery frame here, but a small plate works well too.


Trace the curve and cut. Then fold your piece in half lengthwise, trace the curve onto the opposite side and trim.


Now use that piece as a pattern to cut out your lining. Or vice versa, depending on which fabric you started with.


With right sides together, measure down 6" from the top and make a mark with either a pin or disappearing ink. Do this for both the left and right side and for both your main fabric and your lining. Then stitch around the purse with a 1/2" seam, between the marks.

Slide the lining inside the main fabric, right sides together and pin the two together along the 6" opening, as shown above. Stitch with a 1/4" seam.


Turn the bag right side out. Baste the main fabric and the lining together along the top of the bag. Fold the top down 1/2" and press.


Now feed the top through one of the handles, so that there is just enough room to stitch a 1/4" seam. Test it on your machine — the foot probably takes up more room than you think. Mark this sweet spot with a line. Measure it and duplicate it for the other side.


Now pin along that line and sew. It's always easier to sew in a straight line with a guide. So for this project, for my first seam I simply lined up the folded edge with the right side of my presser foot. On my machine, that results in a seam that is a little bigger than 1/4".


The gathers can be cumbersome. You will need to go slow, flattening out small sections at a time, shifting the handle along as you go.


I went over it again with an edge stitch, which gives it a more polished look.


And there you have it! A roomy bag for transporting your crafts. With the right fabric, it would make a fabulous purse too. 

Whatever you decide to make, I'd love to know, so please tell me all about it in the comments below. Feel free to ask me any questions you may have, as well. I'm sure all the instructions aren't perfectly clear to all.

Happy sewing!


21.3.15

Dear Edna Turns Five

 

Five years ago today, I posted my first apron for sale on Etsy! That can't be right, can it? Let me check again...

Yep. 2010. Five years! I was shocked that I lasted three months, so this seems like a pretty monumental milestone. This little business literally changed my life and it wouldn't be possible without the support and encouragement from all of you, my customers, blog readers, crafty community, friends and family. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!

For the last couple weeks, I've been mulling over how to best celebrate and was coming up with nothing. Honestly, I was on the verge of letting the day pass by unannounced. But then the most perfect thing just happened. I had to cut some extra length off a new product I'm working on (hint hint) and the leftover piece divided perfectly into five. Kismet.

So... to thank you all for five fabulous years of business, I'm giving away five special anniversary-edition trivets!


I had some serious fun with this, quilting each one with a unique pattern. And at 8x10", they 're the perfect size for whatever you need them to be. Big coaster, small placemat, pot holder, whatever you like. I think I might have to make another one for myself, actually.


Here are the details. There will be five winners, each receiving one trivet. All you need to do to enter is sign up for my email newsletter. You'll also receive a 10% discount code on sign-up. The gifts just keep on giving, right? Anyone already signed up for my newsletter is automatically entered.

You can score a second entry by sharing the contest on facebooktwitter, or instagram with the hashtag #dearedna.

The contest will be open for 5 days (gotta keep with the theme). I'll announce the winners on Friday morning.

Good luck!



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