Friday, March 2, 2012

A couple new-to-me pattern companies

What's better than discovering a new, independent sewing pattern company?  Discovering TWO new, independent sewing pattern companies!

In the past couple days, I have come across a couple of new online pattern shops offering some extremely cute designs.  The first is Salme, which sells PDF patterns in their Etsy store. Below you can see a couple of my favourites. 

Salme's patterns are simple, stylish and totally customizable. The top with the gathered waist and centre pleat would be so cute made up in a small-scale floral for spring. And the top with the horizontal pleats could look totally different depending on your fabric choice -- girly in pastel, classic in black, punchy in a bright colour. Look at this adorable neon version from Kelli at True Bias.

The second pattern company I've come across is Victory Patterns, which gets a special shoutout for being from Toronto.  These patterns are really the opposite of Salme - super trendy, intricate, and totally original.

The pattern that particularly caught my eye is the Madeleine skirt. I'm wondering if I could pull it off - it has the potential to be almost too sweet -- bordering on twee. But I think with the right fabric choice, it can be cool and sophisticated. I really like this version: 

So,  hopefully over the next few months, you'll see a few of these patterns pop up as finished projects on the ol' blog. In the meantime, hope you find them as exciting as I do! 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Garden scheming

Has anyone else been seized by a sudden desire for spring? I want it to be May, like, NOW.

With warm weather and sunshine on the brain, I've been daydreaming a lot about the gardens at our new house. We actually have some really promising garden space - a decent patch in the front yard and several wide open empty beds in the backyard. For the front, I'd love a garden of mostly perennials (because I want pretty flowers, but I'm also lazy). Right now I'm thinking of some ornamental grasses, peonies, daffodils, lavender, and black-eyed susans.

The backyard is where things get really exciting. I'm thinking of making a raised veggie garden (or, if I'm being totally honest, getting my husband to make it for me). In my excitement over gardening possibilities, I ordered some heirloom/organic seeds from Cubits, a cool Toronto-based company.

I'm very excited about these veggies. Here's what I chose:

Cosmic purple carrots... (and yes, that is the real name of these beauties...)

Florence Fennel...
Little finger eggplant...

Cherokee purple tomatoes...

Old Ivory Egg tomatoes...

and Genovese basil.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little intimidated by these vegetables. (Yes, I just wrote that). I have really limited experience with gardening - I've only done small herbs and hot peppers in pots on my front porch. I've never had a vegetable garden, nor have I ever really planted anything from seed (I always buy small plants from the garden centre). So, this may be a little ambitious for my first attempt. But even so, I'm already picturing myself sitting on my deck on a beautiful summer night chowing down on the veggies I grew in my garden. 

Now, if only spring would hurry up and get here...