• DIY Beanbag Footstool… Fail?

    January 29, 2019 Kate

    Gather round, kids, for another episode of What Not To Do with your host Kate Smalley. Today on the show we’re featuring the beanbag footstool I made nearly a year ago. I was searching for an oversized footstool or ottoman, and couldn’t find anything in my price range… so I decided to DIY one. I…

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  • A Mum Made Costume, Halloween 1995

    October 31, 2016 Kate

    Let’s talk Halloween. Specifically, Halloween 1995. My Mum made all of my costumes when I was little (check out 1993 an 1994 here) but this one was my favourite. A floor length fairy gown in watermarked taffeta, complete with silk flowers on the bodice and a sparkly crown. Sigh…. It was magical—the rustling sound it made when I twirled, the way…

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  • Easy Zippered Oil Cloth Travel Case

    September 26, 2015 Kate

    I had some delicious Marimekko oil cloth buried in my stash that I finally got around to making a little travel tote out of. This was one of those last minute necessity makes. I was leaving for New York the next day so I needed easy and I needed now. I knew the style I wanted and…

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  • Vintage Mail Order Quilting Patterns

    September 4, 2015 Kate

    Last one in this little vintage sewing series – quilting patterns. In this very worn paper Eaton’s bag I found a stack of newspaper clippings as well as some cardboard cutouts of my Grandma’s. The Laura Wheeler Designs clippings seem to be from the 1930’s. I have no experience quilting so I’m not sure what all the…

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  • White Zig Zag Sewing Machine

    August 13, 2015 Kate

    I’m told this is the machine my Grandma did most of her sewing on (home projects, clothing, quilting, embroidery). My Dad had it serviced to working order a few years ago “just in case”. Last time I visited I took a few photo’s and rummaged through some of her saved supplies and notions. I didn’t try using…

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  • My Nana’s Sewing Supplies

    November 15, 2014 Kate

    A peak at a few of my Nana’s sewing supplies I have with me in the city. I still use and absolutely treasure that little metal pin case, but thankfully a serger has replaced the pinking sheers. Why are good pressing hams so difficult to find now? That and weighted o-rings. If anyone knows where…

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  • Self Drafted Chambray Summer Dress

    July 1, 2014 Kate

    Holy happy this girl made a dress. It had been on my to-do list for a while to try drafting and sewing a summer dress. Since I hadn’t done this before, I kept it really simple. Honestly, I didn’t want to draft something too ambitious right out of the gate and then get down on…

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  • 1950s Handmade Doll Clothes

    June 26, 2014 Kate

    As a little girl, my Mum kept her doll and it’s wardrobe in this trunk. Most of her dolls clothes were hand sewn by my great-aunt Emma in the 1950s. I think they show patience and pride, as well as being an interesting reflection of dressing standards at the time (e.g. a slip under a dress,…

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  • Handmade Nursery Rhymes Quilt

    June 12, 2014 Kate

    I think this is just darling… nursery rhyme characters embroidered on cut up muslin flour sacks. My Mum’s grandmother Hannah and her sisters would have done this on the farm in the 1920s or 1930s. What a great way to repurpose the muslin bags their flour and sugar would have come in (which they also sewed…

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  • DIY Knitting Project Bag

    June 10, 2014 Kate

    I like to take my knitting with me so I can stitch a few rows whenever I can – in the car, on the subway, between class, in class (Ooops). I just need something simple and compact to throw into my bag, something preferably more inspiring than an old shopping bag. This dandy fits the…

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