Aug 14 2014

Product Review: First Baby Shoes

A while back I was contacted by “First Baby Shoes”, a Polish company, to review a pair of their baby shoes.  What’s unique about them, is that it’s a shoe making kit that they send you with all the materials and instructions!  I decided on the yellow “Karo” shoes, because I thought the colour would be nice in the autumn for Lucy.  One thing to note right off the bat– they are only made in one size.  They have picked the average size of foot for a baby who starts walking, which is 12cm long (I’ll talk more about this later).

The shoes arrived very fast!  I was surprised, considering how crummy Canada Post is.  Usually they end up losing my stuff or forgetting to tell me that it’s at the post office.  They are great that way.  But this isn’t about Canada Post.  I digress.

They came in a cute little box all perfectly packed with all the necessities.  I was pretty excited to start, but I had to wait for Lucy to go down for a nap before I could get anything done.  Once I started, I quickly realized (surprise surprise) that I’m terrible at reading instructions.  This was never my strong point in school…I learnt by doing, never by reading.  Thankfully, they have video tutorials on their website that show all the separate steps.  Those were lifesavers for me.  I’m pretty sure the shoes would have gotten sewn backwards if not for that.

The first shoe took me about 45 minutes to sew, but keep in mind I was also learning and following video instructions.  Once I figured it out, the second shoe only took me about 15 minutes to sew.

Below is the finished product!  Aren’t they flippin’ adorable?!

Here are a few things that I have to say about the shoes now:


1. The obvious: They are adorable.  The colour is perfect and the styling is classic but still unique.

2. The leather is very high quality and soft.

3. They have a nice rubber sole, so that when Lucy starts walking her feet will be protected.

4.  Also, there’s a padded insert for extra comfort.

5.  They were fun to make!  I would definitely recommend these to other crafty mamas.


1.  Poor Lucy has teeny feet.  These actually won’t fit her probably till late winter.  My face was very sad when I put the shoes on her feet and they just flopped off.  I kind of wish they had different sizes…at least 3 to cater to small babies, average babies, and big babies.

That’s about it!  I can’t wait till they fit Lucy and I will be sure to post a picture of her wearing them as soon as they fit.

Visit their website here for more information: “First Baby Shoes”

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Apr 28 2012


Thursday I made a skirt with some great navy blue polka dot fabric (that I found at the thrift store) following a tutorial on a fabulous new website I found called “Gerties New Blog for Better Sewing” (if you are into retro sewing, this is the place).  After making the skirt, I decided I also wanted a blouse out of the same stuff.  I found an etsy shop (Embonpoint Vinage) that sells PDF’s of out of print patterns.  It’s a whole drafting system, so you get instructions and a template, and you have to draft out the pattern yourself.  I’ve been wanting to learn a little more about drafting my own patterns, so I figured I’d give it a go.

Bigsby, on the other hand, figured it was a bad idea.  We had a stand off for a while, as I didn’t want to shoo him away and have him tear the tissue pattern paper.

I should have the blouse done on Monday, in which case I will try to make a point of sharing…something that I seem to have forgotten to do on this blog lately.  Apparently I don’t have much to share as of late.

PS:  I do often post to instagram.  My user name is “courteneyrodda”  Today is Caturday, thus, the above image of Bigsby.  Although…let’s be honest…every day is caturday with me.


Mar 15 2012

homemade personalized stationary

This project turned out about a thousand a million times better than I was expecting.

I’ve been inspired by the etiquette books that I’ve been reading to revive some old traditions that have been lost in the digital age.  I don’t know how common personalized stationary was, or when it stopped.  But I like it.  There are so many occasions where I feel like a text message, facebook message or even an email seem impersonal and *ahem* tacky.  There are days when Dave and I want to have guests over in a not-so-impromptu dinner, and I’d like to make it feel a bit more special for the guest.  However, buying a “You’re Invited” card also seems…tacky.  Or what about saying thank-you to someone who helped out with something?  Or maybe you want to share that fabulous chocolate cookie recipe? Ah, the list goes on.

Initially, I was going to use my typewriter and type our names on each paper, and then stamp something beside it.  I couldn’t find a stamp that I liked that would be a good “all around” sort of image.  Dave suggested that I just do everything on the computer (ah!  But that would take away from the hand-made feel!)  It totally didn’t though.

So I found a number of Victorian style photoshop brushes on and went crazy.  So far, there’s actually about 12 different images.  Some of them are totally random. (That guy on the bike?  Ha! I love it.)  Some of them make sense to Dave and I (*ahem*…the cat.)  I have some more that I’d like to do; but for now I can’t imagine that I’ll have to make more of the cards soon.

The cards are printed on a 65lb card stock in 4.25″ x 6.25″ (according to my etiquette books, this is the appropriate size for correspondence cards).  I may also take the time to type our address and phone number on the backs of them as I use them.

So what do you say?  Is personalized stationary a yes?  I love it.  Next steps…calling cards?  (haha!  But really…I’m kind of serious.)

(PS: Sorry if you’ve come to my site earlier today and it was all over the place. As you can see, I’ve been sprucing things up a little bit over here. It’s all good. For now.)

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Mar 8 2012

mellow yellow.

Despite the seemingly morose tone of these images, I swear, I’m not in a bad mood today. Just…*yawn*…tired.
This afternoon I went out to pick a location for a session I have later on today and thought “Gosh darnit! I haven’t shown anyone my swell yellow cloak yet! Gee wiz! Well, what the hey! I might as well take some pictures of it while I’m out!”
Um. Except I didn’t quite say that out loud.
Over a year ago, I found this yellow plaid fabric at a thrift store and snatched it up right away. I didn’t have any project in mind at first, but one cannot simply let fabric like this go. At first I thought that I would just wing it, and make a cloak from scratch. But since I found this fabric at the thrift store and there was no replacing it, I went on a hunt for a pattern (which I found online). I made the cloak, thinking it might be warm enough to wear on a milder winter day. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do so well with this Pacific Northwest rain we get so often in the winter. I had to wait till spring.
I can safely say, that today actually for reals feels like spring (I mean, it’s like 10 degrees outside! Wow!). So, thus…the cloak came out. The only problem with cloaks…is that they are virtually impossible to drive in. Cloaks + seat belts + trying to steer = not good. (Don’t worry, I don’t wear it while driving. I’m not crazy.)

I’m feeling slightly awkward about how to close this post off. I don’t normally do outfit posts. So…um…the end.

PS: Personal style blogging is a fairly new thing to the general public, so I can understand that when someone sees another person taking pictures of themselves they might be curious. But really people…stopping and staring is just weird. Come on. Don’t do it. If you are curious as to what the person is doing, politely ask, and move on.


Mar 7 2012

(almost) no sew iPad case: diy

I’ve been looking for a simple iPad sleeve for a couple months now, but it seems everyone charges an arm and a leg for them.  So I decided to make my own.  This project is super simple and takes under an hour to complete.  All you need is some vinyl (I had leftover from some projects I did at Christmas time), lining fabric (I used a thrifted pillow case that I’ve been dying to use for something) double sided fusible interface, 3 grommets, a button and some ribbon or string to tie it all up.

I started by measuring how big I wanted the case to be.  I wanted the corners on the long edge to overlap, so I cut a square 13″ x 13″.  After that, I ironed on the liner fabric to the vinyl.  This may seem obvious to most, but just to be clear:  Do NOT iron the vinyl side!  I ironed on the fabric side, had the iron on a lower setting and even used a tea towel to make sure I didn’t melt the vinyl.  It takes a little longer to fuse, but then you don’t wreck your vinyl.  After that, I added grommets to the corners where the string would go through (originally, the string was going to go through all four corners, but that didn’t work, so that’s why there are grommets on all four corners of mine)  Lastly, I added a button to tie wrap the string around to close the case.

I considered doing a stitch around the edge (and I might still do that) to keep the fabric from fraying.  But make sure you are extra careful, because once a stitch goes through vinyl, it leaves a permanent mark!