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Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Our Hearts are Breaking - For the Love of Gideon

May 30, 2008, our little guy was born, and our hearts grew two sizes.

December 7, 2018 was like any other day.

Gideon had his annual check up, and I was concerned about swelling on his leg that had started 2 weeks prior when he came home from his grandparents after we went away for the weekend.  We figured him and Fynn had bumped bodies too hard while playing or something simple and normal like that.

It wasn't a good day, so I waited in the car while Husband brought Gideon in for his check up. 10 minutes later, I got the text that just broke my heart. 

"Gideon has bone cancer in his leg."

"Untreatable, except for amputation. He's checking to see if it's made it to his lungs."

The tears started falling uncontrollably. I walked through the parking lot in a daze, past the receptionist, into the exam room, and just held Husband and Gideon.

I remembered when Gideon was chosen as a puppy - we just fell in love instantly. We spent 2-3 afternoons a week at the breeders playing with the pups (and having ankles bitten during their teething phase!)

The vet came around the corner and looked at me gravely. We went to the other room and he showed me the leg x-ray - I could instantly see the tumour enveloping his front left knee, and a patch at his shoulder - it had spread. This thing grew from unnoticeable to this in 2 weeks.

Ever since Fynn had his side flank tumour removed a few years ago, I paid close attention to every lump and bump on our boys - the paranoid already within me.

When he brought up the lung x-ray, before he told me, I saw 5 spots. The F'n cancer in his lungs.

With the spread of the cancer both in the upper portion of his leg and the lungs, we just had time and options to help ease discomfort and pain.

Chemotherapy isn't very effective - and only gives an additional few months to life with us - and wouldn't give him quality of life. Dogs with Osteosarcoma who have the affected limbs amputated AND chemotherapy MAY have upwards of 5 months to a year of additional life. 

Being a top heavy older dog, that wouldn't be fair to Gideon - he has only known life with 4 legs, and is at the age of becoming unsteady to begin with.

There are many theories as to why this kind of cancer occurs - age of neutering, large breed dog, genetic disposition, etc. And how we could of caught it earlier...I don't know.

He has had what appeared to be an autoimmune issue, causing his nails to become brittle and fall off one by one for a period of time, but with treatment over 4-5 months, his nails grew back slowly and normally (no longer brittle). 

He has a few black moles that last year the vet indicated were localized skin tumours, but not the type that spread systematically.  There was no reason to remove them unless we went in for something else - why anesthetize a pup unnecessarily?

He had ear infections the first year of his life, and went through 3-4 food types before we found one that would work for him.

For the mostpart, he has been a healthy pup. Full of energy and zest. A good big brother to Fynn, and loving to all the people he meets (with the exception of one person, but that's totally understandable!)

He has a prescription for medication that will help ease the swelling in his leg, and he gets some special cookie when he's having a rough day or we just need to calm him down and he needs to rest.

The only sign that I can recall is a month prior to this visit the dogs didn't play Ridgeback style. Fynn was being cautious around Gideon (who he ADORES - Fynn is a dog dog and is lost without Gideon - you didn't hear the howling as we left for the vet visit in the first place).

This cancer will weaken his bone - it deteriorates it over time, and can cause pain.

We are having helicopter parent moments now where we encourage him to walk gently down the stairs, not to jump or hop as he normally dogs, and definitely NOT to play with Fynn.

How do we explain to his annoying little brother that he can't play? That he's sore? That we love them both?

They both get human treats now (particularly meats & protein based foods) - never allowed before.

They both sleep in our bed - rarely allowed before.

They both get so much love and snuggles - it's ridiculous.

The memories.

Until the time comes that he tells us he is ready to physically leave us (we will never be ready for this step, and have my in-laws on call to take us to the vet at that time...we'll be in no shape to drive), we will have no regrets, and ensure his tail wags every day, he gives happy kisses, and knows that he is adored beyond words.

Having this time is good and bad. Good, as we have this time for no regrets and extra love. Bad, because we know the end is near. We won't let him suffer - when he is in obvious pain, no longer wags his tail, no longer eats, is not having quality life...we will have to painstakingly make the decision before he becomes sad and scared.

I will look at moments like him sleeping on Jamie everywhere as a puppy:

His love for lion stuffed animals (irony of the Ridgeback)

His desire to kiss everyone


How he was an awful backseat driver

How gentle he was with Kitten aka Saxafrass

How he was always ready to chase and play

How he was and will always look over us

How handsome he was

How he matched his sewing room chair. And didn't share it well with others.

 How I don't want to let him go.

We love you forever, Gideon. Be strong. Be Brave.

And Fuck You, Cancer.

Friday, 30 November 2018

Halla Stay Cozy! The Cozy Wrap Cardigan Sewing Pattern

I adore Halla Patterns. 

The ease of sewing, the way they flatter my body, ALL THE OPTIONS, pockets, hoods, and more!

I have honestly had this Cozy Wrap Cardigan pattern in my to-do box (not just - one-day-I'll-get-to-it filing box) since its release last Spring! 

With life and sewing at 50% my normal capacity (thanks, stupid migraine brain), I just kept putting it off.

Well I want to make some Winter/Christmas rotation clothes before the holiday season is over, and Halla never fails to be a quick sew, as intricate as their patterns look.

This cardigan has SO many options:
- Cross Front Cardigan
- Cross Front Sweater
- Midline Button Up Cardigan
- Half or Long Sleeves
- Cuffs and Band options
- Pocket Tutorial

I opted to sew up:
- Cross Front Sweater
- Long Sleeves hemmed
- Bottom Band

My bottom hem, Sleeves, and main fabric (hello, Star Wars Christmas!) are all from Water Tower Textiles - light cotton lycra.

The cowl part is actually a Le Chateau Sweater that was just way too small - but the fabric was perfect to be remade into this cardigan! 

The sewing was simple, and due to user error, I only had to unpick the bottom band, as I had a Migraine moment and sewed the front inner cross piece to the back band instead of the front. 

Learn from my mistake! 

The armcycle is super comfy (I have problems fitting into arms if they are more slender), and the regular length unshortened with the band is perfect for leggings wear.  I'm 5'-2", but generally prefer a bum-covering top.

I love the cowl - technically I didn't need a camisole underneath, but I did wear my Cami from Rebecca Page patterns for some modesty.

The Eden Leggings are from Bella Sunshine Designs, and the perfect fabric match for my Christmas Star Wars fabric!

So, grab your Cardigan Pattern and see how many you sew up!  I'm already planning on at least another 3, as there are SO many options! 

***Affiliate Links Above used - I love these patterns, and without the help of those who love their patterns, marketing would be extremely difficult for the pattern makers we love and learn to love. Affiliate links help with the hours, fabric, and tears that go behind testing each pattern in order to provide a real-person view on the patterns for you (and me!) 

Monday, 26 November 2018

Won't You Take Me to Comfy Town?

Choo Choo!  Welcome to your next stop on the Rebecca Page Comfy Town Blog Tour!

What is comfier than a cup of warm tea, coffee, or hot chocolate, a good book, and a stuffie? 

Having all of the above while wearing your comfy clothes!

Today I have a few hacks and tips for a few of my fave patterns by Rebecca Page Patterns.

The Paris Party Dress Top and Pippa Pants: The Oopsie Hack

Everything is better with stuffed Unicorns and Flamingos!

I always forget about the Paris Party Dress *TOP*. And I forgot how flattering and easy to make it was. (an easy sew = automatically comfy)

When I received my recent Water Tower Textiles order, I knew this striped lightweight cotton lycra was meant to be a Paris Party Top!

It is the perfect fit, matches with my Flamingo Pippas, and is super easy to grade (I am a Medium to XL in *most* Rebecca Page Patterns). 

The pants, however...let's just say - READ THE STRETCH REQUIREMENTS!

I failed to do this, as I was so excited to sew up my Flamingo fabric - which happens to be some lightweight sort of 2-way stretch fleece from a Walmart throw blanket.

So....when I tried on my Pippas, out came the seam ripper and my hacking noggin. 

The pants wouldn't come up over my thighs let alone to my hips, so I:

- Measured the existing fabric (with stretch), and realized I needed to add another 6" on either side to get these birds on my not-so-stick-legs
- The pants fit my knees to ankles, so I knew I didn't need to cut down past where my knee hit - so I cut a straight line down the length from where the pants should sit (without the band) to my knee.
- I cut a slight angle on either side of the slit to prevent wonkiness at the point (knee)
- fdfaf

And after all that, they fit perfectly!  And I now know to DEFINITELY size up the next time I don't use the proper stretch fabric for my Pippas.

The Strappy Cami and Pippa Pants

The Strappy Cami is a Subscription Only pattern - and it's SO comfy and easy to sew up.  The grading makes it fit like a glove. 

This is my fourth Cami AND pair of Pippas... I'm a bit obsessed. 

But the comfort of this outfit screams: "Curl up on the couch with a puppy at your feet while reading a book and sipping on some tea!"

I like this Camisole more than others because it also has a Ruched Side version. I'm a sucker for Ruching as it hides my imperfections and I can nom nom without it showing (ha ha).

The fabric is the same fabric as the Paris Top above, from Water Tower Textiles.

Gideon approves of my next comfy outfit!  

I LOVE this Comfy Cowl, and so does Husband.  He compliments me on my other two all the time, so why not add a third into the mix?  

I love the way it flows, the pocket option, and the cowl multi tasks as a head cover if I forget my hat!

Lightweight Cotton Lycra/Rayon from Water Tower Textiles.  Obviously I have a favourite Fabric supplier, and Patty has awesome "clearance" fabric - my favourite way to shop!

Another pair of Pippas (#5!), with some awesome Scaled Fabric from Okee Dokee Fabrics.  It's Double Brushed Polyester, and feels like a dream when I wear them!  

I can wear all of these garments to be comfy at home, work (I *do* work from my home office 98% of the time), or just running errands.  

I mean, who wants buttons, snaps, and tightness while succeeding at life? Not this girl!  

Please visit all the stops on the Rebecca Page Comfy Town Blog Tour. Don't forget to comment on the blogs each day and enter the giveaway posts in our Facebook group or a chance to win some prizes from Rebecca Page.
  1. Monday, November 26: Rebecca Page (Intro), bigflynotions, Stitched by Jennie
  2. Tuesday, November 27: Ropp OriginalsFlaxfield Sewing
  3. Wednesday, November 28: Simply KyraSeams Sew Lo
  4. Thursday, November 29: Seams Like StyleJot DesignsSixth Snow
  5. Friday, November 30: The Sewing UnicornPatchWitch
  6. Saturday, December 1: Sarcastic SewistBellephantPrincesse et Tresors
  7. Sunday, December 2: Liviality, Soul Fed on Thread, The Scatty Sewer

Friday, 23 November 2018

Class. Elegance. Style. The Tara Tailored Jacket by Rebecca Page Patterns

You know when it's love at first sight, and you MUST HAVE THAT PATTERN?  

That was my first instinct when I saw draft pictures of the Tara Tailored Jacket by Rebecca Page Patterns. 

What did I learn while sewing her up (the jacket, not the gal)?  

Print instructions in colour. Read directions 3 times. Don't sew while having a major Triple Threat Migraine attack (Vertigo, Nausea, AND headache all at once - not fun - that's my tap out point). 

So kind of like love, I still love Tara, but it was a roller coaster ride to get her down the aisle and presentable in her final form. 


Tara's features include:
- Frill on front lapel
- Lined interior  - all hidden seams
- Full or half lined back

I used random suiting fabric lightweight, some lining I had, and the lapel strip is just regular quilting cotton that matched the purple lining.


I love the cascade of the front lapel - it's unique and feminine.  This makes it the perfect jacket for the office or a night on the town.

The lining options (for full or partial) give it another unique touch, and is pretty easy to sew in.

The armcycle is comfortable - and I can have issues with my arms fitting as apparently my biceps are bigger than what my bust size should be with other pattern makers.

The pockets are small, so could fit maybe a lip balm, change, or something else small - but at least they are functional.  


My difficulties included using the wrong type of interfacing.  I have one that's much stiffer, and not really meant for draping clothing. Tara still drapes on me, just not to the extent that I would like it to.

The cuff slit also got me - I don't feel I did it right, but it was the same issue of understanding that I didn't have with my Paige Pencil skirt.  It was a common issue with a lot of the testers - which the final instructions included a much more broken down version with lots of pictures.

I will definitely make another Tara again -I love it compared to other business jackets, and I can easily make it out of a funky fabric for an every day jacket! 

How fun is that?? 

I added my own label, and the end result of my jacket: Love.

***Affiliate Links Above used - I love these patterns, and without the help of those who love their patterns, marketing would be extremely difficult for the pattern makers we love and learn to love. Affiliate links help with the hours, fabric, and tears that go behind testing each pattern in order to provide a real-person view on the patterns for you (and me!)