Stop. Breathe. Try again.


THE HAIR | Yes, it’s short(er) now. No it doesn’t look like this anymore ’cause I just got highlights. Yes there is a Get Ready with Me video styling this hair (for the 1st time).

I don’t think there is ever an easy way to write a blog post after a 3 month break so maybe this place of awkwardness is where I ought to start. After managing to squeeze out a last blog post at the end of August all that followed was… radio silence. September always meant going back to work (#teacherlife) but I figured I’d let things settle in and come right back to business. Nope, not even close. Work was draining me on all fronts, I found my life at a point of misalignment and worst of all I lost my desire and purpose in writing (more on that here).

In the last few weeks as everyone’s yearly reflections flooded my feed it was almost a relief to hear that 2019 has somehow been a dark fog for many people. Yet in those confessions there is always a tinge of promise for the new year. It reminded me that we must move on because stagnation never leads to happiness.

So let’s stop, breathe and try again.


Sportswear on the table

This summer I took the initiative to make my rent worthwhile and started a workout routine and before you let your imagination get too creative, this consisted of mainly the rowing machine, station bike and some weights. As an attempt to divert my attention away from how awfully sweaty I felt peddling like a hamster on a wheel, my mind wandered to the idea of sewing sportswear.

Why, athlesiure sportswear is practically a stamp of approval for living in Vancouver! In a city where 3/4 of the year involves rain, why shouldn’t I aim to be comfortable and chic in say a pair urban chic joggers?


It turns out that I had been slowly edging my way to the realm of sportswear without even knowing it and I think it all started with falling in love with a trench coat pattern and shopping around for some outerwear fabrics. A few trips later, some lycra rib and stretch mesh were purchased to be turned into a bodycon midi-dress. The more I wandered the aisle of technical offerings, I fell in love with the rainbow of nylon, lycra, spandex, mesh and dare I say it… even some polyester. And the truth is, there are loads of this stuff always on the clearance shelf ranging from $3 – 5 / meter so unless you are looking for some particular proprietary manufacturing or technology from a branded garment… sportswear can be surprisingly affordable to sew!


Here’s a look at whats in my upcoming plans

  • Sueded Trench | Simplicity 0899 (sized for petites) to be made from an olive sueded outer wear fabric in style A or B
  • Cuffed Joggers | Butterick 3163 (sized for petites) elastic waist pants in style D to be edited into cuffed hem leggings
  • Open back workout top | McCalls 7663 made from a teal poly micro mesh
  • 80s Vibe Sweatshirt | McCalls 7869 in style D with teal loop back sweat shirting and coral edge piping

A few patterns not currently on my list but would be pretty cool too

  • Simplicity 8424 , McCalls 7636, McCalls 7986, NewLook 6644


With all that said and planned, I’m still in the pattern tracing stages of most of these projects but I expect most of them to come together quickly with the help of my serger (maybe not the trench..the trench will be a monster). It’s also promising that most of these items will transition well into the fall and winter months not only as outerwear but also as luxe housewear and who knows…maybe a lounge bra in mesh lycra may be in my future but don’t hold your breath.

Happy Sewing,


MILK | Hydro Grip Primer



Well, this is unexpected – today I’m talking to you about the MILK Makeup Hydro Grip Primer which for a couple of months had gotten an incredible amount of chatter when it first released. This is also my very first product trial from MILK, their too cool for me holographic aesthetic is a little wild for my taste but when on the look out for a summer time foundation primer that’s silicone free, this was a high contender.

Here’s what MILK says about Hydro Grip…

HIT OF HYDRO: Hemp-derived cannabis seed extract hydrates to plump and smooth for blissed-out skin.

GRIP IT: A shot of blue agave extract forms an invisible layer to grip makeup for all-day hold. Allow formula one minute to fully absorb to activate full grip effect.

DOSE UP: Aloe water, cherry blossom, hyaluronic acid, and B vitamins boost skin for a healthier-looking base and a glassy, post-hot-yoga-class glow.

UNIVERSAL GOODNESS: Silicone-free, oil-free, green-tinted formula blends in clear to work across all skin tones and types.


Brand: MILK Makeup
Product: Hydro-Grip Primer
Claim to fame: Hydration, grippy texture, silicon free, oil free (hyped up cannabis extract), made in Italy
Size: 45ml
Price: 40CAD
Would I (re)purchase: Undecided
Shop this product: Sephora, MILK website

Ingredients | Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Water, Glycerin, PEG-150 Distearate, Alcohol Denat., Polyglyceryl-10 Eicosanedioate/Tetradecanedioate, Diglycerin, PVP, Benzyl Alcohol, Sorbitol, Pullulan, Inositol, Betaine, Carbomer, Maltose, Xylitol, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Phytate, Benzophenone-4, Dehydroacetic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Agave Tequilana Stem Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Niacinamide, Propylene Glycol, Panthenol, Vegetable Amino Acids, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Extract, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Flower Extract, Prunus Avium Flower Extract, Citric Acid, Benzoic Acid, Yellow 5 (Ci 19140), Blue 1 (Ci 42090), Red 33 (Ci 17200).



When it comes to packaging design, MILK has done a fantastic job of keeping a cohesive look to their brand while also making things practical. I have no complaints about the sturdy plastic pump and cap design; even more so I love that it’s an air sealed pumping system which means the bottom pushes up as you deplete the bottle. Clear packaging also means you can see exactly how much is left. Spring system is accurate and easy to control – total win!


It feels like rubbing aloe vera gel on your skin … and that’s not a bad thing once you get used to it. Note that aloe is actually the first ingredient on the list which in hierachical order means that this primer is packed full of this cooling, slightly sticky, skin calming substance. The gel consistency is best applied with fingers in a dap and rub motion then left to set slightly on the skin before foundation, MILK recommends 1 minute.

Foundation application does get a little tricky; the tacky texture means product doesn’t blend as smoothly on the skin because of the grip. I recommend applying liquid foundation with a beauty blender for best results… powder foundation would seem like a really bad idea. Brushes tend to drag across the tacky surface, again making foundation hard to blend.

Satin and luminous finish foundations with more fluid textures work best with the Hydro Primer, matte finishes just becomes a bit of a clumpy patchy mess and blending over my nose is a no-go altogether. This means its not a universally friendly pairing with my foundation collection and limits its usage.



Here’s where things get a little interesting. I don’t find my makeup lasting longer in total hour count however it looks better for longer throughout the day. In the final hours, it wears off just like any other foundation/ foundation primer does. Essentially, it does hold itself together a little longer and takes longer time to break down but I don’t find it extends my makeup wear by an extremely notable amount of time. When it starts going downhill, it goes down hard just like most primers I own.


No sensitivity at all. No strong detectable fragrance in product. No breakouts.



MILK’s Hydro Grip Primer is a good silicone-free under-layer to your liquid foundation that gives a small boost of initial moisture and a little extra stick to your base makeup… literally. The tacky texture is less compatible with matte foundations or powder foundations (including mineral makeup). Hydro-Grip is not going to make your makeup bullet proof or sweat proof but if you want something that simply holds your face together a little better than usual and you don’t like matte primers, this is a very likeable choice.

Chat soon,


Handmade |Foxy Cardigan (NewLook 6378)


The foxes are here, the foxes are here! Yes this is a perfectly lovely and breezy summer weight cardigan – for saving you from a little breeze or sun – but let’s cut the fluff, the fox is the real reason this thing is a stunner. This was one of the first pieces of fabric I bought purely because I couldn’t walk away from the print and despite it not being a practical fabric for me (previous experiences with rayon did not end well) the fact that it was never seen again after I bought the rest of the bolt heightened the preciousness around it. I hoarded it for years for fear of not picking something worthy enough or messing it up.

PATTERN: NewLook 6378

MY NUMBERS: 34 – 27.5 – 37″ (Height 5’2)

PATTERN SIZE MADE: XS (32/34 – 23/24/ – 32/33)

ALTERATIONS: None. Made as per instructions



This is a cardigan pattern I’ve made before (see the first version in knit) so I felt pretty confident with the process and in all this is a great easy sew which I definitely welcomed because most of my energy was spent on making sure this delicate, slippery rayon fabric lined up properly and did what it was supposed to do (especially with that curved hem).

I sized down in this pattern to account for the generous cut in the style, no fit issues.

DETAILS | There’s quite a few bits of contrasting colour details in this cardigan from the light blue top-stitching and the flash of bright yellow in the bias edge finish. Admittedly this particular store bought bias tape is not my favourite as I find it slightly too stiff for the fabric but I’ve yet to conquer making my own. Using what I already had in my box, I do love the peek-a-boo colour contrast. I’m just hoping this won’t make the edges wavy/pucker after a few washes.


This cardigan is such a smile inducing number that I can see it being worn casually as a cover up, lounge wear to through over a camisole or even as a bathrobe – the feel against the skin is cool and comfortable – exactly what I’d want to be wearing all summer!

Happy Sewing,


January Bits & Bobs

Not quite a favourite post, I thought I’d round up some goings and happenings from the month of January…

COZY | This is absolutely the the theme word for January and it’s completely validated by my recent accumulation of UNIQLO clothes. With a few shops around town and easy skytrain access, I found myself popping in regularly to look for an item here and there. While their fit can still fussy, I’m really loving a few of their casual items such as their cotton turtleneck shirts and furry zip up mid-layers. I talked about their rayon button up shirts in my 2018 favourites as well and I can’t wait until they bring back a few more colours for spring.

ALL THE GREEN THINGS |… literally! Over the holiday season I discovered my love for pesto and proceeded to make an unusual amount of pseudo-Italian meals in order to try putting pesto on everything. Come January, I had finally (judge as you may) bought my very first avocado. Now as you pick yourself up from the floor in shock, let me explain – while I’ve certainly had this in sushi over the years, I’ve never actually eaten it any other way nor have I bought one from the shop. Annoyingly, before I could make up my mind whether or not I liked it, the rest of my bag had gone brown… so the verdict is still out on this mystery fruit.

TIDYING UP | Netflix blessed the start of 2019 by releasing an exclusive show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, a TLC style series of episodes where Marie teaches everyday Americans (or ought I say Californians in particular) how to find organization, inner peace and joy. While I have dabbled in her best selling book, it was great to see her in action and must say I found her charming. After binge watching the first few episodes as soon as it, I will say that the format of the show didn’t hold my attention though I liked having it in the background and would happily continue to keep it on if they decide to release a next season.

TWO GUYS IN BASEBALL CAPS | The internet is truly a strange and wonderful place because a few weeks ago I stumbled upon the traveling singing duo Endless Summer and was instantly smitten by their covers of popular songs. Brothers Clint and Bob setup their guitars in the middle of nowhere, play you a song and its simply perfect – I’m fairly certain I had a smile the entire 3 minutes 19 seconds of Stand by Me. Their acoustics and harmonies feel authentic, inviting and it helps that they have a sprinkle of country which I love. Now for the cherry, I just found out that the brothers were actually part of the wildly popular, teenage-girl-scream-inducing band The Moffatts… so now you really do have to check them out.

Chat soon,



IT COSMETICS | CC+ Cream Matte


Cue the dramatic stage lights everybody – today we’re talking about the IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream Matte SPF40* which launched in 2018 following the incredibly successful original CC+ Cream. Same-same but different, this  version came as a response to those who either preferred a more matte finish or had oily skin and had trouble making the first version last. This matte release contains similar claims but is tweaked for those with larger pores, oily and/or acne prone skin challenges.

Here’s what IT Cosmetics has to say…

Developed with plastic surgeons, Your Skin But Better CC+ Oil-Free Matte with SPF 40 delivers color-correcting full coverage, anti-aging skincare and SPF 40 broad-spectrum physical sunscreen—all with a poreless, natural-looking matte finish that lasts! This multitasking, complexion-perfecting breakthrough instantly camouflages skin imperfections including dark spots without creasing or cracking and is clinically tested to reduce shine and control oil for up to 12 hours. It’s also infused with charcoal to detoxify, colloidal clay to absorb oil and tea tree extract to combat blemishes—plus, an advanced anti-aging serum made of hydrolyzed collagen, peptides, niacin, hylauronic acid, vitamins and antioxidants. You’ll see powerful results instantly and more dramatic results over time!


Brand: IT Cosmetics
Product: CC+ Foundation Matte
Details: SPF 40
Colours: Fair (11 listed on website)
Size: 32ml
Price: 48CAD
Would I (re)purchase: Probably yes.
Shop this product: IT Cosmetics, Sephora, QVC

Identical in basic packaging to the original CC+ Cream, the matte version differentiates itself by being blue instead of silver but the rest of the squeeze tube and pump dispensing design remains the same. I have to say that I love how practical and easy this is, you can get every last smidge of the product out plus it’s safe and worryless to travel with if you need to. There are currently 11 shades listed on their website and my closest match would be Fair – ultra porcelain, fairest of fair with yellow skin tones – and while I appreciate a brand finally putting yellows in fair shades, I would hardly say this is ultra fair. It matches my NC15-NC20 skin just fine though and does not oxidize. I rarely say this but I adore that this has SPF40 in a physical format without compromising on the look of the foundation itself. Continue reading

SEW WHAT NOW | Projects to start 2019

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First week 2019 down and I am in full swing project planning mode! Having just filmed my new years sewing intentions video (editing currently in progress), I want to give you a sneak peak at what’s ready to go on my cutting table. This fresh spring colour palette wasn’t intentional in this combination but I suppose that’s just what’s on my mind lately.

SOMETHING FOR MAMA | This will definitely be one of my bigger projects this upcoming season so I wanted to get started as early as possible and that is a new coat/cardigan for my Mom. The blue cotton is a traditional Chinese indigo dye fabric that was gifted to her by a friend who bought it from local artisans on a trip then lugged it 9650km across the Pacific Ocean when coming to visit us. They had been dorm mates in university and I chuckled at the fact that she knew exactly the kind of folksy aesthetic my Mom loves out of everything she could have chosen as a gift. I thought the sentiment was particularly special and decided it would be fun done up in Butterick 5318 – the pink as the outer colour with a surprise indigo pattern as the lining.

SMALL LUXURIES | An exceptionally lucky find in the clearance section recently are these crepe back satin pieces! As a practicing seamstress still learning my craft, I do try to sew from the discount aisles as often as I can so when these unexpected beauties popped up, you bet I had to snag them. I love the idea of small luxuries, where more basic items are elevated by colour or the quality of material and in this case it ticks both boxes. Crepe back satin has always been a fabric I wish I had the occasion to wear more of (the crepe texture on the backside makes gives it a more substantial hand) and sewn up in a few Ogden camisoles, I think it would be a lovely luxury to add to my daily wardrobe.

FOR THE LOVE OF PANTS | I often tell people that in my head I dress like a Stepford Wife but in reality I can’t bothered with anything that I can’t be practical in. So this brings us to the topic of pants! This striped cotton is something I owned since the end of highschool (if memory serves me correctly) and this year I’m finally cutting into it for some wide legged elastic waisted bottoms that I promise look much more flattering than it sounds. Last year I completed a pair using Simplicity 1467 which turned out great and I think this new combo would be fantastic for summer with either some high heeled wedges or cool girl white sneakers.

Happy sewing,