Tiffany & Tot

Bringing love and comfort through sustainable handmade items, while supporting other Canadian small businesses, located in New Brunsick, Canada.


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Tiffany & Tot’s Mission

For some time now I’ve been wanting to focus my business a little more. There are certain elements of my business that I’m really passionate about, and I realized I haven’t really been communicating them consistently! So here’s what’s important to me, and why I’m doing what I do in my small business.

My mission statement, and how I decide what to spend my time and energy on, is:

Bringing love and comfort through sustainable handmade items, while supporting other Canadian small businesses.

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The fabric used is strikeoffs, to help promote Northern Rose Fabrics, a Canadian small business, and it’s quality fabric that washes well and still looks great after numerous washes. The body of the hoodie is the “Bunnyhug” pattern made by Apple Tree Sewing, a Canadian designer, and it’s in grow-with-me sizing which will last through sizes 3T-6.

And whatever reaction you’re having to that mission statement, whether you think it’s too corny or silly or simply naive, yup, that’s me. 🙂

But in case you’re not following my train of thought, here’s what I mean:

Bringing love and comfort
– physical comfort: through comfortable clothing
– emotional comfort: items are sewn with care, and are crafted to suit the individual’s personal needs through sizing, style, colours and prints

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Underwear to suit exactly what a customer wants, made from fabric sourced from Black Rabbit Fabric, a Canadian small business, and it’s high quality fabric which holds up great over numerous washes.

Sustainable handmade items
– high quality fabric that remains vibrant and looks great even after numerous washes
– sewn by me from patterns and fabrics which have been tested for quality
– reusable (rather than disposable) items to cut down on waste
– grow-with-me children’s clothing that lasts much longer than sized items

Supporting other Canadian small businesses
– fabric sourced from Canadian small businesses
– some patterns designed in Canada by Canadian small businesses

 

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The “On the Grow” romper pattern by Canadian designer Apple Tree Sewing, who I regularly do testing for to help make sure the pattern is ready before it’s released. It’s in grow-with-me sizing, lasting across sizes 3T-6, and it’s sewn with custom fabric from Black Rabbit Fabric, a Canadian small business. And these fabrics are tested not just in the wash, but thoroughly by my son, family, and others who have partnered with me to test my products.

For example,
a grow-with-me hoodie (pattern designed in Canada) that will last a baby/child through multiple sizes (ex. 3T-6), and expresses the personal interests of the parents and/or child through prints and colours
comfortable underwear that fits a new mom well with an extra tall waistband to create comfortable compression, and in a cut that suits her well, to help her feel like “her” again
cloth menstrual/incontinence pads or nursing pads that save a person money over time as they are reused, and express the personality of the person using them
underwear (or other items) that helps an individual who is transgender to better express themself, while remaining comfortable and allowing for personal customization
wipeable cloth diapers (pattern designed by me) that can be reused between washes, extending their reusability even further

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A cloth menstrual/incontinence pad, made to suit a customer based on her individual preferences of shape, length, fabric preference, and print, using fabric sourced from The Fabric Snob and Canadian Fluff Supply, both of which are Canadian small businesses. Rather than tossing after one use, it can be reused after washing in the washing machine, saving money and reducing waste.

And that’s that! At this point all my fabric is being sourced from Canadian small businesses (AND it’s high quality), and my diapers and grow-with-me clothing are all created using patterns made by Canadian small businesses.

Bottom line, supporting others, whether other small business owners, or my customers, is really important to me. So if I can help you feel extra cared for by meeting a particular need, or if I can include other Canadian small businesses in the process of meeting that need, then it’s been a very good day. 🙂

(And yes, super corny, that’s me!)

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My Grow With Me Pants Options

Did I have you sold from my last post about how grow with me options are awesome? You can find it here if you missed out.

Today I’ll be explaining the 3  different grow with me pants options that I sell, and like everything, there are pros and cons flying around everywhere! 🙂

Personally I prefer the Apple Tree Bunny Bottoms pattern (looked at in this post). Super cute, biggest size range, a gusset for easier movement, can also be shorts, lots of decorative options, and Apple Tree Sewing Patterns is a Canadian small business! Plus, if you go with the smallest size, even though they would be large at birth, they would last much longer (12 months) than the other pants (6 months).

Everyone is different however, and the other patterns do have their benefits. All are cloth diaper friendly except for a single option of the Monster Bunz pattern (because that one technically has 4 fit options). Pros and cons of each design below, and check here for help on rolling up the cuffs.

Bunny Bottoms (pattern by Apple Tree Sewing)

Slim(ish) harem pants, fit similar to jogging pants.

Pros:

  • biggest size range, up to size 6 (3-12 months, 9 months – 3T, and 3T-6)
  • added gusset for extra movement (so less stress on the seams, and it drapes nicely)
  • pants or shorts (shorts can be cuffed or be hemmed)
  • 3 pocket options (slit, peek-a-boo or kangaroo)
  • faux drawstring option

Cons:

  • more expensive – the gusset, pockets and drawstring take more time and increase the price appropriately

For an in-depth look at all the options, and lots of pictures, check out this post.

Monster Bunz (pattern by Opulent Monsters)

These fit more similar to leggings, though depending on the option chosen they may be snug or slightly looser as shown above. The options mostly decide themselves depending on if you want a “bum circle” (which acts like a gusset and creates more room for a cloth diaper), and if you want them to be more on the snug side or on the  slightly looser side.

Pros:

  • 4 fit options, from leggings to fairly fitted jogging pants
  • can be sewn with or without a “bum circle” (with it creates a better fit over cloth diapers, without it reduces the cost of the pants)
  • smaller sizes available (preemie, tiny newborn, and newborn)
  • sizes up to 4 years (0-6 months, 3-18 months, 1-4 years)
  • there is a size starting at birth

Cons:

  • slimmer through the hips, so while possible, pockets wouldn’t be recommended (and are not possible with 3 of the 4 styles)

P is for Pirate Harem Pants (pattern by Hatchlings Patterns)

These are a very quick sew, so less expensive, and they do have a fair bit of room for a cloth diaper. Good for a newborn, especially if they’re a slow gainer.  You’ll see in the “cons”, that I have limited sizing in there, though there is a larger size available that’s 6 months-4T. I debated getting it, but I’m so in love with the Bunny Bottoms that I didn’t want to buy another harem pants pattern needlessly. While I haven’t compared them personally (since I don’t have the larger size of this one), I worry that there might be too much stress on the crotch seam too with this one, since there isn’t a gusset to allow for more movement (like the Bunny Bottoms). But I do still think this would be my pick if looking for pants for a preemie or newborn (keeping in mind that they likely would grow out of them very quickly).

Pros:

  • less expensive
  • there is a size starting at birth
  • a baggy harem means room for a cloth diaper

Cons:

  • only one size, 0-6 months

 

And that’s that! My pick is definitely the Bunny Bottoms. What do you think? Did I miss any pros or cons?


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Grow With Me Items

You may or may not have noticed, but most of my baby/children’s clothing items are labeled as “grow with me” items.

In short, that’s because they’re fantastically practical, and save LOTS of money in the long run.

The Bunnyhug and Bunny Bottoms sewn by Tiffany and Tot with Northern Rose Fabric

The Bunnyhug and Bunny Bottoms, sewn by Tiffany & Tot

 

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve from time to time lucked out with a store bought item that lasts well beyond its price range. But that’s just getting lucky – it’s not predictable.

And honestly, fabric is very expensive, especially the gorgeous custom knit prints I get from Northern Rose Fabrics (which I reviewed in this post) and Black Rabbit Fabric. (Did I mention they’re also Canadian small businesses?) You absolutely get your money’s worth with the fantastic quality, but the items are still pricey.

Enter the grow with me items!

While the size range varies depending on the pattern, my favourites are the Apple Tree Bunnyhug hoodie and the Apple Tree Bunny Bottoms. (And Apple Tree Sewing? She’s another Canadian small business owner too!)

The Apple Tree patterns have 3 sizes that get you from 3 months all the way to size 6. Just 3! The smallest size is 3-12 months, then 9 months – 3T, and finally, 3T-6. And honestly, the range can be even bigger, depending on the baby/kid.

For example, here is the Bunny Bottoms and the Bunnyhug (modified into a tee) on a 3T (ish) sized kid with the cuffs at the bottom rolled just about all the way up (for help with cuffs, check here), and the exact same pjs on another kid who’s in sizes 6 and 7.

It still fits! And when I say it fits both kids, I mean it ACTUALLY fits both, neither is a stretch at all. The head hole is still fine, and the legs are still long enough.

Similarly, here’s the shorts on the 3T kid, and again on the size 6/7 kid.

And another look at the hoodie:

This is the 9 months – 3T size on my 3T sized model, compared to a 3T-6 hoodie on the same kid, only about a month later.

He comfortably fits in both. And the head hole was still fine on the smaller size. (And he’s been consistently 90th+ percentile for head circumference, so he doesn’t have a small head!) The hoodie came off easily in the smaller size, no trouble at all.

I also have 2 other grow with me pants options, and while the Bunny Bottoms is by far my personal favourite, the other patterns have their strong points too. So my next post will be outlining the differences in the 3 pants patterns!

Bottom line: grow with me items are amazing, and you need them in your life.

Want to hear even more? Eastlyn Appleton over at Apple Tree Sewing recently shared a podcast episode with the reasons why she loves them too.