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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How to fold Grow With Me cuffs and bands

In the pattern for the Bunny Bottoms by Apple Tree Sewing, the last page is just a little magical, and shows a very trim way to fold the leg cuffs on the pants.

Now that said, seriously, whatever floats you and/or your kid’s boat. Most days, my son’s cuffs are all the way stretched out and he specifically says “Don’t roll them Mommy!” (Which is why most of these pictures aren’t modeled!)

And on most of the remaining days, I quickly fold them up once, as far as I need to for them to stay above his feet (which is less and less every single day!). Usually I can finish this before he starts squirming because he feels ticklish. Or, if I’ve already had my coffee and actually think before I dress him, I fold them this way BEFORE putting them on him, and they stay in place.

A look at cuffs rolled up the fancy trim way while they're being worn.

Proof my son cooperates from time to time

But on a couple of rare occasions, he has been very patient, and somehow not felt tickled, and let me roll them the fancy trim way! Now unfortunately, the fancy trim way can’t be done in advance – their hands or feet will push out all your hard work.

To fold the fancy trim way (and while it’s not specifically mentioned in the pattern, I’m pretty sure that’s the technical term for this fold…), first fold the cuff inside, so that the edge of the cuff is touching their skin, and is at least as far as the cuff seam. Then, roll up the cuff once (the standard way) on the outside, making sure that you don’t roll it up too far. (I’ve wracked my brain for how to describe it, but if you hit it, you’ll know!) VoilĂ ! A trim, fancy cuff! (For argument’s sake, on the left as “normal roll” is what happens when you roll it up once to the seam where the cuffs meet the pants, then up again, which is what is a “normal” roll in my head, whatever that means.)

Rolling Grow With Me cuffs or bands in the fancy trim way (that looks nice and is quite trim).

Rolling cuffs the “fancy trim” way

This is great for cuffs around the wrists or ankles, for any grow with me patterns that feature cuffs. (Truth be told, for me personally, the fancy trim way is reserved just for pictures, because my kid is on the ticklish side of things and likes to do things himself, which I encourage. But I think it looks fantastic.)

Rolling the waistband on grow with me pantsFor the waistband, on grow with me pants they’re often longer to accommodate kids at the upper limit of sizing. So far I always fold my son’s waistband down, even when he’s at the upper sizing, but every kid is different. So if you like leaving it up, or if your kid is super styling and likes to dress themself and pull the waistband all the way up, go for it! Whatever floats your boat and creates the least amount of stress.

And on grow with me shirts, I find the waistband usually tucks itself under the shirt just from putting it on. It can sit hidden up there, or be pulled down, whichever you prefer.

Bottom line, whatever gets the job done! But it doesn’t hurt to have something fancy up your sleeve! (BAHA! I just actually laughed out loud. Yep, I’m pretty much the coolest.)

Bunny Bottoms with Peek-a-boo Pockets sewn by Tiffany and Tot: 3T-6 Pants


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So many options! Bunny Bottoms edition

wp-image--374654270.As either shorts or pants, these are adorable AND grow with your kid! The sizing is 3-12 months, 12 months-3 years, and 3 years to 6 years, plus they’re designed by Apple Tree Sewing, a Canadian pattern company! (I’ll try to tame down the exclamation marks – I’m a total Apple Tree Sewing fangirl, and you can find her facebook group here.)

The Bunny Bottoms can be made with or without pockets (and there are 3 different pocket options btw), pants or shorts (and there are 3 different takes on the shorts), and a partridge in a pear tree (aka. an optional faux drawstring).

wp-image--257397578.Side note: This basically means it’s easy to justify owning a gazillion pairs, as if I needed a reason!

They all have lots of room for a cloth diaper, and my son always picks his Bunny Bottoms before he picks any other pants, so I’m pretty sure they’re extra comfy.

While my son wears them just about everyday, my favourite use for them is in the diaper bag – no more worrying about whether he’s outgrown what’s in there! To see how they compare to some other grow with me pants options, take a look at this post, and for help on how to fold the cuffs, check here.

Pockets

We have peek-a-boo pockets, the kangaroo pocket, slit pockets, or no pockets at all. They’re all fully functional, though they do have different strengths. Bottom line, I’d go with whichever you like the look of best.

Peek-a-boo Pockets

wp-image--272635283.These are super cute and can be a way to use up a very small amount of fabric (just in case there is hardly any of your favourite print left). The pocket fabric peeks out the sides a bit, so you do see it (or at least you would if my business card wasn’t in the way in this picture!).

This pocket style shows stitching where the pocket attaches to the pants, so if you don’t like seeing stitching, the slit pocket may be a better option for you.

I think this style is my personal favourite, but I like them all. They’re sewn in similar to how I’ve seen pockets sewn on yoga pants.

Kangaroo Pocket

wp-image--1756115713.This has a very similar look to the peek-a-boo pockets, the difference being it’s connected through the middle like a kangaroo pocket on a hoodie. If the same fabric is used for the pants and the pockets, the only visual difference would be the stitching. In the peek-a-boo pockets, there is stitching following where the pocket attaches to the pants up through almost the middle. With the kangaroo pocket, the stitching is across the bottom of the pocket.

The kangaroo pocket is a great way to show off two different fabrics, or to show contrasting fabrics as shown above. And if the item is for an older baby or toddler, they may have fun sneaking there hand in one side and out through the other – at least this is a game my son likes to play!

Slit Pockets

wp-image--733087453.These pockets are inset in a different way, with less stitching to the pants. They are slightly bulkier than the other two options (because there are two layers of fabric making up the pocket rather than just one), but there’s lots of room in the Bunny Bottoms anyway, so they don’t look bulky when they’re worn.

There is still a little peeking going on with the pocket fabric (if you use a contrasting fabric), but not quite as much as the other two. These are sewn in like most jeans front pockets are attached.

Shorts vs. Shorts vs. Shorts vs. Pants

The shorts have two different band options (they can be snugger or looser), and the legs can also be hemmed if you prefer that over bands. The pants have long cuffs on the legs that can be folded up or down to accommodate the kid’s height.

Shorts – Cuffed (Looser or Tighter)

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The cuffed shorts are super cute. The looser ones allow the shorts to hang a bit, but it depends on how chunky the legs are. The tighter cuffs would be more snug to the legs.

Shown to the side is the looser cuff, size 3 years to 6 years, on a 3T or 4T sized kid with legs that are pretty much average, maybe slightly skinny, and you can see that there’s some room between the cuffs and his legs. Also, the difference in length between the looser and tighter cuff is about an inch.

Shorts – Hemmed

SONY DSC Hemmed is pretty cute too, where the shorts fall straight down the legs. They also work out to be a little shorter than a pair with bands (because they don’t have the extra length of the cuffs). Shown here is size 3 years to 6 years, on my 3-4T sized kid.

Personally, I feel hemmed is better suited to stiffer fabrics than fabrics that have lots of drape (and would float around a bit more), but it depends on the look you’re going for. If you’re unsure or have any questions, please let me know – I’d love to talk with you about it.

Pants

wp-image--2106052176Ahhh, the pants (my favourite). Shown to the side is size 3-6 years on both my 3 or 4T sized little monster, and my friend’s 6 or 7 sized kid. On the left you can see the cuffs are almost all the way rolled up on my son, but they’re still long enough on the right for the 6 or 7 sized kid too.

Even though my son is at the lower end of sizing, the bottom cuffs are just snug enough that they will pretty much stay above his feet when my son refuses to let me roll up the cuffs *cough cough* I mean, when he likes to do things himself and insert his independence… so they don’t quickly slide over his heels. (It will slowly happen over time, but not quickly, and that’s with him at the lower end of the size.) And you can see from the picture that they’re still comfortable for kids at the larger end of sizing.

For help with how to roll up the cuffs, check here.

Faux Drawstring

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This is a little detail that looks great, and has won me over (even though I was a little hesitant at first for some reason I can’t remember anymore). Since trying a drawstring now I need a drawstring on everything, which is why there’s a drawstring in just about all my pictures! It’s a faux drawstring, so just for show, but I’ve found my son likes trying to to tie it up, so it might buy you a couple minutes to make a coffee too! 🙂


So what are your favourite options for the Bunny Bottoms? I think mine are the peek-a-boo pockets on pants, but my son seems to like the slit pockets on shorts the best. I’d love to hear about your favourites in the comments below, or you can tell me here!

 

All four Apple Tree Drool Bib Styles, sewn by Tiffany and Tot


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So many options! Drool bibs edition

Options can be overwhelming, both for you as a customer of items, and for me as a sewist trying to decide what to offer! The next few posts will continue to break down the different options within patterns or pattern types.

I’ve already looked at the pros and cons of different diaper styles and insert options, as well as some different grow with me pants patterns. Today we’re on to bibs!

The Apple Tree Drool Bib Set is my go-to for bibs. 4 options, good sizing range, love the pattern, and the designer is Canadian. Win win win all around! Here are my specific thoughts on the different options.

Full disclosure – I *might* have tried on all 4 bib types myself while my toddler model was sleeping. So when I talk about sizing in each I’ll mention the sizing according to the pattern, how they fit on my 3T sized model, and how they would *cough* hypothetically fit an adult. And there are 3 different snap settings on the bibs, so there is some wiggle room in there.

I sew all except the double bandana bib with a water resistant heavy fleece back, so it will take a LOT more drool (or whatever) before the baby’s clothes will actually get wet. Unfortunately, I wasn’t sewing when my son was going through his terrifyingly-acidic-teething-drool stage, so he constantly had an unhappy rash down his chin and onto his chest whenever he was teething no matter how often I changed his bibs. So I’ve made what I know would have helped him, just in case it helps you too. 🙂

Side Snap Bandana Bib

Side Snap Bandana Bib sewn by Tiffany and Tot

Side Snap Bandana Bib sewn by Tiffany & Tot

This one is awesome for babies/tots with long hair because the snaps are on the side. However, the sizing for this pattern is the smallest of all four, otherwise it would be my personal favourite.

Fit according to the pattern: Newborn – 2 years

Fit on a 3T sized model: A little snugger than I’m comfortable with personally, but still mostly fit. (My recommendation is to keep this one for newborns and babies rather than toddler as well, but it of course depends on the kid.)

Hypothetical *cough* fit on an adult: Didn’t fit.

Slouchy Bandana Bib

Slouchy Bandana Bib sewn by Tiffany and Tot

Slouchy Bandana Bib sewn by Tiffany & Tot

This one is a fairly popular style right now, and while the pattern has it as up to 2 years, I found it fit my 3T sized model comfortably. This pattern isn’t quite as slouchy as some other patterns I’ve tried, but it’s also much less bulky, and lays flat – this mean it can be packed easily, mails well, and you’re not forever trying to figure out how to get creases out of a slouchy item you can’t really iron.

Fit according to the pattern: Newborn – 2 years

Fit on a 3T sized model: Fit well.

Hypothetical *cough* fit on an adult: Snug, but fit.

Double Bandana Bib

Double Bandana Bib sewn by Tiffany and Tot

Double Bandana Bib sewn by Tiffany & Tot

This one isn’t backed with water resistant fleece, but there are 4 layers between the drool and the clothing, so it’s pretty generous for absorbency as far as bibs go. It’s also reversible, so if you can’t choose between two prints, this is the way to go! It also seemed the largest for sizing of all four.

Fit according to the pattern: 6 months – 3 years

Fit on a 3T sized model: Fit well.

Hypothetical *cough* fit on an adult: Snug, but fit, seemed the largest of the 4 styles.

Scarf Bib

Scarf Bib sewn by Tiffany and Tot

Scarf Bib sewn by Tiffany & Tot

I think this is my personal favourite, though I’m not entirely sure why I like it over the other styles. (Just personal preference I guess.) The sizing is somewhere in the middle, so it would fit early and was still a very comfortable fit for my 3T sized model. It also fits very nicely under coats without being bulky, so I used this style for an actual scarf under a winter coat for my son. The fleece back kept him nice and warm for playing out in the snow. (That said, the Slouchy Bandana Bib and Side Snapped Bandana Bib would likely work just as well, I just didn’t make any of that style for my son.)

Fit according to the pattern: Newborn – 2 years

Fit on a 3T sized model: Fit well.

Hypothetical *cough* fit on an adult: Snug, but fit.