Back to Work: Holiday Pics and a Pattern Sale!

Hey everyone! I’m back from holidays. I had an amazing vacation and a much needed break, and it’s always great to come back home afterwards. Thank you Caroline for taking over while I was away!

Right now feels like a perfect time to have a pattern sale. So let’s have one!

This weekend, all sewing patterns are on sale. Take 20% off your entire order at the checkout by entering the code ENDOFSUMMER into the coupon code box at the bottom of your shopping cart.

patterns on sale! yay!

Also on sale are clothing labels, the Sewtionary book, and pink measuring tapes! (And kits if we have any left. Right now we have a few of the denim skirt kits in stock, get them before they’re gone!)

The fine print: Sale applies to regular retail orders through All sales are final. Sale discount cannot be applied to orders already in the system. Sales ends Sunday, September 7th at midnight.

After you shop, want to hear about my holidays?

Well, when I posted last, I was completely burnt out. My original ‘taking a break’ blog post started out with a stressed-out ramble, which I changed to simply say ‘going on holidays, back soon’ after reading the first draft back to myself. I was overwhelmed and in need of a vacation and it was showing in my writing.

So I started my holidays right here at home! I finished a few work things that I’d started, then it was time to relax. I sewed for fun, making myself a few new outfits for the holidays. I hosted a sewing get-together with friends. I knit. I started running again. I read books that weren’t business or sewing books – seven novels in total over the last month! I took an archery class with a girlfriend and went out dancing all night at a country bar. I got to see both of my sisters and my three aunts. My mother gave me the first sewing machine I learned on which was my grandmothers, a Bernina Record 530 from the late fifties. I realized that a philosophy of ‘all work, all the time’ meant I was missing out on a lot of other things and vowed to live a more balanced life when I returned to work.

And after I started to relax, then we went on our actual holiday!

sunshine coast boat adventure

We decided to holiday in our own province, to support the BC economy for one thing, but also because it’s absolutely gorgeous here in the summer. We started on Vancouver Island, drove up the coast of the island, then took a ferry back to the mainland and drove down the Sunshine Coast. This photo was taken on a sailboat in Howe Sound, off the Sunshine Coast. Isn’t that beautiful? Also, I’m so not a boat person. Boats scare me. This is a testament to how relaxed I was by the end of our holiday, that I am calm and comfortable on a boat!

We started in Nanaimo, BC, in a place overlooking the harbour.

nanaimo harbour view

There’s an island off the coast that you can only get to by boat, Newcastle Island, that has hiking trails, camping and beaches. (Perhaps the inspiration for Thread Theory’s Newcastle Cardigan, another company using local place names for their patterns?)

This next photo is looking back at the downtown area, and that highrise on the left is the same highrise in the photo above. Neat eh?

newcastle island

Check out this old advertisement for visiting the island – only 2 1/4 hours from Vancouver! It used to be a destination for company picnics and parties.

newcastle island ad

It’s worth a trip if you are in the area and like walking through forests and lying on beaches.

newcastle island beach

After Comox we went to Qualicum Beach, staying in a B&B that backed onto a nature preserve. We saw deer in our yard literally every day!

deer and porsches

Not my Porsche – the owner of the B&B was a Porsche mechanic. We did get a tour of his workshop though!

chickens in comox

We stayed on an organic farm in Comox, BC and woke to the sounds of chickens in the morning! It was pretty awesome, as we’re used to car alarms and sirens and partying neighbours as the sounds we wake up to. Chickens are better.

While in Comox I met Morgan and Matt from Thread Theory and they are just the nicest people. We had lunch that lasted for hours, there’s so much to talk about with like-minded people! I wish we’d gotten a picture but we both forgot. So I borrowed this photo from their blog:


Yes, they are as adorable in person and so enthusiastic about what they do.

Most of the places we stayed were B&Bs and had no televisions. I brought my phone but forgot the charger, so it was a relatively unplugged vacation. We saw so many sunsets! This is in Comox, at Goose Spit, a place Morgan and Matt recommended for making a campfire and watching the sunset. (Most of the province is on a campfire ban but for some reason, this place allowed fires.)

goose spit in comox

Here’s us, testing the ‘smile sensor’ on Mr. Sewaholic’s camera. Got to love technology! The camera has a setting where it waits until it senses a smile, and then takes the photo.

me and mr sewaholic

Those look like two relaxed and happy people, don’t you think?

I won’t bore you with too many vacation photos but I’m grateful that I was able to get away. It’s not easy to take a holiday when you’re a small business owner. It made it easier knowing that Caroline was taking care of everything while I was away. (Thank you, Caroline!)

The benefit of taking some time away is coming back to work refreshed and able to look at it from a distance. It’s like a chance to make a fresh start every time you leave and come back. I’m looking forward to working again with renewed enthusiasm!


38 Responses to Back to Work: Holiday Pics and a Pattern Sale!

  1. Elisabeth September 4, 2014 at 6:08 am #

    Looks like a great holiday, and well earned!
    Welcome back :)

    • Tasia September 4, 2014 at 8:09 am #

      Thank you! It’s great to be back.

  2. Béa September 4, 2014 at 6:31 am #

    What a lovely set of holiday photos! I’m so glad you were able to enjoy a good relaxing break.

    And how beautiful is that picture of all your patterns together? I love all those colours together.

    • Tasia September 4, 2014 at 8:09 am #

      Thank you! I love the rainbow of pattern colours too. There’s been more patterns since I took that photo, it’ll be even more of a rainbow now!

  3. Fooniks September 4, 2014 at 6:37 am #

    Sounds like your holiday was pretty awesome. It’s good to have you back well rested and ready to kick some sewing ass.

    • Tasia September 4, 2014 at 8:08 am #

      Kick some sewing ass – love it! You bet :)

  4. zilredloh September 4, 2014 at 7:16 am #

    It sounded like you had a wonderful time, Tasia. So glad you had time to recharge and spend some *fun* time with your family & hubby & friends. :D

    • Tasia September 4, 2014 at 8:07 am #

      Thanks! I sure did :) Recharging can feel like a luxury sometimes but it’s so important to take breaks.

  5. Renee September 4, 2014 at 7:31 am #

    I just looked at this and said to my husband, we need to go there! But, in the dead of summer. Lovely photos!

    • Tasia September 4, 2014 at 8:07 am #

      Yes, it’s really beautiful here in summer! The rest of the year it’s mostly cold and rainy but in summer we forget all about that and just enjoy it.

  6. sonia September 4, 2014 at 8:11 am #

    Way to holiday, welcome back!

    • Tasia September 4, 2014 at 8:31 am #


  7. Samina September 4, 2014 at 8:31 am #

    That looks like a well-earned, refreshing time off. Welcome back!

    • Tasia September 4, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

      It certainly was! Both well-earned and refreshing.

  8. Morgan September 4, 2014 at 8:34 am #

    Wow, it’s great to see all the fun things you got up to! We enjoyed meeting you equally as much! I’m glad you are feeling more relaxed and happy now – the sign of a very successful vacation. Welcome back to work!

    • Tasia September 4, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

      Thank you, it was so much fun to meet you!

  9. Becky September 4, 2014 at 9:00 am #

    It sounds like a very relaxing time! I’m glad you enjoyed it. And it really does look like BC is gorgeous in the summer!

    • Tasia September 4, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

      It really is. This is our time to shine!

  10. Caroline Amanda September 4, 2014 at 9:42 am #

    You’re so welcome! Love the pictures, makes me want to take a holiday in BC next year!

    • Tasia September 4, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

      Yay! Do it, you like camping and there’s lots of great places to camp on the Island or Sunshine Coast. Thanks for all your help!

  11. Hélène September 4, 2014 at 10:22 am #

    Welcome back! Excellent post about balancing work and needed pause.

    • Tasia September 4, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

      Thank you! It’s not easy to do when the work is fun but it’s amazing how quick burnout can come if you don’t take care of yourself.

  12. Sam September 4, 2014 at 10:30 am #

    My home town is on the Sunshine Coast!!! Exciting to read online someone visiting there!

    • Tasia September 4, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

      It’s so beautiful and so relaxing. I think the quiet pace was the best part, it’s so laid back and happy and chill. Where’s your hometown? I might have driven through it or even stayed there!

      • Sam September 7, 2014 at 11:00 pm #

        I’m glad you enjoyed it! A great place to grow up. Roberts Creek, right between Gibson and Sechelt.

  13. Stina P September 4, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    Everyone deserves a holiday – small business owner or not! It looks like you’ve had a great time!

    • Tasia September 4, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

      Thank you! It was a great holiday!

  14. Roni Arbel September 4, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    I’m happy you had your vacation, and that you were able to relax and enjoy it!

    Sewing is my hobby and I’m happy to buy from indie pattern companies (because it’s nice to support people you feel you “know” through blogs, but mostly because indie patterns are just better :)). But it worries me that it appears like a most of the owners work endless hours and never take any breaks. It really goes against all the ideology behind making your own clothes (a SLOW life style). Also it’s rare to read about anything but rainbows and butterflies on most blogs, so writing about the difficulties must’ve been hard for you. I’m glad you did though. My work is as unrelated to sewing as can be and I love what I do, but I get burnt out as well sometimes. Reading about the real stuff from someone I respect helps me with my struggles as well. So thanks for that!
    I did miss your monthly report however :)

    • Tasia September 4, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

      Hi Roni! Thanks for the comment. I agree, it does appear that indie pattern designers work endless hours and don’t rest, ever! I think it’s partly the nature of starting a business and wanting to put in the work to make it the best you can. I never thought about it being contradictory to making your own clothes as a slow life style, but that’s a very interesting point. I do enjoy putting extra time and love into my clothes and not rushing through the process. Why then am I such a workaholic, by contrast? (And why are so many other creative types feeling the same sort of thing?)
      I think it’s hard to write posts that aren’t sunshine and rainbows, because there’s no tone of voice in print, so it can come across as whiny, or depressing. Also I’m really grateful that I get to run my own show here, that I get to be surrounded by sewing and chat with really cool sewing people online. Complaining about that feels rather ungrateful when overall I’m thankful that I’m able to do what I do. Plus I don’t want to be a downer :) My goal with blogging is to share sewing experiences, talk about techniques and generally get people excited about sewing.. so writing negative thoughts doesn’t help with that goal and theme. And last, in this big rambly response, writing negative thoughts helps to reinforce them… and I try not to dwell on things whenever possible!
      We all struggle with ups and downs and I’m happy to be back on the UP again. Thanks for reading! This is pretty much a monthly report of August, here. Boats and travels and not working. :)

  15. TrMama September 4, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

    Huh, we also visited Newcastle Island last week. It’s such a neat spot. I’m already plotting how to get myself, my 2 kids and all our gear over there for a camping trip next summer. I think I have it figured out! I’m glad you had such a relaxing vacation. Sounds like your really needed it.

    • Tasia September 4, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

      You can take bikes on the little water taxi boat! I saw people doing it, bikes and strollers and such. There’s an extra charge I believe but it is possible. So I bet you’ll have no problem taking gear with you. Small world, eh? How cool that you were just there too!

  16. Janelle September 4, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

    So excited for the sale! Sounds like you had a great vacation! I love that you took time off to remember the other things that you love to do. I also love sewing and work really hard on my Etsy shop. Its nice to take a break once in a while and remember the other things that are important to us. It also makes it so much sweeter to come back to our passion after we have had a little recharge.

  17. Leigh September 4, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

    It was relaxing just to read about your vacation! So glad you had a chance to recharge and get away. Welcome back! Oh! And I love the rainbow of patterns. So pretty.

  18. Linda September 4, 2014 at 6:25 pm #

    I am glad you had a lovely holiday! I got a warm fuzzy feeling look at pictures of my hometown (Nanaimo) and all the other places I love to visit (Newcastle Island, Comox). Now I have to go look at your patterns. I saw them for sale at Fabricana on the mainland this summer, but I was being rushed and couldn’t stop for more (I am ashamed to say how much fabric I bought). Got lots of fabric, now I need patterns!

  19. Bella September 4, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

    Your holiday looks and sounds like it was absolutely beautiful! I’d love to see your part of Canada one day. Glad you had such a fun and refreshing break.

  20. Adeline September 5, 2014 at 12:37 am #

    Welcome back! I’m looking forward to more posts from you!

  21. Kate September 5, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

    D’awwww… I grew up in Comox, in the big house with a horse paddock that you would have driven past on the road to Goose Spit. I had many many beach fires down there as a teenager. While I couldn’t wait to leave (like a lot of teenagers who grow up in small towns, no matter how scenic), seeing someone else’s view of Comox now always makes me homesick. Maybe that’s why I have so many Sewaholic patterns – the familiar names bring a bit of BC to me, all the way away in Sydney, Australia.

  22. Kristin Lion September 5, 2014 at 9:12 pm #

    Great pictures! I’m in Seattle so these are especially exciting for me! Future trips for sure! I just took a vacation (but stayed home) and did some nice cooking, fun sewing, yoga, running, catching up with friends, etc. and it was LOVELY. Almost nicer than any trip I’ve been on. I was surprised it felt SOOO GOOD. I love traveling but it turns out I love staying close to home too. (just not working too much)