I thought I would start sharing #MakeSomethingLoves stories here about things/places/people that I’m obsessed with. It will likely be lots of local love from Toronto, but hopefully some loves found while travelling (physically and perhaps on the internets).
I spent Sunday night at Roncesvalles shop, Likely General, for a workshop called ‘How To Not Always Be Working‘ led by Marlee from Have Company. I’ll talk more about this wonderful experience later but needless to say I’ve been thinking quite a bit about our discussions that night.
After the workshop I couldn’t help but do some shopping. I don’t ever wear perfume or scents. Sometimes a bit of Ylang Ylang oil. I noticed the black Lvnea packaging right away and tested out all the scents. I kept coming back to the Ghost Pine, so it came home with me. I’ve tried buying perfume oil in the past and many times never wore them. This one is different, I love wearing it. I have even been putting it on before I go to sleep because it makes me so happy.
Lvnea is hand-crafted in Montreal and they make many lovely products that I’ll probably need to buy now, especially the Yuzu Frankincense Ginger Body Serum. I love the idea of using scent to trigger relaxation, happiness and mini mind breaks. Do you have a favourite scent you can’t get enough of?
City Gym Shorts : Free pattern from The Purl Bee
Robert Kaufman : Double Cloth
Bias trim in Robert Kaufman chambray
worn with a chambray Julie Tee
Photographed in Hope Town, Elbow Cay, Bahamas
My goal was to make three pairs of these shorts before our trip, but it was 2am the night before our flight when I finished this pair. Contrary to what I would normally do, I decided sleep was the better option. I do have those other two pairs cut out and ready to sew together, so they’ll be perfect when I need some super quick sewing gratification.
This is a great project for those leftover bits you have from making other projects. This Double Cloth was the leftovers from my first Garment Bag. I was in such a rush to get sewing that I didn’t even try to pattern match the fabric. Oops! (Did you notice?)
I’ve made this pattern before with some Lizzy House Catnap fabric, but the chambray seemed perfect for island wear. The beauty of this pattern is the simplicity. Once you get going they come together pretty quick. The bias tape trims all the raw edges on the outside of the shorts which is a nice detail rather then hemming those curves. Also! They are pretty comfy to wear and the pattern ranges from girls to ladies. City Gym Shorts for everyone!
I really want to add more shorts to my wardrobe but I haven’t found any other patterns that I love. In the meantime, I’m happy to keep making more of these sweet things.
Grainline Studio : Lark Tee
Line Drawings Bluing : Millie Fleur Knit by Bari J. from Art Gallery Fabrics
Photographed in Hope Town, Elbow Cay, Bahamas
We’ve been back from our holiday for a week now and I’ve barely had a chance to go through all the photos I took. I thought I’d start off small and share a few garments I wore on our trip. The sun and the light were especially spectacular after the dark winter light of the past few months.
Traveling handmade always feels pretty great. Traveling handmade to the Bahamas, well that’s beyond great. It was especially nice to bring out some summer weather pieces at the tail end of our Canadian winter.
Knits are perfect travel pieces. They pack well and are incredibly comfortable. My handmade knit wardrobe still has some catching up to do but this Grainline Studio Lark Tee is a great basic. This is my first Lark and I was able to make it from a ‘scrap’ 1 metre piece given to me by Agnes C. at a recent Sewing Date. I’m all about ‘scraps’ that can be turned into garments. Isn’t this print by Bari J. so lovely? These beautiful white line drawn flowers on blue are so good that I ordered a bolt for the workroom and I hope it gets here soon.
The fit was good and I would even consider going up a size or two for future versions. It sewed together beautifully and quickly on my serger. I use a twin needle for all the hemming on my sewing machine. There will definitely be future versions and hopefully they will get to go to the Bahamas too!
The newest Lizzy House collection is set to arrive at the workroom before the end of the month. Lizzy was sweet enough to let me steal her samples of The Whisper Palette when we met up in New York a few weeks ago. It’s given me a lot of time to obsess over every print and make plans for how much yardage I’m going to need when it arrives. (lots and lots!) I wanted to share some detailed photos, so that you can see just how amazing this collection is.
Lizzy has gone through her past prints, selected so many favourites (ghosty ghosts! flags! ugly duckling! star chart!) and recoloured them into a dreamy low volume collection. These fabrics are all the palest blues, greys and creams. These are MY colours! Many of them are sprinkled with bits of metallic. I love stashing these kinds of prints. They work for everything, make perfect background fabrics in quilts and I often wish I had a never ending supply of them.
Feather Bed Quilt : free pattern by Anna Maria Horner
Background Fabric : Inkwell by Crabapple Hill Studio
Quilted on the workroomBernina Q24 Longarm King Tut Thread : Valley of the Queen (feathers) & Sahara Desert (background)
Started March 2013 / Completed January 2016
Quilts tend to be a many year journey for me. Since I usually have about ten of them on the go at once, I try not to feel too bad about it. It always feels extra amazing to get to the finish line after all that time. I posted some epic winter photos of this finished Feather Bed quilt top two years ago. I finally finished up the quilt back this summer at the cottage. This quilt particularly reminds me of our cottage sewing weekends where most of it was made. Especially since so many of the feather fabrics were shared from Katherine and Jacqueline’s stashes.
I got it on the workroomBernina Q24 longarm and did all the background quilting with loop de loops (technical term). This is one of my favourite free motion patterns because it is continuous (so it flows nicely across the quilt), it looks great on everything and you can really vary how it looks by changing the height and width of your loops. To do this easily, I loaded the quilt sideways, so that my loops flow from top to bottom of the quilt in between the feathers. I took it off the longarm and didn’t get it back on for a couple months. It’s possible to re-load your quilt, which is handy if you run out of time or get stumped on your next step like me. For the feathers, I ended up doing a modified loop that echoes the plumes and goes up one side and down the other. If you look carefully you’ll also see some hidden words, including my name and the year. I also used a different colour of King Tut thread for the background than the feathers and I really like the effect.
I must also mention the beautiful background fabric. Almost everyone comments on it. If I could have bought bolts and bolts of it, I really would have! At the time it was already scarce and I had to get the last two yards to finish up this quilt from a shop in California via my friend Amanda. The collection was called Inkwell and this print also came in a neutral colourway. It’s definitely in my top favourites for fabric.
I’ve got the quilt hanging up in the workroom studio indefinitely, so you’ll be seeing it make some guest appearances in future posts too. I’m pretty happy to just stare at this one for while.
I’ll admit that I’m a bit obsessed with Named Clothing patterns after trying just two of them, in particular this Inari Tee Dress. At first glance the Inari is quite simple, but the details are where it’s at. It is slightly cocoon-shaped with an uneven hem and rolled up short sleeves. It didn’t have pockets, so I added side seam pockets. There are two options for the neckline and I chose to do facings for this version. All together this basic Tee Dress is something you’ll want to grab everyday from your closet but it can easily rock a special occasion with it’s looks.
This is a quick pattern to sew. But take into account that Named Clothing patterns do not include seam allowance. Thus, you must trace out all your pieces and then add the extra seam allowance as directed. It takes time, but I consider tracing your patterns out as an investment in the garment. A traced pattern really pays off when you start making multiples of a piece. I’ve already made two Inaris and I’ve got plans for at least three more in the wings.
One of the awesome things about this pattern is that it is designed for both woven and knit fabric. The drape and feel of this Cotton + Steel rayon is incredible. (I used the Zipline rayon print to make my Handmade Style Tunic) My second version of Inari was made with bamboo knit. I can’t believe that a dress could be so dressy and so comfy at the same time.
Once you get to the sewing, you can knock out this dress in a few hours. You better believe this means that it will be the summer of the Inari.
I love that this pattern is the result of a collaboration between two inspiring small businesses – Fringe Association and Grainline Studio. This bag is meant to be a handy project bag with interior pockets to hold your tools and supplies.
There are two different sizes and I chose to do the smaller version. I was curious to try out lining the bag and figured it was safer to do that on a smaller scale. Kelli from Drygood Designs wrote out a handy blog post on how she added a lining, so I basically followed her advice. One thing that I did differently was to line the pockets. All this means is that I cut an extra set of pocket pieces and instead of hemming the pocket at the top, I sewed two pocket pieces together (face to face) along the top edge and turned them right side out.
This was the perfect project to use my Clover Bias Tape Maker. I used the 1/2″ size which is a bit smaller than the recommended bias tape size for this project, but I like the thinner profile.
The bag comes together really quickly and I love everything about it. It’s such a cute & clever design. I’m pretty sure I’ll be making these for gifts.
I couldn’t resist making a little matching zippered pouch in a size that would fit inside the Stowe. Cute accessories for my accessories!
p.s. Grainline Studio just posted a handy video for step 15 of the Stowe Bag, which is really helpful. I did a permanent gusset on my bag following the Drygood Designs tutorial, but I’m happy to finally understand that step as I wasn’t too sure when I read the instructions.
the workroom family tradition calls for a community quilt to welcome new baby members to the fold.
Sweet Landyn Gabriel was born Thursday January 7th, 2016 in Calgary to our dearest Rosalyn & Rafal. It was especially important to us to send a quilt off to this little family, since we could not shower them with our love in person.
Quilt planning began months ago with colours – Yellow, a colour Rosalyn loves and one that reflects her sunny spirit. Chambray, since we knew a little boy was on his way and we all love chambray so much at the workroom. Plus, shades of white as the neutral. Besides the colours and the block size (9″ finished), the rest was up to each contributer. Not everyone is a quilter, so we encouraged people to use whatever medium they wanted – see if you can spot the embroidered thread weaving, applique blocks and digitally printed drawings! It’s always so exciting when the blocks get dropped off and you can see that they go perfectly together! I especially love that many people worked a nautical theme into their blocks (and fabrics) and the quilt shines brightly with eight star blocks!
Of course, we had to to quilt it on the workroom’sBernina Q24 longarm. We chose a bubbly & wavy freehand design, that was really fun to stitch.
There were 24 contributers to this special quilt – Romina Maggi, Erin P, Sogol Lohi, Debbie Arruda, Jerisse De Juan, Johanna Masko, Angelune Des Lauriers, Jacqueline Sava, Nadia Morrison, Ayalah Hutchins, Celine Kim, Julie Sinden, Maria Naveiro, Alexis Da Silva, Lauren Bunton, Melodie Kwan, Carolanne Graham, Suzanne French, Katherine Skene, Katrina Kilroy, Julie Cardoni, Michelle Demenlenaere, Carolina Berinstein & Karyn Valino
Very special thanks to Debbie, who made a surprise visit to Calgary to hand deliver all our love and this beautiful quilt to baby Landyn, Rosalyn & Rafal. Even though we are far away, we love you just as much and will always be with you now!
A photo posted by Karyn Valino (@make_something) on
Been on a bit of a zippered pouch kick recently and still have a few more on my list I want to make! It’s been fun drafting new shapes and sizes. I don’t think I’ll ever have enough pouches in my life. Also added leather pulls and piping for the first time. Love those little details.
I always assumed that I would just buy jeans for the rest of my life. That and sweaters. I was okay with it. Jeans seemed too mysterious and complicated to tackle.
When Heather Lou emailed me to ask about doing a Ginger Jeans class at the workroom, suddenly making jeans seemed totally possible. When you have the Jean Queen at your side, nothing can stop you.
Jeans are no joke. The class was over a weekend, two 8-hour days. (Apparently in a factory it takes 15 minutes!) We came to class with our denim already cut out. This way we could focus our time on fitting and construction.
The key to great jeans is the fit, of course. The first thing we did was baste our jeans together for a fitting with Heather. This step is so valuable and made such a huge difference to everyone’s final pair. Most importantly, Heather is a expert at fitting. That alone was worth the price of admission for me.
After that we all wanted to cry as we ripped our jeans apart to make changes and start again from the beginning. Here’s a revelation – it’s actually not that hard to sew jeans. There’s just a lot of steps and if you take each step one at a time, you’ll get there. (This advice really applies to everything in life) Even the dreaded fly front came together without batting an eye. Heather’s guidance kept us laughing and motivated through the whole process.
There are two views for this pattern, a low rise with stovepipe legs or a high waisted version with skinny legs. I opted for the low rise since that’s what I’m used to wearing. Quite a few ladies in the class made the high waisted style and now I’m tempted to try it.
What I especially love is that every detail of this pattern is professional quality. Our jeans have top stitching, rivets, jean buttons, a coin pocket, bar tacks and strategically placed back pockets. Back pocket placement is the secret to jeans that look extra awesome.
It was really great to see how 12 different pairs of jeans for 12 different ladies came together in class. Even Heather whipped up some Louis Vuitton inspired denim flares. What a perfect way to spend the weekend learning something so epic.
I’ve started doing ‘research’ for my next pairs. I can’t wait to play around with all the details and fit, now that I know what I’m doing. If my first pair is this good, I can’t wait for my second pair. This is just the beginning of a new love affair with denim.