Archive for the 'the workroom' Category

CAMBER SET TEE : CHAMBRAY UNION

Camber Set Tee : Chambray

Merchant & Mills Camber Set Tee
Chambray Union Stretch
Liberty of London Stanley for the yoke lining and neck binding

Here’s my very first Camber Set Tee. For this version, I added a few inches to the length. I’m so used to tunic style tops that I automatically think I want a top to be longer. I wore it that way for a few months, but the funny thing is that I recently chopped off about 5 or 6 inches. I wanted to wear it with a skirt one day and I didn’t have any short tops that sit closer to the waistline. This is the luxury of sewing. When your personal style changes, you can change the garment the match.

One detail on the Camber that I like is the opportunity to use a contrast yoke lining and neck binding. I used some Liberty of London Stanley, which no one will ever see, but always makes me smile. Especially since this Camber appears to be so plain. Sewing secret details makes me happy.

The Chambray Union Stretch is so perfect for a woven tee pattern. Super comfy with a slightly weighty feel. The more I look at these photos, the more I want to make a few more chambray tees. (of varying lengths!)

Check out my printed Camber Set Tee here.
We have all the Merchant & Mills patterns at the workroom!

Camber Set Tee : Chambray

Camber Set Tee : Chambray

Camber Set Tee : Chambray

MERCHANT & MILLS CAMBER SET

Merchant & Mills Camber Set Tee

Before I get into this post, I just wanted to say Thank you! to everyone who visited and commented on my Fancy Sailor Top. I hope you all will get to make your own version of this fun pattern! I used the Random Number Generator to choose the winner of the pdf version of the pattern and Rhiannon is the lucky winner! The sweet ladies at Fancy Tiger will be emailing Rhiannon with her prize pdf.

Merchant & Mills Camber Set Tee
Unknown printed fabric

I’m posting this project out of order, as it is actually my second version of the Camber Set Tee. I’ll post my first version next.

This is one of those rare occasions where I don’t know the designer of this fabric. I was given a box of scrap fabric and this was amongst the scraps. Clearly this was not your average box of scraps (the majority of the fabric was Liberty of London, so it was more like a box of TREASURE), as there were just enough ‘scraps’ to cut out this entire pattern with a bit of fabric to spare. I don’t recognize this as a Liberty print, but the fabric is a similar weight to Tana Lawn. It’s lovely and I knew I wanted to try to make a little top of it. If anyone recognizes this print, please let me know!

I love the shape of this Tee. It’s really feminine with a bust dart, back yoke detail and the way it nips in above the waist. It fit me really well, but I’ve found with the Merchant & Mills patterns that I usually will take in the side seams just a bit to get a tighter fit. That’s just what I prefer and it’s an easy adjustment. Comparing the Scout Tee and the Camber, I find this pattern to be a bit more formal or dressy. The neckline is higher for the Camber and the sleeves just a bit longer. They are both wardrobe staples for sure!

I would love to make a dress version of the Camber, but I’m waiting for just the right fabric to show up. I’m pretty sure my next trip to Sultan’s will solve that problem. In the meantime, the Tee version gives maximum satisfaction for a quick and cute project.

Merchant & Mills Camber Set Tee

Merchant & Mills Camber Set Tee

Merchant & Mills Camber Set Tee

 

FANCY TIGER SAILOR TOP + GIVEAWAY

Fancy Tiger : Sailor Top

Fancy Tiger Sailor Top
Cotton + Steel ‘Truly Outrageous Gems’ Lawn from the Moonlit collection
by Rashida Coleman-Hale
Botanica Tinctoria Grey Cotton Lace Trim

Welcome to the third stop on the Sailor Top Blog Tour! I was so honoured to be asked to join in to show off this cute new pattern.

I first met the Fancy Tiger girls, Amber & Jaime at the Makerie retreat in Boulder, a few years ago. Their super cute shop in Denver is a must-see if you are ever out that way. I’ve loved following their adventures online ever since and was very excited to see that they were publishing their first sewing pattern.

When I got the pattern I knew I had to pick out one of the new Cotton + Steel cotton lawns and the grey Truly Outrageous Gems couldn’t have been more perfect (Grey + Gems!). I also decided to add a cute lace trim detail with the new Botanica Tinctoria Eyelet Lace.

The Sailor Top is super fun and easy to sew. I was able to sew it up in just one night. The instructions are very clear, so it’s a good project for a beginner and a breeze for an experienced sewer. Finishing details are always important to me and this top is beautifully finished. The sleeves are raglan, which are simple to sew on and they finish with a nice wide facing. I also love the pretty neckline. It has the perfect amount of gathers finished with a simple yoke. The pattern allows for a deep hem which I always love the look of. Once I hemmed the top according to the directions, I just stitched on my eyelet trim on the inside of the hem. I debated adding trim to the sleeve hems, but decided to keep it simple, knowing I can always add it on later if I change my mind. The Botanica Tinctoria trims are naturally dyed so the colour palette to choose from is super soft and pretty. I have to remember to use more trim in my projects, it adds such a nice detail.

The Sailor Top fits me really well. I found the underarm seam to be a bit tight fitting, so I just clipped notches into the seam allowance to release the tension and it’s much better now. Another alternative would be to trim down the seam allowance.

I can see lots more of these cute tops making their way into my wardrobe! Most likely a nani IRO one next!

Would you like to win a PDF copy of this pattern?! Just leave a comment below before November 1st Midnight EST. I’ll choose someone randomly.

Visit the rest of the blog tour to see all the other Fancy Sailor Tops in action!
Monday, October 27th – A Verb for Keeping Warm
Tuesday, October 28th – Miss Make
Wednesday, October 29th – the workroom/Make Something
Thursday, October 30th – Sew Bon
Friday, October 31st – Very Shannon

Botanica Tinctoria : Lace Trim

Fancy Tiger : Sailor Top

Fancy Tiger : Sailor Top

Fancy Tiger : Sailor Top

Fancy Tiger : Sailor Top

Fancy Tiger : Sailor Top

DOUBLE WEDDING RING QUILT

Double Wedding Ring Quilt

Some projects take a long time. A really long time. This project took about 5 years from start to finish.  (and about 5 months from final photos to blog post!) The amazing thing is that I love it even more now then when I started it.

It’s not that this was a difficult pattern. On the contrary, Johanna’s method of doing the Double Wedding Ring Quilt simplifies the process so much.  I loved this quilt so much, I really felt that I wanted to partially hand quilt it. The quilt ended up in the closet and got pushed to the bottom of my project list. I have learned to be careful with the projects that I decide to hand quilt knowing that it can really slow down completion.

Even still, I have no regrets on hand quilting this project. It really adds a lovely quality that just can’t be achieved any other way. I finished off the quilting by echoing inside the rings and continuing the ring pattern into the border on my sewing machine. I’m so happy with how the quilting turned out.

The fabric in this quilt are some true favourites. The kind of fabrics that that even today, I wish I had more of! Lots of Tula Pink ‘Neptune’, Anna Maria Horner ‘Good Folks’, and Anna Griffin grey lace for the background.

I almost forgot! I used wool batting for this quilt and it’s so lovely! The wool batting is more lofty and lightweight which is especially nice for hand quilting. I also just used some layers of wool batting to make a new bed for Maisy.

Feels pretty great to finish such a long term project. Feels even better to still be crushing on this quilt after all this time.

Looking back at my past posts on this project:
Double Wedding Ring Quilt Fabrics
Double Wedding Ring Arcs
Double Wedding Ring Blocks
Double Wedding Ring Update

Double Wedding Ring

Double Wedding Ring Quilt

Double Wedding Ring Quilt Back

Double Wedding Ring Quilt

Double Wedding Ring

Double Wedding Ring Quilt

Double Wedding Ring Quilt

MCCALLS 6696 : CHAMBRAY UNION

McCall's 6696 : Chambray Union

McCalls 6696
Robert Kaufman : Chambray Union

I’m a sucker for a full skirt (especially with pockets!). Add that to a shirt dress and throw in some chambray and I’m in heaven. The Robert Kaufman Chambray Union collection has seriously infiltrated my wardrobe this year. I can’t help but want to make all the things with it. I keep re-ordering it for the shop and it keeps selling out. It’s just perfect for everything.

I’m pretty sure it was Johanna who pointed out this particular McCalls pattern to me last year and then ended up getting a hold of a copy for me. Thank you J!

There are so many great details on this dress. I really like the waistband and the gathered back detail. For the buttons, I decided to do covered buttons with the same fabric. Covered buttons are so easy to do and give such a polished look. I used Liberty Stanley for the little bits of bias binding on the arms and the pocket fabric. It makes me smile to see those bits.

The pattern was great to sew and fit me without any adjusting. I chose to do the sleeveless version, but there is a short sleeve option that I’m going to try next. I’m pretty sure I need a Liberty version of this pattern!

McCall's 6696 : Chambray Union

McCall's 6696 : Chambray Union

McCall's 6696 : Chambray Union

McCall's 6696 : Chambray Union

McCall's 6696 : Chambray Union

DRAPE DRAPE 2 : SHIBORI INDIGO DRESS

Drape Drape 2 : Indigo Dyed Bamboo Jersey

Drape Drape 2 : Dress 2
Shibori Indigo Over-Dyed Bamboo Jersey in Putty
Fabric dyed in the workroom’s Indigo class

Natural dyeing fabric is always exciting.  Indigo dyeing is extra magical because it is done in a fermentation vat and the colour appears when the fibre is removed from the vat and oxygen hits it. You literally see the colour change and appear as it is exposed to the air. I was hoping that our Bamboo Knit Jersey would work with Indigo and I was super excited to find out that it takes the dye perfectly.

I had originally wanted to make some Indigo dyed leggings, but I couldn’t resist looking for a dress pattern when I saw how beautiful the large piece of Bamboo looked with the Indigo overdyed on it.

With the success of my Bamboo Jersey Moneta, I was feeling ready to tackle some of the more simple patterns from my Drape Drape 2 book. The second dress in the book couldn’t be more easy! The pattern is cut from just a single piece of fabric with only two seams to sew. I did those seams on my serger and used my Maxilock Stretch Thread. I’m addicted to using this thread on my knit projects. I finished the neck line and arm holes with bias jersey binding and used my twin needle to top stitch the binding down. The book recommends just folding and hemming the armholes, but I prefer a bound finish. I also used my twin needle to hem the dress. (Regular thread through the needles and Maxilock Stretch Thread in my bobbin)

This is such a fun dress to sew and to wear. It’s really comfortable and looks more advanced than it really is.

Now that the workroom has all the Drape Drape books in English, I’m scouting for my next pattern. I know the idea of sewing with knits is a bit daunting, but once you get started you won’t want to stop!

Drape Drape 2 : Indigo Dyed Bamboo Jersey

Drape Drape 2 : Indigo Dyed Bamboo Jersey

Drape Drape 2 : Indigo Dyed Bamboo Jersey

Drape Drape 2 : Indigo Dyed Bamboo Jersey

Drape Drape 2 : Indigo Dyed Bamboo Jersey

DARK GREY COLETTE MONETA

Colette : Grey Moneta Dress

Colette Patterns : Moneta Dress
Dark Grey Bamboo Jersey

When Lizzy House was here, we did very little sewing. Unlike last year when The Sewing Factory ran for a week straight. We did manage to make Monetas together. This was the perfect project, if we had to choose just one.

Our first step was to analyze everyone else’s version. This is a valuable step! We wanted to find out what problems people had with the pattern so that we could avoid them. There were two things we found. A lot of people complained about excess fabric under the arm. The other issue people talked about was the method used to add the clear elastic at the waistband.

When we opened up the pattern we saw right away that the side seam extended too far out when it came up under the arm. We simply straightened out that line by bringing it in about 1/2″.

For the clear elastic. We did not follow the pattern directions! I’ve heard so many people complain about the results they got by trying to stretch and sew the elastic into the skirt at the same time. We used the traditional method. We basted the skirt first with a long stitch on the sewing machine. We then gathered the skirt by hand. Then we just serged the clear elastic in place. One note about the elastic. The pattern calls for 1/4″ clear elastic, which is impossible to find. We used 3/8″ clear elastic that we just trimmed down to the right width before serging it in place.

For my version I chose to do the short sleeve with no collar. I lined the bodice with the same jersey as the rest of the dress and I really like the weight of it. I will definitely do that again for my next versions. We also used a different pocket. Lizzy had a great pocket pattern that attached to the waistband rather than the side seam, which seems much more stable on a knit dress.

To put the dress together we used a serger with Maxi-lock Stretch thread and Stretch 90 needles. I’m addicted to Maxi-lock Stretch thread for sewing with knits. I did a bit of testing and it definitely makes the seams more stretchy than regular serger thread. It also is super soft and gives nice coverage over the seam. Using a serger, the dress comes together really quickly. Both Lizzy and I made our dresses in one night sharing a serger and sewing machine. For all the hemming we used a stretch twin needle on my sewing machine. For this part we used the stretch thread in the bobbin and regular thread in the top.

The bamboo jersey is incredibly soft. Wearing this dress feels amazing and you never want to take it off. Probably the best thing to do is just make 6 more so that I can just have one for every day of the week. You can see Lizzy & I wearing our Monetas together here.

p.s. The next night Lizzy made a second version using fabric that she hand dyed in our Indigo class. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever seen.

Colette : Grey Moneta Dress

Colette : Grey Moneta Dress

Colette : Grey Moneta Dress

Colette : Grey Moneta Dress

VICTORY PATTERNS HAZEL : LIBERTY UMBRIA

Victory Patterns Hazel : Liberty Umbria

Victory Patterns : Hazel Dress
Liberty of London : Umbria

I love a clever sewing pattern. The Hazel dress is one of those. I just love the way this pattern sews up, how the lining is added to make everything clean finished on the insides, that there is no zipper and the adorable bow! The pattern shows doing contrast fabrics for the top and the skirt, but I’m boring and love just using one fabric. Plus, I really love this particular Liberty Print, so I was happy to only showcase Umbria. To sum it up, this pattern is pretty awesome. So much so, that I used it to create a sleeveless shift version dress. I’ll post that one soon.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be making another Hazel with at least one of the new Fall 2014 Liberty prints that should be arriving this week!

Victory Patterns Hazel : Liberty Umbria

Victory Patterns Hazel : Liberty Umbria

Victory Patterns Hazel : Liberty Umbria

Victory Patterns Hazel : Liberty Umbria

Victory Patterns Hazel : Liberty Umbria

VICTORY PATTERNS ROXANNE : LIBERTY GROWING FONDER

Victory Patterns Roxanne : Liberty of London Growing Fonder

Victory Patterns : Roxanne Top
Liberty of London : Growing Fonder Tana Lawn Cotton

We’re halfway through May and if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I have been doing the Me Made May challenge for this month. Me Made May is an opportunity for people who knit or stitch handmade clothing to celebrate their wardrobe. I am NOT sewing a new garment everyday! I’m using this opportunity to celebrate my years of building my handmade wardrobe. I’m also taking the opportunity to document newer garments that I’ve never really shared and to re-document some old favourites. I’m loving looking into my closet each morning with fresh eyes and picking an outfit to share with you.

This is my second Roxanne top. I just loved the other version and wanted to try the second option with sleeves and the tie. I decided to use the beautiful Liberty of London Growing Fonder Print. I love the detail of this pattern and the fine lines. If you look closely you will also see there are metallic accents here and there. It’s just gorgeous. I decided to do some extreme pattern matching for this tunic. When I was sewing this, I was also watching the Great British Sewing Bee and imagined Patrick Grant judging my work. He’s a tough cookie, but he would appreciate these fine details. This really inspired me to push myself! I was very careful to centre the pattern on the front , the back and also each of the sleeves. I cut each sleeve separately and made sure the pattern was identical on each one. I also made sure that the pattern lined up as you go around the top from front to sleeve to back. To be extra extreme, on the back, I carefully calculated so that the pattern matched up in the centre from the back yoke to the back bodice, ACROSS THE SEAM! No one will ever know, but even the facing on the front neckline perfectly matched the piece it was sewn to. This took a fair bit of time, but I really enjoyed the challenge.

The one little snag I ran into was just a result of me not fully reading the pattern. When you sew in the sleeves for this, you use a smaller seam allowance of 3/8″ rather than the 5/8″ that you use for the rest of the pattern. When I figured this out, it really made a difference on how the sleeves fit!

I love the drama of this pattern! When you wear it, the way the back flows out and the way the back hem curves down just feels so fancy and fun!

I’m collecting all my Me Made May photos here and I’ll be posting lots of new garments for the rest of the month!

Victory Patterns Roxanne : Liberty of London Growing Fonder

Victory Patterns Roxanne : Liberty of London Growing Fonder

Victory Patterns Roxanne : Liberty of London Growing Fonder

Victory Patterns Roxanne : Liberty of London Growing Fonder

Victory Patterns Roxanne : Liberty of London Growing Fonder

ALISON’S BABY QUILT

Alison

I’ve known Alison aka Coriander Girl since I opened the workroom. She was the first friend I made at the shop. She took my very first Sewing Machine Essentials class. She kept me company over lots of lunches in those early quiet days. Soon after she opened the wildly successful flower shop, Coriander Girl. Now that we’re busy business ladies, we don’t lunch as often as we’d like, but we still make time for important catch up sessions (over scones with jam) and nights of guilty pleasures (The Bachelor!).

I was overjoyed to hear that she was having a baby many months ago. Even more so that it was going to be a girl! That gave me the green light to make her a pastel dream of a quilt. I decided to use the Fiesta Wall Quilt from Quilting Modern as my guide. The book sample is only 24″x24″, so I just doubled all the measurements and ended up with a quilt that was 50″x50″.  I had so much fun choosing fabrics for this project. Using a palette of apricot, linen, white and aqua I went through our recent arrivals and my stash to pull these cheerful prints. Besides all the florals (of course), I also snuck in several different bunny prints that I knew Alison would love finding.

The quilt was fun to sew. I really recommend the pattern and really the whole book. I’m very inspired by the projects in Quilting Modern and have bookmarked a few more of them for future projects. I hope to make more improv style quilts this year, so this was the perfect start to that.

This project was also really fun to quilt. I decided to do a random straight line grid. I’ve fallen in love with the Clover Hera Marker and it makes straight line quilting so quick and easy. I love being able to mark my quilts without the use of tape or any kind of mark on the fabric. The Hera Marker simply makes a crease on the fabric that is very visible that you can sew over. No need to worry about your marks damaging your quilt or not washing away.

Alison’s baby shower was yesterday at her sweet church house in Frankford, Ontario. It was a beautiful day, filled with gorgeous flowers, handmade gifts, delicious food (tacos & trifle!), happy tears and a room full of ladies who love Alison. It was perfect.

More photos of Alison’s shower are posted here.

Fiesta Wall Quilt from Quilting Modern

Alison's Baby Quilt

Hera Marker

Alison's Baby Quilt

Alison's Baby Quilt Back

Alison's Baby Quilt

Alison

Flower arrangements by Tellie

Dream Catcher by Tellie

Gorgeous Dream Catcher Mobile by Tellie

Gorgeous Dream Catcher Mobile by Tellie

Chloe & Rosalyn

Hugs

Entrance

Flower arrangements by Tellie

Bunny by Sonja Ahlers

Love this little painting so much

Alison's Baby Quilt