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.
Portfolio Tunic : Lisette for Simplicity (out of print!)
Liberty of London Tana Lawn Cotton : Scilly Flora
I loved this top in the shorter version, and I love it even more in this longer version. It’s the cute pockets that make it. The Portfolio is just a super pretty design. It’s a shame that the pattern is out of print. But the good news is that Liesl just re-released a new version of the pattern called the Cappuccino Dress.
As always, Liberty is the perfect fabric and this particular print was from the Spring/Summer 2013 collection called The Flower Show. The Scilly Flora print is actually made up of hand drawings done by a class of students in a range of ages. The grey with peachy accents is pretty much my dream colour combo.
When I get hooked onto a pattern, I can’t help but make a few. I can tell that this is going to be a new staple style in my wardrobe.
Leggings were on our original To Do List for The Sewing Factory. They got nixed off the list when we couldn’t find nice jersey that we loved for the project and also we got distracted by Liberty fabric and sewing all the dresses.
A few months later, I picked up some grey jersey in hopes of making leggings. I also finally found a good leggings pattern. I’ve had great success with all the Jalie patterns that I’ve tried. They are the basis for our T-Shirt & Underwear classes. Their patterns include an extensive range of sizes which seems to make the fit of their garments really wonderful.
A few weeks ago, all the stars finally aligned. Our water service stopped at home (here’s looking on the bright side of this situation) and I was stuck waiting about 20 hours for the city to arrive to work on it. With some unexpected ‘free’ time, it seemed like the perfect time to tackle a new but simple project.
These leggings were born without a hitch. I used both a serger and a sewing machine with a twin needle to finish these. I tried them on when I was done and they fit like a glove! I promptly sat down and made a second pair.
My second pair was even better. I made a few changes to my construction process that I’m really happy about. I searched my stash and found enough knit fabric for two more pairs. One of my next pairs will be from bamboo jersey that is a bit thicker. I think this will be the best weight and I’m excited that the workroom will be carrying this bamboo jersey again very soon! (in a range of awesome new colours)
This is perfect project to practice your serger skills on and to introduce yourself to serging with jersey. I’ll be sharing all my tricks and tips in our new Leggings class at the workroom!
We also have the Jalie Leggings pattern in the shop! Plus, the essential twin & jersey needles. A hundred pairs of leggings for everyone!
Lunch Bag class by Guy Latulippe
Outer Fabric : Railroad Denim by Robert Kaufman
Lining Fabric : Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Denim
I wish I had a lunch bag like this when I was in school.
This clever design by Guy is very fun to sew. Right now I seem to be obsessed with anything chambray, denim or yarn dyed. This project is perfect for these types of fabrics. Having a sturdier outer fabric gives the bag the right amount of structure to hold it’s shape. Definitely one of the best details is the cute gusset that truly mimics the classic brown paper bag. If you peek inside you’ll notice it is flawlessly lined with beautiful seam binding. The cherry on top is the hidden magnetic closure.
So many possibilities for this cute bag. Some students suggested it would be a great gift filled with homemade cookies! For me, I’m planning a spring outfit with this as my clutch.
If you’re in Toronto, you can make one at the workroom this Saturday in our Lunch Bag class!
After months and months of working on this project, it’s great to finally be able to post photos of this community quilt made for Debbie’s baby. Sunday was Debbie’s last day of work and it seemed like the perfect time to throw her a little surprise baby shower to celebrate.
The beauty of a community quilt is the incredible personality it reflects. Not only of the person who sews the block, but the person the blocks are intended for. When I look at this quilt, I truly see this.
The parameters we set out for the quilt used this fabric as our colour inspiration along with a required finished size of 9″. Somehow with just those two guidelines, we ended up with this magical patchwork.
A quilt is always filled with love, but when it is worked on by so many people it vibrates that love so strongly. We can’t wait to meet your baby, Debbie!
All the quilt photos from this project can be found here.
Economy block by Karyn
Economy block by Karyn
Hummingbird block by Katrina
Maple block by Jacqueline
Maple block by Jacqueline
Star block with Hexagon centre by Johanna
HST block by Ayalah
Improv block by Ayalah
Feather block by Angelune
Postage Stamp block by Angelune
Improv block by Suzanne
Improv block by Katherine
Improv block by Katherine
Improv block by Elisa
Improv block by Lauren
Improv block by Lauren
Star block by Nadia
Star within a Star block by Carolanne
Cathedral Windows block by Alexis
Porthole block by Maria
Improv bloc by Carolina
Improv block by Rosalyn
Improv block by Jerisse
Tomorrow!! I hope to see you there.
Grainline Studio Scout Woven Tee
Liberty of London Tana Lawn Cotton in Mistral
Firstly, a woven tee. Such a great wardrobe addition! Secondly, a simple and quick sewing project! Brilliant on so many levels.
This is actually my third Scout Tee. I made two during The Sewing Factory. One in Nani Iro double gauze and one in a strawberry linen. I love those short sleeve tees, but with the fall here, I knew my wardrobe really needed a tee with a longer sleeve.
I pulled out the sleeve piece for the pattern and traced it out. I made the sleeve piece about 14.5″ long, but when I sewed it up, I found that length a bit short and had to hem the sleeve with binding. I will cut my next version out with a sleeve piece at 16″ or 16.5″. I also adjusted the side seams of the sleeve and brought them out a bit so that they drop straight down. I feel like I could adjust the sleeve a bit more, but I’m going to need some expert advice on this. I am wondering if I need to add any fullness to the sleeve cap due to adding the length and weight to make it sit nicer. I’ll report back after I do some consulting!
I also added a couple inches to the length of the body. I tend to like things a bit longer in length.
I love having good basic patterns to fall back on and this is definitely one them. The Liberty Tana Lawn is perfect for this pattern. Okay, it’s pretty much good for everything. But once I perfect my changes, I will be turning out a dozen more, for sure.
p.s. This is our garden!
Victory Patterns : Roxanne
Liberty of London Tana Lawn Cotton in Susanna
I have had the pleasure of watching Victory Patterns emerge from dream to reality in the last couple years. When Kristiann Boos, one of the workroom’s instructors, told me she wanted to start a pattern company I was absolutely thrilled! Kristiann’s sense of design and style is so unique, I knew right away that she would produce patterns that were unlike others out on the market. She started out with PDF patterns and finally this year launched printed patterns. Kristiann’s patterns are lovely to work from. They are clearly written & illustrated, plus beautifully packaged.
The Roxanne pattern is a beginner level pattern. I chose to make the sleeveless version, mostly for the amazing collar detail. I went with the dark navy Susanna print from Liberty. The pattern was very simple, with the most complex part being that collar. The design of the collar is very clever and I got huge amounts of satisfaction sewing it. Once you’ve completed the collar, the rest of the top flies together. The top has a lot of volume, there are pleats that fall from the yoke at the back. With the right fabric, such as the Liberty Tana Lawn this volume creates a gorgeous silhouette and movement with the high/low hemline. I love that this top feel very elegant and dressy. I can’t wait to try a version with sleeves next.
This is the second Victory Patterns pattern that I’ve tried. I made the Hazel first, but still need to photograph it now that the weather has cooled down enough for long sleeves.
See all the Victory Patterns here & see the Roxanne pattern here.
Hoodie pattern by Guy Latulippe
Alice’s Garden : Liberty of London Linford Fleece
As soon as September arrived, the temperature at night seemed to drop down to chilly. I’ve been enjoying throwing on my cozy new hoodie for my night walks with Maisy. Making a hoodie has been on my wish list for a long time, so I was thrilled when Guy told me he had a hoodie pattern that he had designed.
The first Hoodie class was held as a day camp in August. Day camps at the workroom are one of my favourite things!
Let’s talk about the fabric first. This Liberty of London fleece is incredible. Not only is it a cotton fleece printed with a gorgeous Liberty print, but it also so thick and soft. We had received two prints (Manning & Alice’s Garden), just in time for the Hoodie class. This print is called ‘Alice’s Garden’ and I just know it will cheer me up in the winter months when I am missing my garden.
I’m always excited to demystify basic pieces of clothing like the t-shirt and underwear. We sewed the hoodie up on a regular sewing machine and used the serger as we went along to finish the seams. I usually will do all my serging at the start before I sew, but for this project it made sense to serge the seams together as each step was sewn and then they got top stitched down. I used a light shade of mauve for my sewing and did a double line of stitching for all my top stitching. Little details like that make me pretty happy. But my most favourite detail on this hoodie is that I did a pretty great job of pattern matching the pocket. I’ve had a lot of practice pattern matching my Wiksten Tank pockets, so this one was a piece of cake!
All the hoodies made in class were so beautiful. Each one different and very professional looking. Guy talked to us about variations on the pattern, so I think my next version will have a zip front. The fall session of the Hoodie class starts soon and I can’t wait to see the next round of hoodies.
I fell in love with this Market Tote before it was even born. I had dreamed of a really BIG bag, with lots of exterior pockets. The kind of bag you can fill to the brim at the Farmer’s Market, the LCBO (those pockets were tested to fit bottles of wine!), or on a cottage sewing weekend. Guy Latulippe is the kind of guy who makes your bag dreams come true. This original design, like all his others, is so perfect.
I made my Market Tote in the same exterior fabric as my Sling Pack. I’ve decided that I’m making a set of bags that all use the same outside fabric (and pink top stitching!) with different linings. For this bag, I pulled out my coveted pink Paris Map fabric by 3 Sisters. It just made sense.
Every bag I’ve made of Guy’s design has taught me so many little techniques and tricks. When I looked at the Market Tote sample, I thought I could see how it would come together. When we received our pattern pieces in class, I realized, yet again that Guy’s technical mind is much more clever than that. His approach to bag construction is absolutely fascinating. I also love working on projects where you feel like you are making something that is of professional quality. You can see it in the beautiful edge stitching all over the bag, it is a detail that all of Guy’s students become very good at. Details like that are what set his designs apart.
My Market Tote has not been empty for a minute since I’ve made it. Mostly I use it to carry my current projects around, but it’s been to the grocery store and up to the cottage. I just love this bag to pieces and I will surely make a few more.
Everyone always asks. All of Guy’s patterns are available as classes at the workroom and soon in the future there will also be patterns for you to buy.