Sometimes the best projects are ones that you can start and finish in just one sitting. When I make zippered pouches, I’ll often make two or three or even four. It feels like it takes just about the same time. We needed a couple pouches for the shop for receipts and petty cash. I couldn’t resist making myself a pouch with some of my Far Far Away III fabric and some horseshoe fabric I had. It doesn’t have a use just yet but it usually doesn’t take very long for a cute pouch like this to find a purpose.
Archive for the 'the workroom' Category
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Somehow I was catapulted out of August into the middle of September, (WTH?) so don’t mind me while I reminisce about the last bits of summer.
Colour Theory + Mini Quilts with Lizzy House was a phenomenal class. The first class was spent mixing paints and learning about colour theory. It felt like being back in art class, but it truly drove the lesson home. Right away we were putting together dynamic colour palettes that surprised us. I saved mine and I’m making a mini quilt out of it this weekend.
For the mini quilt portion of the class we had to design something from scratch. I’ve done lots of improv quilting, but never really planned a design, so this was a challenge. We were also supposed to try to only use solids. Another challenge for me since I rarely use solids.
I added one more personal challenge on top of all that. I wanted to try to convey transparency with my design where parts were overlapping. Let me tell you, I was frustrated by the whole thing. But for me, I know that this means that I’m actually learning something!
It was really special watching each individual mini quilt come together from a sketch to a little mini work of art. It was even more special to see everyone achieve little milestones of personal challenge and achievement. I’m not going to lie, there were some joyful tears at the end of this class. Yep. That’s the kind of teacher Lizzy House is.
Oh boy. What an awesome week we had with Lizzy House last week! I can’t believe that it’s over already. I took a crazy amount of photos so I’ll be posting those over the next few days in batches, starting from the end and working back to the beginning.
We ended the week at the workroom with Lizzy’s Champion Ribbons class. What a perfect and fun Saturday morning we had. This project is pure genius, using bits of felt, ribbon, buttons and any other craft materials you’ve got lying around. Plus, I’ll take any excuse I can get to make a trip to Mokuba to buy fancy trims. What’s great about this project is that it is so playful and relaxing. We sat around the huge table together, making a mess, cutting felt, turning ribbon and chatting away.
To add to the festive mood, Andrea made a delicious spice cake that she decorated with mini bunting made from Lizzy’s fabric. So sweet! It was so pretty but we didn’t seem to have any problems gobbling it right up.
I ended up making six Champion Ribbons. My favourite part was going through my scrap bin and finding the perfect bit of fabric to cover a button with for the centres of my ribbons. I made a few for myself and a few for gifts. I think these make a special gift and I can’t wait to award some special people in my life with a Champion Ribbon. I already know I’ll be making more ribbons very soon, I spent the other night organizing all my trims into mason jars so I’ll be ready for another ribbon making session.
I’m so excited to share my 1001 Peeps Summer Camp project with you today! Have you been following along with the other great camp projects every Friday?
Since I love making clothes so much, I thought I would create a skirt pattern that is very easy to sew. You will start and finish this skirt in a few hours! Also, I show you how to do elastic shirring with this pattern. If you’ve never tried it, this is a magical technique to learn. It’s also very addictive. You may have seen it in this dress, this dress or this dress. Since I know how much Lizzy loves bows, I had to make sure it had a big bow on it too! My Enchanted Bow Skirt features a ruffled paper bag waist, an elastic shirred waistband and an adorable contrasting bow.
It was pretty hard to choose just two fabrics from the 1001 Peeps fabric collection for the skirt, but I’m having a love affair with purple right now, so I chose the Purple Pearl Bracelet for the bow and the Scheherazade for the skirt.
You can download a pdf of the instructions to make this pattern here. I’ve added the elastic thread that I use to our online shop, in case you don’t have a place near you that sells it. Please let me know if you make one, I’d love to see it!
the workroom will FINALLY be receiving our shipment of 1001 Peeps next week. Just in time for Lizzy’s arrival. There will be sets of all 24 prints for sure! Fat quarter, half metre and full metre. If you need one, (I definitely need one), let me know and you can pre-order.
p.s. The bow on this skirt is totally enchanted. Take a look at the last photo where the magical bow is trying to fly away!
Finish Enchanted Bow Skirts :
– Jeni finished her skirt within a day of posting the pattern! It’s amazing with the Royal City print in orange.
– Lizzy House made TWO enchanted bow skirts while she was in Toronto. Here’s her first one made with Heather Ross’ Far Far Away 3 fabric.
Mannish Style – available at the workroom
Dress 12 : silk shibori dyed in logwood
Oh boy, was I ever excited last week when I remembered that I had this piece of silk from my Advanced Natural Dyeing class. This pattern from Mannish Style is exactly what I had hoped to find to make a dress from this shibori fabric that I dyed in logwood. I love the drapey folds.
This pattern was also very easy! There are just 2 pieces (front & back), with the front being cut on the bias to give it that nice drape. The neck and arms are finished with bias trim. The pattern was intended for a knit fabric which you can see would have even more drape. Because of that, the dress is a bit snug around the hips and I would adjust the pattern next time to be a bit looser. I would also love to make this in a fun knit fabric.
This silk is my most favourite piece of fabric that I have dyed myself. The super dark, inky purple colour we got from this logwood bath is so amazing and so much deeper than any other colour I’ve done in the past. There is still some of this silk leftover and I want to try to use every bit of it. I’m trying to figure out what else I can make with it, perhaps a tank top or camisole?
Mannish Style – available at the workroom
This is my current favourite Japanese Dress book. Firstly, it has a fantastic title that makes me smile every time I read it. The full title on the book is ‘She has a mannish style’. I am feeling this mannish style right now!
What I love about this book is that it strays from the typical sweet tunics and dresses you find in most Japanese Dress books. It’s great to see some variation in the styling. There are some super cool drapey tops and vestlets that look like they will be fun to make. I’m looking through my stash to figure out what fabric will work for one of the dresses. It will be one of the 13 projects I hope to work on over the long weekend. I need more time to sew!
Looks like friendship bracelets are making a huge comeback this year. Personally, I’m really excited about it because it’s a sweet little gift that requires very little supplies and really no tools (except for a safety pin and scissors!) Portable, small crafts are also a bonus in the summer when you might want something to do in the car (as a passenger!), sitting in the park or hanging out with pals.
I started this bracelet a couple nights ago while watching tv. I went through my Cosmo floss collection and found that I mostly have pink and grey! I’m trying to do a super wide chevron pattern, using 8 different colours. I’m following the tutorial from Honestly WTF, but there is also a tutorial on Purl and if you’re really serious about it, we have a Japanese book dedicated to Misanga, which is what they call friendship bracelets. I’m working my way up to doing some of the fancy patterns like flowers and hearts!
Have you seen our Cosmo floss palettes? They are kinda perfect for this. We’ve selected some super cute combinations of colours. Just pick one of the sets and you’ll be ready to make a bunch of bracelets. I just created two that I’m totally in love with – City Rain and Lavender Fields. City Rain was inspired by this incredible photo of city lights reflecting off the pavement of a dark rainy night here in Toronto. My next bracelets will be using this palette. I can’t wait.
We’ve been having fun packing up orders from our new online shop and sending them out to new friends in Norway, Australia, New Zealand, Calgary, the US and all over Ontario. We’re learning lots, especially about shipping costs. Canada Post is so tricky. Our original shipping estimates were coming out really high, so we’ve been adjusting them as we figure out this new system. No matter what, we have been refunding everyone with the difference between the actual shipping cost and what they may have over paid. If you tried to buy something, but were worried when you saw the shipping totals, try again. They should be much more realistic now.
Also, I’m thinking that a friendship bracelet party would be a fun thing to do….
Cosmo colours in my bracelet : #475, #2222, #476, #472, #2224, #431, #226, #224
YIPEEEE!! This is such a long time in the making, but I’m pretty much bursting to finally launch the workroom’s pop-up online shop. We actually do a lot of mail order shipping to our friends in other parts of Canada, the US, Australia, Spain, Brazil, etc. If there’s ever anything you’d like to buy from the workroom, we can easily arrange it with you by phone or email. This little pop-up shop is an edited version of some of our most requested and favourite things like our laser cut cross stitch pendants, Japanese Dress Books, Uppercase Magazine, Colette sewing patterns and Selvedge Magazine.
We’ve also brought in some special items for the launch of the shop, like these coloured bauble purse frames and flower bag handles. Everything that I choose for the shop is something that totally inspires me. I’m excited that when I talk about a new pattern or tool that I’ve tried, I’ll be able to have it in the shop so you don’t have to search around for it.
the workroom carries some items that are not always easy to find elsewhere, such as the Lecien Cosmo embroidery floss. We have all 443 colours and you can choose to buy them individually or we’ve started to create some gorgeous floss palettes that include 15 skeins of floss based on different inspirations. Very soon, we’ll be launching a special floss of the month subscription where each month you’ll get a package with one of our floss palettes delivered to your post box. This will be a super fun way to build your Cosmo collection.
For our friends here in Toronto, you can choose to pick up your order at the workroom for no charge. Simply let us know in the notes that you’ll be picking up and we’ll refund the shipping cost.
Let me know what you think of our little shop!
June hasn’t been my favourite month of the year, that’s for sure. It seems like I’ve spent the month focusing on problems and drama rather than moving forward. The biggest setback has been losing two months worth of our inventory and sales data at the workroom. I wrote about it here. It’s the kinda thing that you hope will never happen and when it does, (despite all your back-up systems) you are crushed with helplessness. Then you need to suck it up and work for several nights until 4am, 2am, 1am to start getting things back on track. If you’re really lucky, like me, when you ask for some help there is an outpouring of kind words, receipts (in person, emailed, photographed, scanned) and offers to do data entry. Thank you. So much.
If you’re just hearing about this now, we are still hoping to get as many of our receipts or emailed invoices from April 5-June 15, 2011. Even if it’s for a spool of thread or a class you took, we’d love to have a copy. No receipt is too small. We’ve been able to rebuild so much quicker with the receipts you have sent in so far. It’s taking a while to go through all your lovely emails, but you’ll hear from us very soon. Please read more details here, if you think you can help.
After four intense days of emergency computer mayhem. We took off to Andrew’s family cottage for 3 days. Perfect timing. Quiet. Escape. Hand stitching. Food. Naps. Nature. Family time.