I’m learning honeycomb smocking and I’m pretty smitten.
Archive for the 'the workroom' Category
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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.
I took Victoria Day as a sewing day to catch up on working on my Machine Foundation Paper Piecing homework. I have just one more house to do this week before I sew it together and add my border before Saturday’s final class. I can’t wait to see them all come together. Take a look at how different and awesome Agnes’ and Suzanne’s came out. There is so much personality in everyone’s little houses!
One of our many new classes is an Advanced Natural Dyeing class. Many of the past Natural Dyeing students wanted a next level class where they could explore more dyestuffs and different techniques. Also, we just love taking classes from Julie. The advanced class is completely self directed, so each student has their own personal projects and develops a plan with Julie ahead of time.
Natural dyeing is really exciting. I love when the back area and kitchen of the workroom changes into a laboratory with pots everywhere that are bubbling up with bundles of fabric inside. It’s messy and chaotic and thrilling. Also, dyeing with a group of people is so much fun.
I had two projects that I wanted to work on. The first was a very simple natural dyed quilt. I took some organic cotton brushed sheeting and randomly cut it into pieces that I dyed and over-dyed into various colours. My plan is to simply stitch all the pieces back together to create a front and back of a quilt. I’ve kept pretty good notes on what each piece was dyed in, so the quilt will be a bit of a map of all the dyeing I did in class.
My second project was to dye a piece of silk for a dress. I’ve been pinning all kinds of inspirational dyeing images on Pinterest. In particular, I really loved this super dark, inky dress and wanted to try to replicate that depth of colour. A lot of the natural dye colours end up being very soft and muted, so I thought I would have to do some over-dyeing to build up that kind of colour. By accident, I ended up creating a very dark logwood bath using an older bundle of logwood chips that had been previously used and I had kept for the past few months in a plastic bag. I think something about the wood staying wet for so long, released a lot of colour into the bath and we got a purple that was almost black. There are so many great surprises in natural dyeing. I twisted up and tied my bundle of silk and cooked it carefully in the bath for a while. I’m so happy with how it turned out in the end and love the shibori pattern it created.
Arounna made all kinds of lovely scarves and bags from her class work. Margie had all kinds of shibori, yarn and even her beautiful crochet stones dipped into the pots. Carolanne was working on an indigo shibori dyed piece of washi paper that she is hand quilting. Brian was working on creating fabric samples to make quilt blocks from. Susan did some fun solar dyeing, yarn and shibori experiments. Even Julie bundled up some fabric during class for solar dyeing. We had such a great time in class together and I think there will have to be a little dye party reunion during the summer. I want to do more dyeing!
It’s finally here. I hope see you at the snack table at our Spring Trunk Show tomorrow!
I don’t know about you, but I want to sew about a hundred different things right now. (Even more than usual!) New projects need new fabric. This sale is for you friends!
I really miss doing patchwork if I don’t get to do any for even just a couple weeks. I started taking our new Machine Foundation Paper Piecing class on Saturday. We’re making an incredible wall quilt designed by Johanna. I have been wanting to learn paper piecing FOREVER.
Sunday night, I tackled some of my homework for the class and completed the first row of houses, plus one tree. It felt great to get back into my Sunday routine, to make a mess with fabric bits everywhere and to sew until the wee hours of the morning. This technique is a ‘game changer’. It totally unlocks a whole new world of patchwork and I’m so excited by it. Not only can you show off your fussy cutting, but you can showcase awesome scraps of fabric with these intricate designs.