Tom Ford shirting from Sultan’s Fine Fabrics
Me Made May just finished and I had a lot of fun re-visiting my handmade wardrobe with fresh eyes. I’ll be posting many items over the next few weeks that I was able to finally photograph in detail to show you a closer look.
This Wiksten Tova dress was made from a luxurious Tom Ford shirting fabric that I bought at Sultan’s. As soon as I spotted the roll, I knew I needed to make a dress from it. I especially love making a Wiksten Tova using any type of plaid or check because one of my favourite things to do is cut the yoke on the bias. I was also very careful when cutting out the pieces to match the pattern from the front to the back piece, especially since the pattern is so bold.
I’m not sure if there’s a limit to how many Tovas a girl can have, but I think I could still use a few more.
Grainline Studio : Scout Woven Tee
Linen from Sultan’s Fine Fabric, bias plaid trim from Sultan’s Fine Fabric
Colette Patterns : Zinnia Skirt
Robert Kaufman Chambray Union Light
Lined with Solid Grey Voile
Two for one! I love when a good outfit combo comes together. This red linen Scout Tee with the Chambray Zinnia is such an easy outfit to wear.
This is the first Woven Skirt Tee that I ever made, last summer. Looking at it now, I see that I need to add a few more of these to my summer wardrobe. I posted about my long sleeve Liberty version here. I made a couple small changes. Just brought in the side seams a bit for a better fit on me and added a few inches to the length. I’m going to make my next versions at the original length because I think it will look more flattering with skirts and shorts for the summer. For the binding on the neck, I couldn’t resist making a contrast bias tape using some plaid cotton shirting from Sultan’s. Those hidden details give me endless pleasure.
For the Colette Zinnia Skirt, I combined elements of version 2 and 3 on the pattern. I liked the shorter length and the pockets, but since I was using the Chambray Union Light, I also wanted to have a lining. I omitted the belt loops since I don’t ever wear belts. I would definitely make this custom version again. The skirt is very light weight and feels so soft. I can’t wait to wear it this summer without tights. All the pleats in the skirt are top stitched down. I love the way this looks. I was also very happy to find the perfect button for the back closure in The Button Dept. at the workroom.
Both these patterns are great for beginners and a breeze for experienced sewers.
My Me Made May month is going really well! I keep finding new clothes in my closet that need to be photographed, so there is now a queue of blog posts that I’m working on. You can keep track of my outfits on Instagram or see the collection here.
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!
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.
As Spring is starting to truly get going here, I’m posting some wintery photos from our recent cottage weekend. A lovely tradition of getting away for a long weekend with friends, dogs and sewing machines was started a few years ago. It happens twice a year and is something I look forward to immensely.
The focus is sewing. We wake up early in the morning and get on our sewing machines, some of us sleep in because we were sewing until 3am in the morning. Having several days in a row to focus on projects means that stuff gets done! Huge quilts get quilted, binding is stitched, problems are solved and a thousand blocks are pieced. In between all that, there are amazing homemade meals and snacks, walks with dogs and afternoon naps. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t get better than this.
Just four months til the Summer Cottage Weekend!
All the Winter Cottage Weekend photos are here.
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!
Chunky Twinkle Yarn by Wenlan
This is the first knit project I’ve ever posted on here! I started this Maximus Cowl over two years ago at Sewing Summit. I made good progress while we were in Salt Lake City, I had so many great knitters (Amanda & Amanda) around me on that trip! Somehow when I came home, I tucked the project away and could never manage to muster the courage to pick it up again. I pulled it out again in January and was determined to finish it up, once and for all!
I don’t consider myself a knitter, but I did learn to knit ages ago. I’m very comfortable doing basic knitting, but I’ve never progressed into anything too complicated. When I see the incredible shawls and socks that my friends are making, I’m really quite in awe.
The most intimidating part of this project was the finishing. I just dreaded the mysterious ‘3 needle bind off’. When I put a call out regarding this last step, Natalie answered with the promise of her guidance. It really wasn’t that bad and actually it was a really cool technique!
Dare I say that I might like to knit another simple cowl?! Any thoughts on some great/simple cowl patterns that you like?
It was about this time last year that I started my Feather Bed quilt. The quilt top has been done for a little while now. I still need to finish off the back and decide if I’m going to quilt this one. I want to catch up on photographing my quilts in progress, so I took the quilt top with me last week when Maisy and I went down to the Humber River for our Monday adventure.
When we got down to the river that day, the entire park was filled with huge ice chunks that had started to melt over the weekend, cracked and then been pushed down downstream and eventually pushed over the sides of the river bed and across the fields. This has already happened a couple times this winter, but not to this extreme! I’ve never seen anything like it, but it made the perfect backdrop for these photos! These photos were actually taken on the river and you can see how thick the ice is.
I love this quilt top. I had a lot of fun making most of it at our 2013 winter cottage weekend. Both Jacqueline and Katherine let me raid their scraps and stash to add to the fabric I had chosen and to me those additions truly make the quilt top shine. I got the majority of the blocks done over this one weekend, but in the end, I had decided I needed to make the quilt top bigger and add a few more blocks.
The pattern for this quilt top is a free pdf download from Anna Maria Horner! I definitely recommend it. There is one piece of advice that I’d give, that I didn’t catch on to until I was through a lot of the sewing. There is a better way to sew & cut your strips for the plumes that is much more efficient! Luckily, Meredith at Olivia Jane wrote a great tutorial on the method.
I love seeing other versions of this pattern. I was originally inspired to make this pattern when I saw Lalu’s version. I love it on the grey background. Julie made a blue version with the Liberty Stiles collection which is really wonderful, too!