Smocking October 16 2015 2 Comments
Our new Smocking class is happening in November.
Smocking?? You bet.
As you'll see from the links below, it's not all Little House on the Prairie. Well, some of it is, and those pieces are divine! But there's a slow, steady move happening to incorporate smocking into more modern clothing patterns. A total feast for the eyes.
- Liesl Gibson on talking to the Smocking Arts Guild of America.
- A little round up on heirloom techniques here. Feels contagious, no? Wait, there's more... smocked dress round-up.
- "Smocked" on Flickr picks up a good variety of project that can incorporate smocking.
- "Smocking" on Flickr turns up a more traditional spread of dresses.
- Instagram's offerings on the subject - #smockeddress
- Once you get the basics down in our class, go here for some ideas on different smocking shapes and patterns.
- Still not entirely sure what this is. But thank you interweb for keepin' it real.
- Tinctory - before you click, get comfortable because this smocking-natural-dyeing rabbit hole is a deep one. The future of smocking is right here.
See you in class!
Like this quilt? October 14 2015
Last year, when we first started up the Hintonburg Sewcial Club, one of our first projects was to make opaque IV bag covers for our neighbours at the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre (OICC). It was an interesting project not only from a design perspective, but also learning about the work that the OICC does for cancer patients in Ottawa.
Just over a year ago, the OICC partnered up with Babes4Breasts to launch the Head Start program that helps women who recently diagnosed with breast cancer. The program offers workshops on nutrition, exercise, mind body therapies, stress management, integrative medicine and healthy lifestyle.
Throughout the month of October, the OICC is running an online auction fundraiser for the Head Start program. All sorts of amazing gems from local restaurants, spas, artists, ski hills, hotels - not to mention, tickets and a signed jersey from the Sens!
We've donated this sweet baby quilt / wall hanging. It's 45" x 45", all cotton and backed with fuzzy flannel. It would make a great gift for a new baby, to be used as a snuggly quilt in a crib or as a bright, cheerful wall hanging.
It will be displayed on our wall until the end of October. Come take a look! Better yet, place a bid!
See you at the shop!
Welcome kits for women's shelters October 06 2015
After a brief summer hiatus, the Hintonburg Sewcial Club (HSC) returned to Fabrications at the end of September. And we had a full house, all our sewing machines whirring away, well into the evening!
Our project for September was welcome kits to be donated to a local women's shelter - comprised of a simple fabric bag filled with basic toiletries and personal care items.
Over 900 women were homeless in Ottawa in 2014. We are fortunate to have a number of shelters across the city for women and children escaping violent situations. Many women arriving at a shelter, either alone or with children, come with little more than the clothes on their backs.
We set a goal of 30 welcome kits... When all was said and done, we had over 50 bags sewn up and fully stuffed with shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion, tooth paste and tooth brush. Amazing, no?
A huge shout out goes to the ladies who made it all happen - Stephanie, Joyce, Mildred, Suzanne and Mary. Everyone came with lots of enthusiasm, arms loaded with fabric and toiletries, and ready to sew! A huge thank you also to the Ottawa Chinese Alliance Church, whose members donated a huge box of toiletries -- it was a welcome surprise and allowed us to fill so many more kits than we had anticipated.
While we make each HSC project something useful to donate to a local charity, we also like to use each project as an opportunity to learn and hone our sewing skills. This simple fabric bag project gave us a chance to hone our French seam skills and try out the serger.
Stay tuned for our next HSC gathering - lots of great projects to come!
Fall Classes September 07 2015 1 Comment
We’re already a week into September. How did that happen?
We have some fantastic sewing classes running through the fall. Sign up and start the season off with a swing in your step!
Learn to Sew
- Sewing Machine Basics – Sept 26, Oct 7
- Express Beginner Sewing: Infinity Scarf – Sept 18 (fully booked!), Oct 1, Oct 18
- Advanced Beginner: Bento Bags – Sept 16 – one of our newer classes
- Serger Basics – Sept 24, Oct 28
- Hintoburg Sewcial Club: Drawsting Bags – Sept 25 (fully booked – check back next month!)
- Sewing 101: Easy Lined Tote Bag – Sept 17, Sept 27, Oct 8, Oct 17, Oct 29
- Sewing 102: Easy Zippered Pillow – Sept 8, Sept 19, Oct 16, Oct 24
- Sewing 202: Zippered Pouch – Oct 2
- Alterations and Repairs Workshop – Sept 10 – bring in something you need to alter or repair, and work on it with the help of our skilled teachers
- (NEW) Dressmaking with Knits or Woven Fabrics: Myrtle Dress – Oct 5, 19, 26 (3 evenings)
- Men’s Tie Class – Oct 22 – get a head start on seasonal gifts!
- Sewing for Toddlers & Kids: Mini Hudson Pants – Sept 14, 21, 28 (3 evenings)
- Sewing 201: Pyjama Pants – Oct 14, 21 (2 evenings)
- Sewing 303: Leggings (Espresso Leggings) – Sept 23, 30 (2 evenings)
- Beginner Quilting: ‘Plus’ Quilt – Oct 6, 13, 20, 27 (4 evenings)
- Block of the Month: Fly Away – Sept 15
- Introduction to Hand Applique – Nov 7
Classes for Children
- Children’s Class: Pillow Case – Sept 12 (fully booked), Oct 3
- Children’s Class: Easy Lined Tote Bag – Sept 20 (fully booked), Oct 10
Not sure which class would be right for you? Drop us a line and we'll help you choose one!
Make a placemat! February 01 2015 1 Comment
Who’s up for brightening up someone’s day with a simple sewing project?
At the March session of the Hintonburg Sewcial Club (HSC), we’ll be making spring-themed placemats for the Ottawa branch of Meals on Wheels (MoW). They’ll be delivered to clients with their meals around Easter (early April).
Some of our HSC projects will be accessible online this year. So, if you can’t make it to one of our scheduled sewing nights (check out our Classes page), you can still help out!
MoW has hundreds of clients across the Ottawa area. So, we’re opening up this placemats project to the wider sewing community to see how many we can collect before the end of March. Make as many as you can, and drop them off at Fabrications through to the end of March!
Every day, MoW volunteers are out there delivering nutritious meals to people across Ottawa to help them maintain their health and independence at home. Delivery of these meals is often more than just a meal – visits from these kind volunteers often doubles as a way to check in on people who may have difficulty getting out and about. Read more here about this organization helps seniors and adults who are chronically ill, living with a disability, convalescing from surgery or illness, or undergoing medical treatment.
How’s that for inspiration?!
So, friends, raid your stash for bright colours, Spring-y prints! Use up some random scraps, orphaned quilt blocks, or try out a new quilt block without having to commit to a full quilt! Aim for about 12" x 17" finished size.
Here are some tutorials and examples to get you started:
Let’s brighten up someone’s day and bust a little bit of our fabric stash (you know you want to!) while we’re at it!
Get your curve on! January 27 2015
A couple of weeks ago, we had the great pleasure of having Seattle-based quilt designer Patricia Belyea teaching her Doodle Piecing workshop at Fabrications. She'll be teaching Kouki Improv Quilt class on February 28, and we're looking at dates for a possible repeat of the Doodle Piecing Workshop - keep checking back on our Classes page!
We met Patricia back in September 2014, when she wandered into the shop the day Carrie and Curtis had finished renovations and were re-opening at our new location (1018 Wellington St. West). Check out the lovely profile of the new shop she shared on her OkanArts blog.
Patricia is one of those rare birds who is not only an extremely creative and talented fabric artist, but she is also a skilled teacher (and a great story teller too!). And have you seen the gorgeous hand dyed yukata cottons she imports from Japan? They appear throughout her quilts and she also sells them online through her online shop.
So what is Doodle Piecing, exactly? Imagine turning line drawings, complex curves and all, into pattern pieces and then into quilt blocks. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t yet had a chance to take Patricia’s class, but suffice to say, I finally got over my fear of piecing flat curves. In fact, we sliced and diced and sewed the most amazing pieces. I think all six of us in the class were pretty chuffed at what we accomplished by day's end.
This is where we started - everyone chose 6 fabrics to use in their first block.
Once that was done, we doodled, made our pattern pieces, then worked some magic to negotiate all the organic shapes we'd designed into proper quilt blocks. I'm talking about the type that lie flat without being forced to do so by a hot iron. Because we've all made loads of those, right?
Here's Patricia unlocking the flat curve universe to us, explaining the small details that make these blocks come together so beautifully.
Kathryn, taking it all in stride. (And Patricia's beautiful sample quilt on the wall behind Kathryn!)
And we got to see a few of Patricia's samples - this one combines Half Square Triangles with Doodle Piecing. Topped off with some beautiful hand quilting.
And voila! Here we are, all smiles with our finished blocks!
We're so looking forward to running this workshop again soon. It really does unlock a whole universe of curved piecing that can add so much interest to quilting.
Keep checking back on our Classes page to see when we'll be running it again!
Hintonburg Sewcial Club is up and running! December 02 2014
As the weather cooled off for the fall, we held our first couple of gatherings of the Hintonburg Sewcial Club. Our goal was/is to make this equal parts helping out local charities, and building the Ottawa sewing community by bringing together local sewists of all levels. And what great success we’ve had so far!
At our October gathering, we made quilted placemats and quilted youth/adult-sized bibs for Roger’s House (www.rogershouse.ca), an 8-bed pediatric residential hospice on the campus of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (www.cheo.com). It is one of only three such facilities in Canada – making it a fairly unique and special place. Its medical and personal care staff (and team of over 300 volunteers!) provide respite, end-of-life, transition-to-home support, pain and symptom management, peri-natal care and bereavement support for families and children with progressive, life-limiting illnesses. As much as possible, they try to create a comfortable, home-like environment for the families who are staying there – and that’s where we’re hoping to help out.
That October evening, we had a lovely mix of women with a wide range of sewing experience - some with years of sewing behind them and others who'd just recently taken it up. Everyone produced finished placemats or bibs by the end of the evening. We chatted, we sipped, we sewed, we laughed, Curtis saved Doreen from her run-away machine, and we sewed a little more! Our kind friend Melissa D. brought some soothing teas and coffee from her native land of Starbucks. Carrie and Curtis brought the hard stuff, the tunes and the awesome new space they now call home at #1018 Wellington Street West.
Dugald Seely (@DugaldSeely), Founder and Executive Director of the OICC, joined us for part of the evening, talking (over the hum of the sewing machines!) about how the OICC works with its patients and within the wider Ottawa medical community, as well as how the opaque IV bag covers we made would be used in the clinic.
Located in Hintonburg, just a few blocks east of Fabrications, the OICC is the first integrative cancer care and research centre of its kind in Eastern Canada. The centre offers a whole host of complementary support (e.g., naturopathic medicine, integrative medical care, acupuncture, physiotherapy, exercise therapy, massage therapy, reflexology, psychiatry, clinical nutrition, mind body thearapy, yoga and psychosocial support) to cancer patients alongside conventional treatments, and to patients seeking prevention of cancer or its recurrence. The OICC works closely with individual cancer patients, their families, their oncologists and surgeons, to develop an appropriate course of complementary care to help people at any stage of their cancer journey.
We’ll be working on two wall-hanging quilts for the OICC at future HSC sewing nights, so keep your eyes peeled for more news on that front!
To Susan, Dorreen, Kathryn, Tori, Anne, Crystal, Morag, Morgen and Mallory - a warm thank you to each of you for being part of our first couple of HSC evenings!
Sarah & Barbara
November News! October 15 2014
Now that you all know that we’ve moved into a great new space, you should also know that we’ve added in a whole bunch of classes to the November schedule. We will now be doing daytime and weekend classes for those of you who prefer to keep your evenings free. Check out our schedule here:
We have weekend classes for kids and adults as well as a weekday Men’s Shirt class. It’s the perfect time to start sewing a handmade shirt for yourself or as a gift for a special man in your life. Christmas is just around the corner. And speaking of Christmas, we have put our popular Christmas stocking class back in the rotation. The first one is on November 29th. We can only fit a few of these fun and festive classes in between now and December 25th so don’t wait to sign up, spaces are limited!
If Men’s shirts and stockings aren’t your thing, there is sure to be something that you’ll love. Try an Infinity Scarf Class if you’re a beginner or the Staple Dress Class if you’re looking to get into garment sewing. For those of you with some experience who want to step into the world of knits, we have the Knit Dress Class. We use the Colette Moneta pattern, a very flattering and nice to sew dress that will send you well on your way to expanding your knit sewing horizons.
All of these classes and so many more, and don’t forget, the Hintonburg Sewcial Club will be on again in November; we’re just firming up our charity of the month. There are still spaces left in the October session, sign up and get a lesson and give back to the community for only $20. It’s a perfect opportunity to get started sewing or to hone your skills, plus you help out where it’s needed. We don’t see a downside.
Sign up online or come in and sign up in person, we'd love to see you!
Carrie & Curtis
On the move! September 26 2014 1 Comment
Moving day is finally here!
Fabrications will be closed for a few days -- Saturday to Tuesday inclusive (Sept 28-30), while we move to our new location at 1018 Wellington Street West.
So excited to share our new, much bigger and brighter new space with everyone!
Look forward to seeing you all at our new location - 1018 Wellington Street West - when we re-open on Wednesday, October 1st!
Carrie & Curtis
Introducing… the Hintonburg Sewcial Club! September 16 2014 1 Comment
Who’s up for spreading some Fabrications love around town? And who’s up for meeting other local sewers and sewists?
In December, Fabrications will be two years old. Time flies, doesn’t it?
It’s been such an amazing experience becoming part of the Hintonburg community. And we’ve decided that it’s time to give a little back to those who have welcomed us so warmly.
Starting in October, the Hintonburg Sewcial Club will be meeting one evening a month at the shop. Each month we’ll be learning a new project or sewing skill – pillow cases, quilted place mats, aprons, quilts, you name it! And everything we make that night will go to a different local charity - Roger's House, Meals on Wheels Ottawa, Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre, and many more.
What’s in it for me?
This is an evening to learn something new, connect with other people in the community, learn from each other and, most importantly, leave some love behind!
We encourage sewers and sewists of all levels to join us – from beginner, to awesome, to downright amazing! Our aim is to focus on different skills or techniques each month, while making each project accessible to all levels of sewers/sewists.
The Sewcial Club evenings will run like a regular class, so we’ll be providing the pattern, instructions and guidance.
With smaller-scale projects (e.g. table mats, pillow cases), we’ll crank out as many finished pieces as we can in one night. With larger-scale projects (e.g. quilts), we may ask for participants to do some “homework” and we may complete them over more than one Sewcial Club meeting night.
If people simply wish to make more or need more time to finish something, we’ll provide a deadline for dropping off finished pieces at the shop. As with all our classes at Fabrications, if you’re finishing a class-related project you can come in to use our sewing machines and serger any time free-of-charge, just call ahead to confirm there’s one available!
What should I bring?
Each project will be different, but you’ll always need to bring fabric! Come and see what we have in the shop, or bust out some pieces from your stash!
We do ask for two very specific things (pardon our bluntness!):
Please wash and iron your fabrics in advance
Please abide by the specifics of the materials list posted for each Sewcial Club project. The organizations for whom we are making these items often have very specific requests.
And please, bring your ideas! Do you know an organization that is looking for items that the Hintonburg Sewcial Club could make?
Awesome! Where do I sign up??
Each month we’ll have a limited number of spots available, and you’ll be able to sign up through our Classes page on the web site. We’ll have our first Hintonburg Sewcial Club night posted within the next week. There will be a $20 fee per person, which just helps keep the lights on and the machines running.
We’re so excited to get this started!
New fabrics and fall class offerings August 20 2014
As many of you know, we'll be moving a little further west on Somerset Street in the fall. We've been busy there 24/7 getting our new digs ready. So excited for the big reveal and we can't wait to share the new space with everyone!
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, life goes on and we've got a lot going on!
Over the past few weeks, loads of new fabrics came through the door, including Nani Iro and Echino, Art Gallery (flowy voiles!), The Long Thread, April Rhodes Arizona collection and Japanese cotton sateens.
Like to see more? Come by the store (some of the new fabrics aren't on line just yet!). Or, let your fingers wander on over to our Instagram (fabricationsott) to lose an hour of your day imagining what you'll be making from these beauties!
To go with all these new fabrics, we've got a batch of great evening classes in late August and throughout September -- a great time of year to get a few sewing projects started!
For absolute beginners, start here:
- Sewing Machine Basics: Simple Fabric Bunting Banner - a one-night class that gives you all the basics and you leave with a great finished project. It runs four times in the next few weeks - Aug 27th, Sept 2nd, 8th and 26th.
- Express Beginner Class: Infinity Scarf (1 night - Sept 24) - learn the basics of using a sewing machine, and walk away with a great accessory for the fall.
- Once you've got the basics down, the world is your oyster!
For beginners or those getting back into sewing after an extended 'vacation', looking for simple but interesting project, try these:
- Sewing 101: Easy Lined Tote (1 night - Sept 12th) - learn the basics and start making different sizes on your own.
- Sewing 102: Easy Zippered Pillow (1 night - Aug 22, Sept 5th and 15th) - a little zipper therapy goes a long way. Enough said.
- Sewing 103: Baker's Apron (1 night - Sept 9th) - we use a unisex pattern, so you can make a manly-man BBQ apron, or something a little more feminine.
- Sewing 104: Japanese Hip Wrap (1 night - Aug 29th) - have you seen these things? Great over leggings or skinny jeans, and so easy to make. And... did we mention we like having a few drinks at this class and make it a bit of a social night? What more can you ask for in a sewing class?
For intermediate sewists, looking to tick off a few boxes in the 'new skills' department? Learn how to hem pants, install an elastic waist band, sew some curves and start using some of your beloved stash!
- Sewing 201: Pyjama Pants (2 nights - Sept 18th and 25th) - basic pant pattern, elastic waist band, hems
- Sewing 202: Zippered Pouch (1 night - Aug 29th and Sept 22nd) - zippers, curves and using different weight woven fabrics
- Beginner Garment Making: Rae Skirt (2 nights - Sept 16th & 23th) - sewing with a pattern, vertical seams, elastic casing
- Crib Sheet (1 night - Sept 11th) super quick and makes a great gift for friends with wee folk!
For advanced sewists, this is where the rubber hits the road! Our advanced classes take on more complex sewing patterns and techniques. Usually 3-4 nights over a few weeks, giving you the chance to soak up all that you can from our skilled teachers. Learn tricks for fitting garments to flatter your own body, different hem lengths, shirring and sewing with woven and kit fabrics.
- Sewing 302: Dressmaking / Washi Dress (3 nights - Sept 3, 10 & 17) - one of the most fun and versatile independent dress patterns to hit the market in years. Look no further than the Rae Made Me Do It flickr group for a little inspiration.
Look forward to seeing you at the shop!
Over the next few weeks, I'm getting organized to sew up a few school uniforms (navy dresses and white blouses) for my daughter. It's happened before that I've sketched out a quick plan in my head, cut out a load of patterns and fabrics all at once, and then not managed to finish sewing all of them before she grows into a larger size. So I'm approaching things differently this time.
Recently on the Oliver + S blog, Liesl, Rae and Rachel each shared 'summer edits'. They chose 8 patterns and matching fabrics, creating a little wardrobe for the season. And so here's my 'fall edit' plan for sewing school uniforms over the next few weeks...
- 2 x Class Picnic Blouses (Oliver+S) - white body, navy yoke, fun fabric on the yoke lining
- 1 or 2 x Sea Shore Sundress (Oliver+S) - navy patterned fabrics here and here
- 1 x V-neck Dress (Sew Chic Kids) - navy linen, contrast piping
- 1 x Crossover Tunic (Carefree Clothes for Girls) - navy linen
- 1 x Apron pinafore (Carefree Clothes for Girls) - navy linen, contrast front pocket and Nani Iro bias trim
Nice to have:
- 2 x 2+2 Blouses (Oliver+S) - white body, navy trim, fun buttons
- 1 x Jump Rope Dress, View A (Oliver+S) - navy chambray, contrast pockets and trim
- 2 x Hula Hoop Skirts (Oliver+S) - solid navy Freespirit cotton, Cotton+Steel Basics XOXO on the reverse side
You can see from the range of fabrics that the definition (or, at least my interpretation) of 'uniform' is pretty loose. Starting from the bottom of the pile - Merchant & Mills navy chambray, mid-weight navy linen (plus the Nani Iro bias tape), Blossom in navy from Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cloud 9, Jemima Puddle Duck print and Rashia Coleman-Hale Nigh Sky in indigo.
If you'd like to see how these patterns and fabrics sew up, we'll have a few of the finished dresses hanging in the shop in the coming weeks. Come by and take a look!
What are you sewing for the fall? Drop some photos in our Fabrications Flickr Pool and tell us about it!
Kids Clothes Week - Day 7! July 27 2014
Sarah here for the final day of Kids Clothes Week at Fabrications! We're finishing the week off with a little more love for Japanese double gauze and a repeat of the simple Gathered Top I made earlier in the week.
For all my talk about double gauze perhaps, for the unititiated, I should explain what it is. You've seen cotton gauze in the first aid aisle at the pharmacy? Similar, but imagine something softer. It's a 100% cotton open weave fabric, made of two layers, loosely woven together. Double gauze has an almost ephemeral feel to it (particularly after its been washed) and gives extra depth and saturation to colours printed on it. Very few textile companies produce it - Kokka, out of Japan, is the only one I know of.
The Nani Iro line of fabrics, designed by Naomi Ito, usually include quite a few double gauze prints each season. This dress here (made by a fellow Canadian sewist no less!) from Gertie's Book for Better Sewing shows how it can be used in quite a structured dress. We sell a whole load of Nani Iro fabrics in the shop (some of which are in our online shop) and a few other non-patterned double gauzes (which we showed you on Friday).
When NY-based fabric designer, Heather Ross, was with Kokka a few years ago, her Far Far Away line printed on double gauze was a massive hit. I bought a few yards of this lime green unicorn fabric and it's remained untouched in my stash ever since. For the tunic-length Gathered Top I'm sharing today, I used not only the lime unicorn fabric, but also a remnant piece of an out of print Nani Iro double gauze. I used French Seams to set the Nani Iro panel in, and then followed the rest of the tutorial as drafted.
I'm curious to see how it looks after its been washed. One thing to remember about working with double gauze - the fabric stays more stable and is much easier to sew if you have not washed it prior to cutting and sewing.
If you're interested in joining us for a future season of KCW and sharing any pieces that you're making, please get in touch with us. We love seeing what people create out of our fabrics!
Kids Clothes Week - Day 6! July 26 2014
Today we're back to boys clothes and Johanna is showing us some stinkin' cute shorts she made for her two little fellas!
There's no shortage of fabrics and sewing patterns on the market for girls clothing these days, but it can still be difficult finding good patterns and interesting fabrics for boys clothes.
Johanna has made an art out of both. She's used Anna Maria Horner and Pattern Anthology patterns and made them into some truly cool threads for her boys. And then taken it to a whole other level with great fabric pattern/colour combinations - coral lions (Cotton+Steel!), black and white buses (Echino!), blue and red radios (no idea who designed them, but love the retro print!).
Are you sewing for boys? What have been your go-to patterns? Do you go for patterned fabrics or are your kids more into solids? Show us what you're making - drop a few photos into our Flickr Pool!
Tomorrow we'll be returning to girls' clothes for one final piece to share for the summer season of KCW. If you'd like to join us for the next season of KCW and share a few of your own makings, drop us an line and we'll get you into our line up. It's so much fun to see what people make with all the fabric that comes through our shop!
Kids Clothes Week - Day 5! July 25 2014
Day 5 and we're on the home stretch with Kids Clothes Week. Sarah here (again!) and today's post is going to be a shorty.
Before we get to KCW, we're going to pause for a little double-gauze love. This arrived in the shop today. Oh my! (will have it up online shortly!)
Ok, back to our regular programming re: KCW. Feeling quite chuffed that I've managed to wedge at least an hour of sewing in each evening despite a somewhat hectic week. Sure, there's a giant pile of laundry waiting for me, but I'm good with that.
I make a few of these reversable pinafores each spring for my eldest daughter, as they are a go-to top here all summer and they work with a long-sleeve shirt in the fall/winter. I wish the pattern came in adult size, but no such luck. This 'red birds' version was almost finished over a month ago and has been worn and washed a few times since. However, the two side seams on the inside (pink floral) layer remained unfinished. So, that's what took up my KCW hour today!
The pattern is the Sweet Pocket Pinafore by Heidi and Finn. It's only 6 pattern pieces and sews up in an hour or so, minus the final side seams which need to be hand-stitched. I've made a stack of these pinafores for my two girls and as birthday presents for others. It's a loose and comfortable fit, so sizes are quite flexible. French pattern-maker, Citronille, does a very similar pattern with button flaps at the shoulders. And while it makes it easier to get it onto a small wiggly person, the straps never sat well, so I returned to using the H&F version.
In the version above, the fabrics are both quilting weight cottons. The bird fabric is an Alexander Henry print from this year. Carrie had a stack of bunting made of it sitting on the coutner at Fabrications one afternoon and I walked out of the shop with the remaining yardage. The cerise floral fabric peeking out from the inside is a few years old. I'm thinking Anna Maria Horner or Amy Butler?
Ok, that's it for today. Johanna's back tomorrow with some more goodies for her boys!
Kids Clothes Week - Day 4! July 24 2014
Sarah here again. Today I'm sharing a super quick project - my dress-length variation on the Kid's Gathered Top free tutorial from the Purl Bee.
This tutorial popped up on the Purl Bee blog a few weeks ago, timed perfectly with my scrambling around trying to come up with a quick dress for my daughter's end-of-year school concert and party. I added a few inches to the length and made it from voile (the fabric weight suggested in the tutorial). It worked out beautifully. She wore it with short leggings and it was comfortable for the formal and play parts of the day.
This time around, I wanted to see how it would work with slightly heavier weight fabric such as quilting cotton. The dress has an elastic running the circumference of the chest, which means it needs to lie comfortably under the arms. The version I made today uses printed cotton flour sack yardage I picked up a church bazaar. It's certainly a little thicker under the arms than the voile version, but C tells me its comfortable, so we'll chalk this one up as a win!
Aside from getting top marks for being a quick and easy sewing project - takes 1-2 hours all in - this pattern uses french seams, which is a nice touch to such a simple pattern. I'm still lacking confidence in using french seams on more involved patterns, but this one is just straight lines, so it's a nice excuse to practice.
I also sewed in a mock-label on the centre back. There is no back or front to this pattern, but since the shoulder ties come undone, the label helps one orientate where the arms are versus the front and back. Keeps the piece while everyone is rushing around to get dressed in the morning.
I've got a third and final one in the works, to be made of some Heather Ross lime green unicorn double gauze I've been hoarding for a few years.
Curious to know how the double gauze will feel under the arms given how soft and puffy it is after it's been washed.
Will keep you posted!
Kids Clothes Week Challenge - Day 3! July 23 2014 1 Comment
Carrie here! I can’t believe it’s my day to post already. Like most people now a days, I tend to have an overly full schedule and sometimes fitting in a bit of sewing for the kiddo, or myself for that matter is not always as easy as it might seem. This is why I’m loving the KCW challenge! It’s a reason for me to pull back a bit at night and instead of convincing myself that I need to answer a list of emails, or make a schedule, or clean the house, I can just sew. One hour, not a lot of pressure or commitment – just sew. What a great stress reliever.
This week I decided to take my hour of sewing and finally finish up the Anna Maria Horner, Baby in the Hood jacket I’ve been making for my son Owen. This is the cutest little jacket, not overly difficult to sew, and lets you use three different fabrics! Being able to mix different colours and prints in one project just sets my little heart a flutter. This is partially because I love trying out different print combinations, and partially because I’m never very good at deciding on just one. I usually find myself staring aimlessly at the wall in Fabrications. Sometimes this is a daylong process which is sad since I'm there almost everyday and I know exactly what we have.
For the main outer fabric I chose to use Monaluna’s Leaves from their Urban Patch collection. The button placket and hood stripe are Art Gallery’s Sweet as Honey by Bonnie Christine, and the lining fabric is Cloud 9’s Arrows by Michelle Engel Bencsko. I love them all, and I love them all put together in this little item of clothing.
About the pattern, like I said, this is the Baby in the Hood pattern by Anna Maria Horner. It came from her Handmade Beginnings book, which I just love. It is filled with projects for both Moms to be and baby. While some are very quick and easy, this one was a little trickier – at least for me. I have never set a sleeve in a garment quite so small and I found it to be the one part of the process that both tested my patience and taught me a new skill. In the end it really wasn’t too tough and I only had to use the seam ripper once. A small price for the sense of accomplishment that comes when you try something new and realize that you can in fact do it, and it doesn’t look horrifying. The instructions are great and the illustrations help with the more confusing steps, though there really aren’t many. My only beef – and it’s a small one – is the sizing. My little O is 13 months old but I had to make the 24 month size plus, it’s a touch short for my liking. If and when I make this again (because I will make it again), I will be adding a few inches onto the bottom.
All in all, I am a pretty happy girl right now. I made a great item of clothing for my favourite guy and I carved out that precious me time to make it happen. Kids Clothes Week - we are friends.
*Sick baby makes for unhappy photo's - we did our best.
Kids Clothes Week - Day 2! July 23 2014
Welcome to Day 2 of Kids Clothes Week (KCW) at Fabrications!
But before we get to that, let's start with a shout-out to local sewists Catherine, Crystal and Michelle who are on board for KCW! Thanks for joining us, ladies, and we look forward to hearing/seeing more about what you're making this week. So excited to see what will pop up in the Fabrications Flickr Pool as the week progresses!
Ok, back to the Tea Party Sundress, from Liesl Gibson's Oliver + S line of children's clothing patterns. This is far and away my favourite children's dress pattern. It's the first clothing pattern I ever sewed and I've lost count of how many I've made. (Getting my wee friend to stand still in the dress was near impossible, so most of the photos here are on a hanger!)
This 'blue bird' dress is a size 2T, made for my 18 month old daughter. She's fairly tall and only just beginning to loose her baby chub. The 2T fits loosely but comfortably on her this summer without a t-shirt underneath; and it will work with a long-sleeve and leotards in the fall and winter. I've added length to other patterns (see Liesl's how-to blog post), but not to the Tea Party Sundress. It fits quite a range of little body shapes, and with great style.
This sundress has a lovely long silouette, curved princess seams. The bodice has pointed button flaps over the shoulders and a curved seam where it joins the dress, which works with or without piping. The sweetest part of the dress is something you don't see right away - the faced hem - a feature that helps hold the curve of the princess seams beautifully.
The separate bodice and panelled dress pieces offer a lot of flexibility in fabric choice. For this 'blue bird' version I used a blue shot cotton for the bodice, side panels and faced hem; and a sweet blue/yellow bird patterned fabric (sadly sold out at Fabrications!) for the centre front and back panels. Using a darker fabric on the side panel gives the illusion of a longer dress and body; it looks equally cute with all the same fabric used across the dress panels.
Making this 'blue bird' dress was my first time sewing shot cotton. I hoard the stuff like a Prepper waiting for the fabric apocalypse, but rarely cut into it. My big lesson with the shot cotton was to use a finer needle in my sewing machine (duh!) and to step far far away from my serger. Like most patterns, it calls for finishing all exposed seams (e.g. zig-zagging the raw edges). I tend to be lazy about this sort of thing and either skip that step (and regret it later), or whiz things through my serger. Well, my serger ate the shot cotton. There were a few expletives. Let's move on.
One additional note about fabric - although the pattern calls for woven fabrics (eg chambray, quilting cotton, voile, etc.), it works very well with knits, given the long silouette. I've made a couple with recycled t-shirts and new cotton jersey, both hand-stitched with felled seams in the style of Alabama Chanin (which I'll delve into some other day!).
As a first try at sewing for children, you can come away from this project feeling amazed at how professional the finished product looks. This is something I feel every time I sew one of the Oliver+S patterns. If you are thinking of starting to sew children's clothes, Liesl Gibson's Oliver + S line of patterns is an excellent place to start. She has built a thriving online community and presence around her pattern lines (she also makes patterns for young girls and adult women), sharing her considerable sewing knowledge through blog posts and videos. She also reaches out to readers/sewists to talk on her blog about customizing her patterns, which turns out some amazing things.
That's if for today. Don't forget to post your own KCW photos to our Fabrications Flickr Pool!
See you tomorrow!
Kids Clothes Week - Day 1! July 21 2014
Today's the day we kick-off the Fabrications' gang's projects for Kids Clothes Week. We plan to share one project a day, including photos and some thoughts about the patterns and fabrics we're using. Carrie and Johanna are sewing for boys, and Sarah is sewing for girls. We hope you'll join us in posting photos of projects you have in the works and we look forward to your comments. Here's where to find our Fabrications Flickr Group and you can also sign up to the KCW Community and build your own profile.
If you're looking for some ideas for quick sewing projects, here are a few places to start:
- Oliver + S have short-listed some of their easier patterns (available at our shop). They also offer free downloadable PDF patterns for unisex shorts, the Lazy Days Skirt, the Popover Sundress, a cute Ruffle Halter top and even handmade shoe laces!
- Our friends at the PurlBee in NYC also offer a list of free tutorials for children's projects that never fails to inspire!
- And who doesn't enjoy a little eye candy on Pinterest...? Loads of great pictures and links to free online tutorials for boys and girls clothes.
So, for Day 1 of KCW, let's welcome Johanna!
Johanna here. I normally blog over at Old House Mama about my sewing projects for my two boys and myself. I looove Fabrications, and basically if Carrie and Curtis would just let me, I'd move in there (kidding). It really is awesome to have a local store that has all the fabric I used to have to buy online! Now I get to feel it all first, oogle all the pretty colours in person AND stop and chat with the lovely and helpful co-owners!
Ok, enough of that!
I'm here to show you one of my recent makes for Kids Clothes Week! I love KCW, it's such an awesome excuse to buckle down and get some sewing down for the kids! It's soo much fun too to follow along and see some of the georgousness others out there do over on the KCW website. You can also have a look at my Old House Mama KCW profile!
I love finding new cool patterns and fabrics to sew things up with for my boys. And this Imagine Jacket was no exception. It's part of the Make (Believe) collections designed by Pattern Anthology, a group of four pattern designers and bloggers who get together a few times a year and put out awesome collections for a limited period. I got a chance to test and pattern, and it turns out that its great jacket for a crazy kid like mine!
One of the things I like most about sewing for my oldest is his reaction to things. When I know I've sewn him something in fabric he'll love, I get excited! And so does he. He loves to tell random people that I made him his shirt, and it's adorable. He now helps me pick out fabrics sometimes (he picked the cameras which are now sadly sold out at Fabrications) and then loves coming up with crazy poses when I get him to model! They kill me!
This jacket in particular is perfect for him. It's easy to move and play in, and the cotton twill is easily washable for all those muddy occasions. I also got a chance to finally make welt pockets, something I'd been scared to do before. And guess what? They really aren't scary! This Jacket will be M's coat when he starts school in the fall and I can see several more of these made up in some of the awesome linen cotton Japanese fabrics from Fabrications in our future!
You can read more about the pattern back over on my blog, but for now, enjoy these crazy pictures of my kid, and good luck in your KCW endeavors!
Thanks to Johanna for kicking off KCW at Fabrications and for sharing a great little jacket. Pattern testing, knits and zippers all in the same breath? My brain got a cramp just thinking about it. And how about more jazz hands and animal shapes from young fella modeling the jacket, no? Check back tomorrow to see what Day 2 brings!
A few of our favourite things! July 18 2014 1 Comment
We've got a few updates to share, in no particular order, so here we go!
- Cotton + Steel: First and foremost, thank you to all who joined us for the Cotton + Steel shopping party on Monday night! It was a frenzied night of cutting beautiful fabric, sipping a little wine, chatting and plotting about who'll be the first in town to wear their lions and cats. The whole fabric line is now available through our online shop, so out-of-towners, knock yourselves out! It was such fun to see everyone on Monday and to catch up on summer sewing projects. Let's do it again soon, and in the meantime don't forget to post your photos to our Flickr page. We love seeing what you are making (or just lovely stacks of fabric)!
- Kids Clothes Week (KCW): Who's up for a little sewing challenge? KCW kicks off its summer season on Monday, running July 21 to 27. Hosted by Meg Freeman of the always inspiring ElsieMarley blog, this is a quarterly challenge to sew for one hour a day for seven days. Recently, Meg posted a great little explainer on the Oliver+S blog talking about this season's theme, Kid Art. A few of us from the shop are going to try it out and see how we do. Our aim is to get some projects completed, but not worry too much about the Kid Art theme. So, why don't you join us? Sign up to the KCW Community, post your photos in the Fabrications and KCW Flickr Groups, and leave a comment below to let us know you're in! Can't wait to see what Ottawa's sewists make!
- Nani Iro Month: Yes, you read that correctly, Nani Iro month. And yes, we all missed it. How does that happen? Well, to make up for missing an entire month of Nani Iro gorgessity, we've got a little project to show you in the next few days. We'll squeeze it in amongst our KCW posts. Deal? Deal. In the meantime, check out the breath-taking beauty we all missed in June. Inhale. Exhale.
- July's sewing classes: They're all now in full swing, including classes for kids and adult sewists alike. For kids, we've got a few spaces left in the Pencil Roll class - just a single morning and students come away with a finished project to show their friends! For grown ups, there are a couple of spots left in the Pyjama Pants, Easy Lined Tote Bag, Zippered Pouch and Simple Fabric Bunting classes. Don't forget, a sewing class makes a great gift for a friend who's always wanted to learn to sew!
Look out for our posts next week about our KCW projects!
Cotton + Steel event at Fabrications! July 11 2014
Join us at Fabrications on Tuesday evening from 6:30 to 9:00pm to shop the new Cotton + Steel fabric line!
We're among the very first few shops in North America to get these beautiful fabrics. You'll be amongst the first to see it, touch it and... buy it! We'll have the whole line - over 100 prints including quilting cottons, lawn and cotton/linen canvas.
Quantities are very limited. Once they sell out, these beauties won't be back until the Fall.
To win 4 FQs of your choice, leave a Comment on and Share the FB event page. Winner will be announced on Tuesday. Added bonus for everyone - buy 2 meters of Cotton + Steel fabric and receive a 10% discount on your next purchase.
So excited to see everyone and to hear about your summer sewing projects! Bring a friend, bring three!
See you next week!
Cotton + Steel arriving mid-July! July 02 2014 1 Comment
Big, BIG news today!
Cotton + Steel -- the most anticipated fabric line of the year -- will be shipping out to select stores across North America by mid-July. You guessed it, Fabrications will be one of them! We’ll all be sewing with these beautiful prints THIS SUMMER!
To give Ottawa’s finest modern sewists a head start, we will be holding an exclusive in-store Cotton + Steel shopping night at Fabrications. We’ll be carrying the full line of over 100 prints including quilting cottons, cotton/linen canvas and lawn, but quantities are very limited.
IT’S GOING TO BE A CRAAAZY NIGHT OF FABRIC LOVE! In the meantime, start planning out your fabric grab now!
Date and time details to be released shortly for the exclusive in-store event, so be sure to sign up to our newsletter here. For our customers outside Ottawa, the full collection will be available online immediately following the exclusive in-store event. Keep your eyes peeled and warm up your fingers to get those orders in fast. These beauties are going to fly off the shelves!
Closed Sunday June 22... June 21 2014
Unfortunately tomorrow, Sunday June 22, we have to close for the day due to renovation being done by the landlord. This is very last minute but we were just informed of this ourselves. We truly apologize for this inconvenience but we will be open for business as usual on Monday.
Curtis & Carrie xo
Fathers’ Day Drawstring Shoe Bags May 29 2014
With the summer now (finally!) upon us in Ottawa, how many of you out there are packing a backpack to bike or walk to work? Or suitcases for a long-awaited vacation? And what’s more cringe-worthy than jamming a pair of shoes into a bag of nicely folded clothes, or better yet, cozying them up to your packed lunch?
No matter how handsome a person’s feet are and no matter how shiney the shoes are, shoes are always a little smelly and usually a little dirty. Let’s face it – packing shoes is a pain whether you’re jetting around the world or just commuting across town on your bike.
So, with Fathers’ Day just around the corner, how about making some drawstring shoe bags for the traveling fella in your life? They can be as simple or fancy as you want them to be. You’ll find some of our favourite free tutorials here and here.
We made a few samples using light grey and slate grey solids for the main fabric, and added a different strip of patterned fabric through the centre of each bag.
We edge-stitched the decorative strip to keep the seams lying flat and to give them an extra bit of strength. And who doesn’t like the finished look of edge stitching?
To make them just that extra bit fancy, we broke out the bias tape gizmo and made matching tie strings for each bag. And to reinforce the side seams at the opening of the bag, we added a little satin stitch.
Instead of the patterned insert, you could just as easily go for brightly coloured solid, or a line of fabric scraps sewn together. Or, if you’re looking for a kid-friendly project, skip the decorative strip altogether and, instead, let your kids run wild with a few fabric markers or potato stamps (be sure to use actual fabric paint as it will bond properly to the fabric). So many possibilities…
A flat bag of approximately 15” x 16” finished size will fit an average pair of men’s dress shoes. To be safe, take a rough measurement of the shoes in question before you begin. If you’re going with a flat bag, be sure to leave a couple of extra inches in width and length to accommodate for the height of the shoes. Or, better yet, go with a pattern that has boxed corners.
Alright folks, get crackin’! And let’s see your beauties on our Flickr page when you’re done!
Show us what you’re making! April 24 2014 82 Comments
Join us at https://www.flickr.com/groups/fabricationsottawa and show us what you’re making!
Fabric and people move in and out of our shop so frequently that we often just get a small peek at what you’re all making. So here’s you’re chance to show us projects in progress as well finished ones!
What are you making in our classes? What have you made with our fabrics? Have you learned a new sewing skill at a fabricationsottawa.com class? Do you prefer working with solids or patterned fabric? What combinations are you working with right now?
Come one, come all! Let’s see what Ottawa’s creative folks are making!
Happy Holidays From The Fabrications Team! December 24 2013 1 Comment
It’s Christmas Eve and over here at fabrications we are looking forward to the couple of days that we will be taking to spend time with friends and family. We just wanted to take a moment to thank you for all the support and love we’ve received in the past year. It’s been over a year now and we are truly humbled by the experience. We’ve met and talked to many of you and the words we’ve exchanged, the friends we’ve made, and the joint happiness sewing brings to us and others makes this adventure worth doing. We hope to be around for many more years and this is only possible because of you. We hope that you enjoy the time you all have this holiday season. Hold your loved ones tight and enjoy the next few days.
The Stores seasonal hours are as follows.
December 24, 2013: 10:00am - 2:00pm
December 25 and 26, 2013: Closed
December 31: 10am – 2:00pm
January 1, 2013: Closed
All other days unless otherwise stated will be business hours as per usual
Once again we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
The Fabrications Team
We Are Bringing November Back To The People. November 02 2013
Boy oh Boy! It’s been a long time since we’ve written our last blog post. Carrie and I have been insanely busy coming up with new class ideas and bringing in new products. It’s been so crazy that we haven’t been able to update our website with all the new products that are coming in. They’re coming in faster than we can add them to our online inventory. This will be completely rectified by this week. Stay tuned for upcoming stock updates including Merchant & Mills, Curious Doodles, and a bunch of new fabric from Japan and other fun places! Not only has a lot of new stock already come in we have a ton of stuff on order and are so excited for the shipments to arrive. We’ll send Facebook and Twitter updates as the new stuff comes in. As for new classes we have a special holiday class that we will offer three times in the next couple of months. It will first run on November 25th and then two additional times in December. The class you ask? It’s going to be a stocking and tree ornament class. Spots are limited and a lot of you have shown interest in such a class so act fast.
In other exciting news Friday November 15th at 8:00 we are excited to be hosting the Opening of Ian Roy’s Art Collection Untitled. The show will consist of a series of five colour screen prints of recreated images from a bicycle safety manual from the 1960s. Each image is accompanied by a stern warning. The show will run the duration of November and into December and is part of APT613’s Support Local Event. Ian Roy will also be conducting a reading to kick off the event. Come on over, have a couple of drinks, and spend some time with us. I promise you that you won’t regret it.
Starting November 1st in correspondence with support local we are also proud to have custom screen-printed fabric from our dear friend Gabe Thirlwall. For those of you who aren’t familiar with her work you should check it out. She is the creator of The Political Circus, an illustrator, and a sewist extraordinaire. Some of her works can been seen in our shop for the foreseeable future.
Wait that’s not it! This year we are proud to be participating in the Wellington West Holiday Shop Hop! It will be on December 5th from 5pm-8pm. There will be more details in the coming days. I can say that it will be pretty great.
We’ll keep it short for now but I promise that there will be more to come shortly. Hope to see you all on November 15th.
Carrie + Curtis
De-stashing, Giving Things Away and a New Class. August 09 2013 2 Comments
Summer is drawing to a close and to help lessen the sting we have a few fun things planned.
First, a giveaway, because everyone loves a giveaway! We will be giving you a chance to win a pattern of your choice and two meters of fabric. A pretty awesome prize, and all you have to do is go to our Facebook page and share and like our giveaway post. We will randomly select a winner on September 17th
Second, a de-stash evening! We all have one; a stash of sewing goodies that we need to clean out and clear out. This September 29th, we invite you to join us at Fabrications from 6-9pm for a de-stashing/re-stashing swap night. Bring in any of your sewing related items and swap til you drop. We will also be offering 10% off on any purchases made during the event. Coffee, tea and snacks provided. RSVP in our Facebook event comments section.
Last, a new class! This September we are starting a mens shirt class. We will be using the Colette Negroni pattern.
Classes will be limited to 4 students so you are sure to get plenty of one on one attention. Watch for the September schedule to come out soon and sign up!
Carrie and Curtis
New Melody Miller & More June 29 2013 3 Comments
I’m going to keep this short and very to the point. It’s Saturday morning, the first day of the Canada Day long weekend, and I’m sure you all have more important things to be doing rather than reading my long drawn out words.
We just received our long awaited order of the new Melody Miller collection Ruby Star Polka Dot. It’s even more beautiful in person let me tell you. Unfortunately one of the five designs has been delayed in production but the other four are here and waiting to be turned into something amazing. We only have 9 to 10 meters of each bolt and there are only three other places worldwide that have this fabric in stock currently so we are expecting it to go fairly quickly. That being said here they are:
We also received another 6 bolts of other Japanese fabric along with 11 bolts from Free Spirit, some of which are restock items. Here’s a quick peek:
We hope you all have an amazing long weekend!
curtis & carrie
Where in the World is Megan Nielsen? June 07 2013
Hi Guys & Gals,
Just a quick update pertaining to Megan Nielsen Patterns. Unfortunately this week many of our Megan Nielsen Patterns were shoplifted, bringing our stock down to very limited quantities. I wanted to reorder these patterns but unfortunately Megan has closed up shop until July 8th. Because of this we will not be getting any more of these patterns in for a little while. We do however have an order in the cue and will get them back in as soon as possible.
I’m sorry for the inconvenience and we appreciate your support.
Curtis & Carrie.
on & on & on June 01 2013
It’s been a while since we’ve last updated our blog a lot has happened over the last couple of months. I’ll try to keep this as short as possible but I make no promises.
Lets start with new products and things to come in the future. We’ve begun carrying Victory Patterns, which are new to print, and they are some of the most beautiful patterns that we have seen. To top that they are printed in Toronto, Canada by it’s creator Kristiann Boos. Along with these beautiful patterns we’ve also updated and brought in a lot of new patterns from the independent designers that we already carry which include Sewaholic, Oliver + S, Megan Neilson, Sew Liberated, Colette, Deer & Doe, Made by Rae, and many more.
While speaking of things from Toronto we have also started carrying amazing little embroidery kits by Kiriki. These little kits are silkscreened and put together with everything you need to complete these little critters. And if critters aren’t your bag but satirical Canadian Politian finger puppets speak to you check out these Ottawa made Political Circus puppets made by our very own Gabe Thirlwall.
As far as fabric goes we have been continuing to bring new designs in, it’s hard to keep track of all the new bolts that have come in and out of our doors over the past month. We have a plethora of small shipments coming in this month and we have quite a large order being imported from Japan that should be here soon. Along with the large Japanese order we are proud to say that we will be one of the very first in the world to obtain the new Melody Miller line as soon as it’s released, it’s finishing up the manufacturing process and will soon be packed and brought to our doors. Carrie and myself have both seen the proofs and let us tell you that you will not be disappointed! Here’s a little sneak of one of the prints: