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


Garment Sewing

  • 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!


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 1! July 21 2014

Hi everyone!

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 challengeKCW 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 BagZippered 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!



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!