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!).

Read all about it on Johanna's blog and view some jumbo photos in our Fabrications Flickr Pool

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 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!