All posts by Caroline

Your Makes Vol. 3

It’s that time again! We get to admire all the lovely things you guys make with our fabrics. Here are some of my favourite makes from the past few months:

Fabricate 2

Bianca from Fabricate made a lovely shirtdress from our slubby tencel denim. You also don’t want to miss this Roscoe blouse!

Pudge and Nico

It’s been a linen palooza over at Pudge & Nico. Nicole used our linens for an Alder shirtdress (pictured above), a Southport tank, and a Sway dress.

Helen's Closet

This perfect quilted knit Linden is from Helen’s Closet. Would you look at that fall scene? Swoon.

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Here’s a beautiful Laurel dress from Heather at the Pug & Needle (the fabric is still available). Also, sleeveless linen Granville shirt.  Also, stripey bamboo knit tee. Also, jeans and buffalo plaid Granville shirt. Heather, your sewing output is crazy and I love it!

More link love:

A stunning Xerea dress in our most popular fabric ever over on Design by Lindsey.

Amanda made a beautiful maxi skirt from one of our viscose poplin prints.

Some unselfish sewing over on Anna Zoe: a striped linen shirtdress for her lucky mama!

Jen from Grainline Studio made a lovely Watson bra with one of our findings kits.

This bicycle print Alder shirtdress by Carolanne is perfection.

Want to make it into my next maker round-up? If you sew something with a fabric from the shop, just e-mailinstagram, facebook, or tweet me a link!

Watson Bra + Black Lace Kit

I often get asked if our lace bra kits are suitable to use for the ever popular Watson bra. I am here to say – yes, absolutely! The result is actually really lovely.

I decided to give it a try myself with our black lace bra kit. Here are some photos, if you’d like to see…Black Lace Watson 1Black Lace Watson 2

I went with the longline version of the Watson bra using the 3-row hook & eye kit. I followed Amy’s instructions for cutting a scalloped lace cup.

Black Lace Watson 4

My favourite part of this bra is the pretty insides! I overlocked the cup seams and side seams which gives it such a clean finish. The kit provides clear elastic to stabilize the scalloped lace edge. To ensure the cradle would lay flat and smooth, I hand basted the lace and sheer lining together. I highly recommend this step (you will remove the basting stitches later). In my experience machine basting or simply pinning just does not work as well, the layers always shift for me unless I hand baste.

Black Lace Watson 8

Even though the kit is designed for a bra only, I had plenty of lace leftover. I decided to experiment with incorporating lace into the bikini pattern. I paired the lace with some black knit from my stash, and black lingerie elastics. For the first pair, I used lace for the bum. For the second pair, as an accent at the front side seams.

Black Lace Watson 9Black Lace Watson 5Black Lace Watson 10Black Lace Watson 3

I love the way this set turned out! If you want to sew your own lingerie, using a kit makes sourcing the materials easy. We still have some lace, mesh, and milliskin knit kits left in the shop!

Zeena in Watercolour Crepe

This dress is extra special to me, because I made it to wear to my sister’s wedding last month.

Watercolour-Zeena-10

I teetered back and forth between a few patterns for this special dress. It’s so difficult to decide on something to wear when you know the photos are going to be passed around your family forever, no? I considered a full length By Hand London Anna Dress (would have been gorgeous too), or a Victory Patterns Satsuki Dress (love this version from Sophie so much). When the girls at By Hand London released the Zeena Dress, I decided it was the perfect mix of simple and stylish I was looking for. Those ladies know their dresses.

Watercolour-Zeena-1Watercolour-Zeena-3

I think we can all agree that the fabric is the star of this dress. I went to my favourite supplier looking for the perfect fabric, and when I saw this one, I just knew. It’s a soft watercolour style print on a polyester crepe base.

Watercolour-Zeena-6

Back when I was in design school, there was this stigma around polyester. We avoided it like the plague! But after working for a textile wholesaler for many years, I learned that not all poly is created equally. A nice quality polyester will give you a lovely silky drape without the high maintenance. I am partial to polyester crepe because I find it easy to sew and care for. Plus the good stuff looks and feels almost like silk, and often presses much more easily than you think. I still probably wouldn’t want to wear polyester pants – but for a blouse or dress that is not skin tight, it’s a really great textile. The bonus is the low price point.

Watercolour-Zeena-11Watercolour-Zeena-12

I pulled out all the stops on this make. Instead of the invisible zipper that the pattern calls for, I opted for a hand picked zipper. This is my favourite zipper finish thanks to Tasia’s tutorial. I also added a waist stay to keep the zipper from gaping at the waistline – I highly recommend Tasia’s tutorial for that too (not just because she’s my friend!).

I hemmed the skirt and sleeves with a catch stitch, which is virtually invisible from the right side. Here’s my trick to get the edges nice and crisp: fusible web tape! I folded my hem up, and then sandwiched web tape along the edge. This also helped to keep the hem in place before I did my hand sewing.

Watercolour-Zeena-9Watercolour-Zeena-4The Zeena dress can go really casual, but this fabric dressed it up just enough for me. I love the full skirt and the way the fabric falls softly around the pleats. The only thing I would change for my next version is to lengthen the bodice about an inch – it didn’t occur to me until I saw these photos.

If you love this fabric you’re in luck! I have some left, it’s now available in the shop here.

Your Makes Vol. 2

How goes it, sweet sewing friends? Lately I’ve really enjoyed soaking up the sunshine in Vancouver; this summer has been one of the hottest I’ve experienced after living here for almost five years. But now I’m hunkering down to try to finish up some projects before I spend a couple of weeks in Montreal for my sister’s wedding! I can’t wait to show you what I’m working on. In the meantime, let’s admire some of your makes, shall we? I’ll include links for the fabrics that are still available.

Amanda

Love this eyelet dress & these sheep pajamas from Amanda. (Spot the black sheep! What an awesome touch.) Sadly the adorable sheep fabric is sold out, but the eyelet is still available in the shop in a few colours, including black.

Erin Sewbon

This one just missed the last round up, so I’m a bit late, but I just have to share this tulip top from Erin of Sewbon. She used our diamond quilted knit – a perfect pair for this pattern! At the moment all of our quilted knits are sold out, but I have some new ones coming in August!

Morgan 1 Morgan 2

How good are these makes from Morgan at Thread Theory? Morgan’s photos always make me want to run away to Vancouver island and never come back. The Brumby skirt is our tencel denim, and the dress is in one of our rayon voile prints (both now sold out – sad face!). You can find other denims options here, and rayon voile prints here.

Bianca
As Bianca illustrates, the By Hand London Anna dress and our ever popular rayon satin print are a match made in heaven. Devastatingly, this fabric is sold out. Believe it or not, I restocked this fabric about a zillion times (okay, maybe just 4 or 5). But hundreds of meters were sold and at one point I just had to pull the plug. You guys went crazy for this fabric! What can I say, when we love a fabric, we love it hard in the sewing community.

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Another fabric that got some serious love this year was this floral viscose twill. I love these pants modelled by Ava – just look at that pompom trim! Ava is basically my style icon (not even kidding).

Mandy Katt

Check out Itsa in this adorable dress! These cute kiddos are killing me. Thanks Mandy for sharing this sweet make.

Jess

Jess (instagram @jess_made_this) e-mailed me photos of this amazing Leotie Dress. She used our linen-viscose blend in jade green (sold out), and paired it with the hawaiian floral viscose poplin. Love this combo!

Of course, I have to give some love to instagram. I pulled these from our instagram tag #blackbirdfabrics. If you’re an instagram junkie like I am, the be sure to tag your makes so I can see them!

Instagram Love

top left @springatet
top right @naomihiller
center left @jenndumon (viscose poplin still available)
center right @ohhellorabbit (linen stripe in different colourways available here)
bottom left @wethesewing
bottom right @sewmsboncha (black cotton eyelet still available)

Want to make it into my next maker round-up? If you sew something with a fabric from the shop, just e-mail, instagram, facebook, or tweet me a link!

Shelley Bra + Blackbird Lace Bra Kit

I sewed up a Shelley bra with one of our lace kits from the shop, and I thought you might like to see the result! The Pin-up Girls Shelley Bra is my favourite bra pattern du moment. Here’s my bra in all it’s squishy cup glory (I have been pining for a dress form in my size for ages, not just for fitting, but also for photos!).

Shelley + Bra Kit 5Shelley + Bra Kit 6For this pattern, I cut all pieces out of lace, including the back band. The kit comes with 1.5 meters (59″) of 20cm (8″) wide lace, so I had some extra to spare. If the lace were narrower, say 15cm (6″) wide, I would have provided 2 meters in the kit.

I cut a second layer for the back band out of power mesh; this will give the lace extra support. You could simply cut the band out of the mesh, but I like the look of lace.

Shelley + Bra Kit 1Shelley + Bra Kit 3

I cut out the cradle and lower cup pieces out of sheer cup lining (this is the non-stretch lightweight fabric that comes in the kit). Sometimes cup lining is also called “tricot” – this type of lining usually has tiny a bit of give going one way. I’ve also seen tulle or organza used in the place of a cup lining, since it can be hard to find!

Here’s what it looks like all cut out.

Shelley + Bra Kit 4

I like to lay out my bra like this before I start sewing, this way I know I’m not forgetting anything. You’ll notice the upper cup is not lined – this is how the pattern is designed. I did stabilize the scalloped edge of the lace with the clear elastic from the kit. This is very important so that the lace edge doesn’t stretch out.

Shelley + Bra Kit 7

Shelley + Bra Kit 8

These shots in front of the window really give me emoji heart eyes. The lace just looks so delicate and lovely. I really like this colour combination, it’s neutral without being too boring. Since the cup lining is sheer it’s a pretty sassy bra, yet still very supportive.

I think I need to whip one up in black too!

Bamboo Tie Dye Knit Dress

I’ve been seriously drawn to all things blue these days. Denim, indigo, navy – give me all of it! So when I received this bamboo tie dye knit for the shop, I snagged some for myself immediately. Just couldn’t resist.

Bamboo Tie Dye Dress 2

I improvised a bit for the pattern. I knew I wanted to make a simple kimono dress with a gathered waist. I had Pattern Runway’s Easy Short Sleeved Kimono Dress in mind, but it needed some tweaking since it’s designed for woven fabrics, and I wanted a more relaxed fit in the skirt. So I used the bodice from this pattern, and drafted a quick a-line skirt to go with.

Bamboo Tie Dye Dress 3The pattern came with facing pieces for the neckline and armholes, but that wasn’t going to work with my knit fabric. I simply turned under and stitched my neckline, armholes, and hem. If I had more time I would have preferred to draft a binding piece for the neckline, but I was rushing a bit to have the dress ready for a quick trip to Montreal.  For some reason I always get the urge to sew the day before I travel. What can I say!

Bamboo Tie Dye Dress 1

This fabric is so soft and has a great drape. It really feels wonderful against the skin. I have worn this dress a ton since I sewed it up. It’s perfectly breezy for summer, and really comfortable. I pre-washed my fabric, and washed the dress twice before taking these photos, and the bamboo knit still looks and feels brand new. Inherently, bamboo does tend to pill a bit in areas that undergo some friction, so I am very pleased that this dress is not showing any signs of that. Magical bamboo knit!

Bamboo Tie Dye Dress 4

This one’s going to get a lot of love this summer. If you are into the fabric, it’s available in the shop here!