Category Archives: Inspiration

Your Makes Vol. 4

Hey! I’m back with another round-up of all the beautiful things you guys have been making with our fabrics. Prepare to be inspired ūüôā

Noble-Daughter-Victoria-Blazer-1Charlotte from Noble & Daughter made the most beautiful By Hand London Victoria Blazer¬†in our popular floral viscose twill. Sadly this fabric is sold out (I know – I’m crying too).¬†We sold a ton of it though,¬†so I get to see it pop up¬†from time to time and¬†swoon again and again.

That-Crazy-Stitch-JumpsuitYou guys! When I saw this jumpsuit from Malia of That Crazy Stitch, I freaked. I am so into this bohemian vibe. Plus: this patchwork print viscose is still available in the shop!

Helens-Closet-ArcherI won’t lie to you, I have wanted to copy this tencel denim button-up since the moment I saw it. The Grainline¬†Archer Shirt and our slubby tencel denim¬†are a match made in heaven! Check out more lovely photos on Helen’s Closet.

Pudge-Nico-ArumHow cute does Nicole look in her Deer & Doe Arum Dress? This polka dot tencel denim is sold out, but we have a dark wash tencel denim that would look equally awesome!

Lladybird-MarlboroughHere’s one of our black findings kits in action! Lauren used it for a classic¬†Marlborough Bra. I need one of these in my life!


Anya made an awesome Hemlock dress out of our sweater knit from last fall. This fabric lends itself so well to the simple lines of this dress. Love it!

Let’s not forget instagram. Here are some of my favourites from the #blackbirdfabrics tag. (All images below are linked and will take you to¬†the original photo.)

Here are the fabrics that are still available from the instagram makes: moss tencel twill, black tencel twill, bird print viscose, and navy shirting!

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!

Indigo Dye Nights


Last week, I spent two evenings learning all about indigo and shibori dyeing at Maiwa in Vancouver. I had so much fun you guys! This class was a birthday gift from my boyfriend, so it felt extra special to take a break from my usual routine and get my hands dirty (literally – my nails are still stained with a hint of blue).

We spent the first day learning technique, and preparing our pieces for the dye bath. The amazing teachers Sophena and Danielle were clearly super passionate about indigo dyeing and all of the techniques. They brought tons of samples to inspire us.

We were given a set of cloth napkins, a huge cotton gauze scarf and various small silk and cotton pieces to test on.

Indigo-Dye-Nights-1 Indigo-Dye-Nights-2

The dyeing all happened on the second night of the class. The energy in there was awesome. Everyone was so pumped to get their pieces dyed, and we only had a couple of hours so the night zoomed by. Want to see how my pieces turned out?
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I tried a few different techniques on my napkins: stitch resist,¬†binding (one with string and one with elastics, rocks, and marbles), and finally, “the cloud”. The cloud was the most quick and fun – it’s really just bunching the fabric together and tying it up. I wish I took before pictures!

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I used my silk pieces to try out stitch resist in circle shapes, and tying in a knot! The second piece is literally just tied twice.

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The folding and clamping technique was my favourite by a long shot. The two pieces above were made with triangle shape resists. I’m am in love with them!

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Finally, my scarf! This was made using a simple method of folding in half, rolling on the bias, and scrunching the fabric. Again – I promise I will take before pictures next time.

The coolest thing about shibori is the instant gratification! You tie, bind, fold, or clamp your pieces, dye them, let them oxidize, and then you can unwrap your work and see the results pretty much instantly. The unveiling is the best part. Every piece was so beautiful and unique.

I can’t wait¬†to grab some supplies and try this again at home. I see a lot of indigo dyeing in my future!

Unleash Your Creativity With These 8 Skillshare Classes

Real talk: I often get caught up in the daily grind of running a small business and just trying to get everything done. I lose my sewing mojo (sewjo?), and get into that funk of eat, sleep, work, repeat.

I’ve realized over the past few years how essential it is to go¬†out¬†of my comfort zone and learn a new craft or skill every once in a while.¬†I always thank myself afterwards, because without fail I will¬†come away feeling refreshed and inspired.

One of the reasons why I love Skillshare is because it’s such an easy way to learn something new without a huge financial or time commitment.¬†It works just like Netflix. For $10/month (USD) you get access to thousands of online classes that you can watch whenever you want, at your own pace.

If you signed up for my Skillshare class, you might be wondering what other classes you should check out. There are tons to pick from, so I totally understand that it can be overwhelming!

Here’s¬†list of classes that¬†I¬†think sewists will love (and that I can’t wait to take!).

Sandal Making 101

Photos: Rachel See Snail Shoes

We sew our own clothes, so why not make our own shoes? Construct your first pair of sandals and learn all about making a pattern, working with leather, and basic shoe construction. Taught by Portland sandal and shoe maker Rachel Corry.

DIY Leather Bucket Bag

DIY Leather Bucket BagPhoto: Ada Spragg

The lovely Sophie of¬†Ada Spragg¬†teaches you¬†to sew a leather bucket bag complete with tassels and monogram. I took this class and loved it. I can’t wait to gather some supplies and actually make this bag!

Pattern Cutting & Making for Beginners

Pattern MakingPhoto: Skillshare

If you’re interested in learning more about pattern making, this class is a great introduction with excellent reviews.

Garment Construction: Introduction to Draping

Intro-to-Draping-SkillsharePhoto: Skillshare

Draping! Anya Ayoung Chee, winner of project runway season 9, is the teacher for this class. Her design style is breezy, effortless, and easy fitting.

You guys, draping was one of my favourite classes in college. It is awesome! If you’ve never tried it or aren’t familiar with the concept, you need to take this class. I would love¬†to be able to¬†pick up draping again after all these years.

Hand Embroidery Fundamentals

Photos: @cut_and_rum instagram

I’ve dabbled in embroidery but have never taken the time to learn techniques. I would love to learn more so that I can add embroidery details to my handmade garments or make even some pieces to hang as art. This class by Alice Mitev covers all the basics, and I love her style!

Leathercraft Basics: Create Your Own Leather Wallet

Leathercraft BasicsPhoto: Skillshare

If working with leather sounds intimidating to you, this class is a great way to get started! Toronto designer Robin Fitzsimons will teach you about different types of leather, the basics of hand sewing leather, and how to set hardware. Plus your class project is to create a cool wallet like the ones pictured above! Lovely, right?

Basic Watercolors: Learn Painting with Paper Fashion

Photos: Skillshare

Katie Rodgers is an artist, fashion illustrator, and founder of the website Paper Fashion. This class will teach you the basics techniques of watercolour painting. I would love to apply this to fashion illustration and sketch out my summer sewing plans in watercolour. How beautiful would that be?

Create Your Own Fiber Art: An Introduction to Weaving

Weaving ClassPhoto: Skillshare

Weaving is one of those trending crafts that seems to be popping up all over the place right now. I would love to learn how to weave! This class looks like a great introduction that covers all the basics Рtaught by Savannah Kurka of Savvie Studio.

Normally you can sign up for Skillshare and get access to thousands of classes $10/month. With this link, enjoy three months for just $0.99 – yay!


See what I did there?

Tomorrow we’ll be introducing a new batch of bra kits! They are new and improved and I’m¬†so excited about them.¬†We’re making them customizable this time around so you can really tailor the kit to the type of bra set you want to make. These kits will be available for¬†pre-order, so that we can order exactly what we need for you and *hopefully* not run out as quickly as in the past (although quantities for the pre-order are still limited).

I thought it would be fun to show you some of the inspiration behind the colours and textiles we chose for these kits! There will be stretch lace, stretch velvet (!), and¬†a couple of others¬†that I can’t wait to share.¬†Braspiration 1

Clockwise from top left: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Braspiration 2

Clockwise from top left: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

I’ll be back tomorrow with all the details! Until then, be sure to sign up for the newsletter to be the very first to see¬†what’s new.

Sewing Outerwear: Pattern Ideas + a Discount!

It’s coat sewing season! Well, at least for those of us in the northern hemisphere. I’ve been dreaming of finally making myself a coat this season. Last year I planned and muslin-ed a tailored coat, and then never had the time to actually sew it up! (Story of my life.) Since Heather just released her gorgeous Clare coat pattern, I figure it’s a great time to round up some pattern options if you’re looking for a little coat inspiration.


This, of course, is the new Closet Case Files pattern, Clare. I love the 60s vibe of this design.

Cascade Duffle Coat

I didn’t know I needed a duffle coat in my life until I started seeing Jen’s Cascade Duffle Coat¬†popping up all over the place. It looks cool on everyone!


The Camden Cape from this month’s issue Seamwork magazine is beautiful. Plus it’s a quick project if you’re looking for something not too involved.


How about something a little bit different? I’m loving the Harriet Lumberjacket¬†from Named Clothing. It’s dressed up in the photo above, but I could totally see this jacket paired with jeans, boots, and a flannel shirt for the perfect weekend at the cabin outfit.


Another quick and chic option: the Tessuti Sydney Jacket. Perfect to throw over layers on a chilly fall day.


The Gerard Coat from Republique du Chiffon has the coolest relaxed fit.


How about Pauline Alice’s¬†Quart Coat? I’m loving the pleat detail and zippers.

Did I miss any coat patterns that you love? Please do share.

P.S. We have some pretty awesome coatings in the shop right now. Plus, good news! They’re all on sale until Friday! Use the code ‘coatlove’¬†to get 15% off all coatings in the shop, until Friday November 27th at midnight PST. Happy shopping!


Fabric Inspiration: Quilted Fashion

With the recent release of Grainline Studio’s Tamarack Jacket, I’ve had quilted fashion on my mind. I’m really loving this look! But if you’re looking to achieve the quilted look without all any¬†actual quilting involved, we have some pretty awesome¬†pre-quilted knits in the shop. What we have is stretchy with a backing, so it’s fairly stable with good recovery. Back when I was working for a textile wholesale company (before Blackbird), I remember seeing quilted knit fabrics and loving them but¬†wondering what the heck to make with them. Here’s some cool inspiration from our pinterest to get you excited about this trend!

Quilted Fashion Inspiration

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There really is a lot you can do with this type of fabric. I love the idea of a skirt or a jacket. A sweater is of course the obvious choice but still so perfectly simple and chic.

Indie Pattern Ideas

If you decide to go the sweater route, the Briar or Linden would be great choices. You could achieve the flared skirt look with the¬†Hollyburn¬†skirt pattern (Tasia did and it’s beautiful!). Colette’s Mabel skirt would be perfect for a simple pencil skirt (or just draft your own!).¬†¬†For a jacket, I love the idea of a Rigel Bomber. I’ve even seen our quilted knit used for a Tamarack jacket and it totally works!

Do you have any other pattern ideas for quilted knits? I’d love to hear.

P.S. Shop our current knit selection here. ūüôā