Category Archives: Sewing Community

Blackwood Cardigan in Ribbed Sweater Knit

Have you seen the new Blackwood Cardigan from Helen’s Closet? Last month I had the chance to test this pattern, and of course I paired it with a sweater knit from the shop. Here are the results…

First thing’s first: the fabric! It’s the Brushed Ribbed Sweater Knit in Bordeaux. This colour is sold out but the fabric itself is available in three other colours right now: Olive, Rust, and Grey. It’s lightweight and soft, perfect for this cardigan.

The Blackwood offers two length options: hip length, and mid thigh. I’ve had longline cardigans on the brain so I went with the mid thigh length. Helen says that the pattern is designed with layering in mind, with it’s fitted shape, extra long sleeves, and open front design. I hate wearing bulky sweaters under my jackets, so for me this is the perfect spring/transitional cardigan. It works so well layered under my Robson Coat. (P.S. If you click that link get ready for a throwback to 2014 when I was contributing on Sewaholic and … my short hair! Remind me not to cut my hair that short ever again. Ok? Thanks.)

Oh yes! I should mention that after feedback from testers, Helen shortened the sleeves by 1″. They are meant to be long and bunched at the wrist, and even with that change, they still will be. I personally love extra long sleeves. When I layer a jacket or coat on top of a sweater, I like to be able to pull my sleeves out a bit to keep my hands warm. If I can’t, I get annoyed, and I’m less likely to wear that sweater!

In the photos above I’m wearing my Blackwood layered over a basic tee and denim overalls from the Gap. Super comfy and relaxed, exactly how I want to dress every day.

Will you be sewing up this pattern? If you’re interested, you can pick up your copy here. And if you’re looking for sweater knits, we have lots in the shop!

Had to share this cuteness. This is our kitty Fraidy. If I ever leave clothing on the bed, he will want to climb on it. He’s sleeping on a pile of laundry as I type this!

Local Event this Sunday!

Hi friends! This Sunday I’m taking Blackbird on the road for the first time! I’m so excited to have a booth at the vendor market for the ASDP annual conference. I’ll be there with fabrics, bra kits, and sewing patterns. The vendor market is open to the public and admission is free. Even if you aren’t attending the conference, you can come to the market tomorrow. Here are the details:

Date: Sunday, October 23rd 2016
Time: 12:00pm – 6:00pm
Place: Westin Wall Center in Richmond, BC

The Association of Sewing and Design Professionals has hundreds of members across Canada and the US. Every year, the members of the ASDP come together for a conference. This year, for the first time, it’s in Canada!

Read all about the ASDP here, and visit the event facebook page for the vendor market here (some great companies will be selling at the market, including Thread Theory, yay!).

If you’re local, come and say hi! I’d love to meet you. If not, feel free to follow along on instagram. It’s going to be a fun day!

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 🙂

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 StitchI 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-mailinstagramfacebook, or tweet me a link!

My New Skillshare Class: The Beginner’s Guide to Fashion Fabrics (!!!)

You guys! Over the past month, I’ve been working hard behind the scenes to prepare, write, and film a class with Skillshare. It’s all about fabric!

If you’ve never heard of Skillshare, let me fill you in. It’s an online learning platform for creatives. When you sign up for a monthly membership, you get access to thousands of classes in categories like design, photography, business, DIY, fashion, and so much more. Skillshare fosters creativity, and learning by doing. When the folks at Skillshare got in touch with me and asked if I was interested in teaching a class about fabric, I basically jumped for joy and then said heck yes.


My first class is called The Beginner’s Guide to Fashion Fabrics, and it’s all about woven fabrics. I wanted to create a class that would help beginners to navigate the world of fashion fabrics. It’s kind of a like a map to fabric selection success. I cover some basics like fiber and weave (What do they mean? How do they affect a fabrics characteristics?). Then I walk you through some tips for shopping for fabrics. Finally, I offer some guidance for actually preparing and working with the fabric as you get ready to sew. For the class project, you’ll get to apply what you learned and plan your next sewing project using a design worksheet.


I am such a firm believer that selecting the appropriate fabric for the project you want to make is the key to sewing long lasting, quality garments. Yes, sewing technique is important, but so often fabric selection is overlooked! I learned so much about this through my schooling and experience in the textile industry. I sometimes forget that beginner or even intermediate sewists might scratch their head through this process. This was the inspiration behind this class.



It’s a quick and focused class running at just under twenty minutes. My goal was to pack in as much useful information as I could while keeping it practical and digestible. Everything you learn will help you to make confident and informed fabric choices so that you can sew handmade clothes that will last and that you will want to wear again and again.

I’m especially excited that I was able to create a class focused completely on fabric. There are tons of sewing classes and sewing resources online, but not much out there about textiles. I love that I can share my knowledge and experience in this way.


In the coming weeks I’m going to share some of my favourite Skillshare classes with you, and give you a more behind the scenes glimpse into the making of the class. (Spoiler: I was sick with nerves when I thought about being on camera, but in the end it wasn’t so bad!).

Alright, so now that you’re all filled in, I will be so thrilled if you check out my class! Use this link to enroll and Skillshare will give you three months of premium membership for just $0.99. Be careful though, you may get hooked! I have an enormous queue of classes I want to take and there are new ones coming out daily.

Giveaway on Closet Case Files

A few months ago, I got to meet up with Heather when she was visiting Vancouver. Tasia and I met her for lunch and some fabric shopping – pretty much the perfect afternoon for a sewist, no? It was fun to talk about business and sewing with those two smart and gifted ladies. Such a treat! Sometimes running a small business feels like living in a bubble. You’re so into your own thing, your plans and deadlines (and let’s be honest, stress!), it can be isolating. I always feel refreshed and inspired after hanging out with other creative entrepreneurs.

Heather was searching for a fabric for her next Sydney Jacket, and I immediately thought of our marled wool blend coating in the shop (still available in navy). I offered to send her some to try, and we decided to do a little giveaway on her blog at the same time.

Tessuti-Sydney-jacket-pattern-9 Tessuti-Sydney-jacket-pattern-11

I’ll be giving away a $50 gift certificate to the shop to one of Heather’s readers. Head on over to Closet Case Files for the all the details on how to enter. Enjoy drooling over Heather’s jacket in Paris at the same time. It’s truly gorgeous!

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.


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!