Doubleface Cardigan- by Tiah Ranger

Hello! I'm excited to be participating in L'oiseau Creative! I have been sewing for ages with woven fabrics but stopped making clothes for myself many years ago. I am self taught and have never learned how to properly adjust patterns. I finally decided to put my sewing machine to the test andventure into the world of knits (which are so much more forgiving)!

  

I have picked up quite a few tricks while reading different blogs and PDF patterns (that are truly a wealth of information!).  Wonder clips, small rotary cutters and stretch stitches have been life savers.  The most important above all though is finding great knits. I'm sure I'm not alone in the struggle to find local stores that carry a variety of quality knit fabrics and fun prints. I was ecstatic to find L'oiseau Fabrics, not only is it a Canadian company, it's also a family based business.   They take the time to clearly describe the fibre content, stretch and recovery of their fabrics which is essential when you can't feel before you buy.  I love seeing updates from L'oiseau pop up on my Facebook news feed and when I saw they were carrying a new line of double knits I knew exactly what I wanted to make with it!  I sent them an email right away to take them up on the offer of a metre of fabric in exchange for sharing what it can become.  

 

When it arrived, I was impressed at how soft the fabric was.  The glitter shines beautifully in the sun (my poor camera doesn't do it justice). This fabric doesn't roll at the edges at all which made it so easy to sew.

 

I'd purchased the Suzanne Cardigan PDF pattern from Companie M during a sale several weeks ago and have been debating about how I'd want to coordinate fabrics for it. Well! Double knit is the answer! I think this pattern is the perfect option to highlight the coordinating prints. I love the unique pocket detailing.

 

I opted to add knit binding along the edges since I noticed a bit of fraying after pre-washing the fabric.  I have to say, the idea of adding knit binding caused me some anxiety and I spent several days staring at the fabric sitting in my living room before building up the courage to cut into it.  I was terrified of messing up and wasting this awesome fabric.  I decided to go with the shorter version the cardigan for the double knit, giving it a more casual look. It's really a quick sew because this fabric saves you from having to face the pockets to get the contrast look.

 

The binding went much easier than I expected (phew), it's not perfect but the worst spots are hidden by the pockets... I can live with that!   A good bit of steam helped this black jersey knit from my stash to sit flat. I also chose to add cuffs to the sleeves to match the binding.  It all came together beautifully. And tadah! It's ready for the fast approaching autumn weather.

 

I'm now on the look out for more great patterns to use up my remnants from this project. I'm thinking a slouchie beanie perhaps or an infinity scarf? Oh the possibilities! Thank you Michelle and Colin for the opportunity to share in this creative project - sewing is so often a personal activity and it's been exciting to share it with you.

Where it all started- Là où tout a commencé - by Judith Sévigny

(La version française suit plus bas.)

Hi everyone! I’m very happy to write my first post on l’oiseau Creative. My name is Judith, I’m a mother of two lovely daughters, owner of two cats, lover of a wonderful man, physicist, writer, blogger, and sewist. I’ve written my own blog for many years now, but I just began to write in English. I hope everything will make sense. :)

Today, I want to talk about my big sewing project of the moment: my oldest daughter’s fall wardrobe. A few months ago, I decided to sew an entire wardrobe for her, since she was going to begin school by the end of the summer. She’s tall and skinny, so I’m having a hard time dressing her in ready-to-wear, odd-fitting clothes. That’s why I wanted to make her a whole new wardrobe of custom fitted clothes. So, I planned a casual wardrobe consisting of 30 pieces of clothing.

Bonjour tout le monde! Je suis très heureuse d’écrire mon tout premier billet pour l’oiseau Creative. Mon nom est Judith, je suis maman de deux adorables fillettes, propriétaire de deux chats, amoureuse d’un homme merveilleux, physicienne, auteure, blogueuse et couturière.

Aujourd’hui, je désire vous entretenir de mon gros projet de couture du moment : la garde-robe d’automne de ma grande fille. Il y a quelques mois, j’ai décidé de coudre une garde-robe entière pour elle, puisqu’elle devait commencer l’école à la fin de l’été. Elle est grande et mince, j’ai donc de la difficulté à l’habiller dans les vêtements prêt-à-porter, à l’ajustement douteux. C’est pourquoi j’ai voulu lui confectionner une toute nouvelle garde-robe de vêtements sur mesure. J’ai donc planifié une garde-robe tout-aller constituée de 30 vêtements.

I first bought a fine wale printed corduroy. Then, I planned everything around this unique fabric, inspired by its colours: brown, beige, purple, lilac, fuchsia, baby pink, orange, and red. Today, I will show you the very first outfit I have sewed, using the inspiration fabric of the wardrobe.

I used the corduroy to sew a Titchy Threads Twisted Trousers, with a stripped rib knit waistband. It was my first try at sewing ribbing, and I had a hard time matching the stripes. Honestly, I failed, but I don’t care much because the trouser looks great anyways.

J’ai d’abord acheté un velours côtelé fin imprimé. Par la suite, j’ai tout planifié à partir de ce tissu unique, inspirée par ses couleurs : brun, beige, violet, lilas, fuchsia, rose bébé, orange et rouge. Aujourd’hui, je vais vous présenter le tout premier ensemble que j’ai cousu et qui utilise le tissu d’inspiration de la garde-robe.

 J’ai utilisé le velours côtelé pour coudre un Twisted Trousers de Titchy Threads avec une bande de taille en côtelé rayé. C’était la première fois que je cousais ce genre de tissu et j’ai eu du fil à retordre pour faire concorder les rayures. Je dois l’avouer, je n’ai pas réussi, mais je ne m’en formalise pas puisque le résultat final est malgré tout joli.

 

I matched this pant with a Once Upon a Sewing Machine Cecilia Puff Tee (free pattern) sewn in a gorgeous Hamburger Liebe Lizzy pink jersey, with fuchsia sleeves and neckband. This pattern is a favourite that I already made many times. The t-shirt is slim-fitting, perfect for my daughter.

J’ai assorti ce pantalon au Cecilia Puff Tee de Once Upon a Sewing Machine  (patron gratuit), que j’ai cousu dans le jersey Lizzy pink de Hamburger Liebe, avec des manches et une bande d’encolure fuchsia. Ce patron est un de mes préférés, l’ayant cousu à plusieurs reprises déjà. Il a une coupe ajustée, parfaite pour ma fille.

To top this outfit, I made a Jalie Zip-front Jacket and Hoodie out of a gorgeous pink French terry from l’oiseau (donated for my contribution to l’oiseau Creative). I loved to sew this pattern, even though I made some modifications for a more polished look from the inside. First, I lined the hood in jersey. Second, I added facings to the zipper. Overall, I’m very pleased with the result, and I really enjoyed sewing this high quality fabric. It was my first try at sewing French terry as well, and I will sew more in a near future for sure.

Pour compléter cet ensemble, j’ai confectionné une veste zippée à capuchon de Jalie dans un magnifique French terry de l’oiseau (une gracieuseté pour ma contribution à l’oiseau Creative). J’ai beaucoup aimé coudre ce patron, bien que j’y aie apporté quelques modifications afin d’obtenir un fini plus poli à l’intérieur. Tout d’abord, j’ai doublé le capuchon de jersey. Par la suite, j’ai ajouté des parementures à la fermeture éclair. Au final, je suis très satisfaite du résultat et j’ai particulièrement apprécié de coudre ce tissu de qualité. C’était mon premier essai avec le French terry et je vais assurément récidiver dans un avenir rapproché.

This first outfit is a bit flashy, but it fits my daughter’s personality perfectly. She was so proud to wear it for her very first day of school.

Ce premier ensemble est un brin éclatant, mais il sied à merveille à la personnalité de ma fille. Elle l’a d’ailleurs porté fièrement pour sa toute première journée d’école.

Merci de m’avoir lue, et à bientôt!

Thanks for reading! See you soon!

Shark Attack Scrap Surprises!- by Nadine Simard

Sewing for boys is fun!

Hi everyone,

I had so much fun the last time with my echo-friendly cardigan that I decided to come back with a brand new project.  

The summer season is just around the corner, I’m hoping! As I’m writing this post we are expecting 10 to 15 cm of snow, hopefully for the last time this spring!  When we are moving from one season to the other I always have a huge list of ideas and things I want to make.  This year, I have an enormous list for my son which has outgrown the majority of his current clothes.

Feeding Frenzy!

Feeding Frenzy!

For this post, I was inspired by a new collection by Finch, Shark Bait panel.  This jersey fabric is available in 64 cm double panel (64 X 160 cm).  This means that the design is repeated at both edge of the fabric.  The jersey is a nice weight (200 gsm or 5.9 oz) and soft (95% cotton/5% spandex). This specific fabric is no longer available in the store but you can still get a few other panel options.

My middle child is quite skinny and it is becoming a challenge to find something that would fit him from a store.  His chest and waist measurements are smaller than his little brother (2 years younger) but he falls in the age-range for his height.  

The PDF patterns world for boy patterns is limited compared to all the cute girl outfits available.  In the last few months, I saw an increase and a desire from multiple designers to reduce that gap.  I’m seeing more and more fun options available for boys. 

I have discovered a few designers that offer fun options for boys and their patterns are drafted for skinny boys.  Which is a bonus for me and I don’t have to alter the pattern too much.

I will start with the Moto Max by Love Notions Pattern (affiliate program link*). I used this pattern many times; I made a few knit pyjamas, t-shirts and jogging pants. 

I don’t know if you are like me but I have a lot of scrap fabric and I always try to find ways to use them.  Before I cut the first shirt, I made sure I could use the other sharks to make a few other things.  I tried a few ideas before I got it right and reduce the left over fabric.  I believe I was successful with this project!  

Scraps: not to be thrown away just yet!

Scraps: not to be thrown away just yet!

I used the same Moto Max pattern from Love Notions ( affiliate program link*) to make a pair of short with an elastic band. This was somewhat a pattern hack; the pattern doesn’t come with a short line but it is an easy pattern modification.  This is a fun colorful version, the front of the short is green and I used black knit for the back of the short.  The waist is made with black rib knit.

The second pattern I used is the Safari Raglan from Titchy Threads, which is my all-time favorite pattern.  I used this one 9 times so far!    This one is definitely my go to pattern for both boys and girls.  For the back of the shirt I used black knit.

 

The third pattern I used is the Cloud 9 swim pattern from Titchy Threads.  My son is a big fan of muscles shirt, so this one will get a lot of wear.  I did not have enough of the shark panel fabric left to make the full front of the tank so I modified the pattern a little to do a color block style.  I like the look with the shark panel short. The stripe white and black knit fabric is also available at l’oiseau fabrics.    

 

I’m always on the lookout for fun boy’s patterns, please leave me a comment below and let me know if you have recommendation for fun sewing projects for boys.

 

Since my first post on this blog I started my own personal blog, you are all invited to visit me. 

Take care,

Nadine 

 

Disclaimer : All fabrics and patterns presented in this blog post were purchased by me except the Safari Raglan pattern which I received free when I tested the pattern before its release.

*The Love Notions affiliate program means that if you click on the link above and decide to buy a pattern I will receive a small commission.

 

Implementing Indigo Interlock!- By Melissa Ouellette

I rarely sew for my husband.  Despite that, he's always been supportive of my hobby (obsession?), never commenting on how much I spend on material and even scouting out fabric shops for me to peruse when we go on family trips.  Yep, he's a keeper!  So when this fabric arrived and it wasn't exactly the colour I was expecting but happened to be the colour of his favourite hockey team, I knew what to do with it.  (side note: you can now get a swatch card for this fabric line, which is great because it's often hard to get a true sense of colour from a photo).   

 

So I told him I was making him a sweater and consulted him on pattern choice.  Well, kind of -- the Finlayson from Thread Theory is the only mens sweater pattern I own so I asked him if he would be okay with that style.  Thankfully he said yes!    

 

This fabric really is lovely --  very soft and a perfect weight, not too thick but definitely not flimsy.  It's easy to work with, too, with since it doesn't curl or shift like some knit fabrics.  Being able to get good quality coordinating ribbing is also fantastic.   I used the ribbing for the cuffs and waistband and it matches perfectly.  

 

And I can attest to the durabilty of the interlock --  I ordered an extra metre because I knew I wanted to make something adult-sized so when I was cutting out the sweater I was thinking about what I could do with the "scraps".  They ended up being big enough to make a pair of shorts (Jalie 3351) for me so I sewed those up right away.  I've been wearing and washing them at least once a week since then and the fabric has held up well -- no pilling or stretching.  They look just as good as when I made them back in February!  

shorts.jpg

 

Of course I really should have made the sweater first because it took me awhile to get back to it.  I don't think my husband quite believed that I actually would finish but he's happy that I did!   

 

As I was taking pictures, I realized that both of these are totally Canadian projects -- the fabric is manufactured and produced in Canada and sold by a Canadian retailer, both the patterns are by Canadian designers and they were sewn up by a Canadian.  Pretty good, eh?   

O Canada

Sara and Claire, the lonely sewing machine- by Sara Maisonneuve

Hi everyone, my name is Sara. It’s an honour to be a guest on the L’Oiseau Blog!

 

My old Kenmore sewing machine, Claire, was very lonely. I hadn’t used her since July. I hadn’t used my serger - Thomas - either but sergers (being ornery and taciturn in nature) don’t mind my absence as much. I did have a good excuse, though. I had a baby (Rose!) in the middle of August and my lofty dreams of sewing while baby slept went out the window the minute we got home from the hospital. For nearly five months, I could feel Claire looking at me forlornly and sighing (as much as sewing machines can sigh) from the sewing room as I stole precious minutes of sleep (or a much needed shower) instead of breaking out my sewing chops.

 

Then, I started to get my mommy legs under me. I lined up some designated quality time with lonely Claire. At first I was at a loss at what to make. I had wanted to make grow-with-me pants for the blog for Rose, who always seems to be in the throes of yet another growth spurt. That’s what I had told Michelle and Colin from L’Oiseau that I wanted to do. When my man, Jason, announced that he needed to retire his beloved Mec zip hoodie due to worn elbows and because he’d gotten a new wool hoodie for Christmas, my project idea changed.

He’d had this beautiful blue fleece hoodie for over five years. He wore it constantly! It was the only thing I saw at the start of our first date when he wrapped me in a big bear hug. It’s been on every single trip with us across Canada and into various bits of the world too. It was always so easy to pick him out of the crowd because it’s so bright.

 

But I wasn’t done with it! Not for one minute! Eco-friendly people that we are, living off the grid via solar power and such, I saw that the hoodie still had a life left to live. I nabbed it from Jason, dragged it back to the sewing room, and presented it to Claire. “We’re going to make a hoodie for Rose,” I declared. (The hoodie pattern from Brindille and Twig.)

I had received a shipment of fabric from l’oiseau just the week before and knew exactly which fabric I would pair with the fleece. It’s a meter of the Star Shooter: Jersey Knit and it works perfectly! I wanted to get something gender-neutral so that the hoodie could be worn by future kiddos regardless of gender.  

I made the hoodie one evening while Jason was working. Rose cheered Claire and me on from her exersaucer (providing auditory diversion!) Because we live off the grid and the days are woefully short in winter, we use very low wattage LED bulbs to light the house to save our batteries. That made my “in progress” pictures a little dark. Sorry! It really is wonderful to live the way we do (just not very good for photography at night!)

So here it is, the hoodie that brought Jason and me together that can now be worn by our daughter (with a seriously cool twist thanks to some seriously cool fabric!)

It felt so good to be able to reconnect with Claire and sewing. It also felt good to help sentimental sweater live on with meaning! After so many months of being tired and overwhelmed, I understand how important it is to make time for the things I like to do. It recharges my batteries. I should have done this sooner!! Thank you, Michelle and Colin!

The Perfectly Imperfect T-Shirt- By Grace San Diego

 Hello, l’oiseau blog readers. My name is Grace and I’m delighted to be guest posting today.

I had been itching to sew with a knit fabric for months. I had tried to shake off this thought. Why? Because KNITS ARE SCARY! Over the years I had heard that it’s a tricky fabric to work with, difficult to cut and slippery to sew, etc. I had all these reasons to avoid knits. Yet I had this urge to sew with knit fabrics.

Then I happened upon a knit jersey print that made me smile. There were little ninjas in different positions scattered against a bight blue background. I loved this design because it reminded me of my son and how he came into our family.

Ninja Baby

 Several years ago I experienced some health issues. I was referred to a doctor who happened to be a fertility specialist. My husband and I didn’t have children. Our attitude had always been “whatever happens, happens.” So when I learned that this doctor was a fertility specialist I thought to myself “well, I’m 39. I should find out if I could even have children.” Not too long after, my husband and I sat in front of this doctor who told us that the chances of me getting pregnant was next to none. He had also said that he would not recommend IVF because I basically had no eggs. “Well then,” I thought to myself, “I guess we either continue on as DINKS (dual income, no kids) or we adopt.” And life went on, as a couple of DINKS.

Fast-forward several months. One day a co-worker urged me to take a pregnancy test. I insisted that I wasn’t pregnant because a doctor told me that I had “no eggs.” But she strongly encouraged me to take one based on observations she had made of me over some time. So I did a pregnancy test that night. My husband and I were shocked to find that the test was positive. Word spread quickly around the office. Upon hearing the news, one co-worker nicknamed the baby “Ninja Baby” because he came out of nowhere. That nickname stuck. Long story short, a mere five weeks after finding out I was pregnant, I gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Yes, he was full-term. No, I didn’t realize I was pregnant. Yes, I suppose I could have been on that show.

Fabric

 When the fabric arrived I was excited and freaked out at the same time. I wanted to sew a t-shirt for my son as I felt that this would make a good first knit project. I found a pattern from Brindille & Twig and started to cut the pattern pieces, even though I was convinced that somehow I was going to mess up. Once I realized that there were only 5 pieces to sew together, I started to relax about the whole process.

I knew I was one step closer to success because I owned a serger, and it certainly made the task easy. The directions for the pattern were simple to follow. Sew the shoulders. Check. Sew the sleeves in. Check. Hem the sleeves. Check. Sew the side seams. Check…er….oops! I wasn’t careful feeding the fabric through the serger. About 3.5” of the seam’s edge was folded over when it went through. I stared at my mistake for about ten minutes, trying to decide if it was worth taking out the stitches. When I turned the shirt right side out, I couldn’t even tell that there was a mistake. The right side seam of the shirt, where the mistake was made, looked even with the left side. I decided to leave it and continue working on the rest of the shirt. I hemmed the bottom without any issues. Then came the shirt’s neck. I matched up the center front and center back of the shirt to the neckband. Then pinned it along the shirt’s neck opening, ensuring that the fabric was stretched evenly and just so. I was in the home stretch of this project! I fed the fabric through my serger, and trimmed the tail of the serger threads. When I lifted the shirt to look my work, I realized that the neck was detached! Argh…I had forgotten put the serger’s foot down, so it didn’t sew all the layers together.

Pieces

 Quickly, I cut out another neckband and pinned it to the shirt. This time when I put it through the serger I made sure that the foot was lowered. I decided to add the extra step of top-stitching along the neckband. And oops again! The stitching wasn’t even with the neckband’s edge. But it’s barely noticeable. I told myself “the kid won’t even notice it.” I decided to make peace with the crooked top-stitching just as I did with the earlier mistake of the side seam. As far as I was concerned, this was a perfectly imperfect t-shirt.

Serging

 Well, I did it! I sewed a t-shirt together with knit fabric, and survived. And through the process I learned a lot, the most important lesson was discovering that knits are actually a forgiving fabric and quite easy to sew. Knits aren’t scary anymore. In fact, I can’t wait to sew the next knit project. Perhaps this time for my newborn daughter.

Perfectly Imperfect shirt!

Hop to it!: by Erin Schowalter

What do you do when you have a metre of rabbit fabric and a 28-month-old daughter who's obsessed with rabbits? You decide to make as many rabbit-covered clothes as possible and hope that laundry can be carefully staggered in such a way that head-to-toe rabbit uniforms aren't possible.

First up was a tunic. I self-drafted it, but got the idea for the pocket shape from seeing pictures of the Liesl + Co. Cappuccino Dress, Figgy’s Sunki Dress, and pattern 10 from Ottobre 3/2014.

I made it after my daughter went to bed and the next morning heard excited squeals of “Mommy, mommy, MOMMY! RABBIT SHIRT!!!!!” when she found it. Definitely a win.

Next up, I made her comfy pants. These were based on the Oliver + S Playtime Leggings pattern. I wanted them to be fairly baggy, though, as her underwear can be seen through the fabric when it's stretched too far. She normally wears a size 2 or 3, so I cut a size 4 and added 2 cm to each side. I added a band of ribbing to the legs to make them really long, as she's currently in the midst of what we call the Great Lengthening; she seems to be growing out of pants as fast as I can make them. I also scooped the front waist slightly lower and added a band of ribbing and elastic to allow for an increased rise overall. These are my favourite knit pants I’ve made, and my daughter also loves them. This pattern will definitely be repeated with some of the (many!) other L’Oiseau knits now in my stash.

Finally, I slightly adapted the Cozy Winter Hat pattern from Oliver + S Little Things to Sew by turning the bear ears into bunny ears. 

Loving a meta note, I lined this hat with the rabbit fabric.

After all of that, I didn’t quite succeed in using up the metre of fabric, so I'll see where it takes me next!