Budget Sewing- By Alexandra

I've always been a frugal-minded person and actually wanted to learn to sew thinking that it would save me money (ha ha! so much wasted fabric through the learning process). About 3 years ago all my ideas on saving money came together when I discovered the ideas of financial independence and the freedom that it gives you. It has also made me very mindful of where and how I spend my money as my ultimate goal is to have a high savings rate and not waste money on things I don't love or don't find important to me. Saving as I go will give us much freedom in the future.

One of the aspects I've focused on is my sewing. How can I be mindful of how we purchase clothing for a family of 5. Can I use sewing to save me money as I've always been pretty good at finding sales? Am I just better off buying second hand clothes for the kids?

However, in my quest for mindfulness I've come to the realization that I also like sewing our clothes for the environmental and social benefits. I can choose more environmentally friendly fabrics and avoid purchasing fast fashion that may be exploiting workers.  And well, let's be honest, it provides me a certain satisfaction to make something I love or my kids look adorable in.

I've been trying to move into planning out my sewing so I can get the best value from it. Sewing items that would be very expensive to buy in store or finally having ones that fit properly. I've recently discovered my kids don't actually fit well in ready-to-wear clothes. They are both slimmer than the standard sizing for their height. This was a light bulb moment for me. Making things, while not always cheaper will look nicer on them. I'm also on the taller side so often find pants too short once they've shrunk in the dryer.  I can make things for myself that are exactly what I want vs. settling for store bought. So sometimes I save big by sewing and other times its making that perfect item.

Finding l'oiseau fabrics has been a godsend for me. I'd been a little scared to purchase fabric online, but since moving back to Edmonton from Montreal I just didn't have access to the same quality of fabrics. I've only ordered twice now but each time I've been thrilled with everything and they are actually cheaper than some of my local options (and better quality). Going forward I know I'm going to make some great pieces for my kids and me. Making items with cheaper fabrics can often be frustrating and items just end up in the garbage, which I'm desperately trying to avoid.

Recently, I fell in love with the flying zebra print and selfishly wanted it for myself.



I made Jalie 3355 without the elastic cuffs for me and was able to squeak it out at 1.0 m. I love my new pjs and can't wait to change into them when I get home. Total cost about $23 for me, so maybe a bit more than I'd spend in the store, but I absolutely love them and they are long enough! Worth the extra cost. The fabric is so beautiful and soft, making the most comfortable pjs.




I tried to plan in advance all that I could do with the leftovers, but sometimes things change. Initially I had planned to make a pj top for me using Jalie 3245  but I was a little short in my coordinating fabric. I had bought 0.5 m of Salmon in solid basics and it coordinated well but I just didn't have enough for a shirt for me and my daughter so my daughter won out this time. I was able to whip up the raglan for her and she loves it. Still working out what I'll use the rest of my scraps for, but I'll definitely get something else for her out of it and likely a 2nd project using some creative colour blocking. Total cost for this shirt about $8-10 which is about the best I can ever find on sale for her and I really dislike spending much time in the shops, so I consider making her something really cute for this price a win!



Total cost for this shirt about $8-10 which is about the best I can ever find on sale for her and I really dislike spending much time in the shops, so I consider making her something really cute for this price a win!



I'll often pair some special fabric with thrift store clothes I use to harvest fabric. With the remaining salmon basic t-shirting I was able to pair it some fabric I used from a thrift store women's t-shirt and create this cute dress Bonus I used the hem for the sleeves so I didn't even need to hem it, just used the existing one. Every day playdress by love notions : it was my first time trying out their patterns so I wasn't ready to use the cute rainbow fabric  I bought so this was the perfect way to use up some scraps and test it out. Total fabric cost about $7. I purposely made it a little big so hopefully she can wear it next fall/winter as spring is almost here.




I also love using up my tinyiest scraps of lovely l'oiseau fabric to add some interest to a project. I'd previously made a bunch of maxaloones for my son and had some of the cute polar bear fabric left over. When I wanted to make a pair of warmer maxaloons for him this winter I used the polar bears to cut out the bum circle and I think it made these pants so cute. Was excited to use up some given fleece and left over knit that I bought locally but didn't love the quality of.




Not sewing related, but this was the blog post that got me interested in Financial Independence and the ideas of early retirement : http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/13/the-shockingly-simple-math-behind-early-retirement/

and I've been continuing my journey by listening to the ChooseFI podcast https://www.choosefi.com/

So thank you to you both for creating a store that is worth spending my money on and has such wonderful products.




Anorak- by Megan Hanna

Sewing has been a part of my life for over 40 years.  There have been ‘dormant’ stages when the kids were young or when I didn’t have a place to set my machine up.  For the past five years I’ve explored the Modern Quilting movement.  Recently I’ve gone back to garment making and have been thrilled to discover many wonderful online, Canadian fabric suppliers.  

This jacket was made using the softshell fabric in Simple Feather, aqua.  We live on the west coast and spend a lot of time outdoors, so the weatherproof/fleece combo sounded perfect.  The pattern is ‘Landgate’ and it’s from Merchant & Mills, a British company.  I used both serger and sewing machine to make the jacket.  The construction thread is a cotton/poly blend.  The topstitch thread is Superior Masterpiece and the needle was a size 14 universal.

The softshell fabric was much easier to work with than I thought it would be.  During cutting and piecing it didn’t slide around at all.  There’s enough give in the fabric to ease a curve into place but not so much that it stretches where you don’t want it to.  The only place where I ran into any difficulty was with the zipper.  With the zipper, the inset, the hood and the hood facing there is a lot of bulk.  If I were to make the pattern again, I’d do this part differently.  

I must admit that I had my doubts as I was sewing this jacket.  Were the feathers too ‘flashy’?  Why did it seem so huge?  Who could I gift it to if it didn’t fit me?  Ugh… there was a definite funk going on.  But, when I got it all together, with the hems done, the sleeves shortened and with reflective cording/toggles/cord ends, I loved it.  There will be many damp Vancouver days when this jacket will brighten things up.  

Teeny Tiny Hoodie! - By Romy Yourex


When I discovered the "come blog with us" program on the L'Oiseau Fabrics website, I got excited! I'm very new to sewing - I only started a few weeks ago - and I'd been wanting to try making something for my sister's baby due to be born in October. I had been scared to try because I knew a teeny tiny sleeve would not fit over the arm of my sewing machine, so I wasn't sure how to sew the cuffs on a hoodie or pants. 

After signing up for the program I asked my sister to pick a fabric she liked, and it was ready for pick up at L'Oiseau Fabrics the very next day! She chose a puppy print done in grey and black since she loves her little French bulldog - her first baby. 


I got to work right away but felt very much out of my comfort zone and I called my mom (in the Netherlands) at midnight her time to ask about adjusting the tension as the thread kept coming out of the needle, and how to add the cuffs. Don't worry, my parents are night owls and they love calls for help from their grown daughters 😉



I managed to sew the cuffs in a circle right going around the machine's foot so I'm happy to have learned a new skill! Once I completed the hoodie I was eager to sew a pair of harem pants as well, since I now knew how to add cuffs that didn't fit over the machine's arm.

I am very happy with the finished product and can't wait for my sister to receive it. Thank you L'Oiseau fabrics for the opportunity to give this a try for free! I'm hooked on sewing now and will be a regular customer for sure 😊


A short whale tale- by Sarah Murdoch

A year or so after the birth of my first son, we had a visitor bring us a stuffed whale as a thank you for allowing her to stay a few nights. Knowing that we were absolutely set on having a second child, I became enamoured with whales and started collecting whale things for that second baby, long before he (or she) was even in the picture. Even if I didn’t buy that whale thing, I made note of it wherever I was, thinking that one day I’d buy it. Fast forward to the fall of 2016 and we were blessed with the amazing news of a second baby growing happily in my tummy. I had always known the theme for his nursery would be whales so I dug out what I had collected and searched for more whale-ish things. By the time the spring arrived and his arrival was imminent, I knew that I wanted to sew a pair of harems to use for his newborn shoot. I purchased the pattern from Made by Jack’s Mum and searched the internet for the perfect whale fabric.

Funnily enough, where did I find it but right under my nose, at l’oiseau fabrics in my own city of Calgary. It was so exciting to have it arrive. I had just purchased my first serger and this would be my first ‘real’ time sewing knits. The pattern was easy and fast to put together and the sewing was fast as well. I love how they turned out, and I love how soft they are. My big little man has since grown out of them, but I still have fabric left and I think a bigger pair is in order!

Squares and Pleats- By Margaret Scott

I love a cowl neck blouse.  They look great on everyone and I feel like they are so versatile.  When I saw this material at l’oiseau, I thought I’d give one a try.  The material arrived and it’s even lovelier in person than on the site.  The colours are gorgeous and it makes me think of spring.  It’s also very pink, so I must have been feeling quite girly when I ordered it.  I’m figuring on wearing this tucked into a skirt, under suit jackets, loose over summer capris – you name it. 

It turns out, cowl neck blouse patterns are hard to come by!  Or at least the areas I looked.  I found lots of patterns for knits (that’s going to be a project for sure and I already have my eye on some other l’oiseau fabric for that) and lots of hacks for turning regular shirt patterns into cowl neck patterns, but none that made me feel confident.  Then I came across this pattern and I thought “that’s the one”.  It’s not a cowl exactly, but I think it will look great.  I read the instructions, downloaded the pattern and I’m on my way! 

But wait, now I have to cut the fabric, which is always the scariest part – did I line it up correctly? Did I forget a pattern piece?  Do I have a big fold somewhere?  It’s also the most exciting part and there’s something about the anticipation that I love every time. 

This material was a dream to work with.  I expected it to be tricky, since it’s quite slippery.  But it’s actually heavy enough to hold together well.  It also holds a pressed seam well once ironed.  This was very helpful while in the pinning stage shown below.  The pattern is busy enough to be interesting with the neck pleats but not so patterned it’s confusing.

One of my goals for this project was to slow down and practice patience.  I tend to rush a project because I want it finished, and then I’m not delighted with the results.  This time I was more careful with my serged seams and took the time to do practice seams to ensure I had the right machine tension.  I also tried to only sew when I was properly in the mood and not trying to fit it in among the rest of my life.  Sewing is a pleasure and should remain so (sew!). 

Ready to wear!  The neckline is lower than I’m really comfortable with, but some large jewellery or a cardigan or suit jacket will do the trick to balance it out.  And the weight of the fabric works very well – it’s light enough to be flowy, and heavy enough to hold its shape.


Theme and Variations for baby- by Alexandra Rutherford

I kept seeing "Grow with me" pants on all my friend's babies and thought they were the greatest idea for cloth diapered babies. So when I found out I was expecting our third I was on a mission to hunt down the pattern (Maxaloons by Max and Meena ).  Fortunately that wasn't too hard. What was harder was finding cuteknit fabrics locally. The closest major chain had nothing. Time to look online. Many people in a facebook sewing group recommended l'oiseau fabrics so I took the plunge.  It was cuteness overload when my fabric arrived. The weight and quality was exactly what I was looking for. 

Baby 3.0 decided to stay put a few extra days (or 10) giving me enough time to sew up this quick pattern.

Version 1, I used the whale fabric and coordinating grey.

The next day I still hadn't had the baby so I sewed up two more versions:


The sheep are my favourite, so took a few moments to put them on the baby this morning (1 week old)


So cute and so comfortable for my little guy! These should last hopefully till he's nearly a year and then I'll break out my left-overs to sew him up the larger size which are good from (3-6 months to 3 years). Next time I think I'll be braver with the colour choices and use greater contrast for the belly and leg bands, as well as the bum circle. Overall I'm excited to have some new pants for this boy as everything else he has are handmedowns.

Merino Wool!

Hello all!

How is your summer going?  Working your way towards a vacation?  Enjoying cocktails on your deck or days on the beach watching the little ones get gloriously, beautifully exhausted yet?


Now let’s talk about merino wool.

Wait! What?

Yup.  Let’s talk about wool.  Now stick with me.  Traditionally, at least in the Northern hemisphere, wool is a winter fabric that we are only too happy to abandon for the short, lovely summer that we get.  But did you know that it’s just as good in the summer?

Wool is a pretty amazing fibre, and merino wool in particular is fantastic.  It comes from sheep that have adapted to a hostile climate, so it’s individual strands are very fine.  That’s why it’s so soft.  The finer the fibre, the softer the fabric, which means that it can be used for next to the skin clothing.  It’s also why it’s used in a lot of higher end clothing lines.   

Merino wool is very breathable and helps wick moisture away from your skin.  In the winter, that means that it keeps you from overheating and getting chilled.  In the summer, it does the same thing.  It wicks the moisture away from your skin and helps regulate your temperature because it keeps a layer of air next to your skin, keeping you cool.  It’s also odour-resistant, so it doesn’t need to be washed as often.  Merino wool is self cleaning! In fact, unless there are stains on your wool garments, you only need to hang them up to air them out between wearings. 

So what about the washing? 

You do have to treat wool a little more carefully than all of your cotton tops and jeans that get thrown in the washer and the dryer.  The individual wool fibres have scales on them that are only too happy to grab on to each other and hold on for dear life. 

That’s how wool felt is made.  But they will only grab on to each other if they have the perfect circumstances.  They like heat, moisture and agitation to get up and dance.   If you are trying to felt something, you toss it in the washing machine with detergent on a hot wash and cold rinse.  By the time the cycle is finished, those scales have locked on to each other, shrinking the fabric of your favourite sweater.  However, you can use that knowledge to maintain your wool garments without the felting.  Modern washing machines are very gentle on clothing (for the most part).  For most garments (but not all, please follow the washing instructions that come with your clothing) a swish through the washing machine on the cold, gentle cycle, then laying flat or hanging to dry is all you need.  You can always hand wash them as well. 

Why all this fuss about merino wool? 

Merino wool is one of the softest fibres around. It's exceptionally well suited for sensitive skin and although its uses are many and varied, where merino really shines is in any clothing that lies tightly to the skin; such as long underwear, panties,diapers and swaddling blankets. It's good for natural temperature regulation, and for babies or adults with sensitive skin it doesn't get better than merino.


It’s an amazing fibre, and merino wool knit has traditionally been hard to find in North America at a reasonably good price point. 

All that is about to change!

Koala-ty work- by Lisa Ha

I love to sew for my two young kids and two years ago I bought a serger to help me take the plunge into learning to sew with knit fabrics. I started off by sewing patterns that have cuff sleeves and ankles.  These easy projects are quick to sew from start to finish. There are so many cute patterns out there that require hemming and topstitching but I was nervous to try them because I had read that hemming knits with a sewing machine can be a bit difficult to get right.

Walking Foot!

Determined to learn a new skill, I did some research and discovered a few tricks for hemming knit fabrics.  I purchased a walking foot, some hem tape and a double needle and I selected a t-shirt dress pattern as my experiment. This adorable koala fabric from l’oiseau was perfect for this project. I selected some solid fabrics to accentuate the nose and cheeks on the koalas and bring some contrast to the dress.


My first step was to get my pattern pieces ready and the fabric all cut. I decided to modify the t-shirt dress pattern a bit to add side panels and pockets because what 2 year old doesn’t like pockets? I just cut the pattern and added seam allowance to both pieces. Now I can get creative with some colour blocking!


With all my pieces cut I’m ready to start sewing the binding to the pockets. I used my serger to attach the binding to the top, stretching slightly to ensure it lays flat. I wanted to top stitch the pocket binding so I needed to hop over to my sewing machine and install my walking foot. The instructions were very clear and once it was on, I was gliding over the knit fabric with ease…no waviness or bunching. A beautiful single needle top stitch!


I basted the pockets onto the side panels so they wouldn’t shift while serging the sides together. The walking foot helped me get the placement just right.


Next up…sleeves! I wanted to hem the sleeves before attaching them to the dress so I needed to get my double needle on my sewing machine and figure out which settings would work best. I used a Schmetz universal twin 2.0 and found after a lot of trial and error on scrap fabric the best results came with my tension settings at 9 and my stitch length at 3, Maxilock Stretch thread in the bobbin. I fiddled with the settings for maybe 20 minutes before I was happy with the results. I was so happy to see the double stitch on the sleeves and a nice zig zag on the back. Lots of stretch in the hem too!


After I serged the side seams up I tackled the bottom hem with the same great results. Hemming with a double needle is a great way to finish off garments.  I use my walking foot all the time and I love it!


Happy sewing!



First Sweater- by Kayley Fesko

I had my first baby in January of 2016 and during most nap times I would spend time looking at fabrics online. Always looking. Never purchasing. Honestly, I had no idea what the difference between all the different types of fabric – jersey, cotton, woven cottons –oh my! This is how much of a beginner I am. After endless hours of showing my partner what fabrics I liked, he showed up with a serger and told me to order some fabrics to get started. WHAT?! I have to learn a serger and fabric types all while my baby naps!


I ordered some fabric off of loiseaufabrics.com and bought a Brindle & Twig pattern to help me get started. 6 weeks and 10,000 YouTube videos later I worked on my first garment; a crewneck sweater.


I could hear my Mother’s voice in my head to prewash the fabric before I start. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the French Terry did in the washer and dryer. As I started cutting out the pattern pieces I started getting nervous about the neckline and cuffs. Baby clothes are so teeny which is another reason why I avoided making something for my son.


Here it goes! I made sure the serger was set properly and I was ready for my very first stitch joining the shoulder pieces together. I got so excited that I forgot to put the presser foot down! What a disaster! It was a big mess (luckily on a small portion). Seam ripper out. Regroup. Try again with the presser foot down this time! After the third seam I started to get the hang of it and wasn’t as intimidated by the serger noise.


All the pieces were together – arms, waistband, and cuffs were all sewn on. Next was the neckline which I had been dreading. I marked the center front, back, and sides of the neckband and of the sweater and pinned them together with these fancy clips that I had learned about during one of the many online sewing tutorials that I watched. As I started sewing the neckband I realized just how nice the terry and the ribbing actually were.


I held my breath when I finished and flipped it right side out and started analyzing. It looked amazing! I was so impressed with my FIRST serging project and I couldn’t believe how easy it was. What took me so long to start? Now, I’m slightly addicted. Can I conquer pockets? Zippers? Elastic waistbands? I might as well try! There really isn’t anything a seam ripper can’t help.


I’m really interested in creating a capsule wardrobe for my son. A capsule wardrobe is a wardrobe with LESS items but higher quality ones. All the pieces can mix and match to provide a nice fashionable look. This may be my 2-3 year goal but I’m willing to build up my skills to get there.

Hail Mimi, full of Grace- By Mel Henry (Filles a Maman)

Hello everyone, I am Mel and I am the designer of Filles à Maman(FAM). I am from the South Shore of Quebec City. I've been sewing since I was a child. Sewing is my hobby, my exit, my sanity.

This week I had the pleasure of collaborating with the l'OISEAU FABRICS using one of their beautiful knits to sew a long sleeve Mimi shirt.

The flowered pattern fabric is called "Grace" by Hilco. It is a blend of viscose (96%) and elastic (4%). Knits with viscose are extremely soft and comfortable, they are a perfect choice for sweaters or dresses. Between the time I chose this beauty on the site and the time I write these lines, this fabric was sold out. Lesson number 1: Buy when you have a favorite, NEVER wait.


Bonjour tout le monde, je suis Mel et je suis la designer des Filles à Maman (FAM). Je suis originaire de la Rive-Sud de Québec. Je couds depuis que je suis toute petite. La couture c'est mon passe-temps, mon exutoire, le moyen que j'ai pour garder ma santé mentale dans cette vie qui va à 100km/heures.

Cette semaine, j'ai eu le bonheur de collaborer avec l'Oiseau en utilisant un de leur magnifiques tricots pour coudre un Mimi en version chandail à manches longues.

Le tissu à motif de fleurs s'appelle "Grace" de la compagnie Hilco. C'est un mélange de viscose (96%) et d'élastane (4%). Les mélanges de tissu avec viscose sont extrêmement doux et confortables, ils sont un choix parfait pour des chandails ou des robes. Entre le moment où j'ai choisi le tricot sur le site et le moment où j'écris ces lignes, ce tissu a été tout vendu. Leçon numéro 1: Acheter quand on a un coup de coeur, ne JAMAIS attendre.

Mel Henry


Mel Henry

On the other hand, l'Oiseau Fabrics has an extraordinary inventory. I took the opportunity to browse again to show you my favorites. Click on the images for links and descriptions. Note that these choices are jerseys that you can also use to sew the Mimi. They are also approved by my daughters who scream: "OooHHHH Yes Mom I want THIS one! !!!!!!"

D'un autre côté, l'Oiseau ont un inventaire extraordinaire. J'en ai profité pour fouiner encore pour vous montrer mes coups de coeur. Cliquez sur les images pour les liens et descriptions. Notez que ces choix sont des jerseys que vous pouvez aussi utiliser pour coudre le Mimi. Ils sont aussi approuvés par mes filles qui ont eu des gros:"OooHHHH Oui Maman je veux luiiiiii!!!!"




Mel Henry

For this sewing, it is the Mimi that immediately came to me in the head with its contrasting/asymmetrical peter pan collar. Instead of the curved hem, I preferred to make a hem with a bottom band added because it was to be worn inside the overalls.

Pour cette confection, c'est le Mimi qui m'est tout de suite venu dans la tête avec son col claudine asymétique en couleur contrastante. À la place de l'ourlet courbé, j'ai préféré faire un ourlet avec une bande ajoutée parce que c'était pour être porté à l'intérieur de la salopette.

Mel Henry

The pattern I used for the overalls is the Loveralls from Petit to Petit. It is a real favorite, I participated in the test of this pattern skirt and pants versions. This time, I wanted to upcycle a jeans to see the effect. The pattern is designed for a fabric with a bit of stretch and as my jeans had almost none. I made one size bigger than the measurements of A. The fit is spot on, the size is perfect.

Le patron de la salopette, c'est le Loveralls de Petit à Petit. C'est un vrai coup de coeur, j'ai participé au test de ce patron version jupe et version pantalons. Cette fois-ci j'avais envie de recycler un jeans pour voir l'effet. Le patron est conçu pour un tissu avec un peu d'extensibilité et comme mon jeans n'en avait presque pas, j'ai fait une grandeur de plus que les mesures de A. C'est pile poil dedans, la grandeur est parfaite.

Mel Henry


Mel Henry


The Mimi shirt and dress pattern for girls and women will be on sale for $ 5 CND until December 31st 2016. Use the MIMIOISEAU code on www.fillesamaman.net

Le patron du chandail et de la robe de Mimi pour filles et pour femmes sera en vente au prix de 5$CND jusqu'au 31 décembre 2016. Utilisez le code MIMIOISEAU sur www.fillesamaman.net


Note that the knit was provided by l'OISEAU FABRICS but that the opinions are mine. I loved sewing this fabric. <3

Thanks Colin and Michelle.

Good sewing!


Notez que le tricot a été fourni par l'Oiseau mais que les opinions sont les miennes. J'ai adoré coudre ce tissu. <3

Merci Colin et Michelle.

Bonne couture!






Burger Raglan- By Tiah Ranger

Because there are days. Days when you just need to take a break from the to-do list and sew something happy. Because Halloween costumes are *almost* done and the forecast is calling for warm weather over the Thanksgiving long weekend.. Because every fall should be celebrated with one final BBQ and what better than a burger shirt to kick off the festivities.

I bought this Digital Burger print and coordinating Basic Green jersey knit to make a raglan shirt. I used the Lane Raglan pattern by Hey June Handmade.  I think Raglans are great for showcasing funky prints; tone it down with an interesting sleeve, or go all out with main panels.

After a rough evening of cranky sick kids, this was the perfect project to renew my sanity.  A quick sew, I was able to cut and sew this in under 2.5 hours! Win! In my opinion, a blissful way to spend an evening. After reading about wonder tape I decided to give it a try on this curved hem - it deserves its name!

wonder tape.jpg


It's a double sided tape that holds your hem in place while you sew, making it super simple to maintain the perfect line and preventing unwanted gathering/puckering. The tape dissolves in the wash.  I've never attempted a curved hem before and didn't want to chance ruining my shirt.

Sure, a burger shirt is probably better for the summer months but when I'm out shoveling my car out of a snowbank in January and come in to peel off my snowsuit to the sight of this shirt, I'll be smiling in spite of it all. And it's definitely helping to keep a smile on this tired Momma's face this morning!  Who knows, maybe in the spring I'll shorten the sleeves - that's the beauty of Handmade!



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,



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!  



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