Sew Canada!

Happy Canada Day, everyone!

I love supporting Canadian pattern designers and fabric stores, so I thought it would be fun to run coast to coast and highlight our talented sewing community! We are small, but mighty!

First, a land acknowledgement because celebrating Canada means we must also face our complicated colonial history. My home is situated on treaty land that is steeped in rich indigenous history and home to many First Nations, Inuit and Métis people today. We have a responsibility for the stewardship of the land on which we live and work. Today I acknowledge the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation of the Anishinaabek Peoples on whose traditional territory I live.

East Coast:

I’m ashamed to say I don’t know any designers from the Maritimes! Are there any? Fill me in! What are your best stores that sell online? (Here are two articles about Inuit sewists who were commissioned to make a one-of-a-kind parkas for Canada Goose label.)

Quebec: Jalie and Closet Case Patterns

If push came to shove, I could happily sew an entire wardrobe for every season from just these two companies! They are both known for excellent drafting and wearable designs. Jalie is a family company run out of a garage from 1982 til last year when they finally moved into a dedicated space! I’ve met both mom and daughter in person, and they are delightful. I met Heather from Closet Case Patterns back when it was still a one-woman show but now they have a growing team. I appreciate Closet Case Patterns for alternating beginner friendly patterns with intermediate designs, and for the uplifting pep talks Heather has given along the years! Their drafts really works for my figure – I’ve made pants by a lot of companies, but all that’s left in my drawer is Closet Case Patterns!

Ontario: Victory Patterns, Ohhh Lulu, Emerald Erin and Pin Up Girls

If you want to lounge in lingerie and a sexy robe, Ontario pattern companies have you covered! Ohhh Lulu, Emerald Erin and Pin Up Girls (aka. Bra Makers Supply) are all lingerie companies. PUG will give you a serviceable, well-supported look, and Ohhh Lulu will get you ready for a boudoir shoot or everyday comfort. Emerald Erin is right in the middle! Victory Patterns used to do vintage inspired looks but now their patterns are all about chic modern drama. Wanna be an urban It Girl? Sew Victory! (I’ve meet Kristianne too, and she is kind and fun!)

British Columbia: Thread Theory and In-House Patterns (OOPS! I originally had both these companies labeled as from the Prairies!!! Don’t let me teach geography!)

I’ve only sewn one pattern each from these two companies – oops! I’m not sure if In-House Patterns is still running, but I’ve always hear good things about their fitting courses! Thread Theory dominates the menswear market, and I appreciate that their stores sells not only their own designs, but other menswear patterns as well. If you dream of being a homesteader and living in touch with nature, then you have got to read their blog!

(More) British Columbia: Sewaholic and Helen’s Closet

The past and the future of Canadian indies! I ADORED Sewaholic when I first started sewing – they are designed for a pear like me, and Tasia made such thoughtful and interesting designs. The pattern company was sold and hasn’t released anything since, but if you fit into the size range (remember when indies all stopped at size 16?) they are still classic patterns. Helen’s Closet is leading the charge with an expanded size range and modern, boxy, effortless patterns. I met Helen last summer and she is a gem! Can’t forget the Love To Sew podcast, either, which has united the sewing world each week. (Here’s me on Episode 11, if you want a flash from the past.) I hope that sewists starting now are getting the same great education from Helen’s Closet that I got from Sewaholic!

I’m proud of the Canadian Indie scene, and and I love contributing to our community by pattern testing. I’ve pattern tested for Closet Case Patterns, Jalie, Thread Theory, and Helen’s Closet.

Which Canadian designers have you sewn? Did I miss anyone? Please let me know below if I forgot to feature a Canadian pattern designer! And if you want to know more about Canadian fabric stores, I’ve got a post about my favourite places to buy knits in Canada. I’m off to a family BBQ for Canada Day – wearing my Canadian Two-Piece Set-Tacular!

Edited: Here’s a few designers I forgot or didn’t know about! Thanks to people who suggested them! I’ll keep adding to this list.


30 thoughts on “Sew Canada!

    1. I”m so glad you enjoyed your visit! I’ve never been out to the west coast myself but I hear nothing but good things!

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  1. Happy Canada Day. There is one designer that has created many patterns over the years. Check out http://www.macphee workshop.com. Linda Macphee is a delightful, creative lady. I started out making Eskimo jackets for myself and sons in the early 70’s.

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  2. I have sewn using patterns from many of these companies, but must say Helen’s Closet gets the highest praise from me. Well drafted and great for every day. I am in love with my Carolyn pjs from Closet Case though. HappyCanada Day to our great neighbors to the North. I’m lucky enough to live in easy driving distance to Ontario. Heading to Toronto in a few weeks!

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  3. Happy Canada Day! It is early here in Victoria but we are already up and discussing our plans for today! My parents came to this country after the War as young adults and were thankful and proud to be accepted as Canadians. They passed this on to their children and grandchildren! 🇨🇦 Are you including fledging pattern companies in your list? If so, thank you! I have been sewing bags etc for many years for customers and have just been asked by a fellow sewist for a copy of my patterns, so I started releasing my patterns on https://lanyoshandmade.com Come over for a visit! I’d love to meet you! Happy Canada Day everyone!

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    1. OH THE SHAME! I’ve fixed that now… because I’m pretty sure In-House Patterns is also in BC now, though I swear she started elsewhere? Thank you for correcting me! 🙂

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  4. Great roundup!! I had no idea that the Jalie designers JUST moved to a studio. Just goes to show that work is where the heart is 🙂 I’d love to meet them – their designs really encompass that whimsical Quebecois way. And, while the east coast may not have indie sewing designers at the moment (though I do hope someone tells us otherwise), they’re well represented in the fibre grower / indie dyer / yarn scene.

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    1. Isn’t it crazy that they worked out of a literal garage until then? It is still a really small team, and they clearly are hard workers!

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  5. Just loved this subject. I am Canadian and just started to sew my onw garments. Can we stay in touch please. I would like to correspond with my fellow Cdn sewists and maybe we could get together???

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  6. What a great list! I knew a couple were from Canada but not all!In house is still running, but she is based in Victoria, BC and has done some workshops at Blackbird 😉Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

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  7. Happy Canada Day, and thank you for taking the opportunity to recognize the idigenous people of your region. I’ve just jumped in to the wonderful world of bra making and Canada certainly is well represented for designers and supply sources. And some great bloggers.

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  8. What a great list! I have been a jalie fan from way back, delighted they are expanding. Happy Canada day to everyone! We unhappy people south of the border cling to the hope of being more like you again some day..

    But I am wondering sewcialists?? Is this merely a failure to renew the domain? Do you need any help?

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  9. Jan bones with her lingerie line. Don’t know if she’s still teaching and designing, but I have a lot of her patters.

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  10. Awesome work acknowledging your first peoples 🙂 as an Australian it’s awesome to see since we are in the same boat. You rock Gillian 🙂

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