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.
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.