Sewing Projects


I rarely make patterns more than once (unless it’s one I’ve drafted & tested a billion times, natch). I’m a bit of a magpie and I love a new pretty, shiny thing. There are so many exciting designs out there, it can be challenging to return to something you’ve already made, even if you know it just works.

BHL Ikat Anna by Closet Case Files-5BHL Ikat Anna by Closet Case Files-9BHL Ikat Anna by Closet Case Files-3

This pattern works, like a Missy Elliott jam. One of my favourite makes last year was a black and white print Anna, and I wore her TO DEATH. Most of Montreal is now well acquainted with my left thigh; it was always the most perfect thing to wear on a hot day, on a date, to work, to bed, etc. It seemed right to make another pretty printed number to hang alongside her. When I saw this cobalt ikat silk noil, it was a no brainer.

This love story does have its share of heartbreak; I picked up this silk at the closing sale of the Fabricville in downtown Montreal. Fabricville is the big sewing chain in Quebec, and while they have far too much polyester in stock to make it my go-to destination for fabric, this location was my favourite place to stop on my way home from work to pick up notions and sewing ephemera. There are no other locations near me, and I have to get a lot more creative when I have last minute sewing needs these days. This marks the 4th sewing store closure in my city in the past 2 years; more reasons to shop in person when we can. There may be more of us sewing these days, but a lot of it is done online, and the analog shops are having a hell of a time holding on. RIP downtown Fabricville. You are missed.

BHL Ikat Anna by Closet Case Files-7 BHL Ikat Anna by Closet Case Files-2BHL Ikat Anna by Closet Case Files-6

My second Anna was made much like the first, although I wanted to fix my back gaping issue. I pinched out the access on the first Anna, and noticed some front gaping as a result. I used Ginger’s tutorial to take out about an inch of excess in the front and back. Took about 10 minutes to transfer the changes to my pattern pieces and now this beauty fits perfectly.

If you’ve never sewn with silk noil before, I HIGHLY recommend it. It has a lovely soft, nubby texture and it drapes and sews beautifully. It has none of the sheen or polish of a traditional silk, but its cottony hand makes it the perfect choice for lightweight summer sewing. Because the weave isn’t super dense, I try to wash it infrequently and on the delicate cycle.

I whipped this up a few days before a friend’s wedding, and paired it with my new most favourite shoes (gold Hasbeens, *long drawn out sigh*) and a crazy beaded chevron necklace I picked up on one of my rare trips to a retail store. And because I’ve re-embraced colour, I matched my eyelashes to the dress with some bananas blue mascara I bought on a whim.

BHL Ikat Anna by Closet Case Files-8

Blame Anna. She brings out the magpie in me.

Photos by Guillaume Gilbert