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Make in May Fabric & Pattern Sale


Visit The Makehouse from May 13-31st and save big on fabric and patterns! We’re making room for a couple of new brands so this is a great chance to get a deal on materials for your next make!

Buy one get one free on all rolled remnants, selected fat quarters and sewing patterns.

BUY ONE GET ONE FREE PATTERNS – Brands include Vogue, McCall’s, Burda, Simplicity, Kwik Sew, New Look and more.

Colette and Victory Patterns are 50% off while stocks last.

Save 15% on all regular priced fabrics and patterns including new arrivals!

Tues 10 – 6 | Weds – Thurs 10 – 8 | Fri – Sat 10 – 5 | Sun 12 – 4

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2 for MOM Sale

Mother's Day Mom Sale

To celebrate our Mother’s Day we’re holding a 2 for MOM Sale on Saturday May 13th from 10am-6pm!

Bring mom shopping with you or surprise her at Sunday brunch!

Here’s what’s included in the sale:


Fat Quarters (yes including Cotton + Steel!)
All Fabric Remnants or Pre-Cuts


Ribbons (but the meter or pre-cut bundles)
Lace Remnants & Appliques
Buttons (individual & packaged)

Locally Made:

Cotton Tea Towels & Napkins (made in-house)
Cushions (made in-house)
Ladies Bamboo Underwear (made in-house)


Womenswear, menswear, childrenswear, accessories, quilting, homewares & costumes from McCall’s, Simplicity, Vogue, Butterick, Burda, Quick Sew & New Look


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Made by You – April 2017

March was a big month for sewing here in Victoria! Here are some of the things that you’ve been making!

Striped Bamboo Moneta Dress – made in the Sewing with Knits workshop
Striped Bamboo Moneta Dress – made in the Sewing with Knits workshop
Cotton + Bamboo Knit top – made at Fashion Camp
Wonderland Skirt – made at Fashion Camp
Wardrobe Surgery lace applique top – made at Fashion Camp
Dress cut in 2 to create a new dress and skirt – made at Fashion Camp


Hand Embroidered Tag – made by student after the Talking Threads with Diana Weymar workshop


Tee-Shirt Quilt – made in the Memory Quilt workshop with Caroline Heinrichs
Bubble Skirt and Lace Top – made at Fashion Camp
Felt Unicorn – sewn at Make Camp
Felt Elephant – hand sewn at Make Camp
Fabric Flower – hand sewn at Make Camp
Felt Cat – hand sewn at Make Camp
Bamboo Underwear made in workshop
Felt Orca Pillow – machine sewn at Make Camp
Handmade doll – created at Make Club
Pusheen Pillow – machine sewn at Make Camp
Pusheen Pillow – machine sewn at Make Camp

If you have awesome projects that you would like to share, please send them by email to jenny(at)!

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Remembering Linda

I was saddened to hear about the sudden passing of our neighbour, friend and colleague, Linda Rafuse of Satin Moon Quilted Garden.  Linda had recently re-located her business to Fort Street about a year or so before I opened The Makehouse.  She was a welcoming neighbour and always supportive of my ideas as well as offering feedback and suggestions. In the early days, Linda even loaned me a few of her spare machines, while I was getting my workshops off the ground. She would even on occasion, hand deliver bags of emergency toy stuffing when we ran out and had a shop full of sewing camp kids!

Linda could always be found sewing in her front window and we will miss seeing her smiling face on my way to work every day. Linda was a true community member and was always in grand spirits despite often working long hours in the shop. She was a true fabric and quilt enthusiast and shared her love and passion through her shop and quilt shows throughout the year.

Gala Fabrics recently posted that there will be a Celebration of Life Tea Party honouring Linda on Monday, July 4th 2016 at the Marigold Scout Hall (505 Marigold Rd, Saanich, BC) from 7-9pm. Feel free to wear pink – her favourite colour!

Photo courtesy of Patricia Belyea from Okan Arts

Posted by Jenny Ambrose

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Know Your Needles

There are a lot of variable in sewing, which can be overwhelming especially in the very beginning! Below is a guide for purchasing and using your sewing machine needles. Print it out and keep it in your sewing area so you remember to change your needles to best suit your sewing project!

If you want to delve even further into the history of machine needles, you can visit the Schmetz website here.

The two most important things to know about choosing sewing machine needles are the type and the size.

You should select the type of needle based on the textile construction (i.e. knit vs. woven fabrics), and the needle size is determined by the thickness of the thread and the weight of the fabric you will be using for your project.


Image via Schmetz Needles

It helps to understand the different parts of a home sewing machine needle.

• The shank is the part of the needle that fits into your sewing machine, with the flat side to the back.

• The blade is what determines the needle size. (For example, a size 75 needle has a blade that is .75 mm in diameter.)

• The shaft is the “body” of the needle, and the groove that runs the length of the shaft holds the needle thread. Did you know that the diameter of the thread you are using should take up no more than 40% of the groove?

• The point and tip of the needle refer to the size, shape and length — all of which vary based on the type of needle.

• The scarf of the needle is an indentation on the backside that allows the bobbin hook to smoothly grab the thread under the sewing machine throat plate to create a proper stitch.

Needle types

There are three main types of needles that are used for the majority of sewing, as well as many specialty needles.

• Universal needles have a slightly rounded tip, and this general purpose needle should be used on wovens as well as some sturdy knits.

• Jersey needles have a medium ballpoint tip designed especially for knit fabrics because it slips between the knit fibers and does not break or damage them while sewing.

• Stretch needles, often confused with Jersey needles, are also a medium ballpoint tip, but these have a special eye and scarf that are designed for extremely stretchy fabrics and elastic. Swimwear is an ideal application for this type of needle.

In addition to the three most widely used needle types, there are also specialty needles for sewing with denim and leather, sewing suede, topstitching, needlepoint and embroidery, along with specific needles for quilting. Remember to select the needle first based on fabric type or usage, and then determine the correct size based on the weight of the fabric and the size of the thread you will be using.

Needle sizing

There are two needle sizing systems: American and European. American needle sizes range from 8 to 19, and European sizes range from 60 to 120. The larger the number, the larger the blade of the needle. Often you will see both sizing numbers on the needle package, such as 60/8 and 70/10.

Home sewing machine needles are also classified as the 130/705 H system, which means they are for use in home sewing machines rather than industrial machines. That designation means the needles have a flat shank and a scarf.

Needle lifespan

Needles are one of the least expensive components in a sewing project, so feel free to change your needle after one or 2 new projects. Sewing machine needles only have a lifespan of 6 to 8 hours of sewing time, but that can be even less if the fabric is particularly tough to sew. In short, change your needles often as you run the risk of damaging your project by using a dull needle.