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Make & Munch

Make & Munch

Help us support the Superheroes of Victoria by munching on granola and getting crafty!

We’ll be serving up granola and making 2 & 3D felt food from 9am-12pm at The Makehouse in the company of some very special guests!

Sponsored by Singing Bowl Granola, Lifestyle Markets & Select Stores The Makehouse and

Participation is by donation to Superheroes of Victoria

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AT THE MAKEHOUSE: Pattern Making Essentials with Alexandra Morgan

Pattern making blocks

Written by Cady Brimacombe of Cady Made

Pattern Making Essentials is a 5-week course at The Makehouse taught by the very experienced Alexandra Morgan. Alexandra studied a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Fashion Design at Ryerson University and has worked as a pattern maker, designer, technical designer, and fit technician since 1995, specializing in women’s wear. She has her own pattern making company, In-House Patterns, and also teaches private lessons here in Victoria.

Over the last five weeks I attended Alexandra’s pattern making class. Pattern making is the practice of turning a sketch into flat pieces that will be sewn together to fit and flatter a three-dimensional body. I loved this class. It was the best combination of math and precise measurements mixed with creativity and problem solving. The workshop covers foundational knowledge about how a pattern is designed as well as how the design and layout of a pattern on a certain type of fabric will affect the end shape of the garment. Alexandra has so much knowledge about pattern making. She explains and demos the pattern making techniques in easy to understand methods while also giving students lots of time to practice the techniques.

I attended a pattern making class about a year ago at the Makehouse and I was excited to further improve my skills with this new 5-week course. This class is perfect for you if you are new to sewing and want more of an understanding about how patterns work together, or if you work with sew-at-home patterns a lot and would like advice about how to manipulate them to better fit your body.

In the first few classes we covered the bodice and skirt blocks and how to manipulate those to make different shapes. With the skirt block we started with a straight skirt pattern, and manipulated it into different styles of skirts including an A-line skirt, flared skirt, and four-gore skirt with a yoke. With the bodice block we worked on single and double dart manipulations and moved darts around the bodice to create different looks.

In the last few classes we worked on understanding how to add ease and remove ease in order to change the way a garment fits. We started with adding ease to the bodice block in order to make a basic button up shirt. With this we removed darts, changed the styling, added a pleat, a facing, and a collar, and shortened the sleeves from long sleeves to short sleeves. This practice was a great opportunity to see how something can be changed from one shape to another while maintaining consistent fit measurements.

Next, we focused on removing ease to create a contoured dress that fits closely to the body. This project was mostly bodice manipulations where we removed ease in relation to the bust point. Then we separated the bodice block to create an empire waist and changed the neckline to be deeper and the shoulder width to a strap. For the skirt of the dress we changed the straight skirt into a flared skirt.

Throughout the course Alexandra offered many tips and techniques for creating a more professional looking finished garment. Here of some of my favourite ones that she shared with us.

Tips for pattern making:

  1. Walk your patterns and make sure that all seams match up properly. This is especially important if you have changed any styling or manipulated any darts. This will make things so much easier when you are trying to stitch pieces together and are wondering why certain seams aren’t lining up.
  2. When manipulating darts for the bodice, pull the dart back from the bust point about half an inch to get a better fit and no pointy corners. As cool as Madonna’s cone bra was, you don’t really want that for your handmade summer dress.
  3. When creating patterns and when cutting the fabric, make sure to draw on the notches. This will help you keep track of back and front pattern pieces and will lead to less confusion when you are trying to put together a yoke and a skirt piece and wondering which are the front and back pieces.
  4. Ensure that seam lines and waistlines are at 90 degree angles. This will create a nice straight edge when the two seams are sewn together rather than dipping down or creating a point on the seam where the front and back pieces meet.

Pattern Making Essentials is one of my favourite classes at The Makehouse. The next class will be held in the fall, so make sure to pencil it in to your calendar. Other ways to get your pattern making fix are the Fit Nights where you can bring your latest project and get some feedback on how to make it fit better, and the Skirt Block and Bodice Block classes where you can create blocks that fit your personal measurements.

Keep on designing on.

xx Cady

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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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Holiday Makers Market 2017

Holiday Makers Market

Join us for our annual holiday makers market featuring some of Victoria’s finest artisans!

This year our market is a daytime event taking place at our brand new location in the Douglas Centre (right behind Lifestyle Markets on Douglas Street).

Music and treats along with a few surprises in store!

When? Saturday November 25th, 2017 – 10am-5pm

Where? The Makehouse – 2950 Douglas Street Victoria, BC V8T 4N4

Market Vendors

Studio Robazzo
Radjuli Leather Designs
Suebi Apparel
Miss Belle’s Caravan
Two Blooms Design Studio
Uniquely Cedra
Annelly Art & Illustration
Hearts and Woodcrafts
Coral Barclay Fine Artist
Puck Clothing

Facebook Event Page

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The Makehouse is Hiring

The Makehouse - Retail Fabric

The Makehouse is looking to welcome a new part-time staff member to our team!

We are a one-of-a-kind sewing studio and retail store offering a diverse range of workshops for children and adults. We carry a range of sewing patterns, fabrics, books, notions and tools. We are a small team committed to carrying great products & delivering the best customer service.

As a growing business we’re looking for an experienced & reliable Retail Sales Associate to join our team on a part-time basis. The ideal candidate will demonstrate the following:

  • Outgoing personality, positive attitude, great communication skills
  • Retail sales experience
  • A desire to deliver a strong customer experience that exceeds expectations
  • A genuine interest in sewing and the products we carry
  • Excellent math skills and a good memory
  • Able to follow direction & work independently
  • Reliable and stable lifestyle
  • Well established, mature work ethic
  • Able to work entire shift removed from personal social media, e.g. cell phone or Facebook
  • Attention to detail & the ability to work efficiently under pressure

A background in sewing is essential for this position as you will be helping customers chose fabrics, patterns and notions for their projects. Our amazing customers make up Victoria’s diverse sewing/textile community. Staff members must be friendly, knowledgeable and enjoy helping others.


Resume must be current with at least three previous employers listed.

Please apply in person or via email to and let us know why The Makehouse needs you! Please visit our website ( and familiarize yourself with what we do before applying and be sure to include a cover letter.

Thank you in advance for your application. Due to time constraints, we will only contact you if we are interested in setting up an interview.

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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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Market 2016 – Sneak Peak

Ruth & Nelly Vintage - vintage needle point and vinyl handbags

Holiday Makers Market 2016

Join us at The Makehouse on Thursday, November 24th between 4-9pm for our fourth annual late night shopping event sponsored by

We have a diverse group of makers slated for this year’s market so that you’ll find something for everyone on your holiday gift list (and maybe a few treats for yourself too). The Makehouse will be featuring our largest selection of bamboo underwear for ladies and this year gentlemen too!

Here’s a preview of some of the creative art and gifts you’ll find this year (click on any title for links to artist pages)!


Atinuke has begun experimenting with natural dyes and fabrics to make cushions, scarves and other one-of-a-kind textiles. This compliments her line of handknit jewellery, which combines organic yarns with vintage chain and charms.

Hearts & Woodcrafts

Gina Haddrick creates the most tranquil works featuring coastal subjects such as light houses, beach huts and caravans hand carved and painted from driftwood.

Poke and Paws

Poke and Paw is the master mind of Victoria’s Brianne Rand. She creates detailed needle felted animals, creatures and mobiles. She will feature her signature faux taxidermy at the market!

Suebi Apparel

Suebi Apparel creates one-of-a-kind totes, bags, and accessories. Currently working on a line of cross-body bags and handbags made from faux leather and vivid prints.

Two Blooms Design Studio

Two Blooms Design Studio has re-branded and re-introduced our silversmithing talents!  We’ll have our famous candles (including our new coconut wax one) and our fabulous new jewelry line.

Ruth & Nelly Vintage and Handmade

Darcie, an elementary teacher-librarian, named her Etsy shop after her two grandmothers: Ruth and Nelly.

“Ruth and Nelly Vintage and Handmade was founded out of a love of crafting with an environmentally-friendly focus. Using recycled and upcycled materials sourced from local thrift shops, Ruth and Nelly specializes in OOAK bags, scarves and hand embroidered pillows. With Ruth and Nelly, I hope to provide unique vintage finds for those looking to enjoy quality in the everyday.”

Uniquely Cedra

Known primarily for her magnets, Uniquely Cedra has been dabbling in larger scale decorative tiles and quirky collage pieces.

“Uniquely Cedra will help you stuff your stockings! Cedra’s vibrant and eclectic collection of handmade vintage inspired magnets, matchboxes and trinket boxes are perfect gifts for the discernible folk on Santa’s list.”

Jessie Beauvilliers

Black and white illustrated prints and cards displayed on piano with sewing machine on top.

 My name is Jessie Beauvilliers and I was born in Quebec, but I hitchhiked across the country when I was 17 years old all the way to Victoria, B.C. During my travels, I’ve seen so many beautiful places, fascinating animals and wonderful people. I started to sketch and paint everything I saw. With a twist of imagination and lots of practice I have been able to create some pieces I am really proud of using a simple fine tip pen.

Radjuli Custom Designs

Always up for a challenge, Radjuli recently remade box cushions in leather for a local tour boat.
She’ll be bringing a selection of wallets & bags made from the offcuts!

“Radjuli’s fabulous leather accessories are part cowboy, part steampunk and all West Coast! Crafted exclusively from offcut and reclaimed leathers, vintage belts and unique hardware, this is wearable art that is built to last!”

Miss Belle’s Caravan



Miss Belle is having a grand old time working with felt and embroidery. The latest creations are Mad Money Bags with baby animal appliqué and teeny tiny Tooth Fairy Bags!

Sugar + Candy


​Every Sugar + Candy bag is handmade by Mandy Greyling Holmwood – from sketch to template to prototype to production.  When you buy a Sugar + Candy bag, you can be confident in its uniqueness, its durability, and of course, its style (you picked it, so it MUST be stylish!). 


We hope to see you there!

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Halloween Costume Fabric Sale

Halloween yellow Star Trek shirt with toy communicator

We are hosting our annual Halloween fabric sale!

Every year we do a one off sale where you can fill a bag for $5 on selected fabrics, trims and odds n’ ends suitable for costume making in all types and colours in big and small pieces!

Halloween fabrics include:

Fun fur, spandex, shiny bits, sparkly bits, solid colours (stretch & non-stretch), prints, pieces of leather, vinyl and more.

We also have a selection of adult and kids costume patterns for just $4 each!

This event is from 12pm – 4pm.

First come, first serve. Get down early to get all the ghoul deals!

Shopping bags provided by


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Skampede – Ride Deco Station

Join Theatre Skam for an outdoor festival of small batch performance,  SKAMpede is suitable for the whole family. You can bike, walk, rollerblade, scooter, or skateboard and take in a series of short shows presented along Harbour Road and the Galloping Goose Trail.

The Makehouse will be on-site with a decorating station where you can customize your ride! If you’re interested in volunteering to help riders decorate please contact jenny(at) or call 778-430-6253.

July 9-10, 2016SKAMpede

Noon – 6:00 PM

Location: Harbour Road

Ticket Prices: Adult – $10, Children (12 and Under) – FREE

Photo Courtesy of Bohemian Trails
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Upcycling Men’s Shirts

We are huge advocates of upcycling clothing and making the most of fabric scraps. If you can’t pass it on at one of our legendary clothing swaps, then turn it into something else.

You can follow us on Pinterest for a ton of upcycling ideas or attend one of our Wardrobe Surgery workshops to learn techniques and tips to turn clothing you can’t wear anymore into revived functional fashion pieces.

This blog post focuses on upcycling men’s shirts. Men’s formal shirts can be picked up cheaply in very good used condition and there are so many fun options for them.

Turn a man’s shirt into a summer skirt or dress


There is a really easy way to do this and that’s just to climb into a men’s shirt and wrap the sleeves around your waist. Or you could tailor something. This is a nice and easy skirt from men’s shirt pattern on (image shown) whilst there are many links to dress patterns on our Pinterest board, from easy pinafores to structured peplum styles.

From men’s shirt to girl’s shirt


Boys can wear girl’s, who wear boy’s, who wear girl’s! But if you want something a little more feminine there are lots of great options. Our favourite is this cute tank style shirt because of the added bow.

Turn men’s shirts into kid’s clothes

Daddy's little girl dress

Again, lots of options here but the love the classic pinafore style dress like this one from

Turn men’s shirts into cute collars

We love an added Peter Pan collar and it’s so easy to do from men’s shirts of any size. Check out this tutorial from Leafy Treetop for an easy to follow Peter Pan collar pattern.

Patterns galore

Remember we have a large selection of patterns online and in-store that can help you on your way to upcycled clothing heaven!

patterns galore