Hey y’all. If you follow me on instagram you probably noticed a flurry of photos last week while I was working on a new home studio. You might remember my old set-up; it was the first thing you saw when you walked into my apartment. Which basically meant I was greeted with a huge mess whenever I came home. I wanted to be able to shut the door on my cats (they live to screw with me when I’m working), isolate my work from the rest of my life, and get a little more sunlight. My living room has a big north facing bay window and it’s nice and bright all day long so I moved next door.

Closet Case Files Studio 1Closet Case Files studio-10Closet Case Files studio-9Closet Case Files studio-3

When I was looking for studio inspiration (you can check out my Pinterest board here), I gravitated towards bright, white, Scandinavian-style spaces. White walls help light bounce around and let whatever you’re working on be the focus of attention. I was craving something clean and calm; the sort of room you can spend hours in joyfully.

Closet-Case-Files-studio-24 Closet Case Files studio-17 Closet Case Files studio-14 Closet Case Files studio-4Being in this room is like taking a Xanax. I’ve never take a Xanax but I imagine it is exactly like being in a room filled with shades of white and weird ceramic monkeys holding radishes. If I’m wrong I don’t wanna be right.

The desks are glossy white tabletops from Ikea with gold spray-painted trestle legs. I whitewashed my old pine shelves and bought a big piece of foamcore to use as an inspiration board over my sewing station. An old frame I found in the street a few years back was the perfect fit for my thread rack. And plants. Lots and lots of plants.

The only thing left to do is to switch out the light fixture for a chandelier I have in the other room so I have more light at night. I also bought a huge sheet of pegboard for my serger thread but I don’t want to take up any more wall space so I currently have a huge bag of spools with no permanent home. Baby steps.

Closet-Case-Files-studio-25Closet Case Files studio-12And I built the greatest cutting table of all time. WITH MY BARE HANDS. After years of hunching over my dining table, my number one priority was building something at a comfortable height to cut fabric and draft patterns. It took a few days of sanding and staining, but I now have a huge 3′ by 6′ table on castors that I can move around if I need to. This is a completely affordable DIY project requiring minimal tools and know-how; I’ll be sharing a post about it’s construction next week in case anyone is interested in building their own.

Closet Case Files studio-19

I made sure I left one wall blank if I need to photograph makes in the dead of winter when -30 temperatures make posing outside a challenge. Since my cutting table table is so mobile, this wall doubles as my pressing station.

Closet Case Files studio-23Closet Case Files Studio 27

All the stained glass in apartment makes me feel like I’m in a little jewel box while I’m working. In short, I’m in heaven right now. Ten hour days go by in the blink of an eye. I shoulda done this years ago!



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whats doing vol 7


whats doing vol 7

Another week, another wack of inspiration from around the web.


I’m loving all of the Oonapalooza projects cropping up. The Cashmerette’s psychedelic wrap dress is no exception.

Rachel’s birthday dress brought a huge smile to my face.

My dad used to drag me to baseball games under the misapprehension that if you give a kid enough hot dogs she’ll eventually grow to love the game. That never happened. I’ll always prefer books to those things where you put the round object in the hole. I think Erin’s dress is the closest I’ll ever come to saying “I love baseball (themed outfits)”.

Fickle Sense is slowly unveiling all her wedding photos. She’s one of the most creative makers out there – her bridesmaid’s dress is no exception.

More Oanapalooza goodness – Amy at Sew Well made a trio of beautiful Polly tops in ode to the queen of pattern mixing.

I’m in love with Devra’s liberty sundress.

Roisin combined two of my favourite things in the world – wax print and the BHL Anna dress. Be still, heart.


Cindy explained a new, more precise method for doing RTW rub-offs.

If you’re a vintage pattern-phile I highly suggest subscribing to Pattern Vault. Sarah is a meticulous researcher with a deep knowledge of fashion history. I loved this post on the history of jumpsuits in sewing patterns.


Anyone as obsessed with Joanna Newsom as I am (a staggeringly talented composer/songwriter/harpist/style icon) should check out the house she just bought with her husband, Andy Samberg (originally owned by Charlie Chaplin).  It’s bananacakes. Real estate porn at its finest.



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vintage 40's patterns from CLoset Case Files


vintage 40's patterns from CLoset Case Files

Happy weekend everyone. I am currently writing this post from my newly redecorated, sun-filled studio with a cup of tea. I love this space so much. I’ll be sharing more information about it in the coming weeks, but suffice it to say, having a dedicated, functional and aesthetically pleasing workspace does so much for your sense of well being.

Other things that are good for your well being? Meet-ups with other sewists! After my very last day of work I met up with Vicki, Caroline and a few other Montreal based sewing devotees. It felt incredibly apropos to start my new life in their company. Vicki managed to talk me into going to New York in a few weeks to see Lauren (if “talking into” means inviting myself along because that is precisely what happened). I think we will be having some sort of Friday afternoon Mood/park hang if anyone wants to join us on August 15th, but I will share more info as I have it.

As for the reason for this post? At the aforementioned Montreal meet-up, one of the ladies present worked at a thrift store. When I was a teenager this was my number one most desired job because I had non-stop fantasies about all the treasures I would score if I didn’t have to dig through the picked-over merch like all the other scavengers. Sadly, my small town’s St. Vincent de Paul only operated with volunteers, which is how I ended up getting paid minimum wage to bake bannock bread in a pioneer costume at a 19th century homestead, while secretly in love with the re-enactor who played the blacksmith, but that is a WHOLE OTHER STORY.

Ahem. So as I suspected, working in a thrift store really is the best way to score the good stuff, because Renée showed up with bags and bags of vintage patterns she scores before anyone else can buy them to like, decoupage furniture with, or whatever it is people who don’t sew use patterns for (shudder). I got to the party after everyone had already made their choices, but to my delight, there were still a few beauties left, dating back to the 1940′s.

vintage 40's patterns from CLoset Case Files-2

I can’t even. They looked so good on my newly whitewashed cutting table I almost cried. I decided to hang on to two of them:

vintage 40's patterns from CLoset Case Files-4

Which means I have three to giveaway! We have a classic WWII era skirt suit, a buttoned dress with scallop details, and a little boy’s onesie and shorts pattern:

vintage 40's patterns from CLoset Case Files-3

The women’s patterns are a size 18, with a bust of 36″. If you would like to channel my favourite 40′s gal Lucky Lucille, or even just add these to your vintage collection, leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter or Facebook. I’ll randomly select a winner next week.

In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your weekend my friends!


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