Janet Sews: Independent Canadian Pattern Companies

Hi, I’m Janet and this is my new monthly sewing column! I am a Ryerson Fashion Communications graduate.  I have been brushing up my sewing skills by taking awesome classes at The Make Den.  I am an elementary school teacher.  I love my job as a teacher.  I also love sewing!

This month’s column is about Independent Canadian Pattern Companies.   I am going to focus on the brilliant Canadian companies that are attracting attention and praise from sewists all over the world.  What sets these patterns apart from the “big four“?  Many sewers believe that the fit is much better.  The sizing is more accurate based on the measurements listed on the size guide.  Indie patterns generally provide better instructions and better illustrations.  They often provide support on their websites in terms of “sew-alongs” or tutorials.  Also, the designs tend to be more fashion forward and resemble ready-to-wear. These are just a few of the reasons why they are so satisfying to sew.

VICTORY PATTERNS   This company recently had a beautiful write up here in September Flare Magazine.  Kristiann Boos, the owner, lives in Toronto.  She had been a sewing teacher and developed the idea of creating a pattern business after working with her students. The picture above is of the stunning Hazel dress. The Make Den sells these patterns and many students have enjoyed making these stunning designs.

Below are the Lola dress and the Roxanne blouse patterns.  The Roxanne blouse is a great transition garment for fall… or made out of black chiffon for the upcoming holiday party season?


I can totally see the Lola dress in a cosy fleece or ponte for fall/winter.victory-patterns-lola

SEWAHOLIC  This is a company that I’m really excited about.  Tasia is out in Vancouver, British Columbia.  All of her patterns are named after places on the west coast.  Her patterns are frequently reviewed on the website: www.patternreview.com.  The Minoru Jacket, Renfrew Top, and the Cambie Dress have been recognized in the top ten patterns for 2012 on the review site.  The Sewaholic website provides great support in the way of sew-alongs, tutorials, and galleries of the garments made by home sewers.

She specializes in making patterns for the pear shaped figure.  I have made three Renfrews and they are a pleasure to make.  I just ordered the Thurlow Trousers because I like the waistband and fitting options.

The Minoru Jacket

The Renfrew Top
Sewaholic_Renfrew_Top_View_CThe Thurlow Trousers


JALIE PATTERNS Jalie patterns have been around for thirty years.  The company is located in Saint-Romuald, Canada (a small town near Quebec City). They specialize in sports apparel as well as a surprising variety of patterns (figure skating, ballroom dancing, ballet, cycling, speedskating, wrestling and weightlifting) and a range of sizes, including children’s and maternity wear.

THREAD THEORY DESIGNS Thread Theory Designs are a relatively new company from out west.  Morgan and Matthew Meredith live on Vancouver Island.  Morgan designs the patterns and Matthew does the photography (and modeling).  The company specializes in menswear.  I have read great reviews for their Jedediah Pant.  Don’t they look amazing?


IN-HOUSE IN-HOUSE patterns are designed  to fit an average figure with a full bust.  Alexandra, the designer,  is a Ryerson Fashion graduate and has worked in the industry for fifteen years. The styles have an elegant vibe to them and I have received favourable reviews.

These are my favourites at the moment.  Have you sewed up any patterns from these companies or any other Canadian pattern company?

Happy Sewing!

3 thoughts on “Janet Sews: Independent Canadian Pattern Companies

  1. I have! I live on Vancouver Island and I’ve sewn 2 Henleys from Thread Theory and her Camas for women (love her patterns!), I’ve made a few Sewaholic but what I use the most is her book which is wonderful and I’ve made up a few Jalie patterns which I love a lot as well. All so well drafted and flexible. I’m a huge fan of Canadian pattern makers and fabric sellers as well. Thread Theory and Blackbird (associated with Sewaholic) sell really quality fabrics and you don’t have to pay US, customs or high shipping charges which is also a big plus. 🙂

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