Avery Leggings Take Two : : And a Chat About Online Fabric Shopping

Avery Leggings, Helens Closet, A Colourful Canvas, Vancouver Sewing Blog

Hey you!

I’m back with my second pair of Avery Leggings.

I made these about 15 minutes after I finished my first pair.

Avery Leggings, Helens Closet, A Colourful Canvas, Vancouver Sewing Blog

The fabric…soft Bamboo Jersey Knit from Blackbird Fabrics. The colourway is Deep Ocean and you can buy it here.  This fabric has really strong recovery. I’ve had some issues with baggy knees when sewing my own tights and I’m pleased to report that despite the softness of this fabric, my leggings keep their shape beautifully. I made the same view as my Workout Leggings. I won’t get into construction details here as my previous post goes over all the deets.

The Avery’s wide waistband isn’t a typical design feature in tights that are destined to be worn under tunics and dresses and I expected some seam-line show-through, but nope, nada. They have a very smooth silhouette. They’re comfortable and I feel good wearing them.

Avery Leggings, Helens Closet, A Colourful Canvas, Vancouver Sewing Blog

My tunic…or very short dress {which will never  be worn sans leggings or pants}…is my self drafted t-shirt pattern lengthened. My t-shirt pattern has made a couple of earlier appearances on the blog, here and also here

The reason my dress isn’t longer is because I only purchased 1 yard of this juicy fabric. The reason my tunic isn’t shorter is because I was determined to maximize the use of my fabric. Now. If I had had {Is that right? had had or is it just had?, wonders me.} a meter of fabric I would have been golden. It’s a bit of a departure; buying yardage rather than meters from a Canadian store. And wot store might this be?  Thread Count Fabrics, a lovely online shop discovered via Crafting A Rainbow.  This dreamy knit is 95% cotton and 5% spandex. The print is Charlston Garden of Dreams.

Avery Leggings, Helens Closet, A Colourful Canvas, Vancouver Sewing Blog


Two knit garments.

And both of them sewn with fabric purchased from online shops.

I like knit garments but I’ve always found it a challenge to find quality knit fabrics that I love.  It’s not just quality that I struggle with. I haven’t had a lot of success finding colours and prints that I like either. Most colourways tend to be either muted with a grey-ish undertone…think dusky roses, heathered blues and fawn browns etc….or pretty intensely bold and graphic…royal blues with black and whites for example.

In December 2017 Gillian from Crafting A Rainbow wrote a post on Canadian sources for knit fabric. {You can read it here.} Blackbird Fabrics was the one business mentioned that I was already familiar with…I’d met Caroline in person last summer. Well. There I went…down the rabbit hole that is online fabric shopping. Yes, I opened every link. My focus was knit fabric exclusively and, interestingly, I discovered that certain fabric stores speak my language.

Although I ended up with a few different knits in various shopping baskets that evening I was…not skeptical…but tentative. I can’t couldn’t imagine buying fabric without having seen it for reals. I mean, there’s the feel, the drape, the weight, the true colour. Fabric shopping is so tactile.

Anyways, long story slightly shorter…I bought just one yard of this red knit. And….of course…I was giddy with glee upon its arrival.  All my purchases were just as I anticipated and my confidence has grown. I’ve ordered twice now from Thread Count Fabrics and I’ve been really happy with my purchases.

Ditto for Blackbird Fabrics. I’ve ordered both knits and woven fabrics from the shop and I love the quality. And yes….I have many completed garments to blog about. 

Okay, quickly. One last thing before I let you go. I’ve bought some lovely blue and white striped fabrics….in a variety of widths and weights, but the fabrication that eludes me still is a heavy weight blue and weight striped knit. Do any of you dear readers know where I can source this?

Thanks bunches for reading and I will be back soon with a new pattern company reveal!


Avery Leggings also seen here by Helen’s Closet

Self drafted t-shirt also seen here and here


  • Reply PsychicSewerKathleen March 3, 2018 at 6:55 am

    I am a big fan of shopping online for fabrics (I’m in Victoria BC) and I ordered fabric too from Thread Count Fabrics after seeing Gillian’s post 🙂 Beautiful quality – fast shipping. The best 🙂 Love your dress knit (and dress) I’ve also bought a lot of fabric from Caroline (Blackbirdfabrics) including her bamboo/cotton knit which is lovely. Another nice online Canadian shop is L’Oiseau Fabrics in Calgary. Also great quality 🙂

    • Reply Sue March 3, 2018 at 9:29 am

      OH Kathleen! Those are the same stores that I ended up buying from that night…Thread Count and L’Oiseau! You’re like a sister from a different mister. 🙂 LOL

      Do find that particular stores seem to be a better fit for your tastes as I found?

  • Reply No Fear of Fashion March 3, 2018 at 8:50 am

    They are both very good, the leggings and the mini dress. And I love the way you styled it with those turquoise socks and scarf. And the jeans jacket. So well done.

    • Reply Sue March 3, 2018 at 9:31 am

      Thanks Greetje! Yep…definitely still wearing coats and jackets right now. And…no shame…I thought that photo was such a great pic of my hair, LOLOLOL.

  • Reply Priscilla Bettis March 3, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    Thanks for the tips about the online fabric shops. Hmm, can’t help you with heavy weight blue and white striped knit. I agree with No Fear Of Fashion. You did a wonderful job styling your creations. Looking forward to the upcoming new pattern company reveal!

    • Reply Sue March 4, 2018 at 11:27 am

      You’re welcome Priscilla. Always happy to be an enabler! 🙂

  • Reply Sue March 4, 2018 at 1:44 am

    Your leggings are fabulous (both pairs!) and I am intrigued enough to go and check out the pattern. Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply Sue March 4, 2018 at 11:28 am

      Thanks Sue! I had a self drafted leggings pattern that turned out well, but I really love the all round fit of the Avery Leggings. For me, there’s no riding up or falling down.

  • Reply Kerry March 4, 2018 at 6:44 am

    I completely share your fear of online fabric shopping Sue. The only one I’ve tried so far is Blackbird, and the quality was beautiful. I have the Averys ready to tape together, and I was out looking for some decent blue fabric for them out here in the valley but sadly came home empty handed. Your post just pointed me back there, thank you! Love your outfits.

    • Reply Sue March 4, 2018 at 11:31 am

      I have both the Deep Ocean and the Midnight Blue. I think the names are apt descriptions…the Deep Ocean, while blue, has a tinge of greenness to it. The Midnight blue is a beautiful dark blue.

  • Reply AnneW March 4, 2018 at 10:42 am

    Love the outfit! I often end up int he rabbit hole of online fabric shopping, simply because there is no-where decent within an hour’s drive.

    • Reply Sue March 4, 2018 at 11:32 am

      Thanks Anne. I am fortunate to have brick and mortar stores not too far away. That being said, I am enthusiastic about online shopping, especially now that I am getting to know the different online shops and what they specialize in.

  • Reply Nancy Baten March 4, 2018 at 10:53 pm

    Spring is in the air!! What a cheerful outfit! It makes me happy

    • Reply Sue March 6, 2018 at 12:01 pm

      Oh my gosh Nancy…you are literally SO RIGHT, LOL! The birds are chirping, the sky is blue…I wonder if my outfit had something to do with it hahaha.

      Thanks for the cheery comment!

  • Reply Bracken March 9, 2018 at 10:05 am

    I buy nearly all my fabric online. Mostly its from ebay. The only time I have actually felt it/touched in recent years I bought off a market or from Ikea. I also have had problems understanding yardage. Or not understanding exactly but converting to how I think. My head definitely does not quite get it. I think you did very well here to squeze the dress/tunic from so little fabric. I confess to usually buying extra in case anything goes wrong. I tend to also buy joblots of pieces usually 3m or 4m because its cheaper that way and some of my best makes I have managed to get eg stretch faux leather for 99p off ebay. Its worth the risk occassionally though I have maneged to end up with a rather large stash because of my ebay forays. Well worth a venture though. I would recommend trying it out. I found a couple of sellers I tend to go back to because they are cheap-ish and also tell the truth about what the fabric is. I cannot say I have had no bad experiences but mostly its been good. Great outfit as well. Love the dress.

    • Reply Sue March 9, 2018 at 10:34 am

      EEP…Ebay. This might be a bit like opening Pandora’s Box, LOL. 🙂 I hadn’t thought of Ebay, or Etsy, has options…now this could be fun!

      In Canada, our tape measures and seam gauges are in metric and yardage. I was raised learning Imperial measures and the country switched to metric when I was around ten or so? So I generally have a pretty good idea in my head about how they differ. For me, a meter and a half of fabric {150cm wide} is usually pretty generous, but a yard and a half of the same feels harder to work with.

      Okay…off down that rabbit hole you’ve suggested!

  • Reply Lynn March 12, 2018 at 7:11 am

    There was a time when I said I would never shop for fabrics online but the nearest real fabric store (not counting a tiny quilt shop and the fabric dept at Walmart) is 40 miles away. So once I tried online fabric shopping I was hooked. I still hate buying knits online though. I buy a lot of quilting cotton because I always know what I’m getting with that and occasionally stretch denim or twill. I do buy knits online sometimes but more often than not I’m disappointed with what I get.

    • Reply Sue March 12, 2018 at 3:49 pm

      Sigh…I had a small fabric store nearby that closed. I think that is getting to be a reality for many people. The Walmarts in Canada don’t have fabric…at least the ones that I’ve been to.

      My experience with knits from the shops I’ve mentioned has bee positive. I get what you are saying about quilting fabric…the colours seem to read quite true on the computer.

  • Reply Dusty June 30, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Ha. The challenges of being a Canadian sewist and I buying fabric online…metres? Half yards? Quarter yards? But the brick and mortar stores in Toronto vary between yards and metres as well.

    But I just got a lovely fabric from Thread Count, it wasn’t until I googled a Canadian supplier for it that I discovered the store.

    • Reply Sue July 8, 2018 at 12:02 am

      Ah ha. You’ve been there too. It’s interesting…for some reason I thought it was a requirement that fabric stores in Canada sold their product by the meter, or percentages of. But…I guess it’s entirely left to the discretion of the business. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter to me…although I can squeak out some projects on a meter of fabric that just will not fit on a yard.

      Thread Count has great quality!

  • Reply Aliza August 23, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    Just discovered your blog (courtesy of that lovely polka dot Clare coat) and am now reading through. I haven’t found Canadian suppliers other than Bra Makers Supply, which works for workout/swimwear/undergarment fabrics, but not for work or casual clothing. Thanks for mentions to two I’ll need to explore.

    My local source (Ottawa and Montreal’s C&M Textiles) has really upped the ante in the face of online competition, but our Fabriclands have gone downhill. I”ve done Toronto runs, in the past. But mainly now, I rely on C&M because I want to support local sources, and if I can’t find what I need there, I mostly turn to two US online sources: Marcy Tilton and Emma One Sock.

    Marcy Tilton’s great for knits, but I’ve ordered linens, denims, cottons, wools, and other gems from her as well. EOS is good for work and dress up related fabrics, and I’ve done particularly well with brocades and dry clean only double knit jacquards and a casual-dressy summer outdoor wedding appropriate lace. Both sources will help you if you are trying to match fabrics or are unsure of the suitability for your project (their photos and descriptions are good, but sometimes you need more… like when making a Koos coat that requires six coordinating fabrics!). Also useful: Kathryn Brenne (a fellow Canadian) does the sewing technique blog for EOS.

    I’ve ordered once each from Britex Fabrics and Farmhouse Fabrics, and will order from them again when I need something they specialize in – got exactly what I wanted and needed. I’ll never order from Mood Fabrics again; their customs broker massively over-charges you, does NOT refund the promised refund, and also charges duty on things that are duty free (e.g. 100% silks), plus their advice on suitability of fabrics is poor.

    • Reply Sue August 23, 2018 at 4:29 pm

      I’m finding my local Fabricland to be more expensive this year. Mind you, they frequently have 50% – 70% sales, but still, quite an increase IMO.

      I haven’t ventured into ordering online fabrics from sources outside of Canada because I’m worried about hidden fees. It’s too bad you got dinged with your Mood order. I have ordered once from them, and shipped to a US location, and was super happy with my fabric. It was, however, a fabric that had a video description.

      Haven’t heard of Farmhouse Fabrics….love the name and will check it out. Definitely want to go to Britex in person one day and will also check out their online shop! Thanks for the suggestions, including your positive experience with Emma One Sock (gotta love that name.)

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