When my kids were young, there weren’t a lot of affordable and original options for children’s clothing or accessories. Today, if you’re looking for something beautiful, unique and handmade — maybe even organic, there are now many wonderful Canadian-made choices.
RED THREAD DESIGN
At Red Thread Design, owner and designer Devorah Miller says “I’m all about the pattern.” She uses gorgeous fabrics and colour combinations in her clothes which are all made in her Toronto studio. They include clothing for girls aged 1 – 12 and boys 1 – 6. The adoption of her daugher Samantha in 2003 inspired Devorah to name her label Red Thread. It refers to the old Chinese proverb beloved by adoptive families: “An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle but will never break.” I love that.
A busy mother of three girls, Devorah has turned her lifelong passion for great fabrics into a thriving business. Using Asian and retro-inspired fabrics, she creates eye-catching clothing that’s simple and fun to wear.
LA PETITE MISS FRED
I fell in love with Frederique Satre’s creations at the One of a Kind Show. She’s only been in business for two years, but the Montreal artist has created a stunning collection of children’s accessories and clothes under the witty name – La petite Miss Fred. Her designs are fresh and original. The range of colours and whimsical feel of her drawings make her line so appealing. Frederique often goes to the zoo or the Biodome in Montreal to draw animals which later pop up in her creations.
The foam cubes are designed to play with and even stand on. I think they’re brilliant. All the blankets are made of organic cotton and are beautiful enough to frame! Her bean bag oversized pillows would be perfect tucked into a cozy reading nook. To see more of Frederique’s charming collection, check out la petite Miss Fred’s website here.
Longtime friends Barbara Shum (left) and Jackie Wong recently discovered they shared a love of fabrics and sewing. They’ve joined forces to produce their first line of dresses and tops under the label Keiko— which means “happy child.” Barbara says,”we’re inspired by the kawaii or “cute” culture in Japan. The shapes are simple and the details are exquisite.
Their creations feature unique fabrics — highlighted with touches of embroidery. Jackie, who is also a chartered accountant, recently mastered the art of embroidery.
Keiko was a big hit at the recent One of a Kind Show. Barb and Jackie are now planning to expand their business. I’ll let you know when their line is available on the web or locally in boutiques.
Natalie Adamov uses natural fabrics and water-based inks to create her lovely line of textiles and fibre art for babies. The tulip&i line is a small label that Natalie envisioned after the birth of a baby girl nicknamed tulip. She set out to create simple, timeless and beautiful pieces, made with tactile natural fabrics. It all started with a couple of blankets and keepsake pieces. The limited edition collection now includes pillows, blankets, quilts, mini bean bag chairs (love em) and scarves. Take a look at Natalie’s beautiful work.
Shuyu Lu is an artist in residence at the Harbourfront Craft Studios in Toronto. A graduate of the Ontario College of Art university in material art and design, she’s created a whimsical collection of pillows, dolls and art pieces. I love the Chinese dolls.