A Mini-Tour Around Vancouver! Plus, Pronouncing Pattern Names

The pattern names Tofino, Minoru, Cordova sound completely normal and natural to me. After all they’re named for places where I live! But I realized that by choosing interesting and unique names for my patterns, others might not know how to pronounce them. For us living in Vancouver these are words you hear every day on the traffic report – “two-car accident on Cordova St, a stall on Lonsdale Ave, fireworks tonight at Minoru Park” – you get the idea.

As the majority of my communication is through words on the internet, the pronounciation of words gets lost. Even the way we write sounds different than when we talk. (I make an effort to read what I’m writing out loud in my head, and change the wording so that it sounds more like the way I talk. It’s easy to edit and re-edit our writing so it looks fancier but in reality, we’d never talk that way.) So perhaps my writing sounds simpler and less formal but it’s more like I am speaking through my written words, if that makes sense!

I saw on Andrea’s blog that she wondered how to say Minoru and it was a lightbulb moment, of course people aren’t sure how to say these words that are so familiar to me! I grew up going to Minoru Pool, ice-skating at Minoru Arena, going to track meets at the Minoru track. But you didn’t!

So here’s a quick run-down of the pattern names, how to say them, and a photo visual of the area they’re named for!

Pendrell – PEN-drell.

The Pendrell Blouse is named for Pendrell Street in Vancouver’s West End. Here’s what I picture: beautiful older apartment buildings, tree-lined streets, people walking to see the fireworks in the summertime. It’s where my sister lived when I was starting my pattern line, so the name was in my mind frequently.

Crescent – this one is easy, just like the word Crescent.

The Crescent Skirt is named for Crescent Beach in White Rock, I played on this beach when I was little. There’s a big fish & chips place that you can walk through in your sandy feet which is what I remember, that and washing your feet off in the little water spout outside the building. It looks just the same as when I was a kid.

I moved back to the White Rock area in my mid-twenties and I’d go for long runs down to the beaches and along the water. We get older, but the landscape stays the same.

Lonsdale – LONS-dale.

The Lonsdale Dress is named after Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver, that’s what the big ‘Q’ in the photo stands for. To get there you have to take a little boat called the SeaBus. (You can actually drive there I learned later, but when I was a kid we’d take the SeaBus so I thought that was the only way to get there.)

On the seabus we would look for the ‘Q’ and point it out to my dad. The Q rotates, so he’d look at it a minute later and say, ‘It’s an I!’ and we’d wait for it to turn around and shout, ‘No Dad, it’s a Q, look now!’ and he’d wait and look at it again when it was sideways again and say ‘Ah yes, the I!’ This probably went on for the whole ride until we finally got to the Q. The Q building is a market and I don’t actually remember what happens inside the Q. I suppose it was more about the trip than the actual arrival, since that’s the part I remember!

A perfect place for a pretty sundress, don’t you think?

Minoru – MINN-oh-rue.

The Minoru Jacket is named after Minoru Park in Richmond, BC, which is where I grew up. Minoru Park had all the good things: a skating rink, a track and field area, a pool, a park with a waterfall, the library, even a little white chapel. Oh and an actual theatre, not a movie theatre! I went to track meets at Minoru Arena, I took musical theatre classes at the theatre in my early teens, I went on dates at the movie theatre nearby and if they went well, the night might end with a walk through Minoru Park.

Doesn’t it make sense to be wearing a practical jacket like the Minoru when you walk around the park, that’s also fitted and feminine in case you’re on a date?

Renfrew – REN-froo.

The Renfrew Top is named for Renfrew Street. At the corner of Renfrew and Hastings is Playland (an amusement park) and in the summer, the PNE (Pacific National Exhibition). The PNE has all kinds of neat stuff – the demolition derby (my favourite!), the lumberjack show where they roll logs, concerts, dogs jumping through hoops, cotton candy, mini-donuts. The last time I was there I was 16 so it might have changed since then, but it’s a very popular summer attraction. Late summer I think, near the end of August. Go if you’re in the Vancouver area!

Random fact, when you search for images of ‘Renfrew’ in Vancouver you get a ton of Victoria Beckham, apparently she made an appearance at a store called Holt Renfrew downtown.

Cambie – CAM-bee.

The Cambie Dress is named for Cambie Street in Vancouver. Cambie stretches the length of Vancouver going north to south, and goes even farther north into downtown.

And out of downtown, Cambie Street touches Queen Elizabeth Park. It’s a popular park to have weddings in, in fact the last wedding I attended was at QE Park! There’s these metal statues there that people are constantly taking photos with. But what’s neat is that you can see right downtown from the park, because it’s high up. I am actually at Queen Elizabeth Park in this old photo here, not far from the metal people statues.

There’s also a Cambie Street Bridge. And whether you’re downtown on Cambie or at Queen Elizabeth Park on Cambie, a dress is always a great choice.

Thurlow – THUR-low.

The Thurlow Trousers are named after Thurlow Street in downtown Vancouver. Thurlow was a name that stuck with me and I always knew it should be a trouser pattern. Thurlow Trousers has such a nice ring to it! I tried to find a nice photo of Thurlow Street for you but I was flooded with photos of condos for sale. Very expensive condos, too.

Guess how much it costs to live here? You’ll fall off your chair, I nearly did and I should know how expensive it is to live in Vancouver.

For only eight million dollars, that could be your view. “Only a privileged few will own this last waterfront masterpiece” says the sales page. Think of that when you’re wearing your Thurlow trousers!

Alma – ALL-ma or AL-ma.

The Alma Blouse is named after Alma Street in Vancouver. It’s out by the University of British Columbia and it’s where Caroline was living when we started working together, so I kept seeing the street sign for Alma and thought it would be a pretty name for a pattern. It’s also a girl’s name, Alma, so it made sense for a feminine, pretty blouse.

And here is a neat picture of UBC – the University of British Columbia. UBC takes up that whole section of the land there. There’s a bit of greenery on the right side that separates it from the rest of Vancouver. That’s the Pacific Ocean surrounding it so this is the west tip of Canada, more or less! I know that sounds overly simplified but it helps to explain where everything is. In relation to a map of Canada, this is the bottom left corner.

The northernmost piece of land in the top left corner is North Vancouver, where the ‘Q’ at Lonsdale is. That’s lumber floating in the water on the right side, just waiting to be needed I suppose. Just south of those logs is the Vancouver Airport which is actually in Richmond, and just south of the airport in Richmond is Minoru Park. It’s all connected!

Cordova – cor-DO-va.

The Cordova Jacket is named for Cordova Street in downtown Vancouver. Cordova Street is where historic Gastown is located, home to restaurants and bars, lofts, nightclubs, shops, and the popular tourist destination, the steam clock.

Hollyburn – Holly-burn, just like the two words put together.

The Hollyburn Skirt is named after the Hollyburn area of North Vancouver, which is rather close to Lonsdale. And the Hollyburn skirt is based on the fit of the Lonsdale Dress. See what I did there?

The Hollyburn area is quite fancy, home to country clubs and golf clubs and pricey homes. A classic flared skirt never goes out of style, and it made sense to me to tie that in to this beautiful, high-end area.

Robson – ROB-son.

The Robson Coat is named after Robson Street, downtown Vancouver’s most famous shopping street. I had this image of a woman striding down Robson in a glamorous trench coat and sunglasses, walking with purpose. Maybe she’s meeting someone for coffee and they’ll walk down the streets together. Just like I wanted Thurlow to be trousers, Robson had to be a coat in my mind.

I was on a real downtown theme for the pattern names last year! There are so many good street names in Vancouver, I’ll never run out of name ideas.

Tofino – to-FEE-no.

The Tofino Pants are named after Tofino, a district on Vancouver Island that’s known for its beaches, surfing, whale watching, and beautiful resorts.

Compared to the other names, this one is out of the Vancouver area. From Vancouver you take a two-hour ferry across the ocean, then drive across Vancouver Island for four hours or so. Vancouver Island is not actually part of Vancouver, it’s a completely separate and very large piece of land.

There you go, a little tour around the Vancouver area! I wanted the names to mean something, rather than just picking random pretty-sounding words. It’s an insider secret if you live here and know where Pendrell Street is or if you live on Minoru Boulevard, and if not, then it’s a bunch of unique names that you may not have heard before. There are few sewing pattern designers in Canada and I wanted to show off our Canadian pride in a way, without being obvious about it.

Vancouverites, anything to add? Any stories to share about the places in this post?

I hope you enjoyed seeing where the pattern names come from! This post was a lot of fun to put together.

PS. While we’re on the topic of how to pronounce words, my name is pronounced TAS-ee-ah. You’d never know that unless we spoke in real life!

PPS. And Caroline is Caro-line, not Caro-lynn. Now you know!

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97 Responses to A Mini-Tour Around Vancouver! Plus, Pronouncing Pattern Names

  1. Vicki Kate June 10, 2013 at 6:10 am #

    I’d got most of those right! Except Minoru which I was reading as Min-or-ru!

  2. Kathryn June 10, 2013 at 6:19 am #

    I’ve so enjoyed my lunch-break tour of Vancouver – thank you! I hadn’t realised all your pattern names were street names, it makes them even more special.

  3. Tina June 10, 2013 at 6:20 am #

    I knew how to pronounce Renfrew because I went to high school at St. Joseph’s Catholic Highschool in Renfrew Ontario.

    • Tasia June 10, 2013 at 11:31 am #

      Ah yes! There’s a city named Renfrew too, I had forgotten that when I named the pattern. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. Angela June 10, 2013 at 6:23 am #

    I was doing well in saying the names, but enjoyed the pictures. So different from where I live, and so beautiful!

    Ok, Tasia, I have to tell you – I just made up a pair of Tofino muslim shorts (trial pair for fitting) for my teenage daughter – age 14. She is a picky thing about fit, tall and thin like a model. Finding RTW is a challenge for her. Her current pyjamas – what a fun spelling! – are baggy in the bum/under the bum area and way too short.

    I made the usual lengthening above and below the crotch (at 5′ 10″, some things are a given) and did a little graduating from a size 6 waist to a 4 hip. What I wanted you to know is that my TEEN daughter came out and said they fit perfectly. No need to nip and tuck anything. I was FLOORED! This is a testimony to how well the pattern is drafted. Honestly, she is not pear-shaped (again, runway model body, I envy her…) but your pattern still worked beautifully. So, to those wondering about the Tofino because they aren’t pear-shaped – it is ok! Easy adjustments, and the pattern came together beautifully. I am looking forward to using the cute fabric I have picked out. LOL – at 14 she is still childish enough to like some of the juvenile prints, so I get to sew something with cute cartoon dolphins on it. Hey, I like it too and I am decidedly not a juvenile any longer.

    • Tasia June 10, 2013 at 11:31 am #

      That is awesome to hear! A couple of the Tofino pattern testers made a pair for their teen daughters at the same time. It’s so cool to see a pattern that teen girls like as well as their stylish mothers. And yeah, why not pick a cutesy print to sleep in? (I have the most awesome sleep pants with the Little Miss characters on them. And the Mr. Men too. So not age appropriate but I love them anyways!)

  5. Sewing Sveta June 10, 2013 at 6:29 am #

    Yes, I am going to BC%)

  6. PanicaLab June 10, 2013 at 6:41 am #

    Thank you for the tour!! Vancouver looks beautiful! Now I want to visit it even more!

  7. Jenny June 10, 2013 at 6:43 am #

    oh thanks for sharing those lovely photos. I never knew Vancouver is so pretty. I love the backgrounds with the mountains ~ just beautiful! I hope one day I can visit the city in my Renfrew, Lonsdale, Hollyburn or Alma!
    Minoru park seems like a great place ~ especially since it has a waterfall.

    • Tasia June 10, 2013 at 11:29 am #

      It’s a very tiny waterfall, it used to seem so much larger when I was younger but going back as an adult, I was like, wow, that is so much smaller than I remembered. But – still gorgeous and worth a visit!

  8. Roxy June 10, 2013 at 6:44 am #

    I am so glad you cleared this up! I’ve been saying Minoru and Alma wrong all along, and with the Aussie accent it’s probably worse haha. I think it will be hard to change the name of my much loved min-OR-u jacket. It’s all so interesting the different ways we come up with to say the same word.

    • Tasia June 10, 2013 at 11:28 am #

      You can say it however you want, no one will know! But I thought I would confirm for the people who’ve been wondering. :)

  9. lisa g June 10, 2013 at 6:45 am #

    what a beautiful tour of where you live, thanks for pronunciations! i love the names you’ve chosen and the stories behind them–makes it so much more personal than referring to a pattern by a number i’ll never actually remember without looking up. :)

    • Angela June 10, 2013 at 6:50 am #

      Lisa, I completely agree! Being able to say Tofino is just ever so much nicer than 4530 or whatever number the big 4 happens to be. AND… the big 4 must reuse numbers – so 4530 might be one thing one year, and two years later something else! Ugh. I’ve been excited to think I found something, pull it out and ARGH! It is the newest use of the number.

      • Tasia June 10, 2013 at 11:27 am #

        Oh they totally re-use numbers. You’ll see a gorgeous vintage pattern from the 40’s with a number, google-search to find it, and come up with a home decor pattern from the eighties.

  10. Carla June 10, 2013 at 6:58 am #

    Love all the names and places… I have to go someday!
    Also I wanted to add Alma in Spanish means “soul” and I think the name really matches the shirt! Its the “soul” of a wardrobe.(main, important).
    Thank you for enlighten us!

    • Tasia June 10, 2013 at 11:26 am #

      That is great – ‘soul!’ I didn’t know that, thanks for telling me!

  11. Meganleiann June 10, 2013 at 7:08 am #

    My husband and I live South if Seattle and we spent a long weekend in Vancouver for his birthday this year. It was so handy being familiar with your line because I already felt like I had knew the city a bit! We stayed right downtown at the adorable Burrard hotel. We walked Robson, Thurlow and Cordova and the Cambie bridge. I rarely got turned around because the names were so familiar! We had a fantastic hot lunch on a very rainy day at a pub next to the steam clock. When we had crepes at the Granville Market, i kept wondering if you would use that name if you ever make a men’s pattern. :) is such a charming city! (Even in the rain, but boy does it sparkle in the sun!) Naming your patterns this way is a great way to share your love for your Vancouver!

  12. Meganleiann June 10, 2013 at 7:08 am #

    My husband and I live South of Seattle and we spent a long weekend in Vancouver for his birthday this year. It was so handy being familiar with your line because I already felt like I had knew the city a bit! We stayed right downtown at the adorable Burrard hotel. We walked Robson, Thurlow and Cordova and the Cambie bridge. I rarely got turned around because the names were so familiar! We had a fantastic hot lunch on a very rainy day at a pub next to the steam clock. When we had crepes at the Granville Market, i kept wondering if you would use that name if you ever make a men’s pattern. :) is such a charming city! (Even in the rain, but boy does it sparkle in the sun!) Naming your patterns this way is a great way to share your love for your Vancouver!

    • Tasia June 10, 2013 at 11:26 am #

      Sounds like you had a wonderful visit here! Mmm.. crepes! Good idea, Granville would be a great name for a men’s pattern.

      Seattle is a great city too, I have fond memories of coming down with my dad when I was younger and eating at delicious seafood restaurants on the water! Bucket of clams, yum!

  13. baum June 10, 2013 at 7:30 am #

    What a lovely post! Makes me very reminiscent of this great city… I love your patterns and your blog- what a fun and clever idea to name the patterns after places in Vancouver:)

  14. Louisa June 10, 2013 at 8:00 am #

    Tasia, you make our city look fabulous! I’m one of the handful of people actually born in Vancouver and I still live 3 blocks from where I grew up. I love your pattern names and there’s obviously a lot more still to choose from for future designs: Granville, Seymour, Smithe, Cassiar, Dundas, Joyce, Rupert, Arbutus, Nanaimo, Dunbar…

    • Tasia June 10, 2013 at 11:24 am #

      Oh cool! Aren’t these gorgeous photos I found? It really makes me appreciate the beauty of living here. You’re right, there are SO many name possibilities, the hardest part is matching a name with each new design!

    • Deborah June 10, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

      Louisa, don’t forget Hastings, Bute or Pender. Granville is a must! I agree with you about the ‘born in Vancouver’. My parents, my sister and I were all born at VGH. People are astounded when they hear, born and raised….

      • Louisa June 11, 2013 at 10:56 am #

        Me too! And my DH was born in St. Paul’s and my kids in the old Grace Hospital. Guess we locals aren’t as rare as we thought, huh?

  15. Janelle June 10, 2013 at 8:02 am #

    So cool to see some familiar places! I went to Richmond High School, cut class to stroll in Minoru Park, and was married in the little white chapel at Minoru! So beautiful. I’m in Alberta now, but now you are making me want to go back for a visit. Thank you! Janelle

    • Tasia June 10, 2013 at 11:18 am #

      Oh! You were married in that beautiful little white chapel, it’s adorable! Glad I could bring back memories!

  16. Adina | Gluten Free Travelette June 10, 2013 at 8:03 am #

    Clearly, I need to spend more time around Vancouver! After three years in Seattle. I’ve only ever driven through. Thanks for sharing your city.

  17. MrsSmith June 10, 2013 at 8:14 am #

    Ah. I had everything right except I pronounce your name Tay-zha. Good to know! :)

    • Tasia June 10, 2013 at 11:17 am #

      That’s a common mispronunciation, like the last half of Anastasia, I get that a lot!

  18. Darci June 10, 2013 at 8:21 am #

    What a fun tour of Vancouver! Thanks for putting that together, Tasia! SO fun!

  19. Sarah June 10, 2013 at 8:23 am #

    I live on the Island, and last time I took a trip over to Van it was great fun noticing all the street names that are also patters :). Also, the seabus rocks; the quay is so much fun to putter around in, I take everyone over to see it if they haven’t already.

  20. Jill June 10, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    I just love Vancouver! We’ve been several times and each time I love it more. I think I’ve only been before your sewing patterns came out, (though I do remember Robson, of course) so they wouldn’t have connected for me at the time.

    We took my step-daughter there a few years back, her first official out of the USA trip, and she LOVED Vancouver. She’s been trying to figure out ways to move there :)

    Now you’re making me want another visit!

  21. Kelly June 10, 2013 at 8:40 am #

    Thanks for the virtual tour! Those Vancouver mountains look breathtaking. I would love to visit someday!

    • Tasia June 10, 2013 at 11:15 am #

      I can see them from my living room! (They’re much smaller of course, but just as gorgeous.)

  22. Patricia June 10, 2013 at 8:53 am #

    Thanks for this beautiful tour of Vancourver! You write so clearly and well. I have been enjoying reading your past posts, and learning so much about sewing from it.

    I used to sew a little when I was much younger. My mom sewed, and my grandmother was a professional seamstress who custom-made wedding dresses and evening clothes. I am about to make my first Sewaholic dress–the Lonsdale. Both excited and nervous about it. Wish me luck!

  23. Susan June 10, 2013 at 9:08 am #

    As a proud Canadian, I LOVE how you have named your patterns after Vancouver locations. Every time one of your patterns is mentioned (which is quite frequent on the various sewing blogs I subscribe to), it is a reminder to me that Canada has produced you and your wonderful Sewaholic business. Thank you for this post and the images.

    • Tasia June 10, 2013 at 11:10 am #

      Thank you! It’s nice to see our country represented in the sewing blog world isn’t it?

  24. Sara June 10, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    Thanks for the quick trip home, Tasia (live in TO but Richmond and Vancouver still feel like home!). Your Minoru coat is how I first found your patterns (could not ignore the name!). I grew up closer to South Arm but still spent much of my childhood at Minoru!

    • Tasia June 10, 2013 at 11:07 am #

      And I spent a lot of time at South Arm pool! I lived closer to there, too, walking distance if you didn’t mind a block or two walk!

  25. Lauren June 10, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    All this does is make me want to visit Vancouver :) It’s SO beautiful!

  26. maddie June 10, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    I had no idea that you named your patterns after places. I loved seeing a little behind-the-scenes paragraph or two about each pattern.

    • Tasia June 10, 2013 at 11:06 am #

      I’m glad I put together this post then! :)

  27. Helena June 10, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    Great photos! I strolled on Pendrell when I was in Vancouver (it was your only pattern then) and our friend/guide pronounced it not at all like I did. I’m pretty sure I’ve at least crossed Thurlow and our friends live on Robson. Plus we took the train from Seattle so we passed White Rock on the way. I’ve “seen” many of your pattern places!

  28. calli toulatos June 10, 2013 at 10:03 am #

    I love this! I was in Vancouver this spring and as we walked around I noticed the street names. I did think of Thurlow as “if I worked on Thurlow street – these are the pants I would wear”

  29. Leila June 10, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    I really like reading how patterns get their names and this was a really cool stroll through life in Vancouver and a peek into your own life. Thanks for that.

  30. Heide June 10, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    Thanks for the tour! It certainly makes me want to come visit! It looks like a beautiful area. A fun post, thanks for sharing your inspiration.

  31. Cathi June 10, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    Great post! I don’t live all that far away (Fraser Valley) but a reminder of how beautiful Vancouver is was a wonderful Monday treat.

    Also good to read @ Angela’s post that the Tofino’s are teen approved because I’ve been eyeing them for my two teens! Now I know my instinct was right (not always a given with sewing for teens LOL)

  32. Jan June 10, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    Loved this post. But I have one more question: How do you pronounce “quay”? Key, kay, or kway? I even looked it up in Merriam-Webster, and they say all three are correct? So how do Vancouverites pronounce it?

    I was in Vancouver once, long enough to hop on a cruise ship. Will have to stay longer next time. Thanks for the travelogue.

    • Tasia June 10, 2013 at 10:48 am #

      It’s Key – but I always want to say kway because that’s how it looks when you read it!

  33. Colleen June 10, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    It’s funny how I realized how many patterns you have when you line them up like that.

    And, you are lucky to live in such a glamorous city!!!!!

    • Tasia June 10, 2013 at 10:54 am #

      I know eh? I thought this post would be faster to write but 12 patterns is a lot!

      Beautiful city, yes, but expensive to live in!

  34. Kathi Sorensen June 10, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    I love Vancouver! We have been there many times, but not recently. Our best visit ties with theWorld’s Fair and the time we spent nearly a week there while my husband attended a scientific congress. Our son was very young and we enjoyed traveling all over the area on your wonderful public transportation to marvelous parks. We did include several trips on the Seabus just to be on the Seabus!
    Much later, we travelled about BC in our old camper van with my mother and sister. Tofino is a miracle of beauty, but, oh that road!
    Your post reminds me that I need to get back there while I can still hobble!

  35. Harriet Whittle June 10, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    Great to have a tour of Vancouver in there. We didn’t have much time to explore the city when we visited west Canada with three small children, but we LOVED Vancouver Island. Happy memories, and I love your patterns Tasia.

  36. Elle C June 10, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    I get a kick out of your pattern names, as I grew up in Vancouver. With the exception of Minoru (I didn’t spend much time in Richmond), I have a connection with each of your pattern names. I grew up close to Thurlow and Robson, my first apartment was on Pendrell, an aunt lived on Renfrew, a good friend lived just off Alma, etc etc. Might I suggest adding a Burnaby and a New Westminster street name to your pattern selection, a Willingdon or a Carnarvon perhaps? Or then again maybe a Kelowna pattern (where I live now). 8-)

    • Tasia June 10, 2013 at 11:37 am #

      Kelowna would be a great name for a summer dress! I’ve spent many summers in Kelowna.. or a bathing suit?! Oh yeah, that would be great. I live in Burnaby myself so there will be some Burnaby names at some point.
      Glad you get a kick out of the pattern names!

  37. Audrey June 10, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    Tasia, this post is delightful! I’m in the tiny Appalachians in Tennessee, and I’ve always wanted to visit your real mountains. I will now recognize your pattern names as a kindness to your homeland. Thank you!

  38. Seraphinalina June 10, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    As someone using my geography degree in my career, I’ve mapped most of Canada at one point or another. At my last job, I needed to call a sales rep to ask about map for Wetaskiwin, AB. I had always heard in my head wet – a – ski – win. Nooo… it’s we-TAS-ki-win. Oops.

    I thought your idea of using street names/places in Vancouver or your patterns was brilliant. Lots to chose from and it shows a little home town pride.

    • Tasia June 10, 2013 at 11:39 am #

      HA, I love that – wet-a-ski-win! I used to have a Map of Canada puzzle that I did at least a dozen times when I was younger, and I learned all kinds of neat names. I still have a hard time with Ucluelet – you-CUE-let? YOU-clue-let?

      • Mary June 10, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

        you-CLUE-let. There’s a clue hidden in there! That’s how I remember it.

  39. Mary June 10, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    I grew up in Vancouver, but now live in Victoria… When I first saw your patterns, it was the names of the patterns that drew me to it!

    Only two pronunciations I would say differently (or maybe type out differently?). Tofino, seems more like toe-FEE-no or more lazy like tuh-FEE-no. The locals would say tuh-FEE-no because they are nicknamed “Tuff City” after all.

    And Cordova would be more cor-DOE-vah in my eyes. I used to live close that area, actually in Strathcona. Now that I think about it, I’d love to see what sort of pattern you’d name Strathcona!

    Thanks for the tour!

    • Patricia June 11, 2013 at 7:49 am #

      Funny how names get changed and localized. Cordova is probably named after the ancient Spanish city of Cordoba..which is pronounced COR-do-ba. We were in Alaska last year in the town of Valdez, which is pronounced VAL-DEEZ locally, but is
      val-DES in the original Spanish.

  40. arlene franks June 10, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    Tasia…..you did very well and your choice of pictures is perfect! I’m definately going to have to visit these spots to get some pics….
    I think it’s funny/sad that there are so many wonderful things I haven’t visited or seen only because I live in the area…and don’t get any out of town visitors!
    Thanks for the update on my wonderful city….

  41. Michelle June 10, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    My grandparents live in Port Angeles. I have been to Victoria many times over the years growing up. Unfortunately I don’t have a passport, otherwise I would go back and visit now as an adult. Not many people know where Port Angeles is and I always have to explain in relation to Seattle. Glad you included it on the map! Maybe someday I will head back that way and visit Canada again. It was always a fun trip!

  42. Lisbeth June 10, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    Hi Tasia, thanks for setting Vancouver on the map for me. Please do not laugh, but I live in Denmark, Europe, so I am not familiar with the presice geography of North America :)
    I love your blog and share your enthusiasm of sewing.
    Hope to get the chance to visit Canada some day.

    Best wishes

  43. Christine June 10, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

    Hi all
    As soon as you mentioned walking down the street with purpose in a Robson trench coat I thought of Julia Roberta in Pretty Woman… After her shopping spree…my mind works in mysterious ways….
    I was only in Vancouver for a couple of days before embarking on a cruise, but I did manage to get to Robson street.
    Just waiting for my Robson pattern, then who knows, I may just visit again :)

  44. Katie June 10, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

    Thanks for showing us how beautiful Vancouver is! I definitely would love to go and perhaps even move there after I am done school in Toronto. It’s absolutely gorgeous!

  45. Lucy June 10, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

    This is a cool post, TAS-ee-ah! (I’ve been saying it in my head something like ‘Tay-zha’).

    When your new patterns come out, I love reading about where the names come from, but with the photos this is even better. None of the names, apart from Minoru (which I still call Min-OR-oo), have tripped me up that badly, but it’s still fun!

    There are a lot of place names near me that tourists struggle with – Maori is like no other language most people have heard – like Ngaruawahia, Mt Ngaruahoe (aka Mt Doom), Tokoroa, Otorohonga. It’s not so bad once you hear a few of them and realise they’re mostly pronounced as they’re spelt, but my personal favourite has always been Te Puke, in the Bay of Plenty. It rhymes with cookie, and until I was 12 never thought of any other way it might be pronounced….!

  46. Sue June 10, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    Not a month ago I was looking at the homepage to find a way to ask you how to pronounce your own name–thanks! I was going for Tuh SEE uh, but didn’t like it. TAS ee uh is much better. And yes, many beautiful photos. Thank you.

  47. Debbie June 10, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

    What a lovely article, I really enjoyed reading about how you named your patterns, as well as reading about the Vancouver area (and beyond!). I spent two weeks working in my company’s Vancouver office a few years ago and had a great time, lovely city!

  48. Gail June 10, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    I definitely want to visit Vancouver now! Thanks for this beautiful post!

  49. Rachelle June 10, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    Love this! When you write about all the patterns it really is amazing how many you have made!

  50. Mai June 10, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos and descriptions of Vancouver. I love this post!

    I too have personal connections to many of the names of your patterns–I lived in West End not far from Prndrell St., a close friend of mine lived on Thurlow, my apartment was on Alma when I went to UBC, etc., etc. Of course I got all the pronunciations right! Even Minoru, which is a guy’s name in Japanese. Since I am Japanese and live in Japan at the moment, I feel all the more familiar to it!

    Your post made me want to visit Vancouver soon!

  51. Amanda June 10, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

    In addition to just plain loving words, my job is proofing audiobooks so I really enjoy learning local (and correct!) pronunciations of places so I can make sure my narrators are saying things the right way. Thanks for the post! :)

  52. Rebekah June 10, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    Love this! We were just in Vancouver a few weeks ago and everywhere we went I noticed another Sewaholic pattern name. My husband was making fun of me for geeking out.

  53. heartofstone June 10, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

    I love the photo you chose of Pendrell St. I live only two blocks up from there and walk by it all the time. Those two buildings are my favourite and would love to see the insides some day!!

  54. Tobie June 11, 2013 at 12:55 am #

    The photo for the Alma blouse made my day – I grew up on W. 14th, and my grandmother lived on Alma, so that street sign is very familiar! Thanks for the trip down memory lane :)

  55. ZoSews June 11, 2013 at 3:11 am #

    Fun read! I’ve been saying, min-or-roo lol

  56. Emma Jayne June 11, 2013 at 4:39 am #

    Ahhh the steam clock… I remember that from my trip in 2003… eek where has the time gone?!

  57. Sølvi June 11, 2013 at 5:31 am #

    What a pretty city you live in! Thanks for the tour. :-)

  58. Andrea June 11, 2013 at 5:56 am #

    I just spent ten months living in the Sunshine Coast, a hop and skip (i.e. ferry ride) away from Vancouver. Every time we went into the city I would take pictures of the street signs that go with your pattern names. A friend of mine lives on Thurlow, we hit Cordova every time we went to Gastown, the Cambie St. bridge was crossed more than once, we passed Renfrew St. on our way to Commercial Drive and I even found Alma St. while walking along 4th Ave., way past Kitsilano. Oh, and of course we visited Tofino and Vancouver Island.

    I kept telling my husband about your patterns and how they were all named after Vancouver landmarks and he thought that was great. We’ve been back in Ontario for a month now but seeing your photos of Vancouver makes me a bit homesick for the wonderful time we had while on sabbatical in your beautiful part of the country. I hope it’s not long before I’m able to go back for a visit. Thanks for the tour!

  59. Andrea June 11, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    Aw, nice! Glad my Minoru word fumbling inspired this lovely post. (I definitely pronounced it min-O-ru in my head before I asked the question on my blog and you and others clarified for me). Vancouver seems absolutely beautiful and I’d love to visit one day. I’ll pack all my handmade Sewaholic pieces, for sure.

  60. Adeline June 11, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

    Mountains! They are absolutely stunning! Especially in Cambie, it is totally different from where I lived. This just made me add Canada to my “where I want to visit in 2014” list. Would love to see it in flesh!

  61. Nikki June 12, 2013 at 1:29 am #

    Oh wow! What a great tour of the city. When can I come visit? It looks stunning! Thanks Tasia.

  62. Sara June 12, 2013 at 2:07 am #

    I’ve always loved that you named your patterns after places in Vancouver! I grew up in West Van, and just wanted to point out that that’s actually where Hollyburn Country Club is, not North Van! It makes me really happy that I can support a fellow Vancouverite by buying your patterns. Thanks for adding to the cool small businesses of Canada!

    • Tasia June 12, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

      Oh thanks! I forget where West Van ends and North Van takes over, thanks for clearing that up for me!

  63. Lora June 12, 2013 at 4:42 pm #


    I have wondered how you name your patterns. I really enjoyed the explanation and tour. Yes, I would love to visit your fair city!


  64. Justine June 13, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

    Funny that you should post this now, I just left Vancouver and I noticed all the names when I was there!

  65. cathy June 15, 2013 at 8:07 am #

    One day, Im going to bring all my sewaholic memades to visit Vancouver and have a photo shoot! Thank you for the tour of your beautiful city

  66. girl, meets wolf June 23, 2013 at 8:28 am #

    I love this, it’s great to see how close I got to the correct pronunciation. My reading of new words has become skewed since moving to Wales so I keep reading f’s as v’s. Loving all the photos you included, Vancouver’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to go and your pictures have only cemented that!

  67. Loretta June 24, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    Tasia, this is one of my favourite articles which you have written! I am going to really have to purchase the Alma blouse pattern, as my paternal Grandma’s name is Alma, and she was named after an aunt. My Dad’s family lived on Cordova street when they first arrived in Vancouver back in 1941, so I’ll also have to purchase the Cordova jacket! But first I have to shed those pounds…I just love your blog.

  68. Sandi H. July 7, 2013 at 10:40 am #

    Hi, I just found your site today, I’m a born in Vancouver gal myself. I’m impressed with your pattern names and showing off our city so well. I also lived in Burnaby in my teens, the west end as a young adult. Then I lived in a few neighbourhoods on the west side of Vancouver before moving to the Royal City-New Westminster.

    Keep up the great designing and naming trends, perhaps a Queen’s Park shawl is in your future?

  69. Lisa August 1, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    What a fun post! As a resident of BC and regular visitor to the Lower Mainland I recognized most of your pattern names immediately and thought it was a very clever idea! The Thurlow, Lonsdale and Robson designs in particular are perfectly suited to their names.

    It’s great to share the background with all of your readers and it makes the patterns that more meaningful to people. Maybe one day there will be a Sewaholic sewing retreat featuring stops at all of the various locations!

    Continuing with the theme may I suggest Barclay, Langara and Georgia? Oh and how about a Delilah!?! I loved that restaurant and am soooooo disappointed that it closed down.

    And if you work your way inland and want to do an Okanagan series (where I live), how about Kasagui, Abbott and Skaha? Just to name a few…So many fun choices!


  70. Beverly Falk August 19, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    This was so great to read. I live in Toronto now, but grew up in Vancouver. Although most of the pattern names were familiar to me, it still didn’t dawn on me that they were all Vancouver and southern BC place names — I just knew they sounded familiar. I used to take the Cambie St. bus into downtown when I was a kid. Thanks for refreshing my memories. :)

  71. Carol October 21, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    Loved this post!! When my family and I take a trip to Seattle we will drive to Vancouver!! I was thinking your name was “Tay-Zha”. I have a friend with that name and it’s spelled the same as yours. But now I know how to pronounce your name – It suits your smile!!


  1. Inside Sewaholic Patterns: an Interview with Tasia | Dresses & Me - July 14, 2013

    […] wondering how Tasia chooses the names for her patterns they are place names, you can find out more here. Tasia lives in Vancouver, Canada. She blogs at here and sells her patterns at Sewaholic.net […]