Swatch of the Month inspiration featuring August’s Swatch of the Month; Plain Cake Yarn by Madelinetosh; Dyeing yarn in Madelinetosh dye studio; Plain Cake from The Factory Café; The Wrap Top Kit in Black; Madelinetosh Yarn.

We first met Laura Zander (now CEO of Madelinetosh) at one of our sewing workshops hosted at The Factory in 2016. Immersed in the study of sewing, community, and craft, Laura spent her time at The Factory absorbing every detail and experience with fellow participants and our team. When we began discussing this collaboration, Laura shared that she loved the Plain Cake, made by our café and served as an afternoon treat. She wondered if we might do a yarn inspired by the rich color of the cake batter. A blend of fresh farm egg yolks, organic flour, vanilla, butter and sugar, the cake batter developed a light nutty color that was at once beautiful and delicious. It’s wonderful to realize how this memory of cake, made and eaten in Alabama, translated into a yarn, which is made by the hands of hard-working dyers at Madelinetosh in Texas.  

The Plain Cake yarn, developed exclusively for our collaboration, is a single-ply, 100% Superwash Merino Wool and is from Madelinetosh’s Tosh Merino Light line. Its hue is inspired by the rich color of Plain Cake batter, and subscribers receive 50 yards to complete their swatch.  

Madelinetosh thoughtfully and ethically sources their yarn from Peru and South Africa, then expertly dyes them by hand in Fort Worth, Texas. Their mill in Peru has many certifications including Peru Fair Trade and Oeko Tex, and they work with some of the most environmentally friendly and water-efficient mills in the world to source their fibers. Additionally, Madelinetosh uses food-grade citric acid and vinegar in the dyeing process, which are biodegradable and made from natural materials. They dye in small batches which is key to their color quality and consistency. 

Swatch of the Month inspiration featuring Plain Cake Journal Cover Kit; Plain Cake Yarn by Madelinetosh; Fabric Swatch in Fern Sand with French Knots; Fresh farm eggs in Heath Ceramics Cereal Bowl from the Coupe Line on backstitched rooster table. Photograph by Angie Mosier; Plain Cake Tea Towel Kit;  Madelinetosh Yarn in the studio.

Register for Swatch of the Month here for an exploration in embroidery that includes exclusive content, instructions, and access every month. For August, subscribers will have access to a Q+A with Natalie and Laura Zander, CEO of Madelinetosh, in a virtual session today at 4 p.m. CST.   

Find our latest kits—the journal and tea towel DIY kits featuring Plain Cake yarn—along with other fern-inspired kits the Wrap Top and Panel Tunic among our featured designs from The School of Making.  


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