Saturday, January 29, 2022

What's happening at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics? Let's catch up!

Hi all, I am inspired to begin posting here again after a long pause. I see that many of you still visit my blog and there is much to share. As you may know, I am the long time co-owner of Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics in Berkeley California. I am 4th generation in a long line of fabric merchants and joined my father in 1981 in our Berkeley location as I was finishing up college at UC Berkeley.

So many things are happening with the store these days that I will share here in this space. How does that sound? 

Here are some current photos that I took this week around the store that can give you a sense of how things are looking and evolving as we continue to reopen to in store customers.


So happy to be open to in store shoppers again!

Our downtown Berkeley location - 2 floors and 3 rooms!

A look into the Fashion Room!

Our new area for Deadstock/Designer ends is shaping up!

As you walk into our Main Room...

From here you can head into our Fashion Room
and then onto the Upstairs

A peak down one of the Rayon aisles in the Fashion Room

Upstairs is open and full of half priced treasures and all those remnants
we have been collecting while doing online only for 19 months.


Selling these remnants by the pound was our best idea - they are going fast!

A wonderful visit with my Dad - he just turned 89 years old!

Great to see water returning to our local reservoir -
feels like there is a metaphor here for me!

A lovely hike to the coast is so renewing

Time in nature is so essential

Wishing you warmth, creativity, and love!
Suzan

follow me on Instagram @fabriclady3
email my store with any questions at 

Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics in Berkeley
since 1981
(full service brick and mortar and online 
for fine fabrics, patterns, and notions)
2518 Shattuck Ave @ Dwight Way
Berkeley, CA 94704





Saturday, February 15, 2020

The secret is out about Linen!

Welcome to 2020's Linen Celebration - 
The Perfect Transitional Fabric from Winter to Spring!

Linen Lovers! Natalie, Laurel, myself, and Catherine wearing some of our favorite Linen makes.
Flax Plants
We can all agree that natural fibers are perfect for summers - they breathe and tend to be cooler on hot days.  Linen is a great alternative to cotton for warm weather garments, especially if you are looking for both comfort and style. Ever wonder why some of the posh retail stores feature entire bed ensembles made from linen? It's absorbent and strong characteristics make for cool comfort in the hottest (and most humid) weather.

Check out some of these beauties that are on our shelves right now - lots of 100% Flax linen along with Flax linen blended with cotton and rayon for softness and wearability.




I am also embracing Linen as more of a year round woven to go with our growing wardrobe of handmade makes. I love to wear my linen pants year round with my ikat tops and jackets. Plus my linen tops go with everything! We are breaking all kinds of rules, and this is at the top of my list - Linen as a year round fabric!!! 

Hands down, Nevada Linen from Europe is one of our favorite choices because of its weight, color range, quality, and versatility. 


Our beautiful Nevada Linen show with our Atelier Brunette - Joy Enamel Buttons!
Our beautiful Nevada Linen show with our Atelier Brunette - Joy Enamel Buttons!

GREAT TIP from Sandra Betzina! If you want your linen to wrinkle a lot less, do the following: Before you prewash your linen, iron the linen with the hottest, dry iron possible. This will set a wrinkle-less finish, which is already on the fabric. Next, wash and dry your linen in the hottest water and hottest dryer you have. Take out of the dryer when close to bone dry. You will notice that smaller softer wrinkles have replaced the hard crease usually associated with the fabric. Repeating this process will lessen the amount of wrinkles over time. 
(We've shared this awesome technique before, but it bears repeating - and it's perfect for any of the other 100% linens we stock in the store)

Nevada linen is a perfect bottom weight linen, so naturally, pants and skirts are amazing made-up in this fabric. Here are a couple of go-to suggestions:
It all comes together with the right fabric, patterns, thread, and custom labels from Stonemountain & Daughter!
This Sienna by Closet Case patterns looks good!
Here's another linen fav by True Bias - The Emerson Pant 

My favorite pant to make!
Pants No. 1 by 100 Acts of Sewing
Check out Laurel's linen Flint pants!
Flint Pants made with Nevada Linen

Then of course, there is the Lander Pants also by True Bias and many more choices...                                                                          

Nevada linen is also perfect for dresses...
The Apron Dress by Assembly Line 


Love my linen Dress No. 1 as a layering piece also!
With so many choices to consider - check out our Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics website, or better yet, come see and touch for yourself.  I 'm ready to pick some of our newer patterns to add to my linen wardrobe.  How about you? This truly is the best time for linen and all the great pattern choices for every body and every season! We have hundreds of linen and linen-blend choices on our website and even more in our Fashion Room waiting for you.

I hope you will head over to Stonemountain's website/blog and read the Let's Talk Linen blog: "Linen can be used for any pattern that calls for woven fabric—the trick is just in figuring out the right type and weight for your project. Whether this is your first time working with linen or your hundredth, we’re always happy to help you find the perfect fabric."

What will you make out of this versatile and loved fabric?


May you be inspired today in all that you do!

Happy Sewing,
Suzan

Monday, January 6, 2020

You Don't have to Knit to make a Sweater!

Years ago, Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics carried yarn in the store. We had a whole community of knitters and crocheters who could made the most beautiful hand-made sweaters, scarves and craft projects. In time, other great yarn stores opened up and we eventually settled into doing what we do best - selling fabric!


Out an about wearing my new Helene Cardigan, Lark Tee, and Emerson Pants
That being said, just because you don't knit or crochet doesn't mean that you can't have a beautiful sweater. Our Indie pattern designers are always out there in front of the design curve, adding unique sweater patterns to their collections.


Check out the pattern choices!


Remember this knit cocoon Cardigan from Jalie
I love and wear this so much!



Jalie Cocoon Cardigan - #3353 - link here



This open cardigan with cascading panels is
another wonderful choice by Sewing Workshop Patterns


The Fjord Cardi
I love this one too -
Its the super comfy cardigan named the
 Fjord Cardi!

Papercut Patterns Fjord Cardi!



Jalie has so many great patterns and we love this classic jewel neck cardigan called the Charlotte

And of course, Stonemountain has jumped in with both feet to provide you with a wide array of knit fabrics perfect for the perfect sweater! Can we talk cozy and unique fabrics?





























A closer look...
Beautiful Speckled Sweater Knit


Double faced wool sweater knit

Viscose Sweater Knit - Alpine Stripe!

Check out this Jacquard Sweater Knit with this Geometric Panel - you can really use these panels in such creative ways!

Sewing sweater fabric may seam a little daunting, but the only difference in sewing these fabrics and ordinary knits used for tees and dresses is their considerable weight. Adjustments to your machine's tension, stitch length may be necessary to achieve a nice finish.


I chose this ribbed knit for my Helene sweater, from Jalie. 



The Helene is an open front cardigan with a high back neck, slight peplum to the back with a super easy pocket and a waist seam that allows for color blocking. We made it up in Jalies' size V, which is pretty much a size 8.




Since the ribbed knit had such a distinct pattern, we decided to change the direction for the lower half of the sweater to add some pizazz! The sleeve ribbing runs in the same direction as the top half of the sweater.




Laurel chose to sew most of our sweater with her serger, allowing for the most stretch in the knit, although certain seams were sewn on her machine using a tight zig-zag stitch. It isn't really necessary to machine finish or bind the seams of most knit fabrics and they normally don't ravel, even though we did so on this garment.



Note: Many sergers are challenging to thread, so often times, sewists just keep using the same threads.  However, when you are actually "sewing" a garment together using a serger, you may want the left-hand needle thread to match your fabric as closely as possible. And since we don't always find serger thread that matches exactly, you can use your high quality sewing machine thread for the perfect match.  We stock so many colors of Gutermann threads!




The pattern instructions call for a machine finished hems and edging, by folding the hems 3/4" and then top stitching.  An alternative method would be turn the hems and blind stitch them in place by hand, the method we used for this ribbed knit.


Sweaters are the perfect layering garments for my work day at the store. This Helene is awesome!

Laurel and I out celebrating our collaboration of over 6 years! We love our mission to sew up patterns for this blog and to display at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics. Laurel is wearing a wonderful Hinterland Dress out of a fabulous Japanese Cotton.

I am wishing you warmth, creativity, 
and love in this new year!

In gratitude,
Suzan

follow me on Instagram @fabriclady3
email me at fabriclady3@gmail.com or email my store with any questions at info@stonemountainfabric.com

Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics in Berkeley
since 1981
www.stonemountainfabric.com (full service brick and mortar and online pageant of fine fabrics, patterns, and notions)
2518 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94704

I would like to leave you with this message,

“There is something wonderfully bold and liberating about saying yes to our entire imperfect and messy life.” 

― Tara BrachRadical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha