Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Radical Combination of Knits & Wovens!

Innovating with Knits and Wovens gives you that designer edge and look!
Isn't life great? Top designers are combining flowing wovens with drapey knits! You can too! Sewing your own clothes allows the freedom of design and expression. This is really exemplified here!
All fabrics and patterns mentioned are available on our website!
Knits give a flattering fit and still leave plenty of breathing space.
Wovens are flouncy and flowing. But we often use them in separate garments. In this newsletter, we tackle the challenges of combining these two terrific textiles into one delightful garment.
We want to make it worth your time to sew - go ahead - pick style, fit, fabrics, colors, textures, to combine in ways that are unique and couldn't find in any store! You really do get to have it all! 
Look for patterns with distinct elements. For example, a dress that acts as a combination of  separate elements - here as a skirt with a top. This Kwik Sew pattern has a  wide waistband between the bodice and skirt, which makes it ideal.
The bodice is designed for stretch knits and the gathered skirt would work well with a woven. The wide elastic band at the waist will hold and tame any wavy seams.
This green and black chevron stretch silk
44" wide stretch silk charmeuse with shades of olive green, black  chevron pattern against a natural white background. 14" repeat, chevrons  run with selvedge)
pairs wells with
a black lightweight knit  -
a Modal Rayon/Spandex blend jersey knit in black.  94% Modal, 6% Spandex.  Dry clean recommended. Modal is a type of rayon, a semi-synthetic  cellulose fiber made by spinning reconstituted cellulose, in this case  often from beech trees.
So we've taken the guesswork out of the process for you!
Simply order online or look for the pink stars on the bolts and you will know what to pair together!
Try a stretchy knit at the tummy for support and comfort!
You can really see how this would work in the next pics.
Use a knit for the waist yoke. This allows for comfort and body changes. For more support, you can make the yoke taller and fold it over like yoga pants. If you are looking to expand a maternity wardrobe, you could make the  waist band in two different sizes and swap it out for the larger size as  your pregnancy progresses A long shirt can cover the band for ease. From the pictures below, you can really start to imagine how this pattern can be used to combine knits and wovens.
This pattern also includes a tank top. You can make the front in a silk or rayon and the back panel in a knit! This technique will also work on most sleeveless shirt patterns (avoid sleeves for this type of technique) You have the best of both worlds - ease and stretch  in the back and style and a very flattering fabric in the front.

Remember - this pattern is designed for knits - it has no darts it and will sew up too tight in a woven. It's important to make a test garment when replacing patterns made for knit with a woven portion since a pattern designed for knits relies on on the give of a knit when they are graded and will not fit the same in a woven fabric. Don't be afraid to play and experiment!
Beginners will be happiest with cotton wovens, but use a solid kona cotton on the back and a fun cotton woven print on the front!
Just because you are a beginner doesn't mean you lose out on the fun: Change things up - try variety!
Here are a few other shirt patterns that can be tried with this technique. This easy tank from New Look is a winner. The darts at the front work well for rayon or silk, while the back is good for knit. Now here is where your fabric pairing pays off : you get to skip the back zipper and make the back into one piece instead of two! Bonus! And you haven't even started to wear it!
Pattern - New Look - 6483 - Tank
The drapeyness of this shirt is great for the rayon or silk front.
The tucks are great in the rayon and the back can be a plain knit.

Pattern - New Look - 6102 - Top, Dress, Scarf
Look at your pattern stash - there are other patterns that work well for this technique that we have discussed in previous newsletters - For example - you can breath new life into your Titus patterns!

Pattern - Titus - Spring Cami
Tips and Quips  
The different stretch of knits and wovens affects the way the joining seam acts. It may be wavy or  pucker.
Test, Test, Test!  

Sew swatches of each fabric together to see how they act when sewn and washed.

Look for stable knits with minimal stretch.  

Avoid structured garments.

Stay with design and fitting elements that work with each fabric, for example darts work best with wovens and are generally better avoided with knits.

Choose fabrics of the same weight. If the woven is heavier than the knit, it will pull it out of shape.

Try a T-shirt top with a woven skirts - puckering at waistline can be covered up with elastic. 

Avoid combining wovens and knits around difficult to fit areas such as the bust and arrmsyche. The negative ease of the knit can be  difficult to combine with the regular ease of the woven, creating a fitting issue. The result is that the woven can "hold" the knit away from the body, making the underarm and bust fit incorrectly.  
This is a nice pattern for combining knits and wovens for comfort and wearability. The easy fit in the jumper lets you confidently combine these two very different types of fabric. The modern lines make it ideal for a unique design. Try alternating colors  or mixing a graphic pattern with a solid. Get creative!
The center back panel piece is a great place to add in your knit fabric  for movement, comfort, and ease. This allows you to use non-stretchy wovens in front without sacrificing fit or structure.
Look for stable knits with minimal stretch
Ponte is a good knit to try for its stability. You will have to use it with a heavier cotton or a linen.
Stonemountain & Daughter sewing instructor Barbara Beccio recommends sewing in a twill tape to stabilize the knit as you would in a bias cut dress. For a delicate knit, you can also try sewing in silk organza to stabilize the seam.
 You can stabilize and baste the tape inside the stitch line - so Barbara recommends using a 1/8" inch strip.
Another method suggested by our own customer service representative, Gerri --- is to cut your woven on the bias and to match the stretch of the bias woven to the stretch of the knit.
Have you ever put a knit and woven together in a garment sucessfully?
Let us know your results! Email us or share on Facebook.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Calling all Quilters!

Why not make a flower quilt?! It is springtime and flowers are coming up in abundance! Come celebrate spring at Stonemountain & Daughter and run your fingers through our flowery cotton prints.

Flowery cotton fabric    

Here is a beautiful flower quilt to try -
Postage Stamp Posies from Needlings patterns.

Quilt pattern - Postage Stamp Posies - Needlings
This is a variation on an Irish Chain quilt. It is also known as a "Postage Stamp" quilt as the squares are about the size of a postage stamp  - 1 1/4". Frugal housewives in the past didn't want to waste even an inch of fabric and put it to good use in a quilt like this. This quilt sounds intimidating but it is not.. all the units are constructed in strip sets which makes the cutting and sewing much easier.. Use any combination of fat quarters or scraps to make this quilt your own personal statement!
This quilt can be made as a Wall Hanging (41" x 41") a Twin (61" x 81") a Full ( 81" x 90") or a Queen (101" x 101")
Quilters love fat quarters and Stonemountain & Daughter has a great selection of pre-cut fat quarters!
Never has it been easier to stitch up some fun!
Tips and Quips
          What is a "Fat Quarter"?
A fat quarter is a quarter yard of fabric, cut as a smaller rectangle instead of a long strip (essentially a half yard of fabric cut in half - usually measuring 18" x 22") and is there for useful for many small projects. Stonemountain does not cut fat quarters off the bolt, instead we carry a diverse selection of pre-cut fat quarters.

Pattern - 5 & Dime Quilt by All Washed Up Quilts
This pattern is made just for fat quarters
It is called 5 & dime - because it takes about 5 minutes to shop and about 10 minutes to cut out the entire top! This is an ideal pattern for beginners and experienced quilters in a hurry (think birthday gifts and holidays!) Choose a bundle of fat quarters and a focus fabric and you are ready to have fun!
This quilt can be made in three sizes: Lap or Child (44" x 62"), Throw (67" x 93") or Queen (85" x 93")
          How do I make my own fat quarter?
To make your own fat quarter lay out a half yard of fabric. Cut the fabric in half on the fold - voila, now you have two fat quarters. You can keep one and give one to a quilting friend! A great way to develop your stash!

Fat Quarters - $3.50 each
          What can I do with a fat quarter?
Quilters have always loved them - but if you are not a quilter, don't let that limit you! Check out this great article on our How to Quilt Pinterest board - 25 Things To Do With Fat Quarters.. this article links over to 25 free tutorials for making everything from notebook and checkbook covers, to baby bibs and a diaper carrier, to a iphone case and a snazzy camera strap...there is even a cute little owl!

A sampling of Stonemountain & Daughter's Fat Quarters!

Here is another cute flower quilt to try from Cleo's Designs..
          This quilt is 42" x 49"
Inspired? - Learn to Quilt!

May Quilting Classes
Stonemountain has an array of various quilting notions for the fine quilter...We have everything from quilting gloves to sewing gauges and templates to glow-line tape - in our upcoming newsletters we will explain what some of these unique and nifty notions do!
Below are the wide selection of quilting rulers and guides you will find...Quilting is all about the joys of measuring!  
    Happy Quilting and wishes for continued creativity and joy!