Saturday, March 29, 2014

Buy it or Sew it?

All you have to do is spend a few hours at the mall to spot a very popular trend in spring fashion - black and white stripes are EVERYWHERE and in every type of garment, from blouses to dresses to skirts.  We love this bold fashion statement - but some of us just hate shopping (not ME)! 

On a rainy day, it's nice to go to the mall and leisurely browse through the racks to see if something catches your eye. Shopping without purpose or expectation can be a great way to spend the day.  But IF you are looking for something specific, it can be a challenge - So many stores! Who has exactly what I want? I have to go through ALL of them?! (Who knew? My amazing seamstress Laurel would rather be shopping for storage containers!)

The mall has an advantage - at a glance how amazing and wonderful a custom wardrobe can be! It also allows you to test out different cuts (princess seams, cowl necks, 3/4 length sleeves, capri pants, wrap dresses and much more), prints, fabrics and colors! Let me just use that black and white fashion trend to illustrate a case in point of how shopping can be more of a challenge than a pleasure: Say we are looking for a maxi skirt...much like the one Laurel (of Laurel's Quill) envisions for her Paris trip this fall - a black and white knit (probably in a ponte knit as it is more stable and travels well) with a chevron pattern down the center front. She heads for the mall thinking that with the plethora of black and white stripe garments, she can probably just buy one off the rack and save herself some sewing time.

There are stripes everywhere, but either the fabric content is wrong, or the style isn't right or the stripes are not what she wanted (wrong width, too close together, and oh, no, it hurts my eyes).

On and on, through the racks....right skirt , wrong stripe. Right stripe, wrong style, etc. etc.

Every store has some version of black and white striped garments...

You can even find accessories in stripes! Feeling overwhelmed yet?
I'm ready for more, but Laurel needs a break.

This shopping circus is why I own a fabric store. I can keep up with all the latest trends and our customers can create these same styles they see in the magazines and stores AND the finished garment is exactly what they wanted! (we won't go into that not fun stuff about the whole micro-cubbie that they call a fitting room where you wrestle your way through a pile of garments that don't fit, don't look right and cost way too much!)

And that's why we sew! Laurel can find some great black and white stripes here at Stonemountain,

like this yummy rayon/poly knit in Burda 3152...

So, do you shop or do you sew? For Laurel, it's a lot less stressful to peruse the racks of sumptuous fabric bolts and wait for inspiration to hit than a trip to the mall. I had more fun and productive shopping online looking for patterns on the Stonemountain site and came up with all these fun projects!

 Vogue 8843, Marcy Tilton Bag

Check out this Aurelia Cardigan -
It's a Sew Liberated Pattern and we have a sample garment up in the store. It could be cute for spring!

You have to love this Marcy Tilton dress - Vogue 8975

I love these pants: Sewing Workshop Urban Pants (great in linen and cotton)


Why not try a bag for Spring - the fabric possibilities are endless! 
Vogue 8783, Marcy Tilton Bag

For a spring dress, try a vintage look - the Decades of Style 1920's Tierific Ensemble
This dress would be fabulous in our cotton lawn or ethnic fabrics.

This light shawl would be perfect for the warming evenings

Of course you can't go wrong with a great T-shirt pattern. 
it would go with the bottoms and light summer jackets and purses...

Or this pretty cute jacket out of Knits - Pamela's Patterns 110 Cool Cardigan

Speaking of shoes: Not all shopping is fact, I scored some great shoes on my last trip to the mall.  I was thinking of spring and summer with every pair I tried.  I'm trying to be purposeful about my spring wardrobe planning, and I can't wait to match these up with some great spring and summer fabrics.

Stay tuned as we take some of these projects above and make them a reality in the next few weeks!

Creatively Yours

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