Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Let's Get Started 2016 - The Year of the Indie Pattern!

It's so fun to start a new year here at Stonemountain - all the great new fabrics just waiting to be worked up by our loyal and creative sewists and waiting for the new independent patterns to come out!  This month we are celebrating our independent pattern designers with Indie Pattern Month.

The world of sewing has changed over the years. In the past, all the design choices were from the big pattern companies. Now many wonderful designers are sharing their exciting talent and vision with us through their patterns - big thanks to all the "femprenuers!" Let's get to know them and try out more of their patterns in 2016.

Each day in January we are featuring one of our independent pattern designers and asking you to show us your creations on Instagram! Every Thursday, we will have a pattern giveaway from one of our Indie Pattern designers.

My seamstress and dear friend Laurel is having her own little challenge - a real stash buster of sorts.  Many of the UFO's (Unfinished Objects) in her stash pile include garments from our Indie pattern designers. As we work on these garments throughout 2016, we will try to spend time giving you a better perspective on pattern design and fabric choice. We'll be sharing our successes and our failures... yes, we do have them, just like you!

UFO pile: My stuff and Laurel's stuff
In keeping with our Indie Pattern Month, our first UFO of 2016 is Grainline Studio's Tiny Pocket tank.  We've had this pattern since last Fall, so it will be done just in time for our January challenge,  #indiepatternmonth. (Be sure to check us out on Instagram and join in the fun!)

We originally chose a lightweight ponte knit in a beautiful red to go with our Fall wardrobe capsule. Right away, we learned the error of our fabric choice as Laurel began to work it up in a similar knit fabric just to see how it would go - a muslin of sorts.

Do you see the word "knit" anywhere in the suggested fabrics? Me neither. Lesson Number One for 2016: Read the back of the pattern. The suggestions are there for a reason.

Ponte is a lovely fabric, but it can be bulky around the seams. Not too far into the garment construction, we figured that whole bulky aspect out when attempting to make the tiny pocket.  And it IS tiny! And it is unlined, adding to the difficultly of sewing it on to the tank front without creating some major puckers. For the heavier fabric in this case, Laurel employed that old tried and true technique of basting.

Next, we had a little stress over the facings. Any time you are working with narrow shoulder seams, your fabric needs to be lightweight, and our knit, even though it is lightweight for a ponte, proved to be a challenge. These bias facings are tricky and called for more basting. But since this tank was to be a test garment of sorts, we just noted the bulkiness and vowed to do better on the next go-around.  That's what sewing is: an exercise in learning and improving with each garment.

In the end, Grainline's Tiny Pocket Tank is pretty adorable. The pattern is easy and would have been a lot easier for Laurel if we had chosen the proper fabric. Laurel adjusted the shoulders somewhat so the armholes would not be too large. Next time, we would probably line the pocket, as it is so small and hard to get a crisp turn on the edges.

Though this version reminds me a little of workout gear, I can't wait to try it in a soft voile or cotton lawn...just like the pattern suggests.

If you want to do this great tank in a class here at Stonemountain - check out our time for this on our website!

We are excited about what 2016 brings! We'll be concentrating on our independent patterns and showing how you can make a pattern your own through your fabric choices and combinations.  Let's let creativity rule this year!

Please keep us in the loop with your progress this year - we love seeing your finished projects.  After all, you inspire us!

2016 will be a year for us to truly follow our heart's desire. Let's discover the pleasure of creating custom garments that use the fabric we love in styles that flatter.

Creatively Yours,

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