Monday, May 22, 2017

Tee it up for Summer! Yep it's Me Made May Time!

Jalie 3352

With such a huge selection of knits available at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics in Berkeley, it's no wonder that making tee shirts for the Spring and Summer is one of our favorite sews. Whether it be cotton or rayon knit, the prints and designs are infinite, so every tee looks unique, even if you reuse the pattern over and over. We've even noticed that the overall quality of knit fabrics has improved over our 34 years here at Stonemountain, so we totally enjoy finding those unusual prints for you.

If this is your first experience with knits, you may want to try a more stable, soft cotton knit before you pick an even softer rayon knit...and by all means, save our luscious silk knits until you've got a couple of tees under your belt - slippery little devils! :) We stock great polyester knits as well, but we're thinking summer heat so the breathable natural fabrics are best for tees - save those polys for Fall and Winter.

We have been enjoying the focus on Indie Patterns for quite a while now. Over on Instagram, our sewing community is sharing their creations for Me Mad May! You can use the hashtag #memademay and always remember to tag #stonemountainfabric if you use our patterns or fabric! If you are not on there following @stonemountainfabric and @fabriclady3, do head on over!

One of our go-to patterns is Grainline Studio's Lark Tee.  It's an easy pattern for intermediate sewists, but even a beginner who's just trying their first knit tee can probably handle it. Perfect for getting started with #memademay or your summer sewing! Here one we've made in the past for me...

This graphic print was more challenging to cut out then it was to sew.

Laurel is addicted to the Lark - last Winter she made three of them in one sitting.

So naturally, as she looked forward to the summer months ahead, she returned to the Lark, but with shorter sleeves for the valley heat. The Lark has four sleeve variations and four necklines to choose from - that's what makes it such a great pattern.  We both also love that it is fitted and longer in the torso.

Why not do another "power sewing" day and make three at a time - especially when they all will use the same color thread! Much of the sewing on knits can be done with a serger - the side and shoulder seams, as well as finishing off the edges. Each variation of the Lark Tee neckline comes with a perfectly fitting neck binding pattern piece, so no guesswork is needed.  The sleeves are sewn in using a stretch stitch (you can use a small zig-zag stitch) and then finished with a serged edge for neatness.

Our Buyers Lauren and Liz are always talking sewing techniques with Laurel, and Lauren has been touting the twin needle finish on the hems. So let's give it a try, using a wooly nylon in the bobbin. We had to mess with the tension a bit to reduce the tunneling that sometimes occurs with certain knits.

Two spools of the same color thread
Laurel actually used a jeans twin needle, as the needles were farther apart. And she set the stitch length for 3.0
 Not a bad result...right?!

 On this rayon knit, she used the v-neck option and a deeper hem.

We love this cotton animal pattern soft and cute.

In the absence of an expensive Cover Stitch machine, this twin needle finish is great.

I think Laurel picked up some turquoise denim last month...this needs a pair of Morgan Jeans, right??
The third tee wasn't as cooperative with the twin needle as the other two fabrics, so we just reverted back to a multi zig-zag to finish it off.  In fact, the fabric got a little tangled up in the plate and whoops...naturally, the hole is on the front of the sleeve...oh well. Finished is better then perfect!

We love the shorter cap sleeve version too!

Most of our Indie pattern makers offer some sort of a tee shirt pattern, so don't be limited in your pattern selections. Why not also try this cute Dolman top from Jalie #3352...

Jalie 3352

Or this raglan tee, also from Jalie 3245...

Jalie 3245
After all, variety is the spice of life! And we certainly have enough variety in the fabrics to choose from.  Here's a couple I chose ( you know how I have that Celestial thing going)

Get your tees started now, before the summer the heats up.

What are you most desiring to make?

I hope that my blog is serving to inspire you to get your summer sewing planned out!

With all the great new patterns and high quality of fabric at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics, we got this, right?!

Now step on over to the inspiring blog of my Berkeley Fabric store and read more about Me Made May and what our customers are doing with our fabric!

"It's so inspiring to see what our customers create with our fabrics and patterns!  We thought we'd gather together some of the garments we've seen on Instagram this past month, and we hope it inspires you too!"

Me Made May Round Up for Stonemountain!

Creatively yours,

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Monday, May 1, 2017

Oh Sonya - We Are Glad We Found You!

Get ready for sewing blast off this May! I am so excited to bring you some great patterns to get started sewing for warmer weather and #memademay17! 

We've talked a lot about how fabric choices can change the look and feel of a pattern and nowhere is this more on point than with the design aesthetic of Sonya Philips' 100 Acts of Sewing pattern line. These wonderful designs have simple lines and not a lot of frills, leaving you the opportunity to make each garment your own through fabric choices.

Today is the perfect day to wear my Dress No. 2

Lauren was thinking the same thing when she chose her Dress No. 1 to wear.

Dress No 1, Claire is wearing her Cleo Dungaree Dress by Tilly and the Buttons and I'm in Dress No. 2

Dress No. 2 Great in wovens and knits!

Feels so good on!

Looks amazing in this Poly Burnoout Knit we got in!

This easy top (Shirt No. 1) takes about an hour to whip up - why not try a soft ikat, linen or double gauze - perfect for Spring and Summer!!

My Shirt No. 1 is amazing!
One way to make the Dress No.1 or 2 is to change up the pockets - or leave them off altogether!  Depending on your fabric's pattern, why not try switching up the direction of the pocket, like these large stars - the pockets are turned 90 degrees on the pattern.

Take one of our African Cotton Imports and make
the Ultimate Dress No. 1
Or try cutting the pocket pattern on the bias - works great with plaids and checks!

Dress No. 1

Love this!

Pocket Detail!
And of course, we love layers!! Make two Dress No.1's and alter the hem length on one.

Together! Heavenly!  Made in Loominous 2 fabric by Anna Maria Horner.
Laurel cut the neckline slightly lower on one dress, so the other would show.

Details, details!

Great to find two fabrics that play so nicely together.
Laurel made this whole ensemble for our recent Trunk Show Event - a Dress No. 1 underneath a Dress No. 2 over a pair of Pants No. 1.  The body of Dress No. 2 is made in a woven fabric, while the sleeves are a soft black jersey knit.  The Dress No. 2 is a little fuller than the sleeveless Dress No. 1, so Laurel did adjust out some of that fullness. The Pants No.1 are made with our beautiful Nevada Linen. (Where did she get those perfectly matched flats??!)

Laurel's amazing outfit - So fancy!

The neckline and pockets are trimmed in a cotton and lurex blend.

Layering is a great option!
Great details to add!
Again, make the pockets your own!
Combining fabrics in a surprising manner!

Ok now it's your turn to find your favorite fabrics and make up your own No. 1 and No. 2's!

Keep on Sewing,
Suzan Steinberg