Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The One-Hour Wonder...and More!

Women are busy people.  Between working, holiday plans, self-care, volunteering, taking care of kiddos and/or parents (or in my case a kitty and husband), running errands, exercising, preparing meals, and shopping we are challenged to find balance. We may love to read a good book, but we don't always feel that we have the luxury of just sitting. We may want to go out at the end of a busy day, but frankly, we're already beat from the the day's activities. For me, maintaining a regular exercise routine and eating healthy is important. I'm so lucky to work in a fabric store where lifting and walking are a part of my day, but I do try to get to the gym when I can.

For those of us who sew, we are especially challenged and could use more hours in the day.  Our list of me-made projects keeps growing faster than we can execute.  All that fabric wants to be made up! And if we get a day to actually sit down to sew, it's a real treat. So naturally, we want to actually finish a garment. Quilters often get great enjoyment, one block at a time - it's usually a long-term project that can done in bite-size pieces, if they only have a free hour to sew.

As sewing time is a treasure, think about planning ahead for your next block of free-time. Start by picking a pattern that you can finish in one sitting - something relatively simple.  After all, "finishing" is much more fun than just "starting".

Taking time to look through our binders for each Indie Pattern line we carry!

For instance, think about one of the T-shirt patterns from Jalie Patterns.  If ever there was a one-hour wonder, it's this short sleeve turtleneck. Any of our stretchier knits will be perfect!

Look at all the options with this Jalie 2805!
Choose a knit with 4-way stretch. Assuming you have a serger, all the seams are serged together, even the attachment of the sleeves and the turtleneck collar. We also used a twin needle to hem the sleeves and the bottom edge. If you don't own a serger, then just use a tiny zig-zag or stretch stitch. - it's still a quick make.

One-hour wonder!

Jalie 2805 - I highly recommend this pattern!

If you have a couple of hours planned, then why not try a Kochi Kimono jacket?  This pattern by Papercut is another simple design - a boxy cropped jacket with or without pockets. 

Paper Cut Pattners new Kochi Kimono - of my dreams!

 Woven fabrics tend to be easier to handle for some sewists, so we chose an ikat. (I know what a surprise, right?!)

Two-hour perfection! Hmmmm...so many possibilities with this Kimono, yeah?

We added pockets cut on the bias!
I'm not the only one who fell in love with this jacket!
Catherine looks fantastic in it and has already finished one of her own!
You can follow her on Instagram @threadsnips

Or you could make one of my new favorite patterns by Grainline Studio, the Hadley top.  Most of the timing issues for the Hadley depends on the fabric you pick. Finer, silkier fabrics (which would work up beautifully in a Hadley) take more time as they tend to be slippery and harder to handle.  If time is of the essence, then chose a fabric such as cotton, silk noil,  or other sturdy woven fabric.  

Hadley Top - love both necklines!

We chose a silk noil which is very easy to manipulate, but it adds a certain luxury to your wardrobe. Do any of you remember how popular silk noil was a few years back? There are so many colors and possibilities for this great silk - the people's silk!

Two-hour perfection! 

My fabulous Hadley Top out of Silk Noil

Hint: Don't forget to IRON silk noil on the inside of the garment to avoid scorching the fabric...thought we'd show the inside of the Hadley.

Inside out, she's a beauty!

If you have a whole day to sew (lucky you!!!), then you can chose a pattern with a little more detail or a finer/softer fabric, such as a rayon challis, cotton lawn, or silkSew House Seven's Tea House Dress is a favorite, and if you're a faster than average sewist, it might take three hours to complete. 

We chose a very soft rayon print for this dress, and as Laurel would say, "making it that much more exciting to sew!" She's kidding of course, as softer fabrics take a little more time to work with, but making this dress out of a rayon or silk fabric is SO worth it.

Three-hour + masterpiece! 

Tea House Dress out of a lovely rayon!

Our Indie pattern designers have whole collections of one, two and three hour makes.  The trick is to plan a project ahead of time, so when that me-time window comes around you are already to go.  Cutting out patterns ahead of time also cuts down on sewing time.  Laurel keeps a stash of ready-to-go projects in her cabinet, so that when the creative urge strikes, she's already half way there.

Whatever your preparation methods are, good planning will ensure a richer sewing experience. Some sewists keep diaries and project planners, complete with drawings, fabric swatches and detailed notes on me-makes that they want to tackle when they get that extra free-time.

Check out this amazing sewing planner to help catalyze your sewing this year! The Colette Sewing Planner is amazing and fully shown in a blog earlier this year by Lauren, one of the managers and buyers at Stonemountain!

The Colette Sewing Planner! Read about it on the Stonemountain Blog!

We at Stonemountain & Daughter just want you to enjoy the sewing experience, whatever your strategy might be. Picking out patterns and fabrics can be a real zen-time for you and we want to feel free to take all the time you need, browsing, touching, asking questions, etc. in the store.

There is nothing better than picking up a fabric, "trying it on" and feeling it!

And by all means, bring in your me-mades to share with us. You inspire me and our community!
What story are your clothes telling? What fabric and style are you ready to create with? This is the time we have been waiting for - great indie patterns, interesting fabric, and a community catalyzed by them being made and worn!

Peace, Love, Prosperity, and Collaboration

Great times with Laurel and Sonya at our recent "Pants Party"!
Celebrating the amazing contribution and patterns of 100 Acts of Sewing

You can follow Laurel on Instagram @laurelsquill and Sonya @100actsofsewing,
and of course me, @fabriclady3
Remember to hashtag #stonemountainfabric on your me-mades :)
One of our front windows on our store!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Feeling Fall-ish - What's up next! (plus a sneak peak at the Kimono of the Year!)

There's an awareness of change in the air when "Ber" months arrive - September, October, November, and December. We witness Mother Earth's change in her color palette as the days become shorter and the first rain falls.  I suppose there are some who don't welcome the autumnal glimpses around, perhaps signaling an end to our flip-flops, sandals, sundresses, soft tanks, and tee-shirts.  But don't include us among those naysayers, for as much as we love Summer, we love the coming of Fall.

Fall offers the brightest array of seasonal color choices. We love the traditional browns and golds, but there is a wide range of color choices to suit even the pickiest of fashionistas. As we move toward the cooler days, we haven't forgotten the importance of layering - so in picking our next pattern designs and fabrics, we know there will always be a great jacket, sweater, warm tights or boots to add to any garment. More than anything, Fall is a time to wear the colors of Mother Earth in all her splendor.

The rich hues of reflected water is always a go-to choice in fabric...especially for me.

We chose this beautiful silk noil to make another Hadley Top, by Grainline Studio.

Hadley Top with the Alberta Street Skirt!
Silk Noil is a fabulous choice for many garments!
Check out the amazing collection of colors on this link!
Two great necklines on this perfect Hadley!
We already made a Hadley once before (and in the perfect Fall colors) out of an amazing yarn dyed cotton from Anna Maria Horner.

Check out the entire Loominous collection!

Stop by and see this Hadley top and the Safran jeans on display at Stonemountain & Daughter!

Another lovely rayon print in the blue/green palette. We love prints that feature elements from nature, such as these tiny branches. There are so many rayons to choose from!

We decided to pair this flowy fabric with the beautiful Tea House Dress by Sew House Seven.

I also have a gorgeous Tea House made in an ikat.  Stop by and see it on display at Stonemountain!
Love the feel and fit of this dress!

We love the typical colors that exemplify Fall too...those beautiful, rusts, oranges, and golds. We may not in be New England, but we can enjoy our West Coast autumns!

As it often happens, Laurel is making this same dress, the Tea House Dress, in a beautiful gold rayon print - this color palette is very popular this Fall. So Autumn!!

Link to this amazing Rayon!
Even though we like to wear dark colors all year round, they are especially appropriate in the Fall.  And you know me - I gotta have me some Black in my wardrobe.  I love this new Ikat and thought I would make a lightweight jacket for layering.

Cotton Ikats - You can never have too many!
We chose to try another Papercut pattern, the Kochi Kimono.  This jacket is a boxy cropped jacket for all seasons and it will make a nice lightweight addition to any layered look for work. You can make the jacket lined also, but we will just use the unstructured unlined version.

This could be the pattern of the season! The Kochi Kimono!
All together! The Silk Noil Hadley Top, Kochi Kimono and the Alberta Street Skirt!
Some clothes just feel so good on immediately!
The back of the Kochi Kimono is just right!
All together with my shortsleeve high neck knit top from Jalie!
Uh oh I made need more Kochis!!!

And perhaps something to wear underneath that jacket? How about a soft knit turtleneck tee by Jalie.  Love this black knit, and I know I'll probably wear it to death! So many knits to choose from at this link!

No more buying turtlenecks! Check out this new Jalie Pattern!

Jalie 2805

Of course you'll never go wrong picking any fabric in navy.  We wanted to try another Sew House Seven pattern, The Alberta Street pencil skirt.

What a great pattern! The Alberta Street Pencil Skirt!
This skirt is a very fitted unlined skirt that sits just below the waist with a tapered hem just below the knees - perfect for either tights or boots or both! And we chose a stretch denim of course - you can never have enough denim!!

Just a sampling of the amazing cotton woven "bottom weights" available for this skirt!
Hadley Top with my new favorite Jean Skirt!
Look at the drape on this Silk Noil Hadley Top?!

Looks like we're getting a good start on our Fall wardrobe, right? The beauty of sewing is that we can create garments that all go together!

As an aside, we are so grateful for being part of a wonderful sewing community and that we have the skills, creativity and tools to be able to sew a wardrobe.  As much as we love our Mother Nature, we know that she can be harsh. Our thoughts are with the communities hit by these devastating California fires, knowing that there are many sewists among those who lost their homes along with their precious "me-mades", stashes and machines. I personally had a brush with that harsh reality when my own home and neighborhood was threatened by fire last month.  But we were lucky. I send all our friends and North State customers touched by this devastation my biggest Stonemountain hug.

Peace, Love, and Prosperity,
SuZan Steinberg
Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics since 1981
Living the Dream Life of a Fabric Lover