Saturday, December 16, 2017

Indie Patterns + Amazing Fabrics Fuel the Garment Sewing Revolution of 2017!

2017 marks four years of a dynamic collaboration between my friend and seamstress Laurel and I.  We started out with the idea that there is a whole world of people out there who "used to sew" garments for themselves and for one reason or another, they gave up. We thought we'd just start making clothes and blog about our sewing adventures, perhaps enticing those people to come back to sewing.  Laurel herself gave up sewing during her "corporate days," mostly because she didn't have time to sew. But how serendipitous that when she retired, she visited Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics, we met, hit it off, and the rest is history.

Along the way of our collaboration, we evolved, and our "mission" became even more focused.  With the valuable input and talent of staff members, we shed the Big Four pattern companies and opted instead to support independent pattern companies, many of which are women-owned enterprises, just like mine.  With the garment "revolution" taking hold, our buyers focused on fabrics that every women wants to wear...we listened to our customers and helped them find their way back to sewing.  It's been quite a ride, and I don't see it slowing down any time soon.

We love our independent designers, our "Indie" women. As new Indie designs were released in 2017, our store team joined in as well, making and wearing their own versions of some memorable pattern designs. And our customers paid attention to the growing Stonemountain sewing craze and joined in with their own me-made ideas and purchases.

Some patterns were just natural winners in 2017... The ever popular Pilvi Coat.

The Sapporo Coat by Papercut Patterns was a hit with everyone.  It's one of those easy to make designs that can be made out of almost any fabric...lined or unlined.


We made the The Cocoon Cardigan by Jalie several times.  We love how cozy it is!

Another recent favorite is the Kochi Kimono Jacket by Papercut Patterns.  This is an unlined jacket that also can be made into a blouse, tied at the waist.  I know this pattern will still be a favorite in 2018.

We have fun at the store - it's one of our missions.  I love to see our staff wearing their own versions of our Indie patterns. And naturally, some days we just gotta take pictures. (Girls just wanna have fun!)


For a fresh and feminine look, we loved the Cinema Dress by Liesl & Co. It buttons up the back and has tab pockets in the front seams.  We made it twice!

By far our most popular dresses for 2017 were 100 Acts of Sewing's Dress No.1 and Dress No.2. One has sleeves and one is sleeveless, but they both can be made with almost any fabric, so the sky's the limit.  It's an opportunity to take a simple pattern and make it uniquely YOU.


Laurel with the designer, Sonya, wearing Dress No.2 (as a top) and Pant's No.1
another 100 Acts favorite.

Pants No.1 with the Lark Tee, another classic by Grainline Studios
The 100 Acts of Sewing pattern line also includes a Shirt No.1. This simple top is paired with Flint Pants by Megan Nielsen.

Two favorites from Grainline Studios also made our "make it again" list - the Alder Shirtdress and the Linden Sweatshirt.

Sometimes we just can't resist a pattern hack: we added a peplum to our Linden Sweatshirt.

Also from Grainline Studios, the new Hadley top. We made both necklines.

Knits are a favorite fabric for a lot of women.  They are easy to work with and quite forgiving of tiny mistakes. We had a couple of favorite knit tops from our Indie designers in 2017. Megan Nielsen's Briar top is a wonderfully simple tee-shirt with a high/low hemline.  Several of our staff made the cropped version but I stuck with the traditional length.

Closet Case's Ebony can be made as either a top or a dress.  Because its raglan sleeves are so comfortable, the Ebony is an easy to make winner.

Laurel is still making this pattern...this time as a tunic/dress.

If you haven't guessed by now, we love Ikat fabrics.  Stonemountain boasts a huge selection of prints and weights,  The lighter weight fabrics make the best tops and dresses. We loved the Sointu Top, by Named Clothing and it worked up perfectly in this navy and white ikat design - a very flattering pattern for any figure.

These Ikats and Linens are among our favorite fabrics.

We love a simple tee shirt, and this dolman sleeved tee by Jalie is a quick sew. It works up beautifully in a cotton or a rayon knit and is so comfortable for warm weather.

Sometimes, only an oversized, relaxed soft shirt will do.  
Paired with jeans or leggings, the Gallery tunic by Liesl + Co. is a great choice. We made it up in a feather light cotton lawn.

And what wardrobe wouldn't be complete without a great pair of jeans? The iconic Safran Jeans by Deer and Doe are a favorite of many women who are brave enough to make their own jeans.

We couldn't list all of our makes for 2017, but we will continue in this awesome Indie tradition in 2018 with more of the same. Do drop into Stonemountain and visit our huge selection of Indie pattern books - there's something for every level of sewist.  We will continue to post our favorite makes on Fabriclady and share what's new on our website and our Stonemountain blog.

 If you have been sitting on the sidelines just watching and reading Fabriclady while your machine is gathering dust, we can help you get started.  Come in, pick a pattern and get going! Won't you join us in our Sewing Revolution in 2018?

Your support of my blog and my store means the world to me. I look forward to revealing more in 2018 as we all grow ourselves and create garments that matter! 

Wishing you greater prosperity, love, and peace in 2018
Since 1981

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Wardrobe Essentials - New Leggings with Just One Pattern Piece!!!

My handmade wardrobe is pretty versatile and designed especially for work and play.  I love wardrobe layering so at any time I can either shed a jacket if I'm too warm or add one if I'm too cold.  I love easy dressing...garments that are simply designed, but with style elements that make them unique to me, just by the choice of fabric.

If I have to choose a favorite layering garment, it would be leggings.  I wear them under dresses, tunics and skirts. I pair them with sandals and flats in the summer and boots in the winter months.

And just in time for the chilly weather, Sonya Phillips has introduced her version of the legging, Pants No. 2. To celebrate the release of this great new pattern, we threw a Pants Party here at Stonemountain! We are such fans of the 100 Acts of Sewing line and the new Pants No. 2 does not disappoint!

It was a glorious day at the store, with patterns and knits flying out the door, just proving that I am not alone in my love of leggings. Naturally, I had to give this pattern a go, since it will likely become another Sonya favorite.

You need a lot of stretch for this pattern—and the instructions even include a handy guide to test the stretch in your fabric. How cool is that?

This uber soft AGF cotton/spandex knit will do just the trick (and fit in with my love of celestial prints!) Laurel chose one of our double brushed poly knits in a mustard gold, after being inspired by one of Sonya's Pants No.2 samples in a similar color.

We say the fewer number of seams in a legging, the better, 
so we love that the pattern has ONE PIECE!

Get out the serger if you have one, or use your stretchiest stitch or a small zig-zag on your machine and rock this pattern in an hour!

Stitching or Serging

Hint: If your machine is not happy sewing elastic, you can always sew a "casing" at the waist and snake the elastic through the casing...the end result is the same.

Sonya's patterns are full of practical tips! In elastic pants or leggings we can't always tell the front from the back, so it's wonderful that the instructions remind you to make a small tag.

Best advice ever, Sonya! 

 YES, we do!!!

Laurel: "These work great!"

 Peace Love and Prosperity