Tuesday, February 27, 2018

A Definite Must for our Destiny Wardrobe: The Scout Tee

Lately on Instagram we noticed that many sewists are showing their "Tried and True" patterns, or TNTs. A TNT pattern is one that you've made so many times that you know it will always fit and you can experiment with different fabrics. As we begin to put together our Destiny Wardrobe, we want pieces that we can make in a variety of fabrics. Even though it is the same pattern, each version communicates a little bit of who we are through the careful selection of fabric.

One of our all time favorite TNT patterns is the well fitting Scout Tee, by Grainline Studio.  It is so basic that even a beginning sewist can master it.  It might even be a good introduction to your first set-in sleeve! Over the years we have sewn up many patterns from Grainline Studio and I love them all.

Ok let's get started and discover the magic of the Scout Tee and create Clothes that Matter! Not only is this basic tee a wardrobe must, but by buying the pattern we are also supporting an independent business who cares about all of us! Grainline Studio is a "pattern shop featuring modern, fashion-forward patterns that fit seamlessly into your wardrobe. All of the patterns are drafted with a contemporary fit and they take extra care to provide clearly illustrated instructions that are easy to follow to ensure a professional finish. You can take comfort knowing all of the patterns are drafted and executed by professionally trained team with your ease of use in mind."

The first time I put on this stretch velvet Scout Tee, I was at home in it! It was so nice, Catherine wanted to try it on too! This top looks great on every generation and shape that we come in.

We have made the Scout Tee several times in a variety of fabrics...it's a great layering piece and perfect for our wardrobe, regardless of the season. Tucked in or out, it's a hit!

We love its versatility...you can dress it up or keep it casual.

Laurel has made several as well...our cottons prints are a perfect choice for a casual top paired with jeans or crop pants. Maybe it's time to think about using some of the fabric you have been "saving" for just the right project? This might be it :)

 Teal Silk/Rayon Velvet, Cotton Wovens, Silver Crushed Velvet Knit, Scout Tee Pattern, Silk Velvet

The Scout can also be pepped up in a more luxurious fabric such as silk (perfect under a suit jacket).  But we thought we'd push the envelope even more and try a stretch crushed velvet! I wanted to have an everyday velvet top to wear. This fabric is so beautiful and easy to take care of and doesn't wrinkle. Velvet is also trending right now – we see it everywhere in RTW and that's why you're seeing a large selection at Stonemountain. If you are new to sewing velvet, here's a few hints:

1) If it's your first experience, then choose a crushed velvet.  It is so much more forgiving than a smooth velvet – and you can iron it without worrying about marks. We chose a gorgeous grey and a solid black, both in crushed velvet.

2) Invest in a walking foot or even-feed foot for your machine – it's amazing how simple it is to use on velvet. The walking foot pulls the fabric through from BOTH the top and the underneath feed dogs.  Laurel says she leaves her walking foot on her Viking all the time (she's blessed to have two machines). It also comes in handy for wools and other heavier fabrics.

3) You can serge the seams if you have a serger/overlock machine. This velvet is actually a knit, so there is some stretch to it. A serged seam is great, but a stretch stitch or small zig zag would work just fine too.

The Scout Tee has a simple design – no darts, easy bias neck binding, etc. Here is the inside of my Scout.

Not like we purposely pick out the same fabric, but we do end up with the "twinning" thing going on frequently. Here are the two friends, Colette and Zanikan relaxing in the studio. Notice that Laurel made a longer sleeve on her Scout by just adding length to the pattern.

The Scout calls for a bias strip to finish off the neckline, but you could easily purchase a pre-made bias binding to finish off the neckline.  Or if you are more of an intermediate sewist, you could trace a neck facing off the pattern and make it in another fabric.

I am going to wear this black velvet version 'til it falls apart!!  So in love with it!

Why not try a Scout in an ikat...or a lightweight linen, or soft rayon or even a double gauze? The possibilities are endless!

2018 is really shaping up for us all to make and wear clothes that matter. They are the foundation of building a destiny wardrobe that represents our unique talent, style, fit – and they bring us together as a community around the world. Thank you for all your support both personally and in my store. We truly are making a difference and I can feel the Stonemountain Magic really catalyzing us all to sew to new heights!

Peace, love, and prosperity,
email me at fabriclady3@gmail.com

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Creating Clothes that Matter! From "Meh" to "Yeah!"

Being able to improvise with your sewing is a practiced skill. We have all tried patterns that don't work on our bodies or fabrics that turned out to be the wrong choice. As we continue to work on making clothes that matter, improvising when things go astray is a valuable tool.  There was a reason why we chose a pattern or a fabric in the beginning, so not abandoning ship at the first glitch not only strengthens our sewing skills, but also gives us confidence as we build our wardrobe.

Even the most experienced sewist can make mistakes, have wonky seams, and have to re-start garments. And sometimes the fabric works against creating that perfect garment. Initially, we chose this beautiful cotton from Anna Maria Horner's Loominous collection to make the Here & There Dress/Top, part of her new Simple Start pattern collection.

Choosing the fabric and pattern is the first step!

The top has two versions for the back - a "wrap" look or a diagonal insert, as shown above.  We opted for the Version B diagonal insert, but we planned to adjust the length for a top.

The Here and There top is indeed a "Simple Start" to your wardrobe. It has basically three pattern pieces: front, back, and back insert.  We cut our insert on the diagonal of this plaid. You can complete this cute top in five relatively simple steps:

1) Sew the shoulder seams
2) Attach the back center insert
3) Complete the bias bound neckline
4) Sew up the side seams
5) Finish off the sleeve and hem edges 

When pressing the garment, Laurel noticed a couple of things which might have resulted in a new addition to the donation pile.

1) The fabric had a slight fading down the center front.  This can happen to fabrics as they sit on the shelf or are exposed to light.  We try to catch those pieces before we sell them, but often the line is so faint that you can miss it in the layout.  This one we could not avoid.

Right down the center!!!!!
The second thing she noticed was that the back insert was a little wonky and upon a closer look, she realized that she had basically eliminated the tiny pleat on one side of the enter back, causing the whole back to hang funny.

We probably could have lived with the back thing, but since the whole garment lost some of its spark from these two issues, it was time to start ripping. It took as long to undo this mistake and fix it as it took to make the whole shirt! "Momma said there'd be days like this, there'd be days like this, my Momma said"....

The fix for the front fading line was simple enough.  Since the back had a nice diagonal insert, why not cut a bias strip and cover the faded fabric?  You have be meticulous in your cutting, pressing and pinning of the strip, but it's better than tossing out a perfectly wearable garment, albeit slightly flawed.

A good pressing and Voila! From Meh to Yeah!

We definitely need some cute buttons, right?

Love this back!!!

Making mistakes, poor fabric or pattern choices, and fitting issues are the three most common reasons people stop sewing for themselves. We agree that it's certainly discouraging to work hard on a garment and not be happy with the result. But learning from our mistakes and getting back on the horse is the surest way to eventually be happy with our garments. "I wonder how can I use this experience to help support me to make a leap ahead?"

As we just saw, when things don't go as planned, we discover more about the pattern, about the fabric, and even about our own life that can be shared with others. It truly is the time for us to give permission to ourselves to be really imperfect! It may be time to learn more skills you may need to cultivate through local classes, blogs, youtube, and other tutorials all around us.

You can even search through my previous blogs for inspiration. Check out what I did previously from some of the cottons from the Loominous collection!

Dress No. 1 from a previous blog

Top No. 1 is a hit! Read about it on this blog

We love how our InstaSisters from all over the world share their sewing trials and tribulations right there for us all to see (and learn from). Creating a Destiny Wardrobe (more details on what this is all about in my next blog!) starts with one successful garment that you love, so make it an easy one to get started.  Choose a fabric that speaks to you and ignites your vision. As you hone your skills and develop new capacities, you will find that wearing me-made garments or "Clothes that Matter" will boost your confidence, help you express your creativity, and inspire others. This is how we are catalyzing a worldwide movement. We are now creating a world that is more collaborative and interconnected. Your me-made clothes and my clothes make a huge difference and matter!

Let's turn towards the challenges and hold them without judgment about us and others.

Join me in contributing our gifts, whatever that looks like!
Suzan Steinberg
email me at fabriclady3@gmail.com
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