Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Let's Get Fancy!

You can tell by my online presence that I am all about fabric.  Granted, I own a fabric store, so I guess that's a given. But even if I didn't, I'd still be in love with fine fabrics - I'd still appreciate the entire spectrum of textile choices that today's fabric sources offer to home sewists. Perhaps that's what keeps me inspired here at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics - stocking fabrics that can turn your wardrobes into clothes that matter. 

I'm so proud of my staff for keeping Stonemountain on trend.  They have a feel for what's happening in ready-to-wear and are picking fabrics that our customers are wanting to add to their own wardrobes. One of the big trends in special occasion fabrics this year is embroidered tulle or mesh. It looks daunting for the average home sewist, but in reality, it's pretty easy to work. The variety of prints and patterns is extensive, from subtle pattern and color changes to vibrant floral prints.

If you are like me, you get so inspired to see what others are doing with fabric you love. Check out what Kat Makes made out of our embroidered tulle!
Isn't she lovely! Check out Kat's blog!

If you're going to try one of our embroidered tulles, we suggest making a "toile" (fancy word for a muslin) first.  With any special fabric that you are not used to, making a muslin for fitting purposes will save you from making a costly and ill-fitting mistake.  We might also suggest that you think about buying a quarter of a yard extra so you can practice sewing on your special fabrics as well as making adjusting on your machine to handle their unique qualities.

Laurel's granddaughter got married this summer, so she chose one of our embroidered tulles to make a dress that would be paired with a metallic linen slip dress. Not sure of the styling she wanted, she purchased two different tulles - one for a wearable muslin and one for the wedding. (Okay, not everyone would have done this, but it's Laurel, and she doesn't mess around)

For the wearable muslin (to wear for a fundraiser dinner)

And for the wedding...

Still trying to decide on a pattern...

As with any fabric this sheer, seaming needs to be as narrow as you can make it.  And if you have a serger, so much the better.

Serged seam...
or Sew then serge

trim those darts...

Bonus - four dresses! two metallic linen "slip dresses" and two special occasion dresses
Perfect for a Gala, but Laurel made some adjustments to the length of the bodice for the final version.

Oh, and of course Laurel the GOB (Grandma of the Bride) was lovely.  She also totally remade her daughter's MOB dress (which came in a hideous red instead of burgundy), as well as altering the bride's gown and even whipped out Schoolhouse Tunic Dress for her mom out of one of our Rayon challis prints.  Four Generations of sewing bliss!

Laurel's Mom taught her how to sew at 10, Laurel taught her daughter in her teens...
just got to get that granddaughter on a machine!

In choosing my own fabrics and patterns for my personal Destiny wardrobe, I tend to stick with casual, comfortable and uber-wearable styles that I can wear to work - easy care clothes that don't fight with my body. I have a couple of different wardrobes - one for work, one for vacation, and maybe one for my casual nights out. I don't have a lot of "dress-up" occasions in my life, but that doesn't mean that my personal preferences keep me from appreciating the fine silks, beautiful woolens, and soft velvets that grace the shelves at Stonemountain.

When I do have the occasional need for something "fancy" - perhaps a night in the City or a wedding, or when I want to look casually elegant, I certainly have a lot of choices.

Oh you beautiful silk...

Silk Noil can be dressed up or down...
Velvet is not just for dress-up...

Tried and true Linen is not always casual... metalic linen is "da bomb"!

For your next special occasion, think about coming in to see our embroidered tulle collection or our selection of silk prints or our great wall of velvets. Many of these fabric begged to be touched but are available online as well. If there's something you can't live without, tell us - we are always looking for new fabrics!

Thank you so much for reading.

Peace, Love, and Sewing,
Suzan Steinberg
Fabric Lover
Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Summer Sewjo, Destiny Wardrobe Style!

Everyone has a favorite season, and though there's something special about each change in the weather, the summer solstice is one of my favorite days of the year. It's the longest day of the year and all that warm sunshine inspires me in so many ways!

Not only to just be outdoors...

But also to think about my summer clothes - 
put away the jackets and sweaters and bring out the summer fabrics!

We're creating our Destiny Wardrobes, so we choose clothes and fabrics that fit in with our love of summer. This warmer weather calls for lighter-weight fabrics and nothing says summer like:

I'm still a working girl (you knew that, huh!) so the design choices that I make have to fit in with my no-hassle lifestyle.  I don't like to be too encumbered with fussy styles, sleeves that get in my way, necklines that are too revealing, or clothes that I have to keep "adjusting" throughout the day.  I like my summer work clothes to be simple, but with flare...cool, but not too bare...and just like you, I want my clothes to scream ME - "Zan, that is soooo YOU!"

Lela tunic in double gauze
Kalle shirt in Ikat

I have an ongoing love affair with Ikats ( you knew that too, huh). Ikats come in all weights, but for summer, I love the lightweight ones. So I'll choose a pattern accordingly - something breezy, like the Kalle Shirt from Closet Case Patterns.

A couple of things you may want to remember with sewing ikats in general, and this Kalle Shirt in particular:

1) Since these fabrics are woven, both sides are beautiful! You can use either side as the "right side."

2)  It seemed logical to interface the pocket, as the fabric was so lightweight, but alas, the pocket became too stiff for the bodice. So be sure to choose a very lightweight interfacing.

 Pocket Heaven!

3)  The Kalle pattern features a back yoke, which is self-lined.  The instructions call for the "Burrito Method" for sewing the yoke, which results in a "no-seams showing" clean inside.  It's a little tricky, but so worth giving it a go - think of it as a delightful addition to your sewing repertoire.

Can I get beans and rice with this?

The Kalle is a great addition to my Summer wardrobe!

What summer wardrobe would be complete without the all-purpose cami?  And I am probably the last to the "Ogden Cami Club", but I wanted to try it, so I had Laurel whip up a trial run.  And when I say it's a quick make, believe it. Another 1-hour wonder.  And a total stash-buster!

Ogden Cami by True Bias

We made up a wearable muslin out of some extra fabric from an older make.

Laurel adjusted the pattern for herself in her first muslin - she says it still needs work but looks promising!

Summer Indie patterns abound at Stonemountain.  We have several others we want to try, so we will keep you posted. The Megan Nielsen Matilda looked like one that would fit nicely.

 We've already whipped up this little cutie out in a Tencel TwillMake sure you allow plenty of time for the layout - we counted over 40 separate pieces.  Take your time!

The Matilda Dress by Megan Nielsen! 

We love a woven Tee-shirt pattern so we had to try this Sewaholic Belcarra Blouse!  We chose double gauze

How 'bout a summer blouse?  There's also a dress version by Leisl + Co. called the Weekend Getaway, and we've chosen a tie-dyed rayon.

Laurel's making this Washi Dress pattern by Made by Rae (very popular amongst the Instagram sewists) in a double gauze. Linen would work too.

And the Terrace Dress by Leisl + Co - not sure what fabric we want, but it speaks totally summer, doesn't it?

Linen? Ikat? Double Gauze? Silk? Rayon?

Why not drop by or go online and check out our summer fabrics and Indie patterns?  Some people just know what they want and what's going to work for them.  Other just like to touch and feel the fabrics to be sure. Either way, we are here to help you make your Destiny Wardrobe dreams a reality.  And we do send swatches if you're not local!

It's so great to be part of a community of sewists who share their successes real-time in the store - we learn from each other and we support and encourage each other in this adventure. If you need inspiration or misplaced your SewJo, remember to check out my post about choosing clothes that matter and that fit your lifestyle.

Summer is all about fun and creativity, and we hope that you share a little piece of yours with us! Send us your pictures and stories about your Destiny Wardrobe.

What a great time it is to be a fabric lover - the best indie patterns and amazing fabric choices!

Celebrating creativity!

Summer is for family gatherings too! Here we are celebrating my parents 50th wedding anniversary. Cheers!