Monday, July 1, 2019

Boho Summer - Finding our Creative Identity through Sewing

Some of us (okay, me particularly!) just can't let go of those free and easy days of summer in the 60's and 70's.  The "flower child" lifestyle hangs with you for years, as evidenced by the staying power of Bohemian dress, tie dyed fabric, embroidering and patchwork, all still popular today. These days, there are entire Ready to Wear clothing lines that feature the enduring 60's styling, perhaps because of it's wearing ease. The marketeers know that we want to be comfortable in our dress - not bothered by trying to look like everyone else.  And we, as sewists, want to express our unique personalities in the garments we make and chose to wear.

Image photographed at Art Exhibit at BAMPFA by Suzan

We just happen to think it was a great era of flowing, creative and magical garments that have not lost their appeal to young and oldish women alike. So, thank you California weather for giving us the opportunity to go Boho - AGAIN!

Wearing my Alder Shirtdress to the 60's exhibition @BAMPFA
Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive

The fabrics that we've been stocking in the store are geared for light and airy tops, dresses and pants.  Our Indie pattern designers are still cranking out awesome styles that reflect the spirit of the free and easy lifestyle that we admire.  Just looking back at some of the garments we have made over the last 6 years, we can see the influence of the 60's, 70's and 80's - styles that have endured, re-made in exciting new fabrics.

One of our newer Indie patterns - The Floreat Dress and Top
Easy top to make out of almost any of our lightweight fabrics - rayon, linen, knits even.

A Classic Boho dress - The Metamorphic Dress
Layer this dress!

No need to feel constricted - try a flowing pant like the Arenite Pants

Caroline and Catherine look amazing in the Arenite Pants!

The Raglan blouse shown with my amazing linen Emerson Pant

The simple "Beachy dress" - The Stevie Dress made here in a beautiful batik Rayon!

The Dress NO.1 by 100 Acts of Sewing is the ultimate summer shift 
Pick a fabric - any fabric - and make it your own!

I feel so good in this Dress No. 1 made out of one of our Ikats!

I couldn't resist making the No. 1 out of this Buddha printed Silk Velvet - no rules, right?!

Simplicity at it's finest - no zippers, perfect fit and POCKETS!!!! The Flint Pants
Over the top in cotton eyelet!

Shorts, crops or long - Lander Pants

Love my Lander Pants!

All of us wearing Lander Pants! So good!

Achieving a Boho look can be done by exercising your creativity - who says you always have to follow a pattern. Laurel, who is the queen of making up stuff, created her own fabric for this pattern hack of Shirt No. 1

Then there is this iconic maxi-skirt look - Laurel drafted this gored skirt using one of our rayons - then beaded the bottom!!

We did a sleeve hack on the Matcha Top to give it a freestyle look...

No rules, right? My favorite Matcha Top is out of silk crepe!

It goes without saying that you can't get any more 70's then a great tie dye fabric!!

Ready to fly in my gorgeous rayon Dove Blouse!

I've seen a lot of Boho inspired looks over the past 6 years of my collaboration with Laurel, my ever-supportive seamstress and friend.  She has made the over 250 looks that I get to wear and display in the store.  But in the spirit of MeMadeMay2019 and Boho Summer, I wanted to show that I CAN practice what I preach...I CAN SEW!

It was a relaxing weekend with the hubby singing some tunes with his guitar and me, dusting off my sewing machine and serger for the first time in years.  I used to sew back in the day...

I forgot how relaxing it is to sew...I picked out this great rayon and linen for some Beachy/boho Pants No. 1

These are the perfect pants if you haven't sewn for a while or for a quick make that will go with everything!

All cut out and pants sewn together!

A beautiful day in Santa Cruz and perfect for my beachy pants!
These pants are also so great at work with a simple tee and my fabulous Threes a Charm Jacket!

Loving my No. 1 pants with my reversible Metamorphic Dress

So happy to be a part of this community of creatives - I love your Instagram posts tagging Stonemountain with #stonemountainfabric - it's how I can see what you are making!

Remember that we all inspire each other to be our own unique selves - wearing what we want...Clothes that matter!


It's so great to Be Here Now with you,

Suzan Steinberg
Feeling good in Berkeley California, 2019

Saturday, June 1, 2019

100 Year Anniversary! Cheers to celebrating 38 Years in Berkeley!

On May 3rd this year we hosted a little after hours party at the store to celebrate some big milestones. This year marked 38 years for our business in Berkeley, but also 100 years for my family in the California textile industry. And on top of this anniversary, we also launched our newly updated website, a venture over a year in the making. Thank you to everyone who attended and for those of you who weren’t able to make it, we could feel you there in spirit!

(Dear dedicated readers of my blog, last month we launched Stonemountain & Daughter's new website which now has a version of my blog to read there! Click here to bookmark fabric lady's new BLOG page! Thanks so much for following along with me on my sewing and fabric journey - the best is yet to be written!)

photo by: David Mindell

On behalf of my father, my team, and family, we want to thank you for helping us celebrate our 38th anniversary in Berkeley and 100 years of my family selling fabric in California!

Years ago, we couldn’t imagine the kind of connection we have now with so many makers in our area and around the world. Our creativity has brought us together via the internet and social media. It’s so much fun to share our fabrics and inspiration with folks around the globe. To see you sharing your makes out there makes us feel like we’re more than the “well known secret” that we have for so many years.

Did you know that our name Stonemountain & Daughter is a nod to our lineage with my great grandfather and grandfathers’ business, Steinberg & Sons, est. 1919 in Los Angeles? Steinberg translates to Stonemountain and what a perfect partnership it has made. I am including some photos below of my dad’s first store in 1967, Bob Steinberg’s Fabric Emporium on Melrose in Hollywood. The first all natural fabric store serving a new generation of hippies and the hip. I loved being in that store as a little girl. It was magic and the fabric bug bit me hard!

With so many fabric stores now out of business, it makes what we do and how we do it that much more important. It also makes your support that much more important, it sustains us! For so many years now, my father and I have been talking about the year 2019 and wondering what it would take to keep our business going to reach 100 years for our family. I am so happy to be sharing such a milestone with you!

In 1981, my father and I began working together when he moved his Pacific Grove store to our current location. We began with 1,000 square feet, where our current Fashion Room is now. We have dedicated our lives to growing and being the best fabric store we could be and to serve fabric lovers locally, nationally, and even globally!

Well, we made it! And now we are at the beginning of something new!
There is a new story happening – people are sewing garments again! Our online business and our Berkeley brick & mortar store are thriving. My father speaks of our store as an old world fabric store for the new age. This couldn’t be more true than it is right now. Our business has always been based on vision and possibility and we can’t wait to see what’s next for our store and our community.

Claire Zammit, one of my mentors taught me that, ‘We cannot become ourselves by ourselves.’ I see this is true for our store, too. Stonemountain & Daughter couldn’t be who she is without everyone in our community – past, present, and future. I am so grateful to my close team, the folks that have worked here along the way, our community, teachers, pattern makers, customers and sewists here and around the world.

Shown here are some of the folks who make Stonemountain a place of open possibilities! Laurel, my seamstress and co-writer of my blog, Catherine and Liz, our amazing lead buyers at Stonemountain, and a special friend who stops by from Mali to bring us fabulous mudcloth and baskets from his village! It all makes up our Stonemountain Magic!

Another big contributor to this new movement is the amazing indie pattern designers, both local and around the world, who inspire us all. Visit our website to shop our full collection of patterns. I want to extend a special thanks to Janet from Decades of Style, Sonya from 100 Acts of Sewing, and Chelsea from Friday Patterns for being a big part of our party, each with a trunk show and raffle prizes. 

We are also so lucky to be surrounded by our growing community of sewing schools (see our full list here) These schools are play a huge part in the new story for our industry. Together we are partnering to support students and makers in all their projects!

Here are our local schools that came to celebrate with us:

To top off our guest list, we were also graced with an amazing trunk show of quilts by Alethea Ballard and her students!

I am so fortunate to work with an innovative and dedicated team of experienced sales associates, social media, and management team. Another honor of gratitude goes to my seamstress, dear friend, and genius collaborator, Laurel Dismukes. Thank you Laurel for sewing up over 250 garments over 6 years to help ignite and join in a modern world wide garment making revolution! We all are dedicated to bringing our community the best fabric and patterns, along with the resources and knowledge to sew whatever you can dream! With this next generation of makers and sewists taking off, I am blown away by the growing community who shares our passion. Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics is a Downtown Berkeley landmark and sanctuary for makers. But this is a great time to be a fabric lover not just in Berkeley, but anywhere!

Cheers and Happy Sewing!
Suzan Steinberg
you can follow me on Instagram @fabriclady3

Enjoy these photos from our party!

(Dear dedicated readers of my blog, last month we launched Stonemountain & Daughter's new website which now has a version of my blog to read there! Click here to bookmark fabric lady's new BLOG page! Thanks so much for following along with me on my sewing and fabric journey - the best is yet to be written!)