It’s all about the fabric

I bought this beautiful fabric at Treadle before leaving MN.  It was so beautiful- and I didn’t really know what I wanted to make with it – but I knew I had to have the fabric.  I bought 2+ yards of it and I’m so glad I did.  I’m learning that if I really love a fabric – buy 2-3 yards because it will give you the flexibility to make one bigger item (like a jacket or dress) or a couple of smaller items. It’s similar to the theory that if you like a pattern and get it to fit you well – make two or three more!

First, I made Vogue 8597 with this fabric.  I did check out Pattern Review first – and there were a few complaints, pretty minor, most people had good things to say.  One person wanted more drape in the neckline so included instructions of how to create more drape.  However, I’m very happy with the drape of the neckline and I think it really has to do with the choice of fabric.  Isn’t that the best part of sewing – when you hit the right combination of fabric and pattern choice? I’m so glad even some of the experts recognize that this can be a difficult thing to do! This fabric works perfectly for this style.  (One note on the fabric – I did find that it seemed to catch on the metal plate of my Elna Lock, so I had to keep a close eye on feeding the fabric through my serger.) I’ve been finding that when making knit items using Vogue patterns, if I use my regular pattern size -the finished garment ends up too big. So, for this top I compared the finished bust measurement to other patterns I’ve made and either liked or didn’t like the fit. Based on the finished bust measurement of this pattern I decided to size down and it fit exactly how I wanted the first time around. Overall the top came together quickly, nice and easy!

Next on deck for this fabric is a t-shirt using Vogue 8536. I’m always looking for a great T-shirt pattern! I know other ladies at club have made this pattern and it is a great basic fit. They’ve dressed up the basic T by adding a bit of gathering on the side at the bustline and an easy-to-hem side vent. I like that this pattern includes several options- vneck, cross over, sleeveless…great to have in your pattern stash.

One more note on the fabric, I first saw this at Treadle over a year ago, I have since seen variations at Mood in NYC, Christine Jonson online, and even a local independent fabric store – so if you like it you should be able to find it some where!

Dress Your Best on Saturday??

We need a few more people to make the Dress Your Best event happen on Saturday. If you are on the fence, please get off of it by 8 pm. today, Oct. 12, by calling Treadle Yard Goods (651-698-9690) and registering. Then look in your closet and find a favorite garment or winter fabric that you’d like to build a wardrobe around. Bring it on Saturday with any complementary fabrics in your stash and get started with a productive winter sewing agenda. We’ll talk latest trends, what not to wear, make up and image ideas….

And just in case you missed the Missoni at Target….

It’s at Treadle!! This is only one of them-they arrived after Club yesterday. Must have!! I hope there’s some left on Saturday when we’re back for Fashion Sewing Club and (hopefully) Dress Your Best.

All Knits Do Not Roll Equally

Several tees in the new Talbots catalog caught my eye:

It looked like the rolled knit embellishment I used on my “Strip Tees” last month at Fashion Sewing Club.

Which made me wonder if I was limited to cotton/lycra knits for this method or if some of the rayon and poly knits were candidates. So I sewed a few strips together, got them wet and threw them into the dryer.

Here are the results:

Unfortunately these are remnants from my stash so I can’t say exactly what the content is but, for me, the bottom line is: It’s worth the time to make a mock up and be sure I’ll get the roll I want.

Now to the sewing table to copy the tees!

Stash Therapy

To stash or not, that is the question, and here is how one of the newer and more productive “Material Girls” (if you read this blog, you are a material girl) dealt with it recently:

Hi Ladies,

I can only tell you this – no one else would appreciate it.
So, I think something finally clicked and I now know how to manage my stash a bit better. I’ve been feeling chained to my sewing room with all of this fabric I’ve accumulated – a stash stresses me out!

Today I didn’t want to sew so I decided to organize my sewing room. I threw out all my scraps and leftovers- whew – I felt so freed!
Then I noticed I have some real color stories going among my stash fabrics. So I started pulling color families and stories together.
I then arranged the color stories into seasons. (And I realized I really love all the fabrics I have in my stash.)
Then I went through my patterns and created a line for each season (did I mention I’ve also been watching Project Runway on Hulu? And I think the Christine Johnson article helped too)
I have a page for each season with my notes for what each fabric could be used to create.
Each season has 3-4 fabrics. Finally I put each season away with my notes and potential patterns for the outfits.

I feel like I actually accomplished something and my stash will hopefully no longer create stress in my life. I hope to really enjoy some benefits from this work.

1. Working on 3-4 outfits a season won’t make me feel as rushed. I’ll hopefully have the time to enjoy the fabrics I’m working on and not feel stressed about the other ones in the closet.
2. I’ll speed up my work- by working in the same color families – not having to re- thread with each new project, etc.
3. My line isn’t necessarily a complete wardrobe concept – too much pressure- it might just be a jacket and two tops.
But I think I’ll enjoy the finished product more because it will be seasonally appropriate and the jacket will work with the tops
if I choose to wear them together or as separate items (usually I’ve just been creating one off items).

I forgot to add that this will also help me shop more productively. After going through and grouping the fabric – I can now see where I have holes. So, as I shop I can buy fabric that has a home – and will fill a need, instead of just buying random fabric-which I may or may not ever use.

So, was this idea inspiration – or have I finally just been listening to what you guys have been trying to preach?

Best, Carrie

Oh, if we were all this organized! How do you deal with your stash and the little voices in your head (am I the only one that hears them?) Carrie, let us know how this works for you- maybe you should be the main speaker for Dress Your Best!

Please add your stash management strategies to the post-or are you one of those disciplinarians who has none…..

New Sewists!

We had a great group of new sewists at Make It Sew last night-well, there were varying degrees of experience, from absolutely none to one who made a very nice cover for her eBook reader-without a pattern!
Anyway, they all started with a pillowcase, complete with hot dog roll and french seams. One student made two so she could welcome her husband home with a beautifully made bed, one made a boy themed case, another a girl themed and then there was a great bold print paired with batik.
Would it surprise you if I said they all chose a different skirt pattern for next week’s class?! SEW ON!!

And just in case you haven’t seen the new “skins” at Make It Sew-here’s a picture. I’ll be showing the Sophia Trench with one of them for the lining at Fashion Sewing Club in April.

Make It Sew is Open

A new fabric and sewing store to check out in the western suburbs! Cathy Guy and her team have done a great job of setting up the new space. Half the store is fabric and a large classroom space and the other half houses the Bernina portion of the store. New fabric coming in every day.

Make It Sew, 600 Market St., Suite 110, Chanhassen-near the movie theatre.

Everything is 20% off through this Saturday to tempt you!

It even smells new!

July could be a busy month

My sons just spent their last days in my house as single men(!). We had a great family potluck shower at my sister’s and now the weddings are becoming a reality. Decisions need to be made, etc., etc., etc.

July Fashion Sewing Club will reveal a few dresses as options for the mother of the groom but I’ve got to admit that Nordstrom’s is my fall back. Club meetings begin this Thursday at Associated Sewing in Bloomington (10:30 and 6:30) and Saturday at 10:30.

You may want to take in the Eagle Creek Garage Sale in Shakopee on Saturday (9 am-2 pm) after Club. I haven’t been for a few years but I remember some great vintage notions and fabric. Click here to go to the website.

On Tuesday, we’ll be at Treadle Yard Goods (10:30 and 6:30). Their big summer sale goes from July 8-18. Some of their dress silks are on my MOG dress list.

We’ve had a few requests to hold Fashion Sewing Club at The Sampler (551 W. 78th St.) in Chanhassen, so this is our trial month. Wednesday, July 14th we’ll have our meeting at 6:30 pm only, but we will have it no matter what. We’d like to see eight people to continue the meetings into the fall. Email us or call The Sampler (934-5307) to let them know you’ll be there. Bring your friends-first timers are free (at any meeting). The store is starting to carry more fashion fabric so support them if you want great fabric in a west metro location. Pics of some of the fabrics are below.

Remember Kathy’s scarf from last month? Here is a picture of it laid out. It’s a 32″x22″ rectangle and 7″ wide until it goes down to the points. Hopefully we’ll see a few from the serger class at Club meetings this month.

And then there’s the half of an oak tree that fell on my deck last night. No one woke up, no holes in the roof or broken railings-at least as far as we can tell at this point. Someone is coming later this afternoon to get the tree off so we can look more closely. Life is never boring!

One last clean up detail-last month Sarah Tufford told us about a group in the Madison, Wisconsin area. New homes are found for sewing machines that still work, and in the process gives new hope for the future to poor people. They sew for themselves, their families, and to make a little money to live on. Here’s the website: Some of us have been thinking about a trip to Gayfeathers in Madison and a trunkful of donated sewing machines would be a great impetus! Any takers?

Other calendar details (listed on the website)-Join us Tuesday, July 27th for a trip to SR Harris. Imagine the treasures to be had when a bunch of us start looking! We’ll car pool up to Brooklyn Park and have lunch because it will be hard work 😉

If you’re looking for a sewing related getaway, you may want to consider the Sewing Expo in Novi, Michigan. What if we got a group going together? Novi is supposed to be THE expo for fashion sewing. Here’s the link to the registration: The dates are Sept. 24-26.

Well, that’s all for now folks. I better get back to my sewing. The tree is being removed piece by piece (and distracting me just a wee bit). Every once in a while everything shakes as it falls more and more! Glad I slept through it.

Knits at The Sampler
More Knits

Kathy's scarf
Tree Down