Thursday, July 23, 2009

100% Cotton
Designer-Helen Wang
Feminine in design and in a neutral color ecru, this embroidered cotton lawn is from Helen Wang. Make a lovely summer skirt, blouse or A-line dress.

Sewl Mates
100% Cotton denim

Construction in Progress
Ykk invisible zipper #801, Buttons-beige 7/16" $.45, beige/tan marbleized 5/8" $.75, Gutermann thread #030

Sweet Inspiration

BWOF 5/09 #113

Pattern Suggestions: Butterick 4985, 5284, McCalls 5842, 5844, Simplicity 2584, 2614, Vogue 8392, 8587

Sewing Tip: Staystitch the neckline and armhole areas to prevent stretching.

97% Cotton 3% Elastine
Designer-Ralph Lauren
This is a dress weight twill with stretch. This toast color is great to wear all year around. Wear with ecru, black, grey, navy, turquoise, coral, red or eggplant.

Sewl Mates
100% Cotton
(grey/white/tan cotton twill)

Construction in Progress
Rayon hem tape, Buttons-camel/black 7/8" $1.10, cork 1" $1.75, Ykk invisible zipper #A893, Coats #544

Sweet Inspiration

BWOF 5/09 #126

Pattern Suggestions: Butterick 5317, 5320, McCalls 5847, 5887, Simplicity 2659, 2694, Vogue 2973, 8480

Sewing Tip: Use 3/4" wide strip of interfacing to stabilize the zipper area.

75% Rayon 22% Nylon 3% Spandex
Designer-Dana Buchman

If you travel, you must get these ponte knits. These knits are the perfect weight for pants and a comfy cardigan. You'll look great after a long plane or car ride.

Sewl Mates
96% Rayon 4% Spandex
Black/Purple/Gold knit

97% Cotton 3% Lycra Knit
(black/white stripe)

Construction in Progress
Fusi knit, Gutermann thread #943, Buttons-gold/purple 1-1/16 $3.50, marbleized purple 1" $3.00, YKK invisible zipper #867

Fusi Knit, Coats thread-black, Buttons-black/gold square 3/4" $4.50, gold/black circle 1" $3.00, Ykk invisible zipper #580

Sweet Inspiration

BWOF 7/09 #122B

Pattern Suggestions: Butterick 5289, 5347, McCalls 5700, 5713, Simplicity 2618, 2798, Vogue 8580, 8592

Sewing Tips: If you are using elastic, stitch in the ditch at the side seam to prevent the elastic from twisting.

To purchase, email us at

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fabric Markdowns July 2009

96% Rayon 4% Spandex (knit)
Was 21.00 Now $10.50

96% Polyester 4% Spandex (knit)
Was 16.00 Now 8.00


64% Cotton 36% Linen
Was 25.00 Now 2-1/8 $26.56

96% Cotton 4% Spandex (sateen)
Was 13.00 Now 2-1/4 $14.63

100% Rayon faille (orange)
Was 10.00 Now 1-1/4 $6.25

To purchase, email us at

Sunday, July 19, 2009

My clients are so talented. First there is Beverly, a published author of a textile text book "Apparel Concepts and Practical Applications", and now Eileen, our facilitator for the "Sewing Fashionistas", has one of her lovely creations published in "Belle Armoire" magazine.

July/Aug 2009 issue

"Belle Armoire" July/Aug 2009 issue, page 72

Eileen granted SMF an interview to tell us about this wonderful experience.

SMF: How did your garment get into "Belle Armoire"?
Eileen: I was wearing my jacket at the 2008 Quilt Festival last October (during the preview night) when I met the Editor in Chief, Jenny Doh, of Belle Armoire magazine. She said "I want that jacket." She handed me her business card and a copy of Belle Armoire magazine and suggested I read the submissions guidelines. I asked did she want a picture of my jacket or the jacket itself? Jenny replied, "I have seen the jacket and I want it for my magazine. Read the submissions guidelines and send it to us so we can take pictures for the magazine." So I just did what she said to do, and now here it is published!

SMF: Is this a pattern and if so what pattern is it?
Eileen: The red and yellow box jacket was made from a kit purchased from Starr Hagenbring at the 2007 Quilt Festival. There is no pattern. The necessary pieces (front, back, sleeves,collar) were traced onto fabric.

SMF: What fabric did you use?
Eileen: Upholstery fabric, silk duppioni and silk organza (for underlining the silk pieces).

SMF: How long did it take to construct?
Eileen: 3-4 weekends

SMF: Was it difficult?
Eileen: No

SMF: What are some of your personal touches to the jacket?
Eileen: I underlined the silk duppioni pieces with silk organza to stabilize my decorative stitching. The fabric painting of the circles was done first then dried and pressed before decorative stitches and constructing the jacket. I added more topstitching to the sleeves and collar to match how high I wanted to roll the sleeves up.

SMF: What was your experience like working with Belle Armoire?
Eileen: Very good. Just follow the submissions guidelines. Everything takes longer than you think because you don't have the experience to gauge how long it should be. I had taken a class on millinery several years ago and had heard about the instructor submitting hats, but I never asked how long it took. I submitted my garment in December 2008 and it was published in the July/August 2009 issue. My first clue that it was going to be published was receiving an advance copy of the July/August issue on June 15. A plastic wrapped magazine with a plain white wrapper. Of course, I started calling as many people as possible when I opened it that night, and of course they were not able to find the magazine on the newsstand until after July 2.

SMF: Anything else you would like to add?
Eileen: Starr Hagenbring was the Bernina Fairfield Show winner in 2007. Her booth had the winning garment and several other artwear pieces for sale. All gorgeous items and wonderful to look at up close and personal. I bought the kit when I had achieved my goal weight that I had been working towards since February 2007. It is the first time in my life I only bought "one thing" at the Quilt Show and actually finished making it by the Quilt Show the following year. This experience has also taught me that you have to get out into the world and share your talents. If you make something fabulous and no one can appreciate it, it is almost like not having done it at all. I guess that is one of my main drivers for facilitating our group the "Sewing Fashionistas"

Beautiful work Eileen and congratulations!
Please go out and get a copy of the July/August issue of Belle Armoire!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Fabrics for July 2009

97% Cotton 3% Spandex (sateen)
Designer-Maggy London
Flower power is a strong trend this season and will continue into the fall. This is a dress weight sateen with an off white background, apple green leaves and fuchsia flowers. Perfect for a sheath dress or a very chic coat.

Sewl Mates
100% Linen (apple green)

Construction in Progress
Buttons-fuchsia/gold 3/4" $2.50, burgundy 1" $3.00, YKK invisible zipper #801, Gutermann thread #347, #716

Sweet Inspiration

BWOF 3/2009 #107

Pattern Suggestions: Butterick 5194, 5316, McCalls 5859, 5874, Simplicity 2648, 2703, Vogue 2909, 8446

Sewing Tip: Use rayon lining to keep cool and to give a smooth layer next to your undergarments.

100% Cotton Lawn
Designer-Celyn B
This is a beautiful bold print from Celyn B. The colors are dark brown, ecru, taupe, fucshia and tangerine. Make a flowy summer dress or a safari style top.

Sewl Mates
100% Silk Suiting

Construction in Progress
Buttons-lt brown toggle 1" $.65, taupe/brown shell 5/8" $.60, dk brown toggle 1/2" $.55, Gutermann thread #595, YKK invisible zipper #570,

Sweet Inspiration

BWOF 6/2009 #111

Pattern Suggestions: Butterick 5351, 5355, McCalls 5876, 5880, Simplicity 2593, 2642, Vogue 1102, 8516

Sewing Tip: Use a Microtex or Jean needle size 8 or 9.

To purchase, email us at

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Line Drawing

100% Cotton Denim
Designer- Ralph Lauren
Prewash: Machine wash warm cotton setting and dry perma press. It shrunk 3" in length.

Notions: thread, topstitching thread, topstitching needle, size 12 jean needle, 7" jean zipper, Armo Weft interfacing

Alterations: None

Construction Details: This skirt was inspired by a Nina Ricci skirt sold at Neiman Marcus for $850. I don't have a picture of the skirt (it's no longer on their website). This is a picture of the jeans from the same collection also $850.00.
The stand out feature of this skirt is using the wrong side of the denim as trim for the pockets, waistband and hem.

Pocket trim-Mark the stitching line on both the pocket and the pocket lining. Match the two stitching lines-the wrong side of the pocket to the right side of the pocket lining and stitch.

Understitch the pocket lining

Fold the pocket seam allowance to the right side twice

and topstitch. A topstitching needle is very helpful for this task

Waistband trim- Cut a strip of denim 2" wide and the length of the waistband on the crossgrain. Fold right sides of the trim together. Insert the trim between the skirt and the waistband and stitch and grade the seam. Fold the trim up, press and topstitch. Finish the waistband as usual.

Hem trim- Make trim the same as for the waistband. Mark the hem length and add 5/8" seam allowance. Trim any extra fabric. Fold trim right sides together. Stitch to the wrong side of the skirt.

Grade seam allowance, fold to the right side, press and topstitch.

This is unlined and the seams are all serged.

Simplicity 3787 camisole top

This top was last reviewed on 4/23/09.

The fabric for this version is a cotton/linen blend seersucker one of the 1st fabrics we had when we opened 22 years ago. The alterations and construction are the same as the previously reviewed top except for different trim. This time I used prepackaged wide seam binding

as piping for the upper band and the shoulder straps.

These are two TNT patterns that I will use again and again.