Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Made By A Fabricista: Knit Extravaganza!

We have been fortunate enough to have four new, talented Fabricistas agree to join us on an ongoing basis at the Fabric Mart Blog! You may already be familiar with all or some of our new contributors as each of them have participated in either this or last year's Fashion Challenge and also have their own blogs. First up we would like to introduce/re-introduce you to Ann from SewBaby.

~I'm so excited to be blogging as a Fabric Mart Fabricista!  I've been a Fabric Mart customer since the 90's- before they even had a website!  They are always my go-to place for discovering new fabrics at unbeatable prices.

Did you catch the flash sale last Thursday on the silk modal knit in driftwood and black stripes?  I had ordered some before the sale, and had also ordered the orange/coral silk modal knit.

I was curious to see what these knits would be like; as I love silk knits for their brilliant colors and I love modal knits for their incredible softness, so the combination of the two seemed like a match made in heaven. Plus, silk is known for providing warmth without weight, so I thought it could be a nice choice going into chilly weather.  





Probably because of the time of year, I was originally drawn to the orange/coral, but I could tell it was going to be BRIGHT, and I knew that I would have to wear it with something that would provide some grounding to it. So, in my mind, I started envisioning a coral tunic, topped with a waterfall cardigan. The black and driftwood striped silk/modal knit seemed like the perfect neutral to help ground the brightness of the orange coral.  But then, they felt kind of unconnected, so I thought- how about an infinity scarf with both the orange, black and tan shades in it?  I searched the Fabric Mart website and found a mesh knit called Crimson Red/Black/Multi Roses and Abstract Animal Print Mesh Netting.


I have to say- this would not be a fabric that I would normally pick. Roses and leopard?  That's a lot going on, but it did have a little of that really bright orange around the edge of the roses, so I decided to go for it.  My vision for this outfit wouldn't be complete without some sort of bottom layer, and I decided with all the rest of the busy-ness of the stripes and scarf print, and brightness going on with the tunic, that I better go very basic with some black ponte leggings.


When I got my order, I debated about whether I should wash the silk knits.  I didn't want to lose any of the sheen.  But I could just see myself spilling BBQ sauce on it the first time I wore it, so I bit the bullet and washed everything. I'm glad that I did because the silk knits did shrink quite a bit.  My 2 yard silk modal cuts, ended up being 1-3/4 yard cuts.  But the luster was still there!  No harm done. 

For my patterns, I used Butterick 5789 for the cardigan because it didn't have any side seams, and would eliminate needing to match the stripes there.  For the leggings, I used McCall's 7026- a new no-side seam legging pattern.  And for the orange shirt, I used Vogue 1261- a raglan tunic with a handkerchief hem.  I wanted the orange to peek out below the cardigan at the bottom for just a little pop of color.


I didn't need a pattern for the infinity scarf.  I know that some people like really thick and bulky scarves, but because I'm pretty busty, I don't want something that's going to make me even bustier.  So, I like my scarves on the thin side, but long enough to wrap around my neck twice.  I think of them more like  a necklace.  So, I cut a rectangle that is 1-3/4 yard long by 18" wide.  Sew the long sides together, turn right side out, twist twice, then sew the short ends together.  So simple! (Also check out Fabric Mart's tutorial on Infinity Scarves!)

All of these pieces are super quick to make, and armed with a rotary cutter and serger, I was able to put this outfit together in an afternoon. I do think that anytime you combine orange with black, it's going to be Halloween-ish, which is perfect for this time of year, but I think I'll try the tunic with blue or cream separates to lessen that effect later. But wait- that's not the end of the story!  



With both the ponte and the mesh, I had enough fabric left over for a BONUS OUTFIT!  I made a peplum top from McCalls 7021  and a basic knit skirt.  I'd never actually made any clothing from mesh knits before, thinking that they would be too thin, but this one was not see through, and was actually super easy to sew.  I didn't hem the flounce, as it seemed to lay so nicely as is, and I didn't want to risk rippling it.  I'm amazed at how completely different this outfit is from the first, and I may even like it better!  I think I'll wear it with a light blue denim jacket and boots when it gets colder.  


So from my original order of 8 yards of fabric, I got 6 pieces- two tops, pants, skirt, scarf and cardigan.   And in choosing really simple patterns, these were really quick to put together. So, if you're looking for some quick and economical wardrobe pieces, try your hand at knits!


Thanks so much Ann! We look forward to seeing what you come up with next month! Would you like to be a guest contributor for the Fabric Mart blog? If so please email us at fabricmartblog@gmail.com. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Guest Post: Christian L Harris - God Save the Prince

We love seeing what our customers are up to and when we came across Christian's project, it was just too fantastic not to share with you. Fabric as wearable art and a good cause to boot! Without further ado we would like to introduce you to Christian Harris! 


My name is Christian L Harris. I am a fashion designer finishing up my Master of Fine Arts degree at the Savannah College of Art and Design. I have also taught fashion at American Intercontinental University and interned in New York for seven months. I started sewing in 2007 and haven’t stopped since. I own 5 sewing machines (Brother home sewer, Pfaff industrial zig-zag, 1938 singer 201, singer pro-finish serger and a Huskylock s25) and my fabric buying addiction is ever so out of control. There is nothing like the rush of a new email from Fabric Mart with “50-60% off Fabric and 1 crazy price” in the subject line.

My MFA thesis collection, God Save the Prince, has won features from ELLE, Esquire, WWD, Atlanta Magazine and others. The collection is inspired by hemophilia and the individuals touched by hemophilia, a debilitating and even fatal disorder of the blood. The last heir to the Russian throne suffered from hemophilia at a time when the average age of hemophiliac death was eleven years old. Fearful, the Imperial family did not disclose the heir’s affliction to the public. Guarding the secret meant a life away from the public eye. This seclusion and secrecy widened the divide between the Imperial family and the Russian people, and was in many ways an antecedent to the Russian Revolution. A year after the fall of Russian Imperialism, the Imperial family was executed. The seven members of the last Imperial family became a second focus of the collection.


The focus on the family became more central as the collection developed. While working on the collection, I lost my dear grandmother and my father. Creating pieces that were meant to honor the memory of the Romanovs helped me to cope with my own losses. I designed the collection as if each article belonged to a specific member of the last Imperial family. Many of the pieces in the collection were created for the life they never got to realize. For example, I included a wedding gown because sadly, the daughters did not live long enough to marry. It has also been said that other royal families in Europe knew the Romanov daughters could be carriers of hemophilia and that limited the number of suitors willing to court them.


Having hemophilia myself, I often felt alone and limited as a child so I understand what life may have been like for the Imperial family. I was not allowed to participate in many of the activities other children were able to partake in for fear of injury. Painting and drawing helped supplement my time and became a form of therapy. My mentors in the hemophilia community were also very supportive and pivotal in helping me to find my way. Many of my mentors received blood treatment products tainted with HIV before screening began in the mid-1980s. Sadly, about ninety (90%) percent of severe hemophiliacs were infected and thousands died.


Seventy percent of my earnings from the sale of the collection and the collateral materials will be forwarded to the hemophilia and bleeding disorders community. Namely, the Committee of Ten Thousand (COTT) and local chapters of the National Hemophilia Foundation. COTT “is a grass-roots, peer-led, education, advocacy and support organization for persons with HIV disease. The majority of our constituency is persons with hemophilia who contracted HIV/AIDS from tainted blood products” (www.cott1.org).


I have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise the funds needed to finish and photograph the collection. The whole process of photographing the collection will involve members of the hemophilia and bleeding disorders community. As an added treat for my fellow garment makers, the video that accompanies the campaign shows the complete development and construction of one of the gowns from the collection! This particular gown, is made with fabrics from Fabric Mart. The buttons on the gown also came from Fabric Mart in an assorted button bundle I got free during one of my fabric buying binges! (LOVE THOSE BUNDLES!!!) Go to www.gofundme.com/godsavetheprince to access the campaign and video.


Ultimately, I set out to use my knowledge of garment design to create wearable art pieces. I am so happy to have been a longtime customer of Fabric Mart because their beautiful fabrics made it possible for me to begin to realize my dream!

Please be sure to take a look at my GoFundMe campaign to see how I used my goodies from Fabric Mart. If you are able to contribute to the campaign, your donations would be greatly appreciated! Please feel free to share my story and the campaign with your friends and loved ones! Thanks!

Warmest,
Christian L Harris
ChristianLHarris.com


Have a great project you would like to share with us? Email us at fabricmartblog@gmail.com 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

And the Winner is....

We've made it to the end of the Fabricista Fashion Challenge! This year's challenge was a lot of fun and the ladies had such talent. I wish everyone could have won! I want to thank each one of our contestants for putting themselves out there in the sewing skills being challenged for a month and a half. (That is probably one of the biggest challenges!) 

Also a big thank you to all of our guest judges. They gave our contestants a lot of suggestions and praises. I bet if you asked any of them, the biggest challenge for them was picking the winner and who would be sent home!


Without further ado, let's see who our winner is....

Congratulations Dina, you are the winner of the 2nd Fabricista Fashion Challenge! You will receive $25 a month for one year to spend on fabric. You will also have the opportunity to be an official Fabricista for the next 6 months blogging with us! You will also receive a Julie's Picks membership. 




Our second place winner is Nakisha and you will receive a $100 gift certificate to spend at Fabric Mart and a Julie's Picks membership.



Our third place winner is   and you will receive a $50 gift certificate to spend at Fabric Mart and a Julie's Picks membership.



Again, congratulations to you all! You are very talented sewers! 

Reader Participation
And last but not least, we need to select a winner of the Flickr Group. Thank you to all the readers that participated on the sidelines. You never know, you may see one of them in Fabricista Fashion Challenge 3! 

The winner is... Elizabeth from I Sew, You Sew! You have won a $25 gift certificate to Fabric Mart. This was a randomly selected drawing. Please email me (fabricmartblog{@}gmail.com) to claim your prize.


The last thank you I want to put out there is to all our readers! I appreciate you taking the time to read and follow along in the challenge. I think it was a lot of fun for many of you as well! 

We have some exciting things planned for rest of the year. Stay tuned for more information on that. If you have any ideas or suggestions on things you would like to see on the blog, comment below or email me at: fabricmartblog@gmail.com.

That's a wrap!