Friday, August 31, 2012

Fan Feature: Margy from Fool 4 Fabric.

Meet Margy from the blog Fool 4 Fabric: 
She has been sewing for 65+ years and is now enjoying life and blogging about her creations. 
Margy caught our eye with her fun style and her passion for sewing. 
 When we asked her to be a guest blogger she happily accepted and whipped something up 
from Fabric Mart fabric. We just love seeing projects made from our fabric! 
So, here's Margy!
"One of my favorite parts of travel is putting together a travel wardrobe. For an upcoming trip to Sicily, I am planning combinations of my favorite black and white, with a little touch of red. It will be quite warm in Sicily in September, so I am searching my fabric stash for lightweight and wrinkle-resistant fabrics. 
  I chose a Dana Buchman ikat print in black and white from Fabric Mart. I made a scarf/bandana out of it for a trip to Ethiopia last January...talk about hot! I was amazed that this fabric was lightweight, cool and never wrinkled. So...I made a shirt from B5526, a TNT (tried and true) pattern, using View C, but changing it up a lot, as I always do! 
 I added some gathered pockets, (you can never have too many pockets when traveling!) and made a gathered ruffle to use instead of a collar. I have already worn this long shirt here at home, where we've had a lot of hot days lately. This is definitely going in my suitcase in September!"

Thank you, Margy!
Visit her blog to see more of her sewing projects: http://fool4fabric.blogspot.com/

We welcome you to share with us your projects, blog, or business.
Email us at: fabricmartblog@gmail.com

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How to: Follow us!

Being new to the social media scene can be confusing and overwhelming. But don’t let it discourage you! Fabric Mart offers various social media options to keep you informed and inspired. If you need a little kick start or a refresher course in how to do this, this is the post for you! We’re going to show you how to become a follower of our blog through Facebook and Pinterest using the social media accounts you already have!


 How to follow from the Blog itself:
Good news! If you are reading this post you are inches away from following us!
On the left side bar there is a "Followers" gadget.
By clicking "Join this site" you will be taken to a page that gives you several options for which account you can use to sign in and follow us.
The most popular being Google, Twitter, or Yahoo.
By following us here, you will be able to see our posts from your page.
We use Google Reader to stay up to date on our favorite blogs. It allows you to read all of the blogs you subscribe to from one main site.
You could use this reader by signing in with your Google account.


Follow the blog using your Facebook:  
Facebook is very common and a great way to keep up with not only friends, but your favorite businesses and blogs.
Yet, even for an accomplished Facebook user, the new apps and timeline layout can make it difficult.
Start by visiting our Facebook page.
You can follow our blog directly from Facebook. Just under the header there are apps. Click on the Fabric Mart blog app. This will take you to that Networked Blogs app which will allow you to read a preview of our post right from Facebook. Clicking on the title or picture will take you to our blog where you can read the post. By following us from this page you will not only be able to see our blog posts from Facebook, but also be informed when a new post is up from your newsfeed.
Sounds great right?! Just click "Follow" on the top right of the Networked Blog page.


Use your Pinterest to see our new posts and repin them:
Pinterest has been all the rage lately, but many are still missing out on the scene.
Pinterest is like an online file folder for all of your inspiration.
You can create an account by signing in with your Facebook or another account.
By following our Pinterest you can check out our categories and even find our blog posts in the appropriate Pin Board categories. When we pin a new blog post you will be able to see it in your newest pins section. You can repin our blog posts to your own boards or if you are reading our blog
and you like something you see, you can pin it to your Pin board right from our site using the pin app from Pinterest. This is a great way to revisit it later or share your find with your followers on Pinterest.

We understand and challenging the social network can be, so please email us if you have any questions: fabricmartblog@gmail.com
We would be happy to help you follow our blog.
Happy following!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Made by a Fabricista: A Little French Terry Dress.


Working at Fabric Mart is rewarding in many aspects. Inspiration fills you when you are around so many fabrics. The colors, patterns and other characteristics of the fabrics take me to a world of imagination. 

One of many the afternoons sitting at my desk in front of bolts of fabrics waiting for me to take them one by one and determine their information to describe them for the website, I suddenly pictured a dress made out of  the two fabrics that Brett had put together on the table. Sometimes I feel like he is doing it on purpose! I stopped describing and just had to run to my boss and ask her "Julie, may I sew a dress with two of the new children fabrics that came today?" She did not hesitate, "Sure! Whatever you need to do!"
Immediately I grabbed my best friends: scissors, a ruler and a piece of paper. I drew a sketch and took the bolts to cut the pieces I needed. Very sleek as if I were doing something wrong I drew the patterns on the fabric and cut them using a pen and pins. If I would have had a sewing machine there I bet I would have sewn it!

I went home that Friday with my pieces and put them together. The sewing machine did not want to work, the thread on the opposite side was getting messy and loopy. I followed Julie's advice: to follow instructions of the sewing machine manual but that didn't work either.

And then I was reminded of my mother when I was five years old and she was sewing all night long one night, I woke up and saw her sewing with paper underneath the fabric, I thought it was one of her many inventions.

 So that day I tried with paper and it worked.
 For the flower I cut circles folded them in half and found the radius. While holding the center with one hand I gathered from one edge to the other. I hand sewed each and made many more of those until I had enough for the fluffy flower. I love how French Terry and Jerseys curl up so I took some of those curls and used them as decor for my flower.
The dress is made out of an Apricot French Terry and a Floral Cotton Poplin.  SOLD OUT
Taken from the New Children's Collection of Fabrics introduced two weeks ago in the new arrivals of our website

French Terry is a Cotton Knit that allows skin to breath and is very confortable and especially soft to wear against the skin. For that reason the dress is lined in all French Terry and the Ballon Skirt is made out Poplin that being crispy holds its shape and body. This crispness was also suitable for the floral decoration. 


I finished this cute dress at 11:30 pm. in between helping my daughter, doing dinner, feeding the dogs and cat and weeding. But I enjoyed sewing that day. I hope you all like it and enjoy the New Children's Collection.
Send me your ideas and projects to fabricmartblog@gmail.com, we would love to show them off on the blog! ~Gabby

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fan Feature: Pretty in Pink Sewing Room.

As you know by now I have been asking our fans to send us pictures of their sewing studio and we have been posting them in an album on our Facebook to show off each space.
Look at the album here to see all the pretty spaces. 

We have received many photos of rooms and are loving them!
When I opened the email containing the pictures of Lisa's sewing room I literally had to catch my chin before it hit the desk.
I can't help but love a pink room! But a sewing room?! Above all things! I could hang these pictures on a wall and look at them all day! 

We wanted to tell you a little about Lisa and her gorgeous sewing room so we asked her a few questions: 
What is your day job?   I work in marketing for a senior living community in Fort Worth, Texas.  We have Independent Living, Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation.  Most of the ladies that live here know that I sew and love to see the new things I wear that I’ve made.  

What is your dream job?   My dream job would be to be a fashion designer, but unfortunately I cannot draw anything!

What do you sew in your sewing room?  CLOTHES, lots of clothes!  Sewing them gives me the ability to have all the latest styles for much less!!
Lisa made the dress she is wearing from Fabric Mart fabric!
We no longer carry that particular design, but we have another wonderful paisley print (shown on the right)

What is your favorite part of your sewing room?  I’m not sure I have a favorite part.  I love everything about this room from my machines to my sofa!

Give us an organizational tip:  I try to keep a list of all my patterns on my iPad so I won’t keep buying the same ones over again.  I just recently started this after finding 3 of the same patterns multiple times!
What was the inspiration for your sewing space?  Pink! And Lilly Pulitzer!  I love them both!

How did you decide on the color pink?  It’s my favorite color and I knew I could never have it in another room in the house.

When/How did you learn to sew?  Like most everyone else, I took home ec in middle school, but didn’t really “learn” to sew until I was about 21.  I worked with a woman who sewed a lot of her clothes so she helped me learn to read a pattern and after that I never looked back!

How much time do you spend in your sewing room?  I would say during the work week I spend maybe 5 hours in my sewing room, but on the weekends that usually where I am.
How often do you buy fabric from Fabric Mart?  I would say every few months I buy fabric from Fabric Mart.  

Where do you get your inspiration for your projects?  I’m addicted to Pinterest and get lots of inspiration there as well as magazines.

What inspired you to put a beautiful couch in your sewing room?  I wanted my sewing room to be a retreat for me.  I love the room so much that I wanted to be able to be in there even when I didn’t have a project to work on.  I found the couch at my job.  We were remodeling the common areas and the employees were able to purchased the older things.  This couch just called my name!  And the best part, it only cost $15!
Thank you, Lisa for showing us your sewing room!

Don't forget to check out more sewing rooms on our Facebook and Pinterest!
And remember to email us pictures of your sewing space to fabricmartblog@gmail.com
by August 31st 2012 to show off your space!
We want to see it whether it is clean, messy, small, or large. Any sewing space is a beautiful space!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

DIY Tutorial: Clutch Purse on a Metal Frame

Recently, I was asked to make clutch purses for a wedding with five bridesmaids. When I was asked to do this, I had no problem...except for that she wanted metal frames on them! I confidently agreed to it, but in reality had never done it before! I had a kit I bought a few years ago, and decided this was probably a good time to try it out. After only 45 minutes, I had a cute little clutch and couldn't wait to make more! So I ordered some metal frames and got to work!
What inspired me to make this tutorial was the fact that the bride's mother bought the fabric to make the clutches from Fabric Mart! She chose a beautiful champagne color silk dupioni that was paired with a rich teal polyester charmeuse. The teal charmeuse was leftover from the bridesmaid dresses. 


These directions are for one metal-framed clutch made from silk dupioni. Please note that because I was making five different bags, you may see a different "front" to the bag in some of the pictures. You will also see a flower embellishment and hand-embroidery on the inside of the bag. Directions for these will not be shown. 

You will need:
  • Pattern 
  • 1- 8" metal clutch frame (I got mine at: Upstyle Design)
  • 1/4 yard of silk dupioni (or other fabric)
  • 1/4 yard of lining 
  • 1/4 yard of light-medium weight interfacing
  • 1/4 yard of felt or lightweight fleece
  • thread to match
  • 1 yard of 1/8" cording (similar to wash line)
  • industrial glue (with a thin application tip works the best.)
  • sewing machine with appropriate needle. (I used a #10 needle)
  • pins
  • marking pens
  • scissors

1) Cut out your pieces: two from the silk dupioni, two from the lining, two from the interfacing and two from the fleece. 

2) Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the silk dupioni. Layer the fleece and dupioni so that the two fabrics are sandwiched in between the two fleece pieces. Sew the sides and the bottom together. 

Please note that this is actually the lining shown in the picture. It shows you which sides to sew.
3) To make the bottom of the bag, open it up, and pinch together the corners so that the sides meet the bottom. Pin and sew one-inch from the corner. Do this on both sides. 

4) Repeat steps to make the lining. 

5) With wrong sides together, match up the seams and corners of the fabric and lining. Pin together. Sew all layers together with a 1/4" - 3/8" seam allowance around the top edge, making sure you're sewing through all layers.
6) Trim off any loose threads (especially if you're working with the dupioni, as it tends to fray a lot when working with it. Even out your seam allowance if necessary. Make sure to keep at least a 1/4" seam. 
7) Squeeze industrial glue inside the metal frame. Starting at the hinge, push the bag into the frame. I used an old pair of blunt scissors to help me in this process. I pressed into the frame on the lining side of the bag because I would rather have any residual glue show there than on the outside of the bag. 
*Make sure when you're pushing the bag into the frame that you check that both the outside and inside of the bag are being pushed in. Sometimes the outside of the bag gets neglected as you focus on the inside, so periodically turn to the right side and push from that direction.
8) While the glue is still wet, insert the cording into the metal frame slot to help secure the fabric in place.  
9) Lay the bag on its side to dry overnight. Do not snap the bag shut while drying. The fumes from the glue tend to linger and keeping it open, helps take them away. 

Fun things to try: 
- Try different pleating techniques to make the front of your clutch bag more interesting.
- Add a fun brooch, flower, trim or other embellishment to jazz it up a bit. 
- Embroider the initials of the person you're giving it to. Adds a touch of personalization to the bag!

We would love to see how your bags turn out. Email us a picture at: fabricmartblog@gmail.com.

- Download Julie's Clutch Pattern Here! -

~Julie

Monday, August 20, 2012

At Fabric Mart: In the Store with Sharon

Fabric Mart has a small retail store in the front of the building used to sell our overflow and clearance located in Sinking Spring, PA. Customers can receive great deals on gorgeous fabrics such as silk chiffon and linen. Most of the fabrics are last chance and sell out quickly! If you are local to us and have yet to stop in, come see us soon! The ladies take turns running the store front. The store labels and prices all the retail store fabric based on fabric content. They take a swatch of every fabric placed in the store and burn test it in order to give you a great low price that is based on true quality. They also spend a lot of time making the bundle assortments for those who are not fortunate enough to be able to stop in a visit. (But we do get some travelers from different states if you are up for the adventure!)

Sharon runs the store most of the week and is well known by most of our local customers. She spends her day bundling, cutting and helping others, whether it is the customer in the store or a co-worker.
How long have you worked here? 
Sharon: over 5 years, but I have experience from a previous job that helps me assist them with fabric and sewing machine questions.

Describe a typical day at Fabric Mart:
Sharon: help customers in the store, guide them towards the right fabrics and give advice so they can complete their project. The customers and I often become friends!

What do you do when you leave work?
Sharon: I love to relax with a good book and a glass of wine!

How do you take your coffee?
Sharon: Black and basic.

What is the best part of your job?  
Sharon: Playing with the fabric and my visiting sewing buddies that stop in the store to shop around.

What is your favorite type of fabric?
Sharon: ooo, the silks. There are some many options and possibilities. And they are gorgeous.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fan Feature: Erika from Erika Made It

Have you ever seen a beautiful fabric on our website and fell in love and then discovered it was a panel and thought, now what the heck am I going to make with that?!
Well, wonderful things are possible and our guest today, Erika from erikamadeit.blogspot.com shows us how it is done. 

We found Erika while prowling the interweb for great sewers. 
I was shocked and amazed when I came across Erika wearing Fabric Mart fabric!
And even more impressed when I realized that the fabric she chose was in fact a panel. 

Enough of me talking...check out this gorgeous dress will ya?!
I love this dress! My maid of honor told me to get sewing, and make myself a dress for my bridal shower. Everything about the shower is a surprise, so I handed off the dress to her right after I finished it, and won't see it again until after the surprise. 

This dress is all about the fabric. When I saw this double paneled floral cotton from Fabric Mart's daily pick on facebook,  I snapped it up at only $3.99 a yard. As you can see, one side has more flower coverage than the other. 
I never worked with a paneled fabric before, and carefully cut the pieces for this Frankenstein pattern. I used vintage Butterick 9752, as the inspiration, and followed those directions, but used the trusty pattern simplicity 2444, for the front bodice and skirt, just to make fitting a little easier. The scoop neck back and buttonholes pattern was a raised version of the vintage Butterick, I raised the scoop a bit just so I could wear a bra. I love the ric rac trim around the neckline and hem, I can't believe I've never done this before. 
The back closes with 5 buttons, and is attached to the skirt that has a small invisible zipper closure. I will surely make another version of this sweet dress. 

Is this not this just the greatest?
Thank you, Erika!
We love admiring your dress! Great work!
Visit Erika's blog to see more of her fabulous projects: http://erikamadeit.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Inspiration: More Sewing Room Jealousy!

Yup, you caught me.
I couldn't resist finding more sewing spaces to fall in love with.
But who doesn't love more inspiration?!
Check out this lovely spaces:
A space that is a little unorganized can be gorgeous in a sewer's eyes.
So don't be afraid to show it off! A sewing well used is admirable.
 Your sewing space doesn't need to be huge to be a wonderful space.
If only my space could be this clean!
This sewing room is from Sydney Davis.
I love the use of clipboards in this sewing studio!
Look how modern and chic this space is!

Don't forget to send us pictures of your sewing space to fabricmartblog@gmail.com.
Please submit them by August 31st, 2012 so we can show your space off on our Facebook.
Take a look at the album here: Sewing Room Inspiration from Our Fans.

I am loving all of your wonderful spaces!
Keep sending! - Kaitlin

Monday, August 13, 2012

At Fabric Mart: The Guys

As you oooo and ahhh over all the beautiful fabrics on our website you might never think about how it got to this point online. It takes a lot of time and care to buy the fabric, prepare it for the site and post it online for all of our customers to see. You've met the buyers but now it is time to meet the warehouse staff who play a critical part in preparing our fabrics for the cutters to fulfill your orders. They unload the trucks, sort the fabric, sample it, measure it, roll it onto bolts and put it in its temporary resting place until it gets sent to a cozy spot in your house to be made into a gorgeous garment for your lifestyle.

Around Fabric Mart they are known as "The Guys."  There are not too many guys that work at Fabric Mart but they have a VERY important job that cannot be overlooked. So here are....The Guys!
Brett is our Inventory Control Manager. He assigns the fabric item numbers and locations and takes one bolt of each fabric to our description/photography studio. He also makes sure that the fabric inventory is correct. Plus he even helps unload trucks and sort fabric among other necessary tasks that help us run efficiently.
Ted is our bolter. His job is very important because he is the one who makes the fabric easier to handle. Ted uses a bolting machine to fold the fabric onto the bolt and cut a 50 yard roll down to smaller, more manageable pieces for the cutters. Ted also helps unload trucks to bring the fabric one step closer to your door step.
Jason pulls and processes wholesale orders. He also organizes and tags new fabrics. He also rolls fabric for the website that cannot be bolted and helps unload trucks full of fabric! When we are very overloaded, he also runs our second bolting machine.

We asked everyone at Fabric Mart the following questions. Here are "The Guys" responses:

How long have you worked here?
Brett: I started on January 2nd, 2012. (About seven months)
Jason: I started in April of 2012. (About three months)
Ted: One year

Describe a typical day at Fabric Mart:
Brett: It is very busy. I keep the inventory up-to-date and check on low yardage counts. Also help where needed.
Jason: Depends on which day you're talking about.
Ted: Bolt fabric, load/unload trucks, move fabric.

What do you do when you leave work? 
Brett:Yard work and other odd jobs, pick up my 3 year old twin girls from pre-school
Jason:Take care of his three kids, coach hockey, rebuild cars
Ted: Work on cars, do things around the house, make dinner, go out to eat, work out

How do you take your coffee? 
Brett: I don't drink coffee, I drink Gatorade.
Jason: French Vanilla and a lot of sugar.
Ted: Cream and sugar.

What is the best part of your job? 
Brett:When things work out the way they are suppose to.
Jason: Co-workers
Ted: Working in a laid-back atmosphere

If you were stranded on a deserted island, who from Fabric Mart would you take?
Brett: Sue, my boss.
Jason: I'd take everyone and turn it into a party! 
Ted:No one.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Guest Post: Victory Patterns.

Now this is awesome!
I stumbled upon Victory Pattern's blog while admiring their patterns and 
found this tutorial on how to make your own custom clothing labels.
I just had to share!
So today we welcome our guest blogger, Kristiann from Victory Patterns.
Add an extra touch of class to your hand made item by making your own clothing labels! Making tags is quick and easy, all you need is a photocopy version of your own logo, name or artwork, and a few supplies. 
Make sure that your artwork or text is in mirror image to the original format. 
These tags use a chemical called xylene from blender markers to dissolve photocopy toner onto fabric. When the toner is transferred onto natural fibre, it creates a wash-fast transfer. You can expand on this idea and transfer images to clothing!

 Materials List

Photocopy of logo or your name in mirror image
100% Cotton fabric or 1″ twill tape
Xylene blender marker from your art store
Scotch tape
Thread

 Tape down your fabric or twill tape. Place your paper tag face down so the writing faces the fabric. Make sure to position it so it is centered.
Now comes the fun part! Take the xylene marker and using pressure, colour in all over the back of the tag. Keep on using pressure until you have transferred the toner. Use in a well ventilated area.
 Carefully peel away one side of the paper. Check to see if you have made a good transfer. If the image is still faint, tape it back down and reapply the marker.
 Now pull up the paper. The fabric will be wet with xylene, just let it evaporate
To make your fabric into a tag press the top and bottom edges of your tag.  Topstitch the edges. Now fold and press the sides.  Pin the tag onto your garment and sew along the pressed edge.
 Voila! Custom made clothing labels!

Thank you, Victory Patterns!
Check out their other wonderful posts on their blog here: 
http://www.victorypatterns.com/blog/



Wednesday, August 8, 2012

On the Road: DG Expo in NYC.

And we're back!
The past two days Julie and I visited and worked in the big apple to show Fabric Mart's wholesale collection at the DG Expo.
It was my first trip with Fabric Mart and I had a wonderful time seeing new places in New York and meeting our customers and friends at the show. 
Of course I took a few pictures along the way!
Julie and I grabbed a quick picture after we successfully finished our first long day working in the city!
And did I mention that we had an amazing view from our room of the Empire State building?
We ate a lot of good food! 
 Here's Julie at our booth.
We had two tables full of fabric! It was quite the selection. 
 We came prepared with our entire inventory of headers. 
(If you need any fabric, we have it.
Visit our wholesale website if you are a designer, manufacturer, or fabric store.
www.fabricmartwholesale.com)
I can't wait until our next adventure!
Till next time New York. - Kaitlin

Friday, August 3, 2012

Inspiration: Sewing Room Jealousy.

Yep. I have a weakness for stalking adorable sewing rooms.
Don't act like you don't!
Ever since I found Pinterest I have been keeping a collection of beautiful sewing spaces.
We have an album on the Fabric Mart Pinterest! http://pinterest.com/fmfabrics/sewing-studios/

I picked a few of my favorites to show you as I daydream about what 
I want my own future sewing studio to look like. 
I love these pops of color and cute chairs!
http://www.blogforbettersewing.com/2010/12/my-new-gig-teaching.html
http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/the-thompson-familys-sewing-ro-118141
http://plainlyjaneblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/dream-sewing-rooms.html
http://plainlyjaneblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/dream-sewing-rooms.html
http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/the-thompson-familys-sewing-ro-118141
This one I absolutely adore! 
I would love to work in any of these charming rooms.

Now guess what! I want to see your sewing room!
Send us a picture of your studio, room, space, etc.
Whatever space you sew in, we want to see it!
Send your pictures to fabricmartblog@gmail.com

The entered photos will be posted in an album on our Facebook for all of our followers to admire.
A few might even get to be featured on our blog as a studio tour!
We will be accepting photos to be showcased until 5 pm, August 31, 2012.
 (Send us a few picture options too!)

And don't forget to tell your sewing friends about our search!
Share this blog post or maybe even write your own blog post!
I did on my own blog here: http://loveiswhyiwake.blogspot.com/2012/08/sew-jealous.html

I can't wait to see your beautiful spaces! -Kaitlin