Thursday, March 27, 2014

Reader's Pick Sew-Along: Fabric Selected!

Pattern is selected, and now the fabric is picked! You went with...

Paint Splatter ITY Knit!


I have to be honest, I don't have a lot of white-dominate clothes in my closet. But there are enough jewel-tones in this fabric that make up for it. I'm really excited to see what the dress will look like when it is finished. 

If you're coming in late, we are running a sew-along where the reader's pick the pattern and the fabric that I use to make the garment! We will be sewing New Look 6097, a dress that was voted one of the Best of 2013 on Pattern Review!


Interaction with the reader is most important to us in this sew-along. We're giving you two options to share photos of the fabrics you chose, progress photos and finished garment photos. We set up a Flickr group so you can share all of these photos. Don't have Flickr? That's ok. Comment below, including a link to your blog or other photo-sharing space.


Let everyone know you are sewing along! We've created a badge for you to post on your blog or website:

Copy and paste into your blog, or use the HTML code to the right side.

And...there can't be an event without a little token at the end...
Everyone that participates and finishes New Look 6097 will be entered in a random drawing for a $50 gift certificate to Fabric Mart! How exciting is that?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Reader's Pick Sew-Along: Fabric Selection

On Saturday, as I was finishing up my Mad Men Challenge dress, I was thinking about what fabrics I would like to use for the sew-along. I will most likely be choosing something from my stash because I need to use some of it up! In the afternoon, I took a break from sewing and went to Jo-Ann's to pick up a copy of New Look 6097. When I got to the pattern drawers, I almost panicked! They didn't have a divider for the pattern---they had 6096 and 6098 but not the one I needed! So I sifted through the sections and they had ONE pattern left! If you're in the Reading, PA area, you may need to have the pattern ordered in or order it online. Sorry!

Before we get started sewing together, I wanted to share some thoughts about what fabrics to choose for the dress we will be making together. Some of you may already have picked out fabric and don't need any advice, but some of you may be working with knits for the first time! Whatever your experience, I'm just glad you are participating! 

The pattern calls for stretch knits only: jersey, matte jersey, lightweight double knits, two-way stretch. It is also suitable for fabrics with plaids or stripes. If you're new to the knit world, you're probably wondering what does this mean? Jersey is a stretchy, single-knit fabric with nice drape. This could include: ITY knit, rayon jersey knit, cotton jersey knit, matte jersey knit, etc. All of these fabrics usually have a nice drape and come in a nice selection of solids and prints. 

See how the folds of the fabric are close together? The folds show us that the fabric is lightweight with a nice drape. This is an ITY knit. 
BUC7526 Lattice Border ITY Knit

This is another good example of a jersey knit, cotton/rayon/lycra. Once again you can see that the folds are close together, creating a nice drape. 
BTA1631 - Pomegranate Jersey Knit


If you want a dress with a little more substance and sturdiness, go for the lightweight double knit. Normally double knits are stiff, with less drape than a jersey. But there are some double knits that have enough drape---a little harder to find. Below is a lightweight ponte knit. Once again, look at the folds. They are not as tight as the jerseys shown above, but still close. The folds form nice drapes. 
SOA7691 Red Pepper Pique Weave Ponte Knit


So what knits should you stay away from? Heavy sweater knits, heavy ponte/double knits, rib knits, interlock knits, activewear knits and maybe even slinky knits and burnout knits. Basically any knit that does not drape nicely. These are all lovely fabrics, but we're going for drape, you don't want anything that will make your garment boxy. 

So get shopping for your favorite jersey knit! We will start sewing on April 7th. I will be creating a flickr account where you can share photos of your fabric selections and finished projects. Stay tuned to more info on that. If you have any questions comment below! I can't wait to see what you choose!

Check out Fabric Mart's selection of knits now! Use the filter on the left side of the website to narrow down your search by content, type, weight, color, etc. 


And one last thing...You get to pick which fabric I sew with! Here are your choices:

1) Beaded Print ITY Knit from Cache. This is an oldie but a goodie from my stash. I bought this from Fabric Mart way back when I started! (About five years ago.) How many of your seasoned customers have this one in your stash? This is a lightweight ITY knit with nice fluid drape. I love the vibrant blue color. The beaded  print goes with the selvedge, therefore going with your body. 


2) Retro Floral Rayon Knit from France. This retro floral print is a rayon/lycra knit from France. This was in Julie's Picks about two years ago and I think also online for a short time. I love the print as much as the colors!


3) Paint Splatter ITY Knit from Maggy London. This print was on our website about two years ago as well. A Maggy London print never fails. I love the color combination!

You have until Wednesday, March 26th to vote. You may select your favorite, but if you've never sewn with one of these fabrics before, you may want to select one you have not worked with. I will be making a muslin out of a solid cotton/lycra knit that is a little heavier than these fabrics, but still drapey. It feels more like a lightweight ponte knit. 




Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Results are in...

The results are in for the Reader's Pick Sew-Along! And the winner is....

New Look 6097!





It was neck and neck between New Look 6097 (dress) and McCall 5894 (pants.) I have to admit I started to think about what fabrics I would like to use for the pants, but when the dress was chosen, I had to change my course! 

If you don't have the pattern, place an order on the New Look website or head over to your local New Look retailer. We will begin sewing on April 7th. That will give you two weeks to get your pattern and fabric. It is not required to use Fabric Mart fabric, but if you want to, get your orders in ASAP to ensure you receive your fabric before April 7th! I will be doing a post on fabric choices tomorrow, so if you're unsure as to what fabric to use, I will help you tomorrow! I'm heading out right now to purchase a copy of New Look 6097.

I can't wait to get started. Will you be joining? Comment below if you plan on joining in the fun!


Monday, March 17, 2014

Made by a Fabricista: AHOY Spring!

Mother Nature can be such a tease.  One day the temps get up to 60 degrees, the next day the temperature is back down to a frigid 20 with snow blowing in every which way.  I have hope though that Spring is just around the corner for us in the Northern Hemisphere. I'm not giving up hope people! This hope is what has coaxed me to put away the sweater knits in exchange for some more spring-friendly knits.  I don't know how many of you got in on the big knit sale Fabric Mart had a couple weeks ago but I sure didn't miss it.  Let's just say I may have went a little overboard.   So what's easy to sew up and even easier to wear?? A basic tee.  There are so many great patterns out there for tees  I thought I'd highlight a few of my favorites.
                                                              
First up is a new pattern from Maria Denmark, the Olivia Oversize Tee.  This was an instant love affair.  I immediately bought and printed out the pattern within 2.5 seconds of discovering it.  This pattern is available as a pdf download and one of the more quicker ones I've come by when it comes to assembling.  It's a super quick make, no pesky sleeves to set, and the oversized look makes it forgiving and easy to fit.  Total time spent assembling the pattern, cutting fabric and sewing...approximately 2 hours.  I made mine using this cream/black striped ponte knit from Fabric Mart.




I totally didn't pay attention when ordering this fabric but the stripes are vertical.  I really wanted this shirt to have horizontal stripes, much like the pattern picture.  There was very little stretch horizontally with this fabric so I opted to cut the main pieces on the bias.  As if the print wasn't optical illusion enough I cut the neckline, sleeve cuffs and hem cuffs all in opposite directions.  Please don't stare too hard, my husband said you might go cross-eyed.    I do wish I would of paid more attention when cutting out the back piece because I accidentally cut it the opposite direction of the front.  I guess that's adding to the optical illusion effect, oh well!


            I only made one alteration which has become a pretty common alteration for me, shortening the upper back about an inch.  It helped with the excess fabric I had pooling around the armpit area that I discovered in my muslin.   


Should of drank a V-8!!  No I'm not leaning because my shirt is making me all dizzy and woozy, my camera however was getting a little drunk!
In case your wondering those red pants I'm wearing are Simplicity 1696 Amazing Fit pants blogged here.

Next up is an oldie but goodie, Sewaholic's Renfrew.  Did you know you can now purchase some Sewaholic pattern's from Fabric Mart?  Well now you know so get on it!  I love this top when I'm wanting to wear a more form fitting tee and also for it's comfort and versatility (so many options to be made!).


I used this beautiful seafoam green pique ponte knit.  Trust me when I say these pictures don't quite do the color justice.  The fabric is the same on both sides (so no worrying about right side/wrong side) and has a slight sheen to it.  It's very comfortable to wear and was an absolute dream to sew with.  I believe ponte knit is my all time favorite knit to work with.


Along with shortening the upper back I also made a sway back correction following this tutorial.  Although I didn't really follow the pattern instructions (this ain't my first rodeo with the Renfrew) please know that Tasha's instructions are well written and the illustrations make the instructions even more clear to follow.


Last but not least is a totally FREE pattern for you, Deer & Doe's Plantain Tee.


If you go to Google and type in plantain tee your search will result hundreds of bloggers ecstatic about this free pattern.  And rightly so! This just might be my perfect tee.  It features a low u-shaped neckline and unlike the Renfrew, a more relaxed fit around the waistline which comes in great for that last cookie in the jar screaming your name.  Geesh eat it already!  My favorite part about the tee are those cutie elbow patches.



I made the long sleeve version and yes I purposely made my sleeves that long.  I like a looong sleeve.  I even lengthened the hemline about an inch.  My fit alterations were the same as the Renfrew.  I did think the neckline was a little too low for my liking so I raised it about a half inch.  I know that doesn't seem like a lot but it did make a world of difference.  For my elbow patches I used a gray light weight sweater knit from my stash and attached using a zigzag stitch.  The main fabric was this light weight striped knit.  It's super soft and perfect for Spring temperatures ahead.  Because of the weight I did find it a little more finicky to cut and sew with but found steam-a-seam to be a godsend when it came to finishing the sleeve and bottom hem.

AHOY Spring!! ~Shannon



Friday, March 14, 2014

Reader's Pick Sew Along - Vote for the Pattern!



Thank you to those who submitted ideas on patterns you would like to see in a sew-along! I have selected 6 patterns, most all your selection. If you did not give me a specific pattern, but an idea such as a blazer, I selected a pattern. I loved all of the independent pattern company selections you chose, but some of them already have sew-alongs for them either done by the designer or by others. I also decided to stick with patterns that are easy to find for most and ones that have not been used by too many others in a sew-along. 

Now it is your chance to vote for the pattern you want to see in a sew-along. You will have until Friday, March 21st to select the pattern you would like to see in a sew-along. 

Here are the patterns to choose from:










I can't wait to see what you choose! This is definitely going to be fun for me because right now it is a total mystery!! 
Click here to vote for the pattern you want to see as a sew-along!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

New Sewing Pattern Available at Fabric Mart!

I'm sure by now you have seen that Sewaholic Pattern's put out a new skirt pattern, the Gabriola Skirt. This awesome maxi skirt is not your average maxi skirt. It has piecing at the top, creating an a-line silhouette, rather than a boxy, plain maxi. Did you know that Fabric Mart has this pattern in stock?? Well now you do! Not only can you purchase the pattern, but you can browse our website for the perfect fabrics. Head on over to our website to purchase it now!



The pattern recommends light-medium weight wovens like challis, lawn, shirtings, cottons, silks and polyester crepes. I picked a few fabrics from our website that I thought would be excellent choices for this skirt. 


This challis would be the perfect weight and the zig-zag design is so popular right now! (CQD0521)

This peachskin Abstract Geometric would flow nicely, plus it has a cool design. (CQA9166)

Go basic with this corded weave shirting. Great color! (SPC1717)


I'm really excited about making the Gabriola Skirt, but it's on a long list of things to make. March is a big travel month for me, therefore less blogging and less sewing. I still have to finish the skinny pants from my Spring Project List. They are almost done. I'm just trying to get the right fit. Then I really wanted to participate in the Mad Men Challenge  so here's hoping I have time to get an idea and finish the project by April 1st! And lastly, we are in the planning stages of the Reader's Pick Sew Along, so that will begin in April. So I will probably not be making a Gabriola Skirt until late April or May. 

Be sure to give us your ideas for the Reader's Pick Sew Along! Learn more about it here, and comment!! 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Reader's Pick Sew-Along

I'm fairly new to the blogging scene compared to some of you seasoned bloggers, and it takes some time to figure out the lingo. While working on a recent sewing project I relied a lot on sewing blogs, particularly sew-alongs. I have to admit I wasn't sure the real meaning of a sew-along except that you're documenting your sewing process. Then I'm thinking, well maybe I've been doing it all wrong! I'm sure there is no right or wrong answer, but I like the idea of a sew along being just that... Sewing along! I usually like to figure things out on my own, but sew-alongs actually help! After reading a specific step in the pattern directions 10 times and still not getting it, I turned to sew-alongs (and reviews) for advice. Wow! What a help! It's amazing how real images and different wording can help. The other great thing about sew-alongs is that if you catch it while the sew-along is actually going on, you can sew with other people, ask questions, get advice and share your finished product. Of course not all patterns have a sew-along to match them (independent pattern companies are great at sew-alongs), but the ones that do can be so helpful!


I thought it would be fun to try a sew-along with all of you! So I'm asking all of you to give me some ideas! What do you want to sew? Comment any pattern and I will pick five of those patterns. Then you, the reader, can vote on which one of the five you want to do a sew-along for. And on top of that, I will let YOU pick the fabric I use! My goal is to have the sew-along start at the end of March and run through the first two weeks of April. Of course timing will be determined based on what pattern you choose and how complicated it may be. A solid schedule will be provided once I see what pattern is chosen!

Sound like fun? Start getting those pattern choices in and let's get it started!

-Julie 

P.S. I'm going to be participating in the Mad Men Challenge by Julia Bobbin! Can't wait to give it a try!