A Look Back at 2017

Time to take a look at all the amazing things that happened at Style Maker Fabrics in 2017! After five new fabric collections, two style tours and all the incredible memories we made a long the way, it was a pretty amazing year! Our small business continues to grow with all the love and support of the sewing community. We can’t thank you all enough and look forward to what 2018 will bring. Now let’s take a look at a few of the highlights from the year!

Sewing and Stitchery Expo

We started the year off with a bang diving right into planning our spring collection and prepping for our first ever show! In March, we took Style Maker Fabrics on the road and set up shop at the Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, Washington! During the show we taught four classes, met loads of amazing makers and got to share a bit of Style Maker Fabrics in person rather than only online. It was an incredible experience and we can’t wait to do it all again March 2018 with an even bigger booth!

Sewing and Stitchery Expo 2017 | Style Maker Fabrics

Spring & Fall Style Tours

For us, the highlight of launching a new season is the Style Blog Tour that comes with it! After months of planning behind the scenes we anxiously wait, along with all of you, to see what each seamstress creates for their leg of the tour. We have made so many amazing friends thru this process over the last two years, both bloggers and customers, and we love seeing all of your styles shine with each of your makes! Spring 2018 is already on our minds…any special requests?

Fall Style Tour Recap 2017 | Style Maker Fabrics

Click on the links to find full a recap of our Spring Style Tour 2017 and Fall Style Tour 2017.

Meeting Sewing Friends

After getting to know people from this amazing sewing community online, it is always a treat when you get to meet them IRL. During our travels this year we got to catch up with some amazing seamstresses!

Visit to Named Clothing | Style Maker Fabrics

First, in plotting out family heritage trip to Scandinavia, we added a stop in Helsinki, Finland to check out the city and of course visit the Named Studio. It was lovely to talk with Laura and Saara and get a sneak peak at a few things they were working on. Helsiniki ended up being one of our favorite cities on the whole trip, so we will definitely be back!

Sewing shows gave us the opportunity to meet a few more sewing friends! In May we made our way to St. Louis for the annual Spring Quilt Market. Lori, Girls in the Garden, joined us for lunch and to check out the show for a bit. After almost two years of messaging and emailing we had a great visit and can’t wait to do it again! A few month later we hopped across the pond for a week in London and met up with Rachel, House of Pinheiro, and the girls from the Fold Line (Rachel and Kate) at British Sewing Live! The UK sewing community  is truly amazing and wonderful to experience everything it has to offer when you visit.

Favorite Makes

This year we definitely didn’t get to sew as much as we wanted too—price of running your own small business. But the makes we did get done are well loved and worn often! Here are a few of our favorites.

Favorite Makes 2017 | Style Maker Fabrics

  1. Athleisure Gemma Sweater — Our Fall Style Tour make in cozy velour.
  2. Watercolor Ebony Tunic — One of our most worn garments.
  3. Boiled Wool Sapporo Coat — Equally stunning and cozy
  4. Anthro-Inspired Jill Coatigan – Money saving comfort and style.

Top Patterns

Last but not least, our top selling indie patterns from 2017. Some of our personal favorites made the list and three from one of our favorite designers, Closet Case Patterns. You might even find one of the Top 5 featured four times earlier in this post… we may be addicted.

Top Patterns 2017 | Style Maker Fabrics

  1. Kelly Anorak Jacket | Closet Case Patterns — Crowd favorite at Sew Expo.
  2. Sapporo Coat | Papercut Patterns — Cocoon chic.
  3. Talvikki Sweater | Named — Winter style and warmth.
  4. Ebony Tee & Dress | Closet Case Patterns — Versatile fit and flair.
  5. Charlie Caftan | Closet Case Patterns — Warm weather escape.

Thank you all again in sharing with an amazing 2017 with us! We are looking forward to an even better 2018—more incredible designer fabrics, new favorite patterns and lots of stylish makes! Happy New Year!

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Anthro-Inspired Winter Jill Coatigan

Boucle Sweater Knit | Style Maker Fabrics

Earlier this fall in the midst of prepping our fall collection I sat down for coffee with Meg and Haley from the Seamwork/Colette team. I gave them a sneak peak of the new collection, we caught up about our latest sewing projects and talked about this amazing community! In chatting about our favorite fabrics to sew with during the fall season, we all agreed that we are crazy for sweater knits! Not a surprise really, it is no secret I love knits and couple that with something soft, cozy and warm and it is game over—sew all the things!

Fall Fabric Swatches | Style Maker Fabrics

Meg gave me a little teaser that one of Seamwork’s December patterns would be a cozy coatigan, something already on my sewing list! In discussing some possible fabric options, we talked about I look for when buying sweater knits for our shop and what in turn sewers should watch for in their own shopping. Meg took parts of this discussion and turned it into a handy resource for readers in December’s Winter Issue of Seamwork. Check out some of our tips and tricks for shopping and sewing with sweater knits HERE.

Jill Coatigan Inspiration | Style Maker FabricsNot long after our meeting I stumbled across this amazing coatigan on Anthropology, one of my favorite sources for inspiration, listed for a whopping $228. Not only did we have a very similar fabric in our new collection, it also would the perfect ultra-cozy, neutral coatigan to add to my winter wardrobe and I could make it for a faction of the price! Seamwork Jill Coatigan | Style Maker Fabrics

Ready with my inspiration and fabric choice, I took Seamwork’s Jill coatigan and set off to create my own version of this look. Based on my measurements and the look I was going for, the Seamwork team recommended I sew up a size Small, which matched up best with my bust measurement. The relaxed fit of this pattern makes it very forgiving through the waist and hips.

Keeping my fabric choice in mind, I decided to make my version of Jill a bit shorter to keep it looking more like a cardigan and less like a robe. In talking with Meg and Haley this chunky boucle sweater knit affectionately became know as the “lamby” sweater knit since it almost feels like being cuddled up with a fuzzy lamb. I didn’t want this “lamby” coatigan too look too much like loungewear when I got it done.Boucle Sweater Knit | Style Maker Fabrics

To shorten the length I took out about 3″ from either side of the lengthen/shorten lines given on the body pattern pieces. I also moved up the back seam split and markings up so that it would remain the same size. Other than that, I didn’t make any other changes to the pattern. The directions were clear and easy to follow. I debated between “pockets” or “no pockets” but “pockets” won out and I am glad they did! Probably the best part about sewing up this fabric is that all the seams magically disappear into the knobby texture of the knit. Great for the overall look, horrible if you need to rip anything out!

Wide Waist Tie Addition | Style Maker Fabrics

In keeping with the look from my inspiration, I added a waist tie to my Jill coatigan. I cut a 6″ strip the full width of the fabric and created a tube by folding it in half and stitching it right sides together. To finish off the ends, I turned my “tube” right side out and tucked the ends in at each end by about 1/2″ and topstitched across them. Voila—a wide waist tie! I could have added some loops to both side seams but decided I would either be wearing the coatigan open (no tie) or tied and wouldn’t need holders for the tie for something in between. Totally an easy addition if I change my mind later!

Boucle Jill Coatigan | Style Maker Fabrics

Open Front Jill Coatigan | Style Maker Fabrics

Waist Tied Jill Coatigan | Style Maker Fabrics

I love how my Jill coatigan turned out! This was the perfect fabric/pattern pairing and it is just as cozy as I imagined it would be. The texture of the fabric is also a great choice for this minimalist pattern—it truly lets the fabric shine. I might have left it a couple of inches longer, but the shorter length will probably be more wearable in the long run. I sewed up the whole project start to finish in one afternoon which is another big plus for this sort of outerwear hybrid. It isn’t a project that is going to tax both your time and your patience—a great pattern choice for someone just venturing into sewing their own coats! Did I also mention this project saved me over $150 by sewing my own? Not bad for an afternoon of sewing!

Coatigan v. Coatigan | Style Maker Fabrics

P.S. You might remember this fabric from our Fall Style Tour—Sarah of Goodbye Valentino wowed us with two amazing garments in this gorgeous boucle. Check out her post HERE.

A Christmas Roscoe Blouse

Christmas Traditions Rayon Flat | Style Maker Fabrics

When searching for fabrics for our shop, we sometimes stumble across a find just too good to pass up! While putting together out Resort 2018 collection we found a treasure trove of rayon shirtings from tropical menswear designer Rehn Spooner. In amongst all of the gorgeous tropical prints and scenics we uncovered this Christmas gem!

We rarely find seasonal fabrics and this one is kind of over the top adorable! Vintage-inspired the print includes everything you love about this time of year—ice skating, horse drawn sleighs, Christmas trees, packages, snowmen and of course, jolly old St. Nick! Now the big question, what to make with it?

ModCloth is a great RTW site for inspiration, especially for more novelty print fabrics like this one. I pulled together a few of my favorites including a gathered skirt, pajamas and a fun holiday robe. I also found some great indie patterns to help create each look!

Modcloth Garment Inspiration | Style Maker Fabrics

Holiday Garment Indie Pattern Options | Style Maker Fabrics

Carolyn Pajamas | Cleo Skirt | Lakeside Pajamas | Lahja Dressing Gown

While I love all of these ideas, I have in my head a fun holiday top. This printed rayon challis is lighter weight, super soft and drapes beautifully—perfect for a tunic or blouse! With that in mind I narrowed down my pattern choices to the Sew Liberated Matcha Top and the True Bias Roscoe Blouse. Both have that kind of oversized relaxed look I love and will show off the pattern well. With the help of the Instagram polling feature and the online sewing community I settled on the Roscoe!

Matcha Top | Roscoe Blouse

My Christmas Roscoe Blouse went together start to finish in just one afternoon. This is a pattern I have sewn before and I love how easy it goes together. The fussiest part is all the gathering on the neckline and sleeves, but the bound-edge finish looks amazing and it really doesn’t take too time. One recommendation—I don’t ever waste my time trying to stitch-in-the-ditch. Rather than try to stitch over the previous stitching and catch all the layers at the same time, I like to top stitch 1/8″ away from the “ditch”. It saves me a lot of time, aggravation and always gives a nice finish every time.

Christmas Roscoe Blouse Front | Style Maker Fabrics Christmas Roscoe Blouse Side | Style Maker Fabrics

Christmas Roscoe Blouse Back | Style Maker Fabrics

I love how my Christmas blouse turned out! Yes, some may think it is a bit cheesy but I love the vintage feel and its total uniqueness. I definitely won’t run into anyone else with such an awesome holiday shirt! Kelli’s Roscoe has become one of my TNT patterns that I can always go back to. The relaxed style with the subtle feminine touches make it a great pattern for any occasion. I might have a stack of other drapey wovens just waiting to become a few more Roscoe tops… I might mix a few Matcha Tops in for good measure!

Happy Holidays!

Michelle