Spring Canvas Blog Tour: Stripes

We are so excited to be the first stop on our Spring Canvas Blog Tour!

After helping all the other participants get their fabrics, I got to thinking why not join in on all of the fun! The weather here in the Pacific Northwest has been teasing us with Spring for weeks- one minute you think it’s here and the next it’s five more days of pouring rain. All of this has made me so ready to start sewing for Spring and change up the wardrobe.

One of our favorite trends for this Spring/Summer is STRIPES. They are everywhere and for good reason! They come in so many color combinations, fabrics types and variations how can you not love them? Perfect for blouses, T-shirts, dresses, skirts and lots more, we can’t wait to incorporate more stripes into our wardrobe this season. Best of all, they will never go out of style and you can wear them just about any way you want.

Sewing with Stripes Pinterest Inspiration

Sewing with Stripes Pinterest Inspiration

I started my stripe planning with the internet and Pinterest– our favorite way to start exploring new fashion trends and colors. During our fabric shopping we found so many amazing stripe jerseys, I knew I wanted to sew something up in some of these great knits. I have also been on a wardrobe basics kick so I narrowed my focus further to knit tops.

After getting my creative juices flowing I decided to look at my pattern catalog and see what fit with my ideas. Two pattern immediately jumped out at me- Grainline Studio’s Lark Tee and Hey June’s Lane Raglan. Both have been on my list for a while now and they are perfect for really showing off some stripes.

Lark Tee in a Wide Repeating Stripe Jersey

Lark Tee in a Wide Repeating Stripe Jersey

For my Grainline Studio’s Lark Tee I settled on a boat-neck with 3/4 length sleeves. I love that this pattern has so many different variations letting you mix and match a number of necklines and sleeve lengths. To top it off, Jen has posted even more variations and hacks on the Graniline blog. So cool! For the fabric I picked one of my favorite stripes in the shop, a 13″ repeating stripe rayon jersey.

With a little engineering I was able to get all the stripes to match up with the beautiful wide grey stripe at the collar bone. For the sleeves it took a couple attempts, as I wasn’t sure where the pattern should be placed for perfect matching. Luckily I had enough fabric to cut a test sleeves, make a few adjustments and cut 2 more sleeves! The only other adjustment I made was to the length- before hemming I trimmed off about 1″ so that the top would hit just at my hips.

Finished Lark Tee in Wide Stripe Jersey

Finished Lark Tee in Wide Stripe Jersey

I love how the boat-style neckline really shows off my aqua necklace. I am a huge fan of pairing bold statement jewelry with more casual clothes to give them a bit more flare. Totally my style!

Next up, my Lane Raglan tee from Hey June Handmade! I love color blocked raglans so I thought I’d use the same approach with stripes. I could have made things easy and mixed a solid jersey with a fun stripe but why not take it a step farther and go with TWO stripes! When I saw these two coral/oatmeal knits (1 / 2) I knew they were the perfect choice.

Lane Raglan in Matching Stripes

Lane Raglan in Matching Stripes

I decided on using the wider stripe for the body and the narrower for the sleeves- I auditioned them both ways but liked this combination the best. Plus the cute little pocket looks better in the narrow stripe! Again, I settled on 3/4 length sleeves- perfect for cool spring weather.

Finished Coral/Oatmeal Stripe Lane Raglan

Finished Coral/Oatmeal Stripe Lane Raglan

Both of my stripe tees turned out amazing and I can’t wait to work them into my Spring wardrobe! There will surely be more versions of both of these pattern in the works soon. I am anxious to try some other fabric types, neckline and sleeve combinations and other styles.

I’ll leave you with just a couple tips that I learned/used when sewing up these tops. First, I typically sew all my knits with just my serger, but for both of these tops I wanted to make sure all of my stripes matched as best I could. I find that with my serger I am more likely to have some slipping- no good for stripes.

To address this issue for the Lane Raglan I sewed all my seams with the zig-zag stitch on my regular machine and then finished the edges with the serger. That way I could pin all the stripe and make sure they all matched. For the Lark Tee I took a slightly different approach and basted all my seams with a long straight stitch. This secured everything in place and let me then go and serge all the seams as normal. Both methods worked beautifully and took about the same amount of time. I recommend trying them both and see which you like best. My only other tip is pin, pin, pin!

Be sure to check out Day Two of our Spring Canvas Blog Tour tomorrow over on Christine Haynes’ blog, City Stitching! We can’t wait to see her finished projects!

Happy Spring!

Michelle

P.S. Special thanks to my dad for arranging photos with the ’46 Ford for the homepage and blog. The color was just too good I couldn’t resist! And he’s also not a bad photographer!

 

Welcome Spring: Fabrics and Sewing

Spring is officially here and we are ready to SEW!

We have been planning for our Spring launch for over a month- researching trends, shopping for new (amazing!) fabrics, planning our sewing projects and organizing lots of fun things to share with all of you!

Let’s jump in! First up, spring fabrics- we have added OVER 150 new fabrics to our online shop. Knits, double gauze, shirting, french terry, denim, lawn, rayon challis and lots more in beautiful colors and patterns for this Spring/Summer. We scoured all of our sources around the country to put together an amazing fabric collection full of lots of incredible textures, color combinations and fabric types you are sure to love.

150+ New Spring Fabrics Now Available

150+ New Spring Fabrics Now Available

All of the new fabrics have been organized into some of our favorite trends for this Spring/Summer.
Of course, you can also shop by fabric type or even garment type if that is what suits you. You can check out all of our favorite trends HERE and find lots of garment and sewing inspiration for each one on our Pinterest page. Over the next two weeks, we will also be taking a closer look at some of these trends, along with some pattern and fabric ideas to incorporate into your Spring sewing.

One of our favorite colors this spring- Coral

One of our favorite colors this spring- Coral!

Next, let’s talk sewing. With too many ideas about what we wanted to make ourselves this Spring, we wanted to see what some of our fellow seamstresses were inspired to sew this season. We reached out to some of our favorite bloggers and pattern designers and asked if they would be interested in joining us for a Spring sewing and style blog tour. Guess what… THEY SAID YES! After some covert operations, complex scheduling, cross-country (and international!) shipping and lots of collaboration, we have a 12-stop blog tour ready to begin Monday, March 21st (that’s tomorrow!). We will be kicking things off right here on the Style Maker Blog with one of our favorite spring looks… STRIPES.

Spring Canvas Blog Tour Participants and Dates

Spring Canvas Blog Tour Participants and Dates

3/21 – 3/223/233/243/253/263/273/283/293/303/314/1

Be sure to check out all the amazing posts over the next two weeks (links above). The sneak previews I have seen are stunning- so many different styles, fabric choices and approaches to sewing for spring. This tour truly exemplifies what our small business is all about- creating your own style!

Last but not least, the surprises! In honor of our big Spring launch we have a few secrets hidden up our sleeves. First, $5 US shipping on all order over the next two weeks (and discounted shipping for those of you who live abroad). Any order, any size, just $5! Now through Sunday, April 3rd, 2016. But wait there’s more… for those of you following along with the blog tour you might find a special giveaway along the way! Maybe a gift certificate to do some shopping! We won’t tell you when or where but you might want to be watching a certain YouTube channel…

Who knows what else might pop up over the next two weeks. We hope you have a wonderful start to Spring! And we can’t wait to see what you sew up this season!

Happy Sewing~

Michelle @ Style Maker Fabrics

 

Styling the Linden Sweatshirt

I am a huge fan of sweatshirts! I would live in just a sweatshirt and jeans or yoga pants if I wasn’t so into sewing clothes and fashion! This Fall/Winter I really wanted to make a comfy cozy sweatshirt that didn’t really look like a sweatshirt. With so much inspiration on Instagram and some incredible knits to choose from in the shop I set to work styling and creating the perfect “secret pajama” top.

Linden Sweatshirt

Linden Sweatshirt from Grainline Studio (View A)

For my pattern I selected the Linden sweatshirt from Grainline Studios. I haven’t been disappointed yet by one of Jen’s patterns and this one was no exception! For fabric, inspiration struck in the form of a sluby black sweater knit with printed silver metallic houndstooth print.
Strange combination I know… but subtly striking and perfect for an elevated Linden. I’m not an all out flashy person so I paired the metallic sweater knit with a super soft black sweatshirt fleece for the sleeves and neckline. A yard of each and I was ready to sew!

Metallic Houndstooth Sweater Knit

Metallic Houndstooth Sweater Knit

Drawing inspiration from Lauren at Baste & Gather, I decided to loose the band at the hem and sleeves and create a slit at the side seam. Using the helpful lengthening lines on each of the pattern pieces I lengthened the front by 4-1/2″, the back by 7″ and the sleeves by 3″. This would make up for the missing hem bands and give me enough length to create a 4″ off-set slit that hits right at the hip. With the help of a tutorial Kelli of True Bias posted on the Sew Mama Sew site I sewed up my Linden and created two perfect side slits.

Linden Side Slit Variation

Linden Side Slit Variation

I finished it off by hemming the sleeves and hemline with my overlock machine for a very professional look. I have to say I am very happy with the results and it is so comfortable to wear! Dress it up or down for just about any occasion.

Metallic Houndstooth Linden

Metallic Houndstooth Linden

Truth be told, I loved the results so much I immediately sewed up another version using an amazing lace overlaid sweater knit pared with a grey sweatshirt fleece. A yard of each, a quick sew and I had another Linden to add to my wardrobe rotation! So quick and easy, I love this Grainline Studio pattern and will definitely be making more variations in the future!

Lace Sweater Knit Linden Sweatshirt

Lace Sweater Knit Linden Sweatshirt

I think for spring I will try a lighter weight sweatshirt fleece and make a basic solid Linden in a fun Spring color. Maybe this beautiful rose… Perfect for my wardrobe basics I am on a mission to sew.

Happy Sewing!

Michelle

P.S. One last picture… I love how the houndstooth metallic shows up in this one!

Love this Houndstooth Metallic Sweater Knit Linden

Love this Houndstooth Metallic Sweater Knit Linden

Challenge Accepted: Sewing a Winter Coat

The task of making my own outerwear has been a bit scary. I have been dreaming about a couple of patterns over the last year or so and I finally decided to take the plunge. With winter coats popping up everywhere in the online sewing community this month, I couldn’t make any more excuses! Indiesew has highlighted some great outerwear patterns, Lucinda at Sew Wrong has been posting lots of great tips for sewing coats on her blog (she even has a special online course coming soon) and Pinterest and Instagram are filled with lots of amazing inspiration.

During this process of creating my own handmade coat, I thought I would post my progress here on the blog. Hopefully four of five posts updating you on my challenges, tricks I learn along the way and just breaking down a somewhat daunting task into smaller more manageable bites.

Let’s start with one of my favorite steps… selecting the fabric! There are so many amazing fabrics out there perfect for outerwear. Here are a few of our favorites and some great pattern choices to pair with them.

First, let’s take a look at boucles. The perfect choice if you want a more unique, vintage look with lots of texture. They come in a variety of weights and are typically going to be a bit cooler than a wool or other heavier fabrics- perfect for more temperate climates or to enjoy year round. For a winter coat, I would probably use a cozy flannel for the lining and maybe even add an extra layer in between for some added warmth. Here are a few of the textures you might find. <Learn more about the fabrics shown below HERE>

Read more

Day 12: Wrap it Up

On the Twelfth Day of Sewing…

We made it to the last day! It has been a lot of creative sewing, late nights and tons of fun. Thank you to everyone who has been following along and making some of the projects along the way with us (Keep sharing your amazing makes!). We thought a great way to finish up 12 days of handmade gifts would be some handmade cards and tags to use when gift wrapping all your hard work!

Handmade holiday gift cards and tags.

Handmade holiday gift cards and tags.

There are so many great ideas out there for handmade cards. We thought we would try to integrate our sewing theme as much as possible into our cards. The easiest way to do that is with buttons! We all have that stash of mismatched buttons that could be put to good use. You can also pick up some of the fun novelty buttons at any craft supply store- they are a lot of fun to mix in with the more traditional ones. Mix in some baker’s twine, ribbon and a few stickers and your are set! Read more

Day 11: Travel Set

On the Eleventh Day of Sewing…

We are in the final stretch of the 12 Days of Sewing and we saved our favorite handmade gift for today! We love taking inspiration from fabric and for today’s project the fabric truly spoke to us. A little unconventional, it is a printed canvas panel from Japan with fun hipster items- a tote, eyeglasses, camera, shoes and headphones- in trendy colors. (Panel is also available in Aqua here)

Printed Hipster Panel in Plum and Grey

Printed Hipster Panel in Plum and Grey

We thought, how fun would it be to make the ultimate travel essentials using each of these pieces? What a fun way to organize all of those necessities for anything from an overnight to a trip overseas! Now keep in mind any of these items could be made in any durable woven fabric, we just wanted to have a little fun and really show off how cool this “hipster” panel is.

Complete travel set created using a Japanese fabric panel.

Complete travel set created using a Japanese fabric panel.

We started with two printed panels– so that we would have a piece for each side of our travel items. We then paired it with a fun cotton print for the linings and a solid black twill as needed. Our goal was to have everything coordinate and truly look like a set- something to consider when selecting fabric. Now, let’s go through each item- here are the dimensions and steps that we used to create each one.

Cut panel accessory pieces.

Cut panel accessory pieces.

Eyeglass/Sunglass Holder:

To start off these travel essentials we decided to start with one of the easiest projects- the eyeglass case. We cut out each eyeglass piece from the panels (8″ x 4-1/4″) and stitched them together giving us an 8″ square. Cut out matching squares from the lining fabric and some scrap batting and layer the pieces as follows- canvas and lining right sides together on top of the batting. Pick two matching corners to round and cut all the layers to match.

Then, stitch all the way around the square leaving a small opening for turning at the end opposite the rounded corners. Turn right side out and press. Topstitch across the end with the opening to close it, add an additional row of topstitching for an accent. Fold the holder in half and stitch along the long side and rounded end, backstiching at the beginning and end. Just like that the eyeglass holder is complete!

Finished eyeglass/sunglass holder.

Finished eyeglass/sunglass holder.

Note: You could also make a phone case using the same type of technique and the corresponding panel pieces. We chose to use the phone pieces as a pocket in our Carry-All Bag.

Camera & Headphone Pouches:

For these protective little totes we used the same technique as the zipper pouches for Day 2. Rather than run through all those steps again, here is a link to the instructions- Zipper Pouch Tutorial

Finished headphone and camera pouches.

Finished headphone and camera pouches.

Here are the dimensions of the fabric pieces we started with- each ended up being the perfect size for their matching accessory.

Headphones- Cut your fabric and batting pieces 9-1/2″ x 9-1/2″ square and we made the bottom gusset 2″ wide.

Camera- Cut your fabric and batting pieces to be 8″ x 4-1/2″ and we made the bottom gusset 1″ wide.

Note: You could also make a pencil pouch using the same technique and the corresponding panel pieces. We chose to use the “notes” pieces as a pocket in our Carry-All Bag.

Carry-All Bag:

For this handy on-the-go tote we based the pattern off of one of our favorite bag patterns, the Super Tote from Noodlehead. We simply adapted the pattern’s dimensions so that the printed purse panels could be used as the front and back. Other than that we used the same overall construction. Inside we added cell phone and note/pen pockets using those pieces from the panel as well. We also used the printed handles as one side of each handle with black twill on the other side. We highly recommend having this pattern in your arsenal of go-to patterns but if you have another favorite bag pattern you could similarly adapt that as well.

Completed carry-all bag.

Completed carry-all bag.

Our main goal when sewing up the bag was to not have any of the cream background of the canvas showing. We cut each bag panel piece out about 1/2″ larger than the outline and then went back to stitch a bit large seam allowance wherever needed to make sure no cream was showing. The result was well worth the extra time and steps.

Note: For the pockets, we cut the cell phone piece 7″ x 5″ and the “notes” piece 7″ x 7″. We then layered them on top of a matching piece of lining, right sides together, and stitched all the way around leaving an opening for turning. Turned them right side out, pressed and then topstitched them to one side of a bag lining piece.

Carry-all bag pockets.

Carry-all bag pockets.

Shoe Bag:

Time got the better of us on this project and we just didn’t get our dream shoe bag in time to post. Our thoughts are to create a simple drawstring bag to keep a pair of shoes in using the matching panel pieces. Perfect for a short trip when you want to throw everything in one bag and don’t want your shoes to get everything else dirty. We promise as soon as we get this done we will give you all an updates!

Complete Set:

Together all of these pieces make such a great travel set, modern but sophisticated and a little geeky all at the same time. We love the idea of the set as a whole- perfect to make out of any fabrics (or the panel if you like) and give to someone who loves to travel, loves to have everything in its place or just loves to have everything match!

The perfect handmade travel set to give this holiday season.

The perfect handmade travel set to give this holiday season.

Happy Sewing!

P.S. December 11th Only! All jersey and ponte knits are 20% off. Also save on some of our favorite tools by buying them as a special bundle. Perfect to treat yourself or to give as a gift to a seamstress friend. Shop Here

Day 10: Pillowcases

On the Tenth Day of Sewing…

One of our favorite gifts to make throughout the year is pillowcases. If we have visitors from out of town, we make them their own pillowcases using some Washington themed quilting cotton and then let them take the cases home when the leave. A small keepsake of their trip to Seattle. We are also guilty of having a whole shelf in the linen closet full of pillowcases we have made over they years. There might even be one for every season/holiday but we would never actually confess to that… A custom pillowcase is something handmade that you can enjoy everyday. The pattern, the fabric, all of it just puts a smile on your face when you crawl into bed, especially after a long day.

Our Handmade Pillowcases

Our Handmade Pillowcases

This holiday season we are kicking our handmade pillowcases up a notch- trying some other fabrics besides just flat cotton. How about lawn, voile, double gauze or even some textured cottons? All of these fabrics would make amazing pillowcases to gift this holidays season- so soft and more unique than just your standard pillowcase.

Over the years we have the art of perfected pillowcase construction and we thought we would share our steps with you! Quick and easy, you can have a half dozen of them made in an evening.

Pillowcase Tutorial

1. Supplies & Cutting

  • Main Fabric – 3/4 yard (1-1/4 yards if the fabric is directional)
    • For Standard Pillowcase: Cut to 25″ x 40″
    • For King Pillowcases: Cut to 35″ x 40″
  • Cuff Fabric – just shy of 1/2 yard – Cut to 14″ x 40″
  • Accent Fabric – just a few inches – Cut to 2″ x 40″
  • Our fabric choices: Lawn Floral, Handcrafted cotton, stash fabric.
Cut fabric pieces for our pillowcase.

Cut fabric pieces for our pillowcase.

2. Preparing Pieces- Press the Cuff and the Accent pieces in half lengthwise, wrong sides together.

3. Attaching the pieces- With the Main Fabric wrong side up, layer the folded Cuff and then the folded Accent piece on top along one edge matching up all the raw edges and pin and place. Stitch along the pinned edge using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press the seam toward the Main Fabric.

Layered and pinned fabrics.

Layered and pinned fabrics.

4. Finishing the Accent Piece- Press the Accent piece toward the main fabric, covering the seam from the previous step. Topstitch in place.

Topstitched accent fabric.

Topstitched accent fabric.

5. Sewing the Pillowcase- Fold the pillowcase in half widthwise, wrong sides together matching up the seams and pinning along the unfinished side. Stitch using a 1/4″ seam allowance, backstitching at the beginning and end. Press seam to one side.

6. French Seam- Turn the pillowcase right side in and stitch along the same edge, this time with a 1/2″ seam allowance and backstitching at the beginning and end.

7. Finishing- Stitch along the bottom edge of the pillowcase using a 1/2″ seam. Finish edge as desired. Turn the pillowcase right side out and press well. Finished!

Finished pillowcase.

Finished pillowcase.

How easy was that? Just 5 simple steps and only sewing straight lines!

We went ahead and made just one more out of some different fabrics. For this one we again used a lawn for the Main Fabric but paired it with a wonderful woven cotton for some added texture.

Finished pillowcases in different cotton fabrics.

Finished pillowcases in different cotton fabrics.

Happy Sewing!

P.S. December 10th Only! Save 20% on Cotton Lawns, Shirtings and Double Gauze. Also one of our favorite secret weapon notions, Fuse ‘N Gather, is just $6 today only! Shop Here

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