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

 

Cuddle Up with Sweater Knits

It keeps getting colder and colder here in the Pacific Northwest and I find myself gravitating towards warm, cozy garments to sew up and wear. Lucky for me we just received an amazing batch of sweater knits which are all now available in the shop. We even created a new category just for them! There is so much variety available in “sweater knits” that I thought I would run through a few of the different types, some tips for sewing with them and a few patterns they would pair nicely with.

First, let’s check out the thick chunky sweater knits. A sweater knit is any kind of knit that you would use to make a sweater, cardigan, pullover, etc. They are usually a looser knit than say a jersey or interlock giving them that more hand-knit sweater feel. For the heavier sweater knits, these are the fabrics that are going to remind you the most of a knit sweater- they are plush and warm and may have larger stitches to go with the thicker yarn. Some chunkier sweater knits may have more of a felted texture making it feel more like a stable piece of fabric but still have that great density and warmth. <Learn more about the knits shown below HERE>

Any of these thicker knits don’t need as much special attention as others. You may want to still stabilize the hard working seams, such as the shoulders, to prevent stretching but you typically don’t have to worry as much about fraying or unraveling.

Oslo Cardigan from Seamwork Issue #1

Oslo Cardigan from Seamwork Issue #1

One of my favorite patterns for these type of sweater knits is the Oslo Cardigan from Seamwork Magazine’s Premier Issue. This issue also included lots of great tips about sewing with all kinds of sweater knits- including those really loose lacy ones perfect for layering or during the warmer weather months. Check out all of Seamwork’s amazing versions of this cozy cardigan!

Jamie Christina's Lark Cardigan

Lark Cardigan from Jamie Christina Patterns

Another great pattern is the Lark cardigan from Jamie Christina Patterns. While you can use any type of sweater knit or any knit really, I think it lends itself well to those thicker sweater knits- especially the long version! So warm and cozy- pair it with boots for an awesome winter look.

Next, let’s look at the mid-weight range of sweater knits. These are typically your cotton and rayon knits that are a little bit heavier than a standard T-shirt jersey but have a similar drape and hand. These are the perfect knits for cardigans in any style. I’m partial to the more relaxed flowy cardigans that I can pair with skinny jeans and boots. Dress them up or dress them down- they are pretty much up for anything! A classic button up cardigan is always a wardrobe staple and another great use for these mid-weight knits. <Learn more about the knits shown below HERE>

For these more jersey-like knits you can probably still get away with just serging your seams if desired. If you are worried about fraying or unraveling, you might want to take a bit larger seam allowance (1/2″ or larger) and stitch using a small zigzag stitch and then finishing with the serger or another row of zigzag stitches. It might be helpful to test a small sample and see which result you like better.

Straight Stitch Design's Laurelhurst Cardigan

Laurelhurst Cardigan from Straight Stitch Designs

Straight Stitch Designs’ Laurelhurst cardigan is one of my favorite draped cardigans that comes with a few different sleeve lengths and variations. It looks great in stripes, textures or even solids. Another great option is the Beautiful Dreamer Cardigan from Shwin Designs. I love the back detail and this one is for sure on my list to make this season!

Beautiful Dreamer Cardigan from Shwin Designs

Beautiful Dreamer Cardigan from Shwin Designs

Thread Theory's Camas Blouse

Camas Blouse from Thread Theory Designs

One more pattern option for a classic button up is the Camas Blouse from Thread Theory Designs. I have seen some really cool versions of this pattern made out of a mid or light weight sweater knit for a perfect cardigan. Love the shape of this top and so versatile.

Last but not least, the lightest weight sweater knits. These often have a very delicate texture and can be very loosely knit or lacy. Although a bit more difficult to work with, these knits are quite stunning and often are able show off unique stitches in the knit better than the other weights. With these knits you want to take extra care as they do tend to fray and unravel due to the looseness of the knit. Add a bit more to your seam allowance and use your zigzag stitch for stitching seams and finish the edge with your serger or another row of zigzag stitches. A knit or mesh interfacing will also be your friend- especially when hemming to prevent fraying and stretching. <Learn more about the knits shown above HERE>

Aurelia Cardigan from Sew Liberated

Aurelia Cardigan from Sew Liberated

Any of the patterns listed above would be suitable for even these light-weight sweater knits. One more pattern I would like to throw in the mix though is the Aurelia Cardigan from Sew Liberated. I love how classic this cardigan looks- perfect for showing off a more delicate sweater knit. Rather than use a contrasting or matching fabric for the trim, I would use another layer of the sweater knit for a delicate layered look.

I hope that helps demystify all of the types of sweater knits and helps inspire you for your own creations. Now is the perfect time of year to really enjoy this fabric type! Be sure to check out all of the stunning sweater knits available now in the shop HERE.

~Michelle

An Autumn Morris Blazer

Have you ever found the perfect fabric and had it just scream what to make with it?

Grainline Studio’s Morris Blazer has been on my “Make List” since its release earlier this year. On a recent fabric buying trip, I found an incredible wool knit that I instantly pictured as the most stunning Morris Blazer. A flash of inspiration, no questions asked. It was a no brainer to not only buy the fabric for the store, but also get to work on this “dream project.” (To learn more about the fabric at the bottom of this post)

I didn’t want to just cut into this precious houndstooth wool knit for a pattern that I had never made. I decided to make another version of the Morris Blazer using a grey knit from my stash to check the fit, length etc. Get all the bugs out before I cut into the “good” stuff!

I made this first version as given in the pattern, size 8. It fit perfectly, but was far too short for the cozy wool blazer I had envisioned for my fall/winter wardrobe. Based on the fit of my test Morris, I decided to lengthen the body by 3 inches and the sleeves by 6 inches. I used the handy lines that Jen included on each pattern piece making the lengthening process so simple. The sleeve did prove a bit more challenging- I had to do a bit of tapering, nothing too difficult.

Lengthening the Morris Pattern Pieces

Lengthening the Morris Pattern Pieces

Now it was time to cut! I got my pieces laid out just how I wanted them. My goal was to have the finished result be about half solid grey, half houndstooth. In laying out the pieces I noticed that those lengthening lines I drew on the pieces proved very helpful in matching up the pattern. On all of the body pieces and front facing, the “lines” were in the exact same place. I just had to line them up along the straight lines in the pattern. So helpful! The line on the sleeves was bit offset from the rest, so I did a bit of adjusting so that all of the pattern would line up across the blazer.

Laying Out the Morris Pieces- Ready to Cut

Laying Out the Morris Pieces- Ready to Cut

I had a slight heart attack before I made that first cut, but then I was all in! As I cut each piece I draped them over my dress for just to make sure it was all going according to plan. Once everything was cut out I couldn’t wait to get sewing! Since I had just made my test Morris, the second one went together really quickly. The unique wool knit that I used also made it so I didn’t have to finish my seams. I pressed all of the body seams open to help everything lay nice and flat and I did serge the arm holes- it seemed to really help finish them off. Other than that, everything went together just as described in the pattern. I love that Jen has such great tutorials on her website– I looked at it both times when attaching the facing to make sure I got it right.

Now for the RESULTS!

Finished Wool Morris Blazer

Finished Wool Morris Blazer

I am absolutely in love with how this Morris Blazer turned out. It is just how I had envisioned it and it seems like this fabric was made for this pattern. I am quite proud of my pattern matching- that is something that I still am working on and I always doubt whether I am doing it right. I also found the perfect necklace in my closet so that makes everything even better!

Finished Morris Blazer- View from the Back

Finished Morris Blazer- View from the Back- Check out that Center Back Seam!

The Morris Blazer pattern is another home run from Grainline Studio– I know everything is going to fit perfectly and there is always so much potential for fabric choices and reinterpretations. I think her Linden Sweatshirt and the new Tamarack Jacket will soon be hitting the cutting table!

About the Fabric

This houndstooth ombre wool knit is unlike anything I have seen. It is light weight and definitely a knit- you can see the stockinette stitch from the back side. It has also been felted, giving it a super soft almost fuzzy hand. Such an incredible piece and a dream to work with! Available now in the shop HERE.

New Trims: Bias Tapes, Lace and more

This past week we have been busy adding our first selection of trims to Style Maker Fabrics. I just wanted to share a few of these exciting new items and some ideas I have about how they can be used.

Jersey Bias Tape

This is probably the new trim that I am the most excited about! I have never been a huge fan of traditional bias tape that you buy in the package. This takes bias tape to a whole new level- the rayon jersey is so soft and the perfect weight to use on just about any garment (T-shirts, dresses, etc). It would even make great straps and binding for a simple camisole.

The tape measures 1″ wide (1/2″ folded) and comes in 19 fashionable colors. We have all of the basics (black, white, red, navy, etc) but also have some brights and other great colors for Spring as well. Perfect for matching your fabrics for a more subtle look or going for a more dramatic pop of color.

Jersey Bias Tape- Available in 19 colors (10 shown above)

Jersey Bias Tape- Available in 19 colors (10 shown above)

I have been dreaming of the Dahlia dress from Colette Patterns. I even have the fabric picked out and all pre-washed! I have kind of been putting it off because of my fear of plaid- but now that I have over come that fear (Check out my Oslo Cardigan!) I have not excuse. The pattern calls for 3 yards of bias tape and I think this will be the perfect first project with this new trim. Since this pattern uses the tape around the neckline and sleeve cuffs, the jersey will be so soft and feel like a dream!

Plans for a Dahlia Dress with a Beautiful Wool Plaid

Plans for a Dahlia Dress with a beautiful Tartan Plaid

Faux Leather Bias Tape

We have also added a vegan leather bias tape that is at the other end of the bias tape scale. While the jersey bias tape is light weight and more delicate, the faux leather bias tape is more durable and “edgy” (pardon the pun). We see this being used for everything from garments to handbags or even home decor items. You could even put two layers of it together and make some amazing straps for a dress or even handbag handles! It would also be a great contrast to a classic tweed on a jacket or skirt.

This tape measures 3/4″ wide (3/8″ folded) and is available in 3 classic colors (black, brown and red).

Faux Leather Bias Tape- Available in the Black, Brown and Red

Faux Leather Bias Tape- Available in the Black, Brown and Red

Fold-Over Braid

This is a more unusual trim but just as versatile as the bias tapes shown above. This woven, fold-over trim is used much the same way bias tape would be- it makes a great edging on a variety of woven fabrics. It is especially great on thicker fabrics, like a tweed or wool where you don’t want to add a lot of bulk but want to finish off the edge of your garment. Rather than hemming or adding a double-folded tape (lots of layers!) you can use this more open light weight braid and get the job done.

This braid is 1-1/4″ (5/8″ folded) and comes in Classic Black.

One of the many great uses of this trim is on a “Channel-style” jacket, like this one I found from Vogue Patterns (V7975). I am thinking about pairing the black braid with this White Plaid Boucle for a pop of contrast. What do you think?

Plans for a Classic Boucle Jacket in White and Black

Plans for a Classic Boucle Jacket in White and Black

Lace Trims

On our last buying trip we stumbled across two lace trims and just couldn’t resist. They are so classic and elegant they are perfect for integrating into some amazing garments.

The first lace is a Chantilly lace trim that measures 15″ wide. That gives you plenty of width to cut and integrate this trim into a unique top, dress or even a skirt. I love the colors of this one as well- beautiful greys, black and white. It is so elegant and vintage feeling.

You have also probably noticed that handmade lingerie is all over the social media and the sewing world right now. I am tempted to try making my own Watson Bra and include this amazing lace!

Chantilly Lace Trim

Chantilly Lace Trim

The other lace trim is a Stretch lace in a simple, but classic rose motif. At 8″ wide, this stretch lace would be perfect for creating those fashionable lace inserts in a knit top or dress. I was thinking across the shoulders on the back of a top, or even across the bodice. It would also be a great, softer more delicate trim to gather and add along the bottom of a skirt or button-up-shirt.

Like the Chantilly lace above this is a great lace for lingerie or camisoles as well!

Stretch Lace Trim

Stretch Lace Trim

I hope this gives you some ideas about how trims can be used. They can really add that extra touch to a project or garment!

~Michelle

 

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