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

 

Clare Coat: Mission Accomplished

Better late than never! My Clare Coat is finally complete and I am truly in love! 

I have been working on this coat off and on for a few weeks now. While I did want to take my time with this project, running a business and life in general made it take a bit longer than anticipated… I will say it was worth the wait!

The Clare Coat is my second Closet Case Files pattern and I am a huge fan. Heather really pushes my abilities as a seamstress and I love that I learn something new with every pattern. Much like my Carolyn Pajamas, I broke up the task of sewing my coat into more manageable steps- front and pockets, assembled shell, sleeves, etc.

Right out of the gate I had to make my first attempt at welt pockets. Yikes! But with the help of Heather’s clear instructions and the handy sewalong on her blog they went off without a hitch. I love how they blend right into the coat while also enhancing the design at the same time. Mark that off the “skills to learn” checklist!

Clare Coat Welt Pockets

Clare Coat Welt Pockets

My next big challenge came with the installation of the zipper.
It seems like zippers always get a bad reputation for being super difficult- maybe it’s just me, but I haven’t ever really had a problem (knock on wood). I think I probably approach installing a zipper fearing for the worst and am always pleasantly surprised when it isn’t that bad. My biggest rule of thumb… take your time!

Clare Coat Collar and Zipper (with a peak at the lining)

Clare Coat Collar and Zipper (with a peak at the lining!)

For my asymmetric Clare Coat I chose an extra large zipper to really show it off and I think it turned into my favorite part about this coat. All of Heather’s little tips about how to sew the ends of the zipper and the beautiful zipper guard really make this look like a designer coat.

Clare Coat Side Zipper

Clare Coat Side Zipper

I finished off the project with the magic that was attaching the lining, or as the pattern calls it “bagging the coat.” I have done a similar technique in the past with handbags but it was quite amazing to see it done with a fully lined coat, sleeves and all! You end up with this heap of fabric that magically turns the most stunning coat with just a couple areas left to hand stitch.

"Bagged" Clare Coat

“Bagged” Clare Coat

Overall, I am really proud of my results and can now say I have made my first fully lined coat, complete with welt pockets and zipper! I love my fabric choices- especially the lining, so striking! Even though Spring is just around the corner, the medium weight of the wool blend will still let me enjoy wearing it for a few more weeks before it it time to be stashed for Fall. I was so happy to have it on the day we took the pictures for the blog- it was one chilly morning here in the Pacific Northwest!

Check Out That Lining!

Check Out That Lining!

Well, that marks the end of my Fall/Winter sewing! Spring here we come! We have been planning for weeks and can’t wait to share all the amazing fabrics, projects and lots of other special surprises!

Michelle

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

Sewing a Coat: Fabric Choices and Cutting

A couple of weeks ago, I accepted a challenge to myself to sew my first fully-line coat. Since then I have been tackling all the prep work before I start sewing this week. One evening I pressed both of my fabrics, the next I cut out the lining pieces, then the exterior pieces and so on. You get the idea. I can now say that I have ALL the pieces cut, interfaced and ready to sew. Let’s just say that there are A LOT of pieces but it was definitely worth taking the time to cut them all out carefully and deliberately.

Prepped Clare Coat Pieces

Prepped Clare Coat Pieces

A couple pieces of advice that I have discovered so far on this journey… Read more

A New Closet Staple: Montlake Tee

My goal this year is to continue to build my handmade wardrobe with the goal to one day have my handmade garments make up the majority of my closet. This month I really started thinking about my foundation or staple pieces that I can mix and match with other more statement makes or with each other for a fun everyday look. The question was, which patterns to choose?

New Montlake Tee

New Montlake Tee Pattern

Enter Kimberly at Straight Stitch Designs! She must have heard me and other makers like me because a couple of weeks ago, she put out a call for pattern testers for her latest pattern, the Montlake Tee, the perfect closet basic! Read more

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

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