Sewing Meets Knitting: Outfit Along 2016

For those of you that haven’t heard, there is a special sewing event, the Outfit Along, that started June 1st and runs through July! Sewing blogger Lauren of Lladybird and knitwear designer Andi Satterlund have teamed up for the third year to challenge participants to create their own outfit using both their knitting and sewing skills. You can play along just for fun or get your two garments done before July 31st and you might just win one of the amazing prizes they have put together (including a Style Maker Fabrics gift certificate!). Read more of the details HERE.

As part of the Outfit Along, the lovely hosts have selected two official patterns that participants can choose to make during the challenge. Andi designed a special new knit pattern just for the occasion, the Zinone made in Quince’s Sparrow yarn, and will be posting helpful tutorials and other info to help knitters along the way. Lauren will be making Sewaholic’s Hollyburn skirt during the month of June, also posting tips and tricks for the pattern along the way.

Official Outfit Along Patterns

Official Outfit Along Patterns

We had the pleasure of working with Lauren during our Spring Canvas Blog Tour a few months ago and to return the favor we agreed to sponsor the Outfit Along this year. This includes providing a treat for participants, prizes for the winners and a special guest post about fabric (our favorite subject!). We kicked off the Outfit Along on Lauren’s LLadybird blog this past Wednesday with our post on selecting the perfect fabric for your Hollyburn skirt. Read our post HERE and see some of our fabric recommendations paired with a whole range of yummy linen yarns!

A few of our favorite fabric choices paired with Sparrow yarns.

A few of our favorite fabric choices paired with Sparrow yarns.

I was so excited to work with Lauren on this project, I couldn’t help but get in on all the action too! It has been a while since I last knitted and I wasn’t so sure about working with a lace yarn and pattern- let’s just say we haven’t gotten along in the past… I loved the idea of knitting with a linen yarn and I was happy to discover that Quince makes a heavier counterpart to Sparrow called Kestrel! I decided to pair this yarn with Andi’s Vianne cardigan from last year’s Outfit Along and knit it in a soft aqua called Aegean.

Andi's Vianne Cardigan Pattern

I haven’t exactly picked what to sew yet, but I do love how the yarn looks with this navy and aqua rayon challis. I’m thinking maybe a soft tank to wear with my cardigan. I’m also debating about making my own Hollyburn to complete the outfit or maybe go with pair of capris or culottes. What do you think? What fabric should I use?

My Initial Fabric and Yarn Choices.

My Initial Fabric and Yarn Choices.

I’ve been knitting almost every evening to hopefully have my project done in time. So far some pretty good progress has been made- just need to finish up the waist shaping and then onto the sleeves and bands! I love how the feathery design is turning out and that back is going to be stunning!

Knitting Progress So Far

I developed quite the system for keeping all the pattern designs straight. Lots of extra markers and numbered scratch sheets. So far there have only been a couple issues but nothing that couldn’t be fixed with a little un-knitting- the knitting version of seam ripping. Wonderful, right? Not so much…

Knitting Notes

Knitting Notes

I’d like to highly encourage all of you to join in on the Outfit Along. Step out of your box a little bit and approach your garment creation from a different vantage point. It has been a lot of fun so far and I can’t wait to see everyone’s creations! I’ll keep you posted on my progress and hopefully share my completed outfit sometime in July.

Happy Stitching (by machine and knitting needles)!

Michelle

P.S. Be sure to watch for a special treat in our OAL guest post HERE.

Planning a Spring Wardrobe

As spring approached I found myself anxiously dreaming of all the new clothes that I would make for the coming season. All the patterns I had on my wish list and the amazing new fabrics that were coming into the shop were calling my name. The ideas quickly spiraled out of control- there were way too many options! I decided to take a more thought out approach and actually plan my wardrobe and new projects. Keeping the “capsule” concept in mind here is the start to my new spring wardrobe.

Spring Fabric Choices

To begin my planning I thought I would start with color and fabric- two of my favorite things! This spring I am all about aqua and coral– stripes, prints, tonals and solids- I love them all! Throw in some grey (my favorite neutral), maybe a touch of navy and I will be all set.
For fabrics, I first picked a couple of plush solid knits, perfect for cardigans and layering.

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Next, I selected a variety of wovens and knits to coordinate as tanks, T-shirts and other blouses. I went for different patterns, color combinations and scales to keep things interesting.

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I rounded out my fabric choices with a few other standouts that fit in with my color story. While I still have to tackle the subject of pants/bottoms, I love what I have laid out for potential tops and layers!

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Now that I have an idea of what I want to make, let’s look at pattern options. There are so many choices out there, I decided the best place to start was in my pattern stash. I also took a look at the Seamwork patterns since I had a few credits waiting to be cashed in! Here are some of the options that I settled on.

I have been wanting to add more layering pieces to my wardrobe. I have already done some investigating on T-shirts but need to try out more tank patterns. Here are three that have been on my wish list for a while. Perfect for my combination of knit and woven fabrics I have selected.

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Here are a few new additions to my Seamwork collection as well. I think the Wembley cardigan will be perfect for summer layers. And these Moji pants are so cute- maybe I will have some new handmade pants after all!

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I am off to an excellent start for my spring wardrobe, I even stayed up late last night cutting a few things out. Watch for more posts tracking my progress in the next couple of weeks! I can’t wait to see how this comes together.

We’d love to hear what patterns you have on your spring sewing list. Are we missing something that we absolutely must add? Please share!

Now time to sew!

Michelle

Spring Canvas Blog Tour Recap

When we first had the idea of doing a spring fabric blog tour all the way back in January, we had no idea it would develop into such an amazing experience. At the end of the two week tour we couldn’t help but be inspired to dive head first into our spring sewing and try new and different looks that we would have never tried before. We can’t thank you all enough for following along with us and learning more about how to approach sewing and your own unique style!

For those of you who missed out on all of the amazing garments and ideas (or if you did follow along but wanted to revisit a few stops), here is a recap of how we started spring 2016! We also added links to the patterns and fabric used on each stop for easy reference.

Day One – Style Maker Fabrics

Day One Style Maker Fabrics

We officially launched the Spring Canvas Blog Tour right here on the Style Maker Blog with one of our favorite trends- STRIPES! We sewed up two stripe knit tops perfect for spring. Both show off the stripe knits beautifully and are way too comfortable. Read more about them HERE along with a few tips about sewing with stripes.

Patterns: Lane Raglan by Hey June | Lark Tee by Grainline Studio

Fabrics: Narrow Stripe Knit, Wide Stripe Knit | Large Repeating Stripe Knit

Day Two: Christine Haynes

Day Two Christine Haynes

Next stop took us over to Christine Haynes’ blog, City Stitching, to read more about her quest to learn more about her style and her wardrobe as a whole. She shared a couple of amazing new staples, a classic button-up and a pleated skirt, that she can mix and match with any number of other items in her closet. Read more about her journey HERE.

Patterns: Archer Button Up by Grainline Studio | Self Drafted Skirt

Fabrics: White Pin Dot Shirting | Classic Linen Blend

Day Three: The Sara Project 

Day Three The Sara Project

We then hopped over to Sara’s blog to check out not one, but two stunning new looks for spring. She truly showed off both of the fabrics she selected and her photographs are absolutely incredible! Learn more about both her looks HERE.

Patterns: Marthe Blouse by Republique Du Chiffon | Inari Tee Dress by Named Clothing

Fabrics: Shibori Rayon Challis | Palm Tree Double Knit

Day Four: Sew Charleston

Day Four Sew Charleston

Next up, Abbey, from Sew Charleston, sewed up one of our favorite new patterns, the Bowline Sweater. We love the movement and texture of this great top, especially with the added structure this fabric adds. Learn more about her fun top HERE. Be sure to also check out Abbey’s video highlighting some of her favorite fabrics from our spring collection HERE.

Pattern: Bowline Sweater by Papercut Patterns

Fabric: Textured Double Knit

Day Five: Idle Fancy

Day Five Idle Fancy

On day five we headed down to Texas to check out Mary’s amazing shirt dress. Our first version of this pattern on this tour, we love this use gingham! And isn’t that color just perfect. Learn more about Mary’s garment and the variations she used to make it suit her style perfectly HERE.

Pattern: M7351 by McCall’s

Fabric: Stretch Gingham Shirting

Day Six: House of Pinheiro

Day Six House of Pinheiro

Next, we hopped across the pond to check our Rachel’s perfectly on trend off the shoulder blouse. She went over the top with this self drafted pattern. And did you seen the tie cuffs she added? Amazing! Read all about her look and styling HERE.

Pattern: Self Drafted Blouse

Fabric: Cotton Poplin Shirting

Day Seven: Sew Crafty Chemist

Day Seven Sew Crafty Chemist

Kisha, of Sew Crafty Chemist, gave us a closer look at some of her mad sewing skills. While here garment didn’t turn out just as she had hopped, she did learn a lot in the process and gladly shared those lessons with us. Learn more HERE.

Pattern: S1756 by Simplicty

Fabrics: White Linen Blend

Day Eight: Girls in the Garden

Day Eight Girls in the Garden

We then visited Lori, from Girls in the Garden, to check out her new look for spring. She too decided on making two garments- an striking twill jacket with matching rayon top. These colors looks so good on her and are absolutely perfect for spring! Learn more about her inspiration, fabric choices and techniques HERE.

Patterns: B6661 by Burda Style | M7093 by McCall’s

Fabrics: Brushed Twill | Brushstroke Rayon Challis

Day Nine: Hey June Handmade

Day Nine Hey June Handmade

On day nine Adrianna, of Hey June Handmade, shared her new Cheyenne button-up in our beautiful Japanese tencel shirting. She claims that she has no style, but her photos and amazing spring outfit tell us the real story! Read her beautifully written post HERE.

Patterns: Cheyenne Tunic by Hey June Handmade | Self Drafted Infinity Scarf

(Check out our Infinity Scarf Tutorial HERE)

Fabrics: Japanese Tencel Shirting | Floral Print Chiffon

Day Ten: Itch to Stitch

Day Ten Itch to Stitch

The amazing photos just keep coming! Next up, Kennis, of Itch to Stitch, shared her new sleeveless top and matching culottes. The perfect look for this summer or, if you are her and living in Costa Rica, right NOW! Learn more about her amazing look HERE.

Patterns: Mila Shirt by Itch to Stitch | Emily Culottes by Itch to Stitch

Fabrics: Embrace Double GauzeMontauk Twill

Day Eleven: Diary of a Sewing Fanatic

Day Eleven Diary of a Sewing Fanatic

Day eleven brought us Carolyn and her striking spring topper that she sewed up for the tour. Doesn’t this geometric pattern just look smashing? Complete with handmade bias even. Learn all about Carolyn’s style and one of her favorite patterns HERE.

Pattern: Her own creation using a variety of patterns- See pattern recommendations in her post

Fabric: Jacquard Suiting

Day Twelve: LLadybird

Day Twelve Lladybird

We wrapped up the tour with Lauren’s adorable summer dress. The second version of M7351 and so different than the first- a bit more relaxed and fun in this rayon! And that print and color- so much fun for the warmer weather! Check out her post HERE.

Pattern: M7351 by McCall’s

Fabric: Cherry Print Rayon

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Thank you so much for joining up for our Spring Canvas Blog Tour. Huge shout out to all of the participants as well- we couldn’t have done it without you and all your amazing creativity and style! Hopefully you find this recap helpful. We would love to hear what you favorite stop on the tour was or what you have been inspired to sew for spring! Please share in the comments below!

Don’t forget to check out all of the other amazing fabrics that have arrived in the shop for the season. There are so many incredible finds for every look and style. We even have a stack of our own just waiting to be sewn up!

Happy Spring Sewing!

Michelle

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

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