Wednesday, November 19, 2014

November Fun


Suzan Steinberg, Owner
DEAR FRIENDS,
It seems like the holiday madness begins earlier and earlier every year. Although we know you're busy running around looking for the perfect gifts, organizing dinners and keeping up with the family,  we hope you make some time for yourself to sew.

This week's newsletter is all about fun, none of that holiday stuff quite yet! We want to offer you a port in the storm, so stop by the store, website, Facebook or Instagram to check out what we're up to.
Always Creatively Yours,
Suzan
AMAZING IKATS
We're expanding our selection of Ikats, working to bring you gorgeous, hard-to-find, cotton fabrics from Indonesia, India and Japan. These cottons are great for everything, and we mean EVERYTHING - home dec projects, fashion sewing, quilting, you name it. If you aren't familiar, an Ikat is a fabric that is made up of yarns that have been dyed before it is woven. Stop by the store or give us a call to learn more about these incredible fabrics.

KITS FOR SEWING & EMBROIDERY



MASON JAR SEWING KITS 
Our own Operations Manager, Mary Jane, is cooking up some great grab-n-go sewing kits. These Stonemountain mason jar kits include hand sewing needles, thread snips, seam ripper, pins, safety pins and thread, all sealed neatly with a pin cushion top. At $20 each, these kits are great for sewists of all levels. Recommended for ages 6 years and up.


PENGUIN & FISH EMBROIDERY KITS
We have some *NEW* *SUPER* *FUN* kits coming our way from Penguin & Fish for embroidery. These kits include embroidery needle, floss, cotton muslin fabric, 8" embroidery hoop and ribbon, as well as instructions, iron-on transfer and stitch & color guider. Recommended for ages 6 years and up, these sweet kits are also $20 and offer an animal for every letter of the alphabet. 

Call (510) 845-6106, stop by or order online

YES, IT'S TRUE!
The holidays are just about here, but Stonemountain gift cards aren't just for the holidays!

Stonemountain & Daughter gift cards are the perfect gift for sewists of any level, year-round.

Order from our online store, call (510)845-6106 for mail order or come by the store.
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Perhaps the photo of the Green Bee's Frances Dress (the name even conjures up a "busy bee") reminded some of us of something our mother or grandmother may have worn, with it's classic chambray trimmed with red print example.  But I love our independent pattern designers and I was undaunted - I saw something about this little dress that was going to work for me, especially for work days here at the store...
I love choosing cottons for a dress - they are lightweight, easy to care for and wearable even in the fall, paired with a light sweater if necessary.  But the best part of cotton fabric is that it's SO EASY to sew. As we started putting the dress together, it became clearer to my own little skeptic seamstress (Laurel, frowning: "Looks like a house dress, Zan...") that it was going to be adorable... Read more at FabricLady.Blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Getting Ready for Sandra Betzina

Sandra Betzina with Bob and Suzan Steingberg, 2010

This month we are thrilled to welcome the one and only Sandra Betzina, of
Power Sewing, into the store for a special, one-night event. Sandra has been a Stonemountaineer for many years and a source of inspiration for all of us here at the 'Mountain.
 
Sandra's creative vision and sense of style are unlike any other and we're lucky she calls the California Bay Area her home. We have loved collaborating with her over the years and we hope you get a chance to join us and come share in the fun!

Always Creatively Yours,
Suzan

- - - IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO SIGN UP! - - - 

Don't miss the event of the season!  
Sandra Betzina will be here in the store with a trunk full of new clothes and patterns to inspire you! We'll see her latest pattern designs and hear updates on new fabrics and tips to improve your sewing projects.
Join us for and evening of fun, fabric, inspiration
and, of course, discounted shopping - 20% off! 
Only a few spots left, so call today to sign up.
(510) 845 - 6106

WHEN: Tuesday, November 18, 2014 6:30-9:00 PM 
WHERE: Upstairs at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics  
COST: $45/person
 
- - DON'T KNOW SANDRA YET? - -  
LEARN ABOUT HER SEWING JOURNEY HERE.

 Vogue 1291  Vogue 1234 Vogue 1355 Vogue 1375  Vogue 1336  Vogue 1356 
HOW DOES THE FABRIC LADY GET READY FOR  
SANDRA BETZINA?
When you want to do color blocking it's a good idea to lay your fabrics out on a table to see what colors and patterns might look good together.  Laurel had some of our silk knit that she wanted to be the focal point, a couple of large scraps of black knit, a couple of right-sized scraps of that wonderful, grey Aria knit made from poly/rayon/spandex, and a length of sheer nylon and Lycra netting...
Since its introduction as the no-fail, perfect choice for everyday and dressy events, the Little Black Dress has become synonymous with style. Dress it up or down with accessories, you would live in it if you could. Its your power suit, date dress, weekend wear and just feel-pretty, go-to outfit. For some of us, wearing the color black is an every day occurrence, whereas others prefer bright colors, prints or other neutrals, but whenever any stylist is asked "what one item of clothing could you never live without?" the answer is inevitably the LBD (Little Black Dress).

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Make The Best Of The Little Black Dress

This season, we here at Stonemountain & Daughter are focusing on making the perfect dress for everyday. Whether you're style is casual, utilitarian, funky or elegant, we want you to find the dress for every occasion. We'll keep you inspired with fresh pattern and fabric combinations and show you how to wear your dress day to night, casual to classy.

This week on the blog we're talking about the Little Black Dress. Since its introduction as the no-fail, perfect choice for everyday and dressy events, the Little Black Dress has become synonymous with style. Dress it up or down with accessories, you would live in it if you could. Its your power suit, date dress, weekend wear and just feel-pretty, go-to outfit. For some of us, wearing the color black is an every day occurrence, whereas others prefer bright colors, prints or other neutrals, but whenever any stylist is asked "what one item of clothing could you never live without?" the answer is inevitably the LBD (Little Black Dress).


There is no one dress for everyone, and because of this, it's important to find the right pattern and fabric to fit your style and needs. If you search for images of the LBD on the internet, you'll find a wide variety of silhouettes, sizes and materials; young and short, long and dowdy, tight, loose, dressy and casual. We are all so different, so why shouldn't our dresses be. That is why we sew, after all, to celebrate our differences!

Edith Head, Academy Award winning costumer designer of such films as To Catch A Thief and Sabrina, knows a thing or two about iconic style. She once said, "Your dresses should be tight enough to show you're a woman and loose enough to show you're a lady." When choosing your LBD pattern, consider what part of your body you wish to define or highlight. A LBD gives the illusion of a silhouette, use it to your advantage and you can create a slimming affect.
Patterns from left to right: E.S.P dress by Decades Everyday, 6013 by New Look, Nicola dress by Victory, Amelia dress by Green Bee, Bridgetown dress by Sew House Seven, V1425 by Vogue
The best way to look good in a LBD is fit - Fit! Fit! Fit! Fit! Hemline, waistline, neckline, sleeves; these may vary depending on fashion trends, but fit never goes out of style. We always recommend highlighting the waist, but the dress doesn't have to be tight. "Fitted" and "semi-fitted" can work to your advantage. No waist, no problem! Empire waist dresses, where the waist line is a little under the bust, work well to show you're a woman and a lady. Just try not to be right under the bust, that can give the "pregnant" look (of course if you are pregnant, its not a problem). If you prefer a less defined dress, belts are the perfect accessories to add the right illusion of a waist.

Here are the same patterns from above as line drawings (their basic shape and seam lines). You can imagine your LBD better without the fabric of the sample dress on a model clouding your judgement.


As Fabriclady covers in her recent blog, making a muslin or "mock up" is the best way to test and adjust fit. All the ladies here at Stonemountain make a muslin and adjust it before cutting into their fashion fabric. Just choose a cheap fabric of similar weight and drape of your final fashion fabric. Choose something fun, because who knows, if it fits perfect you can have two dresses!

Laurel and SuZan fitting their New Look 6013 muslin.

Next is fabric choice. Don't be afraid of black and don't be boring with black. Challenge yourself to make the black POP with contrasting colors or fabrics. Look for textures and woven patterns such as jacquards, eyelet, embroidered, burnout and cut-work. Try lining with a bright color that just *peaks* through.


Using contrasting fabric for certain pattern pieces like the sleeves or a front panel is another way to keep "boring" from your LBD vocabulary. See how the New Look 6013 dress looks as a solid black dress, in black Swiss dot with silk print sleeves or in black silk with printed silk sleeves? Classic or with personality!


Other dresses we recommend for the little black dress:

Patterns clockwise starting rom upper left: Flora, Perfect T #104 & Necklines and Sleeves #107, Moneta and Schoolhouse Tunic.
LBDs unite!
We love to see what our fabric turns into, so send in pictures of your own LBD or any dress you've made from a Stonemountain pattern or fabric. We share these pictures on our Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and more!