Friday, February 27, 2015

Check Out What's New In Store!


CRAFTERS
436B: BASIC CROSS STITCH
THURSDAY 10 AM - 1 PM
MARCH 26
Learn to stitch, read a counted chart, discover strategies for stitching, and about cross stitch supplies. 
To celebrate the Year of the Sheep, why not needle felt your own little creatures?  Check out our selection of wool roving and felting tools.
QUILTERS
TUESDAYS 10:30 AM - 1:30 PM
MARCH 10, 17, 24
For beginning and experienced quilters, expand your knowledge of fabric selection strategies, color usage, and "freeform" techniques.
We have the Grunge Basics line from Moda for all you quilters!  These "blenders" are available for purchase on our website, as well as in store.
GARMENT SEWISTS
THURSDAYS 3 - 6 PM
MARCH 5, 12, 19
In this class you will learn how to pick the correct size and make adjustments for a shirt or blouse.
GORGEOUS IKATS
Coming to us from India, these beautiful woven cottons are perfect for garments and accessories.  Our selection is bigger than ever! 
 
We often talk about a fabric's "hand" being soft or beautiful, firm or stiff and heavy or light.  The hand of a fabric refers to the way the fabric feels when you touch it...
WELCOME! 
It's hard to believe that we have been here 34 years! From the moment we opened our doors to Shattuck Avenue, the sewing community opened their hearts with excitement and love. My amazing staff and I are excited about this year and the fabric, notions and patterns that we offer. What a time it is to be a Fabric Lover...and part of our tribe! 

Feeling the magic,
Suzan 
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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Navigating Notions: How to Shorten a Separating Zipper

Ah zippers...a necessity of the sewing world.  We've all battled with one or two in the past!  Many sewists are intimidated by zippers, especially when there is shortening involved.  Unfortunately, there are only so many lengths available.  Zipper manufacturers like Coats & Clark or YKK produce zippers in standard lengths, like 7", 9", 12", 14", 18", and so on.  Sewing patterns usually call for these standard sizes.  But ready to wear garments are not bound by these standards.  When a company mass produces a sweatshirt, for instance, they can order thousands of non-standard lengths of separating zippers specifically made for their product.

This poses a problem for home sewers who are looking to replace a worn out zipper on their beloved garments.  We often get customers in the store looking for an exact match to their broken zipper.  There are also certain patterns that require non-standard sizes.  Luckily, there is a way!

Shortening a regular, closed-bottom zipper is quite simple.  Coats & Clark zippers are even packaged with a tutorial.  It's simply a matter of sewing a "bar" at the desired length.  There are more advanced methods, but this is by far the easiest and most common.


(Look for a blog post in the future on shortening closed-bottom zippers!) 

But what about shortening separating zippers?  They are on a lot of our most worn garments, like sweatshirts, jackets, and outerwear.  It may seem more complicated at first, but trust us, it's easy!  So let's get to it!

First off, figure out how long your current zipper is and what length you'd like it to be.  This sample zipper started off as 18" and is marked with a water soluble pencil to become 15 1/2".



Next, move the slider below the mark, and cut the zipper tape above the mark.  You want to leave some tape above the stop.  We recommend cutting each tape individually to keep the lengths even.  It is very important to leave the slider below the mark during this entire process, or else you'll have to rethread the slider onto the teeth, which can be tricky.



Now to finish off these new cut ends.  We prefer to burn the edges:  it's quick, easy, and effective.  Most zipper tapes are polyester or a poly/cotton blend; when synthetics like polyester burn, they leave a hard, shiny, plastic-like finish.  This method will not work if your zipper tape is 100% cotton, which just burns up like paper.


Another option is to use glue or fray-check to stop the edges from unraveling.  We've done both here in this demo.  The upper zipper tape in the picture below was burned and the bottom tape has Fray-Block.  We have also heard hot glue works well in this situation! 


This next step is somewhat optional, but removing the excess zipper teeth makes for a nicer finish.  It's actually quite easy.  Hold the tape with one hand and grip the individual teeth with needle-nose pliers in the other hand.  If you're having trouble with this, make sure your pliers are only pulling the tooth, not the zipper tape as well.


Here is the zipper with the extra teeth removed.  Almost done!



Finally, we need to install some kind of stop to prevent the slider from coming off.  We've seen people use a small strip of fabric here, but we like to use metal stops, which are small, U-shaped pieces that just clamp down with pliers on the zipper tape.  You can see one before installation in the picture below.  Zipper stops come in a few sizes, and you'll probably want to use a bigger one for separating zippers, as the sliders tend to be larger.



And that's all there is to it!  With some pliers, a lighter, and a few minutes, you can easily shorten a separating zipper!  This skill will give you professional-looking results when installing or repairing zippers.



Have you ever shortened a separating zipper?  Or maybe you have a zipper horror story to tell–we've all been there!  If you're intimidated by zippers, check out our Fearless Zippers class!  Terry McClintock will show you different techniques for installing regular and invisible zippers with ease.  We also offer the Sew and Fit Labs, where you can bring in your personal projects and get individualized help from our wonderful teachers.

Let us know what other techniques you'd like us to cover in a future blog post, and Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Happy 34th Anniversary!




Suzan & Bob Steinberg, Owners
This year we celebrate 34 years of business in our Berkeley, California store! When my father moved his fabric store from Pacific Grove to Berkeley in 1981 (I was finishing up college at Cal Berkeley) we were surrounded by many fabric stores. Many of you have watched us grow and expand into our current 6,000 square foot treasure, featuring great value on the finest of fabrics, notions, buttons, patterns and, for 19 years, some of the most respected sewing classes in the country.

Yes, it's great that we are still here, but even more so we want to celebrate the amazing community of creators that have built a home in our store.

There's something different about this community that you may notice when you walk through our doors, read our newsletters, scroll through our website, blogs, Instagram and browse our Facebook page; we are so much more than just a Fabric Store!

There is magic in the air! That sizzle of creativity and collaboration is happening! As we all enter this 34th year at StMt&D, my father and I want to invite you to stop by and feel the difference!

Love to you all,
Suzan

Bob Steinberg, Co-owner 
Our family has been in the fabric business for nearly 100 years, but this wouldn't be so, if it weren't for the amazing quilters, crafters and garments sewists that have frequented our various incarnations throughout the years.

Here is a brief history of our family business, but we know Stonemountain & Daughter's history reaches far beyond our doors. We'd love to hear about your history with StMt&D, whether you're a long-time customer or a newcomer.
OUR HISTORY
Owned by Bob & Suzan Steinberg, this father and daughter team are the third and fourth generations in the California fabric industry. Learn about Stonemountain & Daughter's rich history - from 1919 Los Angeles to the Psychedelic 60s, to our much beloved Berkeley storefront.  

THE ORIGINAL STORE:
STEINBERG & SONS, LOS ANGELES
 
Steinberg & Sons was established in 1919 down in Los Angeles. Bob grew up in the family business working with his father, grandfather and uncles.

BOB STEINBERG'S FABRIC EMPORIUM: 
ESTABLISH 1967 IN WEST HOLLYWOOD 
In 1967, Bob established Bob Steinberg's Fabric Emporium in West Hollywood on Melrose Avenue, where Suzan worked and played as a child. 
This store was a major change in how fabric was sold on the retail level. It was one of the first natural fiber fabric stores with rooms of imported fabrics from all over the world, including calicos, paisleys and one of the finest collections of prints from India and Africa.


STONEMOUNTAIN FABRICS:
ESTABLISHED 1976 IN PACIFIC GROVE & WATSONVILLE 
In 1976 Bob moved his family to Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula and opened up Stonemountain Fabrics (Stonemountain is the translation of Steinberg). A small, wonderful store, Bob sold the fabrics he purchased from a long-time connection in the apparel industry in Los Angeles. Fabric lovers from all over were very happy to find these garment industry fabrics at great prices. 

STONEMOUNTAIN & DAUGHTER FABRICS: 1981 - PRESENT, DOWNTOWN BERKELEY 
While completing her studies at UC Berkeley, Suzan joined her father at the store's new location in the East Bay community. Thus, Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics was born!
Three expansions and 34 years later, the store has grown into a top fabric and sewing center in Berkeley serving fabric lovers from all over!  


Garment sewing is enjoying a resurgence here at Stonemountain. We had a very busy 2014 with our full schedule of classes, and hundreds of you showed up to learn new sewing skills.  And hopefully you have been reading our blog regularly to be inspired!  We totally understand the satisfaction that you get when you finish a fashion garment that you can actually wear.
As much as you may love to sew, most of you will admit there are days when things just don't go right. Even our accomplished seamstresses and fashion designers will spend some time making silly mistakes, forgetting steps and ripping out their work. We come to expect a certain amount of snarls and errors - it's all part of sewing.
Read more at Fabriclady3.Blogspot.com

19 years ago we converted our upstairs into a wonderful sewing studio and have been honored to teach many thousands of sewists of all generations. Today we continue this tradition with inspiring and experienced instructors  specializing in Quilting, Garment Sewing and many other classes our customers ask for! See what class inspires you!
FEBRUARY
FEBRUARY 14
SATURDAY 4 - 7 PM
250L: CREATIVE SEWING & FIT LAB WITH BARBARA BECCIO

Sewing Labs are a great opportunity to finish projects, give yourself a little 'me' time and expand your confidence and skill level. Come use our classroom as your sewing studio away from home!
FEBRUARY 15
SUNDAY 11 AM - 2 PM  
524A: ALTERING A BRA WITH BARBARA BECCIO
A good bra is expensive and it can be difficult to find the right fit. Once you find a great bra, it stretches out or your size changes. Your particular issue will be addressed and you will be shown how to make the necessary changes to your bra to make it comfortable and well-fitting.
FEBRUARY 16
MONDAY 10:30 AM - 2:30 PM 
99A: ALL ABOUT TEXTILES WITH BARBARA BECCIO
Learn to identify major types of textiles, content and weaves. In this class, you learn to match and select fabrics appropriate for any project. You will learn to identify synthetic and natural fibers through varied fabric tests, including inspection of weave and drape, fiber content and construction properties. Come explore and get to know Stonemountain & Daughter's extensive inventory of textiles!
FEBRUARY 17
TUESDAY 2 - 5 PM
250N: CREATIVE SEWING & FIT LAB
WITH TERRY McCLINTOCK

Sewing Labs are a great opportunity to finish projects, give yourself a little 'me' time and expand your confidence and skill level. Come use our classroom as your sewing studio away from home!
FEBRUARY 19
THURSDAY 10 AM -
1 PM
30E: CRASH COURSE INTRO WITH TERRY McCLINTOCK

This is our most basic class. We supply the machines and teach you what you need to get started. You'll learn how to thread the machine, wind the bobbin, change needles, adjust tension, and start sewing!
FEBRUARY 21
SATURDAY 10 AM -
1 PM  
436A: BASIC CROSS STITCH WITH DIANNA LaFERRY
Counted cross stitch is one of today's most popular hobbies, and anyone can learn how! Students will stitch a simple design on aida cloth using a kit provided in class. Learn to stitch and read a counted chart, discover strategies for stitching, and learn about cross stitch supplies and fabrics.
FEB 27, MAR 6, 13
FRIDAY 3 - 6PM 
102N: MINI BEGINNING & BEYOND
WITH BARBARA BECCIO
Beginners, come make a pair of pj bottoms, A-line skirt, apron or a tote bag. You'll learn to read a pattern, select fabric, and other basic sewing and finishing techniques that build the foundation needed to create wardrobe garments. Super fun and flexible for all skill levels.
 

While many of the fabric stores have closed, Stonemountain's commitment to finding the best fabrics at affordable prices is stronger than ever. We are finding creative ways to share our excitement through social media. Through our website, email newsletters, Facebook, Instagram, our blogs, Twitter and more we will try to keep the flame of creativity strong! Join us from wherever you are in this Sewing Revolution! Together we are part of the movement toward collaboration, kindness and creativity - one stitch at a time!