Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Last Minute Gifts for Modern Makers

In case you haven't realized yet, time is running out to finish checking everyone off your gift list. And though we may all have visions of crafting beautiful handmade presents for all our friends and family, it doesn't always work out that way. So we've put together a list of lovely gifts that any sewer or crafter would love, with no DIY effort required on your part.

Tools and Notions

Every sewist needs good cutting tools, and the hardware collection from Tula Pink are the prettiest around. Top of the wish list is the new rotary cutter, which would make cutting tricky fabric or small shapes a dream.



Though these dainty scissors are designed for embroidery, they would also be perfect for any kind of hand sewing or just trimming those pesky thread ends. The little sheath makes them great for traveling too!

From left: Prismatic Stork, Owl Eyes, Prismatic Mirror, and Art Nouveau


Tulip sewing needles are a favorite at Stonemountain. A gift of needles doesn't sound terribly exciting, but the packaging is so lovely that they're a real treat to open. Combine the Sashiko needles with a sampler and thread for charming little kit, or wrap up the hand sewing needles with a tomato pincushion for a classic pair!



Books

We absolutely love Handmade Style by Anna Graham of Noodlehead. It's chock-full of amazing projects that sewists of any skill level would love. And maybe next year you'll be the recipient of a handmade gift made from this book, so it's really a win-win.



Is your favorite sewist a Virgo? If so, then they probably would love a sewing planner. Both the Colette Sewing Planner and the Cashmerette Curvy Sketchbook are excellent for planning out dream wardrobes and keeping track of notes and modifications.



Accessories

A tag adds a personalized touch to handmade garments and accessories. These packs of five woven labels range from sweet to a little cheeky.



The care that goes into the making of a handmade garment should extend to after it's complete. Soak is a gentle and environmentally friendly no-rinse laundry soap that keeps handmade clothes looking and smelling fresh. You can buy a 12 oz bottle or gift a pack of mini Soaks so they can try every scent!



Enamel pins are great stocking stuffers and look so cute on jacket lapels, shirt collars, and bags. And our exclusive Stonemountain pin is even gold and glittery, so who can resist?



Of course, our idea of the perfect gift is a Stonemountain & Daughter gift card! Make things easier on yourself and let your favorite maker choose from our selection of gorgeous fabrics, patterns, and notions.



You can find all these and more in our Gifts section online! And while you're there, maybe you can pick up a little something for yourself? In the season of giving, you can't leave anyone out!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Embroidered Tulle Sewing Inspiration

Shop all our embroidered lace and tulle here!

Embroidered tulle and mesh are having A Moment right now. It's popping up on the runways, in RTW clothing, all over Pinterest and Instagram and, of course, in our store! We have several different styles and colors of this gorgeous fabric and the question we get asked most often is, but what do I sew with it?

The most dramatic choice would be a long, sweeping dress inspired by the Pre-AW17 collection of Alexander McQueen. You could have a show-stopping dress that doesn't require hours and hours of hand-embroidery (the Alexander McQueen pieces were still being finished in the minutes up to the runway show!).


There are other ways to add drama to your wardrobe if a gown doesn't fit the bill. In case you haven't heard yet, it's officially the Year of the Sleeve. I would bet that statement sleeves will still be on-trend next year too, so now is the perfect time to sew up something with the sleeves as the main attraction. 

I love this little bejeweled bee cuff peeking out of a coat from Christian Dior AW16. You could do something similar with our Queen Bee embroidered tulle!



If sweeping gowns and giant sleeves don't fit into your daily life (you're definitely not alone!), then there are still many options for sewing more casual embroidered tulle garments. Use it as a sheer section in a basic tee, sew up a quick kimono or make a simple mini dress a little more special with a sheer overlay.



And if you're sewing for little ones, then Violette Field Threads has the perfect special-occasion dress for girls. She made several of the samples for her new Blithe pattern in our Climbing Vines embroidered tulle and they look simply beautiful. I love the delicate tulip sleeves and that high-low skirt overlay!


This pattern is currently only available in PDF, but you can purchase it from Violette Field Threads here.

Still don't know where to start? 


Here are some patterns that would work well with any of our embroidered tulle fabrics. You could make the full garment from the tulle, like the Scout Tee and Kielo Dress, or use it as a sheer section or overlay in patterns like the Belladone Dress, Ruby Top and the children's patterns.

Deer and Doe Patterns Belladone Dress
Grainline Studio Scout Tee

Named Clothing Kielo Dress

Papercut Patterns Kochi Kimono
Papercut Patterns Mito Cami/Dress

Made By Rae Ruby Top and Dress

Oliver + S Pinwheel Tunic and Slip Dress


Violette Field Threads Chloe Dress


What do you think of the embroidered tulle trend? Is it something you would incorporate into your everyday wear or use only for special occasion garments?

Personally, I would love to see someone make some wild pants like these ones designed by Adam Selman! Who's up for the challenge?



Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Coat Sewing in Wool, Linen & Cotton!

Are you sewing a coat this winter? Not only are there so many beautiful coat patterns, but there are so many fabric possibilities too! Take a look at the fabric we'd love to transform into outerwear and the patterns we would pair it with. If only we all had the time to sew a dozen coats, right?

Boiled Wool


100% boiled wool in Kelly Green, Sapphire, and Fuchsia

Boiled wool is washed and dried at a high heat during production, which results in a pre-shrunk fabric that won't fray. It's a durable fabric that is resistant to dirt and naturally repels water—perfect for rainy or snowy weather.

When sewing with boiled wool it's a good idea to stabilize shoulder seams and other stress points to keep them from stretching out. The wool can also stretch and become misshapen with pressing, so only press lightly and at low heat if necessary.

Though we have the standard black and camel, we also have boiled wool in a rainbow of colors. Our favorites for this season are Autumn and Lavender!

Our pattern picks:

Sapporo Coat by Papercut Patterns

 Pilvi Coat from Everyday Style by Lotta Jansdotter.
Check out Fabric Lady and Laurel's versions!

Clare Coat by Closetcase

Linen



Yes, linen can be a year-round fabric! It's the perfect choice for adding light warmth and can be paired with a flannel lining to make a cozy layer. Try a pattern that's designed to be slightly oversized so you can bundle up with a sweater underneath (like the Toaster from Sew House Seven or the Linden from Grainline Studio).

Linen is a natural fiber that's prone to wrinkles, but if you aren't ready to embrace the rumpled look you have a couple of options. This tutorial from Fabric Lady shows you how to pre-treat linen to be wrinkle resistant. You could also use a linen blend, like Robert Kaufman Essex, which is less wrinkly due to the 55% linen/45% cotton fiber content.

Our pattern picks:

Tamarack Jacket by Grainline Studio

The Strand by Merchant and Mills

Fabric Lady and Laurel's beautiful metallic linen Sapporos

Cotton

Cotton might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of outerwear, but it can make an excellent coat. And if you are concerned about the origins of wool fabric, then cotton is a great vegan-friendly option. There's also the benefit of cotton being one of the easiest fabrics to sew with!

Cotton comes in many forms, but here are the fabric/pattern pairings we love:

Tamarack Jacket by Grainline Studio and kantha cloth

The Foreman by Merchant and Mills and corduroy

Gaia Coat by Named Clothing and Indian cotton jacquard

Don't forget about linings!

Linings are a practical component of coats and jackets, but they're also an opportunity for more beautiful fabric! Use a bright color for a pop of contrast or go with a fun print. Rayon bemberg, silk habotai, and cotton lawn all make excellent lining fabrics.

Rayon bemberg lining in Mango
Silk habotai in royal purple
Cotton lawn by Cotton + Steel
You may also consider underlining your coat. Underlining is a good option for adding warmth to an unlined coat pattern—just cut out the pattern pieces in both main and underlining fabrics, baste together, and treat the pieces as if they are one fabric. Try this with the Strand and a snuggly flannel!


If you haven't tried coat sewing yet, what are you waiting for? It's a great way to learn new skills and use some fabric you might not sew with otherwise. Plus, nobody will bat an eye if you wear your new favorite make every day of the week, unlike other garments! If you need some more inspiration before you dive into a coat project, check out all our outerwear patterns here.

Which coat pattern are you most excited about?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Indie Pattern Halloween Inspiration

Halloween is one of the best times of the year at Stonemountain—we love helping our customers get creative with their costumes and it’s the perfect excuse to use the extra fun fabrics like fur and sequins. And in case you’re not one of those people who immediately start planning next year’s costume on November 1st, we’ve got you covered with inspiration too!


Though we no longer carry the standard costume patterns from McCall’s and the other big pattern companies, we have plenty of patterns that can be adapted for Halloween. And even better, you can use the pattern again for year-round garment making. Below are some patterns that can be transformed into amazing costumes with just a little thinking outside the box (or the pattern envelope!). Many of these are quick to sew, perfect for those procrastinators out there.



A bodysuit and tights is the base for many a Halloween costume—just add ears, a tail, and some simple face paint and you can be practically any animal you can think of. But if wearing a bodysuit in public isn’t your thing, this pattern also comes with a bodycon-style dress that’s a perfect blank slate for customization.

Need an idea? Be "out of this world" with our Galaxy Print cotton spandex!









One of the most popular costumes last year was Eleven from the Netflix show Stranger Things. With the new season coming out just a few days before Halloween, we bet Eleven will be a hit this year too. Make her iconic pink dress with the Emery pattern by Christine Haynes, a simple collared dress with a gathered skirt. Shaving your head is optional!












These patterns don’t need any modifications to be excellent Halloween costumes! Any Decades of Style pattern will give you a great vintage look, but my favorites are 1920s flapper, 1930s movie star, and 1940s rodeo gal. That last one also works great for a Dolly Parton costume—just add some rhinestones and the biggest blonde wig you can find.



Pattern-less Costumes

If following a pattern is more than you want to take on this Halloween, then there are lots of options for costumes that don’t require any instructions. Want to be a butterfly, bird or dragon? Our huge array of felt is waiting to be cut and glued into any kind of wings you can dream of. And our in-store Fur Mountain has what you need to make a quick animal costume—or you can pile them on in layers for a Game of Thrones look.


My personal favorite costume idea is courtesy of this year’s New York Fashion Week. Designer Jeremy Scott’s flower bouquet look for Moschino can be easily replicated with a swath of white tulle, a wide strip of red satin, and a bundle of fake flowers. Glamorous and fun!






What’s your Halloween costume-making style? Do you prefer to use a pattern or do you like to just wing it?