Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Me Made May 2017 Roundup

Me Made May is one of our favorite times of year.  It's so inspiring to see what our customers create with our fabrics and patterns!  We thought we'd gather together some of the garments we've seen on Instagram this past month, and we hope it inspires you too!

It's no secret that ikat is one of our favorite fabrics.  The ease and breathability of cotton together with the gorgeous woven designs...it's a winning combination!

Clockwise from top left:  Washi Dress in Dakota Ikat by Meg from Sew Liberated, self drafted dress by Junebug and Darlin, Scout Tee in another Dakota Ikat by Rita, and Bridgetown Dress by Mary.


While we're on the subject of cotton, we always love to see people garment sewing with quilting weight cottons.  Such a good way to show off all those fun prints!

Clockwise from top left:  Emery Dress in Libs Eliot print by Lauren (with a Seamwork Elmira sweater), Cotton + Steel button down by Bernard, Elizabeth's lipstick print dress (print by Bouffants & Broken Hearts), and Willow Tank in an Erin Michael print by Ally.


We've had a lot of stunning prints in rayon lately, and our customers make them look even more fabulous!

Clockwise from top left:  Simplicity 8124 by Montoya Mayo, Trina Dress by Yavanna, Sway Dress in rayon batik by Jeanne, and shirtdress in rayon challis by Alisa.


If bold cotton and rayon prints aren't your thing, try sewing with some other fibers.  Yarn-dyed cottons, slubby silk noil, lightweight linens, and linen-rayon blends often have some texture to add visual interest to an otherwise plain fabric.

Clockwise from top left:  Kielo Wrap Dress in Sorrento Linen by Alex, Talia Woven Pants in textured cotton by Katie, Ethel Top in Caramel silk noil by Vanessa, and Farrow Dress in linen/rayon by Catherine.


We couldn't forget about knits!  For quick, easy projects, you can't beat the simplicity of knits.

Clockwise from top left:  Agnes Tee in Art Gallery cotton/spandex knit by Kendra, Fraser Sweatshirt in quilted knit by Lauryn, poly/rayon gothic print leggings by Stephanie, and Plantain Tee in shibori bamboo knit by threadassembly.


If you can't decide what you want to sew with, try our upstairs for a little bit of everything!  There are some real treasures up there, and everything is half-off.  Check out what these customers found!

Clockwise from top left:  Nancy's Pilvi Coat, Seamwork Mesa dress by Sarah, Mimosa Culottes by Chuleenan, and a Limoncello Cardigan Chuleenan made for her mom.

If you want to participate in Me Made May, there's still time!  Just tag your pictures on social media with #memademay or #mmmay17.  And as always, no matter what time of year, tag us with #stonemountainfabric if you post something with our fabric, patterns, or notions!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Lauren Makes Lingerie: Upcycling Old Clothes into Undies!

I'm in the process of moving (again...), and after doing this seven times in as many years, I've picked up a few tricks.  One of which is getting rid of as much as possible before you pack.  Because what's the point of packing and moving things you don't actually want or use??

So as I was cleaning out my closet this past weekend, I came across some RTW garments that I never wear anymore:  some Target t-shirts that don't fit quite the way I want them to and an ancient American Apparel skirt I haven't worn since high school.  I try to donate as much as I can (either to Women's Empowerment or Out of the Closet), but these pieces were just a little too old and ratty to give away.  No one really wants my old stained and pilly tee.

And then I got the bright idea to reuse these knits and make underwear!  This may have been my excuse for abandoning the cleaning to go sew...but let's not think too hard on that, shall we?

After sewing every night this week and binge watching Girlboss, I now have less unworn clothing cluttering up my closet and FIVE brand new pairs of undies!



Friday, February 17, 2017

Bralette Complete!

If you've been following the Stonemountain blog lately, you know that making bras and undies is my new 2017 sewing goal!  You also may know that I recently had great success dyeing fabric and notions to make a bralette.  Well, she's finished!


Before I get into it, I need to tell you that this dress form looks a little ridiculous because we had to seriously pad the girls! My boobs are way bigger than hers 😂

But anyway.  I used our Bralette Kit and the Sweet Sixteen Bralette pattern from Pin-up Girls.  The kit and the pattern are available online and in store.  You could also pick out your own materials and come up with something all your own. We've got everything you need at the Mountain!

This pattern has a ton of sizes and variations.  You can make it longline, you can do a foam cup, and you can mix lace and fabric in a number of ways.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Dyeing Bra Making Fabrics and Notions

One of the trickier parts of bra making is collecting all your supplies and findings.  There's a lot of different little pieces!  And even if you have all the components you need, getting them all to match is a whole other beast.

This is not to say that everything has to be exactly the same color when making lingerie.  Sometimes contrasting colors can be really fun!  For example, I love love love this Watson bra set by Cloth Habit:


But if you do want your project to be one color, there's another way, rather than scouring the internet and ordering tons of swatches.

You can dye it!


I recently had such success with dyeing lingerie fabrics and notions, and I just had to share how easy it was!

First things first, here are some quick rules to ensure success.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

2017 Sewing Plans and a New Pattern Company!

Among other things, 2016 was a big year for my sewing.  In April, I made my first pair of jeans! Handmade jeans had been a personal sewing goal for some time, and it felt awesome to accomplish that.  So much so, that I made three more pairs of jeans last year!

I'll still continue to make jeans (I have some classic indigo high waisted Gingers planned in my head...), but I wanted to expand my skills further this year while also adding to my me-made wardrobe.  So to follow up my jean-making extravaganza of 2016, I thought I'd turn to something equally intimidating in 2017:

UNDIES!


I've spent so much time drooling over handmade lingerie on Instagram, and it's time I make those lacy dreams a reality! Especially once I saw Miss Make's Rifle Rayon bra...if that doesn't inspire you, I don't know what will.

I mean, COME ON.

But before I dive headfirst into making a full on underwire bra, I thought I should ease in with a bralette.  I've been eyeing the Watson Bra pattern for quite awhile, but I wanted to find some printed pattern options that we could offer here at Stonemountain.  I also wanted to find a variety of underwear patterns for us, especially indie ones since we're discontinuing our Big 4 patterns.

This was a big part of why we decided to start carrying Jalie patterns!  Not only do they have underwear patterns, they've got lots of stuff for men and kids, too.  Plus the size ranges are HUGE on these things!  This underwear pattern is literally for the whole family.  So many styles, all in one pattern!

Jalie #3242


I'm really interested in using some of our wide stretch laces for this boyshorts pattern from Jalie.  You only need a little over a yard, which makes this a quick and inexpensive sew!

Jalie #2568


Jalie also has options for nursing and maternity wear, which is very hard to find.

From left to right:  Jalie #3131, #2788, and #3132
In addition to Jalie, we have ordered and are eagerly awaiting some bra patterns...but for now, here's a sneak peak!



Keep an eye out for some more blogs on the subject of bra making and lingerie this year!

-Lauren

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Our Favorites of 2016!

It's been an amazing year for us here at Stonemountain! There truly has been no shortage of inspiration, whether it was a new pattern, fabric or tool. We've rounded up our favorites of 2016 for you, just in case you missed them!

Top Patterns of 2016



1. Linden Sweatshirt from Grainline Studio
The Linden Sweatshirt gives a modern update to the classic sweatshirt. Featuring a relaxed fit, raglan sleeves, and a graceful slightly scooped neckline, this sweatshirt is perfect for fall layering. View A features long sleeves with cuffs and falls to the mid hip with a lower ribbing band while View B hits at the high hip and has short sleeves. You can also mix and match sleeve and body lengths to create multiple versions of this sweatshirt.

2. Scout Tee from Grainline Studio
A woven t-shirt with capped sleeves and scoop neck. Fitted at the shoulders, this top falls into a loose shape below the bust. This pattern is perfect for a fabric you want to show off since their are no seams or darts to interrupt the print.

3. Ginger Jeans from Closet Case Files
Another pattern that has become a popular wardrobe staple are the Ginger Jeans from Closet Case Files. This pattern will convert even the most timid sewists into jean geniuses! Engineered for flattering fit, View A features a comfortable low rise with narrow stovepipe legs. View B is sexy and high-waisted with skinny legs and a tummy-slimming pocket stay. Designed for stretch denim, Ginger Jeans will hug you in all the right places.

4. Three's A Charm Jacket by Decades of Style
From Decades Everyday, a microline of Decades of Style, comes an adorable and versatile jacket! This charming, unlined cropped jacket is the perfect companion to short-sleeved and sleeveless dresses, tunics, tees, and more. Pattern features 3/4 length sleeves, an optional single large button closure, angled front darts, and side bust darts. A top-stitched facing makes finishing fast and simple!

Written to answer the many questions of what Lotta Jansdotter wears and how she developed her own, personal style. Everyday Style is a pattern book/inspiration guide anchored by five easy, versatile sewing patterns—skirt, dress, blouse, pants/shorts, and jacket/coat —and highlighted with quick DIY accessories, including hats, bags, scarves, and jewelry. Photographed over the course of a year in her life in New York, Tennessee, India, and Sweden and organized by season, Jansdotter shares her sources of inspiration and how she and her friends mix and match her key pieces while working, playing, resting, and traveling.

6. Dress No. 1 from 100 Acts of Sewing
Dress No. 1 from 100 Acts of Sewing is a sleeveless dress that is extremely wearable and easy to make with a flattering A-line silhouette. The neck and armholes are finished with bias tape facing and top-stitched patch pockets add both flair and utility. This has consistently been a best-seller because of its versatility and we know you'll love it too! Check out Fabric Lady's versions of the Dress No. 1 here!

7. Dress No. 2 from 100 Acts of Sewing
Dress No. 2 the long sleeved sister to Dress No. 1. With many ways to make the dress your own, it's sure to become a wardrobe staple. This flattering A-line cut works well on all shapes and is a great transitional wardrobe piece. The neck is finished with bias tape facing and optional patch pockets.


Invaluable Tools of 2016




1. Clammy Rulers
We love Clammy Rulers! Created by Latifah Saafir, you can use these tools to cut magnificent clamshells, circles, half circles, quarter circles, and orange peel shapes. Available in 6", 8" and 12" sizes. 

2. Tula Tools 
These are as beautiful as they are utilitarian. Add some flair to your tool box with these lovelies!
Available in 4", 6" and 8" shears, 5" curved EZ snip and left-handed 8" shears.

3. Bias Tape Makers
Small and simple, yet big in convenience. Make bias tape as easy as 1-2-3. Just slip the tape in one end and pull it out the other as you iron. We love making our own bias tape and adding style and personality to the details of every sewing project! Available in 1/4" to 2" widths.

4. Tulip Needles
What sets Tulip needles apart is their smoothness, flexibility, and strength. The Hiroshima-made needles are polished lengthwise so that they glide through fabrics with ease. This smooth fabric piercing is also made possible by the needles' points, which have undergone special high-density abrasive polishing treatment for sharpness. Last but not least, the needles have just the right amount of flexibility so they are resistant to bending or breaking.

5. Kai 11" Ergonomix Scissors
Our favorite scissors! The 11" blades make for quick cuts and the quality Japanese craftsmanship assures you years of use to come. These are an investment you will never look back on, just ask our sales associates. We use them everyday!

6. Sublime Stitching Labels
Add these fun sew-in labels to your handmade items so everyone knows you DIY! Four phrases available include: 'Made by Unicorns', 'This took forever', 'Made with irony', and 'Made with #@%!'.

7. Neon Thread
Neon thread makes the best accessory! Six pack of Mara 100 thread includes neon coral, pink, orange, yellow, green, and blue. Each spool has 1000 meters/1094 yards. Mara 100 is one of the world’s finest threads, ideal for hand or machine-sewing. The ultra-strong Gutermann Sew-All Thread is crafted from 100% premium polyester and greatly reduces fraying. No fiber fly and no abrasion!


Favorite Fabrics of 2016



1. Cotton Ikats
Our extensive collection of cotton ikats continues as one of our favorite sections of the store. The Dakota collection is especially popular. Shop the collection and our fat quarter bundles

This collection is filled with whimsical images and vibrant colors. The company features the designs of 5 amazing women, plus the recent addition of Rifle Paper Co. You can always expect beautiful quality from their fabrics and original designs.

3. Bamboo and Eco Knits 
Our Eco Knit section includes a wide variety of hemp, bamboo and organic cotton and blends. These knits are known for their softness and quality. They sew up like a dream!

4. Corduroy 14 Wale
Classic cotton corduroy in neutral and fall colors. This small Wale corduroy is a great addition to your wardrobe. A perfect weight for skirts, jumpers and blazers. 

5. Loominous and Loominous II
Part of Anna Maria Horner's Loominous and Loominous II collection, which features woven rather than printed designs. These beautiful fabrics are soft 100% cotton, 44" wide, woven in India, and would lend themselves nicely to all kinds of sewing projects.

6. Viscose Boiled Wool
This beautiful boiled wool and viscose blend gives you the look and feel of a 100% boiled wool with the added drape of rayon. Perfect for boxy jackets and tailored coats. 60% viscose, 40% wool, 100% yummy!

7. BOLT by Girl Charlee 
We love this bright and upbeat line of high quality cotton/spandex knits. All BOLT by Girl Charlee knits are printed on white signature combed cotton spandex knit. This fabric is very soft, 8 - 8.5 ounce light to mid weight, and has a nice 4 way stretch making it suitable for all applications. BOLT fabrics are preshrunk so you can expect less than 5% shrinkage!



What are your favorites of 2016??? You can check out Suzan's favorites from 2016 over on the Fabric Lady Blog!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Staff Spotlight: Lindsey Trueman


We are lucky to have a staff of talented and creative sewists, all with their own focus and style. Lindsey Trueman joined the Stonemountain Team in 2015, while she worked to earn her MFA in Fashion Design from the Academy of Art in San Francisco.

Lindsey recently completed her degree and was awarded the opportunity to show her thesis collection at New York Fashion Week. This is an honor bestowed to only thirteen of their graduating class. Everyone at Stonemountain was so proud and excited for Lindsey, as we knew how hard she had worked on her collection outside of her time in the shop.

We had the chance to speak with Lindsey about her experience in the world of fabric and sewing.

StMD: When/How did you start sewing?
LT: My mom taught me how to sew when I was very young - she sewed a lot of our clothing growing up and had been sewing her own clothing since she was young. Both of my grandmas sew as well, so I was surrounded by it! I don't really remember a time when I didn't know how to sew, it was such a common part of my childhood for my mom to be making things. 

StMD: Tell us about your first trip or earliest memory of visiting a fabric store.
LT: I don't distinctly remember one specific time visiting a fabric store, but I do remember taking trips to get fabric frequently. I was always excited to see what my mom would choose, and it was such a great experience to be surrounded by beautiful fabrics and so many possibilities!

StMD: What is your favorite fabric to work with?
LT: This is a tough choice - I am completely in love with wool, especially coating. I love how you can mold it and create such beautiful tailoring with it. I have also grown to love linen, being completely surrounded by it over the last year working on my senior collection - it has a mind of it's own and does what it wants. “Just listen to the material. What is it going to say? Just wait. Probably the material will tell you something.” - Yohji Yamamoto; I've heard often is that fabric will tell you what it wants to do - this was the case with linen for me. I hadn't worked with linen much before starting my collection; it taught me so much, how to release control and how to listen to what the fabric wants to become - in the end this was much more beautiful than it would have been had I forced it to do something it didn't really want to do. I also adore using all types of repurposed fabric, especially leather. Taking apart a second hand garment or textile connects me to it's life and story, this connection to an item inspires me to honor its history by giving it a new life and new story where it will continue to be valued and appreciated.

StMD: What have you learned about fabric through your experience at Stonemountain?
LT: I have learned so much from working at Stonemountain! Probably one of my favorite (and geekiest) things is how to do a burn test to determine the content of fabric. I have also learned a ton about all of the kinds of fabric that exist - so many varieties of wool, silk, cotton, interfacing! I feel sometimes like I've learned through osmosis, just being around all the fabric and helping customers choose the right materials for their projects teaches me so much!

StMD: What is your favorite area of the store?
LT: This is definitely a toss up between the fashion room and upstairs - there are so many incredible silks, wools and linens in the fashion room but there is almost no better feeling than the treasure hunt upstairs when a new shipment of designer samples arrives! SO many amazing gems to be found for so cheap!


A peek at Lindsey's inspiration board.

More images and notes on her process can be found on Lindsey's website, along with this explanation:

The inspiration for my thesis collection began with a photograph I recently found of my great-great-grandmother, Mary Esther Brereton-Ingram, when she was in her early 20s. She passed away in 1920 when she was just 27 years old only two weeks after her last of six children was born. She was so close to my age when she died, but had such a different life - I am deeply haunted and inspired by this photograph and her story. She was so young but had so much fierceness, dignity, wisdom and grace in her eyes. Inspiration also came from my indigenous heritage as well as from Christopher Nemeth’s repurposing of old postal sacks.

Lindsey's collection on the runway at New York Fashion Week

Runway photos by Getty Images
In order to be as sustainable as possible, the fabrics used are repurposed antique textiles (linens and grain sacks), designer end cuts (brocade, wool, cotton) and linen, a naturally eco-friendly fabric. Antique grain sacks bearing original graphics, initials and embroidery were repurposed to create tailored silhouettes with a rough edge, juxtaposed with linen and cotton gauze to add softness. Melody Hesaraky, M.F.A. textile design, created the burnout brocade print for Look 5. Garments appear to have already had their own life and story, giving a sense of their history and the people who used them. I want to honor that history and simultaneously modernize it -- in the same way that I want to honor my own heritage, draw strength from it and build a legacy for the future.

See more of Lindsey's work at www.artsthread.com/profile/lindseytrueman/ and follow her on Instagram @lindsey.gail.