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.

I did the "Candace" version which is made for using stretch lace in both the band and the cup.  I like a lot of things about this pattern, but my favorite part is the detailed instructions.  They really help you out by carefully detailing the techniques needed to complete the bralette.  I love how they give you recommended stitch width and length numbers!

This being my first foray into the lingerie sewing world, I definitely learned a few things and developed some new skills. The first thing I discovered is that you can—no, should—exclusively use your sewing machine.  I'm so used to sewing knits mainly with my serger, but bra making is much more delicate and detailed than whipping up a t-shirt.  You just can't be that exact with a serger. I thought I'd want to finish my seams with the serger, but that would create a lot of extra bulk. Topstitching down the seam allowances is all you need for a clean finish!



I also got to use some new stitches on my machine!  There's like a zillion stitches on my beloved Juki, and I always feel like it's such a waste that I never use them.  The pattern actually calls for two in particular that I have used in the past on other machines, but I probably wouldn't have thought to use them by myself.  Another reason why this pattern rocks!

The first is a three-step zig zag.  Instead of stitching from point to point like a regular zig zag, there's an extra stitch along the way, in between the tops of the zig zag peaks.

The top edge is finished with foldover elastic, which is applied using a three-step zig zag.
So why would you want to use this?  When a seam stretches, the threads undergo a certain amount of stress.  That's why a straight stitch on a knit will break as soon as you stretch it.  A zig zag stitch stretches with the fabric, but a three-step zig zag is stronger and more durable because there's more points for the thread to distribute the stress. It's kind of hard to explain, so I hope that makes sense!

The second stitch is a lightning stitch, which is a type of narrow zig zag that's sort of at an angle.  It looks like a little lightning bolt, hence the name.  It will stretch with the fabric, but it is also narrow and inconspicuous.  Not that I needed to in this case, but using a lightning stitch allows you to press open the seam, which you couldn't do with a traditional zig zag.

The pattern recommends using the lightning stitch for attaching the straps to the bra band.  This gives it a little stretch, but is nice and strong for a point that will definitely undergo some stress.


Here's what these stitch symbols look like on my machine.  Up top, #3, is the lightning stitch, and below #5 is the three-point zig zag.  They may look different on your machine, so check your manual.

I have a Juki Exceed HZL-F400, and I am 100% in love.  10/10 would recommend.

I have a few more tips for making this bralette.  It takes more time and effort, but cutting your pieces symmetrically will make the finished bra look way more professional.  I cut one piece (with my rotary cutter of course), turned it over so it was right side down, lined up the scallops, and cut the second piece.


Then you have two symmetrical pieces!  Every pattern piece requires you to cut two, so I did this for all of them.  It makes for a prettier finished product.


Just make sure that when the time comes to sew two scalloped pieces together, you match up the scallops.


Last but not least, it's pretty hard to make markings on lace.  Especially a dark color like this one. My pens were all dark ink, so they wouldn't show.  My chalk pencils were lighter in color, but the chalk didn't really want to stick to the lace.  So instead, I just marked my notches with pins and lined those up!


It really only took me one night to make this!  It was fast, easy, and satisfying.  Now I can say I've made a bra!  I can't wait to try an underwire one.  In the meantime, I'm making some underwear to go with my new bralette!

If you want to try making your own, we've made it really easy.  Just grab one of our limited edition bralette kits!  If you buy the kit with the pattern, you save a few bucks for bundling, too.


Until next time!
-Lauren
Buyer & Manager
Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics

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.

1.  It's best to go into this without high expectations!  If you have your heart set on a very specific shade or you're trying to perfectly match the color of something else, this will probably be a more stressful process.  Personally, I just wanted to try dyeing in general, so I just picked a shade of purple and decided to see what happens!

2.  Pick the right kind of dye.  Natural and synthetic fibers take dye differently, so choose accordingly.

3.  Watch the heat.  Synthetic materials (which is what most lingerie fabrics and findings are made of) are best dyed on the stovetop, because they really need heat to help them take the dye.  And on a stovetop, you can control the heat a lot more than with a washing machine.  Plus, you can vary the heat depending on what you're dyeing and adjust as you go along.

Without further ado, here's the play by play of my dyeing experience!

I started with stretch lace, power mesh, foldover elastic, plush back strap elastic, rings, sliders, and a hook & eye bra back.  (You can buy everything here in a bralette kit!)  Most of them were true white, but the stretch lace was technically ivory. They're all different combinations of nylon, polyester, polyamid, and spandex, but they're all 100% synthetic, so I chose an iDye Poly, rather than regular iDye.  The instructions mention that if you're dyeing a natural/synthetic combo, you can mix both types of dye.


Inside the packaging are the instructions, dye packet, and a little thing of "color intensifier."  I don't really know what the color intensifier is, but I threw it in anyway.


Honestly, waiting for the water soluable packet of dye to dissolve was the part of this process that took the longest!

The white, milky looking bits are the color intensifier.

Eventually, it all gets mixed together, and then you feel like a badass witch brewing a potion.  This is probably a good time to mention that you shouldn't try cooking with the utensils or the pot that you've used to dye.  Also note that your tools may end up dyed or stained themselves.



Finally, it's time to start actually dyeing!  BUT FIRST:  Make sure you've gotten your fabric and notions all nice and wet.  This will help them absorb the dye evenly, so you don't get a tie-dye look. It may also rinse away any chemical sizing that could affect your results.

I decided to dye my fabrics first, and then my notions.  I didn't want the pot to get too crowded.  But I actually don't even have a picture of dyeing my fabric, because it happened SO FAST.  I threw the stretch lace and the power mesh in there, and it was literally done in an instant.

So I took out the fabrics, gave them a quick cold water rinse, and then left them in the sink while I dyed the notions.  I have a stainless steel sink, so I wasn't too worried about dyeing it on accident.

I put the elastics into the pot, as well as the hook & eye bra back.  I saved the rings and sliders for later, which I'll talk about in a sec.



The elastics took a bit longer than the fabric, but it was still pretty quick.  Like five minutes, tops.  I made sure to keep stirring them around while I waited for the dye to sink in.

Now's a good time to talk about how not everything will dye exactly the same.  The hook & eye bra back has a lot of different materials in there.  It's got the plush back fabric, another tricot-like fabric on the front, and the metal in the hooks and eyes.  This one was technically a bra back "repair," so it also had a piece of elastic on the hook side, which I've shown below.  You can see how not everything will dye at the same pace.  Some fabrics are just more resistant than others.



Once the elastics had gotten to a similar saturation as the fabrics, I took them out and also let them sit in the sink.  Fun fact:  I had completely forgotten about the bra back piece, so that was just sitting in the pot while I did this next bit.  I'm lucky it didn't melt or anything!  😬

I still hadn't dyed the rings and sliders yet, but I knew that would take more time and attention, so first I decided to fully rinse out my fabrics and elastics.  Immediately after taking them out of the dye bath, I had given them a cold water rinse until the water was clear.  Then I filled the sink with warm water and Soak Wash.  I let the notions and the fabrics sit in there while I did the next step.

It's hard to take a visually pleasing picture of your kitchen sink...

So as I've hinted at, dyeing the rings and sliders requires a bit more attention, mainly because they're little and more delicate.  All synthetic materials are prone to melting, but these little nylon coated hardware pieces can also crack if they get too hot.  And because they're so tiny, I didn't want to just throw them in a big pot with dark purple water.  They'd A) just get lost in there and B) probably get stuck to the bottom of a hot stockpot.

Luckily, I had this little tool hiding in my kitchen drawers!  (Why did I buy this originally?  What is its intended purpose?)


Using this little strainer, I carefully dipped the sliders and rings in the dye bath until they reached a saturation similar to the fabric and elastics.


I would dip it in for like a minute and then pull it out to check.  I also shook them around in there a little just to make sure everything got evenly dyed.  This took longer to dye than anything else, but it's worth the extra effort so that you don't ruin them!


After I was satisfied with the rings and sliders, I laid everything out to dry.  I put a towel under my drying rack just in case, but the drips had very little dye still in there.  Yay!


After I hung all that up, I emptied my dye bath, which is when I discovered the hook & eye bra back piece was still in there this whole time.  Whoops!

I set the hook & eyes down along with the rings and sliders on some paper towels to dry.


I let it all dry overnight, and the next morning, I was thrilled to find that everything turned out so beautifully!


Pictures just don't do it justice.  It's such a rich, electric violet with strong blue undertones.



All in all, I was thrilled!  And this whole process took me less than an hour!  Super easy + quick + beautiful results = a real winner.

Soon, these purple pretties will become a bralette!  Stay tuned... ;)

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.




Thursday, October 20, 2016

The New Colette Sewing Planner!

I recently had the chance to visit Portland, OR for the first time ever, so I had a lot on my to-do list.  If you follow me on Instagram (lauren_leigh46 😉), you may have already seen my insane Voodoo doughnut.  But in addition to Voodoo, Powell's, and the Rose Garden, I knew I had to make plans to visit another Portland landmark:  Colette Patterns headquarters!

Stonemountain and Colette have had a longstanding relationship that is mutually beneficial:  we send them lovely fabric, and they supply us with fantastic sewing patterns.  As a buyer for Stonemountain, I am often in contact with pattern companies, making orders and giving feedback.  With Colette, I already felt like I knew the entire team, even if I never met them in person before.  They had always been so friendly and kind over email, so I totally felt welcome visiting their studio.  Which is GORGEOUS, by the way!

In addition to meeting the team, I was given a super special sneak peek into their next project, the Colette Sewing Planner.  I'm kind of obsessed with planners, so I was thrilled.  I've spent the last month contemplating my fall/winter wardrobe with the help of this little book, and now that's it's officially released, I can show you!

First off, the packaging and layout are beautiful.  I'd expect no less from Colette!  The cover has a fun foil effect and the 7" x 9" size is great.  Not too big, not too small.  The cute design on the inside is made up of symbols and lines you'd see on a pattern.  There's also a pocket in the back, which I consider essential for any planner.



Love that it's spiral bound!

Before you get to planning any projects, there's a section in the beginning that is like a condensed version of Colette's Wardrobe Architect.  It will really help you narrow down and focus on what you actually enjoy wearing.



Then it's time to get to planning!  After this introductory section, there's two main sections:  one for spring/summer, one for fall/winter.  At the beginning of each seasonal section, there's some pages to get you started.

First is a two-page spread on your goals for this season.  I love how focused this made me.  I'm always planning new projects when fabric arrives at the store (it's so dangerous!), but sometimes I can get carried away.  I really need to keep myself concentrated these next few months, because in addition to sewing my me-made wardrobe, I'm making my wedding dress!  When I'm not working on that behemoth of a project, I want to be working on more simplistic, everyday wear that I can be comfortable in both at work and at home.  I'm all about cozy this season!

This will be the first and last time you see me draw...

The next pages also help you think about the big picture.  One is for inspiration and the other is for your color palette, but I pretty much used both for inspiration.  This was so much fun to make.  It was arts and crafts time!

My fall aesthetic can best be described as "Dog with Flannel Blanket in Boat."

From there, there are lots of pages for designing your individual projects.  These pages are the bread and butter of the planner.  One side has a place you can write everything down, and the facing page is gridded for sketching.  However, I can't draw to save my life, so I printed out line drawings of the patterns along with further RTW inspiration.

When I first saw these pages, I realized how much more I would enjoy this book instead of a basic sketchbook.  I love the idea of planning my sewing, but realistically I'm just not going to draw it out.  Writing it down, however, really appeals to me!  And the prompts given are perfect.

Safran Pants by Deer and Doe in Black 10oz Stretch Denim

I never really thought about which "learning resources" I use for each project, but now I do!  The Linden Sweatshirt is a basic design so I won't need any help with the actual sewing, but I definitely used my co-buyer's Linden expertise to determine which size to make.  Thanks for the help, Liz!

Linden Sweatshirt by Grainline Studio in Cloud 9 Organic Cotton Interlock with Ivory Bamboo/Cotton Ribbing

I also like that the supplies list is broken up into what you have and what you need to buy.  How many of us have unthinkingly bought notions that we already have at home??

Kelly Anorak by Closet Case Files

Did I mention how much I liked my little art project?  It was so much fun to scour the internet for inspiration.

Oslo Cardigan by Seamwork

There's something about seeing your thoughts down on paper that really keeps your brain more organized, you know?

Rosari Skirt by Pauline Alice (a pattern we don't have now, but may in the future!) in Merlot 14 Wale Corduroy

After all the planning pages, there's a Resources section which has some appropriate tips and tables.

The little sewing tips on the bottom of the page are peppered throughout the entire book.


I love the multi-sized croquis at the end, too.  Let's be honest; one size never fits all.



And at the very end, there's pages to reflect.  I think this is really important for home sewers to do often.  I know it's important for me, at least.  Sometimes when I get sucked into an Instagram hole or when I read sewing blogs, I get overwhelmed by the amount of things I'd love to sew.  It probably doesn't help that my job surrounds me with amazing fabric and patterns, either.  But by taking a step back to reflect, I am reminded of my own awesomeness!

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I deserve to feel proud of my accomplishments, right?  I did that "2016 Make Nine" thing on Instagram last December where I planned nine garments I'd like to make in 2016.  I told myself then that making my first pair of jeans was my ultimate goal.  And now I've made four!


Now that I've shown you my fall/winter wardrobe plans, let me show you some of the garments I've checked off so far!

Cardigan sweaters are my favorite way to keep warm.  Easy to throw over any top and so comfy.  I'm a sucker for a soft sweater knit!

The Oslo Cardigan is just so cozy!

And here are my Safran pants with their crazy neon highlighter yellow topstitching.  I adore the fit of Deer and Doe patterns on me, and these are no different.  I actually made no adjustments whatsoever!

Shown with my Tunic No. 1 by 100 Acts of Sewing in a Me + You batik

And just in time for your fall sewing, we have the Colette Sewing Planner in stock now!  It's available online and in store.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

❤, Lauren

P.S. Thanks again to the lovely ladies at Colette for a fabulous time!