Saturday, March 14, 2015

Join the Knit Generation!

One of my my favorite categories at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics (SMD) is our Knit Collection. They are comfortable, drape nicely on the body and can be worn as a dress, top, pants, jacket for all occasions - most of us wear them everyday!

At SMD we buy our knits from various garment manufacturers and only stock high quality knits with good value. You, our customer now has access to a wonderful and dynamic collection of knits available by the yard, opening up many possibilities for your next project. Check out my FabricLady blog for many of my own completed knit garment projects or stop by the store and see the trunk show in the Fashion Room! Now may be the time to learn how to sew on these easy fabrics in our sewing classes. And make sure you check out the two great blog posts, on the FabricLady and  SMD blogs. Read on for more!

Stop by our Berkeley store or Webstore to see what's new and get inspired. We continue to celebrate our 34th anniversary here in Berkeley and also want to offer you 20% off your in store and webstore purchase for the next two weeks!

From our families to yours, we all thank you for your support in keeping us vibrant in our community,
Suzan Steinberg
Owner & Daughter 

It's no secret how much we love knits!  They are extremely comfortable, can be dressed up or down, and are often quicker to sew than wovens since knits do not fray.  Suzan has some beautiful knit garments that she's featured on the Fabric Lady blog, such as her stunning Lynn Mizono dress and the Burda top and Victory Satsuki dress she made out of that gorgeous floral silk knit.
The large selection of knits in our store encompasses everything from delicate rayon tissue weight to heavy polyester ponte.  But different knits require different care.  To make things a little easier, let's take a minute or two to learn about different kinds of knits and how to best care for them.
First off, there are a few rules that apply to all knits.
  1. Spandex and Lycra (which are the same thing, just different brands) do NOT like bleach, heat, or dry cleaning.  Seriously though--do not bleach spandex.  It turns whites into yellow!
  2. It's best to hand wash cold. This ensures the best longevity for your garment. But if you want to use your washing machine, use the gentle cycle and line dry. Tumble drying knits can lead to pilling and/or weakening of the elasticity, so you may want to line dry knits or at least use a delicate cycle.
  3. It's best to take a 6" x 6" sample piece of your fabric (before cutting out your project) and wash/treat it as you will your finished garment. That way you will have no surprises after you have gone to the effort of laying it out, cutting, and sewing your garment. Every piece of fabric will behave differently when washing, so it's always best test a swatch first! If you do not like how it turns out, you can try another method or have it dry clean.
  4. If you take your fabric and clothes to a laundromat, there could be the added risk of harsher chemicals and bleaches left in the washer or dryer machine, which could damage your yardage, so be careful.
  5. These are just general guidelines for your garments to last longer and have less pilling (if a fabric or garment comes with specific instructions, you might want to follow those instead). 

Want a top that you can whip out in a few hours?  We found the Uptown Top, a pattern from our newly added indie pattern company, A Verb for Keeping Warm.  It's a simple top to make, especially if you use a soft knit that you don't need to serge or zig zag the seams. The pattern includes three sizes, but even the smallest size is very generous.
This top is so easy, the neck can be finished with its facing or you could use a simple bias strip. We made our Uptown Top with the band at the bottom, making it long enough to wear with leggings.  You can leave off the band and wear it with pants or jeans as the pattern makers suggest...
Use ribbon to create flowers or other trim to embellish anything!  

From hair ties to embellishments, our fun elastics are sure to spark your creativity. 
TUESDAYS 6 - 9 PM - MAY 5, 12, 19
Turn your t-shirts into a picnic blanket or a memory quilt (a great keepsake for graduating high school or college students!). 
You can print photos and text onto these fabrics to use in memory quilts or as quilt labels.
The printable possibilities are endless!
SATURDAY 1:30-6:30 PM
Experience how serging can take projects to the next level in our machine-equipped classroom!
Organic cotton or bamboo rayon our collection of eco-friendly knits are colorful and soft. 

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