Monday, May 4, 2015

Soak & Seamwork—a Match Made in Heaven!

There has been a lot happening here at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics, but we wanted to talk about two things in particular today:  Soak and Seamwork.  If you haven't heard of either, let us be the ones to introduce you!

Seamwork is an online magazine that releases two PDF patterns along with its great articles, and it is run by Colette Patterns.  We are thrilled to have been featured in the May 2015 issue.  One of this month's patterns, the Adelaide dress, is shown in a beautiful ikat of ours, and we think the combination is perfect!

We're already big fans of these PDF patterns, and we can't wait to make up this dress ourselves.  Previously, Lauren made one of Seamwork's first patterns, the Oslo Cardigan!

This oversized sweater is seriously comfortable.  And its construction was easy and quick!  If you've worked with knits before or you're a confident beginner, you'll be able to complete this in under two hours.  Even if you're brand new to knits, this cardigan is a fast one!  If you want to make the Oslo, but are intimidated by knits, you can always take one of our Sewing with Knits classes, #290.

This is part of Seamwork's mission:  to offer patterns that you'll be able to knock out in a few hours, not a few days.  Projects like these are perfect to fit in between working on larger, more complicated projects.

We love instant gratification sewing projects like these.  They can be a confidence booster when you're stuck in a creative rut, or they can open up options when trying to create a handmade wardrobe from scratch.  Perfect for Me Made May!

Lauren loves her Oslo Cardigan, and it only makes us want to create the Adelaide dress even more!  But before this Oslo came to be, Lauren knew she had to prewash this fabric.  This orange sweater knit was a bit of a mystery.  (It was purchased from the Michael Levine Loft in LA where you buy fabric by the pound!)  So with no information, no care instructions, and not even fiber content, a burn test and a prewash were a must!

Lauren determined it was primarily a polyester sweater knit, so she knew washing cold was best.  (Read our Caring for Knits blog post to brush up on your washing skills!)  She also could tell that the sweater knit had a relatively open weave, which could be disastrous in a washing machine.  Finally, seeing as how she had no idea where this fabric had been, washing before wearing was a must.

Luckily, we at Stonemountain & Daughter were ready to try Soak Wash!  After testing out the product ourselves, we have decided we love it so much, we will be carrying these products in our store!  Soak Wash is an environmentally friendly soap made from plant derived and renewable ingredients.  It also has a wonderful formulation that allows for the suds to die down after a few minutes of soaking, so no rinsing is needed!  This is not only a time saver, it makes hand washing very drought-friendly, which is seriously awesome right now here in California.

Lauren used the Celebration scent of Soak Wash, and it was heavenly!  Celebration is a yummy floral scent that doesn't come off as sickly sweet like some florals can.  The smell lingered for a bit during cutting and sewing, to our delight.  While washing the sweater knit, some dye began to come out from the fabric, so Lauren was sure glad she washed it alone first.  If this happens to your garment or fabric, don't worry!  This is completely normal, especially the first time something is washed.  You can see the slightly orange-tinted water in the picture below.  You can also see how the dye continued to run while the fabric dripped dry, so let this be a lesson to us all!  Don't use white towels for this, unless they're already grungy and filled with mascara stains...which this one totally wasn't, we swear....

Soak also makes a starch-alternative smoothing spray called Flatter, and it's been great as well!  Look for an upcoming blog post on how exactly you should use Flatter and how to efficiently clean your fabric and garments by hand washing!  Also be on the look out for more Stonemountain & Daughter fabrics in Seamwork swatch service page every month.  After the success of Oslo, we can't wait to see what patterns they cook up next.

We are so happy to be branching out with new products, new patterns, and new online sewing communities.  We wouldn't be here without the support of our customers, so thank you!  We can't thank you all enough, but we'll try!

P.S. Now that you know about Seamwork, make sure to peruse their Reader Deals page... ;)

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