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


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 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?