You guys, I’ve got some really really big news. My apologies for my absence here. I feel like I’ve been running around with my head cut off and to be honest, my head is still spinning (on my finger no less). I taunted you in my last post with this news, just a little. As crazy luck would have it, the owner of the fabric store that I work and teach at (Yellow Bird Fabrics) decided to sell. It was a big decision and one that was made because of circumstance – nothing bad or life threatening though, which is good. She asked if I wanted to buy. I know, I know. This is the CRAZY part! And after some serious fretting and sweating and thinking and inner turmoil and “should I really do this?” type stuff, I decided to dive in, head first. And now A Fashionable Stitch enters a new phase. We are a bona fide brick and mortar shop! Yeah. You could say I’m walking on air right about now.
I never thought I would actually own a fabric store. In fact, I played around with the idea for awhile and thought, um no. Then after being approached with the opportunity to buy, I felt different. I really wanted it. There are so many things that appeal to me about having a brick and mortar shop. The personal contact with customers. Having parties (oh yes, there will be parties!). Educating people in person. Feeling fabric in person. Seeing fabric in person. Decorating. Scheming about how to package things – I love packaging! There is TONS to do and I already feel like I’ve done a ton and that a ton has been done by Amy, who went before me. She’s given me a legacy, seriously and its wonderful. You guys, I own a fabric store! Isn’t that just the craziest?
So what does this mean? It means that me and my mister will be quite a bit busier, but all for something that we both love – Mr. S totally digs that I’m into fabric and I totally dig fabric, so we’re definitely going to have a lot of fun. I’ve got a really fine group of ladies working for me – I am so lucky! You’ll be hearing so much more about them in the days to come. They all have really fabulous ideas and many of those are going to be popping up here on the blog. I’m pretty sure you’re going to get a handful of behind the scenes here at AFS headquarters (and now we actually have a real headquarters!). There is so much to do and I want you all to be apart of it, if only through the interwebs. The online store will be expanding to include more notions and a select amount of fabrics. And I’ll also continue to blog, of course – a passion I’m much too loathe to give up.
There’s much more to say, but I’ll save some things for future posts. You’ll be hearing about the shop a lot. Sheesh. It’s so exciting. Oh. my. goodness. I’m pinching myself even now…
And because we have some serious celebrating to do right now and because its Black Friday – the online shop is having a sale. Right now. I’ve tried to stock up on everything, so clean me out, would ya? Save 25% on your total purchase today and tomorrow, when you enter THANKS2013 at the discount code section during checkout. While supplies last. Can’t be combined with any other offer. Here’s to something brave and new. Thanks everyone!
Well, hello there! I’ve been MIA for a little bit now and believe me, I know that I owe y’all some posts on fitting. Those of you who have emailed me (and heard nothing back) I’m super sorry. I have a huge huge announcement that I’ll be making soon that has not only kept me incredibly busy (oh so busy) but it was also one of those things where I needed to step away from everything else for a bit. I’ll be telling you more about it come December 1. But I’ll hint that its local and it has to do with my shop. Oh my goodness, its so incredibly exciting! Well, scary and exciting. I hope you’ll be excited (and willing to help out a little) too. Anyway, moving on, the shop has been long overdue for an update – both cosmetically and inventory wise. One thing that brings me lots of joy, especially around the holidays is my shop and soooooo….
I’ve got new products for you. With even more on the way. Sigh… The life and times of sewing notions and supplies. I do seriously, get all sorts of jazzed about sewing notions and supplies. Especially really good ones. I’ve been holding onto some products for the shop especially for the holidays. I have to admit that I feel that gift giving for a garment sewer is actually quite personal, meaning that sometimes its actually really hard to know what to get for them. I know my mister has this problem. He thinks I have everything I want in that category and to be honest, I kind of do. There are really outrageously expensive things that I would still like to acquire someday, but right now we don’t even have the room. So keeping these types of things in mind, I’ve amassed several choice items for the shop. Because this post would be mega long if I listed everything new, I’ve got a few highlights here. Hop on over to the shop and check out the new stuff – you can see it all if you scroll to the bottom where there are “newest” items listed.
Silk Basting Thread. I love using a nice basting thread and these fit the bill. They come in a package of three different colors and they are simply splendid to hand sew with.
Gingher serrated shears. OK, so here’s the thing with serrated shears. They are MARVELOUS! I don’t know if you’ve ever had the pleasure, but this lovelies grip fabric as they cut. They are, hands down, the only type of shear to use when cutting slippery fabrics. They are AWESOME. Everyone should have a pair of these. Everyone.
Clover Thread Nippers. Carbon Steel baby with a little vintage style resin handle. These are the bee’s knees. You’ll never need to buy another pair. These would be a great gift for someone still using their sewing shears for thread cutting….
Just a few goodies for upcoming holiday larks. Keep your eyes peeled for more upcoming products in the shop. There’s a bundle! Yay! Hope you enjoy! I’ll be back soon with more sewing news (the big news) and more informative tutorials and posts. Later friends.
So after my post on Pattern Review last week, I have to admit that I too completely agree with the feeling of most of the comments. The platform is way outdated. I do love Pattern Review, but as many of you stated, this community needs a serious makeover. I hadn’t posted a new project on there in some time and tried to go about doing it just yesterday and sheesh, it is sooooooo ugly. So janky. Although I’ve heard rumors of updates to this site, I’m beginning to wonder if they are just rumors. Seriously. I’ve heard about these updates for about a year now. Show me the money already!
I remember when BurdaStyle first came about. It was awesome. I loved being apart of the BurdaStyle community. But admittedly, I feel its a bit janky these days too and its been quite some time since I’ve used it. I started looking into My Sewing Circle. Hmmm… Then I found Threadbias and while I like the layout, it seems very much geared towards quilters. I mean that’s cool, but I don’t really quilt or piece in that way.
I was a beta tester for Kollabora and at the time, I remember feeling overwhelmed with everything else in my life and felt like one more online sewing community was going to break the bank. I’m still really busy these days and it is starting to feel like there are just too many online sewing communities, but I have to say, there is something about Kollabora. Remembering the beta testing days, I went on there just yesterday and they’ve made updates. They’ve made incredible updates. They are cool.
And the really cool thing about the updates is that they have been made. Like, they have actually changed from the beta testing days to a more updated interface, meaning people are actually working on this site, which sorry to say, seems a far cry from what’s happening on PR. Its really easy to use. I like the current, beautiful layout and design. I like the way my projects look. I like the way others’ projects look. I like how easy it is to “heart” something and follow people. You can curate inspiration boards, you can have wishlists, your profile looks really nice and well, I think I’m converted.
I’m not affiliated with Kollabora other than being a member, but I would love to see more people on there. I would love to see people reviewing patterns on there – like they do on Pattern Review – and I would love see this community grow into something even bigger and better. I think that Kollabora could get to the point of having online classes – just like they do on Pattern Review. And they’ve already started a supplies page for things like patterns and kits and fabrics and more. I think they would totally dig forums too (I didn’t see a forum or message board on there). If you alerted the Kollabora staff to things that you want to see happen in the future, I think there would actually be a good response to this. All of this, with an updated interface that people seem to be working on all the time. So I don’t know about you, but I’m on board with Kollabora. I’ll be uploading tutorials, reviews and playing around on there a lot more. I love it.
I know that nobody needs one more item on their plate, but I think if you do choose an online sewing community, my vote is for Kollabora. It’s lookin pretty nice people. What do you think? Do you think we should all start a migration from PR to Kollabora?
This is something that I always do before I start out on a new pattern. Always. Pattern Review is such a great resource. Yes we all know that the site is a little bit janky, but once past that, the reviews are invaluable. Today I thought I would show you how I utilize it, just in case you were completely lost as to how to find anything on the site. But first, a few words. Before getting started on any pattern, its a really really good idea to read the pattern reviews of that pattern. Someone brought to my attention that one of the patterns on my pinterest board didn’t receive favorable pattern reviews and after they had tried it themselves, they concurred with the reviews. They also said that I should take this pattern off my board and no, I’m not going to do this. Friends, I don’t have time to check all the reviews on all the patterns I post there. Please understand that. That is your homework. If you find that you like what I have to say here and you find a pattern that you want to make from my pinterest board, please go on pattern review to read the reviews before you delve in. I don’t have any secret info on whether or not the pattern was well drafted or if it has fitting problems that are the same across the board. I only put patterns there because they look like basic patterns for all sewing levels (there’s a couple of Marfy’s and Stylearc’s on there). I also updated the bulletin message for that particular pinterest board. Now, let us move on.
Before I even purchase a pattern, I have a look at its reviews. Or if I’ve already purchased the pattern long ago, I have a look at the reviews before diving in. This can make or break a pattern for me. I actually won’t even start a pattern if its got serious problems from the get go based on the pattern reviews. To utilize the pattern review function on the Pattern Review site (ha ha) here is a step by step tutorial.
On the left hand side, click advanced search.
From there a screen will come up and you’ll enter in the pattern company name from the drop down and the pattern number – you don’t have to enter anything else, by the way. Then click search and reviews will pop up.
Sometimes it happens that no one has reviewed a certain pattern, so you have to go out on a ledge on your own and then of course, its up to you to write a review of the pattern and put it up on Pattern Review.
My second favorite place to peruse on Pattern Review are the Message Boards. Sometimes, someone will post problems they are having mid construction and try to get some advice from other pattern reviewers. It’s a great way to find out even more about a pattern.
So to do that you’ll click on the Message Board tab. Then click search board on the right.
Then enter a word or two on the subject your looking for. You’ll need to click either “Titles & Descriptions” or “Messages.” Then click enter and several message boards will pop up.
I know these are simple tutorials, but I have to admit that sometimes I find the site a bit overwhelming to navigate and when you try to search things many times, what you’re looking for doesn’t come up. So this is out there to help you out a bit more. Also, if you’re not a member, sign up! It’s free and I barely get one email from Pattern Review a month. Nothing big. It’s great when they have pattern sales and they have great classes too.
Do you use Pattern Review? Interestingly enough, I find Pattern Review much more helpful than any other “sewing community” out there just because all the reviews tend to take on the same format and they are all reviews, not just beautiful photos of someone in a garment (though I do love that too, just sayin). What do you think?
OK, so my last post went over the system that I use to pick pattern size. It’s the one that I prefer for myself (and I use it on others too and have great success) but sometimes this isn’t the fix for everyone and everyone has different bodies. I have a few more suggestions for you, both are great links to different info about picking the correct bodice size. Oh that pesky bust measurement…. But first:
A little clarity from my last post. There were many great questions and just in case you missed my update to that post, here are some answers for you. The upper bust measurement replaces the bust measurement when you’re looking at picking your pattern size. So, pick the bust measurement that corresponds with your upper bust measurement. Why do I like this so much? Again, I skimmed over saying that the hardest part of the body to fit is the intersection of the upper bust, shoulders, arms and neck. Four tubes. Not easy to fit. So picking the arrangement that will fit this area is key. Doing things like full bust adjustments, broad back adjustments adding width or decreasing width and so forth are child’s play by comparison and much easier to do than fiddling with those intersections. Also, there was some talk about cup sizes. Here’s the thing with cup sizing. The Big 4 all draft for a B cup. So that’s good to know, but then what does every other company draft for? I’ve read that Colette drafts for a C cup. OK, but other than that I don’t know what the other independents draft for. These are things that you will measure on the pattern and adjust and then in the muslin if more adjusting is needed it will be altered. So does knowing the cup size really matter? Personally, I don’t think so, but this is a big deal to other people, so I’m just letting you know. When we get to the adjusting phase, you’ll see what I mean and that’s next by the way.
Ok, so here are some other great ways to find your correct pattern size for the upper body. First Nancy Zieman’s method. It’s awesome. I really love Nancy. She’s been around for a really long time and she has great advice, techniques and methods. Here’s how she goes about picking her pattern size.
Next, this was a tip on pattern review that I found really useful. This method measures the shoulder width and then from there you compare this measurement to your pattern and pick your upper body size from there. You’ll find that tip here.