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I don’t know that this will be like the behind the scenes of other people’s businesses, but for me, I’m going to start giving you some of the behind the scenes from a fairly personal perspective. My perspective. This remains to be seen if this is really a good idea, but as with a lot of things in life, we try something and analyze our mistakes and then from there get better. My first behind the scenes snapshot back in December/January had some rather dramatic repercussions. Sigh…. Oh the drama! Sometimes my inner drama queen really likes to play up the drama. Having been a shopowner for several months now, I’m here to say that the drama queen has definitely been humbled. He he.

“You’re sewing again.” A friend brought this up to me earlier this week. It’s true. I’m sewing again and hopefully this gives you an idea of how things have been for the past several months (busy, in a word). Maybe I should state for the record that I’m inspired again. This translates into sewing things that work again. I have sewn a few things over the past few months, but to say that they really worked….meh. The Yona Coat was probably the first thing in a long time that I’ve sewn that I felt really really good about. Before we start getting too serious and melancholy, let’s just say that awesome stuff is on the horizon. That feels good enough to be inspired by and good enough to sew for. Ha ha! Yay!

My quaint little brick and mortar has changed rather dramatically over the past several months too. For the most part I’m working full-time in the shop. This is good. This is very good. One thing that was getting to be more and more obnoxious was trying to juggle schedules for individuals who wanted to work in the store with things I needed to get done while I was at the store. So it was much easier for now to work full time in the store and voila! Things about the shop and for the shop started getting accomplished at a much faster pace. And its been very good for me because I really needed to sense the heartbeat of my store on a much more intimate level. Running around like a chicken with my head cut off wasn’t allowing me to do that.

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Autumn has officially arrived at A Fashionable Stitch and it was time to change up the decor. Pulling out old fall outfits and putting them up in the store to inspire actually ended up inspiring me. Oh how I love Fall! Its such a magical time of year! Decorating your own shop – on a very very tight budget, oh wait! there is no budget! – is really really fun. I’m always up for a challenge like this and so its been fun to start revamping the store for fall. I’ve also had to get creative for things that I’ve really wanted and don’t have the funds for. I’ve wanted fabric signage for such a long time. And then boom! One day it hit me like a ton of bricks that hey, get some paper, fabric and a fabric bolt and there you go. Instant signs! Yay!

Among many other things this year, I had to become an instant gardener for the flower garden in the front of the store. I have to say people, though I like gardening, I am so over taking care of this! Ugh! In fact, I’m just about to go out and weed and water today (not that this has helped my poor dead zinnias). Much rather be taking care of something inside the store.

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Speaking of. This is a fabric hoarder’s dream….. Shipments of fresh fabric just arrived!

Best Weekend Wishes!
Sunni

  • shanniloves - Looking forward to these posts. Very inspiring!ReplyCancel

  • Amy W - I love reading behind the scenes! It’s always an interesting look at how someone runs their business.ReplyCancel

  • Becky - I think these posts will be fascinating! And, yes, there will probably be some drama, but we just move along over that, ok?ReplyCancel

  • Mary - This is so much fun to read!

    If we had an indie fabric store nearby (and we don’t), I would want a gift certificate for Christmas. If one were available, I would make sure DH knew about it (it would make his life easier too). Maybe I’m nuts, but I think this is something any woman who sews would enjoy receiving.

    I’m sure it’s already on your list for the next holiday season but I thought I’d mention it after peeking at your last “behind the scenes” post.

    Your store looks like fun! I wish our travels took us to your neck of the woods because I’d love to visit!ReplyCancel

  • AliceF - I can already tell that I love this new series of posts ! I love reading behind the scene posts, they are very instructive and they make you see the not-so-shiny side of things as well. I am already looking forward to the next posts !ReplyCancel

  • LinB - Why not fabric flowers for the store garden? They don’t need to be watered, you can change them for the seasons whenever you like, and they don’t have to be realistic copies of the real thing. Just a passing thought, to give you yet one more task in your busy life, lol.ReplyCancel

  • Tasia - I love that you’re sewing again! Your coat is beautiful. It’s important to enjoy some personal sewing among all the shop work. I also find it hard to fit in sewing for pleasure, but feel good when I do!
    I enjoyed your first behind the scenes post earlier this year as well as this one. Probably because I’m just curious as a business owner myself! :) And I like hearing about a totally different type of business and how it works, the ups and downs, the things you have to consider that don’t occur to me like decorating for the holidays. Best of luck with everything!ReplyCancel

  • Charlotte - The shop looks amazing. I love your signage & the vintage-style Halloween decoration too.ReplyCancel

  • Jane - Hi Sunni, I will certainly be following these posts with great interest! I am pretty sure I commented on your last post, my business partner and I started our own fabric shop (on the other side of the world to you) 18 months ago. It’s just us, no staff, but we keep our hours manageable (W-F 10-4 & sat 12-4) and for the most part customers are very understanding of that. I’m glad you’re enjoying being in the shop – we do it out of necessity but also because we love it and want to be there to experience it all and be in touch with what our customers need. We also have a little flower garden in front but luckily it’s teeny and we planted it low-maintenance with geraniums and some hardy grasses. We still don’t know if the shop is going to be a viable financial thing in the long term but we’re encouraged enough (and having enough fun) to keep on keeping on. And hey – fabric!! Wishing you well :)ReplyCancel

  • maddie - I’m glad to hear that you’re feeling inspired to sew. Isn’t that the best feeling. I hope you know that you’re inspiring many people with your sewing shop, me included.ReplyCancel

  • Tilly - Great to hear things are settling down and that you’re sewing again, Sunni – yay! I love reading these kinds of posts (go small business ladies, woop!). xxReplyCancel

  • Amanda - Great work, Sunni! The shop looks great and I love the fabric bolt sign idea. It’s the little things like that that adds lots of character. And I always thought it’d be fun to have a store so I could put up holiday displays.ReplyCancel

  • Margo - I just listened to your podcast with Corrine yesterday and loved it! Glad to hear that you are inspired to sew again and love the signs you made for the store. So cute and perfect!ReplyCancel

  • Juju Gago - I’m glad you are again doubt a behind the scenes post!
    Your shop is adorable! I would love to be able to go in person!
    Lack of time is a problem even for us mere mortals, you know?! I have been trying to figure it out, too. But it seems you are doing great!
    Besides poor zinnias.
    All the best!ReplyCancel

j-peterman-coat-5

Marlene Dietrich, here I come. The best complement to this coat would be a stunning pair of leather gloves, a shot of cognac and a cigar. Puff, puff. Keeping warm on those unusually crisp fall outings never looked quite so chic. Who said plaid was only for lumberjacks?
Pattern: Yona Wrap Coat by Named
Made in the U.S.A by the one and only Sunni Standing with fabric especial from A Fashionable Stitch – 100% wool plaid coating (with plaids impeccably matched, of course), Lined in flannel backed acetate Kasha coat lining. Collared in a sultry soft cotton velveteen.
No expense was spared in the making of this luxurious coat. What Sunni wants, Sunni gets.
Price: priceless

I was thinking about making myself a coat this year. I mean, I think about making myself a lot of things every year (who doesn’t) but you know, life happens. You get sucked into a vortex of so many things you want to make and you absurdly think that you can until you actually start making something and you realize that you don’t have time to make all the things. It’s a weird phenomenon and I often wonder whether the same thing happens to all of you. In my head I have a smashing line-up of fall outfits to crank out. In reality, I have an alarmingly small amount of time to crank them out. Goodness, at least this coat got done.

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I did decide on getting this coat done. I was determined! I have a plentiful amount of fabric in my personal stash, but low and behold, I had been eyeing this particular plaid coating for what seemed like an eternity from my shop. It’s so weird, by the way, to still want fabric even though I have a shop full of it. Anyway, when the new Named Fall patterns made their debut, I was all over this coat like white on rice. For the most part, it had everything I wanted.

For the most part. When we’re talking coats and jackets, of which I’m a particular connoisseur if I do say so myself, there are so many elements that I am fairly particular about. Let’s take the issue of pockets for a minute. You know, patch pockets are fine, but I had no intention of patch pocketing this coat. In coats, I’m particularly keen on pockets that are easy to sink my hands into and keep my hands warm. There is nothing like a welt pocket for this job in my very humble opinion. Coat pockets, for me, have got to be easy to put my hands in. I am so over awkward coat pockets! Are you with me here? Suffice it to say, I drafted my own welt pocket for this coat and if I do say so myself, its one perfectly placed welt pocket. Look at that sinking action! Yes!

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I also drafted a new lining pattern for Yona. I took the time to actually trace off the coat’s original lining pattern and then I made sure to check all of it against the outer shell pattern and such. Hmmm… There were a few things I didn’t care for and a few things I thought might become problems so I just decided to draft my own lining and then that way, all would work. Which it did, beautifully. I also traded in the under collar for a bias cut, seam down the center version. Something you would find in the Tailoring book. I felt it would help with the bulk issue considering this fabric was a nice thick heavy wool coating. Other than these few quirks, the pattern for the outer shell was lovely. We got along great. I made but one fitting change and that was to add some width for my hips. Cut my fabric out and bam, I sewed a coat for myself.

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Of course, I have to talk about the fabric. It’s from my shop. This was a plaid wool coating that we’d had lying about for a bit. It’s rather thick and heavy – perfect for a coat and the plaids were uneven (meaning they weren’t perfect squares). Because the plaid is uneven or unbalanced, the plaid on the sleeve is only matched using the dominant plaid (and only in one direction) which is that grey stripey bit. People, I could do some serious workshopping on plaids. I love them. It’s weird that the challenge is so satisfying to me. Oh my gosh! I’m a nerd! And by the way, if you’re looking for this product in my shop, hold your horses a bit while we get all the wool coating options uploaded. We’re working like mad men on it. Plus we’ll get the Kasha coat linings up and ready for purchase in the online store too. We’re almost there actually. Yay!

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Well people, I’m seriously considering a sewalong for this coat. It’s crazy because when I’ve done sewalongs in the past I feel crazy, but I think its time to do another one anyway. Who would be on board? Would anyone want to do a sewalong for this coat? Isn’t it high time I did another sewalong? I believe it is.

And just in case you didn’t catch my J. Peterman lingo, its one of the most fantastic catalogs to peruse if only for the rather cheeky descriptions of the merchandise. If only I had a gift for such malarky. If only.

Bring on the crisp fall weather!
Sunni

  • Nancy N - WOWZER! You know if its plaid it must be Sunni, and this one is one heck of a plaid! I love your choice of fabric and pattern, and the bias sleeve seam is soooo pretty! I agree with you about all the structural details, too–welt pockets, and especially the bias under collar with seam–much the best choice for shape-ability! It’s been a while since I made an overcoat, but I wish I’d used the velvet top collar idea. So nice to NOT have wool if your neck is bare!
    No time for sewing tutorials, unfortunately, but I bet there are lots of sewists out there who would join up.
    NICE JOB!!!!
    Love your blog,
    Nancy NReplyCancel

  • Margaret - I totally got the J.Peterman thing and it made me giggle. Your coat is fantastic! I’ve been meaning to make myself a coat for years, especially with the petite stature/wide hip issues. But I sure haven’t. I love that you did, though! Did you find that you needed to make any adjustments to that curved raglan shoulder?ReplyCancel

  • Nakisha - Sooooo do you want to come to my house and help me match plaids or no? :)

    Love it!ReplyCancel

  • justine - She sat in the café on the Left Bank. Remembering that day long ago when they sat there together laughing in the rain. Before Africa.Before everything happened….. and she snuggled into THAT coat.LOVE those catalogs. And your gorgeous coat!ReplyCancel

  • Ani - I would totally be up for a sewalong! I’m scared to do coats, but god…do I need a new coat.ReplyCancel

  • Uta - Great job, Sunni. You make the best special-yet-wearable garments. I’m getting my nerve up to start on a coat myself, but so far I’ve jinxed myself with every single sewalong I’ve taken part in. Don’t let that keep you, I know you’d do a stellar job :-) ! P.S. Happy to hear your shop is going strong!ReplyCancel

  • Karen of Fifty Dresses - This is a coat you will wear again and again! It is casual with a very chic vibe. I have a real weakness for coats, and will never be able to make up all the coat patterns I have in my collection. But knowing that won’t keep me from trying!ReplyCancel

  • Ginger - Love this! I downloaded it, but I’m trying to figure out if I can correctly match the fabric I chose (it has a very wide stripe and I feel pretty stressed about matching raglan sleeves!).ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - Yep, I too suffer from the delusion that I have oodles of time to make all the things and then inevitably become quite surprised when I realize I do not LOL. I think I forget to take into consideration how much time the PREP work takes: tracing, fitting, muslins, etc. LOL.

    Your coat is awesome – if one was going to get even one thing sewn for fall, a coat is a stellar choice!! Love the plaid – it suits you :)

    Oh, and J. Peterman will always make me think of Seinfeld – I still love that show LOLReplyCancel

  • Michelle - I love this coat! I maybe, could get on board with a sewalong! I need a coat like this in my closet.ReplyCancel

  • jennifer - Can’t beat making a coat, even if all the other plans fall through at least you’ve got something to cover up with and feel good. It looks amazing in plaid, I love the raglan sleeves and shoulder shaping. I made their Andy coat from last year (which does have welt pockets and nice instructions, too) so coat isn’t on my list this year, but I’d definitely be up for reading construction details if you did a sew along.ReplyCancel

  • Houseofpinheiro - This is perfection. Oh I’m just printing my pattern. Sewalong would be amazing…ReplyCancel

  • Juliana - beautiful!!
    (I’d join a sew along, totally!)
    plaids matched to perfection. gorgeous! that collar is just… just… wow!
    I loved this!ReplyCancel

  • Tasia - Love this! I love plaids especially on coats. It’s gorgeous! You did a beautiful job with the plaid matching and all of the detail work.
    Kasha lining is my go-to for fall and winter coats too. It’s pretty much the only kind I use if it’s not a summer coat!ReplyCancel

  • Faye Lewis - Now that coat is gorgeous, especially paired with that little red pixie cut. Love it in that plaid.ReplyCancel

  • Kimberly - sewalong, PLZ!!! I’ve been wanting to try making this coat but I’m new to sewing coats, so have had trepidation. A sewalong would be the kick in the pants that I need!ReplyCancel

  • Sara - Beautiful coat! The fabric is gorgeous and the velveteeen collar is a very nice touch. I just made a wrap coat so I won’t be sewing along but I’d still love to watch along as you make a coat :)ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Fabric Tragic - It’s fabulous and I’m mighty impressed by the check matching! How hilarious about J Peterman – I thought it was an obscure Seinfeld reference – I can’t believe they really exist!ReplyCancel

  • Stella - I have a super plaid I didn’t know what to do with – I do now! Sewalong please!ReplyCancel

  • Deborah - Sewalong please. I want that coat with those pockets and collar details.ReplyCancel

  • lisa g - this coat look AMAZING! you are definitely the queen of plaid. i especially love the velvet collar, such a great touch. nicely done!ReplyCancel

  • Diana - YES PLEASE DO A SEWALONG!

    I LOVE this pattern and was considering it, but as an advanced beginner am a bit scared of coats. If nothing else it would be a GREAT resource for coat-making techniques, especially drafting your own lining (what?!) and whatnot.ReplyCancel

  • Sallie - Oh Sunni! It’s gorgeous!! Just breathtaking!ReplyCancel

  • Sophie - Please please PLEASE do a sewalong! I want to know your secrets.ReplyCancel

  • Shopkeeper’s Journal volume I » A Fashionable Stitch - […] have sewn a few things over the past few months, but to say that they really worked….meh. The Yona Coat was probably the first thing in a long time that I’ve sewn that I felt really really good […]ReplyCancel

  • krystina - This coat is amazing! Great work! I wouldn’t have time to do a sew along, but I love watching you do them because of the great tailoring tips you give!ReplyCancel

  • maia - I just finished Nameds Mai zip jacket (perfect fit for me and good instructions) and now I want to do this one as well! So I’m totally upp for a sew along. Did you shorten the coat anything? I Thought it was a bit longerReplyCancel

  • Jackie - Fabulous coat! Would love to know your tricks!ReplyCancel

  • Heather - Please do a sew-a-long! I want to make a coat, but I’ve never attempted something this advanced before, so a sew-a-long would make it possible for me. I learn so much from sew-a-longs.ReplyCancel

  • Judi Short - Fabulous coat, Sunni! I hope next time I am in the shop I will find it hanging up for closer inspection. Love the lining, too! And a great way to match uneven plaids, I usually stay away from them.ReplyCancel

    • Judi Short - OK, ladies, I have now been to the physical storefront and fingered the actual plaid jacket, and it is fabulous!! A sewalong would be great!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - Your coat is absolutely stunning! A handmade coat can sometimes toe that thin line between looking handmade or looking like a bespoke tailor in Italy had a hand in its making. Yours certainly toes the Italian side of that line!ReplyCancel

  • Nat @ Made in Home - It is an amazing coat! I love the detailing at the back. A sew along would be amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Tiens-moi au chaud | c'est qui qui coud? - […] de chez Named. J’ai déjà deux patrons dans ma patronthèque  et depuis que j’ai vu cette version du Yona wrap coat, je suis encore plus […]ReplyCancel

  • qui coud - A sew-along? Yeah!!!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - Seeing as I hope to make a couple of coats this fall, I would love a coat sewalong and appreciate your experience/expertise in this area of sewing!ReplyCancel

  • Faye Lewis - I LOVE your coat. Is the fabric sold out?ReplyCancel

  • Gail - Seriously stylish and I love the brave blue shoes!ReplyCancel

  • charlene - Hi Sunni,

    I absolutely love this coat and thing a sewalong is a wonderful idea.

    Beautiful job.

    CharleneReplyCancel

  • Carla - This is lovely! I wasn’t sure if I liked this pattern that much at first, but after seeing your version I just have to make one! I live in the Bay Area so I haven’t thought much about sewing jackets (it was 96 degrees here yesterday!) but I’m thinking if I start thinking about it now I can hope to have one done by January (ha!).

    I would love it if you did a sew-along. And also if you were to do some type of workshop with plaids. I love a challenge!

    Keep it up!ReplyCancel

  • Amy - Sunni, this coat is gorgeous! That plaid is to die for. I used to collect those J. Peterman catalogs because I LOVED their descriptions. Is it still around?ReplyCancel

  • Madd Plaider » A Fashionable Stitch - […] was my mom wanted a coat. She’s a true J. Peterman connoisseur and she saw the pics of my J. Peterman inspired Yona Wrap Coat and she was like, I gotta have one. And then there was the part where it was her birthday in […]ReplyCancel

Several weeks ago, Corinne of The Sewing Affair ever so kindly invited me to be on her ongoing podcast. If you don’t know anything about Corinne, you should hop on over to her blog and get to know her! She’s delightful to talk to and was very gracious as a host as I rambled on and on and on. She’s starting up a sewing studio in Canada where it looks like she’ll be teaching others how to sew. That is very exciting! Anything to keep the sewing bug alive eh? Yay!

You’re in for a long haul if you listen to the podcast featuring me. Oh boy! I’m such a rambler and that’s exactly what I did. Ramble, ramble, ramble. But hopefully there are some grains of interest there. Ha! Hop on over and have a listen.

In the podcast, I talk a bit about how hard its been for me to combine my world of blogging with my world of being a brick and mortar shop owner. People, I can’t have two separate personalities anymore! So, even if you don’t live here in Utah, you’re still going to be in the know about local events surrounding my shop. This blog is a huge part of who I am. Something that I’ve felt was too sacred to let the brick and mortar shop intrude upon! But this is silly thinkin and now the shop is becoming a huge part of my life too. So, without further rambling…..we’re having a shop event at the end of September! Yay! If you live in SLC, Utah or think you might be here for a visit, it would be worth your while to stop on in.

September-Soiree

The September Soiree will kickstart our Autumn Sale event. It’s an after hours party + sale. Yay! We’re excited about it. We had a little something like this back in February which was quite fun and now that its the best time of the year, its time to have another party. Not to mention, its just fun to sew for fall and if I do say so myself, we have a beautiful fall here in Utah. So if you can, be there or be square! Look for our contact and address info, here.

If you’re looking for an online shop sale, don’t worry! That’s coming up too! I’ll spill the beans for that in the ensuing weeks.

Happy Monday Everyone!
Sunni

  • Melissa - For all of us working at school district folk you’re so smart to do this on the 25th! Angela and I are coming!!!! She doesn’t know it yet, but she’ll be there!!!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - And, Angela and I want sewing machine lessons! When can you do those?ReplyCancel

  • Amber - Sunni you are so inspiring! Loved your podcast.
    For someone who is intoverted first you absolutely wow and amaze with your ability to be such a classy extrovert.
    Looking forward to your event!ReplyCancel

  • Charlotte - So glad you did the podcast – am going to listen right now! Do blog about the shop too – I’m fascinated to hear more about the shop, both events & behind the scenes.ReplyCancel

  • Mindy - How neat! I love podcasts, so thanks for giving me a new one to listen to. Really enjoyed listening to your back story and advice!ReplyCancel

  • Juliana - pretty Sunni,
    I LOVED hearing you. and I totally super support your idea of online classes and such. You know, I was listening to you talking and I thought I would suggest you do something like that. 5 minutes later and you mentioned it. So, I would for sure be one of your students. :)

    I really liked your insights about a lot of the subjects you two talked about.
    Just great!

    wish you a fabulous soiree,
    **ReplyCancel

Why, hello there! Remember me? I have to tell you all that it feels like ages since I was here. Like, physically and mentally here. Those posts back in April, May, June, July and August – sure I wrote them. But to say that I was all there and into it and feeling it? Nah. Friends (and don’t you dare say you aren’t friends because I need friends) its been a journey these past few months. A journey to get to the present. Wow. Did I just say that? Don’t take me too seriously now, but I will say that I’m here today. Right here, in this moment. Feels good.

My parents recently bequeathed me an iphone. I’m going out on a limb here to tell you that I haven’t had a cell phone for a few years now. How ever did I manage? I tease, but hello Instagram. Its like my new favorite thing to do. I have a fun sewing project to share more in depth next week, but here’s some gramming from this week.

grams

This is serious people. I’ve actually finished a project! A coat no less and I would like to add that I finished it in pretty record time. I mean, at the rate I’ve been going with stuff these days, this was nothing less than miraculous. Excuse me while I give myself a pat on the back.

Hope you’re about to have a great weekend. Three cheers for TGIF!

Ta!
Sunni

  • Nakisha - SUNNI! We’ve missed you! Will be following you on IG.

    Now, how in the holy heck did you last years with no cell phone?!?!

    Love the coat and hope to see you more around here. More importantly, hope everything is going nice and smoothly!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Cell phoning is pretty fun! Surprisingly though, I did last a few years without one. When Mr. AFS and I decided to get rid of them we both had pretty simple lives that just didn’t require them. I don’t know. It was an interesting lifestyle and makes it so that I can enjoy having a cell phone now but that its not a replacement for the individual whose right in front of me. Goodness, that has happened to me more times than I care to admit. “Cell Phone Zombies” – that’s what my mister and I call those!ReplyCancel

  • Doris - Here is another pat on the back for you from me! I love your newsletters! I so admire your personality, your so cute remarks, perfection in your sewing projects! Keep up the good and funny at times, stuff! So refreshing. Ta Ta to you too. DorisReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Thank you Doris! You always leave such sweet comments – means so much!ReplyCancel

  • Becky - Can’t wait to see your new coat! You have been missed, but I know life has been challenging for you since you took on the store. I completely understand about not having a cell phone. I have one, but I don’t use it much. I’m here to tell everyone that not only is it possible to go through a day without yakking on your cell phone, it is really quite nice! People all over the world get along without having a phone to their ear all day. Just sayin.ReplyCancel

    • Nakisha - OWNING a cell phone doesn’t mean you spend “all day with it on your ear” or that you’re “yakking”.

      “just sayin”ReplyCancel

      • Sunni - Thank you Becky & Nakisha! I do think cell phones are nice and convenient. Just in the few weeks of having mine I have noticed that it is somewhat easier to run my business. But I will say that it is possible to run a business without having one – even in today’s world. Ha ha!

        I think cell phones can be great tools, but I do find that all too often they replace personal contact with people. And I don’t even mean the person you’re talking to on the phone. I mean the person you’re talking/texting on the phone whilst trying to have a conversation with the live person right in front of you. That’s happened to me more times than I care to admit and I’m always left with the sad feeling that I didn’t matter enough to have their full attention!ReplyCancel

  • mary - I don’t have an iphone nor know what instagram is…I do have a cell phone that I try to keep some minutes on though.
    Love the jacket…It looks warm and cozy! :)ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - mary, I have to say that I didn’t really either until a few weeks ago! Iphone scmiphone. And instagram is really just another way to waste one’s time – though fun! Ha ha!
      And the coat it so warm and cozy. Truly I can’t wait for its first outing!ReplyCancel

  • Mary - Dear Sunni great to hear from you. I’m sure that the break from the pressure of constant filing of your newsletters will have done you good, and I hope that you are able to continue on where you were this time last year, plus, of course, the bricks and mortar shop!
    Believe it or not I am writing this on my iPad while on holidays in Canada, (I’m from Ireland) but I never use what we call my mobile phone. I find that it ties me down too much and is a time waster. However they are great toys — just like this one!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Oh gosh, I hope I can get to where I was last year too! You know, I was just thinking about that. Sigh….I’m going to get back to that or my name will be mud! Yes!ReplyCancel

  • lisa g - so nice to see you back here, i look forward to reading more about this coat!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Thanks lisa g! I look forward to being back! Now off to catch up on what you’ve been making – love what you make. A girl after my own heart!ReplyCancel

  • Zynthia - Was the wool from your store, can we order off line???ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Hi Zynthia (awesome name!)
      The wool is from my store. I don’t know that there is enough left to make another coat, but it will be in the shop soon enough. Yay! We’re actually off to photograph wool coatings to put in the shop today, so expect my full stock of wool coating to be in the shop sometime this week.ReplyCancel

  • Miss J - Hi Sunni

    Good to see your post!
    I’m liking that plaid skirt you’ve posted there.
    Have you got a little more info on that. I assume it’s one of your creations?
    PS. Your skirt vent lining tutorial was just the best, and it helped me with something that at the same seemed like a magical, impossible,unattainable art. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • belinda - I read your posts and relate to them, so much. My husband and I opened a restaurant shortly after we were married – he’s a chef, and a very talented one, but my goodness. The stress that owning a business caused both of us – and I wasn’t even that involved, compared with him. It’s been a long, hard road… and we’re one of the lucky ones, we’re doing really well and are thriving. It’s caused a lot of a toll on both of us emotionally, however, and we’ve just split up as a result of the pressure that it caused on our relationship.

    I don’t know if you’re in the same boat, but I can hear in your tone the same notes that mine had during the most stressful times of that period. I might be missing the mark, but I just wanted to give you a virtual hug. I feel like you could use one right about now. I don’t really have any words of advice, but man. I know how hard running a business is. You don’t know me from Adam, I don’t think I’ve ever even commented here before, I’m a long time reader though, but I think I understand a little (but not all) of how stressful things must have been for you this past year or so.
    xReplyCancel

  • Amy W - That yellow plaid skirt is great! Love the coat too! Both will be so great for the colder weather.ReplyCancel

  • Gail - I’ve missed your posts, but have been ‘off blog’ myself. Love your work in plaid. You’ve made me look very closely at anyone wearing plaid to see if their checks are properly lined up!ReplyCancel

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Mr. AFS and myself had this grand idea of going camping this summer. This is not to say that we’ve never been camping, but going and leaving the shop is/was a big deal. I thought it would be all the more grand if I made camp shirts for the occasion. And only give myself a week to do this. Keep in mind we had muslins, fitting, alterations and plaid matching to do here, to say nothing of sewing the shirt and all that that entails. But If there was ever a call for flannel, its camping. If there was ever a call for plaid, camping is just the ticket. The awesome thing in all of this is that the mister here abhores plaid. Can you believe this? Can you believe that this man is married to a woman with a slight fetish for plaid and he hates it? I told Mr. AFS that it was possible that I could get some houndstooth flannel instead and he nearly had a heart attack. Would not stand for “houndstooth.” Heavens no! Now it was plaid or go home. So we went with plaid. Sheesh!

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Well after all that emotional turmoil, I picked out some plaid cotton flannel, a sewing pattern for me and for him and went about sewing these things up. His is Simplicity 1544 and this pattern is a winner. Not too many troubles really. I made a muslin and found that the armpit was little high for Mr. AFS and he needed a bit more room in the upper back. Shortened the sleeve by a few inches too and then we hit gold. For myself, I used McCall’s 6649. This pattern actually came with a Craftsy class that I am working my way through and loving! I thought that in the process of fitting this pattern and getting all the kinks out, I would go ahead and make it up a few times. This is the first make and I still have a few kinks to go. Interestingly enough, I don’t usually get all the kinks out until about the 3rd time. That’s really just the way it goes. I mean, I don’t know if that is the way for everyone, but I tinker until I’m perfectly happy and then I make a permanent copy and blah blah blah. Someday I’ll bore you with that process. For now, you should know about this Craftsy class though. The idea is that you take this pattern, fit it and then reverse engineer it so that it is put back in sloper form! From there you create all these different tops/blouses. So much fun! Definitely recommend. To anyone.

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OK, so enough of that. I had the same beefs with my pattern as my mister did with his. I increased the upper back width, though I’m going to do a little more as I don’t think I did enough and then goodness gracious, I had to take like 3 inches off the sleeve length. I feel I may have overdone this part a bit, but when my arm is at rest the sleeve hangs precisely where it’s supposed to. There are more kinks to work out here, but I’ll save those for next round’s roundup.

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Being on a timetable for these shirts and as any good procrastinator would, I put these off until the last minute. The night before we left on the camping trip I was still doing buttonholes and attaching buttons. So these felt a bit rushed. Barring that, I’m surprised they turned out as well as they did. The plaids are matched pretty well and I feel I did a pretty good job with navigating the bias pieces too. Overall these were pretty successful. Mr. AFS wore his and loved it! He’s never worn or owned a plaid shirt in his life, so this is serious people. Mine turned out pretty good too. I did manage to cut a hole in mine. Don’t ask me how that worked or even how I did it because I have no idea. But I patched/mended it and now my shirt has character if nothing else. Sigh….

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The idea was to get pictures of us actually camping in the shirts. But wouldn’t you know, it rained. And it rained. And it rained. We cut the trip short because of all this rain. I know. All the work of making these shirts and we weren’t able to get j.crew perfect pics of the event. Such is my luck! Ha!

At least there’s flannel for the next camping trip, or possibly some romantic getaway in the near possible future. I almost went matching plaid shirts. We might still have to do that. With some line dancing and cowboy boots for fall. Plaid flannel = true love!

  • sew Amy sew - Oooh, these are so great! I want a plaid flannel shirt now. I especially love the yellows in his version. Nicely done.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - Holes are okay in camp wear! Both shirts look great, and must be so cozy! I ran into JoAnn for some thread the other day, and saw a whole shelf full of soft plaid flannels. If cutting there weren’t such an ordeal I’d have a copycat shirt in the works!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Yes, this is where I got the flannel. Unfortunately, we don’t carry a lot of flannels (or any really….) at my shop, so I had to go to Joann for this. These were surprisingly, very nice and lofty. They make for a toasty warm flannel shirt, that’s for sure.ReplyCancel

  • Peter - Those look fantastic! I especially love the plaid you used for the Mister’s shirt — such a great color combo.ReplyCancel

  • lisa g. - well i hope the mister has come to appreciate how awesome plaid is, because i’m having a hard time wrapping my head around someone not liking plaid! what?! but seriously, these shirts turned out great. bummer that your vacation was washed out though!ReplyCancel

  • Jet Set Sewing - Wow, so gorgeous 70s preppy. And I mean that as a compliment! Great job on construction. You two should be in a J. Crew catalog.ReplyCancel

  • Graca - You two are adorable in your camp shirts photo shoot! I like the contrast fabric matched up with the plaids.ReplyCancel

  • Tiffany - Awesome sauce! You both look so cool!ReplyCancel

  • Lori - Fabulous camping wear and I cannot believe the Mr. does not like plaid. Sorry it rained on your trip but I am sure you two were the best dressed campers there.ReplyCancel

  • Ginger - These both look amazing! You two look so cute together. :)ReplyCancel

  • Holly - Love them!! Such an awesome looking couple too. Are those elephants on yours?ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Yes! Elephants! Actually its a vintage rayon scrap that I still have a little bit left of. I use it from time to time for little pieces like what you see on the shirts here. Oh my goodness – elephants! I love this fabric so much!ReplyCancel

  • crab&bee - Looking good! And wow, two plaid shirts in a week? I’m such a sucker for coordinated outfits… I say go for matching next time now that the mister is a plaid convert!ReplyCancel

  • Chloe - You and your shirts look great! That last photo really captures some well deserved shirt making pride. Glad to hear you took a little break, sorry it rained, though!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer O. - Your shirts look great! I think button-down shirts are particularly satisfying to sew for some reason. I love plaid now but I did have a plaid recovery period after wearing a kilt as part of my Catholic school uniform.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Oh I think that’s a perfect reason for plaid recovery. Glad to hear you’re coming back to the school of plaid though! Yay!ReplyCancel

  • Tempest - These are so cool. I love that you’ve made them together and that photo of you two holding hands….so lovely. If you haven’t printed that out to frame you really should. Lovely…erm, sorry I’m being soppy…sewing, right, yes – LOVE the pockets on both shirts, that boxy pleat thing on them on the yellow and the flap and perfect top line on the blue. So glad all that work was appreciated despite being plaid :) (I love plaid, I wear plaid on plaid like people wear double denim)ReplyCancel

  • Juliette Lanvers - My mister hates plaid too, equally would never happen! Love the little facing details to bits! and my sympathy for the accidental hole, those happen to me all the time, alas!ReplyCancel

  • Helen // Grosgrain Green - Love these! Some day I will get round to making a similar shirt for my husband. Some day…ReplyCancel

  • David Coffin - Love ’em! Especially with you letting out your inner patchworker on the stands and plackets and all, something I can’t resist either. Really blasts these shirts out of LLBean/Cabela’s country without revoking the hunting/fishing/camping license:)

    Funny how “camp” shirts don’t nec. have “camp” collars, isn’t it? I saw the post title and got all prepared for some convertible-collared shirts… Different camps, I guess. Nice!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Ah yes, you are right. I actually had completely forgotten about camp shirt collars. Those actually probably would have fared a bit better than the collar/collar band with this thick flannel.ReplyCancel

      • David Coffin - Quite a different look, though… Yours seem to have fared pretty well! More pieces=More fun with colors:)ReplyCancel

  • French Toast Tasha - That last pic is great. I love both of your expressions. You know you are making some cool shirts if David Coffin comments on your blog—seriously!ReplyCancel

  • Ryan - I had a hankering for a plaid flannel shirt last year and have a bear of a time finding any ready made for my long arms and torso. I Picked out two surprisingly nice cotton flannels from Joanns (a black watch and another with creams, red & black). I got the shirt 75% done and after a tussle with setting in the sleeves, buried it in my chair of sewing projects and completely forgot about it! I cleaned off the chair last month (realizing i should use chairs for sitting, not storing fabric and notions) and was bewildered by this mangy scrap of green/blue flannel. Now that it’s almost fall, I need to finish my flannel shirt finally. I’m disappointed in my plaid matching. I cut in a single layer but wasn’t super careful and it’s off a little under the arms.

    I love that Simplicity pattern. I want to try out some non-selfish sewing sometime. For myself, I hunted down a vintage McCalls to make a plaid 49er. I’ve owned the real thing in the past, but they don’t work well with long arms so custom is the way to go. I even went so far as buying some Pendleton wool plaid from their ebay store…Fall 2014 goal: Finish some plaid!ReplyCancel

  • Debbie Cook - I have just one word …

    A D O R A B L E

    (in a good way, of course!)ReplyCancel

  • Mainelydad - Does anything say “I love you!” like a shirt? This is just the sweetest. Love it!ReplyCancel

  • sue - These are called “flannos” in Australia and I make them almost on a production line basis for son and husband (and even me) to wear glamping (too old for camping). Mine aren’t quite as beautiful as yours though. Happy camping!!ReplyCancel

  • Lesley - Oh, Sunni, I bought that Craftsy class too. I keep meaning to ask the teacher something… Is she related to you? Does she come from somewhere close to you? I haven’t watched your zipper tutes for a while but when I’m not looking at the screen, I swear it’s you speaking! But then what do I know, I’m Aussie!!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - She’s not related to me (well that I know of ) but its very possible that she might be from Utah – we seem to have our own “accent” here!ReplyCancel

  • BeckyLeeSews - A+++ on plaid matching!!! I love the Y on his upper back to down the center of the shirt. And you’ve even got the plaid horizontally to match across the body and both sleeves. Wow. You NEVER find that in RTW! You did an amazing job and bravo on the placket and collar stand alternative fabric choices. So chic! I’m enrolled in like nearly 30 Craftsy classes (seriously) and I’ve skipped over that one because I’ve never, ever successfully made a shirt so I’m intimidated.

    BTW…what is a “sloper”? I keep hearing/reading the term and I don’t know what it is.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Ah, a sloper is a basic pattern. Quite literally I think it means a pattern that “matches the natural slopes of the body.” It’s basically what a fitting shell looks like but without seam allowances. And it’s a basis from which other patterns are made in flat pattern drafting. Hopefully that gives you a starting point!ReplyCancel

  • liza jane - Oh my gosh, these are fantastic! I love the contrast on the sleeve placket and the collar stand. Y’all are looking awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Anna - I bought that craftsy class too! I haven’t watched the whole thing yet and I’m still waiting on my pattern but I’m really disappointed that she didn’t spend even a few minutes explaining how to fit your muslin and just references other craftsy classes. Especially when the description says that fitting is covered.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Oh really! I didn’t read that. To be honest Anna, fitting is such an overwhelming topic that the class would have been way too long to include such information. Also, I just looked at the class description on Craftsy and I didn’t seen anything about fitting mentioned for the class. I’m not trying to single you out, I’m just trying to say that the class is actually really good for what it is and that’s a pattern drafting class, not a fitting class.ReplyCancel

      • Anna - It’s in the description for lesson 1, it talks about testing the fit with a muslin. I agree that fitting is a huge topic, but it seems like a waste of a lesson to explain how to make a muslin without spending a few minutes on how to recognize a good fit. I’m not asking how to fix the fit but just things to look for I guess. It seems like a good class otherwise (so far, I’m only through the second lesson).ReplyCancel

  • Gail - A romance plaid in heaven!ReplyCancel

  • RebeccaR - Very cute and excellent attention to detail… Matching plaids… Balanced patterns… Fun fabric on inside of neck bands… Camp in the living room if it rains too much in the mountains. Enjoy!ReplyCancel

  • Monica - I love a good plaid shirt! Can’t beleive he’s never actually worn one before :O these look really great, and now I wanna make my own plaid/flannel top!ReplyCancel

  • Kate mcivor - Great shirts, great plaid matching and great photo shoot!ReplyCancel

  • Kaci - This is actually a comment in relation to your indie shop post (I couldn’t figure out how to post there) but I’m wondering if you’re considered leveraging your online shop to sell your fabric inventory. Whenever Colette or Sewaholic or Gertie package a pattern, notions and appropriate yardage, they sell like hotcakes. Maybe you could feature a finished item of yours with a sewalong and kit? Your online presence is probably reaching deeper than your local customers.ReplyCancel

  • 3 blogposts die je moet lezen • Dat maak ik zelf!Dat maak ik zelf! - […] His and hers camp shirts – A fashionable stitch […]ReplyCancel

  • seamsoddlouise - I love these, but they were nice and cozy with all that rain. I rather love a plaid flannel shirt. I had a RTW one that I literally wore until it fell to bits. Perhaps I should think about copying your idea!ReplyCancel

  • Judi Short - These are fabulous shirts!! I have made many plaid shirts, but it has been a long time ago, when it was the Beach Boys era and we lived at the beach, and my baby brother was too narrow in the shoulders for a cool shirt, so I bet I made him a dozen, 2 were wool. And never for myself, interesting… Now I should think about making them for my hubby. With the muslin first. The only things I have made for him so far were failures in terms of fit. Should have made a muslin….ReplyCancel

  • Katie - These are fantastic and I love the pics!
    KatieReplyCancel

  • Corrine - Very nice! You did a wonderful job matching the print at center front!ReplyCancel

  • Kelli - ok, you guys are just the cutest couple. love these. now go camping!
    ps, my family is in utah so i am out there about once a year. i gotta come to the shop and meet you next time im i town.ReplyCancel