Stonemountain and Sewing Professionals In the Bay Area


At Stonemountain and Daughter we have been supporting the creative community and sewing professionals in the Bay Area for 30 years. Building community, renewability, recycling, and DIY are values we stand for. For our 30th year anniversary we asked professionals in the sewing community to share with us the role that Stonemountain and Daughter has played in their lives....

 


Dianna LaFerry

Surface Pattern Designer, Illustrator & Craft Designer

Atelier Chouette

 

What is your relationship to Stonemoutain and Daughter?
I worked for Stonemountain for six years:  2004 - 2010. During my time there I went from helping customers and straightening the store to re-designing the store's logos and assisting Suzan with buying fabric and yarn for the store.  I still produce art for the store - things like postcards, signage, class brochure covers.  It's been exciting doing graphics for a sewing store, especially since my background has been in professional sports graphics.  I'm much more into sewing! 

What type of sewing do you do?
I am primarily a dressmaker.  I sew vintage-inspired clothing for myself.  My figure is petite and curvy - hard to fit with ready to wear garments - so I prefer a custom fit.  Sewing allows me to look my best!

How long have you been sewing? How did you learn to sew?

I have been sewing for 25 years. I learned at age 11 with the guidance of my mother and my mother and grandmother, who were both expert seamstresses. 

How has Stonemountain helped you grow?

Stonemountain has helped me grow in so many ways - I started a craft pattern company (Atelier Chouette / Dianna LaFerry Patterns) while I worked there, inspired by other local designers and the customers I met every day.  Just being there, giving advice and talking shop with the other staff helped me learn techniques I didn't even know I needed.  I started as a professional and left as a sewing master!  Also, Stonemountain carries fabrics I had never had the opportunity to use because they were not available to me when I lived in other places... getting to use and experience so many new fabrics really enhanced my skills and my preferences!  I used to never wear wool and now I sew with it and wear it as much as I can!  Being the yarn department manager, I also became a better knitter... I really learned to focus on what kind of projects were important to me in terms of making and wearing.  My experience at this store has been incredible and continues to be!

What is your favorite thing about Stonemountain’s fabrics?
I think the combination of people and the selection of fabric and patterns is just unbeatable. 

In your opinion what sets Stonemountain & Daughter apart from other fabric stores?
The store is approachable and inspiring.  It's like a fabric playground where you can come and look and feel and think on your own terms and leave feeling inspired and ready to approach your project successfully.  In addition to the great fabrics and patterns, there's always staff to help you with a question or give you an opinion.  I'm sure you won't get all that at many other stores, not in the volume you get here.  It's a special place.

Have you / How have you been involved in Stonemountain’s Sewing School?

I taught one course of beginning crochet and I have taken one ribbon flower class.  The rest of my experience with the sewing school involved me helping students of all levels make informed decisions about what classes were best for their goals.  I had the satisfaction of getting many students going in the right direction!

What is your relationship to Stonemoutain and Daughter as a vendor?

I sell the Atelier Chouette / Dianna LaFerry Patterns line that includes the popular 101 Patchwork Owl Family, Baby Owl Kit and the Sofa Owl.

Tell us a bit about what your job looks like…

I design fabric and patterns pretty much all the time.  Either that or I'm just drawing.  It's the good life, for sure.

Why do you like to work with Stonemoutain and Daughter?
They're MY local store.  I wouldn't have developed my pattern line if it weren't for my experience working there.  The store and its staff heavily promote local designers and independent companies, and I love that about them.  It's one of the things that makes them stand out!


Any anecdotes or stories - why is Stonemountain and Daughter special to you?
When I moved to the Bay Area seven years ago, I didn't have any friends in the area and didn't know anything about living here.  I began shopping at Stonemountain after living here a few weeks, and I was delighted that other sewers and staff would freely chat with me about my projects when I came in, even though they didn't know me.  I have met several of my best California friends as an employee at Stonemountain, so it's really been important for me on a number of levels. 

Janet Manning - Decades of Style Patterns


Janet Manning

Decades of Style Pattern Company

 

What is your relationship to Stonemoutain and Daughter?

Even though I am technically a vendor with a pattern line; I think of myself as friend/customer first. The VAST majority of sample garments for Decades of Style Pattern Company are made with fabric from Stonemoutain and Daughter (SMD.) The funny thing about the relationship between sewing pattern and sample garment is that the fabric is far more important to a sample than the sewing pattern is. The most significant element is the fabric. It is what initially catches your eye and piques your interest. The design lines in the garment (or the sewing pattern used) is completely secondary. It is safe to say the sample department of Decades is heavily dependent on SMD.

 

 Tell us a bit about what your job looks like…

Oh the glamour! The glamour! NOT!!  My job is too many things to list but the one of the best parts is buying fabric for and planning the sample garments. Because there are so many yards of muslin versions paving the way for the finished pattern, choosing the final fashion fabric is deliciously satisfying. I don’t have to say anymore about how SMD relates to this part of the job.

 


Why do you like to work with Stonemoutain and Daughter?

 

Oh easy! The people and the fabric. And there is no way to rank those in any order; they are equal parts. Having Stonemountain and Daughter as my local fabric store is not something I take for granted. I truly wish everyone who sews could have a resource like Stonemountain in their city! I guess with SMD’s website, that is a reality but the online customer doesn’t have the pleasure of knowing and working with the staff like a local customer does. The staff is top notch; great ladies (no men on the staff right now – I think) who are knowledgeable, helpful and fun. SMD is literally and metaphorically the fabric of the sewing community in the East Bay and beyond (I’ve seen what it is like when a bus tour is there!)

 

 

Any anecdotes or stories? Why is Stonemountain and Daughter special to you?

 

Stonemoutain was the first fabric store to carry Decades of Style patterns. That was a seminal event for this pattern company and I will always be grateful to them for that. Suzan and Bob are amazingly supportive of local and/or independent pattern companies. Suzan did not hesitate to give the pattern line a chance in the store. She did her best to help make it a success by hosting a string of trunk shows, featuring photos of the patterns in the SMD newsletter and on Facebook, and just providing great fabric, inspiration and support. What can I say? They rock!

 

Ronda Chaney,  

Canada College Fashion Department 

 

What is your relationship to Stonemoutain and Daughter Fabrics?  

I purchase fabrics for my own sewing at Stonemountain and Daughter and recommend the store to my students as the source for the best fabrics in the Bay Area.

What type of sewing do you do?      
Garment sewing
 

How long have you been sewing? How did you learn to sew?
Since I was a child. I first learned from my mother and then majored in Clothing & Textiles in college.

How has Stonemountain helped you grow (business, your sewing, etc)?
By providing a good variety of great quality fabrics.

What is your favorite thing about Stonemountain's fabrics?
The variety and quality of fabrics.

 In your opinion what sets Stonemountain & Daughter apart from other fabric stores?
Service from employees that know how to sew and know the merchandise.
Variety and quality of fabrics.

Have you / how have you been involved in Stonemountain's Sewing School?  

I taught a few classes there many years ago.