Tips and Techniques
At Stonemountain and Daughter we are fortunate to have a wealth of knowledgeable staff and instructors...on this page we take advantage of our resources to add weekly tips and techniques to inspire creativity and making sewing even more fun for you!
Chiffon and Lawn Reversible Skirt
The June / July issue of Threads (come see it at Stonemountain) has an article on making your summer wardrobe. What fun! Why not take it up a notch?
One of our customers, Christy Wallin, is going to make a reversible summer skirt. What a great asset to your summer wardrobe plans... Perfect for travel, lightweight and versatile. And you have lined it already by making it reversible! How cool is that?
You can do this with many different types of fabrics at Stonemountain and Daughter. Cotton lawns are very pleasant to work with and appropriate for a beginner. Silk chiffon is more of a challenge. With sheers available in cotton, poly, rayon and silk - there is a fabric for every skill level out there!
Let your creativity run wild - you are creating two new fabrics in essence, and getting two skirts in one!
Here's how it works.. Take two sheer fabrics - these are silk chiffon...
Layer these Silk Chiffons to get...
Polka Dots are always fun to overlap. Here is a silk charmeuse and a silk chiffon...
Here they are overlapped. On a flowy skirt the dots will continue to shift and move. How fun!
You can get very different effects depending on how you layer sheer fabrics. Overlays can be subtle as in these black chiffon fabrics...
And don't forget to come by and see our exciting new trunk show...
We have five Mochi Mochi quilts! We have the patterns too- so you can make your own!
Focus on Fabric - Silk!
Ahh... The luxury of silk!
There are three ways to identify silk. One is by weight, another by weave and the third is by feel! Below is a primer to help you identify silks by their weight and weave as you navigate and touch the incredible silks available for sale here at Stonemountain & Daughter! Using our old connections throughout the apparel industry, we offer a quality collection based on current trends as well as affordable prices.
The lightest of the weaves is "Habotai" or China Silk.
Silk weight is abbrevated as "mm" which stands for momme (sounds like mummy) and is a Japanese measure of fabric weight. 1mm = 3.62 grams per square yard, so an 8mm fabric weighs 29 grams (1 oz) per square yard. The smaller the "mm" the lighter the fabric. Touch alot of fabric to get to know their weight differences.
Habotai is usually 8 -12mm. Officially "Habotai" only comes in a natural color and has a slightly bumper weave than China Silk, but contemporary China Silk is referred to as Habotai. Habotai makes a great lining fabric for jackets, skirts, dresses and pants. Our prices range from $10 - $12 per yard for China Silk.
Next up is Chiffon and Georgette ranging from 8mm to 12mm.
Silk Organza is a crisp, sheer silk made of tightly twisted, fine yarns. It ranges from 6.5mm to 14mm and is priced between $10 and $14 a yard. Organza makes great crisp jackets and sheer sleeves and is used for many tape applications in seam finishing.
Tip - Silk Organza also makes a fabulous "underlining" which helps stabilize the top fabric as well as decrease the wrinkles when wearing. You will still want to line the garment with a comfortable silk such as Habotai or Charmeuse as organza is too crisp to sit next to the skin as a lining.
TIP - buy a half yard of Organza to make a great press cloth - you can see your fabric under the organza and your fashion fabric will be protected from your iron.
Next in weight is Silk Crepe and Satin Charmeuse.
These drapey silks ranges from 12mm to 22mm. Silk Charmeuse is easy to identify with its shimmery satiny luster finish. It also has a lovely drape and is beautiful for slips and bias evening gowns. Prices range $20 - $24 per yard except for our new Italian Silks which are $48 per yard! Silk Crepe has a more pebbled surface is a great fabric for classic blouses, skirts, and lightweight jackets is durable and tends not to wrinkle. It ranges $12-$18 yard.
Silk can be intimidating for beginners to use - so to start sewing with silk - try your hand at Silk Noil...
Noil is very agreeable fabric and affordable fabric - it sews well and manipulates even better for turning corners and doing all sorts of techniques....Prices are around $11 or $12 per yard in a variety of colors! Do technique samples with it and it will teach you alot....
Silk Noil is a great fabric for skirts, pants and jackets and travels well so why not make yourself a classic traveling suit... more to come on this in our upcoming newsletter on Easy Travel Wear.....
Make a Great Pant!Try The Daphne Pant by La Fred for a slim yet adult look - Pattern available for $12 in the store or through our website.
Tip -If you interline Silk Dupioni with silk Charmeuse it will strengthen the seams and make for a very luxurious pant that does not wrinkle.
Kicky Summer Dresses
Summer is on its way and everyone needs a new summer dress...
Here is the classic tank -
update in with a fun fabric for alot of flair...
Kwik Sew 3855
This pattern calls for cotton, linen, shantung...
So if you know how to make darts and put in a zipper -
it will be a cinch! Otherwise take our classic...
or the new...
You could try it in Amy Butler's "Soul Blossoms Collection"
beautiful fabric inspired by her trip to India!
The Kwik Sew dress above would also be cute in a knit (without darts and zipper) but you will need to know how to alter it for that..
Take 290 Knit Fabric Know How to get you started..
And here is another one to try...
And we have just received
This is a vintage pattern from the 1940s that is perfect for hot weather. It is a long line brassiere top and a pair of pleated shorts. The Front and Side Front pieces of the Brassiere Top are cut on the bias Brassiere top is fully lined and buttons in back. Shorts button at side waist. Use firmly woven, medium weight fabrics: linen, denim, poplin, cotton, seersucker, piqué.
Easy Cool Patterns for Summer - Titus!
Are the hot days getting you down?
Titus patterns are just the thing!
Titus patterns are great for beginners as the patterns consist of two or three pattern pieces! Look for patterns with few pieces for patterns that are rewarding and quick to sew! For a fun and quirky look, you could try these patterns in a Kaffe Fassett print ...
Titus has two very different skirts -
The six gore skirt and the perfect Skirt.
The Perfect Skirt is the skirt that is made in our
- So why not jump in and join us?
You might also like to try 101: Beginning and Beyond -
This is a great shirt pattern -
The use of asian fabric as an accent is especially nice!
You might try a small Japanese
Summer Festivals and Halloween
Summer festivals are here and Halloween is coming upon us..
Check out the fun fabrics we have gotten in for this year's desert extravaganza...They will inspire!
And don't forget Fabulous Faux Fur
for those cold California nights!
And Remember.. Anything goes...!
TIPS and TECHNIQUES
1) Use a ball point needle for knit fabric - The Poly Foil, Poly Spandex and Faux Fur are all knit fabrics!
2) If the faux fur gets too bulky in your seam allowances - you can trim the fur back there.
3) Take tiny snips with your scissors when cutting faux fur -(trying to cut just the knit layer and not the fur directly) This results in a well cut fur edge.
4) After sewing for a while, the glue on the sequins can junk up your needle. You can wipe down your needle with alcohol or try....
Don't have a sewing machine? No problem!
Try Stitch Witchery!
Stitchwitchery is a great was to fuse, seam and hem - all you need is an iron. It comes in a tape in different widths and by the yard. Great for natural fibers and especially cotton. Not recommended for Polyester or nylon as the iron needs to be hot enough to fuse the glue and it would melt your fabric!
Mix it Up with Exciting Color Combos!
Have you gotten into a color slump?
Mix it up at Stonemountain and Daughter!
This lovely Vogue Pattern #1234 by Sandra Betzina really shines because of the fabric! Come check out some wonderfully wild prints at Stonemountain!
Why Not Dress it up?!
Imagine this dress in this striped polyester fabric!
This tweed has tiny specks of pink in it that would be so sweet with this pink silk charmeuse..
Isn't that nice?
It would make a lovely cami under a short jacket...
You could try Vogue 7837 - camisole pattern....
Plaids are all the rage this season..
This would make a lovely shirt...
You could try it in Vogue Pattern 8689
Check out the gorgeous sample of this pattern in the store!
Happy Sewing from Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics!
Jump Into Color!
Decades of Style has come out with a really cute new pattern -
a 1920's tiered flapper dress! You might even consider trying this pattern in a knit - a very hip and fashionable update very popular in boutique garment stores now!
Want to make it out of something really unusual? Check out the new fabrics we just got in from Europe!
This natural silk designer print is made in skirt or sleeve length panels. This old world technique insures straight panel sections and print registration. This print is beautiful on both sides - the color on the charmeuse side is more subtle.
Still want more color in your life?
Check out what one of our customers did with some of our other beautiful fabrics!!!
A Beautiful Room Canopy!
Fabric used to create the canopy:
(2) Three yard pieces of fabric (to reach from the centerpiece to the furthest corners)
(10) Two-and-a-half yard pieces of fabric
(1) staple gun to affix the fabric to the centerpiece
(1 roll) scotch tape to hold the pleats in each piece of fabric until I could staple them in place
(12) 1/8 of an inch wooden dowels to roll extra fabric up to the corners
(About 60) thumbtacks to ensure that the rolled fabric stays does not unravel
T-shirt Makeover with Pamela's Patterns
Every woman has that one very special tee!
But like most of us...
Do you also have a closet full of ridiculous baggy T-shirts?
Get ready for a wardrobe update!
Take a ready-to-wear T-Shirt and make it into a top you'll be proud to wear. Re-design those drooping shoulders, standard neckline, baggy middle, and too tight hem into a T-Shirt that really fits. You'll soon be "making over" every T-Shirt you own!
And don't stop there!
This is a T-Shirt pattern unlike any you have ever tried before! It is made for a "real" woman, and addresses the most common fitting issues we face - high round back, forward shoulder, full hip and bust, and a good fit through the shoulder and neck. Design details include an "essence of waist", flattering shirt tail hemline, three necklines, and four sleeve lengths.
Now is the time to shine and get creative - Take the Perfect T-Shirt (#104) and expand the possibilities!
In this pattern you will find four new necklines - the feminine Ballet Neck, sporty Boat Neck, flattering Square Neck, and cozy Funnel Neck. Two new sleeve styles, the Flare sleeve and Bell sleeve can be mixed and matched with any of the necklines. There are even directions for making your Perfect T-Shirt into a Tunic Length or a Dress!
Why are we carrying Pamela's Patterns?
Pamela has had the unique opportunity to work with hundreds of women over the years to help them achieve a good fit from commercial patterns. While doing this, she found that many of the pattern adjustments she was doing were consistent for the majority of women. As a result, she decided to design patterns that reflect these common changes, resulting in less changes to the pattern and garment during the construction process.
Commercial patterns go through a computer drafting program that doesn't allow for these common changes to be made. Pamela's Patterns are hand drafted with many prototypes before they go into production.
Fantastic Elastic will change how you use elastic forever! Now you can master elastic with a ready-to-wear look! Fantastic Elastic is 1-1/2" wide but can be cut lengthwise to virtually any width, down to 1/4", without raveling or compromising the stretch. This elastic gives Pamela's Favorite Bias Skirt (#106) and The Magic Pencil Skirt (#109), or any garment you make, a smooth waistline finish!
Available in black and white.
Come by Stonemoutain and Daughter Fabrics to see the debut of Pamela's Patterns and get a free handout for Fantastic elastic!
Come by and see the Oliver and S Trunk Show at Stonemountain and Daughter till May 15!
So what is a trunk show?It is simply a show of garment samples created by a pattern line. Pattern companies construct sample garments to give us an idea of how the pattern makes up. How fun!
We are the only store on the west coast hosting this show - so make sure not to miss it!
This dress pattern by Oliver and S is called the Music Box Jumper. It has an empire waist. It can be made pleated or A-line with a single inverted box pleat in the back. And best of all - it is designed for beginning sewers.. .
Back shown here with pleats. I love that design detail of the pleats on side back and not through out the back panel...
Back shown here with A line and inverted box pleat.
Want to take a sewing class? - Visit our website for the current class schedule and be on the look out for our new Class Brochure - scheduled to come out at the beginning of June!
or pick up a brochure in the store!
Here are pictures of the Oliver and S Trunk show...
We have the music class blouse and shorts, the hopscotch skirt and knit top, the seashore sundress, and so many more... So Cute!
Here is their fun Seashore Sundress...
This adorable dress was made by Geri Ivory who works at Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics. This dress uses two patterns - The top is Vintage Vogue V2961 and the skirt is from New Look 6723. As well, Geri added a bit more flair to the skirt!
Celebrate Spring with a new flirty spring sundress!
Winter Wool Dresses
Spring will be here soon, but until then we can sew and sink our hands into cozy warm winter wools!
At Stonemountain and Daughter we have an exciting collection of new half priced wool upstairs. Many are from Italy and are very high quality. Wool coatings and suitings in plaids, tweeds, pinstripes and many subtle variations... Come up to the upstairs classroom and experience it for yourself!
Vivi, a Canada College fashion student, who is an amazing sewer made this dress with our half price wool. Beautiful!
Vivi said the fabric was easy to work with which surprised me as it has alot of texture. Yeay! The pattern is Very Easy Vogue, Vogue #8491.
The dress has front and side darts, a lining, and Vogue patterns tend to be advanced, so I would recommend this pattern for intermediate sewers.
Have you ever sewn a sweater?
I love all the colors our boiled wool comes in!
2) Wool Coating is a heavyweight fabric used for coats, often napped. It can be difficult to sew because it is thick. Try using a walking foot.
3) Wool Challis is a lightweight plain weave wool. It is very easy to sew and comfortable to wear.
4) Wool Crepe has a pebbly surface that doesn't wrinkle. It is stable but still has good drape. Good for skirts and jackets. Must be preshrunk!
5) Wool Gabardine has a twill surface (denim is also a twill) Works well with tailored designs but is difficult to ease. Press as you sew. Use a heavy iron and you can lower your ironing board to get the most from your weight.
Nothing beats the damp chill of the Bay Area like snuggly fleece... and at Stonemountain and Daughter we have an abundance of fleece designs and textures to choose from - nubby fleece, black and white paisley fleece, flower fleece, Navaho blanket fleece, we even have an Obama Fleece!
These flannels are easy and fun to work with and look like plaids, tweeds, and houndstooth. Lela made the Loes Hinse Oxford Pants Pattern out of our wonderful flannel that looks like tweed. Lela used the dark brown flannel below and it really fooled those of us looking at it! We all thought she had made these gorgeous pants out of wool tweed!
Here are some great green flannels - and an usual one from Japan with Bambi! Come look at the whole selection in prints and colors that you love!
All Wrapped Up In Wool!
Just because we're in California doesn't mean it doesn't get cold...
Wonderful nubby boucle wools, flannel wools, warm wool coatings with their understated brushed textures, Chanel designer wools, smooth elegant suiting wools, chunky boiled wools... try them all...
Who doesn't need a new winter coat?
These Loes Hinse Patterns are wonderful... they fit many different body types well with elegance and sophistication - a perfect pairing for our luxurious wools! Her concept reflects soft feminine shapes with simple lines that are easy to mix and match. Because of this, the patterns can be made in a variety of fabrics that can be worn again and again.
Wool doesn't only come in solids - get adventurous! - These pendleton fabrics are not to me missed - warm and cheerful!
Loes Hinse Shawl Collar Jacket 5112 Loes Hinse Retro Jacket 5102
And for the Holidays -
plaids, plaids, plaids -
we have a whole wall of plaids!
Tips and Techniques -
Wool molds and shapes beautifully if you have the right tools!
1) Use a good iron - one with a lot of steam and that doesn't drip! Use a heavy iron and press and hold instead of ironing. Use a press cloth between your iron and your fabric on some woolens to prevent the iron from changing or dulling the fabric's finish. $7.85 Dritz 2 Vue thru Press Cloths.
2) Use a heavy wooden clapper. Use your iron first and then press the clapper onto the wool. The cool wood removes the moisture and makes a great press. $20.05 Golden Hands Industries Clapper.
3) Use a point turner and presser to get crisp edges on collars. A bamboo presser can be used while pressing with your iron. $3.75 Collins Point Turner and Presser.
4) Use a tailor ham for molding darts, curves and sleeve caps. Use the wool side of the ham to shape woolens. $9.65 Dritz Tailor Ham.
5) Patterns and pressing tools available at Stonemountain and Daughter!
Dive into a silky fall with beautiful silks from Stonemountain and Daughter. We have every texture imaginable - crinkle silks, airy chiffons, velvety suedes, charmeuses that shimmy and shine. And if that isn't enough - new silks from Italy are to arrive soon!
Glamorous reds ! The Mondrian and "tattoo" print are really fun!
Fresh pastel greens! You can layer these silks for great effect - think about how you can make a project a large polkadots print peeking though a top tiny polkadot print layer!
Tips: Silk can be slippery, delicate and mark easily so...
1) Use silk pins - they work really well and don't leave holes in your fabric. Clover - $5.55
2) Hand baste - it takes time but is well worth it. Your project will really
shine! Silk thread doesn't mark the fabric when ironed - Japanese Fujix 100m thread is great for hand basting and hidden sewing. $5.25
3) Try using tear away stabilizer so that your delicate project doesn't get caught up in your throat plate. Carefully tear it away when you are done. If your project is still too delicate - there are also wash away and heat away varieties.
4) If you are a beginner - try using silk noil - it is a beautiful fabric and sews and shapes really well. It will take your sewing to the next level!
This versatile dress can be worn as either a sundress or layered over a shirt or blouse in cooler weather. Features a gathered bust and flattering high waist. You learn how to do gathers, buttonholes, invisible zippers, lining and more!
635 - Dec.7, 14, 21. Tuesday: 6:30-9:30pm $90/3 sessions.
We have a few spaces left ! - Call Stonemountain and Daughter at 510-845-6106 to sign up!
Parfait Dress - Nicole Vasbinder