Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Calling Nashville Modern Quilters!

Exciting news from the shop today! I am taking submissions for quilts to hang outside the shop during the First Saturday Art Walk in Wedgewood-Houston (which is just about a mile south of the Convention Center downtown). They will extend down the building and along the sidewalk, and I think it will be a great opportunity to showcase what modern quilting can be, and hopefully expand some people's ideas about the quilt world!

Mass Ave Quilt show in Indianapolis

A few years ago the quilt guild I used to belong to did an outdoor quilt show all along Mass Ave in Indianapolis during their First Friday Art Walk, (read more here) and showcased to the city how cool, special, unique, and unexpected quilts can be. They are not what most people picture when they hear the word "quilt." I love exposing people to this new side of quilting, and showing them something that I think is pretty exciting.

Since my shop is located in the Wedgewood-Houston/ Chestnut-Hill area of Nashville (neighborhoods not everyone is familiar with now, but just you wait!) I have decided to take part in the First Saturday Art Walk that happens once a month in the various galleries and studios near me (the event's Facebook page is here). I love this neighborhood because it has many old warehouses that are now being used as affordable studios for artists, and some have galleries as well. Plus there are workshops, and recording studios, creative offices, sign makers, dance companies, glass blowing, and the list goes on. There is a cool feeling that a lot is being made here, and it's exciting to be part of that.

One of the quilts I may hang for the show

And if you want to be part of it is as well I will be taking quilt submissions through Aug 15th! Just email me a picture of the quilt you are interested in showing (email up to 3 quilts). I am looking for quilts that are smaller than around 72" x 72" otherwise they get a little to heavy to hang easily. They should be in the "modern" vein (whatever that means to you!), and be a quilt you will not mind parting with for a few weeks. I am hoping to get about 20 quilts, but if I get a huge response I will try to expand the show, possibly to the courtyard of my building.

Once I get back to you about your quilt being chosen you have until August 24th to drop your quilt off at the shop, where I will store it carefully with your information until the night of the show. You may ship your quilt here as well, but only if you also provide return shipping costs. Quilts can be picked up in the shop during the month of September.

Mass Ave. Indianapolis Modern Quilt Guild show

During the show your quilt will be hanging along Chestnut St. in front of the building where the store is, and will have a tag with your name and any info about the quilt you'd like to share (when or why it was made, inspiration behind it, your blog address, etc). Quilts may also be put as "For Sale" if you'd like that option as well.

Inside the store I'll have some smaller quilts displayed as well as wine and snacks and I think it's going to be a really great event! I cant wait to hear from you!

Please email thefabricstudionashville@gmail.com with your submissions or questions! 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Colette Mabel Skirt

Double handmade! Mabel skirt and Nettie Bodysuit!
Hello! Today I'll be showing you the results of my Mabel skirt sewing! Since the wonderful Carrie used this fabric to great effect to make a pencil skirt for herself, and our aunt, I figured I'd jump on board. The fabric, which we have in the shop is I guess a medium weight ponte knit with a fun tribal print on it! Although this print is crazy, I feel like it has a lot of matching possibilities as well. It can act as a wild neutral.

Goes well with chambray too!
In an uncharacteristic mood I decided to try to sew this skirt to wear the same night. I was headed to an underground, secret Langhorne slim show, so I needed to dress to impress. :) I sewed version 3 of the skirt, which has a back pleat and side panels. Sadly, the pattern on the fabric 100% obscures the side seams. Oh well!

Side view
I also didnt do the pleat quite right, and ended up sewing it together. I understand what to do for next time, although once i tried the skirt on I ended up shortening it by a few inches so the pleat would have been pretty short! While I do like the fit of this skirt (and its very comfy!) I think it could be a little tighter around the waistband, so I will have to adjust for that next time. I think that would make things easier to tuck in, for those rare days when I have no bodysuits to wear. I think I'd like it slightly higher waisted, which would be an easy fix.

Also great for fall!
All in all, this pattern only took me a few hours to make, which is unusual for me, as I purposely go very slow! I am definitely going to make a few more of these, in fact I have a heavyweight black ponte knit in the store that should be strong enough to suck all the extra curves in, and be quite flattering! Will probably wear that one a lot. Also have Art Gallery's Arizona knit on order, so that one might show up too. I think it's a really versatile, cute, flattering skirt (and flattering on so many bodies too), and a great boost when you can whip up such a fast project. And since there are very few pieces to the pattern, I think it would be a good one to download the pdf, it would be very easy to tape together!

Have you made the Mabel? What do you think?? A few of my faves are here (cute leopard!), here (metallic polka dots!), and here (geometric!)!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Washi Tunic and Class!

Completed Washi Tunic!
Earlier this month I took a class at my store! It was taught by the very sweet and knowledgeable Devon, of Miss Make fame. She is currently leading the Colette sew-a-longs, so it is lucky to get to work with her in person!

There she is in her Moneta dress, while Erica cuts her pattern!
It was actually really great for me to take this class for a lot of reasons. First being that it is useful for me to know what layout works the best in the store when people are in there for classes, what could change, what I could order, etc. It was also nice to see one of the teachers in action, and I was highly impressed! Devon is a great teacher because she not only explains clearly what to do, she also makes you understand why you are doing it, making it a skill that you can then apply to other patterns. Which leads me to the other reason I loved taking a class-- I've never taken a sewing class before and all my skills are self-learned or internet found, and its amazing how much further you can go when someone is there in person explaining things to you. It really felt like a turning point, so that was exciting!

Deep focus!

So, on to the top! The washi is definitely something you've seen before, but that's because it's a cute, flattering pattern that looks good in, I think, every single fabric ever! How handy. I opted to use my lovely and favorite Nani Iro double gauze in light pink. There are watercolor looking dots on it in white, metallic pink, and light aqau. Perfection! It was slightly trickier to sew with than quilting cotton, but really not bad. The class met 3 times, so could go slowly and carefully, which was nice.

Shirring lines in the back
The shirt doesnt use a zipper or buttons, but instead elastic thread shirring lines in the back, which is also a good handy skill. I think the next time i make this (and I do have a plan for my next one!!) I will lower the lines a bit. I think I have a long torso so I sometimes feel like I'm tugging down the shirt, and I think this will remedy that.

Side view and question: why does my head look giant??!!
The bodice is pleated and I think the length is really nice. I might make a slightly longer one that I can wear with leggings because im a really lazy dresser most of the time, and I'm not afraid to admit I like wearing pants that stretch!!

And a close up!
I opted for the neckline version without the cutout, because I have no cleavage so I didnt see the point! I think it's a really flattering neckline and I also really like the sleeves. Erica, the other girl who took the class, also really liked the fit on hers, and she made it up in a really cool dark purple cotton by Cloud9. All the pictures of us together wearing them are pretty bad (it was 9 at night after a long work day), so I wont post those here, but the shirt was cute!

Stay tuned or sign up for The Fabric Studio newsletter here to find out when the next washi class will take place (late summer and early fall!). 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sewviver Entry for The Fabric Studio

This is a quilt I've been meaning to blog about for ages but never got around to it! I thought it would be perfect to use it as my entry for the "Sewviver" quilt competition!  It seems like a really fun contest with different challenges each month, so we'll see! 

First, some background on the quilt: when I lived in Indianapolis in 2011 I went through a long phase of listening to the same Dr Dog cd every single day. (I do that a lot with bands... Dr. Dog finally broke the 2-year Paul Simon loop I had previously been stuck in. Happily stuck of course!). There is a line from a song, "what you thought was a hurricane was just the rustling of the wind," and it really resonated with me at the time. Then, I took it to mean that although things always seem big and important in the moment, they usually turn out to not really matter that much. It was a reminder to just calm down and not worry. So I knew I wanted to make something to go in my house with the quote. For the longest time (probably a good 6 months), I didnt know what to make. I thought about a poster, or cross stitch, but didnt seem quite right. Then I think when I was driving to IL to move back to Chicago from Indy it hit me: make a quilt!!

I started working on it while living at home in the fall and winter of 2012. I didnt use any type of pattern, and I made each letter one at a time, in order of how they are written, just improve cutting and hoping for the best, and filling in the rows with the different creams, whites, and golds I had picked out for background fabrics.  Below is a picture of the early stages hanging on the design wall in my parents basement. 

When I moved to Nashville I packed it up and put it on my new design wall. I really went slowly with this quilt because I had no plan ahead of time other than the quote. I just kinda waited until I had an idea that felt right, and then I went with it. I have always loved stars, so I knew they needed to be involved, and then the last side I made, the scattered triangles, I wanted to look like they were blowing in the wind. 

I had the top done for a long time before I started quilting it because I had no idea what to do! The quilt is huge! (For me anyway, and my little Singer). So, I made the back with more stars and some great coral solids that I dont remember what brand or color they are :( Sad! Im bad at keeping track of that kind of stuff. 

At some point I had coffee with a quilting friend and we were looking at examples of text quilts online, and how they were quilted. Like a crazy person, I decided I wanted to do straightline quilting, about 1/2" apart. I would never attempt this again, because it took sooooo long, but I do love how it looks. On the text section, the lines are randomly spaced but no more than an inch (mostly much closer), and they run up and down. On the star section the lines go cross-wise. Then on the part with the triangles I extended the line made by the angled side of the trianlge, and just quilted along that edge. I love that part the best and how it looks random but I actually comes from the shapes in the quilt. 

The pictures below sort of show the quilting lines, but I dont really have any great shots. It took about a year and a half from conception to completion, but so worth it!

And one more, quilt in the sunshine photo.

Thanks for taking a look! I love cuddling with this blanket, love the mix of white, gold, coral, and pink fabrics, and love that I am done and dont have to work on it anymore!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Empire waist top by SBCCPATTERNS

Empire Waist Top by SBCC
Greetings! Welcome to my new blog! I was feeling very blah about my old blog, which made me never want to update it, and I kept thinking I needed to learn how to make it look cool myself, which of course I never did because I know nothing about web design, so I finally hired someone (searched Etsy for templates and found some really great one, ended up going with a girl named Carrie, who has a great website as well as an Etsy page called Carrie Loves Design. Her designs are modern, clean, and she worked fast!). I also switched over to Blogger instead of Wordpress so that it will automatically update on the website as well, and here we are! 

So anyway- on to the sewing! I made this really cute pattern after learning lots of new skills at the Washi Dress class here at the shop (more on that coming soon!). I definitely wouldn't have been able to do it if I hadn't taken the class first, because the directions were very sparse! Not bad if you know what you're doing, but for a beginner I probably wouldn't have succeeded. 

Last summer I bought this nice light-weight lawn by Yuwa when Textile Fabrics had their summer sale. Last year I used to buy tons of clothing fabric but I didn't know how to sew clothes! So now I am slowly working my way through it all.

Close up on my first buttons ever, and yummy floral lawn!

The pattern is a cute empire waist with gathered bottom and a hem that dips longer in the back, which I really like, and think this one is an especially good length. The construction seemed pretty basic, and I was able to sew it up in just one afternoon! For a newbie like me that felt pretty good!

Side view 
This was my first sewing project where I felt like I actually knew why I was doing each step, which made the process much more enjoyable, and I think the shirt turned out way better too. I also utilized Christine Haynes' great new book, Clothing Construction, to read about sewing gathers, sewing buttons, sewing facing, and sewing bias binding. A very handy book! (also available at the shop!)

Not at all awkward back shot!
So there ya go! A successful summer project. This is a pdf pattern but it didn't have many pages so it is pretty easy to tape together and then trace. If you've made this top too I'd love to see it!

Just casually drinking coffee!