“A treacherous monster is the Shark
He never makes the least remark.
And when he sees you on the sand,
He doesn’t seem to want to land.
He watches you take off your clothes,
And not the least excitement shows.
His eyes do not grow bright or roll,
He has astonishing self-control.
He waits till you are quite undressed,
And seems to take no interest.
And when towards the sea you leap,
He looks as if he were asleep.
The handy creative folks at “How to Love Your Home” made this awesome video tutorial on making classic Roman shades without using a sewing machine. Roman shades are a simple, fabric-friendly way to dress up a window; we love using linen for Roman shades for a tailored and natural look. We adore this combination of periwinkle linen and bittersweet brown grosgrain trim – so restful and lush!
When I saw the thick, bold charcoal and oatmeal colored stripes on this textured linen blend, I immediately thought of playing with contrasting stripes and creating a strong, structured silhouette for a high-fashion fall look. In this blog post, I’ll walk you through how to update an existing pattern and share some helpful design and patternmaking tips along the way.
The munchkins have returned to school, the nights are cooling down, and autumn is at least thinking about approaching. We love evenings of hibernation, cozily ensconced in our favorite broken in armchair, hot spiced cider by our side, our favorite fur baby at our besocked feet, and needlework in our lap. Sandra Rose has assembled a tidy collection of over 150 free vintage cross-stitch patterns, including samplers, alphabets, borders, corners, and all-over patterns…..there is everything from bats, to cranes, to Art Nouveau foliage and more. We are particularly enamored with this Arts & Crafts style floral border and these sublime bats. Now is the time to buy some linen, and make a set of hand embroidered napkins for your holiday dinners! Aida cloth is available on Britex Fabrics’ 4th floor, and needles and floss is available on our 3rd floor.
It seems like tissue knits are everywhere lately, and with good reason, they’re amazing for summer layering. They make a nice light layer for cool evenings or, if you’re in Chicago like I am, all these cool days we’re having lately. Tissue knits can be a bit intimidating, they’re so thin, wispy, and roll like crazy, so I’m here to show you how I work with them.
We love bow ties, ascots, and cravats, and Mister Moffat agrees, “See the bow tie? I wear it and I don’t care. That’s why it’s cool.” – Steven Moffat from Paisley, Scotland (writer and producer of Dr. Who.) This free pattern for a knit bow tie is available from the Knit Picks Design Team on the knitting site, Ravelry. This sweet number only takes 231 yards of fingering, so you can easily knit a baker’s dozen,, in order to express your suave dapperness every day of the week.
Hello fellow sewing enthusiasts! I’m Laura Mae from Lilacs & Lace. It will probably come as no surprise that I am a huge fan of vintage patterns. I adore reproductions, which are generally a little more forgiving because of the added markings and updated instructions, free of damage and strange smells. But there is something wonderful about working with a vintage pattern that is decades old. Some have written notes or postmarks, and even contain newspaper clippings, or facing pieces cut from newsprint. I love to imagine what the original purchaser had in mind when she picked out her pattern!
I chose a beautiful lightweight navy wool for this mail order pattern from the late 1940s. A classic fabric for a classic silhouette!
It is sullenly overcast with brief bursts of uncertain sunlight – perfect San Francisco summertime weather. I’m off to meander in North Beach. My plan and my attire are meticulously laid out; worn jeans, a white shirt, a caramel vintage cardigan, red suede desert boots, a café au lait, then a long satisfying prowl through the narrow aisles of City Lights bookstore, a Luciano Special sandwich and an Orangina from Molinari Delicatessen, a Napoleon from Stella’s, and then a languorous mid-day picnic in Washington Square Park. Later, I’ll tip my two-tone caramel and baby blue silknewsboy cap over my eyes and do a little cloud watching, interspersed with reading The Edges of Time from Kay Ryan’s book The Best of It, New and Selected Poems.
“It is at the edges
that time thins.
Time which had been
dense and viscous
as amber suspending
intentions like bees
unseizes them. A
from stacks of
put-off things or
just in back. A
racket of claims now,
as time flattens. A
glittering fan of things
competing to happen,
brilliant and urgent
as fish when seas
This dress is actually a remix of my favorite dress pattern, Made by Rae’s Washi Dress, and though as I sewed it I was calling it “Frankenwashi,” I came up with a prettier moniker now that it’s all done. Named after one of our favorite coffee shops and alluding to the rich and complex color of the fabric—I’m calling it the Ristretto Dress!
My favorite sewing challenge is to take a proven, great-fitting, well-written pattern and modify it into something new. I do it when I sew for my kids all the time, but haven’t ventured into doing it for myself too often yet.