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  • Grainline Morris Blazer in Quilted Knit

    Bonnie made a Grainline Morris Blazer from our lovely quilted knit fabric! Bonnie made a Grainline Morris Blazer from our lovely quilted knit fabric!

    The Morris Blazer is a deceptively simple pattern that results in a polished but comfortable blazer you can dress up or down. The quilted knit is a unique fabric that is wash-and-wear! This blazer will definitely become a wardrobe staple...

    Pattern: Grainline Studio Morris Blazer

    Pattern Description: "The Morris Blazer is the perfect mix of casual and cool. It will quickly become the go-to garment to complete any outfit. With a mixture of drape and structure, bracelet length sleeves, and gentle shawl collar, it looks great dressed up or down. It works up well in fabrics with stretch, making it comfortable on top of everything else!"

    Pattern Sizing: Pattern includes sizes 0-18. Bonnie made this version in a size 6 graded out to an 8.

    Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelop once you were done sewing it? Yes.

    Were the instructions east to follow? For the most part, yes. The instructions for attaching the bottom facing get a little confusing. (Luckily, Grainline Studio has a sew-along for this pattern, available here.)

    What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The finishing details are really nice and add a polished touch to the blazer.

    Fabric Used: This soft quilted knit in navy. It has some heft and a little stretch, making it comfortable and flattering.

    Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Bonnie added 2" to the sleeve length (the pattern is for "bracelet"-length sleeves). This fabric was thick enough that she did not use interfacing. The back center seam is nice for making adjustments to fit.

    Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes! It'd be nice to have one in the black quilted knit as well!

    Conclusions: Bonnie recommends checking the shoulder width before sewing in the sleeves, and trim excess if necessary -- the shoulders tend to run a bit wide. Overall this is a great pattern that makes a classic blazer that'll never go out of style!

    buy-the-fabric-morris buy-the-pattern-morris

  • Confident Stitch Fabric, Patterns and Notions on Sale All Week!

    We are celebrating our first Anniversary, so all Confident Stitch Fabric, Patterns Notions on sale! The more you spend, the more you save!

    Confident Stitch Fabric, Patterns Notions on Sale! Natalie, Sarah and Maizie Scrambling to get ready to open just 1 year ago!

    Here's how the sale works:

    • If you spend less than $25, you save 10%
    • From $25 up to $50, you save 15%
    • Between $50 and $100, you save 20%
    • If you spend more than $100, you save 25%

    What's included? All Confident Stitch Fabric, Patterns Notions on Sale!

    All Confident Stitch products are included in the sale -- even our sumptuous wools, Alabama Chanin Organic Knits, and Liberty of London Lawns.

    Click here to shop the entire store.

    Confident Stitch Fabric, Patterns Notions on Sale! Look at the store now! Full of fabric, books, patterns and notions!

  • I OWN a building in Missoula!

    I am excited to announce I have purchased a building in lovely downtown Missoula, Montana. The building is currently Monte Dolack's art gallery. Monte is a beloved Montana artist who has painted most of Montana's beautiful places. The space is wonderful, and Monte will remain in the lower level of the building with some gallery space on the main floor. Double-win! I think the art of sewing will go hand-in-hand with Monte's artwork.

    Monte Dolack's painting of Yellowstone Falls. Monte Dolack's painting of Yellowstone Falls.

    The building is on Front Street, one block from Higgins Avenue, Missoula's main street. The parallel parking in front tends to be crowded (by Montana standards), but there is a public parking lot in the back, and four private parking spaces next to the back of the building for sewing machine drop-offs. The front room is a large art gallery, and the back has perfect space for a classroom. I plan to open in October. Please come visit!

    The gallery space. Just add fabric! The gallery space. Just add fabric!

    Looking out the front window. The dinosaur is made out of tiny toy cars. It's called, Looking out the front window. The dinosaur is made out of tiny toy cars. It's called, "Tyrannosaurus Wrecks." Ha!

    The back deck.  The back deck. 

  • Belated Stitchery Expo Report

    Based on the time between blog posts, you may think nothing is going on here at The Confident Stitch. Not true! I have been working at The Sewing Palace in Helena, teaching classes at the Palace, learning Quickbooks, buying a building in Missoula, filling my basement with fabric, trying to find a website development company, getting two houses ready to sell. You get the picture.

    I did find time to go to the Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, Washington. I find walking on concrete all day and fighting crowds indoors overwhelming. Nevertheless, I met my hero, Linda Lee, learned about measuring from Lorraine Henry, hugged my mentor, Pati Palmer, looked through Katherine and Marci Tilton's fabrics, and saw so many inspiring projects.

    At the end of next week, I head to Las Vegas for a wholesale expo. Then I'll be back in Montana selling two houses, moving to Missoula, and opening a brick-and-mortar and on-line shop by the beginning of October! Stay tuned!

    The lovely and multi-talented Linda Lee in her booth. The lovely and multi-talented Linda Lee in her booth.

    Detail of Linda's Alabama Chanin Tee. Detail of Linda's Alabama Chanin Tee.

    A jacket from the Indygo Junction booth. A jacket from the Indygo Junction booth.

    And Pendleton.... And Pendleton....

    Pendleton.... Pendleton....

    And more Pendleton! And more Pendleton!

  • Dragonfly Jacket -- The Professional Photos!

    Andrea Jones took a lot of fun photos of the dragonfly jacket. I detailed the process a few posts ago. As I mentioned, I made this jacket while following along with the Craftsy class, Sew Better Sew Faster, with Janet Pray. I loved the class and highly recommend it. The first jacket I made while following along with Janet, I took all of her shortcuts and ended up with a non-wearable garment. Janet is such a good seamster, she can do much more on the fly than I can. With this project, I slowed down and did some pinning and some basting. It turned out much better. The only alteration I made was to lengthen the sleeves by two inches. I also made a medium even though I'm usually a large or extra-large. 

    Me as a sassy librarian. Photo by Andrea Jones. Me as a sassy librarian. Photo by Andrea Jones.

    I even had some silver dragonfly buttons! Photo by Andrea Jones. I even had some silver dragonfly buttons! Photo by Andrea Jones.

    I lIke the way the insects are flying around the back. Photo by Andrea Jones. I lIke the way the insects are flying around the back. Photo by Andrea Jones.

    I lined the cuffs and the yoke with Liberty Lawn. Photo by Andrea Jones. I lined the cuffs and the yoke with Liberty Lawn. Photo by Andrea Jones.

  • Muffin Top? What Muffin Top?

    Lately, I have been lamenting the muffin tops created by my store-bought jeans. Why didn't I notice the pouch when I was buying the jeans? Why did I decide to buy the jeans at all? What are they doing in my closet? As usual, Sally McGraw at Already Pretty answered my question as though she could hear my thoughts. It was eerie, but wonderful. Her November 10 post was titled simply, "How to Get Rid of Muffin Top." I hoped she wouldn't tell us to do more sit-ups, and she didn't. Instead, she offered this sage perspective: "In my opinion, there are two answers to that question [how to get rid of muffin top]: Buy larger pants, or buy differently shaped pants." Oh...okay....I can sew myself out of muffin-top land! And, Vogue 8859 pants are in my queue.

    She couldn't have muffin-top if she tried. She couldn't have muffin-top if she tried.

    I have a bunch of burgundy ponte knit from Fabric Depot in Portland, Oregon. I'm ready!

    Even though I look nothing like the model in my version of the pants, I'm going to walk you through some of the alterations I made. Because I love you, I'm even going to show you my rear in these pants. Here goes:

    I had some serious lengthening to do. I started with 1 inch above the knee and 3 inches below the knee, but re-trying the tissue revealed that I needed at least 5 extra inches below the knee. These pants have a design element right at the knee, which is a little tricky when your legs are much longer than average legs. The design element hits me at the knee when I'm standing, but not when I'm sitting. I had some serious lengthening to do. I started with 1 inch above the knee and 3 inches below the knee, but re-trying the tissue revealed that I needed at least 5 extra inches below the knee. These pants have a design element right at the knee, which is a little tricky when your legs are much longer than average legs. The design element hits me at the knee when I'm standing, but not when I'm sitting.

    The pants were super easy to sew. The only fiddly part was the fitting. The tissue fit pretty well in the width, so, after lengthening the tissue, I and sewed everything but the side seams. Then I pinned the side seams to figure out where to sew them and sewed them up. Then came the tricky part, which involves my derriere (sorry in advance).

    Yucky bagginess! Yucky bagginess!

    Less bagginess. I fixed it by first deepening the crotch curve (i.e. creating more space for my derriere), and pulling up the center back. Less bagginess. I fixed it by first deepening the crotch curve (i.e. creating more space for my derriere), and pulling up the center back.

    I had an elastic around my waist. I pulled the fabric up until I had everything hanging the way I wanted it to. Then I marked the top of the elastic all the way around. It was not parallel with the top edge of the waistline, and that's okay.  I had an elastic around my waist. I pulled the fabric up until I had everything hanging the way I wanted it to. Then I marked the top of the elastic all the way around. It was not parallel with the top edge of the waistline, and that's okay. 

    I did not make the pants as tapered as the pattern envelope photo depicts. I may taper them more after I see them in different settings. Today, I like them a little loose. One of the wonderful things about sewing for yourself is the freedom to do little alterations to ensure your clothes are flattering.  By making these pants my shape, I erased my muffin top without doing any sit-ups! Yay!

  • Blouse-Back Tee

    This week, I have another somewhat shapeless but completely fabulous pattern to share with you -- The new blouse-back tee from Hot Patterns. This is my first Hot Patterns shirt, and I loved the fit of the shoulders -- Perfect! It's a loose tee, which meant no need for any adjustments. Trudy hosted a 4-part sew-along on her blog, which was helpful. The instructions say to sew the neck and sleeve facings in a tube before you start sewing the rest of the garment. Then when it's time to attach the facings, Trudy is emphatic that you should pin the facings in place to make sure they are nice and snug before you sew them in. If you have sewn with Hot Patterns, you know Trudy is not strict at all about anything, so if she is emphatic about a step in the process, you should follow her instructions. I know that. I really do. But, alas, by the time I was sewing in the neck facings, I was in that magical "almost done" space. I could picture myself wearing my blouse-back tee the next day. I could taste completion. I could not stand to slow down and pick out the already-sewn neckband tube. And so, my neck facings are a little floppy. Otherwise, I love this tee, especially with a contrast fabric for the "blouse." I made one in a white modal knit, and one with the modal knit combined with a woven almost-voile as the blouse-back.

    For one version, I used a white modal knit from Dharma Trading Company, with a Kaffe Fassett almost-voile from the Sewing Palace. Photo by Andrea Jones. For one version, I used a white modal knit from Dharma Trading Company, with a Kaffe Fassett almost-voile from the Sewing Palace. Photo by Andrea Jones.

    The other version is plain white. Please avert your eyes from the loose neckband. Photo by Andrea Jones. The other version is plain white. Please avert your eyes from the loose neckband. Photo by Andrea Jones.

    The back is truly gorgeous! Photo By Andrea Jones. The back is truly gorgeous! Photo By Andrea Jones.

    Thank you, Kaffe Fassett, for your beautiful fabrics. This one makes me so happy. Photo by Andrea Jones. Thank you, Kaffe Fassett, for your beautiful fabrics. This one makes me so happy. Photo by Andrea Jones.

  • Teacherly A-Line Skirt

    In order to get ready to teach an A-Line Skirt class, I made myself one in a school-marmy beige flannel -- perfect for teaching! I purchased the flannel in Portland almost two years ago -- ostensibly to make a skirt for my daughter. Once again, I 'accidentally' made something for myself out of fabric I bought for someone else. I love the simplicity of McCall's 3341 -- The faced waist is flattering for most of us, as is the a-line shape. I underlined the flannel with white cotton shirting to minimize wrinkling. For the hem, I experimented with cutting a thin bias strip of the flannel, and stretching it while stitching it to the bottom of the skirt. Because the skirt flares out a little at the lower edge, the instructions say to gently gather the skirt at the lower edge so the edge ends up being the same width as the skirt when the edge is folded up. I thought the stretched bias fabric would "gather" the hem a small enough amount to make the folded-up fabric fit perfectly. It worked pretty well, but if you look at the hem, it is a little pucker-y, even though I pressed it well before heading to the photo studio. I'll have my students use the gather method.

    The teacher has arrived. Time for class! Photo by Andrea Jones. The teacher has arrived. Time for class! Photo by Andrea Jones.

    In this outfit-experimentation pic, you can see the armseyes of the linen wrap top are too big.  In this outfit-experimentation pic, you can see the armseyes of the linen wrap top are too big. 

    This skirt will be great for serious work meetings. Blue, teal and red jackets will match. I'm teaching a fitting and sewing an a-line skirt class on July 12. I think I'll make myself another one this weekend, not because I want one, just because I care about my students and the quality of their learning experience. :)

  • Princess Seam Class

    Sample shirt on a mannequin. Made of a soft voile from Selvedge. Sample shirt on a mannequin. Made of a soft voile from Selvedge.

    Following the instructions in Fit for Real People, I drew a box above and below the bust notches, lowered the boxes by 1.5 Following the instructions in Fit for Real People, I drew a box above and below the bust notches, lowered the boxes by 1.5", and trued the seams as instructed.

    The broadened back tissue with Perfect Pattern Paper inserted. The broadened back tissue with Perfect Pattern Paper inserted.

    The altered front reaches to my center front. The bust fullness hits at the correct spot. The altered front reaches to my center front. The bust fullness hits at the correct spot.

    And the back reaches my center back. And the back reaches my center back.

    Next week, I will start teaching a 3-part class on fitting and sewing a princess-seam top. The class will be held at Selvedge Studio in Missoula. Selvedge is an amazing boutique fabric shop. It has a well-curated selection of quilting, garment and home dec fabrics. I'm proud to be able to teach there.

    McCall's 2818 McCall's 2818

    I’m teaching how to fit and sew McCall’s 2818, a sleeveless top that buttons up the back. I sewed up a quick sample for Selvedge to display in the store. Sewing a garment without altering is so fast!

     

    Since I have never actually made this princess-seam top, I decided to fit and sew one for myself this weekend. Not because I really really want one, just because I care about my future students! Hehehe…..

     

    Trying on the tissue revealed that the bust apex was too high, and the back was too narrow. I lowered the bust apex 1.5 inches.

     

     

     

    And then I broadened the back by 1.5 inches.

     

    Since McCall’s 2818 is a Palmer/Pletsch pattern, the alteration lines are on the pattern tissue.  Easy!

     

     

     

     

    Here I am in the altered tissue. Yes, I might be wearing my PJs. It’s Saturday morning, what do you expect?

     

    Because all fabric stretches more than tissue, and my fabric is a stretch shirting, I think I’m ready to cut out and pin fit the fabric.

     

  • Guest Blogger

    We have a guest blogger here at The Confident Stitch today. While I was at work yesterday, my 18-year-old decided to make a pillow case. She photographed her artistic process for the reading public.

    Do you have a lot of fabric scraps? Do you have a lot of fabric scraps?

    Cut scraps into small circle and leaf shapes. Cut scraps into small circle and leaf shapes.

    Press the scrap pieces. Press the scrap pieces.

    Arrange the scraps on a plain pillowcase. Arrange the scraps on a plain pillowcase.

    Top stitch the scraps to the pillowcase.... Top stitch the scraps to the pillowcase....

    Et Voila! Et Voila!

    Thank you, Mairin, for keeping the sweatshop running while I was at work!

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