Monday, November 3, 2014

Shop Hours for November and December

The holiday season is now upon us! Sew L.A. will be closed on TUESDAYS in November and December 2014 - if you are scheduled for a class on Tuesday it will still be happening and you'll be able to get your supplies. All other days of the week we'll be open our normal business hours (11am - 6pm) with the following exceptions:

closed November 27th
hours on Nov. 28th: 9am - 6pm - Black Friday SALE
hours on Dec. 5th: 11am - 3pm - Sew L.A. Holiday Bazaar from 3pm - 9pm
closed Dec. 24th - 26th
closed Dec. 31st and Jan. 1st

'Tis also the season for last minute gifts! If you find yourself in a bind, check out our calendar for upcoming crafty classes:

Quilted Patchwork Throw - Thurs 11/6
Hand Embroidery - Sun 11/9
Macrame Wall Hanging - Sat 11/15
Handy Oven Mitt - Sat 11/23
Box Zip Bags - Thurs 12/4
Quilted Patchwork Throw - Mon 12/8
Handy Oven Mitt - Thurs 12/11 

On Friday December 5th, we'll be having our second annual Holiday Bazaar right here at Sew L.A.! It's a mellow evening to hang out with local craftspeople, drink some warm cider & eat cookies, participate in some holiday crafts and be generally festive. 

We are currently taking submissions from local crafters who would like table space - here are the details!

- goods for sale must be handmade by the vendor who lives in the Los Angeles area
- tables are $30 each (approx 22" x 45") with no extra charge for garment racks. In lieu of the fee, you can choose to donate an item for auction!
- email a few pictures of your work and a brief bio of yourself to and we'll take it from there.
- deadline for submissions is Nov. 13 at 6pm.

Everyone else - mark your calendars! It's going to be a fun & crafty evening! 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Introducing Amy!

Hello Sew LA blog readers!

New blogger in the house, so let me take a minute to introduce myself.

I’m Amy, and I’ve been working in the shop since August. I first asked my mom to teach me to sew when I was about five. I made a yellow swiss dot purse that matched the roman shades in my room (mom-made). My stitches were about an inch long and it didn’t stay together very well. Flash forward a decade and I had fully adopted mom’s sewing machine and was the only kid in my high school sewing my own clothes. The rest of the story is not quite so straight of a line but sewing was always that thing I went back to! 

Along the way I have been able to work as a professional costumer, primarily in theater but also for dance and film. I am mostly self-taught with a few years of fashion school, some independent study with some awesome industry professionals and a lot of diving in over my head. I am also a knitter and sometimes cook. I have a profound love of fashion history and theory, all shades of gray, tea, and my aloe plant, Henry. 

Enough blabbering! Let’s get on to things actually related to sewing! We’ve had some recent fabric additions and a few new patterns to our shelves that are really fantastic. Here are some of my favorite flavor pairings for the upcoming fall season:  

1. Sewaholic's Hollyburn Skirt (class starts Oct 15th) in Robert Kaufman Dubliner Canvas in Navy, Robert Kaufman Hampton Twill in Peacock and just for fun, Timeless Treasures Unicorns and Rainbows. 
2. Sewaholic's Belcarra Blouse (class starts Nov 5th) and 

3. Deer & Doe Aubepine Dress (class starts Oct 21st) in Robert Kaufman London Calling 4 Multi Floral - just can't get enough of this print!

4. Colette Patterns Myrtle Dress (class starts Oct 12th) in Robert Kaufman Laguna Jersey cheetah print or Leah Duncan’s NY Circuit knit.

5. Decades of Style ESP Dress in Robert Kaufman Surf and Sands Tropical in Red. (Would also be super-classy in the Hampton Twill!)

Anyone else getting a 60’s vibe??  I think I need to buy a beret. Stay tuned as I’ve got some fun projects, interviews and new pattern reviews in the pipeline. 



Wednesday, September 3, 2014


This September, Sew L.A. is turning 8! We are so excited to have a big party for our birthday - just like any other eight year old - please join us on Saturday September 20 from 6:30 - 9:30 in the evening for the festivities. Of course we’ll have fantastic food, drinks, treats, goodie bags and a serious dance mix going on, but that’s not all - there will be a raffle that everyone can join to win Sew L.A. swag, patterns & fabric! We’ll be debuting some new things at the party, and this is your chance to get in on the action.

We’d also like to announce a contest that will take place during the party for the BEST HANDMADE OUTFIT. The winner will receive a free sewing class of their choice here at Sew L.A.! Here are the rules:

To enter, your outfit must be 
  1. Made from fabric you bought at Sew L.A. OR
  2. Made in a class or private lesson you took at Sew L.A. OR
  3. Another version of something you made in a Sew L.A. class
When you arrive at the party in your fabulous outfit, just sign up on the contest clipboard. At 8:30pm, we’ll ask contestants to stand up and tell us a little about their outfits, and after a bit of deliberation our judges (a select panel of local crafty folks) will announce the winner! The second place winner will receive a $50 gift certificate and the third place winner will receive a $25 gift certificate. But of course, everyone wins because everyone will have awesome outfits.

See you at the party! Oh... and I almost forgot to mention the unicorns.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Sew L.A.'s Amazing Students Series: Ruby Bugarin

Here at Sew L.A., what we do most is teach people how to sew. Since 2007! So at this point, there are a whole lot of folks out there who learned how to sew (or who learned how to sew better) by taking some classes with us. We'd like to introduce you to some of them - our students inspire us every day and we want to share that inspiration with you!

First on our list is Ruby Bugarin, with pictures by Devon of Miss Make. Ruby started taking classes at our Silver Lake location several years ago and now she is sewing her entire fantastic wardrobe.

Burda 7834 top with the Ginger Skirt from Colette Patterns 

What was your skill level when you starting taking classes at Sew L.A.? Or, how did you get started sewing?

Minimal. I took a course at a community college with 20 other people about 10 years ago. Don’t ask me to tell you how much I remember; not much. I got started when I saw kids sewing classes advertised and decided to enroll my daughter so she could learn the basics. I bought her a basic sewing machine and then decided I should learn the basics also. I then found out about Sew L.A. and started with the basic class and … I got hooked! I’ve taken many, many classes and in addition I’ve made many items at home. I could not have done it without Sew L.A. The classes are project based, meaning that at the end of a class I have a finished item; what more of an incentive do I need?

Rooibos Dress from Colette Patterns
What has been your favorite class at Sew L.A.?

My favorite class was the serger class because it opened up a whole new world into sewing with knits easily and really fast. I love a quick and easy sewing project ;)

Lady Skater dress by Kitschy Coo

Did you have a ‘breakthrough moment’ in sewing?

I had a breakthrough pretty much in every class. First in making my very first bag in the intro class, then learning about elastic casings in the pajama bottoms class to learning to sew gathers and bands in a dress class. Knowing how to sew a set-in sleeve was an eye opener! Once I learned the basics I was off on my own and could really make many patterns out there.

What has been your favorite project so far? (fun to make, like the fit, love to wear etc...)

I love knit garments because they are quick to sew, are comfortable to wear and are pretty forgiving in fit. I loved making a t-shirt with the Sewaholic Renfrew and the Jaime Christina knit dresses.

What have you made that you are most proud of?

I’m very proud of my silk chiffon dress I made. It was very challenging to cut and sew because of the slippery fabric. I had to research how to sew with silk, starting with knowing what needles to use, what pins, how to cut it, etc. It took a lot of patience and time. I also put it aside until I had the patience to deal with it and now I have a beautiful silk dress and the skills to tackle another silk garment.

Burda 7628 dress
What has been your biggest sewing disaster?

Too many to count! In the beginning getting garments to fit correctly was very frustrating. As most people with non-standard bodies can attest to, it is a steep learning curve to learn how to fit your body by yourself. It helps if you have someone to help. Now that I know which pattern companies fit my body type better and I know my body better, this aspect of sewing is less stressful and I also try to always make a muslin unless it’s a pattern company I’m familiar with and I know I can make my adjustments with confidence.

Burda 6916 dress
Do you have a favorite fabric designer or favorite pattern company? Why are they your favorite?

My favorites are Deer and Doe, Burda and now By Hand London because they are consistent in the pattern drafting and I have to make only minor fitting adjustments for them to fit me well and they have the cutest designs!

Do you have any sewing goals in the near (or distant!) future?

My next challenge is to learn tailoring skills. I’ve just taken a Craftsy course on how to tailor a jacket and soon I will start on it.

Thanks Ruby! Your gorgeous outfits are sure to inspire us all. Sew L.A. readers - stay tuned for our next Amazing Student in the not-too-distant future!