Friday, November 18, 2011

Colette's Macaron Dress and a Quick Skirt Change

Dress post! I finished my Macaron dress just in time for my friend Jimm's wedding. As usual, I was handsewing practically in the car on the way to the ceremony... this seems to happen at every formal event I ever go to. I have had my eye on this dress ever since it was released by Colette - especially after seeing all the cute versions of it being made all over the country - and when Christine decided to do it as a class I thought I'd try it out.

The pattern features a top contrast yoke and a really cool sweetheart illusion neckline. It has little cap sleeves and a bit of a bubble skirt with pleats with secret pockets. The bubble part was the only thing I changed as I really don't need that shape on my body. It looks great on a lot of peeps though! I chose fancy fabrics since this is a more formal dress - Nani Iro's 'Fuccra Rakuen' in peach and a silk/cotton blend in espresso for the contrast:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fall Quilt Market 2011, Part Two!

Here's Part Two of our Fall 2011 Quilt Market coverage, which took place in Houston this year - this post will feature Melody Miller, Nani Iro, Echino, Kokka and Kiyohara.  I'll be posting the final part next week, which will focus on some of our amazing American designers like Alexander Henry, Lizzy House and Marisa Haedike. Remember, we don't actually HAVE this fabric yet - except the ECHINO which is in the shop right now! - it will be arriving end of December / beginning of January.

On the second day of Quilt Market, I met up with some of our favorite Japanese companies. You'll recognize the designers because this is the fabric we all get so excited about that we can't stop talking! First stop is the new Melody Miller collection, Ruby Star Shining. She combines her vintage themed motifs with the most gorgeous colors for this group!

Naomi Ito from Nani Iro only has 4 fabrics this fall, but they are all beautiful. The pale blue and red florals are just the delicate designs we expect, with the dots adding a bit of playfulness. The silver dot fabric is a little sparkly!

We already have the newest Echino in the shop, but I thought I'd take a couple of "inspiration" pictures so you can see what it looks like made up.

These two following prints are the Quilt Market "bonus" prints - lighter weight linen/cotton that will be arriving at the end of the year:

Kokka has released a super-cute organic cotton collection with some very lovely colorways. 

Some mousies...

sheep and giraffes...

  and fun animal silhouette camouflage prints!

The ladies from Prints Charming in Australia have released their newest line with Kokka, called Daisy Chain.

I especially love this print in this colorway:

Last stop for the day was the Kiyohara booth, where I was quickly overwhelmed by the new Kayo Horaguchi collection. Her whimsical designs and fantastic color sense get me every time! They also had a line of patterns that we will be carrying - they are in Japanese but we certainly aren't going to let THAT stop us.

Cats! With little bowler hats!

Sloth carrying umbrella, of course.

Technicolor zebra and giraffe:

My favorite border print:

And that wraps it up for today! Join us in a few for the last post from this year's Market, along with a few profound thoughts.

Project-wise, I have a few tutorials coming up - replacing elastic with a band on a sleeve, how to close up the front of your Schoolhouse Tunic, and how to straighten out the skirt of your Macaron so it's not so bubbly. A Blouse Post is in the works as well!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Oh I love a NEW COAT!

Hooray for fall! And of course fall means that we all have to drop what we are doing and make coats. I was looking at several coat patterns when I started my "Fall Wardrobe" series, and I ended up making muslins for two of them. I can't seem to stop looking at coat patterns, however, and someday I am going to make a coat like this, from Japanese designer Atelier Boz:

Since I need a coat right now, though, this is not the coat I will be making. So, I whipped out my trusty pattern books and came up with two patterns to test as muslins.

The first one is this coat, from the Daily Sewing book:

It's a relaxed cover-all type of jacket, unlined, with a hood and patch pockets. One of our canvases or twills would look fantastic - either a solid or one of the prints, sophisticated like Nani Iro's Painting Muji or fun like Echino's London! Sometimes it's nice to dream of all the jackets you could make...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fall Quilt Market 2011 - Houston, TX

Twice a year, people who stock fabric stores gather in droves to attend the largest fabric industry trade show in this country, the International Quilt Market. Now, you may be saying "But Shaerie, Sew L.A. has like one quilt class" - and of course you'd have a point there - Quilt Market is pretty overwhelmingly quilty. 

BUT (I love a big but) this is also where the fantabulous independent fabric designers that we carry and you all know and love debut their new collections! So you can imagine that everyone is pretty excited to see all the new designs. I know I am... so let's get started!

The fall market is always in Houston, while the spring one travels around - you have seen me report from Minneapolis and Salt Lake City so far, and next spring will see us in Kansas City - which confusingly enough is not in Kansas but in Missouri. The things you learn.

Here's a picture of the HUNDREDS of booths, and the ones I will visit are circled. Someday, I'll do a photo essay for you all about the rest of the booths:

I flew in Friday night and headed out for the first day on Saturday. I like to take the first day to wander around, look at everything, say hi to people and see what's what. I'm still a little loopy from flying and time change, so it's a good day to be distracted.

First on the list - the wonderful ladies at Cloud9 Fabric! We have been carrying their beautiful organic cotton prints for a few years now, and couldn't be happier with what is being produced. There is a whole range - cute kids fabric, sophisticated prints for dresses, and a lot of fun! 

The first new collection is called "Monsterz" and will be shipping pretty quickly at the end of November. SO cute! I especially like the little sleeping monsterz.

The second collection is called "Alegria" and there are some really beautiful prints coming our way: 

We were lucky enough to see some sneak previews of the next few collections as well - here's a print from the "Happy Drawing" collection based on the drawings of Ed Emberley. Can't help it - this print totally reminds me of TROGDOR. And look - little bats!

And here's Gina and Michelle, the brains behind the beauty - and two people you want to have with you when you head for a (bar) to have some (drinks). Ahem.

This is so new it's not even on their site yet, so I'll just whisper... narwhal...

This is an ironing board cover that I spotted whilst wandering. A heat activated ironing board cover:

And here's the lovely Sarai from Colette Patterns in her first Quilt Market booth! It was so nice to meet her in person, along with her cool husband Kenn. The booth looked fantastic and really showed off her sense of style. I was luckily passing through when she was doing a signing for her new book (which we have in stock) and she signed & gave us a copy for Sew L.A. Can't wait to get started on the projects!

Next stop - Yuwa Shoten to see what they had in store for us this year. I wasn't expecting another knock-my-socks-off collection like the Jinzenji fabric, but  I was pleasantly surprised by many of the prints - some really cool ombres and totally rad modular prints. Did I mention I was a little loopy? Well, I left my camera at their booth - just sitting there on the table - and they kept it safe & sound for me till I realized it was missing, panicked and ran back across the whole floor of the show. Thanks Etsuko!


The last stop for the day was goggling at all the beautiful Lotta Jansdotter fabric. I have always loved her design sensibility - we carry her books in the shop - so I wasn't surprised at all that her first collection of fabric was so clean with such great colors. This should be arriving in the shop pretty quickly!

So that wraps up the first day - stay tuned for sneak peeks at  Kiyohara, Echino, Melody Miller, Nani Iro and Alexander Henry in a day or so!