A SewMONI Update

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Some exciting things are going on at SewMONI this month!

This past weekend was incredibly successful as we participated in our first show of the season in Corpus Christi, Texas.  We sold out of all our aprons at the Peddler Show and we're looking forward to doing the same at our next craft show in Fredericksburg, Texas on November 27 through November 28.

SewMONI will also be making an appearance at the 3rd Ward/Brooklyn Base Handmade Holiday Craft Fair on December 12 in Brooklyn, New York.  Brooklyn Based is sponsoring the event which will include not only craft based vendors, but paper good and local food companies too!

Next week we are photographing our last round of still life images with Photographer  Winnie Au. Winnie is such a delight to work with and we wish her well as she travels to Paris for the next few weeks.

And, we are working on our very own fabric print designs, which look absolutely amazing in all their eclectic glory! It's wild to see creative inspiration take shape in such a short time.

All in all its been quite busy in our corner of Ft. Greene. When we are not completely consumed by work we seem to be by chocolate.  I think the cold rainy weather has brought on this chocolate craving, and it seems like hot chocolate is the only cure for the winter weather blues.  If in our neighborhood stop by Green Grape Provisions to get a pumpkin chocolate banana muffin. Better yet, sew with some chocolate thread and spare the calories!


Photo Collage: Take 1!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My installation shown lends somewhat of a taxidermy feel. It's a mesh of photographic landscapes, charms from my grandmother's travels, images of inspirational closeups and a single fabric swatch. All elements are adhered to the wall with delicate pearl drop pins reminding me of the places I've been, the people I've had the privilege of meeting, and the passions of my heart.  Every time my eyes wonder across the wall, I fell good and smile.
Here's how you can create the same feeling in your own unique way!

DIY Directions:


Photos: Choose your favorite photos and be sure to select a mix of 8x10 prints and/or 4x5s. Having a range of horizontal and vertical shots while paying attention to muted and bright color schemes is good to do to.  Also, if you want a more streamlined and sophisticated feel, stick with a color theme of just black and white.  Or selecting a certain subject matter, such as European bridges or romantic floral photos, would lend to refinement.

Pins: Pearl head pins, straight pins or T-pins work great.  The thicker the pin the better!

Pin-able Trinkets: Includes anything that is light enough to be pinned to a wall.  Ha! Stickers, patches, charms from a charm bracelet, feathers, paper, ticket stubs are all great options. Have fun with your selection and make it heart felt.
Completing the Collage
1) Arrange your goodies on a flat surface.  Make sure to balance close up shots with landscapes, horizontal and vertical pictures.  Be mindful of the colors and textures too.
2) Begin pinning the photos and keepsakes to the wall.  Center your pin in the picture so that it hangs straight, or you could anchor each corner with a pin instead.  I like the pictures to float a bit, so I chose to use one pin.  The pinning may take some time, and you may find that you need to reconfigure a few things once it's all up, but be patient and have a critical eye.  The wonderful thing is that changes are easy to make and since you're using pins instead of nails, the holes are almost unnoticeable if you have to move a picture.
3) Enjoy your work!

-Katie :)

Patternmaking & Pandora

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It's a quiet, crisp, fall day. Or at least it would be quiet if I wasn't cranking up my favorite Pandora stations as usual. ;) Everyone at SewMoni knows my usual picks, M.I.A., MGMT, Balkan Beatbox, ridiculous 80's songs most people save for karaoke nights...

Even though it sounds like a crazy dance-party in my apartment, I'm all business, taking measurements of a tote bag and then transferring the results to the pattern I'm drafting on the computer.

I'm working from home today, developing a pattern and how-to instructions for one of our staple SewMoni totes. It's coming along well, there's still plenty to do, but it's getting there. Moni and I have been working on the patterns together for the past couple months. I'm excited because we're breaking out of the old traditional layouts that have been used for sewing patterns since the earley 1900's! I think the modern look will make our patterns very easy to read for today's sewers and aspiring sewers. Stay tuned!

Finding Fabric in NYC

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I LOVE fabric so today I'm excited to blog about excellent places to find great fabrics in New York City! :) There's nothing like walking into a fabric store and being able to browse through all the unique fabrics first-hand.  The first area I go to get inspired and gawk at gorgeous fabrics is the Garment District in Manhattan. I'll share two of my favorite spots there first, then a great place for bargain fabrics farther south by Canal Street in Chinatown, and then a hidden gem down in Brooklyn!

Let's start with Mood. This store is amazing! It's the biggest fabric store I've seen in the city. They have three levels, packed with great fabrics of every kind you can imagine. It can get a little pricey but if you're looking for a very specific kind of fabric they're bound to have it. And if you're shopping for fabric for a special occasion this is definitely the place for you. You'll find Mood at 225 West 37th Street on the third floor.
P.S. I just found out you can check out their floorplan on their website! Awesome!

After I hit Mood, B&J Fabrics is always my next stop. Located at 525 7th Ave this store is smaller but it still has a great selection and the prices are a little more affordable.

New York Fabric Warehouse, (also known as Long Island Fabrics) is the place to go for cheap fabric finds. You have to dig around a lot more at this place, but you just might get lucky and score a great deal! You can find it at 406 Broadway near Canal Street. I recommend walking west on Broadway a bit while you're there because there's a couple more bargain-priced fabrics stores nearby as well.

The Baltic Thrift Bazaar in at 141 Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn Heights is a great second-hand shop with the best vintage fabric selection I've found anywhere, ever! :) A lot of their fabrics and notions are focused on upholstry and home decor which makes sense because they're nestled in with all the antique furniture shops on Atlantic Ave. This place is a must-see!



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