To the Sheets!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

We just finished our July sewing classes and are getting started to move forward with August which means a few things:

1. New Students!
2. New Classes

When I brain storm for new class ideas I often consider the weather. Sounds like a cliche, but it's true. And with fall approaching soon, its definitely time to get to quilting!

In order to quilt its very important to:
1. Research
2. Decide voice of Quilt
3. Consider Colors
4. Define design & Dimension

I intend to go over each steps within the next weeks and to also expand upon where and how to get the quilting resources you need!

In regard to my first step, above is an image I pulled from for quilt inspiration. I'm also going to go to the MoMA museum today to see what else might influence our fall quilt blocks. Last, I'll more than likely research the idea of "early fall quilts". Was or is this a movement? What is early fall?

Such efforts are my prep or "scout" work, my most favorite part of the quilt design process. Scouting forces me to visit museums, attend events and read books for inspirational purposes---as well as take in dinners with fellow crafters to collaborate!

 It takes me at least 2 - 3 weeks of scouting for each quilt I make. Why so long? Quilts are built upon the foundation of not only sewing and craftsmanship, but story telling. Having a clear and thoughtful story to accompany the long hours of needle work is always nicer :) Also, creating quilts is completely different than clothing construction. The process is quite geometrical and requires one to be excited about details!!
All that to say, I am ready to quilt and expect such to be involved with our Sept. class and you one blog at a time!


New Logo! New Moves!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

It's always exciting when new things happen, especially for my little business. On that note, we welcome our new logo to the mix of SEW Moni.

Thanks Jacky Myint for being our Creative Director on this latest project!



The Apron: A Step-by-Step Guide

Friday, July 23, 2010

What you'll need:
 * 1/2 yard of lining fabric
* 1 yard of face fabric
* Coordinating thread
* Scissors
* Measuring tape
* Straight pins
*Pencil or water-soluble pen
* Sewing machine
* Iron

Taking Measurements

Apron Panel Width
1) Measure the width of your hips. If you're wearing pants or a skirt you can use the side seams of the garment as a guide
2) Add 5 inches to this measurement to account for tucks and seam allowance. This measurement will become the width of the apron panel.
3) Divide this number in half to use for drafting the apron panel. We will call this half-width.

Apron Panel Length
1) Decide on the length of the apron panel. Measure from the waist down to the desired length.
2) Add 1 inch to account for seam allowance.

Apron Tie
1) Measure around your waist.
2) Add 32 inches to this length to account for a bow

Cutting the Apron Panels and Apron Tie
Drafting the Apron Panel Pattern onto the Lining Fabric:
1) Fold fabric in half a little more than the half-width of the apron panel.
2) Using the tape measure and pin, measure down the fold of the fabric to the apron panel length and make a small mark.

3) At this mark, measure across the width of the fabric, making a mark at the half-width.
4) Connect the two points together with a straight line.
5) From the end of this line draw a perpendicular line measuring the apron panel length.
6) The measurements and lines will form a rectangular shape.
7) To make the curved edge, use a cup or plate as a guide to draw the curve.

Cutting the Apron Panel from the Lining Fabric:
1) Cut out apron Panel along the guide lines that you have drawn.

Cutting the Apron Panel from Face Fabric
1) Fold face fabric to appropriate width.
2) Pin previously cut lining fabric on top, lining up the folded edges.
3) Cut out.

Cutting the Apron Tie
1) Cut apron tie 5 inches wide, using the calculated length.
**If your fabric is not long enough to accommodate the tie length, simply cut enough piece to add up to the calculated length.  Sew these pieces together to create one tie.**

After the previous steps, you should have cut 1 apron panel from the face fabric, 1 apron panel from the lining fabric, and 1 apron tie.

Sewing the Apron Panel

Joining Apron Panels:
1) Place apron panels on top of each other, right sides together.
2) Pin in place.
3) Starting in the right hand corner, sew down and around the curved edges.  End in the left hand corner, leaving the top straight edge of the piece un-sewn.

Notching Apron Panel:
1) Notch apron panel curves by cutting triangles into the seam allowance. This will make it easier when turning the piece right side out.
**Be careful not to cut into the sewn seam**

Turning Apron Panel:
1) Turn apron right side out.
2) Push the corners out so that they lay flat and smooth.
3) Iron entire panel flat.

Top Stitch Apron Panel:
1) Top stitch around all edges of the apron panel 1/8 inch from the edge.
** Top stitch the opening as well in preparation for the tucks**

Adding Tucks to the Apron Panel

Measuring Tuck Placement:
1) Measure 3 inches in frorm the side and place a pin.
2) From that mark measure 1 1/2 inches in and place a pin.
3) Continue this process until you have 3 to 4 pins in place. These pins will determine the placement of the tucks.
4) Repeat these steps on the other side of the apron.

Forming the Tucks:
1) Taking one at a time, fold the apron panel in half (face fabric together) where the pin in placed.
2) Pin this fold together
3) Sew next to this fold 1/4 inch from the fold.  Sew 1 1/2 inches down and backstitch.
4) Repeat these steps until all pin markers have been formed into tucks.

Ironing the Tucks:
1) Iron all tucks in one direction so that the folded edges of the tucks face inward.

Sewing the Apron Tie

Ironing the Apron Tie:
1) Iron the raw edges of the apron tie in 1/2 inch.
2) Iron the ends of the apron tie in 1/2 inch.

 3) Fold apron tie in half, matching up the folded edges and iron flat.

Attaching Apron Tie to Apron Panel:
1) Lay out the apron tie and open it so that the pressed in seam allowance in exsposed.
2) Line up the raw edge of the apron panel with the raw edge of the apron tie seam allowance.
3) Fold the apron tie back over so that the fold lines meet up.
4) Pin in place.

Top Stitch Apron Tie:
1) Now that everything is pinned together, top stitch the entire apron tie.
2) Start on the apron tie side where the folded edges meet. Sew 1/8 inch from the edge.

Finishing Touches:
1) Iron one last time and then bake some cookies!!!

Happy Sewing!

New York's gone Mad!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

The new season premiere of MadMen is upon us!  For those of you who don't watch the show, MadMen is an AMC Emmy and Golden Globe-winning series. The provocative drama takes place in the 1960s in NYC following the lives of men and women in the cut throat advertising business on Madison Avenue.

MadMen is sexy, witty, and highly addictive.  Not to mention, the costumes are incredible.

Filled to the brim with sharp suits, quips, and banter, the show has inspired the present world of fashion.  Banana Republic recently jumped on board to recreate the show's style in it's own Mad Men clothing line.

The premiere is this Sunday!  You can go watch the screening July 25th at 10pm in Times Square.  Dress to impress in your 60s attire for the pre-screening costume contest at 7pm.  You can trust i'll be there.

Alix :)

Pleats Please!

Friday, July 16, 2010

From high fashion to home fashion, pleats are among my favorite and most versatile design accents. I pulled a few inspirational swipes to get my creativity flowing...

You can find them in sophisticated gowns and little girls' tea party dresses.

Accessories and jewelry couldn't do without them either.

They have even made their way into home accessories.

So add some frills to your life! Want to know how? Stay tuned for Monday's posting when I make a pleated kitchen cover-up!

Happy Sewing!

Sewing Tips: Measurements

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Measurements are not only the foundation for choosing patterns and correct sizing, but they are also the foundation for pattern making and should be taken accurately to insure a good fit. 

Measurement Preparation:
- When taking measurements, measure over a lightweight dress or slip wearing the same undergarments you will be wearing with the piece you're making.
- Tie a string or ribbon around your waist for a reference point as well. 

Measuring Tips:
- When measuring lengths, make sure the measuring tape is perpendicular to the floor
- When measuring widths around your body, make sure the measuring tape is parallel to the floor
- When measuring around your body, make sure the tape is comfortably close to body, but not tight. This will insure an accurate measurement.

Important measurements:
- Bust: Measure around the fullest part (holding measuring tape firmly but not tightly)
- Waist: Measure around smallest art of your waist (where the string is tied)
- Center front bodice length: Measure the center front from the base of the neck to the waistline
- Center back bodice length: Measure the center back from the base of the neck to the waistline
- Hips: Measure around the fullest part of your hips (including your bottom)
- Thighs: Measure around the fullest part of your thighs
- Skirt Length: Measure from waistline (or where waistband will be) to correct length.  Measure at center front, center back, right side and left side

Take these measurements down in notebook that you can keep on hand when you go shopping for patterns or when you are drafting your own. It saves time and will help you get a great fit!

Happy Sewing!


Textile Tuesdays Present: Seersucker

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

With this wonderful heat wave that has swept through New York this past week, my mind couldn't help but wonder to the cooler fabrics of summer. One of my personal favorites is seesucker.

Usually made of 100% cotton, this woven sports a rippled or wrinkled appearance making it great for relaxed summer wear. The fabric ripples are created in the weaving process, called slack-tension weave.  The use of tightly woven, heavy-weight warp yarns and loosely woven light-weight weft and warp yarns created the unique texture of seersucker.

The weaving pattern creates a stripped or plaid design in the fabric.  The name seersucker originates from the Persian words for milk and sugar (shir or shekar) in reference to the smooth and bumpy texture. The rippled texture actually keeps the fabric from clinging to the skin and allows air flow between the skin and fabric to keep you nice and cool. Also, since it's already wrinkled, there is no need to iron before wearing, just get up and go. Seersucker is featured in children's clothing, suiting, shirts, skirts, pants, and shorts. 

So go with the summer time flow and whip up a couple of dresses or skirts to keep you cool this season!

Happy Sewing!

Textile Tuesdays: Sub Saharan Africa

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

 Tribal Drum Performance

Last Fall I had the opportunity to study in Ghana.   Their colorful fashions perfectly suit their vibrant and open minded culture. The fabrics they wear are intricate and beautiful to look at, but the meanings behind them go far deeper.  The cloth weaving process is very spiritual.  Certain ethnic groups in Sub-Saharan Africa believe that weaving should  be done only in daylight hours because to work at night would be to weave silence and darkness into the cloth.  Unique patterns also identify different tribes.

Ghanaian woman selling textiles

Kente cloth, the most famous of Ghanaian cloths, is a type of silk fabric made of interwoven cloth strips.  It is a royal and sacred cloth worn only in times of extreme importance.

Weaving the Kente cloth

                                   Finished Kente cloth

Each color of Kente cloth has a different symbolic meaning:

Black- Maturity
Blue- Harmony
Green- Spiritual Renewal
Gold- Spiritual Purity
Grey- Cleansing
Maroon- Healing
Pink-Female essence of life
Purple-Feminine aspects of life
Silver- Joy
White- Festive Occasion
Yellow- Fertility

Titi Ademola, a Nigerian/Ghanaian fashion designer, works with Ghanaian influences to create her pieces.  Look at her collection.

Alix :)

Sewing Tools: Rulers

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Ruler Round-up!
3 rulers - 3 brands - 3 uses

Each ruler has a specific use and works quite well in the mediums they've been designed for. So amp up your crafting with one of these nifty rulers and let the creativity begin!


Ruler #1
See-Thru Dressmaker's Ruler
by: Dritz

Great for:
-Taking general measurements and gauging seam allowances
-Measuring and marking placement for buttons, buttonholes
-Measuring and marking spacing for pleats and tucks
-Drawing pattern guidelines-Makes a useful as a guide for rotary cutters

-15 inches long, 4 inches wide
-1/8 inch thick (its heavier weight makes it great for a cutting guide)
-Inches are marked along one side, Centimeters are marked along the other side
-Pre-measured slots run length of ruler to make quick and accurate markings


Ruler #2
 Acrylic Ruler Coastal Colors
by: Fiskars
 Great for:
-Taking general measurements and gauging seam allowances
-Makes a useful as a guide for rotary cutters
-Marking and cutting quilting pieces

-18 inches long, 3 inches wide
-1/8 inch thick (its heavier weight makes it great for a cutting guide, but not too bulky to move around your cutting table easily)
-Marked with 1 inch grid lines and 1/4 inch lines run the length of the ruler (great for measuring quilting pieces)

**I love to use this one for all my rotary cutting needs**


Ruler #3
B-85 C-Thru Ruler
 Great for: 
-Pattern Making
-Drawing accurate straight lines
-Adding seam allowance with ease
-Taking accurate measurements

-18 inches long, 3 inches wide
-1/8 inch grid lines
-Light weight design (easy to use, portable)

**My all time favorite**

Happy Sewing!


Proudly designed by Mlekoshi playground