I have two. One would be familiar to my grandmother–tracing paper and a tracing wheel. Sometimes a tool doesn’t need to be updated; it’s classic for a reason. These continue to be the best ways to transfer marks like darts, pleat lines and other information from a pattern piece. The tracing (or transfer) paper is placed between the pattern and fabric and a wheel is rolled over the marks. You could also use a tracing pen or other blunt tip object.
I adore the Japanese Tracing Paper we carry here at MD. I had not used it before, but definitely found the other tracing papers I had used either too waxy or too powdery that left a mess when I worked with it. This superior paper provides the finest, crispest line. You can use it over and over again and lasts forever!
I also recently decided to replace my ugly blue plastic handle tracing wheel with one of our Clover bamboo handled ones. I find that even the most mundane of tasks can be made better with a good tool (and even better with a pretty one!)
My cats know my Chaco Liner is one of my most-reached-for tools which is why I’m sure they go for it first to play with. And lose. I have multiple colors…and so does MD! Choose a color like yellow or pink that works for both colored and light fabrics and have a white on hand for times when something subtle is needed. With loose chalk in one end and a tiny wheel at the other, create a fine mark every time that simply brushes away. Plus, there are refills to replace the powder when you’ve marked it all away! There are other similar alternatives, but I love the control I get with this pen style. The MD toolkits have replaced the classic tailor’s chalk with this bad boy because its versatility and awesomeness.
One of the most exciting things about expanding is being able to offer you some special things that we have wanted to provide for a long time, but just have not had the space. First on that list is a place to show you the BERNINA quilt frame, Quilt Motion Software, and even a place to USE IT! We are super excited to have this all set up in the next few weeks, and get to explore what is inside those big brown very heavy boxes and see all that magic that can be created quilting on a frame.
Quilt frame, set up with a BERNINA 830LE
Meredith and I attended the Quilt Motion Software training at Bernina University, and we were very impressed. The software is easy to use! Has many helpful features, and offers some innovative ways to quilt on the frame with a BERNINA sewing machine. You can use any machine from an Aurora on up the line. We will have an 820QE on the frame and the special thing about having an 8 Series machine on the frame is that they can talk to each other! The bobbin sensors and thread cutters that make the 8 Series so cool will integrate with the Quilt Motion Software. Rad!
Yes, to answer the question I know you are all asking, we will have the frame and machine and software available to use by the hour. We still have some details to work out here, but we will surely keep you posted. There will be a class required before you can unleash your talents on the quilt frame, but then you will be ready to go! Whipping through king and queen sized quilts easily in a fraction of the time as you would off the frame!
You have no idea how hard it was for us to keep this to ourselves! We have been busting at the seams (had to add that pun) for a while now and every time we watch our beloved students struggle to find ample cutting space we just cringe. But after October 15th or so we are so happy to be able to offer you the room you want and deserve to spread out and comfortably sew. Luckily we have the opportunity to expand without moving location. We will be doubling our existing size by expanding into the space that is now occupied by Art & Sole directly next door to MD. Marty has some great clearance sales on shoes and boots so you should check it out.
Allow me to gush about what is in the making… First of all, our existing ground floor space will be dedicated to retail. We will be able to give each Bernina a little breathing room, expand our thread and tool collection AND most exciting, we will have the room to set up our Bernina Quilt Frame and that has been sadly sitting in a box upstairs for a month now. The upstairs classroom will remain a classroom, but we will re-organize and move out the clutter / boxes and add two more cutting tables! Next door’s main floor will house MD’s new 800 square foot classroom space! I get woozy thinking about it. We will have 4 cutting tables, two sewing machine tables for 8 machines, 1 serger table for 4 sergers, 4 ironing stations plus we’re bringing back the living room sitting area. Upstairs will be Tony the Tiger’s new and spacious sewing machine service center and our storage area. Tony will no longer have to squeeze into his tiny workspace and you may not know this, but we have no storage at MD, so boxes are a sore subject for us right now.
As wonderful as all of this is, you cannot make an omelette without breaking an egg and we are about to cook up some breakfast! Our lovely landlord, Brad will be creating an opening or two to connect our two spaces. They will be performing the majority of the work from the other side, but eventually it will spill over into our space. We are going to try our hardest to stay open during the construction, but want to be realistic. The construction dates will run from October 11th – 15th. We kindly ask for everyone’s understanding if we must close our doors for a couple of those days while improve our space. We are recruiting our other halves and will be working night and day to move, paint and set up shop after the 15th. We cannot wait to share our new lovely space with you!
Robin Forsythe gives a little more info about her upcoming Draping I class. You also might want to check out her lovely clothing line and blog, Estate. Her work is lovely, full of modern grace and oh so wearable!
In this series of classes, you’ll learn how to drape the fabric on the dress form to create slopers – basic patterns that can then be used to create other patterns. We’ll drape a bodice, skirt, and torso sloper in class. You’ll learn some terminology, what ease is and how much to use, how to create darts, how to mark your muslin and transfer it onto a flat pattern. It’s really just another method for pattern making. Some experience in pattern making would be helpful.
I love this method of pattern making because once you learn it, you see instantly if what you are creating is what you have envisioned.
There are countless brands and types of stabilizers, used primarily for machine embroidery. Here at MD, we’ve started using OESD. This company provides a wide variety of types. Types, you ask? What different types are there?
Well, there are 3 main categories. Wash-Away, Cut-Away, & Tear-Away. You hoop the stabilizer behind your fabric which helps prevent puckering or bunching on something so thread-heavy like embroidery. The name indicates how you will remove it when your done. What my fabric is, intended project, or actual design will dictate which stabilizer I choose. Consider whether the fabric (or project) can be washed. Or if the design is small or stitches are close together. You have to remove the stabilizer so picking tiny pieces out of small places can be tedious. Take it from me–I learned the hard way. I used Tear-Away for most projects in the beginning. It’s still a great option for a lot of designs like this moustache because of the satin stitching. OESD has created a fusible Tear-Away that really helps the layers stay together when hooping.
But I’m definitely turning to Wash-Away more and more. I love these typewriter keys but should have used the Wash-Away.
I still have so much to pick out!
…when it rains is behind a sewing machine at Modern Domestic. This fall is packed with amazing classes. Each one will teach you new and amazing skills, introduce you to a fabulous teacher, the world of presser feet, the coolest sewing companions and classmates and makes for a great way to spend a few evenings this fall.
Colette Peony Dress
Learn to Sew Apron
We add new classes all the time, we repeat sessions of popular favorites, and we offer the best, most stylish classes and projects with the finest equipment available (at no additional charge) of any place I know.
Girl's Smocked Pinafore Dress
Intro to Machine Embroidery
Take a peek, see what has been added over on the fall schedule and find the perfect class for you. You will love it.
Every other week, we’ll be profiling one of our customers to find out a little bit about their sewing life. This week the MD Sewist Spotlight is on Marco Murillo. Marco started thegoodflock.com in 2010, and before getting his studio set up was a frequent visitor to MD’s Open Sew.
Marco at work. Photo by Kurt Hettle.
How long have you been sewing?
I started sewing for fun in 1999 and professionally in 2010.
Tell us about a favorite recent sewing project.
I just made a vegetable tanned leather case for the iPhone4. It’s part of the new Fall collection for The Good Flock. It took a few tries but I’m happy with how it came out.
What is your favorite sewing tip/tool?
I have a few:
- I think the best sewing tool I’ve ever found is artist masking tape. I usually sew by myself and it’s great for holding material and/or pattern making paper when you’re cutting etc. It’s like another set of hands and won’t ruin the material you adhere it to.
- If things are going really badly. walk away, have a coffee, maybe take a day off and come back to it when you’re not frustrated.
- Dont rush.
- I love my Chalkoner.
Where do you sew?
In my sewing studio.
Marco in his studio. Photo by Kurt Hettle.
What sewing project(s) do you plan to tackle next?
Oh, thats a difficult one. I have a long list but I think the next project will a Canoe Pack in waxed canvas and leather.
Talking about making patterns scares a lot of people, and it shouldn’t. It’s fun and easy for anyone with basic math skills to do. Sure, you need to learn about things like body curves and remember to think in terms of fractions, but that gets easier once you start to play with patterns.
In the flat pattern classes at Modern Domestic, you can make basic fitting shells for your body and use them to create anything, and I mean anything that you can think of! See a cute top in store you want to copy, but you can’t find a pattern for it? Make it yourself! Tired of skirts that gape at the back of your waist, or ride up on your hips? Fix that by making a pattern that’s meant for your individual curves.
After you make skirt and bodice slopers, you can even combine them to create cute dresses. I recently made one using my bodice and skirt slopers, because I wanted an A-line dress with pockets, but I couldn’t find one that fit me the way I wanted it to. The bust area was usually too small, and the pockets weren’t deep enough to even carry my phone in. So after designing one myself, and deciding on fabric, closures, and the fit in general, I got to work and had a new dress within a few hours.
I have a feeling I’ll be making quite a few more of these easy-to-sew dresses to wear with tights and boots this winter!
And a dress with pockets? Come on- everybody loves those!
So if you’re nervous about making your own patterns- don’t be! It’s incredibly rewarding and you’ll never have to question whether or not one of the garments you sew will fit again. There’s a Flat Pattern for Skirts session starting up this Sunday, or if you need help getting a pattern you’re working on now to fit, I can help you at the Pattern Clinic!
Plexi-table, Circular and Binder attachments. It’s all about the attachments.
Want more space to work on? Don’t want to limit your ability to work on the oh-so-helpful free arm by sticking your machine in a cabinet? Gotta love the plexi-table. Larger projects, like quilting, are a breeze on 18″ x 24″ of clear sturdy love.
Take your decorative stitches to the next level with the Circular Embroidery Attachment. Utilized on a new, old, computerized or mechanical BERNINA, this simple concept is based on the principle of a compass. Enhance the simplicity of the perfect decorative stitch on your next project.
Ever wanted to take the time and hassle out of applying binding on aprons, napkins, pillows and bags? It’s probably time you looked to the (new and improved) Binder attachment #88, used with foot #95.
Available in 3 different widths, 28mm (1″), 32mm (1.25″), & 38mm (1.5″) and it’s so much fun!
I love a good stripey binding and this was done in one step. No need for bias strips for this to work either. Heck yes, you can use your 25% Autumn Savings coupon on these!
All week long we are celebrating the change in weather with BERNINA and offering a wonderful coupon on BERNINA Accessories! Purchase any one accessory at 25% off! Wahoo! There are also some rockin’ machine savings and gifts with purchase and more. For the complete rundown, go here.
You know we love presser feet, and we know you do too, but if you have already got all your bases covered there, look at some of these lesser know favorites:
The Barbie Box:
Store you cute and useful feet, bobbins, needles, and bits for your machine in style!
The Rolling Tote:
Like to sew on the go? This gray and black tote will get you and your machine there in style safely. If you are headed to your BFF’s or a quilt group, in and out of the car, down the block, and up the stairs, all knowing your precious machine is cozy and unharmed.
The Magnifying Glass:
Let’s face it, sewing can make your eyes tired. All that gazing at your perfect stitches and following a seam allowance is made a bit easier with this beauty that attaches to your BERNINA machine. Love.
Just can’t decide? Come on in and tell us how and what you sew and we can offer some suggestions on just the right accessories to improve your sewing experience.