Quick Seasonal Decor

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Categories: Machine Embroidery, New in Shop, Tools and Notions.

design from Meringue Designs

Want a quick way to decorate for the upcoming autumnal and holiday season? Choose a winsome phrase or snarky image, embroider, and simply display in an embroidery hoop. I keep finding things to machine embroider and this is a great way to rotate seasonally. These look swell alone or in groupings.

designs from Urban Threads & Meringue Designs

We’re carrying embroidery hoops now too! Made of a natural wood, the hoop creates an easy way to display fabric, embellished with hand or machine embroidery or applique. Stop in to pick up multiples; we’ve got sizes 4″ to 14″.

Gotta have something on your unadorned wall immediately!? I’ve got a session TONIGHT of Embroidery DIY (plus other machine embroidery classes ongoing as well). Come see why I’m obsessed with finding fun, funny, and awesome designs to stitch out on our embroidery machines.

font available on BERNINA 580E


Expansion Complete!

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Categories: Behind the Scenes, bernette, BERNINA.

Many of you have asked for pictures of the new space via facebook or twitter! Here they are!

Things are looking beautiful in both classrooms with dedicated serger areas, loads more cutting space, mirrors for fitting, and much more!

Serger area in the lovely new classroom. Come play!

BERNINA 450's all ready sew.

View from upstairs.

The retail area is so much more spacious, showing you sewing machines is such a pleasure with plenty of room to sit down and actually sew on something! We are loving adding new products and being able to accommodate the full line of BERNINA and bernette machines, sergers, more notions and accessories and more!

Pretty machines, all around the table.

View from the front door.

In the new upstairs space, Tony has much more workspace to service machines with love and care. We have desks, where I currently am sitting writing this, and we have storage area! It is truly a wonderful to have as much support as we have to be able to grow to a more comfortable size!

Pre-Holiday Embroidery Machine Sale This Weekend!

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Categories: BERNINA, Books, Machine Embroidery, Sewing Machines.


We are getting really excited about machine embroidery here at MD! In all honesty, if you would have asked us how we felt about it a year ago, we would have turned up our noses. How wrong we were! Our beloved Meredith has taken a sewing technology that until recently conjured up thoughts of teddy bears holding pastel balloons and has turned it into a machine capability that speaks to all of us. It certainly has me coveting an embroidery machine of my own.

Bernette Deco 340

Bernina 830LE

The new, sleek Bernina 580

The last Bernina 640E with Plexi-table

All embroidery machines are up to 10% off Friday through Sunday and will include the following gifts:

  • Free tin full of 12 spools of luxurious isacord machine embroidery thread ($80 value)
  • Free roll of OESD wash-a-way ($27 value)
  • Free DIY Machine Embroidery class with Meredith
  • Free 1420 yd spool of The Bottom Line bobbin thread
  • and as always… all MD machines come with Free Machine owner classes, MD’s one year all parts and labor warranty and 20% off any additionally desired tools or accessories.
  • Free Bernina Stitch Regulator with purchase of 640E ONLY ($990 value – oh my!!!)
Also, the deal just got sweeter on the remaining three Aurora 440QE’s left from our recent classroom sale!  We are continuing to honor the classroom sale price and this weekend only the machine includes a FREE 18″x 24″ plexi-glass table and Elizabeth Hartman’s book, The Practical Guide to Patchwork ($150 value).
The sale will go from today at 10am until Sunday November 6th at 5pm. These machines can be put on layaway at the sale price and we will tuck your little goodies away with your new machine to wait for you to pick them up. Remember, there is only one lovely 640E and three 440QE’s left!

MD Sewist Spotlight: Caryl Schiavon

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Categories: Apparel Sewing, Bags and Accessories, Sewist Spotlight.

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 Caryl Schiavon.

Caryl (at right) with her new sewing buddy, Rima


1. How long have you been sewing?

I have been sewing about a year. I moved to Portland from Billings, Montana and started making napkins and curtains for my cute pad. I did sew in High School, many, many moons ago, and have made a few items since then. Mostly supposedly Easy patterns — Sew In an Hour and other lies. 

2. Tell us about a favorite recent sewing project.

I just finished a shirt that I made for myself. So happy with it! I made it twice before and had to give it to a smaller family member. The third time was the charm! Ok, I know I should have taken my measurements and traced the pattern on the fancy schmancy swedish tracing paper like Lupine “suggests”. Tears are the sound of learning – Right?



3.  What is your favorite sewing tip/tool?

Tool: rotary cutter. Tip: don’t slice yourself like Meredith did! Lucky for her there is a Zoom Care next door!

4. Where do you sew?

I sew at home when I am doing something simple like the zipper bag, great class! But when I want my hand held through all steps, I head to Modern Domestic!  I have met so many fascinating people there! Rima being the most recent. The other day I was finishing my shirt, Erica had a French Language Radio station on, and Rima (Master Quilter) was singing along with a couple “Merde” thrown in here and there. 

5. What sewing project(s) do you plan to tackle next?

My next project — some pants, a Colette Pattern, and you can bet I will be at Modern Domestic torturing Meredith with silly questions…Am I on the grain? Where is the selvage again? Why did you turn that upside down? Can someone thread my machine??? I forgot my readers AGAIN!!!!

Colette Sewing Goodness

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Categories: Books, Neighborhood, New in Shop, Parties, Uncategorized.

You may have seen all over the interwebs (and maybe even from Sarai Mitnick herself) but her new book, The Colette Sewing Handbook, is out and it is GORGEOUS. We’ve got copies in stock!! It is full of great information (and 5 new patterns!) with a focus on the 5 Fundmentals–Plan, Pattern, Fit, Fabric, & Finish. With beautiful photos and clear well-written chapters, this makes a great reference book for technique by working through choosing fabric, fitting adjustment, seam finishes, and more!

We couldn’t be happier about supporting Sarai in this awesome endeavor and are proud to be a sponsor of the party on Thursday November 17th to celebrate her achievement. She’s asking for RSVPs here. Join all of us for a night of crafty fun with giveaways, drinks, button and trim swaps, and more! The festivities will be held at Ford Food and Drink at starting at 8:00, 2505 SE 11th Ave at SE Division.

There’s all sorts of fun things that are going to happen during her blog tour and here’s your map. You’ll notice several friends of ours are stops along the way including Bolt, Elizabeth Hartman, and Sew Mama Sew. And it starts tomorrow!

Nov 2: Craft Buds – interview and giveaway
Nov. 3: Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing – lace insertion tutorial for the Licorice dress
Nov. 4: Sewaholic – book excerpt
Nov. 7: COLOURlovers – Sarai’s favorite prints and patterns
Nov. 8: Flossie Teacakes – Interview with Sarai and book review
Nov. 8: A Fashionable Stitch – book excerpt and review
Nov. 9: Pink Chalk Studio – Book review
Nov. 10: Craft Gossip – Interview with Sarai and giveaway
Nov. 11: Bolt Fabric – book review
Nov. 14: True Up: Fabric Fives with Sarai
Nov. 15: Frolic! – On styling the book’s photos
Nov. 16: Whipstitch – book review
Nov. 16: Honey Kennedy – Styling ideas
Nov. 17: A Dress a Day – Interview with Sarai
Nov. 18: Not Martha – book review
(break for Thanksgiving week)
Nov. 28: Casey’s Elegant Musings – Project Planning, book excerpt and Casey’s thoughts
Nov. 29: MADE – giveaway
Nov. 30: Sew Weekly – book review
Nov. 30: Oh! Fransson - Elizabeth’s version of the Taffy pattern
Dec. 1: Sew Mama Sew – Guest post from Sarai on grainlines




Ready for Giving

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Categories: Apparel Sewing, Bags and Accessories, Home Decor, Learn to Sew, Machine Embroidery.

It is time to get working on those handmade lovelies for giving to all your peeps! We have loads of great classes that can be the jumping off point for all sorts of gifts to give.

Join Michelle and make a lovely cowl:

Discover zippers and learn to sew while making cute pouches with Meredith:

Personalize something with a Machine Embroidery DIY class:

Wrap your sweeties in something cozy in this bouncy scarf class:

Decorate your hearth or tree:

Snuggle up your darlings with pajama bottoms:

Delight the hostess in your life with a darling and functional apron:

Make that guy (or gal) a bag they will truly use and love:

For a full list of our upcoming classes, click here.

New in Shop: DIY Cross-Stitched iPhone Cases and Japanese Petite Pattern Books

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Categories: Handwork, Machine Embroidery, New in Shop, Uncategorized.

Everyone loves their iPhone. Now yours can stand out from all others. We just received our first shipment of NeoStitch iPhone Cases from Leese Design. You can create your own traditional or modern piece of art right on your phone. They are so incredibly unique and fun to design and come in white, black, hot pink, turquoise, orange and lime green. I began my first one (note: I will definitely not limit myself to one) last night and finished it while watching a movie by a cozy fire. I am a big fan of hand work, especially in the colder months and this was my first project of the year. I can’t wait to get started on my next one!

Simple and pretty.
Petite Pattern Books: Entire collection arrives next week!
My inspiration came from this design.
Turn any of these images into modern cross stitched patterns.

Each iPhone Case comes with 3 small skeins of six-strand embroidery floss, a needle and a few sample designs. I searched through my embroidery and cross-stitch books to get inspiration for my design, but in the end I found it in one of my Japanese Petite Pattern books. I  chose a simple modern tree pattern on a white case. These books are full of lovely patterns and each one comes with a disc so you can have the files on your computer as well. My mind wandered, thinking of the endless potential of these beautiful graphics – embroidery, cross stitch, screen savers, and most intriguing… digitizing for machine embroidery! We will most certainly keep you updated on that progress. Until then, come pick out your new iPhone case and cross-stitch a unique design for yourself or get a head start on a great stocking stuffer!

New to the Shop: Neon Serger Thread

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Categories: Serger, Tools and Notions, Uncategorized.

We’ve expanded our Maxi Lock serger thread color selection! You can now get your hot little hands on NEON serger thread. Rockin’ seam finishes like it’s 1988.

Pink, orange, green, yellow–they make me so happy! These high contrast colors look awesome as a decorative roll hem on black fabric or as an added punch to a lighter color like white, cream, or grey. Consider these next time you simply need to finish a raw edge and want a surprise inside your garment.

Curious about sergers? Find out more…

Finish with a Coverstitch

Common Stitches

Tools for Sergery

Understanding Differential Feed

Textured Nylon vs Polyester (especially for roll hems!)

3 Ways to Finish your Serged Seam


A little Interview

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Categories: Behind the Scenes, Press.

We keep doing these lovely Sewisit Spotlights and sharing and learning about you all, but check this out: you can read a bit more about Michelle and Lupine over at Apartment Therapy’s Re-Nest blog. Leela Cyd did a wonderful photo shoot a while back (pre-expansion) and asked us a few questions. Click through for the full tour, you won’t want to miss it.


MD Sewist Spotlight: Jennifer Schramm

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Categories: Sewist Spotlight.

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 Jennifer Schramm.

How long have you been sewing?

I’ve been sewing off and on since I was a kid. I guess I first used a machine in 8th grade in Home Economics to make what I would now consider a pretty ugly 80′s style sweatshirt. After that, I used (and probably broke) my mom’s machine many times making my own Halloween costumes. When I got married, my mom bought me my own machine (“You have to have a sewing machine if you’re going to get married”), which I used initially to make curtains and cushions for our new house. When my first daughter was born I made some cute outfits, but I never really had all that much confidence since I was pretty much  learning from books like the Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing (which I still have and still use). Last year, I started taking classes at MD because I wanted to make my third child a quilt. I loved it! I’ve taken many classes now and what it’s really done for me is given me the confidence to use the skills I apparently already have and take on new challenges.

Tell us about a favorite recent sewing project. 

This summer was great for me. I had many fun projects including clothes for me and my kids, bonnets, hats, bags, and quilts.

My favorite was the completion of a really nice quilt using Moda’s “It’s a Hoot” line.  The pattern was Grandma Mary’s Five Patch Quilt from Sweet Jane’s Quilting and Design on Etsy.  It was supposed to be a wedding gift, but I had a hard time giving this one away (and my husband wouldn’t let me), so now it resides in my living room.

As with many of my quilts these days, I almost like the back more than the front.

I also had a chance to work on a project for my kids’ elementary school. Vernon elementary is right down the street from MD and their mascot is the owls. One of the parents wanted to have an adult-sized owl costume to wear for school events and I volunteered to make it.  I can’t say this was my favorite project, but it certainly was a challenge and turned out quite well. Meet “Vern” the Vernon owl, who now even has his own school ID and a spot in the yearbook I hear!  I don’t know if I ever would have been able to complete this project without Erica and Lupine’s help with sizing and trouble shooting!

What is your favorite sewing tip/tool?

This is a tough one! There are so many! I can’t say enough about Swedish tracing paper, but Autumn covered that one! I think I’m going to talk a bit about making nice seams when piecing quilt tops though. The best tool for this is the 1/4″ foot that has a nice guide on it. the guide keeps your seams straight and at a perfect distance from the edge that is essential for quilting. In my many quilting classes at MD, Elizabeth has stressed the importance of ironing those 1/4″ seams open, so I’ve overcome my disgust of ironing and now consider my iron one of my most important tools! One day, when my current iron dies, I plan to get the fancy robot iron that I get to use when I’m at MD!

Where do you sew?

My sewing room recently moved from a dark and dreary basement to our bedroom as my husband has begun finishing off his “man cave.”  Where, you may ask, is the “woman cave?”  He tells me that will be the laundry room! Anyway, my new space has better light than the basement, and some more space to spread out. The only downside is that I can’t sew after my husband goes to bed!

What sewing project do you plan to tackle next?

This weekend, I’m taking Elizabeth’s Quilt Block class on Dresden plates (it looks like there are still spots if you want to join me!). Other than that, I have tons of projects in the works! The holidays are coming and we are planning a “do-it-yourself” handmade Christmas this year. I can’t really talk about those projects, but I can show you what I currently have on the cutting table. 

On the left is the beginning of a quilt for a soon-to-be-born baby girl using charm squares from Moda’s Sugar Pop line. On the top right is the yet-uncut fabric to make a pair of matching Little Woo cardigans (Patterns by Figgys) for my girls (nice bamboo knit in navy from Bolt and white with flowers trim). On bottom right is the completed quilt top for a Snapshots quilt (see Elizabeth’s The Practical Guide to Patchwork). I haven’t finished this yet because I’m still toying with the idea of adding a border. Now that my schedule is clearing up a bit, I’ve also been hoping that MD offers their Treasure Pocket Pants and the girl’s smocked holiday dress classes again! I definitely get things done faster (and have more fun) when I get to take a class rather than doing it on my own!