I love paging through my old family photos and looking back at my childhood, outfits and all. My mom, who has been my sewing inspiration since I was twelve, hand-smocked so many beautiful little dresses for me. I have always wanted to learn how to do it; it’s so adorable, feminine and has such a timeless look. I have found some really lovely hand smocked couture for women, on Pinterest of course. Here are some tempting items that make me want a little hand smocking in my wardrobe.
Smocked silk-chiffon blouse from www.net-a-porter.com
Summery blouse from www.stevenalan.com
Burda Style gives us a great tutorial: www.burdastyle.com/techniques/smocking-a-honeycomb-texture
I was overjoyed when our new lovely teacher, Nicole Morgenthau gave us a class proposal for this adorable little hand smocked pinafore dress.
Even if you don’t have a little one in your life, Nicole will teach you the techniques involved in smocking so you can make anything you want. Love it!
The wait is over! Our lovely and talented sewing instructor Shelly Figueroa’s first book, Sewing for Boys, is here! (And if you haven’t yet, read my interview with her over on the Bolt Neighborhood blog.)
Shelly and Karen LePage, like many of you, have special boys in her life. While yours might be sons, grandsons, or nephews, they all can benefit from this delightful take on growing boys’ wardrobe. These full sized patterns start at 0-6 months and go up to 6/7!
Some of my favorites include the Brick Bag Carry All (hello, who doesn’t love LEGOS!)
Lego men, all in a row
and the Luka Hoodie. Perfect for fall Portland weather!
Shelly will be teaching Treasure Pocket Pants here at MD this fall. I had the honor of pattern testing this adorable pattern and found it hard to narrow down fabric choices for these. Any of the great contemporary prints today would work as the side insert and pocket detail. Choose something classic or fun!
Want to win a copy of Sewing For Boys? Leave a comment here about the special boy or boys in your life and we’ll draw a winner at the book signing MD is proud to host this coming Friday September 16th in conjunction with our Friday Night Sew-cial, (though the drawing is open to all US residents). The fun starts at 6:00 pm; don’t miss your chance to stop by, say hello, get ANOTHER chance to win a copy, and stay to stitch with a growing community of sewists in the Portland area!
And if you can’t get enough (I know I can’t!), catch the blog tour!
September 5 Wiley Craft & Made by Rae
September 6 Sew, Mama, Sew
September 7 The Southern Institute & Film in the Fridge
September 8 Elsie Marley
September 9 Noodlehead & Oh, Fransson!
September 10 I Heart Linen
September 11 Anna Maria Horner
September 12 Craft Buds, Pink Chalk Fabric , Prudent Baby , Sew Much Ado
September 13 Very Purple Person & Sew Sara
September 14 The Long Thread
September 15 Susan Beal
September 16 True Up
September 17 All Buttoned Up & Bolt Fabric Boutique
September 18 MADE
Recently I received a call at the shop from Mike Parish of BERNINA of America. He is the current acting President and when I realized that he was actual calling me, I nearly tipped over. When we spoke on the phone, he invited me to attend a dealer panel in Chicago over 2 days and share my experience with the BERNINA of America team and a group of 12 dealers. I was totally honored as well as curious about this event, and of course said yes.
We have been a full BERNINA Excellence dealer for only 6 months. And we are quite different from the traditional machine dealerships around the country as well as the quilt shops that also sell BERNINA machines. I was so glad that I would get to share the experiences of a new dealer, a “next generation” dealer, and a sewing studio.
The first day of the event began with coffee (thank goodness) and introductions, but then we got right to work on discussing the ins and outs of the dealer/BERNINA of America relationship. What amazed me most as we covered topics from the effectiveness of the marketing material to the availability of technical trainings, was the interest, insight, and passion of this company as they offered this opportunity to a group of dealers and truly listened to what we had to say.
Being new to this dealership game, we feel sometimes like there is so much to learn, and also so excited about everything regarding sewing and BERNINA that we can’t wait to learn it all right now! I have been at 3 BERNINA company events now: new dealer training, BERNINA University, and this dealer panel, all since March. They have all been exceptional. I have loved BERNINA sewing machines for 15 years, since my first super little BERNINA 130 came home with me. My respect and appreciation for this sewing machine company is truly unique. BERNINA is striving to be a company that truly acts as a partnership with dealers, creates the finest sewing machines in the world, and inspires sewists everyday.
As MD and our incredible staff here at the shop continues to make more friends: with other dealers and store owners around the country, BOA staff, and our wonderful customers, we feel deeply supported and inspired from every angle. You make it so rewarding to be at the shop every day, your projects, smiles, skills, ability to learn and sew and BERNINA makes it so much fun to share with you the very best product, education, and deepest passion for what we do at MD.
Thank you to our customers and readers for your business, support, and friendship, and for allowing us to help you discover that sewing with BERNINA is an absolute pleasure.
I was browsing at Powell’s Home and Garden the other day (my favorite of the Powell’s for sewing and craft books) when I stumbled upon this little gem wedged in between larger books. Considering I was there 3 days prior and had missed it, I was glad I stayed a little longer this trip and really combed the selection. When I pulled it out and saw the title, I thought to myself, “Do they mean my BERNINA?”
Just Needling with BERNINA, self-published by Mary Lou Nall. How could I not totally and completely love someone that has so much passion about BERNINA sewing machines and their amazing functionality that she wrote her own book about it! And what other brand machine could inspire such devotion, I ask you. Best I can tell, she typed this out sometime in the late 1980′s/early 1990′s, photocopied samples, and cut and paste hand-drawn images. What determination to provide a resource for sewists.
How to make a Super Tuck!
When was the last time your conversation including a discussion on Entredeaux? It’s a french word meaning “between two” and joins lace to fabric or lace to lace. I had no idea you utilized your #31 foot and a wing needle. Thanks, Mary Lou!
I came home and immediately began an investigation. This is not her only book–she has others. About BERNINA feet, of which I am especially passionate about and have an obscene amount of. About Heirloom Sewing, employing the convenience of the sewing machine to mimic French hand sewing. I had a revelation–that I am one of many inspired by these machines. I am not alone, just one in a long legacy. I’m just the most recent generation. Look at this sweet woman who is still providing guidance and inspiration and education!
About once every week or so, our wonderful UPS or FedEx peeps deliver a stack of sewing machines. They are always just here a little while, on their way to your house, but while we have them, we treat them extra special.
Inside the box, perfectly packed.
Each and every sewing machine that comes through our door is “sewn in” by the MD staff. Sewing in a machine involves unpacking, and checking out the machine. We sew some stitches; straight ones, zig zag ones, honeycombs and buttonholes. Our goal is to make sure they are perfect for you. Perfect. They travel from overseas to Chicago, then all the way out west. It would be such a shame if you brought home a glorious BERNINA 380 and something had shifted in shipping and just wasn’t quite right.
Upon opening, factory sew-in stitches in BERNINA red.
Checking stitches for perfection.
The other reason we must do this is because we love them. And you. But we really love BERNINA sewing machines at MD and getting to open one up for the first time and carefully unpack it is kinda like mini-Christmas-just-for-a-sec, then we put it all back just so. After all, you are the one that needs to spend time breathing in that lovely new sewing machine smell and discovering its Swiss perfection.
Swiss engineering at is finest; a simple spot to wind the foot pedal cord.
All summer long, we have been thrilled to share in the excitement and anticipation our MD customers have had for the Summer Bernina Sewing Machine Giveaway! We’ve been waiting breathlessly for one lucky winner to be chosen at random to win a brand new gorgeous BERNINA 215, and finally that day is here!
Congratulations to Corrinna Griffis, winner of her very own brand new BERNINA 215!
Within minutes of coming into the shop to pick up her machine, Corrinna had already given her BERNINA 215 a name. Say hello to Bea!
We managed to keep a very excited Corrinna in the shop for a few minutes to answer a few questions before she ran home and started sewing.
What machine(s) have you been sewing on until now?
I sew on Modern Domestic’s classroom machines because I currently don’t have a machine at home. I also do some hand sewing every once in awhile. Mostly sewing on buttons and snaps. I’m so excited that I won this machine! It will allow me to finish up all of my classroom projects and beachhouse projects, and I’ll be able to sew at home and travel with it to the beach and back.
What’s the first project you’re planning to sew on your new machine?
I’m thinking about making a Carmen Miranda costume for Halloween, or maybe putting in a zipper on my Death Nurse costume.
What are some of the things you learned in classes this summer at MD?
I’ve really deepened my love for the #10 Edgestitch foot and I learned how to use the ruffler foot in the apron class. Working with knits is capturing my imagination right now, and I’ve decided fold-over elastic is not my friend.
Thanks to all of you who signed up for classes this summer, came to Friday night Sew-cials, and test-drove BERNINA and BERNETTE machines in order to enter the giveaway!
Join Modern Domestic, Tumbleweed, Frock, Pie Footwear, Abrahams and Duffy, Garnish, Grasshopper and so many more for some Alberta Street Sidewalk Sale awesomeness.
At MD you can get grab bags, books, presser feet and much more for super awesome hot summer prices. Don’t miss the fun.
You may have seen my little love-fest a bit back on our blog about machine embroidery. My love has not diminished! I just recently got a mention on the Apartment Therapy’s blog re-nest for that very first exploration. It’s so true, clean well-thoughtout design is timeless. I’ve been plotting (and playing) and discovering new ways to create and display modern, exciting machine embroidery. Searching out fresh designs that would not be out of place in our home or in our lives. I’ve gotten a lot of these designs from Urban Threads and Meringue Designs.
And now we’re ready to get you excited about it too! Two new machine embroidery classes have been added to our Fall class selection. One, Intro to Machine Embroidery, will be a project based class where we’ll produce a one-of-a-kind reversible cover for your most prized possession–your sewing machine! Choose a phrase, image, or both that will greet you every time you sit down to work.
The second, Embroidery DIY: Open Studio, will be a little more “choose your own adventure.” The machines and modules will be here, along with a selection of thread and designs, for you to complete the project of your choice. Need quilt labels? Unique baby and housewarming gifts? Bring your ideas and something to embroider on and we’ll be here to help. Wanna win a spot in my September 14th session of Embroidery DIY? Leave a comment letting me know what your embroidery project would be and I’ll use random number generator to select a sewist to join me for class. Sounds fun!