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Wed, 10 am – 7 pm
Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday, 11 am – 4 pm

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2136 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211

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Echino Accessories

I would not be doing my job if I did not note (with a certain degree of excitement) the new patterns and patches that also came in the Kokka box.  We have three individual Echino bag patterns and two sets of iron-on echino patches that I think you're going to really like. In addition to this bag, there's a laptop bag and a messenger style bag available. 

The patterns are in Japanese, so there are a few things to consider:

  • The diagrams are very good, to scale, and show all measurements in centimetres.  They are generally missing a seam allowance, so you need to cut with that in mind. 

  • If you are having a hard time deciphering the diagram, Jennifer at Moving Hands has put together a glossary of terms that you may find helpful.  Mari at the Purl Bee also has a wonderful post on drafting patterns from Japanese sewing book, complete with diagrams and things to watch out for.


Big Box o' Kokka

Kokka Kokka


These are some of my favourites from the latest shipment of Kokka.  They are a mix of 100% cotton and cotton linen blend prints.  There were also a few more Far, Far Away/Heather Ross bolts, a sewing themed (dressforms!) large scale print and some more super cute novelty prints that Kokka does so well.

News of Note:

*I know many of our customers are also knit, etc., and while I'm not one of them, I do enjoy visiting our neighbors at Close Knit and their blog.  Sally, Leah and Nancy are doing a wonderful job of posting free patterns and product reviews.  If you are unable to make it into the store, this is the next best place to park it.  (Mom, do you see this scarf?  I love it.)  They are also moving some of their classes down the road to Modern Domestic!  Check MD's website for the list. 

*The main Bolt Neighborhood Fabric Boutique website has been redesigned!  You'll find new pictures of the store, maps to finding us, and other useful information.  Gina is coming up on five years in business and will be celebrating something big next month.  Sign up for our newsletter on the main site, and get advance notice on what's in store.

*For those of you with plotting out Halloween wardrobes, just a reminder that among other things, we stock all kinds of tulle, shiny bits, fleece and velveteen.  Not to mention, glow-in-the-dark embroidery thread and Jaquard textile paint (perfect for stenciling Super Hero logos onto pajamas).  Sally is also running two classes (the 10th and 17th of October) to help you with any costume conundrums you may be facing.  Sewing unfamiliar fabric on MD's beautiful machines could very possibly be like sewing with magic. 

Tutorial: The Mighty Blind Hem

1.Blind Hem

Another fantastic How-To brought to you by the lovely Sally Hess.  Sally teaches a whole host of classes at Modern Domestic, including two Halloween Helper sessions that will get anyone out of their current costume pickle. 

Do blind hems confuse you? Do you fold and fold and still wonder where the stitches are supposed to go?  Blind hems are a beautiful finish on any fine garment. They are also a great way to have a subtle hem on fabric that would otherwise be overpowered by a visible line of stitches at the hem.

First you need to find your blind hem foot. It has a guide in the center of the foot and a curved piece of metal that the machine creates a zig-zag stitch over.

2.Blind Hem Foot
First measure your hem and press. In this case, the hem is being turned up 1 1/4 inches.

3.Marking the Hem

Fold almost the whole hem to the right side, (so that the right side of the hem is touching the right side of the garment) letting 1/4 inch of the hem extend. Press gently. Arrange it under your sewing machine with the wrong side of the fabric showing and with the 1/4 inch extension to the right of the needle. The guide on the foot will be up against the fold.


As you stitch, the machine will sew three or four straight stitches along the 1/4 inch extension and will then take a zig-zag stitch into the garment. In the photo below, you can see that the machine has just taken the zig-zag stitch. If you look closely, you can see that the zig-zag is a fairly loose stitch because it has to straddle the curved part of the presser foot. This is a good thing.

5.Detail of stitching

Once you have sewn your hem (or better yet, your practice piece), it will look like the picture below. All the straight stitches will be on that 1/4 inch wide extended piece and the zig-zag stitches will be somewhat saggy looking.

6.Just stitched

Now the magic. Unfold the hem, so that it is hanging where it belongs. The zig-zag stitches may need a little bit of gentle tugging to lie flat. The back of the hem will look like the picture below.

7.Back of hem

The front of the hem, before you press it, will look like this:

8.Front of hem before pressing

Those tiny little dots are where the zig-zag took a tiny bite of the garment. If your zig-zag took too big of a bite, you will have long, straight lines of thread instead of small dots. Make your zig-zag more narrow or move the guide away from the fold to fix this. After pressing it will look like this:

9.Front of hem

On the back of the hem you will see that I didn’t finish the raw edge of the fabric before hemming. If your garment is lined, you may not need to. Overcasting or serging the raw edge before hemming would be a good solution, especially on thick fabrics. On simple cotton fabrics like the one in the sample, a double folded hem would look nice.

Just like in a regular double folded hem, turn up the amount of the hem and then turn the raw edge under 1/4 inch (or slightly more).

10.Inside double fold

Once it has been stitched, the doubled folded hem will look like this:

11.Double fold just stitched

The back of the double folded hem is very lovely:

12.Back of double fold

And the front is also very nice:

1.Blind Hem

Because the blind hem only catches a thread or two of the garment every fourth stitch, it is not a very strong hem. I wouldn’t probably put it on the hem of my boys’ pants. I also wouldn’t attempt it on heavy fabrics like denim or canvas. It is well suited to any fine or delicate fabric and looks great when you want to give something a professional looking finish!