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Mon–Fri, 10 am – 6 pm
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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book review: beginner's guide to dressmaking

by Hannah

I applause Wendy Ward for her Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking. This book is outlined with 6 simple garments where you learn a new skill with each one. Bias binding, ruffling, patch pockets, side seam pockets, collars, zippers, sewing with knit and setting in sleeves are just a few skills that you will learn along the way. Each garment is tastfully designed and comfortable which makes you want to get right to work. I snapped a few photos for you! See you soon at the shop! 

Just In: Organic cotton, Apparel Fabrics, Flannel!

by Adrianna

This week we got in a whole range of goodies, perfect for sewists of all levels and departments. Staying true to our school we picked the best of the bunch and are pleased to present you with the highest quality goods we could get our paws on. Here is a preview of what’s new this week:

Let’s start with our apparel fabrics. Here we have some new knits to the team, selected in a way that you could start a mini collection with! Or have a perfect ensemble of matching garments to treat yourself to. (these would be great for the Marianne dress, or Renfrew top)

Although it is going to be chilly outside for quite some time yet, we couldn’t help but pass up these darling lace pieces. You could get a head start on spring or summer garments with these beauties!

These fabrics you have to see in person, as the camera doesn’t do justice to their irridescence. The two on the left are light weight and semi sheer 100% silk, with different color warp and weft threads. The one on the right is a dreamy voile that drapes and feels just as smooth as the silks.

To help keep you on track with fabric appropriate for our current weather situation, here are some medium weight fabrics. From the right we have a super soft terry knit, a stretch striped twill, and a bottom weight woven cotton.

Here are some more marvelous knits that would be great in one of our newer patterns. How about a Linden sweatshirt in the top railroad stripe knit? Or a Strathcona Henley in the bottom reversible speckled grey knit?

To really intice your taste buds, check out this 100% wool herringbone. This would make a great coat for late winter/early spring; or a snazzy suit.

More fabrics with a glorious hand are these cotton voiles (ends) and silks (middles)

World travels has been on our minds lately, and to inspire 2015 travels and map your routes check out this great print.

Just in today, we received a big ol’ box from one of our favorite organic cotton companies, and we are stoked to have a collection of cottons from them! The two on the left are voiles, the two on the right are knits.

We love all things Charley Harper here, so we stocked up on these organic cottons with his lovely designs. These charmers are quilting weight cotton.

Here we have organic cotton canvas!

Last but not least, we got in a new mini collection of sock monkey flannel.

Happy sewing and see you soon!



Ode to American Made Brand Solids

by Cameron

American Made Brand Solids are exactly what they sound like: cotton solids grown, spun, woven, and dyed completely in the good ol’ US of A. We can all get behind a quality American-made product, but unless you’re in tune with with textile industry and know that very little fabric is actually manufactured in America, you might be surprised that it’s such a big deal. We all learned in school about our country’s long - and often tortured - past as textile manufacturers, but that’s only half the story. In the second part of the 20th century, we began exporting all sorts of manufacturing jobs overseas and the textile industry was no exception. Across the country, but especially in the Southeast, jobs in clothing and fabric manufacturing moved to countries like Columbia, Bangladesh, and China, where wages are lower. Although we still grow a great deal of cotton, most of it leaves the country to be turned into fabric and finished garments.

Last year, Clothworks, a fabric company based in Seattle, decided to reverse the trend and introduce a new line of mid-weight cotton solids honoring the American tradition of textile manufacturing. Equally exciting is the high quality of the fabric and the competitive price. I’ve used the AMB solids in a couple of projects already and am so pleased with how they’ve sewn up. Clothworks is slowly rolling out new colors. They now have 62, most of which we’ll be carrying in the store starting this month. I especially like their selection of neutrals, reds, and blues - perfect for a patriotic quilt, I guess! Even if you don’t want to go the red, white, and blue route for your next quilting project, it is exciting to be participating in a quintessentially American craft with fabric made entirely in America.

To learn more about their story and to see some beautiful quilts made with the AMB solids check out their website. If you’re interested in learning more about the state of textile manufacturing today, I can recommend a really excellent radio/podcast/website/video series by Planet Money.

We’ve put together a giganatic, colorful pack of fat quarters that could keep you going through the rest of our grey winter. Or if you just need a quick hit of color, we have smaller monochrome packs, too. Come in and we can help you find the right American Made color for your project.