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Portland, OR 97211

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Valentine's Embroidery

by Adrianna

For some more Valentine’s gift ideas, we’ve got you covered there too. Looking for something that covers all the bases? Funny, sweet, loving, with a dash of a hint-hint, peruse our current stash of embroidery patterns! Embroidery can go a long way, and can be as versitile as you want. You could make a darling embroidered fabric card (great for kids to bring to class and share with friends), on some of our dish toweling, or maybe embroider on a garment, the ideas are endless! Let us help you make something special for all the special ones in your life. Here’s a sample of what goodies we have that are Valentine’s themed:

If you wanna be a lover, you gotta get with the friends! Show your friends, furry or not, how much you appreciate them with this cute embroidery set.

Recently get hitched? Or would like to be? Try this pattern out.

Admiring someone in particular? Or know someone who is a book worm? Make them an embroidered felt or fabric book mark!

For overall wholesome love, and to really make an impression, try this beyond adorable felt kit by Heidi Boyd. This kit could stretch as far as you’d like it to. I made one for my sweetheart (good thing he doesn’t look at this blog often) and found this extremely fun and an easy present. Don’t limit  yourself to only the supplies that the kit provides if it doesn’t quite match your situation. We have a whole color rack of felt that you can browse if you want to change the garment, skin, hair, etc. color. Maybe make it with two lady gnomes, or two guy gnomes, or just switch up the coloring to whatever you want. Or leave it as it is! I adapted my kit to match my relationship.


Come on in to the shop and let us help you create the best Valentine’s present for every loved one in your life!

See you soon


Sweet Nothings

by Adrianna


It’s almost that time of year, when lovey things and, most importantly, chocolate (!) flows abundant. Similar to other giving holidays, most people find themselves overwhelmed with what to get others. In this post, I will be reviewing the darling book, Sweet Nothings, which we carry at Bolt. This book, although maybe not suitable for all Valentine’s gifts, can give you ladies some ideas to simply treat yourself, and a honey if you have one. Sweet Nothings is a very appropriate title for this gem of a book. Featured are the most comfy, charming, classy, and feminine lingerie and lounge patterns that will have you day-dreaming of staying in bed all day; a Parisian garden bedroom with lots of breezy curtains and endless cups of tea and a book that is. 

All of these patterns are fairly simple and quick to sew up, and you can experiment with materials you may have never worked with before! As is traditional with most lingerie, there are many patterns that involve lace and sheer fabrics. Don’t be frightened! This book has great tips and tricks on how to easily work with these materials. Also, since most lingerie and lounge garments don’t require much fabric, you can easily sew one of these babes up in an hour or less. Great for a last minute Valentine’s project!

The sample that I sewed up for the shop was a cami and trunks combo. These patterns are extremely easy to sew up and require very little supplies. The most important ingredient is wide stretch lace, which we currently have plenty of at the shop, in various beautiful colors. 

With the wide stretch lace, you simply need to cut out a few pattern pieces, seam them together, and voila! Done! The book’s patterns and tutorials explain how you can use the wide lace to its full advantage by using the lace edges to provide a clean finish. No hemming or finishing necessary with this lingerie set.

The hardest part about the cami, which isn’t difficult at all, is attaching the straps. We also have you covered with colored stretch elastic and strap adjusters at the shop. Simply lay the cami flat, pin on the back where the straps would line up with the center seams of the front, and sew on the straps! There is a great step by step in the book on how to set up the strap adjusters, and here’s a picture for a peak at how easy it is:

For even more simplicity, the trunks are the zippiest thing to sew up, possibly ever. With just three pattern pieces, you’ll find yourself making a ton of these in no time. 

Although you can sew this set up with a regular straight stich sewing machine, using a serger is also ideal for this fabric. Since there is no additional finishing with the seams, I have a trick for you that I learned from tailoring to help seal off those serged edges. Unlike a simple backstitch which you can do with a straight stitch sewing machine, with a sergered seam, you have two options. One, if using a polyester thread, you can burn the string left over from serging. Personally, taking a flame to any delicate fabric piece I have just sewn up scares me a bit, so another option is tying off the ends.

To do this, trim the remainding string about an inch to where the fabric edge is. Then, gently pull on the threads until they start coming apart. Whether using a three thread or four thread serger you will find there will be two strands of thread that are easier to pull apart from the others. Tie these two threads together in a few knots to secure the edge of the seam, and that’s it! 


Although I have never really been much of a lingerie gal myself, with how easy and cheap it is to make these sweet delicacies I have discovered I can’t stop sewing these up! With all the classy and gorgeous lace and trims we have at the store, you may also find yourself developing a new favorite sewing item. This book is also a great reference to have, with tips on hand and machine sewing delicate and sheer fabrics, and comes with paper patterns and templates for all the items. Treat yourself to this book, or get it as a gift for someone special! This book will definitely be a gift that keeps on giving.

Happy sewing, see you soon!

Lela Tunic and BLouse

by Adrianna


Although we at Bolt love our indie pattern labels, sometimes their packaging doesn’t do the patterns justice. The fabulous Lela is one of them. After seeing a sample made up by the designer, and how adorable it is, we decided to make one up as well so you don’t look past this beauty! This pattern comes in two versions, the tunic, which is shown on the cover, and a blouse, which is what I made up for the shop. The sizing is generous, with lots of ease, so make sure to pick a nice flowy fabric for this gem.


Since this pattern reminded us of classic, simple, and comfortable japanese style clothing, we thought a sample made up of Japanese imported cotton double gauze would be the perfect fit for this pattern. I can now attest that double gauze is the most comfortable form of cotton out there; at least in my opinion. After never sewing with it before, I am thoroughly hooked! It was so hard to take this sample off! Not only is double gauze incredibly easy to sew with, it breaths like a charm, and feels like a cloud on your skin. Double gauze is also very versitile. You could sew it into a long sleeve blouse for colder months, or a tank dress for summer (try it with an Alder Shirt Dress!) What I love the most about the double gauze that we carry are the colors. In the print that I made the sample out of, are two other color ways; a green and a gold. Also, are two uh-mazing nani iro metallic dots of the sweetest, light hint of lavender and grey, plus a few solids. You have to come in and check them out!


Now to the great things about the pattern! This is my second Green Bee pattern that I’ve made, (the first is the Frances Shirtdress) and I must say there are some very simple tricks and sewing techniques that the designer uses. For example, instead of a traditional facing piece, you simply make a bias strip to use around the neckline, hem, and sleeve hem. The sleeve itself is rather interesting, with a semi kimono yoke, and a lower sleeve piece. The slight V-wrap neckline sure is sweet, paired with the generous ease and drape of the fabric, this pattern will have you dreaming of walking through a japanese garden and sipping calming teas.

Come check out the sample in the shop and snag up a pattern! Also peruse our double gauze section:) they make for great -just about anything!

Happy sewing!