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Entries in Apparel Sewing (81)

Apparel sewing with Solids

—by Adrianna

It’s that time of the season for Holiday clothes! Finding the right outfit can be overwhelming and expensive, not to mention the stress of weaving in and out of other holiday shoppers. So why not treat yourself to something simple and sweet this season by making your own party dress from Bolt’s Moda Bella Solids collection?

These quilting weight cotton solids are generally overlooked for apparel because of their weight, however I have been experimenting with them lately and have found they actually work great for certain designs. Because they are slightly stiffer than traditional apparel weight cottons they are able to take shape better than lighter fabrics. I have become slightly obsessed with making circle skirts out of them, as they poof out just so sweetly!

I preferred to use the Bella Solids for this dress for a few reasons; the first mainly being I wanted a dress in this color and it is very hard to find in apparel weights. Bella Solids are awesome as they come in almost every color and shade. Another great thing about Bella Solids since they are meant to be used as quilt/blanket backings, they are soft and keep you warm! There is no need for lining in a garment that uses a Solid as they are smooth against your skin and are tightly woven to keep you warm. Since Solids are medium weight cotton they are very easy to sew with, so this could be a great project for the novice sewer! Apparel weights tend to be more flowy and light, which to a beginner can be stressful if you’re not used to handling light fabrics (it took me years before I was comfortable with some apparel weights). Lastly, and probably the best part about Solids, is that they are very affordable! Again, since they are pretty basic solid cottons, the price point is reasonable, and you can make a great piece on the cheap.

So the next time you come into Bolt, don’t pass by the Solids collection, it’s right by the front door! They are pretty rad, and I’m sure you will enjoy using them as much as I do.

Looking Back Local 2011



Looking back on last year I wanted to share some tidbits about 2011.


We are so very lucky to have such talented folks live in and around this fine city of Portland. Not surprisingly some best selling items of last year were from locals.


The most popular pattern of 2011 was The Crepe dress by Colette.  (Pause for applause and joyous cheering)! This dress can be sewn up in so many different combinations very dressy to totally casual. I think that is a sign of a great pattern when it can be so versatile……always a hit. 


Four other Collette Patterns were among the top sellers of 2011, including Negroni, Violet, Sencha and Ginger. Most of those patterns are labeled as beginner, and we think that is great that so many beginning sewers are taking the plunge into garment sewing. We look forward to seeing some of those finished garments uploaded onto our flicker pool, or shown off in person.


In the books category Modern Log Cabin Quilting by Susan Beal got the top pick among our local bunch.  The interview with Susan was one of my favorite posts on Bolt’s blog last year. I love to see the studios and get an insight into other sewers spaces and places. 


Another contender was Elizabeth Hartman’s A Practical Guide to Patchwork  (Elizabeth is coming out with another book Modern Patch Work this year that is on our radar). In case you did not know Elizabeth is one of the stellar teachers down at our sister shop Modern Domestic. You could learn to quilt from the author herself.


If you feel like 2012 is the year you are going to do more sewing, or learn to sew, any of these titles would be a great place to get started.


If you missed out on any of these great patterns and books, stop by and see what your missing.


Happy Sewing in 2012!

Just In



Xmas 061
We’re back!  Holiday down time has been enjoyed, inventory has been counted and we’re ready for a new year.  We received some great new pieces on tubes right before we closed up a couple weeks ago.  Generally the pieces on tubes are end runs from designers.  These tend to be more apparel appropriate fabrics.  They’re really fun for me to pick out for a couple of reasons.  The first being that I have no idea at all what I’ll be shown when I meet with my reps and I can imagine these pieces made up into a wider variety of things than the quilting weight cotton prints.  The black and cream piece above I envisioned as a vintage Vogue pattern of some sort, maybe a 1940s era design, with simple lines, or maybe the Colette Peony dress or a simple pencil skirt….so many options!


Xmas 062
A few more interesting pieces—a cream, soft wool with these mauve flowers every so often.  I love the combination of a wool with tropical looking flowers.  The piece next to it is a two-faced denim and golden velveteen.  Oh my.  Really, who doesn’t want some of that in their life?  We just may be seeing a sample whipped up with this soon…stay tuned!  We have a number of lovely wools still in stock, many of which would stitch up beautifully into a cozy hooded scarf.  Remember that fantastic project?


We’re excited for this coming year.  We have some new things planned and we’re bringing back some other things—like the Organization of the Month program.  I’ll be posting soon about January’s organization and how you can help us support them.  Happy New Year to you all!