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2136 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211

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Entries in Books, Magazines + Reviews (66)

More gift ideas and holiday schedule


Books 008

Books are great, aren't they?  A good sewing book is both eye candy and a wonderful transporter of information all in one.  We have a great selection of books that fit that bill.  I currently don't have a space where I keep my sewing supplies out, ready for use, so sometimes sewing just doesn't happen because I don't want to take the time to unpack and repack everything before and after.  I can happily and easily pass an hour or two browsing through a sewing book, getting ideas, letting my imagination wander, mentally preparing for when I do have the time to unpack, repack and sew in between.

Books 005

Our book selection includes a group of Portland-authored gems we're so proud to offer. In addition to thoughtful, instructional, project-based books, we carry some gorgeous ones that are heavier on the images and lighter on the instruction.  These are the books I can get lost in, slowly turning pages, taking in all the fine details and incredible designs. 

Banner sample 001
Thanks to lovely customer Michelle for letting us snap a shot of one of her holiday creations!  Looking to make a banner of your own and want a little assistance?  Pick up Autumn's banner pattern next time you're in.  What a special gift for any one, for any occassion.

Please make note of our holiday closure times.  We will close at 3 pm on Thursday, December 22nd and reopen Tuesday, December 27th at 10 am.  We will also be closed Sunday, January 1st.  We'll put up a few more reminders as we get closer.

Getting to know Diana Rupp


Did you hear? The fabulous woman behind the popular Sew Everything Workshop and the new Embroider Everything Workshop, Diana Rupp, will be here! In Portland! At Modern Domestic! Next Tuesday!


Diana is a NYC-based sewing and craft teacher and founder of the Make Workshop, an artist-only industrial loft studio located in the Lower East Side. A frequent teacher of all manner of craft, her most recent publication covers embroidery, cross-stitch, hand applique, smocking, needlepoint, and more. She focused on handwork for the new book because she loves doing it and it's obvious others do too, based on attendance at her popular workshops.  Hand work can be more accessible than machine sewing because it is portable and there is minimal investment on necessary materials. Plus, anyone can work with needle and thread, including kids and new sewists.

The translation from classroom to book allows Diana to bring quality instruction to those who aren't able to make it to her studio in New York. Diana's extensive teaching background has given her the ability to anticipate the typical questions people new to embroidery may have, which provides a more rewarding experience for a beginning stitcher. 

Embroider Everything Workshop

You may not realize how many different sewing-related endeavors Diana has been involved in, from videos to large scale commercial patterns and more. Sign up to see her online class, Sewing Studio with Diana Rupp, at Craftsy, check out Diana's Generation Next patterns for McCalls, especially this one here, which is super similar to one featured in Embroider Everything Workshop with a beautiful sashiko detail.

Stop by MD Tuesday night, December 13th starting at 6:30 pm. Diana will be here signing books and talking shop with fellow stitchers.

Sarai and her Colette Sewing Handbook



Sarai was one of the first people I met when I moved to Portland. We had a mutual friend in common (Ms Gertie) and I figured she would know all the things I needed to know about my new town, mainly the best places to buy fabric. I was right!  Last summer she was heavy in the pattern testing stage of her book, The Colette Sewing Handbook, and being without work gave me plenty of time to help by working my way through the garments. The flawless design was already there. As a tester, I confirmed the pieces worked and fit together paying special attention to the written instructions and diagrams to help ensure they were as clear and helpful as possible. I mostly worked from fabric I had or muslin, thinking that I would go back and remake my favorites in proper fabric.  I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to help Sarai on such a massive endeavor, even in such a small way, because she is truly a kind and generous person.  And what a resource she created! 5 NEW patterns (a skirt, a blouse, and 3 dresses), each designed to enhance the 5 fundamentals covered such as fit, fabric, and finishing. As we celebrate the release of her publication, I thought we'd get to know the woman behind the patterns a little better.

How did you decide on the name "Colette" for your pattern company?

The short answer is that the company is named after my kitty, Colette. She's a very elegant little lady.


Colette (the cat) was named after the French writer, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. I love Colette's novels, and there's something about her femininity, eye for beauty, and love for life that I wanted to be part of the company. So I guess I'd say the company was ultimately named after the writer. 

What's your favorite part of the design process?

I've always liked the earliest stages, doing research and coming up with lots of ideas. It's fun to just free your mind to come up with new ideas before whittling them down to the ones that will actually work. 

But I also like the final stages, and doing things like photography and styling, coming up with the final presentation. It feels good, like you're putting the final polish on something you've put a lot of work into.

Taffy & Meringue

What do you love about your life in Portland? About having your studio in the SE?

Portland is an amazing place to live, and there's almost too much good stuff to name! I love how green and beautiful it is. I love how nice everyone is here, and how much creative talent there is. Having a small business like mine can be a little isolating because you're not always surrounded with people, and that goes double for writing a book! So it's great to have so many people to reach out to and collaborate with. I think all the rain and darkness inspires us to be more creative with all our indoor time.

I've lived in SE since moving to Portland, and I love it here! So I was thrilled when I found a studio space nearby, and now I can walk to work every day. I love my little studio, but I must say that the walk is the absolute best thing. I love having the time twice a day to be outside and take in the world around me. Plus there are some fantastic bars and restaurants between home and work, and there's nothing better than walking five minutes to a fantastic bar to meet a friend after a long day.

Thanks for chatting, Sarai!

Bolt and Modern Domestic are proud to be sponsoring a party to celebrate the release of The Colette Sewing Handbook!  On Thursday, November 17th, the party will take place at Ford Food & Drink starting at 8:00pm. Come enjoy giveaways, beverages, crafty fun, and show off your best Colette sewing. I *hopefully* will be wearing my new Peony dress. Don't hold me to that though!