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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
503.287.bolt

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Entries in Cal Patch (2)

start with the basics

—by Heather

Several years ago when Bolt was still offering classes in the store, I took three flat-pattern drafting classes here. Regretfully, I didn’t follow through much at the time and use what I learned to make that perfectly-fitting wardrobe for myself. But I remembered just enough to create a nice basic bodice sloper using a combination of existing patterns; along the way moving the bust darts, adding (and then removing) darts in the back, changing the curve of the side seams, drawing a shirt-tail hem at the bottom, etc. What I forgot I re-taught myelf with books. Three that we carry in the store which I have found helpful are: Sew U by Wendy Mullin, Design it yourself Clothes, by Cal Patch and Pattern Making for a Perfect Fit by Steffani Lincecum.

I am most often inspired by fabric, rather than design/construction, thus my garment sewing tends to be very simple, letting the beautiful fabric do the talking. This little top is a good example. It’s nothing fancy at all save for the gorgeous lightweight floral cotton. It’s basically a long-sleeved woven tee. I have made so many tanks using my basic pattern, but this go-around, I drafted my own sleeve pattern. Needs a lot of tweaking but not too bad for a first try.

When you have a basic bodice pattern that fits well you can do a lot with it. I am planning to add a front placket to my next top. Maybe a pleat in the back. All three of the books I mentioned above have clear information on how to change up pattern blocks so you can make a variety of cute styles for your wardrobe. Go ahead and give it a try. It’s not all that scary once you get started.

And if you’re not quite ready to dive in on your own, you can learn how to draft patterns in a class at Modern Domestic or Portland Sewing.

Read a good book lately?

by Gina

We just opened a box of some wonderful books!  Some are new to the store, some are ol’ favs.  Either way, there’s something you’re bound to fall for and want on your holiday list.  Here’s a run-down:

Melody Miller’s  and Allison Tannery’s new book, Ruby Star Wrapping has all sorts of clever decorative ideas for wrapping goodies, making gift giving a whole lot nicer for the recipient and the Earth.  We will be participating in a “wrap-a-long” along with a collection of other great folks out there.  Here are more details on that.  Like what you see?  Swing by and pick up a book and wrap-a-long with us!  It’s getting started this week!  The other fun book on the right is The Cuter Book, by Aranzi Aronzo.  This is an adorable and terribly amusing little creature book.  This would be a perfect book for the younger sewist in your world to either do on their own or with a helping hand.

These two titles we’ve carried in the past and have really enjoyed them. The Party Dress is a delight for the eyes and imagination.  There are stunning designs in it, sure to get your ready for holiday parties!  The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook is choke full of great ideas on alterations.  They start with a few select designs of a top, a dress, a coat and a skirt.  But, it definitely doesn’t end there.  There are loads of variations presented from members of the BurdaStyle community. 

Want to create your own look entirely?  We currently have two titles on pattern making and custom clothing design.  Many of you have voiced your desire to learn to draft patterns, your woe of not finding clothing that fits just right, or knowing exactly how to alter a pattern to get it the way you want it.  Here’s a good place to start.  If you’re one to learn better in a class check out the class lists at Modern Domestic and Portland Sewing.  They both offer great pattern drafting courses.

These final two titles include a variety of projects.  A lot of times when customers ask for advice on a good book, part of my suggestion includes the idea that the style of the projects should speak to them so they’re motivated to do the projects.  Simple Sewing with a French Twist is one of those books for me.  I love the romantic, somewhat urban, European style of the designs and the way they’re presented.  Not all of the projects are sewing ones, for example, one is a button covered chair back.  For the novice out there, Simple Sewing in a Straight Line is a great book with a variety of projects, including apparel and accessories.  Again, if you find you’re one to do better with a class—Modern Domestic has been using this book for some of their beginner oriented courses.

Our shelves are stocked with a slew of titles to help you in whatever way you want—instruction, inspiration, reference.  And, when you spend $30 or more on books, you receive 30 Supportland points from us!  How fantastic is that?!  Happy Sewing!