If you're anything like me, the holidays are an amazing time and a time of amazing busyness. And I don't mean just the general franticness of running a retail business during this time.
I swear that from the day after Halloween until January 2, there are fewer hours in the day. I doesn't help that the days are actually shorter on sunlight because of the time shift. But no matter the cause, this time of year is a classic case of "So much time, so little to do" Wait, scratch that, reverse it.
With that idea in mind, we thought we would take the opportunity to perhaps streamline some of your gift giving for you. If you've got a sewist in your life or are a sewist yourself, we've put together a handy-dandy guide for fabrics, patterns, and kits in our store that will make this time of year just that much easier for you.
We've created six different guides actually, pinpointing what we believe to be the different sewists you may know and what they might like. Whether you're looking to shop for a sewist just starting out, or one into vintage styles, or a maker looking to sew comfy, everyday clothes, we've got you and your gift-giving covered. So let's take a look!
For Excited Beginners
There's nothing more exhilarating than when you first learn to sew and you want to try absolutely everything. It's like you've been given this magic power to turn ordinary fabric into extraordinary clothes! The hardest part of starting out, besides picking a sewing machine, is knowing what patterns to choose and which fabrics to pair them with. That's why we've made it a bit easier. So whether you're the one just beginning or you know someone who is, we think these patterns and fabrics are a great place to start
- Excited Beginner Pattern Bundle- In this bundle, we've chosen four easy patterns to get you started. Say you've made a pillowcase or a skirt, and you want to move on to some more substantial patterns, these are a great place to start. The Collins top is easy to fit and will give you great practice on sewing straight seams; the Sway Dress will give you a chance to learn how to sew facings and pockets; the Bettine Dress pattern is filled with helpful tips to guide you through elastic waists and sleeves; and the Ninni Culottes are an easy-fit foray into making pants. Once you sew these four patterns, the skies the limit for your sewing journey!
- Sage Brussels Washer Linen - A great beginner fabric, this is a blend of rayon and linen and will work for any of the patterns in our bundle. Plus, the sage color is cool, calming, and stylish!
- Sew Curious Box - If you've been thinking about dipping your toe into getting our sewing kits, this is a great way to try one out without a subscription. With everything you need to make the Stowe Bag from Grainline Studio, you've got a sewing project in a box. A perfect gift!
- Sew Ready Box - If you or someone you love is a true beginner who just bought a sewing machine and doesn't know where to go from there, this box is for you. Complete with all the tools you need to start sewing, it takes all the guesswork about starting an amazing new hobby!
- Heather Blue Brushed Tencel Flannel - A gorgeous color combines with a soft, brushed finish to make a fabric that is truly secret pajamas. Ideal for the Bettine Dress or the Sway Dress, you'll be as comfy as you are stylish!
- Plum Mirabella Bamboo Jersey - A great beginner knit, this fabric is stable yet soft and will make a wonderful pair of Ninni Culottes that you'll want to wear all the time!
For the Fashionably Curvy Sewist
In the last year alone, the sewing community has made great strides in offering extended sizing on sewing patterns. And we hope for even more in the new year because, as sewists, we know one of the best parts of sewing is being able to make clothes that FIT your unique and beautiful body. So why not celebrate by grabbing four fantastic patterns that offer sizes up to size 28 plus some fabrics that we've hand-selected to match?!
- Fashionably Curvy Pattern Bundle - In this bundle, we've chosen four patterns with extended sizing that will help you build a complete handmade wardrobe. The Ames Jeans from Cashmerette will become your new favorite pair of jeans; the Adèle Flutter Sleeve Top makes for a perfect work blouse; the Upton Dress will give you a go-to party dress; and the Tania Coatigan will be perfect for layering over all of your me-made clothes!
- Cone Mills Broken Weave Stretch Denim - This will be your new favorite denim. The broken weave helps prevent leg twist and the stretch makes your jeans oh-so-comfy
- Shiraz Brushed Tencel Flannel- Brushed on both sides and in a deep purple, this fabric will be great as the Upton Dress or even as a lighter Tania Coatigan
- Blue and White Floral Stretch Poplin - It's never too early to sew a bright, cheery spring dress. Large scale floral in a stunning blue would be an absolutely gorgeous Upton Dress
- Green and Blue Plaid Tweed - Want to make an easy to sew, easy to fit winter coat? This is the coating for you! Paired with the Tania Coatigan pattern, you have a match made in heaven.
- Purple Paisley Silk Charmeuse - Silky and stylish, this paisley charmeuse will look amazing as the Adèle Flutter Sleeve Top. And it will dress up any outfit you wear it with!
- Black and White Tencel Plaid- If you're a black and white dresser, this plaid fabric will make a one-of-a-kind Upton Dress and has enough drape to work with the Adèle Flutter Sleeve Top too!
For Followers of the Preppy Handbook
Say what you will about preppy, it's an immediately recognizable and classic style. And what was once the look of 80s villains in teen comedies (I'm looking at you James Spader), is now pretty much a go-to style for all ages. Think J. Crew, Banana Republic, and LaCoste for inspiration or, if you're watching The Crown this fall, the Royal Family. Collars, simple fabrics, and clean style lines are the name of the game, and we've got you covered if you have a preppy sewist in your life!
- Preppy Classics Pattern Bundle - In this bundle, we've chosen some wardrobe staple patterns that would fit right in on an ivy-covered collage campus. First up, we have the Archer Button Up, the classic collared shirt that can be worn with just about anything and looks great under a cable knit sweater; then we have the Datura Blouse, another collared shirt but a little bit dressier for when the occasion requires; pair both of these with the Morgan Jeans, a boyfriend cut jeans pattern perfect for everyday wear, and finally the Coco Dress, which can be worn by itself with tights or dressed up with a collared shirt underneath and a pair of boots. All in all, one preppy pattern bundle!
- Green Mist Cotton Crepe - A cool, calming color with a fun, crepe texture. Perfect for both the Datura Blouse and Archer Button Up
- Brooklyn Plaid Flannel - Plaid = preppy, that's pretty much how math works. And this plaid, a windowpane tartan in blue and white, will become a gorgeous Archer Button Up
- Black 21W Corduroy - You don't have to make jeans out of denim, and this black corduroy, with just a hint of stretch, is a great option for a dressier pair of Morgan Jeans
For Those Who Love Casual Simplicty
Contrary to popular opinion, casual is not a bad word. It means comfort and simplicity, the hallmarks of a timeless wardrobe. And, if I'm being honest, it's my sense of style, especially as I get older. I have less and less patience for uncomfortable clothes. So why not rock a handmade wardrobe made with simple yet stylish clothes that not only look great but are also pieces you want to wear all the time!
- Casual Simplicity Pattern Bundle - In this bundle, we've got four patterns that may or may not be secret pajamas. Simple, clean lines and classic styles; what's not to love? The Hudson Pants are pretty much the best pair of weekend or after work pants you will ever make; the Agnès Top is a customizable, destined to be a tried-and-true knit top pattern; the Darling Ranges Dress is a little bit dressy, but still relaxed take on a button-front dress; and the Dominique Skirt is an easy to style skirt that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Put all together, and you have your go-to weekend wardrobe!
- Red and Black Buffalo Check Flannel - Use the fabric from your favorite flannel pajamas and make a stunning Darling Ranges Dress or Dominique Skirt that is truly secret pajamas
- Royal Blue Striped Ponte de Roma - A classic blue and white stripe gives a nautical feel when you turn it into a beautiful Agnès Top
- Mustard Waffle Cotton - This fabric is all about texture and color. A deep mustard yellow with a waffle texture will work wonderfully with both the Darling Ranges Dress and the Dominique Skirt
- Oatmeal Speckled French Terry - French terry is lighter than fleece and will make a pair of Hudson Pants that are perfect for any season. Say hello to your new favorite lounge pants!
For Sewists Seeking Vintage Glamor
Let me tell you, I had the terrifying experience of typing "Vintage Glamour" into Pinterest as part of my research for this post and having 80s styles come up. This is the same unsettling feeling of hearing Jon Bon Jovi come on the "Classics" radio station and immediately feeling like time as passed too quickly. But, I must say that I don't count 80s fashion as Vintage. What I'm talking about here is Classic Hollywood styling from the 30s to 60s, when sewing patterns were just beginning to find their ways into homes and fashion designers were making their rise for the first time. Think Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent, not Jordache. This style is a tip of the hat to past, while interpreting it for the present, and we love the interplay that happens when those two worlds collide.
- Vintage Glamour Pattern Bundle - In this bundle, we've chosen modern patterns that evoke fashion of the past. The Clover Pants echo styles of the 1950s with Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor; the Pussy Bow Blouse would fit in quite nicely on the set of Mad Men; the Macaron Dress is a modern take on a vintage party dress and the Françoise Dress is a mod-inspired pattern if there ever was one. Each piece would fit nicely into a modern wardrobe that pay homage to the clothes that came before.
- Liberty of London Stretch Floral Poplin - This fabric is light and airy, and its delicate and subtle print would be amazing as the Pussy Bow Blouse, or, if you want a smaller piece, the contrast fabric in the Macaron Dress.
- Chocolate Chip Wool Suiting- Vintage fashion was all about high quality fabric, and this chocolate chip wool suiting, with little specks of dark brown, is buttery, supple, and simply divine. It would work well for either of the dresses, but especially the Françoise Dress
- Verona Floral Pima Cotton Batiste - A modern take on a vintage floral, this batiste would make for a one of a kind Pussy Bow Blouse
- Lipstick Pink Double-Faced Woven - The color is utterly modern, so contrasted with the vintage styling of the pattern, you'll give the Clover Pants a unique look that will make you proud to say "Thanks I made them"
- Navy Embroidered Cotton Voile - Eyelet is a classic vintage fabric and this embroidered voile would become a delicate and stylish Macaron Dress.
For Those Who Want a Modern Look
In many ways, this category, Modern Chic, was the hardest to define. It's a little bit like "You know it when you see it" but you can't quite put your finger on what makes it so. But having lived in New York City for a decade, I certainly know that there is a look completely unique to cities that a daring and utterly modern. If you don't believe me, look at the outfits on Sex in the City. Combining interesting fabrics with simple pieces, mixing unexpected patterns, and adding a twist of drama to all outfits, the modern chic look is both bold and understated, and we think you can create it in your own handmade wardrobe
- Modern Chic Pattern Bundle - In this bundle, we've paired some simpler pieces with more dramatic patterns to help you create a wardrobe that is fit for New York or LA but still wearable wherever you live. The Sirocco Jumpsuit is chic yet comfortable, and depending on the fabric you choose, it can be a bold statement or a wardrobe workhouse (I wear mine all the time); the Bellatrix Blazer is a tuxedo inspired layering piece, and you can play with the look with fabric inserts at the shoulders; the Ginger Jeans are your dream pair of high-waisted, slim fit jeans that can be dressed up or down in any outfit; and finally the Ogden Cami is a must have in any wardrobe where simple and fashionable are the name of the game. Put them all together and you have the makings of an amazing and modern handmade wardrobe.
- Black and Gray Triangle Print Bamboo Jersey - Silky smooth, with great drape, this fabric will work beautifully as the top of the Sirocco Jumpsuit. Colorblock it with a black jersey or ponte and you have a secret pajama outfit that looks like elegant workwear.
- Chartreuse Yellow Sueded Silk Charmeuse - With a brushed face, this silk is to die for. In a bold chartreuse yellow, it will turn the simple Ogden Cami into a statement blouse and an instant confidence boost
- Slate Blue Tencel Twill- In a cool, slate blue, this tencel twill is icy and smooth. And it will make a gorgeous Ogden Cami or lining for the Bellatrix Blazer
- Green Paisley Stretch Silk Crepe de Chine - This fabric is all about the pattern. A diagonal print, it can be turned into a stunning blouse or Ogden Cami to be worn under the Bellatrix Blazer.
So, we hope we've given you lots of ideas for sewing gifts and perhaps your own sewing. Don't forget that these pattern bundles are discounted 20% or you can create your own bundle to save 10% off two patterns, 15% off three patterns of 20% off four. You can build your own bundle here.
This is just the start of the holiday season, so check back soon to see more of what we have in store!