Here's my current favorite pattern the Puffed Sleeve Blouse from Mocha Patterns by Sue Kim Design (available as a PDF from the designer here ) in white Essex linen-cotton. It's airy, comfy and cool, not to mention easy to make and suitable for sooo many kinds of fabric. It's roomy, so consider sizing down, but looks great oversized too. The faced dropped hemline, wide boat neck, gentle gathers at dropped shoulders and narrow cuffs create a relaxed, modern silhouette that looks great with pants, shorts or skirts. It blocks the sun and keeps you cool at the same time. Mine's been tested in the hot humid days and cool mosquitoey night here in Minneapolis, as well had the hot, dry high desert days in Albuquerque on vacation. I've made more versions (in the next size down) in pale blue double gauze (this is what I'm wearing as I type), olive embroidered gauze, charcoal dobby double gauze (extended to dress length), and black lawn. More pictures to follow....
Elliot Avenue Organic Cotton Batiste
We've been following Minneapolis designer, Kirsten Sevig on Instagram forever (@kirstensevig), thinking that her watercolor illustrations would be perfect on fabric. We're happy to say that our dream has become a reality with her first fabric collection for Cloud9, Elliot Avenue. Her fresh, airy designs are perfect on fresh and airy organic cotton batiste, just in time for summer sewing! Kirsten's inspiration was her Elliot Avenue neighborhood and its denizens.
“It all started when I bought Alphild’s house on Elliot Avenue. Meeting Alphild, with her amazing black beehive, dramatic taste in wallpaper, and love of costume jewelry was an unforgettable start to the many happy years I spent living on Elliot Avenue. Each pattern in this collection is named for one of the colorful characters who helped make this street home.There’s Eyja, the grey cat from Iceland, Frankie with myriad rescue dogs on parade, Rianne and her Swedish décor paired with a kitchen ceiling of Italian glass, Helly the chocolate lab next door, Mia who loved walking through our garden, Claire the designer, and Alena who longed for California…all of these and many more stories are woven into the fabric of Elliot Avenue. I hope you enjoy your stay as much as I did!” – Kirsten Sevig
Batiste is lightweight, soft, flowier and drapier than lawn or voile. It's a semi-sheer, so keep that in mind when you choose your project. It lends itself to layers and gathers if you choose not to line it. It would make a a lovely flowy top or tank, a layered skirt or cool nightgown. It would also make lovely curtains that filter the light just enough. It's perfect for the warm. sunny days of summer that we're just starting to get a taste of here in the North.
Lovely Italian Ponte
We love this high quality Italian Ponte knit. It's stable, moderate weight with a lovely hand. We were lucky to get these in 4 colors (pink, red, medium pale blue, and ivory). We wish we had more....
I've been looking for the perfect fabric for a Named Talvikki top and I think I may have found it in this Ponte. This top has been on my wishlist for a long time now. The pattern is all traced and ready to go, so no more excuses, right?
Wiksten Smock Pattern is here
For all of you Wiksten fans out there, we are happy to announce that you now have a sweet smock pattern to go with all the Harem pants and bloomers you are making. This pattern is a little more involved, but Jenny's beautifully illustrated instruction guide will take you through it. If not, we can help with a private lesson, or, if there is interest, a group class. Let us know if you might be interested... You can purchase the pattern here.
Over on the Blog TWO ROSCOE DRESSES,
A TRIED AND TRUE PATTERN FROM TRUE BIAS
Portraits of Water at the Resonance Box
Sunday April 8, 1:00 to 4:00 PM, 5255 Chicago Avenue, Minneapolis
Embroidering by hand is a calming, relaxing, meditative process, a little like spending time at your favorite lake. Join us while we paint portraits in thread while listening to the soothing sounds of water in nature in this special workshop with musician and sound artist Aida Shahghasemi and friends at The Resonance Box in South Minneapolis.
When was the last time you paid close attention to how you were listening? The Resonance Box is a small initiative with the intention of bringing focus to the world of auditory experiences.
Hearing has not only been a way for us to enjoy beautiful music, but it has also played a key role in our survival as a species. And even today the study and use of sound remains an important aspect of our research into the unknown territories of the cosmos. The artists at The Resonance Box hope to bring attention to this wonderous sensory process. Learn more about Aida, her beautiful music, and all the fascinating things they are up to at The Resonance Box.
No embroidery experience is required for this workshop, Portraits of Water. We'll be there to help you learn new stitches, choose your colors, and sew a portrait of your favorite Minneapolis Lake ( Lake of the Isles, Bde Make Ska, Cedar, Harriet or Nokomis) or if you prefer, practice your stitches in concentric circles, like a ripple spreading slowly on the surface.
$80 includes all materials, 3 hours of instruction and all the sounds you can hear! We'd love to have you join us. Click here to register.
Another sweet pattern from Wiksten Made
How lovely is this brand new Smock pattern for baby + child? Sweet, Simple, Classic. Beautifully photographed instructions . All the things we’ve come to expect from Wiksten Made. Perfect in lawn, chambray, lightweight linen or double gauze. I'm going to sew up a sample in baby cord which we just got in...Should I choose ballet pink, olive or camel?
Lemmiki by Lotta Jansdotter is here
"Lemmiki" is the latest collection from Lotta Jansdotter and was inspired by the colors and patterns she experience on her recent travels in South Africa.
Meet Tippa, Lilla Tippa, Marja, Piste, Lilla Piste and Syksy! These are our latest print from Lotta Jandotter, in shades of grey with pops of citronella, mandarin and piney green. These colors remind us of the first signs of Spring peeping through a cool, grey late winter sky.
There are no signs of Spring in Minneapolis today though. We're hoping to make double digits here in the "Bold North" today. Mother Nature has been staging a picture perfect Winter Wonderland here in Minneapolis, complete with cold, snow and bright winter sun for our Super-Bowl visitors. It also made for a beautiful "City of Lakes Loppet", provided you had good winter clothes! Below are my pictures of the Enchanted Forest, taken without tripod or flash, hence the graininess. It was snowing, which was beautifu,l but it snuffed out quite a few of the regular ice lanterns that line the route for skiers and walkers. We'll never complain about fresh snow and cold for the Loppet though. It's Winter in Minnesota, after all.
Bridgetown Backless Dress/Mccall's 3525 Melange
This outfit was completed in early September, photo done in January, journal entry in February. At least we're sticking to a timeline. Read about this make in Our Journal.
Our City of Lakes: Haptic Lab Map Quilt
I finished my first Haptic lab quilt. I'm pleased with how it turned out. I have no idea how long it took because I usually worked on it when something else was going on, like of car trips, or when a movie was playing, or even sitting on the dock at the cabin. It was a learning experience, and I will definitely do some things differently on the next one.
It is hand stitched using pearl cotton for the main streets, Aurifil 12 weight thread in a variety of blues for the rivers and lakes and blue variegated hand quilting thread for the side streets. I used Essex yarn dyed linen-cotton blend in light blue for the front and flax for the back. The batting is wool. The binding is vintage mid weight denim cut on the bias.
As usual, I just dove in on this one without much of a strategic plan (which I will devise before starting my next one). I pin basted the template, front, batting, back double decker sandwich together and then quickly realized that safety pins and hand sewing are a frustrating combination as the thread was constantly getting hooked on the pins, so this was quickly replaced with multiple digital lines of hand basting starting from the center and working out in rays. I didn't use a hoop , but started hand sewing in the downtown neighborhood near the center, then outlined all the bodies of water, and then started working outward, but saved our neighborhood in Kenwood for last. The main streets (as chosen by the template design are done in natural colored pearl cotton using back stitch) and the side streets are done in running stitich with variegated quilting thread.
Next time I'll pick and choose the streets for their personal significance, instead of sewing all of them. I'll choose a solid color thread (the blue variegated did not provide enough contrast when working in the light phase). I also will avoid running stitch because I found it difficult to keep the tension right. Sew and learn...
Tiered Preppy Hippie Skirt how to
Bohemian meets preppy. Christmassy, but not too Christmassy. We saw this skirt on a “famous maker” website, and not only could we make it ourselves, but we already had the fabric in the shop (a Royal Stewart inspired House of Wales plaid.) Our skirt is above, on out big old cottonwood tree, theirs is below on model. Our "pattern" was self drafted, if you can call it drafted... All you need is a waist measurement and the formula/instructions listed below.
This was super easy and fun to make. In the end we decided to makes our a little shorter than floor length. It looked really sweet with an an oversized off-white cable sweater and Chelsea boots, though I have to say those plaid sneakers are awfully cute.
Here's to a happy Holiday Season to all of us! Remember to take some time during all the hustle and bustle of the season to feed your creative spirit. We're sure you've earned it.
Named Patterns are here, all the way from Finland!
Named patterns are here! We love the sleek style and simple sensibility of this pattern line, and are thrilled to share them with you! Let us introduce you to Named:
"Named is a Finnish clothing pattern label founded by sisters Saara and Laura Huhta. The story of Named started from the dream of turning a passion into a career, designing an own collection of clothing patterns felt like a natural way to implement both sistersâ€™ love for clothes, fashion, design and DIY. The duo wants to encourage fellow fashion lovers to give sewing their own garments a try.
Named garments are a combination of Scandinavian clean-lined simplicity and interesting details. The aim of the collections is to bring a new perspective to making oneâ€™s own clothes and to support ethical and ecological consuming in contrast to a clothing industry focused on fast fashion. Self-made clothing also allows for freedom of choice; by choosing oneâ€™s colors and materials and by changing garment details, the customer can be part of the design process. If dressing is a way to express oneself then self-made clothes are self-expression at its best.
Named is much more than handicrafts but it is also more than a fashion label among others â€“ it is learning, love for creation and joy of accomplishment! Named launches two main collections a year, along with small themed collections throughout the year. Named patterns have five levels of difficulty, which means that anyone from a beginner to a more experienced sewer can find patterns suited to their skill level."
We have a wide variety of Named patterns from their most recent collection "Earth Science" as well as our favorites from earlier collections "Playground," "Evolution Theory," "Royals," "New Black" and "First Named." The designs trip off your tongue with names like Talavikki, Lempi, Gaia, Ruri, Mintuu, Pilvi. and Inari...Anyone out there speak Finnish?
The patterns are beautifully packaged, with well written instructions and are sized for US 0-18 (EUr 32-50). Maybe its time to treat yourself (or your favorite sewist) to a beautiful paper pattern to start the Winter off in style?
December Class Schedule
Our December Class schedule is finally up and ready (better late than never, right?). We have offerings for kids and for adults with lots to choose from. Check the CALENDAR for the overall schedule and the individual offerings in the CLASSES department. We hope you can take some time for yourself during this hectic holiday season to settle in and make something (for someone) you love. If the class offerings don't work for you don't be shy about contacting us about private, semiprivate or private small group instruction. We'd love to hear from you.
November 15, 7-9:00 PM
Are you interested in sewing from PDF patterns? We think a good place to start is Seamwork Magazine (with a little help from your sewing friends andLakes Makerie). Seamwork is an e-magazine that is focused on new and improving sewists and it full of "tips and tricks" about fabric, fit, construction and sewing techniques, pattern hacks and styling help you on your way to a beautiful self-made wardrobe. But the best part is that subscription includes access to 2 PDF patterns of your choice for only $7 each month. If you already subscribe, join us! If you would like to become a subscriber use our referral code by clicking here and come join us too. If you want to learn more, we'd love to have you join us!
Bring along any previous "Seamwork" makes that you would like to share for "Show and Tell" ( for example, my most recent is the Laura wrap skirt from the August issue, which passed the Windy City test on our recent trip to Chicago and which I highly recommend). Bring along any patterns that you have printed out for taping and tracing fun. I've got several that I'd be happy to share with people who have "paid" for them with Seamwork credits. If you're ready to sew, bring your machine or use one of ours ($20 fee with machine reservation). We have Swedish tracing paper, regular tracing paper, and thread for purchase plus 10% off all fabric in the shop!
We will meet at our "pop-in" space in the Artrageous Adventures Studio, 2121 W. 21st Street, Minneapolis (You could start with an early dinner at the Kenwood Restaurant next door.) This event is free.
Feel free to contact me with any questions!
What's New AT The lake...The Geometry of handsewing
October 14, Rainy Saturday
We are big fans of Alabama Chanin style and sensibility. The Geometry of Hand-Sewing (A Romance in Stitches and Embroidery from Alabama Chanin and the School of Making) is due out November 9 and we are thrilled to offer this book for preorder! Natalie Chanin is the founder and creative director of Alabama Chanin and author of Alabama Stitch Book, Alabama Studio Style, Alabama Studio Sewing + Design, and Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns. The book features illustrations by Sun Young Park.
"As makers, we tend to learn different stitches over time without thinking much about how they relate to one another. But when Natalie Chanin and her Alabama Chanin and The School of Making teams began to look at needlework closely, they realized all stitches are based on geometric grid systems—and by using grids as guides, they could make learning stitches, even seemingly elaborate ones, as easy as child’s play.
In The Geometry of Hand-Sewing Chanin presents their breakthrough method, featuring illustrated instructions (for both right- and left-handed stitchers) for more than 100 stitches—from the most basic straight and chain to the more fanciful feather and herringbone; photos of both right and wrong sides; and guidelines for modifying stitches to increase one’s repertoire further. To simplify learning, the book also includes two plastic stitching cards die-cut with the grids on which every stitch in the book is based. These reusable cards can be stitched through for practicing ( just as children use lacing cards to learn to tie shoes) or used as stencils for transferring grids to fabric."
Just in time for our long Minnesota Winter, this book will be the perfect thing to curl up with on one of our cold dark days to come. We can't wait to have a copy in our hands because it looks and beautiful as everything we've come to expect from Alabama Chanin.
Paperback with concealed spiral binding (8 1/2 x 10 3/4"), 144 pages with 50 color photos, 130 illustrations, and 2 perforated plastic stitch cards/templates)
August 1, 2017 Summer Sewing for kids with Lakes Makerie
We had "sew much fun" with our kid campers in July, we decided at the last minute to schedule some classes in the waning days of summer...before to long it will be all about "back to school." For those of you wondering, Lucie will be starting volleyball practice (Go Lakers!), but when she's available she'll be there helping. Schuyler the studio dog will be there too (unless you' re allergic to dogs on those days she'll stay home). Summer is starting to wind down, the days are getting shorter, but there's still plenty of time to learn to sew or to up your sewing game before school starts.
Here is a list of August classes for kids:
Tuesday August 8
9-Noon “Make Friends with a Sewing Machine!” Learn basic machine sewing, ($60 kids 6+ with no sewing machine experience, limit 4)
1-4 PM “Tweet, Tweet, Sew” Make a bird softie colorful bird softie ($50, ages 6 and up with sewing machine experience)
Wednesday August 9
9-Noon “Scrunchie Bunch” Hair Ties and head bands . If you want you can make a matching one for your favorite softie or dolls ($40, ages 6 and up with sewing machine experience)
1-4 PM “Mini-Fashion Studio,” Design and make clothes for your favorite doll or softie. ($45, ages 6 and up with sewing machine experience)
Thursday August 10
9-Noon“Simple Summer Top” sew a simple, sweet “pillow-case” style tie top or tunic ($65, ages 6 and up with sewing machine experience)
1-4 PM “Hide and Seek Bag” Drawstring bag for storing all your treasures ($50, ages 6 and up with sewing machine experience)
Friday August 11
9-Noon “Meow Mix” Kitty cat pillow and 2 mini kitty softies ($60, ages 6 and up with sewing machine experience)
1-4 PM “Pajama Party” Shortie pajama bottoms with elastic waist ($50, ages 6 and up with sewing machine experience)
Monday August 21
9-Noon“Make Friends with a Sewing Machine!” Learn machine sewing, ($60 kids 6+ with no sewing machine experience, limit 4)
1-4 PM “Won’t you be my Teddy Bear?” Design and make a custom bear softie with us ($50 kids 6+ with sewing machine experience)
Tuesday August 22
9-Noon “Pet Portrait Pillow” Make a colorful envelope pillow decorated with your favorite friend ($50, ages 6 and up with sewing machine experience)
1-4 PM “Gather Together Skirt”* Make a gathered skirt with pockets ($40, this class does not include materials and will require 1.5- 2 yards of medium weight cotton or cotton lawn, you may bring your own, purchase fabric from us 20% off for class participants, or pay a $20 kit fee)
Wednesday August 23
9-Noon “Sew where you go!” Make a colorful travel sewing kit, so you can sew anywhere! ($50, ages 6 and up with sewing machine experience)
1-4 PM “Hotch Potch t -shirt” Mix and match knits to design and make raglan sleeved t- shirt all your own ($60, ages 10+, sewing machine experience required)
Thursday August 24
9-Noon “Dear Diary” Make a colorful cover for your journal or sketchbook, that can even hold your pencils or paintbrushes ($50, ages 6 and up with sewing machine experience)
1-4 PM “Cedar Tote Bag” Carry all the cool things you made this summer, or carry it (dare we say?…) back to school ($55, ages 6 and up with sewing machine experience
Sign up for our newsletter (link at the bottom left of this page) so we can keep you posted about the goings on around here. Every issue contains a little gift from us to you. (HINT: This issue contains a coupon code...)
We've added some fun kid sewing classes and camps and we'd love to have you (if you're a kid) or your kid join us. Here is Kit, modeling an outfit from the Mini-Fashion Studio. We can also do private/semi-private or small group instruction at your convenience (even if you are an adult!). Just drop us a note and we'll get right back to you. All classes and camps are held at our pop-up space in the Artrageous Adventures Studio in "downtown" Kenwood, Minneapolis.
Summer's finally here, so time for a new Facebook header. This season we choose Betsy Blue Liberty Tana Lawn. Perfect for summer makes (or maybe even some Wiksten baby bloomers). Fabric and pattern in the shop, along with lots of other cool and breezy cotton lawns!
Lots of new Classes added for May
We're especially excited about the Nokomis Knot Bag, our take on the reversible Japanese knot bag in three sizes. Our shop samples above were made by Rashida Colman-Hale of Cotton and Steel, Gray "Jax" flax/cotton canvas from Sevenberry (Japan), and Citron Wave linen/cotton canvas also by Rashida Coleman-Hale
We are pleased to announce the arrival of two adorable new patterns, the Wiksten Made Baby+Toddler Bloomers and Harem Pants. We have been a fan of Jenny Gordy's simple but special PDF patterns (Love the Tova Tunic) for ever, so we were ever so happy to welcome her first two paper patterns to our growing pattern collection. This are simple to make, with a clear, colorful and beautifully photographed instruction booklet. Sizes newborn to 3 years are included, and will sew up beautifully in lawn, double gauze, soft quilting weight cotton or even knits. We've just traced them out and will be making up samples tonight. Look for a class for making these sweet patterns soon.. .(and remember to sign up for our newsletter so you can keep you posted!)
Merchant and Mills
We are thrilled to announce that we are now proud stockists of Merchant and Mills sewing patterns and notions. Just in, we have the Factory, Rugby, Trapeze, Dress Shirt and Hallie + Ellis dresses for ladies, the Landgate Jacket for ladies, the Camber set and Top 64 tops and the 101 Trouser for ladies. We are have the ever so adorable the Trapezette and Skipper dresses for girls. More to come, we're sure!