Blog Posts Tagged ‘organic fabric’

August is coming to a close and, at least in our area, all the kids are back in school. Are summers shorter than they used to be, or does time just fly that much faster when you’re an adult? I still have stacks of summer sewing projects that I wanted to do, but it’s time to move on to fall. We’ve stitched up some darling drawstring backpacks, perfect for light loads for school, sleepover kits or a hands-free carryall for grown-ups.

Sew Can She  is always coming up with great patterns and tutorials, and we spotted this one, available for free for download. It’s also easy to modify to suit your needs. We decided to make ours a bit bigger and use grommets instead of fabric tabs for the securing of the straps. The pattern includes fabric straps, but you can just as easily use rope-like cording, like we did, ribbon, or any other strap-link material.

There is also an option to add a ruffle accent at the top to add a bit of flare. The ruffle is added by cutting the fabric at 6″ instead of 3″ at the top. Then sewing a stitch an inch away from the seam allowing the trim to attach to the main fabric.

Adding grommets are much easier than you may think. You can purchase a grommet kit at most craft stores or online. They come with easy to follow instructions and the only additional tool you will need is a hammer. We really enjoyed how the grommets and cord finished these backpacks. They are also super adjustable for all sizes and fits.

This backpacks were made using Cottage Garden Organic Poplin and Simple Life Organic Poplin, but you could easily use canvas for a studier finish. Overall, these backpacks only need about an yard and a quarter of fabric and take no time at all to sew up. Don’t forget to tag @monalunadesign and hashtag #monaluna on Instagram so we can see how you put yours together. Happy Sewing!

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This week at Monaluna, we stitched up the free Sorbetto pattern by Colette in our  Cherry Blossom Dusk  organic cotton lawn  from Haiku 2. The pattern is easily printed out and feature sizes 1-26.

We chose Version 1, which features a center front box pleat and bust darts for shaping. Bias tape finishes the modest scoop neckline as well as the armholes. Here in California the weather is just perfect for this classic, lightweight top. The simple pattern, with the added pleating creates a romantic piece suitable for all occasions. We are in love with how this piece turned out!

 

Our organic cotton lawn is an ideal fabric for this pattern, because it is lightweight and drapey, but still crisp enough to hold a nice pleat. The poplins will work well, too, and can transition better into cooler weather.

With this pattern there are unlimited possibilities! Here are some suggestions for which of our organic fabrics we think will also work well with this pattern.

 

Version 2 of the Sorbetto top features a center front box pleat and bust darts for shaping. Bias tape finishes the modest scoop neckline as well as the armholes. This tunic length version has a side seam vent and slight high-low hem, which is finished with a facing.

For Version 2 we think Scattered Petals, Spots lawn, and Cherry Blossom Dawn would make a beautiful garment!

Version 3 of the Sorbetto top features a center front box pleat and bust darts for shaping. Bias tape finishes the modest scoop neckline. This version includes short set-in sleeves that are finished with a baby hem.

For Version 2 we were thinking Brush Teal, Poem Sage, or Clover. Happy Sewing!

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Our Haiku 2 collection arrives today, and we are excited to get busy sewing up quilts, clothing and other projects with this lovely new organic fabric! Inspired by the short Japanese poetry form, this collection features delicate watercolor florals and brushstrokes juxtaposed with bold metallic stamping. We’ve recolored our original prints for a collection that is deeper and even more harmonious, with shades of pink and plum set off by pops of teal, sage and chartreuse. Here are a few of our first Haiku 2 projects. Take a look at the full range here and let us know: what would you make from these new fabrics?

 

Haiku Organic Fabric by Monaluna

Our Cottage Garden  organic fabric collection has arrived and is now shipping! 9 playful prints featuring charming garden creatures, pansies, mushrooms and spots are printed on our premium, 100% organic cotton fabric.

A Cottage Garden Daydream:

 

Here at Monaluna, we’re envisioning a sweet girl exploring an English garden. As she wanders through the green grass, she sees strawberries, pink pansies and animals of all kinds. Hedgehogs! Squirrels! Deer! Foxes! And rabbits! Oh how delightful – she was amongst all her garden friends. They laughed and played without a care.

 

Little red mushrooms with pinprick white spots scattered the yard, just as cute as can be. Ladybugs dotted the sky and grass below. Her red and white polka dot dress blew in the warm breeze. She picked a plump, red strawberry from the field and its sweet taste filled her heart with joy and springtime giggles. As she laid back in the plush grass, the setting sun shone upon her smiling face. The moon and the stars sparkled the sky as the evening blanked her in a navy blue dreamland.

 

 

Cottage Garden honors the garden dweller in all of us: it is a playful collection featuring garden flowers, tiny mushrooms, strawberry fields and charming English garden critters. As always, printed on premium, 100% organic cotton fabric. After a long-awaited arrival, these delightful prints are now available!

 

Simple Life Organic Canvas by Monaluna

 

I’ve been hearing from customers lately who love the look and feel of our organic cotton canvas, but they’re not quite sure what projects to use it for. We have ideas for you! If the word “canvas” brings to mind heavy, stiff fabric used mainly for tents and oil paintings, we’d love to introduce you to a whole new world of canvas.

 

Ours is a lightweight but sturdy oxford-weave cotton, with just enough structure to make it ideal for tote bags and purses, hats, pillows, table linens, and apparel like skirts, jumpers and coats. It can even be used in place of denim. The possibilities are endless!

 

Simple Life Canvas by Monaluna

 

All of our canvases are GOTS-certified, which means they conform to strict environment and also social standards. (Read about the standard here!) You can see our new Simple Life canvases here, or for playful and bright, fruit-themed canvases, check out our Juicy Canvas here!

Organic Fabric Patchwork Heart

 

Do you want to make a special (but simple!) Valentine for your loved ones, and do some scrap busting at the same time? This is the perfect project! Here’s what you’ll need:

 

-Blank greeting card (plus a little extra heavy paper) or heavyweight cardstock or bristol (watercolor paper is great, or something with a little texture)

-scraps of pink and red-toned fabric (or, why not make a green Valentine?)

-sewing machine or hand stitching supplies (especially contrast thread)

-glue or glue stick is helpful

 

Step 1: Prepare your card to the desired size and measure to find the middle of the front of the card. Draw your heart lightly with pencil, and then cut with an Exacto knife (or free-form cut if you’re feeling bold).

 

card middle

 

Step 2: Cut your scraps into long strips and sew together piece-by-piece, with right sides facing. The length of the strips will depend on how many cards you’re doing. If just doing one, you only need the strips to be long enough to cover your heart, plus about 1/2 inch. If you’re planning to do multiple cards keep the strips long and then cut into sections once they’re pieced. Press your piecing flat.

 

piecing

 

Step 3: Arrange your fabrics as you would like them on the inside of the card, with the finished side facing through the heart cutout. Make sure you have at least 1/4″ of fabric all the way around the edges of the heart. If you have glue handy, apply a couple dots to hold the fabric in place.

Step 4: cut an extra piece of paper about 1/4″ larger (on all sides) than your square of pieced fabric. Place this over the raw side of the piecing on the inside of the card, and dot glue at the corners to hold in place.

Step 5: starting at the bottom, stitch around your heart about 1/8″ from the edge of the cutout. Do not backstitch at the beginning and end, and keep the thread tails long. When you have finished stitching, open up the card, and using a pin, pull the thread tails to the inside of the card. Tie in a knot and clip close to the knot.

 

finished heart 2

Valentine

After what seems like a very long wait, our Simple Life Poplins, Canvas and Cotton Lawns have finally arrived! Inspired by the crisp, clean lines of Scandinavian design, these ranges incorporate woodland animals, graphic florals and geometrics, all in a palette of blues, red and warm white.

 

I spent the year after high school living in Denmark, just south of Copenhagen, and this collection sprung from memories of my kitchen there – steaming Bodum mugs and red coffee carafes, strawberry cake with whipped cream, lingonberry jam, cut flowers and wildlife passing by the big windows that looked onto the beach. Such a beautiful place.

 

Simple Life Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

The prints come on 3 different base cloths – our versatile poplin, featherweight cotton lawn and sturdy canvas – so you can pick just the right weight for your project. We’ve already used them to make up garments, quilts, pillows, clutch bags, backpacks, table linens, oh – and some cute Christmas ornaments!  What would you make with these fabrics?

The holidays are now in full swing, and this year, more than ever, I’m feeling excited to spend my holiday shopping dollars supporting green businesses. In the year since I opened our Monaluna studio and shop, I have loved finding independent makers who create beautiful, handmade products using sustainable materials and practices to fill out the “Green Goods” section of our shop. Some of them use our organic fabric and other organic materials in their products, some use reclaimed or recycled materials, and others are focused on helping impoverished communities through fair trade production. In all cases, these are products that have a lower negative impact on the environment, a positive impact on communities, and help to elevate the practice of creative making. Today, we celebrate small makers using organic fabric, and bring you part 1 of our Eco-Friendly Gift Guide, the Etsy-shop Guide! Check out these great etsy.com sellers, who make many or all of their products using organic fabric.

 

Organic Quilt Company

Handmade, organic items that are beautiful, functional and ethical.

Organic Baby Blanket from Organic Quilt Company

Organic Quilt Company

 

BabyDear

Hand sewn and crocheted baby blankets, baskets and hats. The doll Moses Baskets are adorable!

Crocheted Edge Blanket - Baby Dear Shop

Baby Dear Shop

 

Indigo Crane

High-quality, handmade knitting and project bags. Perfect gifts for crafters!

indigo-crane

Organic cotton knitting bags by Indigo Crane

 

Fern Organics

Organic cotton and hand knit clothing, hats and accessories.

Organic Knit Play Set from Four Ferns

Organic Knit Play Set from Fern Organics

 

Kimimila New York

Darling organic clothing for babies and kids.

Feeling Clucky Organic Playsuit by Kimimila

Feeling Clucky Organic Playsuit by Kimimila

 

Mary OBrien Baby

Organic fabric baby items in beautiful packaging that is 100% reusable and compostable.

Organic Cotton Bib Set by Mary O'Brien Baby

Organic Cotton Bib Set by Mary O’Brien Baby

 

Sew Bendy

Handmade project bags or purses, including lots of organic fabric options!

Organic fabric purse or project bag by Sew Bendy

Organic fabric purse or project bag by Sew Bendy

 

Thread and Ginger

Bags, purses and accessories including some organic fabric options.

Organic cotton hot pads by Thread and Ginger

Organic cotton hot pads by Thread and Ginger

 

Benoit Designs

Organic, eco-luxe and cotton creations.

Organic cotton quilt by Benoit Designs

Organic cotton quilt by Benoit Designs

 

Nikki Designs

Organic cotton and hemp table linens, window coverings and home furnishings.

Organic cotton place mats by Nikkidesigns

Organic cotton place mats by Nikkidesigns

 

Stay tuned for more eco-friendly gift ideas in the coming week!

 

 

With all the excitement over the arrival of Wanderlust and Bloom, I haven’t properly celebrated the arrival of some highly requested reprints. Our ever popular Pink Delicious print from the Juicy Collection is now back in stock, as well as Swim from Under the Sea, and Swoop from Anya.

Pink Delicious by Monaluna

It used to be that we almost never reprinted designs, because it seemed to make more sense to introduce new designs. More and more, though, we’re getting consistent requests to reprint, and we always try to accommodate, so if there’s a print you want to see back in stock, let us know!
Swim Organic Fabric by Monaluna

For now, I’m glad to have these lovelies back on the shelves.

Swoop Organic Fabric by Monaluna

Wanderlust by Monaluna

 

Every time I design a new collection, I begin with some sort of central inspiration point. Usually it’s something simple – a mood, or a style, or a particular print idea that gets stuck in my head. With our upcoming Wanderlust collection, the inspiration point was the idea of serendipity.

 

Last winter I had been half-listening to a radio program talking about the value of being open to unexpected good fortune, and it got me thinking. There was a time in my life when I made a serious practice of this: of listening carefully, and paying close attention to everything that came my  way. It’s actually kind of a skill, and one that I worked at regularly. But somewhere over the past several years, amidst the flurry of family building and house buying and business starting, I stopped paying such close attention. I’m very grateful for the life I have, but I’ve gotten much more focused and task-oriented, and a little less attentive to the unexpected but precious little joys that the universe sends my way. So I started to think about the times when I was very attuned to these little serendipities, and I found myself remembering one bittersweet summer when I was able to give myself over to this idea completely.

 

The story began the summer of 1998, when I had agreed to house sit for my dad and step-mom while they traveled in Europe for a month. I was in an odd place in my life at the time: I was trying to get over a bad breakup and not healing gracefully, and I had just quit my first “real” job, and was sketchy on what my next steps should be. A month of contemplation in Pacific Grove, CA seemed like just the right thing. And it was good. I didn’t know anyone there at the time (I had been living in Minneapolis), so I spent 4 weeks thinking, journaling, listening to the universe, walking the dog and making jam from everything I could get at the farm stands outside Watsonville. I thought about what I wanted my life to look like, and who I wanted to be, and I felt a sense of clarity for the first time in a while. The week before I was to leave I happened to see a cute little Cabriolet for sale, and decided on a whim to buy it and drive home to Minneapolis rather than fly. Yes, I was much more spontaneous back then. This was kind of a big deal for me: it was the first car I had bought, and it was my entire life savings (which, to be fair, wasn’t much). I thought I was being very responsible by taking the car to a recommended mechanic and making sure it was in good condition. Which, I was assured, it was.

 

A few days later, I was on the road, off on my one-woman adventure across America. Or half way across, anyway. According to my calculations, I would be home in four days. But that wasn’t to be. I made it as far as Williams, Arizona before the car broke down. Due to the, ahem, foreign nature of my car, there were no parts readily available, so I spent 3 days exploring the area. I rented a car and visited the Grand Canyon, wandered around American Indian ruins, and gazed at the lovely painted desert. It was a minor set-back, but I had time, and I got a really nice mini Arizona vacation out of the deal. A few days and some radiator hoses later, the car was finished and I hopped in and headed East, ready to be home. I made it about 15 minutes out of town before the engine overheated again. Sitting on the side of the road at dusk, hazards blinking, I started to really question whether this car was such a great idea. Eventually, a couple pulled over, and the husband – a former NASA engineer – assured me that I could make it the 1/2 hour drive to Flagstaff – they’d follow me in to make sure I made it okay. The next morning, I took the car to a mechanic, and got the devastating news that I’d fried the engine on my 1/2 hour trek up the mountain. A replacement engine would take an extra 10 days, and and cost almost as much as I’d paid for the car.

 

At this point, present-day ‘me’ would have aborted the mission, trashed the car, bought a plane ticket and flown home in despair. But this is where that serendipity thing came in. I decided to fix the car. That night, I took myself out to an I’ll-be-in-debt-forever-so-might-as-well-start-now dinner at a nice Italian restaurant and poured out my tale of woe to the sympathetic waiter. Who, it turned out, was also a florist. The next morning, I woke up to a gigantic bouquet of flowers waiting for me at the hotel front desk, and the news that some friends of a friend of my mother’s were visiting Minneapolis from (surprise!) Flagstaff, and I was welcome to stay in their (gorgeous) home in the picturesque hills. Thus began my amazing 10 day adventure in Flagstaff and vicinity. What really should have been a very bad turn of events turned out to be an amazing and kind of life-changing experience that enriched me in ways I can’t quite express. The memories and the impressions of that time made a deep and lasting impression on me.

 

So all of that was in my head when I decided to base a collection on that trip. I remembered the photos I took as I drove through the countryside, and thought they would be great inspiration for prints, so I dug around in the attic until I found them. It turns out that what I remember as gorgeous images of the desert landscape were mostly photos of telephone poles and grass:

 

arizona

 

arizona

Ah, pre-digital photography. So I improvised a bit. But I was able to draw from all of those impressions of moody skies, dusky mauve and coral mountains, grazing horses and desert landscapes. And the result is our new collection, Wanderlust!

arizona 3

 

Wanderlust by Monaluna