Blog Posts Tagged ‘sewing’

 

Our next fabric collection, Vintage 74, is finalized, and I’ll be putting in our order at the end of the week! It used to be that I would design a collection, place the order, and then introduce it shortly before it was due to arrive, with fingers crossed that it was well-received. That required me to guess at what would be the best-sellers (so I could order more), and also which ones would be slower, as well as selling the fabric after the fact. Over the years I’ve honed my skill at predicting, but I still lack a crystal ball, so inevitably I’d miscalculate on something.

 

After a few years of feeling frustrated that I was spending more time on sales than on design, we decided to change our model and pre-sell the fabrics to our wholesale customers, and then place our order based on those sales. Total game-changer. Now I know what my customers want, so I can make sure to order enough, and I can avoid the pitfalls that come with the occasional quirky print that worms its way into my heart… but fails to appeal to many others. It does take a little bit of the excitement out of the big reveals that used to happen at industry shows like Quilt Market, but it just means that the reveals happen online, as they do for most customers anyway.

 

Now I’m getting really excited for our upcoming collection, Vintage 74! This group started out as a loose collection of gouache paintings, but once I had them grouped and colored, they reminded me so much of my grandmother’s Michigan farmhouse where I would sometimes spend summers as a kid. I don’t have many photos of the inside, but it was surrounded by fields and meadows, with a flower garden in back. I remember kitchen valences made from a cottage-style floral (in my memory it was just like our Orchard print), and the windowsills were decorated with her colored glass collection in shades of rose and amber. There were wooden bowls full of sugared fruit, and little carved chicadees – endlessly fascinating to a kid. I was 10 or 11 when she sold the farmhouse and moved to town, but that house is still so vivid in my memory.

This collection should be landing in May, and I’m already making plans for summer sewing. The palette and prints really lend themselves to bright, summery designs, with a bit of a retro feel. As always, the fabrics are GOTS-certified organic, and will be printed on our premium poplin, and possibly on lawn as well (I hope so!).

One of the most exciting parts of designing a fabric collection is when the big package of strike-offs lands on my doorstep. The strike-offs are the hand-screened samples that show what the artwork and color will look like on the final product. Sometimes, they’re spot on and look exactly like I’d hoped they would. Every once in a while they look even better! And then occasionally… well, we go for round two (or three). Last week our Magical Creatures strike-offs arrived, and they look great! Here’s a little peek:

Magical Creatures by Monaluna

The collection is 9 prints total, with 4 of them (the green, gold, lavender and pink blenders) carrying forward to sit with our upcoming Saturday collection (Coming in February). As always, the designs are printed on our GOTS-certified organic cotton poplin (read more about the GOTS certification here!), which works beautifully for quilting as well as many apparel and home dec projects. We see it as a great all-purpose cotton fabric.

The prints are a balance of large, medium and small scale motifs, designed to work well together in quilts and clothing.

There Be Dragons by Monaluna

Although it was tempting to go all girly with the unicorns and mermaids, we got some excellent dragons in there too (for the boys, or girls who like dragons, like me!) The green and gold blenders both work really nicely with that print.

Mermaid Party by Monaluna

I’m already planning for a pair of Mermaid Part pajama bottoms with a Lavender Dots top…

Unicorn Dreams by Monaluna

I felt like I was channeling my 4th-grade self when I painted the Unicorn Dreams print. I was unicorn-obsessed as a 10-year-old, and was also quite excited about flower crowns and peacock feathers, so I got them all into that print. Come to think of it, I’m still a bit obsessed with those things…

There will be a few minor tweaks to the prints (color trapping should be better, and a few colors will be adjusted for better details), but they’ll be on their way shortly! Look for the collection to land around the middle of November.

Field Flowers

At the very end of November, amidst the holiday hubbub and retail busy-ness, our beautiful new Simple Life Knits arrived in the shop. Now that we’re revving up our spring sewing, it’s time to give them the spotlight! These beauties are unlike anything we’ve carried before – all the luxurious softness of our Anya Knits, but with 6% spandex, which makes them extra stretchy and perfect for active and play wear. They’re jersey knit, so they’ve got the drape and the characteristic curl, and they’re 100%, GOTS-certified organic fabric!

 

 

One of the really lovely aspects of these knits is their generous width – at 63-64 inches, you have plenty to work with, and a little yardage goes a long way. The prints are crisp and graphic with a bit of a Scandinavian vibe, for modern projects that span all age groups. The collection also includes 3 versatile solids that coordinate perfectly.

 

 

The medium weight of the Simple Life Knits makes it suitable for sewing projects all year long. It makes an ideal warm weather T-shirt, but can also be stitched into a snuggly wrap. They’re great for babywear and kids clothes as well as active dresses, skirts and even yoga pants. Here’s to a new year full of made-by-you cozy, comfy clothes!

 

Threadfollower Kangaroo Kit

We recently got in 6 new Threadfollower kits, each featuring it’s own animal design. Today we are going to help you through this precious Kangaroo kit. It is simple, fun and can be completed in an afternoon.

The kit included: beige felt (2 small, 2 large squares), beige embroidery thread, embroidery needle, stuffing, directions, and pattern

You will need: scissors and pins

To start, the directions will help you prepare your thread. This is done very simply by splitting the thread into two 3-ply pieces. Next, pin the pattern to the appropriately sized felt pieces and cut along the edges.

After cutting all your pieces (2 big body, 2 little body, 2 big ears, 2 little ears, 1 tail, 1 pouch, & 1 base), thread your needle and begin by sewing the two large body pieces together, using a whip stitch.

Once you’ve made it almost to the end, place the tail in-between the two body pieces and continue sewing. Refer back to the pattern for placement guidance.

Once the tail is attached, finish stitching the body. After knotting the thread begin stuffing the kangaroo. I cut a smaller piece to push into the head and stuffed the remaining. Don’t forget to leave some out for the baby’s stuffing.

 

Once stuffed, attach the base using a whip stitch. Attach the pouch to the front of the belly, leaving the top open.  Make sure to allow room for the baby to fit in the pouch. I found it easiest to position the pouch by pinning down the sides.

 

Next, add the ears by pinching the pieces together and sewing one on either side. The little baby body is a quick sew. Whip stitch all the way around leaving a small hole to stuff. Once stuffed close off the opening and attach the little ears.

 

 

Lastly, sew the baby’s nose using the brown thread and the mother’s eyes using the black thread. TA-DAH! The sweetest little kangaroo pair. Perfect for any pocket, lunch box, backpack, or windowsill.

 

 

 

 

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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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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

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!

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?

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 Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

We’ve teamed up with Phat Quarters and a whole crew of amazing bloggers, sewists and pattern designers to do a Wanderlust Blog Tour, and it starts TODAY! Head over to the Phat Quarters today, and then follow along all week for some amazing inspiration from these talented ladies.

 

Wanderlust Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

Wanderlust Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

Wanderlust Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

Wanderlust Organic Fabric by Monaluna

Wanderlust Blog Tour 
Sponsored by Monaluna
Hosted by Phat Quarters
Monday Aug. 8 – Monaluna & Phat Quarters
Wednesday Aug 10th – Jilly Atlanta & Chalk and Notch
Thursday Aug. 11th – Paisley Roots & Blaverry
Friday Aug. 12th – Sprouting Jube Jube & Phat Quarters