Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Felty fun

Looking for crafty inspiration for the school holidays? At The Drapery we have 100% pure new wool felt in a large range of delicious colours. Our customers are using it for all kinds of creative things, and today we'd like to show you some books full of felty cuteness and fun, suitable for crafty kids.
Felties by Nelly Pailloux has a bunch of critters that are palm-sized, hand-sewn and tooth-achingly sweet. Instructions are very clear, including step-by-step diagrams and a list of everything you need - mostly just felt, needle and thread and a bit of stuffing. (We have pure wool or corn fibre stuffing in store.) And a little bit of felt goes a long way with these tiny creatures!

Too sweet? How about Zombie Felties!

Again, the instructions are great and the examples below were sewn by 11 and 12 year old boys.

We also have Big Little Felt Universe which honestly has almost an entire universe of felt objects to make, from felt fruit to felt power tools, a laptop computer, doctor's kit with working syringe, hamburger, lipstick... you name it!
For a more huggable-sized toy, try Woolbot from Fiona's Hop Skip Jump toy-making book.
Or if you'd like to start with something really simple, this no-sew pencil roll takes just one piece of our felt and a small length of twill tape. Check out this sample in store for how-to.

Felt, felt, felt, felt! Pre-cut pieces at 45 x 25cm or larger cuts priced by meterage.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Japanese sewing books at The Drapery

We love Japanese sewing books here at The Drapery, and it seems you do too! We're thrilled to be stocking even more of these beautiful and inspiring pattern books.

The styling shows just how effective it can be to take a simple pattern and make it in really beautiful fabric.

This 'Sweet Dress Book' has a number of basic pattern shapes which are then altered to make different garments and styles, for example the shirt above and the dress below.

The instructions and diagrams are clear and helpful.

Patterns are included on full-size sheets at the back of most of the books and simply require tracing off in your size. Seam allowances are not included on the pattern but the instructions show you where to add these, and how much. Some people are very accurate with adding them but to be honest, we generally just eyeball it as we cut.

We tried the shirt in a Nani Iro double gauze (sorry, this one's from the personal stash and no longer available!).

The fabric piece from the stash was a remnant and it took a bit of piecing to put the whole garment together, but it's a good example of how you can get creative with placement of some of the Nani Iro prints (for example this or this). We couldn't resist a large patch pocket on the front and one of our beautiful handmade floral cotton bias tapes for the neckline and sleeve finishes.

The pattern was a success, so it was time for the dress in a delicious Liberty Tana Lawn.

And here are some other books we have in store. This one is a great seller, both for its styles and for the fact the sizing has been graded up for 'western' bodies... in fact it's rather on the generous side.

 But wait, there's more - and even some for kids!
Do you have any questions about our Japanese sewing books? Let us know in the comments section and we'd be happy to help.

- Jane & Fiona xx

Monday, September 2, 2013

Sewaholic Patterns now in store!

Sewaholic Patterns have been on our 'wish list' for quite a while. Thanks to the pattern-buying enthusiasm of our lovely customers, we're thrilled to now be able to have them in stock.

If you've not seen Sewaholic before, it's an independent label designed by a delightful Canadian called Tasia. You can check out her blog and smiling face here. Tasia started Sewaholic with the 'pear-shaped' woman in mind but her patterns have appeal to many shapes and sizes.

Each pattern is multi-sized from US 0 - 16 (from bust 30, waist 24, hip 36 inches to bust 41, waist 35, hip 47). The unusual pattern names come from street and place names in Vancouver, where Tasia lives.

Sewaholic Patterns have a great following worldwide and Tasia's instructions are known for their detail and helpful diagrams. She also shares a lot of sewing knowledge and useful tips on her blog.

A couple of patterns we'd like to highlight are the brand new Saltspring Dress, and the enduring favourite Renfrew knit top.

The Saltspring is just in time for our spring and summer and looks about as breezy, comfy and cute as a summer dress could possibly be. A clever construction detail is that the bodice lining is shorter than the outer layer, so that the outer always 'blouses out' over the waist just the right amount.

An online sewalong for the Saltspring has just finished at the Sewaholic blog, so there's a great resource at your fingertips for step-by-step construction. And check out the finished results! (We have loads of beautiful fabrics in store that would be ideal for the Saltspring, even a couple of those featured.)

The Renfrew top is described thus: "This is the knit top pattern for people who dislike sewing with knits. Instead of standard machine-stitched hems, the sleeve and body hems are finished with bands. These banded hems are easy to sew and finish the edge in a professional-looking way." 

This could be the pattern to get you hooked on sewing with knits! There are so very many versions of this top around the internet, a quick Google search should provide plenty of inspiration. And it seems once you've made one Renfrew, you'll probably make another, and another, and another. It's one of those great wardrobe basics.

Inspired? Drop into The Drapery and see the Sewaholic patterns in person!

- Fiona & Jane xx