Poor Man’s Silk Screen

Over at craftgrrl, there’s a fantastic screen print tutorial. A step above the freezer paper stencil, a step below a full-scale screen printing shop in your basement, it’s a great technique for embellishing tees, for designing your own fabric, for working with images. Just a cool way to do stuff.

I threw together a kit for the shop including supplies and my own version of the instructions, complete with photos and two sample designs. I’d love to see what y’all can do with them! Personally, I want to tackle a project with multiple colors–a fat quarter of hand-screened fabric, maybe. Hmmm….

Swatch Thursday: I must be hungry.

Cupcakes! Check out the print, then check out Cake Wrecks, one of the most popular foodie blogs on the web–and easily one of the funniest. Then come on back for a yard or two. In petal pink or buttercream yellow, both 100% Kona cotton from Robert Kaufman.

Sweet Tooth in Petal

Sweet Tooth in Yellow

Wardrobe Refashion

I teach a series of classes called Wardrobe Recycle, inspired by the numbers of people (mostly women) who are part of the truly, truly fabulous Wardrobe Refashion. I’m currently working on a version of this class taught online, in addition to the format we offer in person. It’s such a great wway to re-envision your wardrobe, reuse what you already have, practice some sewing skills in a low-stress environment, and come up with spectacularly original designs–all at the same time!

After pledging for four months–through birthdays, and births and holidays–I’m singing up for another four and pledging to make or repurpose all my family’s wardrobe (save underthings) from now until late spring. Join me, won’t you?

Check it out, consider taking the plunge, or just lurk and follow along. I have NO DOUBT you’ll find tons and tons of inspiration for ways to make your own wardrobe over.

Happy Sewing!

Changes to the Westminster Fabrics Pricing Policy

Posts are zipping around the internet about the new pricing policy Westminster Fabrics is putting into effect beginning Feb 1 of this year–just a couple weeks from now. The company has announced that it will require all retailers of its fabrics to adhere to mandatory minimum advertised pricing on fabrics less than one year old, which will place the retail cost of a yard of any Westminster print at $9.50. Kim over at TrueUP has a clear post on this that’s been referenced a lot today and gives a good number of details.

Here at Whipstitch, I’m thrilled to offer Westminster Fabrics. A number of other retailers have indicated that they’ll order less or none of Rowan and FreeSpirit fabrics as a result of the burden this decision puts on their business. I love the prints and designers over at Westminster, though, and am proud to offer lines like Joel Dewberry and the new stuff from Jay McCarroll. I love Amy Butler and Heather Bailey, and I know that customers like these prints, as well. I won’t be dropping Westminster, and realistically, won’t reduce the number of bolts I offer.

The truth is that at Whipstitch, I order ONLY fabrics that I love–not those that I anticipate will sell well or make the most profit for me. I know that some other retailers are hoping to reduce the yardage they might have left on hand if a particular fabric fails to sell well, but I tend to use mine or hoard it obsessively, and am far more concerned with offering prints I adore and feel good about having in the shop. Feel free to bookmark Whipstitch as your location for Westminster prints if you have trouble finding them elsewhere after Feb 1–but know that the per yard price will increase to maintain my good standing with this trusted manufacturer.

Tutorial: Rolled Hem Presser Foot

One of my favorite finds recently has been this:

My rolled hem presser foot. This bad boy is designed to put a perfect teeny tiny hem in the edge of your fabric, right at the machine–no more pressing, then turning and pressing again, just feed it through and press & stitch all at once! Miraculous, especially for delicate fabrics like chiffons and the like, but also dead useful for making trims and ruffles. Now, when I want to make the ruffle for an apron like this one:

I simply cut my fabric, stitch together into a single long piece, then feed it under my fancy presser foot to give the lower edge a perfect hem.

Here in Atlanta, these feet are available at the Hancock Fabrics on Miami Circle/Sidney Marcus–I realize I’m sending you into the lion’s den, but that’s the only place I’ve seen this display. Right at the end of the cutting table, near the thread and facing the window, is a cardboard display endcap with a whole selection of universal specialty presser feet. They work with any model–hence the “universal”–and come in two shank styles (upright and angled, depending on your manufacturer).

Check out the Sewing Divas for the full tutorial–theirs is so excellent that I didn’t think it was useful to make a whole new one here. I will say that I solidly endorse their suggestion to stop when going over bulky spots–like seams–and fold by hand, then reinsert into the hem foot. Makes the process much smoother.

Happy sewing!

Swatch Thursday: Something Completely Different

So, I was tempted to throw up more rock-n-roll fabric, but enough with the theme, already. Instead, here’s a new arrival in the shop, from Amy Butler’s Daisy Chain collection:

Amy Butler is a HUGE name in fabric design, and has her hand in all manner of pies: paper, books, patterns, you name it. Check out her website and drop a comment if you’d like to see Whipstitch carry more of the coordinates from this line!

Swatch Thursday: Rustic Guitars

I love a good theme. Like, when I completed my Master’s thesis on acorns (no lie) I gave all my professors a teensy oak sapling sprouted from acorns that had fallen in my yard over the winter. I mean, I REALLY love a theme.

And right now, it’s GUITARS, which are suddenly everywhere these days. Where were they in fifth grade when I wasn’t motivated to practice mine and skipped out on my lessons? I could rock out on Greensleeves now if only I’d practiced then!!

From Michael Miller (again–hey, maybe it’s a Michael-Miller-guitar conspiracy??):

Available as we speak, in the shop.

Swatch Thursday: Groovy Guitars

Featured today for Swatch of the Week:

Groovy Guitars in Lime, by Michael Miller
For those of you newer to quilting, crafting, and 21st century fabric sales, there are a few names in the industry that are worth your time to know.  Michael Miller is a manufacturer based out of New York, and as a company is known for their funky and light-hearted prints.  They also act as a converter of cotton fabrics; this means they are the sales front for fabric designers, and offer those designers’ collections to wholesale accounts such as clothing manufacturers and retail fabric shops.
This particular print is a Michael Miller original, and comes in four colorways.  My preference is the lime, since I’ve been on an aqua/lime/royal blue kick for months now, and because I like the way those colors POP against the chocolate background.
Check the link in the sidebar to head over to the Whipstitch Fabrics Etsy shop if you’d like to pick up a little by the yard, and always feel free to leave comments below!


Loads of sick babies at our house.  Only thing keeping my spirits up is this:

Not even in the shop yet–am too greedy to have it all to myself!  Ah, well, I suppose this time of year is a good one to learn to let go.  Look for it by end of the day!

Wow, Etsy, Thanks!

Y’all, can I just say how great the experience has been so far at Etsy? What an amazing group of people, all of them truly looking to promote handmade and produce top-quality stuff. I have been so impressed so far with the number of sales Whipstitch has had in such a short time, how great the Etsians have been, how many supplies and fabulous finds I’ve been able to get there.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out our new shop, please head over there now!

While you’re there, check out some of these other places to get great sewing supplies, all right on THE handmade shoppers paradise:

Toby’s Momsells buttons to cover at fantastic prices

Pattern Shop has tons of vintage patterns of all kinds
Twinkling Trinkets carries really cool charms and doodads to add to handbags and knitting projects (among other things)
Kalla makes gorgeous handprinted textiles–and ships direct from Japan!
Have fun checking it out, and let me know what other amazing goodies you find!