Posts tagged Magazines
What's New: Echo by Lotta Jansdotter


I actually did a little jig when I found out this line had arrived.  I have been so excited to see this.  In part because I love Lotta's aesthetic, and in part because I ordered the line complete.  I have not ordered a full line in a long time.  I love, love, love seeing what designers have intentioned for their work.  It's like downloading music, it gives you the option of picking and chosing which songs you want off an album.  When you purchase just one song, or a few from an album I feel like you miss out on what the whole picture was that the musicians painted for us.  On very rare occasion do I purchase only select songs, but more often than not, I order only bits and pieces of fabric lines, pieces that I think are the strongest, most interesting and will be the most appealing to all of you.  This group however, was all so lovely and easy to say yes to.  I hope you enjoy it as well!

 Whats new 11.9.11 001
Other new arrivals include the lastest issue of Stitch Magazine--all sorts of great gift ideas, many projects revisited from past issues, so if you missed out on something, here's another chance.

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Back to School Backpack


On a recent visit with my dear friend, Mollie, we got to catch up on a lot of news. This family has been a part of my life for a while, having known them in NYC. I had not realized how soon it was until her daughter, Maggie, was starting Kindergarten. Like this week! Being one without kids keeps me oblivious to these things. We chatted about buying school supplies, a favorite activity of mine growing up, and that Maggie would need a backpack. Lightbulb! "Maggie, would you like me to make you a backpack?"

Needless to say, I got fairly explicit instructions that I was happy to oblige. It's something I know as a sewist I take for granted--getting to produce and wear or carry exactly what I would like. Now I'm on a mission to produce a purple backpack with a baby brown bunny holding a carrot and with Maggie's name in pink.

I had purple canvas in my stash but we've got neutrals and fun colors in stock. I do recommend something with a little more heft to it, like canvas or home dec.

Canvas Selection

These cars or trains would have been awesome. Maybe for her brother. But I'm under strict orders!

Echino options

First up, embroider or applique the bunny? Since time was a factor and I'm no Anna Joyce, I found a sweet little bunny over on Urban Threads. Embroider, check!

Embroidering bunny

Name in pink, check!

placement of embroidery on backpack pocket

Pattern time. I'd heard through the grapevine that Melissa's Not-So-Big Backpack (from the Fall 2010 Stitch Magazine) shape and size was good for all of Maggie's Kindergarten needs. But I definitely wanted it lined. I simply cut the front, back, and side & bottom panel pieces out of a lining as well. I also interfaced the panel pieces of the exterior.

Stitch, Fall 2010

Hardware. I think metal teeth zippers look awesome so I picked some of those up along with these backpack straps we are now carrying.

backpack straps available-quick and easy!

Easy enough to change length--simply shift the foam insert up and trim away the excess. Then slip it back down and trim the cover. There should be some cover that extends past the foam. I left approx 1/2". Nylon webbing for lower strap, check!

Altering backpack strap

The construction felt fairly straight forward. It was very similar to other bags I've made, namely Amy Butler's Weekender Bag (but without all the headache that one caused). The majority of the work was done in under 2 hours, plus strap fitting and hand finishing and machine embroidery.

I took a cue from Oliver & S's Little Things to Sew book for sewing in the lining. Here you can see the exterior and lining have been pinned together at the bottom seam. 

pinning lining to exterior along stitch lines

A trick I learned for being uber-accurate when lining up two seam lines (and I think works well for darts too) is to pin on top of the stitch line through both layers. That way you ensure no slippage and the seams match up.

pinning for accurate stitching

sewing lining to exterior

Once the bag is right side out with the lining inside, you simply hand stitch the zipper opening in the lining to the zipper tape. 

pinning lining around zipper

When using a metal or molded zipper, I always walk the machine's hand wheel over the needle. That way I can prevent needle breakage and reinforce the area with backstitching. This is definitely a stress point. No needles were harmed in the making of this backpack!

walk handwheel over metal teeth zippers

For the bottom panel, I subbed in a faux leather. I thought this would make it more durable. And attractive!

faux leather bottom

All set and ready for the first day of school, check!

Hanging-finished Front

Maybe you've already got a backpack ready to go but still want to send them to school with something handmade? Erica's offering an Insulated Lunch Bag class that's perfect for back to school. Take it a step further and join me in Embroidery DIY to personalize your project. I'm offering a free spot in the class, just leave a comment over on the MD blog!


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A Big Saturday and Late Opening Wednesday!

timeless treasures organic

Today is a big day! Stop in today for a little shopping and you'll be rewarded with coupons for later purchases. We just unpacked some beautiful prints from Timeless Treasures including these incredible price sensitive organic cotton bolts (pictured above).

timeless treasures

timeless treasures-- hoodie!

Hoodie is now designing for Timeless Treasures as well, and we have her strawberries and a really great coordinating dot in raindrops.

Stitch magazine

New brand new Stitch Magazine is here. There are some standout articles featuring a behind the scenes with Project Runway (including local winners) and a Q&A with Ms. Amy Karol, not to mention stunning projects from a ton of designers including two of my favorites: Kevin Kosab and Ayumi Takahashi. Do you see that cover bag? It converts from larger to smaller and has some beautiful design details.

What are you doing this Wednesday evening? I'll tell you what I'm planning. Instead of rushing out the door the moment my co-parent steps through it, so I can sneak into the store before it closes, I'm planning a leisurely coffee stop, a hello to the peeps at MD and then a GOOD, LONG browse at Bolt during our extended hours this Wednesday night. Will I see you there? We'll be open until around 8.

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Spring Stitch


The Spring 2011 issue of the popular Stitch Magazine just arrived this week.  There are some quite a few skirt and accessory patterns as well as an invaluable section on must know sewing techniques.

I'm pretty excited about the section on knits, because the sleep set pattern is downright adorable:


(I will mention again that we have a massively good stock of knits on hand at the moment.)


In other news, if you missed Mary Adams at her The Party Dress Book booksigning at Powell's the other night, you'll have another chance to meet her at Ristretto Roasters this Thursday, January 20th at 7pm.  Ristretto Roasters is located at 3808 N. Williams.

If you are a Portland business interested in finding out more about Supportland, they will be hosting informational meetings around town.  Modern Domestic will be hosting one such gathering on January 31st from 9-10 pm.  Contact Supportland for more information! 

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Spring Stitch


by Melissa

The staff at the store is busy restocking the shelves with new things to get you ready for more Spring and Summer sewing.  Along with new fabric, the new Stitch Magazine (Quilting Arts/Interweave Press) is in and it's a keeper.  There are 37 projects, some great articles (including a behind-the-scenes with Oliver and S and a feature on the art of embroidery), and the usual great sewing tips and thorough instructions. 

I love this lingerie bag from my friend Blair-- it as has three compartments for keeping things straight when you're traveling.  

I cannot get over these gorgeous heirloom quality baby blocks designed by Eunny Jang.  The hat on the left by Betz White is cute, too. 

Stitch is a relatively new magazine that comes out twice a year as Special Issues.  They are full of accessible projects ranging from apparel to home dec, all written by professional designers and craft bloggers you might already know and love!  The patterns come full size on a pull out center sheet.  These magazines are full of gift making inspiration-- I have Martha's skirt from the first issue on my list of things to make for myself.  Bolt carries the three back issues as well-- if you can't find them at your local book or craft store, you can order them directly from Interweave (check out the web exclusive patterns while you're there!). 

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Japanese imports

by Gina.

Fabric 2.3.10 006

There are just so many great new prints from Kokka, our much loved Japanese fabric supplier, that I just don't know where to start.  I couldn't dare pass up the awesome orange and purple streetcar print for a city like Portland.  There are a few different transportation oriented heavier weight prints--trucks, tugboats and bikes.  There are also a few kids' stories prints including the Wizard of Oz print above and the most subdue, sweet, curious Alice in Wonderland print on double gauze.  That one didn't make it into the photos, along with a few other really fantastic new double gauze prints...I have to keep you wondering about something, right?  

Fabric 2.3.10 008
And, from Japanese designer Etsuko Furaya, of Echino--more wildlife floating among trees and shrubbery.  Pretty cool.  Great colors and images.  A couple of bird prints in the group, one going from selvage to selvage, perfect for a short dress, or cut it in half and have two different images for your project.  Clever.  The photo's sort of weird as it was taken horizontally and then rotated.  You get the idea though.

Fabric 2.3.10 011

A box from Kona Bay was opened up last night too, with a great koi / wave two-tone and a couple of bold, Asian panel prints.  The other box was filled with more copies of Stitch!  Yay.  If you didn't have a chance to pick one up last time, now's your opportunity.  It's a great magazine full of great projects.  Some even by a few of our local favorite gals.

Fabric 2.3.10 003 
Finally, last week we received a couple of gorgeous silks.  They were hiding a bit, wrapped inside out on bolts.  They were re-rolled onto tubes, right side out, so they can lure you in with all their glory.  I don't order much in the way of slippery silks, but I just couldn't pass them up.  So rich and lovely.

Fabric 2.3.10 005

Don't forget, the class list is on the website, and when you see the "previous" button, click on it to see the rest of the list.  Hope to see you soon!




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Flannel, just in time

by Gina.

I have to admit I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a lull lately.  Not sure if it’s the change in season and decrease in daylight, or the feeling that the year is flying by and the thought of the end of the year inching up on us makes me a little tired.  Either way, I will be making an effort to get more things out here on a more regular basis.

Ah flannel 005   
We continue to have some exciting new lines from some of my favorite designers trickle on into the store.  The “Folksy Flannel” from Anna Maria Horner arrived yesterday.

Last week we received the new Amy Butler flannel.  Just in time for this chilly, chilly weather.  A number of years ago I made a scarf with her earlier line of flannel.  I still wear it and love it.  It was the simplest thing ever to make.  It appears I serged the end on only one end.  I’m not sure why and I think if I were to make another with this new flannel—which I’m really, really thinking of doing—I would certainly finish both ends and not serge.  I even made a couple of flannel scarves that year for some friends.  It was a fun and fast (super fast) project and made for really cozy winter gifts.  Mine ended up being about six feet long because I liked so many of the prints and wanted to use them all.  I just cut them into different widths and got to sewing.  I think it’s staying on for the rest of the day…

Scarf 006 
There’s some cute Alice in Wonderland prints in the store now too.  I’m not typically one for licensed or identifiable, or commercial images on fabric, but I thought these were tasteful and cute—not like an advertisement. 


While I was in the store yesterday, the latest issue of Threads magazine arrived.  Another issue, chock full of helpful information.  We still have a number of Ottobre issues available and the latest Burda arrived not long ago.  The Burda website is very cool and worth a gander if you haven’t already checked it out.  There are a number of free, downloadable patterns and tons of cool fashion-y things that folks are doing and sharing.  Inspirational, for sure. 

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Ottobre Sewing

This post comes to us from our friend Melissa over at All Buttoned Up. Don't we just have the most wonderful neighbors?  


The last few years have found me sewing out of magazines (and Japanese craft books) more than from traditional tissue patterns.  I like having whole outfits worth of patterns in one little publication.  Not only are there pretty people in pretty layouts, I'm able to thumb through the whole thing before I hand over my money.  Ottobre is one of those magazines that I'd always planned on getting around to buying, but since I couldn't find it locally I never got around to making up my mind on which one to get.  Lucky thing that I have Bolt up the street.  


Sewing from a magazine, and specifically Ottobre, is quite a bit different than traditional tissue sewing and there are a few things you need to pay attention to before you get started:

  • First off, make sure your body measurements correspond to the ones listed for the specific patterns.  Everything (including fabric amounts) is measured in metric, so have your calculator ready to do a little conversion. 
  • One of the most obvious difference is the inclusion of the nested pattern-- these big pull-out sheets look like maps to nowhere and often stop an ambitious sewer before they even get started.  They also do not include seam allowances, so you need to add those in before you start tracing.  I use swedish tracing paper or newsprint paper and a ball point pen.  It also helps if you have a set of french curves and a ruler hanging around so you get smooth cut lines.  Honestly, this is the part that often takes me the longest, so it's worth doing it right the first time.  Transfer all the pattern markings to your tracing paper so you don't have to go back and figure out which piece you're missing.
  • Read all the basic pattern instructions first.  They will tell you where to add seam allowances and where you can leave them out, as well as give you handy tips on how to deal with the patterns as a whole.
  • Read all your specific pattern instructions before you start tracing and cutting.  There are very few diagrams included in the written instructions so you need to know where you're going.  The line drawings of the finished pieces and the mini pattern pieces are very specific and quite helpful at showing details.  Don't worry if things sound a bit different than what you are used to-- there are often tricks to setting in sleeves or attaching lining that will make it seem like you performed magic, rather than a lot of tricky sewing.  
These patterns are designed for all kinds of body types and they do not skimp on the details.  Pintucks, pleating, lining and interesting fabric options can result in some very beautiful clothes.  They above tunic is from the Fall/Winter 2008 volume (Bolt carries several back issues for both women and children) and is made from a lightweight, cheap, cotton.  It's my muslin (or a mock up) that I wanted to test before making the leap to cutting into my sweet Liberty stash.  It turned out just like the pattern said it would with no problems at all, the only exception being I'd like to swap my body and face out for the cutie that modeled it in the magazine.  I'm not so sure it's the right style for me.  It was worth the effort though-- there's nothing better than finishing something from a pattern and having it come out the way it's supposed to look-- even if it doesn't look so hot on me. 
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A bit about magazines

by Gina.


We recently started carrying a selection of sewing magazines and I find them to be a nice addition to the collection of books and patterns also offered.  We currently carry Threads, Burda, Ottobre, Stitch and Sew Stylish.  Stitch and Sew Stylish are special issue publications and come out a couple times a year.  Threads, Ottobre and Burda are issued more regularly.  Ottobre and Burda offer full size patterns to sew up for children and women.  

Ottobre comes from Finland with four childrens issues and two womens issues a year.  The clothing is quite varied, with a European / Scandinavian flair to their styles.  One of the things I really like about this brand is that they offer clothes for little ones all the way up to teenagers and for the women's styles they offer casual, professional and out-on-the-town designs for all women.  I like that their models look like everyday women of all sizes.  I also like that you get more than 40 designs in each issue.  If you want to try more than one or two projects, it's a great deal at $18. 

Burda is the other one providing us with full size patterns and these tend to be very stylish, including office-appropriate clothing as well as more casual, or evening attire.  Their designs are elegant and current.  Their website discusses a lot of what is being shown on the runways.  They are definitely geared more toward high-fashion. 


Threads magazine is published six times a year and offers so much useful information.  I must admit, I'm not always drawn to the styles of things in the magazine, but when I look beyond that and really pay attention to the content, I learn a lot.  In a past issue there were articles on top-stitching, putting in zippers, pattern reviews, how to alter a dress depending on your bust size, and discussion of a few tools and new items on the market.  A lot of information.

Sew Stylish and Stitch are special issue publications that come out less regularly and offer tons of fun projects, including some by a couple of our own Portland clever sewists!  

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