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    McCalls M7969

    McCalls M7969

    We have been swept up with the #M7969 craze. If you haven’t seen this dress in person, take a minute to browse the hashtag on Instagram. Like so many others, the voluminous sleeves were what caught our attention.  They have an interesting shape, and make for the perfect statement sleeve. We also love the easy to fit cross body front, and relatively simple construction (if you don’t mind gathers that is!)

    We wanted to show you how this pattern looks sewn up in two of our favorite fabrics from the shop.  

    The Pattern:

    The dress is a McCall’s pattern, and is number M7969. It is available directly from McCalls, in both print and pdf. While we tend to sew the majority of our garments from Indie Sewing patterns, every once and a while a “Big Four” pattern comes along that we can’t pass up.

    The Fabrics:

    Elise has made this top several times before, and was our inspiration for finally sewing up this pattern. She chose to sew her top in a shop favorite, our Cairo Linen, in “Avocado Green” It is the perfect chartreuse green, giving us glimmers of spring. If you have been around for a while, you know that Cairo Linen is one of our most popular fabrics, and we currently have 11 colors in stock.  It has an antiqued washed finish, lending it soft and lived in feeling. We love how the structure of the linen really accentuates the volume of the sleeves.

    Jessamy chose to sew our new Seed Viscose from Atelier Brunette in “Cedar” This beautiful embossed crepe has a subtle texture and beautiful drape, perfect for the sleeves on this dress. We love how soft and fluid this fabric is for the gathered skirt.

    Sizing:

    Elise sewed the XXL size, based on her measurements of bust measurement of 48" The only alterations Elise made to her pattern was to sew the dress as a top! To do this you simply cut the “skirt” at your preferred top length, then proceed with the pattern as written.

    Jessamy sewed the size Small, based on her bust measurement of 33” The only alterations Jessamy made was to use the whole width of fabric to cut her skirt pieces. This makes for a fuller skirt, which works well for more fluids fabrics like viscose and rayon.

    Jessamy standing in her #M7969 dress in a green viscose fabric

    We think that this dress is very versatile, and perfect for all seasons. Other fabrics we have in stock that would be perfect for it are: our European Linen, or a linen blend like our Bizet Linen. We also think a double gauze version would be great for spring! There are so many possibilities!

    We hope you enjoyed this look at how the same pattern looks sewn in two different fabrics, and that we have inspired you to start some spring sewing.

    Marlo Sweater

    Marlo Sweater

    I was immediately intrigued by the Marlo Sweater pattern from True Bias when it came out last week. It looked like a perfect wardrobe staple, in two cute lengths, and a wide size range, 0 - 30. As someone who knits all of the sweaters I wear, sewing one seemed like a great idea!

    I love the look of the sweater knit fabric and would be happy to stock some in the shop, but so far I have not been able to find any that work for us. We do however, have some great fleece knits which are prefect for this pattern. 

    One of the newest fleece fabrics in the shop is a 100% organic cotton fleece from Birch Fabrics. This is a hefty 70" wide, 9.44 oz/sq yd with a smooth front and fleecy back, that is very cozy. There is no added spandex so it is not super stretchy but it does have at least 20% stretch so I was sure it would work for this pattern.


    Marlo Sweater, size 8, sewn in Organic Cotton Fleece, color black
     
    Deren wearing the Marlo Sweater with Arthur Pants from
    Sew Liberated
    in Brushed Bull Denim, color Khaki

    Size Notes:

    I am 5' 1" with a 36" full bust, 32" waist and 38.5" hip. My measurements put me somewhere between the 8 & 10 but looking at the finished measurements of the garment I decided to sew a cropped size 8. I made no adjustments to the pattern at all. I considered  shortening the length on the body and sleeves but decided, since this might end up as a shop sample, that I would sew the pattern as is.

    Construction Notes:

    The pattern pieces are few, and the sewing of the garment goes very quickly. I used my serger to sew the seams but you could easily sew this on a regular sewing machine and leave the edges raw (the benefit of knit fabrics).

    The pattern includes 2 different pattern pieces for the front/neck binding. You choose which one to use depending on how much stretch your fabric has. According to the pattern, your fabric should have a minimum of 20% stretch to work. I used the neck binding pattern piece for fabrics with 20% stretch and I had no problem fitting the front/neck or hem binding to the body of the sweater. 

    The pattern instructions also include 2 methods for attaching the front/neck binding to the body of the sweater, "beginner' and 'intermediate'. I tried both methods and found the 'beginner' method worked best for this thick fabric. The 'intermediate method, while having a cleaner finish on the inside, created more bulk at the seam which did work with the bulky fabric. I skipped the edge-stitching of the front/neckline binding because I did not like the way it looked on the fabric and felt it was not necessary. I also omitted the interfacing on the button band since the fabric is think and sturdy. (I would use the interfacing if sewing with a much more stretchy fabric.)

    I also found it best to baste the bindings for the hem and front/neckline of the sweater before sewing them on with the serger. This kept the layers in place nicely while working it through my serger (new needles are a must for this fabric). 

    Wearability:

    As of this writing, I have been wearing the sweater for 3 days straight. It is very warm and goes well with most of my wardrobe. I can see this piece easily moving through the seasons and I am already planning another in our Cotton Tencel Fleece.

    Here is a little guide to our fleece fabrics. Happy Sewing!

    1. Organic Cotton Fleece

    The newest fleece in our lineup, this organic, 100% cotton fleece is soft and sturdy. Because it doesn't have any added spandex, it is low stretch making it the perfect fabric for adapting your favorite woven pattern into a cozy sweatshirt! 

     

    2. Organic Tencel Cotton Stretch Fleece

    The tencel in this fleece gives it a luxuriously soft feel, plus the spandex content gives it wonderful drape and stretch. This fleece has been a customer favorite for the True Bias Hudson pants, And we have plans to sew a pair of the knit Arenite pants in this asap!

     

    3Cloud Fleece

    This fleece is a total classic. It features a smooth knit right side, with a double brushed fleece backing. It is the ultimate fabric for soft and cozy sewing. We have seen many a Toaster Sweater made up in this fabric, as well as plenty of other sweatshirts. We think it would also be wonderful sewn into a dress for a cozy layering piece! 

    The New Normal

    **This information was last updated on November 13, 2020**

    Hello Friends,

    We hope you and your family are well. We appreciate your orders very much as we figure out how to navigate this new reality.

    We are now open six days a week, Tuesday - Sunday from 12-5. We continue to offer local pick-up if your prefer to shop online. We ship orders most days and our turnaround time is usually no more than 2 business days.

    If you would like to shop in person, we ask that you wear a mask and sanitize your hands when you come in (sanitizer will be on the counter).

    Shop Hours
    Monday: closed
    Tuesday: 12-5
    Wednesday: 12-5
    Thursday: 12-5
    Friday: 12-5
    Saturday: 12-5
    Sunday: 12-5

    Shopping online for local pick up will continue to be available for the foreseeable future. Local Pickup is now available when you checkout under "Delivery Method".

    • If you have questions feel free to call and we will help you find what you need, 434-409-9095 .
    • If we are not answering the phone, you can also communicate about an order by email (in truth this is the most reliable way to communicate with us). Tell us a little about what you are looking for and if you send your phone number we can give you a call to discuss.

    • If you want to have an order shipped we are offering free shipping on all orders $99 or over.
    • We are working to get most of our inventory online but if you don't see what you are looking for just give us a call or email.
      • We are still offering PDF pattern printing for local pickup. We will email you when your order is ready. 
      • We are washing our hands regularly and all surfaces in the shop that can be wiped down are getting regular hits with the sanitizing wipes. 
      • Makers Circle is cancelled until further notice.
      • We hope to be able to open the studio and offer one on one instruction sometime soon.

      We look forward to spending time making together in the near future.

      Deren and the EWE team

      2019 Gift Guide

      Makers are notoriously  difficult people to buy gifts for, because they would always rather make it themselves! Never fear, we at EWE have just the thing for that special maker in your life — a gift that will keep on giving as they put it to use making more beautiful things. See some of our go-to gifts here, or stop by the shop to get ideas in person!

      Ritual Dyes knitters backpacks, pouches, and moon belt bags

      The knitters backpack in the Holiday 2019 color available here.

      The moon belt bag in pines available here.

      These ever-popular bags are handmade in Portland, Oregon from durable canvas with leather accents. We love how thoughtfully designed the knitters backpack and the moon belt bag are — both bags allow you to pull from yarn held in the bag without any snagging or resistance, while still keeping the yarn secure enough that it won't pull out. There truly is nothing better for keeping your knitting neat on-the-go!

       

      See all our Ritual Dyes bags, including the small notions pouches and optional leather straps for the moon bags, here.

      Long Island Livestock Co. lanolin body products

      We are obsessed with these lanolin-based products that are just the thing for knit-ready fingertips all winter. The shepherdess body butter is a rich, unique blend of lanolin, moringa oil, and horsetail extract that makes a great all-over cream for all seasons. The shepherdess salve has a high concentration of lanolin and is perfect for dry hands, cuticles, cracked heels, and any other areas that need extra love in the driest months of the year! Last but not least, the lanolin lippy is the perfect stocking stuffer for everyone — knitters and non-knitters alike! — on your list.

      Check out all the products from Long Island Livestock Co. here!

      Leather notions kits

      Leather notions case available here.

      We love these sweet leather goods imported from a small Canadian company! The leather is supple and rich, and it will age beautifully with a natural patina. Each notions kit comes equipped with yarn snips, a 60" tape measure, a tiny pencil, and a darning needle.

      Coco Knits Knitting Tools

      The blocking kit is only available in-store.

      Coco Knits makes all our favorite go-to knitting notions, from stitch markers and stitch holders to the all-inclusive blocking kit. The kit is a great price for what it includes: 18 (more than any other blocking kit) rubber blocking mat pieces — carpeted on one side to be grippy for blocking wet wool, these are the best blocking mats! — a gingham cloth with squares measuring exactly 1x1" for projects that require measuring during blocking, and a tin of t-pins. We also love the new stitch marker set, which includes every variety of markers you could ever need!

      Flight of Stitch Markers from Coco Knits available here.

      Twig & Horn Waxed Canvas Crossbody Bags

       

      These bags are only available in-store. Stop by to see them in person!

      These crossbody bags from Twig & Horn have been a long-time favorite of our shop staff, and T&H redesigned them this year to feature more durable leather straps and hefty, water resistant waxed canvas. We particularly love the new charcoal color!

      Just in from Denmark, leather Cocoons


      Find the Cocoon here.

      You may have seen Jacqui walking around the shop with one of these clever tools. A leather cocoon for your yarn which you can wear with a leather wristlet (or hang). Keeps your yarn from tangling and you on your feet.

      Lykke Interchangeable Needle Sets

      The 5" interchangeable set in Driftwood is available here.

      Lykke interchangeable needle sets are wildly popular because they are a great price point for high quality needles in a streamlined, stylish case. We carry the 5" and the 3.5" sets in "Driftwood" and "Indigo," and also the crochet hook set. These sets make great gifts for knitters!

      The Lykke crochet hook set available here.

      Janome Sewing Machines


      See our Janome Sewing Machines here.

      We stock a few models of Janome sewing machines and serger. These are the machines we use in the studio everyday and at a great price!

      And if all else fails...

      We always have gift certificates! Stop in today to get the gift the makers in your life are guaranteed to appreciate!

       

      Introducing the capsule wardrobe project at EWE

      Introducing the capsule wardrobe project at EWE

      You're probably familiar with the phrase "capsule wardrobe." Whether from your favorite fashion blogger, a sewing friend, or the NY Times Style section, the concept has been popping up everywhere lately.

      At EWE, we are committed to empowering makers with the supplies and instruction to create their own handmade clothes, and we've found that the capsule wardrobe can be a helpful tool for planning makes and sparking creativity. Read on to learn more about this concept and how we're using it this fall at the shop!

       

      What is a capsule wardrobe?

      The concept of a "capsule wardrobe" was first introduced by London Boutique owner Susie Faux in the 1970s and later popularized by American designer Donna Karan, who released a workwear collection in 1985 that featured 7 cohesive pieces that could be combined in multiple ways. The idea gained popularity recently in the slow fashion/making community when Canadian style blogger Lee Vosburgh created the 10x10 challenge — 10 pieces in 10 different outfits worn over 10 days.

      The basic idea is to maximize a minimalist wardrobe — instead of constantly expanding your closet by adding new trendy pieces, the capsule wardrobe is composed of a few classic, high quality pieces that won't go out of style and can be combined in a variety of ways to create multiple looks. Most capsule collections feature 7-10 pieces (sometimes shoes are included; accessories are not included).

      The point is not to go out and buy an entirely new wardrobe — it is to shift the way we think about clothes from individual, trend-based purchases to a mindfully curated, cohesive collection that reflects our particular styles, values, and comforts.

      So how is a capsule wardrobe helpful for makers?

      We think the capsule wardrobe can be a useful way of evaluating the clothes you already have and mindfully planning makes that supplement and expand your existing wardrobe so you get more mileage out of all your favorites. The first step is to spend some time reflecting on your current clothes and choose the pieces that you would include in a capsule collection.

      Here are some guiding questions:

      • What pieces do you wear most and why?
      • What pieces do you love but find yourself never wearing and why?
      • Are there particular things that make you feel uncomfortable in clothes?
        For example, some things that make me uncomfortable are: a non-elastic waist pants/skirts and gaping arm holes.
      • Are there particular things that make you feel comfortable in clothes?
        For example, some things that make me comfortable are: high waists or no waists and drapey fabrics.
      • Do you have things you would like to wear but you don't? Why haven't you?
      • Do you have any "summer" pieces that you would like to wear year-round? What do you need to layer them?

       

      The capsule wardrobe project at EWE

      This fall at the shop, we (Deren, Jacqui, Jessamy + Pam) are all going to be working on planning, curating, creating, styling, and supplementing our own capsule wardrobes, and we're putting together workshops and classes to help you do the same! 

      Here is a step-by-step guide for our process:

      1. Start by selecting the pieces you would like to include from your existing wardrobe. These can be pieces you've made, pieces you've bought, pieces your Great Aunt Muriel lent you — anything at all that you want to include!
        Tip: when I did this, I picked more pieces than I eventually decided to include, which gave me some room to adjust based on colors and what worked with the new pieces I want make.
      2. Imagine ways that you can combine these pieces to create multiple looks with the same piece. How can you layer pieces? What new combinations might you wear?
      3. What pieces might you add that would help you get more mileage from the pieces you already have?
        For example: Maybe you have only one pair of bottoms, but several tops and sweaters. If you made a skirt (or a dress to layer), you could combine your tops and sweaters in more ways.
      4. Look for sewing and knitting patterns for classic, versatile pieces that might fit the bill for the things you've determined you need. We have some recommendations!

      Our pattern recommendations for size-inclusive wardrobe basics:

      If you have other patterns you think we should add to the list, just leave us a comment.

      Over the next few months on the blog, we will all share our process, including fabric, fitting, and styling recommendations as we each work on our capsule wardrobes.

      Would you like help getting started on your capsule wardrobe? Join us on Saturday, October 12 for a workshop in the shop that will walk students through this process! We have partnered up with My Body Model for this workshop, which will teach you the skills to efficiently and practically plan your fall makes (both knitting and sewing).

      My Body Model is a wonderful electronic resource that provides custom croquis (fashion drawing templates) that correspond to your specific body measurements. These croquis are invaluable for visualizing how particular pieces will look on your body and experimenting with different combinations of pieces to decide what you most need to make to fill out your wardrobe.