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    Virtual Meet-up with Jacqueline Cieslak, author of EMBODY: A Capsule Collection To Knit & Sew

    #Embody MKAL Week 1

    The EMBODY MAL (make-along) starts today and we are super excited to get making. You can go to Jacqui's website to get all of the details. Her plan is to meet weekly for 6 weeks. There will be prizes and fun connecting with other makers online.

    The first week of the MAL is all about getting ready to knit or sew patterns from EMBODY a capsule collection to knit & sew.

    We have a lot of yarn and fabric in the shop that is perfect for the DEREN knitting pattern and the WOOLFORK sewing pattern.

    The DEREN knitting pattern can be knit with 2 lace weight yarns held together or a sport weight yarn held single.

    The WOOLFORK sewing pattern can be made with almost any woven non stretch fabric. We love it in linen, double gauze, rayon, tencel and blends. Still need your WOOLFORK pattern printed. We offer large format pattern printing at EWE.

    We have created some mood boards to highlight some of the options we have in the he shop for creating these beautiful looks. 

    Jacqui's Colors

    Jacqui's board features sport weight Andorra from Kelbourne Woolens, Alba organic cotton from BC Garn and lace weight Helix and Felix from La Bien Aimee (these are the yarns featured in the book).

    The fabrics are Cotton Double Gauze in Grey and Sand Washed Rayon in Pink.

    T-shirt & Jeans

    T-Shirt & Jeans features sport weight Andorra, Alba, Rustic Heather Sport, Delaine Merino and lace weight Vale from Brooklyn Tweed.

    The fabrics are Cotton Double Gauze in Off White and Linen Indigo Chambray.



    Canyon features sport weight Chickadee Organic Heathers, Andorra and lace weight Helix.

    The fabrics are Sand Washed Rayon in Rust, Linen Viscose in Seaweed and Cairo Linen in Copper.

    Rose Garden

    The blush tones of Rose Garden are all the rage right now. We love Felix and Mohair Silk from La Bien Aimee and Lichen & Lace. The subtle shade of Arabesque in Vale also hits the mark.

    We have a new color of Sand Washed Rayon that just arrived called Wood Rose.

    By The Seaside

    By The Seaside has us thinking of summer sport weight Delaine Merino from Stone Wool and lace weight Vale are giving the right vibe. Linen is must in a mustard yellow in Sahara Linen or a misty blue in Cairo Linen.



    We had snow on the ground for almost two weeks here at the end of February, which got me thinking about ice dyeing. Since most of my dyeing involves using raw plant materials, the process tends to be long and labor intensive. Ice dyeing is the exact opposite! In fact it could not be easier.

    You can purchase one of our Ice-Dye Infinity Scarf kits here.

    Here are the easy steps to achieving amazing colors on natural fibers. I dyed my fabric before sewing but you can dye after sewing if you prefer.

    • Wash your fabric in hot water with 1 tsp Synthrapol. You can do this in the washing machine or in a bucket by hand. 
    • Rinse and ring out the fabric.
    • Dissolve 1 cup of soda ash in warm water (wear a mask until dissolved), put in the wet fabric and soak for 15 minutes. If you have one of the kits just dump in the whole jar.
    • You can save the soda ash water, to soak another piece of cloth for dyeing.

    • Wearing gloves, ring out (but don't rinse) the fabric.
    • Arrange the fabric on top of a cooling rack (it will be scrunched up) and cover with ice or snow. The cooling rack can be in a vessel or outside over the ground. Just make sure that it is raised enough so the water from the melted ice won't touch the fabric.

    • With a mask and gloves on, sprinkle 1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp of each dye color you want over the ice. A little seems to go a long way. For my scarves I used about 1/2 teaspoon of each of the 6 colors but you can choose to use more or less of a color, or to use fewer than 6 colors. I used a mesh tea strainer to dust the colors on but you can sprinkle from a spoon as well.

    • Let the ice completely melt into the fabric.
    • Once the ice is melted the colors on the fabric will look sort of muddy and not pretty. Do not worry this is correct. Rinse the fabric in hot water and then hand wash in a basin with 1 tsp of Snythrapol until the excess dye runs off.
    • Step back and admire!
    • Hang to dry (or tumble in the dryer if you prefer)

    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 a few bof 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 the 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  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 her dress in the  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.


    Elise sewed the XXL size, based on 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 fluid 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:  European Linen, or a linen blend like  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). 


    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!