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    Blog

    The New Normal

    **This information was last updated on May 23, 2020**

    Hello Friends,

    We have missed seeing you in the shop these past months. We hope you and your family are well. We appreciate your orders very much as we figure out how to navigate this new reality.

    As of Saturday May 23rd we are expanding our shop hours a bit. During these hours, we will pack up online orders, offer order pickup and allow in person shopping (You can always look at options online first and come into to see them in person before making a final selection in the shop). Deren will be working with customers in the shop with Jessamy and Jacqui continuing to work behind the scenes.

    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: closed
    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".

     

     

    • Deren has the shop phone with her most of the time so feel free to call and she will help you find what you need, 434-409-9095 . If you want to have an order shipped we are offering free shipping on all orders over $49.

    • If you want help choosing yarn or fabric you can call the shop  and we can help you find what you need for your project, 434-409-9095 . If you leave us a voice mail we will get back to you ASAP.
    • If we are not answering the phone, you can also communicate about an order by email. 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.
    • 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 this summer.

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

      Deren, Jessamy, Jacqui and Pam

      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.

       

      Rose Pants from Made by Rae

      Rose Pants from Made by Rae

       When not one, but TWO of our EWE staff test sewed — and immediately loved — the newest pattern from Made by Rae, we knew we had found a new go-to for a wardrobe staple. The Rose Pants are everything we want in a sewing pattern: well-drafted, offered in an inclusive size range, clearly illustrated and accessibly written, thoroughly tested, and with several options for customization. Oh, and they look amazing on everyone!

      About the pattern 

      Available as a PDF download from Made by Rae's site, the Rose pattern includes instructions for high waisted pants (long or cropped) and shorts. The design features slash front pockets, instructions for various pleats or gathers at the waist, and a flat front waistband with elastic in the back.

      We are especially excited that the Rose Pants pattern is the first to be released in Made by Rae’s new size range. The pattern includes 11 sizes, ranging from an XXS- 5X,  designed to fit hip measurements of 34.5” to 59”.

      Our versions

      Jacqui wears the size 3, based on her measurements of a 42" waist and 52" hip.  She used the Brussels Washer in Navy. Jacqui sewed the full length pants, and used the double pleats provided in the pattern for the pants front.    

      Jessamy sewed the XS based on her measurements of a 28” waist and 36” hip. She used the Viscose-Linen blend in Olive for the shorts version. Jessamy choose to use the single pleat option also included in the pattern.  Jessamy also preferred to use one piece of 1.5” wide elastic in the back casing instead of 2 pieces of 3/4” wide elastic.  The pattern has instructions for sewing a two channel casing using the 3/4” wide elastic or a single channel casing for the 1.5” elastic.

      Fabric ideas

      The Rose pattern is intended for light to mid weight woven fabrics. Rae recommends fabrics that have a good drape, and a looser weave, making linen and linen blends a perfect match for Rose. Jacqui sewed her pants using Brussels Washer Linen, which is 55% linen, 45% rayon blend. Brussels Washer is a great staple garment fabric, the rayon content provides a lovely drape, and prevents the fabric from becoming overly wrinkly throughout the day.  While the linen content keeps it light and breathable, perfect for a pair of crop pants or shorts for summer.

      Jessamy sewed her shorts in the Viscose-Linen in Olive.  The Viscose-Linen is also a linen blend, and it is made of 70% viscose (which is a bamboo rayon) and 30% linen.  It’s slightly heavier than the Brussels washer linen, but it also has more drape, due to the higher viscose content.  The slubby texture lends a soft hand to the fabric.

      Other fabrics in the shop that would be great for the Rose pattern would be any of these great fabrics, such as the Birch Organic Yarn Dyed linens, European Merchant and Mills linens, Tencel Twill and Silk Noil.

      If you prefer cotton, we also have a great selection of Ikats that are 100% cotton, handwoven in India. These Ikats are all mid to light weight and would make a stunning pair of Rose pants.

      Pattern difficulty

      If you are new to pants sewing, the Rose pattern is a great place to start. The style is easy to fit and comfortable to wear while still looking put together. Made by Rae’s patterns come with clear instructions geared to an advanced beginner. The pattern walks you through every step of construction, and provides you with many insights about pants fitting along the way.

      We hope we have inspired you to sew up a pair of your own! And if you think you need a little extra help, stay tuned — we'll be announcing dates for a Rose pants class at our shop in Charlottesville soon.

      *Our Rose Pants notions special had ended.

      Estuary Skirt by Sew Liberated

      Estuary Skirt by Sew Liberated

      (This blog was originally published on July 19, 2019)

      We are always looking for great, size-inclusive basics to teach sewing classes at the shop, and when Meg of Sew Liberated teased her newest pattern, the Estuary Skirt, we knew it would become a go-to pattern for us. The pattern features an elastic waist in the back and a clean, non-elastic waist in the front with a button placket that runs the full length of the skirt. 

      Sizing

      This is the first pattern released in Meg's extended size range — which goes up to a 30 (57" hip). We recommend sizing according to your hip measurement, and then adjusting the elastic in the back of the waist to get the perfect fit. Here is the sizing chart:

      Our versions

      Jessamy (below) has a 28" waist and 36" hips and she sewed the size 4. She used the Grey Pin Stripe Italian Cotton Shirting, and she sewed the pattern with zero modifications.

      Jacqui (below) has a 42" waist and 52" hips and she sewed the size 24. She used Pink Sand-Washed Rayon, and she hacked the pattern to make a maxi skirt with with side slits.

      Fabric

      You can use basically any woven fabric for this skirt! The fullness at the bottom of the skirt provides enough weight to make even relatively stiff fabrics look drapey — like the 100% cotton shirting Jessamy used for her version.

      Here are some of our favorites:

      • One of our favorite fabrics in the shop is also one that Meg recommends for this skirt: Robert Kaufman's Brussels Washer Linen. This linen-rayon blend brings the best of both fibers — the rayon provides great drape and counters any wrinkly tendencies from the linen, and the linen makes the fabric less shifty and easier to cut and sew. And the best part — the price is very reasonable for an all-natural fabric and it only gets softer with washing and wearing.
      • We have a number of 100% cotton fabrics that would achieve a drape and look similar to Jessamy's skirt: the Italian Cotton Shirtings, any one of our ikats, any of the lovely textured cottons from Diamond textiles, or if you want to splurge, a cotton lawn from Liberty of London. All these cottons are easy to sew with and only get softer and drapier with wear.
      • 100% rayon makes for a beautifully drapey Estuary, like Jacqui's skirt. We have the ever-popular sand-washed rayon, or for something a little fun and summery, we also recommend the printed rayon from Art Gallery.
      • We love the slubby viscose-linen Meg used for her samples. Our linen-viscose from Telio has great weight and drape, and we have it in stock in two great summer colors right now — Blush and Hunter.is very reasonable for an all-natural fabric and it only gets softer with washing and wearing.
      • We have a number of 100% cotton fabrics that would achieve a drape and look similar to Jessamy's skirt: the Italian Cotton Shirtings, any one of our ikats, any of the lovely textured cottons from Diamond textiles, or if you want to splurge, a cotton lawn from Liberty of London. All these cottons are easy to sew with and only get softer and drapier with wear.
      • 100% rayon makes for a beautifully drapey Estuary, like Jacqui's skirt. We have the ever-popular sand-washed rayon, or for something a little fun and summery, we also recommend the printed rayon from Art Gallery.
      • We love the slubby viscose-linen Meg used for her samples. Our linen-viscose from Telio has great weight and drape, and we have it in stock in two great summer colors right now — Blush and Hunter.