December 2009 Archives

Jenni's crowning touch for a New Year's party

December 31, 2009

My New Year's Resolution for the year of 2009:


In my heart of hearts, I do believe that it is a responsibility of me, as a human being, to have reverence for the Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Insta Tote Bags.jpgearth. My New Years Resolution is to change my habits to have more regard for my personal carbon footprint on the earth. I have already started by using reusable shopping bags­­ at the grocery store.(Personally, I love the leopard and plaid printed bags). You'll be amazed as to how much you can fit into those things and they are a lot easier to carry then the plastic bags. (We have several cute ones on our site) My next step will be to recycle the waste in my house (groan). Take the extra 20 minutes or whatever and sort out the recyclables and drop them off...


Which brings me to my blog project: Instead of throwing something away and buying new, why not "jazz up" something old? This project was super simple and turned out REALLY cute. I like to layer skinny headbands in my hair and decided to jazz it up for the new year. As long as you can safely use a hot glue gun I recommend this project for anyone. I simply cut some trim to perfectly fit the length of the headband and then hot glued it on. Pretty simple, really cute.

Thumbnail image for Hairbands.JPG 


You will need:


1. Headbands (or really anything with a  thin enough strap... Tank Top? Picture Frame? Purse? Bra Straps?) 2. Hot Glue Gun 3. Some of our GORGEOUS DESIGNER TRIM  ( I used HDDR-766, HDDR-756, &

HDDR-808). You might want to go through your trim box for remnants or check out our other designer trims for a special look. 


Have a safe and Happy New Years!




( Photographer)




New Year's Resolutions - Craft Edition

December 29, 2009

As scary as it seems, it's that time of year again - time for me to join the millions of people making New Year's resolutions.  I have a nasty track record of overdoing it and giving up pretty early on, so I've decided to make my list more enjoyable this year.  Along with the "Oldies but goodies" - You know: lose some weight, be more organized, get caught up on various past-due projects - I'm adding a few fun resolutions. 

I love to sew and craft, but the last few years I have really neglected the right side of my brain for the analytical benefits my left side offers.  Well, enough is enough!  It's time to unleash my creative beast and let the artistic endeavors flow!  Below are my sewing/craft/etc. resolutions, which I hope will act as a treat to keep me inspired to stick to my more serious resolutions.

1. Be more organized.  I know I used this as an example of a normal resolution, but it works here, too.  Like many of you my craft space is limited to a small kitchen table and whatever spare space I can find without my supplies being in the way.  This year my goal is to figure out a better way to organize my fabric and supplies in a tidy and compact way that also keeps my husband from trying to tuck it away into the unknown depths of our attic.

2. Use more of my stash before I buy more fabric.  I work for a fabric store, so you just know that I have tons of it.  To make matters worse, I see something the I just love and buy it with a project in mind and never complete (or even start) said project.  My resolution is to stop buying as much fabric, which will also help me save money, and use up the stash I have - which will help downsize, too.

3. I will leave fewer projects unfinished.  We all do it, I just do it a lot.  I would say that 90% of my projects go incomplete.  I vow to do every little stitch, step and hem.

4. I will master my serger.  I asked for one for years - nay, begged!  I finally received one, and I still don't know how to use it.    This year shall be the year of the serger!

5. Learn how to knit.  I've never even held knitting needles, but the whole process fascinates me.  I'm a total crochet failure, so hopefully knitting will be my thing.

6. I will show someone how to sew.  I have many friends who have told me they want to learn to sew, but time constraints and lack of enthusiasm have stalled out any concrete plans.  This year I will actively pursue the opportunity to get at least one friend or family member started.  I may not know much, but even a little knowledge can give someone the boost they need to get going, right?

I'm sure there will be more as the year progresses, but those are the 6 I have for now.  I'm curious, though; what are some of your sewing/knitting/needle-working/crafting/etc. resolutions for 2010?  Let's all share the inspiration and make this the year to get back to your craft!

Simple Holiday Fashion Tips

December 24, 2009

I can't believe the holidays are right around the corner! But no complaints here, since Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year.  How can you not love spending time with family, friends, reflecting over the past year and let's not even start on all the great food?  It is time for celebrating, being merry and spreading a little joy!   And who says you can't look absolutely stunning while spreading a little holiday cheer?

The holidays are the perfect opportunity to show off your fashion expertise, there are office parties, family gatherings, and cocktail parties and of course New Year's Eve, one of the biggest parties of the year!   But don't fret,   like I always say it doesn't' have to cost a fortune to look like it did.  I believe the key to looking your best is really simple:  pay attention to the details and don't forget to let your personality shine through in your fashion choices. 

So what are the most coveted items for this festive season?   Well wonder no more, I am going to personally let you in on what fashions are hot and you may realize that some of these items are right in your very own closet!  So upward and onward my fashion soldiers let's get down to business!

Sequins and metallic are two runway trends that are really easy to incorporate into your holiday wardrobe.  I know you're thinking  that you would not be caught dead in a sequin anything,  but I am not talking sequins head to toe, think more along the lines of a sequin or metallic statement piece.  Think of pairing a sequin boyfriend blazer with a sexy camisole, a pair of dark denim jeans, fitted skirt or leggings and a pair of killer heels to pull the look  together.   Throw in a clutch purse and minimal accessories, since the focus is the sequin jacket and you are ready to jingle bell rock all night long!   And the good think about the sequin blazer is that even after the holidays are over you can mix and match it with other items already in your closet.   And the same things for the metallic trend pick one item rather it is your jewelry or a jacket and build the rest of your ensemble around it.   The key is not to go overboard with this trend and remember more is less.

As far as fabrics go, velvet is another big trend this season.  I know you're thinking I haven't worn a velvet dress since I was 8 years old.  But velvet has come a long way.  And who ways it has to be dress.  You can find velvet pieces that are sleek and sophisticated, since it is such a versatile and elegant fabric.  You can find it in dresses, pants, skirts and more, so you are guaranteed to find something that tickles your fashion fancy.

Most people don't realize that something as simple as accessories can take an outfit from just ok to fabulous!  This season statement necklaces, layered necklaces of any kind are a definite fashion do!  Statement jewelry pieces are really good buys because you can change the look of an outfit by simply adding a necklace, so you get more bang for your buck.  And you can find statement necklaces at both high and low price points.

We can't forget about beautiful makeup to put the finishing touches on the perfect  holiday look.  The holidays are the perfect time to try something new and be a little bolder than you normally would.   The big make up trends this season are dramatic eyeliner, bold brows and red lips.  These are all make up trends that are really easy to pull off just focus on one and let that be your focal point. 

So get creative and jazz it up, what better time than the holidays to step outside your comfort zone?  Be daring and go ahead push the fashion envelope, within reason of course!  I truly believe there are no style rules, except for the ones you set for yourself.   And if you feel comfortable and have enough confidence to rock it, then you better work it girl!   The wonderful thing is that parties today usually don't have dress codes, so you can wear what you want; the only requirement is to keep it fabulous!





Let me introduce Shannon, the new kid on the block!

December 22, 2009

My name is Shannon and I'm the newest member of the merchandising team here at I recently graduated with a degree in business from Georgia State University, but my real passion is fashion. From an early age, my grandmother taught me to sew. From that point, my door was open to a variety of creative avenues, which has led me to where I am today. 

This little number, inspired by this Arabesque Embroidered Organza fabric, is my first project for Shannon 1.JPGI found that this beautiful, fun fabric could be used for a great cocktail dress; particularly the burgundy color would make a great holiday dress.  I design and make all of my patterns, but a pattern we have in store that would work well for this design is this Kwik Sew Dress Pattern, KP-3228. Because of the layered skirts, I was able to play around with the drape of the Arabesque top layer, which allows you to be as creative as you like! I cinched and gathered the fabric to give the dress an abstract silhouette. Even though my design is strapless, I love the convenience of straps in this Kwik Sew Pattern.

The main fabric I used for this dress is the Luxe Satin in Fiesta Red .. I like to choose a lining fabric that is unexpected, so I chose a dark burgundy lining, China Lining.. To give the dress extra volume, I used Nylon Netting in Brown .. The benefit to the nylon netting, as opposed to tulle, is the stiffness and structure it gives the skirt.

I hope this inspires a great cocktail dress for you during this holiday season. This might even be great inspiration for a unique Prom dress in the spring! Appropriately styling this dress makes it a year-round wear. Add tights, boots, and a chic shrug for fall & winter, or just a great pair of heels in the spring and summer!  No matter what fabric you used from the Arabesque Embroidered Organza Collection, this dress is sure to make heads turn!

  Shannon 2.JPG

Fabric Maverick has a gift alert!

December 17, 2009

I am excited to let you know that we have just received 2 Girl ScoutsĀ® kits. These are super easy to make or give them as a beginning sewing project for young girls. The fabrics are a bright and lively. Check out Kit-001 and Kit-002. These will go fast.

Melanie's Quick Gift Ideas

There are only a couple more weeks left until Christmas, and while you may not have too much time left to make every person on your list a gift, you can still find them something special.  I may not be able to help you figure out what to give everyone on your list, but I have a few ideas rattling around in my head for the craftier loved ones in your life.

I get to see a lot of cool new items come in as they are being processed.  While I cannot personally use all of them, I find myself creating mental lists and "gift baskets" in my head.  I currently have a running list of possible gifts for my younger sister (who has the desire, but not the patience for sewing), a few of my friends, my mother, and various family members.  Each list is different based on their tastes and skill levels.  Obviously I can't give every person everything I want to, but a few choice items bundled together and wrapped in a fun gift bag or basket can make a wonderful surprise.  Plus, handmade gifts are fantastic, but there's a lot of potential fun when you give your loved one everything they need to be crafty themselves.

Click here to read on...

Continue reading Melanie's Quick Gift Ideas.

Kimono Shrug - download the instructions!

December 16, 2009

I have seen these little shrugs everywhere this season from the department stores to Etsy. The fabrications range from practical knits to fancy silks and laces. I have created instructions to create one from a simple rectangle of fabric. You can make it out of just about any fabric you wish. If you are going for an extra layer of warmth, try a knit fabric, fleece or wool. If you are thinking about dressing up the red sweater/black pants ensemble you wear every year during the holidays, consider dupioni silk, lace, glittery or sequined fabrics, even sheers.
kimono shrug 1.jpg
I have used a chocolate brown lace with copper glitter accents from my stash. I created it with Kimono-style sleeves for simplicity, but I also have always admired the classic elegance of the kimono sleeve. I have a two inch hem in the sleeves to give them some weight as well as elegance. There are instructions for a variation on the sleeve that uses elastic. If you are looking for extra warmth with this shrug, making the sleeves less open at the bottom with elastic will give you more insulation.

Kimono shrug 2.jpgBy the way, you have probably already realized this is a great stash buster. It's also a terrific quick gift idea for anyone at any time of year. This shrug looks great with a tank, cami or a sundress in the summer. Use lighter weight fabrics for a fantastic way to keep the A/C off your shoulders in a restaurant in the summer.

The Fabric Maverick's best picks for the holiday season!

December 15, 2009

I do not know about you, but Christmas has once again caught up with me. After all. I need to save a little time to make Christmas cookies and enjoy the company of good friends. There is still time to order and receive gifts for friends. Here is my list of great gifts which you do not need to make, just wrap and put under the tree. All of these range from 1rom $10.00 to $50.00.

Do you have a friend or relative who wants to start a new hobby?

1. We have several beginning knitting kits designed for childrent to adults. LAR-025.jpg Thumbnail image for LAR-036.jpg LAR-027.jpg


2. Do you have someone who loves Debbie Macomber books?  We have the audio books. Buy the companion book of patterns from Leisure Arts and knit along with the audio. LAR-059.jpg

3. My favorite alltime gift is the sidewinder. Wind all the bobbins you need for a project.

4. New marking tools for quilters and sewers- Sewline Gift Set with Case

5. For the person who would like to learn to quilt, I suggest Alex Anderson's book "Start Quilting".

6. Slip a jelly roll, honey bun or charm pack in her stocking.

7. Try embellishing from the Ka-Jinker to painting.

8. Try wool felting.

9. An old favorite is back with our cross-stitch and needle point kits.

10. Last but never least- Amy Butler's Software CD.

I know many of my friends would be delighted to receive any of these gifts. I would be happy to receive a stocking full of thread. You will never know how much thread I go through in a year.

Now that we have saved you some time, tomorrow Kristl will show you how to put a little glitz and glamour in your Christmas and New Year's outfits.

Elegant Scarf in an Hour or Less

December 6, 2009

A few weeks ago our merchandising manager, Kristl Pelz, wrote about an easy way to make a scarf out of our silk burnout velvet in one of our email messages.  We have received a few questions about the project, so I decided to do an extended set of instructions.

FinalScarf.JPGFor this project you will need one yard of silk velvet burnout fabric and coordinating thread.  A rolled-hem foot is optional, but makes finishing the edges SOOOOO much easier.

Start by evening out your fabric.  The easiest way to do this is to make a tiny snip an inch or two above the cut edge and tear the fabric across the grain.  This ensures that your cut edge is perfectly straight.  Next, fold the fabric in half, matching the selvages, then cut down the fold to create two even pieces.  Go ahead and trim the selvages off at this point, as well.

    fabriclayout2.JPGNext, place the pieces with wrong sides together and so that the fabric pattern is right-side up on both pieces.  Use french seam to join the fabric at one of the shorter sides.  To do this, stitch along one of the shorter sides of fabric using a 1/4" seam allowance. 

  firststitch2.JPGTrim the seam allowance to 1/8" and press to one side using low heat.

cutseamallowance.JPGFold the fabric back along the seam so that the fabric is now right sides together and the seam allowance is in between.  Pin and sew the stitched edge using a 3/8" seam allowance, encasing the raw edge of the first seam inside a nice little pocket. 


foldandsewagain.JPGVoila!  Easy-peasy french seam.

frenchseam.JPGLastly, hem the edges of the scarf.  I used a 6mm hemmer foot, which worked beautifully even with the unevenness of the fabric.  I don't have the patience needed to create a rolled hem manually, so I would highly recommend using your hem foot if you have one.  If you don't have one, I would suggest getting one.  You could also finish the scarf off with a serged edge.

FinalScarf2.JPGThat's it.  Scarf complete!  You could easily do this with any light to medium weight fabric with nice drape.  The burnout velvet comes in a wide variety of colors and styles, but you could also do the same thing in charmeuse satin.  For something a little less drapey, you could use dupioni silk or silk brocade.  It only takes about an hour to make one of these scarves, making them a great last minute gift that won't look last minute at all.

Waxing Poetic About the 12 Deals of December

December 2, 2009 don't normally post a lot about sales on our blog, but I'm actually pretty excited about the 12 Days of December Sale.  Why you ask?  First of all, it's a new sale for us.  Ever day for the first 12 days of December we'll put a new section on sale.  I know there are a few other companies out there doing something similar, but most of them seem to only let the sales last just the one day and then they are over.  We're going to let you have the savings until the 14th (we're giving you a couple extra days to save).  You can get a sneak peak at the different deals, but the sale won't actually start until the day specified in the picture for the section.  It's a little more complicated than the average markdowns, but also more fun.

The second reason I'm excited (and the reason you should be even a little excited, too) is that the deals are REALLY good.  Now, I know you're probably thinking, "Sure, she's going to say they are good.  It's her job to sell the fabric."  Technically you are correct, but for the moment I'm going to take off my marketing hat.  I've worked for for over 3 years, which is just about enough time to get a little burnt out on fabric (why yes, it does happen) and to know when a sale is good enough to reignite my excitement.  60% off designer wool suiting is pretty fantastic in my book.  You still have plenty of time to get some Christmas sewing done, and the Christmas cotton prints are 50% off!  Denim will be 50% off in a few days, too.  Look, I could keep going, but I'm getting myself worked up and my poor, little checkbook can't take it.

Anyway, as I mentioned earlier this is a new sale for us, and we're pretty excited for something fresh and different.  Let us know what you think about it, and maybe I get get another round of great deals on the schedule in the near future. 

If only I could get them to mark down the sewing machines (as if I need the temptation).

Happy stitching!

The Fabric Maverick has a confession!

It is hard to believe that I have been working for for four years. It may be harder to believe that the only thing I had purchased on the internet was daffodil bulbs. At that time, it was uncharted territory for me. Somehow the shopper gene was not passed onto me by my mother, so shopping is something I do not always enjoy. Over the four years, I have become somewhat savvier to internet shopping. Always make sure that you are shopping at a secure website. The URL will start with https: or there will be a gold padlock in the lower left hand corner when ordering your items. If you are unsure always give the customer service department a call.  There are some things I will never order from the Internet. One of these is shoes. I just have to try them on- usually many times and many pairs.

This year I expect that I will be ordering at least 50% of my presents online. There are many advantages to shopping online:


  • I can shop anytime of the day
  • I do not have to get dressed or put on my makeup
  • many sites offer free shipping
  • I don't have to drive which means I do not use gas
  • I don't have to find a parking space
  • I don't have to stand in line
  • My children do not seduce me into buying things I wasn't planning on buying.
  • I have more time to sew

The cons:

  • I can't touch anything
  • I must shop early to take shipping time into account. I do not want to pay for express shipping
  • Sometimes it is hard to decide between like products. Customer Service is not equal at every website.

In general, I have not been disappointed by anything I have bought on the internet. It's like everything else; you just need to learn the ins and outs.

Have fun with your Christmas shopping! May your money not run out before your Christmas list does!

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2009 is the previous archive.

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