Thursday, January 31, 2013


We here in Maryland are pretty excited about Super Bowl XLVII this weekend, and we here in the studio will watch the game decked out in our purple and black (15% off for the 15 points that got us here when you type RAYVENS at checkout!)

We have been the personal costumers of Poe, and his former cohorts Edgar and Allen, on several occasions over the years.  So while you're enjoying your beer and brats, enjoy our walk down memory lane with our good friend Poe...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Studio Goes to the Inauguration (By Proxy)

Everyone is talking about the fashion at the inaugural balls:  the who, the what, the "wear."   We had a personal investment in the inaugural balls, so that was what we talked about most!  We altered two very different beautiful gowns on their way to two different balls.

The first was for a woman who needed a dress bought several years ago to be taken in.  We pulled it in at every single seam to show off her new trim body, and added some bling to the back of her jacket to bring it up in style.  She dressed it up with a bejeweled necklace and bracelet brought over from India by a friend.

depending on the light, this dress could be green, bronze, or silver

The second was a brand new dress that needed hemming; our lovely lady was already a perfect ready-to-wear size, but the four hems of her stunning mermaid dress needed shortening, and the edges of her scarf needed evening out.  When she came in to pick it up, we had some fun helping her style the dress with a chunky, sparkly necklace and earrings.

all the right statement pieces work together to make a beautiful whole
Then we watched the inauguration from the warmth of the studio.  How did you mark the occasion of our 57th peaceful transition of power?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sewing and Organizing Tips: Tuesday Tip Roundup I

Every Tuesday on some of our other social media outlets, we publish a tip from Marilyn on how to keep your sewing area organized and efficient, from DIY substitutions to why-didn't-I-think-of-that organizational advice. Below is a roundup of our first ten Tuesday Tips:

1.  Sort and store your fabrics, threads, and notions by color.

fabrics in totes organized by color

2.  Make your own pattern weights using two 5/8" zinc cut washers hot glued together on the flat sides - costs about 30 cents each

pattern weights made from washers

 3.  Extend the life of your pattern tissues by keeping them in 9 x 12 manila envelopes. Cut the pattern envelope and glue it to the manila envelope; the tissue doesn't have to be folded so tightly and the patterns go in and out easier.

a drawer of custom patterns in manila envelopes

 4.  Freezer paper is useful as a substitute for pattern paper: sturdier and cheaper. I use the kind that is waxed on one side. Wax paper is also useful as a tear-away stabilizer: If you're sewing a fabric that doesn't want to flow under your pressure foot, back the fabric with it and tear away when done stitching.

freezer paper in the bin

5.  Don't forget to press your pattern pieces before laying them out on your fabric - set your iron on synthetic and no steam.

wrinkly pattern pieces and iron on no steam synthetic

6.  Keep pin cushions at both your sewing machine and your work table - saves jumping up and down for pins.
multiple pin cushions

 7.  Use a tomato pin cushion to store slightly used machine needles - use a marker to divide it into sections for each type (Universal, 60, 70, etc.)

tomato labeled with machine needle numbers

 8.  Don't sew over pins - it can nick both the pin and the needle and cause burrs that then can cause pulls and runs in your fabric

taking pins out while sewing

9.  A good substitute for a velvet board is a thick terry cloth towel.

terry cloth over velvet

 10.  You can make your own seam stick by going to the hardware store and getting an 18" piece of 1/2" half round moulding

half inch round moulding

We hope these have been helpful! We will do another round up in a few months, but in the meantime, you'll see our updates in real time every Tuesday on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.