Rowe’s Fashion: Unique Canadian Designs.

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Good morning, Thursday Crafthackers!

This morning, I present to you a clothing company that designs, cuts, sews and patterns from Canada. As someone who does the same and feels that businesses have a responsibility to contribute back to their own economy, this alone is a hugely attractive quality. When you buy a piece of their clothing, it means not only are you spending your money on a quality product which is supervised by those who have developed the company, but the money you spend is also going to pay your fellow Canadians, if it isn’t the same people who made it.

Rebecca Rowe is the founder of Rowe’s Fashions, and she not only worked throughout the retail industry, but also went to study first in New York City and then in Paris. She came back to Canada to start her own business with the help of her family. She works closely with the varying aspects of the company, working closely to have a good connection with her employees and also with the quality control of the clothing that is produced.

Having seen her product, I can tell you that they are designed for women, and for women of varying body shapes. She cuts curves into her patterns so that a fitted skirt is not just a sheath, it’s a piece that is cut to curve to your curves, giving shape to a piece that is so often without it.

Her styles are creative but wearable. I love that this is a designer who has thought about usability to build into the garments so that you’re not left with something that you don’t know how to wear or have no where to wear it. This is possibly one of my favorite qualities in a clothing designer, as, if I buy a piece of clothing or jewelry, I plan to wear it. And as often as I can.

Rowe Fashion has a website where you can purchase her wears and peruse photos. You can also read the full history of the designer and company in the About Us section. You can also find hand follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Pintrest.

Hope you guys enjoyed reading about this designer and happy crafting, and happy shopping!

~Megan


Finger Armor

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Happy Sunday, all!

Continuing our trend of decorative and useful tools, this week we are focusing on a small but essential bit of sewing paraphernalia: the humble thimble. I don’t often have sewing projects that call for extra finger protection but when I do, it’s because the fabric is super thick or stubborn. I have a traditional old-fashioned metal thimble that was my grandmother’s but I think my idea of thimbles has been thoroughly expanded by those available online! First and foremost, I adore the simple and tasteful design on this leather thimble by Holly Hawk Designs:

Very elvish looking with the pretty little tree!

I also appreciate the ability to customize designs on wooden thimbles available for purchase from Becky’s Craft Shack:

I mean, asking for a sloth thimble would be just perfect!

If you want something soothing and elegant, this Nephrite Jade thimble from Jade Mine Canada is just gorgeous:

Jade is also said to enhance creativity.

By far one of the coolest and most unique thimbles I found, though, was this blown glass one by Eighth Planet Glass:

Though this one makes me want to bust out my blacklight like it’s the 90s again.

I may give one of these a whirl someday when my Grandma’s gets a well deserved retirement. Next week, I think I will give my crochet tools some love, starting with some amazing yarn bowls!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Little Petal

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Two years ago I talked about Little Petal and how impressed I was with their dresses.  

They are here again at Awesome Con so I have finally broken down and bought one of my very own.  I chose the Amazon Warrior dress to go with my Amazon Warrior quilt.  The best part is the dresses are convertible!

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These are just a few of the ways you can wear the dress.  To see them all, take a look at the listing on their site.

In addition to making amazing dresses that embrace a body positive image, Little Petal also raises money for great causes.

For the month of May they raised money for Planned Parenthood and last night they held an amazing Awesome Con after party with the proceeds benefiting To Write Love On Her Arms- a nonprofit for those who need help with addiction, depression, and suicidal ideation.

Empowering women and raising money for good causes?  This is definitely a company we can get behind and support.  If you would like to support Little Petal as well, visit their Little Petal website here, their Facebook here, their Instagram here, and their Tumblr here.

-Toni

 


New Fabric Collections: Camelot Licensed

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I went to the Spring Quilt Market a few weeks ago where fabric manufacturers released their new spring collections!  So over the next few weeks I want to show you all of the new fabric goodness that you can find at your local sewing/quilt store.

Here is the spring collection of licensed fabrics by Camelot Fabrics.

Camelot is proud to partner with American Greetings Entertainment to bring you Care Bears™  licensed fabric. Our premiere collection features cuddly and colourful Care Bear friends, celebrating #35YearsOfCaring in 2017!

One of four new Disney license collections, Dumbo brings the sweet flying elephant to fabric perfect for little ones’ soothing bedrooms in the form of quilts, pillows and more.  Equally suited to darling itty-bitty apparel.

Previously featured in our Disney Princess collection, the Little Mermaid now has a collection of its own! Aquatic adventures abound with lively prints and the ‘Exploring Endless Wonders’ panel.

Disney’s most famous fairie is the star of the Tinker Bell Collection in tones of cotton candy pink and minty green. Patterns inspired by pixie dust and magic sew up into whimsical accessories.

Her dress-up box is filled with tulle dresses, pearls and tiaras. Decorate her room with a Sofia the First collection DIY triangle bunting banner in purple and pink. Regal, girly and enchanting. Just what the princess ordered!

Favourites from the Star Trek collection are back – this time with the addition of a new pop art style Spock panel and two skus in cotton spandex – ideal for something to wear to your next Star Trek themed event.

Next week starts three conventions in four weeks for me!  Look for the posts on Friday for where you can find us.

-Toni


New Fabric Collections: Camelot Licensed

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I went to the Spring Quilt Market a few weeks ago where fabric manufacturers released their new spring collections!  So over the next few weeks I want to show you all of the new fabric goodness that you can find at your local sewing/quilt store.

Here are the licensed fabrics by Camelot that are being released this month along with a few free projects you can make!

 

Tomorrow I will share the Camelot Licensed fabrics coming in the next few months.

-Toni


New Fabric Collections: Camelot

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I went to the Spring Quilt Market a few weeks ago where fabric manufacturers released their new spring collections!  So over the next few weeks I want to show you all of the new fabric goodness that you can find at your local sewing/quilt store.

Camelot and Laura Ashley are partnering for the first time to combine innovative ideas, quality textiles and a fresh take on 60+ years of design heritage.

Sophisticated and bathed in light, the Dorset Collection conjures images of wildflower fields in pastoral settings. Sun dresses made from dainty florals are perfect for a romantic summertime stroll.  This collection will be available at your local sewing/quilt store in December.

Bright and lively, the Elm Park Collection brings the signature Laura Ashley style to garden-inspired home decor. Wow brunch guests with table-top linens and picnic quilts in rose-themed florals and classic gingham.  This collection will be available at your local sewing/quilt store in November.

Want to see the licensed collections from Camelot?  You will have to check back next weekend!

-Toni


New Fabric Collections: Camelot

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I went to the Spring Quilt Market a few weeks ago where fabric manufacturers released their new spring collections!  So over the next few weeks I want to show you all of the new fabric goodness that you can find at your local sewing/quilt store.

Let’s look at some of the Camelot Fabrics coming soon!

Tropicalia is described as tones of purple and green create a luxurious feel with an equatorial twist. The richness of deep hues found in the tropics radiate through the collection and is suited equally to home decor and apparel. You can expect this collection in stores in November.

Your cats are crafty and insist on ‘helping’ you with your projects – sticking their noses (and tails) in the centre of the sewing action. We LOVE our cats! And now our feline friends
have their very own playful collection. Meow! You can expect this collection in stores in January.

Indigo Rose is inspired by the Japanese resist-dying technique, shibori, the Indigo Rose Collection by
Sara Berrenson lends itself to refined quilts and elegant accessories. Digitally printed for
maximum detail.  You can expect this collection in stores in November.

The Amira Collection revitalizes traditional Ikat with a fresh, modern colour story. A dash
of butterflies completes the mix, great for simple quilt designs where strong patterns can
shine.  You can expect this collection in stores in November.

Oh What Fun is an oh-so-cute wintry wonderland inhabited by playful penguins is the focus of the
newest collection by designer Heather Rosas. Quilts, pillows, toy buckets and more would
be a sweet and playful addition to any child’s room.  You can expect this collection in stores in November.

Want to see more fabric goodness?  Check back tomorrow for more Camelot!

-Toni


Spring Quilt Market

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Today is the start of Spring Quilt Market!  What is Quilt Market?

It is a credentialed quilt trade show.  This means you need to be a quilt shop owner or industry professional (professional quilter, teacher, designer, or publisher).  The fabric manufacturers, wholesalers, and companies that we want to see will all be there.  This is the show where we get to see everything new coming out!  I have seen a few previews and am SUPER excited about the new fabrics I will be able to get.

I am also super excited to see new products from some of my favorite Companies, Arrow and Sew Steady.  They have both agreed to give away products!

I will be giving another chair away from Arrow!

If you watch my Twitch live stream, you know how much I LOVE my Arrow sewing chair.  It is comfortable the wheels are amazing.  you really want one of these for yourself.

Another super special giveaway will be from Sew Steady.  We will be giving away their Ruler Work Kit.

I will be holding the giveaways today and tomorrow as well as live streaming, sharing photos, and maybe an interview or two!  Make sure you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see all of the goodies.  I won’t be picking winners until Monday so make sure you find the giveaway videos on my Facebook page, watch the video, and comment to win!

-Toni


Sew Much Love.

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Hi there Thursday Crafthackers.

I come with a lovely maker who I met at the Craftadian craft show here in Hamilton. Her name is Ally, and she is a sewer. She is the owner of Sew Much Love Studio and is the purveyor of lovely off the rack and custom makeup bags as well as brush storage bags.

After years of buying cheap makeup bags to hold things, and ones that you can’t wash, that it was wrong. I learned this when I  bought my expensive brushes and wanted to keep those costly little things safe, especially while travelling. I can’t count the times that I’ve caught brushes in zippers, squished them at the bottom of my  bag so that they look like an overused toothbrush or they just plain broke from being handled so roughly. Ladies, meet Sew Much Love Studio.

You can buy one of their ready made pieces, they’re all in varying sizes for your makeup needs, or you can have one made for you in the fabric that you enjoy, in the size that you need. Her prices are absolutely reasonable for some great quality sewing, and another fantastic part is that you can have a matching set. Or a contrasting set done in the same colour scheme. LADIES, WE CAN ACCESSORIZE! And remember convention goers, you don’t want any of your cosplay makeup anywhere but your body. These are handy to keep all that business contained!

If you’re in need of some protection for makeup that needs to be taken care of – I know that my nice stuff isn’t just going into some ratty old bag – take a gander at her Etsy shop to see what she has available, and remember to get in contact with her if you’re looking for something custom. You can also follow her on Facebook and Instagram to see the new things she’s putting out. These could be great sets for bridesmaids, for birthdays, for Christmas. I always support local and hand made items, and I think everyone else should too. This is how we get some of the coolest stuff made!

Happy crafting!

~ Megan


Let’s learn about needles – The life of a needle

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All of this information is courtesy of Schmetz.

1 Definition of Needle Life

During the sewing process different forces and influences are attacking the sewing machine needle. There might be

  • Abrasive forces
  • Penetration force
  • Influence of operator
  • Influence of sewing thread
  • Influence of sewing machine

Every one of these forces and influences are the enemies of needle life. They might destroy the point, abrase the needle surface or even break the needle. Some of these influences and forces and their effects are directly visible, e.g. if you get holes in your fabric something has happened to the needle point or if the thread breaks there might be damage to the eye of the sewing machine needle.

As a general definition of the end of needle life we can say

2 Parameters influencing Needle Life

In the previous paragraph we already named a few influencing factors on needle life. If we look closer we will find the following parameters

  • sewing good
  • operator
  • machine setting
  • machine speed
  • thread quality
  • thread size
  • needle size
  • needle point

besides other parameters being specific to every plant like climate, work environment and others. All these parameters are of influence to the needle life and are very individual to every sewing factory. The life of a sewing machine needle has come to an end when the needle looses its proper function.

If we just take the operator as one of the most influencing factors on needle performance we can see that the skills and work experience is a significant parameter. But also here the human factor comes in because not everyday the operator works the same depending on the physical and mental condition. If you put two operators side by side sewing the same workpiece under the same outer conditions like same machine, same speed etc. it can happen that the results are very different, especially when we look into the needle consumption.

From all these influencing parameters it becomes very clear now that they cannot be predetermined because they are individual to the specific sewing factory. Almost every factory has different conditions and setups even if they make the same product.

3 Examples

Broken needle points because the needle has touched some machine parts. The fabric never would cause this type of fault.

Abrasion on eye sidewall because the needle was deflected during sewing and was touching the sides of the needle hole in the throat plate

Total abrasion of eye sidewall. The eye is open. This happened with a very abrasive sewing good containing a flame-retardant chemical.

4 How to find your individual needle life

As the manufacturer of the sewing machine needle we are not able to give a prediction of needle life for the individual plant because it is impossible to know all your individual factors. But a lot of sewing factories have the data available or are able to find the data for every sewing line or even for every sewing machine. It just is a matter of about a month collecting data for every needle change, log the data and categorize by reason for the needle change.

This will give a good basis for quality improvement because if you have these data you will be able to implement a needle change policy in your factory as already a lot of the high quality manufacturers do. You will have the possibility now to change the needle before it starts to abrase or before the needle point gets damaged.

-Toni