- Once and for all, get my closet and stash down to the bare minimum, so that I love everything I have.
- Eliminate the 'Unfinished Symphonies' drawer: either finish or toss.
- Play, putter and pare down in the studio until it looks just the way I want it.
- End each day in a state of completion.
- Live the Creative Life every day.
- Slow down and finesse my sewing style.
- Play with hand stitching....really USE hand basting as a tool (like an old world tailor....).
- Develop the ultimate layering wardrobe.
- Master the art of carry-on!
- Keep being curious and curiouser.
- Cultivate the feeling of spaciousness.
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If you enjoy this newsletter, please pass the word. Word of mouth is the best, and we appreciate your passing it on to a friend, as well as hearing your feedback and support.
|Okay, enough already! Goodness Marcy, these fabrics you are posting are knock-out. I wish I had time to use each and every one. I'm being very careful with my selection, but I LOVE them ALL. Gearing up for London soon, so I have the patterns ready to cut when the treats arrive. Thank you.
|I frequently go back to your 1995 "Easy Guide to Sewing Skirts" for a reminder of some of the basics.
Now that I am of an age where fit is more challenging I am appreciating the art of fitting (although frustrating at times!)
I just recently printed out in large letters and posted it in my sewing room your comment on page 83: "Fitting is a trial-and-error process. The very best way to understand fitting is to just do it!"
I read so much on fitting and most articles make it seam that if you use their process, once you do it all is well. However, I really think you have it: a trial-and-error process.
Thanks for your inspiration and happy sewing,
|Love, love , love, the new fabrics you posted. Going to look at patterns mon or tues & then plan to order!!!! Just finishing up last fabrics I ordered. Busy here, as daughter sailed thru 7 mo. of pregnancy, but hit a stumbling block & is now on bedrest. So My days have been busy taking her lunch & doing lt cleaning. I always look forward to your posts. Bonnieb|
|Hi Marcy: I love your newsletter and look forward to each one you send out. In your last one you mentioned two tailoring books. I ordered them both. Thanks so much for the recommendation! That are wonderful! I'm pretty much self-taught so good books are such a treat. Both of them are really nice but the one you mentioned as your go-to reference is outstanding. So specific and detailed! I especially liked the special instructions for plaids throughout the book.
Thanks again and keep up the good work! I'm anxiously awaiting your next Vogue pattern (especially the purses!)
|I just got my GORGEOUS fabrics and I feel like a kid at Christmas. They are beautiful. I wasn‚Äôt conscious of trying to match stuff up ‚Äì but wow they work together. The green and the teal are beautiful together ‚Äì I just have to come up with the right outfit. I just spent the last week doing a very traditional, tailored jacket because I use them for work and I hate it. Tomorrow my new stuff ‚Äì woo hoo. Thanks.
I just wanted to let you know, that I think you have the most beautiful fabric that I have ever ordered online. I just received the cotton with the stripes and polka dots and it is gorgeous. I am so glad to have found your website.
Keep up the good work.
|Love what you design into T-shirts. Sitting here with Project Runway on and your pattern V8559. Unfortunately I am size 24+. Do you recommend working up the patterns initially in muslin to determine fit? I so want to try your designs! Love to sew but maybe I should buy a size that fits and then embellish? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Keep up the spectacular work and designs!Marcy replies:
More complete information is on my CD, Where Did You Get That T-Shirt?, but here are a few pointers:
Yes, you want to start with a size that relates to your figure. I always tissue fit a new pattern before cutting: make all the necessary adjustments to make sure the pattern is large enough to go around and approximately the right length. Then I fit as I sew. With knits, each one is so different, I don't make a 'muslin', but am careful to sew and fit as I go, tweaking so there are no unhappy surprises. Cotton/lycra is a good first time 'test fabric'....I used it in the white silk screened top and tank shown above on the the pattern envelope.
Use your high bust measurement to determine your pattern size, then add at the side seams to accommodate girth. Larger sizes may require adding a bust dart.
Do patterns such as 8497, 8618, and 8636 need any adjustments to cut out from linen, cotton, etc?
Can you use your vest patterns and cut from knit fabric without any adjustment?
Guess I am assuming that the patterns for kints only would be slightly smaller than regular fabric as it as give?
Nancy Marcy replies:
For pants that recommend knits, I do make them in wovens/stretch wovens, but add at least 1" extra at the side seams for fitting insurance. T
My knit tops, such as the one pictured above, are really ONLY for knits, and I do not recommend using a woven (even a stretch woven), tho the little shrug/jackets can be made in meshes that only have a bit of stretch.
I always cut with a wide side seam allowance---even on knits to allow for fitting as I sew.
|3 Days of FREE Shipping |
|To celebrate the New Year, the winter sewing season, and the urge to sew some cool weather pieces, we are offering
FREE SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS
Sunday January 2, Monday January 3, Tuesday January 4
|Here is how it works:|
|1. Place your order on the website as a PURCHASE ORDER, any time between Sunday - Tuesday, January 3, 4, 5. Orders placed before or after these dates are not eligible for free shipping.
2. Call us to pay for your order using a Credit Card at 541-592-2969. Don't send your CC info via e-mail.
3. If voice mail picks up, it is SAFE to leave your Credit Card # AND card expiration date. Please do this even if we have your card on file.
|4. Free Shipping only in the continental US. Visa and Master Card only.
5. You will receive your order based on availability. Sorry, no phone orders or changes on orders during this 3 day sale.
6. We will pack and ship in the order they are received (by invoice #).
|Have fun choosing!
Marcy, Shelley and Beth
|We're On Facebook!
This is the place to check for daily posts from the studio, see current projects first and, learn about our occasional Secret Sales.
Pardon my learning curve, this is a new and fun frontier to explore. My inner sewing and computer nerds join forces.....
Click on the opposite icon to transport you to the marcytilton.com Facebook home page.
|Fabric Trends & Observations
I'm afraid it has happened. The economy has finally caught up with the wholesale fabric business. While there is no danger of ever running out of fabric in the world, my suppliers tell me that there are fewer goods being manufactured and prices are going up. It makes sense. The fabrics that we hobby sewists find mostly trickle down to us via jobbers/middlemen who buy them from designers (clothing manufacturers). You've probably noticed that there are fewer items in stores than there were 2-3 years ago. So it took a while for this to show up in the fabric business because there was a stockpile that was built up which is gradually diminishing.
Fewer fabrics = higher prices too.....
- More black and gray. Clothing designers tell me that 'black always sells', and gray has been a hot no-color color for several seasons in Europe, so that trend is continuing here too.
- Double faced fabrics. Gives designers (and you and me) double the options for one piece of fabric. I'm loving this trend and finding some gems.
- Prints with a retro 'mid century' feeling. Brings a shot of color to a basic wardrobe while lifting the spirits.
- BIG prints. Imagine them in a smaller piece as in a sleeve, or pieced.
- Stripes. Black and white, but other colors too. One LA supplier had rooms filled with different colors and widths of stripes.
- Why stripes? Stripes are design workhorses that bring things together.
- Polka dots too. Always beloved by French/Parisian designers, polka dots are a current fashion trend for spring.
- Digitally generated prints that appear hand dyed.
- Meshes, net, tulle and lace.
- Collages of above prints used in the same garment; sometimes the colors relate, sometimes combined without any theme at all, and sometimes bits of hand or machine embroidery are added for good measure.
- Wool blended with cotton, with silk and with linen...sometimes with a bit of stretch thrown in.
- A bit of lycra/spandex is ALWAYS a good thing, adds stretch and drape.
|Double Faced Fabrics|
|Threads magazine featured one of our double sided fabrics in a recent issue. Sorry, this fabric is no longer available, but we have many others and more arriving this month. GREAT and simple sewing ideas in this article. |
I love love love to work with double faced fabrics, and am finding some great ones, both wovens and knits from my suppliers. You won't find many (if any) patterns specifically designed for double faced fabrics, but consider some of the possibilities shown below.
|Inspired by the Threads article, I made this double layer T using V 8671 as a starting point and a collage of our gray/black fabric, using both sides of our Gray Marble knit. |
|Link to T-Shirt Gallery for more detailed info on this top|
|The twisted cowl collar treatment is the same as on my Vogue 8582, only the depth of the collar is narrower. Sewing instructions are in the pattern. The cowl is a rectangle and the cowl measures the same as the neck edge. I played with how wide to make it until it looked right. Took a few tries, but I like the finished effect.|
|Pattern Suggestions for Double Sided Fabrics:
Photos are linked to the Vogue Patterns Website
|Vogue 8653: This soft cardigan can be worn upside down and inside out. A natural for double sided knits. |
|vogue 1052: Issey Miyake. This is a natural for a 2 sided fabric, and like all Miyake patterns is even better in 'real life' than in print.|
|Vogue 8627 is a pattern with beautiful lines that lends itself to double sided fabrics. I can see it in a woven as a jacket or as a soft sweater-jacket in a knit.|
|Vogue 8690 by Katherine Tilton|
|Double Sided Fabrics|
|Amythest Check and Lavender Grid Combo|
|Windsor Purple Stripe Detail - SALE, was $12, now $6|
|Points of Light ITY Knit|
|Steel Blue & Danube Combo|
|Piano Keys Double Sided Knit - WAS $15, now $8.|
|Design Outside the Lines 2011|
|Our theme for 2011 is, LIVING THE CREATIVE LIFE.
Diane and I invite you to join us at one of the retreats in 2011. All skill levels are welcome. Our work changes and grows with each retreat, and so will yours.
February 6-10, 2011: La Casa de Maria, Santa Barbara, California (full)
May 15-19, 2011: 5Pine Lodge, Sisters, Oregon
September 25-29, 2011: Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Taos, New Mexico
|Link to Design Outside the Lines Details & Info|
|10 Favorite Sewing and Design Books of 2010
In spite of my love affair with reading books on my ipad, I continue to collect and read 'real' books. This has been a boom year for sewing books.
THREE new books were released that are a must for your reference library and sewing and designing reading pleasure.
Sandra Betzina's new double book set, Power Sewing Toolbox will delight you. Sandra's legacy to people who love to sew is a double volume book with a DVD tucked in each one. Filled to the brim with Sandra's signature sewing techniques and style. Photos of Sandra and friends, real people wearing beautiful hand made clothes. I learned some new things in each volume, trust me, you will want both---and both are designed to use in your sewing studio, though I curled up and read them cover to cover. A must.
1000 Clever Sewing Shortcuts and Tips from Pattern Review's members and the brainchild of Deepika Prakash is a compendium of information that is fun to read and chock full of practical ideas. I had such fun reading it and learning new tips and ideas. A great book for sewists on a learning curve who want to turbo up their own skills.
Do check out this latest batch of discoveries on the internet!
|On This Day In Fashion Blog
I am SO hooked on this blog, I check it every morning along with my e-mail. Top notch writing and visuals and always some new twist or hidden treasure.
|Mary Ray Designs
Mary Ray, a former Threads editor and sewing educator is one if the finest designers in the home sewing community. Her sense of style and way with fabric always inspires me. Do check out her marvelous gallery of garments on her website.
|The Style Crone
What I love about this site is how Judith, integrates her superb sense of style & passion for dressing with real everyday life. I was not sure about the name until I read this description: 'dedicated to the older woman, in her most creative, outrageous, authentic, powerful, adventurous, funny, and proud era. Let‚Äôs take back the word crone, to its original meaning, signifying a woman of a ‚Äúcertain age‚Äô who embodies all her life‚Äôs wisdom, knowledge, experience, and love.' If you are a woman of a certain age, you will want to check this out, if you are a young woman, read it and take notes for the future.
Tziporah Saloman describes herself as ' a dresser - she dresses both herself and others. She elevates the act of dressing to an art form by attending to detail - she notices color, texture, scale and proportion and puts things together in a most unique way.' After discovering her site, I've put attending one of her one woman shows on my list of things to do in the next year.
|Fine Sewing Blog
You probably know Kathryn Brenne from her informative and detailed articles in the Vogue Patterns Magazine, and her blog is every bit as excellent. The current posting describes how she took a $49 thrift store mink coat and re-made it. Made me want to do the same! Kathryn has a marvelous sense of style and does impeccable work, do bookmark this link!Distinctive Sewing Supplies Blog
Catherine Goetz always has an interesting slant on things. In addition to having a sewing based business, she sews avidly and shares her discoveries.
|Mini Tailoring Tutorial|
|Peeking into a Paris tailor shop at the end of the day. Located in a storefront in the Marais, just steps from the Musee Picasso, this tailor will make a handmade suit for a man or woman. |
Watch and learn.
In the inspiring video segment below, you can see the hands of master tailors at work. NO sewing machines are shown, what you see is the sculpting of cloth done by hand. And in the end, the stitches are either invisible on the inside or removed once the suit is done.
O'MAST from Kid Dandy on Vimeo.
|More Tailoring: DIAGONAL BASTING |
|My all time favorite hand stitch is the running stitch, but to form a flat straight enclosed edge or to hold two edges or things together, there is nothing that beats diagonal basting.|
- Use silk thread.
- Use a single strand.
- No knots, just take a couple of short stitches to secure.
- Don't make the strand too long or it tangles.
- Don't pull too tight, the fabric should not distort.
- Make the stitch by inserting the needle at a right angle to the edge.
- It does not need to look beautiful, tho in time your stitches will look neater.
|Take a stitch with the needle at right angle to the edge. Finger press and mould the edge. Stitches are about 1/2" apart. Keep stitches firm but not too tight.
|Press firmly with the iron, then while the fabric is still hot, use the clapper. Test to see if you need to pound or just place the clapper on the fabric. Keep the clapper in place until the fabric cools down. The wood absorbs the heat and cools down things down.|
I often get questions about dress forms. Do I use one? What is the best kind? Where to find one?
I'm highly opinionated!
I do use one, a vintage Wolf. These are the real thing, are hard to find, and new ones are very expensive, around $1200. If you can find a used one, it is a good thing. Mine has gotten water damaged and torn, so I have been shopping around for a replacement. I'll use the old one in the studio and the new one for photographing fabric for the website.
I don't use it for fitting per se, (do that on my body as I sew), but do use it to get an overall design perspective, for draping, when re-fashioning purchased clothes and for photography.
I want a professional form as opposed to 'hobby' dress forms---these are the ones with dials that can expand or contract. The duct tape 'body double' forms are not my idea of a good/functional dress form either. I'd rather have no dress form than wrestle with either one of these options.
Recently I've been searching for a new dress form that has the features of a professional form used in the garment industry and have found one that looks good and works well. I like the look and feel of the linen cover, like that it has a skirt cage, collapsable shoulders, raises and lowers, has attractive brushed metal detailing AND a reasonable price:
$315 for the standard sizes, a bit more for larger sizes. Like also that it is made in the US.
PGM is the manufacturer, and it is available from Atlas-Levy in Los Angeles. They stock other models, a range of sizes, and sometimes/rarely have used dress forms for sale too. The forms come boxed and can be shipped.
I recommend the model shown at left, WITH the hip shaping. Buy it a size or two smaller than you. This way the clothes will slip on and off easily.
|Link to Atlas-Levy
Tell them that Marcy sent you!
Come to Paris with Marcy and Katherine Tilton
November 12 - 19, 2011
Details to be announced in early 2011
E-mail Marcy if you want to be notified: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Paris Flat in an Ideal Location
Owned by Marcy's friend Martine Deret
Perfect for women traveling together.
|Katherine and me with our friend Martine.|
When I am in Paris I love to stay in my friend Martine‚Äôs flat, and now you can too.
Centrally located in the heart of old Paris, this classic 6th floor (with new lift), French apartment is close to the Opera Garnier and the Opera Metro station, on an elegant small square (Gerard Depardieu has a restaurant on one corner, Drouant, the famed literary restaurant is on another). This roomy Paris pied a terre is within walking distance of the Louvre, the grand department stores, the rue St. Honore and the Palais Royal. For the cost of a moderately priced small hotel room you can have an expansive 2 bedroom 2 bathroom flat with a large living room, generous sized American style kitchen and washing machine. Each bedroom has a standard double sized bed, its own bath, and there is a traditional sofa in the living room. (not a hide a bed, tho plans for that are in the works).
Martine has been using a rental service, but prefers to deal directly with clients.
|For more information contact:
Martine Deret via her e-mail: email@example.com
|Living/Dining Room is bright and airy, overlooks Place Gaillon.|
|Big well equipped kitchen. A bonus is the bakery right downstairs in the same building. Delicious morning smells, and you can run down for fresh breakfast croissants.|
|Bedroom #1 has an adjoining marble bath.|
|Bedroom #1: TV is behind the cabinet door. |
|Bedroom #2 faces the inner courtyard.|
|Bedroom #2 has an adjoining bathroom with shower and lots of storage space. |
| Pithiviers Fondant Cake a la Martine
My new favorite cake, famous all over France, originates in the lovely little village called Pithiviers, located about 80 kilometers south of Paris, where I spent a week in early November visiting my friend Martine who taught me and Katherine to make this cake. This is her recipe There are actually TWO famous Pithiviers cakes, but this simple little gluten free almond cake won in my own taste testings. (The other version is a puff pastry that encloses a filling made of almond paste, and it is delicious too) All the bakeries in town have their own renditions which are iced with a glaze and decorated with red and green candied cherries. A simple home made and un-iced version is delicious and easy to make.
It‚Äôs a light cake with a lot of flavor and aroma. It‚Äôs easy to put together, but if there is too much butter, not enough almond meal or if the temperature of your oven isn‚Äôt accurate, it may not turn out correctly. Even if it doesn‚Äôt turn out to be presentable, it‚Äôs always delicious. I broke my first cake, but we happily ate all the crumbs! This cake is fairly thin and should not be thicker than an inch and a half, so using the spring-pan lined with parchment paper is very important.
You'll need a 9" spring form cheesecake pan, or a 9" tart pan with fluted edge. Almond meal or almond flour is available at co-ops, whole/natural food stores and specialty markets.
|1/2# butter (200 grams) 1/2# sugar (200 grams)
1/2# fine almond powder (200 grams)
2 T corn starch
1 T rum
Mix almond powder and sugar.
Add eggs one at a time in mixer as itʼs going.
Add soft butter to mix.
Add cornstarch and rum.
Pour into buttered round pan.
Bake at 325 F for 45 minutes. Check doneness by pressing top lightly with your fingertip - if it pops right up itʼs done.
|When the cake has cooled, loosen the edges before opening the spring pan. Peel the parchment paper from the cake and place onto a plate.|