A new spring jacket – the Bettie Bomber

NSB Bettie Bomber headerHooray! Spring has finally sprung! Or at the very least, the vernal equinox has passed ;)

We are excited because a new season means it’s time to start trading out our wardrobes. This year, we are particularly eager to make a new spring jacket that updates a classic style: the bomber. We think it is the perfect cute, casual addition to any wardrobe.

Luckily for us, our awesome teacher Jacque Goldsmith agreed to teach a class in making bomber jackets. We present to you the Bettie Bomber (shown here over the wonderful ESP dress):

NSB Bettie Bomber + ESP Dress front

This bomber is cute, casual spring style at its finest!

NSB Bettie Bomber + ESP Dress side

It’s even adorable from the side!

Our next class session starts next Tuesday, March 31 at 5:30pm and there are only TWO seats left! If you are interested in signing up, please give us a call at the shop!

Inspired by all the cool options on the runway and in stores, we have put together several inspiration boards:

Sheer Spring Bomber Jackets
Textured Soft Neutrals Spring Bomber Jackets
Black and White Spring Bomber Jackets
Printed & Saturated Spring Bomber Jackets
As you can see, this style is very versatile! We think the Bettie Bomber would look great made up in a white eyelet with pop color underlining, a printed silk chiffon, or a beautiful linen with contrast ribbing! How would you make this jacket?

1927 Cloud Cape from Decades of Style – part 3

cloud cape header - pt 3We’ve made it to part three: our finished 1927 Cloud Cape! This has been a fun little journey and we are excited to share this beautiful garment with you. Because we’ve written about this cape along the way (part 1 and part 2), we’re going to let the images do most of the talking! And so, without further ado, we present our 1927 Cloud Cape (pattern from Decades of Style):

NSB finished cloud cape front view

We have styled our Cloud Cape over red silk charmeuse gown, made from a vintage Vogue pattern.

From the front, you can see there is so much to love about this cape!

NSB finished cloud cape collar

The full, cloud-like collar is complemented by a double-face silk satin ribbon closure.

NSB finished cloud cape side view

Peeking through the window in the background is another Decades of Style pattern friend: the 1925 Zig Zag Dress!

The side view shows all the incredible details: the collar, the ruching through the shoulders, and the handmade flowers, leaves, and vines.

NSB finished cloud cape hem detail

A detail view of the exquisite handmade flowers, leaves, and vines, punctuated by vintage jet beads.

All techniques used to create these striking trims are taught by Candace Kling, who will be returning to teach at Nancy’s Sewing Basket in October 2015 (details to be published soon). For more information about materials used, please look at parts one and two of this series.

NSB finished cloud cape back view

Vines scroll along the hem from the cape front to the back. For ease of wear, cabochons blossom sparingly.

Even the back is gorgeous!

Thanks so much for joining us! We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about this cape as much as we’ve enjoyed making it and sharing the process!

1927 Cloud Cape from Decades of Style – part 2

cloud cape pt 2 header

Today’s post is picture heavy! I’m excited to walk you through our Cloud Cape ‘trimmings workshop’ and to look at some key construction details. When we left off last post, we were building trimmings out of fabrics, using techniques taught by Candace Kling, including cabochon roses, buds, blossoms, and leaves.

Piles of petals! Made of silk organza, acetate rayon satin faille, and silk taffeta, these petals will be artfully arranged to create exquisite cabochon roses.

Piles of petals! Made of silk organza, acetate rayon satin faille, and silk taffeta, these petals will be artfully arranged to create exquisite cabochon roses.

Leaves and buds line up on crinoline awaiting separation. Once cut apart, the crinoline serves as an invisible foundation for attachment.

Leaves and buds line up on crinoline awaiting separation. Once cut apart, the crinoline serves as an invisible foundation for attachment.

workshop beads and leaves

Vintage jet beads in a variety of sizes will be used to highlight the organic forms created by vines and flowers. Additional leaves made of peau de soie (bottom right) will be appliqued along the vines.

Leaves and flowers are cut from their crinoline foundations so they can be arranged on our Cloud Cape!

Leaves and flowers are cut from their crinoline foundations so they can be arranged on our Cloud Cape!

We begin playing with layout. Our vines will scroll from the collar down the front and around the hemline. Cabochons, buds, and additional blossoms will 'grow' from the bottom center front out.

We begin playing with layout. Our vines will scroll from the collar down the front and around the hemline. Cabochons, buds, and additional blossoms will ‘grow’ from the bottom center front out.

Once we like the look of our layout, we move to the cape itself, finessing the arrangement to best suit the shape of the garment.

Once we like the look of our layout, we move to the cape itself, finessing the arrangement to best suit the shape of the garment.

Now that our trimmings are well underway, it’s time to look at the construction of this beautiful vintage cape! Two of the more exquisite details on this cape are the shirring around the shoulders and the incredible collar, and we wanted to highlight a few methods we used in creating our own sample.

First up: the shirring! This pattern uses an era-appropriate construction technique for creating shirring, by using unwaxed dental floss to create rows of gathers. To ensure we were hitting the key marks of the pattern, we created thread markers on the cut pattern pieces:

Make thread markers by hand sewing through the dots.

Make thread markers by hand sewing through the dots, leaving extra ease between each point.

Once all thread markers are in place, cut between the dots.

Once all thread markers are in place, cut between the dots.

You should have sizable thread tails on each dot.

You should have sizable thread tails on each dot.

Begin slowly lifting the pattern piece off your cut fabric, ensuring your markers don't come out.

Begin slowly lifting the pattern piece off your cut fabric, ensuring your markers don’t come out.

Et voila! Each dot is marked and easy to see!

Et voila! Each dot is marked and easy to see!

From there, we added the floss and zig zag stitched over it, then began to gather the fabric following the shirring guide.

Matching our thread marks to the shirring guide, we pull the dental floss to create gathers.

Matching our thread marks to the shirring guide, we pull the dental floss to create gathers.

Ultimately, we find that it is easier to shape the cape on a three dimensional form, so we move to our dress form to finalize our gathers. Once we are happy with the look of the shirring, we tack in place using a washed wool crepe underlining.

Tacking the shirring to the underlining helps prevent shifting.

Tacking the shirring to the underlining helps prevent the gathers from shifting too far during wear.

Once this step is complete, it is important to admire your handiwork!

I love this sumptuous texture!

I love this sumptuous texture!

Beautiful shirring that creates lovely shaping.

Beautiful shirring that creates lovely shaping.

Next up: the collar! The construction of this lovely collar is fairly simple, like a tube with several channels  for cording.

Collar laid flat; these channels provide additional texture in the finished garment.

Collar laid flat; these channels provide additional texture in the finished garment.

In order to give the collar a bit more body, we opted to use plastic coated electrical wire, which can be molded to maintain a specific shape.

The collar begins to take shape.

The collar begins to take shape.

We opt to fill the channels with electrical wire for additional body.

We opt to fill the channels with electrical wire for additional body.

From here, we will finalize the embellishments and complete construction!

Join us next post for a look at our finished 1927 Cloud Cape!

1927 Cloud Cape from Decades of Style – part 1

IMG_1757_crop We are excitedly anticipating the arrival of the 2015 Sewing & Stitchery Expo, which takes place this month, February 26 through March 1, at the Washington State Fair and Events Center. It’s the largest sewing expo in the nation and Nancy’s is proud to have participated for more than 30 years! This year, in addition to taking a large selection of our fabrics to the expo, Nancy’s will be featuring several pattern styles from one of our favorite independent companies, Decades of Style. Follow along with us as we make up their fabulous 1927 Cloud Cape pattern.

1920s appropriate fabric- and ribbon-work flowers, as taught by Candace Kling

Cabochons: 1920s appropriate fabric- and ribbon-work flowers, as taught by Candace Kling

Inspired by the original era of this style, we will make this cape in panne velvet and embellish with fabric- and ribbon-work using techniques learned from Candace Kling. Candace will be back at Nancy’s this fall to teach more of her fabulous classes!

cloud cape fabrics used

L-R: viscose panne velvet, poly chiffon with metallic silver print, silk crepe-de-chine, rayon/acetate satin, silk taffeta, silk organza

Our final fabric selections are a black viscose panne velvet for the body, lining in black silk crepe-de-chine, and trimmings in a variety of black luxury fabrics,  including a high-sheen rayon/acetate satin, silk taffeta, silk organza, and a polyester chiffon with silver metallic print.

Circles and bias cut strips: the building blocks of our cabochons and vines!

Circles and bias cut strips: the building blocks of our cabochons and vines!

We begin by cutting our trimming fabrics. Cabochons will be made with alternating layers of satin, organza, and taffeta. Vines will be made from our metallic printed chiffon. Leaves will be made from satin and taffeta ribbons: some vintage, some made from strips of our fabrics. Flower centers and buds will be made from remaining velvet.

Using a nifty vintage tool, we turn our bias tubing right side out

Using a nifty tool, we turn our bias tubing right side out

Making vines, L-R: sewn bias tubes, turning right side out, finished tube

Making vines, L-R: sewn bias tubes, turning right side out, finished tube

For the vines, we use our metallic chiffon,  creating bias tubes sewn in varying widths. For subtle sparkle, we opt to sew the tube “wrong” sides together, so all metallic is to the inside.

building leaves and cabochons on crinoline

Building trims on crinoline will allow us to move and arrange individual flowers when deciding on placement for our final look.

After preparing our fabrics for the cabochons and our ribbon leaves, we begin building them out on black crinoline. This means a lot of arranging, pinning, and rearranging. Once we like the look of our flowers, we will tack in place by hand.

Join us for part 2 to see our completed trimmings. We will also look at the basic construction of our 1927 Cloud Cape!

Soothing Eye Mask tutorial and FREE PATTERN

IMG_1738

Are you looking for a last-minute gift to make for your valentine? Look no further than this easy eye mask! Our latest free pattern is perfect to make as a last minute gift for friends and lovers alike.

Filled with flax seed, our soothing eye mask can be heated in the microwave or chilled in the freezer for use in hot and cold therapy. Mix in dried lavender for added aromatherapy benefits!

SUPPLIES:

  • 1/8yd fashion fabric
  • 1/8yd lining fabric (recommend 100% cotton flannel or soft knit); can use the same fabric for lining and fashion choices
  • 1-1/4yds ribbon for strap (recommend 3/4” wide); can also use two different ribbons at 5/8yd each
  • 1/2yd elastic (recommend 1/4″ wide)
  • 1 cup (approximately) flax seed

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Download our free Soothing Eye Mask pattern. Print on letter sized paper.

2. Cut 1 each fashion and lining fabrics (if using same fabric, cut 2). Mark notches and lines.
2 cut pieces

3. If embellishing eye mask, do so now.
Inspired by Holly Golightly’s famous sleep mask and in anticipation of Valentine’s Day, for this tutorial we chose to decorate the fashion side of our mask. For our flirtatious design, we used black feathers for eyelashes and cut a simple heart out of red wool/rayon felt. We played around with layout; once finalized, we tacked the feathers down and then added the heart.
3b tack feathers

4. Make the head strap.
If using one kind of ribbon, cut into two 5/8yd lengths. Stack ribbons wrong sides together (if using two different widths of ribbon, center top ribbon over bottom ribbon) and pin in place.
4a stack and pin ribbons
Sew down one side of ribbon stack, at least 1/8” from edge. Repeat on other side.
4b sew ribbons together
Using a small safety pin, string elastic through casing.
4c string elastic
Adjust for head size and sew in place on edges (I had 2” overhang on either end and used a 1/8” seam allowance to hold in place).
4d two inches

5. Attach strap to fashion side of eye mask.
With right sides together, center the ribbon over marked line on eye mask front, aligning raw edges. Pin in place and sew using 1/8” seam allowance.
5 attach strap to front

6. Sew lining to eye mask front.
Lay eye mask lining over fashion piece and strap, right sides together. Pin in place. Sew together using a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving open between notches along top.
6a sew lining to face
If you prefer, reinforce seam along bottom between 1/8” and 1/4″ from edge.
Clip curves along bottom of eye mask.
6b clip curves

7. Press seams and turn right side out.
Through opening at top, fill eye mask with flax seed as much as you like. I made a funnel out of paper and tape.
7 fill with flax seed

8. Hand sew the top opening closed.
8 hand sew closed

Voila! Soothing eye mask – ready to use!
IMG_1731

Top eye mask: made with Robert Kaufman Essex Yarn-Dye linen/cotton, lined with 100% organic cotton flannel, wool/rayon felt heart, feather trim, and ribbon from the Nancy’s Ribbon Room. Lower eye mask: made from new Moda 100% cotton toweling in Vintage Floral print, lined with 100% organic cotton flannel, and vintage ribbons from the Ribbon Room.

Easy Gift Bag tutorial

IMG_1696

Now that the Super Bowl is over, we’re looking forward to the Academy Awards and the parties that go with it! Inspired by the idea of red carpet fashion and a beautiful bottle of wine, we have made up our Easy Gift Bag pattern in an elegant organza and gold ribbon, which we think would make a fabulous hostess gift for an Oscars party. Follow this tutorial to make one of your very own! SUPPLIES

  • Fabric, cut to 12.5″ wide x 20″ tall (for directional prints, ensure you cut fabric so the vertical measurement is 20″)
  • Ribbon, 7/8 yd

INSTRUCTIONS **We designed this bag to be serged, though it can easily be sewn on a standard sewing machine. If you don’t have a serger, we recommend pinking all edges before you start and sewing with a 1/4″ seam allowance. 1. To begin, pink one 12.5″ edge of fabric, trimming as little as possible. 1. pinked 12.5 edge 2. Fold ribbon in half. On one 20″ side of fabric, pin center of ribbon fold to fabric edge 9″ from pinked edge. 2. pin ribbon fold to raw edge 3. Fold fabric right sides together lengthwise, matching long edges. Pin in place, if you prefer. 3. fold in half lengthwise 4. With fabric folded, measure 4.5″ from pinked edges. 4a. measure 4.5 long edge Fold at this point. 4b. fold at 4.5 down Pin in place, if you like. 4c. pin if you like Serge long edge, catching all seam allowances and ribbon. Be sure to remove any pins as you surge! 4d. serge long edge 5. Flip top cuff right side out and refold with serged seam down the center of the bag. At the bottom of the bag, mark the following: measure in 1″ from each folded edge; this is point B. Measure in 1″ inch from B, mark as C. Original folded edge is A. Folding at B, invert folded edge A and match to C. 5. mark A B C 5. sketch crop Repeat on both sides. 5c. repeat both sides Serge across bottom edge. 5d. serge across bottom 6. Turn your bag right side out and admire the beautiful finished square seam along the bottom! 6. admire square seam bottom 7. Insert favorite bottle of wine and tie a bow. You’re all set to gift! Easy Gift Bag Enjoy!

The Curtain Call – Nancy’s Holiday Window and Raffle

photoWe are excited to share the details of our second annual ‘Share the Joy’ raffle to benefit local agency Mary’s Place, a wonderful resource for homeless women and their children.

Our theme this year is The Curtain Call, inspired by Pacific Northwest Ballet’s The Nutcracker. The staff at Nancy’s has drawn inspiration from the soon-to-be retired Maurice Sendak costume and set designs to create and hand-make costumes to fit 18″ dolls, including American Girl dolls (R).

We are selling raffle tickets for $2 a piece and each ticket is a chance to win one of six total prizes! The raffle drawing will be held on Saturday, December 20th at the end of the day.

For the prizes, we have five individual prizes and one grand prize.

Individual prizes are:
1. A Pleasant Company original tea set
prize 1 tea set

2. A modern folk ensemble including blouse, appliqued vest, and tiered skirt with sash*
prize 2 folk costume

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. A black opera coat made of wool with faux-fur collar*
prize 3 opera coat

4. A grey ball dress with lace bodice and beaded necklace*
prize 4 grey ball dress with necklace

5. A brightly colored tutu with matching ballet slippers and tights*
prize 5 tutu hairpin and slippers

Our grand prize is comprised of seven ballet costumes with accessories, two masks made by the very talented Lauren Dudley, and a Christmas Tree painting, all inspired by the original costumes and sets of Maurice Sendak, plus three additional outfits worn by our ‘audience members’ in the front window!*

You can see the grand prize in the photo at the top of this post or stop by to see our lovely window display in all its glory. Raffle tickets can be purchased in store with cash or check only.

*Dolls pictured are not included in any component of the raffle prizes.