Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Curb Alert - Before & After

Found these two chairs yesterday when I was parking my car in Hoboken. Thought they had great lines and a kind of cool back. Since we have a dinner table that seats like 17, thought it couldn't hurt to give these babies a face-lift with some awesome upholstery fabric I had stashed.

Here is the result. Not a massive change, but it's amazing what a new new seat cover will add to a piece of furniture and it only took about 20 minutes!

And even though there are only two of them, they look great around the butcher block table with the other chairs, even if the other chairs are orange vinyl and metal ; )

These photos really don't do them justice. One of these days I will photograph them with my real camera (not the camera phone) and you can see for yourself, a little better.

Weekend Sewing - By Heather Ross

I had the opportunity to take a look at Heather Ross' new book, Weekend Sewing at our last sewing Meet Up. One of the attendees had just gotten it as a gift and brought it to the meeting for everyone to check out.

I was immediately in love with all the realy unique projects the book was filled with. I saw a lot of things that I have not seen before in sewing books and that is what gets me really excited. One that sticks out it in my mind is this newborn kimono shirt that is going to be my next staple gift for baby showers. It's absolutely adorable and I have never seen a pattern for it so small!

The other thing that I think I fell in love with about Heather's book is all the vintage sewing machines that were photographed with the projects. I seem to have become a collector of broken vintage sewing machines, as my shop is full of them now.
Whether it's machines that we have been using for class that break down, or adorable pastel colored sewing machines that I come across at flea markets and just can't resist having, even though they don't work. In my opinion they make great decorations at the shop.

Well, Heather of Weekend Sewing has a passion for vintage sewing machines as well. See what she had to say to Cathy of California about old machiens on her blog here.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fashion Lab Sewing Meet Up Group - March Meet Up

Meet up just ended and I thought it went so great! We had less people than expected but that allowed us to all use the sewing machines and actually complete a little project. We all made little patchwork stuffed birds. So adorable. I took some photos and ate way to many sweets. Can't wait for the April meet up when we are going to take the group to NYC for some fabric shopping. Tentative date of 4/25/09 is set, but will confirm that very shortly!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Now I NEVER have to go to Wal*Mart Again

So I have never really been a fan of Wal*Mart in the first place. We all know about their unfair labor practices and that all their stuff is made in India and Indonesia and some other third world counties where the workers are paid pennies per hour. But you can always count a pretty good freak show the minute you get out of your car and into the Wal*Mart parking lot.

Around here (Hudson County, NJ) there really is no need to ever set foot into Wal*Mart cause there are so many others of these huge "box" stores, not to mention, enough specialty boutique stores to never even need a "box" store to begin with. And as far where to purchase quick sewing supplies, I tended to head to the Rag Shop. I didn't love the Rag Shop, but it did it's job when I was in need of straight pins or last minute black satin to finish up an order that had to go out. I never thought about having to check out the Wal*Mart in Seacaucus before...That is... Until all the Rag Shops shut their doors.

Well, I had been putting off buying straight pins for a week or so and we were down to just about none at the studio and we were all sick of using the small metal head pins, cause they just hurt your fingers. So I ventured off to Wal*Mart to pick some up and I figured I would browse through their Simplicity Sewing Pattern Section while I was there. As I am heading to the sewing section, I am seeing the space is just about completely empty. They have packed up all the sewing supplies and pattern display cases to leave an almost empty space where they used to be. I spy a huge garbage pail, full to the brim with Simplicty Sewing Patterns and breathe a sigh of relief thinking, ooooh they are probably going to be on sale and I can browse through and buy a bunch to stock up on new sewing patterns... Nope, not the case. When I asked the sales woman if I could look through she said no, they were all going in the trash.

Well that just didn't seem right so I kept asking her to make sure I was understannding correctly and she directed me to her manager that was packing nearby. He confirmed that yes, they were indeed going in the trash and I could not look through them, purchase them or take any...

WOW! Wal*Mart would rather dump a bunch of useful, perfectly good sewing patterns in a landfill somewhere, than sell them to a customer.... So that is why I NEVER have to set foot in a Wal*Mart again.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Frugal & Fabulous Contest

We are giving a Green Line Bag Away! Thanks to Lindsay for setting this one up!

Here are the details:

Check out the really cool, diy/money saving blog Frugal & Fabulous to enter the contest to win one of our Green Line Shopper Totes.

All you have to do to enter the contest is let Lindsay, the Frugal & Fabulous blogger, know which item or items on the M Avery Designs website is your favorite and you are entered.

She has even set it up where you can get multiple entries into the contest by letting others know about it. Twitter about the contest or write about it on your own blow and she'll give you some extra chances to win.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Ashley

Just a quick blip about the latest bunch of bags we've whipped up for the spring! Here is a sampling of the cuties and there are more if you head over to the Ashley section of the site.

Yes, these are clutches and we know all the drunky drunks can't do clutches. BUT we'll put a safety strap (a cute one, we promise) on there for you at no cost. Just ask!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Make and adorable Plant Pot from a coffee can and a piece of fabric

Huge shout out to my friend Mary that brought me the most aromatic Basil plant yesterday. I lent her some bins for moving and she brought them back yesterday and went above & beyond and ALSO brought me this plant!

After enjoying the wonderful smell of the basil and shoving it into the noses of all the kids I was teaching at Fashion Lab Afterschool yesterday, I got to work on making it a planting pot from an old Chock full'o Nuts coffee can I had here at the store.

Obviously, it's pretty simple, but I thought it was such a good idea cause it turned out so well with such minimal effort, and it's a great way to re-use and recycle.

Here is what I did:

1. Measure the height of the can as well as the diameter of the can.
2. Cut your piece of fabric (a kitchy vintage fabric is what I used here and thought it worked really well!) an inch taller than the can x 1.5 inches longer than the diameter.
3. Fold over the top and bottom of the piece of fabric 1/2" and topstitch. This creates a nice finished edge on the top and bottom of the can.
4. Fold over one side edge of the fabric 1/2" and topstitch. This is the side that is going to be visible on the can.
5. Make about 10 tiny holes (for drainage) in the bottom of the coffee can. I made mine by hammering a Phillips head screw driver into the bottom of the can with a rubber mallet. I thought this worked quite nicely.
6. Take the fabric and starting with the edge that is not topstitched, begin to glue the fabric piece to the coffee can lining up the topstitched top and bottom fabric edges with the top and bottom of the coffee can.
7. Keep hot glueing the fabric around the can until you come to where you started. The fabric should run out about 1 inch past the edge that you started at.
8. Pot your plant.

Any questions, let me know.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Do you have a fabric stash that would make fabulous handbags?

Do you have fabric at home that you think would make a great bag?

Now you can come to our Make your Own Handbag Workshop and use your own fabric and save a substantial amount of money.

Here are the new rates for the Handbag Workshop:

Heather Clutch, Angela Clutch, Alice, Suzi Q, Keri, $50
Ashley Clutch, Suzi Q with Wooden Handles,Vanessa Messenger $60

These rates include All Supplies

Bring your own Outside Fabric (1/2 Yard) take $5 off
Bring your own Outisde & Lining Fabric (1/2 Yard each) take $10 off

Fashion Lab Summer Camp 2009

I know it's hard to believe right now, but summer IS just around the corner. There is no time like the present to figure out what you (if you are a 9-15 year old) or your child of that age, is going to be doing all summer!

M Avery Designs is going to be holding the Fashion Lab Summer Camp again this summer. FL Summer Camp was established in 2008 and in it's meager beginnings taught 25+ kids to sew in two five-week sessions. And we had a blast doing it. Just take a look at the photo gallery.

This summer Fashion Lab Summer Camp is going to be even bigger and better! We have two five-week sessions and room for 48 kids, but no class is going to have more than 6 students per two-hour group!

Session 1 begins on June 22nd and runs for five weeks and session 2 starts on July 27th and also runs for five weeks.

There are four groups to choose from during each session. Sign up for the Monday & Wednesday group from 11am - 1pm, the Monday & Wednesday group from 2pm - 4pm, the Tuesday & Thursday group from 11am - 1pm or the Tuesday & Thursday group from 2-4pm.

As mentioned above, all 9-15 year old's are welcome and we are going to do our best to group kids together based on age. But since the group sizes are so small, each and every kid will be able to work at the skill level they are most comfortable with and be challenged so they can get the most out of the camp.
Each camper has the opportunity to participate in the End of Session Runway Show that brings together all the groups at the end of session. At the Runway Show, each camper will show off all the projects they made throughout the camp. They will "Walk the Runway" in front of all their family and friends.

Megan Avery, the Owner & Creator of M Avery Designs, will be teaching each and every session of the Fashion Lab Summer Camp this summer.

For more information about Fashion Lab Summer Camp please check out the M Avery Designs Website or feel free to give us a call at 201.876.1198. We can answer all your questions.