Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Open Lab now $5 Per Hour

We all love to sew and create, but who has the space to do at home?

Now your can bring your projects to the M Avery Designs Studio and work on them here in a supervised environment, with all the right tools at your disposal for $5/Hour. It's not a lesson, but feel free to ask questions if we're not already teaching a class.

Open lab time is your chance to rent out workspace here at our studio to work on any sewing or crafting project you might have. 

The time you rent is always supervised by a knowledgeable stitcher and comes equipped with just about anything you might need to complete your project including:

Sewing Machines
Irons & Ironing Boards
Scissors, Rulers, Seam Rippers, Thread, Tape Measurers, Pins, Needles
Pin Cushions, Tailors Chalk, Hand Sewing Needles, Three Large Cutting Tables,
Adjustable Dress Forms, Patterns, Sewing & Crafting Reference Books & More.

Fabrics, Trim, Bag Making Supplies and other notions are always available to purchase.

Open Lab Hours
Monday: 2-6pm
Tuesday 3-7pm
Wednesday 2-6pm
Thursday 3-7pm
Friday by appointment

Please note
: We'll be closed from Saturday Dec. 24th, 2011 - January 8th, 2012 for vacation. No open lab hours or private lessons during this time.

On weeknights we have classes from 7-9pm, if the class is not too big, we may have room for open lab. Shoot us an email to find out.

Really need some open lab during hours that aren't posted? Send us an email. We might be able to accomodate. There's a change someone will be there teaching a private sewing lesson or just working in the studio. Shoot us an email to find out. 

This schedule is subject to change based on our ever changing class & private workshop schedule.
Be sure to check this page from time to time as it updates.
When in doubt, call ahead.

Please note: Anyone utilizing our open lab time must either have some sewing experience, have taken our Intro to the Sewing Machine Class or one of our Private Sewing Lessons prior to using our sewing machines.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Huge Gift Certificate Sale

 There are so many reasons for a SALE this weekend!
How can we not participate?!?

SO - Call it what you want:

-Black Friday Sale
-Small Business Saturday Sale
-Cyber Monday Sale

 Doesn't matter what you celebrate, the details of our deal are the same:

  • Starts Midnight after Thanksgiving (Nov. 24th, 2011)
  • Ends midnight after Cyber Monday (Nov. 28th, 2011)

 These Gift Certificates will never expire so stock up!

All credits purchased will be added to the M Avery Designs account of your choice.

Use them for you or buy them for a friend or family member.

Use the credits to purchase M Avery Designs classes and workshops whenever you want.

We are grateful for each and every one of you. This is our way to say "Thanks".

xo, megan

Black Friday Gift Certificate Sale

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sewing Knits - A primer from Threads Magazine

We have been using our downtime to update our class schedule. We're getting pretty excited about some new classes that we'll be offering in the new year!

One class will be Knits Lab and we cannot wait to share with you all our tips and tricks for sewing knits and jersey fabrics. It's really not that hard. We swear!

In our searching for class ideas we came across this great tutorial from Threads Magazine on sewing knits and thought we must share it with you.

By Ann Person
From Threads #73, pp. 42-45

Let me quickly dispel the apparent mystery about sewing with knits: there isn't any! Nonetheless, after 30 years of writing and teaching on the subject, I'm always surprised to find out that these supple fabrics still alarm many sewers. And nowadays there are so many new knit fabrics available, it's hard to know how to handle them all. So I'd like to present a basic primer of information every sewer needs to create knit garments that look like ready-to-wear. And believe me, it's easy— you don't have to be an expert.

The great fun of sewing with knits is the leeway they give you when fitting. A garment made from a stretchy fabric doesn't have to fit as perfectly as one made from a woven, so knits eliminate the pressure of exact measuring and altering of patterns. And they're so comfortable to wear!

When constructing knit garments, the first rule is that if the fabric stretches, the seams must stretch, too, so that the stitching won't pop as you bend and move in the garment. Whatever type of machine you have, I'll show you how you can achieve flat, stretchy seams.

Select patterns designed for knits when you sew these forgiving fabrics, available in an amazing variety of weaves, prints, and blends (including printed cotton interlock (1), silky rayon/metallic (2), mohair/wool jersey (3), striped acetate rib (4), and lacy linen/nylon jersey (5)).
Check out the fabrics!

Whether made of cotton, wool, linen, one of the new synthetics, or a blend, each knit falls into one of several construction categories: single knits (created on a commercial knitting machine with a single bed of needles); double knits (created on a double-bed machine with two back-to-back beds of needles); and rib knits (made by alternating stitches between two needle beds). Single-knit fabrics like jersey, velour, terry, and fleece look different on the reverse side, have cut edges that curl, and usually have about 25-percent stretch. Double knits like interlock (made with fine yarns) tend to be more stable than single knits, often look the same on both sides, have cut edges that don't curl, and stretch from 25 to 75 percent, depending on the fiber and construction. Rib knits, constructed from alternating knit and purl stitches in various combinations, may look the same or different on opposite sides, tend not to curl, and have up to 100-percent stretch.

My philosophy for fabric preparation is to always pretreat a fabric before you sew it exactly as you plan to care for the finished garment. This means that cotton, linen, and synthetic knits should be washed and dried (in the dryer if you plan to dry them this way later), and wool knits should be thoroughly steamed before cutting.

Smart pattern choices
When planning a knit garment, I recommend selecting a pattern specifically designed for knits, rather than for woven fabrics, because the pattern will have the correct amount of ease built into it. The amount of stretch in the fabric will determine the style and size pattern you choose. Check the pattern envelope for suggested fabrics and the amount of stretch required for the style. If you choose a fabric with less stretch, you'll need to add more ease.

Since knit fabric has built-in ease, you don't need as much ease in the pattern as you would for a woven fabric. A couple of inches of bust ease, for example, is plenty for a fairly fitted knit style, compared with the 5 in. of bust ease needed for many woven garments. And a double-knit skirt hangs nicely with 2 in. of ease, while a woven skirt would require at least 3 to 4 in.

Construction optionsYou can get successful results on knits whether you own a basic sewing machine or the latest high-tech serger. I began sewing on knits long before I owned a serger, and I still recommend my original technique of sewing with a long straight stitch of 9 sts/in. (3 mm), stretching the seam as I sew it (as much as the fabric stretches easily) to add elasticity. When the seam returns to its normal length, the stitches are closer together and the upper and lower thread tensions have loosened. As for using zigzag or stretch stitches to construct seams, I've simply never liked them.

For double knits that will stay pressed open, use a 5/8-in.-wide seam allowance. For single knits that tend to curl, I recommend a 1/4-in.-wide seam, which you can finish two ways: either press it to one side and topstitch for a professional look, or sew a second line of stitching 1/8 in. from the first and then press to one side. The double-sewn seam adds strength and helps keep the seam flat.

If you have a serger, you'll find serging a quick way to assemble knits with a finished, factory look, and the seams will have built-in elasticity, so you don't need to stretch them as you sew. Make sure your stitch is balanced, adjusting the thread tension so that the stitch doesn't bind or ruffle the seam. If your serger has differential feed, raise the setting if your test seam looks wavy. For hemming soft knits, I find that serging the edge, turning up a 1/4-in. hem, and topstitching twice gives a stable, nonslippery finish. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mini Quilt Inspiration

We'll be offering the Mini-quilt workshop again this Saturday from 11am-1pm. This workshop is a classic in our studio so I have added some inspirational photos to this slideshow to show you just what you can do in a 2-hour workshop.

The quilts may be small, but they are oh-so adorable. And making one in this class gives you such a sense of accomplishment. Take a look and feel free to sign up here. There are only 3 spots left.

Monday, October 17, 2011

NEW - Community Sewing Workshops

Wanted to give you all a heads up on our new Community Sewing Workshops that will be happening once a month to give you all a taste of what our classes are like. 

We have just added two classes that will be happening both in October and in November. Guess what's the best part? They are only $5 each and you'll walk away truly having learned a brand new skill.

How to Sew a Button: 
Community Class - Beginner Level - 1/2 Hour Workshop
If we had a nickel for everytime we talk to people who want to learn how to sew and they tell us "I don't even know how to sew a button" we'd be gazillionaires. This class is for those that just want to learn how to do some mending and replace some buttons that have fallen off of favorite clothing pieces. Don't throw that shirt away, learn how to fix it!

In this workshop students will learn:
*How to thread and prepare a hand sewing needle
*How to sew a standard flat button the proper way

Community Class = $5
All Supplies Included

Upcoming Dates

Sunday October 30th, 2011 12 - 12:30pm
Sunday November 13th, 2011 12 - 12:30pm

Hand Sew Your Hem Workshop:
Community Class - Beginner Level - 1/2 Hour Workshop

Are you tired of paying the tailor way to much money to hem your pants? Do you have a pile of pants, jeans and/or skirts that could totally be worn, if only you could get the hem fixed or shortened?
In this M Avery Designs Comunity class, we'll teach how to hem your own pants or skirt at home using just a needle and thread. You'll learn a skill that you can do at home without a sewing machine. Bring a practice pair of pants to hem if you want.

Community Class = $5

All Supplies Included

Upcoming Dates
Sunday October 30th, 2011 11am-11:30am
Sunday November 13th, 2011 11am - 11:30am

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hat Lab Starts on Thursday

There's a chill in the air and I reached into my fall hat bin yesterday because I was ready. It's almost like the fall has come just for us to start our Hat Lab on Thursday.

I am not teaching the class, but will be staying and stitching for most classes because 1. I love hats! and 2. Because Irina is such an excellent teacher, I can always learn many things when I take her hat class.

Irina is the hat expert. Plain and simple. She's been doing this a long time and has learned from the best and now creates patterns and samples for the best. Coach.

Irina's passion for hats started with her first trip to London in 1994: inspired by Top Shop, upon return she made hats for the artists friends. Soon she became famous in her native Ukraine for her casual, understated creations. Innovative and resourceful, she was working with vintage and recycling materials producing original collections and fashion performances. 

Here are just a few of the adorable and highly functional designs we'll be working on in class: 





Monday, September 26, 2011

Sewing TV for Kids - Martha & Friends

Just came across this new production from AOL kids. It's cartoon webisodes of a new show called Martha & Friends that consists of a 10 year old Martha Stewart and her friends hanging out, cooking & crafting in their clubhouse.

I,  of course love the idea of any show promoting kids crafting and sewing. I just watched the episode where they all made some changes and embellishments to their favorite jeans. It was pretty basic stuff that most adults would know how to do to add some pizazz to your boring jeans, but I love the idea that it's cartoon, 10 year old Martha showing you how to do it. And I especially got a kick out of her discouraging her friend from drawing in pen ink on her jeans. She immediately got out the stain fighting kit to help her friend try to get the ink out. How responsible of 10 year old Martha. But come on, even her cartoon hair cut is "responsible".

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hoboken Art & Music Festival This Sunday

Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011

11am to 6pm
 Takes place on Washington St.
between Observer Highway to 7th St.

Over 300 Artists, Crafters, Photographers,
Sculptors, Local Businesses, Restaurants,
Food Vendors, local non-profits & more
Rain or shine • Admission is Free

With 3 Stages of live music
with performances by:

Skanatra, Swingadelic, Hello Radio, Buzz Universe,

The Romance Commandos, Specktrum, LiL Monstaz,

Frankie Morales & the Mambo of the Times Orchestra,
The Benson Ridge Project, Big Jeff & the Bouncy People,
Erin & the Up Past Bedtime Band & much more

Vendor applications are still available.
Volunteers are needed.

Geri Fallo, Division of Cultural Affairs
Send an Email

Phone: 201-420-2207
Fax: 201-420-2009

Performance Schedule TBA
Schedules are tentative and subject to change.

Observer Hwy (bet. Newark & Observer Hwy)
Noon - The Jersey Follettes
12:45 pm - Emily and the Turitones
2:00 pm -
3:30 pm -
The Romance Commandos
4:45 pm -  Skanatra

Sixth Street Stage
12:30 pm -
1:00pm    - LiL Monstaz
1:45 pm   - The Benson Ridge Project
2:30 pm - Hello Radio
3:45 pm - Buzz Universe
5:00 pm - Frankie Morales and the Mambo of the Times Orchestra

Children’s Stage located in the Capital One Bank parking lot on 3rd Street
11:45 am - Garden Street Music
12:30 pm -
Hudson Dance & Music

1:10pm -  Big Jeff & the Bouncy People  
2:00 pm -
Big Jeff & the Bouncy People
3:00 pm -
Erin Lee & the Up Past Bedtime Band
4:00 pm -
Erin Lee & the Up Past Bedtime Band

Special features include

  • Fine artists are located between 2nd & 3rd St., so if you are an art collector, this is the place to be. Oil paintings, watercolors, acrylics, sculpture, mixed media, etc.
  • Children’s area on 3rd street with rides, games, creative activities, puppet show, face painting,
    clowns, balloons, live performances and much, much more:
  • Crafters display / sell handmade: pottery, metalwork, wood items, furniture, blown & fused glass, quilts, household items made from recycled materials, cementware, batik clothing, hand painted furniture, candles, jewelry, dried florals, soaps & lotions and much more
  • Food: Lots of great food throughout the fair. Hoboken restaurants will set up street cafes offering an eclectic variety of international foods such as: Thai, Indian, Greek, French, Mexican, Cajun and Italian


Located just 3 blocks from all public transportation:
PATH, NJ Transit Trains & buses, NY Waterway Ferries & the Hudson Bergen Lightrail

Washington Street will be closed from 6am to 9pm
between Observer Highway and 7th Street
During this time, NJ TRANSIT Bus No. 22 (North Bergen-Union City-Hoboken),
No. 89 (North Bergen-Hoboken) and No. 126 (Hoboken-New York)
will operate on a detour.
Customers traveling toward North Bergen and New York
will board and alight along Bloomfield Street at customer’s request.
Customers traveling toward Hoboken Terminal
will board and alight along Willow Avenue at marked bus stop locations.

NY Waterway Ferries,

The Hoboken Reporter & The Midweek Reporter,
Capital One Bank, Walgreens, NY Waterway Ferries,
PATH, Port Authority of NY & NJ,
Anthony Davids, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Crumbs, Luca Brasi,
Steaz Iced Teas, GuS Grown Up Sodas, Boylans Soda & Illy Coffee

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What is Applique

We have an Intro to Applique class this weekend and I was just thinking, perhaps people don't even know what applique is. So I googled it to see if I could find a nice little definition and here is what I borrowed from the site.

Question: What is Applique?

Answer: Appliqué is a kind of patch that is applied to clothing. While patches are used to repair clothing, appliqué's are used to decorate. Many patches are often put together to make an object or scene. Different fabrics are selected for the individual patches to add texture, contrast and style.

 In the class, we are going to teach you easy techniques for learning how to cut out your own designs and add them to just about anything. You'll see just how easy it is to do. You just need to practice to make your designs look professional.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The 10 Best Sewing Blogs According to Yahoo

I just ran across this article. I have heard of some of them, and some not at all. I haven't had the chance to look at the ones that I am not familiar with, but I wanted to pass them along to you before I forget.

Check out the 10 they deem the best and let me know what you think. How many of these blogs will become part of your bookmark collection?

Sewing is exciting. Some people sew the most basic stitches and simple projects, but they provide great joy and a sense of accomplishment. Some people sew out of necessity because it is either cost effective or because it provides the freedom to create something you have been unable to find in the store. Suppose you want a linen tablecloth to match your kitchen curtains and the stores just don't have anything that fits the bill? Then sewing one can be extremely simple and you will get exactly what you want. Sewing is sometimes just an expression of love, like making an outfit or blanket for a new born baby. You might sew a costume for your child's school play, or resize an old suit and bring it fresh life. You might love to sew so much that you have to sell all the extra things you sew, so you can fund your hobby. Whether you are a beginning sewer or an experienced seamstress or just like to dabble in sewing crafts and ideas, these sewing blogs are some of the best on the net. They each offer something unique and worthwhile.
The Sewing Divas
This blog is a collective of 6 ladies who sew and tackle numerous sewing projects from classic dresses to sewing clothing labels to construction a Coco Chanel like jacket. Experiments with applique and reversable suede and men's shirts, The Sewing Divas take challenges and are detail oriented and articulate. Professionally presented sewing site worth bookmarking.
Behind The Seams
Gigi, a 40 something blogger loves sewing, reading about sewing, writing about sewing and talking about sewing and buying fabric. She just can't get enough and sewing intoxicates her. She gives you a glimpse into a sewing machine shop and her sewing room and talks about embroidery machines and sergers anything on television related to sewing. The blog is upbeat and thoughtful and like most sewing blogs, you get to see current and past sewing projects.
Just Sew It
Here you can learn about thread storage for dry climates, sewing for weddings, sewing seasonal projects, learn about fabrics and sewing basics and tips and discover patterns and sewing ideas. Lots of big clear pictures and details intersperses with some rants about sewing dealerships, if you sew, you will enjoy this site.
Julia's Sewing Blog
Julia Ringma lives in Canada and has been blogging about sewing since 2005. She conquers advanced sewing like Corduroy Skirts and Jackets, where you will learn about how to pin sleeves and how to measure and cut fabric. She makes lots of patterned tote bags and jumpers and jeans as well. The pictures show closeups of step by step sewing and details her techniques. She uses, for the most part commercial patterns.
Eleanors Closet
From quilting to dress making to medieval costume sewing, this blogger details her sewing projects including mistakes she has made and how she corrected them. From linen to buttons to marking a bodice to attach a skirt for hemming, you will view the sewing projects step by step.
A Dress A Day
This blogger loves dresses. New dresses, vintage dresses and views dresses as something that speaks and tells a story. A Dress A Day uncovers the secret lives of dresses and vintage patterns and all talk dress and dressy. If you love to sew dresses, then this is the site for you. There are several links on dress sewing books.
Six And A Half Stitches
The author of the Six And A Half Stitches works with a lot of piece work and patchwork in creating small projects such as darling little baby bibs with artistic flair, and larger more involved projects. The blogger takes you through the steps from sorting fabric and deciding on the sewing project to directions on how to rescale an existing pattern to the size you need. She has a bohemian eye and her sewing creations have an artistic flair.
Arts & Quilts
Arts & Quilts blog is written by a person named Rete who lives in Austin Texas. Her goal is to sell her arts and crafts so she can continue to pursue them full time. Rete quilts and crochets. She has designed her own purses and enters quilt shows. Her blog analyzes the procrastination of projects and how to go about goal setting. One day you may read about the latest craft sale at Hobby Lobby and the next day she is trying out a craft she is unfamiliar with because someone else inspired her. She offers holiday gift ideas for crafters and often links to other step by step projects she has come across on the web. She consistently posts to her blog and when she misses a day or 2 she will post pictures of what else was going on in her life with another house project. Like most craft blogs, there is a sense of peeking into one's life and becoming part of their thought process. Rete recommend quilt books and links to other knitting and sewing artists who blog.
The Wandering Quilter
If you sew with a Bernina Sewing machine, then this is the haven for you. The Wandering Quilter has Mastery Workbook downloads, private messages among registered users, and a place for your personal photo gallery of quilting projects. The Wandering Quilter talks all things Bernina and all models and features of Bernina. From gadgets and tools and accessories to instructions and the latest Bernina software, The Wandering Quilter is a must book mark site for Bernina owners.
Hearts And Needles
Sew a hand puppet or a fabric floral necklace or create your own ribbon with stitches on fabric. make fabric head bands or quilts or ruffles or curtains. If you like to sew, visit Hearts and Needles to see what Sarah is stitching up under the sun.
Those were the Top Ten Sewing Blogs but visit this too:
The Stitcher's Guild
Although this is not a blog, it is a forum recommended by many sewing bloggers because of the wealth of information on sewing from fabrics to tools and notions to sewing for profit and creating a fashionable wardrobe and much more.  

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Afterschool Sewing Starts up Again Next Week

We are back with our popular afterschool sewing classes for kids starting next week. And this school year we have more classes than ever!

Take a look at the schedule below to see what works with your children's busy schedule:

3:30-4:30pm - Kids Crafting and Hand Sewing Ages 4-5
4:30-5:30pm - After School Sewing Program Ages 8-10

3:30-4:30pm - Kids Crafting and Hand Sewing Ages 6-7
4:30-5:30pm - After School Sewing Program Ages 11-14

3:30-4:15pm - Hudson School Beginner Fashion Accessories Class (Open to Hudson School Students Only)
4:30-5:30pm - After School Sewing Program Ages 8-10

2:30-3:30pm - Hoboken Charter School High School Fashion Accessories Class (Open to Charter School High School Students only)
3:30-4:15pm - Hudson School Intermediate Fashion Accessories Class (Open to Hudson School Students Only)
4:30-5:30pm - After School Sewing Program Ages 11-14