Hello Everyone! Big news today!
I hope you all are enjoying the changing seasons and are finding the time to sew and craft. The late fall rainy season here in the PNW is my favorite time to sew, although, I haven't had much time to do so but that's ok too. We've been very busy as usual in our personal and professional lives. My family is getting ready to go on a tropical vacation that we are very excited about. Meanwhile, Windsor left us in June and two weeks ago I hired two new employees (Becky and Callie) and we are trying to get them both settled in and trained before the busy holiday shopping rush begins.
Speaking of business, I have some big news about some additions to the Sew House Seven webshop. We are now offering a very small batch of fabrics to purchase online! This is something that I have wanted and planned for a while but the timing and circumstances were never right. Last year I tested the waters by selling a short run of wool/cotton knit fabrics that are perfect for our Toaster Sweaters patterns (you can see them pictured on the curvy Toasters cover) and they were a hit! We sold out quickly both times so I knew it was a great idea, however, I just didn't have the space to store fabrics. And now a year later, I have a new work space with a little more storage, a huge cutting table and two employees to help with the cutting and shipping among other things. Note that I don't intend for Sew House Seven to be a one-stop shopping experience. I merely had the idea to offer a few fabrics that would work well with our styles. My goal is to have at least one fabric for every pattern that we offer but that has proven to be more difficult than I thought so it will be an ongoing process to get the shop stocked up. There are so many wonderful fabric shops out there with a wider range of fabrics than we will offer, however, I want to at least be able to offer some fabrics that have been tried and true so that customers who are unsure of what to buy online will always have somewhere they can go to purchase something that will work with our patterns.
I'll explain a little bit about why stocking these fabrics has been so difficult. My vision is that all of our fabrics will be natural fibers, deadstock, organic/sustainable or artisan. I am still looking for sources for all of these fabrics and that has proven to be more time consuming and difficult to find than I had expected. Last spring I took a trip to the L.A. garment district to shop for deadstock fabrics with my friend Karleen (of PDX Sewing Studio). I only had a few leads for deadstock fabrics and I thought I would ask Karleen about them before I actually visited L.A. She was kind enough to go with me as she had some of her own shopping to do. I was so grateful for her help because it really made the trip much easier having her knowledge about the business and district and not to mention her company. Boy was it an eye opening trip! If you aren't familiar with deadstock fabrics, "deadstock" is the term for fabrics that come from design houses and ready to wear apparel businesses that are left over. Those business sell the left over fabrics to jobbers who then resell them to other wholesale businesses. I wanted to use deadstock fabrics rather than producing new fabrics but was also a bit skeptical about their true "sustainability" claim as I had read that many manufacturers produce excess fabrics knowing that they can sell them as deadstock. However, when I saw how much fabric was actually in these warehouses, it blew my mind. There was no question that these fabrics are in big NEED of a home. There is so much fabric waste and excess and this trip was surely proof of that. Now the task was finding the gems in the piles and piles of duds. I thought fabric shopping would be fun but I was quickly overwhelmed and kind of went into "shut-down" mode when I saw the stacks and stacks of fabrics. Karleen had warned me but I really had no idea. There were rooms and rooms filled from floor to ceiling with very narrow passageways between palets of fabrics. Needless to say, most of the fabric is pretty junky - cheap polyester stuff. You really have to hunt and hunt for the good stuff but there is good stuff to be found if you have the time. I thought I would come home with so many gems and I did find some but mostly in basic colors and styles which are great but I'm still hunting for some show stoppers.
The L.A. garment district. Notice the funny misspelled fabrics on the awnings.
These are the wool/cotton double knit fabrics that I sold out of last year. They are heathered wool on one side and cotton on the other side so the itchy wool isn't next to your skin - so comfy. They make perfect Toaster Sweaters and Cosmos Sweatshirts and we are so happy to have them back in stock.
Me in my wool/cotton knit Cosmos Sweatshirt.
Our khaki Linen Twill. It has a sheen to it and then dulls a bit once it's been washed. I love it even more after washing and it's the perfect weight for pants, dresses and tops.
So please visit our online fabric shop to see the other beautiful fabrics we have to offer. Also stay tuned as I hope to be bringing in more and more fabrics over time.
Cheers and happy sewing!