Clare Coat Sew Along, Week 1: Choosing Wool Coating

Heather Lewenza 2 200x300 Clare Coat Sew Along, Week 1: Choosing Wool Coating

This month, we welcome Heather Lou of Closet Case Files to the Sew News blog for the Clare Coat sew along! You may recognize this coat from the cover of our new issue…we kind of love it! And everything Heather makes for that matter. The coat is figure-friendly and a great starting place if you’re new to sewing coats.

Take it away, Heather!

The best thing about making coats, besides the whole “I made a gorgeous thing that prevents me from dying of exposure” thing is getting to work with wool. I. LOVE. WOOL. It basically purrs when you apply heat and steam; it wants to become things. Sheep are like, “Yo, humans. You’re welcome.” It’s naturally insulative, water resistant, breathable, wrinkle resistant, easy to sew and shape, and finally, it takes dye incredibly well, so you can drape your bod in the most beautifully saturated colors.

Sew Along 2017 web image 1024x661 Clare Coat Sew Along, Week 1: Choosing Wool Coating

Because the Clare Coat doesn’t have a lot of internal structure, it’s important that your fabric have enough body to create a clean, crisp silhouette. I highly suggest working with medium and heavy weight wools only; suiting weight is too drapey for this pattern. I learned this the hard way when I feel in love with a lightweight melton; even when I interlined it with cotton flannel it failed to have the body I was after and hung a little limply in the sleeves and across the back.

Most fabric stores will have a wool coating section. Wool can come from sheep (merino & shetland), alpaca, goats (mohair & cashmere), rabbits (angora) and even camel. If you’re allergic to wool, try experimenting with a sample of a wool alternative to see if you have the same reaction.

Clare Coat Pattern  Coat making supplies 2 Clare Coat Sew Along, Week 1: Choosing Wool Coating Continue reading

 Clare Coat Sew Along, Week 1: Choosing Wool Coating
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Sew Along with Sew News 2017

Sew Along 2017 web image Sew Along with Sew News 2017

We are kicking off the new year with new columns, new voices and a new year of sew alongs! As you may have noticed in our latest issue link, we’ve changed things a bit this year. Each issue, we’ll focus two fabulous patterns (and their equally fabulous designers) in the magazine. Grab the patterns at and join us each month as we host a different pattern designer who will share tips for choosing and working with various fabrics, special techniques for the pattern at hand, and other helpful info to help you assemble the garments and skill build along the way. Then share your makes with us on Facebook or Instagram by tagging us or using the hashtag #sewalongwithsewnews.

SEWALONGWITHSEWNEWS 2 Sew Along with Sew News 2017

Full disclosure: picking patterns for the year was hard but also so much fun. Our approach was simple: we picked things we wanted to sew! We have a great mix of wardrobe basics, specialty garments and outerwear, accessories and bags, dresses, pants, skirts…you’ll have a whole wardrobe of fabulous handmades when we’re done!

We love our lineup of designers as much as we love the patterns we picked: inspiring pattern designers, fit experts, bag aficionados, blogging favorites and super stylish ladies from within the sewing community. You’re bound to meet someone new and be inspired along the way.

Clare Coat envelope 07 200x300 Sew Along with Sew News 2017Ready to get things rolling? Grab the first featured pattern, the amazing Clare Coat by Closet Case Files, and read the first post on choosing wool. 


 Sew Along with Sew News 2017
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STAR WARS: Storytelling Through Costume

“I saw this Jedi costume… At last I had an idea of who I was, how to carry myself, and I had my way of being.”

—Samuel L. Jackson, Actor

Costume is a vital storytelling element, visually communicating information about a character and his or her role within a story. The importance of costume in film is the idea behind “Star WarsTM and the Power of Costume,” an exhibition running at the Denver Art Museum in Colorado through Apr. 2, 2017.

Jedi 300x225 STAR WARS: Storytelling Through Costume

Tableau of Jedi and Sith

The exhibition features a collection of original costume pieces from the first seven films in the Star WarsTM series (costumes from Rogue One: a Star Wars Story, released in December 2016, are not included in the collection). The costumes are displayed on mannequins that were specially made to fit under the garments, ensuring that the fit and lengths are perfect and allowing the forms to express more of the character associated with the costumes than is usually possible. Florence Müller, Denver Art Museum’s curator of fashion, explains that one of the great challenges of exhibiting garments is making sure they lay and drape in such a way as to showcase the garments to their best effect. The costumes in the Star WarsTM exhibition arrived at the museum already on their carefully packed mannequins.

While many of the costumes from “Star WarsTM and the Power of Costume” have been exhibited before, the Denver Art Museum has added a new and exciting element. In order to better display the creative process, they borrowed from Lucasfilm Ltd. a wide range of process memorabilia, including storyboards, costume renderings, fabric swatches and patterns. These items tell the deeper story of how the costumes were conceived, refined and constructed. Continue reading

 STAR WARS: Storytelling Through Costume
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And the winner of the Signature Bags giveaway is…

Melanie C!

Congratulations, Melanie! We’ll be in touch soon so we can get your prize in the mail to you.

Signature Bags 238x300 And the winner of the Signature Bags giveaway is...

If you didn’t win this time but are still interested in the book, you can find Signature Bags by Michelle Golightly at

Look for our next book giveaway on February 28, 2017!

 And the winner of the Signature Bags giveaway is...
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Islander Cape Sew Along: Week 3 Finishing Details

Final week of the Islander Cape Sew Along! We would all love to see your final cape. Let me know if you have completed it and I will post on our Facebook page.

Islander Cape sew along Islander Cape Sew Along: Week 3 Finishing Details

This installment is all about the finishing details. Rhonda has some great suggestions for making your cape the outer garment you’ll wear over and over again.

This will be the final post for the Islander Cape Super Express  sew along. The name says it all, super express, and yes, it’s a fast piece to make! So no reason to stretch the sew along out to 4 weeks. Continue reading

 Islander Cape Sew Along: Week 3 Finishing Details
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Check Out Our New Issue! Plus Freebies!

We have a new issue hitting newsstand on January 15. We’re so excited for this issue with its new columns, fantastic new projects and shiny new faces and plus, all your favorites too.

sn1703 cover 500 Check Out Our New Issue! Plus Freebies!Here’s a sneak peek into our next fabulous issue!


Knit Necklines – by Justine Abbitt

Justine shows you how to master the knit neckline with three different techniques for expert looking finishes.

Take It Or Weave It Basket – Tara Curtis

basket 1000 697x1024 Check Out Our New Issue! Plus Freebies!When this sample came in we were all marveling at the intricate look and feel of this fabric basket. We have step-by-step instructions to complete your own fab basket that will be great for yourself or has a gift. Download the pattern and if you make one please, please send us a photo!

Tulip Wrap Skirt – Nicki LaFoille

Everyone needs a classic wrap skirt in their wardrobe. Nicki shows how simple it is to make one you’ll wear again and again.

wrap skirt 1000 675x1024 Check Out Our New Issue! Plus Freebies!Fabric In Focus – Tina Lewis 

Make the most of a precious scrap of wool, tapestry or ikat with this perfectly sized flap bag. Easy to make and fun to wear, grab the free pattern to get started!

flab bag blue 1000 671x1024 Check Out Our New Issue! Plus Freebies!Sport Glam – Nicki Lafoille

We’ve got the sporty glam look all done up in our latest issue. These pants are comfy but jazz them up with some heels for a look that’s great for a night on the town. Find the free pattern here and find all the how-tos in this issue!

pants 1000 676x1024 Check Out Our New Issue! Plus Freebies!New Column! Master Class – Linda Reynolds

Linda will be instructing you how to make the most of those fine details we love. In this issue she’ll show you, step-by-step how to install a fly front zipper. A must for jeans and trousers even skirts.

Bead & Knot Bracelet – Kate Blocher

S3420SIA Check Out Our New Issue! Plus Freebies!Sometimes fabric is so cool you want to wear it as jewelry. This quick and easy jewelry project allows you to wear your favorite fabric to complete any outfit! Find a cute project from Kate Blocher’s new book See Kate Sew!

Two Sew Alongs!

There will be two sew alongs in this issue. The Clare Coat from Closet Case Files will be happening January 10.  clare coat pattern 6000 Check Out Our New Issue! Plus Freebies!The lovely Appleton Dress from Cashmerette and Jenny Rushmore will begin on February 7. Find the details in the latest issue or check back on the Sew News Blog.

appleton model 1000 744x1024 Check Out Our New Issue! Plus Freebies!Star Wars: Storytelling Through Costume – Kate Zaynard

Read about the fascinating costumes from the movie series. See the exhibit at the Denver Art Museum!

Plus we have new columns from Jenny Rushmore of Cashmerette Pattern and the Curvy Sewing Collective. Meet your favorite sewists, seamstresses and experts in Meet the Maker and Get Sewcial with our new column on what’s happening online.

There is so much more to love in our new issue, and great news, we’re expanding our page count starting in our next issue! Stay tuned for more!

 Check Out Our New Issue! Plus Freebies!
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Giveaway: Signature Bags by Michelle Golightly

It’s giveaway time!

Signature Bags 238x300 Giveaway: Signature Bags by Michelle Golightly

We’re giving away a copy of Signature Bags by Michelle Golightly, as seen in the December 2016/January 2017 issue of Sew News:

Indulge your artistic side with Signature Bags. While the phrase “homemade bag” doesn’t always bring the most stylish images to mind, you’ll find Michelle’s designs to be fresh and fashionable. There’s something for everyone to love, from clutches and purses to totes and backpacks. Detailed step-by-step instructions, illustrations and tips ensure success for every level of sewist. Includes patterns on CD.

For your chance to win a copy of Signature Bags, leave a comment on this post between now and Monday, January 9, at noon (Mountain Standard Time). We’ll randomly pick a winner from among the commenters Monday afternoon using

Good luck!

 Giveaway: Signature Bags by Michelle Golightly
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