A Quince Finch Knit Along

Capture

If you follow us on Facebook and Instagram, you know that we are now a flagship store for Quince and Company Yarns, an American fiber company that produces beautiful wool yarns that are sourced and spun in the US.  We are so excited about this, that we think it would be really fun to celebrate with a knit along!  More on that in a sec- let me tell you about Quince and Co. yarns….

texas goat - image from the Quince and Co. Blog

texas goat – image from the Quince and Co. Blog

Known in the trade as “territory wool,” Quince wool comes from Merino, Rambouillet, and Columbia-based sheep that roam the ranges of Montana and Wyoming.   All Quince wool and wool-blend yarns are spun in New England mills with venerable histories. By sourcing the wool in the US and manufacturing the yarn locally, Quince and Co. yarns carry a uniquely low carbon footprint. Besides the fact that this happens to be good for the earth, a happy little side effect is that we can offer a great quality yarn at a very reasonable price.

c51673d93b9aaa406ad3f446c1f9eb7a 4289f61896907daba5e9cb2c484bd049 7f3d56bb7fe1ea84974587f63e4626e3

The things I think are so great about Quince and Co. are that their patterns are well written and beautifully presented in a current but timeless way and their colors are absolutely stunning. I really can’t stop looking at the Quince wall in the shop these days.  It’s just so pretty!

So I think we should do a knit-along, don’t you?!

Here’s how to play:

Pick one of the following Camilla Patterns you see below.

Capture2

Camilla Girl’s Sweater

Capture9

Camilla Lady’s Sweater

Capture5

Camilla Baby Sweater

Capture7

Camilla Blanket

There’s something for everybody! Knit a sweater for yourself, or one for a beloved little girl, or knit a cozy blanket you’ll be proud to drape across your lap.  We also think this is a really FUN knit. The yarn is an aran weight- that, coupled with a 10.5 sized needle makes for a relatively fast project.

Pick up your yarn (these patterns use Osprey) at our shop- we’ll order the color you want and have it in as quickly as possible (usually this only takes 2 days).  We have 8 colors currently in stock, but we’re happy to get just the right shade for you if you’d like something different. We’ll purchase your pattern for you and give you a paper and digital copy free of charge.

During the course of the knit-along, Finch will post tips and tutorials. We’ll also post our progress (and maybe your progress too) as we go.

Post your own photos to Instagram, tag us at @finchsewingstudio, and use the hashtag #finchquincealong.  Search the hashtag to see how everyone else is doing….  We also started a Pinterest board where we hope to host many more knit-alongs. Follow our Pinterest boards here, follow our knit-along board here. We’ll have a big finishing event at the shop and online (more on this later).  Post your finished project, and get a chance to win more yarn.

Can’t wait to see what you come up with! Oh, and what did I pick?!  I’m making a sweater for my little C.  I’m using Lupine – a pretty little purple color, and I love how it’s coming out.  I’m only 2 days in, and I love the progress I’ve made so far.  Makes me think I’ll get this one done and still have time for other knitting projects this fall.

IMG_5885

xoxo,

the Finch

Photos courtesy of Quince and Co.

September Sip and Sew plus Friday Night Sewcial

Sip and Sew is coming up, and so is Friday Night Sewcial!! Come hang out this Friday night for some wine, pie, and fellowship.

Sign up for Sip and Sew here.

Sign up for FNS here.

See you soon!!

image

Late Night Skirt Tutorial

I know I’m in good company when I say that I often find myself watching Jimmy Fallon (or some lesser TV show), making a pot of coffee at 11:59pm  (to counteract the glass of wine I had at 9pm), so I can savor just a couple more hours of uninterrupted,  midnight sewing (or knitting or crafting).  I have a very creative day job, and though it does involve quite a bit of sewing  and knitting, I don’t have a lot of time to do things for myself or my kids, especially not in daylight (can I get an “amen”?!). So when my sister came to visit, I had an excuse to close the laptop and head over to the studio after the kids went to bed (between us, there were 4 kids under the age of 4 in the house) so we could bond over the sewing machine. And this is what we made…. Actually, we made 7 of them…

unnamed
Hence the name the “Late Night Skirt”.  Late night sewing is best when it doesn’t require one to be sharp or fresh.  And this little ditty is MIND-LESS!  And I don’t need to tell you that it’s cute….

So let’s get you prepped.

Before she goes to sleep, measure her waist and her length from waist to knee.

Here’s what you’ll need (these cuts of fabric are based on amounts that any store will be happy to cut for you- you will see below that you need less depending on the wearer’s measurements):

1/2 yard of fabric for the main part of the skirt

1/4 yard of fabric for the waistband of the skirt

1 package of 1/4″ elastic

Matching thread

You probably have all of that already!

Now write this down: #latenightskirt  @finchsewingstudio

When you’re done, you’ll need to post a picture on instagram, tag us, and use the hashtag- then we can all play!

Read through all the steps before beginning.  They’ll make more sense if you do.


Measure your little from her waist to her knee.

Cut the main skirt fabric down from 18″  (which is a 1/2 yard) to the measurement above.  So, for example, let’s say your girly is 13″ from her waist to her knee… You will cut that piece down to 13″ by 45″ (45″ is the width of the fabric- this is how it is cut off the bolt).  Don’t cut the width of the fabric- leave it as-is.

unnamed (29)

Cut the waistband fabric down from a 9″ strip to a 6″ strip (you may want it to be 5″ if you’re sewing for a baby- but don’t go smaller than that!). So the waistband piece is now 6″ by 45″. Fold this in half lengthwise, wrong sides together and iron a crease in the middle of the strip.  Unfold the strip.

unnamed (21)

Lay the main fabric out on your table, right side up.  Now lay the waistband fabric right side down on top of the skirt, lining the raw edges of the fabric up together. Pin these edges together.

unnamed (22)

unnamed (23)

unnamed (24)

 

Now roll the skirt piece up from the bottom edge to the waistband piece.  Keep your roll small so that you don’t get it caught up in the sewing later. Keep rolling until the waistband flips over.  Now you can line the remaining raw edge of the waistband up with the opposite raw edge of the waistband and the top raw edge of the skirt.

unnamed (16)

You should now have a waistband burrito with a skirt roll-up in the middle….  :)  Stick your fingers inside the burrito and push the skirt roll up away from the pinned raw edges so that you don’t catch the skirt in the seam that you are about to sew.  Sew with a 1/4″ seam allowance along the pinned edge- you are sewing 3 layers of fabric together at once (2 layers of the waistband and the top edge of the skirt in between).

unnamed (17)

unnamed (18)

Once you have sewn that seam, pull the rolled up skirt out of the waistband tube.

I know…  it’s pretty cool.

unnamed (19)

Iron the waistband seam away from the skirt on both sides.


 

Now you’re going to sew channels into the waistband for two elastic pieces.  Start by sewing a line down the length of the waistband 3/4″ away from the top fold of the waistband.

unnamed (10)

Then sew a line in the same way 3/4″ away from the bottom of the waistband, where it meets up with the skirt.

Now sew a line halfway between the previous two lines.  You should have 4 channels now.

I put elastic through only the middle 2 channels to create a ruffle effect at the top of the skirt.  This style is super cute with tank tops and ballet shirts and will be even cuter with a cardi in the fall. If you have a ruffle-shy lady, you can use the top two or three channels for a no-frill version of this comfy skirt.

Measure your girl’s waist, and subtract 1/2 inch.  Cut your elastic pieces to this measurement.

unnamed (11)

Using a bodkin (this is a great tool, by the way… we have them at the shop), thread your elastic through each channel, being careful to pin the end of the elastic so that it doesn’t disappear into the channel as you’re working.

unnamed (13)

Once each elastic piece is threaded through, fold the skirt in half, right sides together (so that it resembles a skirt), matching up the elastic ends and pinning them together first.  Then pin the selvage edges together down the rest of the skirt.  I used a generous seam allowance here so that the selvage could be hidden inside the skirt (maybe 3/4″).  Also, be careful to catch your elastic pieces in your stitching before removing your pins (so the elastic doesn’t suck itself back into the waistband).

unnamed (7)

Iron the seam open.  I stitched these seam allowances down on either side of the seam so that the elastic and large seam allowance doesn’t bother the wearer as she wears it.  :)

unnamed (26)

unnamed (27)

Last step! Fold the bottom edge of the skirt up 3/4″ to the wrong side and iron.  Fold again, and pin.  Hem the skirt using a 5/8″ seam allowance. If you’re doing this with a mini sewist (this is a great kids’ sewing project!!!), I would hem while the skirt piece is flat (so do this step first, in that case).

unnamed (4)

unnamed (3)

unnamed (2)

unnamed (1)

unnamed (8)

Aren’t they cute?!  I must say, this pattern really shows off Cotton + Steel and its ability to play well between designers.  It all looks so good together!

And here’s an adult version…. Same idea, with a couple modifications….  By the way, there’s a mother/daughter, auntie/niece, bestie/mini bestie class on these skirts.  It’s a fun way to have a great experience with your little girl.

unnamed (4)

xoxo,

the Finch

 

Textile Bleach Art Tutorial

Bleach textile art tutorial

 

Hello Finch Readers! This is Tara, a real life Finch lover, and blogger from Girl Like The Sea. If you ever have the privilege of shopping in person at Finch, you might catch me in there with my three bustling kids, hanging out and obsessing over my next fabric buy. You’ll probably spot me from time to time here on the shop blog too, because I just can’t seem to get myself out of Nicole’s business! I’ve got a fun project and technique for creating stripes and a galaxy swirl on fabric with bleach to share with you. You can add some fun dimension to a project with a few simple household items that are probably in your cupboards already.

Textile Art With Bleach – A Step By Step Tutorial

 

Bleach textile art tutorial

 

The first version of this project I did was a bit of a gamble, and I learned a few things along the way. So I have some quick tips for you to help your process go as smoothly as possible.

  • First off, I used a solid organic jersey knit for my project. The particular one I used is low in stock, but a similar one is still up for grabs. I recommend sticking with natural fibers like cotton and bamboo. Silk is likely to be destroyed in the process because of its high protein content (bleach kills protein – that’s why your poor hair gets all bent out of shape if you bleach it too much!). Synthetics like polyester don’t react as well to bleach and the results might not look great. I also think a solid lends itself better to this sort of thing, just because you don’t want an existing print or pattern competing with your work.

Ok, let’s get started!

 

Bleach textile art tutorial

 

Gather your supplies:

  • Fabric for your project (mine is t-shirt pieces already cut out
  • Bleach in a spray bottle mixed 50/50 with water
  • Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2)
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Cardboard to place under your project, and one piece for masking anything off that needs to be protected

 

Bleach textile art tutorial

  • Fold accordion style for stripes, with your folds being the width that you want the spacing between stripes to be. Narrow folds for close stripes, wide for more space.
  • Grab the middle of your fabric for the swirl and carefully twist it into a neat little rose shape.

 

Bleach textile art tutorial

 

Now we get our Walter White on and grab some rubber gloves and chemicals! (If you don’t know who Walter White is, look it up. Then prepare to have every other TV show you ever watch pale in comparison)

  • Spray a mist over your swirl piece, watching as the color begins to fade and adding more bleach where necessary
  • Using a piece of cardboard as a mask, block everything but the folded edges of your accordion folded stripe piece. Thoroughly mist the folded edge with bleach.
  • Wait and watch and add more bleach if there are spots you want better coverage on

Bleach textile art tutorial

  • Pour some hydrogen peroxide in a bowl while your stripes and swirls fade
  • When everything looks good, dunk your fabric into the peroxide until it’s saturated
  • Ring it out and set it out to dry, or wash it right away by itself with no other laundry.

The peroxide acts as a bleach neutralizer, and will keep it from continuing to eat through the fibers of your shirt. This should help avoid any of those little bleach holes showing up weeks later Bleach textile art tutorial

Admire your work! Pretty neat, right?

 

 

Bleach textile art tutorial

 

A few parting notes: Back in a previous life, I was trained at Paul Mitchell and did lots of experimenting with hair. As I worked with my first bleach art project, I was reminded of my days in hair school, watching people’s hair bleach out to some really interesting colors, and all the lessons we got on underlying pigment. Watching the gray lift to orange and then pink, and then waiting for something else to happen on my baby boy’s shirt, but seeing it stall out at pink reminded me that until you test it, you really don’t know what something will bleach out to. Red is one of the hardest pigments to get into and out of fiber. Once it’s in, it kinda stays. If you’re concerned about what your fabric will look like after the bleach hits, do a test swatch! This will give you an idea of the resulting color, and how your fabric holds up to the damage. Thanks everyone for reading! Come stop by my little blog and say hi, if you like!

Finch Retreat Winter 2015- February 6th – 8th

Images from the Salamander Resort Website

Images from the Salamander Resort Website

Please join us for a Maker’s Retreat at the Salamander Resort and Spa, a sophisticated country estate in charming Middleburg, Va.  For this first ever Finch Retreat, we will sew, knit, and craft together in beautifully appointed surroundings.  True to the Finch experience, there will be lots of bonding with friends, great food and spirits, unique projects, and…. did I mention that April Rhodes will be joining us?  I know.  APRIL RHODES!!!  In all seriousness, April is just as nice as she can be.  You are going to love her, and, what’s also great is the girl knows her stuff!!  We’re really honored to have her…. thanks, April!

Image from April Rhodes' website

Image from April Rhodes’ website

Fill your cup with inspiration and fellowship   >>—->

The weekend will be broken into several intimate social crafting gatherings as well as one feature workshop (this will occupy most of Saturday and Sunday).  For the feature workshop, you’ll choose one of the following; Apparel Sewing, Quilting, or Knitting. In the evenings, we’ll curl up by the fire in the library and work on a smaller project, similar to our ever-popular sip and sew events.  We’re also hoping to open up a few pop-up shops for you during the weekend (Finch as well as other Virginia shops).

The Feature Workshops  >>—->

Quilting: Anna Haller, member of the DCMQG and a beloved Finch Teacher will be at the helm for this workshop. We’ll be working on making a bag using the  quilt as you go method, a great project for beginners and advanced quilters alike.

Apparel Sewing: Nicole Morgenthau, owner of Finch Sewing Studio and April Rhodes,  fabric and apparel pattern designer will facilitate a hands on workshop focused on sewing apparel items.  Attendees will select a pattern to work on, and Nicole and April will assist in achieving a well-fitting garment.  For those who are up for the challenge, we will work on making modifications to garment patterns such as changing a neckline, adding or removing sleeves, merging two patterns together, and whatever else your little heart desires! We’ll also give you some tips for great finishing details to take your apparel sewing to the next level!

Knitting: Angela Helge, one of our bright and cheery Finch Teachers, will guide attendees in a knitting workshop for both beginners and experienced knitters alike. We have several projects selected as choices for this workshop- make a cowl or fingerless gloves to warm up your winter.

While we have most of the details already in place, we want to tailor the experience to each individual.  When you sign up, we’ll send you a brief survey in order to enroll you in the workshops you are most interested in attending.

Image from the Salamander Resort website

Image from the Salamander Resort website

There will be opportunity for attendees to do some sightseeing in beautiful Middleburg and the surrounding countryside.  The town is a short walk from the resort, and there is also transportation provided into town from the resort.

Accommodations >>—->

entranceatdawn

Each room is a 575 square foot queen double room. The Finch is all about building community, so we plan for attendees to share a room with either your besty or a newly found Finch kindred spirit.  No need to feel like you need to bring a friend – we’ll find you a roomy who shares similar interests!  And besides, Finches are the sweetest little birds.  You’re sure to love your roomy whether you knew her before or not.

horse

Set on 340 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains amid Virginia’s famed horse country and lush vineyards, and just 35 minutes from Washington Dulles International Airport, Salamander Resort & Spa features 168 luxurious rooms and suites, a luxury spa, full-service equestrian center, Virginia Piedmont-inspired dining, a dedicated cooking studio, wine bar, billiards room and a unique array of conference and banquet facilities.

Images from the Salamander Resort Website

Images from the Salamander Resort Website

Image from the Salamander Resort website.

Image from the Salamander Resort website.

As in a fine home, guests enter into the Living Room overlooking the Grand Lawn and surrounding woods, with miles of trails and outdoor activities that begin to introduce you to the mystique of the equestrian world and lifestyle.

Image from the Salamander Resort website.

Image from the Salamander Resort website.

Image from the Salamander Resort website.

Image from the Salamander Resort website.

In keeping with the country estate design, all 168 rooms and suites of this Middleburg, VA, hotel are spacious at a minimum size of 545 square-feet, and also include a separate casual relaxation corner, dining table, full-size desk, and outdoor patio or balcony with dining options. The luxurious bathroom includes a marble shower with body jets, pedestal tub, dual sinks and enclosed water closet.

What’s included and how much? >>—->

The retreat is very competitively priced at $695.  This includes your 2-night stay at the Luxurious Salamander, a kick-off cocktail party on Friday night, and workshops and social gatherings throughout the weekend. Meals are the responsibility of the attendee, as are materials for the Feature Workshop.  Upon registering, attendees will receive a $25 Finch voucher along with a list of suggested supplies you’ll need in order to purchase patterns and materials for the Feature Workshop.  Supplies for all other workshops during the retreat are included.  You’ll also receive a swag bag that will make you the envy of the crafty universe!  (Seriously…  it’s true).

Tickets are NON REFUNDABLE but are transferable for a limited time. You may sell your tickets to another interested party- please let us know their contact information. Transportation is NOT included. You must bring your own sewing machine.

When you register, you will be given the choice to pay in full or in two payments.  If you choose to pay in two installments, the first will be $350.00, the second will be $345.00, and will be charged to your card on November 15th.  We’ll take your card number or Paypal email in the Survey after you register/pay the first payment.

 

SPACE IS LIMITED!  We want this event to be intimate and so we have chosen to open up a limited number of spaces.

 

Image from the Salamander Resort website.

Image from the Salamander Resort website.

We hope you will join us for this fun and inspiring event- we’re going to pamper you terribly! Sign up here.

Getting Ready for a Handmade Holiday – Christmas in July

I know…. it’s early. But let’s just suspend for a minute the hype, the large jolly man in the suite, and the elves, and think about the people we love.  Because that’s the fun part anyway, right?!  In the crafting community, Christmas in July is a thing .

unnamed (2)

The idea is that if you want to make things for your loved ones, you need to get started ahead of time.  Handmaking takes time… and isn’t that the most precious gift after all?! Christmas fabric arrives in July (we’re getting ours this week…. It’s adorable), and we’ve added all kinds of gifty classes to our schedule to get you and your kids started on some really fun projects and ideas for handmade gifts.  Here are some of the highlights (all but the camp are adult classes):

Christmas in July Kids Camp:

cmas in july

Kids will make presents for loved ones- don’t worry, we can keep a secret!

Heart Hat:

unnamed (3)

Kids’ size, adult size, whatever colors you want…  This hat will be the perfect gift for so many people!

Learn to Knit Neckwarmer:

Neckwarmer Class- This is a true beginner class and a great holiday gift idea!  This gorgeous yarn is included!

Neckwarmer Class- This is a true beginner class and a great holiday gift idea! This gorgeous yarn is included!

Design Your Own Leather Bag Class:

Leather Bag 8

In this fun class, we’ll be designing and making our very own custom leather bags!

Learn to Cable Scarf:

photo_1_(4)

This is a quick little skills-based class that will get you going on this great man scarf!  Isn’t it handsome?!

Learn to Knit Cowl:

garter stitch infinity scarf

This great beginner knit class is during the day!  Once you learn this one, you’ll be making it for everyone you know!

Patchwork Pillows Workshop:

postage stamp pillow

This is really darn cute.  Your mom would love one of these…. And she’d be proud of you too!

Go Anywhere Bag:

unnamed (2)

Beginners- this is for you! This is my favorite bag.  I bet somebody would be really impressed with your mad skills if this was under the tree…

 

Our socials are also a great time to make some crafty progress:

Knit Together night on the 8th and 22nd

Friday Night Sewcials are on the 11th and 25th

Oh, and don’t forget- our BIG HUGE FIRST BIRTHDAY SALE!!  July 12th and 13th…. See you there!

xoxo, the Finch

Our First Anniversary! A Big Ole’ Sale and a month of Special Events.

finch-169

Photo credit to Love Knot Photos

On June 26th, 2013, I told my husband that I thought is was time to open a Finch storefront.  The very next day, I met with my landlord (who is, hands down, the best landlord in Leesburg) and asked him if he would let me sign a lease for 1 month… And he said yes.  The whole Morgenthau family spent the next 5 days building furniture and setting up sewing machines, working around toddler naps and trips to the hardware store.  On the 4th of July we were open for business.

The home studio had a small following, and it didn’t take long for our student list to grow.  Those first customers and students will always be significant to me.  You know who you are.  You believed in my vision for this vibrant community, and it was more to you than just a store or a one-time class.  You saw yourself here- you found your place at the Finch, and I am so thankful for you.

And what better way to thank you and celebrate our first year than to have a big sale, and host special events all month long!

Let’s go at this chronologically:

July 5th:

Patchwork Pillow Mini Workshops- Have family or friends in town for the holiday?  Bring them along for a fun, quick activity!  Supplies included! We’ll have a grab bag full of pre-release fabric for you to sew with… Yay! (sessions available all day long).

July 6th:

Maxi Dress Class- 9-2pm Make a great summer dress and bring a friend!  2 seats remaining

July 11th:

Friday Night Sewcial- This is the “official” First Friday for Leesburg this month (because the actual first Friday is on the 4th). So we’ll have live music (classical guitar… can’t wait!). Sign up here to get your spot!

July 12th + 13th:

BIG OL” FIRST BIRTHDAY SALE!!!  We’ll have everything in the store on sale.  Been drooling over a fabric/yarn/tool/pattern for some time now?  Now’s your chance! Every purchase over $20 will receive a Finch goodie pack.  Purchases over $70 will receive another prize from a grab bag of Market treasures (until supplies last!!).

July 18th:

Finch Family Night- These plans are still underway, and we’re keeping it under our hat until we have more details.  The plan is to show you, your hubbies, and the kids a good time with a good old fashioned family night.  We’ll start inside with some refreshments, and then move out doors for a ….. oh, right… I can’t tell you that quite yet! Stay tuned!

July 25th:

Friday Night Sewcial- you know the drill!