Friday, July 30, 2010

Behind the Scenes at our School of Art Fashion Class

Sunday concluded a whirlwind week for us here at Martha Pullen Company – our July School of Art Fashion wrapped up after 7 full days of sewing classes, shopping, special events and more! (Not to mention, we were racing our final deadline for the September/October issue of Sew Beautiful.) But all said and done, we had a fantastic time getting to meet some of our faithful readers and soaking up all kinds of new ideas.

With Associate Editor Amelia Johanson visiting for the week from Ohio, our two sessions on publishing your work in SB were a great success. We hope to see lots of submissions from new designers coming our way in the near future – you are an extremely talented bunch. Don't forget that you can always submit your article ideas to SB! We will create a file for your submissions and review them for consideration at our semiannual editorial planning sessions. Send a picture of your piece(s) and a brief description to Be sure to specify your article's focus!

Editor Kathy Barnard taught her first ever Pre-Day Class, Beyond the Basic Bodice, where students learned new drafting techniques for modifying a basic bodice dress into 6 different looks. Our students were awesome and Kathy and I had so much fun sewing with everyone. We have put together a little video/picture montage of her class to share with those who couldn't attend. We hope to see all of you in February for the next School!

P.S. Spend five minutes visiting the rest of the school at our other montage with lots of videos and pics from Lace Camp! Click here to see it. Special thanks goes out to our web designer Stacie, who puts together all of our videos for us!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Issue #132 Preview!

Since we're finalizing our September/October issue, we thought we'd give you a little bit of a tease with a mystery preview! We can't wait for you to receive this fun issue. Subscribe today, order issues online or look for SB #132 on the newsstand by August 31st.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Custom Wedding Gown for Amber

Check out this absolutely gorgeous wedding gown made by one of our readers, Rebecca Cook of Plant City, Florida (click on the pictures for a larger view). Rebeca stitched up this masterpiece for the bride, Amber, a family friend who has grown up with Rebecca's own daughters. The wedding was July 17th in Tampa, Florida.

Rebecca shared some details of the gown and wedding with us:
I began with Simplicity Jessica McClintock pattern 5237. The dress had side gathers and we wanted one up the back instead so I redrafted the pattern using theirs for a guide. I also added a gathered overlay to the bodice and a sash. I moved the zipper to the left side seam and used an invisible zipper. I then added a train to the underskirt. This bustled beautifully up under the gathers at he back of the dress. The gown is made of silk Duchesse Satin. The underskirt and sash are doupioni silk in ice blue, and the bodice overlay is white silk organza. The lace is Alencon re-embroidered with a silver thread and silver sequins. I trimmed the netting edge off to make it galoon edged and applied that to the underskirt hem using lingerie thread and a narrow zigzag . I also applied it to the upper edge of the bodice by hand sewing it on top of the overlay. I then cut some motifs from the lace to apply to the center front of the sash and over the gathers at the back of the dress hem. The hem of the over dress is embellished with rhinestone trim. With the white satin over the ice blue underskirt and the shimmery trims it gives the affect of a cloud with silver lining.

We have lived one house down from Amber's family for the past 8 years. They were all home schooled and spent most of their time together. When her mother passed away from breast cancer, Amber was just 17. She met her husband at Belmont Baptist church, as he was the worship leader and she was the pianist. After dating for 2 1/2 years they were married July 17, 2010 in Tampa, Florida. Her husband Heath, has just graduated from USF with a bachelor in engineering and she is finishing her degree in accounting this fall.
Thank you so much for sharing this gorgeous gown and story with us, Rebecca -- and congratulations to the bride and groom! Don't forget you are always welcome to submit your creations to us at

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Frannie Pattern Giveaway Winners!

Thanks to everyone to entered our Frannie pattern giveaway contest! We enjoyed reading all of your ideas and stories. Our two randomly selected winners are...

Amanda Swanson and Sharon Kirkpatrick!

Congratulations, ladies! Be on the lookout for an email from us so we can get a mailing address for you.

Thank you to everyone who entered, and don't forget that our Frannie patterns (Frannie, sizes 6mo - 4; and Frannie's Big Sister, sizes 5-8) are now in stock at our online store, so you can buy one of your own! Check back soon for more giveaway announcements and goodies from the SB team.

Monday, July 19, 2010

GIVEAWAY! "Frannie" and "Frannie's Big Sister" **Comments Closed**

If you've read the July/August issue of Sew Beautiful, you already know – we have purchased the ever-popular, out-of-print "Frannie" and "Frannie's Big Sister" patterns by Lyn Weeks, and we have reprinted these dresses as the newest addition to our Sew Beautiful Pattern Collection! In celebration of their arrival in our warehouse, we are offering a pattern giveaway to our readers. Two lucky entrants will receive copies of both patterns.

All you have to do to enter is reply below with your name and email address. We'd love to hear what you plan to do with your new pattern. Have you ever made a Frannie dress from Lyn Weeks's original pattern? Tell us about it!

Entries will close Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 9:00 a.m. Winners will be selected at random and announced both here and by email, so make sure you include your address. Good luck and thanks for your support of SB!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Emeline's Diagonal Lace Christening Gown Dress

I was just thinking this morning that we could use something fresh and beautiful from a reader to share on the blog this week, when I returned from lunch to find this gem in my e-mail box! Cindy Farmer sent in these pictures of her size 3T daughter wearing this beautiful dress that Cindy made for her. What's really cool about this dress is that it's an adaptation of Martha's Diagonal Lace Christening Gown, which SB designer Wendy Schoen teaches as a Pre-Day class at our School of Art Fashion:

Cindy wrote, "Wendy thought it would be a good idea to make it into a dress to fit my daughter [...] The changes that I made to make it a toddler dress were simple. There is plenty of room in the dress, and I think Emeline will be able to wear it next year as well. This dress was so much fun to make. As always, Wendy was a really great teacher."

Want to take the "Martha's Diagonal Lace Christening Gown" Pre-Day class with Wendy Schoen? There are still spots open at next week's School of Art Fashion, both in Wendy's pre-day classes and her Baby School! We would love to see you there. Register to attend on our website or by calling 800-547-4176 ext. 4.

Thank you so much for sharing your work with us, Cindy! Don't forget that we are always looking for gorgeous samples from our readers to share on our blog. Send your masterpieces to for consideration.