April 7th, 2014
You’ve likely heard the famous statement “ornament is crime” and another well-known saying that “form follows function.” Well, in this issue of UPPERCASE, we respectfully disagree! If an object plays with form, function and ornamentation . . . so much the better! When it comes to decorated surfaces, more is definitely more—especially for folks who derive their livelihood from creating patterns for such things as fabric, stationery and interior decor. Our special Surface Pattern Design Guide profiles 100 artists who work at making our world a prettier place through their art. The Guide also features tips and advice from industry experts representing companies such as SURTEX, Liberty Art Fabrics, Cloud9 Fabrics, Spoonflower and teNeues Publishing. The creators of popular blogs Print & Pattern and Sew Mama Sew offer their insights. Lotta Jansdotter—one of Janine’s personal heroines—shares her tips on living a life full of pattern.
March 29th, 2014
We are big fans of surface pattern designer and illustrator Leah Duncan. Although we’re quite clearly a fabric shop, we couldn’t resist adding her printed calendars and cards to our stock a couple of years ago – good news for us then when she transferred her designs to fabric and brought out two collections for Art Gallery Fabrics.
Leah’s skills as an illustrator are easily matched by her amazing use of colour. Meadow, her newest collection, is exactly what we’re ready for here, what could be more inspiring and uplifting than her spring-like nature motifs brought to life with a clever mix of vivid and delicate colours. We love it!!
Her work is inspired by her southern and Native American roots and her love of folk art, “leah creates a world where quirky meets beautiful, folk meets modern, and feminine meets delicate” Read more about her on her site here and take a look below at the lovely projects showcasing her prints (not made by us sadly – we wish!)
The full collection of Meadow can be found here….
March 17th, 2014
We’d be delighted if you’d pencil Monday, 14th April 2014 into your diaries for a reception hosted jointly by ourselves and Les Soeurs Anglaises at our London shop.
The event will highlight the upcoming spring/summer classes here at our Sewing School and will also be an opportunity to meet Les Soeurs Anglaises! – “The ultimate in textile workshop escapes, based in a stunning location, with superb accommodation, exceptional food and wine as well as expert teaching that allows you to learn at your own pace.” Read more about the delightful venue and workshops here…
Several of Les Soeurs Anglaises‘ artist/crafter workshop leaders for this year’s summer programme will be bringing along examples of their work and greeting guests throughout the day. Please note that numbers are limited for this event and by invitation only; so if you’re able to join us for breakfast, afternoon tea or an evening glass of wine, contact us as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org with your address details and we’ll make sure you receive a personal invite in the post.
The reception will also provide an opportunity for Ray Stitch and Les Soeurs Anglaises to announce the exciting collaboration they are planning for 2015 – Ray Stitch allez en France!
We are offering a 10% discount to invitees on everything in the shop and Les Soeurs Anglaises will offer further discounts on their workshops if you confirm in interest in joining one. It promises to be a fun day – don’t miss it….
March 7th, 2014
Ever stylish and fresh – the By Hand London girls have come up with the goods again. The new Flora Dress pattern is fab in a glam but wearable way, it’s a party dress you could wear to work!
“Fundamentally feminine and universally flattering with her cinched in waist and voluminous pleated circle skirt (dipped or straight hem options), Flora is the definitive party dress.
Choose from two entirely different bodice variations: a classic sleeveless faux-wrap style, or the more demure tank bodice with her high square neckline and simple shoulder straps.”
We love it of course and we’ve actually been expecting it’s release for a while. The girls asked us to provide the fabric for some of their pattern testing bloggers. Take a look at Emily’s lovely version in our Liberty Tana Lawn on her blog – Me and My Polar Bear….
….and at Kathryn’s version, also in our Liberty Tana Lawn on her ‘yes i like that’ blog here…
Great fabric choices girls!
March 4th, 2014
It’s official, the sun has peaked through and we can declare that spring has sprung. You know what that means – time to dig out those projects that put some light back in our lives. We’re awash with some beautiful new organic canvas prints in the shop, and the question we keep asking ourselves is, which one are we going to use first? It’s almost impossible to pick a favourite – which one takes your fancy and what’s first on your spring to-do list?
February 21st, 2014
Yesterday we had the pleasure of seeing two very special quilts. These two beauties have been in the making for the last 30 years and are made using the paper piecing method. All the fabrics are from Liberty, some you can recognise as prints they are still selling, others you wish they still were! The darker quilt is made using Liberty wool, which is lovely and fine. Aren’t the colours beautiful, just like an autumn walk.
The workmanship is incredible and instantly made me want to turn all my tiny scraps at home into something similar! Maggie came in to get help from our tutor Michael on how to turn these patchwork tops into quilts. They decided to hand quilt the pieces, so she’s gone off with all her layers sandwiched and a big task ahead of her!
If you have a special project you need help with, whether it be pattern cutting, quilting, or an unfinished project that’s gone wrong you can have a 1-2-1 session with any of our tutors. Email email@example.com for availability.
Maggie picked this Liberty print designed by Jamie Oliver for the back of the hexagon quilt, definitely not one that was available 30 years ago! Here are some close ups…
February 18th, 2014
Quilting is officially on trend but have you ever thought about making yourself a quilted dress?! This years London Fashion Week might just inspire us to do so. Designers Alice Temperley and Roksanda Ilincic have come up with some really beautiful collections with a big nod to the revival of skilled craftsmanship.
Jessica Stockholder and Mel Bochner are ‘Roksanda Ilincic’ both designers are known for their emphatic use of color and this is made apparent by the newest Autumn/Winter collection. The range sees a variety of different sewing techniques put together to create a cocophany of texture and colour. Just like Jane Brocket teaches on her ‘Quilt Me’ course at Ray Stitch, it’s all about the diverse mix!
Roksanda Ilincic A/W 15 at London Fashion Week
Roksanda Ilincic A/W 15 at London Fashio Week
Next up we have Alice Temperly’s wonderfully graphic collection which draws inspiration from Art Nouveau and Byzantine mozaic patterns. Temperly has used a fine, micro quilting technique on her evening wear, which contrasts beautifully with her embroidered organza dresses and blanket sized scarves.
Temperley London A/W 15 at London Fashion Week
Temperley London A/W 15 at London Fashion Week
February 13th, 2014
We already bursting at the seams in our little shop but we need a bit more room to make way for our ever expanding stock and a new exciting range of upholstery fabrics (watch this space..) Hence a BIG reduction on these BIG Finnish Prints – 1.5m wide and reduced from £22/m to £11/m, find them in our Sale section here.
Now’s the time to start thinking about brightening up your interiors and these are perfect. Grab them while you can….!
February 11th, 2014
We always love an extensive colour palette, here’s all our new range of Prym cotton bias bindings. Also available in satin in a similarly pleasing palette, details here….
January 27th, 2014
We’ve added a late date dressmaking class to our new year calendar, an evening two-parter featuring The Dress Shirt – another stylish and versatile Merchant and Mills pattern which works in very many different fabric types.
The cost of the class is £90 which includes the pattern and all sundry materials, you just need to bring along approx 1.75m of fabric. Click here for more details and to book…
January 22nd, 2014
We were very sad to lose our cafe at the end of last year. After much deliberation, our desperate need for space for more sewing patterns and fabric outweighed our attachment to the buzzy vibe of the cafe. We met many lovely folk through the cafe and would like to think that we sparked a sewing interest in a few who had just popped in for a coffee!
So, in it’s place we now have a ‘Pattern Bar’. A pattern filing system and a long, clear surface on which to lay out patterns, fabric etc for easy project planning. We’ve also been able to bring some of our 1.5m rolls upstairs and increase our stock of Liberty prints – Yay! Take a look at the recent arrivals here and watch this space for another big delivery in Feb.
Here’s a couple of pics of the new space – and of the lovely Julie Arkell who popped in to look at the pretty Tana Lawns. (If you’re a Julie A fan, have a look at these lovely gathered top workshops she’s put together for us this spring…!)
January 13th, 2014
Like many of you, we all at Ray Stitch took a little pile of patterns home with us before Christmas with the aim (faint hope?) of doing a bit of sewing over the holidays. Some of us were more successful than others at achieving that goal but we’ve seen a fair few lovely home made garments parading through the shop over the last week or so.
One of the most popular, it being a quick and simple, make-it-up-in-anything pattern, has been the Camber Set by Merchant and Mills. We’ve seen it made up in allsorts – prints, linens, jerseys, long versions, short versions, you name it.
Rachel and Michelle went went for a couple of lovely Nani Iro prints (see below) both quite different but both worked the style equally well.
If you’ve been eyeing up the pattern and would like to have a go, we’re running a two-part ‘Make a Camber Dress’ class in the sewing school this month. The first (evening) sessions sold out pretty quickly so we’ve added a Saturday all-dayer on 25th Jan. Why not give it a try? We thoroughly recommend the pattern for it’s versatility and can guarantee you’ll make it up more than once!
Class details are here (the pattern is included).
December 22nd, 2013
Well, what a great year it’s been, so many lovely fabrics, so many lovely projects, so many inspiring sewing and crafting ideas. All culminating in December which has been a frenzied blur of activity. Thank you to the very many of you who have ordered online and been in to the shop for your bits and pieces – whatever you were making, we hope you got it finished on time!!
And how better to end the year than with the delivery of what we think is our favourite printed collection of 2013 (although at this stage it’s hard to remember much beyond a couple of days ago…!) From Birch Organics – Charley Harper. Birch Fabrics have used some of the best designs of the American Modernist, known for his simple geometric shapes, the use of vibrant color and in particular for his quirky birds to create a collection of organic cotton prints.
It’s a really great vibrant, cheery collection – just the thing to brighten up the new year and gloom of post Christmas. So we’ll leave you with that….
Happy Christmas everyone, see you in the new year….
Rachel, Michelle, Sam, Gen, Rosannagh and Rosie xxxxx
December 14th, 2013
Just a note to let you know our opening times over the festive period and to thank you for your custom this year. Whether you’ve popped in for a coffee, a metre of fabric or attended one of our classes you’ve made this year a great one! As many of you know our cafe has now closed. Over the Christmas period this area will be re-designed and will now be the ‘pattern bar’ so do come in the new year to check it out!
Last day of shopping will be Sunday 22nd Dec, 11am – 5pm.
We will re-open on Thurs 2nd Jan, 9am – 6.30pm.
The postage deadline for overseas parcels has now passed. Last day of posting for UK orders will be Fri 20th Dec. All orders placed before 11am on this day should arrive before Christmas according to Royal Mail. Any orders placed after this date will not be sent until Thurs 2nd Jan. This includes ‘Next Day’ orders.
Good tidings to one and all!
November 14th, 2013
A glass jar full of goodies!
Contents include: a Mini Charm Pack (42 x mixed print fabric squares); a pack of ‘Fruit Salad’ beads; set of Owl Buttons x 4; set of Friends Buttons x 6; 3m Yeon Lee printed cotton ribbon; 3 x 1000m Thread Reels…
November 7th, 2013
I’m not sure if anyone get’s as excited as me about webbing, but the arrival of tons of the stuff this week has really cheered me up. I just love it for being so … useful. Sturdy and practical and, if not exactly pretty, it’s certainly good looking – well deserving of a pride of place spot in our shop window.
So now, in addition to our very popular cotton strap webbing, we’ve 3 new ranges of 38mm wide striped webbing. Take a look….
October 23rd, 2013
We have been selling Minikrea patterns in the shop for some time now, we love how simple and modern they are. The patterns are Danish and come with an English translation sheet inside. I recently made up two of the patterns, ‘Tunika’ a unisex elasticated top and ‘Spencer’ a simple tunic dress.
The great thing about making baby clothes is you only need a tiny amount of fabric, just half a metre or so. For the Spencer dress I used an organic check in a lovely teal colour, and the black and white stripe organic cotton in this range made a striking lining. The pattern sheets are printed on sturdy glossy paper and they have the ‘simple’ pattern on one side and on the reverse modifications on the simple pattern, longer sleeves, ruched waist etc. I decided to go straight for the simple design. Although the English translation sheet is very brief, I think it’s sufficient as it’s very straightforward sewing. The only change I made was to use poppers instead of buttonholes on the Spencer dress. I then stitched the buttons over the top of the poppers as I think it finished off the dress nicely.
For the Tunika top I used a quirky Heather Ross print with cute gnomes sitting around a campfire and a spooky looking owl! Here are some more of Heather’s prints, I also think the Nani Iro designs would lend themselves well to both patterns.