Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Out with the Old and in with the New


I am beyond thrilled to announce that our new website is off and running.

This has been a dream of mine for the past four years and I'm so pleased with how the new site looks and functions.

We have really leaped like a gazelle into the 21st century here.

Please check it out.

There are NEW classes up there with PICTURES (why didn't we think of that before?).

And pictures of (most of) the staff.

I've got to get everybody up to date on the two new gals, Jessie and Jessica.

They are great and I adore them both.

So, for those of you keeping count, we've got Rhea and Rina... and now Jessie and Jessica.


I am.

In other news, I have recently become obsessed with the Twilight movie.

How did this whole phenomenon elude me until now?

Remind me to add Robert Pattinson to my best eyebrows list.

He is probably the only person I know whom I prefer with an American accent than with an English accent.

Did you know he played Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter movies?

I should read the Twilight books, I suppose.

Don't judge... I can't help myself.

Instead, get thee to the new website,

and I promise next time to talk about more "Sew-y" things.



Monday, March 30, 2009

Impromptu Weekend Sewing and a Photo Shoot

I found myself with some unexpected free-time yesterday afternoon and before I knew it I had whipped up one of these cute little Summer Blouses from Heather Ross' new Weekend Sewing book. If you haven't heard of this book then let me do you a favor and save you some time by forcing you to buy a copy. I don't know if I would recommend it to beginning sewers (for that, I would have to defer to Anna Maria Horner's Seams to Me), but for the intermediate gal, you would be remiss not to own this one. At $27.50, the book is a bargain. Especially when you consider that patterns alone cost about $16.00 and this book contains over a dozen full-size patterns. Books are such a good deal that way. And this one, exceptionally so. There are all kinds of good projects in Weekend Sewing. It is one of those books that makes people want to sew, even if they don't know how and it is very inspiring to those of us who do know how.

I had been eyeing the Summer Blouse for quite some time and reading all about it on other people's blogs. In the photo above it looks nice and long in the torso but don't be fooled! They must have added some serious length to the shirt in the photo. Either that or the model is cuh-razy disproportioned (which I suspect is not the case). I added an inch to the length of my pattern, but ladies I am super short waisted. I repeat. I am super short waisted. If you are normal through the torso you will want to add at least 2 inches to the pattern length and if you are at all long waisted I will advise an addition of 4 inches. Unless of course you like the cropped look and then it's all good. One more comment is that I'm pretty sure you need 1 3/4 yards instead of the 1 1/2 yards Heather calls for in the book. I didn't have enough fabric to cut my sleeves out but the extra quarter of a yard would give you enough.

And then I found myself the subject of an impromptu solo photo shoot because I felt so darn cute in the thing. Ollie wasn't around to take my picture for me and as I haven't yet taught Reuben how to use the camera it was me and the mirror, baby.

I chose one of Heather's prints from the supah-wicked popular Mendocino line. I love the super-soft finish to all of Heather's fabrics (I am a huge fabric nerd that way) and also felt like it was her book, I should use her fabrics. I tend to do this with Amy Butler stuff, too.

Don't you just love the orange placket peaking out? Oops, That's a MODA, not a Heather Ross.

Jessie kind of made a face when I chose my fabric (she is nothing if not honest), and implied that I might look like I was wearing my Pajama Top if I made my Summer Blouse from this fabric and maybe she had a point but if wearing your Pajama Top as Summer Blouse is wrong then I don't wanna be right, okay? I quite LOVE the way this one came out.

It was so easy and so fun and as always, the worst part was tracing and cutting out the pattern pieces. Now that I have that part all done I will FO SHO be making more of these little numbers. I want to make one super long and wear it as a tunic with Jeans.

You can see the remnants from a wardrobe melt-down this morning on my bed behind me. Just keepin' it real, ya know? My mirror's streaky, too, but oh well. Oh, and see what I mean about the short-waisted thing? This would definitely have been too short for my tastes if I hadn't added the extra inch to the pattern pieces. Right now, though, it is perfect!!!

I am looking into my Crystal Ball and seeing many, many, many of these luscious lovelies in my future. At about $15 each they are a real bargain. I feel just as cute as that gal in the picture .

See you again soon with more projects!



Sunday, March 29, 2009

Don't Froget!!!

Don't you froget these exciting events comin' up!

...the SHOP HOP starts this Wednesday, April 1st
...the CRAFT SWAP is Friday, April 10th

...the RHEA'S 30TH BIRTHDAY SALE is Tuesday, April 14th

...the FABRIC LAMPSHADE CLASS starts Saturday, April 18th

...and that's just April!!!

See you again soon,




In case you were wondering, Twilight is a really good movie!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Yes, It's True!!!

Hi Guys,

Thanks so much to everyone who entered for the giveaway... The winner was the lovely Miss Kate Smith, who blogs at Philigry and I am so happy for her (I love how she made a little "acceptance speech" comment on the last post)!

And, Miss Kate was right... The name of the quilt in the last post was "Summer in Maine,"
which is very appropriate since...

Denyse Schmidt will be coming to Alewives this summer!!!

And I am beyond thrilled. My friend Kristine had been scheming away for the past few weeks as to how she was going to get me down to Connecticut to take one of Denyse's workshops at her studio in Bridgeport, but little did Kristine know that the whole time I was scheming away arranging for Denyse to come to us. There's the story behind the story, now here are the details:

WHO: Denyse Schmidt

WHAT: Improvisational Patchwork Workshop
(2nd photo is an example of "improv patchwork") A hands-on opportunity to learn Denyse’s intuitive design techniques while building a foundation for bringing your own individual style to quilts or other projects. Whether you are an experienced quilter or a beginning crafter, you will create exciting, rut-breaking work that will change the way you think about color, patchwork, and your own creativity.

WHERE: Alewives Fabrics, 10 Main St. Nobleboro, ME, 04555

WHEN: Saturday, July 11 from 11-4

WHY: Because we can!!!

HOW: $250 is how. This INCLUDES lunch and Denyse is bringing most of the fabrics you will need to create about 4 beautiful improv blocks. You will need to bring some sewing supplies (you know, rotary cutter, machine, thread, scissors...the usual suspects) PLUS 1/4 yard of focus fabric from YOUR stash. A complete supply list is available for anyone taking the class.

Speaking of which...

Space for this class is super-duper limited. There are only twelve slots, some of which are gone already and I expect the remaining ones to fill up quickly. Call the store, e-mail or visit us in person to sign up. And of course, if you want more info we'll help with that, too.

So that's my big news. I'm so pleased and many thanks to Denyse and her people for helping me arrange this amazing opportunity for all of us "Coastal Contemporary" gals.

See you soon with more updates!



Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hint, Hint, Giveaway!


I'm feeling generous today.

I want to give something away.

What I really want to give away is a big secret about a certain event that will be taking place this summer (And no, I am neither getting married nor having a baby, so put those thoughts to rest!), but I don't want to give this particular secret away just yet.

So I'm going to make you work for it.

I will give you a little "hint, hint", in the form of a picture (which as we all know says a thousand words). Then, you have to do a little research. Give me your best guess as to just exactly what it is that's going to happen here this summer AND the name of the quilt in the picture and I will enter you into a drawing for a certain book written by a certain someone.

Need another hint?

Tell you what...

I'm going to send you here and then leave this post open to comments until Saturday Next (6:00 pm on March 21, to be precise).

Leave your name and e-mail address with your best guess and the name of the quilt and then all will be revealed!

Give me your BEST guesses, darlings!!!



(...and yes, it's THAT good)


Comments are now cuh-losed and I am so pleased to announce that my very own personal random number generator (also known as "Hey, Ollie,... pick a number between 1 and 12!") has chosen lucky number 4 to receive Denyse Schmidt's book, Denyse Schmidt Quilts.

Here's the winning comment:


AHHHH, Denyse schmidt is coming to your shop!
summer in maine-

Kate, I am so happy for you! I will e-mail you shortly about your lovely prize.

And Miss Kate is oh-so correct. Denyse Schmidt is coming to Alewives! But more on that a little bit later...

Thanks everybody and have a great weekend!



Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Voila le Coupon...

I told you to keep a look out for this little beauty...

And here it is. Print it out and bring it on in.

Other places you can get this coupon?

Check your in-boxes this coming week for a new class list with coupon,

If you get snail-mail from us you will be getting a coupon via your mail-box (feel free to kiss the postman),

Check the local paper as the big day approaches,

or stop in Alewives to get a coupon.

Tell your friends... shop together!!!


since you did such a nice job keeping a look-out this last time, be on the look-out these next few weeks for new classes with new teachers, updates on all kinds of great merchandise at the store, a VERY BIG announcement about a workshop that is well,... shall we say "in the works," the launch of the new website AAANNNDDD... a giveaway.

In the meantime, don't forget about the Shop Hop and the Sale!

Can't wait to see you at both!

Until next time,



Monday, March 9, 2009

HoOoOo likes a SALE?

YOoOo DOoOo...

That's HoOoO!!!!

So, want to get a great deal on some fabulous books and patterns and oh, yes... fabrics?

Then I do believe that you'll want to be at Alewives on TUESDAY, APRIL 14th, which just happens to be my 30th birthday (which is either very sad or very miraculous, depending upon which camp you belong to... I myself belong to both at times) and in celebration of said event we are having ourselves a little cake and ice cream and a 30% OFF SALE!!!

I look at it this way: I cannot change the fact that I will soon be 30 and will in no way, shape or form be a "kid" anymore but instead a full-fledged (quote/unquote) "adult", so I might as well milk it, right? And shouldn't you benefit from said milking?

Look. I'm an Aries. If you don't know what that means I will tell you that it involves the universe revolving around me and not necessarily the sun. It means that all of my friends get regular impending birthday warnings every month on the first of the month (more frequently
as the date approaches) and detailed lists of what gifts I would like to receive, complete with item #'s and back-up gifts in case my first choices are unavailable. It means that when I say "I really don't want any gifts this year," that is code for "I really DO want gifts this year," and heaven help you if you don't decode these secret messages. If you think I am exaggerating then I've got witnesses (named JD, Mom, Johanna, Shawn, Erin, Kathleen, and of course Oliver) who will tell you with a twinkle in their eye (hopefully) that this is the reality of being friends with Rhea.

But enough about me. Let's talk about my Birthday Sale. You will be the beneficiaries of 30% off fabrics, books, patterns, notions...in fact, your entire purchase (with the exception of consignment items, clearance items, ice-cream and sodas) will be 30% off.

BUT... were gonna make you work a little for it. You're going to have to print out a 30% off coupon (coming soon...keep your eyes peeled!), you're going to have to use it on the big day (which, once again, is Tuesday, April 14th, also known as my 30th birthday... are ya writin' this down???) and I'm so sorry, but no one will be allowed to redeem gift certificates during the sale.

Annnd... you have to bring me a present... just "kidding,"... wink,wink.

See you at the SALE!!!



PS... that cute spotted owl fabric is available at the store but it is going fast!!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Blast from the Past

Okay, I couldn't resist...

I found a picture of me in my senior prom dress.

That's my good friend Atsuko Nogami in the picture with me.

We didn't even plan the whole silver/gold thing.

She was a Japanese exchange student and I was a newly-returned-from-France ex-exchange student myself.

My date was my long-time boyfriend, Steven, who went on to fame and glory in Time Warner cable ads and waaaay-off Broadway plays.

I'm still waiting for him to hit the big time so I can sell his stuff on E-bay.

By the by...

Does anybody else look back at their high school pictures and think how much time they wasted thinking they were "fat" and "ugly" when actually they were quite thin and pretty?

But who am I kidding?

Look at that picture... I was hot stuff and I knew it.

See you again soon,



Monday, March 2, 2009

Oh, Snow!

Hey hey hey.

There is a LOT of snow out there. Snow storm #2 in just as many weeks.

Good sewing weather, I say.

We saw lots of people in the store this weekend stocking up on supplies so they could spend the duration of the "Weather" squirreled away and hunkered down, stitching up a storm.

Which leads me to an interesting question...

Lately on the Oliver+S blog, Liesl Gibson has been hosting a discussion on the various reasons why people sew. In this day and age, it would be much less expensive to buy a quilt, bag, article of clothing, etc. than it would be to make one yourself (By the way, there are exceptions to this rule), so given that information (and the economy these days), why is sewing so wildly popular right now?

I have a few theories myself...

• People love to create. Most people need this kind of outlet and whether your poison is sewing, knitting, crafting, scrapbooking, etc... all the experts (and by "expert," I mean anybody on the "Today" show) agree that having a hobby is good for you. So, good for you!

People like to be unique. Here's a quick(ish) little story for you:

When I was a senior in High School, there was a Porteous store in Brunswick that sold prom dresses and I found a gorgeous silver number that had my name all over it. I begged my Mom to buy me this dress, but alas for me, she is not that kind of Mom and if I was going to own that dress I was going to have to find a way to buy it myself. Upon receiving this information I immediately re-shifted my priorities and probably spent my hard earned ice-cream stand money on Foo Fighters CD's and Galactic Bowling, but the point is I was suddenly sans prom dress.

What did I do? I scoured the attic at my Grandmother's house and found one of my Mom's old dresses: a long, yellow-y golden brocade dress with a very interesting sleeve situation. Mom and I went all Sarah-Jessica on that dress: we chopped off the sleeve-ish type things, hemmed the dress and jazzed it up with some shoes and jewelry, and I was actually perfectly happy with this less-expensive option (which is very un-like me, I assure you).

Fast forward to the night of the prom, and who do I see wearing the silver Porteous dress that I had originally coveted, but one of the girls from my very own homeroom. AND, the strap of this very expensive dress had already broken and was being held up with a safety pin, while I was high and dry in my vintage yellow-golden dress. No way no how was anybody showing up in that dress but me! So, it all turned out okay.

The moral of the story? Sometimes you might be seduced by Off-the-Rack, but just as often, you can inexpensively and easily re-construct your wardrobe and go from silver to gold.

There is a social aspect to sewing in a group unlike anything I have ever seen. All you ladies out there who go to "Therapy" (translation: Sewing Lounge) every Friday night know EXACTLY that of which I speak. I don't know what it is about the sewing machine that makes people feel secure, but people share a LOT when they are sewing. I know I've said it before that I sometimes feel like a bartender at the store. I've also said that Sewing Lounge would make a great reality show. We laugh, we cry, we solve the problems of the world. It's kind of like the View, only with irons.

• Finally, in this day and age, we are all a little stressed by the economic situation, and we all deal with stress in different ways. Some people might get a pedicure, or a facial, or a massage and all of those things are GREAT stress-relievers, but their calming effects will only last so long. But sewing is different. Sewing is one of the rare stress-busters where you enjoy the process as much as the finished result. And the finished result will be around forever and ever!

And today, as the snow falls outside my window in ridiculous amounts, even though it is my day off, I can think of nothing I would rather do than be over at the store, stitching away.

How about you? What is it about sewing that has you hooked?

See you again soon,