Thursday, September 30, 2010

I have a date!!!

Ollie's Bachelor Party is this weekend and he will be gone for two whole days.

Is it wrong that I am totally looking forward to some time alone?

I have BIG plans.



I have a date with a bottle of Prosecco, my sewing machine, a Philipa Gregory book and some Red Velvet cake.

Ahh, sounds like heaven.

Reuben is staying home to keep me company, which will be perfect.

Also, to the lady who came in the shop today and wanted an on-the-spot private lesson, I would like to say "I am sorry."

If I had a do-over I would give you the private lesson on the spot instead of telling you my time was already spoken for.

I felt really over-whelmed at the time and I panicked.

Upon further reflection and in all seriousness I probably should have dropped everything I was doing and acquiesced.

But it's much easier to say that now that all of my admin work is done and I am at home and all the customers are gone.

If you knocked on my door right now I would totally give you a private lesson.

Give me a mulligan?

(Just wanted to put that out there to the universe.)



Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Flower Power

I finally got around to putting some wire stems on some of the flowers we made at my wedding flower workshop the other week and thought you might like to see...

Here is one bouquet I have made up:

I have lots more flowers but I was pleased to find that they went together onto "stems" really quickly and easily so that I can chip away at them when I have a moment here and there.

I didn't really have a color-scheme in mind (for me, picking a favorite color would be like picking a favorite child... I love them all equally), so I just took groupings of colors that I liked together and twisted them into bouquets.

One will be for me, one will be for my Maid of Honor and the rest will be for the table decorations.

And bouttonieres for Ollie and his Best Man, of course

Not too shabby, eh?



PS... Thanks very much to everyone who came out that night to help me make flowers... I was overwhelmed! And thanks, Jessica, for the sweet milk-glass vases!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

2 issues you will never have to worry about at Alewives Fabrics

Yes, I am posting twice in one day.

Do you have a little free time on your hands?

I found this post fascinating and ended up following each and every one of the links...

It deals with fabric fakes popping up all over the place (a disturbing issue that has sadly been around for a long time and will most likely be around for as long as creative people are creative and human nature is human nature).

By the way, all our fabrics at Alewives are too legit to quit.

And I was really broken-hearted to read this post the other day, in which one blogger relates her frustration with being treated poorly at her local fabric store... and in the comments, I saw that she was by no means alone with this experience...

Apparently this is a prevalent behavior as well (the behavior being that brick-and-mortar owners are not very nice to younger gals).


I *like* to think that we treat our customers nicely at our shop... hopefully that is the case.

I'm curious... have any of my readers out there encountered either of these two issues?



A peek into my home...

I have to admit that I have been totally enthralled (okay, obsessed is more like it) with seeing the photos of Amanda's new home...

It inspired me to take a few shots of my own house as well, so would you like to have a peek with me?

Here we go...

Here are some vintage tins I got at the Montsweag flea market this weekend.

They looked much better before I put them in the dishwasher and melted most of the paint off the lids, but I still love 'em and they only cost 12 bucks for all 5, so what're ya gonna do, huh?

These little birdies and their nest were shower gifts.

I think they would make a great wedding cake topper... a little nod to the family we hope to one day have.

They are sitting atop an old wooden recipe box that belonged to Ollie's mom.

Some of my bowls... some are old, some are new, but I can honestly say that they were chosen very carefully and I love each and every one of them.

(Is it normal to love your bowls?)

The Flea Market Gods were with me the day I scored this bookcase at Montsweag for 20 bucks... it was just what the living room needed and I didn't even know!

These are some of my vintage tins... most of them were sent to me by my Vintage Swap partner Kay.

I have them on top of a mirror in my bathroom but I hope to someday get some shelves in the kitchen and keep them there.

Most of these are food related tins and it seems kinda weird to keep them in the bathroom, don't you think?

By the way, everybody should have a Vintage Swap partner from the Netherlands.

They should make it mandatory.

I really think that would make the world a better place.

Just sayin'.

I have a thing for birds, can you tell?

These birds were a wedding gift from my friend Barbara... I knew exactly where to put them!

Ollie is always bumping his head on this lantern (he is a tall drink-a-water) but dammit, I think it is fabulous.

Plus it was only 3 bucks.

At Marden's.

There, I said it (*breaks down in tears*).

This is a quilt I am working on for the wedding: it's super-piece-y and complicated and I love it... I love working on it the same way I love being in the middle of a really good book.

In lieu of a guest book I am going to have people sign the little white rectangles of the quilt blocks.

All of these fabrics came from my good friend Cyndi's shop, the Busy Thimble.

She carries all reproduction fabrics (as opposed to this place) and I go to her shop when I want to cheat on my shop.

This would be my sewing machine.

It was my great-grandmother's and I love it dearly.

Right now I am working on a shirt for my little sister Johanna.

Here are our birds, Rosie and Mr. Allnut (named after Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart's characters from the movie "the African Queen").

If you have ever called and talked to me on the phone you have probably heard them squawking away in the background.

Here's a shady looking character.

This is my candelabra that Mom got me for Christmas a couple of years back... I love it.

I love lighting it and using it, except that I have to move it away from the wall or else it leaves scorch marks.

My closet (well, part of it, anyways)... note the handmade clothes: there's a lot of selfish sewing in that closet.

And I thought I would end by putting a picture of my un-made bed up on the internet for all to see.

Just keepin' it real, you know???

Thanks for peeking around my house with me...

What does your space look like?



Friday, September 17, 2010


So. Much. Fabric!

(640 lbs of it, delivered in 10 boxes, to be exact... our UPS guy hates us right now.)

We are feverishly working to get this all up online and processed and put away.

If you can't find Jessica on Monday, it's because she is still buried underneath all these bolts.

By the by, these are all from Free Spirit and Westminster.

I know a lot of you are waiting for Liesl Gibson's "City Weekend" line from Moda, but as of Friday afternoon, we are still on "City Weekend" watch.

We also got in these super cool new straight pins that have been all-over the blogosphere and I have loved them for years and finally, finally, finally got them in the shop.


And we got a LOT of new books that we are slowly but surely putting up on the website... that Wee Wonderfuls book is the cutest thing I have seen in a long time.

I totally snagged a copy for myself.

And the new Stitch Magazine (Fall 2010: the Fabric Issue) came in last week and has steadily been going right back out the door again.

Luckily I learned my lesson the last time and ordered plenty of them.

So, that's what's keeping us busy here at Alewives... they typing fingers are flying!

Did you notice new classes are up on the website, too?

(My brain hurts).

Have a great weekend!



Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sewing knits workshop with Liesl Gibson of Oliver+S on November 13th

Hello everyone...

Yes, it's true!

Liesl Gibson (the creative mind behind the Oliver+S patterns) will be visiting us on Saturday, November 13th to teach a workshop.

The class will focus on tips and tricks for sewing with knits, and if you thought that sewing with knits was only for those who had tamed and conquered the serger, be not afraid! Liesl is going to teach us how to sew on knits using either a sewing machine or a serger...yay!!!

For those of you out there who don't know Liesl's impressive background, let me fill you in.

She received her degree in Fashion Design from New York's Fashion Institute of Technology (yes, that's where they film Project Runway!) and then began a career designing for the likes of Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger.

In 2008, when she was unable to find children's clothing patterns to suit her taste, she did what any industrious, creative gal would do, and launched her own pattern company, which became Oliver+S. Since then, Oliver+S has become wildly popular, and Liesl has added the title of "fabric designer" to her resume... her first line for Moda, called "City Weekend" debuts this September, with a second and third (!) line to follow.

"City Weekend" (see Liesl's own video introduction to the collection here) is made up of the quilting weight cottons we all know and love, but the collection also contains an assortment of soft and cozy interlock knits, which brings us back to the workshop on November 13th, where Liesl will be teaching us how to sew with knits.

In the workshop, students will choose between two of the new fall 2010 Oliver+S patterns: they will have a choice to work on either the Hopscotch Top or the Nature Walk Pants. The Hopscotch Top can also be made as a dress or nightgown, and the Nature Walk Pant is a yoga-style pant, designed to be a comfy choice for boys or girls that would also be great as PJ's.

The workshop is open to students of all skill levels: even someone who has never made a garment before will be able to finish their project on the day of the workshop. Liesl's expert, insider tips and instruction coupled with the excellent written directions and illustrations in the Oliver+S patterns make this workshop a great opportunity for anyone, and I will be there, for sure!

I've never sewn with knits before, so I am anxious to get the inside scoop. We have recently started carrying interlock knits at the shop and are expecting our shipment of "City Weekend," including the entire selection of the knits, any day now. My plan is to make the Hopscotch Top as a dress/tunic for my little sister Johanna, who is 12 years old (did you know that the Oliver+S patterns now go from size 6 months up to size 12 years? Fabulous!), and then take away what I have learned about knits and use that knowledge to one day stitch up a tunic in a knit fabric for myself. I won't be able to use an Oliver+S pattern for my own garments, but I will be armed with all those tips and tricks for sewing with knits and I can apply those principals to any pattern designed to be sewn with a knit.

If you would like to join Liesl and me at the Sewing with Knits Workshop, it will take place on Saturday, November 13th and the cost is $100. The workshop will begin at 10:00 and end at 4:00. There will be an hour break for lunch where we will all make the trek over to my house and everyone will be treated to a delicious meal (maybe I will make another batch of Amanda's soup!) and then that evening, Liesl will be giving a presentation about her history in the textile/pattern designing world with time for Q+A's and a sneak-peak at some of her upcoming projects.

I don't know about you, but given Liesl's busy schedule and her amazing background, I think this is a great opportunity and I am so excited to be hosting her at our own little shop. Several of the slots in the class are already taken, so if you think you would like to partake of the workshop, please call us at 207 563 5002 and have your credit card number ready to reserve your spot. The price of your ticket includes the teaching fee, lunch and a ticket to the presentation/Q+A session, but students will be responsible for purchasing their own Oliver+S patterns and materials, all of which are available at the store at a 10% discount.

If you would like to only attend the evening's presentation/Q+A session with Liesl, I will have more information about that soon, so stay tuned!

Well, thanks for reading all of this and if you have any questions you can let me know in the comments section and/or e-mail me ( and I will get back to you ASAP!

Talk to you again soon...



PS... The wedding flowers workshop went great and I will post again soon with pictures!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wedding flowers workshop and an invitation for you!

Fabric Rose from Little Birdie Secrets


For those of you who are local I am holding my wedding flowers workshop this Friday night from 5:00 on and I would love to see you there!

You can bring your sewing machine if you like, or come as you are, prepared to help me make some fabric flowers that I will use in my wedding bouquet and in the decorations.

You don't need to know how to make fabric flowers, we'll all learn together.

Just like a real bouquet, I am going to try many different techniques to get different looking flowers.

Ribbon Peony from Make it Do.

For those of you who want to get started, I found some great tutorials here, here and here.

Some of the techniques involve using a sewing machine and some don't.

Some are intricate and some aren't... there's something for everybody!!!

Here at the shop we will provide the materials, the instructions and lots of pizza.

If you come you just need to provide cheap labor and a smile.

Lovely Fabric Flower from Simply Vintage Girl.

And in a wildly optimistic gesture I have an invitation for my blog readers who are not so local:

A couple of you had suggested that even though you live far away, you would like to make some flowers for my wedding as well.

I have to admit I love, love, love this idea!

If you would like to make me a flower or two I am inviting you all to do so... the wedding is not until October 23rd so you have plenty of time.

I cannot provide you with pizza, but I can promise to send a thank-you note!

If you would like to help out, I have no specific colors in mind: just a pretty rainbow of fabric flowers.

You can send them to me in care of the shop and know that they will make me smile a LOT on my wedding day.

That's all for now... I will be back next time with a big announcement of the class variety!


Rhea Daiute
C/O Alewives Fabrics
10 Main Street
Nobleboro, ME

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Shower...

In the end, there were pain au chocolat instead of a cake...

there were good food and conversation instead of games...

there were lots of presents and lots of thank-you notes to write...

there was a garland all the way from the Netherlands...

and lots of Alewives Fabrics present in various ways, shapes and forms...

It was my perfect wedding shower and I will never ever forget it.

Thanks to everyone who was there and there in spirit, and especially thanks to my M.O.H. Kristine... everyone should have a fierce friend like her in their arsenal.