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Archive for April, 2008

Our Design It Yourself Patterns are HERE!

I can’t believe the day is actually HERE! Our long-awaited DIYStyle patterns from McCall’s go on sale TODAY! We call them Design It Yourself, because you can take our basic look and tweak it any number of ways to suit YOUR style. Totally flexible, wearable, and dare we say, chic? Pick them up at any fabric store that carries McCall’s patterns, or click here to order directly from our friends at McCall’s.

Melissa and I designed a line of knit tops: McCall’s 5662, plus sexy but sweet lingerie: McCall’s 5651. Hope you love them as much as we do, and see something that makes you want to grab your sewing machine and get started! I’m so excited to be able to walk into a store, open the big pattern book, and see our designs…. as a matter of fact, I’m heading there now! Let us know what you think, we’ll be anxious to get your reactions, so do tell.

As a special treat, in tonight’s vodcast, we’ll share a project with a few great ways to personalize one of the designs in our knit top pattern — OK, sorry, that’s next week! Tonight we’re showing clips from our fashion show in Vegas where we debuted the DIYStyle patterns, and you’ll get to see the different views of the knit top pattern. Next week we’ll share some creative options for the hardware on the knit top from our pattern, or you can use our tips on another project you may be conjuring up.

Thanks to everyone for your enthusiastic support. It means a lot to Melissa and me!


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Presenting our junior collections

Finally I feel like the year is down to the home stretch! This past Saturday was “Jury of Selection” at the design school. As fashion design majors, we are required to present our designs from the entire year to industry professionals from all over the country. Juniors have five final garments, one in each category: Swimwear, Dancewear, Denim/Knit Top, Tailored Suit, and Tailored Dress. The junior class worked so hard this year turning out garment after garment along with all of our other classes. The garments that score the highest in judging get to be shown in the end of the year fashion show. I had one of my five garments (Dancewear) chosen for the show (cool!), and I’m so proud of all I put into each of my entries. This student model is wearing my Dancewear design, which features a rhinestone-encrusted fleur-de-lis zipper pull.

I still have a few major projects to complete before the school year is over. I’m working on a tailored jacket with pad stitching and twill tape, and on the patternmaking and fitting for my tailored coat and dress (this one was chosen by one of the industry critics). I’ll be sure to post the design that the critic chooses!

And tomorrow: Melissa’s and my DIYStyle patterns go on sale across the country! Yay! We’ll be posting a new vodcast tomorrow, too … lots of excitement!


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Well ladies, hang on just a few more days — the DIYStyle spring patterns will be on sale April 22. Bigtime anticipation over here. Can you feel it? In the meantime, we just posted a new vodcast where you get an up-close and personal look at the big trade show we attended in Vegas, where we got our very own DIYStyle booth!! We were stoked. But take a peek at the show, it’s pretty cool to see how the vendors display their products for the stores, everything from textiles and buttons to the latest sewing and crafting gadgets.


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My Style, My Machine WINNERS

If you are wondering … just who won the very first DIYStyle contest, the “My Style, My Machine” Giveaway!? We’re so happy to announce the names of the three lucky Creative Chicks that nabbed the loot. And by the way…. stay tuned to, as we have more stuff to give away, and we’ll have lots of cool ways to win it!

The Sulky Thread Assortment of 84 metallic thread spools goes to Jessica Summers of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Jessica is a part-time model, and about her sewing, says this: “I think the best quote comes from my boyfriend; he walked into my room, saw the dress I was working on on the dress form, and said, ‘Wow, it’s like…a real dress.’ Ha!” Classic. Well, now you can add a little metallic shimmer to that dress, and I wonder what he’ll say!

Amy Butler’s Fabric Assortment goes to Bridget Cook of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Already a big fan, “Amy Butler’s designs are so awesome!” she emailed when she found out she’d won. But the timing couldn’t be better, as “I have been going nuts about handbags. I am one of these people who always carries the same bag everywhere and now I have several in production so I can “wear” a bag with each outfit.” I think people around town may soon spot Bridget with an Amy Butler-style handbag, don’t you? She’s pictured above with daughter Syd–who also likes to sew.

And the GRAND PRIZE of a Baby Lock Creative Pro Sewing Machine goes to Brittany Osmulski of Peoria, Illinois. Congratulations!! We were dying to ask, how does DIYStyle play in Peoria? “I love to watch Allyce and Melissa on the DIYStyle vodcasts!” Brittany says. “They always have creative ideas on new projects and they make it so easy for the viewer. DIY has given me some great ideas.” Awwww! Sew on with your new machine, Brittany, and we hope you’ll send us some pix of things you make with it.

Thanks to EVERYONE who entered, and for taking the time to give us some terrific feedback in the survey you filled out. (At least one of our winners entered the contest almost every day that it was running! That is determination!) We always love to get ideas for things/people/places you’d like to see on the vodcast.

Watch for another contest … coming soon!


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The Big Show


We got back from the International Textiles Show in Las Vegas last week. I think I’m still exhausted. We had the big release of our DIYStyle pattern line with McCall’s Pattern Company and it went beyond our expectations! There is a mix of feelings of total excitement and joy to major relief to see all this hard work come to fruition. When you work really long and hard on something — and with a pattern, there are SO many elements, it takes 6 to 7 months for a pattern to be published and distributed to the public — it’s hard to imagine how you’ll feel when it’s completed.

But there we were at a huge trade show with tons of people, and our faces were larger than life on blow-up banners of the pattern envelope covers for the new DIYStyle “Design It Yourself” line of patterns. (Look for them around April 15th in stores, and they’ll have it online at McCall’s, too!) We also played the DIYStyle vodcasts for visitors, and talked to a lot of wonderful shop owners, textile manufacturers, designers, costumers, and other folks. It went over great, and all the hard work was totally worth it!

The second day we were in town, Melissa and I spoke on a panel with two other women in the sewing industry, Amy Stalp from Sew News mag, and Jessica Johnson from American Sewing Expos. Cindy Cummins (our head Creative Chick, and my very own mom) lead the discussion and we talked about sewing from a 20-something point of view.

Bright and early next day (our call time was 5:30am — yawn), was the BIG International Textiles Fashion Show, and we got to kick if off! It was an opportunity to showcase our pattern line in high style for everyone! We modeled the pieces from all four of our patterns (two are coming out for summer and two more for fall). Melissa and I spent a lot of time choreographing our segment of the fashion show and helping pick out the music. (I’d had great practice in this from my fashion show production class a few weeks before!) We wanted to make a statement that this pattern line is fashion forward and geared to a younger generation of hip chicks! Wait until you see the adorable lingerie we’ve done. Too cute. Everyone loved it and we had the time of our lives! I can’t wait to see the McCall’s pattern book in stores with our designs in it. Just a few more days….. eeee!

While walking the show I found wayyyy too many cool fabrics to use in projects for design school as well as for our own DIYStyle pattern line, and on the vodcasts. I spied some great cashmeres and wool blends for my critic presentation this week. Right now I am in hand-tailoring class with all the “hair canvas”. Tons of fun, right! (psst — only five more weeks to go and the school year is over.)

In our vodcast this Tuesday (same day as our patterns debut!) we’re doing a recap and special up-close view of the Textile Show. Be sure to check it out to see all the behind-the-scenes drama, and as always, we love to hear what you think, so don’t be shy!


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Through the Looking Glass

We recently produced our first project for my fashion show production class: a preview fashion show for students looking to attend Stephens College. First we got into groups and created mood boards to display ideas for our theme. Our group’s theme was futuristic with a very metallic looking stage. After all the groups presented their ideas, the class voted, and we all decided to go with another group’s idea, a fashion-forward Alice in Wonderland. I have to say, it was really enchanting! Since we were gearing this show to high school students, we wanted it to be very bubbly and use bright colors.

Our class split into three groups to help with the show; model garments, public relations, and set and sound. I was in the model garment group. Five of us were designers and we got the job of creating and sewing the intro garments. The garments could be made from scratch or we could take existing garments and redesign them.

I was assigned the “Rose Dress” so I took a prom dress that I wore in high school and transformed it into the finale dress. I clipped up the front of the dress so it created a poof. Then I sewed ribbons in between the layers, affixed roses to the ribbons, created a belt, and glued roses to a headband. The pic shows the final intro garments on the stage of the fashion show. My garment is the pink puffy tulle dress. The whole fashion show went really well and I was so proud of the intro and how it turned out!

Our BIG production showcasing the Senior Collections and designers is coming up very soon, April 26th. It will be a challenge to get through that show and finish up the semester. If all goes well and I pass critique, some of my Junior collection may be in the show as well. Five more weeks to go…and I’m excited to get to the end of my junior year!


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