announcing “bloom”

Yes, it’s that time of year again: Spring!

bloom general announcement siteless

And our Spring 2013 collection is finally coming to fruit. We’ve been hard at work stitching up some gorgeous new designs, and we think you’ll love them (we certainly do!)

The new frocks will go up in our Etsy shop (www.etsy.com/shop/melodyvalerie) as usual, on the 13th — that’s only two and a half weeks away! So mark your calendars, and be sure to check our blog that morning as well, as we’ll have plenty of scrumptious pictures for you to enjoy…

here’s hoping your spring is off to a lovely start!
Melinda and Melody

Girl for All Time

Have you heard of the Girl For All Time dolls yet?

Girl for All Time girl for all time 2 girl for all time 3

girl for all time

melodyvaleriecouturemelodyvaleriecouture

As part of our new partnership with Liberty Jane, we’re offering some of our designs as patterns in the Girl for All Time size. We just finished resizing the New Girl dress, and Matilda (who is our fitting consultant) looked so deliriously cute that we had to share…

Do you have a Girl for All Time doll? Chime in below in the comments!

Sew Expo Lowdown

Sew Expo 2013: Melinda’s highlights

First up: the Fine French Laces booth (www.cottonlace.com) . I missed them last year (just didn’t manage to find them) so this year I made a beeline to their booth.

Sew Expo 2013

Sew Expo 2013

And here’s what I came away with. Gorgeous, right?!

Sew Expo 2013

Sew Expo 2013

Vogue Fabrics was next — they are huge, and they have miles of amazing fabrics all stacked on these giant rolls  (www.myvoguefabrics.com) . And did I mention they have some pretty amazing deals? The trickiest thing is maneuvering all those rolls up to the cutting counter…. 😀

Sew Expo 2013

Sew Expo 2013

Of course, if you don’t want to lug giant rolls of fabric around, you can always look through the pre-rolled lengths. This year they were all cottons and batiks, but in the past there have been some silks and more unusual fibers too.

Sew Expo 2013

Sew Expo 2013

You can visit Vogue fabrics online at myvoguefabrics.com . Or, if you’re in the Chicago area, you could visit them and tell us all about it….

I can’t believe I didn’t take any pictures of the Trims on Wheels booth (http://trimsonwheels.com/). It’s such a fun booth, and I look forward to browsing it every year. They have great prices on a very fun mix of things… and did I mention how nice the people are that run it? This year I restrained myself and only bought a few trims.

Sew Expo 2013

I stopped at the Pine Needle (which is primarily a quilting shop, but they run a notions booth that’s amazing: http://www.pineneedlequiltshop.com/) for some more Aurifil. It’s one of my favorite threads, and the Pine Needle has it for a pretty reasonable price. Stock up time!

Sew Expo

Sew Expo 2013

It was difficult to get a good shot of this next booth (Nifty Thrifty Dry Goods — http://www.niftythriftydrygoods.com/) because it was so crowded. And for good reason — it’s beautiful and chock-full of pretty things! It’s also arranged super tastefully — bits of ribbon, buttons, trims, and ephemera all laid out by color. Truly a feast for the eyes.

Sew Expo 2013

Sew Expo 2013

This is usually where I get buckles, but the saleslady pointed me to some doll-sized buttons as well. Hooray! There are cute purple flowers, lovely hand-blown lampwork buttons, and antique rhinestone buttons. (And yes, I mean antique. Those are at least from the Victorian era!)

Sew Expo 2013

Sew Expo 2013

Of course I had to show you the Bernina booth (bernina.com) . Last month, I put my name down for one of their brand-new machines. It’s supposed to ship in May sometime…. and I’m sure you’ll hear about it when it arrives!

Sew Expo 2013

Sew Expo 2013

This year I also stopped at the Kai scissors booth (www.kaiscissors.com) . My main fabric shears are showing their age. And now that you mention it, so are my thread snips… I was really tempted by their gorgeous, professional-grade shears, but after chatting with the salesman, I opted for the 9″ standard shears. The blades are thinner, so I’ll be able to cut more precisely. And with pieces as tiny as doll clothing, precision is a definite ‘must’!

Sew Expo 2013

I also came home with a pair of 4″ scissors. Man those things are sharp! All the way out to the tip, which gives you a lot of control. They kindly included a scissor guard on a string — you slip it over the ends of your snips and wear it around your neck, so you never lose your scissors. Clever, right?

Sew Expo 2013

OK, so I know what you’re thinking: You went to Sew Expo, and you didn’t buy any fabric? That’s not entirely true:

Sew Expo 2013

The top four fabrics are from Vogue, and the bottom three are from one of my other favorite booths, Billie’s Designer Fabrics (you can email them at billiesfabrics [at] localaccess.com ) . Working top to bottom, there’s a bamboo knit, a sueded silk, a beautiful suede (you’d never guess it was polyester!), and a rayon. The bright green corduroy is from Brazil, and the bottom fabric (a lovely blue brushed cotton twill) is from Italy. Mmmm.

Whew! I think that’s it. Another year of fabulous vendors, great classes (I was able to sit in on a few) and good times chatting with fellow sewing enthusiasts.

Until next time,
Melinda