Sewing Over Thick Seams Video

Hey Girl! (…Or Guy!) This is my first foray into video tutorials on sewing and design-My very first video blog! I’ve been putting off doing videos forever, but I took the plunge yesterday and made one because this little gem of a trick is too good not to share! It was very, very impromptu, but it occurred to me as I was using this sewing hack I picked up last year that it would make a great quick video. It’s a tip I learned on Craftsy, in Angela Wolf’s Jeans class for sewing over seams. It also works for sewing fabric with embellishments that make it thicker in some places than others. If you’ve ever wanted to throw your machine out of the window because your presser foot just wouldn’t go over that hump, this one’s for you!

Let me know if this was helpful to you in the comments section!

Fashion Show

LaLove Designs is proud to announce that we will be presenting a small collection at the Black Next Cultural Fest Fundraiser!!!

It is an arts and design-based fundraiser for Martin University, Indiana’s only black college. They’ll be presenting something at the beginning of the show about the history of the school, which, you know me…yay for learning and history! That’s not sarcasm. I’m just that nerdy. Also, I believe it’s everybody’s job to promote diversity and harmony! I’m white, but my daughters are biracial, so I’m extra passionate about and excited to support a cause that, hopefully, promotes unity through diversity. I think it’s wonderful to celebrate all cultures and what makes us all unique…cause in the end, that brings us together.

If you are local and follow my blog, I hope to see you there! In fact, I hope to sell you tickets to the event because that covers my entry fee as a designer.

(I have to give it up for them for doing that, btw, because that’s a really inventive way to help designers out while promoting an event! I can spot ingenuity, creativity, and helpfulness when I see it!)

Strap Sewing Hack

 Confession: I procrastinate. I’m not sure exactly how long I’ve had this little top cut out and pinned onto one of my dress forms, but it’s been more than a couple months. I had the lining sewn together and the exterior fabric together-and even top stitched, but joining the two pieces was something I just didn’t seem to ever “get to.” You know those things you put off because of something silly? I was not looking forward to sewing this together or turning it out. Crazy, I know. But I think when we break down the stuff we put off, a lot of times it comes down to something we’re dreading, but isn’t really that bad. That being said, I’m going to give you guys a little life hack to make turning out a top with straps a little less procrastin-able. That’s right. . . Procrastin-able: The ability to procrasinate. (I think I actually medaled in that sport in Middle School.)

The problem with sewing lining onto a garment with straps is that they tend to slide around inside and can get caught in the stitching. You can pin them to the fabric, but you still have to turn it out after. Serious Ouch Potential.

Here’s what I did to avoid the ouch: Tied a little ribbon on it! Well, it’s actually a knit fabric scrap, which works better because of the stretch. I just wound up the strap until I was pretty close to where it’s sewn onto the top and tied it. Then I tucked it into my meticulously pinned packet, closed it up, and continued to pin.



    

I was then at the refreshing liberty to sew without any fear of my strap sliding over and getting sewn into the darn seam.   If you don’t know what that agony is like,

  

And this is me turning my garment out without bleeding on it from pin pricks. That’s always a really good thing!
I hope this little trick helps you guys out. Let me know in the comment section if you have any other tips and tricks for sewing lining or straps! I’m a lifelong learner and I hope you guys are, too!

Pattern Workshop Launch and My New Year’s Resolution

“How long can one save pictures for a blog post without publishing?” you might ask. The answer, my friend, is indefinitely, which leads me to today’s release of a blog intended to be published last summer. Also, to answer the … Continue reading

LaLove Designs: Who I am

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I was asked to put together a short bio of myself and my clothing line to put in a local boutique called Pattern that exists soley to boost the local design community. (You can see the blog post with my q&a for their blog here.) As you well know if you follow me my writing is never short and sweet, but I managed to come up with a not-overly-long (hopefully) bio that expresses who I am and what my clothing line is all about. Let me know what you think!

 

Sarah Raquel LaLonde

Owner of LaLove Designs: a handmade (and often hand stitched) clothing line located in Shelbyville, Indiana

Blog: http://www.sewlalove.com

    A little about me: I am so grateful and blessed to be working as a fashion designer- even in a region of the country that isn’t yet known for having much of a fashion industry. I’m excited to be on the frontlines of fashion in Indianapolis, where we are working together to turn that around! I believe God has gifted each of us specifically and intends for us to be a blessing to others by putting those talents to good use. I pray this clothing line will keep me inspired and inspire others to be instruments of God’s grace, forgiveness, and love through Jesus Christ.

I have always been intrigued by the arts and in middle school, my specific love for fashion blossomed as I began to pour over fashion magazines and sketch clothing. I had the wonderful opportunity of studying fashion design at Brooks College in Long Beach, California, where I received a wonderful education in design. Being based in LA, I also learned all about industry standards and how things are done exclusively by keeping costs low and outsourcing all of the manual labor. I realized that seamstresses are actually looked down upon in the industry, because companies can out-source that so cheaply. After being ingrained with that kind of thinking, I was resistant to start my own line when I moved back home, because I didn’t know how a small scale designer could compete with the low costs of cheaply made, mass-produced clothing lines.

    Then it hit me: who wants everything they own to be carelessly made and mass-produced? Just because that’s the industry norm doesn’t mean that it should stay that way. As a bargain-hunting mother of two, I definitely understand the economics behind shopping for the best deal, but I also know the best value is usually a piece I absolutely LOVE and feel comfortable and beautiful in and will wear again and again. LaLove Designs strives to make quality, well designed clothing in a mix of classic staple pieces that won’t go out of style and high-impact “Wow” pieces to sprinkle into your wardrobe. I’m very excited to be part of a network of local designers and artisans who are bringing back industry to the United States and focusing on sustainability by making unique, thoughtfully crafted boutique items.

    I look forward to dressing you and making you a “Lovie,” a fan of LaLove clothing! (If Taylor Swift can have swifties, I can   have lovies, right?)

How to Fix Holes in Jeans: Jazzy Style

My daughter is rough on jeans, and really, what kid isn’t? She wears holes in pants so frequently that she usually wears them completely unbothered. (Why yes, grammar nerds, I did make that word up. Thank you: freedom of the … Continue reading

Pattern Indy Interview

Pattern Blog July Pics

I am very pleased to announce to you guys that I was recently interviewed for the Pattern magazine blog about designing for a local market and you can check that interview out by clicking the link below.

http://www.patternindy.com/2015/07/30/qa-with-designer-sarah-lalonde/

   This interview tells a bit about my design history, inspiration, my personal aesthetic as a fashion designer, and my process and personal story.

Pattern Indy and Me:

   Pattern Magazine is the first fashion mag based out of Indiana…ever, as far as I know! They put out some killer work-I definitely hand it to them for superior editorial high fashion shoots. Not only is Pattern a magazine, but it’s a collaborative effort to bring together and equip people in any facet of the fashion industry in our area. If you read me very often, you know I’m an unapologetic Christian and when I say “Thank the Lord for Pattern” I don’t just mean it figuratively.

    I touch on it in this interview, but Pattern had a lot to do with my decision to get back in the design game. When I moved back to Indiana after getting my degree in fashion design in California, I planned on it being a temporary hiatus. That is, until I had my twin girls and decided that their stability was more important than my dream. That’s when design became just that to me- a dream. Before becoming a mom, it was my plan. Afterward, it was a very abstract wish that I held onto rather loosely. It’s not that I gave up on design. I just resigned myself to the fact that there was really no fashion industry to get into here. We were just starting out with two babies at once to raise and take care of, and my full time job with good benefits took priority over fashion. Sadly, because the dream was painful to think of since I was so far from it at that point, I removed the reminders-putting away my sewing supplies, sending my final collection from school to Goodwill, and trashing my pattern sloper set (my worst mistake perhaps ever!)

    Then one day my coworker and BWFF (best work friend forever) brought in a clipping from the morning newspaper about Midwest Fashion Week. I was floored. While I had my head in the proverbial sands of data entry and such, a fashion industry had been sprouting up around me. It ignited a thought-a whisper-of possibility. A year or two later, I heard of Pattern. There was now a Hoosier fashion magazine? I sarcastically wondered if they featured Carharts and farm attire. (A little Indiana humor, folks.) They were having regular meetups to establish a cohesive industry within our state, so I went to one- and LOVED it! It was on sustainable fashion, which I’ll admit I hadn’t done a lot of thinking about, since I had abstained from fashion altogether for a few years. It struck me that not only is there growth in the fashion industry around me, but the growing societal conscience for sustainable, responsible fashion was a tremendous benefit for local designers.

    You see, we were taught in college to OUTSOURCE EVERYTHING. It took Pattern to break that mentality for me. After studying about the impacts of large scale “fast fashion” I wanted to not only get back to doing what I loved, but help lead the charge for change in the industry which glamorizes disposable fashion and making the quick buck. Learning to sew really, really well has taken me some time. I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’m pretty darn good. It took a ton of time to hone my pattern-making and -grading skills…and it will require more still. I’ve also had to change my outlook on the ideals of the design industry.  But you know what? It feels so good. The slow road isn’t glamorous. Operating a mom and pop design business (two people actually would be GREAT!) doesn’t equal overnight success. But I can tell all of you aspiring fashion designers that it is such a great way to develop a really strong foundation and skill set to springboard your line an ideas on fashion once you have the fundamental know-how in place.

   Thanks, Pattern, for the role you’ve played in coaxing me out of my comfort zone to jump into the industry. Here’s to making a splash!!!

Fall Line Look One


Look 1 pic 2LaLove is rolling out its first complete line for the Fall! This is the first outfit. Blog written. (Mic Drop.)
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Uploads for blog 8-12-15 Fall Coll 004Reverse Hemming: My favorite happy accident! (Don’t ask.)Uploads for blog 8-12-15 Fall Coll 005

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Baby’s First Birthday

   That elusive summer Break once again has come and gone, along with my sabbatical from blogging.

Over the summer I spent some amazing time with my husband and daughters, welcomed a new nephew into the world, got to be a cabin leader at the greatest church camp in the land, and had the ultimate privilege of making a princess dress for the most deserving little girl I can imagine.

I also had an order for a jungle-themed first birthday party. Here’s what I came up with:IMG_3552I made a hand-embroidered keepsake tee shirt showing his age and what I believe to be a very cute young lion. I wish I had a cover stitch machine for knits like this, but I was able to hem the shirt with no real problem to speak of. It’s definitely possible-and pretty easy with just a little practice-to sew knits on a regular machine. Knits intimidate a lot of seamstresses-don’t be one of those. Go for it!IMG_3558

This is the shirt made to go over the tee for the party. We figured he could wear this one for the cake and take it off afterward. The hope was that the tee shirt wouldn’t get too messy that way. I’m not sure if that’s how it played out. Hmmm…I’ll have to ask. IMG_3564Isn’t this the cutest little fabric? Look at all those adorable baby animals!IMG_3563

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Well, hi there, mister Tiger Pocket! You were very fun to make.IMG_3560

As cute as the fabric is, it just doesn’t hold a candle to the most adorable buttons I’d ever seen in my life.

IMG_3559Ok,  I may have purchased them without noting the price. I had a decent coupon and I assumed a button couldn’t be more than a couple bucks, right? Sooo Stupid. Oh well, they really do make the shirt, and I ended up knocking it off the cost of the final product, anyway. It was worth it. Those buttons just belong on that shirt. Look at them…right there in their natural habitat. They look happy.

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I dare you not to smile at this picture. Go ahead-make my day!IMG_3557

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Confession Numero Dos: I would have loved to stitch a little monkey on the back because, well, how great of a joke would that be? But I’m silly and not everybody else is, so I left the monkey off of the babies back, but I like the lion’s tail wrapping around like that.IMG_3555

Once again-hand stitching! Boom! If you haven’t tried it, you should! It may take a long time, but ya just can’t get that effect any other way.

By the by, this is the same baby I made the original “Hand-stitched Tee” for in this tutorial post on how to make one. For that project, I sewed the whole shirt by hand, which is pretty much crazy talk. I believe that’s totally worth it for a keepsake when a new baby is born, but for most other occasions, it’s much easier and faster to sew the garment, and just embroider by hand.
IMG_3552IMG_3554I just want to pet his playful little whiskers! You? No? Just me, then.

IMG_3553He’s climbing the one. He looks ambitious to me.

The Moral of the Story? Be warned: Working with Children’s whimsical fabric and notions can make you a little zany. And sometimes an overpriced button or two can be totally worth it.

Have No Fear, VBS Capes are Here!

IMG_3519-0   Yesterday I finished the 6th and final superhero cape for Vacation Bible School at our church. As there are fewer seamstresses around than there once were, I’m pretty sure those of us who do sew get the whole gamut of oddball requests. I love oddities and challenges, so to me it’s more of a perk of my vocation than a downside. Design and sew a half dozen superhero capes for kids and come up with my own super logos for the backs? Yes, please!

   I do have to admit, the church came dangerously close to having 6 little Darkwing Ducks running around for a week…well, 5 little ones plus me-because you know if I had made Darkwing Duck capes, I’d be rocking one of them! As it was, the theme song has been running through my head for the past two weeks. (Remember the songs and catchphrases, you 20 and 30 somethings? “You better watch out you bad boys,”  “Let’s get Dangerous,” and let’s not forget the slightly unsavory “Suck Gas, Evildoers!” I bet my mom loved me repeating that all the time.)An Ode to the Dark Knight, Uh… Wing

The Capes:IMG_3525

An Arrow: Because I ran out of ideas and because Jesus is the Way!IMG_3524A torch…also because I was running low on ideas and Jesus is our light.IMG_3526Yeah, that’s a Bible. My husband thinks it’s lame for a cape, but it’s our Sword of the Spirit, right?IMG_3519-0

A lightning bolt: Because it looks really cool.

This really has no symbolism behind it, although I could pull some out of my hat if my kids asked me. Moms are great at that- it’s like our superpower! P.S. I went through,like, 3 mangled lightning bolts before I had to look up pictures to draw from. I can’t believe it was that hard, but I was cutting without drawing first. If you want a challenge, I dare you to cut a lightning bolt from fabric without looking at one. If you do it, hit me up in the comments section. If you do it with no trouble, I’ll happily concede to you because this lady had one  tough time!IMG_3515A Shield of FaithIMG_3518-0

Hearts: because the pastor wanted some for girls and what better symbolism for the kids than Love?

This was a really fun project and was also an opportunity to do some more hand stitching, which you know I love!IMG_3527

IMG_3516-0I used velcro for the neckline to close the cape. I thought that would be nicer than just tying them. IMG_3517-0

Pardon my cluttered background and to answer your question, Yes. Those are turkeys on the wall. I realize we are a long way out from Thanksgiving, but we happen to be coming around again, which means I don’t procrastinate, I plan ahead!IMG_3451

You can see in this picture just how full these capes are. They are a half circle so the kids can play with them and hold them over their little faces, which is cute. It’s less cute when I do it and pretend to be Darkwing.IMG_3528

I think that’s actually my villain face. Oh well. It was worth it because while I was dressed up and singing the theme song, I realized I could replace “Lets get dangerous” with “Lets get Biblical!” None of the kids will get the reference, but my nerdy friends will! And the people my age who don’t: I’ll just stop hanging out with them. Just Kidding. But not Really.


***Bonus Post***

   Since this is already a long post and I’d already gotten out the “Selfie Stick,” here are some pictures of today’s Pinterest hairstyle. I’ve determined to actually try some of the styles I’ve had on my Hair board on Pinterest on myself, my kids, and frankly, probably some unsuspecting friends and family members. I know it isn’t sewing related, but it is fashion related…loosely. So I may do some posts on hair and hairstyles, since the topic is so intermingled with fashion. If you follow my blog and you hate or love that idea, let me know! Styling and taking care of long hair and biracial hair are both close to my heart, so keep an eye out for posts on those topics.

 My “Pinspiration”:Everyone will think this easy braided headband required a lot of effort. | 17 Ways To Never Have A Bad Hair Day AgainMy Reality:IMG_3536So, I definitely didn’t “nail” the teasing, but the braid is cute and super quick! It would show up much better if my hair was lighter on the ends, but I still dig it. IMG_3529IMG_3535