LaLove Designs Boho Draped Necklace

This is one of the offerings on my etsy store. Half boho/half punk…all modern.  Support small business and handmade design by picking one up-for yourself or as a great holiday gift! Or, support LaLove Designs by just browsing my Etsy store. I love interaction from my blog readers!!! I’ve been pretty “off the grid” lately, but I’m trying to make a comeback so please show a little L-O-V-E in the comment section, you wonderful people, you!!

www.etsy.com/shop/sewlalove

New Studio Space and Logo

I’m so excited, you guys! I’m sitting in the middle of LaLove Design’s very own first studio space. How crazy is that? It felt like I would never get here sometimes, but it’s real…trust me….I’ve already pinched myself. So, it’s not huge and it’s in desperate need of a coat of paint and some vibrant minimalist styling (is that an oxymoron?) but it’s mine! I can’t wait to make this place shine! I will definitely keep you posted and now that I have an official space I can take better pictures-you know, ones without rows of laundry hampers in the background-which means I can post a lot more!

Pattern storage tip

      Having trouble labeling and storing those homemade patterns? This was my “necessity is the mother of all invention” solution. I simply traced my original sketch of the garments I had made my pattern from onto a ziplock bag and stored the muslin draped or paper pattern pieces in the bag. No re-drawing a flat. No need to transfer patterns. No huge Manila envelopes for undersized patterns.  All delight!
    
    
   

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!)

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

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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Sew an Invisible Zipper Without a Special Foot

IMG_3336Almost every tutorial on invisible zippers call for a special invisible zipper foot. I’ve installed plenty, and see no real need for that foot. I’d be willing to try it out, but it’s not something I’m dying to add to my collection of sewing machine accessories. I use my sliding zipper foot (which happens to be the one I use for all zipper applications because it allows me to sew so close to the zipper teeth.) If you don’t have one of these, you should. If you have to choose between one of these and an invisible zipper foot, I absolutely recommend this one. It works for any zipper you can imagine. Well, at least for any zipper I can imagine.IMG_3372IMG_3321

Here’s the invisible zipper I used for this skirt.

(Remember: you can always shorten a zipper, but you can never lengthen one, so if you’re not positive of the length you need its’s best to get it a little longer.) The inside of the zipper package will give you instructions saying you must use an invisible zipper foot. I bestow upon you the permission to toss that constraining little piece of cardboard into the trash whilst chuckling madly and saying “Your demands have no power over me!” You know, or something like that. (If you literally do that, put it in the comment section and I’ll officially nominate you as Duke or Dutchess of this blog for a day!)

‘Nough said. . . now let’s get down to it.

Step 1: Iron the zipper teeth outward. 

If you’ve never seen an invisible zipper, this is an odd step, but once you open up the zipper package, you’ll notice that the teeth are turned inward so they are more perpendicular to the zipper tape that parallel to it. Flip them over with your finger and hold them down while you iron on a low setting.Do not iron directly on the teeth, just on the tape. The teeth can melt or warp, leaving you an unzippable zipper. Nobody wants that.IMG_3322Step 2: Pin one side of the zipper in place. 

The right side of your zipper goes onto the right side of your fabric and then it will flip out when you iron the seam allowance under. Make sure that the stitch line will be right on your seam allowance. This is easy enough to do. Just measure from the edge of your fabric 5/8″ or whatever seam allowance your pattern calls for, making sure the zipper teeth are just beyond that mark. (You don’t want to sew into them.)IMG_3323

IMG_3324See,  5/8″ puts me stitching just inside the zipper teeth. That’s where you want to work.

Step 3: Sew the first side of the zipper into place.

This zipper foot will get you right up beside the teeth. Just be careful not to sew into them, because then you won’t be able to zip it. Even if the stitches get too super close to the teeth, they can catch the zipper pull so it gets stuck. I always check to make sure it zips after I sew each side to check for that.IMG_3325Step 4: Pin the other side into place.

Use the same measuring method as before. Remember, the teeth should be facing the part of the garment that will show, not the seam allowance.


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Make sure the two sides of the zipper line up, like the picture below. if you have one side sewn on and one side pinned and then figure out the tops don’t line up, just take out the pins and line it up better. If you sew without doing this, you’ll be scradoodled and nothing but a good round of seam ripping will be able to turn things around for you.

IMG_3327Step 5: Sew the second side in place. 

I prefer to sew down one side and up the other, but to each his own. Who am I to judge? So long as the thing gets sewn in there with a straight line and without puckers, nobody cares which direction you sewed. Unless you are on an online sewing forum, in which case people will hunt you down and hen peck you until you conform to whatever “tried-and-true” method of directional sewing they subscribe to. C’est La Vie. (Ahh, the Internet-Land of a trillion sewing opinions, all of which claim to be the only way to do it. )

IMG_3328Step 6: Make sure the zipper zips up. 

Please.

Don’t skip this step.

Don’t even breathe until this step is completed.

It’ll save you heartache, I guarantee.

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Step 7: Sew below the zipper. 

Again, only if you completed step 6, people!!!

Pin from the zipper down to the hem and stitch at the same seam allowance you sewed the zipper at. This seam allowance from second line of stitching will be about 1/8″ bigger right beside the zipper pull, because you can’t sew on top of the pull. If that doesn’t make sense yet, it will when you go to sew. Just move the garment over a bit until you can sew without hitting your zipper and when you stitch down from there, go back to your normal seam allowance. Once everything is sewn and ironed, this little zig isn’t even noticeable. (See the last picture on this step.)IMG_3330IMG_3331IMG_3332IMG_3373Step 8: Iron the seam.

Be careful ironing over the zipper. If your fabric is very light, you should strongly consider using a press cloth so you don’t melt or warp your zipper teeth.

This is when it all comes together. If you’ve never used an invisible zipper before, you’ll see in this step where it gets it name. You really can’t tell it’s there except for the zipper pull. It makes a beautiful seam.IMG_3335IMG_3336IMG_3334IMG_3333Step 9: Sew the edges of the waistband down so the zipper tape can’t flip out and become visible.

(This step is only if you are making a skirt or pants with a waistband.) You can do this by hand so the stitch isn’t seen on the outside, or by machine if  you don’t care about that. Now, since I don’t mind stitch lines on my waistband and this is such a busy fabric, I went ahead and used my machine. If you feel like that defeats the purpose of an invisible zipper, you’re certainly entitled to that. In that case, hand stitch the sucker down.IMG_3338
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Step 10: (Optional) Sew a hook and eye above the zipper.

To clarify, this step isn’t really optional to me. I’m not going to insist that you do it, but I almost never make a skirt or dress without either a button or a hook and eye above the zipper. I’ve seen ready to wear garments made like that. The trouble is, the zipper does what it was made to do. It zips…and UNzips! Taking a few minutes to sew on a hook and eye is a small price to pay to avoid the potential embarrassment of a skirt coming unzipped on me or-worse- on a client!

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IMG_3342The Moral of the Story? 

When someone tells you there’s only one way to do something and you’ll need their special equipment in order to do it, proceed with skepticism. What’s more powerful? Their wonder tool or your creative genius?

. . . I thought so.