Sewing Trends with Melanie

on January 27 | in Sewing Trends | by | with 18 Comments

We’re in luck! We love Melanie’s Sewing Trends posts and today’s the day… Melanie from A Sewing Journal is here to show us how we’re updating vintage sewing trends to give things a modern feel. Melanie has a special knack for noticing our collective sewing loves, usually before we even recognize the trend ourselves. You can find more from Melanie on Twitter and Facebook, in addition to her regular posts on A Sewing Journal.

Tell us what you think! Do you remember these trends from the past? Are you crazy for large scale quilt blocks or avocado everything? Are you sewing up an entire wardrobe of classic children’s clothing with some gorgeous, modern fabrics? Feel free to link to your recent projects in the comments!

Back in June I talked about how Everything Old is New Again, and it’s time to revisit that idea. What I’m seeing now is a “modern” take on the “old.” Of course, this is sewing we’re talking about. Nothing is new under the sun, right? But, we have new ways of approaching the old. Let’s take a look!

Quilt blocks on a large scale. For the sake of this paragraph, I’m defining “traditional” as a block “that somewhere along the way someone designed it and gave it a name.” (That definition was found on One Block Only Beginner Quilting and I like it!) I realize there are many ways to define a traditional quilt block but in this case I am using this definition in opposition to an “improv” quilt or block (which are created without a pattern… Usually… Sometimes…). Anyway, I’m seeing traditional blocks being blown up on a grand scale! Clockwise from top left: Quiltology is a free pattern by Pat Bravo with large hexagons; one version of the Swoon quilt made by the wee pixie in conjunction with the Swoon-along being hosted by Monkey Do, the Swoon quilt designed by Thimble Blossoms has giant 24″ blocks; the large scale of this Modern Drunkard’s Path by m_soto contributes to the modern look of this quilt; Michelle Engel Bencsko’s Monsterz-Sized Hexagon Quilt (tutorial) not only features giant hexagons but also looks like a snippet from a giant version of a Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt; this Brit Bee Constellation Quilt is a bee quilt put together by Flying Blind on a Rocket Cycle based on a pattern of large blocks by Katy Jones for Fat Quarterly (Issue 5); more large star blocks, these called Stars in Your Eyes made by s.o.t.a.k handmade from a pattern in the book Quilting From Little Things by Sarah Fielke.

Classic children’s clothing with modern-looking fabrics. Definitions for the sake of this paragraph: classic clothing meaning patterns with buttons, collars and/or sleeves with an old-fashioned feel, modern-looking fabrics meaning innovative colors, patterns or scale. Clockwise from top left: Sandpiper Top by etcetera147 with a large-scale rose, Military Button Dress by VintageChild: Modern with a pixelated fabric pattern, Jump Rope Dress (a pattern by Oliver + S) made by r*larson in a modern color palette, the Emma Dress (a sew along) by Craftiness is not Optional is a very classic little girl’s dress made modern with the electric pattern of the fabric, the Every Color in the Box dress made by My Sparkle for Project Run And Play displays innovation in color, shape and scale.

Retro Fabric is big right now, covering many decades! Clockwise from top left: Helen Berry from the Kitchen Collection fabric collection from Michael Miller Fabrics, Daisy Doodle White from the Soul Garden fabric collection designed by Carolyn Gavin for P & B Textiles, Atomic Kitchen Green from the Kitchen Collection fabric collection from Michael Miller Fabrics, Boxed Flowers Cream from the Piccadilly fabric collection designed by Michelle Beilner of Sparky & Marie for Quilting Treasures Fabrics, Put A Lid On It Electric from the Kitchen Collection fabric collection from Michael Miller Fabrics.

I struggled with what to call this. Many call it “granny chic” but I think I prefer “Pretty Vintage.” Whatever you call it, it has the pinks and roses of grandma’s sewing projects made just a touch updated with neutrals and fresh color. Clockwise from top left: House Pillows by Craft & Creativity, based on a pattern by Retro Mama, made fresh with modern fabric and large scale; frame purse by verykerryberry using a single flower block from Suzuko Koseki’s Natural Patchwork book; Modern Crazy Quilt by Why Not Sew? for the Fat Quarterly Aurifil Designer Challenge; adorable needle book by nanaCompany featuring hand stitches, fussy cuts, patchwork and lace; Memory Quilt in progress by The Joy Cottage with vintage colors set in clean blocks; Baby Quilt Blocks by Itchin’ Stitchin’ with vintage-look fabrics in improv-look blocks.

Text Prints are always considered pretty fabulous. I’ve been seeing a bit more of them lately in quilt blocks. Clockwise from top left: Jackaroo block in teals and sour yellow with a newspaper classified section print by badskirt, Improv Patchwork with French text by make something, both the Swoon block and the pillow following it are from Bea Spoke Quilts using fabric with a handwriting appearance, a Farmer’s Wife Sampler block by mon petit lyons using newsprint fabric.

I’ve also noticed a certain color making a comeback from its days as a popular appliance color in the 1970s. Avocado seems to be experiencing a revival! Clockwise from top left: Paula Cocoa from the Girls World Vibe fabric collection designed by Jennifer Paganelli for Free Spirit Fabrics, Vintage Flowers Green from the Ruby Star Shining collection by Melody Miller for Kokka, Clocks Green from the Ruby Star Shining collection by Melody Miller for Kokka, Garbo Sage from the Circa 1934 fabric collection designed by Cosmo Cricket for Moda Fabrics, Hexi Daisy Lagoon from the Stitch ORGANIC fabric collection by Betz White for Robert Kaufman Fabrics.

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18 Responses to Sewing Trends with Melanie

  1. mode says:

    Great! you look so cute!

  2. ktmade says:

    I’m loving the retro fabric and the “pretty vintage” look, though I have trouble figuring out how to incorporate either into my home decor!

  3. Kimberly says:

    Wonderful fabrics and great patterns. I love seeing these talented designers work! thanks

  4. MarciaW says:

    I am so over the avocado and gold from my younger days – prefer moss and soft yellows instead
    I do like the typewriter fabrics and the oversized quilt blocks

  5. Christine says:

    I love the retro kitchen fabric and the electric clock fabric, too. Too many good choices to make.

  6. Very nice summary! I am still fairly new in the game and don’t see any trends quite yet, so it is great to get a round-up like this. Thanks!

  7. beth says:

    I am loving this post. I’m just starting to get into quilting and I’m happy to see what’s “in” right now.

  8. kristin says:

    I love that dress by My Sparkle! She even did a tutorial for how she made it here: http://projectrunandplay.blogspot.com/2012/01/pieced-scalloped-fabric-tutorial.html

  9. Flying Blind says:

    Melody Miller can use any colour she likes – I will love it!

  10. SewLindaAnn says:

    Love vintage fabrics, and I have many finds in avocado which I LOVE! Thanks for the fun post.

  11. Julie Warner says:

    The nice thing about vintage fabrics and prints is that they bring back memories as well. There’s a great feeling of harmony to be working with similar patterns and fabrics that I remember my grandmother and great grandmother sewing with.

  12. simone says:

    Modern vintage is for sure on the mark! There is something fantastic about bring an idea from the past into today. Love this post! Well done!

  13. I love the look of the vintage fabrics. I think the older I get the better they appeal to me.

  14. becky says:

    i am excited about the green. it really is nice in the dark tone.
    big prints too! can’t wait for it all.
    individuality has been big, not with the mixup of traditional patterns is wonderful!
    http://patchworkposse.com/blog

  15. KristyMN says:

    I love every single thing about this post! Love it!

  16. Kerry Green says:

    A lovely summary as usual, great to see new creations and ideas and to look at how themes develop

  17. Melany says:

    I love Melanie (and not just because she has a cool name. ;)) She always has great info and insight into fabric. Thanks for featuring her!

  18. Those little girl clothes are absolutely adorable. Count me out of the avocado trend though-the color makes me cringe for some reason!

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