Amber Corcoran is co-owner, with Jaime Jennings, of Fancy Tiger Crafts. Their beautifully curated Denver, Colorado shop is a happening place with lots of classes and events, and their online shop has a great selection of patterns and fabrics too. (There’s also a busy blog, free patterns and more!) Amber is one of our final sewing industry leaders, answering our reflections and predictions questions as we kick off another great year…

Don’t miss a single Reflections/Predictions post: Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness, Mandy Leins of Mandalei Quilts, Jenny Rushmore of Cashmerette, Sandi Sawa Hazlewood of Crafty Planner, Alex Veronelli of Aurifil, Heather Jones of Heather Jones Studio, Sherri Lynn Wood of Daintytime, Melissa Averinos, Nicole Daksiewicz of Modern Handcraft and Abby Glassenberg of While She Naps + Abby Glassenberg Design.

Amber + Jaime

Sew Mama Sew: Looking back on the sewing scene in 2015, what trends stand out?
Amber: I’m really excited about the sewing scene right now! I love what is happening with garment sewing. As our shop has grown, we’ve become more experienced and confident sewists and so have our customers. The new wave of sewists are ready for more challenging patterns like coats and jeans. Our favorite indie pattern designers have picked up on that and are releasing some really fantastic, stylish patterns for more advanced sewists.

Grainline’s Cascade Duffel Coat

Closet Case Ginger Jeans

Grainline’s Cascade Duffel Coat and Morris Blazer came out this year, and Closet Case’s new Clare Coat is amazing. Also, I’m so excited that Closet Case’s Ginger Jeans pattern is in print now! We plan to do two sew-alongs at Fancy Tiger Crafts this coming year: a coat-along and a jeans-along. I’m really excited about this. We’ve done many knit-alongs at our shop but never a sew-along. It’s a great way to share knowledge and build community, and I can’t wait to see how it goes.

Kristine Vejar’s Indigo Dyed Prism Shirt

SMS: Who knocked your socks off and why?
Amber: There are a few folks that come to mind. Kristine Vejar and her book, The Modern Natural Dyer, really blew me away. Her naturally dyed fabrics are really fresh and inspiring and the garments she’s made from them are just stunning.

Maura Grace Ambrose’s Idaho (l) + Iowa Quilts (r)

Speaking of natural dyeing, I’m also really inspired by Maura Grace Ambrose’s quilts. Her quilts have a timeless style that draw from traditional patchwork, but are so current at the same time. It’s a dream of mine to naturally dye a palette of fabrics and design a quilt. A totally attainable dream! Maybe that is in store for me in 2016…

Carolyn Friedlander’s Everglade Quilts

Also Carolyn Friedlander is doing some amazing things with her fabric and pattern designs. I love her style. Her fabrics really stand apart from the crowd, and I am really drawn to the calm colors and finely drawn prints. Her Slow Sewing Studio patterns for appliqué quilts are beautiful, and the best part is that you must step away from the sewing machine to make them. These projects are conducive to socializing while you craft– perfect for sitting by a fire with friends and stitching away!

Handcrafted Indigos by Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics, Photo by Giuseppe Ribaudo (a.k.a. Giucy_Giuce)

SMS: Favorite things? (Fabric collections, patterns, books, thread, tools, podcasts, classes, websites, events, etc.)
Amber: I’m really excited about some of the garment-friendly fabrics that have been coming out: Anna Maria Horner’s Loominous Fabrics, Alison Glass’s Handcrafted modern batiks, Robert Kaufman’s denims and chambrays… We have so many garment sewists at our shop– including me– and I’m glad great material is being produced for that part of our crafty world. Knit fabrics have been getting more exciting for garment sewing, too, and by “more exciting” I mean more toned-down in their design and more wearable for a modern wardrobe!

Anna Maria Horner’s Loominous Fabrics

SMS: What do you think 2016 has in store?
Amber: I think it would be great to see more fabric companies make a priority of U.S. production and eco-friendly manufacturing. That’s something we’ve seen in the yarn/knitting industry and I am excited that we are starting to see a bit in the sewing industry. Cloud 9 Fabrics has been doing a really great job of producing organic fabrics, and on top of that they also do a really great job of working with fantastic illustrators for their fabrics. Also, their organic Cirrus Solids are just dreamy! American Made Brand’s line of solids grown and produced in the U.S. is fantastic, and it’s great to see that we still have the domestic mills that can produce fabrics here. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for U.S. fabric production in our industry.

Anna Maria Horner’s American Made Brand’s Line of Solids

SMS: What did you do this year that you’re most proud of?
Amber: I’m really proud of the release of my second sewing pattern, Fen.

Amber’s Furniture Music Fen Tee

This was a big undertaking as it’s the first time I’ve done the grading myself. I found the grading process really enjoyable, and it allowed me to include a wide range of sizes in the pattern which is important. I’m thrilled with the positive feedback the pattern has received from folks, and it makes me so happy to see the garments people have made from the pattern.

Fancy Tiger Crafts Denver Storefront

SMS: What can we expect from you in 2016? Any big projects, life changes or goals you can share?
Amber: New patterns are in the works. We will be releasing some exciting quilt patterns and another garment pattern this year. Jaime and I always have several exciting projects we are dreaming of. There are always so many ideas; we’ll see how many of them we can make happen this year!

2016 will be a big year for us at Fancy Tiger Crafts. It is our 10 year anniversary this summer! Some really exciting events are in the works to celebrate our decade of craft-tastic-ness. We are planning 10 days of workshops with some of our favorite, inspiring people we’ve gotten to know over the 10 years of Fancy Tiger and that will culminate in us hosting a party on June 18th to celebrate with everyone. It would be a great time for folks to plan a trip to Denver, so mark your calendars. Check our website this spring for more details on events as they develop!

Beautiful Fabrics at Fancy Tiger Crafts