Sewing Tip: Measurements

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Measurements are not only the foundation for choosing patterns and correct sizing, but they are also the foundation for pattern making and should be taken accurately to insure a good fit. 

Measurement Preparation: 
- When taking measurements, measure over a lightweight dress or slip wearing the same undergarments you will be wearing with the piece you’re making.
- Tie a string or ribbon around your waist for a reference point as well.  

Measuring Tips:
- When measuring lengths, make sure the measuring tape is perpendicular to the floor
- When measuring widths around your body, make sure the measuring tape is parallel to the floor
- When measuring around your body, make sure the tape is comfortably close to body, but not tight. This will insure an accurate measurement.

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Important measurements:
Bust: Measure around the fullest part (holding measuring tape firmly but not tightly)
Waist: Measure around smallest art of your waist (where the string is tied)
Center front bodice length: Measure the center front from the base of the neck to the waistline
Center back bodice length: Measure the center back from the base of the neck to the waistline
Hips: Measure around the fullest part of your hips (including your bottom)
Thighs: Measure around the fullest part of your thighs
- Skirt Length: Measure from waistline (or where waistband will be) to correct length.  Measure at center front, center back, right side and left side

Take these measurements down in notebook that you can keep on hand when you go shopping for patterns or when you are drafting your own. It saves time and will help you get a great fit!

Happy Sewing!


I’m getting ready to design a my first fabric instillation and the hardest part is picking a fabric for it. You’d think that since it’s a fabric instillation, I would already have an idea but in true Moni Fashion I don’t. My design process typically flows like this:

*I have a thought in my head and write it down

*I go to my binder of swipes and to see if I can find images that relate to what I’m envisioning 

*I talk it through with a confident, specifically my Senior Designer, Katie Mann

*I begin to make correlations between what I’m trying to relay via my art and to the fabric that is around me

The color or mood of fabric within the instillation and or art piece might change half way through the process because I’m constantly reaching to find closure with the work. Sometimes I might start off thinking “dark” but in the end, bright words, sparks of light appear, tying in textiles of brilliant rays.

It’s a true process I say and tonight, as I sit here contemplating what my fabric I should consider, I’m feeling safe with the above.

It’s simple.

It’s kind.

It’s the universe.

(Fabric pictured is designed by RK)

Textile Tuesday: Velour

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Ah velour. We all recognize it from the infamous “jumpsuit” trend that was all the rage 10 years ago. It came in all different colors-all bright-and it was appropriate for school wear, gym wear and just plain casual wear. Everybody was wearing velour, especially Miss. Britney Spears. 

We can bet that velour became popular because of its soft touch which is a lot like velvet. However, unlike velvet, velour is a stretchy knit that is easy to clean, making it ideal for workout wear. Hence the popularity of the jumpsuit. Besides clothing, velour is also used in upholstery and in drapes. This particular image is of velour embroidery thread.

So keeping sewing! Don’t be intimidated by velour’s infamous past. It can look just as tasteful as velvet and it’s easier to clean too! 

Colorado Girl
  • Colorado Girl
  • The Sumner Brothers
  • More Townes Van Zandt by The Great Unknown

Colorado Girl / The Sumner Brothers (More Townes Van Zandt by The Great Unknown)

Because NYC decided to turn into Montana, with endless days of snow and ice, all one can do is literally site home, eat, drink and listen to music. Or at least that’s what we’ve been up to. 

In the spirit of Listening Now @ SEW Moni, here is another tune to remind you of folk rhythm and extend a bit of warmth via words of heart.

The History of the Apron

As our first craft show of the summer draws near, production has been in a bit of a frenzy in our final stretch to the finish line.  We have been washing, cutting, pressing, sewing aprons and aprons and aprons, oh my!

With the many aprons passing through my fingers, I couldn’t resist thinking about their history.  How many other women have been in the same place I am at this moment, sewing straps and pockets.  Did they create their own patterns?  What kind of fabrics and trims did these women use?

So let the search begin…

The aprons of Victorian era mimic the fashions of the day and incorporate the same fine fabrics and trims found on the intricate dresses of the day.  

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The apron made a drastic change in the 1920s reflecting the simplistic fashions of the time.  The fine fabric is no where to be seen and the trims are replaced by simple style lines and a long sash to secure the apron.  Functionality was the name of the game at the this time for aprons.

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The aprons of the 1940s and 1950s sported brightly colored printed fabrics and ric rac trimmings.  Utility and functionality still came first but with a playful twist on the design.

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all apron images from Ageless Patterns
I love looking through the pages of fashion history.  It’s both telling of the times and quite inspiring for this Brooklyn seamstress.
Happy Sewing!