Trim and Ebellishments for a Rodeo Cowgirl Skirt

By Molly Hamilton
on August 14, 2017

Trim and Ebellishments for a Rodeo Cowgirl Skirt

Our #243 Rodeo Cowgirl Skirt is perfect for trimming out with studs, fringe, or other fun trims. 

Recommended fabrics for the skirt are denim, cotton (including quilting cotton, where you can get so many great and fun prints), linen, leather, lace (applique), and light to medium weight silk.  

Finding good sources of trim, such as studs or leather fringe, can be difficult.  I've tracked a few on-line places down and have listed them below.  We'd love to hear how you embellish your skirt (or other garments), so send us an email or tag us in a social media pic, or post to our Facebook group (Folkwear Patterns Sewing Group)!

  • Vogue Fabrics has some great fringe (surry, rayon chainette, and beaded).  They also have some fabulous metal trims in many shapes, and rhinestones.

  • Michael Levine has a selection of rhinestone appliques, star studs, and fringe trims.

  • M&J Trimming (NYC) has a large selection of fringe trims (chainette, feather, beaded, and a few leather) as well as rhinestones.

  • Walco Leather Co. Inc. is located in NYC, and is the only one listed here without an online store.  You must either go to their store in person, or get in touch with them to place an order.  Walco Leather has beautiful leather trim, and can also provide custom leather trim. Phone: 212-243-2244 or email:

  • And, VV Rouleaux (who I discovered in England the other week) has many gorgeous fringe, lace, and ribbon trims.  Probably worth the shipping cost to the US!

Rosie the Riveter and Rodeo Cowgirl Skirt

By Molly Hamilton
on August 04, 2017

Rosie the Riveter and Rodeo Cowgirl Skirt

#240 Rosie the Riveter and #243 Rodeo Cowgirl Skirt are on sale this month.  Check out these photos from a recent shoot for a little inspiration. 

#240 Rosie the Riveter, overalls and pants

#243 Rodeo Cowgirl Skirt

August News from Folkwear

By Molly Hamilton
on August 01, 2017
1 comment

August News from Folkwear

Patterns of the Month (on sale for all of August):

#240 Rosie and Riveter:  Based on the clothing working women wore in the late 1930s and 1940s when they moved to factory jobs during WWII, these clothes were practical and became an iconic style.  Our #240 Rosie the Riveter pattern includes pattern and instructions to make pleated overalls and pants pants, a button up camp shirt, and a crocheted snood (to keep hair in place), and even a knitting pattern for a cardigan sweater. There is so much in this pattern, making it a great deal! 

#243 Rodeo Cowgirl Skirt - Another staple garment, or one to make into a great costume!  This skirt is simple, fun, and versatile. This A-line skirt can be made simply, or embellished profusely. Options for applique, bottom flounce, adding fringe, or embroidery make this pattern interesting and allow you to create your own unique garment.  Great for a dance hall or just a fun everyday skirt!

Plus-sized patterns.  You've asked for them, and Folkwear has been working to provide them.  We now have a list of all our patterns that come in larger sizes on the blog.  I will create a permanent link to this list (and add to it as we grade up patterns) and have it to share whenever needed.  While some of our patterns only go up to size large, I think you will be impressed by how many go up into plus sizes, so I hope this will be helpful!

Visiting England.  I have been in England this past week, visiting family, but also making a point to get to see some great textile, sewing, and fashion locations.  We went to the Fashion Museum in Bath (blog post to come soon), and it was impressive and beautiful.  A definite must-see in the area.  We spent most of our time in Bristol, but also a few days near London, and made it to the Victoria and Albert Museum and Liberty.

More travel this month for Folkwear!!  I am heading to New York City later this month to catch the last days of the Counter-Couture exhibit at the NY Museum of Art and Design.  The exhibit contains a few Folkwear garments, made in the 1970s by fashion artists (and one by co-founder of Folkwear, Alexandra Hart Jacopetti).  I am excited to see them in person, and I am planning to catch a few other fashion museums in the city, as well as take a quick trip to the garment district.

A Fashionable Trip to Bath

By Molly Hamilton
on July 29, 2017

A Fashionable Trip to Bath

On our second day in England, we took a train to Bath to see some sites and visit the Fashion Museum there.  The Romans built the first "baths" here in 74 AD, and the town of Bath grew up around them.  Eventually, by the late 1700s, Bath became a fashionable place to come for the healing waters and to be "seen".   It is still a quaint and beautiful town with great shops and cultural sites.

We headed first to the Fashion Museum. I've heard about this museum for a while - always touted as a "must-see".  And, it really was a gem!  Located in the Assembly Rooms (the place to be in 19th century England), the museum is well set up, small, and beautiful.

Assembly Room ceiling

Two exhibitions were on display at the museum when we were there: A History of Fashion in 100 Objects and Lace in Fashion.  They were well curated and simply impressive.  The 3 children we had with us enjoyed the museum as well.  The exhibitions kept them interested and there were some fun activities (great dress up and some fashion plates to color). 

I found a few garments of interest to Folkwear in the 100 Objects exhibit - either because they were garments that Folkwear has patterns for or because some the details of the garments relate to a Folkwear pattern.  There were also a few garments that I was inspired to learn more about, as possible future Folkwear patterns.

A quilted skirt from the mid-1700s.  Skirt were quilted, just like our 206 Quilted Prairie Skirt, to provide more warmth for the garment.  Quilting provides interest and beauty to the garment while being practical.  I had not realized that quilted skirts had been around for a while!


A frock coat from the 1790s.  This fine English wool coat is well-cut and handsome.  These coats became popular about this time because of its simplicity, which mirrored the popular "back to nature" philosophy of the time.  Some critics derided this fashion because originally a "frock" was a working man's dress, but these had become popular in the upper classes.  Folkwear has a pattern for a frock coat (263 Countryside Frock Coat) but is cut differently than this one.


Traveling suit from the 1910s, specifically, right around the time of WWI.  This would not have been called a suit at the time, since men wore suits and this was obviously for women.  Also, remarkable is the fact that this was the first dress/skirt that was shortened to above the ankle - so became an important (and slightly shocking) garment.  Folkwear's 508 Traveling Suit is very similar to this one.


A Chinese influenced Beach Pyjamas.  These beach pyjamas are made of silk and include Chinese embroidery.  Beach Pyjamas were some of the first pants that women wore, and helped usher in their popularity.  You could make a set like these with our 252 Beach Pyjamas.

 I also loved the Lace in Fashion exhibit, as I admire lace, the history of it, how it is made, its beauty, and how it can be used.  I usually don't have the confidence to use lace in most of my sewing, but I am now inspired to try more. 


This is one garment in the Lace exhibit that related to Folkwear patterns - this cocoon coat had lace overlaid on the upper/collar part of the coat and at the lower sleeves.  It was a beautiful coat and a unique way to use lace in this garment.  Our 503 Poiret Cocoon Coat is very similar.

I am only posting this gown above because I literally fell in love with it. The lace overlay, the colors, the cut, the metallic gems on the sides, the design - I loved it all.  This was my personal favorite, and my heart aches a little when I think of it (see, I really did fall in love with it).

After visiting this wonderful little museum, we headed toward the Roman Bath, but we stopped by a trim store that caught our eye with its colorful window display.  VV Rouleaux was the most interesting and prettiest trim shop I've ever seen.  I bought some braided buttons and some leather fringe trim, but I could have spent lots more time (and money) there!  They have a shop online as well, which I will definitely be returning to. 

Finally, on our way back to the train station, we stopped at a tiny little quilt and sewing store where I found a beautiful striped cotton fabric, so bought a few meters (for what project, I don't know yet). 

So, all in all, our fashionable trip to Bath was quite a success.  I hope to get back again!


Fabric suggestions - #225 Childhood Dreams

By Molly Hamilton
on July 20, 2017

Fabric suggestions - #225 Childhood Dreams

Our #225 Childhood Dreams pattern is on sale for all of July.  This cute dress or nightgown is really a fairly easy garment to sew. And, one of the really fun things about it are all the adorable and beautiful prints out there to make it in.  This garment can be made with cotton lawn, voile, flannel, or even quilting cottons - and there are so many choices.  Even I had a very hard time trying to make any specific suggestions for this post.  Instead, I am going with one fabric in a "collection" or group of fabrics.  Enjoy! And, don't forget to post what your sew on Instagram and Facebook and tag us!  We want to see what you make!

PLEASE NOTE: Fabrics used as examples in blog may go out of stock from store.  If link is invalid for specific product, there may be another fabric from the supplier that you can substitute.  These suggestions are based on fabrics that are in stock at the time the blog post is written!

jess and jean.jpg

A Liberty of London Tana Lawn, of course.  For an heirloom dress of beauty and softness, this is hard to beat.  (this is Jess and Jean from Bolt Neighborhood Fabric Boutique)


Best Tree On The Lot Holiday Lights Quilting Fabric - White

This pattern would also make a perfect Christmas nightgown.  And, Christmas fabrics are now hitting the fabric stores.  This one is at The Fabric Depot.


And, there are many adorable flannel prints (and plaids, which would also be pretty) available (Hart's Fabric has this one in their large collection).  I love the elephants, of course, because of the great memories of Africa!



Mid-Summer Sale - all patterns (and notions) 20% off with sale code!

By Molly Hamilton
on July 15, 2017

Mid-Summer Sale - all patterns (and notions) 20% off with sale code!

We are entering (or already in) the dog days of summer in the eastern US.  It is hot, humid, days are long, and there is lots to do.  Which makes it hard to get into the sewing room sometimes.  So, to help inspire you to do so, we are having a summer sale - 20% off everything until the end of the month!

Use code SUMMER20 at checkout to get 20% off your order!

Fabric suggestions for #252 Beach Pyjamas

By Molly Hamilton
on July 14, 2017

Fabric suggestions for #252 Beach Pyjamas

PLEASE NOTE: Fabrics used as examples in blog may go out of stock from store.  If link is invalid for specific product, there may be another fabric from the supplier that you can substitute.  These suggestions are based on fabrics that are in stock at the time the blog post is written!

These Beach Pyjamas are fabulous made with fabrics with a soft drape, such as rayon or silk.  And, the are equally nice made of a crisp linen or cotton.  Below are some possibilities for fabric to make this fun and beautiful garment (which is on sale all of July).

This rayon from Stone Mountain & Daughter Fabrics has such a great look for the Beach Pyjamas. 100% rayon. $18/yard.


A beautiful and simple sandwashed rayon challis also from Stone Mountain & Daughter Fabrics. 100% rayon. $11.50/yard.


Silk Charmeuse - ML288540 - Butterscotch

A silk charmeuse would be simply elegant for this garment.  Michael Levine has lots in many colors, but I love this butterscotch.  100% silk.  $22/yard.


floral silk drape.jpg

A printed silk, like this one from Bolt Fabric, would also be beautiful. 100% silk.  $13.75/half-yard.


Antwerp Linen Fabric - Chambray

Fabric Depot has some beautiful linens, and I loved this blue - great color for summer and for this garment.  100% linen.  $13.49/yard.


VF164-56 Vermouth Paisley - Bohemian Lightweight Cotton Print Fabric

This paisley cotton lawn from Vogue Fabrics would be great!  100% cotton.  $7.99/yard.


Crepe Print - ML296007 - Navy Blue / White

Finally, a really fun poly crepe that would make a great set of Beach Pyjamas - from Michael Levine.  100% polyester.  $10/yard.


Patterns of the Month - July 2017

By Molly Hamilton
on July 12, 2017

Patterns of the Month - July 2017

We have two featured patterns on sale for the whole month of July:  #225 Childhood Dreams and #252 Beach Pyjamas.

#225 Childhood Dreams is a pattern based on the popular gowns ordered by rural women through the Sears-Robuck catalog in the early 1900s.  This garment is perfect as a nightgown or as a day dress.  Two versions can be made for children 2 to 12.  It is an easy garment to make and is really a beautiful gown.  Your girl will love it!

#252 Beach Pyjamas are inspired by the beach pyjamas made popular by the socialites vacationing on the Riviera in the 1920s.  By the 1930s, the fashion had spread worldwide, and was the preferred day "dress" on beaches (when not in a bathing suit).  It can take you right into evening wear, too.  This garment is fun, beautiful, and a perfect garment for parties, weddings and any beach day!

Some July sewing and fashion links of interest

By Molly Hamilton
on July 03, 2017

Some July sewing and fashion links of interest

Current Exhibits:

Articles and websites:
  • Google has created an amazing resource for fashion and textiles: We Wear Culture.  It is full of informative articles on everything from designers to the meaning of fashion to history of fashion.  I particularly like the section called Making of.
  • We are getting ready to do a re-print of our #128 Russian Settler's Dressand I saw this article in We Wear Culture about traditional Russian dress and noticed some similar garments!

Podcasts and videos:

Embroidery and #142 Old Mexico Dress

By Molly Hamilton
on June 22, 2017

Embroidery and #142 Old Mexico Dress

I have to confess, I am not a great embroiderer.  I love some of the modern embroidery I see around now, but usually don't take the time which good embroidery requires - to actually sit and do the handwork.  When I do sit and do the handwork, I love it.  I love the quietness, the simple-ness, of the stitches.  Just enough concentration, creating something slowly, something that is beautiful.  And, it feels like it ties me to the women who have come before me, who spent countless hours creating clothing by hand to be worn and to decorate. 

However, I usually don't have the time or the quiet energy (4 young children, running this company, etc.:-)). I have looked at buying an embroidery machine but was worried that I wouldn't use it enough to justify the cost (anyone know of a cheap but good embroidery machine?).  So, while I do plan embroidery projects (and Folkwear makes is part of my job!), I am a bit slow to take it up or to not rush through it.

I took a small embroidery kit, that I made right before I left, on my trip to Africa.  I planned to work on some of the cross-stitching and embroidery on the Romanian Blouse sleeves.  And, I the samples done while I was there (there is quite a bit of down time between drives on a safari).  See the picture above - I was embroidering outside of my tent in the bush, watching elephants walk by.

But, one of the most iconic embroidered garments that we know of, is the Mexican Dress.  Folkwear's #142 Old Mexico Dress provides a wonderful canvas for beautiful embroidery.  You can see some wonderful examples on our Facebook Group page (Folkwear Patterns Sewing Group).  I also had a couple of links for embroidery, and for this specific pattern, in our last newsletter.  And #142 Old Mexico Dress is on sale until the end of the month!

Below I have links for embroidery resources  and inspiration so you can make great hand or machine embroidered creations.  But, as a warning, I feel overwhelmed by the amount of embroidery resources and information out there, so these are just a couple of sites I thought had some interesting information and inspiration.

I'd love to hear your favorite embroidery resources and tools.  You can respond in the comments here!


Creative Machine Embroidery - A website (and magazine) full of machine embroidery patterns, free and for a cost. 

Cozy Blue Handmade - a local (to us) artists with great modern and whimsical hand embroidery patterns.

Craftsy has some good free information on embroidery techniques.

Antique and traditional embroidery patterns

For non-traditional embroidery, which is really cool and beautiful, check out Rebecca Renquist.  I have her embroidery book and I love it - it was a great way to keep embroidery not intimidating.

Lots of links for embroidery for apparel (more information that you would ever want to know, really).