Alisha Forler

Alisha Forler is a recent graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology and is currently working as a Fashion Designer with a specialization in Women’s wear.

She has spent the last three and a half years studying specialized techniques such as draping, pattern making, fashion art, tailoring and painting on silks.

Alisha grew up in the suburb of Wheaton, right outside of Chicago, IL and moved to New York in 2007 when she was accepted to FIT after having sewn since she was eight years old.

In 2009 she was honored to work with Designers Heike Jarick and Daniel Vosovic as she completed her associates degree in Fashion Design

Recently she spent a year abroad in Milan, Italy studying under extremely skilled Italian professors, learning Italian techniques to Sewing and Design.  Upon her return to New York, she moved to Hoboken, NJ and is now completing her final year at FIT.
After being a student for so long, I have become very interested in sharing my education and helping others in the imagination and creation of their own designs.

Top 5 – Sewing Products I’m using this week

I see a lot of top 5 this and top 5 that on other blogs and thought it might be a fun theme to try on our blog.

I am totally not a gadget person and don’t fall for a lot of the crazy notions out there one can purchase for sewing. There are sooooo many and if we tried them all we’d go broke. And more than half the time, there’s no need for the gadget because the job can be done just as well with something common place you already have. (I have never crocheted in my life, but you can find a huge assortment of crochet hooks in my studio because they make the best pokers when turning something skinny right side out!)

That said – there is still a nice collection of things we use regularly while making our many sewing projects and teaching others to stitch. Some would be just plain hard to live without. 

So here they are in no particular order: 

Number 5: 

Pellon Wonder Under 
Paper-backed fusible web that turns any fabric into a fusible fabric. Fuses fabric to fabric or to a porous surface such as wood or cardboard. This is the stuff you use when you have to applique fabric to anything! It can be tricky to use for beginners so here are some instructions I found from Ask the Crafter. 

* Place rough side of Wonder-Under against wrong side of fabric. Press for 5-8 seconds with hot, dry iron. Let cool, draw desired shape onto paper backing, then cut
* Alternative method: Trace shape onto paper backing, cut to size, then press, rough side down, onto fabric. (Note: To avoid backward letters and numbers, draw on rough side of Wonder-Under with ballpoint pen. For dark fabrics, redraw shape on paper side.)
2. Step 2: PEEL & FUSE
* Gently peel off paper backing. Position fusible fabric, web side down, on the project. Cover with DAMP press cloth.
* With iron at wool setting, press FIRMLY for 10-15 seconds. (Heavier fabrics = more time.) Repeat, lifting and overlapping iron until all fabric is fused.
* Remove press cloth and iron fabric to eliminate excess moisture.
* Tip: Use your damp press cloth as a temperature and timing guide. After 10 seconds, press cloth should be dry. If not, raise iron temperature or hold iron in place a few seconds longer.
* Tips: With “fat/thin” or “heavy/light” fabric combinations, fuse from thinner or lighter side. If necessary, “baste” first by ironing on the right side.

Number 4: 
Omni Grid 6.5 x 24″ Ruler

Omnigrid Rulers are the number one selling quilting ruler in the world. They are preferred by professional quilters & teachers all over the world. They are guaranteed to last longer than other rulers. They are the only ruler to maintain +/- .002 inch accuracy. Omnigrid’s patented and trademarked (black and yellow) double sight line make for easy reading and measuring on light and dark fabrics. Markings make right or left handed use easy. Omnigrid Rulers have grid markings throughout. These rulers are made of heavy-duty, premium quality acrylic and laser cut for a smooth edge. Designed and manufactured in the USA.
 Love them! 

Number 3: 

Thread Heaven – Protectant and Conditioner

Thread Heaven is better than beeswax because it’s developed specifically for delicate thread, it prevents fraying and makes hand sewing just about anything a lot easier. It produces a static charge, which helps reduce tangling & will not stick to your needle. To use, simply press thread against Thread Heaven and draw it across. Pull between fingers to remove excess and to produce the static charge. Your thread will be ready for use! Once you have used it, hand sewing without it becomes unbearable.

Number 2: Pinking shears
Pinking shears
 are scissors, the blades of which are sawtoothed instead of straight. They leave a zigzag pattern instead of a straight edge.
Pinking shears have a utilitarian function for cutting woven cloth. Cloth edges that are unfinished will easily fray, the weave becoming undone and threads pulling out easily. The sawtooth pattern does not prevent the fraying but limits the length of the frayed thread and thus minimizes damage.

These scissors can also be used for decorative cuts and a number of patterns (arches, sawtooth of different aspect ratios, or asymmetric teeth) are available. True dressmaker’s pinking shears, however, are not used for paper decoration because paper dulls the cutting edge. Source Wikipedia
Number 2: Tracing PaperI never used to use this stuff. I always marked darts and pattern marking on my fabric with chalk or a pencil. Then I watched someone use this and realized how much easier it was to get the markings just right. It allows you to transfer sewing, quilting, or embroidery patterns. Does not smear, always washes out and leaves a stronger line than other tracing papers. And the best part is that it can be used over and over again.

Just place the tracing paper under the spot on the pattern you have to trace so the color is facing the fabric. Roll over it with a tracing wheel with some pressure and voila! So easy! 

Open Lab now $5 Per Hour

We all love to sew and create, but who has the space to do at home?

Now your can bring your projects to the M Avery Designs Studio and work on them here in a supervised environment, with all the right tools at your disposal for $5/Hour. It’s not a lesson, but feel free to ask questions if we’re not already teaching a class.

Open lab time is your chance to rent out workspace here at our studio to work on any sewing or crafting project you might have. 
The time you rent is always supervised by a knowledgeable stitcher and comes equipped with just about anything you might need to complete your project including:

Sewing Machines
Irons & Ironing Boards
Scissors, Rulers, Seam Rippers, Thread, Tape Measurers, Pins, Needles
Pin Cushions, Tailors Chalk, Hand Sewing Needles, Three Large Cutting Tables,
Adjustable Dress Forms, Patterns, Sewing & Crafting Reference Books & More.

Fabrics, Trim, Bag Making Supplies and other notions are always available to purchase.

Open Lab Hours

Monday: 2-6pm
Tuesday 3-7pm
Wednesday 2-6pm
Thursday 3-7pm
Friday by appointment

Please note
: We’ll be closed from Saturday Dec. 24th, 2011 – January 8th, 2012 for vacation. No open lab hours or private lessons during this time.

On weeknights we have classes from 7-9pm, if the class is not too big, we may have room for open lab. Shoot us an email to find out.

Really need some open lab during hours that aren’t posted? Send us an email. We might be able to accomodate. There’s a change someone will be there teaching a private sewing lesson or just working in the studio. Shoot us an email to find out. 

This schedule is subject to change based on our ever changing class & private workshop schedule.
Be sure to check this page from time to time as it updates.
When in doubt, call ahead.

Please note: Anyone utilizing our open lab time must either have some sewing experience, have taken our Intro to the Sewing Machine Class or one of our Private Sewing Lessons prior to using our sewing machines.


Megan is going to Jail

On March 10th, 2009, I am going to be “locked up” for a great cause.


I’m going behind bars for “GOOD”


I am being taken to “Jail” and needs to raise $2,400 in “bail” for the Muscular Distrophy Association. Please Help out the cause by making a small donation to the MDA.

Your donation is my key to freedom! Be proud of the fact that together we’re providing help and hope to kids and adults served by MDA in our community.

Here is what your donation can do:

  • $85 -Fund One Minute of Research
  • $100 – Support Group Session
  • $800 – Send one child to MDA Summer Camp
  • $2,000 – Assist with Wheelchair or Leg Braces

    Come on people, help me out and help out those affected with muscular distrophy! I have only raised $10 so far!!!