Kids Runway Show Photos

We had a pretty spectacular fashion show at the Black Rail Coffee Shop last weekend. Over 25 of the kids we teach after school sewing classes participated and showed off all of their hard work over the last 3 months.

Here are some of the photos from the runway show taken by our very own instructor Ellen Brown’s husband, Allison Brown.

To see the entire collection of Allison’s photos, click here.

More photos from the show, click here.

Spring 2014 Sewing Retreat in the Catskills

A grand time was had by all at the First Ever M Avery Designs Sewing Retreat! You can view our photo album here. And stay tuned for details on our Fall 2014 Sewing Retreat coming soon!

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The very first M Avery Designs Sewing Retreat is finally here and we have found the perfect place to host it.

Join us for a weekend of sewing, crafting, relaxing, enjoying nature & getting to know other people who love to sew. We’ll be offering mini classes and demos all weekend long and you can enjoy them without the interruptions of every day life!


You’ll also have the opportunity for tons of open sewing time, so bring a project or two that you’ve been meaning to tackle. You’ll have almost 48 hours of uninterrupted sewing time in the wonderful natural setting of the Turqoise Barn Bed & Breakfast, located in Bloomville NY.

The B&B is set on many beautiful acres in the Western Catskills. You’ll have ample time to explore the grounds and commune with nature, if you so choose.


Friday May 2nd – Sunday May 4th 2014

Turquoise Barn Bed & Breakfast
8052 County Highway 18
Bloomville, NY 13739


Turquoise Barn is a Green Certified, eco-friendly Bed and Breakfast, Retreat, and Education Center located approximately 3 hours from NYC on an organic farm in the Western Catskills.  The former dairy farm is home to 3 historic buildings which are now the residence, studio, workshop, and gallery (Turquoise Barn) of two artists formerly of East Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NY РMichelle Premura & Michael Milton.


Living Arrangements
The retreat will be open to only 8 guests. We’d like to keep the group intimate and have the sewing classes and groups remain small. There are are 4 gorgeous rooms at the B&B, each with their very own bathroom equipped with shower so everyone will be ¬†sharing a room. ¬†If you are coming with a friend and want to share a room just let us know when you sign up. Otherwise we’ll assign you a room-mate. Anyone who wishes to have a room all to themselves will ¬†have to purchase 2 spots.

Rosa Room | Mountain & Pond View | Private bath with claw-foot bathtub | King size bed and full-size futon

Moss Room | Mountain & pond view |  Private bath, queen bed and full size futon


Sunset Room | Mountain & Pond View | Private Bathroom, Queen Bed, two single beds


Sunrise Room | Mountain & Turquoise Barn View | Private Bath, Queen Bed, two single beds


Beds & Rooms are available on a first come first serve basis! Book early to get the bed of your choice!

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What’s included:

  • Sewing demos by Megan & assistant instructor on a variety of topics, with an emphasis on clothing & accessory creation

  • Mini classes throughout the day Saturday & Sunday with topics including garment & accessory construction, sewing tips & tricks, new sewing skills

  • Sewing instructions and guidance throughout the entire weekend on any sewing projects you choose. There will not be more than 8 students. With 2 instructors for the weekend, that’s a 4:1 ratio of student to teacher!

  • Megan’s personalized fitting and sewing help with any garment project you bring along

  • Two nights stay at the beautiful¬†Turquoise Barn B&B

  • Breakfast on Saturday & Sunday

  • Boxed lunch on Saturday & Sunday

  • Additional Refreshments to keep us fortified while sewing

  • An old fashioned good time making beautiful things in a beautiful setting & you might even make a new friend or two


Vegetarian Breakfast & Lunch on Saturday & Sunday are included in the price. There is a vegetarian kitchen in the house we’ll be staying in so feel free to bring snacks and extra beverages. We’ll be heading into town for a group dinner on Saturday at one of the tasty local restaurants.

The main area of the B&B is big and open and gives us plenty of room for sewing machine tables, design space & cutting room. We recommend that you bring your own sewing machine, but machines can be rented from M Avery Designs for the weekend for the low cost of $20.

We’ve done our best to keep the price very reasonable.

We’ll be offering the low introductory price of $475 per person if you commit ¬†by paying the $225 non-refundable deposit before March 15th, 2014.

All spots for the retreat are now full – Please send us an email if you’d like to get on the waiting list

We’ll follow up with you regarding your room choice as soon as we get your registration.






Tenative Weekend Schedule

Friday May 2nd:

Arrive anytime between 5 & 8pm
8-12pm Dig right into some Sewing

Saturday May 3rd:

Breakfast 8am
Sewing & Mini Classes 9am-12pm
Lunch 12pm
More Sewing, Mini Classes & Free Time 1-6pm
Dinner 6:30pm
More Sewing & Free time 8pm-Midnight

Sunday May 4th:

Breakfast 8am
Sewing & Mini Classes 9am – 12pm
12pm Check out & Bag Lunch for the Road

Please note: All guests are responsible for getting to & from the B&B for the weekend. We are happy to try to help facilitate ride shares if requested.


More about the Turquoise B&B

Rustic . . Simplistic. . . Elegance……..Our 3-story 3,000 sq. ft, converted 1800’s Carriage House has large loft-style open spaces with high ceilings, artist designed & renovated with handcrafted furnishings and art throughout the house.Upstairs are four large bedrooms, each equipped with a¬†private bathroom,¬†tastefully designed and decorated, and each with AMAZING views of the sunrise, sunset, moonrise, mountains or pond.

Downstairs has an additional 5th full bathroom, open kitchen (vegetarian), large handcrafted dining table, radiant heat floors, wood stove and back sun porch.

NATURE THERAPY…….Outside are acres of meadows, mountains, wooded areas, organic flower & veggie gardens, a fishing/swimming pond and streams. Fire pit for evening gatherings and open large field for special events. Also on the property are chickens, roosters, ducks, & cats (outdoor only). Hiking in our backyard or up the mountain road and just minutes away from the Catskill Scenic Trail for biking/walking/running/skiing.

Taking the time to relax & create is very good for all of our souls! This M Avery Designs Retreat is designed for anyone who shares a love for creativity, no matter where your skill level lies. Whether you‚Äôre a seasoned crafter or have yet to thread a needle, you’re welcome to join us for this weekend of sewing fun & creativity.


Interested in adding a special activity to your visit?  Turquoise Barn offers a variety of additional services for our guests including:

‚Äč‚ô•¬†Bicycle & snowshoe rentals
♥ Botanical culinary workshops & retreats
♥ Dietary & Lifestyle consultations
♥ Wild edible ID walks & Herbal consultations (seasonal)
♥ Massage
♥ Private or Group Yoga
♥ Reiki
♥ Raindrop Therapy
‚ô• Aromatherapy
‚ô• Re-connective Healing (Energy Work)
♥ Intuitive readings

Advance registration required РContact the Turquoise Barn directly for pricing and availability.

Hat Master Class – Sewing Workshop for Beginners & Intermediate Stitchers

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How do you like the idea of one day hat class? Check out this amazing hat style, made from stretch fabrics.

It can be made in a couple of hours easy, even for beginners.

Stretchable, washable, reversible, adorable… lots of fun. Join the real “Hat Master” Irina Dritva for this one day, 2 hour workshop. She’ll teach you her secrets for creating this adorable & versatile hat.

Megan will have loads of stretch remnants on hand for the taking (free) so come give hat making a whirl from someone who is considered an expert in her field. Irina doesn’t teach classes that often, but when she does it’s such a treat. Don’t miss this one.

Sunday February 23rd 2-4pm

$40 All Supplies included

Sign up


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Irina Dratva¬†is a freelance accessories designer and patternmaker, whose clients include Coach, Still life NYC, and Marc Jacobs, among others. Last summer’s Reed Krakoff pilot collection showcased her hand-draped headbands and hats.

Irina’s passion for hats started with her first trip to London in 1994: inspired by Top Shop, upon return she made hats for the artists friends. Soon she became famous in her native Ukraine for her casual, understated creations. Innovative and resourceful, she was working with vintage and recycling materials producing original collections and fashion performances.

It was that experience that made her perfect for the job at Eugenia Kim Hats, where, starting in 2003, she was working on woven hats and headbands. There Irina created a lot of unique pieces for celebrity clients and runway collaborations, as well as many best-selling styles that one could now find in stores like Barney’s and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Currently residing in Hoboken Irina is working on DIY hat book. She is looking forward to work with a vibrant community of like-minded people and share the tricks of her trade.

Bye Bye Bell Sleeves – Sewing Tutorial


I have been putting off altering this dress for a long time. I love it, but just can’t stand the bell sleeves.

I had an extra few minutes (seriously that’s about how long it took) and I thought, let’s do this.

So here are the step by step instructions for how to get rid of the bell sleeves on a top or dress. (It took longer to write this post in WordPress then it did to alter both sleeves. Not kidding!)

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Step 1: Determine how big you want the arm opening. You can figure this out by measuring the circumference of your arm where the end of the sleeve is on your arm. Then divide this number in half to determine how big the sleeve opening should be. If the fabric has some stretch, you’re golden. If the fabric doesn’t have any stretch, you may want to add 1/2″ – 1″ just so it’s not cutting off the circulation of your arm. This is your preference.

Step 2: Make a line in pins (or tailors chalk if you have it handy) from the armpit seam to your sleeve opening point.


Step 3: Sew along this line. (Check out the photo below with the tape measurer showing you the line to follow.


Step 4: Repeat on the other sleeve. Don’t forget to back-stitch at the beginning & at the end. And voila – There you have it. A more tapered short sleeve. LOVE!


Please forgive the photography on this post. It’s not the best & I was a little lazy, not bothering to make my bed for the shots. Ah well. ¬†So much for the illusion that I am some sort of together person. Don’t hate me.

Sew Your Own Doll

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In this BRAND NEW 2 part sewing class, you’ll learn to make a huggable boy or girl doll and you can choose the hair, skin and features!

Open to stitchers ages 9 & up, as well as adults of all ages!

Just in time for the holidays!

Ellen Lumpkin Brown, Fashion Lab Instructor will show you how.

Part 1: Cutting out Pattern, Constructing the doll head/body and creating the hair
Saturday December 7th 8:30-10:30am

Part 2:  Construction of the limbs & attaching them to doll body. Designing the face and creating the clothing. You leave second class with your finished doll!
Saturday December 14th 8:30-10:30am

Price for all 4 Hours of Class is $50 + $10 Supplies Fee


To see more of Ellen’s doll designs,

3-Week Knitting Cables Class

You’ve got the basic knit & purl down, now what?!?! In this adult knitting class, students will get a little bit more in depth with learn¬†knitting terminology, stitch execution and how to follow a pattern while creating beginner/intermediate level projects that include gorgeous cables (as shown in the project photographs). Projects include: matching set of cabled hat & mittens.

Next Session:

3 Classes – Wednesdays 7-9pm February 13th, 20th & 27th, 2013
Sign Up

$100 + Yarn

Click here to Register Online or call studio 201.876.1198

Knitting outside of class will be encouraged.

There are 8 spots per session.

Materials needed:
-1 x 16″ circular needle size 6.5mm or 7mm
-1 set double pointed needles size 6.5 mm or 7mm
-1 cable needle
-Lion Brand Wool Ease Chunky (At least 2 – Please note: It’s important to purchase the recommended yarn in order to have a successful finished project)

Instructor Vickie Sargeant has lived in hoboken for 18 yrs and been knitting for most of her life.  She has taught adult friends and after school groups everything from the basics of how to knit to more challenging techniques such as cables.  She has created in a variety of yarns and worked with many levels of pattern as well as creating her own designs.  She has been described by students as passionate about the craft as well as patient when teaching. She just finished up teaching her first adult knitting class at M Avery Designs and is looking forward to more teaching. 

Holiday Patchwork Table Runner Tutorial

What will adorn your table this year for your holiday meals? This easy holiday project will look great on any Thanksgiving or Christmas table. Heck – you could even just use colors to match your dining room decor and have an every day table runner.

I am not a very formal person, but you can see that this runner looks cute even on my little retro yellow table.




Here are the steps to make a table runner of your very own:

-4 different 1/2 yard pieces of holiday print cotton fabric
-2 yards of cotton fabric
-6 Yards of ¬†1.5″ wide binding tape
-2 yards of quilt batting
-Matching color thread

-Sewing Machine
-Straight Pins
-Ruler/Yard Stick/Measuring Tape

1. Determine the finished width & length of your table runner and what might work on your table. The runner that I made ended up being 72″ long and about 24″ wide.

2. Determine how wide you want your strips of fabric to be. Keep in mind, the thinner the strips are, the longer it’s going to take you to make the project. The one that I did above, the strips were only about 2″ wide. It took awhile to get them all sewn together, but it’s worth it in the end.

3. Figure out how many and which fabrics you’ll be using for the patchwork portion. I would suggest in order not to get overwhelmed, choose 4 fabrics to repeat in your patchwork design.

4. Okay – here is where the math comes in. Ugh, I know.
Divide the desired length of your runner by the desired finished width of the strips in inches + 1″ (seam allowance). So in my example with the dimensions I mention above, I would divide 72″ (finished desired length of runner by 3″ (2″ strips + 1″ for seam allowance) = 24. Do you follow?

So this means that you will need 24 different strips 3″ strips to get your desired length of 72″ long. Now – Based on how many different fabrics you are using, ¬†you now divide 24 by how many fabrics you are using. In our case, the equation looks like this 24 / 4 (different fabrics). This means you will need SIX 3″ wide strips of fabrics of each of the 4 fabrics you’ve chosen for this project. Make sense?

5. Okay math is OVER. Cut out your strips of fabric based on the equations above. Arrange them in the order you’d like them to be in your runner design.

6.  Start to pair up the fabric strips that are next to each other in groups of two. Pin them together with rights sides facing.



¬†7. Sew the strip pairs together using a 1/2″ seam allowance.

8. Press opens the seams on the wrong sides.

9. Arrange the paired strips on the table in the original order you had placed them before. Pair up the paired strips with right sides facing and pin them together. Sew the doubled strips together using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Press seams open.






¬†10. Now arrange the strip groups of 4 back in the order you had originally planned for the design of your runner. You guessed it, put the groups of four together with right sides facing and sew them together using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Press seams open. It should start to look like this:

11. Once you have all the strips together in the order you are happy with, iron the entire runner top again to make sure you have all the creases out. You want it nice and flat for this next step.

12. Cut the quilt batting and the fabric you will using for the back of your runner the same size as the patchworked piece.

12. Place the patchworked piece with the wrong side down on the quilt batting and pin all the way around the edge. Then place the fabric and batting on top of the bottom fabric so the batting is touching the wrong side of the bottom fabric. You should have a quilt sandwich with the patchwork as your top bread (facing right side up). The quilt batting as your center (or filling of the sandwich). Your bottom fabric should act as the bottom bread with the right side of the fabric facing down. Now pin everything securely in place all around the edge of the runner.

13. Stitch in the ditch to “quilt” the fabric to the batting. ¬†To “Stich in the Ditch” you will topstitch over all the seams that connect the strips of fabric together.

14. Place the edge of the binding tape with the right side facing down onto the right side of the table runner. Do this along the two longer sides and cut the binding tape to be as long as the runner. Pin securely in place.





15. Using 1/2″ seam allowance sew the binding tape to the sides of the runner.

16. Flip the binding tape around the edge of the runner so it folds in half and wraps around the edge of the runner and pin securely in place. Do this along both the left & right side of the runner.

17. Topstitch the binding tape along the inside edges.

18. Place the edge of the binding tape with the right side facing down onto the top & bottom sides of the table runner. Be sure cut the binding tape so that it’s 1″ longer than the width of the table runner on both sides. Fold in the extra 1/2″ on each side. Pin securely in place.

17. Using 1/2″ seam allowance sew the binding to to the top and bottom of the runner.

18. Flip the binding tape around the edge of the runner so it folds in half and wraps around the edge of the runner and pin securely in place. Do this along both the top & bottom side of the runner.

19.¬†Topstitch the binding tape along the inside edges. Snip all your threads and you’re finished

Ruffled Christmas Tree Skirt Workshop | Sat. Dec. 8th | 2:30-4:30pm |


There’s nothing like Christmas ruffles! You’ll learn how to make rows and rows of ruffles in this holiday class. You’ll attach the ruffles into 5 rows and turn it into this circle skirt for under your tree on Christmas morning.

Once you learn how to make this project, you won’t wanna put any presents under the tree. This statement of a Christmas tree skirt will look perfect all by itself.

Cost: $35 (2 Make it & Take it Credits)

Bring or Buy your fabric & supplies at the studio

Upcoming Dates

Saturday December 8th,  2012 | 2:30-4:30pm| Sign Up |
(Please note, we changed the date on this. Originally it was on Sun. dec. 9th)

Please sign up online or call 201.876.1198

Supplies needed:
-An assortment of Holiday themed cotton quilting fabric (or it doesn’t have to be holiday themed) that totals at least 2 Yards