Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Haute Summer Sewing – Silk Blouse McCalls 7324

I love the many options a silk blouse offers!  Eileen did a beautiful job constructing this blouse.  She used McCalls 7324 and a silk crepe de chine now sold out.  Other options are here, here, here, and here. Thank you Eileen!! 

McCalls 7324 

This blouse from McCalls 7324 View B is a great summer addition to any wardrobe. The pattern is a very loose-fitting pullover top (close-fitting through bust) with front and back gathered into neck band, front band, forward shoulder seams, front pleat, a hi low hemline, and narrow hem.  The pattern is easy to fit and the two-piece sleeve means no sleeve placket to sew!  

The fabric used is silk crepe de chine designed by Nanette Lepore (sold out) from Sew Much Fabric.  The fabric can be hand washed in cool water and a mild soap.   Air dry and use a silk setting to press.  Silk weight fusible interfacing was used on the placket, collar and cuffs.  

I love couture sewing techniques because they combine form and function in a garment.  French seams were used as well as a narrow machine hem.   Covered buttons using the techniques shared by Cynthia Mitchell were used matching the pattern of the silk on the cuff.  

Join me at our October 3, 2016 meeting and I will be sharing the French seam and narrow machine hem sewing techniques.  

This blouse dresses up or down for work or play.  A second blouse is on the cutting table using another silk crepe de chine from Sew Much Fabric.  I hope to have it finished to share at our October meeting.  

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Burda Style 8/2016

To purchase, go to
(Sold Out)

All Styles at a Glance

Line Drawings

Burda Style calls this Lady-Like meets Rockabilly.

The fabric combinations are endless!

Wardrobe Planning for Fall
Jacket #114-Pearl/Onyx Boucle'

Wear now and later with the jacket featured above.
Dress #124A-White Ponte Knit

Plus Size
Love the waistline definition!
Dress #131-Black Stretch Wool Crepe 

Weekend Glam
Jacket #134-Black/White Multi Tweed
Pants #136-Inkwell Stretch Denim

Monday, July 18, 2016

Color Blocking Vogue 8944

Color blocking is a beautiful way to highlight the style lines in a dress.  Carla used Cranberry/Charcoal Grey Reversible Knit and did a lovely job selecting where to "change colors".  Thank you Carla-I know your daughter loves this dress!

I made the sleeveless version of Vogue 8944 with Roz’s reversible knit.  
Vogue 8944  

I chose not to line it as called for in the pattern.   Instead, I stabilized the shoulders and the waistline with a fusible hem tape.

 I used a traditional binding application (as taught in Linda Lee Craftsy Class) for the neck and armholes.  The only “challenge” was the zipper.  I finally figured out I had to put the binding on—then put the zipper in—and then turn the binding down and finish!

 If anyone wants more details, just ask!  As usual, I fully documented it in case I remake!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Haute Summer Sewing – Blouse Jacket Burda 4/2016 126

I love this Burda Style jacket that Eileen recently made.  It is on trend with the cape-like sleeve!  And as Eileen pointed out, it's great for keeping the chill off in air conditioned buildings.  This rayon challis is sold out but here are some substitutes here, here, here, here, herehere and here.  Thank you Eileen for sharing your beautiful new jacket!  

Burda Style 04/2016 #126 

Burda magazine April 2016 has a great pattern for a summer air conditioning cover up that you can dress up or down.  Pattern 126 is described as a relaxed jacket with XL wing sleeves and a cut on shawl collar perfect for cooler days or evenings.  The sleeves flutter in the breeze and it is a very fun garment to wear. 

The July issue of Burda magazine also uses the blouse jacket in a styling section for one top with four looks.  Look for it!  

The fabric used is a rayon crepe (sold out) from Sew Much Fabric.  The fabric can be hand washed in cool water and a mild detergent.   Air dry and use a silk setting to press.  Knit stay tape was fused in the armhole and collar seamlines to prevent the soft fabric from stretching out of shape.   The armhole is finished with a topstitched bias binding before the side seam is sewn.  This was a great technique in the instructions that I had not used before.  You can finish the armhole edge and alter your side seams if needed without having to rip out the bias binding.  Very clever technique.  The sleeves are two half circles that are stitched on last.  The sleeve hems are finished with a narrow machine hem. 

 I will be demonstrating the hem technique at the October 3, 2016 meeting.  Join me at our October 3, 2016 meeting and I will be sharing two sewing techniques: a French seam and narrow machine hem. 

This blouse jacket dresses up or down for work or play.  A sleeveless dress is in progress with the coordinating blue rayon from Sew Much Fabric.  I hope to have it finished to share at our October meeting.  

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Animal Print T-Shirt

What a great addition to Carla's closet-a great fitting animal print T-shirt!  Animal Print is like a neutral. It plays nicely with other colors and prints.  This fabric is sold out but you can find other knits here.  Thank you Carla for sharing your method of coping a favorite T-shirt!

I’ve been trying to make more knit tops that have ready to wear finishes.  I’m a regular Chico’s shopper and have lots of their tops.  I had one that I especially liked.  I laid it on top of some tracing paper and traced the front and back.  The sleeves were part of the front and back.  After tracing the pieces, I made sure the center front and center back were straight as they were to be cut on fold.  I made sure the sides were the same on the front and back so they would match.  
I took a Craftsy class—Sewing Fashion Knits by Linda Lee.  This is a great class and I highly recommend it.  
It does a great job teaching a traditional binding and a ready-to-wear binding.  In my Chico copy, I used the ready-to-wear binding.
It recommends using a product she sells on her website called Fusi-Web to secure the hem on the sleeves and the bottom.  This is a double sided fusible and creates a temporary bond.  Then hemming with a cover stitch machine is a snap.
It recommends using a product she sells on her website called Fusible Hem Tape.  I used this to stabilize the shoulder seams.
This top is a perfect replica of the Chico’s top.  I used a two-way stretch I bought from Roz a while back!  Perfect use for it!  And it was amazingly easy! 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Burda Style 7/2016

To purchase, go to
(Sold Out)
All Styles at a Glance

Line Drawings

This has summer written all over it!

Maxi Wrap Dress

This blouse is the featured 4 in 1 look.

Love the asymmetrical straps.
It has in-seam pockets too!
Dress #117-White Pique

Plus Size
This is great for the office or weekend glam!

Sunday Best!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

In the Navy-A Classic Sheath Dress

Andrea has finished her classic sheath dress!  As part of the second installment of the wardrobe fit-along, Andrea shared her journey on how to obtain a beautiful fit.  Thank you for letting us follow your process!

If you are subscribed to my YouTube channel and are part of my IRL fashion sewing group, you are well aware of all the work and fun that has been had in completing this dress. I did a complete fitting tutorial and multiple instructional videos on changing the necklines, adjusting the pattern and working your way through fitting the dress.  This all began last summer (2015) with the white shirt, the sheath dress and then the denim jacket.  I wanted to thank all of you for continuing to follow along with this "one-woman" shop.

Now, for the goods-  "This lovely dress!!

The fabric (navy is on reorder-see this fabric in black or grey) was provided by Sew Much Fabric in support of my idea to bring to you this Sew-To-Fit Along."   Of course we all need a great fitting basic sheath dress. I sure needed a new one in my wardrobe, but breaking down and making one took some work from me, and of course some prodding and direction from my great Wardrobe Consultant, Roz Gaither, the owner and operator of Sew Much Fabric.  I'm not all sappy about her y'all, I just love working with people who put customer service at the top of the list.  I'm a sucker for good customer service.

Sheath Dress Construction Details:
This dress has been detailed so exhaustively in videos on my YouTube channel, which it is hard for me to honestly talk about its construction any further.  Please just enjoy the pictures and know that any questions you could possibly have regarding this dress is already documented in the videos on my channel.  

  1. Pattern is Vogue 9025, size 14
  2. Alterations: FBA, Broad back, Waist Lengthened, Armhole made smaller, hips adjusted for larger rear end.
  3. Zipper excluded because fabric stretches so well.
  4. Lined completely
  5. Lowered and reshaped the neckline

Much appreciation to you all!!!!  Please enjoy the pictures!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

It's On Sale!

Go to Sew Much Fabric and take advantage of the savings on newly markdown fabrics and save even more on previously reduced fabrics!  

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Springtime Floral

Andrea, from Sew-To-Fit, has sewn a fabulous dress for summer using Springtime Floral Stretch Cotton Sateen.(sold out)  She used a new-to-me pattern company, Bootstrap.  You can read more about Andrea's sewing adventures at  And now, you can also schedule an appointment with Andrea to help you get that perfect fit!   
April showers did indeed bring May flowers, even though it took me a while to get pictures in this dress.  I made this dress to wear for Easter on a cruise back in April.  

This dress was constructed in true---ready-to-wear fashion. Meaning, I sewed the entire dress on the serger.  I used the regular sewing machine to complete 3/4" hem along with making the alterations for the neck and armholes.  The facings were included with the pattern in this case, since it is considered a "fashion" pattern.  The fabric (Springtime Floral Stretch Cotton Sateen) was purchased by me from Sew Much Fabric, the online "fine" fabrics store I deal with mostly for any of my "online" purchases.  I love working with the owner, Roz.  She is very interested in making sure I get what I need.

I downloaded this pattern from the Bootstrap, "Fashion Design WIZ Pro", I was supper happy to have something "fit" my chest. But, totally forgot to take time to thoroughly analyze the fit in the most important areas, the armholes and neckline.

Don't get it twisted, this dress fits "around" all the important places, but I had to work to get the neckline and those armholes right. Those armholes are still in need of some manipulation..(aaahhh, I didn't do a muslin...I was in a rush).  I'd rather start another dress. 

After all the alterations I did to get the neckline to fit, I will be going back to the pattern and redrawing all the lines to get my fit, albeit, it is a lot of work.  Work I really hate to do in circumstances like this.  

Honestly, I am gonna wear the threads out of this 
dress this summer fit issues and all! 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Prom 2016

Prom is a major milestone for a young lady and having a dress made is usually in order.  Kandice commissioned  Barbara, a local "sewing engineer", to make her dream prom dress.  She got the dress she had envisioned!  She selected  Black Diamond Stretch Sequin for her fabric and received many compliments.   Thank you Barbara for sharing your tips on sewing with this fabric!

Kandice sent a picture of a dress she liked and we made some modifications to suit her.  I designed the pattern, a 7 panel fit and flair. She brought this gorgeous sequin fabric that formed diamonds, the backing was a knit, not a lot of stretch, but with the weight of the fabric it stretched 2 “ in length.  

Sewing was easy. I used a size 90 universal needle, a Teflon foot and 3.0 length straight stitch.  I wanted to keep a 1 piece top but had to have 3 panels for the front.  I took a tip from the past and cut over to the side at the dart point of the fisheye dart and divided the pattern where the side dart would be. This also allowed me to remove some extra fabric from the bat wing.  

Being that there was not a way to hold the sleeves up I put elastic in the shoulder seam of the lining just inside the shoulder point to make a loop for her arms to go through and hold in place, (she also used some fashion tape to help secure).  I used 1” elastic to make a ‘belt’ to hold the waist securely, attaching at the front either side of center panel and back.  For the hem I applied 1” horsehair braid using 3/8” seam allowance, then using a catch stitch to hold the opposite edge to the dress.