Thursday, October 20, 2016

Burda Style 11/2016

 To purchase, go to
(Sold Out)

All Styles at a Glance

Line Drawings

Pretty details-neckline pleats, raglan sleeve slits and a front tie!

On trend for weekend glam!
Duster Vest #115 -Graphite Grey Ponte Knit

Use a contrasting color for the yoke and inside of the hood.

A glamorous coat for the upcoming holidays!
Camisole Top #112-Silk Charmeuse-Apple Cider

Plus Size
Beautiful Winter Coat
Coat #128B-Pearl/Onyx Boucle

Great look for the office!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

You'll Need a Clutch for the Holidays!

A clutch is the purse of choice for any special occasion. Finding the right clutch can be difficult.  Kasey has opened her business Embroidered by Kasey to help with this dilemma and any of your embroidery needs.  Congratulations Kasey!

Dear Fellow Fashionistas – I am officially in business! I’m offering bespoke embroidery services for your fine items. Your machine doesn’t do embroidery? Mine does – and I can help you with that special project! Jacket linings, borders on skirts and blouses, overlays for evening wear – let me help you accentuate your sewing!

To kick off my new venture, I’m featuring lovely evening fabrics from Sew Much Fabric for my Holiday Line of HandbagsMikado, dupioni, satins, sequins and more! Select two fabrics and then I can personalize it for you with embroidery. Making a gown? How about a matching handbag from your fabric? Or maybe just select one of the fun and unique fabrics that Roz offers and have it customized with your monogram (and a little bling….)

The style I currently have available is the Modern Clutch pattern from Pink Sand Beach Designs. I’ve acquired permission for cottage production, and will soon be adding a few more of their styles to my line. The clutch fits the iPhone 6 and 7, but not quite the iPhone Plus size. I can make the bag a bit bigger for you and it will fit the 6 or 7 Plus. 

Yes, my fellow fashionistas can make one of their own, but why not let me make it for you and save the time, muss and fuss? And then I can add embroidery or monogramming just for you! 

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Pattern Review-A White T-Shirt

Kasey has sewn up a wardrobe basic, the white T-shirt!  The pattern is a design by Andrea at Sew To Fit.  Great job ladies!!!

This is a review of the White Rayon Jersey Knit from Sew Much Fabric, which I received in exchange for a review of the fabric as well as a review of Sew to Fit’s Tee Shirt Pattern (available soon), which I also received.

This fabric is very nice; it washed well and dried without much shrinkage (yes, I didn’t follow the directions; I put it in the dryer on low but will hang-dry the garment from now on.) It feels like a cotton knit, though it is a rayon/ spandex blend. It is lightweight yet still has that “heft” I find peculiar to jersey knits.

It sewed up well and went through my sewing machine like a breeze. Some cautions: it is lightweight, so start your seams with a piece of tissue paper. Also, clip or discard the selvage as it gets very tight and will throw off your grain lines. Lastly, the two sides are different so be sure to mark which side you’re using for the “right” side.

I think it would be great for not only t-shirts, but a wrap dress or wrap shirt (ballerina style.) And with winter coming up, it would be wonderful as lingerie to layer under wool or flannel dresses; it’s so soft it would make a snugly camisole, slip or even pant liner.

But of course it works well as a t-shirt. Andrea’s pattern, the Sew to Fit Tee Shirt, is such a terrifically simple pattern. It came together easily and I knocked it out in less than 90 minutes; I think it took me longer to print, assemble and trace off my size!

This tee has a yoked and split back, which affords many opportunities to customize the fit. It’s drafted to be nice and roomy in the hip and has a good length built in; I actually cut some length off where I’m usually adding several inches. And the plain neckline is very easy to change to suit your taste, as Andrea gives you directions to make a band to fit whatever neckline you create. I’m impressed not only with the size range, but the sleeve sizes; I only had to do a 1-inch full bicep adjustment from the largest size, whereas I usually have to do a 4- to 5-inch adjustment.

I made a size “18”, which was a 16 for the back bodice and a 22 for the front. I cut a size 26 for the sleeve with a 1-inch full bicep adjustment. I lowered the neckline my usual 2 inches, but when I make it again I may try a V-neck instead. It’s a little roomier in the hip than I would like for this kind of fabric, so I will likely trim it down. But overall a nice, quick pattern I think many women will enjoy making and wearing.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Love Affair with Reversible Knits

Andrea has used this reversible knit and New Look 6482 to its best advantage.  I can just see Andrea wearing this dress on date night with her handsome husband!  Andrea blogs at Sew to Fit and also check out her YouTube channel for more expert fitting and sewing advice.  Thank you Andrea!

Here is a simple project that took a little thought to finalize.  In my design process, most often I draw up a design before I sew it up, in order to help me visualize the look before I use my fabrics in the final design.  If I come across a pattern that has a basic design, it becomes my canvas for designing what I want.  But let's be clear, the design doesn't take shape until I've had time to doodle around the line drawing while giving my creative juices a chance to birth something wonderful.  When I sew with a print, the print speaks to me and directs my thoughts to a design.  In the case of a wonderful solid, I am free to do whatever, or maybe even embellish. In the case of this dress was ripe for any design I could imagine.  And this is what I imagined....

The moment I laid eyes on this reversible fabric,  I bought from SM, it was destined that I would make something which would take full advantage and display both sides of the beauty it has to offer.  I just love these two sided knits.  

I love how the inset on the side is at a slight angle giving it a slight asymmetric look at the hem. As you may already realize, this is not the original pattern. It was the diving board for this design, my design process began with this pattern.  The plain front was not what got my attention for this pattern, it was the side inset.  At first I thought the inset was mirrored on the back, both being on the right side, but this one has the inset opposite on the back, with the matching inset being on the left side of the back. 

Well, this dress was such a great success!  For now, I have more two-sided fabric to buy, and more color blocked dresses to design. What's your design process? Are you creating any color blocked wonders?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Details Made the T-Shirt

I love the details Kasey added to her T-Shirt.  The lapped shoulder and the cuff and tab on the sleeves really kick it up a notch.  Thanks Kasey!

This review is for the Seafoam Blue/ Kiwi Reversible Knit from Sew Much Fabric. I really loved the seafoam blue color, especially the soft sheen. I used it to make my usual t-shirt pattern, which truthfully started out as a Blue Ginger Doll Bonnie pattern, but quickly morphed into something completely different (doesn't it always?) 

In imitation of a lapped-shoulder boat-neck tee I already owned I created this neckline, and added a wide cuff to the sleeve. For this version I also created sleeve tabs adorned with Gold Basket Weave buttons (sold out), also from Sew Much Fabric, added a few more inches to the length and made a split seam tunic-type bottom.

The fabric was very nice to work with; it sewed well and didn’t curl when cut. It washed nicely but wanted a short stint in the dryer before hanging up to finish drying. It is a bit firmer to wear than you might expect from doing a stretch test; you might want to go up a half-size in your garment if you don’t like your clothes to be too fitted.

I got a lot of compliments on this top; everyone loved the color and wanted to know where I got it. They were of course duly impressed when I announced I had made it myself! 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Burda Style Plus Size Fall 2016

 To purchase, go to
(Sold Out)

All Styles at a Glance

Line Drawings

Simple and stylish coat for fall!  This would look fabulous in a wool plaid or a brocade.

A classic Chanel-like jacket goes rock and roll!
Jacket #410B-Moody Tweed
Pants #413B-Merlot Ponte Knit

This blouse in a classic white shirting fabric looks great with a pencil skirt or jeans.

Special Occasions

It's the details at the bodice, waist and hem!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Burda Style 10/2016

To purchase, go to
(Sold Out)

All Styles at a Glance

Line Drawings

Culottes with a twist-a front button panel!
Culottes #110-Vanilla White Stretch Double Cloth Wool

Love all the details on this sheath dress
Dress #108-Elegant Navy Blue Tropical Stretch Wool

 Nice option for a T-Shirt
T-Shirt #101-White Rayon Jersey Knit

Color blocking still going strong!  This is the petite pattern.
Sheath Dress #105-Merlot Ponte Knit and Graphite Grey Ponte Knit

So cute and comfortable for weekend errands
Tunic #121A-Moroccan Print Rayon Challis-Cinnamon

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Found: The Perfect T-Shirt!

What a great feeling to get a pattern like the classic t-shirt perfected!  Everything works-the fit, style and construction techniques.  Fabulous work Carla!!!

I’m trying to perfect making knit tops that rival the best of the better retail options.  I chose Roz’s Fractured Light Matte Jersey because of the design and drape. 
McCalls 7323 

 I first made View C with some cheap knit I had in my stash.  I certainly can wear this version but I felt the bottom was a little to “round” looking.  Hubby said it looked too much like a maternity top!  That was a jolt that made me change the bottom.  I re-drew the bottom to be higher in the front and longer in the back similar to view A.  

To be certain of the front/back length, simply find the center point you want it to hit in the front and the back and then hand draw the shape.  My final pattern is perfect.  I used the retail neckline finish as I learned in the Craftsy class I mentioned in a previous post. Also, using the cover stitch machine for the sleeve and bottom hems really adds a professional finish!    

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Wardrobe Basic: The T-Shirt

photo:InStyle 7/2016
The fourth installment of the Fit-Along series of Wardrobe Basics is the classic T-shirt.  If you missed the last three, you can read about the denim jacket here, the classic white shirt here and the sheath dress here

The t-shirt is the quiet workhorse in your wardrobe.  It is not the most exciting item you have but without it our wardrobe wouldn’t be the same.  It works well as a layering piece worn under just about anything-denim jackets, suits, an unbuttoned classic blouse, jumpsuit or sheath dress.  It can also stand on its own worn with a pencil skirt, dress slacks and of course the classic combo t-shirt and jeans. And it’s perfect for showing off statement jewelry or scarfs! 

 Photo: U.S. Naval Historical Center,  Wikimedia Commons, Hulton Archive/Getty Images
The T-shirt was originally 
called the undershirt and in the late 1800's was considered taboo to wear in public.  In 1905, the US Navy adopted the undershirt as part of their uniform. The word t-shirt was first used by the author F.Scott Fitzgerald in 1920 in his novel, This Side of Paradise But is was Marlon Brando in the movie A Streetcar Named Desire that made the t-shirt popular to the mass public. Today, the t-shirt is a fashion statement for men and women!

 Fabric Selection
White Rayon Jersey KnitBlack Rayon Jersey Knit  
Lightweight knit fabrics with lycra or spandex have excellent stretch and recovery, an important attribute for t-shirts.  The two rayon jerseys featured are classic colors to have in your wardrobe.  

 Pattern Selection

 I won’t be able to cover all of the many varied figure types and some patterns can work for more than one figure type.  But I hope this will help you to look at patterns more critically and analyze what will best work for you. When selecting a pattern for a T-shirt look at the neckline, the sleeve and the hem and select the styles that will work for your figure type.  Be sure to sign up for Sew Much Fabric’s mailing list (scroll to the bottom of the home page) for additional exclusive information including updates on videos by Sew-to-Fit for pattern alterations to get that perfect fit!  

Knit t-shirts are a great way to show off this figure type!  The stretch factor molds to show off the curves.  But be careful to not over-fit (read too tight) or this classic style becomes too suggestive! 
Pattern Suggestion: McCalls 6355
Neckline: V-neck, Scoop neck
Sleeve: Set-in or Raglan
Hem: Just below hip bone or a curved hem

Defining the waist and softening the shoulder area with a wide neckline will balance the lower half of the inverted triangle.  
Pattern SuggestionBurda Style 09/2014 #125
Neckline: Wide v-neck or wide boat neck 
Sleeves: Raglan, set-in 
Hem:  Few inches below hipbone  

This figure type looks great in interesting necklines and sleeves!  They bring all the attention to the upper body.   
Pattern Suggestion: StyleArc Emily Knit Top
Neckline: V-neck line, crew neck, square, any interesting neckline
Sleeves: Cap sleeve (extends the shoulder), elbow length sleeve to define the waist.
Hem: End at the top of the hip

The t-shirt should skim across the body especially around the mid-section.    
Pattern Suggestion: Burda Style 01/2015 #129
Neckline: V-neck, scoop neck, boat-neck
Sleeve: High armhole will help to define space between your arm and torso.  Try a hem on a slight diagonal.
Hem: Stopping the hem at the fullest part of the tummy will give the appearance of cutting your stomach in half.  

Ruching at the side seams, a breast pocket and the diagonal line of the raglan sleeves are nice details that create curves for this figure type.      
Pattern SuggestionStyle Arc Ann T-Top
Neckline: Crew neck or scoop
Sleeve: Drop shoulder, set-in or raglan
Hem: Hi-low hem or just above the hip line.

The t-shirt can handle any area of your life-the office, weekends or a night out on the town.  Enjoy making a collection of t-shirts in figure flattering styles you'll love!