Thursday, October 18, 2018

Luxe Sportswear

Who says you can’t be comfortable and fabulous?!  Dorcas, Brand Ambassador for Sew Much Fabric, has sewn up an outfit that is lounge-worthy for hanging out at home but also ready to run errands at the chicest of boutiques!  Thanks, Dorcas!!

It's hard for me to imagine now but years ago when I first started sewing I was deathly afraid of knits! Oh, I would turn that pattern envelope over so fast to see the suggested fabrics and automatically rule out anything that called for a knit. Now, no fabric takes me to my happy place faster than a great knit. 

This outfit is comprised of two of my favorite knits, rayon jersey and ponte. The teal/animal print jersey from Sew Much Fabric is so cool! I love this unusual combination of a geometric pattern  over an animal print:

The pattern I used is my favorite knit tunic Vogue 8952. I've made this pattern so many times and never tire of it.  As for the pants, now here is some real love! This is my first make of the Style Arc Sailor Sue Palazzo Pants and I LOVE them! 

This pair is made from a wonderful Blue Jean/ Saffron Reversible Knit (Sold Out but in this colorway) from Sew Much Fabric that I've had for a while. Perfect weight for these pants:

I absolutely love this outfit! So comfortable and made with these fabulous knits from Roz it makes me now want to rule out using any patterns made for wovens!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Fall 2018 Must- Have Trends

Fall 2018 Must-Haves are pieces with trendy silhouettes that you can fit into your wardrobe to update it for the cold season. And have fun doing it!  Look at these great fabric choices from Sew Much Fabric!  Let’s explore three of these many exciting trends!

Trend #1 – Plaids 
Plaids are everywhere in many bright colors and patterns.  Think outside the box. Plaids are not just for jackets. 

A classic style that will take you to work easily and turn heads when you make it in Black/Ivory Wool Plaid Suiting or Black/Red Plaid Wool Plaid.  
Use Vogue 9209 for a classic look or McCalls 7813 for the trendy, flirty look to wear for drinks after work or a dinner date with that special person.

Trend #2 Menswear Blazers

Who would think that this boxy menswear-inspired jacket would be back in so many different versions? Well, here it is! 

Oversize and comfortable, this style is great to wear to a football game or a fall festival! Make this blazer in the season's trending color, Peacock Blue Stretch Wool using McCalls 7818. Pair with your favorite pair of jeans.

Use the Navy/Pearl Grey Pinstripe Double Faced Wool for the classic blazer with Butterick 5926. Kick it up a notch with black faux leather trim and wear it to a dinner party with a flirty black dress!

Trend #3 Animal Prints
They’re back. Actually, they never left. The animal prints are always around. And whether you like them a little or a lot, you can incorporate them into your wardrobe in various ways. Growl!!!

Go to movie night in style wearing this top made from

Try this flirty dress in Shades of Brown Animal Print Viscose Jersey Knit in Butterick 6585.  Great to wear to a weekend jazz concert! 
Whatever your choices are from this great selection of fabrics, have fun sewing!  Remember to be creative and understand that the traditional uses for fabrics have evolved.  Have a great October!

Fabric ideas posted by Beverly Gatterson, who teaches fashion design at the Art Institute of Houston.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

It's A Wrap!

Wrap dresses are so versatile and figure flattering!  Kasey added this fashion classic to her closet using a 16oz Ponte Knit in Grey with pretty machine embroidery for a personal touch. You can follow Kasey at Kasey Sasser Embroidery and Gifts.  Thanks, Kasey!

Butterick 5030

I’ve just finished my first wrap dress, Butterick 5030. The pattern calls for wovens, as well as “matted jersey”; I used the 16oz ponté in grey. As I have previously said about this ponté, the fabric is lovely to work with, well behaved, and I had no problems with it. I even used a heavy embroidery design and the fabric is holding it well.

This pattern has a variety of sleeve and collar options, including facings, but I chose to do a simple turned edge to finish the neck and hemline. 

The ponté doesn’t ravel so I didn’t bother to overcast the raw edge, though of course, you could to keep things tidy. I serged the major construction seams and chose a topstitch to finish the neckline, hem and sleeves.

I did add in-seam pockets to the skirt, and to help support them in the dress I added twill stay tape at the waistline.

 I used a lighter weight stay tape along the rest of the waistline as well as the pocket edges.

I also added the twill tape to the shoulders; the ponté is a bit heavy, and since much of the weight will be hanging from the shoulders I wanted to support the dress. (I used a doubled-sided positioning tape to keep the twill in place, but I didn’t care for the product much, was a bit gummy on my needles and pins.)

The pattern calls for “hook and eye” for the closure, but otherwise only uses the belt to close it. I used the sturdier “trouser” hook and eye and placed one on each side (don’t forget to use the stitches Eileen taught us!)

I chose the sash belt for this dress, mostly so I’d have room for embroidery! I used topstitching again to finish the turned edge, but when I tried on the dress a couple of stitches popped in the belt; I haven’t found them yet but when I do I will repair them with a knit stitch. I think the straight stitch will be OK on the main body of the dress, but since the fabric stretches and the belt will be pulled tight, topstitching with the knit stitch (the lightning stitch) would probably have been better. If I find any stitches popping on the dress, I’ll repair them the same way.

As for stabilizing the neckline, I used a double-sided fusible stay tape; since it’s a knit, and on the bias to boot so I didn’t want any sagging. It’s a permanent adhesive, not a piece of fabric, so it moves with the knit but allows it to keep its shape.  I did use a regular knit stay tape along the front edges of the skirt, just because they were long and free-hanging.

So why the peacock embroidery? To match my little jacket from last fall! I used the remaining fabric for this dress and decided to have it match. Perhaps not the chicest of travel outfits, but I think it’s comfy and will serve me well on long flights and car rides. If you’d like details on how I did the embroidery, visit my blog here.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

October Fabric Sale!

Head on over to the website to see newly markdown fabrics! Find these fabrics under “It’s on Sale” and “Last Chance”. 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Burda Style October 2018

To Purchase, go to
(Sold Out)

All Styles at a Glance

Line Drawings

Flattering 40s-inspired shirtdress

Great addition to your white shirt collection!

Chic sheath for the office

I love the sharp, angular lines of this jacket.  
Great for the office and weekend!

Plus Size
Weekend Glam

Pockets and Side Seam Details

Thursday, September 06, 2018

White After Labor Day!

Wearing white after Labor Day is no longer a fashion faux pas!  Kasey made a white skirt using a heavy 16oz Ponte Knit.  The weight of the fabric will take her through the winter.  Thanks, Kasey!  You can follow Kasey at Kasey Sasser Embroidery and Gifts.
I’m really starting to love this 16oz. ponté! The more I sew with it, the more I learn about it. My latest make is my old friend V7910, view C (OOP.) I wanted another white skirt for summer, but something different than my current linen and cotton white skirts. While I think the finished skirt is a bit heavy for the hottest parts of summer, the weight of the ponté makes it a perfect transition piece into fall or from winter into spring.

Roz suggested lining it even though it’s pretty thick, and she was right; you can still see through the white (I don’t think the colored pontés would need lining generally) so I chose the tricot in beige. Then I decided to get really crazy and use it as an underling instead of a lining – and I serged the two layers together. Did it work? It was OK; the tricot slipped some even with the differential feed on my serger turned up, but nothing earth-shattering, just a couple of tiny puckers here and there. Using those wonderful clover forked pins (temporaily sold out) really helped!

One thing I noticed about the ponté is that it really likes to be pressed, unusual I find for a knit. Press it well and use a clapper or ham – don’t be afraid to steam it! What didn’t like steam was the tricot; again, nothing terrible but it did cause a few little “melted” spots and puckers right under the iron’s steam holes. If you’re more careful than I am, you can probably avoid that.

The only place I used my regular sewing machine was for the vertical skirt seams; this was so I could press the seams open and topstitch down each. The topstitching and most of the assembly was done with my serger – just because I could! Too I think the double line of topstitching adds to the casualness of the fabric. Speaking of topstitching, my first pass was done from bottom to top, that is wide to narrow as we are taught to do… don’t do that. Perhaps because of the angles that the skirt panels are cut on, it got ugly (first picture.) I turned it around and stitched top to bottom and it came out perfectly smooth (the pin in the second photo is just to give my camera something to focus on.)

As you can see in the main photo, the facing shows through. I don’t know if it’s because I used a rolled hem to finish the edge (serger rolled hem), or just the thickness of the fabric. I'll wear this with untucked shirts so it’ll never show, but if your pattern calls for facings you may want to think about that or consider another finishing technique. I used the white knit fusible on the reverse of the facing to add some stability,

and a softer stay tape than my usual twill for the waist and top of the pockets.

Unfortunately, I forgot that between the weight and stretch of the fabric, I should have gone down a half size in the waist. But I’ll wear it a couple of times and if I feel it’s too loose, I can always stitch in the heavier twill.  And what’s a fun summer skirt without embroidery? This bit of pocket candy was mostly to distract from the black mark on the right pocket… I forgot to cut around it, but I was able to flip it over and you can’t really see the mark anymore, but it made a good excuse to have some fun!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Late Summer/Early Fall Grooving!

Summer is for grooving and even though we are anticipating cooler temperatures, it’s still fun to enjoy the last warm days of summer with fun events while we wear beautiful clothes.  So since it's hard to let summer go, we'll look at some opportunities for making some wonderful, versatile garments suited for summer and beyond. 

Late summer/early fall weddings or local events, look your best!

Attending a destination wedding or local event, look your best!
Channel your inner goddess of love with wrapped and drapey silhouettes using the Whimsical Floral Digital Print Rayon Jersey Knit. Florals are all over the runways!  Or select a solid color in Teal Green Rayon Jersey Knit.  Consider Vogue 9312 for a quick construction in the print jersey or the solid. Dress it up or down with accessories.

Did you say brunch?  Or a late summer BBQ? Oh yes! Rock these events with beautiful textures and prints!  

Brunch. Backyard BBQ. Neighborhood farmers' market. These fabrics are begging to be made into this jumpsuit from Vogue 1591. Use the Black Sundial Eyelet and underline with the color of your choice or use Island Tropical Print Rayon Poplin-Black. Wear this straight into early autumn with a small cover-up jacket or t-shirt worn underneath.

Dance the night away under the stars! Plan for a date night or girls’ night out looking sultry and glamorous.

Aiming for eyes on you all night long? I'm loving blush the color of the season and so flattering on a variety of skin tones. Go with the Ivory/Rose Gold Brocade or the Pale Peach/Apricot/Coral Rose Jacquard Brocade for an unforgettable look!  Here’s an idea. The fabrics can be used on either side!

What a great way to end the summer and start fall in one or more of these fabulous garments!  Start your sewing adventure by browsing the selection of current trendy colors and fabrics at Sew Much Fabric!  Enjoy!

Fabric ideas posted by Beverly Gatterson, who teaches fashion design at the Art Institute of Houston.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Burda Style September 2018

To purchase, go to
(Sold Out)

Line Drawings

The diagonal belt loop!
(Sold Out)

Tailored and feminine, this is a great option for the office. 

The Petite Pattern

This sleeveless jacket is great to transition into fall!

Plus Size
Military-inspired dress for the office or weekend.
Dress #122-Black/White Patchwork Reversible Stretch Cotton

Two looks-one top!
Top #125-Khaki Green Animal Print Viscose Jersey Knit