Thursday, April 20, 2017

Wrap it up!

Spring is finally in full swing and so should your sewing projects!
Here’s an idea; with all the beautiful rayon knit fabrics in prints and solids, why not make a classy wrap dress?

A little note about DVF

  • In 1970 Diane von Furstenberg arrived in New York with a suitcase full of jersey dresses that she had made at her friend Angelo Ferretti’s factory in Italy. She was encouraged by Vogue editor Diana Vreeland to pursue her dreams of designing. By 1974, she introduced the classic wrap dress that became a success almost immediately.
  • It remains a mainstay in women’s wardrobes many decades later.

We’re grateful for this silhouette which is suitable for all body types. It’s versatile and easy to wear. Dress it up for nights out on the town or make it work for daytime and casual outings.  

This is DVF’s version of the spring 2017 wrap dress. Notice the graphic print used.

Even First Ladies like this classic look in prints!

Knits in Prints or Solids
Black and white is a year around classic that's perfect for the office or date night! Pair Butterick 6054 with Black/White Tile Matte Jersey for this classic look.  
Black/White Tile Matte Jersey                Butterick 6054        

The wrap dress is a great way to showcase bold, bright prints. Consider Everglade, Fiery Hues or Island Hues Matte Jersey to make with Butterick 5898.
Top-Bottom:Everglade, Fiery Hues and Island Hues matte jersey
Butterick 5998

Pictured below are variations of the wrap dress. The silhouette is versatile and lends itself to design changes easily. 

This faux wrap dress in a solid color says Boss Lady!  Try Burda 03/2017 #121 Elastic waist wrap dress (Plus sizes) paired with Navy, Kelly Green or Cobalt Rayon Jersey Knit. 
Top to BottomNavy, Kelly Green and Cobalt Rayon Jersey Knit
Burda 03/2017 #121

Adding a ruffle to the neckline gives this wrap dress a boho vibe! Use Burda 10/2016 #116  and Flora and Fowl Print Jersey Knit
Flora and Fowl Print Jersey Knit        Burda 10/2016 #116  

Woven Fabrics and Wrap Dresses
Woven fabrics with good drape are another option for wrap dresses especially for a formal event!  
Top to Bottom: Lipstick Red and Garnet Silk Double Georgette
Vogue 9251

Flowing, easy, fabrics like silk charmeuse, georgette or the crepe back satin are a perfect choice and is available in a variety of colors.  Just think about the possibilities!  
Top to Bottom: Deep Turquoise and Eggplant Satin Back Crepe
McCalls 6959   

The wrap dress will work for you for all occasions!  Use your imagination in making your own unique version of this beautiful garment. See all of these solid and print fabrics available from Sew Much Fabric.  Happy Sewing!

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

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Spring Fashion Trend: Sleeves!

Sleeves are trending this spring fashion season.  The sleeve of choice for Dorcas is the Bell Du Jour Sleeve (see this post on sleeve names). Thank you Dorcas and you look fabulous!  Dorcas blogs at Lone Star Couture.

This blouse pattern is Vogue 9243 view D.  

I like all the cute sleeves that are out this season and I like the princess seaming. The fabric is a leno weave cotton (sold out) from Sew Much Fabric. I love wearing yellow and it is very hard finding a nice shade of it. I love this daffodil. There was a little pattern matching required for this fabric but nothing difficult. This is a gorgeous fabric and I'm eyeing the turquoise version of it!

The skirt is an older pattern that I've made so many times. There isn't much to say except the cute Cherry-Limeade Stretch Cotton Sateen fabric is from Sew Much Fabric. In fact, I'm getting ready to order a little more for a shirt. This is a great pattern. if you have it, hang on to it!

Nautical Ponte Knit T-Shirt

Kasey is back with another version of her favorite T-shirt pattern.  I love how Kasey uses this pattern over and over and each one has its own special touch.  Remember this version?  Thank you Kasey!
I used another lovely ponté knit from Roz for this top; it’s a slight variation on my usual boat neck. Instead of an overlap at the shoulder I abutted the collar bands, matching the stripes. To do this I attached the collar pieces to the front and back, pressed them up, and then placed the collar pieces together in the shoulder area, adjusting them slightly to align the stripes. I then used a wide, medium length zigzag stitch in a contrasting thread to baste the edges together so I could attach the sleeves in the flat. With the basting in place, I fell stitched the two collar sides together from the inside of the garment. Once I finished I removed the basting (yes, there’s probably an easier way to do this, but as I was making it up as I went along, that’s what I came up with.)

But it was such a lovely fabric to work with; it cut easily and sewed up with no difficulty. I was even able to remove stitches several times from the same area without much damage to the fabric. It washed well on a regular cycle and in the dryer on delicate; it can get a tad shiny with ironing so you may want to use a pressing cloth, but once I washed it again the shine was gone. It is a very firm knit so if you don’t like figure skimming garments you may want to go up a half or full size.

Besides this kind of top I think it would make and excellent sweater set or sheath dress; it’s got a good weight and is a fun color for spring – I’m pairing mine with the apricot silk charmeuse as a scarf and the cream Egyptian cotton (temporarily out of stock) in a skirt. But I really like the sweater set idea so I may be getting more soon...

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Burda Style 4/2017

 To Purchase, go to
(Sold Out)

All Styles at a Glance

Line Drawings

Great way to use smaller pieces of fabric for a fashion statement!

Designer Pattern from Dimitri

Perfect for the warmer weather that is to come!
Blouse #111A -Cyan Leno Weave Cotton

Highlight the back yoke and use the opposite side of a reversible fabric. 

Plus Size
Change it up and use a print for date night!

Sleeve are trending!
(Temporarily Out of Stock)

Spring into Sleeves!

  • Spring has arrived and now is a great time to sew up some beautiful blouses. (And dresses!)
  • Sleeve variations are everywhere on the fashion runways and we will look at a few just to get you inspired.
  • On the right is Michael Kors’ version of the Marie sleeve which was popular in the late 1800s (picture on the left)
Marie Sleeves
Vogue 9243  Ivory Silk Double Georgette (top)  Egyptian Cotton-Swiss Ivory (bottom)
Vogue 9243 is a spot on version of the Marie sleeves.  This style can become your new white blouse for the spring/summer!  Make it in Ivory Silk Double Georgette paired with a high-waist pencil skirt for the office or in Egyptian Cotton - Swiss Ivory (Temporarily Out of Stock) to wear with jeans for the weekend.

Bell Du Jour Sleeves
Moroccan Print Rayon Challis-Teal Blue      McCalls 7545
Elle magazine calls these “bell du jour” because of their bell shapes. These can be casual versions like McCalls 7545 made from a soft fabric like Moroccan Print Rayon Challis-Teal Blue (Sold Out) or Floral Brushstrokes Silk Charmeuse for a dressier garment. 

Gigot Sleeve or Leg-o-Mutton
(Top Row) Antique White/Metallic Gold Sheer Damask   (Bottom Row)  Old and Modern  Version Vogue 1518
Make your  wardrobe work for daytime and evening. Try the Antique White/Metallic Gold Sheer Damask for the updated look interpreted by Vogue 1518 a Zandra Rhodes pattern.

Bishop Sleeves
(Top Row) Black Stretch Wool Crepe, Polyester Chiffon 60"-BlackBlack Guipure Lace
(Bottom Row) RTW dress, Marfy F3315,  Marfy F3411

Take an old classic and re-work to make it trendy and modern! Try using Black Stretch Wool Crepe and the Black Chiffon for the classic look or add interest by adding the Black Guipure Lace to the top of the dress like the Marfy F3315 pattern.

Cold Shoulder Sleeves

How about using the Ivory/Gold Metallic Stretch Brocade to show off your sewing skills? Make this cold shoulder dress Burda 11/2016 #108C and you will knock them out! Updated leg-o-mutton sleeve with bare shoulders!

This is so exciting to be able to look back over 100 years and see old silhouettes being used in new and modern ways and fabrics! Be sure to check out all of the spring fabrics for this sleeve trend. and have fun sewing these looks.  

Thursday, March 16, 2017


  • The NY fashion week shows are over and many exciting looks came down the runways for fall.  But since we are just about to have SPRING, it might be fun to look at some of the current trends. One of the most energizing trends is textured fabrics. They are being used for work clothes as well as casual and evening.
  • Let’s take a look at a few designers for inspiration.

Textures for Day 

Weekend Glam
                                       Primrose Leno Weave Cotton          Burda Style 03/2017 #116B                                            
The weekend is a time to really have fun with fashion!  This Primrose Leno Weave Cotton (Sold Out) (a Pantone color for spring/summer) in a cold-shoulder blouse is a perfect way to glam up your weekend attire.  

Office Wear  
ZigZag Tweed                                   Vogue 1500
Duplicate this dress from Anne Klein for the office using the textured tweed ZigZag Tweed and Vogue 1500.

Daytime Events
Lapis Blue Floral Eyelet / Silk Charmeuse-Royal Blue      McCalls 7366                          
What to wear to an outdoor wedding, fashion show or an informal brunch with the girls?  Make a jumpsuit using Lapis Blue Floral Eyelet (Sold Out) lined with Royal Blue Silk Charmeuse and McCall’s 7366. 

Textures for Night

Date Night
Reptile Print Stretch Sequin Tulle          Michael Kors            
On those Saturday nights when a plain old t-shirt won't do, make one in this Reptile Print Stretch Sequin Tulle!  A t-shirt pattern like McCalls 6927 with a center back opening is best.  Pair with Blue Denim (Temporarily Out of Stock) or Graphite Grey Ponte Knit.

Office Events
Black Lace with White Backing                       Vogue  9172  
Updated your classic skirt with a flounce. Use Black Lace with White Backing and Vogue 9172.  Pair with Ivory Silk Double Georgette and make a beautiful classic blouse.

Formal Soirees 
Smokey Taupe Lace and Sequin Stretch Lace       Vogue 1534
It's time to "put on the Ritz" when the occasion calls for black tie! A Satin in Smokey Taupe  and coordinating Smokey Taupe Sequin Stretch Lace using Vogue 1534 is just the ticket.

Sewing with textured fabrics can be fun, challenging, and rewarding.  Refer to sewing guides for how to handle lace and other textured fabrics.  Head over to Sew Much Fabric to see all the Textured Fabrics. And don’t forget your notions from the web site- threads, buttons, and linings.

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

Monday, February 27, 2017

Knits-The Real Fabric of our Lives!

  • An easy way to transition from cold weather to warmer days is to wear garments made with knits. They are comfortable, versatile, and easy to construct!
  • We want to give a brief homage to two great designers who specialized in their use of knit fabrics:
  • Sonia Rykiel who passed away just recently in 2016 
  • Scott Barrie- great designer from the 1970s who made classic styles using knits
  • Knit fabric and pattern inspirations!

Sonia Rykiel's knitwear designs and techniques caused her to be known as the “Queen of Knits”. She passed away in August of 2016. 

Known for making beautiful dresses using matte jersey, he was at the height of fashion during the 1970s. He was a master at draping jersey and chiffon.

Ponte Knits

Using Vogue 9193, this pattern can be versatile by making a daytime, weekend glam look with Soft Blush Ponte Knit as the top and Coral Ponte Knit for the pants.

Or make the classic dressy version using White Ponte for the top and Midnight Black Ponte for the pants. Both of these great looks are from one pattern! 

Jersey Knits
Jersey knits and a wrap dress go hand in hand!  Make this mock wrap dress with the beautiful Black Denim Matte Jersey using Burda Style 08/2016 #131. 

Or go with the traditional wrap dress using Butterick 6054 and make it in a solid color like Cobalt Rayon Jersey Knit.

Reversible Knits
And how about those reversible knits that we love?  McCalls 7538 is a fabulous look for spring made with Seafoam Blue/Kiwi Reversible Knit.  

Scuba knit is the knit of choice for the trendsetter. Use Vogue 1486 to showcase this Hot Pink/Earth Brown Reversible Scuba Knit. 

Print-tastic Knit
Printed knits are always a great way to express your personality through your clothing.  An abstract print like Fractured Light Matte Jersey with McCalls 7579 has an edgy vibe!

Or a nautical knit like Cobalt Blue/White Stripe Ponte Knit is perfect for the modern classic in a Chanel-like jacket. Use Burda Style 02/2017 #108 

That’s it for now.  Happy sewing!  Check out all of the fabulous knits and tricot linings at Sew Much Fabric so you can get started right away on these great Spring projects.

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

Friday, February 24, 2017

Burda Style 3/2017

To Order, go to

All Styles at a Glance

Line Drawings

Here comes the Bride!


Mother of the Bride/Groom

Perfect for Weekend Glam
Mini Dress #117A-Flora and Fowl Jersey Knit

Plus Size
Pattern Mixing
Dress 123A-Blue Chip Jersey Burnout Knit (Sold Out) and

Add a belt with this classic wrap dress.