Friday, May 16, 2014

Timeless Pairings in Black and White

Can you tell it was a very windy day?

I love color as much as the next guy but I keep a fair amount of black and white in my wardrobe.  Black and white are so easy to accessorize and the classic color combo helps me to be ready for sudden schedule changes. The sleeveless blouse is great to wear underneath a jacket in the summer and the skirt can be worn to a dressier occasion with a silk blouse, strappy heals and rhinestone accessories.  You'll see these pieces mixed with other items in the future.

This outfit was inspired from Fashion Week Spring 2014 and I pinned it onto my Pinterest board "Fashion Trend: Black and White".  

(Outfit from Celine)

The blouse is Burda Style 6/2012 #103 and the fabric is
Ivory Basketweave.

I made a few pattern changes to the blouse.  
  1. The pockets were too small for me so I enlarged them to my taste.  
  2. The armhole was too low so I raised it 1-1/4".
  3. I didn't like the facing that extends in the shoulder so I turned it into a front band by chopping off the extension. 

And thanks to Becki, she found the skirt pattern for me Burda Style 9/2013 #106 and I used Black Menswear Wool.

I made a size 38 with no changes to the pattern but I did add a lining and I like to use rayon hem tape to finish the hem.  

Do remember when cutting out the front pieces (pieces #1 and #2 including the front facing #2) to lay the pattern right side up or you will reverse which side the godet will hang.  

Try the blouse in a cotton lawn like Seeing Dots.
The skirt is trending the hi/low look and would work well in a silk charmeuse like Herringbone and Dots Silk Charmeuse.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Fly Away Cardigan

I bought this Glacier Grey Knit from Sew Much Fabric
(sold out) and decided to make a sweater out of it for the winter season.  I was pregnant so it needed to be loose and comfortable.  I would make another one out of the Amber Knit that is still in stock but I worry that the color would wash me out since I'm so fair skin. 

The following picture was the inspiration for this fly away cardigan. 

I used McCalls 6708 as my foundation and made my own custom modifications as I went.

The following alterations were made to the pattern.  

Back and front necklines were extended along the shoulder for a closer neck edge.  Next time, I will add another inch because it still isn't as close as I would've liked. So, I had to add a band along the entire front for more depth.  I guess it became a nice design feature.  

Front fly away cardigan angles were added and lengthened for a more draped look.  You can see my chalk drawn design extended from the front pattern piece in the following picture.  

Shoulder corners were sliced off and replaced with a blocked design.  The black was some chiffon I happened to have.  

I cut it so the bottom of the corner edge was on the fold.  I sewed with the piece open along the bottom fold, folded it up (so there is no topstitching needed) and secured the outer edges into the shoulder and armhole seams.  It worked perfectly.  

This is really comfy, was super easy to make and was a great fit for pregnancy and the winter season.  You know it turned out well when your high school students notice it and compliment it!  I usually wear it with a belt or ribbon tied around the waist and it looks great.

Thank you Abby for sharing this pretty cardigan.  I love it!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Spring 2014 Trends

It’s time to put away the fur coats and pull out the floral prints and shiny metals because spring is here!  We may have a few chilly days/nights that may call for a light jacket, but for the most part the next couple of months will be filled with graduations, outdoor festivals and vacations.  Here are five spring trends that will brighten your wardrobe this season.

Cool Grays and Shiny Metals
I’m sure you have always wondered where you are going to wear shiny shirts or dresses to after the holidays.  Shiny metals have been deemed holiday wear for a while.  Wearing gray is predominately a fall/winter color, but the way designers and industry leaders are using cool grays and flashy metals it’s finally bringing a daytime edge to a once perpetuated nighttime holiday look.  Take the Gold Metallic Linen Blend and make a moto jacket (Burda Style 02/2014 #128 or Style Arc Ziggi Jacket) for the office.  Tone the look down by using the reverse side for the lapel, cuff and waistband.  Take advantage of both sides again and make a color blocked sheath dress (Vogue 8923) or skirt (Butterick 6060). Bring out your Rock-n-Roll side and make a pair of metallic jeans.  

(Emma Metallic Denim Jeans from Nordstroms)
Now you can wear your grays and hot metals no matter the season or time of day.  Looking at the Silver Metallic Lace Knit the idea of a maxi dress (McCalls 6744) or hi/low tunic top (Butterick 6058) comes to mind.  With metallics you can be creative so experiment and pair them with any color!  

When you hear MOMA, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, or Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, what do you think of?  Possibly paintings with vibrant colors, mixed media pieces, and decadent art from various countries, not Mona Lisa’s face on a knee-length silk skirt or brushstrokes in the colors of blue, black, red, or yellow on an oversized dress.  We all loves bold colors and eclectic patterns, so why not try the Step Around fabric as a midi skirt (Burda Style 4/2014 #111).  It will surely make any outfit fun and exciting. Pair it with a blouse out of the Red or Black silk Charmeuse.  The Serenity Silk Charmeuse is perfect for a date night (pair it with the Honeysuckle and Coffee Bean Tweed for a copy cat look of the dress below).  A pair of comfy but oh so chic slouchy pants (Vogue 1323) will put you on top of your fashion game. Pair your Gold Metallic Linen Blend moto jacket to polish off the look. 

(Stella McCarthy)             
Now, we can feel as if we’re Picasso, while we strut around town covered in art.  Make sure you accessorize your art inspired look with lots of bronze or metallic jewelry to add spunk to your look.

Flower Party
What woman doesn't like flowers?  Picture blooming lilies in your office, pink and purple pansies in your garden, and sunflowers in your kitchen; all flowers are beautiful and can heighten your day and your look.  This season designers like Alberta Ferretti, Nicole Miller and Tory Burch distinctly explored the flower party look with charming loose fitting silk dresses and skirts, flirty pants suits and dreamy tops.  A color blocked dress (still trending this season) in the Kauai Cotton Faille Brocade for the front and Black Cotton Twill Stretch Sateen for the back would look great for any celebration.  

Linen Grey Circles would definitely add charm to a lovely pants suit (Burda Style 3/2014 #101 and 115) to be worn together or separately.  Updating your wardrobe with plenty of floral prints will make your spring days full of attitude and relaxation. 

Midi Skirts
It’s always good to see trends jump from one season to the next.  That means you don’t have to pull out your wallet whenever the weather changes.  This spring you can incorporate a lovely staple that can be worn for all four seasons – the midi skirt.  This piece can be worn to any occasion like a wedding or a picnic, just add the right accessories and your look will be complete.  Cottons and knits are great for the spring because they are breathable.  Graduations are coming up and I am sure you would like to be comfortable but cute.  Check out the fabrics, Splattered, Black/Tan Tropical Print Lawn and Indigo Blue Ponte Knit while thinking of adopting the midi skirt look this season.  For those that are self-conscious about their legs, a midi skirt might be a solution to getting out of those pants and wearing a skirt that reveals the legs only from the knees down.  Solid colored sandals or t-strapped heels will complement a high waist gathered midi skirt (Burda Style 5/2014 #119B) or an A-lined midi skirt (Burda Style 2/2014 #103).  Adding a colored top to the printed or solid skirt will accentuate the body and turn heads. 

Bold Accessories

It’s a new season filled with bold colors and fun prints.  Without the right accessories, your wardrobe this spring will be boring.  Next time you are browsing through your favorite thrift store or department store for accessories pick up bold pieces like bronze bangles, lacquered earrings, crystal rings and metallic hoops.  They will not only give life to your look for the day, but it will give you a boost to step out of your box. 

 -by fashion writer and blogger Andrea Henderson.