Thursday, October 19, 2017

Leather and Lace

  • Leathers and laces are all over the runways for Fall 2017 and Spring 2018.
  • We will be looking at the assortment of faux leathers (that is pronounced ‘fo’, not ‘fox’), and laces to see how versatile the materials are in making garments. It does not have to always be a coat or jacket. (photos from Vogue Runway Fall 2017 Collections of  Iro and Louis Vuitton)


Laser Cut Faux Leathers – Daytime or Evening
Kick up your weekend glam look and make a vest or the classic jacket using Butterick 6328 with Pine Green Laser Cut Faux Leather.

Spice things up and make an edgy LBD using Black Laser Cut Faux Leather with McCalls 7282.  Add an exposed zipper in the back.  

Red Faux Leather for the Holidays!
Red is trending this fashions season but it's also popular for most holidays like Christmas and Valentines Day.  Pair a Red Faux Leather skirt (Vogue 8750 or 9090) with a classic white shirt or a sleeveless lace top and create two different looks with one skirt!

Moto or Bomber Jackets
Look fashionable and keep warm as the weather gets cooler with a moto or bomber jacket in Black Embossed Faux Leather and Burda Style 09/2017 #105!  


Wear Lace During the Day
Traditionally an evening fabric, lace can look great in the daytime.  A causal dress made with Burnished Gold Lace and McCalls 7530 or an A-line skirt with Black Guipure Lace and Simpicity 8421.  Add a faux leather or denim jacket to complete the look!

 Laces Create Glamorous Looks.
Creating a garment with lace always makes a statement for glamorous events! Use the Amelia Sunset Yellow Lace with Vogue 1471 for a formal affair.  For a more relaxed event, the Black/Gold Stretch Lace made as a top and pants with Vogue 1572 will turn heads.

Weekend Glam
Novelty laces in navy, ivory, and java brown will make a funky and fun cropped jacket. Use pattern Burda 03/2017 #101A. 

Head over to Sew Much Fabric to see the faux leather and laces and have fun sewing with these specialty fabrics!  Don’t forget to research your techniques for handling laces and faux leathers before you get started.  Enjoy sewing with these on trend fabrics!

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

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

It's On Sale!

Selected Fabrics are discounted 20%-50% Off
Head on over to the website to see the complete selection of sale fabrics and SAVE!!
(some of the fabrics on sale top to bottom)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A Little Grey Jacket

Jackets are a great completer piece.  Throw one on and you instantly upgrade your look.  Kasey made a classic style jacket in the trending color grey.  This jacket will serve her well for years to come!  Thanks Kasey!  You can follow Kasey and all of her embroidery work at Kasey Sasser Embroidery and Gifts.

It doesn’t quite feel like fall yet but I’m ready for it this year with a great new topper in a ponté knit from Sew Much Fabric. This 16 oz. knit will stretch if you need it to, but is stable enough to be used like a woven. This knit comes in fabulous fall colors and is the perfect weight for this topper – which is the perfect little everywhere jacket for our weather here in Houston.
This knit is great to work with – washes well, irons and steams like a dream and sews really easily. I used a #90 ballpoint needle and lengthened my stitch from 2.4 to 2.8 for construction seams, and used a 4mm stitch length for topstitching; the knit is very spongy and the stitches will sink in if you don’t lengthen it. And with a 60” width you’ll barely need two yards for even the largest size.
The pattern 8464 is a vintage re-release by Simplicity for their new fall line. It looked like a fun, quick make, and it didn’t disappoint; a kimono-sleeve top with two simple darts for shaping, 7/8 length sleeve and the perfect hip length – not even any closures to put in! Aside from the tiny bit of hand stitching around the sleeves and to close the lining, I think cutting and construction was all of two hours… pretty good!
For the ladies out there worried about doing an FBA on a kimono top – don’t! This pattern is designed (in the larger size set) with 10 inches of ease at the bust. Besides which you’ll have plenty to borrow from the kimono armhole area – my busty sister-sewers, this topper is great for us! I did go up two sizes and added three inches to the sleeve width, but after constructing this and putting it on, I don’t think going up the two sizes was needed (maybe just one?) But, I will be wearing this over long sleeves and light weight sweaters this fall and winter so the extra room won’t be bad. Do note, the length of the shoulder bust dart needs to be altered to match where your bust falls. In my case I lengthened the dart by 2 1/8 inches.

The lining was an old mistake from years ago – I ordered a stretch silk charmeuse when I needed a regular. But it’s finally been used as a hidden pop of color. I tell you nothing is more cuddly and luxurious than a charmeuse lining! It will also slide right over whatever top you’re wearing. And of course what lining is complete without embroidery? This particular design is the gilded peacock by Urban Threads (available for application to any project by me!) I didn’t sew the darts into the lining, I just folded the extra fabric as a pleat; I think this lets the lining move better under the jacket.

And the finishing touch of course was buttons for the false back placket – an understated but lovely gold button also from Sew Much Fabric (Roz has the best buttons!) This jacket seems a little big in the back, but the placket serves to control the extra width and give a better fit.

This pattern lends itself to so many kinds of embellishment – bold topstitching, soutache or braids, shaped pockets – and of course you can add a button or hook closure if you’d like. I myself chose a simple patch pocket as I did not want the flap in the original design, but it could be an interesting focal point with the right embellishment.

Another great idea for this pattern is to use a brocade for an evening jacket, perfect for the upcoming holiday season. I personally am eyeing the black metallic jacquard with a lining in teal charmeuse, but the orchid Lurex with aubergine satin would be terrific combo as well. But don’t stop there! The ruby or sea grey wool or heather flannel would also be great choices for this pattern. I see at least two more of these quick and easy jackets in my future!

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Fall is Here! Part II

  • Lots of fall trends to sew up:
  • Faux leather and lace
  • Prints
  • Sequins and glittery fabrics
  • Tweeds and menswear fabrics
  • Image Lanvin Fall 2017-18 collection
  • And Sew Much Fabric has them all!

Color Palette 3

Color Palette 4

Gotta Have Jackets and Tops
Make this with Antique Gold/Black Reversible Stretch Satin or the Black with Sea Gray Flecks Wool Blend in Butterick 6496.  Make a longer vest version or jacket! And just for fun, use the Black Embossed Faux Leather!

Tops can go solid or print using Vogue 9272 in Floral Stripe Rayon Matte Jersey or Bluebell Rayon Jersey Knit. 

Versatile Dresses- Business Daytime or Evening
Use Ivory/Black Abstract Oval Stretch Cotton or make it in Blue Sky Hummingbird Rayon Jacquard. Use Vogue 9269. Prints are in for Fall!

Sheath Dress from Burda 08/2017 #120 works with French Roast/Cream/Gold Metallic Brocade or White Ponte Knit.

Basic Pieces To Complete The Look
A pencil skirt in Black Corduroy for weekend glam and Navy Novelty Lace for the office or date night.

Also consider the Teal Blue Ponte Knit and the Black Wool Tricotine for classic pants that go from day to evening and weekends using Vogue 9155.

As you can see, there is so much to choose from and sew many ideas to be creative!  Head over to Sew Much Fabric to see all the fabrics in color palette 3 and 4 and have fun sewing your fall wardrobe!

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

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Burda Style 10/2017

To purchase, go to 
(Sold Out)

All Styles at a Glance

Line Drawings

If you've never made a coat, this is a great 1st time coat pattern!

This blouse as a double layer hem and the trending ruffle sleeve.

The waistline detail gives the illusion of a wrap top.
or for a night out use Black Rayon Jersey Knit with 
Black/Gold Stretch Lace for the sleeves.
Shirt 119B 

A 60s mod dress perfect for vintage lovers!

Plus Size
Love the zipper detail in the side seam.

Office Wear

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Shirts For The Men In Your Life

Men love custom made clothes, too!  Kasey's husband is the lucky recipient of 3 great new shirts.  Be sure to take a close up look of  the custom embroidery she did.  You can follow Kasey and all of her embroidery work at Kasey Sasser Embroidery and Gifts.

Here are three more shirts made with lovely fabrics from Sew Much Fabric. Two are made with the Egyptian cotton sateen (French Blue and Venetian Red), the third with the Copen Blue Stretch Cotton Shirting. These are really great fabrics for classic tailored shirts. I used Kwik Sew 3422 for these; Kwik Sew 3555 would also be a good choice. Remember to widen your seam allowances to 5/8 from 1/4 if you’ll be doing traditional flat-felling and topstitching.

The Egyptian sateen is light, almost batiste-weight, excellent for summer shirts or dresses, but still good to carry you into fall layered with a light jacket or sweater. The cotton fabric is crisp, irons well and sews beautifully – no difficulties with it. A few tips on sewing with sateen: if you are as “particular” as I am, you will want to treat it as a directional fabric. I cut one of the pockets 90 degrees to the shirt front and while it’s not bad, I notice the difference in shine. So keep that in mind when cutting. On the plus side it is a generous 56” wide so you can buy a little bit less if you are creative with the layout. I would use a pressing cloth or iron from the wrong side to avoid shine, but I was able to remove any shine I ironed in with a light spritzing from the water bottle, no permanent damage. I pre-washed the fabrics in hot water and dried on medium in the dryer, they came out just fine. I anticipate they will wash and wear just as easily.

Copen Blue Stretch Cotton Shirting is very elastic, but for a stretch woven is has very good recovery. If you want to make a very slim fitting tailored shirt or dress this is the fabric to do it in. It sews fairly well; it is marginally thick so lengthen your stitches just a bit – I used 2.8 instead of 2.4 – to keep the fabric from bunching strangely at the seams (stretch wovens just do this, it's the Lycra I think.) It irons wonderfully; the seams are crisp, and, even when I left the iron on too long, almost no shine. But when it did happen it came right out with water. When topstitching this one I again lengthened the stitch – 3.3 instead of 3.0 – but if you’re going to flat-fell the seams as I do, you may want to pin and press them first; the elasticity lets it pop out from under the presser foot on hard curves. I washed and dried this fabric the same as the first shirting and it too came out just fine.

Also, try to handle the cut pieces as little as possible as both fabrics fray easily. Sateen is created with a “half-weave” which allows it to ravel, and the bounce of the Lycra in the second fabric causes it to unwind readily. I strongly recommend either flat-felled, French or serged seams with these fabrics.

If you want to make really lovely tailored shirts I’d like to suggest Pam Howard’s Craftsy class, the Classic Tailored Shirt. No, I don’t get anything for it but I’ve tried every tailored shirt book and class I could find and I think this beats them all. Is it Savile Row tailoring? No, maybe more “modern” classic, but the class is excellent, and Ms. Howard a very good teacher. But whatever method you use, a good way to ensure best results is with great shirting like these from Roz!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Eureka!-And Ponte Knit Pants!

Thank you so much Cari for sharing your tips on fitting pants.  They look awesome!  I'm seeing more ponte knit pants in your future....:)  You can follow Cari on Instagram @carikim.

Flat - Curvy - Generous - Which one would you say describes your bum?  Mine is curvy - so let me share why this is so important when it comes to fitting pants.  It’s all about the crotch  - which coincides with your body curves and the length you need in the back - Yep - if you get the crotch fitting your unique body structure just right you can create perfect fitting pants every time. 

Hi — I’m Cari and I’m a licensed pant fitting professional with the Eureka! Pants That Fit pattern by Fit For Art Patterns.  I sew  - but I love fancy and love to sew fancy which is a disconnect because fancy isn’t really a need for this farmgirl so pants are my mainstay.  Even though I live in jeans I’ve never had the perfect pair - Didn't believe they exist for me!  To fit my hips - I have to belt them.  Low rise means really saggy front crotch but the back is usually okay.  Mid-rise is just uncomfortable because the belt wants to jab my tummy when I sit - midlife probs.  My natural waist is so high - most clothing designers don't make any to sell off the rack.  So if you want something to fit — you have to make it yourself! 

Five years ago Connie Crawford came to town - aka teacher - author - patternmaker for Butterick patterns etc. - she told me my crotch depth was 2” longer than the “average.”  That gave me hope - at least I knew what the problem is now! 

So I set out to achieve the perfect fit.  I drafted a pant pattern from Suzy Furrer’s book Building Patterns: The Architecture of Women’s Clothing.  I had great success …. mostly - I added the 1” to the front and back between the waist and the crotch - as Suzy instructed - which totaled the 2” I was told by Connie I needed - except - now they were too baggy under my bum - while crawling up my …. in the back at the same time.  I didn’t quite know how to fix that so as my sewing buddy Mary would say, ‘they’re a wadder!”  Ugh  

Then I learned about the licensing training for Eureka! Pants that Fit.  I signed up - hopped a plane to Baltimore and spent an entire week learning and using their system with hands-on practice from volunteers everyday. 
No more wadders!!

I was sold!!  You might be too if you give this pattern a try.  Especially if you're looking to unlock the secrets to fitting great pants.   We all know secrets don’t make friends so these gals have developed a grid system for fitting where the lines - grid - let you see what you need to do to achieve a perfect fit.   That’s why this pattern offers 3 back pattern choices too!   Start there  - then they’ll walk you through what to look for and how to remedy the problem(s).   

So let me share with you the 3 most important secrets to achieving pant fitting success with Eureka!:

Choose your bum shape - Flat - Curvy - Generous.  Your 3 different back pattern options.  Choose only 1 of the 3.  Different lengths for different curves! 
  ✅ This is all about the length of the crotch area. 

Choose your size based on your fullest circumference.  It’s most likely your full hip but I’ve had several clients where it’s their abdomen.  Use the larger of the two measurements - Abdomen or Hip. 
  ✅ This is all about the rise front to back - covering not crawling either.  

Make a mock-up with the grid marked on it so you can “read” the lines first.  
  ✅This is about you finally getting that perfect fit.  It will be SO worth it! 

Everything is completely outlined for you with a detailed instruction booklet that’s included with the pattern to help walk you through every step - from mock-up - to fitting issues - to your customized finished pant.  The pattern is available from XXS = 32” hip to an XXXL = 60” hip.  The size range comes in two different packages: XXS - L  and  L - 3XL  each $25.00 plus postage.  If you want to give this pattern a try send me an email  and I can get one out to you asap!    

I know you’re thinkin’ just show me the pants — My latest make was a challenge to my sewing group which I needed more than the rest of them!    Sad but true - I sew for other people and rarely make anything for myself so I challenged myself and my group to make something for our annual sewing expo which was last weekend.  

Me in my pants!  I apologize the lighting isn’t better with this dark color.

I choose to make ponte knit pants in Graphite Grey from Roz at Sew Much Fabric.  I’ve tweaked my Eureka! pattern to fit just right in woven fabric so decided I would cut them out of the ponte knit without any modifications for stretch.   The ponte knit fabric is dreamy - stable - a little weighty ( which I like ) and a breeze to sew.  It behaves much like a woven although I did use a stretch needle for construction.  

Because I’m the designer - another perk of using this pattern - I did a flat front - 2 darts in the back, a tapered leg to the ankle (for something different) - right side invisible zipper (I’m a rule breaker pretty much always) - used a fusible interfacing to stabilize the zip and finished with a faced waist.  Seams are stitched on a regular machine and I clean finished the edges with the serger.  Simple - easy - quick and super comfy! 

Okay - so as I confessed earlier - I break the rules all the time and I don’t always follow my own wisdom.  I have to share this with you so you don’t do as I did …. I should've made a mock-up in the ponte knit first …..  because I want to make more ponte knits pants …. Here’s why - -  I did have to take in the side seams and I did have to scoop the back crotch a little more to stop most of the baggy bum thing from happening.  Which is secret #4 - every fabric is going to react / hang differently so give yourself some fitting room in the fashion fabric when you cut if out.  Always try them on and adjust!

Here I’m wanting you to see the extra scooping I made in the back crotch blending to the front to pull the saggy-ness in to stop the wrinkling on the back legs.  I had already clean finished the edge so I didn’t bother to trim it out and do it again.  

Pants don’t have to be hard to fit.  You just need to know a couple of measurements - make a mock-up - understand why they're fitting like they are - know a couple of secrets to perfect the fit - and make the adjustments.  The Eureka! Pants That Fit pattern people have done all the work for you and graciously offer their system so you can create perfectly fitting pants too.  I want to end pant fitting fear - It worked for me so I know it can work for you too!!