Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Many Faces of Cotton

Based on industry information, cotton is the most widely used fiber for apparel production in the world.  The properties of cotton lend itself to multiple uses along with clothing such as bedding, draperies, towels, rugs, etc. We like it because it absorbs moisture, retains its shape, has a high comfort level, and is easy to care for.
There are several varieties of cotton; some are named after the places they were developed or where they are grown. And since we know that cotton comes from a plant, it is possible to experiment with these fibers to produce variations. 

Origin of Cotton Production

Cotton was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians for thousands of years. It became a source of income for the country during the 1800s when Europeans began to establish trade routes for fibers such as silk, cotton, and linen for apparel.

Different Types of Cotton

  • Egyptian cotton is considered the finest and most popular cotton because of its soft hand and long shiny, thin fibers. Used for making bedding and fine garments.
  • Sea Island cotton – another strain of cotton which has extra long fibers. Developed in the sea islands just off South Carolina and Georgia during the early 1800s.
  • Pima cotton- Has long and smooth fibers that also fall into the category of Extra Long Staple fiber. It is similar to the Egyptian cotton in quality. Also strong, soft, and durable. Named after the Pima Indians in southwest United States who were the people cultivating these crops in the early 1900s.
  • All of these originated in Egypt and were brought to America and became variations as they were cultivated.

Boho Chic

Cotton can take on the boho trend!  Make this look using Cornflower Blue/Sable Brown Paisley Pima Cotton Shirting and Butterick 6519 Pair with Classic Brown Tropical Stretch Wool for basic pants. 

Mix It Up For Weekend Events 
Red/Maize Paisley Pima Cotton Shirting will work great for weekend events as a top using McCalls 7682 and make basic tapered pants like Butterick 6327 using the Red Faux Leather.

Daytime to Dinner 
Use Grape/Teal Paisley Pima Cotton Shirting to make a soft feminine dress with Pine Green Laser Cut Faux Leather as an accessory vest. Try Butterick 6514 and Butterick 5359 for this look that can go from daytime into dinner after work.

Dare to be Different for Evening
Make these oversized flowy pants using Vogue 8955 and Dark Ginger Silk Double Georgette.  Pair the pants with  Rust/French Navy Paisley Pima Cotton Shirting for a show-stopper blouse, Burda Style 12/2016 #122. 

Check all the cottons out, both print and solids at Sew Much Fabric!

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

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Burda Style December 2017

To purchase, go to
(Sold Out)

All Styles at a Glance

Line Drawings

Gotta love a printed coat!

Great pullover to wear for at home holiday parties.

And a skirt for the office Christmas party.
Skirt #121-Brocade-Spice Wine/Gold Foil

A lace dress to bring in the New Year!
Dress #107B-Black Border Chantilly Lace

Plus Size
Cocktail Time
Tunic #123A-Black/Gold Stretch Lace

Love the waistline details
Jumpsuit #126-Black Silk Double Georgette

Friday, November 24, 2017

Oh! What a Night!

  • We have reached the time of year when we are being invited to celebrate the season! And with that comes the need to create festive, fun, and trendy garments to sparkle at these holiday events.
  • Let’s explore a few possibilities with fabrics from Sew Much Fabric!
  • Images from Oscar de la Renta’s Fall 2017 Collection

Office Party for the Holidays- 
Go from daytime business straight into party mode by adding a jacket.

The red background of this Jasper Red Floral Print Rayon Challis as a shirt dress is a nice way to do holiday cheer in an office setting!  Pattern- Vogue 9201 

Make a lace Chanel-esque jacket with Navy Novelty Lace to wear over the dress and you're ready to meet your colleagues out for drinks. Pattern- Vogue 9247

Or make a beautiful knit wrap dress (Butterick 6411) in a muted shade of green like Army Green Rayon Jersey Knit and pair it with the Navy Novelty Lace Jacket. 

Weekend Holiday Gatherings-Time to relax!
Decorating the tree, Christmas shopping or taking photos for this year's Christmas card, it's time to relax with family and friends!  Make a white blouse (Burda Style 07/2017 #119A) with details at the neck and/or sleeve for a festive look using 

Sew up a pair of pants using Black/White Windowpane Stretch Cotton Sateen and Burda Style 3/2010 #135A to wear with the white blouse for holiday shopping or just hanging out with family and friends.

Time to add a little glam for the annual family Christmas pictures! Use the same white blouse and make a pleated brocade skirt with Black/Gold Swirl Brocade for just a hint of sparkle. 

A Formal Affair- 
Holiday festivities that require formal dresses. 
There are lots of options when it's time to dress up!  Consider making an impact with color and sew a dress (Vogue 1566) with Brocade-Spice Wine/Gold Foil.

For a red carpet New Year's Eve look you can't go wrong making a beautiful jewel tone formal in Deep Turquoise Satin Back Crepe.  Pattern- Vogue 1474

You’ll be sure to get attention with these beautiful fabrics from Sew Much Fabric.  Let’s get started! The clock is ticking!

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

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Long and Short of It!

Carla has made another chic weekend glam hi/lo T-Shirt using Black/White Tile Rayon Matte Jersey.  This T-Shirt will serve her well for many fashion seasons to come!  Thank you Carla!!

I made Version A with a shortened sleeve and a modified hemline.  The really long pointy tops do not flatter me! 

I used Linda Lee’s method of “Ready to wear neck binding” in her knit class on Craftsy.  This is the best set of instructions for doing a neckline that looks just like ready to wear—and it’s really easy!

I love my top. The fabric is fantastic!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Suit Yourself!

The Menswear trend is back and hotter than ever; from flannel, tweeds, and stripes, to solid tropical weight wools and even brocades. Let’s look at the styles and fabric choices from Sew Much Fabric! Image from Calvin Klein’s Fall 2017 RTW collection

Outerwear: Coats
As we head into the winter months, a coat is high priority!  A tweed coat with just a hint of color like Black with Ruby Flecks Wool Blend or Black with Sea Grey Flecks Wool Blend will brighten an otherwise dreary winter day. A coat that's slightly oversized offers plenty of room to wear a suit underneath. Pattern- Burda Style 11/2016 #128B 

A coat in faux leather like Black Embossed Faux Leather has just a little feminine touch in the print! Pattern: Burda Style 09/2016 #117

Sports Jacket
A sports jacket is a completer piece for the menswear trend.  It completes or adds polish to a shirt and pair of pants.  Corduroy (Sold Out) or wool flannel are the perfect fabrics for this look.  Pair with jeans, a scarf and cap for a chic weekend glam outfit!  Pattern- Burda 6746

A white cotton shirt is a wardrobe staple for both men and women. A pinstripe shirt is also classic menswear but in silk it softens the look and adds a more luxurious feel.  Pattern-Burda 7136

A power suit is quintessential menswear.  Tropical weight wool in black, navy and brown are great to wear all year around.  You'll need all three pieces-jacket, pants and skirt.  Break the suit up and wear the individual pieces with other items in your wardrobe.  Pattern: Vogue 9138

A tuxedo is a great alternative look for evening and so comfortable!  Use this Black/White Double Faced Suiting and add a little sparkle with a sequin shell top.  Pattern- Burda Style 10/2015 #126 

A second option for a tuxedo look is brocade.  Sparkle is always a welcome addition!  Pattern Burda Style 09/2014 #107 

Head over to Sew Much Fabric to see all of these fabrics plus more  and sew up a few of these menswear inspired outfits. These looks will last for many years to come and still be on trend!

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

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Burda Style 11/2017

 To Purchase, go to
(Sold Out)

All Styles at a Glance

Line Drawings

Figure flattering lines with lots of options for color combinations!

Such an effortlessly chic coat! 

Dress by designer Steffen Schraut
Dress #122-Red Wool Tricotine

For my trendsetters!

Plus Size
A new coat can brighten the dreariest of winter days.

Love a good flounce on a pencil skirt!