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!
(Sold out)

Plus Size
Love the zipper detail in the side seam.

Office Wear
(Sold Out)

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 (Sold Out) 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!!  

Thursday, September 14, 2017

September Song

  • Oh the days dwindle down to a precious few… We are grateful for Autumn with crisp mornings and cool evenings.
  • The change of seasons inspires us to think about sewing an outfit that is versatile and trendy.
  • Let’s look at some of the choices from Sew Much Fabric.

The concept: 
A jacket, trendy skirt, classic pants, and a blouse to complete the look. Maybe two tops just for fun!  The idea is to be able to mix and match these pieces that will go perfectly for daytime/work into late evening or dinner. And for the weekend, more relaxed looks can be mixed and matched.
Color Palette #1
1. Black with Ruby Flecks Wool Blend  2. Jasper Red Floral Print Rayon Challis  3. Chamois Wool Calvary Twill  4. Scarlet Red Lace  5. Cardinal Red Stretch Denim  6. Egyptian Cotton-Venetian Red 
Versatile pieces 

Pieces to complete the look

Make a trendy mid-calf skirt using Cardinal Red Stretch Denim (Sold Out) and Vogue 9209.  Pair with Burda 06/2017 103A using Jasper Red Print Rayon Challis (Sold Out) or Egyptian Cotton Venetian Red for a shirt to pull the look together.

Color Palette #2
1. Heather Brown Wool Flannel  2. Navy Floral Print Rayon Challis  3. Silk Charmeuse-Apricot  4. Elegant Navy Blue Tropical Stretch Wool  5. Smokey Taupe Sequin Stretch Lace  6. Classic Brown Tropical Stretch Wool  7. Tan/Walnut/Black Lightweight Interlock Knit
Pull this look together using warm colors and a variety of textures.

Elegant Navy Blue Tropical Stretch Wool works great with the Vogue 9172 pattern and pair it with Navy Print Floral Rayon Challis (Sold Out) for the blouse with Vogue 1509.
Make the pants in Classic Brown Tropical Stretch Wool while you’re at it. Heather Brown Wool Flannel works beautifully with this Vogue 1562.

Evening or Weekend
Smokey Taupe Sequin Stretch Lace works with Butterick 6299 or McCalls 7653. Wear the brown jacket with the dress.

Use Classic Brown Tropical Stretch Wool for the Burda wrap skirt 08/2017 #101  and Tan/Walnut/Black Lightweight Interlock Knit (Sold Out) for the Neckband Shirt 08/2017 #112A.

The beautiful colors of Autumn are so inspiring and you can find them all at Sew Much Fabric!  Head over to the website and see all the fabrics in Color Palette 1 and Color Palette 2. Whatever your favorite colors are, make them work for you and extend your wardrobe for the season!

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

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Haute Summer Sewing – July 2017

Prints are a fun addition to your wardrobe especially when you combine two together.  Thanks Eileen for sharing how you are working prints together and apart!
You can follow Eileen on Instagram @johnson.eileen 

This haute summer sewing completed in July 2017 was inspired by the picture in the May 2017 Burda style magazine (page 18) of a beautiful combination of prints for a blouse and skirt. 

I broke out of my usual solids approach to life and found two complementary prints at Sew Much Fabric.  A floral silk charmeuse and a printed cotton ikat (Both Sold Out).  The floral silk charmeuse is vibrant and either side can be used.  I chose to use the matte side out.  Wearing the blouse feels wonderful with the smooth side next to your skin.  The fabric can be hand washed in cool water and a mild soap.   Air dry and use a silk setting to press.

Burda Style 5/2014/137 is a plus size pattern of a similar blouse in the May 2017 magazine.  Imagine that.  Who knows Burda may have been inspired by the plus size to scale it down to size three years later?  The blouse has darts, bias binding neck edge and ties and a flounce on the front.  I got to practice my narrow machine hem on the flounces and French seams for the construction.  The pattern includes pockets; however, I shortened the blouse and did not include the pockets.

The pencil skirt was made using Susan Khalje’s skirt pattern.  The cotton ikat print was pretreated by washing in warm water and drying in the dryer.  It presses very well.  The skirt was constructed with a cotton batiste underling, handpicked zipper and china silk lining.  The waistband is a grosgrain ribbon.  As you can see the blouse and skirt can be work together or combined with other solids in your summer wardrobe for a complete resort casual ensemble!

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Burda Style 9/2017

 To purchase, go to

All Styles at a Glance

Line Drawings

Love the shirred collar!
(Sold Out)


Little Black Dress

Change up your fabric choice and this jacket can be dressed up or down!

Plus Size
This dress has lots of diagonal seaming that is figure flattering.