Sunday, March 1, 2015

Fringes, Florals, & Pastels Oh My! Your Guide To Spring 2015 Fashion

Spring seems like a far way off but really, it's just around the corner! Before we know it the birds will be singing and flowers will be in bloom. Nature comes to life again this time of year and fashion is taking its cue. This Spring's fashion meets minimalism with retro, folkloric styles. We're talking fringes, 70's Bohemian style dresses and big floral prints. But before we get into all that jazz, I'd like to show you the Spring 2015 Pantone Colors. 


As you can see, there are pastels, neutrals, & darker more simple colors. Pantone's goal was to come up with colors that speak softly, remind us of nature, & provide simple comfort with the everyday hustle while being truly fashionable. If you want to read more about each color and their perfect color pairs, please refer to the Pantone's Fashion Color Report Of Spring 2015  http://www.pantone.com/pages/fcr/?season=spring&year=2015&pid=11



Now let's take a look at some of the trends we will see!

FRINGES
Allow for instantaneous gypsy look


Fringed Komono






BOHO CHIC
Earthy. Lovely. Feminine







FLORALS & PASTELS
Delicate. Spring Inspired.






And Last But Not Least...
MILITARY INSPIRED
Allows for simple yet edgy look









To sum up this Spring's trends, the styles will be simple & fresh. Inspired by nature, these styles will take away the monotony of everyday life. They are easy to replicate and even easier to personalize them to your exact wants and needs. The thing about trends is that they technically aren't "new". Trends come and go, and before you know it they are back again! So get out there & live up the returning styles. Make them your own! 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Made by a Fabricista: Knits with a Color Pop!

Yes, I am a pattern repeater...there, I said it!  I don't even feel badly about it as I feel like repeats are the way you perfect a pattern, play with different fabric weights and types and just have fun experimenting!  



I’ve made two of these jackets and are made from Fabric Mart beauties.  My first was a lacey, wavy, striped knit that I am just so pleased with!  I've worn it and received many compliments on it! That is a winner in my book! This lace behaved so beautifully as it didn't stretch out of shape, washed and dried like a champ and also was perfect for the little details of this jacket such as the more fitted sleeves and armhole areas.  



I HAD to make another and so I choose this fun and funky floral that is off white with shades of brown, coffee, and black.  Neutrals are my friend!  I love sewing with colors such as these but also knew my wardrobe needed some color too!  I decided to use contrasting fabric for the facings along the neckline and the sleeve cuffs.  This pretty and punchy red was the perfect compliment--not only color wise but also weight and fabric type.  It is slinkier than the floral and feels so nice on my skin! Isn't that always a bonus?  


This is a StyleArc pattern that I purchased from Etsy called the Lillian Knit Jacket.  This came as a PDF.  Ever wonder what PDF means?  It is Portable Document Format and that is exactly what a pattern is that comes as a download.  No more waiting for the mail service from half way around the world to deliver a pattern from Australia!

There are a few things you need to know if you've never used a PDF.  First, your printer MUST be set to the correct format or your pattern will end up the wrong size!  Always print out a test page and get your ruler out to measure.  It needs to be exact!  It's one thing to take a garment in, but letting out is another story, especially when the seam allowances are only 1/4" as in the case of Style Arc.  


This is too big. The test square should be 10 cm or 3 15/16".  I had to change the setting on my printer before printing again.  See the difference?  



After printing, check the legend for the layout of your pieces.  This gives you great information on how you need to piece the pattern pieces so to speak!  



And, here is a beginning of a layout.  You need a big space for this!  



So back to the pattern and fabric! What gives you a slim fit is the styling of the sleeves and how you fit the underarms. You have to pivot at the points on the fabric. You can see how I did that below.  

 Sew, pivoting at the point, then clip! 



Look at what a great result you get!  



This is an easy to put together and was easier the second time!  You can really see the pop of red at the center front and slightly at the cuffs.  



The length of this pattern is great--it covers all the body parts you want covered without feeling like you need to tug it down all the time. 



See how nice this fabric hangs in the back?  It doesn't cling at all!  



Here you can see the red contrast. The facing is stitched down. I also like to serge the edge of facings, which I know isn't necessary with a knit but it helps 'clean up' my edges and also gives the knit a little weight as some tend to roll a bit at the cut edge. 



I love my jacket!  I hope that if you've never tried a PDF, you'll give it a whirl.  I also hope that you'll consider using a fun and colorful contrast to an otherwise neutral color pallet.  



 Thanks for reading!  



 Sue from Ilove2sew

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Made by a Fabricista: A Reversible Silk Maxi Skirt

Isn't it time for Spring already?  Even though it's not warm outside yet, this is the time of year that I switch gears into warm weather sewing.  And there is nothing that feels Spring-ier than a beautiful silk chiffon skirt!  There is nothing nicer than shedding those winter boots and tights and feeling the lightness of silk against your skin! 


Have you checked out the Buy the Piece section at Fabric Mart lately? They have some nice size cuts of gorgeous silk chiffons.  I got this 4 yard piece of  Blue Tie Dye look silk chiffon from that section.  I knew that I wanted to make a skirt out of it, but I debated on what kind.  Midi or Maxi, pleated or straight?  With such a pretty and delicate fabric, I thought it would be best to choose the simplest design possible, and let the fabric do the talking.

I decided on a bias cut maxi skirt pattern,  Kwik Sew 3097.  It's not longer in print, but just about every pattern company has a similar bias cut skirt pattern that you could use, such as this one from Pamela's Patterns.   The neat thing about the Kwik Sew one was that it was reversible!  I was going to line it anyway, so why not get two skirts for the effort of one?  The pattern is just one pattern piece.  You really couldn't ask for a simpler pattern.






I lined it with a royal blue silk/cotton blend voile that I had purchased the previous year. Silk/cotton voile is my absolute favorite fabric.  It has the luminosity of silk with the comfort of cotton.  Both the silk/cotton and the silk chiffon fabrics would have been too sheer to wear alone, but together, they provide just the right amount of opacity, without feeling too heavy.  I knew that when wearing the skirt, if each layer is hemmed at the same length, the underneath layer will occasionally peek out. So the fabrics needed to coordinate fairly well.  Here is the pattern piece laid onto both of my fabrics.  I cut them all at the same time using a rotary cutter.


The chiffon was only 45" wide, so to get to the maxi-length, I needed to add an additional section to a corner of each piece.  Here is a close-up of the pattern where this section is.  It blends in so well, that you can't even notice that it's been pieced.  The blue solid silk-cotton was 54" wide, so it did not have to be pieced. 


When working with bias, you have to hang your garment for at least 24 hours before you hem it.  That is because most fabrics cut on the bias will grow unevenly. After 24 hours, this is what mine looked like.  Even though I cut the solid skirt and the print skirt the same exact length, the chiffon grew several inches longer.


To even it out, I put it on my dress form, and walked a yardstick around the bottom, pinning at the same level.  Then I trimmed off any excess.  Hemming a bias cut fabric can be super tricky.  So, to avoid the frustration of trying to do a narrow hem with my sewing machine,  I set my serger to the rolled edge setting and finished both skirts with a royal blue serger rolled edge.


The way you make this garment reversible is to sew the two skirts together at the waist.  You then make a casing for elastic with the seam at the very top of the casing.    Here you can see both skirts sewn together at the waist.


I thought that I would like the printed side best, but I have so many tops that will coordinate with the solid side, that I think it's a toss up!   The maxi-length is so great because you can sit cross-legged on the floor and not worry about anything.  You can get down and play with the kids, or your pets, and relax.
 


In case you are wondering what I'm looking at in the picture above, here is the view outside my window today:


So, it will be a while before I can wear this outside, but when Spring gets here, I'll be ready!

Happy Sewing!
Ann for SewBaby News