Spring Style Blog Tour: Denim Jacket and Wide Leg Pants

To kick our Spring Style Tour 2017 I thought I would jump all in with a new spring jacket! The question was, which one? In perusing the spring styles in ready-to-wear two silhouettes kept jumping out at me, 1) a classic denim jacket and 2) a sporty bomber jacket.

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect with release of Named’s spring collection and the Maisa denim jacket. That pretty much made the decision for me, along with the arrival of this amazing washed bleached selvage denim. A match made in sewing heaven!

Named Maisa Jacket Pattern and Washed Selvage Denim | Style Maker Fabrics

Sewing this denim jacket was definitely a step out of my comfort zone. It wasn’t something I could whip up in an afternoon but was one of the most rewarding projects I have ever sewn. I didn’t make any changes to the pattern and sewed a straight size 40. Not only does it look like something I bought at a department store, it is also something I never thought I ever could/would sew. I haven’t had a denim jacket in my wardrobe in many years and I am excited to say that this one is handmade!

Maisa Selvage Denim Jacket | Style Maker Fabrics

A couple words of wisdom when sewing a Denim Jacket:

  1. Stock up on top-stitching thread! It is amazing how much you will use as you topstitch just about every seam… TWICE. (I might have had three machines going for this project- regular thread, top stitching thread and serger)
  2. Stock up on needles! Some of those pesky areas where the denim is many layers think can be hard on sewing machines, needles and your patience.
  3. Take your time and don’t rush- patience pays off and it will all come together in the end. Even when you don’t think it will!

To finish off the look I sewed up Megan Nielsen’s new Flint pants. Wide leg and super comfy these cropped trousers are perfect for spring/summer here in the Pacific Northwest. They are also the perfect pairing for my cropped denim jacket in this drapey olive twill!

Rayon Twill Flint Pants Front | Style Maker Fabrics

Rayon Twill Flint Pants Back | Style Maker Fabrics

In sewing my Flint pants I did take in the legs a bit after sewing them together and trying them on before I added the waist band. The legs were a little too wide for me and my style. I tapered in, starting just below the pocket, angling down each side to about 1-1/2″ in from the side seam at the hem. This took each leg in a total of about 6″. That sounds like a lot but they are still plenty wide for me! I also trimmed the length 1″ and hemmed as directed.

Overall, I love how my new spring look turned out! It pushed me out of my sewing comfort zone and jump started my spring wardrobe. I have already sewn up another jacket (Rigel bomber) to go with these pants! Watch for another post coming soon with all the details.

Follow along with us as the Spring Style Tour 2017 continues tomorrow with Day Two! We will be traveling up to Canada to see what Rachel of Maker Style has planned for spring.

Happy Spring Sewing!

Michelle

P.S. New to our Style Blog Tours? Check our the recaps from last spring and fall, HERE and HERE!

Fresh Start: Spring Fabrics and Sewing

Style Maker Fabrics | Spring Style Tour

Spring is FINALLY here! After months of rain, snow and wind we are so excited for this new season to begin. While the winter gave us lots of time inside to sew and create, we think we are all ready to a fresh start! A new season, new life, new inspiration and new projects. Bring on the sunshine, a growing garden and some warmer weather!

Colors of Spring | Style Maker Fabrics

Now for the real reason to celebrate the arrival of spring… NEW FABRICS! We started putting together our spring collection in January pulling together new and unusual fabrics from all over the world. All the hard work and planning resulted in an amazing collection of colors, patterns and textures we think you will really enjoy. Watch for all your favorite fabrics to sew with for spring and summer, as well as a few new ones you might want to take a closer look at! With over 140 new fabrics and 8 stand out fashion trends you are sure to find something to inspire your spring sewing! Don’t forget to check out our curated selection of printed sewing patterns, including some of the latest releases from Named and Megan Neilsen!

Latest Trends | Style Maker Fabrics

Latest Fashion Trends for Spring 2017

Want a closer look at some of the new spring fabrics? Lindsey from Inside the Hem snagged some early fabric swatches from the new collection and put together a video to show them off and share some ideas for how you might want to use them. Check it out below and learn more about ordering swatches for yourself HERE.

Keep the inspiration coming! Not only is today the first day of spring, it is also the first day of our Spring Style Blog Tour and we are kicking things off right here on the Style Maker Fabrics blog. Follow along as we visit eleven amazing seamstresses and bloggers over the next two weeks, links to each one included below. Each one will be featuring fabrics from the new spring collection sewn up to suit their own unique style. We’ve seen a few sneak peaks and you will not be disappointed!

Spring Style Blog Tour Line Up | Style Maker Fabrics

Spring Style Blog Tour Line Up | Style Maker Fabrics

3/20 | 3/21 | 3/22 | 3/23 | 3/24 | 3/25 | 3/26 | 3/27 | 3/28 | 3/29 | 3/30 | 3/31

NOTE: We had a slight change in the line up. @helens_closet will post 3/26 and @patternreview 3/27.

We have a few other surprises to share over the next two weeks. A few other sewing projects we have been working on, possibly an appearance on the a certain podcast… and who knows what else! Be sure to follow along with us on Instagram and Facebook and be among the first to find out what’s going on each day!

Now let’s get sewing for spring!

Michelle

P.S. Now through Sunday, April 2nd 2017 enjoy $5 US shipping and discounted international rates! Any order, any size ships for just $5.

Keeping Warm with the Esme Maxi Cardigan

Bundled Up in Esme Cardigan | Style Maker Fabrics

Every once in a while, the planets align and you find the fabric of your dreams for the perfect pattern— almost like a match made in heaven. It doesn’t happen everyday but when it does you know that all of that searching, designing and sewing are worth it!

Just recently I experienced just such an occasion! On one of our buying adventures this fall we stumbled across the most amazing chunky sweater knit from Italy. Of course we had to have it for the shop, in two colors I might add. When it arrived and I got to see it in a larger piece in all its glory, I knew instantly that it needed to be a long, cozy cardigan. Enter the Esme Maxi Cardigan from Named— the ideal fabric for the perfect pattern!

Named Esme Cardigan | Style Maker Fabrics Sweater Knit

With everything going on in December, I wasn’t able to get to this project. Of course, the one that I really wanted to sew, right? So I made it my goal to get it sewn in the new year. One week in and mission accomplished! Now for a closer look at the fabric, the pattern and the slight changes I made to suit my style.

First up, this fabric! It is probably one of the most stunning pieces we have had in the shop. It is wonderfully thick and cozy but the best part about it is the texture and the pattern. The undulating lines and varying thicknesses and textures in the knit give it amazing movement, shape and feel. I washed it up like I would anything else and it came out even softer and more huggable. I could already tell this is going to be a cardigan that I am never going to want to take off!

Italian Chunky Sweater Knit | Style Maker Fabrics

Italian Chunky Sweater Knit

Now, the question of how to cut this maxi cardigan out? I decided to start with the back and have one of the curving designs go right up the middle. I did redraw the back piece so that I had the full back (instead of one half) and could make sure I got it centered correctly. The “straight lines” in the knit also proved to be quite helpful! With the back cut out, it was on to the front. Each side is made up of two piece, above and below the pockets, and I was able to cut these out so that not only they were mirrored but they also would match perfectly when I sewed them together.

The sleeves also got the smaller wavy pattern centered on each of them so they matched. With the fabric that I had left I cut out the front button stand, the cuffs and the pockets. I tried to play with the texture/size of the knit pattern and its placement on the cardigan. I went for the thicker texture down the front and back, especially around the shoulders and chose the lighter texture for the sleeves and the button band. A great use of the fabric and really shows off all its dimensions.

Esme Sleeve Placement | Style Maker Fabrics

Sleeve Placement on the Chunky Sweater Knit

Construction proved to be relatively easy. The only kind of fussy parts were attaching the pockets, which was actually very similar to my Tamarack jacket, and attaching the button stand. I used the stretch stitch on my machine as designated in the pattern but I think I could have just went with my serger for most of these steps. That would have saved a lot of time! That stretch stitch is a slow one! I also went with my cover stitch machine for the stitching the hem and finishing the button band. With the grey thread that I had, the stitches were barely noticeable and it helped give the back side a nice finished look.

Cover Stitched Cardigan Hem | Style Maker Fabrics

Cover Stitched Hem and Button Band

Now for the changes… I find myself always tweaking a pattern slightly to suit what I have envisioned for it. My first change on my Esme was the length. After perusing Pinterest for styling over-sized cardigans, I settled on knee length or just above. Before I even cut anything out I took 6 inches off the back, lower front and button stand. After getting my cardigan “mostly” together I decided another 6 inches needed to come off. This gave me the perfect length and I think it is a change a lot of people have made as well.

Pinterest Cardigan Inspiration | Style Maker Fabrics

Pinterest Styling Inspiration

The next change came in the fit. In trying the cardigan on after it was assembled but not finished I thought there was way too much bulk under the arms. I think that is the style for this cardigan, over-sized and slouchy, great for an overcoat but not the “sweater” I was going for. The thickness of this knit also made it kind of bunching under the arms and felt a little weird.

To adjust this I laid the cardigan flat and marked about 3 inches along the sleeve seam at the underarm. Using chalk, I then drew a line tapering down the body and back out to the original seam, roughly just above the pocket seam. In the other direction I tapered down the arm and back out to the original seam about mid arm. I then serged along this line, taking care to match up the sleeve seams as I went. The results were perfect, they gave my cardigan a bit more of a fitted look while still keeping it relaxed and a little slouchy.

Altered Cardigan Underarm | Style Maker Fabrics

Altered Underarm and Removed Bulk

Last but not least, I threw out the cuffs and skipped the buttons! I attached one cuff and decided to just hem the sleeves instead— less bulk and much simpler. I also decided to go with an open style cardigan so the buttons were unnecessary (and it saved me from making button holes!).

Let’s see the results! I absolutely love how this cardigan turned out! Not only does it show of this fabric better than any other pattern could, it is also the warmest, coziest thing I have ever made. Perfect for the below freezing temperatures we have had this winter. And, yes that is snow in the pictures and it is over a week old. That is how cold it is!

Esme Cardigan Side View | Style Maker Fabrics

Esme Cardigan Front | Style Maker Fabrics

Esme Cardigan Back | Style Maker Fabrics

Bundled Up in Esme Cardigan | Style Maker Fabrics

Overall, my maxi cardigan turn out exactly how I imagined it— don’t you love it when that happens? I will definitely be revisiting this pattern and hopefully soon! I’d love to try a lighter weight knit, like a jersey or lighter sweater knit. Maybe try something like True Bias’ recent make. Anyway, definitely check out the Esme Maxi Cardigan, it is perfect for this mid-winter weather!

Stay warm and happy sewing,

Michelle

P.S. We are so excited to announce that a selection of Named patterns are now available in the shop, including the Esme Maxi!

 

Style Maker Gift Guide 2016

Some of our favorite gifts are related to sewing in some way! There is just something special about receiving a gift connected to your favorite hobby and passion. After lots of searching for the unique and unusual we have put together a handy gift guide to help seamstresses with their own gifting or maybe to create their own wishlist to pass on to friends and family!

– Treat Yourself –

At times we all make due with the tools that we already have. But wouldn’t it be nice to have that special tool that would save time and make creating even more enjoyable. Here are a few of our splurge items that are a special treat!

Kai Professional Scissors – Our favorite scissors of all time! They cut even the toughest fabric like butter and the handles fit like a glove in your hand.

Simflex Sewing Gauge – Take all the guesswork out of marking buttonholes. Accurate and fast, a win-win situation!

Professional Pattern Notcher – No more snipping or marking. This has become one of our favorite tools and it now permanently lives on our cutting table!

(Looking for other notion ideas? Check out all of our favorites HERE)

– Sew Unique –

We are always looking to the unusual and unique. Here are a few of our favorite finds!

Ceramic Button Pattern Weights – Measuring 4″ across these pattern weights are both functional and adorable. You can’t help but smile everytime you use them!

Giant Thimble Tool Organizer – Keep all of your tools close at hand in this sturdy ceramic caddy. Available in metallic silver or gold, choose the perfect look for your sewing room!

Style Maker Charm Bracelets and Necklaces – Carry a token of your love of sewing everywhere you go! Choose between silver or gold and pick your favorite sewing related saying for the charm.

– Other Fun Ideas –

Looking for some other ideas. Here are some great gifts to give the sewers that have it all or those that are particularly difficult to shop for!

Maker’s Sewing Workbook – The perfect journal for any seamstress! Keep track of all your past projects, organize future sewing plans and dream up new designs all in one handy place.

Made with Love Gift Tags – Add the perfect touch to your handmade gifts! And you get 12 tags (3 each of 4 designs) for only $1.95!

Ingredients for Making – Great for stocking stuffers or something small to give with a handmade item! And isn’t the packaging cute! Choose between the Pin & Thimble Set or the Tailor’s Set.

Style Maker Fabrics Online Gift Card – Give the gift of fabric or choice with an online gift card. Perfect for the seamstress that has fabric on their wishlist or if you just can’t decide what to get.

Hopefully this has inspired some gift choices to give your sewing friends and family members. Or maybe you need to add a few of these to your own wishlist. Feel free to pass this link on to help others with their shopping. Or maybe add a couple to your wishlist on Pinterest! (For easy reference, pin the image below!)

Happy Gifting!

Style Maker Fabrics Sewing Gift Guide

Suede Farrow Dress for the Holidays

The holidays are right around the corner and I am ready! I love this time of year— the weather, the food, the decorations, all of it! It is also an amazing excuse to sew something new and festive to enjoy during the season. I have been playing around with a few different ideas but when a new shipment of suede shirtings arrived my decision was made for me. Kind of a perfect storm— a new pattern and a new fabric arriving about the same time and they are a match made in heaven!

Grainline Studio's Farrow Dress Pattern

Grainline Studio’s Farrow Dress was released a couple of weeks ago and it is the perfect go-to dress to make for any special occasion. A classic and elegant A-line shape with flattering diagonal seams and handy concealed pockets. The pattern calls for light to medium weight fabrics such as linen, wool or cotton. Along those lines I though why not a suede shirting? Suede dresses and shirts are all over the runways and ready to wear and I love this look and the beautiful texture.

Farrow Dress Inspiration and Suede Shirting Colors

Farrow Dress Inspiration (Pinterest) and Suede Shirting Colors

For color I decided on the gorgeous jade green suede for my Farrow Dress. The perfect jewel tone for the holidays and one of my favorites to wear all year. As this faux suede is 100% polyester I didn’t take the time to pre-wash as there isn’t really a fear of shrinkage. Normally I pre-wash everything but I was a bit antsy to get sewing!

To get started I first took a look at all the pattern measurements to find the right size and check the finished garment lengths. In Grainline’s patterns I am almost always a size 8 and I often make a few slight adjustments in the length. For the Farrow, I left the length of the dress alone (as that would have involved moving pockets) but I did lengthen the sleeves by 3 inches. I also checked the sleeve width, with woven sleeves I often find them too tight when I bend my elbow. The Farrow’s sleeves were a bit narrow and I ended up widening them by 1″ which also led me to lengthening the sleeve facings to match.

Grainline's Farrow Dress in Jade Suede

Grainline’s Farrow Dress in Jade Suede

Remember that suede is directional! I took extra care to make sure each piece was cut out in the same orientation with the grain of the suede going up the garment for the best color. Once I had everything cut out I got to sewing! I used a coordinating jade thread and a Microtex sharp needle in my machine. I finished all the seams and raw edges with my serger for clean look. Construction was straight forward and easy to understand with the directions included in the pattern. It also went together quite quickly. I was just about done in one afternoon.

Love the Farrow's Pockets!

Love the Farrow’s Pockets!

Once I had the whole dress sewn together I tried it on for fit. I loved the overall shape and style but due to the structure of the fabric it didn’t drape as closely to my body as a light weight cotton lawn probably would. I decided to take it in a bit on the sides to give a bit more definition to the the silhouette. First I tapered in the natural waist about 1/2″ on each side. I then tapered in about 1″ at the pockets and continued in to 2″ at the hem. To clean things up a bit I gave the low hem of the back a fresh curve and I was set hem and add the finishing touches. Note: The measurements are from the original seam line so total the waist came in 2″, hips 4″ and hem 8″.

Front View Look at Suede Farrow Dress

Front View Look at Suede Farrow Dress

The results were perfect! I love the clean lines and look with the suede. It is just like some of the A-line suede dresses that I have been admiring on Pinterest. This fabric was a great choice of a winter Farrow— a little more substantial but still has great drape and movement. There is also nothing better than the soft feel of suede, even if it is faux suede! My favorite feature of the dress is the high neck line— perfect for showing off a statement necklace! I also paired mine with black leggings and boots for the cool weather and will definitely be wearing this on Thanksgiving Day this coming week.

Compete Farrow Dress in Jade Suede

Compete Farrow Dress in Jade Suede

I would highly recommend this pattern. I can definitely see how this one can become a favorite to sew up year-round, dress it up or down to suit the event. Just one other note about the fit, it is a bit tight across the shoulders so you might want to muslin the bodice and sleeves to check the fit before you begin.

Happy Fall Sewing!

Michelle

Arrival of Fall: Fabrics and Sewing

Our favorite season is finally here! The colors, the textures and the warmth- what’s not to love about fall!

After a couple months of preparation and some long hours, we are thrilled to announce the arrival of our fall fabric collection and the start of a new season of sewing.

Over the past few weeks we have added over 150 stunning fall fabrics– French terry, rayon crepe, plaid shirting and lots more in the colors and patterns you love for the cooler months. This year has been all about color and texture for us and these new arrivals do not disappoint. Perfect for layering- it is fun to combine different fabric types and weights for your fall wardrobe.

A Taste of the Fall Fabric New Arrivals

A Taste of the Fall Fabric New Arrivals

The new season also bring new fashion trends! We have organized the new arrivals into some of the key looks we are seeing this season from all the top designers. We’ll be taking a closer look at some of our favorites throughout the season with our own sewing projects and on Pinterest. Follow along with us for lots of inspiration for your fall wardrobe! Looking for something specific? You can always shop by fabric type, garment or color– you never know what you might find!

To give you a little preview and a closer look at some of the newest arrivals, Lindsey and Abbey from YouTube’s Inside the Hem posted a review of some swatches we recently sent them. Check out their video below and don’t forget to follow their great sewing channel!

If new fabrics wasn’t enough, we are excited to start offering a selection of printed patterns from our favorite independent designers from all over the world! Just like our fabrics, we have carefully curated our selection to line up with your favorite looks and fabrics for the new season.

But wait there’s more! Last but not least our Fall Style Blog Tour starts tomorrow. We have 13 amazing stop scheduled and we can’t wait to see what all of these lovely ladies have sewn up!

Style Maker Fabrics Fall Style Blog Tour Line Up

Style Maker Fabrics Fall Style Blog Tour Line Up

9/219/229/23 9/249/259/269/279/289/299/3010/110/210/3

Their fabric choices are stunning and couldn’t be more different. Follow along with us for tons of fall style and wardrobe inspiration (links above)! We will be kicking things off as the first stop with our salute to plaids. We might even be featuring one of the new patterns we just got in the shop, but you will just have to wait and see!

Happy Fall Sewing!

Michelle

P.S. Don’t forget, now through the end of the blog tour, 10/3/16, US shipping is just $5 and International rates have been discounted!

Traveling the World with Rifle Paper + Cotton & Steel

This week the new fabric collaboration of Rifle Paper + Cotton & Steel arrived in the shop. We barely got it unboxed and I had to scoop some up and start sewing! One of my favorite pieces is the cotton/linen panel with city maps from all over the world and thought a cute zipper pouch would be perfect to show off these stunning blocks.

After a bit of debating I settled on using Sydney and London for my first pouch- two of my favorite cities! Paired with the adorable travel print for the lining and a salmon zipper for a pop of color I was ready to sew.

City Maps Zipper Pouch Supplies

City Maps Zipper Pouch Supplies

Using our zipper pouch tutorial from this past December, I cut out my two blocks and lining pieces to be 10-1/2″ square. To finish the zipper ends, rather than cut a bit of the natural background I used some of the incredible selvage- such a cool added detail.

City Map and Selvage Detail

City Map and Selvage Detail

I sewed up my whole zipper pouch in less than a half hour and I love how it turned out! So fast and easy, this is the perfect project for a quick gift and can be made in any number of sizes or shapes. At first I debated about having the city names make the bottom of the pouch but it turned out just right!

Finished City Pouch Details

Finished City Pouch Details – bottom and zipper selvage

For now I will probably use my new pouch as a project bag, but it will also make a great pouch to keep all those charging cords and accessories in check on my next trip. Until then I can dream of my next adventure, maybe a return visit to Sydney or London!

City Map Travel Pouch

City Map Travel Pouch

Watch for more Rifle Paper sewing coming soon! Their beautiful floral rayons and stunning metallic lawn are too good to resist. Be sure to check them out, available now in the shop!

Happy Sewing (and traveling)!

Michelle

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