Tropical Summer Gallery Tunic

Tropical Gallery Tunic Front | Style Maker Fabrics

Summer has officially arrived! As temperatures finally are starting to increase here in the Pacific Northwest I have been looking at my warm weather wardrobe trying to figure out what it is missing and what I want. One item I keep coming back to is a RTW tunic that I absolutely love wearing. It is a soft, drapey rayon and perfectly over-sized— just the right combination for summer.

Ready to Wear Inspiration | Style Maker Fabrics

Rayon Tunic Ready to Wear Inspiration

In search for a pattern to create my own version I went to the sewing community on Instagram for advise. Hey June’s Cheyenne Tunic and Closet Case’s Kalle Shirt were among the recommendations, but the overwhelming response was to go with Liesl & Co.’s Gallery Tunic. Looking into this pattern further it includes the pleat details at the front and back and has that slightly over-sized relaxed look just like my favorite tunic. It is missing the gathered tabbed sleeves but that is something I can always add.Gallery Tunic Pattern | Style Maker Fabrics

Next, time to pick out fabric! I have been kind of obsessed with tropical prints this year and thought I should probably have a fun tropical shirt for the summer. Right!?

Tropical Fabrics Options | Style Maker Fabrics

With so many fun colors and patterns to choose from I decided to start out with my two favorite colors, blue and green. A little on the safe side I know but something that I can wear everyday and not feel like I should be on a beach somewhere.

Tropical Leaves Shirting | Style Maker Fabrics

In sewing up the pattern, the instructions are very clear and concise which is always appreciated. It also includes some great tips and tricks along the way that give you a very professional, finished look. I went with a size 8 in View A, the tunic length with a traditional collar, and didn’t make any major changes to the pattern. I did widen the sleeves at the elbow by about 1/2″ on either side, a standard adjustment for me.

Tropical Gallery Tunic Front | Style Maker Fabrics

This tunic came together quite quickly once I got the front pleat and placket done. The only other time intensive step was folding and pressing the curved baseball hem in place. As recommended in the pattern, taking your time with this step as the bias folding can be a bit tricky but turns out wonderfully with a little finesse and a good pressing!

Gallery Tunic Hem | Style Maker Fabrics

After putting this tunic on for the first time I never wanted to take it off! This rayon shirting was the perfect choice—soft and drapey like a rayon challis but just enough structure and stability that a more traditional cotton shirting might offer.

Tropical Gallery Tunic | Style Maker Fabrics

And let’s not forget to mention that leaf print! I love how this tunic length and curved hem really shows off the fabric. You also barley notice the pleats on the front and back and the color variation on those leaves is gorgeous!

Tropical Gallery Tunic Back | Style Maker Fabrics

All in all, a great first attempt at a me-made version of my favorite tunic. I think another version is in my near future with even wider sleeves and added tab detail. Hey June’s Cheyenne Tunic pattern will come in handy… This tropical version of the Gallery Tunic is sure to get lots of wear this summer! And I think I found a new go-to pattern to enjoy year round!

Michelle

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.

Statement Floral Safran Pants

Lately, I keep being drawn to florals— big, bold, striking florals! In fashion, I can’t help but love just about any pair of floral pants. I don’t know what it is but I love them! I’m not usually a floral person, but I think the juxtaposition of these bold prints on pants that creates something different that just draws you in. Add some unusual colors and crazy scale and case closed— I must make a pair now!

Floral Safran Pants Inspiration and Fabric Choices | Style Maker Fabrics

Perusing Pinterest, my favorite one-stop-shop for inspiration, I came across this outfit and knew this is the look I wanted to go for. Bold, fitted skinny jeans with a more casual top— simple but striking! I pulled a few fabric options, but settled on the one closest to my inspiration, a stretch sateen in rich reds, greens and a deep black background.

Deer & Doe Safran Pants | Style Maker Fabrics

Pants is one category of garments that continues to scare me a bit. While I have always had lofty goals of making a wardrobe full of the perfect pants, it just hasn’t happened. Whether it is the time, the fit, or whatever, I always find an excuse to avoid making them. Well, I am facing my fears and taking on a new pattern, Deer & Doe’s Safran Pants. I love the clean lines of this pattern and have been meaning to try it since we got it in the shop this fall.

Now, let’s get sewing! I settled on cutting a straight Size 42 based on my measurements, picking version B for the clean look and the ankle length. I raided my scrap bin for pocket pieces and got everything all cut and ready. Stitching my Safrans together was relatively easy and straight forward. Deer & Doe’s beautifully printed patterns offer each step broken down with easy to follow instructions and helpful diagrams. A couple of my favorite steps were the welt pockets and the zip fly. Both turned out perfectly and the instructions dissolved any fear and confusion I had about these more difficult techniques. Check out that pocket!

Floral Safran Pants | Side and Pocket | Style Maker FabricsI did baste my pants together to check fit, but I have found that that is more of a guideline to see if you are close. You can’t tell how they will really fit and feel until they are complete and you can try them out around the house. Not great, I know, but worth it in the long run. I am finding the more I pairs of pants I sew, the quicker the construction process is. This will make sewing multiple versions less painful and get me to the perfect pair of pants soon!

Completed Floral Safran Pants | Style Maker Fabrics

Overall, I am really happy with the look! I love this fabric and it is the perfect bold floral for a pair of skinny jeans. I still need to work on perfecting the pattern— I do have some whiskering around the crotch, as the pattern describes it, indicating I need to make the crotch a bit shallower on the front. I love that Deer & Does has included a couple pages of common fit issues and how to fix them! So helpful! I also plan on making them a bit longer on my next pair.

Floral Safran Pants Back | Style Maker Fabrics

To finish the look, I paired my fitted jeans with a slouchy Hemlock tee I made this winter out of a cozy sweater knit. Add a simple gold necklace and I was set. I definitely think keeping the rest of the outfit simple is the way to go, at least for me, and letting the pants really stand out. I like having one garment be the star and the rest of the look be the supporting cast!

Complete Look | Floral Safran Pants | Style Maker Fabrics

 

Best part of all— I have some amazing new floral pants just in time for Valentine’s Day! And I am well on my way to perfecting a new pants pattern. A few slight changes and maybe some of our new stretch denims for another pair of pants to enjoy this spring.

Happy Sewing!

Michelle

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

Planning a Spring Wardrobe

As spring approached I found myself anxiously dreaming of all the new clothes that I would make for the coming season. All the patterns I had on my wish list and the amazing new fabrics that were coming into the shop were calling my name. The ideas quickly spiraled out of control- there were way too many options! I decided to take a more thought out approach and actually plan my wardrobe and new projects. Keeping the “capsule” concept in mind here is the start to my new spring wardrobe.

Spring Fabric Choices

To begin my planning I thought I would start with color and fabric- two of my favorite things! This spring I am all about aqua and coral– stripes, prints, tonals and solids- I love them all! Throw in some grey (my favorite neutral), maybe a touch of navy and I will be all set.
For fabrics, I first picked a couple of plush solid knits, perfect for cardigans and layering.

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Next, I selected a variety of wovens and knits to coordinate as tanks, T-shirts and other blouses. I went for different patterns, color combinations and scales to keep things interesting.

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I rounded out my fabric choices with a few other standouts that fit in with my color story. While I still have to tackle the subject of pants/bottoms, I love what I have laid out for potential tops and layers!

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Now that I have an idea of what I want to make, let’s look at pattern options. There are so many choices out there, I decided the best place to start was in my pattern stash. I also took a look at the Seamwork patterns since I had a few credits waiting to be cashed in! Here are some of the options that I settled on.

I have been wanting to add more layering pieces to my wardrobe. I have already done some investigating on T-shirts but need to try out more tank patterns. Here are three that have been on my wish list for a while. Perfect for my combination of knit and woven fabrics I have selected.

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Here are a few new additions to my Seamwork collection as well. I think the Wembley cardigan will be perfect for summer layers. And these Moji pants are so cute- maybe I will have some new handmade pants after all!

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I am off to an excellent start for my spring wardrobe, I even stayed up late last night cutting a few things out. Watch for more posts tracking my progress in the next couple of weeks! I can’t wait to see how this comes together.

We’d love to hear what patterns you have on your spring sewing list. Are we missing something that we absolutely must add? Please share!

Now time to sew!

Michelle

Spring Canvas Blog Tour Recap

When we first had the idea of doing a spring fabric blog tour all the way back in January, we had no idea it would develop into such an amazing experience. At the end of the two week tour we couldn’t help but be inspired to dive head first into our spring sewing and try new and different looks that we would have never tried before. We can’t thank you all enough for following along with us and learning more about how to approach sewing and your own unique style!

For those of you who missed out on all of the amazing garments and ideas (or if you did follow along but wanted to revisit a few stops), here is a recap of how we started spring 2016! We also added links to the patterns and fabric used on each stop for easy reference.

Day One – Style Maker Fabrics

Day One Style Maker Fabrics

We officially launched the Spring Canvas Blog Tour right here on the Style Maker Blog with one of our favorite trends- STRIPES! We sewed up two stripe knit tops perfect for spring. Both show off the stripe knits beautifully and are way too comfortable. Read more about them HERE along with a few tips about sewing with stripes.

Patterns: Lane Raglan by Hey June | Lark Tee by Grainline Studio

Fabrics: Narrow Stripe Knit, Wide Stripe Knit | Large Repeating Stripe Knit

Day Two: Christine Haynes

Day Two Christine Haynes

Next stop took us over to Christine Haynes’ blog, City Stitching, to read more about her quest to learn more about her style and her wardrobe as a whole. She shared a couple of amazing new staples, a classic button-up and a pleated skirt, that she can mix and match with any number of other items in her closet. Read more about her journey HERE.

Patterns: Archer Button Up by Grainline Studio | Self Drafted Skirt

Fabrics: White Pin Dot Shirting | Classic Linen Blend

Day Three: The Sara Project 

Day Three The Sara Project

We then hopped over to Sara’s blog to check out not one, but two stunning new looks for spring. She truly showed off both of the fabrics she selected and her photographs are absolutely incredible! Learn more about both her looks HERE.

Patterns: Marthe Blouse by Republique Du Chiffon | Inari Tee Dress by Named Clothing

Fabrics: Shibori Rayon Challis | Palm Tree Double Knit

Day Four: Sew Charleston

Day Four Sew Charleston

Next up, Abbey, from Sew Charleston, sewed up one of our favorite new patterns, the Bowline Sweater. We love the movement and texture of this great top, especially with the added structure this fabric adds. Learn more about her fun top HERE. Be sure to also check out Abbey’s video highlighting some of her favorite fabrics from our spring collection HERE.

Pattern: Bowline Sweater by Papercut Patterns

Fabric: Textured Double Knit

Day Five: Idle Fancy

Day Five Idle Fancy

On day five we headed down to Texas to check out Mary’s amazing shirt dress. Our first version of this pattern on this tour, we love this use gingham! And isn’t that color just perfect. Learn more about Mary’s garment and the variations she used to make it suit her style perfectly HERE.

Pattern: M7351 by McCall’s

Fabric: Stretch Gingham Shirting

Day Six: House of Pinheiro

Day Six House of Pinheiro

Next, we hopped across the pond to check our Rachel’s perfectly on trend off the shoulder blouse. She went over the top with this self drafted pattern. And did you seen the tie cuffs she added? Amazing! Read all about her look and styling HERE.

Pattern: Self Drafted Blouse

Fabric: Cotton Poplin Shirting

Day Seven: Sew Crafty Chemist

Day Seven Sew Crafty Chemist

Kisha, of Sew Crafty Chemist, gave us a closer look at some of her mad sewing skills. While here garment didn’t turn out just as she had hopped, she did learn a lot in the process and gladly shared those lessons with us. Learn more HERE.

Pattern: S1756 by Simplicty

Fabrics: White Linen Blend

Day Eight: Girls in the Garden

Day Eight Girls in the Garden

We then visited Lori, from Girls in the Garden, to check out her new look for spring. She too decided on making two garments- an striking twill jacket with matching rayon top. These colors looks so good on her and are absolutely perfect for spring! Learn more about her inspiration, fabric choices and techniques HERE.

Patterns: B6661 by Burda Style | M7093 by McCall’s

Fabrics: Brushed Twill | Brushstroke Rayon Challis

Day Nine: Hey June Handmade

Day Nine Hey June Handmade

On day nine Adrianna, of Hey June Handmade, shared her new Cheyenne button-up in our beautiful Japanese tencel shirting. She claims that she has no style, but her photos and amazing spring outfit tell us the real story! Read her beautifully written post HERE.

Patterns: Cheyenne Tunic by Hey June Handmade | Self Drafted Infinity Scarf

(Check out our Infinity Scarf Tutorial HERE)

Fabrics: Japanese Tencel Shirting | Floral Print Chiffon

Day Ten: Itch to Stitch

Day Ten Itch to Stitch

The amazing photos just keep coming! Next up, Kennis, of Itch to Stitch, shared her new sleeveless top and matching culottes. The perfect look for this summer or, if you are her and living in Costa Rica, right NOW! Learn more about her amazing look HERE.

Patterns: Mila Shirt by Itch to Stitch | Emily Culottes by Itch to Stitch

Fabrics: Embrace Double GauzeMontauk Twill

Day Eleven: Diary of a Sewing Fanatic

Day Eleven Diary of a Sewing Fanatic

Day eleven brought us Carolyn and her striking spring topper that she sewed up for the tour. Doesn’t this geometric pattern just look smashing? Complete with handmade bias even. Learn all about Carolyn’s style and one of her favorite patterns HERE.

Pattern: Her own creation using a variety of patterns- See pattern recommendations in her post

Fabric: Jacquard Suiting

Day Twelve: LLadybird

Day Twelve Lladybird

We wrapped up the tour with Lauren’s adorable summer dress. The second version of M7351 and so different than the first- a bit more relaxed and fun in this rayon! And that print and color- so much fun for the warmer weather! Check out her post HERE.

Pattern: M7351 by McCall’s

Fabric: Cherry Print Rayon

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Thank you so much for joining up for our Spring Canvas Blog Tour. Huge shout out to all of the participants as well- we couldn’t have done it without you and all your amazing creativity and style! Hopefully you find this recap helpful. We would love to hear what you favorite stop on the tour was or what you have been inspired to sew for spring! Please share in the comments below!

Don’t forget to check out all of the other amazing fabrics that have arrived in the shop for the season. There are so many incredible finds for every look and style. We even have a stack of our own just waiting to be sewn up!

Happy Spring Sewing!

Michelle

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