Marianne Dress

I’m back in the studio this week after visiting my best friend, Cora, for a long weekend, helping her get ready for her first child arriving any time now! She is hoping for Pi Day (3.14.15) but we will just have to wait and see. We worked on sewing diaper covers, made a couple of flannel blankets and got a few more things in place for when the “peanut” comes home. Baby stuff is just too cute!

Onesie decorating station set up on the kitchen island- stencils, markers, fabric and fusible!

Onesie decorating station set up on the kitchen island- stencils, markers, fabric and fusible!

While I was in town I also helpd throw Cora an adorable baby shower for all of her local friends. The nursery is Safari themed so I extended that to the shower as well. We ended up having about 16 people and had lots of fun. We decorated onesies as sort of a crafty project, played a few games and had an amazing brunch- complete with a yogurt parfait bar!

Yogurt Parfait Bar- complete with 9 different toppings. So Yummy!

Yogurt Parfait Bar- complete with 9 different toppings. So Yummy!

Before I left on my trip, I had this bright idea to make a safari dress out of an amazing vintage rayon challis we have in the store. But I was kind of fooling myself by thinking that it was spring already, which it isn’t! Instead I went with Christine Haynes latest pattern, the Marianne Dress, and made it in a much warmer, leopard print ponte knit.

Completed Marianne Dress in Leopard and Black Ponte Knits

Completed Marianne Dress in Leopard and Black Ponte Knits

This dress fits like a dream! I paired it with leggings and flats for a casual but put together look. The ponte knit gives the dress just enough structure that it smooths out any areas you may want a little extra support. My only change on this pattern would be the sleeves- for me they were just a tad tight and the cuff seam hits me right where my elbow beds. I think on my next Marianne Dress I might move that seam up or down just a little bit and maybe taper out the sleeve just about a 1/2 inch.

With the Mother-to-Be at her Safari Themed Baby Shower.

With the Mother-to-Be at her Safari Themed Baby Shower.

I was looking at Christine’s blog the other day as well and saw some pretty cool adaptations of this pattern that I can’t wait to try. Like an adorable top with 3/4 length sleeves or long sleeve- with or without cuffs. Or tape the patter pieces together and make the dress all out of one type of fabric instead of a main + contrast. So many great ideas! Can’t wait to get sewing my next version… I am thinking stripes, or maybe an interlock version from one of Anna Maria Horner’s amazing fabrics.

Overall, Christine’s Marianne Dress is a great pattern- the directions are so easy to follow and even a beginner can have a great fitting dress compete in an afternoon. I highly recommend this pattern and can’t wait to try one of her other vintage inspired patterns.

I’ll leave you with just one more picture from the shower- some of the cutest sugar cookies ever… Onesies and baby elephant in great pastel colors!

Shower Sugar Cookies- Onesies and Elephants

Shower Sugar Cookies- Onesies and Elephants

Straight Stitch Designs

Over the past week I have been working with an amazing group of women to test out a new pattern from Kimberly at Straight Stitch Designs. It has been so much fun to see how the pattern has developed over the past few days and how each person has made it their own. I especially loved seeing all of the great fabric choices!

My first experience with Kimberly’s patterns was a few weeks ago when I made her Ballard top– a great casual top with fun open back detail. This top went together very quickly one evening and it has become a great addition to my wardrobe. I used a bold rayon jersey that made this top super soft and comfortable while still being stylish and flattering.

Ballard Top in Graffiti Rayon Jersey

Ballard Top in Graffiti Rayon Jersey

This weekend I have been visiting a friend, helping her get everything ready before her baby arrives March, and this top was perfect for traveling! Paired with a black tank and some skinny jeans and I was set.

Open Back Ballad Top

Open Back Detail of the Ballad Top

The thing I love about Kimberly’s patterns is all of the variations and ideas that she includes. The Ballad top has so many great possibilities and I can’t wait to make another one. I think it would be a lot of fun to try it in all different weight knits- sweater knits, sweatshirt knits, other jersey knits, etc.

Now back to the project that I have been working on this week, Kimberly’s latest pattern, the Bellevue top. This top combines 2 amazing types of fabrics- a soft knit and a flowy woven. I love when I can pair these two together in the same garment, and this top is no exception!

Bellevue  Top

Bellevue Top

The Bellevue top is the perfect combination of style and comfort. It is fitted in just the right places and more relaxed in others making it a great go-to top in any handmade wardrobe. With two different neckline options and four sleeve lengths the possibilities are endless.

I used a great navy and white stripe jersey and paired it with a soft rayon challis, but you could have a lot fun pairing different prints and/or solids together or trying out different wovens (ex. lawn, silk or sheer). I had a little trouble getting my stripes to match perfectly but it still turned out great and I love how the rayon challis drapes! I think for my next Bellevue I will try doing a rolled hem on the light weight woven fabrics, rather than a traditional folded hem.

Bellevue Top in Jersey and Rayon Challis

Bellevue Top in Jersey and Rayon Challis

Check out Kimberly’s blog post with some of the other amazing Bellevue Tops made by her group of testers. She has also added a couple more of her own versions on her blog as well. Be sure to check out the Bellevue available now at Straight Stitch Designs.

~Michelle

Note: As a pattern tester for Straight Stitch Designs, I received a free copy of the Bellevue Top Pattern, but all of my options and observations are my own.

New Trims: Bias Tapes, Lace and more

This past week we have been busy adding our first selection of trims to Style Maker Fabrics. I just wanted to share a few of these exciting new items and some ideas I have about how they can be used.

Jersey Bias Tape

This is probably the new trim that I am the most excited about! I have never been a huge fan of traditional bias tape that you buy in the package. This takes bias tape to a whole new level- the rayon jersey is so soft and the perfect weight to use on just about any garment (T-shirts, dresses, etc). It would even make great straps and binding for a simple camisole.

The tape measures 1″ wide (1/2″ folded) and comes in 19 fashionable colors. We have all of the basics (black, white, red, navy, etc) but also have some brights and other great colors for Spring as well. Perfect for matching your fabrics for a more subtle look or going for a more dramatic pop of color.

Jersey Bias Tape- Available in 19 colors (10 shown above)

Jersey Bias Tape- Available in 19 colors (10 shown above)

I have been dreaming of the Dahlia dress from Colette Patterns. I even have the fabric picked out and all pre-washed! I have kind of been putting it off because of my fear of plaid- but now that I have over come that fear (Check out my Oslo Cardigan!) I have not excuse. The pattern calls for 3 yards of bias tape and I think this will be the perfect first project with this new trim. Since this pattern uses the tape around the neckline and sleeve cuffs, the jersey will be so soft and feel like a dream!

Plans for a Dahlia Dress with a Beautiful Wool Plaid

Plans for a Dahlia Dress with a beautiful Tartan Plaid

Faux Leather Bias Tape

We have also added a vegan leather bias tape that is at the other end of the bias tape scale. While the jersey bias tape is light weight and more delicate, the faux leather bias tape is more durable and “edgy” (pardon the pun). We see this being used for everything from garments to handbags or even home decor items. You could even put two layers of it together and make some amazing straps for a dress or even handbag handles! It would also be a great contrast to a classic tweed on a jacket or skirt.

This tape measures 3/4″ wide (3/8″ folded) and is available in 3 classic colors (black, brown and red).

Faux Leather Bias Tape- Available in the Black, Brown and Red

Faux Leather Bias Tape- Available in the Black, Brown and Red

Fold-Over Braid

This is a more unusual trim but just as versatile as the bias tapes shown above. This woven, fold-over trim is used much the same way bias tape would be- it makes a great edging on a variety of woven fabrics. It is especially great on thicker fabrics, like a tweed or wool where you don’t want to add a lot of bulk but want to finish off the edge of your garment. Rather than hemming or adding a double-folded tape (lots of layers!) you can use this more open light weight braid and get the job done.

This braid is 1-1/4″ (5/8″ folded) and comes in Classic Black.

One of the many great uses of this trim is on a “Channel-style” jacket, like this one I found from Vogue Patterns (V7975). I am thinking about pairing the black braid with this White Plaid Boucle for a pop of contrast. What do you think?

Plans for a Classic Boucle Jacket in White and Black

Plans for a Classic Boucle Jacket in White and Black

Lace Trims

On our last buying trip we stumbled across two lace trims and just couldn’t resist. They are so classic and elegant they are perfect for integrating into some amazing garments.

The first lace is a Chantilly lace trim that measures 15″ wide. That gives you plenty of width to cut and integrate this trim into a unique top, dress or even a skirt. I love the colors of this one as well- beautiful greys, black and white. It is so elegant and vintage feeling.

You have also probably noticed that handmade lingerie is all over the social media and the sewing world right now. I am tempted to try making my own Watson Bra and include this amazing lace!

Chantilly Lace Trim

Chantilly Lace Trim

The other lace trim is a Stretch lace in a simple, but classic rose motif. At 8″ wide, this stretch lace would be perfect for creating those fashionable lace inserts in a knit top or dress. I was thinking across the shoulders on the back of a top, or even across the bodice. It would also be a great, softer more delicate trim to gather and add along the bottom of a skirt or button-up-shirt.

Like the Chantilly lace above this is a great lace for lingerie or camisoles as well!

Stretch Lace Trim

Stretch Lace Trim

I hope this gives you some ideas about how trims can be used. They can really add that extra touch to a project or garment!

~Michelle

 

Go Red: Oslo Cardigan

Style Maker Fabrics is Going Red this month in honor of the National Go Red for Women campaign from the American Heart Association.  Heart Disease is the #1 killer in women and this is something that we should all continue to be aware of and take steps to prevent. I decided to “Sew Red” this week and work on a project that I have been putting off… it involves matching plaids!

My project this week was one of the patterns included with Seamwork’s December issue, the Oslo Cardigan. Seamwork is a brand new online magazine Colette Patterns launched this past December. Each month’s issue is full of interesting articles about different makers, techniques for sewing with new fabrics and lots of great advice and project ideas. If you haven’t checked it out yet I would highly encourage it. The magazine articles are FREE, but with a $6 subscription each month you get TWO brand new patterns to download.

Completed Oslo Cardigan in Plaid Double Knit

Completed Oslo Cardigan in Plaid Double Knit

I wanted to try making my own Oslo Cardigan in a warm but structured double knit and chose an interesting Houndstooth Plaid with quite a large pattern repeat. While I knew this fabric would look amazing when the cardigan was finished, I was a bit scared of having to match all of those plaid lines- something I hadn’t really done before! With the help of a Plaid Matching Guide (also from Colette Patterns) and some assistance from a fellow Style Maker I was able to conquer my fear of plaid and have some amazing results to share.

Check out those Matching Plaid Lines!

Side Seam- Check out those Matching Plaid Lines!

Probably the most time consuming part of this project was matching up the two fabric layers. I tried unsuccessfully 3 different ways to match up the selvages and get the plaid line matched up. I finally matched up the pattern and pinned the plaids in place every 6 to 8 inches. I learned a lot in this process and would probably just skip to pinning the layers next time I have a pattern to match- especially for knits since the grainline can be a little (or even a lot) wonky. I am definitely ready to take on more plaid or stripe projects!

Once I got all the pieces cut out, my Oslo went together very quickly. Gave it a good press and it is ready for National Wear Red Day (which is today!). I’m going to pair it with some black leggings, black tank top and short boots. It should be an amazing outfit in honor of a very important cause!

Oslo Cardigan- Plaid Sleeves Cut on the Bias

Oslo Cardigan- Plaid Sleeves Cut on the Bias

Learn more about heart disease in women and the Go Red for Women campaign HERE.

Wear Red!

~Michelle

Super Tote

It seemed fitting for today to share my Super Tote from Noodlehead that I recently finished. While yesterday’s Big Game didn’t turn out how we had hoped, it was a very exciting game and we are already looking forward to next season. We still love our Seahawks!

Super Tote Pattern from Noodlehead

Super Tote Pattern from Noodlehead

This is my fifth Super Tote and I am in love with this pattern and this bag! It is the perfect tote for on the go, whether it is running errands or a longer trip. Last year I made matching Super Totes for a group of us that went on a sewing retreat together- each person got a custom bag in their favorite color. While I loved making the scrappy, quilted tote bags I couldn’t wait to make my next one in a more sophisticated, fashionable fabric.

My First Super Tote- Scrappy!

My First Super Tote- Scrappy!

When we first found this Flocked Herringbone Suiting, I knew this would be the perfect fabric for my next Super Tote. The blacked flocked rose vines give it an amazing texture and it feels amazing. The big question then became, What fabric to pair with it for the gusset (sides) and handles?

I auditioned all different fabrics but none were quite right. I kept thinking- I just need a fabric similar to the background of the flocked suiting. Duh- Why don’t you just use the wrong side, Michelle! Sometimes the obvious option is just too obvious. I completed the look with classic solid black handles and accents.

Super Tote in Progress

Anyway- once I got everything cut out, the Super Tote was a breeze to put together. I finished it over a long weekend, working on it off and on as I had time. To give it a little extra stability I paired the Pellon Shape-Flex (as called for in the pattern) with Pellon Extra Firm interfacing. While the Herringbone Suiting is a heavier weight fabric, the added layer of Extra Firm gave the whole purse a really nice stability without being too thick or stiff.

Competed Super Tote

Competed Super Tote

I also wanted to share a couple pictures from our Football Gathering yesterday as well. Just a small group of family and friends, but I love any excuse to surf Pinterest and try out some new recipes. The chop salad stuffed pasta shells were a huge hit. And I loved the idea of serving “Turnovers” for the game. I used store bought puff pastry- filled them with whatever berries I had in the freezer and cut them out using the Jersey cookie cutter I had from last year’s sugar cookies. Too cute and so delicious!

Big Game Food- Salad Stuffed Shells, "Turnovers" and Brownie Footballs

Big Game Food- Salad Stuffed Shells, “Turnovers” and Brownie Footballs

I hope you had great day yesterday, whether your team won or lost!

Michelle

Out and About Dress

This is a project that I have wanted to make for some time. Sew Caroline first released the Out and About Dress Pattern early last year. It is such a versatile dress and can be made in all different variations in a variety of knit fabrics.

I have been holding out for just the right fabric to make my Out and About Dress… and this season I FINALLY found it! An amazing Jacquard Ponte Knit that gives the illusion of an elegant rose lace overlay. I love the color, the feel, the pattern and just about everything about this fabric.

At first I debated about what version I should make- Maxi? 3/4 length sleeve? Cuffs? No Cuffs? I settled on knee length with long sleeves- perfect to pair with leggings or tall boots! Also the heavier weight of this ponte knit makes it comfortable and warm in the cooler weather.

Sew Caroline's Out and About Dress in a cozy "lace-look" ponte knit.

Sew Caroline’s Out and About Dress in a cozy “lace-look” ponte knit.

Once I actually got sewing, this dress went together so quickly! I was done in one afternoon and ready to enjoy my new outfit “out and about.” I would definitely recommend this pattern and will be making more versions of it this Spring.

Here are just a couple of tips that I learned along the way.

1) I would rethink the pockets in this dress- At least for me, they ended up being a bit too low- I would either move them up a couple inches or not include them at all as mentioned in the pattern. In the heavier weight ponte knit, the pockets are a little bit bulky. I still love them! But just something I might alter in future versions.

2) I love Fuse ‘N Gather- One of my secret weapons for a long time has been Clover’s fusible gathering tape called Fuse ‘N Gather. I really don’t like to make gathering stitches on my machine! It seems like they always end up breaking, they gather unevenly or I have to pick them all out at the end so that they don’t show. Solution = Fuse ‘N Gather! Just fuse to the wrong side of your fabric and pull the threads. Perfect gathers every time and it worked wonders on this dress!

Perfectly gathered using Fuse 'N Gather and then sewed right into the seam.

Perfectly gathered using Fuse ‘N Gather sewed right into the seam.

3) Try out Double Needle Stitching- I haven’t invested in a coverstitch machine yet, but as I experiment more and more with my double needle I am loving the results. It is perfect for finishing off the hemline and sleeves on this dress and gave my project the professional, finished look I was hoping for.

Sew Caroline's Out and About Dress in a cozy "lace-look" ponte knit.

Completed Out and About Dress- ready for a day out on the town or a causal night in.

Here are a couple more of the fabrics I was considering for the Out and About Dress. Who knows, I might just need to make another one!

A few other fabric choices for the Out and About Dress.

A few other fabric choices for the Out and About Dress. Click to see MORE.

 

Launching Style Maker Fabrics

I am so excited to announce the launch of a new venture, Style Maker Fabrics.

This year has been quite the roller coaster for me both personally and professionally. Just after the first of the year my life got turned upside down and since then I have been working on finding a new path filled with creativity and passion. These changes forced me to take a leap of faith and turn some of my dreams into reality. And with that… Style Maker Fabrics was born.

Style-Maker-Fabrics-Logo

First, here is a bit more about me…
I have been sewing, crafting and being all-around creative my whole life. I have worked in and around the fabric industry most of my life and even design quilting fabrics and patterns, in partnership with my mom, under the name Firetrail Designs. I love fashion and trying to adapt the latest trends into my own style. As a third generation seamstress, I often push the boundaries of my skills and tackle new projects I may not be ready for, but I say, “Why not?” While I have mostly been sewing quilts, handbag and things for around the house, this has gradually been shifting towards sewing more and more clothing or garments.

As I have become interested in designing and creating my own garments, I have had a hard time finding the high-quality, on-trend fabrics that I was looking for. With limited selection in my area, I began searching online only to be overwhelmed and still not finding what I was looking for.

This year I set out to create a unique, online fabric retailer that specializes in on-trend fashion fabrics at affordable prices. With the help of my mother and the support of family and friends, I created Style Maker Fabrics to fill that unique void in the online fabric marketplace.

So, What is Style Maker Fabrics?
After studying the fashion trends and shopping the garment districts in New York and Los Angeles we put together an amazing selection of unique, high-quality garment fabrics for Style Maker Fabrics that we know you will love. Our goal is to provide our customers with the fabrics, supplies and inspiration so that they can become their own Style Makers.

Each season, customers will find a wide variety of fabric types selected based on the current trends and the classic styles that will always be in fashion. We pride ourselves in selecting only the highest quality fabrics and consider how each one will ideally be used, how easy it is to work with, as well as its overall performance.

At Style Maker Fabrics you will not only be able to shop by latest trend, but also by fabric type and garment type. That way you can find just the right fabric whether you know exactly what you are looking for or are just in the mood to sew or create and need some inspiration.

Fall Fashion Trend: Rich Reds

Fall Fashion Trend: Rich Reds

Join us on this exciting journey!
Over the next few months I will be share some of the exciting new things we have going on at Style Maker Fabrics. I’ll highlight some of our favorite new trends, share some of my latest projects and give you a sneak peak at a few of our special finds.

Be sure to follow along with us here on our blog and also on Instagram or Facebook. We will also keep you up to date on what is trending in the high-fashion world and give you lots of great garment ideas and sewing tips along the way.

We also would love to hear from you- If you have found an amazing new pattern or made a favorite new garment out of one of our fabrics, PLEASE SHARE! Post it on our Facebook page or tag us on Instagram (@Stylemakerfabrics, #stylemaker). You never know when your uniqueness will inspire another Style Maker.

We will continue to add new features to the website and blog in the next couple of months, so be sure to check back often. We can’t wait to share! Until then, have a fabulous time sewing and don’t be afraid to create your own style.

Sincerely,

Michelle Stoffel
Official Style Maker

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