Fall Style Blog Tour: Bruyere Meets Plaid

I’m excited to kick off our Fall Style Blog Tour today! The first of thirteen stops visiting some of our favorite sewing bloggers and pattern designers; I can’t wait to follow along with all of you and see what what everyone has sewn up for their fall wardrobe.

Of course, I didn’t want to be left out in all the sewing fun! I decided to ease into my fall sewing with one of my favorite fall designs, PLAID. Available in a multitude of fabric types, color combinations and patterns, the possibilities seem endless. There are so many great ideas online and in fashion for skirts, dresses, scarves and tops but I decided to keep it simple with a classic button up… with a twist!

Plaid Fashion Inspiration Board on Pinterest

Plaid Fashion Inspiration Pinterest Board

I often hear that people are scared to sew with plaids, just too many lines to match. I was one of those people! My best advise is to face your fear and dive in; after a couple of projects you get the hang of it and it will no longer be an issue. Plus, you will have some stunning garments with perfectly matching seams to show off to anyone who will listen! There were a couple of blog posts that really helped me- one super simple, the other more complicated. I found that a happy medium is best, be precise but don’t overthink it! One other trick I learned, put some pieces on the bias. It adds some interest and keeps you from having to match all the plaids!

Deer and Doe Bruyere Shirt Pattern

Deer and Doe Bruyere Shirt Pattern

For my pattern, we just received a selection of Deer and Doe sewing patterns from France and I completely fell in love with the Bruyere Shirt! A more feminine take on the button up shirt, the Bruyere is nicely fitted across the bust and waist and had some box pleats giving the skirt a bit more body and movement. For my fabric, I picked a gorgeous rayon shirting with a really nice weight and drape. Heavier like a flannel, this fabric is perfect for the cooler weather that fall brings. Did I mention the colors? Not only is the fabric the perfect weight and texture, it also combines my favorite fall colors- plum, pumpkin and a touch of mustard!

Rayon plaid shirting in plum and rust.

Rayon plaid shirting in plum and rust.

I sewed up my Bruyere over the course of a couple evenings. Having sewn an Archer Shirt in the past, construction was pretty straight forward and easy to follow. This was my first Deer and Doe pattern and I was not disappointed. I find that the extra details really make the difference and this Bruyere pattern is full of them. Simple steps that really give your garment a very profession look and finish.

Back view of my Bruyere shirt with bias cut yoke.

Back view of my Bruyere shirt with bias cut yoke.

There were only a few changes that I made in the process. The first came in the sizing- based on my measurements I was right between the 40 and the 42. I decided to cut the bodice of my top out for the 40 and taper it out at the waist to the 42. I then cut all the pieces waist down for the 42. This gave me a kind of hybrid size that fit really well!

My other change came at the sleeve cuffs. I love the look of the sleeve slit and placket included in the pattern but when I went to sew it I had a horrible time. It was late and I was running short on time, so rather than push through and figure it out I used the technique that I already knew from my past Archer. No harm, no foul and it saved me some time and aggravation. I will definitely revisit it and figure it out when I can focus and experiment a bit more. I also used a few less buttons than the pattern called for, again no biggie but I wanted to make sure and mention it.

Completed Plaid Bruyere

Completed Plaid Bruyere

Now for the finished results! I am in love with this pattern and this shirt! The tunic length is perfect to pair with skinny jeans or leggings. I completed the look with some fall boots and am ready for the fall weather. The fit of the shirt is perfect with the alterations I made. There is a little something funky going on at the back of the shoulder but nothing that I can’t live with. Maybe I’ll tackle that fix in a future version. Oh, and there will be a future version! I’m thinking flannel… warm, cozy flannel! Or maybe more plaid, or both!

Here are a few of my other favorites. Check out our amazing assortment of plaids HERE.

One last look at my Bruyere shirt. I think I am going to be living in this one all season! It is so comfy and the fabric feels amazing.

Front view of my plaid Deer and Doe Bruyere.

Front view of my plaid Deer and Doe Bruyere.

Be sure to follow along with us as the Fall Style Blog Tour continues tomorrow with Day 2. We will be visiting Lindsey from Inside the Hem to see what she has been busing sewing! We can’t wait to see her video post!

Happy Fall!

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

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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!

An Autumn Morris Blazer

Have you ever found the perfect fabric and had it just scream what to make with it?

Grainline Studio’s Morris Blazer has been on my “Make List” since its release earlier this year. On a recent fabric buying trip, I found an incredible wool knit that I instantly pictured as the most stunning Morris Blazer. A flash of inspiration, no questions asked. It was a no brainer to not only buy the fabric for the store, but also get to work on this “dream project.” (To learn more about the fabric at the bottom of this post)

I didn’t want to just cut into this precious houndstooth wool knit for a pattern that I had never made. I decided to make another version of the Morris Blazer using a grey knit from my stash to check the fit, length etc. Get all the bugs out before I cut into the “good” stuff!

I made this first version as given in the pattern, size 8. It fit perfectly, but was far too short for the cozy wool blazer I had envisioned for my fall/winter wardrobe. Based on the fit of my test Morris, I decided to lengthen the body by 3 inches and the sleeves by 6 inches. I used the handy lines that Jen included on each pattern piece making the lengthening process so simple. The sleeve did prove a bit more challenging- I had to do a bit of tapering, nothing too difficult.

Lengthening the Morris Pattern Pieces

Lengthening the Morris Pattern Pieces

Now it was time to cut! I got my pieces laid out just how I wanted them. My goal was to have the finished result be about half solid grey, half houndstooth. In laying out the pieces I noticed that those lengthening lines I drew on the pieces proved very helpful in matching up the pattern. On all of the body pieces and front facing, the “lines” were in the exact same place. I just had to line them up along the straight lines in the pattern. So helpful! The line on the sleeves was bit offset from the rest, so I did a bit of adjusting so that all of the pattern would line up across the blazer.

Laying Out the Morris Pieces- Ready to Cut

Laying Out the Morris Pieces- Ready to Cut

I had a slight heart attack before I made that first cut, but then I was all in! As I cut each piece I draped them over my dress for just to make sure it was all going according to plan. Once everything was cut out I couldn’t wait to get sewing! Since I had just made my test Morris, the second one went together really quickly. The unique wool knit that I used also made it so I didn’t have to finish my seams. I pressed all of the body seams open to help everything lay nice and flat and I did serge the arm holes- it seemed to really help finish them off. Other than that, everything went together just as described in the pattern. I love that Jen has such great tutorials on her website– I looked at it both times when attaching the facing to make sure I got it right.

Now for the RESULTS!

Finished Wool Morris Blazer

Finished Wool Morris Blazer

I am absolutely in love with how this Morris Blazer turned out. It is just how I had envisioned it and it seems like this fabric was made for this pattern. I am quite proud of my pattern matching- that is something that I still am working on and I always doubt whether I am doing it right. I also found the perfect necklace in my closet so that makes everything even better!

Finished Morris Blazer- View from the Back

Finished Morris Blazer- View from the Back- Check out that Center Back Seam!

The Morris Blazer pattern is another home run from Grainline Studio– I know everything is going to fit perfectly and there is always so much potential for fabric choices and reinterpretations. I think her Linden Sweatshirt and the new Tamarack Jacket will soon be hitting the cutting table!

About the Fabric

This houndstooth ombre wool knit is unlike anything I have seen. It is light weight and definitely a knit- you can see the stockinette stitch from the back side. It has also been felted, giving it a super soft almost fuzzy hand. Such an incredible piece and a dream to work with! Available now in the shop HERE.

Polished Romantic and the Bow Blouse

One of my favorite trends this season is this beautiful combination of tailored fit and feminine style- kind of a reinterpretation of menswear with softy, flowy edges. I like to call it “Polished Romantic,” sophisticated and classy but still elegant or even delicate.

This amazing contrast is created through not only the cut and styling of a garment but also the texture and color of the fabrics. Take a fitted jacket- crop the length and use a soft boucle or wool for a wonderful feminine touch. Or a tailored blouse- widen the sleeves or add a few pleats and use a flowy silk or rayon for some added drape and softness. It is all about balancing the structure with grace and beauty.

The staple piece of this “look” for me is the “bow blouse”. There has been a lot of discussion this season about what to call this type of top- secretary blouse, CEO bow and the Thatcher collar (in honor of Prime Minister Margret Thatcher who wore the look quite often) but I find myself just going back to simple but effective “Bow Blouse”. Let me know if you have any other great name ideas!

I set out to find a pattern to make my own bow blouse for this season. I weighed a few options but I ended up choosing the Oakridge Blouse from Sewaholic Patterns. I have been an admirer of their patterns for a long time but for some reason just haven’t gotten around to making one yet… I love the relaxed look of the neckline on their version of the bow blouse- not so rigid and formal but still very feminine and professional looking. I also liked the flared waist/hips- another more girly addition to a men’s button-up. Added bonus- the pattern comes with multiple options for this top, with or without the bow neck, so there is a lot of versatility there.

Oakridge Blouse by Sewaholic Patterns

Oakridge Blouse by Sewaholic Patterns

For my fabric choice, I chose a beautiful Japanese shirting in a rich fall floral pattern and color way. I just love this fabric and thought it would pair nicely with the styling of this shirt. The Japanese shirtings that we have in the shop remind me of Liberty of London lawns but at a fraction of the cost- same silky finish, beautiful hand and amazing to sew with!

Finished Oakridge Blouse

Completed Oakridge Bow Blouse in Japanese Shirting

My Oakridge Blouse came together pretty quickly and without any major issues. I just have a couple minor changes that I will note of future versions.

1) On the button plackets and cuffs, I would only interface half of the pattern piece instead of the whole thing as directed. The button placket, in particular, ended up being quite stiff. Just a minor change that will likely make a considerable difference.

2) Sleeve fit issues- they were a bit tight especially through the bicep and elbow. That is two recent makes that I have had this problem. It is just something for my fit that I need to be more aware of- especially if I am not going to make a muslin (a sin, I know). I was able to widen the seam a bit to make my blouse more comfortable and will alter the pattern piece for next time.

Oakridge Bow Neckline

Finished Oakridge Blouse- Closer Look at Bow Neckline

The finished Oakridge Blouse turned out just as I had envisioned it! Feminine but tailored and with the soft bow front. I am not normally a bow person, but I love how this turned out and the subtleness of the look. Perfect to layer under a cardigan or jacket and I am thinking about pairing it with some great wide leg trousers. Although I do love it with my Jamie Skinny Jeans and some cute booties as well!

Here are a couple there bow blouse patterns that I have marked for future reference. If the Oakridge Blouse isn’t quite your style maybe one of these is. I love how you can take a trend that appeals to you, such as the “Polished Romantic” look, and re-imagine it to fit your style. Whether it is finding the right pattern or using a different type of fabric you can make a main stream trend entirely your own!

Other Pattern Links:

Fran Tie Shirt from Name Clothing– Love this for a more sophisticated look. Less feminine in style but makes up for it in the fabrics choice!

Washi Expansion Pack from Made by Rae– Taking the Washi Dress to a whole new level- 3 amazing new variation on her popular Washi Dress pattern

Tie Neck Blouse from BurdaStyle– Check out this as well! A whole collection of bow-style tops. They must be popular or something…

Welcome Fall 2015

Fall officially arrives this week and the perfect time to dive into Fall/Winter Fashion! We have been working for the last few weeks to put together all of the fabrics you need for your Handmade Fall Wardrobe.

I thought I’d share a bit more about our process for preparing for the new season, talk about some of the “Must Have” trends for fall and show a few of our Fall sewing projects in the works (the list is very long!). Over the coming weeks we will highlight more of the latest fashion trends and how they can be adapted to your own unique style. We might even show a few of our own interpretations…

The first step to getting ready for the new season in fashion is RESEARCH! I love Fall especially, not only because it is my favorite season, but because the fashion magazines pull out all the stops for their September issues. Over the past few weeks we have flipped through thousands (literally, thousands) of pages of high-end fashion tearing out images, sorting and putting together collections of the trends we see.

A few of our Fall Fashion Magazines!

A few of our Fall Fashion Magazines!

Then, we take a look at what we currently have available and how it falls into these latest trends. Our goal is to create wearable collections of Fall fabrics that fit in with the current looks but give you the flexibility to interpret them in your own way. We make sure each collection has a variety of weights, fabric types, etc so if you saw an amazing pair of plaid pants but you would rather have a skirt, there are options for you. Next, we fill in the gaps in our fabric selection- if there are categories missing or key items we want to have, we scour our sources across the country looking for just the right pieces.

Finally, we merchandise them on the site to make them both inspiring and easy to shop. We also link each trend to its own Pinterest board so that you can get a little bit more inspiration for your next projects.

Here are a few of the for sure “Must Have’s” this season.

#1 Shearling: This amazingly soft, dual-sided fabric can be used for everything from jackets and vests to handbags and other accessories! We saw this trend developing last fall, but this season it had really found its stride. The buttery, faux suede on one side and plush, shearling-like material on the other side, there is so much potential! Available in a wide range of colors and textures you can choose what fits best for you and your project. Be sure to check out some of the amazing garment ideas on our Pinterest Page Here and check out all of our shearlings and other amazing neutrals Here.

#2 Scholarly Chic: Tweeds, boucles, and plaids are here and ready to hit the books this fall. Think professor, librarian or simply geek chic! Mix and match them or pair them with some classic solids or textured suitings for a professional but modern look. Fashion has been trending toward looks of tailored strength and stability and these fabrics help bring that out in any number of garments. Try it in some oversized, wide-leg pants or “Chanel-style” jacket! Find more inspiration Here or shop the look Here.

#3 The Bow Blouse: While there has been much debate on what to call this particular style of blouse, it is all the rage this season. Perfect for shirting style fabrics or even a more drapey rayon challis, this style top is a great addition to any wardrobe this season. We have also imagined taking this trend and reinterpreted it into a stunning dress.  Again, so much potential! We are including this trend in a broader style we like to call “Polished Romantic,” soft but a bit structured at the same time. See other inspiration Here or shop this style online Here.

Last but not least- just a couple of projects we have been working on so far this fall. More in depth blog posts will be coming soon but here is a little sneak preview…

First, my take on the bow blouse, using Sewaholic’s Oakridge Blouse pattern in an amazing Japanese lawn. I love how it turned out and can’t wait to wear it this coming season.

Oakridge Bow Blouse in Japanese Lawn

Oakridge Bow Blouse in Japanese Lawn

Then, a shearling vest in a delicious caramel color shearling using BurdaStyle’s Lambskin Waistcoat pattern (#112). So soft, comfortable and surprisingly warm!

BurdaStyle Shearling Vest

BurdaStyle Shearling Vest

Hopefully this post gets those Fall Sewing juices flowing. Check back for lots more inspiration and tips in the coming weeks. Cheers to a great season of sewing!

~Michelle