Fall Style Blog Tour Recap 2017

Talk about inspiration overload! Last weekend we wrapped up two amazing weeks of fall sewing and style inspiration. Each seamstress selected fabrics from our fall collection and created their own unique look for fall. Our favorite part? Seeing each of their personalities shine through in their projects and their beautiful photos.

Here is a look back at each of the stops. We have also included links to all of the patterns and fabrics used for easy reference all in one place! Revisit some of your favorite looks or discover one you maybe missed.


Day 1 – Style Maker Fabrics

Each season we kick things off on the Style Maker blog! This year we experimented with the return of the leisure suite, elevating a cozy sweatshirt and sweatpants with some unexpected fabric choices. Read all about it HERE.

Style Maker Fabrics | SMF Fall Style Tour 2017

Patterns: Gemma Sweater by Named | Ruri Sweatpants by Named

Fabrics: Stretch Velour | Stretch Double Twill Suiting


Day 2 – Chalk and Notch

Next we visited Gabriela, designer behind Chalk and Notch patterns. She took her fall sewing to the max and actually created her own mini capsule wardrobe. We can’t wait to see how she mixes and matches each piece this season! Learn more about it HERE.

Chalk and Notch | SMF Fall Style Tour 2017

Patterns: Hacked Panama Tee by Alina Design CoLander Pant by True Bias | Lodo Dress by True Bias | Self Drafted Cardigan

Fabrics: Agate Scuba Knit | Stretch Denim| Speckle Sweater Knit


Day 3 – ThreadBear Garments

Essence of style! Leslie hit it out of the park with her killer moto-style jacket in cozy sweatshirt fleece and designer denim. Then, to top things off she wowed everyone with her stipe matching skills on her Ebony Tee for a second fall look. Read more about each HERE.

ThreadBear Garments | SMF Fall Style Tour 2017

Patterns: Mai Zip Jacket by Named | Ebony Tee by Closet Case

Fabrics: Designer Stretch Denim | Sweatshirt Fleece | Mini Stripe Jersey Knit 


Day 4 – Handmade by Lara Liz

Looking for some great fall layers, Lara sewed up three wardrobe basics that she can mix with any number of other pieces all season long. Each piece is beautiful on its own, but aren’t they even more stunning together?! Learn more in her post HERE.

Handmade by Lara Liz | SMF Fall Style Tour 2017

Patterns: Alberta Street Pencil Skirt by Sew House 7 | Gemma Tank by Made by Rae | Cocoon Cardigan by Patterns for Pirates

Fabrics: Rose Printed Stretch Denim | Sueded Modal Shirting| Sweatshirt Fleece


Day 5 – The Doing Things Blog

On Day 5 Tori, of The Doing Things Blog, shared two amazing fall looks in soft drapey rayons. To ease into her fall sewing she started with a simple but stylish pullover top that she can easily dress up or down for whatever fall brings. For her second look, Tori turned things up a notch with this gorgeous wrap dress! Find out more about both looks HERE.The Doing Things Blog | SMF Fall Style Tour 2017

Patterns: M7534 by McCalls | Lou Box Top by Sew DIY

Fabrics: Floral Rayon Challis | Sueded Modal Shirting


Day 6 – Girls in the Garden

Next up Lori, of Girls in the Garden, wowed everyone with her pattern matching skills on this Vogue jacket. Such a cool use of this jacquard woven and aren’t the colors gorgeous? Read more about the extra details she included in her jacket and her matching knit top HERE.

Girls in the Garden | SMF Fall Style Tour 2017

Patterns: V9275 by Vogue | Ruched-T by Angela Wolf

Fabrics: Patchwork Jacquard | Bamboo Jersey Knit


Day 7 – Goodbye Valentino

One of the favorite stops on the tour this season! Sarah, of Goodbye Valentino, sewed up this cozy boucle cardigan you can’t help but want to snuggle up in. She even had enough fabric left over to sew up a second look and we aren’t sure which we like better! Find out more in her post HERE.

Goodbye Valentino | SMF Fall Style Tour 2017

Patterns: M6844 by McCalls | Esme Knit Top by Style Arc

Fabric: Boucle Sweater Knit


Day 8 – Straight Stitch Designs

More fall layers! Kimberly, designer behind Straight Stitch Designs, sewed up three separates she can enjoy all season. She experimented with different colors and textures and the results are amazing! Check out more photos and get all the info on each piece HERE.

Straight Stitch Designs | SMF Fall Style Tour 2017

Patterns: Morris Blazer by Grainline Studio | Wedgwood Skirt by Straight Stitch Designs | Montlake Tee by Straight Stitch Designs

Fabrics: Herringbone Flannel Suiting | Suede Modal Shirting | Speckle Jersey Knit


Day 9 – Inside the Hem

For Day 9 on the tour Lindsey, of Inside the Hem, shared her video post of this striking color blocked ponte dress. This color combo and graphic design are perfect for fall and doesn’t the unique construction look fun to sew? Get lots of tips and more info in her post HERE.

Added bonus! In case you missed it, Lindsey also helped us launch our fall fabric collection with another one of her epic swatch review videos. Check it out HERE.

Inside the Hem | SMF Fall Style Tour 2017

Pattern: V1555 by Vogue

Fabrics: Various Ponte Knits


Day 10 – Brittany J Jones

Next up, Brittany shared two pieces perfect for her fun urban style! Both pattern/fabric combinations are spot on and those colors are gorgeous. Learn more in her written/video post HERE.Brittany J Jones | SMF Fall Style Tour 2017

Patterns: S8060 by Simplicity | S8418 by Simplicity

Fabrics: Soft Tencel Twill | Cross Weave Nylon Twill Coating


Day 11 – Sew MarieFleur

For Day 11 we jumped across the Atlantic and visited Fleurine, of Sew MarieFleur, amid the incredible Norwegian scenery! She shared a gorgeous floral dress full of the autumn colors you can’t help but love this season. And doesn’t her cocoon cardigan look cozy?! Get lots of great tips on how to make both patterns even better for the cooler weather in her post HERE.

Sew MarieFleur | SMF Fall Style Tour 2017

Patterns: Carrie Cardigan by Delia Creates | Adrift Dress by Papercut

Fabrics: Textured Boucle Sweater Knit | Autumn Floral Rayon Crepe


Day 12 – Cookin’ & Craftin’

Excited to be sewing for “true” fall weather again, Meg shared this amazing funnel neck dress. For extra warmth in the cold New England winters, she paired it with this stunning drape front jacket. Great pieces on their own and even better together! Read more in her post HERE.

Cookin and Craftin | SMF Fall Style Tour 2017

Patterns: Neenah Dress by Seamwork | Estelle Ponte Jacket by Style Arc

Fabrics: Ponte Knit Solid | Herringbone Wool Double Knit


Day 13 – Made by Rae

Last but not least! Rae, founder of Made by Rae, shared two variations on her Beatrix pullover. The first is a straight forward take on the pattern but it shines in this gorgeous wine colored rayon crepe. The second offers playful bell sleeves in elegant winter white. Learn more about each look in her posts HERE and HERE.

Made by Rae | SMF Fall Style Tour 2017

Pattern: Beatrix Pullover Top (2 ways)

Fabrics: Romantic Floral Rayon Crepe | Rayon Shirting


A huge thank you goes to all the amazing seamstresses that joined us for our style tour this season! We can’t help but admire all of your talents and creativity and we are so happy you could join us. To everyone that followed along with us, we can’t thank you enough for all your support! Hopefully you got some ideas, found some new patterns or just got inspired to sew this season.

Happy Sewing!

P.S. Spring Style Tour 2018 coming in March!

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

Fall Style Blog Tour | Sophisticated Leisure

Style Maker Fabrics | Fall Leisure Outfit

Can you believe fall is finally here? It seems like we have been waiting forever!

It’s no secret, fall is my favorite season! I just love all the colors and flavors and the excuse to wear lots of cozy layers. In putting our fall collection together I started dreaming of all the sweatshirts, cardigans and coats I wanted to make this season. If you follow along with us on Instagram, you may have seen the stack of knits I snagged and already started sewing for myself. Sometimes I have little self control…

Style Maker Fabrics | Fall Sewing Plans

To kick off our Fall Style Blog Tour 2017, I decided to experiment with the “athletic” trend that continues to be popular this season. We are pretty casual here in the Pacific Northwest and I normally live in knits and jeans so this seems like a good fit for me and my lifestyle. Leisure suits, joggers, sweatshirts, hoodies and puff coats—all great pieces!

The release of Named’s FW17 collection sealed the deal! I immediately fell in love with their Gemma sweater and Ruri sweatpants. Sophisticated but comfortable, these patterns help elevate what could be overly casual into something that is more unique and dare I say stylish.

Style Maker Fabrics | Named Patterns

Now for the hard/fun part… picking the right fabrics. For Gemma, the pattern calls for medium to heavy weight knits that can be color blocked or reversed for the geometric detail at the front. After looking at a few French terrys and sweatshirt fleeces, I settled on a stretch velour in a really pretty heathered taupe with a cream reverse. I’m loving the darker neutral tones!

Ruri suggests a mid-weight sweatshirt fleece but I think any medium weight, thicker knit would do. Since I was going for a little less casual look, I laid out several different ponte knits but couldn’t settle on the right one. In the end I made kind of an unconventional choice, I picked out a stretch double twill (aka tricotine) in a deep espresso brown. Not only does it have a great weight and stretch for these pants but it is also the perfect color to pair with the velour!

With the fabric and patterns selected, time to get sewing! I sewed up both of these pieces over a weekend and only made a couple of slight changes. Based on the sizing I selected a size 8 (my normal size for Named patterns), but decided to lengthen both garments a bit. I am 5′ 9″ and tend to like things on the longer side, so I always look at the finished garment measurements to check the length or inseam. For the Gemma sweater I added 2″ close to the hem so I didn’t alter the piecing details. And on the Ruri I again added 2″, this time lengthening at the knee.

Actually sewing the Gemma was a lot of fun! It is like a sewing puzzle that you aren’t quite sure how it is going to go together. Named does a great job with the instruction, just be sure to follow them, especially when it comes to which way to press the seam allowance! The sequence in which the pieces go together is perfectly planned and interlock perfectly. The velour fabric I picked sewed together beautifully and was not difficult to work with at all. Probably the biggest thing to watch for is the direction of the nap on the wrong side. It doesn’t matter so much when it is on the inside but on the pieces that are visible you want to make sure you have them going all the same direction, in my case that was downward.

Style Maker Fabrics | Velour Gemma Sweater

One last minute change I made was flipping the funnel neck so that it matched the geometric accent. I like the additional cream contrast and the extra softness around my neck. I also didn’t have grommets for the drawstring at the hem so I made due with button holes. Not a big change but I thought I would mention it in case you don’t have grommets on hand either.

Style Maker Fabrics | Ruri Sweatpants Snap Hem Detail

I don’t have much to note on sewing the Ruri pants together. The process was straightforward and rather simple as well. I love the faux fly front and the partial elastic waistband. And those snaps at the bottom cuffs are spot on! The only change I made was since I used more of a woven fabric, I did serge the hem before stitching it in place just to prevent any raveling. In the future I might also figure out making the pocket bags slightly larger so that I can catch them in the waistband seam just to secure them in place.

Now for the big reveal…

Style Maker Fabrics | Ruri/Gemma Leisure Suit

Style Maker Fabrics | Fall Leisure Outfit

Style Maker Fabrics | Fall Leisure Sweater

I love how this outfit turned out—the perfect combination of sporty and sophisticated and the velour sweatshirt is so cozy! Not only would I feel comfortable wearing this out-and-about, I think it would also be work appropriate. Both garments fit great and I am definitely glad I lengthened both of them. The Ruri pants are technically designed to be more of a cropped length but I think I am liking this ankle length a bit better—perfect to pair with booties!

Style Maker Fabric | Gemma Sweater Up Close

Style Maker Fabrics | Ruri Leisure Pants

I can definitely see myself making more versions of both these garments. I’d love to try the Ruri pants in a sweatshirt fleece as recommended just to see how cozy they really are! And on the Gemma I think a color blocked version would be fun or one in all the same fabric with top stitching to accent the piecing. What do you think? Any other amazing ideas/interpretations?

That wraps up Day 1 of our Fall Style Blog Tour 2017. Join us again tomorrow for Day 2 over on the Chalk and Notch blog. We can’t wait to see what Gabriela sewed up—she picked out some pretty amazing fabrics!

Happy Fall Sewing!

Michelle

P.S. Learn more about our fall fabric collection and get the full tour schedule HERE.

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Classic Elements | Fall/Winter Fabrics 2017

Welcome fall, our favorite season!

Twice a year we put together a new collection of fabrics and patterns to kick off a new season of sewing. Today, we welcome the first day of fall and introduce you to one of our favorite collections yet! Inspired by runway looks and the latest in ready-to-wear, we put our twist on current fashion trends to create an amazing group of fabrics that are both stylish and wearable. This collection includes a beautiful range of knits and wovens in rich fall colors ready to incorporate into your handmade wardrobe. Before we dive in, let’s take a look at how the fall/winter collection came together.

Pantone Fashion Color Report | Fall 2017

Pantone Fashion Colors | Fall 2017

Prep work begins in June when we start pulling together designs, colors and textures to use as inspiration. We look at fashion magazines, websites and blogs, among a variety of other sources, to find standout themes for the season. All of these ideas act as an outline of sorts to help us with the next step—fabric shopping!

Using our plan as a guide, we scour our fabric sources collecting swatches, swatches and more swatches. Since we can’t have ALL the fabric (as much as we may want to!), we constantly weed out pieces that don’t quite fit. We arrange and rearrange the swatches trying out different combinations and paring it down even further. After lots of refining, we make our final selections and start planning how they will work as a collection.

Style Maker Fabrics | Fall Swatches

A surprising fact for many to learn is that most of our fabrics come from some of the country’s top designers. Sometimes called “dead-stock”, these fabrics are remnants or left overs after a designer finishes production on their latest clothing line. Rather than letting these fabrics be sent to the landfill, we help give these fabrics a new life and a new story as part of our next collection and your handmade wardrobe. Amazing way to recycle, right?!

Let’s talk fabric. This season we are all about rich, bold colors mixed with soft neutrals that never go out of style. By far the stand out color this season is red! Brick, cherry, wine and berry—find the perfect shade for you! Other favorite colors include jewel tones such as sapphire, jade and amethyst.

Code Red | Precious Gems | Trend-Proof Neutrals

Trends continue to ride the line between the romantic and the sporty and we found fabrics to cover the full range. For a more sophisticated feminine look, don’t miss our selection of winter florals with dark, bold backgrounds and contrasting blooms. If athletic leisure is more your thing, check out the latests additions of jerseys, French terry and other stylish knits. Tie both looks together with some cozy layers to get you thru those chilly months!

Winter Blooms | Sports Page | Cozy Layers

Follow along this season as we feature projects and other inspiration for each of our latest trends. Don’t forget, you can always shop by fabric type, garment or color if are looking for something specific.

Back by popular demand. After rave reviews from her spring video, Lindsey of Inside the Hem put together another swatch review video featuring a selection of fabrics from our fall collection. A great way to see some of these fabrics in action and get some fun tips and ideas along the way. Check it out below!

Coming this week! We are kicking off our Fall Style Blog Tour on Monday, September 25th. Follow along as we visit 12 amazing sewing designers and bloggers to see what they have sewn up for their fall wardrobe using fabrics from the new collection. This is something we look forward to each season and this fall’s tour will not disappoint! Find the full schedule and links to each stop below.

Style Maker Fabrics | Fall Style Tour Schedule

9/259/269/279/289/299/3010/110/210/310/410/510/610/7 (one, two)

Last but no least—As a thank you for joining us as we kick off the new season, US shipping is just $5 now thru October 8th! International orders will receive a special discounted rate. We hope you enjoy our fall launch and find some amazing inspiration and fabrics to incorporate into your handmade wardrobe.

Happy sewing!

Michelle

P.S. As with all of our designer fabrics, quantities are limited. We will do our best to keep favorites in stock but we never know how long they will last or if we are able to get more.

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

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

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!

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…

1 2