Spring Style Blog Tour 2017 Recap

Style Maker Fabrics | Spring Style Tour

A couple of weeks ago we wrapped up our Spring Style Tour 2017. This spring’s tour included twelve amazing stops, eighteen outstanding looks and more inspiration for our spring sewing than we know what to do with!

Here is a look back at all twelve stops, including links to each post, as well as the patterns and fabrics used. A handy reference to revisit some of your favorite pieces or catch up on one you missed!


Day 1 – Style Maker Fabrics

We kicked things off with one of our proudest makes yet— a denim jacket! A labor of love but so worth the effort. We completed the look with some wide leg trousers in a soft rayon twill, get all the details in our post HERE.

Style Maker Fabrics | Style Maker Fabrics Spring Style Tour 2017

Patterns: Maisa Denim Jacket by Named | Flint Pants by Megan Nielsen

Fabrics: Washed Selvage Denim | Soft Rayon Twill


Day 2 – Maker Style

On Day 2 we visited Rachel, of Maker Style, to check out her two romantic spring looks, one of her favorite trends this spring! Learn more about both looks in here post HERE.

As a special bonus, we chatted with Rachel about the top fashion trends this spring during the Season 2 premiere episode of her Maker Style Podcast. It was such a fun experience and you can check it out HERE.

Maker Style | Style Maker Fabrics Spring Style Tour 2017

Patterns: Ogden Cami by True Bias | The Orla Dress by French Navy

Fabrics: Clip Dot Shirting | Floral Rayon Crepe


Day 3 – Sweet Red Poppy

Next up we visited the always adorable Kimberly of Sweet Red Poppy. She went above and beyond creating two amazing looks for spring and each one fits her perfectly. Learn more about her process and the patterns she chose in her post HERE.

Sweet Red Poppy | Style Maker Fabrics Spring Style Tour 2017

Patterns: Primrose Peplum by Sew Caroline | Ultimate Trousers by Sew Over It | Love Notions “Mash Up” Dress

Fabrics: Medallion Eyelet Shirting | Floral Stretch Sateen | Crepe Texture Double Knit Dot


Day 4 – Sew House 7

On Day 4 we visited Peggy, owner and designer of Sew House 7 Patterns. Prepping for a family trip this spring, she sewed up a versatile pencil skirt and two drape knit tees to pair with it. Three spring wardrobe building pieces she can enjoy all season! Check out her post HERE.

Sew House Seven | Style Maker Fabrics Spring Style Tour 2017

Patterns: Ebony Tee by Closet Case | Axel Skirt by Megan Nielsen

Fabrics: Speckle Ponte Knit | Modal Jersey Knit | Stripe French Terry


Day 5 – Cookin’ and Craftin’

Next up Meg shared two looks and two posts for our Spring Tour. Her first was the perfect spring kimono— so light and airy this is the perfect pattern and fabric pairing! Her second was a fun twist on a classic button up. Check each post out HERE and HERE.

Cookin' and Craftin' | Style Maker Fabrics Spring Style Tour 2017

Patterns: Willow Kimono by Designer Stitch | Juliet Shirt by Style Arc

Fabrics: Medallion Rayon Challis | Seersucker Shirting


Day 6 – Inside the Hem

Lindsey, of Inside the Hem, knocked our socks off this spring with two amazing videos! For Day 6 on the tour she shared this stunning butterfly maxi dress. Paired with a classic linen jacket to complete the look, her choices and sewing are always impeccable. Watch it HERE.

To help us kick off our Spring Collection, Lindsey also shared a video look at 50+ swatches and shared some initial thoughts on how you might use each one. Be sure to check it out HERE.

Inside the Hem | Style Maker Fabrics Spring Style Tour 2017

Patterns: S1467 by Simplicity | V1344 by Vogue and M7381 by McCalls

Fabrics: Textured Linen Solid  | Butterfly Rayon Crepe


Day 7 – Helen’s Closet

Next up, Helen of Helen’s Closet! She shared two unique looks that suit her and her style perfectly. Learn more about how she developed each piece in her post HERE.

Helen's Closet | Style Maker Fabrics Spring Style Tour 2017

Patterns: Hacked Ogden Cami by True Bias | Self Drafted Tee

Fabrics: Rayon Crepe Dot | Modal Jersey Knit


Day 8 – Pattern Review

On Day 8 we revisited this amazing butterfly rayon crepe. It is always so fun to see the same fabric used in a different way giving it a totally new look.

Deepika, of Pattern Review, shared an gorgeous spring dress for herself and with her left over fabric even made a matching one for her daughter. Too cute! Read more about both looks HERE.

Pattern Review | Style Maker Fabrics Spring Style Tour 2017

Pattern: M7562 by McCalls 

Fabric: Butterfly Rayon Crepe


Day 9 – The Sara Project

Next we visited our friend Sara, of The Sara Project, to check out here gorgeous tropical-inspired spring look. With a self drafted skirt and lovely ruffled blouse, her outfit is impeccable as always and a perfect look for this spring! The colors, the patterns and the textures are spot on! Get all the details and instructions for her skirt HERE.

The Sara Project | Style Maker Fabrics Spring Style Tour 2017

Patterns: Suzon Shirt by Republique du Chiffon | Self Drafted Skirt

Fabrics: Seersucker Shirting | Tropical Leaf Sateen


Day 10 – Anita by Design

For Day 10 we are revisiting McCalls 7562 (also see Day 8)! Anita’s fabric choice and styling gave this pattern a totally different look, so bright and fun and suites her sunny personality perfectly. Be sure to check out all of her amazing photos in her post HERE, including how she styled this dress to take it from day to night seamlessly.

Anita by Design | Style Maker Fabrics Spring Style Tour 2017

Patterns: M7562 by McCalls 

Fabrics: Retro Floral Rayon Crepe


Day 11 – Sewbon

For our second to last stop Erin, of Sewbon, sewed up two great additions for her spring wardrobe. First up, a gorgeous sleeveless dress in a soft rayon crepe, another repeat fabric and a totally different look! Next she shared a fun cropped sweatshirt, perfect for the cool spring weather. Check out her amazing photos and get all the details on both looks HERE.

Sewbon | Style Maker Fabrics Spring Style Tour 2017

Patterns: Trevi Dress by Hey June | Linden Sweatshirt by Grainline Studios

Fabrics: Rayon Crepe Dot | Quilted Textured Double Knit


Day 12 – Girls in the Garden

Last but not least, our friend Lori wrapped up the tour with a stunning blouse and jacket combo in navy and white. Both silhouettes are perfect for this spring and mixing the two graphic patterns makes for such a fun pairing! Learn more about both pieces in her post HERE.

Girls in the Garden | Style Maker Fabrics Spring Style Tour 2017

Patterns: M7542 by McCalls | Lonetree Jacket by Allie Olson

Fabrics: Grid Rayon Challis | Dot Stretch Twill


We want to give a huge shout out to the eleven amazing seamstresses that joined us this spring! We can’t thank you enough for all your hard work and creativity. Thank you to all of you that have followed along with us— your support means everything to us and hopefully this tour helped inspire your own spring wardrobe!

Happy Sewing!

P.S. Fall Style Tour 2017 coming in September!

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!

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

Classic Take on Grainline’s Tamarack

Fall always puts me in the mood to sew jackets, sweaters and lots of other cozy layers. Maybe because I am always cold or maybe because layering is totally my style— whatever the reason I always have lofty goals to sew up a whole bunch of jackets and coats so that I have the perfect one to go with any outfit. Outerwear is also one of the hardest things for me to shop for, so making my own seems like a win-win situation.

Outerwear Inspiration Pinterest Board

Outerwear Inspiration Pinterest Board

I know for a lot of people coats and jackets are the last thing on their sewing list. They really want to make them but might be too scared to tackle the project. I was one of those people! Am I skilled enough to take this on? Won’t it take forever? What if it doesn’t turn out? Time to stop asking all the “What ifs” and just do!

Earlier this year I took a big leap and sewed up my own Clare Coat from Closet Case Patterns. Definitely the most intense project I have ever sewn but the results were so worth it! Between online tutorials and the very thorough instructions I think I hit this one out of the park and conquered my fear of coat making.

Tamarack Jacket from Grainline Studio

Tamarack Jacket from Grainline Studio

Now that the cooler weather is back, the urge to make a new jacket is too! I decided to get my feet wet this season with a pattern that is a bit more approachable for any level of seamstress, Grainline’s Tamarack Jacket. Simple and straight forward, this quilted jacket has limited pieces, is unlined and looks so warm and cozy!

Tamarack Jacket Supplies

Tamarack Jacket Supplies

Now to pick the fabrics… This is a great pattern to have some fun with fabric choices. Since I knew I wanted a more staple piece that would go with anything, I selected a solid black brushed fine nylon twill. To pair with it I wanted something warm and cozy and decided on a black and red check plaid flannel. A few people said I should do the flannel for the outside but the twill will wick away the rain better and fit better into my wardrobe. Sometimes it is okay to be a little more safe, besides that is what fun lining fabric is for! Rather than create my own binding I decided to add a leather accent to my jacket with some faux leather bias trim. Great look and it saves me all that time and probably some aggravation too!

Using the plaid pattern as a guide for quilting.

Using the plaid pattern as a guide for quilting.

In putting together my Tamarack Jacket I pulled out a few skills from my quilter’s tool box. To start, rather than cut out each piece and quilt them together, I cut out larger rectangles for each piece and quilted those instead. Once all the pieces were quilted then I cut out the pieces. As a quilter I know how much pieces move around, shift, shrink, etc and thought this would be a better approach. I quilted each piece in a diamond pattern that I created by using the plaid pattern of the lining as a guide. This saved me so much time from having to mark everything and gave me a crisp clean look. I did admit to myself early on that I would NOT worry about matching the plaid in the lining but that I WOULD take time and match the diamond quilting on the right side of the two fronts. This is probably the only place it really mattered and the only place it would be noticed.

A Couple Tips for Quilting:

  1. Work from the center out and try to only stitch in one direction.
  2. When stitching lines that cross over a previous set of lines, make sure everything is nice and flat and maybe even create a bit of tension so that you don’t get puckers at the cross- quilting gloves help a lot!
  3. If using dark colored fabrics, use a dark colored batting. This will prevent any batting fuzz from showing up too much in the seams.
Lengthened Tamarack Sleeves

Lengthened Tamarack Sleeves

The quilting honestly took the most time. Once all five rectangles were quilted and my pieces cut out (my fronts included the extra inch for the button placket) it was time to sew them together. The only change I made to the pattern pieces was to lengthen the sleeves 2-1/2″ based on the finished garment measurements given in the pattern. Construction started with the welt pockets, something I still am working on perfecting. The pattern instructions were a bit confusing but as you worked through them one step at a time it all made sense and they came together beautifully. My second one even better than the first so there is hope with more practice… The rest of the jacket went together really quickly. I finished all my raw edges with the serger and on the bulkier seams (shoulders, underarm and side) I finished each side and pressed them open.

Stitching TO the corner across the binding.

Stitching TO the corner across the binding.

Now to finish off all the edges. The binding gets added to the front and the back separately before you sew up the side seams. I thought this was a bit weird but everything turned out just fine. I attached my faux leather bias binding just like I would on a quilt. They give great instruction in the pattern and I made one slight addition. Rather than just stopping 1/2″ from a corner, I turn and stitch at a 45″ angle TO the corner, then fold my binding and continue stitching down the other side. This gives me perfect corners every time! A side tip from a quilter! I also hand stitched the other side of my binding down— I personally like how this method looks the best, clean and neat with no extra stitching lines. Totally worth the hand sewing time!

My last change came on the sleeves. Rather than bind the hem on each sleeve with the bias I finished the edge on the serger and hand stitched a 1″ hem. This decreased some of the bulk and gave me a nice soft finish. Last but not least I added 5 snaps up the front of my jacket for an easy closure. Now for the results!

tamarack-2

I’m loving the fit! Roomy enough to wear other thick layers underneath but not too over-sized. The quilting also is perfect on this black twill, it stands out beautifully and will be a great pair to any outfit. The pockets are also very handy, the welts turned out great and they are large enough for both my hands and my phone! A plus for sure on those cold days running errands.
tamarack-phone tamarack-lining-3

Finished inside, pockets are all serged and tacked in place. Isn’t the red plaid fun! A secret pop of color!

tamarack-back

I love the length of this jacket! Just enough to keep me nice and warm with out being too big and bulky. And the high-low baseball hemline adds just a bit of interest and style.

The Tamarack Jacket pattern is a great one for any seamstress to try. Maybe you haven’t ventured into coat making yet? This is a great confidence booster and let’s you learn a few new things along the way. Huge plus if you have quilting experience, but if not, it is just straight lines or you could even skip this step with pre-quilted fabric! I also love how you can make this jacket totally your own with different fabric choices for both the experior and the lining. Try some new quilting techniques or go wild with your bias binding- so many places for your style and personality to shine!

Now time to go sew!

~Michelle

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Fall Style Blog Tour 2016 Recap

Earlier this month we wrapped up our Fall Style Tour 2016 and we are so inspired for the new season of sewing and fashion. The first fall storm is hitting here in the Northwest and we are loving the excuse to hide inside and sew (finger-crossed the power doesn’t go out!).

We thought we would take a look back at all thirteen stops on the tour and give everyone a recap of this amazing journey. If you missed a stop or wanted to revisit one of the posts, here is a handy reference to all of the stops as well as links to the patterns and fabrics used for each.


Day 1 – Style Maker Fabrics

We kicked of the Fall Tour with our ode to plaids and a new go-to pattern. One of our favorite trends this season, plaids are a lot of fun to sew with. Yes, some matching is involved but you can also play with the pattern by putting it on the bias for a different look. Read more about our favorite new fall shirt HERE.

style-maker-fabrics-day-1-stop

Pattern: Bruyere Shirt by Deer and Doe Patterns

Fabric: Rayon Blend Plaid Shirting


Day 2 – Inside the Hem

Day Two took us to our first ever video stop! Lindsey from Inside the Hem shares two amazing fall garments in her favorite fall color- burgundy! Her pattern choices were spot on as always and both pair perfectly with the fabrics she chose. Click on the image above to watch her post or view it HERE.

Patterns: B6375 by Butterick | B6388 by Butterick

Fabrics: Floral Rayon Crepe | Jacquard Double Knit


Day 3 – Allie Jackson

Next up we took a walk on the wild side with Allie Jackson. She has a not so secret love affair with leopard print and shared two stunning animal print looks. We love these “neutrals” and their timeless style. Learn more HERE.

allie-jackson-day-3-stop

Patterns: Vintage Simplicity 6820 | Wrap Elmira Cardigan by Seamwork

Fabrics: Leopard Rayon Challis | Leopard Sweater Knit


Day 4 – Erica Bunker

We headed down South for an edgier look with Erica. Her “chic meets street” style is perfect for this season and we can’t get enough of her lace bomber and flirty suede skirt. Erica also shared a ton of helpful sewing tips and tricks we can’t wait to try. Check them out HERE.

erica-bunker-day-4-stop

Patterns: Bomber Jacket 7210 by Burda | Skirt 6418 by New Look

Fabrics: Lace Fused Knit | Faux Suede Black


Day 5 – Gray All Day

Helen continued this look at edgy feminine style on Day Five. She used her stop as an excuse to try a new to her fabric, double gauze, and she quickly became a fan just like the rest of us! She completed her look with this luscious suede moto jacket and we want to copy her immediately. Read more HERE.

gray-all-day-day-5-stop

Patterns: Saiph Tunic by Papercut Patterns | Moto Jacket S8174 by Simplicity

Fabrics: Japanese Double Gauze | Faux Suede Olive


Day 6 – True Bias

For Day Six, Kelli of True Bias shared two amazing looks in rayon crepe. The perfect piece to help us transition into the cooler weather or into the warmer weather next spring. We love these bold colors and how they pair together. Learn more about both pieces HERE.

true-bias-day-6-stop

Patterns: Tate Top by Workroom Social | Winslow Culottes by Helen’s Closet

Fabrics: Black Rayon Crepe | Tribal Rayon Crepe


Day 7 – Lindsay Woodward

For us, fall is all about layering and based on her stop for Day Seven, Lindsay is on the same page! Her button up top and cozy cardigan are the perfect fall wardrobe additions. And those colors! Read more in her post HERE.

design-by-linday-day-7-stop

Patterns: Driftless Cardigan by Grainline Studio | Melilot Shirt by Deer and Doe Patterns

Fabrics: Cable Sweater Knit Twill Weave Rayon


Day 8 – Sew Charleston

Next, we headed to Charleston to check out Abbey’s two looks. First up, a flirty long sleeve shirt dress in the cutest zebra novelty print. Next, a cozy hoodie in one of our favorite fabrics, French terry. Both looks suit her perfectly and are making us jealous. Check out her post and lots more great pictures HERE.

sew-charleston-day-8-stop

Patterns: Sanibel Dress by Hey June Patterns | Undercover Hoodie by Papercut Patterns

Fabrics: Zebra Rayon Twill French Terry Dot | French Terry Stripe


Day 9 – Dandelion Drift

On Day Nine, Teresa shared two favorite patterns that every seamstress should own! She thought a bit outside the box on fabric choices and the results are stunning. Learn more about both pieces HERE, including all the details about how she altered them to fit her perfectly.

dandelion-drift-day-9-stop

Patterns: Archer Shirt by Grainline Studio Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Patterns

Fabrics: Eyeglass Rayon Challis | Black Stretch Twill


Day 10 – The Sara Project

Sara from The Sara Project also shared some fall separates that will be great new additions to her wardrobe. She combined a few of our favorite things- pumpkin spice, plaid and denim! What more could you ask for? Learn more about both pieces HERE.

the-sara-project-day-10-stop

Patterns: Button Up M7472 by McCall’s Safran Pants by Deer and Doe Patterns

Fabrics: Autumn Plaid Shirting | Stretch Denim


Day 11 – Sew DIY

Next up, Beth sewed two perfect pieces for her fall style in Southern California. She too tried something new and experimented with layers and we are loving her results. These “neutrals” are a great foundation to mix and match with other new makes or wardrobe favorites. Read her post and pick up a few tips HERE.

sey-diy-day-11-stop

Patterns: Driftless Cardigan by Grainline Studio Nehalem Pants by Sew House 7

Fabrics: Variegated Sweater Knit Japanese Tencel Chambray


Day 12 – Marcy Harriell

For the second to last stop we headed to NYC to check out Mary’s separates. A step out of her normal sewing comfort zone, she hit a home run with this tunic and maxi skirt! Read Marcy’s post HERE for some great tips and a taste of her amazing sense of humor.

marcy-harriell-day-12-stop

Patterns: Gabriola Skirt by Sewaholic Patterns | Tunic S3786 by Simplicity

Fabrics: Distressed Chambray | Floral Rayon Crepe


Day 13 – Girls in the Garden

Our last stop took us to Missouri to visit our friend Lori. She also went for fall layers and knocked our socks off with her suede jacket. Paired with this gathered blouse, Lori looks amazing as always. Be sure to take a look at all the finishing details she added HERE.

girls-in-the-garden-day-13-stop

Patterns: Jacket S1066 by Simplicity | Gathered Tunic B6378 by Butterick

Fabrics: Faux Suede Chestnut | Paisley Cotton Gauze


A huge thank you to all of the seamstresses that joined us on the tour and shared some of their first fall makes. We are so inspired for our own fall sewing and we hope you are too! We also wanted to thank all of you that followed along with us! We couldn’t have done it without you and we appreciate all of the wonderful comments and support.

We can’t wait to see what all of you sew up this season and be sure to stay tuned for our Spring Style Tour coming March 2017!

Sorbetto Tanks and a New Look at Bias Tape

Today I am excited to share a special project that I have been working on over the past couple of weeks- a tutorial and closer look at working with bias tape!

Sewing with bias tape is one of my favorite methods to finish off the neckline or to use as an accent on a new garment. Bias tape is also showing up more and more in the patterns from our favorite indie pattern designers. Something I have noticed, however, is that it seems like everyone has a different method for joining the ends and finishing it off. I couldn’t help but wonder why that is and why people haven’t taken a tip from their fellow seamstresses- quilters!

Before I really dove into garment sewing I was a quilter. I still dabble now and then but my sewing focus has really shifted over the last couple of years. One day it hit me, why can’t I use the same methods I used all the time on quilt bindings on my garments? Couldn’t I just apply the same methods to other sewing projects? After a little experimenting and a collaboration with Sew Mama Sew, I put together a tutorial to share some secret quilting tips and tricks with my fellow garment sewers. Check it out HERE over on Sew Mama Sew’s blog!

Finishing Tips for Bias Binding Collaborative Tutorial with Sew Mama Sew

Finishing Tips for Bias Binding: Collaborative Tutorial with Sew Mama Sew

As part of my tutorial, I used Colette’s Sorbetto tank as my sample garment. A great tank for summer, it is perfect on its own or even layered with a cardigan or jacket. Not only is the pattern free, but it also has the potential for any number of variations. A few months ago, I tested out the Sorbetto tank pattern as is and quickly realized that is was much to short for me and my 5′ 9″ frame. For this project I played around with lengthening the pattern and removing the from pleat- both proved to be really easy changes!

Linen Sorbetto Tank Paired with Stripe Morris Blazer

Linen Sorbetto Tank Paired with Stripe Morris Blazer

To lengthen the pattern, I simply used the lines that already existed on the pattern pieces at the natural waist. Cutting along this line and moving the pieces 3″ apart, I lengthened that pattern by 3″. You can either slip a bit of pattern paper between the pieces and tape it in place or trace a whole new piece. Use a ruler to fill in the gap in the pattern lines and you are good to go. For removing the front pleat, I simply used the “pleat” line as my new center front. I didn’t even need to cut this portion of the pattern off, I just folded it to the back side!

Finished Sorbetto Tank with Self Bias Tape

I finished my Sorbetto off with matching bias tape made from the same fabric and I am really please with the results. It was a actually a really quick sew and I couldn’t help but sew up another one immediately!

Shibori Rayon Challis Sorbetto Tank

Shibori Rayon Challis Sorbetto Tank

For this my second version I used this stunning shibori rayon challis that just arrived in the shop. Paired with some pre-made navy jersey bias, I had another incredible Sorbetto in about an hour. Due to the layout of the double border on this fabric, I did have to shorten my pattern piece a bit so that I could get the design just the way I wanted. It made the tank a bit shorter but totally worth it, don’t you think?

A closer look at my shibori Sorbetto

A closer look at the shibori Sorbetto.

Don’t forget to to check out the tutorial with tips for sewing with bias tape! You might pick up a few tips to add to your own secret stash of skills. You never know when they might come in handy!

Michelle

P.S. For those of you new to Style Maker Fabrics– be sure to sign up for our email newsletter and blog in the margin on the right! We’d love to stay in contact with you and share more of our projects, inspiration and new arrivals!

New Linden Twist- Knit and Woven with 3/4 Sleeves

Lately I have been on a mission to find more ways to combine knit and woven fabrics into the same garment. With so many amazing knits, rayon challises, crepes and lots more, how could I not want to mix and match them? With a few ready to wear (RTW) items in heavy rotation in my wardrobe and other ideas from various boutiques, I started a new Pinterest board to gather my inspiration and figure out where to start first. Replacing whole pieces with a woven or knit, “blocking” with different fabrics or simply adding woven trim or accents- the possibilities seem endless.

Pinterest Inspiration Board: Knits + Wovens

Pinterest Inspiration Board: Knits + Wovens

I decided to tackle one of my favorite warmer weather pullovers that combines a polyester woven body and a light weight rayon/poly sweater knit for the sleeve and bands. I love this combination of a small geometric print and the soft solid in a raglan style pullover. In looking at pattern options I immediately decided on Grainline Studio’s Linden Sweatshirt. A staple in my wardrobe already, this pattern already had the same kind of look and style as my RTW top- a little slouchy but classic- and will make the perfect jumping off point for my new top.

A favorite RTW garment- ready to assist on a new version.

A favorite RTW garment- ready to assist on a new version.

To get started I traced all of my pattern pieces for my size 8 Linden (View A). I have made this size in the past and know that is fits great. I was not sure what changes needed to be made to accommodate the woven fabric on the front and back so having all the pieces on something that I can tweak/alter was a good place to start. For fabric choices, I picked two similar to those in my RTW top- a soft black sweater knit and a tribal print rayon challis.

This is where having a good fitting RTW reference came in handy-I was able to match up the corresponding pieces and see where there were dramatic differences is size and shape. Lucky for me there was almost no difference in the pattern width- maybe a 1/2″ but for the slouchy look I decided that wasn’t an issue. The biggest differences came in the length- the Linden was an 1″ or so longer. This happens to be my one issue with the RTW top, it is too short, so this is a welcome change and saved me a step from having to lengthen the pieces. With the woven figured out, I went ahead and cut the front and back out!

Next, on to the knit sleeves and bands. My preferred sleeve length is three-quarters which is also the length on my RTW pullover. As it not one of the options in the Linden pattern, I had to do a bit of experimenting to create a new pattern piece. The dilemma was, do I shorten the long sleeve (View A) or lengthen the short sleeve (View B)?

Unaltered Linen Sleeve Pattern Piece

I posed the question to the sewing community on Instagram and got mixed results- although most people said shorten the long sleeve. I decided to start there, shorten the long sleeve. With my RTW reference I knew I wanted the sleeves to be between 18 and 19″ before the cuff.

Determining the Sleeve Length and Altering the Pattern

Determining the Sleeve Length and Altering the Pattern

First, I cut along the Lengthen/Shorten (L/S) for the long version and slid the bottom piece under the top until the sleeve was the correct length. As you can see this difference is quite drastic taking almost 7″ off the sleeve length. I also became concerned about the narrowness of the bottom of the sleeve- perfect for your wrist but probably too small for mid arm.

Results of Shortening the Long Version

Results of Shortening the Long Version

I decided to see what lengthening the short version would look like. Again cutting at the L/S line and moving the pieces apart until the sleeve was the correct length. This was only a difference of about 3″, much less drastic. I slipped an extra piece of pattern paper underneath and taped the pieces in place. I thin filled in the missing lines by lining up my ruler with points from both pieces.

Now how did this change the cuffs? The cuff were originally designed to go at the wrists so the pieces are a bit to short. Again, I called on my RTW version to help estimate the cuff size. It just so happens that the hem band piece was about the perfect size (not cut on the fold of course). It never hurts to experiment with the pieces you have, rather than trying to create all new! I left the real hem band and neck bands alone and decided to see how they work as is. Since the sweatshirt fits normally, I figured this was a safe bet.

Determining the Size of Cuff Pieces

Determining the Size of Cuff Pieces

To test things out I sewed up one half of the garment to make sure I wasn’t completely off base. In the raglan style I attached one sleeve to the woven front and back at the angle. Sewing the woven and knit was surprisingly easy. I did carefully pin everything to make sure the pieces stayed in place. Next I sewed down the sleeve and side seam, turned it right side out and tried it on. I was pleasantly surprised about how well it fit and decided to continue onto the other side.

Finished Linen Pullover Styled with Vintage Jewelry

Finished Linen Pullover Styled with Vintage Jewelry

The most time consuming part of this whole process was pinning ALL of the bands in place- all four of them. You now pinning each quarter of both the opening and the band and matching them up- it takes forever especially when you are anxious to get things done! I sewed every seam of this top on my serger and didn’t have to do any finishing work. Amazing and totally worth the extra pinning time!

Loving My New Linden Pullover

Loving My New Linden Pullover

The end results were better than I ever imagined, especially on the first try at a new “experiment”. My new top fits like a dream- just like my RTW version but better. Plus it’s handmade! Paired with an amazing vintage necklace of my grandmother’s and I am set! The only change I might make would be to narrow the bottom of the sleeve just a bit to take a way a bit off the “puckering”. Leave the cuffs the same but decrease the amount of fabric attached to them.

Woven Meets Knit Linden Pullover

Woven Meets Knit Linden Pullover

There are sure to be more of these hybrid Lindens in my future, maybe I’ll try one with French Terry next time? This project has also encouraged me to really go after these knit/woven combo garments- watch for more to come this summer! I’m thinking maybe a new Lane Raglan next…

Michelle

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