New Year Plans: Make Nine 2018

A new year brings new goals! Before we dive in to my goals for 2018, let’s take a look at the results from last year’s Make Nine. I set some pretty lofty goals for 2017 and am happy to say I completed seven of them! Granted, two of them I swapped for other patterns, but overall that is pretty good. With so many amazing new pattern released this year and business related sewing I was easily distracted!

Make Nine 2017 Results | Style Maker Fabrics

Of my seven makes I only share four of them here on the blog. I guess that shows that these really were goals just for me! Most of my sewing these days is blog or business related and it is always a pleasure when I can sew something because I want to and don’t have to worry about photographing it. Lame I know…but a nice break every now and then.

2017 Recap

  1. Undercover Hood—I did sew up one just like Abbey’s!
  2. Esme Cardigan—One of my favorite makes and one I can’t wait to enjoy this winter.
  3. Kelly Anorak—Our most popular display garment at Sew Expo in March.
  4. Roscoe Blouse—I love my Christmas version!
  5. Gallery Tunic—I swapped this pattern for the Cheyenne Tunic in efforts to copy a favorite RTW shirt.
  6. Sudley Blouse—Never got around to this one.
  7. Safran Pants— I had high hops for sewing lots of pants in 2017…that didn’t happen but I did sew up some amazing Safrans! Swapped out the Ginger Jeans.
  8. Hampshire Trousers—Another miss.
  9. Hudson Pants—I actually sewed up three pairs of these this year! One for myself and others as gifts.

Blogged 2017 Makes | Style Maker Fabrics

On to 2018! This year my overarching goal is to to sew more for myself—both garment sewing and other projects. I have some amazing fabrics set aside that are just waiting to become wardrobe favorites and this year I am going to make that happen. Mix in some quilting, wool appliqué and knitting for good measure and it will be an amazing year! As for specific garment sewing goals, here are my Make Nine choices for 2018.

No. 1 | Closet Case Ginger Jeans

This is really a generic goal to sew more pants this year. Ginger Jeans, Morgan Jeans, Hampshire Trousers… the list goes on. Is this the year? I hope so! (Patterns | Fabric)

2018 Sewing Goal—Ginger Jeans | Style Maker Fabrics

No. 2 |Sew Liberated Matcha Top

High on my list toward the end of last year, I’m thinking this will be one of my first makes of 2018 in one of our lovely tropical prints from our new Resort Collection. (Pattern | Fabric)
2018 Sewing Goal—Matcha Top | Style Maker Fabrics

No. 3 | Closet Case Kalle Shirt

Since the release of the long sleeve expansion I have been dreaming of a cozy flannel Kalle of my very own. Another project I hope to get finished soon so I can enjoy it this winter! (Pattern | Fabric)

2018 Sewing Goal—Kalle Shirt | Style Maker Fabrics

No. 4 | Seamly Wrapped Cardigan

I am on the hunt for the perfect drape front cardigan! I have sewed up a couple different patterns and none of them are the cardigan of my dreams. Let’s hope this is the one! (Pattern | Fabric)

2018 Sewing Goal—Wrapped Cardigan | Style Maker Fabrics

No. 5 | Named Talvikki Sweater

One of my most worn makes of 2017, my Talvikki sweater shows up in a load every time I do laundry. A sign of a well loved garment. This year calls for a few more versions! (Pattern | Fabric)

2018 Sewing Goal—Talvikki Sweater | Style Maker Fabrics

No. 6 | Hey June Halifax Hoodie

Afte seeing so many amazing versions on Instagram this fall, this pattern has moved up the sewing list. I have a well loved pullover version with a funnel neck but I think a cozy zip up hoodie would be a great wardrobe addition! (Pattern | Fabric)

2018 Sewing Goal—Halifax Hoodie | Style Maker Fabrics

No. 7 | Closet Case Carolyn Pajamas

Another well loved make that could use a break! My knit Carolyn pajamas pretty much go from wear to wash back to wear and they could really use another version to rotate with! I have also been dreaming about sleeping in wonderfully soft rayon from head to toe. Good idea, right?! (Pattern | Fabric)

2018 Sewing Goal—Carolyn Pajamas | Style Maker Fabrics

No. 8 | Deer & Doe Luzerne Trench

Probably my most challenging choice for this year’s Make Nine but one I can’t wait to tackle. I especially can’t wait to show off all the bias binding finished on the inside! (Pattern | Fabric)

2018 Sewing Goal—Luzerne Trench | Style Maker Fabrics

No. 9 | Noodlehead Range Backpack

To mix things up a bit I am adding one accessory, a stylish but useful backpack. Before diving all into garment sewing I loved sewing bags of all sorts, so this will be a fun addition to 2018. (Pattern | Fabric)

2018 Sewing Goal—Range Backpack| Style Maker Fabrics

That wraps up my choices for Make Nine 2018! I’m pretty excited about each one and can’t wait to start checking them off. A big thanks to Rochelle for putting together this manageable way to set goals for the new year. I think all of us can get a little carried away with wanting to sew everything, this #2018makenine breaks thing down to something we can actually accomplish and feel great about! Be sure to follow along on Instagram and check out the hashtag, there are so many amazing goals you can’t help but be inspired!

Happy New Year!

Michelle

A Look Back at 2017

Time to take a look at all the amazing things that happened at Style Maker Fabrics in 2017! After five new fabric collections, two style tours and all the incredible memories we made a long the way, it was a pretty amazing year! Our small business continues to grow with all the love and support of the sewing community. We can’t thank you all enough and look forward to what 2018 will bring. Now let’s take a look at a few of the highlights from the year!

Sewing and Stitchery Expo

We started the year off with a bang diving right into planning our spring collection and prepping for our first ever show! In March, we took Style Maker Fabrics on the road and set up shop at the Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, Washington! During the show we taught four classes, met loads of amazing makers and got to share a bit of Style Maker Fabrics in person rather than only online. It was an incredible experience and we can’t wait to do it all again March 2018 with an even bigger booth!

Sewing and Stitchery Expo 2017 | Style Maker Fabrics

Spring & Fall Style Tours

For us, the highlight of launching a new season is the Style Blog Tour that comes with it! After months of planning behind the scenes we anxiously wait, along with all of you, to see what each seamstress creates for their leg of the tour. We have made so many amazing friends thru this process over the last two years, both bloggers and customers, and we love seeing all of your styles shine with each of your makes! Spring 2018 is already on our minds…any special requests?

Fall Style Tour Recap 2017 | Style Maker Fabrics

Click on the links to find full a recap of our Spring Style Tour 2017 and Fall Style Tour 2017.

Meeting Sewing Friends

After getting to know people from this amazing sewing community online, it is always a treat when you get to meet them IRL. During our travels this year we got to catch up with some amazing seamstresses!

Visit to Named Clothing | Style Maker Fabrics

First, in plotting out family heritage trip to Scandinavia, we added a stop in Helsinki, Finland to check out the city and of course visit the Named Studio. It was lovely to talk with Laura and Saara and get a sneak peak at a few things they were working on. Helsiniki ended up being one of our favorite cities on the whole trip, so we will definitely be back!

Sewing shows gave us the opportunity to meet a few more sewing friends! In May we made our way to St. Louis for the annual Spring Quilt Market. Lori, Girls in the Garden, joined us for lunch and to check out the show for a bit. After almost two years of messaging and emailing we had a great visit and can’t wait to do it again! A few month later we hopped across the pond for a week in London and met up with Rachel, House of Pinheiro, and the girls from the Fold Line (Rachel and Kate) at British Sewing Live! The UK sewing community  is truly amazing and wonderful to experience everything it has to offer when you visit.

Favorite Makes

This year we definitely didn’t get to sew as much as we wanted too—price of running your own small business. But the makes we did get done are well loved and worn often! Here are a few of our favorites.

Favorite Makes 2017 | Style Maker Fabrics

  1. Athleisure Gemma Sweater — Our Fall Style Tour make in cozy velour.
  2. Watercolor Ebony Tunic — One of our most worn garments.
  3. Boiled Wool Sapporo Coat — Equally stunning and cozy
  4. Anthro-Inspired Jill Coatigan – Money saving comfort and style.

Top Patterns

Last but not least, our top selling indie patterns from 2017. Some of our personal favorites made the list and three from one of our favorite designers, Closet Case Patterns. You might even find one of the Top 5 featured four times earlier in this post… we may be addicted.

Top Patterns 2017 | Style Maker Fabrics

  1. Kelly Anorak Jacket | Closet Case Patterns — Crowd favorite at Sew Expo.
  2. Sapporo Coat | Papercut Patterns — Cocoon chic.
  3. Talvikki Sweater | Named — Winter style and warmth.
  4. Ebony Tee & Dress | Closet Case Patterns — Versatile fit and flair.
  5. Charlie Caftan | Closet Case Patterns — Warm weather escape.

Thank you all again in sharing with an amazing 2017 with us! We are looking forward to an even better 2018—more incredible designer fabrics, new favorite patterns and lots of stylish makes! Happy New Year!

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Anthro-Inspired Winter Jill Coatigan

Boucle Sweater Knit | Style Maker Fabrics

Earlier this fall in the midst of prepping our fall collection I sat down for coffee with Meg and Haley from the Seamwork/Colette team. I gave them a sneak peak of the new collection, we caught up about our latest sewing projects and talked about this amazing community! In chatting about our favorite fabrics to sew with during the fall season, we all agreed that we are crazy for sweater knits! Not a surprise really, it is no secret I love knits and couple that with something soft, cozy and warm and it is game over—sew all the things!

Fall Fabric Swatches | Style Maker Fabrics

Meg gave me a little teaser that one of Seamwork’s December patterns would be a cozy coatigan, something already on my sewing list! In discussing some possible fabric options, we talked about I look for when buying sweater knits for our shop and what in turn sewers should watch for in their own shopping. Meg took parts of this discussion and turned it into a handy resource for readers in December’s Winter Issue of Seamwork. Check out some of our tips and tricks for shopping and sewing with sweater knits HERE.

Jill Coatigan Inspiration | Style Maker FabricsNot long after our meeting I stumbled across this amazing coatigan on Anthropology, one of my favorite sources for inspiration, listed for a whopping $228. Not only did we have a very similar fabric in our new collection, it also would the perfect ultra-cozy, neutral coatigan to add to my winter wardrobe and I could make it for a faction of the price! Seamwork Jill Coatigan | Style Maker Fabrics

Ready with my inspiration and fabric choice, I took Seamwork’s Jill coatigan and set off to create my own version of this look. Based on my measurements and the look I was going for, the Seamwork team recommended I sew up a size Small, which matched up best with my bust measurement. The relaxed fit of this pattern makes it very forgiving through the waist and hips.

Keeping my fabric choice in mind, I decided to make my version of Jill a bit shorter to keep it looking more like a cardigan and less like a robe. In talking with Meg and Haley this chunky boucle sweater knit affectionately became know as the “lamby” sweater knit since it almost feels like being cuddled up with a fuzzy lamb. I didn’t want this “lamby” coatigan too look too much like loungewear when I got it done.Boucle Sweater Knit | Style Maker Fabrics

To shorten the length I took out about 3″ from either side of the lengthen/shorten lines given on the body pattern pieces. I also moved up the back seam split and markings up so that it would remain the same size. Other than that, I didn’t make any other changes to the pattern. The directions were clear and easy to follow. I debated between “pockets” or “no pockets” but “pockets” won out and I am glad they did! Probably the best part about sewing up this fabric is that all the seams magically disappear into the knobby texture of the knit. Great for the overall look, horrible if you need to rip anything out!

Wide Waist Tie Addition | Style Maker Fabrics

In keeping with the look from my inspiration, I added a waist tie to my Jill coatigan. I cut a 6″ strip the full width of the fabric and created a tube by folding it in half and stitching it right sides together. To finish off the ends, I turned my “tube” right side out and tucked the ends in at each end by about 1/2″ and topstitched across them. Voila—a wide waist tie! I could have added some loops to both side seams but decided I would either be wearing the coatigan open (no tie) or tied and wouldn’t need holders for the tie for something in between. Totally an easy addition if I change my mind later!

Boucle Jill Coatigan | Style Maker Fabrics

Open Front Jill Coatigan | Style Maker Fabrics

Waist Tied Jill Coatigan | Style Maker Fabrics

I love how my Jill coatigan turned out! This was the perfect fabric/pattern pairing and it is just as cozy as I imagined it would be. The texture of the fabric is also a great choice for this minimalist pattern—it truly lets the fabric shine. I might have left it a couple of inches longer, but the shorter length will probably be more wearable in the long run. I sewed up the whole project start to finish in one afternoon which is another big plus for this sort of outerwear hybrid. It isn’t a project that is going to tax both your time and your patience—a great pattern choice for someone just venturing into sewing their own coats! Did I also mention this project saved me over $150 by sewing my own? Not bad for an afternoon of sewing!

Coatigan v. Coatigan | Style Maker Fabrics

P.S. You might remember this fabric from our Fall Style Tour—Sarah of Goodbye Valentino wowed us with two amazing garments in this gorgeous boucle. Check out her post HERE.

A Christmas Roscoe Blouse

Christmas Traditions Rayon Flat | Style Maker Fabrics

When searching for fabrics for our shop, we sometimes stumble across a find just too good to pass up! While putting together out Resort 2018 collection we found a treasure trove of rayon shirtings from tropical menswear designer Rehn Spooner. In amongst all of the gorgeous tropical prints and scenics we uncovered this Christmas gem!

We rarely find seasonal fabrics and this one is kind of over the top adorable! Vintage-inspired the print includes everything you love about this time of year—ice skating, horse drawn sleighs, Christmas trees, packages, snowmen and of course, jolly old St. Nick! Now the big question, what to make with it?

ModCloth is a great RTW site for inspiration, especially for more novelty print fabrics like this one. I pulled together a few of my favorites including a gathered skirt, pajamas and a fun holiday robe. I also found some great indie patterns to help create each look!

Modcloth Garment Inspiration | Style Maker Fabrics

Holiday Garment Indie Pattern Options | Style Maker Fabrics

Carolyn Pajamas | Cleo Skirt | Lakeside Pajamas | Lahja Dressing Gown

While I love all of these ideas, I have in my head a fun holiday top. This printed rayon challis is lighter weight, super soft and drapes beautifully—perfect for a tunic or blouse! With that in mind I narrowed down my pattern choices to the Sew Liberated Matcha Top and the True Bias Roscoe Blouse. Both have that kind of oversized relaxed look I love and will show off the pattern well. With the help of the Instagram polling feature and the online sewing community I settled on the Roscoe!

Matcha Top | Roscoe Blouse

My Christmas Roscoe Blouse went together start to finish in just one afternoon. This is a pattern I have sewn before and I love how easy it goes together. The fussiest part is all the gathering on the neckline and sleeves, but the bound-edge finish looks amazing and it really doesn’t take too time. One recommendation—I don’t ever waste my time trying to stitch-in-the-ditch. Rather than try to stitch over the previous stitching and catch all the layers at the same time, I like to top stitch 1/8″ away from the “ditch”. It saves me a lot of time, aggravation and always gives a nice finish every time.

Christmas Roscoe Blouse Front | Style Maker Fabrics Christmas Roscoe Blouse Side | Style Maker Fabrics

Christmas Roscoe Blouse Back | Style Maker Fabrics

I love how my Christmas blouse turned out! Yes, some may think it is a bit cheesy but I love the vintage feel and its total uniqueness. I definitely won’t run into anyone else with such an awesome holiday shirt! Kelli’s Roscoe has become one of my TNT patterns that I can always go back to. The relaxed style with the subtle feminine touches make it a great pattern for any occasion. I might have a stack of other drapey wovens just waiting to become a few more Roscoe tops… I might mix a few Matcha Tops in for good measure!

Happy Holidays!

Michelle

Top 5 Patterns to Sew & Give

Top 5 Patterns to Sew and Give | Style Maker Fabrics

As makers we know there is nothing better than sharing something we created with others. It might be freshly baked, handcrafted, or better yet sewn! Whether it is for a birthday, special occasion or a holiday present, something you create yourself always makes the best gift and one the receiver is sure to treasure!

Top 5 Patterns to Sew and Give | Style Maker Fabrics

Headed into this year’s holiday season we picked our five favorite indie patterns to sew and give. We chose these patterns based on their style, simplicity and versatility. Not only are they quick to sew, they don’t require a lot of material and are easy to customize to suite the recipient!

Things to keep in mind when sewing for others.

  1. Size and Fit—You likely don’t have the exact measurements of the person you are sewing for, and that isn’t exactly something your can just get without spoiling the surprise! The best advice is to pick a pattern or project that is rather forgiving—not too fitted or has some stretch giving you some margin for error. Sticking to patterns you have sewn for yourself also helps and gives you some insight on any changes you potentially might make. If you are sewing for someone, you probably know them well enough to know whether you should lengthen the hem inch or two, include a FBA, etc.
  2. Style–Simple is always better! We have all received a store bought piece of clothing that we will never wear. You never want that to happen to something you took the time to make, right! Pick a garment that is simple, classic and that will fit easily into any wardrobe.
  3. Fabric—Have some fun with your fabric choice! Keep things super simple with a solid color. Choose the recipient’s favorite color or one you know they look amazing in. Or if prints are more their thing, pick something totally unique but versatile enough that it could be worn with a variety of different things. Versatility is key!
  4. Time—If you can batch sew! Sewing multiple versions of the same pattern saves lots of time in assembly. Complete the same step for all of your projects before moving on to the next one, just be sure to label the pieces somehow if you are also using the same fabric! Save even more time by finding a neutral thread that works for everything.

Now, let’s jump into the fun part—our Top 5 patterns to sew and give based on some of the parameters we mentioned. You will find an assortment of garments, styles and fabric types to hopefully accommodate a whole range of possible recipients. Also watch for other pattern and fabric recommendations along the way!

Pick 1 - Matcha Top | Style Maker Fabrics

Pick #1—Matcha Top from Sew Liberated. This loose fitting blouse is simple and chic with a touch of modern flare. It can easily be dressed up or down for any situation making it a great choice for both style and versatility. We particularly love the Japanese inspired neckline—something more unique the probably isn’t already in your loved one’s closet!

For fabric choices, we paired it with one of the Rifle Paper Co rayon florals—feminine but simple at the same time—but this pattern works well with rayons, linen, chambray and just about any other woven. We love the drape of rayon and put that at the top of our list!

Close, but not quite right? Check out True Bias’ Roscoe Blouse. A bit more feminine with the same versatility and ease!

Pick 2 - Land Raglan | Style Maker Fabrics

Pick #2—Lane Raglan from Hey June Patterns. A wardrobe staple that you can never have too many of and that never goes out of style. This pattern is the epitome of versatility and should be in every seamstress’ pattern arsenal! With so many options (hemline, neckline, sleeve, oh my) included right in the pattern, you can create a totally different top for everyone on your list. While it is simple, it is one that is sure to be well worn and loved!

Fabric choices for this top couldn’t be easier—KNITS! We paired it with a modal jersey knit but you could easily go with any jersey, French terry or even a cozy sweatshirt fleece. Try solids, stripes, prints or even mix-and-match. The raglan style makes this a great top to try different color/pattern combination for the body and sleeves. For sizing, the more stretch the better, creating more ease and forgiveness.

Close, but not quite right? For similar simplicity, try Tilly and the Button’s Coco Top. For another great top to color-block, try Papercut Patterns’ Ensis Tee.

Pick 3 - Kochi Kimono | Style Maker Fabrics

Pick #3—Kochi Kimono from Papercut Patterns. Probably our “trendiest” pick, there can’t seem to be enough kimonos in RTW fashion right now and we can see why! Simple and versatile, you can pair them with just about anything, especially your favorite jeans.

Our favorite part of about this pattern is the range of fabric options! Keep things simple with a drapey rayon or kick things up a notch with velvet. For the cooler months, try a cozy sweater knit like the boucle knit we included above. The possibilities are endless and totally work for this style top!Pick 1 - Talvikki Sweater | Style Maker Fabrics

Pick #4—Talvikki Sweater from Named Patterns. By far, this is one of our favorite pieces in our own handmade wardrobe. Such a simple pullover but the neck detail and split hem help elevate it into something so much more! A great choice for just about anyone, especially during the cooler months. Choose a cozy sweatshirt fleece, French terry or even a plush sweater knit to make this wardrobe staple a new favorite!

Close, but want more simplicity? Try Grainline Studio’s Linden Sweatshirt or Sew House Seven’s Toaster Sweater. Both great options with a simple, classic style!

Pick 5 - Hudson Pants | Style Maker Fabrics

Pick #5—Hudson Pants from True Bias Patterns. For our one pants pattern to make the Top 5, we picked a personal favorite to sew for gifts. Comfortable and casual, these classic knit joggers make for perfect loungewear or even pajamas!

Picking out the right fabric for this pattern will be difficult…there are just too many choices! For the actual fabric type, jersey knits, French terry or sweatshirt fleece are probably the best options. As for color, if you want to keep things simple stick to the classics—grey, black or navy. For a bit more fun and personality go bold with prints and colors, especially if you are sewing them up with pajamas in mind. Butterflies, florals, Eiffel Towers, you name it! You might even want to consider making it a set and sewing up a Lane Raglan (Pick #2) to match!

Thinking pajamas? One of our other favorite patterns in Closet Case’s Carolyn Pajamas. The pattern doesn’t call for knit but we highly recommend it. And even if you only have time to sew the bottom, they will make the perfect gift!


Hopefully you found this Top 5 helpful and that you are inspired to sew for some of your friends and family. The task might seem a bit daunting, but there is no better gift than one made with love! And they are sure to love whatever you make!

Happy Sewing,

Michelle

Fairfield Button-Up + Sewing for Guys

Let’s face it, most of the time we only sew for ourselves! Maybe there are a few projects others here and there, but sewing can be rather selfish. With all of the time, patience and fitting involved, it is almost better that we remain our own worst critics rather than worry about what someone else thinks about our handiwork. This time of year, when shopping for others becomes difficult I am tempted more and more to sew something special for the ones that I love.

Fairfield Button-Up Side View | Style Maker Fabrics

Last Christmas I dove all in and sewed up my dad his first me-made garment, a flannel button-up shirt! In the winter he lives in flannel shirts and I knew this would be something he would get some use out of. Right out of the gate the biggest obstacle I found was knowing what size to sew…I couldn’t just walk up to him with a tape measure! In efforts to keep the whole project a secret, I “stole” one of the well-loved shirts from his closet and used it as a reference for finished garment measurements. After playing with the numbers and researching patterns, I settled on Thread Theory’s Fairfield Button-Up. Offering the widest size range XS to 4XL, this pattern features everything I was looking for and the finished measurements roughly lined up.

Flannel Fairfield Button-Up | Style Maker Fabrics

To make a long story short, he LOVES the shirt! When he opened the box on Christmas morning he was expecting another store bought shirt like any of his others. He almost didn’t believe me when I told him that it was handmade just for him. Lucky for me, IT FIT! There are a few changes to make should I venture at making another, narrowing the shoulders, but at least it is wearable and now in heavy rotation in his closet. He also can’t help but show it off every time he wears it—”My daughter MADE my shirt.” Love you Dad!


While the actually sewing for men is pretty straight forward, the style, fabric choices and patterns are a different ball game. I thought I would share a few of my favorite patterns and fabrics to pair with them. Hopefully this will inspire a few of your own handmade holiday gifts for the men in your life.

First, let’s talk a bit more about the Fairfield Button-Up. Designed by one of the few dedicated menswear indie pattern designers, Thread Theory brought a bit of modern styling to a classic button-up. You will love the professional details this pattern offers and the thoughtful construction makes pattern matching quick and painless. Thread Theory also offers free downloads for additional sleeve, collar and cuff options for even more customization. All-in-all, a great pattern choice and one that is sure to be well loved. In terms of fabric choices there are loads of options—traditional shirtings, flannel, chambray and more. Depending on his style and the season you are sure to find more than enough choices!

Thread Theory Fairfield | Style Maker Fabrics

Chambray Shirting | Plaid Flannel | Corduroy Shirting

Looking for something a bit warmer and more forgiving on fit? One of our other favorite Thread Theory patterns is the Finlayson Sweater. Cozy and warm, this sweater takes the comfort and style of a basic hoodie and transforms it into something you couldn’t just find anywhere (the point of me-made, right!). Choose between the more modern shawl collar or a wrap around fully lined hood to find the look that suits him best. Add the optional pouch pocket to the front or leave if off to keep the lines clean and simple. We might even be tempted to try sewing this more for ourselves! Fabric choices for this sweater are also more fun…and warm! Try sweatshirt fleece, French terry and other cozy knits.

Thread Theory Finlayson | Style Maker Fabrics

Wool Fleece | Sweatshirt Fleece | Thermal Sweater Knit

One more great option, easily incorporated into any wardrobe, is the Denali Vest from Seamwork. Loaded with customizable options, this versatile vest will keep him warm throughout the cooler months. Experiment with quilting your own fabric to create the perfect pairing. We especially love the idea of the faux leather yoke detail!

Seamwork Denali | Style Maker Fabrics

Check Plaid Flannel | Melton Wool | Faux Suede

Hopefully this helps inspire some menswear sewing this holiday season. You may not get the fit perfect right out of the gate but there is one guarantee—they will love whatever you make them! It is the thought and love that counts and they will be too excited to have something handmade to worry about anything else.

Happy Sewing!

Michelle

Cocoon Chic: Papercut Patterns Sapporo Coat

Sapporo Coat Side | Style Maker Fabrics

I have been admiring Papercut’s Sapporo Coat since it’s release earlier this year. Something about the simple lines and carefree style draws you in and just makes you want to cuddle up inside. While you can sew this coat up in just about any woven fabric, in my mind it is always sewn up in a cozy wool! I mean look at the pattern cover…don’t you want that coat in your closet, like right now!

Papercut Sapporo Coat | Style Maker Fabrics

With the weather quickly getting colder here in the PNW, I decided to dive in and make the winter coat I have been dreaming about. Watching other Sapporo Coats pop up on Instagram, one thing consistently comes up, the sizing—almost everyone goes down a size or wish they did. A cocoon coat can easily go from stylishly oversized to drowning the wearer in fabric, so this is definitely something to be aware of. Taking the lead from the sewing community and Lori (Girls in the Garden, below), I decided to sew up the smallest size (XXS/XS). Normally I wear a Medium, but in Papercut’s patterns I am typically a Small, so it isn’t surprising that they continue their trend of running on the large size.

Denim Girls in the Garden Sapporo Coat

Since this isn’t a style of coat that I would typically choose, I decided to make a muslin using some inexpensive polar fleece. I almost NEVER sew a muslin but when I am using a special fabric, like wool, I want to make sure I know what I am doing before I cut into the good stuff! I cut a straight XXS/XS and quickly sewed it up not worrying about any of the under stitching or other finishing details. With the exterior sew up, I pinned all the facings in place and tried it on. First thought—I loved how it looked! The polar fleece was a bit clingy but it fit well through the shoulders and body. The center front hung nicely but did separate a bit more than I wanted to a the hips and hem. Playing with the side seams, I decided I needed to gradually grade out a size from the hips to the hem on the lower front and back pieces. This adds about 2″ of ease total around the hips and will help with the slight gaping at the front.

Time for fabric! I was tempted to keep things neutral, drawing inspiration from the pattern cover, and go with this gorgeous vanilla textured wool or sepia boiled wool. But since most of the coats in my closet are either black or grey, my love of color overruled and I went with this rich wine color in the same boiled wool as the sepia. Now for the lining…with a splashy color for the exterior why not go all in and put something fun on the inside too, right? I have been eyeing this gorgeous rayon floral and decided that had to be the one!

Sapporo Coat Fabrics Choices | Style Maker Fabrics

Construction of my Sapporo went very smoothly. I actually got it all sewn together in a few hours one evening. The best part is the limited number of seams and the straight forward piecing, even with a full lining this coat is quick sew. One interesting thing to note on the pattern—when sewing together the lining it calls to leave an opening in one side seam for turning the coat. I followed directions but ended up turning the coat thru one of the giant sleeve openings (you tack these down in the last step). Realizing what I did, I turned the coat back inside out and stitched up the opening in the side seam with my machine since. Why do even more hand work!

Sapporo Coat Outlines | Style Maker Fabrics

One other experiment I wanted to tell you about… The sleeves on this pattern are sort of a bracelet/cropped length. After trying on my muslin I thought why not lengthen them to be a full sleeve? On my final jacket I did lengthen the sleeves about 4 inches but immediately regretted it. Remember how I mentioned cocoon coats ride a fine line between being stylish and just too much. Well full length sleeves just make this coat look like it is 4 sizes too big—like you are a child that stole your dad’s coat to keep warm! That being said, my sleeves immediately got removed, trimmed down and sewn again. Sorry I didn’t grab a photo, it was late at night but trust me what difference!

Sapporo Coat Side | Style Maker Fabrics

After a good press I tried on my finished coat and noticed some slight pulling/dropping around the facing. Due to the weight of the boiled wool, these areas needed a bit of reinforcement to help them keep their shape. A few tacks here and there at seam lines and intersections and that problem was just about fixed. I think I might still tack a bit more down the shoulder seams but overall it looks great. What do you think?

Sapporo Coat Side Wide | Style Maker Fabrics

Sapporo Coat Lining Peek | Style Maker Fabrics

Sapporo Coat Front Collar | Style Maker Fabrics

Sapporo Coat Back | Style Maker Fabrics

For a lot of people the task of sewing a winter coat seems unsurmountable. I got over this fear a while back when I took on Closet Case’s Clare Coat, which remains one of my favorite handmade pieces! My advice is, “Just do it”! With the detailed instructions the amazing indie designers provide, they will walk you thru each step and help you make your project successful. “Bagging” a coat really isn’t that scary and you learn so much about construction when taking on projects like this. For those just venturing into winter layers, I would highly recommend Papercut’s Sapporo—there aren’t a million pieces, fussy zippers or complex tailoring. Coupled with its easy, modern styling and relatively quick sewing time, it is a win-win for seamstresses of all levels. Did I mention how cozy it is?

Keep warm this winter and happy sewing!

Michelle

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