Summer Boho Vibe | Papercut’s Kochi Kimono

Kochi Kimono | Style Maker Fabrics

I have been on the search for the perfect kimono pattern for a while. Something shorter, a bit more fitted, just a simple, classic style. In searching I felt a little like Goldilocks—lots of patterns that were close but not quite right. Then, Papercut Patterns released the Kochi Kimono! Slightly more fitted through the shoulders and the sleeves aren’t too wide, this pattern combines all of the elements that I was looking for into one nice package!

Papercut Kochi Kimono | Style Maker Fabrics

Now to pick fabric to compliment Papercut’s Kochi. As it is still summer and quite warm here in the Pacific Northwest, I thought go with something light weight and with great drape. I also love that Anthro-inspired Bohemian style which lead me to choosing this amazing block print rayon challis.

Now to get cutting and sewing! If you have sewn with Papercut before you know these patterns run big, I am typically a medium but in their patterns I always make a small. To keep with the classic look I am going for I selected View C of the Kochi—no pockets or tie and added neckband. In looking at the finished garment measurements, the finished length was a bit shorter than I wanted it to be. I decided to add an 2″ to the body length, making the hem hit right about my hip. I added the length in the bottom third of the front and back pattern pieces. The back piece is almost square making this change very easy. The front required a little extra tweaking as one side of the piece tapers a bit. Don’t forget to also add the length to the neckband pieces!

Papercut Kochi Versions | Style Maker Fabrics

Sewing my Kochi together, ALL of the raw edges are finished with my serger. The pattern clearly directs you when to finish the edge before sewing and press the seam open or finish the seam allowance after it is sewn. I think the pattern did miss a couple so I made sure all my edges were serged. I also serged my hem and sleeves before folding them up and topstitching. On a heavier fabric I might be tempted to finish the raw edges with bias binding but for this I didn’t want a lot of extra bulk and that is a lot of extra work on a first try of a pattern.

The only other change I made to the Kochi pattern is how I attached the neckband. I decided to kick the Boho vibe up a notch and add a geometric trim insert in the seam. A great added detail without a lot of extra work. The first question was how to attached the neckband to one side of the trim? To keep a nice finished edge I folded the neckband right sides in and sandwiched the trim between the layers. Then, I stitched a long tube with 1/4″ seam, turned it right side out and pressed.

Neckband Hem Piece | Style Maker FabricsNext, to attach my new “neckband” to the kimono I finished off the front edge with the serger and pinned my neckband in place, starting at the back neck. Now for the trickiest part, at the hem I trimmed the neckband 3/4″ short of meeting the hem. Weird, right?

I also cut a roughly two 3″ squares from my fabric scraps and folded all the raw edges to the wrong side and folded this in half. This created a little hem for my neck band that is about the same width as the actual hem on the kimono. Lining everything up in place, I sandwiched each end of the neck band (about 1/2″) between the folded hem piece and top-stitched. You want to keep everything pinned so that it all lines up correctly.

Kochi Neckband Trimmed | Style Maker Fabrics

Last but not least, I stitched the finished neck band on using a 1/4″ seam allowance, taking care to catch only the edge of the decorative trim. Pressed the seam to the body of the kimono and I was set!!

Now for the big reveal…

Kochi Kimono Front | Style Maker Fabrics

Kochi Kimono Side | Style Maker Fabrics

My Kochi Kimono is the perfect addition to my summer wardrobe. I love how the fabric feels almost weightless and kind of catches in the breeze. And that print… so fun for this Boho style. It kind of reminds me of a bandanna or even henna designs. Overall, the fit is just right and I like the added length and the side slits and it the perfect layering piece for a warm day.

Kochi Kimono Trim Detail | Style Maker Fabrics

I am so happy with my choice to add the trim insert, such a fun extra detail and the finish turned out amazing. Trims like this are so easy to add to just about any garment—insert them in an existing seam, split a pattern piece and slip it in between or even cut off the hem and add it just above it. I was thinking after the fact that adding it to my kimono sleeve hems would be another great option. Maybe next time!

Kochi Kimono Back | Style Maker Fabrics

Guess I need to start thinking about a fall version. Any thoughts of fabric choice? Maybe a soft wool or go crazy and try a stable knit? Oh, and pair it with a turtle neck! So many ideas, not enough time to sew…

Michelle

Fresh Start: Spring Fabrics and Sewing

Style Maker Fabrics | Spring Style Tour

Spring is FINALLY here! After months of rain, snow and wind we are so excited for this new season to begin. While the winter gave us lots of time inside to sew and create, we think we are all ready to a fresh start! A new season, new life, new inspiration and new projects. Bring on the sunshine, a growing garden and some warmer weather!

Colors of Spring | Style Maker Fabrics

Now for the real reason to celebrate the arrival of spring… NEW FABRICS! We started putting together our spring collection in January pulling together new and unusual fabrics from all over the world. All the hard work and planning resulted in an amazing collection of colors, patterns and textures we think you will really enjoy. Watch for all your favorite fabrics to sew with for spring and summer, as well as a few new ones you might want to take a closer look at! With over 140 new fabrics and 8 stand out fashion trends you are sure to find something to inspire your spring sewing! Don’t forget to check out our curated selection of printed sewing patterns, including some of the latest releases from Named and Megan Neilsen!

Latest Trends | Style Maker Fabrics

Latest Fashion Trends for Spring 2017

Want a closer look at some of the new spring fabrics? Lindsey from Inside the Hem snagged some early fabric swatches from the new collection and put together a video to show them off and share some ideas for how you might want to use them. Check it out below and learn more about ordering swatches for yourself HERE.

Keep the inspiration coming! Not only is today the first day of spring, it is also the first day of our Spring Style Blog Tour and we are kicking things off right here on the Style Maker Fabrics blog. Follow along as we visit eleven amazing seamstresses and bloggers over the next two weeks, links to each one included below. Each one will be featuring fabrics from the new spring collection sewn up to suit their own unique style. We’ve seen a few sneak peaks and you will not be disappointed!

Spring Style Blog Tour Line Up | Style Maker Fabrics

Spring Style Blog Tour Line Up | Style Maker Fabrics

3/20 | 3/21 | 3/22 | 3/23 | 3/24 | 3/25 | 3/26 | 3/27 | 3/28 | 3/29 | 3/30 | 3/31

NOTE: We had a slight change in the line up. @helens_closet will post 3/26 and @patternreview 3/27.

We have a few other surprises to share over the next two weeks. A few other sewing projects we have been working on, possibly an appearance on the a certain podcast… and who knows what else! Be sure to follow along with us on Instagram and Facebook and be among the first to find out what’s going on each day!

Now let’s get sewing for spring!

Michelle

P.S. Now through Sunday, April 2nd 2017 enjoy $5 US shipping and discounted international rates! Any order, any size ships for just $5.

Thank You for Shopping Small

We are coming up on our one year anniversary and I find myself looking back on what a great first year it has been. Our first order was placed on the site on December 3rd, 2014- I am marking that the official launch of Style Maker Fabrics– and since then we have made some amazing friends, sewn up some incredible garments and had a lot of fun “playing” with fabrics on a daily basis.

Style-Maker-Fabrics-Logo

I founded Style Maker Fabrics with the idea of providing seamstresses a different way to shop for garment fabrics- a way with a little bit more creativity and inspiration while also providing the best in quality and service. Over the past year, we have worked very hard to do just that! Not only do we sell only the best quality fashion fabrics but also fabrics in the trends and colors that we all love. The fabrics we see as finished garments in those “drool-worthy” fashion magazines but know we could make something just as amazing ourselves for a fraction of the price! We then merchandised those fabrics so that customers can shop the way that suits them the best- by trend, fabric type, garment/project or even color.

While starting your own small business is no easy task, the experience has been better than anything I could have imagined. There is nothing better than taking your ideas and dreams and making them a reality. Sure there have been plans that didn’t exactly turn out or ideas that still need time to grow, but the journey has been and continues to be a lot of fun! Last month, we were thrilled to find out that Vogue Patterns Magazine chose us as one of their “Staff Pick” online fabric stores. That is such a huge honor for us and has made us want to work to do and be even better for all of you! Be sure to check out this latest issue, on newsstands now.

Vogue Patterns Magazine Dec15/Jan16 Issue

Vogue Patterns Magazine Dec15/Jan16 Issue

As our small business continues to grow, we have plans to do the same- more sewing projects, more tutorials and tips, more of our favorite tools and plans to continue to expand our selection of incredible fabrics. Please let us know if you have any suggestions, requests or comments that can help us make the Style Maker experience even better! We couldn’t do this without any of you- our customers, friends and inspiration. Thank you so much for your support and we can’t wait to see what the next year brings.

Sincerely,

Michelle & the Style Maker Fabrics Team

P.S. Mark your Calendars! Starting December 1st we will have special deals, holiday gift ideas and tutorials posted each day for twelve days. We are calling them the 12 Days of Sewing and we would love to have you follow along with us!

 

Gathered Back Top: Zipper Tutorial

A couple of months ago while attending the annual Spring Quilt Market I got a sneak peak at all of the amazing new patterns coming out from Indygo Junction. One that particularly caught my eye was the Gathered Back Top and Tunic Pattern. I love the simple design with the fun element of the gathering across the center back.

Indygo Junction Gathered Back Top Pattern

I was able to get my hands on one of these new patterns as soon as they were ready (Thank you Betsy, blogger at Indygo Junction!) and immediately got planning my own version. After reading through the directions and taking a look at the pattern pieces I knew just what I wanted to do- add a zipper to the back. This pattern has kind of an ingenious construction, with the unique back pieces and center back seam. This makes it perfect for adding a fun, accent zipper- no additional cutting required.

Gathered Back Top in Double Gauze with Zipper Accent

Gathered Back Top in Double Gauze with Zipper Accent

For my fabric I chose this beautiful double gauze from Cotton & Steel. I love the color combination and the irregular stripes- although this does present quite a challenge when attempting to match up the pieces.

First, I cut out both of my back pieces, taking care to make them as symmetrical as I could. Double gauze can ravel quite a bit so I made sure and finished the center seam edges with my serger- this seam will be pressed open so finish the edges now rather than later. If you don’t have a serger, a large zig-zag stitch with work great.

Finished Edges on Top Back Pieces

Finished Edges on Top Back Pieces

I also pressed the seam allowances in place, WST, on both sides of the top portion at the center back. With the help of one of my favorite tools, Clover’s Hot Hemmer, I was able to get that 5/8″ seam pressed in a snap- both accurately and without burning my fingers.

Pressing Center Back Seam Allowance

Pressing Center Back Seam Allowance

Next, I took my lace accent zipper and got ready to add it along the freshly pressed seam allowance. At first I had a hard time trying to match up the edge of the zipper with the folded edge of the fabric and actually catch all the layers when stitching. Rather than fight it, I unfolded the pressed seam allowance and used the fold as a guide for my zipper placement. This made attaching the zipper halves to each side much easier.

Attaching the Zipper

Attaching the Zipper

Once the zipper was attached I just folded the seam allowance back out of the way and pressed well. Just a couple of other notes- I put the top of the zipper right up to the neckline. For the bottom, I stopped it about an inch or so from the bottom of the fabric- above the horizontal cut. Don’t forget to stitch the seam allowance together below the zipper. I also back stitched across the bottom of the zipper just for extra security.

Once your zipper is in place you can continue on with the pattern directions for creating the back gather and stitching the assembled back to the front. Below is what my completed top back looked like complete with accent zipper.

Right and Wrong Sides of the Finished Back

Right and Wrong Sides of the Finished Back

After assembling the body of my top I tried it on for fit. The front was gaping a bit at the neckline so I created a little tuck/pleat right at the center front. It actually created a nice detail while also helping my fit. Once I was satisfied with the neckline I attached the facing bias as directed in the pattern. At the center back opening (at the zipper) I just folded the end of the bias in to finish it off but still leave the zipper opening functional.

Attaching the Neckline bias facing and finishing the edge at the zipper.

Attaching the Neckline facing and finishing the edge at the zipper.

I finished the top as directed in the pattern and love how it turned out. The double gauze gives it a bit more structure than other fabrics would. Paired with my Jamie Jeans this is the perfect summer top for here in the Pacific Northwest.

My Finished Gathered Back Top

My Finished Gathered Back Top

I’d like to try it again in a drapey fabric like a rayon challis for a different look. That in a tunic length paired with leggings would be amazing! I also really want to try this top in a knit, but I will save that for another blog post… Check out some of our amazing summer fabrics, perfect for the gathered back top, in our shop HERE.

This pattern was a lot of fun to make and can be completed in a couple of evenings. The lovely ladies at Indygo Junction have been a pleasure to work with and I would highly encourage you to check out their other beautiful garment and accessory patterns! They are always coming out with fresh looks for seamstresses of all levels.

Last but not least… Indygo Junction sent me an extra copy of the Gathered Back Top and Tunic Pattern. Leave a comment on this post- tell us what you are sewing up this summer. We will randomly select a winner Monday, July 27th. (Update: 7/28/15. Congratulations goes to Karen Smith, our winner for this Giveaway)

~Michelle

Note: Indygo Junction provided us with two free copies of the Gathered Back Top and Tunic Pattern, one to sew with and one to giveaway. All of the ideas and comments in this post are our own and were not influenced in any way. This was not a sponsored post- it is something we put together for our readers and anyone else interested.

Launching Style Maker Fabrics

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

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

Style-Maker-Fabrics-Logo

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fall Fashion Trend: Rich Reds

Fall Fashion Trend: Rich Reds

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Michelle Stoffel
Official Style Maker