Today on the Stafford Sew Along we want to discuss tips for topstitching success. The Stafford Jacket features decorative topstitching along most of the seams. It is important to spend time before you start on your project testing your fabric and perfecting your topstitching. Not only does this make your garment look more professional, but it will also save you the time of seam ripping. Let's get started.
Our new Stafford Jacket was inspired by that most classic of garments, the jean jacket. Who doesn't have a jean jacket (even I have one and I don't own any actual jeans!). There is just something so right about the slouchy denim jacket. It is comfortable, functional and always looks good. Thinking about the Stafford, we combined the archetypal jean jacket with a cropped swing shape. The most unique feature of a jean jacket is the wonderful topstitching featured on the front, a detail we incorporated into the Stafford. Good topstitching is the hallmark of a professional looking garment, but can be tricky to perfect. Read on for some suggestions on making your topstitching clean and professional.
Today we start sewing the Frankie Shirt! If you are just joining in on the Sew Along, check out our previous post with cutting, marking and technique tips for the project. If you have already read through the post, let's get started by making the front of the shirt.
Welcome to the Frankie Sew Along! Today we are going to cover all the prep work you need to do before you can start sewing. Cutting, marking, gathering your notions, and perfecting your finishing techniques. Taking a little time up front to start your project the right way will pay off in the end. Let's get sewing!
Before you cut into your pattern, it is important to determine your correct size, and make any needed adjustments. In this post you will learn how to measure, how to make a narrow shoulder adjustment, and how to lengthen and shorten the sleeve.
We've created limited edition Boulder Duffle kits in luxe gold and silver metallic fabric. And while we are all in agreement that the bags are fabulous (who doesn't want bling-y bag?), we are also in agreement that sewing fabrics that have a coating on them such as faux leather, oilcloth, and laminated fabrics can be tricky. Sometimes the fabric doesn't move through the sewing machine well because the fabric is sticky so the stitch lengths are uneven and skipped. Most times, they are almost impossible to press without melting or crinkling the surface. And if you make a mistake and need to remove stitches, holes appear, so you want to try to get it right the first time. Because we want you to have your kit and make it too, we've pulled some of our fabric sewing tricks from our Sewing Faux Fashion Leather Sew Confident! tutorial to help you create your own metallic Boulder Duffle.
You know fall has arrived when you see pumpkin everywhere: pumpkin lattes and pumpkin muffins. I even saw pumpkin flavored potato chips at a store recently. While I didn't try the chips (though I admit I was curious) it did get me thinking about seasonal dressing, that and a recent shipment of knits in fall colorways. These knits inspired me to create a collection of fabric ideas for one of my favorite patterns, the Alex and Olive.
We would like you to meet our newest pattern, Frankie – we think you two are really going to hit it off. Whether you are going to the office or out for the night, Frankie will make sure that you are dressed just right. Her simple style will make sure you are seen in the most flattering light, and her uncomplicated construction process makes it easy to add to your wardrobe in no time!
During my first weekend in London, I was able to attend the Balenciaga exhibit at the legendary Victoria & Albert Museum. The exhibit runs through mid-February and is an incredible showcase of the designer's exquisite taste, design, style and legacy. Here, I give you an inside look at some of my personal highlights of the contents of the exhibit and how we can apply some of this iconic Spanish fashion taste.
It is hard to believe that Sew Kansas has ended for 2017. We had our last two groups visit and once again they had a wonderful time sewing and shopping. If you haven't been to a Sew Kansas event, you are missing out. For three full days you have the undivided attention of Linda, Kathy, Erin, Betsy and Pat. We are ready to help you with anything you need. In your downtime, you have complete access to our full fabric selection. If you choose to spend three days petting fabric instead of sewing, well, just know that we don't judge. We would like to give a big thanks to all of our Sew Kansas attendees. We had a great time with you and look forward to seeing you again soon. If you want to join us for a Sew Kansas next year, check out the dates on our events page.
Many designers use fabric manipulation techniques to create detail and texture on their garments. For September's Sew Confident! tutorial, we took a page out of fashion's book and added a tucked fabric manipulation detail to the front band and cuff of our ever-popular Tremont Jacket. We love how this little bit of extra detail makes the clean lines of the jacket pop!
Last week re-launched our classic pattern the Bells & Whistles, and we are so appreciative of the amazing response. We are glad you guys missed it as much as we did! What I love most about these two shirts is that they are so chameleon-like in their style. At their essence, they are a classic button down shirt. And of course you can wear it like that. You can use a white shirting, or maybe a light chambray to make a proper, basic shirt. Look closely however, and both styles have avant-garde design elements that open up opportunities to really play with fabric. We have put together a few inspiring fabric combinations. Tell us which one most appeals to you!
Though originally invented in France, denim fabric has become an American fashion staple. When you think of denim, the first thing that is likely to pop into your mind is blue jeans. But there is so much more to denim fabric than that – today you can find denim in an almost infinite variety of colors and prints. Inspired by some new floral denims that we received we have put together four different denim looks for fun fall looks. Read on for more inspiration!
We are so excited to announce our lineup of workshops for 2018. Once again we will be hosting our sewing events in Topeka, Kansas, Eureka Springs, Arkansas and Auty, France. No matter where the workshop is, Linda has designed an unforgettable sewing experience. This is your chance to work with Linda one-on-one as she helps you get the perfect fit in a garment and share with you her favorite sewing methods. And, of course, answers all your most pressing sewing questions!
When you love a fabric, but it's not quite the right weight for the piece that you want to make, what do you do? This is what happened to me recently. I fell in love with this printed handkerchief linen fabric and couldn't get past the idea of making pants. But the fabric was too sheer for a bottom weight.
With the hot days rapidly turning into cool nights, we often find ourselves looking for that perfect pre-fall garment. We have all fallen in love with a fabric that walks this fine line between summer and fall ― linen gauze. What is linen gauze? It is a semi-sheer knit that is made out of 100% linen. I know, amazing, right? This fabric is soft, ethereal and creates a perfect layering garment. Erin recently made a Bristol using the pink linen gauze and we loved it. Worn over a simple camisole and jeans? Casual but super sophisticated. We have twelve colors of linen gauze, including bold royal blue and a gorgeous light peach, and neutrals ranging from natural white to heathered grey. All are now available as Bristol Top kits.
A few weeks ago our friend Sally sent us a picture of a wonderful version of the Chateau Coat pattern that she had made. Sally made her shortened version using a soft knit stripe, which she bound around the edges. It's such a lovely, casual summer jacket. Of course, we now wanted to create a version of our own. I decided to take it a step farther though, and use black and white stripe rayon crepe which I lined with a zingy hot pink polyester.
The barn jacket is a classic style whose relaxed lines and comfortable shape have made it a favorite for decades. Our Chicago Jacket has a similar stylistic feel though we have incorporated a number of refined details, including a curved waist seam and diagonal darted seams that continue into the pockets. The minutiae of design elements work together to create a truly sophisticated style.
I've been seeing a new trend in t-shirts popping up recently. Stores like Anthropologie and Modcloth are updating the classic top by combining different prints and fabrics. This isn't a totally new concept, but it can be tricky to sew a woven and a knit together. Luckily, Linda has us covered. She created a tutorial for this very trend last year - she is so on top of it! Check out some of the ready-made shirts I've seen in stores below, as well as the Eureka tutorial. I'm re-publishing the original post so you can make your own combination top with the Eureka pattern!
One of the great things about our Sew-Along Facebook Group is that we are able to hear your questions about the pattern. We noticed that many of you wanted to adjust the dropped shoulder that we have designed into the Zayn, and were unsure of how to go about it. So before we attach the sleeve, we are going to share with you our technique for armscye adjustment to use on your next Zayn – or any other pattern! Then we will go through the process of actually attaching the sleeve and you will have a finished top. So let's get started!
What is the one wardrobe staple that you should have hanging in your closet, right next to your little black dress? The little white t-shirt of course! Or might we suggest adding the little white eTee to your closet? Ever since Marlon Brando donned a fitted white t-shirt in The Wild One, this unassuming garment has become a mainstay in both men and women's wardrobes. As the heat of the summer kicks in, nothing feels or looks cooler than a simple tee paired with a flowing skirt or cropped jeans. This is why the eTee is our featured pattern kit for July.
We love the look of our Florence Shirt. It combines all the classic elements of a button-down shirt with unexpected twists like a draped front tuck and a back band with button details. Though not hard to make, a garment pattern this detailed does take some time. And sometimes, you just want to knock out a new project. Something simple that you can cut, sew and wear in just a day. With that in mind, Erin came up with a variation on the Florence. It has the same great look, but made from a knit and it goes together in no time!
Welcome back to the Zayn Sew-Along! Today we will be finishing the side and bottom of the drape and making mitered corners. That may sound intimidating to some of you newer sewists, but once you get the hang of it, it is pretty simple. Let's get sewing...
Are you ready for the next phase of the Zayn Sew-Along? Remember, you can join any time – these posts won't be taken down, so even if you are just following along now, you can sew when it is over. Also, have you joined our Sew-Along Facebook Group? It is a great place to meet new online sewing friends and get help when you need it. And we would love to see photos of your Zayn progress, so don't be shy, post them on the group!
Are you ready to start sewing your Zayn top? Hopefully you have already downloaded and assembled the pattern, and cut out the fabric. Now we are ready to breeze through steps 1-5 of the pattern! A few notes: I will be making the Zayn in both a woven and a knit version. Most of the instructions are applicable for both substrates so the bulk of my images will be using woven material. However, if there is a step that is knit-only or woven-only then I will show images of the knit. Look for Woven or Knit in front of specific instructions. Also, don't forget to join us on our Sew-Along Facebook Group. It is a great place to share your project, ask questions and keep up with what everyone else is working on.
Welcome back to the Zayn Sew-Along! The last time we met I told you how to assemble your digital pattern. Now we need to talk about preparing your fabric, cutting out the pattern and marking. Now, for many this is the most dreaded part of any project. I must admit, it's not my favorite part but it can make or break a project. A well cut out pattern is key to a successful garment.
Welcome to our first ever Sewing Workshop Sew-Along – I'm so excited to sew with you! Through the next few weeks I'll be sharing our favorite tips and tricks for making both the woven and knit versions of our Zayn Shirt. Before we can start sewing, however, we need to make the actual pattern. For those of you who have never used a digital pattern before, read along for instructions on how to use a download pattern.
We are so excited to announce that we are going to host our very first sew-along, featuring our new Zayn pattern! We hope you join us on our sewing journey as we work our way through this fun shirt - making both the woven and the knit versions. Over the next few weeks we will explore the pattern instructions step-by-step, and I will share with you our favorite tips and techniques.
Last weekend Linda traveled to Mulberry Silks to teach a workshop. Mulberry Silks & Fine Fabrics is an independent fabric store and sewing studio in North Carolina. This beautiful store, which is located in an old mill in downtown Carrboro, has been in business for 35 years, which is certainly a milestone in this day and age. Linda spent two days there working with sewists on fitting and wardrobe inspiration, and came back with inspiration of her own. We love seeing how our customers make our patterns, it always gives us a fresh perspective on our designs. We want to share with you some of the gorgeous garments Linda saw during the workshop, in hopes that it will inspire you as well!
Here it is, the one you've been waiting for...The Zayn Shirt. This split personality top is perfect for those who want to be classic and modern, all in the same garment. The short sleeve garment drapes from its flattering high, curved neckline and plunges into a gorgeous drape on the left side. And, this is a garment you don't have to take sides on – it is suited for both wovens and knits!
Recently, while watching the utterly magnificent Christian Dior Spring/Summer 2017 Couture show (which you can see here, and which I highly recommend watching), I realized something – the models were wearing our West End Pants! Well, the Dior version anyway. Later that same day I received an email from Anthropologie and their models were also wearing our West End style. It was official: wide-leg cropped pants are the pant for this spring. Luckily, I have just the pattern to make them.
The San Diego pattern has a very unique way of making the facing and collar. The process isn't difficult but requires precise stitching to get a clean, sharp look. We have made a lot of San Diego samples and have found, through trial and error, several tricks for more accurate stitching. To help you make your best San Diego, we have put together a little tutorial on sewing the neckline, complete with tips that we have found make the process easier. Enjoy!
Simple and elegant. A dash of Audrey Hepburn with a sprinkle of Jackie O. – that is the Chateau Coat. Whether you make it in a bold Missoni knit or classic black Scuba, this is the jacket that people will stop you on the street to ask about. "Where did you get that fabulous coat?" The answer? "Well, I made it of course!"
It's here! The first Sew Confident! tutorial of 2017, the San Diego Bomber. If you haven't used our Sew Confident! tutorials before, they are our monthly digital tutorials that can be subscribed to by the year, or bought individually as they are released (a first for 2017!). This year our theme is Variations With Verve and each month we will be sharing techniques for customizing patterns for your unique style, To kick off the year, Erin demonstrates how she transformed our San Diego pattern into this on-trend bomber jacket.
It seems like everyone in the sewing world is talking about scuba - and I don't mean the kind with the snorkel. Scuba fabric, a stretchy double knit that is similar to a ponte, has been making its way onto runways for years and now fashion sewers are starting to experiment with this fun fabric.
The fashion world was saddened when legendary designer Sonia Rykiel passed away this week. Rykiel, who unknowingly got her start as a designer when she started sewing maternity clothing for herself, was known as The Queen of Knits for her fashion-forward work with knit design. As I thumbed through Pinterest, looking at Rykiel designs, I noticed that she not only loved knits, but also loved a knit stripe (though, who doesn't?). In honor of this great designer, I've put together a few Sonia Rykiel inspiration boards, pairing our knit stripes with her design inspiration.
In the December 16, 2015 blog post called French Terry Topper, I described the process of lengthening the Chicago Jacket to make a longer version in French terry. The coat looks and feels great, but I noticed after it was made that it wants to fly open at the bottom a bit, even when just hanging on a hanger.
Martha Myers is a wonderful customer and Sew Kansas participant. She writes about many of her projects on her own blog. She made this amazing variation of a Peony Vest so we asked her to share the story as our guest blogger for this post. Enjoy and prepare to be inspired!
Every time I fly to Chicago, I always make time to walk through Neiman Marcus on Michigan Avenue to see the Eskandar line of clothing.The pieces are simple. The designer basically turns out the same designs every season and simply changes up the fabrications and perhaps a length or two.
I've known Ellen March, editor of Sew News magazine, for a long time. I wrote articles for her and even fielded questions in the Q&A department for years. When she called me and asked if I would be a guest on her Sew It All TV show, I couldn't resist an opportunity to work with her in another format — on camera!
French terry is a type of jersey knit fabric that has vertical ribs on one side of the fabric and fine loops on the other side, unlike terrycloth, which has loops on both sides. It has entered the fashion scene once again and is used by designers for all kinds of ready-to-wear including coats and toppers.