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DIY

  • Mood Cosplay: Free GotG2 Star-Lord Jacket Pattern

    You can't defend the galaxy in just anything. To celebrate Superhero Day, as well as the upcoming release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2., I recreated Star-Lord's newest jacket. The best part? There's a free template, so you can make your own, look fabulous, and start kicking some alien butt!

    DOWNLOAD FREE TEMPLATE HERE

    (The template is roughly a men's large, with a 40" chest.)

    Fabrics & materials used:  

    1. Paint Mixing

    Once all of the pattern pieces are cut out, you can start painting. Be sure to have everything in one place, sorted for light red and dark red. Also, don't be stingy with your paint mixing. You don't want to run out and risk making a slightly different shade with your next batch.   Light Red
    • 1 - Sleeve Top
    • 3 - Sleeve Bottom
    • 4 - Back Yoke
    • 5 - Center Back
    • 7 - Center Front Top
    • 8 - Center Front Bottom
    • 10 - Front Yoke
    • 11 - Front Zipper Flap (1)
    • 13 - Jacket Waistband
    • All belts
    Dark Red
    • 2 - Elbow Band
    • 6 - Side Back
    • 9 - Side Front
    • 11 - Front Zipper Flap (1)
    • 12 - Shoulder Armor
    • 14 - Jacket Collar
    • 15 - Forearm Armor
    I did a lot of mix testing and found that a good ratio for the light red was one entire bottle of Fire Red, mixed with about 2 teaspoons of Black. The paint will look a lot brighter and more saturated while it's still wet. It will also show a lot of brush strokes, but after only two coats, I couldn't even tell the faux leather had been painted. The color was smooth and even.  

    2. Sleeve Ribbing

    Before painting the elbow bands, I tried to decide how I wanted to imitate the ribbing on Star-Lord's jacket. My first test was encasing some cording withing the faux leather using an invisible zipper foot. The results ended up being fairly similar to simple pintucks, so I decided to go the pintuck route and skip the extra steps. To make your own pintucks without a special sewing machine foot, simply fold over your faux leather 1/4", keep the left side of your foot aligned with the last tuck and the right side aligned with the edge of your fabric. I put 18" pintucks on either of my panels, and then gave it a coat of paint.  

    3. Decorative Stitching

    Star-Lord's jacket has decorate stitching in a few areas, namely pattern pieces 5, 7, and 10, as well as the upper and lower shoulder armor. Before beginning to construct your jacket, follow the stitching lines on each of these pattern pieces.  

    4. Inserting Snaps

    Before getting into the construction details, I wanted to take a minute to discuss adding snaps. The plier kit from Dritz makes it super easy. The black rubber side has a sharp extender that can puncture your fabric for you. For some of the thicker layers, you can also use an awl or a seam ripper to make the puncture a little larger if need be. The flat side of the snap gets inserted through the puncture in your fabric and the other side is inserted into the rubber part of the pliers. Once the pliers are shut, the extender bends the metal of the snap to secure both pieces into place. Super quick, and incredibly easy!  

    6. Jacket Construction

    A. The Torso

    I added an extra 1/8" of seam allowance in order to sew French seams when I cut out my pattern pieces. If you're not familiar with how to do them, sew your pieces wrong sides together and trim your seam allowances, like you see above, and then sew the same pieces with the right sides together as you normally would. This encases any raw edges within the seam and sometimes eliminates the need for a lining. To start constructing your jacket, sew the CENTER FRONT TOP (7) to the FRONT YOKE (10). After completing a French seam, I chose to top-stitch them down, like you see in the photo above. Repeat with your CENTER FRONT TOP (7) and CENTER FRONT BOTTOM (8). The next step is a little tricky, since you'll need to do a few things at once. Ultimately, you'll want to sew the SIDE FRONT (9) to the CENTER FRONT TOP and BOTTOM (7 & 8). I recommend clipping the corner of (7), like you see above, and folding the fabric under. Temporarily secure it with wonder clips. The reason you don't want to attach it to your SIDE FRONT (9) yet, is that you'll need to add two snaps and side belts to the CENTER FRONT BOTTOM (8). Sew the belts into place first, keeping the fabric folded over. Add in your snaps, and then you can attach everything to your SIDE FRONT (9) using a tucked seam. The backside of the jacket is much easier to assemble. Sew your two CENTER BACK (5) pieces together before attaching them to the BACK YOKE (4). The SIDE BACK (6) panels go on much easier than their counterparts in the front, since there are no more belts in the back. Sew the back of your jacket to front at either shoulder, and at each of the side seams. Be sure to sew the front side belts securely into the side seams, like above.  

    B. The Sleeves

    The sleeves have a whole lot of detail - armor at the shoulders, quilted armor on the forearm, and of course the ribbing at the elbows. Before putting everything together, make sure these individual pieces have all of their stitching complete. For the forearm patch, I spaced my stitches 3/4" apart. Once the stitching is complete, insert the it onto the SLEEVE BOTTOM (3). Sew two SHOULDER ARMOR (12) pieces, right sides together, leaving the top open to turn right-side out. Top-stitch around the perimeter and stay-stitch it into place on the SLEEVE TOP (1). Sew your SLEEVE TOP (1), ELBOW BAND (2), and SLEEVE BOTTOM (3) together respectively. Once all the details are done, the sleeves can be attached to the torso. Be sure to clip your seam allowances before completing your seams.  

    C. Collar & Waistband

    Insert one of your waistband pieces to the bottom of your jacket and one of your collar pieces along the neckline. Clip both seam allowances. Sew the second collar piece to the first, only along the top seam. Do the same with the second waistband piece, but along the very bottom seam. Pin your zipper along the center front seam, aligning it with the bottom of the waistband first. It should just reach the bottom of your collar, but if it's a little too long be sure to shorten it from the top. Sew your zipper into place, flip it inward along the waistband and collar linings, and top-stitch. I personally stay-stitched the rest of the waistband and collar linings before top-stitching, but the could also be just be pinned.  

    D. The Details

    At this point you should have your jacket almost completely constructed. Add your two arm belts to the bottom of the shoulder armor. Here is where you can also attach the second should armor pieces. I personally chose to leave mine off so the jacket can be (a little) more suitable for everyday wear, but I did include the pieces in the template! Last, you'll need to add the FRONT ZIPPER FLAP (11). The darker red should go on the inside so it's seen when it's flipped open. This is also the side where the flat part of the snaps should go. You can see in the image below that I accidentally placed them facing the opposite way (oops!). Stay-stitch the flap in place, flip it over the zipper, and top-stitch. Your jacket should now be complete to protect you as you guard our galaxy! There are a couple details that could be added to make it a little more screen accurate. For example, I know there are sleeve belts along the wrists, as well as a zipper under the arm. I'm sure I'll notice more things to add when I see the movie, but for that we'll need to wait until next week!
  • Mood DIY: How to Sew a Puppy Raincoat

    The rain can be rough on all of us, including our little puppy companions. Why not make it easier on them? This super easy DIY puppy poncho can be sewn together in about an hour, and it'll make those dreaded rainy day walks a little easier on everyone. Fabrics & materials used: All you need for this project are two large ovals (the length of your pet + the length of their chest, with a hole cut 1/3 of the way in to fit their head), two 4" strips (the length of their waist + 2"), four side hood panels (the curve should measure from the base of the neck to about 2"-3" past the ears), and two 2" center hood strips (the same length of the curve on your hood panels). Begin by sewing two of your side hood panels to either side of a center hood panel. I tapered mine slightly so it would be smaller at the neck, but this is optional. Be sure to clip your seam allowances, especially along any curves. This ensures that your seams will lay flat, without any unwanted pulling or ruching. Repeat for the lining, and then attach your lining and outer layer along the front of the hood, right sides together. Turn right-side out, iron, and top-stitch, like below. Pin and stay-stitch the hood along the neckline of the right side of your outer later. Be sure to put it toward the back side, which will be the longer end of the oval, facing forward. Your lining and outer layer can then be pinned with right sides together, like you see above. Leave about 4" open on either side; this is how you'll close the neckline. Turn the jacket right-side out, and pull the neckline through the 4" opening you left. You should be able to place the right sides of the neckline together and sew about halfway around the circle. Repeat through the opposite 4" opening to complete the neckline. Once you've fully sewn around the circle, clip your seams again, press, and top-stitch. Lastly, pin along the openings left in the sides of your pet's poncho, and top-stitch along the jacket's entire circumference. As an optional addition for those especially windy days, I also created a little belt. To make your own, sew two strips together, leaving a small opening at one of the short ends. Turn it right-side out, top-stitch, and add a couple strips of Velcro! Warning: rain may cause sleepiness.
  • Mood Style: Easy-to-Sew Laminated Lace Raincoat

    It seems like 90% of my new projects stem from not being able to find exactly what I'm looking for in the store. It's so difficult to find a raincoat that isn't either dark and dismal, or banana yellow.
  • Luckily, Mood had the perfect thing. This gorgeous laminated lace is completely waterproof, surprisingly easy to work with, and largely transparent (which meant, I could make my jacket whatever color I wanted). Hello, adorable mint green raincoat!
  • Fabrics & materials used: The only downside to the jacket pattern I used was that it didn't include a hood. Since I obviously wanted to be able to use this in the rain, I drafted my own easy pattern, which you can download below!

    DOWNLOAD HOOD TEMPLATE HERE

    In lieu of a normal lining, where I would essentially make two coats and sew them together, I chose to sew  my lining along with the laminated lace, finishing off the seams with some double fold bias tape, like you see below. In addition to binding all of the seams, I ironed out a few inches of bias tape to cover 4 buttons. Two were attached to the back to the belt, and the other two were added as closures to the front of the coat. Overall, the laminated lace was much easier to work with than expected. Rather than puncture the thin vinyl sheeting with a bunch of pins, I used Wonder Clips to get the job done. One rainy afternoon later and I had my new raincoat, complete with the perfect mint lining. What color lining are you going to pair with yours?
  • Mood Style: Vetements-Inspired, Eco-Friendly Sweatshirt

    I am loving the athleisure wear trend. We get to be super comfy, AND look incredibly chic? Why didn't we decide this was cool sooner?
    To bring some runway inspiration into this DIY project, I decided to take a look at some Vetements looks. Their oversized sleeves and cropped sweatshirts create some interesting silhouettes, and they manage to make a classic hoodie just a little more fashion-forward.
    Fabrics & materials used:
    The sweatshirt itself is fairly easy to put together. You can trace an old sweatshirt to make your pattern pieces. In this case, I actually traced a slightly oversized t-shirt, since I knew this was going to be a little more fitted than your typical pullover.
    The part I was a little worried about was the neckline, but it ended up being super simple.
    First, I measured around the unfinished neck of the sweatshirt and multiplied the number by .9.
    This would give me 90% of the original measurement, to account for ease. So while the neckline of my sweatshirt measured in at 23", I cut the trim to about 21" and sewed it to the wrong side of the collar. I then encased the raw edges in French seams.
    To make yours lie a little flatter, you could cut it shorter or add side seams instead of one seam in the center back.
    To go along with the deconstructed look that's been popular recently, I left the seams around the armholes exposed.
    This fabric was a joy to work with. It's face is incredibly smooth, and the fleece backing is beyond soft. I'm definitely going to be getting some of the other colors to make more of these in the future.
    What about you? Will you be trying a project like this?
  • Mood DIY: Free One-Piece Swimsuit Sewing Template

    With March finally behind us, I am officially thinking about nothing but the beach. I've always been a bit terrified to try my hand at swimwear, but I knew I'd have to make something with this amazing zebra tricot. A surprisingly easy-to-make body suit ensued!
    Fabrics & materials used:
    I began by draping the fabric right on the dress form. I love the more retro shape to the bottom and the deep V neckline. Two thick pleats at the shoulders also gave the suit faux lapels in lieu of bust darts. Since I don't typically work with swimwear, I can only include a template of the pattern I created. My model has a 28" waist, so it's roughly a US size 10. You can download a PDF below!

    DOWNLOAD TEMPLATE HERE

      I began by sewing the two front panels together, starting at the bottom and ending about halfway toward the top. Each shoulder was pleated before being attached to the back of the swimsuit. Once it was attached at the bottom as well, I had the outside of the suit mostly constructed, with the exception of the sides. Before closing the sides up, I needed to attach the lining. I began by sewing it to the arm and leg holes, like you can see below. Leaving the neckline still open, I sewed the lining into the sides of the suit by closing each side with French seams. Lastly, I slip-stitched around the entire neckline by hand to be sure the lining fit inside the zebra tricot perfectly. I love that bodysuits are so on trend right now. This can be worn at the beach or to a casual night out with some tights and denim shorts. It's giving off some serious 80's summer vibes!
  • Mood Style: African Print Detachable Skirt

    African prints have been taking the fashion world by storm the last couple of years and once you lay eyes on their beautiful shapes, vibrant colors, and gorgeously bold patterns, it's not difficult to see why. For today's DIY I decided to hop on this trend with a skirt that can easily transition from every wear to a glamorous, couture look.
    Fabrics & materials used:
    First I wanted to make a simple, chic pencil skirt. They're so versatile and can be worn anywhere - out to dinner or simply out shopping, depending on how it's styled. I followed view C of McCall's pattern 3830. Pockets were a necessary alteration. How can you have a skirt with no pockets? Below is a template of the shape I used. I placed the diagonal line of the pocket's opening along one of the diagonals of the skirt 's print in order to make the pockets fairly unnoticeable. The fun part of this project was a detachable skirt! A pencil skirt can be worn everywhere, but this part of the ensemble can be worn a million different ways. Throw it over your bathing suit for an adorable cover up, pair it with some denim shorts for a casual summer look, or keep it with the matching pencil skirt to take it from cute to couture. To create the shape of the skirt, I began much like I would be making a basic circle skirt. However, I added 5" to my waist measurements to account for the two pleats I knew I'd be placing toward the front of the skirt. Instead of making an even circle all the way around, I created more of an oval shape to create the hi-low silhouette. The back of my skirt is about 45", while the sides are 22". I connected the points with a freehand curve, like you see in the above diagram. The fabric was just a few inches too short along the width to make the skirt all one piece, so I cut two sides and gave the skirt a seam down the back. The skirt was lined with a simple poly lining, and the waistband was a 3" wide rectangle of the same fabric. A couple of sew-on snaps completed the garment and it was ready to wear! Are you going to be trying this project on your own? Which print will you be using?
  • Mood DIY: Button Size Chart

    Enjoy this free button size chart for all your DIY needs! Print it out and hang it in your own sewing studio, or keep it in your tool kit. What's your favorite type of button to work with? Tell us in the comments below!
  • Mood DIY: Eye Button Shirt Embellishment

    Need a new idea to make that button-up shirt you're working on just a little more eye-catching? This DIY can by sewists and crafters alike! Sewing up your own shirt is an added plus so you can size the placket a little wider than usual. However, if garment creation isn't your usual forte, you can get the same look with an old blouse, some new buttons, and a jar of fabric paint! Fabrics & materials used: If you're simply altering a shirt you already own, be sure to choose buttons to match the buttonholes that already exist. If you're making your shirt yourself, sew your buttonholes and attach your buttons before you start on the eyes. Once those are in place, button your shirt up. Using your temporary marking tool, sketch an almond shape so that it fits around the top and bottom of the button. Repeat for each button. I used the skinniest brush in the pack, with a small dot of paint to trace over the eyes with Jacquard Textile paint. If you've never used it before, it works absolute wonders. It moves with your fabric without stiffening it too much, goes on evenly, and is machine washable. I let my shirt dry for about 20 minutes and then it was all set to wear! Before this project, I had never thought about embellishing a shirt placket, but now I want to do it to everything! What other button embellishment ideas can you come up with?
  • Mood DIY: Free Flared Button Up Shirt Pattern

    Even if there's 2 feet of snow outside, I have my sights set on spring. I'm ready for floral prints and lighter fabrics, so today I got a jump start on a wardrobe for the new season. Mood's new silk charmeuses were perfect for this longline, flared button-up! The large-scale print suits the length of the blouse and the weight lends itself to a gorgeous drape. Fabrics & materials used: To keep the shirt light and draped, I opted against a lining. Because of this, French seams were a must in order to keep the silk from fraying. I began the shirt construction by attaching the front and back panels of the shirt at the sides and shoulders. Next, both front panels needed plackets for the buttons. Each one was interfaced and stitched onto the wrong side of the shirt itself, like you can see above. To avoid visible stitches on the front of the placket, I folded mine over and slip-stitched it into place. I added a single box pleat at the center back before attaching the collar the same way I attached the plackets.In this case, the collar was sewn to the right side of the shirt and slip-stitched on the wrong side. Since the shirt remained unlined, I finished the armholes with 1/4" binding that I made from the same silk as the rest of the blouse. I didn't want any buttons to be visible, so I hand sewed 8 snaps along the inside of the placket. This also omitted the need for buttonholes, which was an added bonus! This pattern is one of my favorites, since it can be altered so many ways - shortened, lengthened, made with a different fabric type entire, sleeves could be easily added. It's versatility is terrific. Are you going to be making any changes when you try it out?
  • Mood DIY: Free Cutout Dress Sewing Pattern

    Sporting bright green on St. Patrick's Day is certainly a fun tradition, but I've always been a fan of a more subtle look for the holiday. This easy to sew pattern features everything you'd want in a cute day-to-night look; flattering cutouts, a nice silhouette, and huge pockets! Plus, you can effortlessly dress it up with heels, or go for a more comfy and casual look with some flats. Fabrics & materials used:
    Dress Pattern Layout

    DOWNLOAD THE FREE PATTERN HERE

    Pattern pieces 1, 2, 4, and 5 make up your bodice. If you're working with a more translucent fabric, you may want to use a lining, but the jacquard I used was the perfect weight to skip one. Instead, I put the garment together with French seams.

    The skirt gets pleated twice in the front and twice in the back, lining up with the seams of the bodice. Each pleat should be about 2" deep.

    I made the pockets of mine rather large, so they overlap a bit in the front. If you're working with a bulkier fabric, you may want to make them slightly smaller.

    The back was finished with a 24" invisible zipper that I shortened to about 20". If you're unfamiliar with how to insert one, we have a tutorial here! Lastly, I finished off the sleeves, neckline and hem with simple rolled hems. This could be substituted with a full lining, facings, or bias tape! Which are you going to use?
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