The summer is the perfect time to show off your skills and create beautiful designs, like cut out dresses and bubble skirts. But, the last thing you want to do this summer is pass out from the heat. The key to avoiding this? Using the right fabrics, of course! Whether you're touring the festival circuit, relaxing at a family cook out, or spending a day at the beach with bae, these fashionable fabrics will keep you cool, calm, and complimented.
Leggings are quickly becoming a universal staple in everyone's wardrobe. You can wear them to the gym, to the couch, or pair them with a blouse and heels for a more fashion-forward look. Regardless of how you're styling them, sewing leggings can be a bit intimidating for newbies or those without a serger. Luckily, we have tips and tricks to make leggings easily with a regular sewing machine! Fabrics & materials used:
- 1 yard 5.6 oz Silver Matte Tricot w/ High Compression
- 1/2 yard Pink Floral Printed Max-Dri Anti-Microbial Performance Tricot
- Walking Presser Foot
- Peg Legs with Add-Ons by Patterns for Pirates
1.) Curves, curves, curves!Plus size fashion is all about showing off the body you have, and there's no better way to do that than a body con dress, or a slinky evening gown! Throw on a fur shawl to take these looks to the next level. Exited about elegance? Pick up these fabrics at Mood!
2.) Crop TopsCrop tops come in every variety imaginable, from sleeveless to sweater, and it's clear fashion cannot get enough of these belly baring beauts. Throw on some denim overalls for a casual summer outfit, or let the crop top take center stage with a simple pair of jeans. Create some crops with these fabulous fabrics!
3.) Body Suits and JumpsuitsRompers may have recently been all the rage, but you'll be jumping for joy in these curve accentuating jumpsuits and body suits. Perfect for walking down the runway or playing in the park, pair bodysuits with a circle skirt or some high waisted shorts. Want your own playful playsuit? Try these fun fabrics!
4.) VelvetNothing compliments a body better than a soft and sensual fabric, like velvet. The dramatic drape juxtaposes beautifully with some tension in the taut material. Let velvet speak for itself with a simple cocktail dress, or experiment with velvet bodysuits and crop tops. Down with dramatic? Add flair to your wardrobe with these beautiful fabrics.
5.) High Waisted PantsHigh Waisted Pants are a powerful look for the powerful woman. Strut your stuff at that important business meeting, or go explore the city with these versatile, and comfortable, slacks. Pair with a blazer and a body suit for a look that goes from day to night with the blink of an eye. Looking for some powerful pants? Try these fabrics.
6.) Making your own clothesThe DIY trend is spreading, and plus size fashion is picking up what it's putting down. Project Runway winner Ashley Nell Tipton is inspiring plus size women everywhere to take control of their fashion and start making their own clothes with these beautiful patterns she's designed for Simplicity. Get creative with these fabrics!
7.) SheerAlthough many may not like the trend of plus size women showing their bodies, these models prove that confidence is key. Sheer body suits over dark bras, or see through dresses thrown over colorful bikini sets are perfect for cooling down in the summer heat. Are you cheering for sheer? Try these fabrics!
The adventurous and brilliant nature of the Gemini has been quelled in the past month, due to Mercury's retrograde. May is beginning slowly for you, but a burst of energy and enthusiasm will strike near the middle of May, once the retrograde ends. This is the perfect time for projects, especially anything you have been putting off due to difficulty. Have confidence and push yourself with this great Beaded Crop Top! For the first time in several years, Mars is in the house of Gemini, giving you the opportunity to take charge and make the adjustments you've been meaning to. As Venus settles into the house of Aries this month, a change is in the air. It's time to start spring cleaning, and redo your wardrobe! Bring in some fresh new summer fabric with these beautiful African prints, or clean up your purse with this nifty Bag Organizer. Late May will be an excellent time for socializing and showing off that new wardrobe, and travel is in the cards for many Geminis. An excellent way to travel cute and comfortably is with this sturdy Faux Leather Travel Bag. The new moon on May 25th will open you up to a world of opportunities, anything you aim to accomplish is within your grasp. Perhaps a particularly ambitious project you've been thinking of (such as this Star Lord bomber jacket by our blogger Courtney Norris). It is important that throughout the month of May, you stay open and positive. Bring this positive attitude into June, and the month will be yours for the taking. Follow your instincts in June, and make no compromises. You know what's best for you. Your interests will be less career oriented this month, try focusing on more domestic pursuits. Throw on these Patchwork Denim Overalls and get gardening! For Geminis born in the month of June, your imagination will thrive. But, you will need the wherewithal to take charge and turn your ideas into reality. Some hard work and follow through will go a long way! Generosity will strike you in the middle of the month, and you should follow that feeling! Random acts of kindness will come back to you towards the end of the month, so stay positive and be charitable. A new opportunity will be revealed to you towards the end of June, but you must keep your mind open to new experiences. These funky neoprene prints are a fun way to experiment with different styles, try fashioning one into this cute one piece bathing suit! Not sure what fabrics to start with? Take a look at our Fabric Horoscope for all the Astrological Signs!
Dale Carnegie said that, "there is no sweeter sound to any person's ear than the sound of their own name," and I couldn't agree more! That's why these leather tags are such a new favorite of mine. Whether you emblazon them with your own name, or label every container in the house....I don't think you can ever go wrong. What needs a leather hang tag in your life? SUPPLIES: Mallet, edge note, q-tip, leather, awl, straight edge, hole punch, rotary cutter, and a set of letters. HOW-TO: 1. Take your pattern (you can download the template here, and size it to your liking), trace it on to your leather with your awl, and then cut it out with your straightedge and rotary cutter. 2.Take a q-tip and slowly paint the perimeter of your tag. Let it dry. Then paint it once more for good measure. (Note: I also use an edge burnisher and a little targomcanth to make edges smooth before painting, but this isn't necessary). 3. Turn your tag vertical, and with your ruler measure out the center of your tag....then mark it with your awl. Next, use your hole to make a hole in your leather as pictured (Note: i had to go back and make mine larger because I used thicker leather. 4. Next, either use pre-made suede cord, or use your straight edge and rotary cutter to cut your own. Slip it through your hole. 5. Lastly, measure out where centered you want your letters to go. After that, wet the back of your tag a tiny bit...and then with your mallet, pound in your desired letters. Brandhyze Stanley is the chief leather goods designer and creator of Brandhyze + Co. A DIY girl at heart—Brandhyze has been featured on Dr. Oz, The View, The Today Show, InStyle Magazine, Essence Magazine, and MTVStyle. A Wilhelmina Model for over a decade, with a Business Degree from Loyola University Chicago, Brandhyze has provided DIY content to the popular How-To Site, eHow; and has been a contributor for the Huffington Post, Yahoo Finance, Super Money, Good Housekeeping, and Newsday Westchester, to name a few. Brandhyze is a lover of leather and a mixer of textiles, follow her on Instagram @BrandhyzeandCo.
Mother's Day is fast approaching and if you're like me, you left gift buying to the very last minute. For those who prefer a personal touch, this robe is a quick DIY that is sure to please. Give the gift of comfy style with this detailed Art Nouveau inspired silky cotton voile. The perfect way to say have a Happy (and comfy) Mother’s Day! Fabrics & materials used:
- 3 yards Liberty of London Portsea Bittersweet Red Silk-Cotton Voile
- Free Mother's Day Robe Pattern (DOWNLOAD FREE PATTERN HERE)
- Stitch the front and back panels together at the shoulders. Since this is a lightweight robe that doesn't call for a lining, I strongly recommend some French seams.
Cinco de Mayo is here! For a festive DIY, I wanted to create a blouse inspired by these gorgeous embroidered crop tops. I went with an ivory border eyelet, which had some great shapes to work with, a vibrant sateen lining, and one of Mood's lovely new jacquard ribbons. The result is just begging to be worn at a beach party this season. Bring on the waves! Fabrics & materials used:
- 1 yard Famous NYC Designer Afterglow Embroidered Cotton Eyelet
- 1 yard Scarlet Red Silk and Rayon Blended Sateen
- 3 yards Green Floral Jacquard Ribbon
- 1 yard 1.2mm Black Elastic Cord
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!
(The template is roughly a men's large, with a 40" chest.)Fabrics & materials used:
- 2.5 yards Black Stretch Faux Leather with Gray Suede Backing
- 2 bottles Angelus Fire Red Leather Paint
- 1 bottle Angelus Black Leather Paint
- Dritz Heavy Duty Snap Plier Kit
- 1 pkg Silver/Brass Heavy Duty Snaps
- 21" Back Metal Separating Zipper
1. Paint MixingOnce 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
- 2 - Elbow Band
- 6 - Side Back
- 9 - Side Front
- 11 - Front Zipper Flap (1)
- 12 - Shoulder Armor
- 14 - Jacket Collar
- 15 - Forearm Armor
2. Sleeve RibbingBefore 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 StitchingStar-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 SnapsBefore 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 TorsoI 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 SleevesThe 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 & WaistbandInsert 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 DetailsAt 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!
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: 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.
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:
- 2 yards Italian White Laminated Lace
- 2 yards Mint Polyester Lining
- 2 pkgs Size 36 Half Ball Cover Buttons
- 4 pkgs Wrights Light Gray 1/2" Extra Wide Double Fold Bias Tape
- Simplicity Misses' Jacket Pattern 2311