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Fashion Sewing

  • Trend Report: 2016 Recap

    We're in the thick of winter, and that means it's time to layer and bundle up! This coming year's styles play with thinner and thicker fabrics, which lets you bundle up with layers or go big with one huge and independent style. From trench coats to tiered designs, long pieces are the highlight of this coming year, so make sure to stock up!

    Long Coats

    David Michael | Spring Ready-to-Wear 2017 David Michael | Spring Ready-to-Wear 2017
    Carry your trench coat style over to the next season! Lots of designers fashioned this look out of thinner fabrics to make wearing light and easy with the coming warm weather--long enough to shield against the wind and light enough to keep from overheating.

    For some fabric inspirations for these styles, try these!:

    Slit Skirt Dresses

    Michael Kors Collection | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Michael Kors Collection | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
    Slit skirts and dresses are a sophisticated style that look great on both long and shorter skirts. They make your silhouette look long and lean and can be paired with a number of skirt shapes from pencil to empire styles! Longer skirts are better for formal settings, but a shorter skirt like the one above can work in a more casual setting.
    Nicole Millder | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Nicole Miller | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
    Slit style skirts are also a great opportunity for showing off a pair of your favorite shoes. With the exposed look from the slit, attention is drawn to the legs and feet and giving the chance to highlight great footwear! Don't be afraid to use a busy pattern either. Find the right pattern and it can make your design really stunning.
    Tome | Spring 2017 Resort Tome | Spring 2017 Resort
    For some fabric inspirations for these styles, try these!:

    Coat Dresses

    Giamba | Spring 2017 Resort Giamba | Spring 2017 Resort
    More coat styles! Lots of styles were spruced up in sportswear with coat dresses. Their bulky design can be a blessing in this chilly weather, but it's also good for transition weather like in the spring.
    Victor Alfaro | Spring 2017 Resort Victor Alfaro | Spring 2017 Resort
    Paired with pants or leggings and this is great for cooler weather, or you can sport it in mild temperatures, too! It's another pretty adaptable look.
    T by Alexander Wang | Spring 2017 Resort T by Alexander Wang | Spring 2017 Resort
    For some fabric inspirations for these styles, try these!:

    Plunge Neckline

    A popular look from the 2017 line-up included both reserved and daring plunge necklines. From mock to true designs, we've seen potential in plunge necklines for the coming year!
    Kate Spada New York | Spring 2017 Resort Kate Spada New York | Spring 2017 Resort
    Lots of formal styles with this neckline are usually left open, but don't be afraid to adapt the style to the season and wear a shirt underneath to cover up and keep warm! Use a neutral or skin tone underneath and you won't have to worry about taking away any emphasis from the plunge's design.
    Tome | Spring 2017 Resort Tome | Spring 2017 Resort
    For some fabric inspirations for these styles, try these!:

    Ruffles

    Strutting fancy and elegant, ruffles were accented everywhere from sleeves to collars. Loose and flowing like the ones below, these shorter ruffles bring an air of femininity to any look!
    Kate Spade New York | Spring 2017 Resort Kate Spade New York | Spring 2017 Resort
    Sea | Spring 2017 Resort Sea | Spring 2017 Resort
    Tome | Spring 2017 Resort Tome | Spring 2017 Resort
    For some fabric inspirations for these styles, try these!:

    Tiered Pieces

    Both tops and bottoms showcased tiers incorporated into their designs. We saw this style experimented with last year towards the fall and winter seasons, but now they’re starting to really blossom from these designers!
    Roksanda | Spring 2017 Resort Roksanda | Spring 2017 Resort
    Gathered sections and color blocking can be used to accent and project a tiered look for pieces, so don’t be afraid to take advantage of these styles. Both look wonderful!
    See by Chloe | Spring 2017 Resort See by Chloe | Spring 2017 Resort
    For some fabric inspirations for these styles, try these!:

    Asymmetry

    Rag & Bone | Spring 2017 Resort 2017 Rag & Bone | Spring 2017 Resort 2017
    Have you ever donned an asymmetrical look? These designs can be quite refreshing from your usual balanced styles, so if you haven’t tried one yet, consider a dress with an asymmetric neckline or top with mismatched sleeves.
    Vionnet | Spring 2017 Resort Vionnet | Spring 2017 Resort
    A one-sided accent or flourished hemline can also be a great way to make a piece asymmetrical. It doesn’t need to be too big or loud—sometimes smaller details speak large volumes for fashion. For some fabric inspirations for these styles, try these!:

    Women in Menswear

    Women in menswear has been popular for decades, and it’s always nice to see men’s recent designs applied to women’s fashion, too. Below we have this past fall’s cropped pants style paired with a fitted blazer for a sharp and masculine women’s suit. The tapered hemline of the pants narrows your silhouette for a fantastic business style.
    3.1 Phillip Lim | Spring 2017 Resort 3.1 Phillip Lim | Spring 2017 Resort
    And if looser pants are more your game, try a loose trouser with a fitted jacket. The contrast between the waistline and the trouser will slim the appearance of your waist and give your bottom half a weighted appeal!
    Celine | Spring 2017 Resort Celine | Spring 2017 Resort
    For some fabric inspirations for these styles, try these!: And that's the forecast for now! What highlights are your favorites? Are you looking forward to adding any of these styles into your wardrobe?
  • Faux Fur

    When it comes to faux fur, they are certainly not all equal.  I will admit I'm a fan of real fur, the softness and luxe of real fur is undeniable but I think this season's faux fur has made me a believer.   When I ordered this faux fur, I was skeptical simply because I've tried faux fur in the past from other retailers and have been overwhelmingly disappointed.  So I wanted to give it another try and crossed my fingers I wouldn't have to add another faux fur disaster to the toss pile. When it arrived, I opened the box and instantly fell in love.  Not only is it beautiful to look at, but it feels amazing and very authentic.  It has a very nice weight and it's extremely warm.  This fur is easy to sew and line. Faux fur sewing tips: -Make sure the pile is combed down in the same direction for all pattern pieces. -When cutting the fur, try to push the long hairs out of the way and cut the base of the fur.  This will help with stray hair covering your sewing space. -Lining will automatically roll the edges forward for a finished look -Make sure you pick up fur hook and eye closures. -Double stitch seams -When placing the pattern, place on the wrong side of the fur   I lined the coat with a bemberg I had in my stash which is perfect for a high static faux fur. The pattern I used was vintage Simplicity 6632 with the following pattern alterations: -Added 5" to the length   Chandler's coat was made using New Look 6927 with the following alterations: -Removed 6" from the length -Removed 2" from the side of the pattern which removes the A-line -Removed the buttons faux-fur2_mood chandler faux-fur5 faux-fur6 faux-fur4 faux-fur7 faux-fur1 chandler2jpg
  • Mood Style: Sewing a Chanel-Style Jacket

    IMG_2069a

    Sometimes inspiration comes from the oddest places. In this case, I knew I wanted to make a Chanel-inspired jacket with one of Mood's fantastic new tweeds, but I just couldn't find the right pattern for it. Should I go classic? Should I do something with a little twist?

    Cut to me stumbling upon a Sailor Moon costume pattern. That's right, this classy blazer was inspired by a sailor scout uniform. Crazy how versatile patterns can be sometimes!

    IMG_2073

    Fabrics & materials used:

    I went with view A of Simplicity 1092, choosing to also add a lining of the black cotton sateen. In lieu of bias-bound edges, I hand-stitched some 1/4" gold and black trim, which matched the main fabric perfectly and brought out the subtle metallic gold in the tweed beautifully!

    IMG_2075-iloveimg-converted

    The pattern also called for some hook and eye closures along the front, but I substituted them for 5 snaps to make it a little more stable when closed.

    IMG_2061

    Ultimately, I think it's an interesting little jacket, especially for the upcoming holidays! The unique lapel gives it an almost off-the-shoulder kind of feel, which would look absolutely stunning with some jewelry.

    Are you going to be making anything similar soon? Which fabrics would you make it with?

  • All About Fabric Care: Luxury Fabrics

    Luxury_Fabrics_Spread_JPG

    With all the types of fabric blends, cleaning materials, and temperature settings, maintenance and care for fabrics can be pretty confusing and intimidating! There are some general rules such as don't over-wash and when in doubt, use cold water, but the rules and methods of care do go a bit deeper than that... depending on the fabric, of course!

    That's why we've decided to create this series of care and methods for fabrics! In this series of guides, we'll give you short and easy lists for your reference that will note qualities of the fabrics, how to wash them (or not wash them), and when it's safe (or not!) to iron a fabric! We'll start with a small group--the Luxury fabrics--consisting of Silk, Velvet, Wool, and Leather.

    Silk_JPEG

    Spun from organic fibers, silk fabrics are probably one of the easier fabrics to recognize because of it's subtle sheen and smooth texture. Silk glides over the body when worn, it drapes beautifully, and it breathes well, making it a very popular choice to wear. It's also a natural fiber that's strong and durable, so it will last a long time if you take good care of it! Silks also come in a large variety of prints and design due to their capacity for taking dyes well, which gives seamstresses lots of options to work with.

    However, because of their organic qualities, silk fabrics can be damaged easily if you're not careful. Generally speaking, excessive heat is a big "NO" for silks. Sunlight, direct ironing, hot water--these conditions can cause things like fading, yellowing/browning/burning, and shrinking in silks. These methods should be avoided unless the tag of your garment or fabric reads otherwise when caring for silk fabrics.

    With that said, silks may be sturdy in their weaving, but due to the blends they are used in, their care requirements can vary. When it comes to silks, always make sure to consult the directions or tags for your garment or fabric, and never store silk products in direct sunlight. When it doubt, keep them dry and cool!

    If you'd like to see some silk fabrics, start here!:

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    Velvet_JPEG

    Did you know that velvet fabrics aren't just one type of fabric like cotton or silk, but that they're actually a combination of layers of different types of fabrics? This fuzzy and textured beauty is known for it's thick and plush feel, and the wonderful stretch makes it a popular comfort fabric. It's also a great fabric for autumn and winter because of how warm it is!

    Caring for your velvet is more straight-forward than caring for silk, but it does still take a bit of work. Generally, cool water is best to clean velvet with, because keeping velvet in high temperatures can damage or shrink it. This is another fabric that you should always consult your tags or directions with for the best care methods for each individual garment or fabric of velvet.

    One important thing to keep in mind, though, is that you should never iron velvet.Velvet has its own unique texture, whether you're working with crushed velvet or not, and ironing can ruin this!

    To remove major wrinkles like creases and folds, use a steamer on the wrong side of the fabric. Steamers remove wrinkles quickly without ruining velvet's texture.

    If you'd like to see some velvet fabrics, start here!:

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    Wool_JPEG

    Wool fabrics are a durable and functional fabric! They're known for their thick, scratchy layers, and they're great at keeping you bundled up and warm in the winter. Some wools are softer, especially when blended with other fabrics, and they look best when made into jackets and other garments that require a solid shape! Mature tones and patterns are their game, and they look good with them for a reason. Wools also last a long time; they're flame- and dirt-resistant, and they dry quickly (thanks to the natural fibers!).

    Wool doesn't need a lot of maintenance, but when it does need it, dry-cleaning is the only option. You may think that throwing it in for a quick wash will be fine, but your wool really doesn't need it! Because wool dries quickly, it doesn't hold onto odors or stains, and over-washing fabrics can wear them away if they're not built to be worn down. Wool is one of these fabrics--keep it simple and take your wool to a dry cleaner only when needed!

    Ironing wool takes just as little maintenance; low heat setting and on the wrong side of the fabric or garment. Ironing wool can leave iron marks, so ironing on the wrong side can help prevent these from being visible should any get left behind.

    If you'd like to see some wool fabrics, start here!:

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    Leather_JPEG

    Leather is a fabric made from the skin of animals like cows, pigs, and lamb and is most notable for its tough exterior that resists wear and tear, and when treated for it, leather can be water- and fire-resistant, making it a great and long-lasting fabric to work with. A fabric this unique this requires a special  kind of TLC to maintain!

    Because leathers are cured with chemicals during manufacturing, they require special care or dry-cleaning in all cases. Leather is designed to look and function best when it is bone-dry, which means NO washing, steaming, or water for leathers! Excessive heat must also be avoided! Do your best to keep leather away from both extremes; store your leather fabrics and garments in cool and dry places, and if you need to get a piece of leather cleaned, take it to a specialty cleaner. It's a bit inconvenient, but it's necessary to keep your leathers safe!

    If you must iron your leather, you can under two conditions: you must use a very, very low setting as well as a piece of heavy paper for a press cloth. Do not iron your leather directing with your clothing iron. Work slowly and carefully, and only iron as needed (which shouldn't be often!).

    If you'd like to see some leather fabrics, start here!:

    . That's all for luxury fabrics! These are some of the most common fabrics used in fashion sewing, so it's important to know how to take care of them. The last thing you want to do is ruin a beautiful fabric! Do you take good care of your fabrics? Did this article help you learn what to do for your garments when they need cleaning? If you have any stories about caring for types of fabrics, please share them with us!
  • Mood DIY: Free Reversible Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    I love the bomber jacket trend, and ever since I made my first one back in the fall, I knew I wanted to make more. This time, I drew up a pattern for the original women's version and I decided to try one for men too!

    The jacket is completely reversible, so you can essentially have 2 jackets in one, complete with pockets. The one I made in September gave off two very different styles, which I loved. For this one, I kept the inside pretty simple - just navy lining and solid black rib knit. The outside, however, was made with a gorgeous abstract brocade, the same navy lining for the sleeve, and one of Mood's brand new rib knits featuring two dark navy stripes. All-in-all, it looks awesome.

    If you'd like to try out the jacket for yourself, YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE FREE PATTERN HERE. When laying out your pattern, it should be 6 pages across and 4 pages down. On the first page of the PDF, you'll find a test square and a size chart.

    Recommended fabrics: brocade, jacquard, satin, canvas, faux leather, heavy knits, wool, and medium-weight lining.

    Fabrics & materials I used:

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    Pattern Pieces:
    • 1: Front (Women's)
      • Cut 2 of Fabric, mirrored
      • Cut 2 of Lining, mirrored
    • 2: Sleeve (Women's)
      • Cut 4 of Lining (or 2 of lining, and 2 of outer fabric)
      • Cut 2 of Interfacing
    • 3: Pocket
      • Cut 4 of Lining (or 8 of lining if making jacket reversible)
    • 4: Rib Knit Collar
      • Cut 1 of Rib Knit Trim
    • 5: Back (Women's)
      • Cut 1 on fold of Fabric
      • Cut 1 on fold of Lining
    • 6: Front (Men's)
      • Cut 2 of Fabric, mirrored
      • Cut 2 of Lining, mirrored
    • 7: Sleeve (Men's)
      • Cut 4 of Lining (or 2 of lining, and 2 of outer fabric)
      • Cut 2 of Interfacing
    • 8: Rib Knit Collar
      • Cut 1 of Rib Knit Trim
    • 9: Back (Men's)
      • Cut 1 on fold of Fabric
      • Cut 1 on fold of Lining

    1. If making the women's cut of this jacket, begin by sewing the darts on the front panels. This is the main difference between the two patterns.

    2. Sew the pockets onto the bottom corners of the front and back panels, right sides together so they pull out like you see below. The longer side of the pocket pieces should run along the bottom of the jacket, not the sides.

    DSC_0369

    3. Place the front and back panels right sides together, lining up the pockets from the bottom. Sew along the dotted line you see below, around the pocket and up the remainder of the side seam.

    4. Pin and/or staystitch the pocket toward the front panel.

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    5. If using lining for your outer layer sleeves, reinforce them with interfacing before sewing them together.

    6. Attach the front and back panels at the shoulders and attach the sleeves, right sides together.

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    7. Follow steps 1-6 for the lining, skipping the interfacing if desired.

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    8. Pin and sew the rib knit collar to the right sides of both, the lining and the outer layer like you see above and below.

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    (For your cuffs and waistband, the lengths can vary depending on how tight/stretchy you'd like them. For this one, the cuffs were 8" and the waistband was a full 36".)

    9. The cuffs aren't difficult to sew, however they are a bit difficult to explain. Begin by placing a cuff inside one of the sleeves, right sides together. Sew the cuff while stretching it, or gather the sleeve and use a zig-zag stitch to avoid losing any stretch.

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    10. Attach the cuff to the sleeve lining the same way; however, since the other end of it is now attached to the outer layer, it takes some interesting maneuvering like you can see below.

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    11. The waistband also attaches to the outer layer and lining. I recommend zig-zag stitching the inside of all the rib-knits to ensure that they stay folded perfectly in half and don't move around, skewing your jacket. Gather the back panel to keep some stretch in the waistband.

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    12. Turn the jacket right-side out and sew in a reversible zipper to complete your new bomber!

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    What fabric combinations are you going to use for yours? I'd love to see some finished projects!

  • Bell Sleeve Dress with a Pop of Color

    Making your own clothes give you the ability to create a wardrobe with just about every piece of clothing you can dream of, and you save thousands of dollars while doing it.  So if I want to add endless black wool dresses to my closet, I don't think twice.   Over the summer I was browsing one of my favorite blogs and spotted this Roksanda dress and loved every simple aspect of the dress.  Typically when I spot something I'm inspired by, I'm not so literal but this simple gorgeous dress needed very little tweaking to make it my own. I used this medium weight wool suiting that's the perfect stash builder.  Not only is it perfect for dresses, but equally perfect for fitted pants.  It sews, cuts and irons with ease. The pop of color on the sleeves is from my leftover silk Rag and Bone umber  The pattern used was McCalls M5927 for the bodice with the following alterations: -Add 1 1/2″ to the height of the neck front -Add 1″ to the height of the neck back -Removed 17" from the length of the sleeves -Added a 7"x32" pleated bell sleeve, lined in silk The skirt used was vintage Simplicity 6573 with the following alterations -Removed the waistband and added to the bodice bell-sleeve-midi-dress_mood bell-sleeve-midi-dress4 bell-sleeve-dress3 bell-sleeve-midi-dress5 bell-sleeve-midi-dress6 bell-sleeve-midi-dress  
  • Silk-Cotton Statement Jacket

    We all know how important it is to have all the basic wardrobe staples right? A crisp white shirt, perfect fitting jeans, and a pair of nude pumps to name a few. So how do you keep these items rotating seamlessly season to season? By mixing in a great statement piece of course! I love a good abstract, geo, or in this case ikat print. So as soon as I saw this fabric, I knew it was perfect for what I wanted to create! Here's what I used- Fabric: Oscar de la Renta Pink/Wine Ikat Silk-Cotton Satin Lining: Chocolate Brown Heavy Twill Lining Simplicity Pattern: #8093 The only change I made in the pattern was to shorten the sleeve to 3/4 length.  This silk-cotton is so nice to work with. It has the perfect amount of stiffness to achieve a structured look,  yet it's so soft and comfortable to wear. Not only did I use the heavy twill to fully line the jacket, I also used it as contrast fabric on the sides. Oh and by the way, I know I'm not the only one who hordes scraps of fabric. So why not create a little self rosette applique like I did. You can either sew it right on to the jacket or make a pin! I was so pleased with the outcome! I LOVE my new jacket, and I have so many items in my closet that would look great with it! Mission accomplished! Enjoy!

    Blazer3logo

    Blazer1

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    Blazer2

  • Oversized Wool Coat

    When it comes to purchasing fabric online the most asked question is how to determine what fabric for what application? My answer for a winter coat is always wool.  Because wool comes in so many variations and it tends to last I am wool's biggest fan.  Because I purchase 99% of my fabric online and I'm way too impatient to order samples, reading the fabric description and content is crucial.  I know if I want to make a more structured coat, I need to have a medium to heavy weight wool.  If you're not familiar with online fabric shopping that may sound completely foreign and overwhelming so I'll describe the process I took in selecting this fabric at moodfabrics.com for this oversized coat to make it a bit easier. I knew I wanted to make a structured coat and I wanted it to be gray, so I hover over fashion fabric from the moodfabrics.com home page, from there I click on wool and view all.  Under the color drop down, I select gray and because I knew I wanted a fabric without any pattern, under the pattern drop down I selected solid. This takes the selection from 31 pages down to a manageable 3.  From here I scan the fabric to see which shade I'm interested in and begin to eliminate the ones that are not medium to heavy weight which will be noted in the fabric description along with any other helpful info that will help you make a decision.  The great thing about moodfabrics.com is the image provided gives a true depiction of the fabric and feel without actually being able to feel it so make sure you view all the images provided.  The images for this gray Rag & Bone fabric I selected allowed me to see the true texture and structure of this fabric. This process gives me the ability to pin point exactly what I'm looking for and guarantees I will be satisfied with the selection when it arrives.   This coat was made using Vogue V8862 view C with the following alterations: -Removed 1.5" from the top of the collar and cut the collar on a curve which will round out the square edges of the collar -Removed the seam from the top of pattern piece #9  and bottom of pattern piece #1 -Added 3" to length -Used 2 layers of interfacing in the collar which will create a very structured oversized collar -Added side seam pockets -Fully lined the coat with a grey bemberg I had in my stash. Note: I used 3 yards of fabric for this coat This wool is fantastic, it cuts, sews and irons nicely and is very warm. Chandler's coat was made using this wool/cashmere coating grey-oversized-coat3_mood oversized-coat3 oversized-coat4 grey-oversized-coat6 oversized-coat oversized-coat5  
  • All About Dress Silhouettes

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    Hello, and welcome to another All About article from Mood! This time we're talking about dress silhouettes and shapes!

    There are so many kinds of dresses out there that it can be a little daunting trying to wrap our heads around their little differences, and so we wanted to collect a handful of some of the more well-known and popular styles and provide some insights about their designs and what makes them each unique!

    Perhaps you're an at-home hobbyist looking into educating yourself on some professional fashion designing, or maybe you're a professional seamstress looking for some references to collect for your own convenience? For anyone and everyone, this article is here to help! We've created images and paired them with details and other tidbits of information to help you get through your project. Take a look below and see what styles you're familiar with, what's new, and maybe even some dress styles you already own!

    trapezeTRAPEZE

    A TRAPEZE dress is a dress style that is narrow at the shoulders and very wide at the hem of the dress. It’s like an A-LINE dress, but the TRAPEZE dress has a much wider hem than the A-LINE, and they often end below the knee.

         

     

             

    tentTENT

    A TENT dress is a style that is wide like the TRAPEZE dress, but the hem is flounced. TENT dresses also do not fall below the knee like the TRAPEZE dress usually does. Wear one of these for a bit more flare than you would wear on a casual day!                   a_line

    A-LINE

    The A-LINE dress is a popular style whose silhouette is narrow at the shoulders and gradually flares out towards the hem of the dress. This is where it gets its name from, because it’s shaped like a capital letter “A.” These dresses usually end somewhere at the knee or higher, never below. A-LINE styles are great casual dresses, but semi-formal settings work well for them, too!            

     

    pencilPENCIL

    The PENCIL dress style is one that sports a straight and narrow cut, which makes it fit close to the body. In more modern fashion, PENCIL dresses can be found with rather short hem lengths, but their original design is usually a hem that falls to the knee. Depending on the design, these dresses are nice for office-wear.                  

    bellBELL

    BELL dresses are a beautiful style that are cut fitted at the bodice, and they have a big, wide skirt that billows out in a bell shape. These dresses can be both short and long with hems ranging anywhere from the knee to the ankle. These types of dresses are more popular for semi-formal to formal social events and gatherings.                

    balloonBALLOON

    BALLOON dresses have a similar shape to the BELL dress, because they have the fitted bodice at the top and a wide hem, but BALLOON dresses are loose and flow. They have all the fabric of a BELL dress without the bell shape, so the hem bounces with you as you walk. This is where the “balloon” part of their name comes from! This style is a very cute one to show off and is great for casual and semi-formal wear!                

    mermaidMERMAID

    The MERMAID dress is a very formal and long style of dress. It is cut straight and narrow like the PENCIL dress to the knee, and from there the skirt flows out into a flounced hem. This is where the “Mermaid” name comes from—the dress looks like a mermaid’s tail! Sometimes the “tail” of these dresses are long enough to be considered a dress train. They’re a very elegant style.                

    tshirtT-SHIRT

    The T-SHIRT dress is a combined style of a PENCIL dress with short sleeves! Taking the straight cut and adding the short sleeves gives this dress design the silhouette of a capital letter “T”! This, like the TENT dress, is another style to wear when you’re looking for a bit more flare!                  

    EmpireEMPIRE

    The EMPIRE dress silhouette comes with a fitted and very high “waistline” that sits just below the bust. This gives the wearer the appearance of having a higher waistline. From the bustline, the dress is cut straight and loose, so it skims right along the wearer’s shape and ends with a hem at the ankle. The skirt of these dresses is gathered, too, so while the skirt is cut straight along the body, it flows. This longer style is another that is for a more elegant and formal occasion.              

    charlestonCHARLESTON

    The CHARLESTON dress has a silhouette that is semi-fitted at the top, has a square shape along the hem, and is always designed to leave the arms uncovered. The entire fit is loose, though, so it’s not narrow like the PENCIL design or fitted like the BELL design. Probably the most notable piece of this design, however, is the dropped waistline which sits at the hips instead of the waist. Another more colloquial name for this dress style is the “Flapper dress”! It’s an iconic style that was very popular in 1920’s America.              

    sheathSHEATH

    The SHEATH dress is the same as the PENCIL dress, except longer! Straight and narrow cut. But while the PENCIL dress hem doesn’t fall below the knee, SHEATH dress hems do! These hems don’t fall to the ankle, but usually just below the knee—never past mid-calf.                  

    fitnflareFIT’N’FLARE

    And lastly, the beloved FIT’N’FLARE dress! These dresses are often mixed up with A-LINE dress, since the FIT’N’FLARE design also sports a narrow top and wider hem, but the FIT’N’FLARE style is always fitted at the waistline whereas the A-LINE dress is not! These dresses are very popular today and are great for both casual and formal-wear occasions! Plus, they look good on most body types!                 And there you have it! Hopefully you've got a good grasp now on the different types and styles of dresses available for you to incorporate into your designs and projects! Have you sewn any of these kinds of dress shapes before? Which are your favorites to work with?
  • Mood DIY: Hooded Bell Sleeve Fur Jacket w/ Free Sewing Template

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    The fur jacket trend doesn't seem to be fading as autumn slowly turns to winter, and honestly I can't complain. With all of Mood's new faux furs hitting the site, I've been dying to work with more of them.

    My first venture into faux fur sewing was just a couple months ago, with a long vest you can find right here (I also explain the best way to cut and sew with fur!). For this project, I made the body of the jacket almost the exact same way, however I chose to crop it to just 18". Then, of course, came the sleeves and hood.

    To save you some work, I drew up a template of the hood I made. It's big and cozy, and should fit most adults! Below, I'll be explaining an easy way to draft a bell sleeve pattern.

    Fabrics & materials used:

    Hood Template Layout DOWNLOAD HOOD TEMPLATE HERE

    If you've never drafted a sleeve before, it's easiest to alter a sleeve pattern that you already know fits. For this one, I took a pattern piece from a button up shirt. Since, it's from something more form fitting than a jacket, I thought I might need to change up the top as well, but after measuring the curve and the arm hole of my jacket, I discovered they were both the same length - perfect!

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    Next, I needed to create the bell shape. I began by cutting 5 evenly spaced, straight lines from the bottom of the sleeve until about 1/4" from the top.

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    Each was then spaced out until I had the desired length at the bottom of the bell. Between the center two strips, I left two inches, then 3" and 5" respectively going outward.

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    The sleeve should be symmetrical, so I did the same measurements on both sides.

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    Lastly, I just needed to trace and connect the dots. The top and sides are very similar to the original sleeve, but the bottom now creates a slight curve!

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    Once all the pattern pieces are drafted, they go together pretty easily. The actual sewing of the jacket probably only took an hour. The side hood panels go on either side of the rectangular strip and the whole thing attaches at the neckline of the jacket.

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    The lining pieces are the same, so they get sewn together similarly. To attach the lining to the fur, I sewed it right-sides together, leaving a small opening along the bottom back to put it right-side out. A quick slip-stitch closed it up!

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