We’ve made significant improvements to Moodfabrics.com. We hope you like them. If you find any issues please Click Here to report them.

Sewing Tips

  • 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!
  • All About Skirt Silhouettes

    PREVIEW Just as there are plenty of dress shapes and silhouettes to choose from, skirts have their own line-up and applications, too! If it's your first time making a skirt or you're just looking for a reference to help research for your next project, we've got you covered!

    ALINEA-LINE

    An A-LINE design is a simple one that is fitted at the waist and gradually widens towards the hem of the skirt. With this design, it appears to have the shape of a capital letter “A.” The length of these skirts varies, but anywhere between mid-thigh and knee-height is common. It’s a flattering look for many body types and is easy to make, too! We’d suggest these fabrics if you’re looking to make a skirt with this design: Poplins, Brocades, and Tweeds!                

    BOXPLEATEDBOX-PLEATED

    The BOX-PLEATED skirt is a rather sophisticated look with its crisp folds and repeated pleats. The shape of the pleats can be maintained from the top to the bottom of the skirt, but this can vary, too, if you prefer the pleats to flow towards the hem of the skirt. The number and size of pleats across the skirt can be different too—big and small, a few to many! We’d suggest these fabrics if you’re looking to make a skirt with this design: Cottons, Silks, and Sateens!              

    TIEREDTIERED

    If you’re looking for a versatile style to work into your wardrobe, consider sewing yourself a tiered skirt! Tiered skirts are designed to highlight layers which are usually gathered to provide mobility and a slightly ruffled appearance. The layers can be either free-flowing or attached. Tiered skirts are a great opportunity for working with color-blocking, and changing the length of the tiers of your skirt can change your whole ensemble around! Click here for a look at a tiered skirt design we made here at Mood! We’d suggest these fabrics if you’re looking to make a skirt with this design: Jersey Knits, Crepes, and Viole!            

    MERMAIDMERMAID

    A MERMAID skirt is a more stylized design; the skirt is usually tight and fitted from the waist line to about the knee or lower before flouncing out. The flounce is usually long and asymmetrical and can even have a bit of a train behind the wearer. These skirts are often made using fabrics with good drape, since this is what likens the flounce to look like the end of a mermaid’s tail! These types of skirts are great for formal gatherings and ballroom occasions. We’d suggest these fabrics if you’re looking to make a skirt with this design: Crepe Back Satins, Silks, and Dupioni!              

    TRUMPETTRUMPET

    TRUMPET skirts are similar to MERMAID skirts, but the flounce on the end of the sheathed part of the skirt is usually shorter and has an even hemline. Also, where MERMAID skirts tend to be longer or to-the-floor in length, TRUMPET skirt hemlines are usually above mid-calf length. Paired with a blouse or a dress shirt, TRUMPET skirts can be great business-casual wear! We’d suggest these fabrics if you’re looking to make a skirt with this design: Satins, Suitings, and Sateens!                

    PENCILPENCIL

    PENCIL skirts are classy and stylish! They’re wonderful office wear or for when you want to meet up with friends. A PENCIL skirt is designed to have a straight shape that skims close to your silhouette without being too constricting. Depending on what you pair with it, pencil skirts can look really sharp! We’d suggest these fabrics if you’re looking to make a skirt with this design: Suitings, Sateens, and Wool!                

    BODYCONBODYCON

    BODYCON skirts are the most fitted design available. They are fitted tighter than PENCIL skirts and are usually made with fabric that stretches to ensure mobility. BODYCON skirts emphasize a fitted lower silhouette, so they’re often paired with a loose, flowing top or one that shows off one’s midriff! We’d suggest these fabrics if you’re looking to make a skirt with this design: Neoprenes, Jersey Knits, and Ponte.            

    TULIPTULIP

    TULIP skirts are a beautiful and elegant design. Their hemline scoops down a bit towards the bottom and overlaps once in the front to give the appearance of tulip petals folded over each other. This design is sometimes coupled with pleats at the waist to provide drape and flow. This type of skirt is another great option for office wear or for those days where you want to dress up an extra bit! We’d suggest these fabrics if you’re looking to make a skirt with this design: Silk Georgette, Ponte, and Silk Charmeuse!              

    WRAPWRAP

    Like the TULIP skirt, a WRAP skirt overlaps once in the front, but where the TULIP hemline is a little more consistent in design, WRAP skirt hemline is usually a bit more freeform. You’ll find anything from asymmetrical designs to even hemlines, and many even have ties that wrap around to the front, too. We’d suggest these fabrics if you’re looking to make a skirt with this design: Pique, Silks, and Suitings!                  

    HANDKERCHIEFHANDKERCHIEF

    HANDKERCHIEF skirts are an earthy type of skirt design that slightly resemble TIERED skirts; these skirts utilize the tiers, but they boast a triangular shape that juts loose and easy down from the waistline. They also highlight the use of many layers with thin fabric for a free-flowing skirt style that won’t risk a see-through mishap! This skirt style is very feminine and is great for casual outings. We’d suggest these fabrics if you’re looking to make a skirt with this design: Poplin, Silk Chiffon, and Silk Georgette!                

    HILOWHI-LOW

    HI-LOW skirts are gorgeous and chic. Their design doesn’t stray much, as its focus is on the difference of height between the front of its skirt hem and the back. The back of the hemline is always longer than the front which usually falls around mid-thigh. While flowing fabrics are common for this skirt design, stiffer fabrics like brocades are an option, too! We’d suggest these fabrics if you’re looking to make a skirt with this design: Brocades, Crepe Back Satin, and 4-Ply Crepe Silk!                

    SARONGSARONG

    SARONG skirts are a style that’s most popular as beach attire! Usually made of loose and unrestricting fabrics, these skirts are comfortable and perfect for lounging and having a good time. They’re like WRAP dresses, though SARONG dresses are usually accent with a flourish at the side, usually starting at the hipline. SARONG skirts are safest as casual-wear—comfort is their top priority! We’d suggest these fabrics if you’re looking to make a skirt with this design: Jersey Knit, 4-Ply Crepe Silk, and Poplin!              

    MINIMINI

    The MINI skirt—one of the three basic skirt designs, and the shortest! MINI skirts are popular designs for making with circle skirt patterns. They fall between mid-thigh and knee height and their panels can be gathered or flat. The choice is yours! We’d suggest these fabrics if you’re looking to make a skirt with this design: Pique, Denim, and Suede!                  

    MIDIMIDI

    A MIDI skirt is the second of the three basic skirt designs. Put simply, a MIDI is a skirt whose hemline falls around knee-height on the wearer. These, too, can be pleated or flat in design, so long as the length is maintained. Where MINI skirts often hug the wearer’s frame a bit closer (like an A-LINE), MIDI skirts look great with a gradual flare to a wider hem. Take advantage of a circle skirt pattern for this one! We’d suggest these fabrics if you’re looking to make a skirt with this design: Satin, Suiting, and Eyelet!              

    MAXIMAXI

    And finally, we have the MAXI skirt! MAXIs are a long style of skirt that ranges from comfy to fashionable! You’ll often find these made of jersey and other stretch knits, but don’t be fooled! MAXI skirts go beautifully with stiffer fabrics like tweeds and sateens, and they’re great for every season! Don’t be afraid to pair a light MAXI with a midriff tank or a heavy one with a turtle neck. This style is versatile and comfortable, so take advantage of it! We’d suggest these fabrics if you’re looking to make a skirt with this design: Tweeds, Sateens, and Jersey Knits!                 These are the more common skirt designs and silhouettes, but we tried to cover a wide range to help you get started! Which of these is your favorite style? What style will you make for your next project?  
  • Mood DIY: Paneled Workout Leggings

    DSC_0518a1

    The holidays are over, which means everyone is now scrambling to get healthy and work off all that feasting they did last week! Rather than go shopping and buy a whole workout outfit, why not make your own yoga pants? They can be customized to fit your exact style and body type, so they'll be the comfiest pants you own!

    Fabrics & materials used:

    DSC_0530a

    This project probably took about 30 minutes, start to finish, so if you're looking for an easy DIY to start off the new year, this one is absolutely perfect.

    To draft the pattern, I followed this sew-along that another blogger did this summer. To make them a little more sporty, I added the mesh panel to the bottom of each leg, which you can see above!

    leggings-diagram-final

    Once I drew up my pattern, all I needed to do was cut out the shape I wanted at the bottom. Since the mesh had a slightly tighter stretch than the jersey, I widened the mesh panels just slightly.

    DSC_0532a

    Since I don't have a serger, a zig-zag stitch did the trick just fine! I also added a 3" waistband to the top, skipping the elastic inside since the compression jersey stayed up fine without it. The selvedge of the mesh also looked pretty interesting so I chose to leave the leg bottoms unfinished.

    Are you going to be trying your own leggings? Which fabrics are you going to use?

  • Mood Style: New Year's Eve LBD

     IMG_2163a

    The pressure to find the perfect New Year's Eve dress is always high. Do you go sleek and sexy, or sparkly and fun? No matter what style you love, you can never go wrong with a little black dress!

    For this one, I kept the silhouette fairly simple and chose to mix it up with the details. Overall, it was a really fun make, and it's so cute that you hardly need extra jewelry!

    Fabrics & materials used:

    The pattern was self-drafted, but I drew up some diagrams to show how it all came together. To start, the front bodice is a 21"x13" rectangle that I transformed into 5 box pleats (each 1.25" wide). My model had a 34" bust, so you may need to adjust your initial rectangle and pleat sizes if you'll be making this yourself.

    Pleats

    Ultimately, I ended up with a 6"x13" rectangle with 1.25" pleats and .25" spaces in between. On the left and right sides, there's also .25" folded under; this acted as seam allowance when I sewed on the remainder of the bodice.

    Pleats 2

    The bodice side panels were 10.5" high so the pleats extend a few inches above it when sewn together. I cut out the shape below, and added in a large dart toward the front.

    Bodice

    IMG_2171

    The skirt is very similar to a basic circle skirt, with a 6" panel in the front to align with the bodice pleats. I drew up the shape of it below - it calls for one straight rectangle panel, and two semi-circle panels (one on each side of the rectangle).

    skirt

    The back closed up with a 9" invisible zipper, and I finished up the dress with some silver metal straps. Each was hand sewn on and connected to a 4.5" triangle on the back.

    IMG_2181

    Paired with some DIY red bottom heels, and the perfect outfit is complete!

    IMG_2189a

    So what look are you putting together for this NYE? Is the LBD your style, or are you going metallic like our other style blogger?

  • 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!:

    .

    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!:

    .

    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!:

    .

    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!

  • All About Dress Silhouettes

    Dress_Silhouettes_Graphic_final

    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?
  • Leather Belt DIY

    featuredimage_leatherbeltdiy

    Belts are an essential part of any wardrobe, but they're often a rather pricey detail for such a small accessory, don't you think? Especially in the men's department; even though belts sold at stores boast high prices and quality, sometimes they don't even last a whole year! That's why I wanted to try making one myself and seeing how much of the price I could cut down. I was pleasantly surprised with the results, so I wanted to share them with all of you, too.

    This DIY is applicable for all types of fabrics or materials used for making belts, so whether you use a leather material like I did or even something like canvas or cotton, this tutorial will be good for you!

    Here's a list of what I used:

    Materials List

    - .25 YDs of Midnight Bottega Basketwoven Cow Leather - Any belt buckle - 279 Dark Midnight 100m Gutermann Sew All ThreadMood Brand Lia Sewing MachineDritz Grommet Plier Kit or  Dritz Tapered AwlDritz Tailor's ChalkDritz Size 3/9 Sharp Needles Optional: - Leather Binder or Rubber Cement - Piece of soft scrap fabric Style 2026 100/16 Singer Pins & Needles (good if using thick fabric/material) Making a belt is surprisingly easy. Don't be too intimidated by how long the page might seem; I think seeing will be easier than trying to just write the steps out, so there are lots of pictures with my notes! You can use the fabric that I listed in the materials list, but you can apply these tutorial instructions to pretty much any fabric you'd like! Once you have the basic idea down, sewing a belt together is a quick job! .

    IMG_1499

    The first thing you should do is determine what buckle you want to use! Buckles range in all different sizes, styles, and widths, and whatever buckle you use will be crucial to deciding what size your belt will be. The buckle I used is  the bronze one in the picture above, so any measurements I talk about specifically are designed for that one.

    IMG_1506

    Since you should have more than enough extra fabric to work with from your 1/4 yard of material, cut a couple of pieces off in the direction of the grain your fabric will be in for your final product and measure out how wide your belt will be. Don't just go by the width of the buckle's right side; your belt needs to be able to slide comfortably over the side where the clasp will rest on the left side. Sometimes the left side width is smaller than the right side because of rounded edges, so keep this in mind!

    IMG_1505

    Take your test pieces and try them out. In the top buckle, 1.5" in. fit comfortably while the bottom one need an 1" in. width. It's very useful to test out the widths before attaching your buckles! After this, you should test to see what length you need for your strip of fabric. Take a tape measure and determine the width of your hips, or wherever your belt will be sitting when you wear it. Whatever number you come up with, add about 8-10" in. This should be the length of the fabric for your belt altogether! Keep this number in mind when you go to cut your fabric. I wanted a belt that was a little longer, and so I went with a 45" in. length and a 1" in. width.

    20161117_110214

    Once you know how long and wide you need your belt to be, get to cutting! If your fabric is thick enough, you should only need one cut, but if you have a thinner fabric, you may want to double up or even add some thick interlining between the layers. A belt doesn't need to be incredibly thick, but it should be durable! You want your belts to last a long time. This fabric has a backing and is thick enough with just one layer, so I only needed to cut one piece for the belt.

    Just a note to add: the piece I cut here isn't the piece I used for my final product--it's wider. I wanted to make sure it would be big enough to see the differences. I trimmed this piece down further to the 1" in. measurement I needed for my bronze buckle after initially cutting this piece.

    20161117_111604

    If your fabric has a pretty obvious grain, you may need to go back and trim the edges. With this leather fabric, I wanted to trim the sides so the edges lined up nicely with the squares of the basketwoven strips.

    20161117_113200

    After you've trimmed your fabric down, you should trim the tail ends of your fabric strip! At least one tail end should be cut straight so that it has cornered edges. The other tail end you could be squared off as well, or you could round it off like I did here:

    20161118_140117(0)

    For this tutorial, the squared off end will be hidden and the rounded edge will be visible when worn! Depending on the shape you cut it into, it can change the entire look of your belt, so have fun and experiment!

    You should also take the time to double-check that your strip of fabric for your belt will fit now that it's trimmed down. Remember, the extra 8-11" in. will the be extra tail end of your belt that slips away in the belt loops of your pants when you wear it. You don't want this to be too long or too short; too long, and the belt will look too big, but too short, and the belt will look too small for you!

    20161117_150007

    Once you have your piece shaped how you like it, go ahead and top-stitch your fabric . Make sure your bobbin as well as your spool of thread on top are full enough that you can stitch all around the border of your belt in one go! While this isn't mandatory, if will look best if you only have to back-stitch on the first squared end since it'll be hidden away later on! Work slowly and carefully--this top stitch will keep your belt together, but it will also look beautifully decorated if it's done well!

    For my belt, I did a top-stitch very close to the edge so that it was centered on the strips of the basketweave. If you're using a different fabric, feel free to guide to a 5/8" or 1/4" in. seam allowance. Start on the bottom corner of the tail end (where you can see I left the threads on the left side), go down the end, and then pivot at the corner to turn and continue all the way down the length of your belt.

    20161117_150522

    Once you get to the other end, top-stitch according to whatever shape you made your other end into. Try to make sure this looks clean! Continue back down to the other end where you started again, back-stitch once your reach your the starting point, and trim your loose threads.

    IMG_1512

    When you're done top-stitch, it should look nice and pretty!

    IMG_1514

    Once your belt piece is done, put it to the side. We need to make a stay-loop for the belt now! Cut a small strip of your fabric that you're using. It should be thinner than the width you used for your belt and long enough to wrap around the width of your belt with a little extra to overlap with. Keep the edges squared. Make sure it's trimmed and nice, and then top-stitch it in the same way that you did your belt piece.

    IMG_1515

     Next, you need to hand-sew your loop together. It shouldn't take much thread, but be extra careful if you're working with a thicker fabric. Invest in a thimble for hand-sewing with thicker fabrics--it'll save you a world of hurt!

    IMG_1521

    When your loop is complete, slip it onto your belt!

    IMG_1523

    20161118_105414

    20161118_145639

    For the next step, we need to cut a hole for where the arm of the buckle will go through. Measure about 1.5" in. on the end of the squared tail end of your belt and mark this spot in the center of the belt's width and then use your grommet hole cutter to punch a hole into the spot you marked. At this point, you could use your leather binder (if you're using leather like I did) or rubber cement to coat the raw edges of this hole you just punched to keep the fabric from coming apart. It's not completely necessary, but I recommend it if you're worried about the fabric fraying!

    You should now be able to slip the arm of your buckle through and fold the tail end to wrap around and behind the back of the buckle.

    IMG_1528

    Use some Wonder Clips to hold the tail end in place and sew along the tail end to secure your buckle.

    And last but not least, we need to punch in holds for securing your belt when you wear it!

    IMG_1535

    Try on your belt and slip it through your now-installed buckle. Find where you need the belt to be tightened to so it sits comfortably where you'll be wearing it and mark this point with your tailor's chalk. Remove your belt and use a tape measure to mark where the other holes need to be. I marked two on each side of the first marking I made about 1" in. apart each. This will allow you to use your belt regardless if you need it to be looser or tighter!

    20161118_105235

    When you have your markings where you'd like them, take your grommet hole punch again and get to work punching holes over your markings. Here's a little tip: use a napkin or scrap piece of softer fabric to hold against the front when you punch the holes to keep the front of your fabric from coming out messy!

    20161118_105711

    Clean buckle holes for your belt! Again, use your leather binder or rubber cement to seal these.

    IMG_1552

    IMG_1553

    And now you should be done! Slip it on and try out your new fashion-forward belt you made for half the cost of what you see in stores. If you need to buy the tools, making a belt can be a little extra money, but once you have the tools to use, you can easily make more for a small fraction of the cost!

  • Zodiac Gift Guide

    Zodiac sign readings and horoscopes might not always be completely accurate, but they can be fun to look up and share with others! They give little insights to the type of person you might feel you are, or they might just give you another perspective to see things from that you hadn't thought of before. A fresh look is always exciting, so we wanted to put together a kind of fabric horoscope that would do this for everyone to try! Combined with DIYs and other sources of inspiration linked for your convenience, we've tried to narrow down and tailor a fabric and design for each Zodiac Sign that could help you find a style choice for yourself, or even for a friend or loved one as a gift! Take a look below and see which of our sign designs you like best! No one is made up of a single Zodiac sign, so don't be surprised if you find yourself loving more than one! There are only positive vibes in these designs--have fun with it!

    Aries: Sequins, high energy, and bright colors!

    Aries signs are usually know for being very self-motivated and passionate, and that energy should shine out! We think sequins fit them for this purpose! Sequins glitter in any light and make a statement the moment they're seen, which can be a great asset. Take a look at our latest stock of sequin fabrics and trims here! Bright colors would fit this sign as well. If sequins aren't your thing, a bright, strong color can be just as effective for showing off that confident personality. Consider this DIY, especially if you're iffy on sporting a sequin piece! There's no shame in going for a more mature or muted design. You can look just as fierce in this style!

    And with all that energy to use, plenty of you probably try to keep up with a daily workout plan! (If you don't already, consider trying it out for fun!) This phone case armband DIY will make it easy to keep in touch during your workouts or to carry your music with you. Music can make a world of difference during a workout and can be a great motivator for both pros and novices!

    For some Other Inspirations, check out this Mood Trend Report: Trend Report: Milan Fashion Week | Spring 2017

    .

    Taurus: Tweeds, stable but comforting and warm!

    Taurus is known for being a sturdy sign where comfort and stability are key! A warm skirt or jacket made of tweed will last forever if you take good care of it (and Taurus signs will!) and they'll look professional. The muted colors tweeds usually come in will also give off a mature appearance. Take a look at our latest stock of tweed fabrics here! Consider this color-block wool skirt DIY if you have little experience with working with tweeds! Practical and comfortably conservative, this skirt is easy to assemble and will maintain a long lifespan with you!

    And when you're ready to bundle up at home and take that time for yourself, consider doing so with this handy reading pillow! Fashioned with multiple pockets for storing writing and/reading materials, this pillow project is great at multi-tasking as it is at relaxing! (Plus it's super cute!)

    For some Other Inspirations, check out this Mood Trend Report: Trend Report: Fall 2016 Office Fashion and Styles

    .

    Gemini: Brocades, versatile, and creative!

    Geminis have a lot going on in their heads creatively, and fashion is a great medium to express that through! Fabrics that are organized with a lot of detail are great for this purpose! Some might think these styles are too "busy," but when crafted carefully (and with your natural expertise!) into your style, they can look stunning! Brocades are perfect for this! Fabrics with duality are also appealing for these signs, because it allows them to switch up the style without having to find a new piece! Take a look at our latest stock of brocade fabrics here! Consider this bomber jacket DIY for a versatile design that can keep up with your need for something refreshing! Reversible and beautiful, a brocade bomber jacket will be just the thing you've been looking to add to your wardrobe!

    Another hidden gem to add to your accessory collection is a cord and chain bracelet! Though small in size, a bright and colorful piece of jeweley can bring your entire look together!

    For some Other Inspirations, check out this Mood Trend Report: New York Fashion Week Trend Report | Fall 2016

    .

    Cancer: Performance Fabrics, energetic, and positive!

    Cancer signs are sensitive to the energy and emotions around them, and that sensitivity comes out best through positive interaction and activities! Hobbies like dancing and working out are natural outlets for you, which is why performance fabrics are a great fit! The more the fabric and outfit flows, the better, and it'll follow with you as you dance your way through your day. Take a look at our latest stock of performance fabrics here! Athletic and charismatic, Cancer signs feel best when they're sharing their excitement and energy with others, making you one of the best influences on the people around you. Solid, bright colors are good, but a print will help you reach out well, too! Consider this DIY for a flowing skirt and matching crop top that won't restrict your blinding and sweet personality! Continue sharing your positive outlook and it will come back to you!

    This adorable watermelon purse will bring an extra slice of energy to your wardrobe! With its shine and bright colors, just looking at it will lift your spirits!

    For some Other Inspirations, check out this Mood Trend Report: Trend Report: New York Fashion Week | Spring 2017

    .

    Leo: Faux furs, intelligent, and warm tones!

    Strong and confident are the usual qualities of this sign's focus, but they're more than just a proud face! Their intelligence is what makes them so strong-minded, and their confidence is what drives their action-oriented personalities. But for all their motivation , they can also be reserved and quiet in their personalities, eager to be there for others. Faux fur is show-stopping and needs a wearer who's bold enough to wear such a fabric confidently! Combined with warm tones, this fabric's style shows off the inviting personalities of Leos. Take a look at our latest stock of faux fur fabrics here! Consider this DIY for a simple but powerful faux fur vest piece! It's a stylish garment that will make you look and feel like a rock star that the world is waiting to see.

     What better way to show off your intelligent disposition than with a neck tie or bow tie? Try this DIY with a paisley fabric to add a more familiar or personable touch to your image!

    For some Other Inspirations, check out this Mood Trend Report: Trend Report: Brocades on the Runway .

    Virgo: Viscose, reliable, and modest!

    Virgo signs are loyal and positively analytical, making them reliable and dependable friends! Their desire to be prepared fuels this reliable quality, and while they prioritize being ready for most situations, they see this as merely a logical way to live. This makes them a fairly modest and admirable people. Viscose fabrics are both comfortable and adaptable, which fits Virgo signs well! Viscose has great stretch so it can conform and flow when needed, and its subtle sheen makes it a beautiful addition for many designs! Take a look at our latest stock of  viscose fabrics here! Consider this t-shirt dress DIY for a cute and comfy look to make with your favorite Viscose fabrics!

    And for all the modest and reserved design one might think of along with a Virgo, shake it up with an accessory that stands out! Design your own faux fur pompom key-chain and show off to the world that you may be dependable, but you don't mind spoiling yourself from time-to-time, too (which is good!).

    For some Other Inspirations, check out this Mood Trend Report: Trend Report: Fall Pantone Forecast

    .

    Libra: Velvets, balanced fabrics, and soft textures!

    Libra signs are probably the softest and most cooperative sign, generally speaking, and they're good at being around other people (because they love to be around them!). They are a very balanced sign in that they can get along with most kind and good-natured people easily, making them very pleasant company. A nice Lyons velvet or stretch velvet could be great for this sign! The colors that velvet comes in are usually easy on the eyes, which is pleasing to both the wearer and passersby. Velvets are also soft, which would be comfortable to the gentle minds of the Libra sign. Take a look at our latest stock of  velvet fabrics here! Consider making a velvet dress with this DIY! This dress has a lovely flare and a tapered fit that's perfect for the fall season.

    For a little bit more flare, add an accessory like these tassel earrings! Another simple assembly project, these earrings will jump your ensemble up from casual to dazzling!

    For some Other Inspirations, check out this Mood Trend Report: Trend Report: Paris Fashion Week | Spring 2017

    .

    Scorpio: Leathers, resourceful, and wise!

    Scorpios are a brilliant sign known for being the truest of friends, and their passion for others makes them resourceful and assertive when they need to protect others. They are wise with their loyalty and honest in all their efforts. Truth can be a big deal to them. This is why leather fabrics fit them so well! Leathers are worn and beautiful, and they're strength makes them durable and long-lasting. Take a look at our latest stock of  leather and faux leather fabrics here! For a brave and confident sign like this, a style has to match to them! We think this bomber jacket with a twist DIY would be perfect for Scorpio, because it takes a bold and confident person to both create and pull off this style! Scorpios who are confident about strutting through in a jacket like this will look fantastic!

    Don't think we've forgotten about the leather! A hand-crafted bag like this messenger bag/backpack combination DIY is what a Leo might be looking for! Multi-styled accessories like this are hard to come by, just like true friends!

    For some Other Inspirations, check out this Mood Trend Report: Trend Report: Satin Draping

    .

    Sagittarius: Guipure Lace, a extroverted, and enthusiastic!

    A wandering soul with a heart for exploring, Sagittarius signs enjoy their freedom! This sign is very extroverted and loves engaging with people and the outside world, and being dressed for it is important! Things like statement pieces and conversation starters are perfect for this sign. Other great pieces are ornate fabrics for going out to socialize, like guipure lace! With scalloped edges and geometric designs, these intricate fabrics are gorgeous and stand out in a crowd. This complex design will reflect this sign's complex and interesting personality! Take a look at our latest stock of  guipure lace fabrics here! Consider trying this Lace Kimono DIY for a quick and easy garment that looks beautiful and stunning!

    And to mix it up a bit, try dressing up a simple shirt or dress collar with a hand-made removable collar! These are a lovely way to play up your look without making any permanent alterations to your clothing--no strings attached!

    For some Other Inspirations, check out this Mood Trend Report: Trend Report: Abstract Prints

    .

    Capricorn: Cotton prints, honest, and rational!

    Capricorn signs are wonderful people who should be valued for their directness and honesty! Interacting with people like this is easy, because you never have to second guess what they're thinking--they'll tell you themselves! Their presence can be comforting in that way, and they'll always help in the most rational way they can see themselves. Their truthful efforts make them responsible and capable people, and their self-control is admirable. A fabric like cotton--tried, traditional, and true--is a perfect fit for this sign! Sport a cotton print to add a little style without having to put in too much extra effort (though they'll appreciate the extra effort, too!). Take a look at our latest stock of cotton prints fabrics here! Consider this plaid flannel shirt DIY to make for yourself or someone you know! Flannel and cotton shirts are pieces that can look incredible when their corners are crisp and their designs are sleek. Take the time to carefully put together a shirt like this, and this sign will be thoroughly impressed to hear you made it yourself!

    While a bolder print may not be your thing, changing up your style or combining it with one that your comfortable with can be refreshing! Try making yourself a pair of these custom fit leggings for a chic and comfortable style!

    For some Other Inspirations, check out this Mood Trend Report: Trend Report: NYFW Fall Forecast | Spring 2017 .

    Aquarius: Silk Charmeuse, innovative, and elegant!

    Aquarians are often noted for their attention to detail and their never-ending effort to improve, even when others think they're already at their best! This is because they constantly have new ideas that they think their project would look better with, and they don't mind getting their hands a little dirty to do it. Hard work always pays off for this sign! But for all their readiness to do the hard labor, they'll appreciate looking good, too, because they're good enough to balance both! A beautiful silk charmeuse  fits this sign. There's nothing better than someone who can do hard work and look elegant doing it! Take a look at our latest stock of silk charmeuse fabrics here! Consider trying out this ribbon tie blouse DIY made with silk charmeuse! It's a cute and dainty style, but that doesn't meant you can't get down to business and be taken seriously wearing it! Show them how it's done!

    Consider this velvet choker DIY for making an every-day accessory that's subtle yet stylish. Hold your head high knowing you've got the right ideas to take on your day!

    featuredimage

    For some Other Inspirations, check out this Mood Trend Report: Trend Report: Cotton Eyelets .

    Pisces: Silk Chiffons, artistic, and sophisticated!

    Truly a child of the arts, Pisces signs may thrive best through a creative outlet that lets them express emotions and their naturally intuitive thoughts! Clothing designs and styles that are too stiff or modern may seem boring, so look for or create your own patterns that help you feel right in your own skin. Ornate sleeves or decorative trims paired with smooth and shiny fabrics might fit your tastes better than others! A silk chiffon could be your perfect go-to fabric for this. These flow beautifully, feel smooth, and look like they're from a different time.  Take a look at our latest stock of silk chiffon fabrics here! Consider this buttoned sleeve shirt DIY that uses silk chiffon for a style that will make you feel both modern and elegant!

    For an accessory that incorporates aspects of nature or flowers, try making this fabric floral crown DIY! This is another cute and elegant piece to share!

     

    For some Other Inspirations, check out this Mood Trend Report: Trend Report: London Fashion Week | Spring 2017

  • Mood DIY: How to Reupholster a Chair Cushion

     IMG_1268a

    Everyone has a chair that could stand to have some new life breathed into it. Whether it's been in your family forever, or you just picked it up at a thrift store last week, chances are it probably needs to be reupholstered. Luckily, it's not difficult! This post will outline how to recover a cushion on a chair or stool. Most of these detach very easily, with just a few staples, nails, or screws. Fabrics and tools required:

    diy chair reupholster

    I started with this lovely wooden chair; it was a little beat up, but it was nothing a little sanding and stain couldn't fix. The cushion however, was another story - stiff, cracked, and hardly comfortable.

    diy chair reupholster

    A couple nails in the back of the seat came out pretty easily and I was able to shimmy the cushion out of the slot it rested in. Since I wasn't trying to save the original vinyl, I wasn't too careful with keeping it intact as I tore it off. Small upholstery nails tacked it into the sides of the base wood, so I removed them as well.

    If you're looking to recover a cushion exactly the way it was, without adding any extra batting or foam, you could carefully remove the original fabric and use it as a pattern. Instead, I traced the base of my seat and added 3" around the sides to make sure that I'd have enough to wrap over the new batting.

    For the batting, I cut one layer exactly the same size as the wood, as well as 3 more layers progressively 1" smaller. You could easily add or remove layers depending on how cushy you'd like your new chair!

    diy chair reupholster

    After placing the batting on top of the wooden base, I stretched my upholstery fabric over the entire thing. I started with one staple in each of the four sides, and then worked my way around so the fabric would be evenly taut.

    diy chair reupholster

    If your base is more than a 1/2" thick, you could wrap your fabric around and staple it directly to the bottom, but since mine was so thin I had to tack it on the sides.

    diy chair reupholster

    To secure the extra fabric on the bottom, I added a bit of tacky glue and left some binder clips around the entire thing for an hour. You could also glue or staple a layer of non-fraying fabric to the bottom, hiding your raw edges.

    IMG_1270

    All-in-all, it was a quick and fun project; and the result is adorable!

    Have you ever recovered a seat cushion? Are you going to try doing it now? Tell me what fabric you're using!

10
1 2 3 4 5 ... 7 NEXT