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Sewing Tips

  • Mood Cosplay: Free GotG2 Star-Lord Jacket Pattern

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

    DOWNLOAD FREE TEMPLATE HERE

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

    Fabrics & materials used:  

    1. Paint Mixing

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

    2. Sleeve Ribbing

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

    3. Decorative Stitching

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

    4. Inserting Snaps

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

    6. Jacket Construction

    A. The Torso

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

    B. The Sleeves

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

    C. Collar & Waistband

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

    D. The Details

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

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

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

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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!

  • 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?
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