The summer is the perfect time to show off your skills and create beautiful designs, like cut out dresses and bubble skirts. But, the last thing you want to do this summer is pass out from the heat. The key to avoiding this? Using the right fabrics, of course! Whether you're touring the festival circuit, relaxing at a family cook out, or spending a day at the beach with bae, these fashionable fabrics will keep you cool, calm, and complimented.
- Before I started creating my own clothes, I had no clue textiles had so many variations. Let me be honest, when I heard someone mention a seersucker suit I thought seersucker was a brand. Little did I know, it was one of my favorite warm weather fabrics every created. If you're not familiar with seersucker, it's a lightweight fabric more often in a stripe that has a puckered textured. Not sure if you get the gist, but trust me when I say it's classic sophisticated and very versatile.
- This wrap top was made using this red and white regatta seersucker from moodfabrics.com that's lightweight, very comfortable, easy to sew and cut and a summertime must have. If you have another color in mind, don't worry here is a great assortment from moodfabrics.com to get you started.
- This top was made using this Burdastyle 06/2011 #121A downloadable pattern with the following alterations:
- Added 3" to the length of the pattern
- Added a 4" band to the bottom of the top
- Added 2 75"x 4" waist wraps
- Added a 3" seam waist wrap opening
- Added a 24" wide by 20" long sleeve. Gathered the sleeve by adding three machine basting stitches down the length of the sleeve and securing the stitches.
- Chandler's dress was made using my Mini Jadore Marie pattern with alterations.
1.) Curves, curves, curves!Plus size fashion is all about showing off the body you have, and there's no better way to do that than a body con dress, or a slinky evening gown! Throw on a fur shawl to take these looks to the next level. Exited about elegance? Pick up these fabrics at Mood!
2.) Crop TopsCrop tops come in every variety imaginable, from sleeveless to sweater, and it's clear fashion cannot get enough of these belly baring beauts. Throw on some denim overalls for a casual summer outfit, or let the crop top take center stage with a simple pair of jeans. Create some crops with these fabulous fabrics!
3.) Body Suits and JumpsuitsRompers may have recently been all the rage, but you'll be jumping for joy in these curve accentuating jumpsuits and body suits. Perfect for walking down the runway or playing in the park, pair bodysuits with a circle skirt or some high waisted shorts. Want your own playful playsuit? Try these fun fabrics!
4.) VelvetNothing compliments a body better than a soft and sensual fabric, like velvet. The dramatic drape juxtaposes beautifully with some tension in the taut material. Let velvet speak for itself with a simple cocktail dress, or experiment with velvet bodysuits and crop tops. Down with dramatic? Add flair to your wardrobe with these beautiful fabrics.
5.) High Waisted PantsHigh Waisted Pants are a powerful look for the powerful woman. Strut your stuff at that important business meeting, or go explore the city with these versatile, and comfortable, slacks. Pair with a blazer and a body suit for a look that goes from day to night with the blink of an eye. Looking for some powerful pants? Try these fabrics.
6.) Making your own clothesThe DIY trend is spreading, and plus size fashion is picking up what it's putting down. Project Runway winner Ashley Nell Tipton is inspiring plus size women everywhere to take control of their fashion and start making their own clothes with these beautiful patterns she's designed for Simplicity. Get creative with these fabrics!
7.) SheerAlthough many may not like the trend of plus size women showing their bodies, these models prove that confidence is key. Sheer body suits over dark bras, or see through dresses thrown over colorful bikini sets are perfect for cooling down in the summer heat. Are you cheering for sheer? Try these fabrics!
Aries, March 21 to April 19Aries, the Ram, is the sign of confidence, hard work and honesty. An Aries doesn’t have time for frills, therefore their clothes need to be comfortable and keep up with their physical lifestyle. This Bamboo and Cotton Knit Fleece in Almond is perfect for a pair of comfy, breathable, and stylish joggers to sport around town or wear on late night food runs with friends. Pair with a crop sweater made of Peach Waffle Sweater Knit! With confidence, an Aries glides seamlessly into eveningwear, especially in an elegant gown made from this Wineberry and Black Floral Printed Silk Charmeuse, the favored fabric of 1930s screen sirens.
Taurus April 20-May 20Taurus, the bull, is stubborn, yet patient, believing in quality over quantity. A typical summer day for a Taurus can involve anything from tending their garden, to searching the stores for the best deals and showing off their new digs at music festivals. A Taurus needs versatile fashion to keep up with their ever-changing lifestyle, and a romper made of this beautiful Italian Orange Patchwork Printed Batiste Cotton is sure to make a statement wherever they go. For an evening look, Taurus can be seen trotting around in a skirt made of this Purple and Beige Fancy Beaded Tulle, a statement look with quality fabric. For an edgy look, a body suit made from this Off-White Laser-Cut Scuba Knit Neoprene is sure to keep the attention on Taurus.
Gemini May 21 to June 20Gemini, the twins, is an adaptable and curious sign. Always looking for the latest ways to have fun and experience life, Geminis love exchanging ideas with other signs. This cool and funky Italian Black and Multi-color Abstract Jersey is perfect to fashion into a wrap dress for hanging out at the local coffee shop or traveling to different cities. When between looks, dress down in a stunning kimono style evening robe made from this beautiful Black, Red Yucca and Linden Green Floral Printed Silk Charmeuse. Once the Gemini steps out of their evening gown and into the evening, they need a cocktail dress of this funky and individualistic Purple and Black Paisley Printed Silk Chiffon.
Cancer June 21 to July 22Cancer, the crab, are not as intimidating as they might appear. This emotional and loyal sign loves to be creative, and their time is best spent at home enjoying the company of good friends. Whether it’s some good barbecue at a family cookout, or a pool party with longtime friends, a midi skirt from this Dusty Blue Lambretta Scooter Cotton-Poly Chambray let’s Cancer relax in style. This beautiful Metallic Gold and Pink Floral Brocade is an excellent choice for a Cancer on their way to a cocktail party. The emotions of Cancer are reflected wonderfully in this Multi-color Large-Scale Waxed Cotton African Print with additional Inlaid Print, and ruffled dress from this pattern would compliment the creative side of Cancer. Need inspiration? Check out this ruffled dress by our style blogger Nikki Brooks-Revis!
Leo, July 23 to August 22Leo, the Lion, is passionate, brave, and generous. This ride or die sign is always on the hunt for adventure, whether that means staying at a hostel in a mysterious city, or trying something new at the local food festival. Leos’ love of being admired is sure to lead them to this fabulous Ivory and Brown Silky Embossed Stretch Faux Fur, perfect for a vest to accompany the Leo in their travels. For a more sophisticated look, try this Angel Blue and Creampuff Floral Novelty Embroidered Mesh, perfect for a garden party dress.
Virgo, August 23 to September 22Virgo, the Virgin, is the purest sign. Practical, analytical, and kind, a Virgo loves enjoying nature, especially on a beautiful summer day. An organic picnic on the riverside is the perfect summer setting for a Virgo, and this breathable, eco-friendly bamboo jersey knit fabric in green is perfect for a comfy and casual summer dress. Or, turn this Italian Orange and Green Paisley Cotton Batiste into comfy, yet sophisticated Harem pants for a breezy summer evening.
Libra, September 23 to October 22Libra, the scales, are a just and gracious sign. They love being social, and enjoy playing team sports, as long as everyone plays fair. You can find the Libra rowing, playing tag football, or just enjoying the heat in a comfy t-shirt made from this White Paisley Burnout Jersey. Libra is as elegant as they are casual, and should balance their t-shirts with a dramatic peplum made from this Fuchsia Stretch Nylon-Rayon Ponte Roma. The elegant and romantic feel of this Forest Night and Bright Gold Floral Printed Crinkled Velvet would be perfect for a powerful bodysuit to accentuate the grace and justice of the Libra.
Scorpio, October 23 to November 21Scorpio, the scorpion, is a survivor. They’re passionate, stubborn, and resourceful, so the perfect partner to take on a camping trip, hiking, or simply making s'mores in a backyard fire pit. They love being right, enjoy spending time with their oldest friends, and are very expressive. Toasting marshmallows on an open flame has never been so comfortable in a cape made from this Italian Charcoal Wool Coating. For warm summer afternoons spent hiking, an off the shoulder crop top made from this Hawaiian Blue and Mandarin Soda Can Waxed Cotton African Print will keep Scorpio's cool, cute, and comfortable.
Sagittarius, November 22 to December 21Sagittarius, the centaur, enjoys philosophy and being outdoors. Don’t let their wise demeanor fool you, though, as they love to horse around and have an excellent sense of humor. A Sagittarius can be seen fishing on a peaceful lake, or pranking life guards at the beach with cardboard shark fins. This Italian Mustard and Blue Geometric Rayon Crepe is perfect for a classy bathing suit cover at the summers hottest beach party. Throw it over a bathing suit made of this fun Avocados Digitally Printed on a Stretch Neoprene/Scuba Knit! And for warming up in the evening after a long day at the beach, a jacket from this Ivory Shaggy Faux Fur is perfect to keep the Sagittarius comfortable.
Capricorn, December 22 to January 19Capricorn, the goat, is responsible and disciplined. Often the leader of the group, they appreciate strong family traditions and music, and are goal-oriented individuals. A Capricorn needs a traditional fabric that allows them to have fun with the fam and reach their goals, and this African Print cotton in green and pink geometrics is perfect for a bold tunic to take to the family reunion or wear to casual Fridays at work, or go for a more graceful look in a maxi dress made of this Butterscotch Floral Re-Embroidered Lace Panel.
Aquarius, January 20 to February 18Aquarius, the water-bearer, is the most humanitarian of the signs. They are progressive and original individuals, and have the most fun when they are helping others. Summer is spent volunteering at local youth shelters, and raising money to help fight the power, while taking their friends out for a well needed brunch. A crop top from this Italian Beige and Purple Floral Printed Jersey paired with some boyfriend jeans is perfect for volunteering with flair. An Aquarius can even take their humanitarian spirit into evening wear, with this Green and Blue Iridescent Two-Toned Paillette Sequins on a Stretch Backing, perfect for charity balls and fundraising galas.
Pisces, February 19 to March 20Pisces, the fish, wakes up late and heads straight to the local swimming hole. They value their rest, and are very gentle and wise. Their deep connection to water makes them the most compassionate and intuitive of the signs, relying on the calm waters a hot summer’s day to relax them. The slippery fish needs a fabric that can easily allow them to swim and dry off quickly, and this Geometric Neoprene is perfect! Begging to be stitched into a body suit turned bathing suit in a pinch, the Pisces will love the scuba suit type material. Throw on a beach cover made of this breathable White Bamboo Stretch French Terry, and this Pisces is ready to party.
this white/navy striped cotton woven at moodfabrics.com this kicked off my warm weather lust. This cotton has a slightly raised texture with stretch in one direction. It's lightweight and perfect for warm weather. Chandler's dress was made using my leftover Rag & Bone black and white striped cotton woven which looks very close to my fabric and performs almost identical. The ruffle was made using the fabric I used for my top. The pattern I used for this top is vintage McCalls 4722 with the following pattern alterations: -Removed the buttons from the front of the pattern by cutting the front on the fold. -Added a seam and a 9"invisible zipper to the back. -Added an additional seam across the back 8" from the top of the back -Cut 2 4.5"x 60" pieces of fabric and attached them to the shoulder, front and back seams pleating as I attached. -Pleated the sleeve and added a sleeve cuff with two buttons. Chandler's dress was made using my Marie Mini Jadore pattern
1. ) Tight FabricsAn active-wear classic, the tight fabrics of the runway are reminiscent of the spandex trend in the 80's. A tight spandex jumpsuit paired with heels is the perfect way to strut around the city, and short leather pants and a flat brimmed hat help you sweat it out without ever going out. Get the look with these flexible fabrics:
2.) NylonWater repellent and reflective, nylon is the perfect accessory to evening jogs and morning coffee runs. These intense nylon dresses are a great addition to any relaxing athlete's wardrobe. Nab these nylons:
3.) Sports Bras as Crop TopsWhy wear a shirt when you can just wear a sports bra? These brazen brassieres have been seen flashing their way down the runway, and now you can add some flare to your underwear simply by showing it. Emboldened by these bras? Get your hands on these fabrics:
4.) WindbreakersThe classic windbreaker gets twisted in this season's over-sized windbreakers. Even a hurricane can't shake you up when you're wearing these. Pair one with some leggings and and a pair of sporty stilettos, and you're runway ready. Ready for rain? Raid these fabrics:
5.) Over-sized EverythingThe old school over-sized sweatshirt has come alive again in this years trends. Everything is more comfortable when it's over-sized, and Athleisure is all about being comfortable. Whether you're running from the rain or in a marathon (a netflix marathon), these over-sized sweats are a must have. Overwhelmed? Shop the look:
Mother's Day is fast approaching and if you're like me, you left gift buying to the very last minute. For those who prefer a personal touch, this robe is a quick DIY that is sure to please. Give the gift of comfy style with this detailed Art Nouveau inspired silky cotton voile. The perfect way to say have a Happy (and comfy) Mother’s Day! Fabrics & materials used:
- 3 yards Liberty of London Portsea Bittersweet Red Silk-Cotton Voile
- Free Mother's Day Robe Pattern (DOWNLOAD FREE PATTERN HERE)
- Stitch the front and back panels together at the shoulders. Since this is a lightweight robe that doesn't call for a lining, I strongly recommend some French seams.
The beauty of creating your own personalized wardrobe is the ability to allow yourself to experiment. When I use to shop for clothes, I was very strategic in how I spent my money. I had to absolutely love something in order to purchase it. Making your own clothes gives you the creative freedom to step outside your comfort zone and take fashion risks. Then enters this dress with a million ruffles I probably wouldn't have looked twice but have since fallen in love. This dress was made using this polyester twill that will make you throw out your misconceptions about polyester. Let me start off by saying, the online listing DOES NOT do this fabric justice. Nothing about it reads polyester or $9.99 a yard. It's a medium weight fabric with lots of body and movement which made it perfect for all these ruffles. It's easy to sew and cut but a little more challenging to iron so keep that in mind. The pattern used for this dress was vintage McCalls 4722 which I used because I've altered this pattern before and I'm familiar with how the neck and armhole fit. Any shift dress pattern will work to give you these results. -Removed the front chest seam -Cut the front on the fold -Added a back seam and a 12" zipper -Added 10" to the length -Cut 2 asymmetric side panels to each side -Cut 4 5"x80" ruffle panels, sew 2 of the panels together and attach the panels at seams by pleating, starting at the hem of the front, around the sleeve and ending at the hem in the back. -Added a 8"x31" ruffle under the continuous ruffle to provide more volume. Chandler's dress was self-drafted
Cinco de Mayo is here! For a festive DIY, I wanted to create a blouse inspired by these gorgeous embroidered crop tops. I went with an ivory border eyelet, which had some great shapes to work with, a vibrant sateen lining, and one of Mood's lovely new jacquard ribbons. The result is just begging to be worn at a beach party this season. Bring on the waves! Fabrics & materials used:
- 1 yard Famous NYC Designer Afterglow Embroidered Cotton Eyelet
- 1 yard Scarlet Red Silk and Rayon Blended Sateen
- 3 yards Green Floral Jacquard Ribbon
- 1 yard 1.2mm Black Elastic Cord
You can't defend the galaxy in just anything. To celebrate Superhero Day, as well as the upcoming release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2., I recreated Star-Lord's newest jacket. The best part? There's a free template, so you can make your own, look fabulous, and start kicking some alien butt!
(The template is roughly a men's large, with a 40" chest.)Fabrics & materials used:
- 2.5 yards Black Stretch Faux Leather with Gray Suede Backing
- 2 bottles Angelus Fire Red Leather Paint
- 1 bottle Angelus Black Leather Paint
- Dritz Heavy Duty Snap Plier Kit
- 1 pkg Silver/Brass Heavy Duty Snaps
- 21" Back Metal Separating Zipper
1. Paint MixingOnce all of the pattern pieces are cut out, you can start painting. Be sure to have everything in one place, sorted for light red and dark red. Also, don't be stingy with your paint mixing. You don't want to run out and risk making a slightly different shade with your next batch. Light Red
- 1 - Sleeve Top
- 3 - Sleeve Bottom
- 4 - Back Yoke
- 5 - Center Back
- 7 - Center Front Top
- 8 - Center Front Bottom
- 10 - Front Yoke
- 11 - Front Zipper Flap (1)
- 13 - Jacket Waistband
- All belts
- 2 - Elbow Band
- 6 - Side Back
- 9 - Side Front
- 11 - Front Zipper Flap (1)
- 12 - Shoulder Armor
- 14 - Jacket Collar
- 15 - Forearm Armor
2. Sleeve RibbingBefore painting the elbow bands, I tried to decide how I wanted to imitate the ribbing on Star-Lord's jacket. My first test was encasing some cording withing the faux leather using an invisible zipper foot. The results ended up being fairly similar to simple pintucks, so I decided to go the pintuck route and skip the extra steps. To make your own pintucks without a special sewing machine foot, simply fold over your faux leather 1/4", keep the left side of your foot aligned with the last tuck and the right side aligned with the edge of your fabric. I put 18" pintucks on either of my panels, and then gave it a coat of paint.
3. Decorative StitchingStar-Lord's jacket has decorate stitching in a few areas, namely pattern pieces 5, 7, and 10, as well as the upper and lower shoulder armor. Before beginning to construct your jacket, follow the stitching lines on each of these pattern pieces.
4. Inserting SnapsBefore getting into the construction details, I wanted to take a minute to discuss adding snaps. The plier kit from Dritz makes it super easy. The black rubber side has a sharp extender that can puncture your fabric for you. For some of the thicker layers, you can also use an awl or a seam ripper to make the puncture a little larger if need be. The flat side of the snap gets inserted through the puncture in your fabric and the other side is inserted into the rubber part of the pliers. Once the pliers are shut, the extender bends the metal of the snap to secure both pieces into place. Super quick, and incredibly easy!
6. Jacket Construction
A. The TorsoI added an extra 1/8" of seam allowance in order to sew French seams when I cut out my pattern pieces. If you're not familiar with how to do them, sew your pieces wrong sides together and trim your seam allowances, like you see above, and then sew the same pieces with the right sides together as you normally would. This encases any raw edges within the seam and sometimes eliminates the need for a lining. To start constructing your jacket, sew the CENTER FRONT TOP (7) to the FRONT YOKE (10). After completing a French seam, I chose to top-stitch them down, like you see in the photo above. Repeat with your CENTER FRONT TOP (7) and CENTER FRONT BOTTOM (8). The next step is a little tricky, since you'll need to do a few things at once. Ultimately, you'll want to sew the SIDE FRONT (9) to the CENTER FRONT TOP and BOTTOM (7 & 8). I recommend clipping the corner of (7), like you see above, and folding the fabric under. Temporarily secure it with wonder clips. The reason you don't want to attach it to your SIDE FRONT (9) yet, is that you'll need to add two snaps and side belts to the CENTER FRONT BOTTOM (8). Sew the belts into place first, keeping the fabric folded over. Add in your snaps, and then you can attach everything to your SIDE FRONT (9) using a tucked seam. The backside of the jacket is much easier to assemble. Sew your two CENTER BACK (5) pieces together before attaching them to the BACK YOKE (4). The SIDE BACK (6) panels go on much easier than their counterparts in the front, since there are no more belts in the back. Sew the back of your jacket to front at either shoulder, and at each of the side seams. Be sure to sew the front side belts securely into the side seams, like above.
B. The SleevesThe sleeves have a whole lot of detail - armor at the shoulders, quilted armor on the forearm, and of course the ribbing at the elbows. Before putting everything together, make sure these individual pieces have all of their stitching complete. For the forearm patch, I spaced my stitches 3/4" apart. Once the stitching is complete, insert the it onto the SLEEVE BOTTOM (3). Sew two SHOULDER ARMOR (12) pieces, right sides together, leaving the top open to turn right-side out. Top-stitch around the perimeter and stay-stitch it into place on the SLEEVE TOP (1). Sew your SLEEVE TOP (1), ELBOW BAND (2), and SLEEVE BOTTOM (3) together respectively. Once all the details are done, the sleeves can be attached to the torso. Be sure to clip your seam allowances before completing your seams.
C. Collar & WaistbandInsert one of your waistband pieces to the bottom of your jacket and one of your collar pieces along the neckline. Clip both seam allowances. Sew the second collar piece to the first, only along the top seam. Do the same with the second waistband piece, but along the very bottom seam. Pin your zipper along the center front seam, aligning it with the bottom of the waistband first. It should just reach the bottom of your collar, but if it's a little too long be sure to shorten it from the top. Sew your zipper into place, flip it inward along the waistband and collar linings, and top-stitch. I personally stay-stitched the rest of the waistband and collar linings before top-stitching, but the could also be just be pinned.
D. The DetailsAt this point you should have your jacket almost completely constructed. Add your two arm belts to the bottom of the shoulder armor. Here is where you can also attach the second should armor pieces. I personally chose to leave mine off so the jacket can be (a little) more suitable for everyday wear, but I did include the pieces in the template! Last, you'll need to add the FRONT ZIPPER FLAP (11). The darker red should go on the inside so it's seen when it's flipped open. This is also the side where the flat part of the snaps should go. You can see in the image below that I accidentally placed them facing the opposite way (oops!). Stay-stitch the flap in place, flip it over the zipper, and top-stitch. Your jacket should now be complete to protect you as you guard our galaxy! There are a couple details that could be added to make it a little more screen accurate. For example, I know there are sleeve belts along the wrists, as well as a zipper under the arm. I'm sure I'll notice more things to add when I see the movie, but for that we'll need to wait until next week!