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4-ply silk

  • Finished: 4-Ply Silk and Brocade Paneled Top

    silk and brocade The genesis for my latest Mood Fabrics top was an article I saw on Style.com in July about how this shade of caramel was so hot. I immediately ran upstairs to the silk department at Mood NYC, searching through bolt after bolt until I found this lovely 4-ply silk in the perfect shade. (Have you ever worn or sewn 4-ply silk? It's a winner on both fronts, and so addictive you'll be drooling for an entire wardrobe of 4-ply tops and pants.) Originally I thought I'd make just a basic collared silk shirt, but then my mind wandered...and I ended up pairing this gray patterned brocade with it. (See, this is what happens when you work in a fabric store like Mood. You can't just be happy with one scoop any more, it has to be banana splits all the time.) I think they work well together here in this top; what do you think? Fabrics used: Caramel silk: I can't swear this online 4-ply silk crepe is exactly the same color as my silk, but it's close. Gray and copper brocade:  How cool! We have the exact cotton-blend French brocade I found in the NYC store online at MoodFabrics.com. I love when that happens! silk and brocade top For a pattern I used Vogue 8786, which is actually a dress pattern but I never let things like that stop me. I made a muslin first, and I'm glad I did because the shoulders were huge on me despite the fact that I have broad shoulders. I eliminated the center-back seam for the lower bodice but kept it for the neckline area. Truth be told, the neckline is wide enough that most people can omit the zipper and back seam completely and just pop this top over their heads. I instead chose to set off the zipper area with two bands of the brocade. silk and brocade I self-lined the upper bodice so I wouldn't have to use an ugly facing. Seams were finished by pressing open, then stitching and pinking the seam allowances (hand overcasting the armscye seam). Sorry for all the wrinkles showing in the photos above. I wore this top to work on Tuesday when I took these photos, and I couldn't find Mood's steamer for a quick de-wrinkling before my photo shoot. But you can see that one of the nice things about 4-ply is that it really doesn't wrinkle that much. (And it feels like heaven to wear!) When I wore this top, I paired it with my black ankle pants and high-heeled leather sandals that are the same shade as the silk. Plus a big gold necklace. It also works well with jeans. Next up: A silk "sweatshirt" using this Milly top as inspiration. Whatcha making?!
  • Finished: Placement Print Tunic from Thakoon Silk

    Inspiration: Boldly printed silk shirts by Erdem, Just Cavalli and Etro. Available at Net-a-Porter. Inspiration: Boldly printed silk shirts by Erdem, Just Cavalli and Etro. Available at Net-a-Porter.

    What is it about the warmer weather that makes me go a little cray-cray over prints? Once the temperature gets above 60 degrees I shed my blacks and neutrals and flock to bold prints and colors. This is bound to have something to do with spending my formative years in color-saturated, perpetually warm places like Los Angeles, New Orleans and Dallas.

    So when we got in these gorgeous Thakoon silk prints at Mood Fabrics, of course I had to nab some for myself. I went to Style.com and took a look at how the designer himself used these prints in his spring 2012 collection, and really liked his shirts and the way he mixed prints and colorways. Blatant rip-off time!

    Thakoon-top-side-view The gold colorway is a luscious, 4-ply silk crepe, and the black colorway is silk crepe de chine. Both are still available at MoodFabrics.com, but don't wait long to order as our stock is getting low. Thakoon-top-front I made this shirt from a circa 1980’s Simplicity pattern I bought on Etsy, combining the long and short versions to make my bi-level top. It’s blousy and tunic-y, which is the easy summer look I was going for. Plus, a loose fit means fitting time can be minimized. I’m a sew-and-go kind of girl these days! Construction was easy and straightforward. Where I spent the most time was in determining print placement. You can see with big paisleys like these that it’s gonna make a difference where you place your pattern. I relied heavily on fashion images showing how Thakoon placed the prints himself. Thakoon-top-back-view Thakoon-top-detail Bottom line: I like this top/tunic. It’s a really bold print for me but it works well with jeans and heels. More silk tops to come!
  • Silk Kimono Gifts Sprung from Thakoon 4-Ply Silk

    This fabric shown here and in more bright colorways is available at MoodFabrics.com. Scroll down to the end of the post for links!

    Warning, fabric gushing ahead: Everyone at Mood is in love with this 4-ply silk crepe print from Thakoon' s Spring 2012 collection. I usually can exercise some restraint when it comes to acquiring more fabric (a nice trait to have when you work at Mood!), but I had to snatch up a few yards of this luscious material. Four-ply silk is one of the most delightful fabrics to work with—it's not slippery like other silks,  it presses well, and it feels like smooth velvet to the touch—plus, look at this print! I adore the Indian-influenced design and colors. You can tell just by looking at it why celebs like Natalie Portman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Demi Moore and Michelle Obama are Thakoon fans.

    This particular fabric actually had the power to make me do something I rarely do—sew for others. [Reference numerous posts by sewing bloggers from around the world as to why we prefer, as a rule, not to sew for anyone but ourselves.]  I made this kimono and two others just like it for family members as Christmas gifts. Ever made a kimono before? They're fast and simple to sew, no fitting is involved and a beginner could easily make one. (Here I used a vintage early '80s Simplicity pattern found on Etsy.) French seams would have been nice, but I serged all seams instead for speed's sake and they look fine. Four-ply silk has the power to make even serged seams look good!

    Seriously, you could sew a kimono robe like this, from cutting out to completion, in under four hours. What added the most time for me was pattern placement of the big paisley motifs. I cut all pieces on a single layer of fabric, strategically placing the large motifs on the sleeves, center back, and side fronts. When you have a large print like this one, always buy enough extra fabric to allow you play around with your fabric—here, I factored in another 3/4 yard per kimono to my fabric total.

    I used pink silk charmeuse for the contrast band.

    Three kimonos finished and I am still in love with this fabric! Take a look here at how Thakoon used this print in his "super-vibrant collection of searing turquoise, saffron, orange, and gold" (Style.com):

    From Thakoon Spring RTW 2012. Images from GoRunway.com

    Have I sufficiently whetted your appetite for this fabric?! Mood Fabrics was lucky enough to acquire several of the fabrics from Thakoon's Spring 2012 collection, including this 4-ply silk print in three colorways. Click here to buy, and don't wait long because quantities are limited Don't forget to post a photo of your garment on the Mood Fabrics Facebook page when you're done!