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  • Floral brocade statement coat

    It dawned on me the only redeeming quality winter has is the ability to allow me to wear coats everyday. So I take full advantage at least once a week adding a new coat to my wardrobe. When I ordered this floral brocade, the last thing on my mind was a coat.  I envisioned a skirt or maybe even a dress but when it arrived, it arrived along with this green silk wool and laying next to each other screamed coat to me and here we have it.  I lined it with this green bemberg viscose. Because it's such a busy fabric I knew I wanted a pattern that was simple which brought me back to this Burdastyle 11/2013 #116 pattern with the following pattern alterations: -Added 7" to the collar -Cut the sleeve 7" from the bottom for the top half of the sleeve and added 5" to the length with the green wool fabric -Removed 3.5" from the bottom of the front pattern These leather pants were previously made here along with this silk shirt dress worn as a top. mood floral-brocade-statement2 floral-brocade-statement-coat3   floral-brocade-statement-coat4 floral-brocade-statement-coat5 floral-brocade-statement-coat6 floral-brocade-statement-coat7 floral-brocade-atatement-coat8
  • 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!


    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

  • Trend Report: Back-to-School Styles

    Classes are back in session soon, and what better way to combat the early mornings and long days of studying than to look good doing it? One of the best pick-me-ups during school (especially if I was running late!) was knowing I looked great. It’s true when they say that looking good can help you feel good, and that’s no exception in studying environments. So, if you also shun the morning light, try out some of these ready-to-wear tips and tricks we picked up from the runway for Fall 2016 to help put some pep in your step! Oversized Sleeves
    Marni | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Marni | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    First up on our list is oversized sleeves! This design was sprinkled throughout the designers’ collections, and they’re a great way to play with visual weight and balance. The degree of size and length vary depending on your preference, but it all comes down to adding weight to the top of your silhouette and balancing with a fitted bottom.
    Christian Dior | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Christian Dior | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    From dresses and skirts to jeans, oversized sleeves can make you look elegant and long. With so much focus visually on the upper half of your image, oversized sleeves can make your legs very slimming, too. You can walk around school knowing that you’re making a statement. Great fabric choices for this style include:   Bomber Jackets and Moto Jackets If you ask me, bomber jackets honestly never go out of style, but it seems like the designer world is in on the trend this season! Bomber jackets are a lot of fun to play with since they’re so naturally sporty, and they come in plenty of colors, designs, and patterns making for an appealing addition to any ensemble.
    Phillip Plein | Resort 2017 Phillip Plein | Resort 2017
    Ranging from iconic accents to mature colors, bomber jackets are their own essence of cool that always seem right at home in a school setting. And with the weather slowly becoming cooler, the right bomber jacket is a great way to keep you both stylish and warm.
    Etro | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Etro | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Oh man, and don’t get me started on moto jackets (too bad, I’m starting)! These jackets are slimming and sporty, and they have a bad-boy/girl reputation to go along with them. The diagonal zippers that they’re “infamous” for are extremely unique and appealing to the eye, and the nice, fitted sleeves pair up perfectly with its typically triangular bodice. The best part about these is that they’re not just cool in movies; they’re stylish off the screen any time of the year and can easily be worn for every-day lifestyle! Moto jackets usually come in mature and neutral tones, so wearing them over strong or bright splashes of color can make for an enticing clash of styles. Great fabrics for bomber jackets include: Great fabrics for moto jackets include:   Velvet I have seen the light, and it is the beautiful sheen of velvet. I have spent the last 15 years of my life shunning this fabric, because I thought the texture and look of it were unsightly, but I have never been so wrong in my life. Velvet is extremely popular for this Fall season, and so long as it’s used carefully, it can be a huge statement piece for your wardrobe.
    Bottega Vaneta | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Bottega Vaneta | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Velvet is best used in parts, lest you look like you’re wearing pajamas for a whole ensemble, so things like jackets, skirts, or—my personal favorite—a pair of boots are great options to test out. The shifting texture it has is great for adding a mix of texture to your wardrobe that can be felt and seen, which is probably what’s more appealing about it. I personally prefer more muted and mature tones on velvet, but it comes in many colors and shades to choose from.
    Koché | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Koché | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Keep in mind, though; velvet needs a little bit more work to take care of. Folding it can ruin the pile of velvet, and water and velvet are not friends! Make sure to protect your velvet fabrics and take them to a professional dry cleaner when your pieces need a little TLC, and always read the care instructions of fabrics you use to make your capes to keep from ruining them. Great fabric choices for velvet include:   Capes and Mantels If you’re not excited about capes and mantels coming into major style, give me a chance to try to change your mind! Capes are a stunning and sophisticated fashion piece that have been around forever, and they've been stepping into the spotlight more and more with each passing year.
    Salvatore Ferragamo | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Salvatore Ferragamo | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Capes and mantels are iconic--there's nothing else like them! They keep you warm, too, so they're perfect for the coming season.
    Chanel | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Chanel | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    If you prefer more coverage, go with a cape! And if you prefer something a little more manageable, go with a mantel! The difference is in their lengths. Capes are nice on windy days where you might want more protection from the elements, and mantels are excellent for still, chilly days. Some fabrics for making mantels and capes include:   Flared and Cigarette Pants Flared jeans can be your best friend, especially if you wear the right pair of shoes. A little lift in the heel with a boot or even a pair of flats can work well with this look, so the options are kind of limitless!
    Céline | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Céline | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Similar to oversized sleeves, flared jeans play with the balance of visual weight on your body, and if you’re tall and slim, flared jeans can make your legs look even longer and graceful. Enhance your strengths and try out a pair for yourself!
    Colovos | Resort 2017 Colovos | Resort 2017
    Cigarette pants are a hit this season! Since they're cut off around the ankle, onlookers are drawn to your feet, so take the opportunity to show off those new flats or heels you have! These have been popular in the menswear styles, too. Great fabric choices for both of these styles include:   Ruffles Ruffles are another staple of the fashion world that are getting some hyper-focus this season. Whether framing a blouse or fringing the hem of a dress, ruffles are beautiful additions that help fluff up your look and keep you feeling light and free throughout your day.
    Whit | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Whit | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    They hold well in a variety of fabrics and can look great as an accent or the main show.
    Balamain | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Balamain | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Perfect ruffling fabrics include:   Jumpers/Lots of Layers The Runway gave its patrons a bit of a throw-back with the jumper and turtleneck layered look for this Fall. This is a great option for the upcoming season, especially once winter gets closer and the temperatures get cooler, and the overall look is very charming in its own way. It was popular back in the 70s, and its endearing appearance seems to have hit again with the designers of today.
    3.1 Phillip Lim | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear 3.1 Phillip Lim | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    The nice thing about layers is that it’s kind of hard to mess up (don’t get me wrong, you can layer wrong, but it takes effort!), and jumpers make it easy. Whether it’s crop-top jumpers or one-piece ensembles, a snug turtleneck underneath can both look and feel cozy and inviting. Sometimes it’s nice to reveal, and other times covering up is the way to go!
    Delpozo | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Delpozo | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Some great fabric choices for making jumpers with include: Big Tie-Necks I’ve seen this style peppered around before this season, but it seems like Big Tie-Necks are making a stand this Fall, and we couldn’t be happier to cheer them on! Big tie-necks are delightfully dainty symbols of fashion.
    Chanel | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Chanel | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    The ties range from big or thin, but I’d say that bigger ones do wonders for bringing focus to the center of your profile. If you want people looking to your face, this is a great way to achieve that. When placed outside of the expected locations like on the back of a coat or dress, this big and beautiful bow can draw attention to you so you can be in the spotlight. It works more than just a functional purpose like it does on dresses in this way.
    Ace & Jig | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Ace & Jig | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    On the other hand, though, thinner tie-necks can help make your neck look long and thin. The contrast of widths gives off this feeling, so if that’s your goal, a thinner bow may work for you! Soft, loose fabrics that work well for this style include: Purple and Orange There is nothing I am more excited for than the trend of the purple and orange color duo! The contrast of these two colors is brilliant and so attractive, and I can’t wait to see it sweep through the fashion world.
    Prada | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Prada | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    If you love sunsets, dusk, and twilight, or sherbet ice cream, this color style is definitely for you. Bringing the two together gives a sweet and mysterious quality that’s alluring no matter what part of the style you wear it on.
    Jacquemus | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Jacquemus | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    On a gown, a dress, and with color-blocking, too! If you're looking for some inspiration, check out these orange and purple fabrics:         Oversized Sweaters Finally; it is now acceptable to wear a huge, oversized sweater to a public setting without being judged. Though society may demand you still interact with people while wearing your enormous sweater, at least now you can take on your day comfortable and stylish with little effort.
    Balenciaga | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Balenciaga | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    A lot of Runway models had oversized sweaters paired with mid-length flowing skirts, which kind of gives off a 90s-feel, but you could wear fitted bottoms to play with the volume balance again. Shorter skirts are also an option, too. For this everyday look, the aim is comfort. So let yourself relax!
    Emilio Pucci | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Emilio Pucci | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Good fabric picks for sweaters include:
    Linen Knit| Linen Rose Knit Linen Knit| Linen Rose Knit
    These are just a handful of the popular trends for this coming season! Do any of these styles jump out at you? Are you as excited about making a purple and orange bomber jacket as I am? Let us know what you're planning to make to start your school session this Fall off right!
  • Mood DIY: Bubble Skirt

    Today in Mood DIY we're going to make a bubble skirt! This one is so easy you don't even need pattern paper, and using only about 1 yard of brocade, it's an instant cocktail skirt that won't break the bank.


    Required materials:
    • ~1 yd brocade (Most brocades are 55-59" wide; you need enough yardage to cover desired length + 10")
    • ~3/4 yard lining material (again, based on desired length) -- any lightweight fabric in a coordinating color will do (acetate lining, lightweight poly or rayon, silk habotai, cotton batiste)
    • 1.5" elastic (length: half of your waist measurement) -- large safety pin
    • OR a 1" button
    Optional materials:
    • ~1 yd net/tulle (equal yardage to your brocade, or more for serious bubbliness)



    This project consists of 3 rectangles, so measuring is a breeze this time.  You will need these measurements:
    • Waist __ x 3 +1" =
    • Waist __ + 13" =
    • Waist to desired hem length + 1" (a friend may help here; stand straight, hold the tape at your waist, let it hang loosely)
    That's it! The additional 1" is for seam allowance. (The waist + 13" already has an extra inch in there.) There is some adding and subtracting in cutting, so pay attention. Cut your self fabric (the brocade): Many brocades are reversible. Even if not designed as reversible, the wrong side is often so cool looking that it's worth using. So when browsing the catalog, make sure you look at the alternate pictures! I'm using this fabulous new arrival. It's fully reversible, so I chose one side for the main body and used the other side for the waistband.


    This is where we use the waist x 3 measurement. If you waist x 3 is less than your fabric width, you'll cut one big rectangle and sew it into a cylinder. If your waist x3 is greater than your fabric width, you'll cut two rectangles and have two seams, which means you will need double the yardage and you'll cut it on a crosswise fold. In my case, 3x my waist measurement was exactly the width of my fabric, so I used the selvedges and just cut to length.  Fold your fabric so that the top folded part is half of the total top measurement (as opposed to being folded perfectly in half, selvedge to selvedge). So if (waist x 3) /2 =  25", fold up 25" of your fabric. For length: Measure out desired length + 4". Cut on fold, so you get one big rectangle. bubble skirt diag Cut your waistband: Cut a rectangle that's waist x 5". I'm doing my skirt with a half elastic waist, so I made my waistband equal to my hip size, so that I can pull it on. If you are doing a flat waist band with a button closure, cut to your actual waist size + 2.25".  (That's 1" seam allowance and an extra 1.25" for overlap, to button.)


    Cut your netting/tulle (optional): I added a middle layer of netting to give my bubble extra poof, because I wanted an actual bubble, not just a bubbly hem. So I cut a piece of tulle the same size as my brocade, but 4" longer. So that's (waist x3) by (desired length + 8"). You could make the tulle even wider (say, waist x4) if you really want the skirt to be a bubble all over. Ignore this step to make a bubble skirt the way most normal human beings make it. (I'm tempted to make a matching hip-length cape so that I can wear them together and look like a metallic rose version of Grimace.) Cut your lining: I'm using this lightweight poly with a matte finish. It's a bit more durable and less staticky than acetate lining, and the matte texture makes it much easier to work with. Here is where you use waist + 13". Follow the same procedure as for cutting the brocade. For length: Measure desired length - 4". Cut on fold. Let me go ahead and warn you. If you like to keep a neat work area, abandon all hope now. It's a losing battle with brocade.
    IMG_0113 That blurry bit in the foreground is a footlong trail that accumulated on my armrest.


    The sewing on this skirt is really quick and easy. You'll spend the bulk of your time in this project adjusting your gathers. Start by sewing gathering stitches on both ends of your brocade. (If using tulle, you can place it on the wrong side of the brocade and sew them together in a single step, here.) Remember, to do a gathering stitch, set your machine to the longest stitch length and sew about 1/4" from the edge, then once more at 3/8". Do not back stitch at either end. You need loose threads to pull on to do the gathering.


    Gather the brocade to fit the lining. Put right sides together and sew with a 1/2" seam allowance. (If your brocade has a distinct top and bottom in the design, make sure you're sewing the bottom side.) There's the hem of your skirt! IMG_0104 Open along this seam to make a loooong rectangle. Bring the right sides of each half together and sew the side seam. (You can do this in one long pass.)


    If making a flat/buttoned waistband: leave about the top 5" of either side seam open. Turn under the seam allowance on either side and hem. This is your opening for getting into the skirt. If using tulle: I didn't sew the side seam of my tulle, because I wanted it to float freely. So I just pulled it to the sides, as you can see in the picture, and sewed as if it wasn't there. (Afterward, I tacked the middle of the tulle to the middle of the side seam, just to help distribute fullness.) Fold your two layers back together, wrong sides together. Ironing the hem seam is a good idea.
    IMG_0124 Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble!
    Gather the brocade to fit the lining width and baste all of the layers together. We need to gather all of these layers to fit the waist band, so you can leave the ends of the stitching open -- basting and gathering in one!


    To prepare the waistband, just iron it in half, and press under the seam allowance along one side. If doing an elastic waist, sew the ends together to make a circle. If doing a flat/buttoned waist, just leave it as is for the time being. Place the right side of your waistband against the right side of your skirt. Adjust the top edge of the skirt to fit. (Because I'm doing a half elastic waistband, I concentrated my gathering in the middle third, since the rest will be gathered along the elastic.) Sew.


    If doing a flat waist: you'll have a half inch hanging off one end, and over an inch hanging off the other end. To finish the ends, fold the waistband in half, right sides together, and make sure the seam allowance is turned under on both sides. Sew the short end closed. Trim the seam allowance. This is the same process we used to attach the collar band on last week's summer wool cardigan, so have a look at that photo if you need a visual. Turn the waistband to the inside. Again, ironing will help a lot here.


    You can machine stitch shut or hand stitch, if you want the seam to be invisible. Topstitch the top edge of the waistband.


    If doing a flat waistband: make a buttonhole, sew on your button, and you're finished! (You can add snaps or hooks to the opening to keep it shut, if you're concerned.) If adding elastic: remember to leave a 2-3" space open for inserting the elastic. As I said before, I'm doing a half elasticated waist, because brocade is bulky and I want the front to have a smooth finish. Now, maybe you'll have a better idea for inserting the elastic, but here's what I did. Lay your skirt out flat. Mark out half of your waist measurement. (I'd recommend making these markings over the area where you left a seam opening for elastic insertion.)


    Cut your elastic so that it's at least 3" smaller than half of your waist measurement, but be sure to leave seam allowance. Attach your trusty safety pin to one end of the elastic and begin feeding through your waistband. Pull slowly, because you want to catch the end of the elastic when it's near the first waist mark you made. Pin it and sew across to secure this end.
    IMG_0140 I felt out the end of the elastic, which is a half inch to the left of my marking. I pinned and stitched along the marking.


    Continue feeding the safety pin back around to the other marking. Sew this end securely, remove your safety pin, and then stitch up the hole. Ta-da! You're ready to put on your skirt and prance away to somewhere fancy.


    DSC_0023 Contrast waistband
    A peek at the lining. A peek at the lining.
    A bird's eye view of the poof. Behold the power of tulle! A bird's eye view of the poof. Behold the power of tulle!
  • Trend Report: Brocades on the Runway

    Fashion trends on an off the runway this season are all saying the same thing: brocades are where its at. Historically, brocades and jacquards have always been of as luxurious fabrics, ideal for eveningwear. This season though, brocades have been seen as outerwear and even as some bold suiting and daytime looks.

    1. Outerwear

    Dolce & Gabbana | Fall 2016 Ready to Wear Dolce & Gabbana | Fall 2016 Ready to Wear
    Brocade outwear was seen at every huge fall show this year, from Dior to Gucci to Prada. The best way to go if you're trying to hop on a trend like this? Large florals. One of my favorites, from Dolce & Gabbana (seen above), features gold flowers on a strikingly matte black background. In reality, it's silhouette is quite simple, but the print choice pulls it up to high fashion. Here are a few options from Mood that would be great for outerwear:  
    Metallic Gold and Yellow Floral Brocade Metallic Gold and Yellow Floral Brocade
    Metallic Blue and Green Floral Brocade Metallic Blue and Green Floral Brocade

    2. Dresses and Details

    Antonio Marras | Fall 2016 Ready to Wear Antonio Marras | Fall 2016 Ready to Wear
    Dresses have always been a favorite when it comes to brocade, but this year we've seen shorter hemlines and simpler silhouettes, bringing a new and slightly more casual look to such an elegant fabric.
    Prada | Fall 2016 Ready to Wear Prada | Fall 2016 Ready to Wear
    Prada | Fall 2016 Ready to Wear Prada | Fall 2016 Ready to Wear
    Another runway favorite has been subtle brocade details in dresses. Some designers have been experimenting with mixing fabrics, like you can see with the skirt panel above, and others have been using solid brocades to add just a small sheen to garments in certain areas. For instance, the Marras dress below has a black on black brocade across the bodice and high neckline.
    Antonio Marras | Fall 2016 Ready to Wear Antonio Marras | Fall 2016 Ready to Wear
    Here are some Mood picks to get you started on the perfect brocade dress:
    Off-White Rose-Pattern Brocade Off-White Rose-Pattern Brocade
    Chinois Green and Blue Floral Poly Brocade Chinois Green and Blue Floral Poly Brocade
    Carolina Herrera Rose and Sage Floral Brocade Carolina Herrera Rose and Sage Floral Brocade

    3. Suiting

    Roberto Cavalli | Fall 2016 Ready to Wear Roberto Cavalli | Fall 2016 Ready to Wear
    Women in menswear have been taking the runway by storm recently, so it's only natural that they'd be getting in on the brocade trend. Striking jackets paired with equally bold trousers were seen during shows from Roberto Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana, and Dries Van Noten, just to name a few.
    Dries Van Noten | Fall 2016 Ready to Wear Dries Van Noten | Fall 2016 Ready to Wear
    Each of my favorite brocade suiting looks took elements from different fashion eras. Cavalli threw it back to the 70s with some flare pants that are becoming evermore popular. Van Noten's cropped cigarette pants scream modern chic, and these paper bag waist trousers from Dolce & Gabbana bring some early 20th century menswear to the forefront.
    Dolce & Gabbana | Fall 2016 Ready to Wear Dolce & Gabbana | Fall 2016 Ready to Wear
    Here are some terrific abstract brocades that could look fantastic as tailored garments:
    Metallic Gold/Green/Maroon Abstract Brocade Metallic Gold/Green/Maroon Abstract Brocade
    Metallic Gray and Almond Cream Abstract Brocade Metallic Gray and Almond Cream Abstract Brocade
    Metallic Gold and Black Abstract Jacquard Metallic Gold and Black Abstract Jacquard

    4. Daywear

    Pepa Pombo | Columbia Fashion Week 2016 Pepa Pombo | Columbia Fashion Week 2016
    A few of our favorite designers even took the evening elegance of brocade into some daytime looks. This deep gold ensemble from Pepa Pombo would look fierce as a resort look and I can definitely imagine these cigarette pants from Michael Kors as some bold officewear.
    Michael Kors | NYFW Michael Kors | NYFW
    Try your hand at some casual brocade garments with these vibrant, geometric brocades:
    Metallic Gold/Blue/Maroon Geometric Brocade Metallic Gold/Blue/Maroon Geometric Brocade
    Metallic Gold/Beige/Purple Abstract Brocade Metallic Gold/Beige/Purple Abstract Brocade
  • Mood Style: Little Black Dress

    Lately I've been obsessed with brocade and embellishments.  Something about brocade is very classic and elegant. Maybe a bit too classic for me so a little leather was necessary to give this beautiful fabric a bit of an edge.  This medium-weight Italian brocade from MoodFabrics.com will make any piece look a bit more special, so special I had to order more for a coat I envision.
    Brocade and leather black dress made with fabric from Mood Fabrics and McCalls pattern 5927.
    The dress was made with the bodice of McCalls M5927 with the following alterations: • Added 1" to the front and back of the neck • Cut the front bodice piece 6" from the top to create an additional pattern piece and seam line • Faced the back and front bodice pieces • Reduced the diameter of the arm opening to create a slimmer sleeve • Cut the sleeve at 11" from the top to create a short sleeve • Cut the sleeve 4.5" from the bottom to create a seam line The skirt of the dress was made by: • Cutting two pieces of fabric 55" wide x 28" long. • Cut one piece of that fabric in half lengthwise, sew a 5/8" seam basting 4" down from the top • Install side seam pockets • Sew the side seams of the skirt • Line the side and back seams of the skirt up with the bodice seams, using the fabric between the seams to create the pleats. • Sew the bodice to the skirt • Attach a 19" exposed zipper Brocade and leather black dress made with fabric from Mood Fabrics and McCalls pattern 5927.
    Brocade and leather black dress made with fabric from Mood Fabrics and McCalls pattern 5927.
    Brocade and leather black dress made with fabric from Mood Fabrics and McCalls pattern 5927.
    Brocade and leather black dress made with fabric from Mood Fabrics and McCalls pattern 5927.
    Brocade and leather black dress made with fabric from Mood Fabrics and McCalls pattern 5927.
    Brocade and leather black dress made with fabric from Mood Fabrics and McCalls pattern 5927.
  • 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?!
  • Fall/Winter Fabrics Trend Report by Mood: The New Blues

    fall winter 2013 fabric trends blue

    Rich, luscious shades of blue dominated the Fall/Winter 2013 runways. Royal blue, azure, cornflower, teal and other blue hues turned up in leather tops, oversized coats, demure dresses and more. Take a cue from designer Reed Krakoff and go head-to-toe blue. Mood has every shade of blue fabric in the spectrum. Below, we've gathered some of our favorite blues for you:
  • Fall/Winter Fabric Trend Report By Mood: Rock Star Glam

    Rock Star Glam fabrics trend

    Mood Trend Report #1: Add a little rock star glam to your fall and winter wardrobe. It's easy to pull it off without going all gaga. Just inject touches of rich texture and bold color in big or small doses to suit your taste. Try slouchy pants in silk charmeuse, for example, or add gold brocade accents to a bodice. Here are some rock star glam fabric options we selected from MoodFabrics.com:

    Next up in our Trend Report series: Menswear Fabrics
  • Finished: Bomber Jacket of Leather and Metallic Brocade

    Isabel Marant bomber 2 This Isabel Marant jacket was the inspiration starting point for my third and final bomber jacket.

    Readers, I think I got a little bit carried away with the whole bomber jacket trend. First I made this bomber, then this one, and now here's my third--AND LAST!--bomber jacket. I really enjoyed sewing the first two versions, but this one I just wanted to be over with. I'm very happy with the results, mind you, but this pattern is being officially retired.

    leather-brocade-jacket Finished! My third and final bomber jacket, a combination of silver metallic brocade and taupe leather.
    IMG_1011 It's hard to photograph some metallic fabrics. I took these photos here, but even our in-house professional photographer sometimes struggles with how to successfully capture metallics.

    Here's a quick recap of the sewing details: - Light taupe leather for the sleeves and neck binding from Mood NYC's leather department - Silver metallic brocade, also from Mood NYC, but no longer available because a buyer for Club Monaco bought the rest of the bolt. (Here's a brocade from MoodFabrics.com that I think would work well.) - Flatlined instead of lined using an off-white silk crepe de chine - Hong Kong seams and seam binding using a lightweight silk brocade I had in my stash - BurdaStyle pattern 7210 - Lampo zipper stitched on the outside as a design element - Welt leather pockets

    leather-jacket-close-up Here you can see the silk crepe de chine lining and the Hong Kong seams. If you're planning on wearing a jacket unzipped, like I do with this jacket, it's important the interior looks as great as the exterior.

    I did have one dramatic incident when I was working on the the welt pockets. Somehow I managed to slit my fingertip open and it bled all over the silk crepe de chine pocket. I was able to remove the blood stains (blotting with a damp towel while cursing up a storm), but I ended up getting water stains on one of the leather sleeves and on one of the welt pockets. Of course they're only removable by taking the jacket to a professional leather cleaner. Waah.

    Bottom line: I feel very chic in this jacket! Employees and customers alike told me how much they liked it when I wore it last week. The leather sleeves are very soft and comfortable to wear, even in the warmer weather. It looks great with the sleeves worn pushed up and paired with jeans or pants.

    What I'm working on now: I'm finishing up a new tote for spring and summer made of coated linen and leather, then I start sewing a shirt that combines two Thakoon silk prints: item numbers 303199 and 303197. It's so nice to have runway shots like these to study how the designer placed the motifs, because print placement can be very tricky. What are YOU working on now?

    Thakoon prints

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