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  • 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!


    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!                


    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!              


    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!            


    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!              


    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!                


    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!                


    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.            


    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!              


    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!                  


    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!                


    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!                


    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!              


    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!                  


    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!              


    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 Style: New Year's Eve LBD


    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.


    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.



    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).


    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.


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


    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 Dress Silhouettes


    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!


    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.





    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


    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!            



    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.                  


    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.                


    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!                


    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.                


    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!                  


    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.              


    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.              


    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.                  


    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?
  • Mood Style: Sewing a Fit & Flare Velvet Dress


    In the spirit of Fall, I decided I wanted to work with some velvet. It's rich, warm, and always looks lovely; plus Mood had just gotten some new luxury Lyons velvet in. All was perfect!


    Fabrics & materials used:


    Since this season seems to be all about layering, I didn't mind that the pattern was sleeveless - although adding sleeves wouldn't have been too difficult! I chose a slightly shortened version of View D, choosing to use the velvet as the center panels, and the laser-cut scuba layered over the satin as the side panels.

    Each fabric was absolutely wonderful to work with, and the cold dye satin was so beautiful that I was almost sad to be covering it up. I'll need to think up a new project where I can use it again!


    Since each of the fabrics was opaque and soft to the touch, I decided against a lining and instead opted for some French seams. This kept some of the bulk down and brought the dress together fairly quickly.


    It's fun and simple, easily paired with leggings and boots or even a sweater and infinity scarf! How would you style it?

  • Neck Tie Pencil Dress

    I can't begin to tell you how much I love fall and making cool weather clothes.  If I could get away with wearing wool dresses and coats year round, I would. Because I hadn't made or worn a fitted dress in what seems like forever, I knew when I snagged this plaid wool just what I had in store.  This is a great wool perfect for dresses and skirts because of the 2-way stretch. It sews nicely and irons easily. The dress was lined with a silk charmeuse which is a fabric I use frequently to line fitted pieces.  It's comfortable and doesn't change the fit. How I made the dress: Used the bodice of McCalls 5927 with the following alterations: -Created an mock collar/neck tie by cutting 2 pieces of fabric 8"x25" fold the fabric in half attaching one end to each side of the neck meeting in the back and connecting with a slide closure.  The front hangs down and ties -Added a 4.5" wrist cuff -Attached a self drafted skirt with a back slit. -Added an exposed zipper This look can be achieved by using the same pattern and removing the pockets to get a more structured fit.  You can also make it even easier and create a oversized faux bow by cutting 1 piece of fabric 8'x50", tie a bow and secure the bow to the neck of the dress. fitted-dress_mood fitted-dress2 plaid-dress4 chandler3   fitted-dress3 chandler plaid-dress2 fitted-dress4 fitted-dress5
  • Mood DIY: Quick & Easy Flapper Costume


    Halloween doesn't need to just be monsters and ghouls! If you're looking to dress up this year, but still look absolutely fabulous, you can't go wrong with a period piece. Sure, flapper dresses have been pretty popular lately, but rather than getting the generic spaghetti strap sheath you can find at any costume shop, why not sew your own more authentic-looking dress?


    Fabrics & materials used:



    Despite all the thin-strapped dresses that have come to be associated with the 20's, many silhouettes were actually sleeveless v-necks. Luckily, Mood carries a nearly perfect pattern! McCall's 2401 has several different sheath dress options, including a v-neck.


    I only needed to make 3 alterations: I left off the sleeves, I shortened the hem by about 4", and I left out 4 of the 6 darts (only leaving the two side bust darts).


    Once the dress was made using the crepe and fringe lace, I simply stitched on a layer of black and a layer of champagne fringe 6" from the skirt hem. Voila! Flapper!


    The headpiece took about 2 seconds flat. The feather brooch, which comes with a pin attached to the back, was just pinned to some pleated velvet trim. I stitched the trim ends together at the back, but they could be easily glued, pinned, or connected with snaps - no sewing necessary!


    All in all, it's a fairly cute ensemble that might not even need to be kept in the closet until Halloween! Where else would you love to wear this fun dress?


  • Trend Report: Paris Fashion Week | Spring 2017

    This week is the last for Fall Fashion Week, and we saw a few favorites and new head-turners as the event comes to a close! Trendy jackets and flowing garments were prime pieces of the show for Paris designers, and we had to share them here! Kimono-style Jackets With loose sleeves and a cinched waist, kimono-style jackets have been popping up in plenty of designers’ lines. Kimono collars are perfect for when you want to make your neck look long and elegant, and the patterns and fabrics often used to make these types of jackets are never less than stunning.
    Paule Ka | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Paule Ka | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
    From smooth satins to glimmering prints, kimono jackets are a wonderful addition to any ensemble or wardrobe.
    Balmain | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Balmain | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
      If you’re thinking of making your own kimono jacket, check some of these fabrics to get inspired:  

    Wide Sleeves

    Big sleeves are always a comfortable fit, and their draped look flows beautifully. Graceful looks like these were sprinkled through many of the line-ups.
    Chloe | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Chloe | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
    Wide sleeves are nice, because they can help make you look and feel elegant. They can be made from all different fabrics, too.
    Stella McCartney | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Stella McCartney | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
      Need some ideas for making tops like these? Try these:

    Leather Jackets

    Straight-cut, embellished, or studded, leathers were a familiar and glamorous appearance for the show. Many leather fashions are still sporting motorcycle and bomber jackets, so if you haven’t grabbed one for yourself yet, there’s still time!
    Alexander McQueen | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Alexander McQueen | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
    Leather is great with both suave and edgy styles, so they look good on practically anyone.
    Redemption | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Redemption | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
      Looking to make a leather jacket? Consider some of these fabrics (pleather is an option, too!):  

    Flowing Skirts

    Big, flowing skirts popped up in the beginning of the season, and they’re still going pretty strong. Now being paired with fitted tops like these, they lean more to the side of sophisticated than comfy like their early season counterparts.
    Talbot Runhof | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Talbot Runhof | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
    With a more business casual attire, these skirts can look very sleek.
    Y's Yohji Yamamoto | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Y's Yohji Yamamoto | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
      Fabrics with good drapes like these would be perfect for a flowing skirt: What were you favorite designs from Paris Fashion Week? Do you have any plans for new sewing projects that were inspired by the trend reports?  
  • Pastel Silk Dress | Simplicity 8390 & Butterick B6350

    Ok, lets discuss all this pepto bismol pink which is what I thought when It first came in the mail, but once you feel it and see how it moves all that goes out the window.  I believe being the mom to an almost two year old little girl that's drawn to bright colors is giving me a new appreciation for the other side of the color wheel. This washed silk  by Rag & Bone is one that you unfortunately have to be careful in due to it's ability to capture every stain, which is fine unless you have a little person in your life with sticky hands that love to give hugs. This washed silk like many is easy to sew, irons beautifully and drapes like a dream.  Unfortunately this silk has just sold out, but here are a few that's just as amazing. This dress was made using vintage Simplicity 8390 #3 and the sleeves to Butterick B6350 with the following alterations: -Added 4"to the length of the dress -Added 9" to the length of the sleeve -Added a 2" wide elastic to the bottom of the sleeve -Added a 1/4" wide elastic to the shoulder of the sleeve -Added 2 75"x8" pleated ruffle to the hem pink-silk-dress_mood pink-silk-dress2 pink-silk-dress4   pin-silk-dress3 pink-silk-dress5 pink-dress8   pink-dress7 pink-silk-dress6
  • Everyday Runway: How to Sew a Ruffle Bodice Maxi Dress


    Don't pack away your summer attire just because fall is around the corner! It's a staggering 90 degrees in NY today, which means maxi dress season is still upon us.

    Maxis should  be a staple in everyone's wardrobe; you can wear them from spring into summer, and if you choose the right color and style, they can even transition into the autumn months.


    I took a bit of inspiration from Ainea for this dress. I loved the layering and ruffles, so I decided to pull just a bit of it for a small ruffle on the bodice. I also fell in love with the vibrant reds and chose to take the deeper red of the left-most dress for a more late-summer/early-fall feel.

    Items used:

    Dress Layout   Making this dress is both quick and easy. Between making the pattern, cutting my fabric, and sewing it together, I had mine done in under 2 hours. If you'll be following along, measure your bust and waist. The best fabric for this specific maxi is knit jersey, so I took a couple inches off the measurements to make it a little more contouring. This is where you can play around with your own pattern. If you have a super stretchy knit, you could potentially take off more. Or, if you'd like your waist to be gathered, you could easily add a few inches there. I made the bottom of each dress panel the full width of the fabric.


    The front and back panels are exactly the same, so I cut two on the fold.


    The ruffles on the bodice are a lot like basic triangles, however a flat top edge would mean flat layers. By curving the top, it ensures that the fabric overlaps slightly when pulled straight to create the perfect ruffle, like you see below.


    After sewing straight down the sides of the dress, the ruffles can be attached to the front neckline. Both the front and back necklines are then trimmed in foldover elastic, which is as easy as it sounds. All it took was a few pins and a walking foot, andthe dress edges looked clean and finished.


    The straps were created exactly the same way, but this time they went along the sleeve curve, meeting at the seam under the arm. 10 second straps!


    Voilà! A versatile maxi dress. It can easily be dress up with some heels and jewelry, or it would be just as appropriate at a poolside party.


    So what colors will you be using for this project? Tell us in the comments!

  • Strapless

    When I was given the opportunity to create a line of patterns for McCall Patterns, I knew I wanted to create something that was quintessentially me.  Keeping in mind that my style isn't for everyone, I also wanted patterns that can easily be altered to accommodate your own personal aesthetic.  When I decided on this strapless tunic, I thought about the beauty of a woman's shoulders and the idea of minimal layering.  This top makes you feel completely covered and sexy at the same time. A top like this requires fabric with a lot of movement.  I used a polyester crepe from moodfabrics.com that's unfortunately sold out but here is a collection of  polyester crepe at moodfabrics.com that would work just as nicely. Not familiar with polyester crepe? It's a thinner fabric that generally provides a great drape, doesn't pill, shrink or fade and keeps it's new look.  It's easy to cut, sew and iron all at an economical price. The pants were previously made here. Sunglasses-Valley Eyewear Bag- Bally Heels- Narciso Rodriguez McCall Tunic_Mood mccall tunic2 McCall Tunic3 McCall Tunic4 McCall Tunic5 McCall Tunic6
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