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silk

  • All About Fabric Care: Luxury Fabrics

    Luxury_Fabrics_Spread_JPG

    With all the types of fabric blends, cleaning materials, and temperature settings, maintenance and care for fabrics can be pretty confusing and intimidating! There are some general rules such as don't over-wash and when in doubt, use cold water, but the rules and methods of care do go a bit deeper than that... depending on the fabric, of course!

    That's why we've decided to create this series of care and methods for fabrics! In this series of guides, we'll give you short and easy lists for your reference that will note qualities of the fabrics, how to wash them (or not wash them), and when it's safe (or not!) to iron a fabric! We'll start with a small group--the Luxury fabrics--consisting of Silk, Velvet, Wool, and Leather.

    Silk_JPEG

    Spun from organic fibers, silk fabrics are probably one of the easier fabrics to recognize because of it's subtle sheen and smooth texture. Silk glides over the body when worn, it drapes beautifully, and it breathes well, making it a very popular choice to wear. It's also a natural fiber that's strong and durable, so it will last a long time if you take good care of it! Silks also come in a large variety of prints and design due to their capacity for taking dyes well, which gives seamstresses lots of options to work with.

    However, because of their organic qualities, silk fabrics can be damaged easily if you're not careful. Generally speaking, excessive heat is a big "NO" for silks. Sunlight, direct ironing, hot water--these conditions can cause things like fading, yellowing/browning/burning, and shrinking in silks. These methods should be avoided unless the tag of your garment or fabric reads otherwise when caring for silk fabrics.

    With that said, silks may be sturdy in their weaving, but due to the blends they are used in, their care requirements can vary. When it comes to silks, always make sure to consult the directions or tags for your garment or fabric, and never store silk products in direct sunlight. When it doubt, keep them dry and cool!

    If you'd like to see some silk fabrics, start here!:

    .

    Velvet_JPEG

    Did you know that velvet fabrics aren't just one type of fabric like cotton or silk, but that they're actually a combination of layers of different types of fabrics? This fuzzy and textured beauty is known for it's thick and plush feel, and the wonderful stretch makes it a popular comfort fabric. It's also a great fabric for autumn and winter because of how warm it is!

    Caring for your velvet is more straight-forward than caring for silk, but it does still take a bit of work. Generally, cool water is best to clean velvet with, because keeping velvet in high temperatures can damage or shrink it. This is another fabric that you should always consult your tags or directions with for the best care methods for each individual garment or fabric of velvet.

    One important thing to keep in mind, though, is that you should never iron velvet.Velvet has its own unique texture, whether you're working with crushed velvet or not, and ironing can ruin this!

    To remove major wrinkles like creases and folds, use a steamer on the wrong side of the fabric. Steamers remove wrinkles quickly without ruining velvet's texture.

    If you'd like to see some velvet fabrics, start here!:

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    Wool_JPEG

    Wool fabrics are a durable and functional fabric! They're known for their thick, scratchy layers, and they're great at keeping you bundled up and warm in the winter. Some wools are softer, especially when blended with other fabrics, and they look best when made into jackets and other garments that require a solid shape! Mature tones and patterns are their game, and they look good with them for a reason. Wools also last a long time; they're flame- and dirt-resistant, and they dry quickly (thanks to the natural fibers!).

    Wool doesn't need a lot of maintenance, but when it does need it, dry-cleaning is the only option. You may think that throwing it in for a quick wash will be fine, but your wool really doesn't need it! Because wool dries quickly, it doesn't hold onto odors or stains, and over-washing fabrics can wear them away if they're not built to be worn down. Wool is one of these fabrics--keep it simple and take your wool to a dry cleaner only when needed!

    Ironing wool takes just as little maintenance; low heat setting and on the wrong side of the fabric or garment. Ironing wool can leave iron marks, so ironing on the wrong side can help prevent these from being visible should any get left behind.

    If you'd like to see some wool fabrics, start here!:

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    Leather_JPEG

    Leather is a fabric made from the skin of animals like cows, pigs, and lamb and is most notable for its tough exterior that resists wear and tear, and when treated for it, leather can be water- and fire-resistant, making it a great and long-lasting fabric to work with. A fabric this unique this requires a special  kind of TLC to maintain!

    Because leathers are cured with chemicals during manufacturing, they require special care or dry-cleaning in all cases. Leather is designed to look and function best when it is bone-dry, which means NO washing, steaming, or water for leathers! Excessive heat must also be avoided! Do your best to keep leather away from both extremes; store your leather fabrics and garments in cool and dry places, and if you need to get a piece of leather cleaned, take it to a specialty cleaner. It's a bit inconvenient, but it's necessary to keep your leathers safe!

    If you must iron your leather, you can under two conditions: you must use a very, very low setting as well as a piece of heavy paper for a press cloth. Do not iron your leather directing with your clothing iron. Work slowly and carefully, and only iron as needed (which shouldn't be often!).

    If you'd like to see some leather fabrics, start here!:

    . That's all for luxury fabrics! These are some of the most common fabrics used in fashion sewing, so it's important to know how to take care of them. The last thing you want to do is ruin a beautiful fabric! Do you take good care of your fabrics? Did this article help you learn what to do for your garments when they need cleaning? If you have any stories about caring for types of fabrics, please share them with us!
  • Mood DIY: How to Sew a Button Sleeve Shirt

    button up silk blouse

    Simple details are a favorite of mine. When I saw these small, round buttons on moodfabrics.com, I immediately wanted to make something with a vintage feel. Since the buttons would be the focus, I decided to make a basic t-shirt with a lovely sleeve detail.

    button up silk blouse

    Fabrics & materials used:

    button up silk blouse

    This shirt can easily be created without a pattern. All I did was trace one of my t-shirts and angled the sleeves from the bottom of the original shirt's armhole. If you're looking for a more form fitting silhouette, you could add bust darts, but I chose not to include them since this is definitely a shirt that I'll just be tucking into some high-waisted pants or a midi skirt. Also, without the darts, the front and back of the shirt are identical, so you can cut 2 of the same shape!

    button up silk blouse

    After cutting your fabric, sew up the sides of your shirt until you reach the arm holes. This can be done using French seams, if you'd like! From your rattail, cut 22 pieces; each should measure about 2.5" long.

    button up silk blouse

    Pin your ribbon along the entire top of your shirt panels, right sides facing each other. This will eventually be flipped over and sewn to the wrong side of your silk, like you see below. First though, you'll need to sew your rattail loops onto one of your shirt panels. Starting about and inch from the edge of the sleeve, clip a loop between your ribbon and silk every inch. Each sleeve should have 11 loops.

    After sewing down your ribbon facings, you can finish your sleeve edges and shirt hem the same way, or you can finish them off with a simple rolled hem. I chose the latter, which you can see in the image below!

    DSC_0027

    Your rattail loops should fit right over your buttons, but if you're a little worried about 1 or 2 coming undone while you're wearing it, you could certainly hand sew them into place since they're mostly decorative. And with just a few stitches, you have a beautiful blouse! What kind of buttons are you going to be making yours with?

    DSC_1156

  • 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
  • Mood DIY: How to Sew a Ribbon Tie Blouse

     silk ribbon shirt sewing fashion

    September is the month of transition outfits. You'll leave the house in the morning with a hot coffee and a jacket, and then be sweating by lunch. The easiest fix? Lots of light layers. (Say that 5 times fast!) High necklines are trending this season, so I decided to make a silk blouse with a gathered collar. I also added elastic into the seam, so the ribbon is all for decoration!

    silk ribbon shirt sewing fashion

    Fabric & materials used:

    The front and back of the shirt are exactly the same. It's a little loose, since it's meant to be tucked into a skirt or high-waisted pants, so bust darts aren't necessary.

    silk ribbon shirt sewing fashion

    For a sheer shirt like this, a serger is great. However, if you don't have one, French seams are the best way to go. I simply sewed up the sides and at the shoulders, with wrong sides together. Trim your seam allowance to 1/8" and flip wrong-side-out. Sew the sides and shoulders again as you normally would, and now your seam is encased inside itself, like you see below!

    silk ribbon shirt sewing fashion

    Rather than roll the arm holes and risk the sheer fabric bunching up, I decided to bind them in the same ribbon I put around the neck. If you're following along, stitch your ribbon to each arm hole, right sides together.

    silk ribbon shirt sewing fashion

    Flip the ribbon over so it's now inside the shirt. Stitch and iron.

    silk ribbon shirt sewing fashion

    The bottom of the shirt can get a basic rolled hem, like you see below. If you've never done one, or simply don't like doing them, a lot of machines come with a rolled hemmer!

    silk ribbon shirt sewing fashion

    For the ruffle neckline, I folded the top toward the inside of the shirt 1/4" and basted. I then folded it in again, this time and inch and a half. This measurement can be adjusted based on how tall you'd like your collar.

    silk ribbon shirt sewing fashion

    For the elastic, cut a piece that stretches around your head and comfortably fits around your neck. For this blouse, I ended up cutting a piece that was the length of exactly 1/2 the neckline.

    silk ribbon shirt sewing fashion

    This, of course, meant stretching the elastic as I sewed it along the inside, ensuring that it would still stretch after being stitched.

    silk ribbon shirt sewing fashion

    I tacked the ribbon in the center back, as well as on the two sides. Since it's just a decorative detail, it can be as loose or tight as you prefer, which is nice if you don't like constricting collars.

    silk ribbon shirt sewing fashion

    Ta-daa! Easy blouse in under an hour! Are you going to be trying it? Tell us what fabrics you'll be using in the comments!

    silk ribbon shirt sewing fashion

  • 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!
  • Leather Front Vest

    Leather vests can take on many forms whether it is a mess of fringe or a 50lb slab of black biker leather that practically pulls you to the ground. Compliments of BurdaStyle, here is a simple leather vest with an open back perfect for the summer, it will add the finishing touch to any outfit with out the over commitment of something more stylized. Vest Supplies

    Supplies:

    Burda Style Leather Front Vest Pattern

    Leather (make your selection based off of approx. square feet needed for your size) mine

    Silk Lining

    Snaps (I have not chosen a closure, you could say I have a case of indecision)

    Interfacing and Webbing

    Textile Adhesive (I didn't actually use this)

    Scissors or Rotary Cutter

    Thread mine

    Although I used the pattern pieces, I deviated from the instructions at points but I have provided all products so that you may complete the project either way! I did not end up using the side/back facing because I chose to sew the garment rightsides together and then turn, closing with a ladder stitch where the strap is attached. Note: Whether you choose real or imitation leather I HIGHLY recommend you practice ironing a small scrap piece. When using the fusible you may want to reduce the recommended pressing time and use a pressing cloth.

    Leather, Dart, FacingAfter sewing the darts on the front, I added the leather facing to the wrong side of the vest piece using the 2 sided fusible, since I want to see the full pattern of my silk lining without this facing showing.

    Right Sides Together, Flip As you can see here I sewed the facing to the lining with 1/4" seam allowance (remember to put darts in lining) right sides together and left an opening to turn where the strap attaches in the back/side.

    Strapsback detailHere I am giving you a visual on the 'strap sandwich' you need to make for reinforcement using the one side stiffener/fusible. Then you can attach the straps at the shoulder with 1/2" seam allowance and then crisscross and attach at back, refer to pattern.

    Finished Vest

    Add this vest to any outfit for a little added flair!

  • Duopioni vs. Shantung

    Silk. We know that silk has long been regarded as one of the most luxurious of fabrics. It was once exclusive to aristocrats, First Ladies and royalty, being that it was and still is expensive and ever so tedious to produce. There are many different types of fabrics derived from silk fibers such as Georgette, Chiffon, and Organza to name a few. But lets start with a little background on the fiber itself.

    Princess Diana in a blue silk gown by Versace himself, 1996. Princess Diana in a blue silk gown by Versace himself, 1996.
    First Lady Jackie Kennedy in a silk zibe(r)line dress by Oleg Cassini.  Photo: Art Rickerby/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images First Lady Jackie Kennedy in a silk zibe(r)line dress by Oleg Cassini.
    Photo: Art Rickerby/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
    Bombyx mori Moth a.k.a.the domesticated silk moth. Compliments of xsilk.com Bombyx mori Moth a.k.a.the domesticated silk moth.
    Compliments of xsilk.com
    Sericulture refers to the raising of silkworms for the production of reeled silk. Silkworms are the caterpillars of the Bombyx mori moth. These caterpillars must be fed a proper diet of the white leave mulberry to ensure the filament can be unwound from the cocoon in a single unbroken strand. To ensure that the pupa inside does not emerge as a moth and mar the filament, they are stifled with steam or heat. In many cultures, the silk worms are then prepared in different ways as a local delicacy.

    After harvesting the silk cocoons, they are brushed and cleaned in preparation to be unwound and spun into yarns, which would later be woven into fabric. Silk doupionini and silk shantung are widely recognized as the golden standard of silk, but are often misinterpreted.

    Silkworm cocoons. Compliments of www.artofsilk.com Silkworm cocoons.
    Compliments of www.artofsilk.com
    Marc Jacobs Pale Gold Silk Midweight Dupioni Marc Jacobs Pale Gold Silk Midweight Dupioni via Mood
    Doupionini (Dupioni) is Italian silk of a fine caliber finished with a substantial hand. Originally, Doupionini was named for having been produced from double cocoons that are nested together. The double cocoons account for the uneven and irregular slubbing. When silk was once produced from wild cocoons alone, this would have been the most expensive due to the fact that this double nesting is a rare naturally occurring coincidence. Today this fabric type can be produced from man-made fibers such as polyester or acetate.

    Shantung silk is Chinese and originates from the Shandong province of China. The slubs are less textural in shantung, however it does have visible striations. Overall shantung is slightly thinner and less irregular than doupionini. Shantung is considered the midpoint between a drapable silk charmeuse and a stiff doupionini. Each fabric has a rough surface although neither is unpleasant.

    Pale Aqua Solid Silk Shantung via Mood Fabrics. Pale Aqua Solid Silk Shantung via Mood Fabric
    Duopioni featured in Pale Gold;Shantung featured in Pale Blue Dupioni featured in Pale Gold
    Shantung featured in Pale Blue

    An unfamiliar hand may not spot the difference between the two right away, however a quick trip to Mood Fabrics will have you putting your knowledge to the test. After collecting some swatches you can conduct a side-by-side comparison until you are dreaming of silk amid your sheets. Although each material is alluring in their own way, doupionini and shantung possess different properties that result in different intended uses. Doupionini creates a similar sound to taffeta and will not work for applications that require a textile with superior drape. At times silk shantung can almost appear to cascade and it has an easier drape than doupionini. Each can be fashioned into exquisite ensembles for any special occasion, however you must consider which lends itself better to your intended project.

  • 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:
  • Mood How-To: Stabilizing Silk With Paper

    Blythe silk top available at J. Crew. Blythe silk top available at J. Crew.
    Do you avoid sewing silk simply because it slips and slides and you end up with wavy, puckered seams? Here's an easy way to resolve that, courtesy of Michele of Mood NYC's silk department: 1.  Purchase some parchment paper from your local grocery store, or use pattern paper. Kenneth D. King, couture designer and Mood School teacher, likes to use cash register tape (available at office supply stores). 2.  Cut paper into 2" strips, approximately the length of each seam you have to sew. (No cutting involved if you're using cash register tape.) 3.  Place your garment pieces right sides together and pin to paper strips, with the paper being the bottom layer to feed through your machine. 4.  Stitch all three layers together. 5.  Gently tear away paper from seam.
    Pins and paper help stabilize silk when stitching. We show a roll of Mood's pink cash register tape here to use for easy paper strips. Pins and paper help stabilize silk when stitching. We show a roll of Mood's pink cash register tape here to use for easy paper strips.
    silk tip 2 Gently tear away the paper to reveal perfectly stitched seams.
    Here's Michele showing you the parchment paper she likes to use when she sews silk. Here's Michele showing you the parchment paper she likes to use when she sews silk.
    You'll notice how the paper stabilizes the silk and prevents it from moving while stitching, so your seams are straight and pucker-free. Michele also reminds you that having a fresh needle in the appropriate size for your silk fabric is half the battle. What about you, readers? Do you have any silk sewing tips you'd like to share here?
  • Imagining the Possibilities: Silks for Spring

    Here's a chicken/egg question for you home sewers: Which do you decide on first when you're thinking about your next project? The fabric or the design? As home sewers ourselves we find we split about 50/50 on this one. Sometimes a really great fabric will catch our eye (a daily occurrence when you work for Mood), and sometimes we'll lead with a design or pattern. No matter what the starting point. dreaming up the next sewing project is always fun.

    Right now we're thinking about sewing for spring. So we asked our silk department here at Mood NYC to pick their five top silks of the moment, and then we paired them with suggested looks. Read on!

    Silk Swatches

    From left to right, we have everything from floaty silk chiffon to a more substantial textured metallic lame.  Our inspiration comes from from the runway to retail to sewing patterns:

    Giambattista Valli Blouse, via net-a-porter.com Giambattista Valli Blouse, via net-a-porter.com

    Swatch #1: Seashell pink and cool beige in coloring, our silk chiffon is just begging to be a flowing tunic or caftan, don't you agree? This Giambattista Valli blouse has just the right lines for our look. Online, we have a lightweight double chiffon with a sandy, faux bois print. You could also turn up the volume with a bold ikat print, like this pomegranate-colored Oscar de la Renta organza.

    Silk 2- Carolina Herrera Dress Carolina Herrera Spring 2013

    Swatch #2: Dress it up or dress it down, this plum-colored silk is to die for. It could be anything from a work-ready blouse to a cocktail ensemble. The metallic stripes remind us of this orange dress hot off of Carolina Herrera's Spring 2013 runway. If you prefer a bit more shimmer, we have this iridescent silk chiffon which goes from mulberry to gold. For something a bit more solid, try this gorgeous purple silk shantung.

    Silk 3- Donna Karan topper Bergdorf Goodman Donna Karan, via Bergdorf Goodman

    Swatch #3: This lightweight, gunmetal silk gives the illusion of texture, but is really just printed. How cool is that? Blouses, dresses and scarves would all make this fabric shine, but we think that this Donna Karan open topper is just perfection. Our swatch has a bit more of a fluid, shawl-like drape. Want some shimmer and stretch? Try this lightweight metallic jersey. If a lightweight silk-blend is more your speed, we have a versatile woven that's sure to please.

    Salme Pleated Front Dress Salme Pleated Front Dress

    Swatch #4: The fourth swatch is a vibrant orange-and-brown organza that is so very beautiful. We'd make a look that will seamlessly transition from day to dinner with Salme Patterns Pleated Front Dress. Get a similar look with this Oscar de la Renta turquoise and rust organza from our online store. If you'd like to walk on the wild side, make a flowy blouse with this animal print silk chiffon.

    Vogue 8729 Vogue 8729

    Swatch #5: As soon as we saw this saw this lovely, pale pink silk organza we knew it was destined to be evening wear. Use it as overlay for a ball skirt or a full-length evening gown. We're partial to Vogue 8729, which has both options. Online, we have this lightweight silk organza whose pink is just a touch more vibrant. If you're looking for a bit of oomph, this Isabel Toledo silk organza has a pronounced texture that wows.

    Questions about any of the fabrics swatches shown here? Shoot us an email at info2@moodfabrics.com.

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