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skirts

  • 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!

    ALINEA-LINE

    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!                

    BOXPLEATEDBOX-PLEATED

    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!              

    TIEREDTIERED

    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!            

    MERMAIDMERMAID

    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!              

    TRUMPETTRUMPET

    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!                

    PENCILPENCIL

    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!                

    BODYCONBODYCON

    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.            

    TULIPTULIP

    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!              

    WRAPWRAP

    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!                  

    HANDKERCHIEFHANDKERCHIEF

    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!                

    HILOWHI-LOW

    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!                

    SARONGSARONG

    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!              

    MINIMINI

    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!                  

    MIDIMIDI

    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!              

    MAXIMAXI

    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?  
  • 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?  
  • Trend Report: Fall 2016 Office Fashion and Styles

    Fall is my favorite season, and one of the biggest reasons is my love for the fashion transition that comes with it. Being away from fall and winter styles for so long can really make you miss them, which is why I always find myself getting creative and inspired even though the cooler temperatures are settling in. With that said, the runway was all about practicality for the Fall 2016 season, and I couldn't be happier. Layers, fur, and bulk were big hits, so don't be afraid to style oversized this fall! Keep warm and keep fabulous. Here are a few of the trends that are lighting up the runway for Fall 2016! Long Winter Coats
    Sonia Rykiel | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Sonia Rykiel | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    I think it's safe to say that dusters and long winter coats never really go out of style, but it's nice to give them a spotlight of their own! Designers displayed these designs in an array of colors, ranging from bright pinks and teals to mature reds and neutrals like tan and navies.
    Vanessa Seward | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Vanessa Seward | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Coats like this are great for city commutes, especially if you have to walk in windy areas, and they give your look super classy appeal. A true basic item that can compliment anything,  especially when topped off with a nice fringe of faux fur to keep the extremities warm! If you're looking to make a long winter coat of your own, we'd recommend these kinds of fabrics!   High-Collared Shirts and Dresses
    Off-White | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Off-White | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Something many people struggle with in the coming of the colder seasons is the transition of temperature itself, especially in the office. A warm morning coffee or tea doesn't always do the trick, so if you get chills easily, you may want to consider high-collared shirts and dresses!
    Hermès | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Hermès | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Chic and comforting, high collars keep your neck warm and help you look professional in your business setting whether you have a knit sweater or a fitted top with a zipper. Consider some of these fabrics if you're looking for a fresh high-collar design!
    Wine Silk Satin Face Organza
    Wine Silk Satin Face Organza
    Lots of Layers
    Olympia Le-Tan | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Olympia Le-Tan | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Layering is another option that was highlighted on the runway for this season. This fashion method is a great way to incorporate multiple colors and pieces without having to sacrifice keeping warm, and it gives you a lot of wiggle room for mixing and matching style choices.
    Nina Ricci | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Nina Ricci | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    The key is wearing multiple pieces made with lighter fabrics, like pairing a blouse with a light cardigan or button up sweater. Lighter fabrics like these would work well for this style!   Wide Pant Legs
    Heohwan Simulation | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Heohwan Simulation | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Wide-legged suit pants are a must for office-wear and styles. They pair great with flats or a heeled boot, and the flared up the length of the leg is extremely flattering.
    Olympia Le-Tan | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Olympia Le-Tan | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    If gives a great shape to your legs, and the wider cut can help protect your legs from the cold and let them breathe, too. Fitted tops go well with wide-legged pants, but a shirt with bell sleeves or a little more volume can look nice, too! Consider these kinds of fabrics when making a pair of wide-legged suit pants:   Faux Fur Coats
    Giambattista Valli | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Giambattista Valli | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Was this one obvious? Fur and faux furs coats are just too rooted in trending history to go out of style. The runway's lineup had some gorgeous coats to display, some a little more abstract and others sporting a modest look. You might think they wouldn't fit well for your office setting, but you might be pleasantly surprised!
    Michael Kors | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Michael Kors | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    A fur coat in a neutral palette can look very sophisticated and reserved. You don't have to worry about looking eccentric with coats like these, and really, who can blame you for wearing one when the temperatures start to dip? You can be cold and beautiful. Some of the fur fabrics we recommend include:   Turtlenecks under Dresses/Jumpers
    Tory Burch | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Tory Burch | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Another great example of using layering, wearing a turtleneck shirt under a jumper or dress helps keep you looking and feeling good. It's a style that focuses more on practicality rather than style, but some of the match-ups on the runway were stunning by their own mark!
    Karen Walker | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Karen Walker | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    If you're interested in this look for the upcoming fall season, consider taking advantage of the fall and winter color schemes that are hot and trending right now! Here are some fabrics we'd like to recommend:   Turtleneck, Skirt, and Tights
    Miu Miu | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Miu Miu | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Another turtleneck fashion! Can you sense the pattern here? The combination of turtlenecks, oversized sweaters, and long skirts showed up throughout the runway lineup. While this style may be more reserved and modest, the aim isn't for flattering a certain shape or figure. Comfort is the key!
    Hermès | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Hermès | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Such a warm and soft style has its own type of elegance to it. Don't knock it before you try it! If you prefer to accessorize this style to be more form-fitting, pair your huge sweater with a wide belt around the waist like in the Hermès design above! Consider some of these fabrics in order to bring this look together: For Turtlenecks... For Skirts... For Tights:...   Navy instead of Black
    Sonia Rykiel | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Sonia Rykiel | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Is navy the new black? Well, sort of! Black will always have its spotlight as the eternal neutral in the fashion world, but sometimes it needs a break. Going to black all the time can get tiring, so if you're looking for a way to spice up a neutral day, go for navy. Just try it once!
    Tory Burch | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Tory Burch | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    A lot of designers' styles showcased navy ensembles in the fall shows. A true blue to the aesthetic of winter, it also contrasts well with warmer tones of orange. It's a great alternative if you want a little bit of change during the week. Here are some navy-colored fabrics that could be fun to work with!   Jogger Pants and Ankle-Length Pants with Heels
    J.Crew | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear J.Crew | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    And last, but not least, we have two other cut-styles of pants to discuss! Ankle-length pants and jogger pants. I know I keep mentioning the cooler temperatures moving in, but it's not snowing just yet! Take advantage of this drier, mild weather to keep your legs warm while still showing off your favorite pair of booties or heels!
    Rag & Bone | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Rag & Bone | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Since both of these styles cut off around the ankle, attention is drawn to your feet in the overall look, giving you the perfect chance to make your footwear your statement piece. And yes, wearing heels with jogger pants is acceptable right now. The style contrast is a huge trend! So don't be shy--clash your styles! If you're interested in making a pair of ankle-length pants for yourself, consider these fabrics:   And for jogger pants: What do you think about this Fall's fashion trend line-up? Are you more into dressing with show-stopping statements as the priority, or does this wave of practical fashion suit your tastes more? Save Save Save Save
  • 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.

    DSC_0026

    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)

    IMG_0095

    Measurements

    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.

    IMG_0090

    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.)

    IMG_0082

    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.

    Sewing

    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.

    IMG_0097

    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.)

    IMG_0108

    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!

    IMG_0118

    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.

    IMG_0131

    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.

    IMG_0133

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

    IMG_0136

    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.)

    IMG_0138

    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.

    IMG_0143

    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_0014

    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!
  • Mood DIY: Zippered Full Circle Skirt

    St. Patrick's Day will be here before you know it, and what better way to show a little holiday spirit than to rock your green with pride?  I opted to create a Full Circle Skirt with a zipper that is super cute, and was super easy.  To get it done, I grabbed a few supplies -- like this great green ponte knit fabric and zipper -- from Mood Fabrics, and knocked it out in just a few hours. Got plans to celebrate? Tell me how you'll "dress" for St. Patty's Day, below. Zippered Full Circle Skirt 1 Zippered Full Circle Skirt 2SUPPLIES: 1.5 yards of green ponte knit, cardboard or tracing paper for pattern, scissor, rotary cutter, pencil, straight pins, a zipper, straight edge, and a sewing machine. Zippered Full Circle Skirt 3HOW-TO:  1.  Fold your fabric in half, and then in half again (the fold is along the bottom of this picture, and essentially you have 4 layers right now), and place your pattern on top. (Note: if you need a refresher on how to make your own circle skirt pattern, see my tutorial here). 2. Next, cut your skirt out and open it up. 3. After that you'll want to create your waistband, so double up your fabric and cut out two long rectangles (mine were 25 in x 1.5 in). 4. Pin your two pieces for the waistband together, right sides facing. 5. Give yourself about 1/4 seam allowance and sew either side your waistband -- you are creating a tube of fabric. 6. Turn this tube you created inside out (so you are looking at the "right" side now).

    Zippered Full Circle Skirt 4HOW-TO CONT'D: 7. Lay your skirt out -- right side down -- and then take your zipper to estimate how long of a slit you'll need to cut. Then, use your rotary cutter and straight edge to make the incision. 8. Fold your opening for your zipper back about a 1/4 in and then pin your zipper in place to both sides of this opening. 9. Sew the zipper in place. 10. Take the waistband you completed in Step #6, and pin it on your skirt opening. 11. Next, sew this waistband on. 12. Finally, do any finishing touches you might need to connect your waistband to your zipper, and you are all set! Zippered Full Circle Skirt 5Zippered Full Circle Skirt 6ABrandhyze Stanley is the chief voice of the award winning blog, Frugal-nomics.com; a platform designed to share with women how to live and look fabulous on a dime. A DIY girl at heart—Brandhyze has been featured on The View, The Early Show, The Today Show, InStyle Magazine, Essence Magazine, and MTVStyle. A Wilhelmina Model for over a decade, with a Business Degree from Loyola University Chicago, Brandhyze provides DIY content to the popular How-To Site, eHow; and has been a contributor for the Huffington Post, Yahoo Finance, Manilla, Good Housekeeping, and Newsday Westchester, to name a few. Brandhyze is a huge thrifter and a lover of all good deals, follow her on Twitter @MyFrugalnomics and on Facebook at Facebook.com/Frugalnomics.

  • Mood DIY: Leather Fringe Skirt

    People often ask me where I get my inspiration for my DIY projects, and the honest answer is...."everywhere."  For this one, I think I was doing a modeling job one day recently when one of the designers came in with a leather fringe skirt, and I thought....how funky, gotta have it!  So, in addition to the leather fringe heels I made here (which I won't be wearing at the same time as the skirt, just an FYI), I wanted to add another cool leather piece to my wardrobe as we head into fall, and Mood Fabrics NYC had some really supple faux leather to help me achieve the look.  (Also available online at MoodFabrics.com.) How to wear it into the new season?  Just add some tights and a chunky sweater and you're all set. Tell me what you think below. Leather fringe skirt made with faux leather from Mood Fabrics. Leather fringe skirt made with faux leather from Mood Fabrics. Leather fringe skirt made with faux leather from Mood Fabrics.SUPPLIES: Skirt (I got this one really cheap at H&M, or you can make your own), faux leather, leather studded trim, straight edge, glue, rotary cutter, scissors, and a tape measure. Leather fringe skirt made with faux leather from Mood Fabrics.

    HOW-TO: 1. Fold your faux leather in half and lay it out on a flat surface. 2. Measure the length of the front of your skirt, seam to seam (mine was 14 inches across).  Then cut 3 sections of the folded faux leather, each 7 x 14 inches. The length is determined by the length of your skirt, and you may want to be a little more generous with the width to avoid my mistake I made of it being too short once you put it on). 3. Leaving the folded edge across the top, cut each of the 3 sections into 1/8 in strips with a 1/2 in seam allowance. 4. For safety, lay out the 3 sections before you glue them down. Once you know where you want them to go, start from the bottom and put a line of glue across top seam of 1 of your sections, and press it into place. I let my fringes hang about 1.5 inches over the skirt's hem. Repeat this for the other 2 sections. 5. Lastly, measure the width of the waistband of your skirt, cut a piece of trim the desired length (again, try it on before you cut), and then glue it into place. Leather fringe skirt made with faux leather from Mood Fabrics.

    Brandhyze Stanley is the chief voice of the award winning blog, Frugal-nomics.com; a platform designed to share with women how to live and look fabulous on a dime. A DIY girl at heart—Brandhyze has been featured on The View, The Early Show, The Today Show, InStyle Magazine, Essence Magazine, and MTVStyle. A Wilhelmina Model for the past a decade, with a Business Degree from Loyola University Chicago, Brandhyze provides DIY content to the popular How-To Site, eHow; and was a Fashion & Style Writer and Video Contributor for Newsday Westchester. Brandhyze is a huge thrifter and a lover of all good deals, follow her on Twitter @MyFrugalnomics and on Facebook at Facebook.com/Frugalnomics.

  • Mood DIY: Sequin Skirt

    I've been on a bit of a sequin kick lately, and recently stumbled upon the "metallic fabric" section at Mood Fabrics NYC—I was instantly smitten. After only a few minutes in my new "heaven," I discovered this fabric with an ombre-like affect and immediately snapped up a yard.  I figure I must have been on to something, because before it could be put away, another young lady grabbed a yard for herself too. Skirt, a pair of shorts, you can do any number of things with this.....tell me what you think of the colors below. Editor's note: You can find more sequin fabrics online here at MoodFabrics.com.

    Sequin Skirt made with sequin fabric from Mood Fabrics. Sequin Skirt made with sequin fabric from Mood Fabrics. SUPPLIES: 1 yard of sequin fabric, straight pins, invisible zipper, scissors, and a skirt you already own whose shape you love. Sequin Skirt made with sequin fabric from Mood Fabrics. HOW-TO: 1. Fold your fabric in half and lay a skirt you love on top of it to create your own pattern. 2. Cut out the 2 forms of the pattern you just created. 3. Place your 2 forms together -- insides facing -- and pick the side where you'd like to place your zipper.  Open up the two forms, and giving yourself a 1/2 inch seam allowance, pin the zipper on one side of the form, being sure to start close to the top of the waist band. (Note: I liked more of the rust color on the bottom, so I folded down quite a bit at the waist to center my desired design). 4.  Once one side of the zipper is in place, flip the skirt over and pin the 2nd half, down. 5. Close up the remainder of the zippered side of the skirt with straight pins. 6. It was easier for me pin the correct shape with the skirt on, so I slipped it on to pin the opposite side. Sequin Skirt made with sequin fabric from Mood Fabrics. HOW-TO CONT'D 7. Open up the zipper and sew it into place on both sides. 8. Now that the zipper is intact, sew together the remainder of this side of the skirt. 9. After feeling a little clumsy with the fabric scissors, I opted to snip off the remainder of a 1/4 inch seam allowance of sequins with cuticle scissors (Note: removing a few rows of sequins gives the skirt a clean edge to fold back for your hem). 10. Fold back 1/4 inch hem and pin it into place. 11. It's a lot less messier if you put some paper down, so lay the skirt on top, and uncover only the area you want to spray with adhesive.  Let it dry. 12. Hand stitch 1/4 inch hem, remove pins, and then you are all set!  

    Sequin Skirt made with sequin fabric from Mood Fabrics.

    Brandhyze Stanley is the chief voice of Frugal-nomics.com; a platform designed to share with women how to live and look fabulous on a dime. A DIY girl at heart—Brandhyze has been featured on The View, The Early Show, The Today Show, InStyle Magazine, Essence Magazine, and MTVStyle. A Wilhelmina Model for the past a decade, with a Business Degree from Loyola University Chicago, Brandhyze provides DIY content to the popular How-To Site, eHow; and was a Fashion & Style Writer and Video Contributor for Newsday Westchester. Brandhyze is a huge thrifter and a lover of all good deals, follow her on Twitter @MyFrugalnomics and on Facebook at Facebook.com/Frugalnomics.
  • How to Make A Simple Elastic Waist Skirt Look Chic

    elastic-waist-skirts images from Net-a-Porter and MyTheresa.
      An elastic waist skirt was probably the first garment you ever sewed and it was undoubtedly a frumpy mess—I know mine was. But readers, it’s time to rethink the elastic waist skirt. Designers are turning out chic elastic waist skirts and you can too. Here’s Mood’s guide to making an easy but stylish skirt.
      1. When the design is simple—like an elastic waist skirt—let the fabric be the star. Silks, brocades, knits, cottons…so many options! Just pick a fabric that looks graceful when gathered at the waist and not bumpy. Some heavier fabrics like denim won’t work well, for example.
        Here's a skirt I made with an out-of-the-ordinary cotton I found at Mood. It feels like a thin coat of latex has been placed on top of the cotton. Here's a skirt I made with an out-of-the-ordinary cotton I found at Mood. It feels like a thin coat of latex has been placed on top of the cotton.
      2. Make or use a pattern that has a separate casing for the waistband. Folding over the top waist edge and then stitching looks homemade; adding a waistband casing is easy and really doesn’t add much time at all to the process. Plus it will result in a more expensive, RTW-looking skirt. I like Simplicity pattern 2258 for the attached waistband and pockets option (used in white skirt above).
        image1xxl This ASOS skirt is identical to the Simplicity pattern.
      3. Lightweight fabrics look better with more gathers at the waist, medium-weight to heavyweight fabrics look better with fewer gathers.
        This is a skirt I made using a poly brocade by Marc Jacobs, also found at Mood NYC. A skirt I made using a lightweight poly brocade by Marc Jacobs, also found at Mood NYC.
      4. Don’t forget to fit as you sew, especially if you are making a slim-fitting skirt. You want the skirt to fit over your hips or widest part when you pull it on, and you want to be able to move freely in it. When I made the skirts shown above we had three fittings to get the fit and amount of gathers at the waist just right. That may seem like a lot of effort for a simple skirt like this, but the rest of the construction was so easy that the fitting sessions didn't really add much time.
      5. Use wide elastic. A 1.5-inch width, for example. The wider the elastic width, the more stylish it looks.
    Ok, now go make your chic elastic waist skirt! Check out these New Arrival fabrics at MoodFabrics.com for skirt possibilities, and when you're done sewing, post a photo on Mood's Flickr group page. Thanks!
  • Mood DIY: Full Circle Skirt

    Full Circle Skirt with Tulle 1 Full Circle Skirt with Tulle 2 Full Circle Skirt with Tulle 3 SUPPLIES: Iron, charmeuse from Mood Fabrics (about 2.5 yards), 2-inch elastic band from Mood Fabrics (depending on length of waist; I used about 2.5 feet), tape measure, pen, tulle from Mood Fabrics (about 3 yards) , straight pins, scissors, cardboard, and a sewing machine. Full Circle Skirt with Tulle 4

    HOW-TO: 1. Take your tape measure, pen, and card board to create your own pattern for your skirt. 2. Next, decide the length of your waist by using this equation (don't worry...it's simple): (waist length + 2 inches)/(6.28).  Note: For example, my equation was (25 + 2)/6.28 = 4.299.  Then starting at the corner of your cardboard, take that number (mine was about 4 1/3 inches) and measure it out from one edge, to the other. 3. Connect your dots. 4. Decide the length of your skirt (Mine was about 18 inches). Make sure you are cognizant of the width of your fabric, or you may wind up having to do what I did and tape some extra paper onto your cardboard to complete your pattern.  Measure the 18 inch (or whatever length you decide) line like you did in Step #2, from the line you previously created. 5. Cut out your triangle. 6. Fold your fabric in half, and then in half again. 7. Place your cardboard pattern on top of your fabric (Note: in my picture, the fold is across the top, and down the left hand side). 8. Since the charmeuse is such a slippery fabric, it may help you to pin the cardboard pattern to the folded fabric. 9. Cut out the form -- this is what it looks like when you are finished. 10. Now that you've cut your skirt out, you don't need that original pattern, so you can now use the cardboard cut out to create the pattern for the tulle skirt.  (Note: in my picture I cut off about 2 inches, but wound up only needing one. So, my tulle skirt pattern was 17 inches).

    Full Circle Skirt with Tulle 4A

    HOW-TO CONT'D: 11. Fold your tulle in half, and then half again, like you did in Step #6. 12. Remember, the folds in the picture are down the left side, and across the top. Cut out the form (Remember, this time it's 17 inches in length). 13. It will look like this once you've cut it out....I individually cut out 6 of them. 14. Lay all 6 forms out on top of each other, being careful to line up the middle circle as best as you can. 15. Using straight pins to secure the form at its north, south, east, and west points. 16. Lay your 6 tulle forms on the sewing machine, and sew one continuous stitch around the top of the waist. 17. It will look like this once you are done sewing. 18. Cut out a piece of elastic the length of your waist plus 2.5 inches (so you can get it over your hips). 19. I want the flat side exposed, so turn the elastic right sides together, and stitch it. 20. Iron a 1/4 seam allowance all the way around. 21. Sew the hem. 22. Now, take the waist of your skirt, and your elastic band (right sides out) and secure the skirt to the inside of the elastic. I pinned it initially in 4 spots -- the north, south, east, and west points.  After pinning these four points, I then added more pins all the way around the waist band. 23. Sew the band to the skirt....and you're all set!

    Full Circle Skirt with Tulle 4B I seemed to have attracted a little fan in the park during my shoot who told me she really liked my skirt. Her name was Alexis, and the following day was her birthday, so I thought it only befitting to include her :) Full Circle Skirt with Tulle 5A Full Circle Skirt with Tulle 6

    Brandhyze Stanley is the chief voice of Frugal-nomics.com; a platform designed to share with women how to live and look fabulous on a dime. A DIY girl at heart—Brandhyze has been featured on The View, The Early Show, The Today Show, InStyle Magazine, Essence Magazine, and MTVStyle. A Wilhelmina Model for nearly a decade, with a Business Degree from Loyola University Chicago, Brandhyze is a Fashion & Style Writer and Video Contributor for Newsday Westchester, and provides DIY content to the popular How-To Site, eHow. Brandhyze is a huge thrifter and a lover of all good deals, follow her on Twitter @MyFrugalnomics and on Facebook at Facebook.com/Frugalnomics.

    Unfortunately, Mood Fabrics is now sold out of this beautiful sailboat charmeuse, but take a look at these other great prints they have to offer!

    Watercolor Clouds Digitally Printed Polyester Charmeuse
    Mulberry Roses Digitally Printed Polyester Charmeuse
    Abstract Geometric Digitally Printed Polyester Charmeuse
    Burnt Orange Kaleidoscope Digitally Printed Polyester Charmeuse

  • Mood DIY: Ostrich Feather Skirt

    So...I picked up a copy of Instyle magazine this month (for leisurely reading AND because I happen to be in this issue --insert squeals of delight -- and I noticed that since spring is right around the corner they predicted that a hot color this upcoming season would be pistachio.

    I don't know about you....but it's sometimes hard to keep up with every NEW color of every season.  Well, that is unless you get a little box of dye and some feather trim from Mood Fabrics and do what I did -- give a whole new life to an item I already had.  I've been itching to make an ostrich feather skirt...and I thought this would be a perfect combo -- flirty, fun, and fresh. Oh, and if you can't get to Mood's NYC store, you should check out their big selection of feather trim online. Screen Shot 2013-02-13 at 9.00.27 PM

    No sew Ostrich Feather Skirt 2 No sew Ostrich Feather Skirt 3SUPPLIES: An old skirt, 1.5 inch wide ribbon, at least 8 yards of ostrich feather trim (Note: the amount of feathers you'll need depends upon desired size and length of skirt. I used about 7 yards here for 2 layers on each of the 4 rows), 1 box of RIT dye, hair dryer, thread, straight pins, needles, Magna-Tac glue, scissors, gloves, and a pot (Note: your sink or a bucket will work too).

    No sew Ostrich Feather Skirt 4

    HOW-TO: 1. Follow directions on box to create dye mixture.  Dip whole lot of trim into the dye at all at once for even distribution of color (I advise wearing gloves). 2. Making sure to evenly coat feathers, remove them from solution after no more than 25 seconds (Note: though they turn pretty quickly, feathers appear darker when wet). 3. Rinse feathers in cold water to remove excess dye. 4. Dry feathers. 5. You can either make a skirt from fabric of a similar color, or you can do what I did and use a light colored thrifted skirt I already had. Dip this skirt in dye. 6. Rinse skirt in cold water to remove excess color, then repeat Step 4 for the skirt too (Note: sticking in dryer is quicker). 7. Eyeball where you'll place each row before you begin -- I made 4 main rows in all. Apply glue to trim, and adhere it 3 inches above the bottom of the skirt -- each row 2 inches a part. Glue from one side seam to the other (Note: If towards top you're finding that the rows aren't as full as you'd like, feel free to glue a sub-row in between 2 main rows for added coverage). 8. Pin row in place and then continue it around the back.  Do this one more time around the whole skirt for a 2 total of 2 evolutions. (Note: for a really full skirt, do 3 layers). 9. My skirt had an invisible side zipper, so I glued back the raw edge that would lie right up against the zipper (sort of like a small hem). Here, instead of making a continuous counter clockwise evolution....I started at zipper, went counter clock wise, and when I reached zipper again, I went back clockwise up to zipper. 10. For added security hand stitch each row onto the skirt as you go. 11. Glue raw edge of ribbon down like you did with feather trim edge in Step 9. 12. For a polished look, glue ribbon around the waist band of skirt to conceal top of exposed feather trim. Screen Shot 2013-02-13 at 9.01.37 PM

    Brandhyze Stanley is the chief voice of Frugal-nomics.com; a platform designed to share with women how to live and look fabulous on a dime. A DIY girl at heart—Brandhyze has been featured on The View, The Early Show, The Today Show, MTVStyle, Essence Magazine, and TJMaxx.com. A Wilhelmina Model for nearly a decade, with a Business Degree from Loyola University Chicago, Brandhyze is a Fashion & Style Writer and Video Contributor for Newsday Westchester, and provides DIY content to the popular How-To Site, eHow. Brandhyze is a huge thrifter and a lover of all good deals, follow her on Twitter @MyFrugalnomics and on Facebook at Facebook.com/Frugalnomics.

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