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  • Mood DIY: Free Microfleece Jacket Pattern

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    A wardrobe can never have too many jackets. They're versatile, and they can dress up or tone down an outfit with ease. For this one, I used one of Mood's new microfleeces and a bit of fashion-weight faux leather for the yoke and upper sleeves.

    Fabrics & materials used:

    I chose to line just the body of this jacket with more fleece. Lining the sleeves made it just a tad too bulky, and it's incredibly warm without a second layer anyway!

     Fleece Jacket Pattern - SMALL

    DOWNLOAD FREE PATTERN TEMPLATE HERE

    (Please note, this pattern does not include seam allowances!)

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    The sewing itself isn't too tricky. Simply attach the yoke to the bottom back panel and then at the shoulders of the front panels; next add the collar/lapel around the entire top of the garment. Repeat with the lining, but before attaching the two, I sewed on the sleeves.  While attaching the lining, right sides together, I left the armholes unsewn. When it came time to flip the jacket right-side out, I could do so through the arm holes. A bit of slip-stitching closed it up afterward!

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    The final step was to add a zipper (I had to shorten mine a bit), and top-stitch around the perimeter of the jacket, like you can see above.

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    Ultimately, it's a super cozy little jacket - great for casualwear or a light workout, and absolutely perfect for this cold weather that's been moving in on NYC.

    What color will you be making yours?

  • 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?  
  • Mood DIY: Paneled Workout Leggings

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    The holidays are over, which means everyone is now scrambling to get healthy and work off all that feasting they did last week! Rather than go shopping and buy a whole workout outfit, why not make your own yoga pants? They can be customized to fit your exact style and body type, so they'll be the comfiest pants you own!

    Fabrics & materials used:

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    This project probably took about 30 minutes, start to finish, so if you're looking for an easy DIY to start off the new year, this one is absolutely perfect.

    To draft the pattern, I followed this sew-along that another blogger did this summer. To make them a little more sporty, I added the mesh panel to the bottom of each leg, which you can see above!

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    Once I drew up my pattern, all I needed to do was cut out the shape I wanted at the bottom. Since the mesh had a slightly tighter stretch than the jersey, I widened the mesh panels just slightly.

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    Since I don't have a serger, a zig-zag stitch did the trick just fine! I also added a 3" waistband to the top, skipping the elastic inside since the compression jersey stayed up fine without it. The selvedge of the mesh also looked pretty interesting so I chose to leave the leg bottoms unfinished.

    Are you going to be trying your own leggings? Which fabrics are you going to use?

  • Holiday Fun: "No Sew" DIY Santa Hat

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    Tis the season for fun holiday crafts and DIY projects! My kids always get super excited when I make things for them. It makes them feel special, and it just melts my heart to see them smile! Trust me, I know how easy it is to run out and grab the inexpensive hats that fall apart, or the expensive character hats every year. Well here's a quick and easy "No Sew" tutorial on how to make santa hats that look stunning! Let's get started, heres what you'll need: The first thing we need to do is measure the circumference of the wearers head. Once you get that measurement, you can start to draft your pattern.

    Take your ruler and draw the base of your hat with the circumference measurement. Next divide that measurement in two.  Now you need to determine your hat height measurement. Here's what I did: Take your measuring tape and starting at the top of the ear, drape it over the head and let hang down to the other side. Note the desired length. Use this measurement to draw a line straight down the center. Continue by drawing a line from top to bottom of each outer edge creating a "Triangle" shape. Tie a string to a pencil the length of your hat measurement and swing outward to each side creating a slight curve (or trace freehand like I did).

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    *Tip: Start warming up your glue gun and make sure to keep it out of kids' reach, it gets really hot! You can now cut out your pattern. With right sides together, place fabric on the fold. We are only going to have one seam along the side. Place your pattern along the fold, leaving some room for desired seam allowance and cut. Now grab your glue gun. Start running a bead of glue at least 2" at a time down the side. Work quickly pressing firmly to close the seam. The glue dries fast.

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    Once the glue has dried, turn the hat right side out. You will use the same circumference measurement to cut a strip of faux fur trim. Determine your trim height (I used 2 3/4" as my trim height measurement) and cut. Starting at the bottom edge, align the trim with the seam of the hat and glue into place. Run the bead of glue 1/8" in from the edge of the trim. Once the bottom edge is dry, glue down the top edge the same way.

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    Now onto the pom-pom at the top of the hat. Truthfully I was searching everywhere for the crafting pom-poms and I couldn't find the size or quality I needed. With that being said, I decided to create one! I used a large candle to trace a circle shape. It measured at about 3" in diameter. Once I determined the center of the pom-pom, I used a pea-sized drop of glue to attach it to the top of my hat. Next, I slowly dabbed small amounts of glue around the edges of the pom-pom. I pinched and glued all it the way around the top of the hat.

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    Here's a look at the finished hat's! I added a satin bow around my daughters hat to give it a sweet touch! The kids loved them! I hope you enjoyed this post, and have fun creating your own!! :)

    11finished hats

  • All About Fabric Care: Luxury Fabrics

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    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!:

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    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: Free Reversible Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    I love the bomber jacket trend, and ever since I made my first one back in the fall, I knew I wanted to make more. This time, I drew up a pattern for the original women's version and I decided to try one for men too!

    The jacket is completely reversible, so you can essentially have 2 jackets in one, complete with pockets. The one I made in September gave off two very different styles, which I loved. For this one, I kept the inside pretty simple - just navy lining and solid black rib knit. The outside, however, was made with a gorgeous abstract brocade, the same navy lining for the sleeve, and one of Mood's brand new rib knits featuring two dark navy stripes. All-in-all, it looks awesome.

    If you'd like to try out the jacket for yourself, YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE FREE PATTERN HERE. When laying out your pattern, it should be 6 pages across and 4 pages down. On the first page of the PDF, you'll find a test square and a size chart.

    Recommended fabrics: brocade, jacquard, satin, canvas, faux leather, heavy knits, wool, and medium-weight lining.

    Fabrics & materials I used:

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    Pattern Pieces:
    • 1: Front (Women's)
      • Cut 2 of Fabric, mirrored
      • Cut 2 of Lining, mirrored
    • 2: Sleeve (Women's)
      • Cut 4 of Lining (or 2 of lining, and 2 of outer fabric)
      • Cut 2 of Interfacing
    • 3: Pocket
      • Cut 4 of Lining (or 8 of lining if making jacket reversible)
    • 4: Rib Knit Collar
      • Cut 1 of Rib Knit Trim
    • 5: Back (Women's)
      • Cut 1 on fold of Fabric
      • Cut 1 on fold of Lining
    • 6: Front (Men's)
      • Cut 2 of Fabric, mirrored
      • Cut 2 of Lining, mirrored
    • 7: Sleeve (Men's)
      • Cut 4 of Lining (or 2 of lining, and 2 of outer fabric)
      • Cut 2 of Interfacing
    • 8: Rib Knit Collar
      • Cut 1 of Rib Knit Trim
    • 9: Back (Men's)
      • Cut 1 on fold of Fabric
      • Cut 1 on fold of Lining

    1. If making the women's cut of this jacket, begin by sewing the darts on the front panels. This is the main difference between the two patterns.

    2. Sew the pockets onto the bottom corners of the front and back panels, right sides together so they pull out like you see below. The longer side of the pocket pieces should run along the bottom of the jacket, not the sides.

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    3. Place the front and back panels right sides together, lining up the pockets from the bottom. Sew along the dotted line you see below, around the pocket and up the remainder of the side seam.

    4. Pin and/or staystitch the pocket toward the front panel.

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    5. If using lining for your outer layer sleeves, reinforce them with interfacing before sewing them together.

    6. Attach the front and back panels at the shoulders and attach the sleeves, right sides together.

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    7. Follow steps 1-6 for the lining, skipping the interfacing if desired.

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    8. Pin and sew the rib knit collar to the right sides of both, the lining and the outer layer like you see above and below.

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    (For your cuffs and waistband, the lengths can vary depending on how tight/stretchy you'd like them. For this one, the cuffs were 8" and the waistband was a full 36".)

    9. The cuffs aren't difficult to sew, however they are a bit difficult to explain. Begin by placing a cuff inside one of the sleeves, right sides together. Sew the cuff while stretching it, or gather the sleeve and use a zig-zag stitch to avoid losing any stretch.

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    10. Attach the cuff to the sleeve lining the same way; however, since the other end of it is now attached to the outer layer, it takes some interesting maneuvering like you can see below.

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    11. The waistband also attaches to the outer layer and lining. I recommend zig-zag stitching the inside of all the rib-knits to ensure that they stay folded perfectly in half and don't move around, skewing your jacket. Gather the back panel to keep some stretch in the waistband.

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    12. Turn the jacket right-side out and sew in a reversible zipper to complete your new bomber!

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    Free Bomber Jacket Sewing Pattern

    What fabric combinations are you going to use for yours? I'd love to see some finished projects!

  • All About Dress Silhouettes

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    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!

    trapezeTRAPEZE

    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.

         

     

             

    tentTENT

    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

    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!            

     

    pencilPENCIL

    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.                  

    bellBELL

    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.                

    balloonBALLOON

    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!                

    mermaidMERMAID

    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.                

    tshirtT-SHIRT

    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!                  

    EmpireEMPIRE

    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.              

    charlestonCHARLESTON

    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.              

    sheathSHEATH

    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.                  

    fitnflareFIT’N’FLARE

    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 DIY: Hooded Bell Sleeve Fur Jacket w/ Free Sewing Template

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    The fur jacket trend doesn't seem to be fading as autumn slowly turns to winter, and honestly I can't complain. With all of Mood's new faux furs hitting the site, I've been dying to work with more of them.

    My first venture into faux fur sewing was just a couple months ago, with a long vest you can find right here (I also explain the best way to cut and sew with fur!). For this project, I made the body of the jacket almost the exact same way, however I chose to crop it to just 18". Then, of course, came the sleeves and hood.

    To save you some work, I drew up a template of the hood I made. It's big and cozy, and should fit most adults! Below, I'll be explaining an easy way to draft a bell sleeve pattern.

    Fabrics & materials used:

    Hood Template Layout DOWNLOAD HOOD TEMPLATE HERE

    If you've never drafted a sleeve before, it's easiest to alter a sleeve pattern that you already know fits. For this one, I took a pattern piece from a button up shirt. Since, it's from something more form fitting than a jacket, I thought I might need to change up the top as well, but after measuring the curve and the arm hole of my jacket, I discovered they were both the same length - perfect!

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    Next, I needed to create the bell shape. I began by cutting 5 evenly spaced, straight lines from the bottom of the sleeve until about 1/4" from the top.

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    Each was then spaced out until I had the desired length at the bottom of the bell. Between the center two strips, I left two inches, then 3" and 5" respectively going outward.

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    The sleeve should be symmetrical, so I did the same measurements on both sides.

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    Lastly, I just needed to trace and connect the dots. The top and sides are very similar to the original sleeve, but the bottom now creates a slight curve!

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    Once all the pattern pieces are drafted, they go together pretty easily. The actual sewing of the jacket probably only took an hour. The side hood panels go on either side of the rectangular strip and the whole thing attaches at the neckline of the jacket.

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    The lining pieces are the same, so they get sewn together similarly. To attach the lining to the fur, I sewed it right-sides together, leaving a small opening along the bottom back to put it right-side out. A quick slip-stitch closed it up!

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  • Leather Belt DIY

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    Belts are an essential part of any wardrobe, but they're often a rather pricey detail for such a small accessory, don't you think? Especially in the men's department; even though belts sold at stores boast high prices and quality, sometimes they don't even last a whole year! That's why I wanted to try making one myself and seeing how much of the price I could cut down. I was pleasantly surprised with the results, so I wanted to share them with all of you, too.

    This DIY is applicable for all types of fabrics or materials used for making belts, so whether you use a leather material like I did or even something like canvas or cotton, this tutorial will be good for you!

    Here's a list of what I used:

    Materials List

    - .25 YDs of Midnight Bottega Basketwoven Cow Leather - Any belt buckle - 279 Dark Midnight 100m Gutermann Sew All ThreadMood Brand Lia Sewing MachineDritz Grommet Plier Kit or  Dritz Tapered AwlDritz Tailor's ChalkDritz Size 3/9 Sharp Needles Optional: - Leather Binder or Rubber Cement - Piece of soft scrap fabric Style 2026 100/16 Singer Pins & Needles (good if using thick fabric/material) Making a belt is surprisingly easy. Don't be too intimidated by how long the page might seem; I think seeing will be easier than trying to just write the steps out, so there are lots of pictures with my notes! You can use the fabric that I listed in the materials list, but you can apply these tutorial instructions to pretty much any fabric you'd like! Once you have the basic idea down, sewing a belt together is a quick job! .

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    The first thing you should do is determine what buckle you want to use! Buckles range in all different sizes, styles, and widths, and whatever buckle you use will be crucial to deciding what size your belt will be. The buckle I used is  the bronze one in the picture above, so any measurements I talk about specifically are designed for that one.

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    Since you should have more than enough extra fabric to work with from your 1/4 yard of material, cut a couple of pieces off in the direction of the grain your fabric will be in for your final product and measure out how wide your belt will be. Don't just go by the width of the buckle's right side; your belt needs to be able to slide comfortably over the side where the clasp will rest on the left side. Sometimes the left side width is smaller than the right side because of rounded edges, so keep this in mind!

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    Take your test pieces and try them out. In the top buckle, 1.5" in. fit comfortably while the bottom one need an 1" in. width. It's very useful to test out the widths before attaching your buckles! After this, you should test to see what length you need for your strip of fabric. Take a tape measure and determine the width of your hips, or wherever your belt will be sitting when you wear it. Whatever number you come up with, add about 8-10" in. This should be the length of the fabric for your belt altogether! Keep this number in mind when you go to cut your fabric. I wanted a belt that was a little longer, and so I went with a 45" in. length and a 1" in. width.

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    Once you know how long and wide you need your belt to be, get to cutting! If your fabric is thick enough, you should only need one cut, but if you have a thinner fabric, you may want to double up or even add some thick interlining between the layers. A belt doesn't need to be incredibly thick, but it should be durable! You want your belts to last a long time. This fabric has a backing and is thick enough with just one layer, so I only needed to cut one piece for the belt.

    Just a note to add: the piece I cut here isn't the piece I used for my final product--it's wider. I wanted to make sure it would be big enough to see the differences. I trimmed this piece down further to the 1" in. measurement I needed for my bronze buckle after initially cutting this piece.

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    If your fabric has a pretty obvious grain, you may need to go back and trim the edges. With this leather fabric, I wanted to trim the sides so the edges lined up nicely with the squares of the basketwoven strips.

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    After you've trimmed your fabric down, you should trim the tail ends of your fabric strip! At least one tail end should be cut straight so that it has cornered edges. The other tail end you could be squared off as well, or you could round it off like I did here:

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    For this tutorial, the squared off end will be hidden and the rounded edge will be visible when worn! Depending on the shape you cut it into, it can change the entire look of your belt, so have fun and experiment!

    You should also take the time to double-check that your strip of fabric for your belt will fit now that it's trimmed down. Remember, the extra 8-11" in. will the be extra tail end of your belt that slips away in the belt loops of your pants when you wear it. You don't want this to be too long or too short; too long, and the belt will look too big, but too short, and the belt will look too small for you!

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    Once you have your piece shaped how you like it, go ahead and top-stitch your fabric . Make sure your bobbin as well as your spool of thread on top are full enough that you can stitch all around the border of your belt in one go! While this isn't mandatory, if will look best if you only have to back-stitch on the first squared end since it'll be hidden away later on! Work slowly and carefully--this top stitch will keep your belt together, but it will also look beautifully decorated if it's done well!

    For my belt, I did a top-stitch very close to the edge so that it was centered on the strips of the basketweave. If you're using a different fabric, feel free to guide to a 5/8" or 1/4" in. seam allowance. Start on the bottom corner of the tail end (where you can see I left the threads on the left side), go down the end, and then pivot at the corner to turn and continue all the way down the length of your belt.

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    Once you get to the other end, top-stitch according to whatever shape you made your other end into. Try to make sure this looks clean! Continue back down to the other end where you started again, back-stitch once your reach your the starting point, and trim your loose threads.

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    When you're done top-stitch, it should look nice and pretty!

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    Once your belt piece is done, put it to the side. We need to make a stay-loop for the belt now! Cut a small strip of your fabric that you're using. It should be thinner than the width you used for your belt and long enough to wrap around the width of your belt with a little extra to overlap with. Keep the edges squared. Make sure it's trimmed and nice, and then top-stitch it in the same way that you did your belt piece.

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     Next, you need to hand-sew your loop together. It shouldn't take much thread, but be extra careful if you're working with a thicker fabric. Invest in a thimble for hand-sewing with thicker fabrics--it'll save you a world of hurt!

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    When your loop is complete, slip it onto your belt!

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    For the next step, we need to cut a hole for where the arm of the buckle will go through. Measure about 1.5" in. on the end of the squared tail end of your belt and mark this spot in the center of the belt's width and then use your grommet hole cutter to punch a hole into the spot you marked. At this point, you could use your leather binder (if you're using leather like I did) or rubber cement to coat the raw edges of this hole you just punched to keep the fabric from coming apart. It's not completely necessary, but I recommend it if you're worried about the fabric fraying!

    You should now be able to slip the arm of your buckle through and fold the tail end to wrap around and behind the back of the buckle.

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    Use some Wonder Clips to hold the tail end in place and sew along the tail end to secure your buckle.

    And last but not least, we need to punch in holds for securing your belt when you wear it!

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    Try on your belt and slip it through your now-installed buckle. Find where you need the belt to be tightened to so it sits comfortably where you'll be wearing it and mark this point with your tailor's chalk. Remove your belt and use a tape measure to mark where the other holes need to be. I marked two on each side of the first marking I made about 1" in. apart each. This will allow you to use your belt regardless if you need it to be looser or tighter!

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    When you have your markings where you'd like them, take your grommet hole punch again and get to work punching holes over your markings. Here's a little tip: use a napkin or scrap piece of softer fabric to hold against the front when you punch the holes to keep the front of your fabric from coming out messy!

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    Clean buckle holes for your belt! Again, use your leather binder or rubber cement to seal these.

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    And now you should be done! Slip it on and try out your new fashion-forward belt you made for half the cost of what you see in stores. If you need to buy the tools, making a belt can be a little extra money, but once you have the tools to use, you can easily make more for a small fraction of the cost!

  • Mood DIY: African Print Peplum Shirt

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    The weather in NYC is impossible to predict, it seems. The sunny, 70 degree Friday afternoon when I made this shirt has since given way to ice rain as I write this. Boo!

    Luckily, peplums never seem to go out of season! Layering is key in the fall and winter, particularly around the holidays when you could find yourself sweltering next to a fireplace.

    Fabrics & materials needed:

    The McCall's dress pattern is listed as optional because any bodice pattern with princess seams will do the trick! For my shirt, I cut out View C (with no center seam) just down to the waistline. For the peplum, I essentially made a tiny circle skirt with the template below.

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    If you've never made a circle skirt before, fold your fabric in half along the weft and then again along the warp. One of your corners should have folds on either side, place that one at the top left.

    From that same corner, you should cut a small circle with an equal radius all the way around. To find yours, divide your waist size by 2(3.14). For example, a 31" waist will require a 5" radius.

    Once your radius is measured and marked, you can draw the bottom curve of your "skirt". Since it's just a peplum, I made my desired length about 10" from the radius.

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    Once everything was cut, it was time to pin!

    Rather than sew the shirt together normally, I chose to add some bias tape in between the seams. This gave the shirt an even more graphic feel, and also hid things a little better if the fabric design didn't line up perfectly. (Matching just doesn't seem to get easier!)

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    To keep some of the bulk down, and to use the least amount possible, I cut the bias tape down the middle. It was then placed between each seam, with the exception of the shoulders.

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    Once it was pinned between the fabric, it went through the machine normally with a 1/2" seam allowance.

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    The peplum was added last and the remaining raw edges were bound with the folded bias tape.

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    Finished, it's a fun and bouncy top that can be worn and styled for a plethora of occasions. Plus, it can be made out of so many different fabric types! What are you going to make yours with?

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