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  • 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.

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    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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    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 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 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!
  • Owl Wings DIY Costume (with Mask!)

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    Want a cool and quick costume for you or a loved one? Ever thought of making an owl costume, dressed with a full set of wings that can be custom fit to any size for the wearer? Then look no further! This costume is great, because it really is so simple to make, and the final product comes out amazing. And probably my favorite part of this project is that you can use any colors, so you can make wings like these for other costumes, too! This project uses felt wools to create a sturdy wingspan for your costume and mask. Wool felts are soft, have a solid look, and keep their shape, so they’re perfect for being made into shapes for costumes. And since they’re a thicker type of fabric, they hold hand stitches well, which means you don’t need a sewing machine for this project!  For the best and most secure results, we went with embroidery floss. You can also use the embroidery floss to embellish your costume wings, too, but we mostly used it for the mask which we found an awesome tutorial for here!

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    Like what you see? Then let’s get started! Here’s a list of what you’ll need: Fabric Notions The first thing you'll need to do is prep your fabrics for the wings. Take half (1/2) a yard of each of your felts and your printer paper, a pencil, tailor's chalk, and scissors. Fold the printer paper in half long-ways and draw out the shape you want your feathers to be. For ours, we made a 3"x5" rectangle and trimmed one edge's corners towards the center. Cut the template into the printer paper when it's folded in order to keep it symmetrical. You only need one of these! After you have your feather template made, start tracing the shape onto each of your 1/2 yards of felt. You need as many as you can cut out, so make sure to trace everything out first before you cut to ensure you're using the space as well as possible. It's best to keep the cuts close, like this:

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    You can also fold the piece of felt in half to speed up the cutting process!

    After you've cut out all your pieces, put them to the side. Take the remaining amount of ivory felt you have and fold it so that the selvages are lined up together.  Measure down the length of your arms from the center of your back and figure out how long you want your wings to be, (the ivory felt has a max width of 29" when folded), and then down from the base of your neck to figure out how tall you want your wings to be. Once you know what size you  want your wings to be (we went with 28" for the wingspan width and 20" for the height!), measure the height of your wings down the folded side of the fabric and mark where you need it to end. Do the same for the windspan length along the adjacent edge of the fabric. Mark where it should end. Now, from the mark for your wings' height, draw a curved line to the mark you put for the wingspan's length. Make sure the shape is to your liking before moving on!

    Now it's time to cut the wing bases out! This shape you just drew will be the base for your wings. Double-check that the fabric is lined up evenly before starting to cut. I first cut down the fold and then cut the curve I drew for the base. Trim anything you think you might need to to keep the shapes symmetrical.

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     After you cut this out, take them apart and lay them both out next to each other. Grab the feather pieces you cut out before and your hem tape. Lay out the colors of the feathers in an alternating pattern (or whatever you choose!) so you know how you want to organize your design. Next, cut out pieces of hem tape (about 2" long each) and apply the first step of the hem tape onto the backs of the feather pieces. Each feather only needs one piece of hem tape.

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    After you've applied the first step for the hem tape, take off the paper from the other side of the hem tape and get to work on laying out your first row of pieces (like in the picture above) along the rounded edge of the wingspan. You need to start your first row on the curve in order for the feathers to overlap like a real wing's feathers would! Remember the hem tap should be down against the wing base. Using your iron on a medium setting, press the iron down flat over where the hem tape is to melt the tape and attach the feathers to the wing base. You don't need to leave the iron there long, but make sure to let the pieces and hem tape cool before moving them again! If you move them too early, the hem tape won't adhere to the pieces.

    Continuing working with these steps for each row, making sure to lay the next row over the one you finish before it. Once you've attached everything, the final product will look like this:

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    The wings are almost done! Now we need to attach the elastic and ribbon pieces which will help hold it onto your shoulders and wrists, respectively. Take this time to figure out where on your wings you want your elastic and ribbon straps to sit so they look both naturally fitting on your frame. For ours, we lined up the elastic with our model's shoulder blades and the ribbon at the wrists.

    You may need more or less elastic for your straps, so measure around the part of your shoulder where it connects to your torso--take that measurement and add 1" to get the length you need for ONE  of your elastic straps. Double this to get the amount you need total.

    An important note: make sure when you sew these pieces on that they don't show through the feathers! Try to work beneath them, or add these in before ironing down your feathers.

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    Once you've done this, take your elastic and cut it in half so you have one piece for each arm. For each piece, overlap the raw edges by one inch, so it makes a loop. Then, using your hand needle and yellow embroidery floss, sew the elastic onto the wing just along this overlapped inch. You don't need more than that. Do the same on the other wing.

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    Next is the ribbon. The ribbon will be applied in a similar way but towards the other end of the wing. Measure the widest part of your hand instead of your wrist to see how much ribbon you need. You want to be able to slide your hand through the loop once it's sewn on, after all! Once you have your ribbon, cut it in half like you did the elastic. Overlap the 1/2-1" for the ribbon to make the loop and sew it down with the red embroidery floss.

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    The last thing needed for the wings is to sew a small part of them together at the middle. Lay the top corners of the wings over each other (where they would sit over the middle of your back, and use the yellow embroidery floss to sew a clean square where they overlap. You want this to be secure, but not too tight or it'll look pinched. It's okay if the thread shows here so long as you sew it through nicely!

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    And there you go! You have a pair of owl wings for your costume! Easy right? Could you use wings like these for other projects or costumes, too? What color schemes might look great for a design like this?

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  • Transition Into Fall- Easy Wool Vest

    As we transition into Fall (my absolute favorite season) we are faced with the challenge of what to wear. It's cool when you head out in the morning, sometimes warm during the day,  and even cooler at night. We find ourselves looking for that perfect garment balance and that gave me the idea to create a simple wool vest. This has to be the easiest shape to create. You could absolutely draft a pattern free hand if needed. Here's what I used: This wool is extremely light weight and it has a soft fuzzy feel. The best part is the beautiful brown, baby pink, and baby blue striped border. So cute!! The shape of this garment is so simple you could change it into anything! Add a belt, add sleeves, make it in a fuzzy cut & sew sweater knit. There are endless ideas running through my mind so I am sure I will be making another one! There are large patch pockets at the front and I left the bottom unfinished for an edgy look. As you will see in the photos, the vest is a great layering piece to my thin open knit sweater. My denim jeans really brings out the striped border as well. I hope you feel inspired, and I can't wait to see what you make!

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  • Mood DIY: How to Sew an Easy Color-Blocked Wool Skirt

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    Color blocking was one of the top trends of 2016, and with the Spring 2017 lines rolling out, it's clear that the trend isn't dissipating anytime soon. Luckily, color-blocking can be made easy with this gathered skirt, which can be made for a plethora of ages and body types!

    Fabrics and materials used:

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    Like I said, color blocking made easy! All you need for this skirt is rectangles. Anyone up to about a 40" waist should be able to place their panels along the width of their fabric, if using a 58" fabric. Beyond that, each panel can be made as long or short as you'd like. Since mine lands right above the knee, I went with about 18" for my main body. The waistband is folded in half so it ends up being about 2" after seam allowance. The large stripe at the bottom is also halved, to become about 4" in the end. The pockets are basic rectangles with curves cut into one quarter of them.

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    Each stripe gets straight-stitched together at the bottom. Originally I was planning some French seams, but I opted against them because of the thickness of the wool. Luckily, since the bottom stripe is so wide, the seams don't really get seen! Before moving onto the pockets, I gathered the body of the skirt. If you've never done this before, one easy way is to baste the top of the fabric with the widest stitch on your machine (no back-stitching!), and then pull one of the threads as the fabric bunches up.

    sewing wool color block skirt diy

    Top-stitching pockets onto a garment may seem tricky, but with a grid fabric, it's super simple! Idecided to go with the wrong side of the fabric for these, to create a little contrast. First, I sewed the curve of the pocket inward, before pinning it between the gathered skirt and waistband. I pinned the waistband and pockets on at the same time to make sure I liked the way everything fit together before I stitched anything together.

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    A basic zipper finished up the back!

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    I love a simple skirt like this, because you can do anything with it. Change the colors around to bring it into a different season, lengthen it, shorten it, or change the shape of the pockets (maybe hearts?). The possibilities go on and on! How are you going to make yours?

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  • Trend Report: New York Fashion Week | Spring 2017

    Eager to see a sneak peek of what's coming for Spring 2017? New York Fashion Week's got you covered. We have some new trends showing up as well as a few carrying over from the fall lineup, from graphic prints to daringly low collars, making for a refreshing yet familiar new style to kick off the next year with. Controlled Exposure 
    Altuzarra | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Altuzarra | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
    A common trend among the highlighted designers was the use of controlled exposure with bare midriffs, shoulders, and centers. If you're a fan of this look, make room for crop tops and take advantage of your bomber and motor jackets from the Fall 2016 trends to match together this look.
    3.1 Phillip Lim | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear 3.1 Phillip Lim | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
    Better for the warmer temperatures that come with spring, this dance with empty space focuses attention and accentuate the pieces of your ensemble, and it's important to utilize a fabric that will stand out well against your skin like a bright color or pattern. For creating the looks picture above, consider these fabrics: Graphic Prints and Color Blocking 
    Jeremy Scott | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Jeremy Scott | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
    Fan of the iconic look? Graphic-printed pieces made big statements on the catwalk with their loud colors and combinations. Color-blocking brought out a great contrast against them, too, and the smooth, saturated colors were show-stopping.
    Proenza Schouler | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Proenza Schouler | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
    Styles like this are always fun to work with. Solid colors can energize you when you look in the mirror, and a strong graphic can give off the message of your look from a mile away. For looks like these, consider such fabrics as:   Purple and Orange Duo 
    DKNY | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear DKNY| Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
    Following their debut in fall, orange and purple palettes are still in full swing on the runway for Spring 2017. Their contrast is still attractive, a mix of warm and cool, and they're here to stay.
    Gypsy Sport | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Gypsy Sport | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
    From florals to solids, this color combo is fairly versatile. Don't be afraid to mix and match! Try styling any of these fabrics into your wardrobe for this look: Orange... And Purple... Oversized Sleeves 
    DKNY | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear DKNY | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
    Another return from Fall 2016, over-sized sleeves were generously sprinkled throughout the designer showcases. Good with both light- and heavy-weight fabrics, over-sized sleeves are a perfect transitional style for the weather changing between fall and spring.
    Vera Wang | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Vera Wang | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
    You can also take advantage of their design to work volume into your ensemble's silhouette (like DKNY's style above!). Heavier fabrics like these can help you achieve this weighted looked:     Off-the-Shoulder 
    Zac Prosen | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Zac Prosen | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
    How classy! Straight-edged and low-cut, many designers showed off their shoulders with exposing styles much like the midriff and center-exposed styles. You could lump them all together into one category, but each type of exposure got so much individual focus, it could be considered a crime not to give them each a spotlight of their own.
    Vera Wang | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Vera Wang | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
    Exposed shoulders have always had a place on the style board for their elegant and sophisticated images. Draped or fitted, this style is beautiful in its own way. Many types of fabrics work will for this look, but if you need some inspiration, start with these: Low-cut Necklines
    Altuzarra | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Altuzarra | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
    Low-cut and square collars and necklines adorned many of the models at the show. Appealing for it's focus on the collarbone and shoulders, square neckline pieces can be flattering, giving the appearance of a wider torso and slimmer waistline.
    Gabriela Hearst | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Gabriela Hearst | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
    Like in the pictures above, accenting the actual edge of the neckline can be very powerful for your ensemble. Using fabrics with patterns or colors that contrast the rest of the piece can achieve this! Consider fabrics like this to get this look:   70s/80s Influences 
    Jeremy Scott | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Jeremy Scott | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
    With bright colors and bold lines, a lot of styles carried the influence of the 70s and 80s on the runway for this season's show.
    3.1 Phillip Lim | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear 3.1 Phillip Lim | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
    This style is a great excuse to wear flashy fabrics and patterns. The point is to really stand out, so don't be shy! Loud and bright fabrics like these are great for creating these looks:   Activewear
    J. Mendel | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear J. Mendel | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
    Lots of the Spring 2017 designs sported eyelet fabrics and mesh for a nice, breathable style. Ranging in color and pattern, this style is forgiving in that you can mix and match different visual textures and shapes without sacrificing a clean look overall.
    Narciso Rodriguez | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Narciso Rodriguez | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
    If you'd like to make your own activewear style, check out these fabrics:   Cut-Out Fabrics
    Public School | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Public School | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
    The last trend to highlight is cut-out styles! This style is more for visual focus than anything else, as their design draws the eye by playing with absence and empty space.
    Proenza Schouler | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Proenza Schouler | Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
    Cut-out style looks best with fabrics that can provide clean, bold lines. The appeal is the clean cut, so make sure to work that into your design! Fabrics like these would be great options:
  • 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
  • Trend Report: Back-to-School Styles

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

      With New York weather being New York weather, it's always a good idea to have a versatile wardrobe. In April, it could be freezing when you leave for work in the morning, and 75 degrees by the time you break for lunch. The best things to fill your closet with thing spring? Vest, shawls, and light outerwear. And this circle vest can be done in minutes!

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    Things you'll need:

    • 1 yard of a no-fray fabric (leather, suede, wool, etc.)
    • Scissors
    • Marking Tool
    • Measuring Tape

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    I decided to use Mood's Rainy Day Camel Hair Wool, which is so incredibly soft, it doesn't even need a lining.

    To begin your very own vest, begin by folding your fabric along the width, and then the length. Draw a curve like the photo below, starting at one folded edge and ending at the opposite corner.

    DSC_0893

    You should end up with a large oval, measuring in at about 36"x54".

    DSC_0895

    After your vest panel is cut, the only other step is to cut out arm holes! Mine are 7.5"x3.5" and lie 10" from the top of the vest. The lower you place them, the larger the collar hangs. The width between each hole should be the width of your back.

    DSC_0897

    And just like that, you have a vest! For quick alterations, you can easily lengthen or shorten your vest along the 36" side. Make it a cute, cropped shawl, or a chic transition trench!

    DSC_0907

    Also, it's super fun to spin in!

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  • Mood DIY: Flower Cut-Out Pillow

    I've always been a fan of fabric manipulation, but even the basic stuff seemed really intimidating. Still, I decided to play around with some simple smocking for a pillow, and I was surprised by how quick and easy it was. And the final result is absolutely beautiful!

    DSC_0524a

    Items used:

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    As with most pillows, the first step was cutting out fabric squares. This one called for two 16" pieces of cotton, and one of the wool. Another option would be two cuts of wool, but I decided to use the cotton as a colorful back panel, as well as the peek-a-boo flower.

    DSC_0487

    In the center of the wrong side of the wool panel, I drew a small circle, measuring at about 3.75". Then I added lines that essentially cut that circle into slices, extending them about 6" past the edge, as you can see in the photo above.

    DSC_0492

    I used a rotary cutter to slice cleanly along the chalk lines, up to the outside of the circle. Pinning and sewing the petals together proved much simpler that I expected. I flipped and gathered the wool, like the picture below, placed two pins 1" apart in each petal, and sewed between them. I was done in ten minutes!

    DSC_0498

    DSC_0505

    After that, it just became a simple pillow job again; placing right sides together and sewing around the outside. Rather than sewing the final side closed, I added an invisible zipper, in case I ever wanted to wash or spot clean the case.

    Now I have a cute and colorful new pillow, and a teeny tiny bit of experience in fabric manipulation. Here's to trying new things!

    DSC_0523

  • Color Block Suede and Wool Maxi

    In a perfect world I can wear a maxi dress or skirt at least once a week.  But living in an area that unfortunately has a winter season, it's not possible unless it's a "cold weather" maxi.  This means a wool maxi with suede, yep! This wool is a light medium weight wool with an incredible drape found on moodfabrics.com here.  It cuts and sews easily, has a touch of one-way stretch.  The suede was also found at moodfabrics.com here, which is a light weight beautiful bright lime green. The pattern used was vintage McCalls 3074 with the following alterations: -Added a 1" collar -Cut a high low hem color block dress_mood color block maxi dress color block dress3 color block dress5 color block dress4
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