Apparel: February 2012 Archives
Braided Necklaces are something that is unavoidable on Pinterest. They are super popular right know because they strike the right blend of color, texture and comfort. They are light, easy to layer and are super easy to make. You can try one of the many tutorials out right now on Pinterest, most of which are crafted from beads or fabric strips. Or you can make my version: the Easy Peasy Braided Necklace which is hand braided from cotton yarns. Very soft and yummy and cotton comes in so many colors to match your wardrobe or the look you are envisioning. I used Lily Sugar N Cream Cotton Yarn which offers a great selection.
1 skein each of 4 colors of Lily Sugar N Cream (label them color A, B, & C)
Blocking board or some firm but soft surface to secure your braid
Pin to secure braid to board
Cut three 36 in. pieces in each color. Knot at end. Begin braiding holding each color as one strand (each strand will be made of 3 lengths of that color) until your piece measures 16 in. Secure 2 of the colors (B & C) so they don't unravel and tuck out of the way. Starting with Color A, braid the 3 lengths for 8 in. secure out of the way and repeat for B& C. Once you have completed the individual braids, join the three colors back to continue your main braid being careful not to incorporate the tiny braids into the main braid. The tiny braids should remain loose (as loose as you can get them. they might braid up a little). Continue with the main braid until you have run out of yarn to braid. You necklace should measure 24-28 in (depending on how tightly you braid). Knot the end and secure the 2 knotted ends together with one small length of yarn. Wrap your necklace around double or triple. This casual but trendy necklace will brighten up a plain white tee or add just the right accessory to your skinny jeans and blazer.
Samantha Michelle Wisdom asks: I'm trying to make a jacket for a friend of mine. I took all his measurements (chest, waist, shoulders, sleeve length.. any I'm forgetting?) But now I'm not sure how much bigger than the measurements I should actually cut the fabric. (It'll be a denim jacket).
Tara Says: If you are using a pattern, it will instruct you in which measurements to take and how to incorporate them into the pattern to determine the correct size. If you are working without a pattern, a trusty tailoring or pattern making book is a helpful resource that can help you translate your measurements into the correct cutting size. I love my Reader's Digest Complete New Complete Guide to Sewing. It has everything from how to properly position body parts to obtain the most precise measurements and then how to create a size from those measurements. I also found a great basic website that walks you through the gist of sewing a men's jacket and what you need in terms of measuring to cutting.
Wendy Pollack Rieder I am having an awful time trying to install a zipper into a stretch velvet leotard (it has a mock turtle neck, so it needs the zipper). I tried interfacing the seam allowances with knit interfacing, but the top stitching distorted the fabric very badly, giving it a "unique" twisted appearance. I am thinking about trying again with an invisible zipper, but prefer the look of a regular centered one.
Tara says: I would recommend a top stabilizer. You can try tissue paper or some embroidery stabilizer either water soluble or cut away. It should really help keep your thread tension. Also be sure you are using the correct ballpoint needle but you might want increase the size to accommodate the thickness of the fabric plus zipper.
Laura J. Liles I make purses and love to use micro suede. I don't always find good coordinates though, which fabric types can be paired together and still look good? I also use flannel occasionally too. Thanks
Tara Says: You can't go wrong with Home Dec fabrics for purses and they make a great pairing with Micro suede. If you check in the designer section of our Home Dec page you can find many coordinating collections. If you still need some help finding great coordination fabrics, our customer service is here to help or you can post a picture or a link on out Facebook wall and any of our helpful staff or customers will give you loads of options in no time.
I may never be able to make enough of these vests.
The second I saw this pattern, I thought it was adorable. Now that I've made it twice, I am deeply enamored. This is my favorite of all the free patterns Hot Patterns has created for us. It's cute, it's easy and it takes very little fabric. And, as you can see, its simplicity and style make it super adaptable! I definitely suggest a muslin on this one, as the fit is close to the body and you want it perfect.
For my first version of the Hornpipe Vest, I opted for a cotton velvet with a gimp trim. Metal buttons finish the look. The trickiest element to construction is matching up the trim on each side of the vest so it's symmetrical when it's closed. I give myself a B or B- on this. OK, could be better. Even so, I looooooove this vest. I plan to wear it with jeans, with trousers and with big fluffy skirts!
I always like to make a couple of versions of patterns, so I decided to go a little edgy with the second vest. A bit of faux leather and zipper trim made for a fun, slightly rock'n'roll piece to add to my closet. Working with the zipper trim was a little tricky since it made for some interesting bulk at the folded points, but I opted to fold it a little differently than I did the braid trim to prevent awkward bulk and show off the teeth.
For my next trick, I suspect I will make one of these in black corduroy. Then maybe one in an olive twill. And perhaps something in pink. I also want to experiment with using ribbon trim instead of braid. How will I ever find time in my schedule to continue my affair with the Hornpipe Vest?
Get your pattern here, and let the designing commence!
A simple hat like this is easy to incorporate into your accessory collection. If you make it in a warm fabric, it can take you through the winter months in style. A medium-weight fabric will give you a cool way to shade your face from the sun as the weather grows warmer.
This is a DIY pattern. I have a sample version to guide you, but you'll most likely need to make a muslin and adjust to customize the fit. The sample is on the biggish side -- the hat it makes has a band circumference of about 22 3/4"
You'll need to cut 8 of the body of the hat (if you wish to line your hat, you'll need to cut 8 in your lining fabric as well):
You'll need to cut 2 visor pieces, plus 1 out of a very stiff interfacing:
For the band, cut 2 pieces 24" long and 2" wide. I don't interface mine, but if you like a stiffer band, you may want to.
Assembly is quick! Everything has a 5/8" seam allowance.
- Stitch all 8 of your crown pieces together, as though you're reassembling a lumpy pie. (Yum!)
- Stitch one of your bands end to end to form a circle.
-Test the fit of the crown section to the circumference of the band. Adjust as needed. (If your have a smaller or larger head than the size provided, this is where you'll need to adjust.)
- Once your crown matches your band, stitch the crown to the band.
- Assemble your visor right sides together. Remember, your interfacing will be on the outside while you stitch so that it sandwiches between the two pieces of fashion fabric once you turn it. If you're using an iron-in interfacing, apply it to the wrong side of one of your visor pieces before assembly.
- Attach the visor to the edge of the band you did not stitch your crown assembly to.
This is a good time to test your fit!
- Once you're happy with fit, stitch the second band piece into a circle, and stitch it to side of the band with the visor attached, encasing the visor in between the bands so you have a finished seam edge at the bottom of your band when you turn it right side out.
- With your second band piece flipped to the inside of the hat, stitch the unattached edge to the side where you joined the crown.
Here's an inside-out look at the assembled hat.
- For a pretty, clean finish, assemble a second crown out of lining fabric, and then hand stitch it to the interior of your hat, enclosing the raw edges of your crown/band seam.
And there you go! Ready to hit the rooftops of London!
I made my two samples using corduroy and a microsuede. I want to make one using a cotton velvet, and maybe even a minky! A medium-weight linen version would be great for spring and summer.
I would like to take a look at spring trends for 2012 and relate them to ''real'' life dressing. With that challenge in mind, I am only going to choose the trends that actually can be translated into a wardrobe that I could wear to most occasions in my life - work, shopping, dinner out. I think that will translate for most of you as well. Let's get started!
Changes of season always means new color trends. This season is no exception, and they are pretty clear cut. We will look at the trends of ivory laced with black, pastels, and brights. Ivory outfits laced in black pair nicely with the Art Deco/1920's trend in clothing this spring. There should be a shade between cool ivory and warm ecru that will suit almost any complextion. An ivory blouse might have black buttons and a collar piped in black. You could pair a black jacket with an ivory dress for a night out. Dreamy ice cream pastels are paired with floral prints this season. There's also a little shimmer involved. Ralph Lauren's spring collection embraced all of these trends. So if you like a lighter shade of pale, this trend is for you. Lastly, juicy hot colors temper all the fragile pale colors this season, especially with designers like Donna Karan.
Pattern mixing has been a trend over the past couple of years. Patterns have de-coupled from each other this season, and it's just one big bold print that has predominace as the trend of the season. Designers like Dries Van Noten have taken whole city nightscapes and interpreted them into large abstract prints to be worn as dresses or very full pants. It's all about showing the large scale of a single print on a garment.
Next week, I will match up some patterns we carry with some of our fabrics to interpret some of my favorite outfits from the spring 2012 runways.
I love this pattern! Let's just get that out of the way. This playsuit was fun and quick with lots of room for modifications to make it custom to you or to change it up each time you make it. I am always hesitant when making nightgowns or Pjs of any kind because when I sleep in them I want to be sure ahead of time that they will be comfy as well as attractive. The Hot Patterns Retro Playsuit definitely fits the attractive bill but does it also meet the comfy qualifications? Only making one will answer the question.
I opted for a navy charmeuse satin because we all know dark colors make us look slimmer but I don't look good in black. I am a naturally pale Irish girl so I wanted something with a bit of color. The fabric arrived and it was dreamy (quite apt that it was destined for sleepwear). I then decided to trade the lace trim in for some cotton, ruffle accent. I loved the romantic look of the lace but I love the feel of cotton so much more. Using approx. ½ yd of 45 in. cotton, I cut 3 in. straight strips of quilting cotton (about 5 yds) and pressed it in half widthwise, wrong sides facing. I then ran it through my ruffler using the 12 st setting. This created about 4 yds of ruffle trim, just right to finish off my playsuit.
Overall this was a dream pattern. It went together exactly as instructed. The satin was not the hassle I was expecting. Just be prepared with a sharp needle and quality thread and it should be as manageable as cotton. The ruffle really worked well with the style of the playsuit. I attached it to the right side of the top and leg openings and then folded the raw edges toward the inside and topstitched the seams down on the right side. Be sure and finish off the seams with a zig zag or a serger otherwise your satin will fringe. The ribbon details are also a nice touch though you can create some spaghetti straps out of your satin. I picked one of the complimentary colors from my ruffle for my 1/4 in. ribbon. The lavender really works well with the navy and my skin tone. This is a great addition to my PJ drawer and I like it even more then my satin gowns because the shorts keep the playsuit from riding up in the night. A + in comfort!
I made the pants in a stretch nylon jersey. They go together in a snap. These casual trousers are cut a little fuller through the seat than many active wear patterns. So, if you have a curvy figure and find it difficult to find fitness patterns that actually fit right out of the envelope, this might be your soul mate pattern. The comfort level is off the charts.
I made two versions of the top -- one in a printed thermal knit, and one in a stretch velvet. Love the style -- it's got a great ease, and the hood is super cute. I have a little bit of a full bust that can make many non-tailored pieces look boxy, so I found I liked the fit of this top better when I tapered it in at the waist just a tiny bit (I think the most I took it in was 1/4" at the most, tapered in along the existing seam line). Because I am short (a towering 5'3"), I also cut the neck opening just a little bit shorter than the pattern.
I cannot stress the comfort of the Chill-Out Sweatsuit enough -- I feel relaxed and slightly more serene the moment I put these pieces on! They can be made in heavier fabrics for a cozy winter vibe, or in a lighter weight knit for a spring-into-summer cover up to wear on your way to and from the gym. These are also perfect for relaxed travel -- I love that knits can roll right up into my suitcase and come out ready to play without any fuss. I could also see this pattern being adapted into the most perfect pajamas imaginable, but that might be because I have a serious pjs addiction. I'm already shopping for the next fabric I'll use for my next iteration of this one!