Saturday, January 24, 2015

Showcasing The Plaid Raised Waist Skirt With a Back Flounce

Back in November I posted this skirt as part of a Monday Morning Inspiration post on plaid fabrics. So many of you loved the skirt, so I did a post on how to draft the skirt. You can find that post HERE, just in case you missed it. It really is a very pretty skirt.
Ruth of made a lovely version, but she decided to add the flounce to center back. You can find her post on the skirt HERE.
The lovely Cennetta of loved the plaid and she always enjoys trying out a new drafting project, so she decided to give it a go. She kept both of the flounces, but dropped the raised waist. You can find her post HERE.
Check out how cute her skirt is!
 I love the shorter version and I think she looks absolutely adorable in the skirt.
 Hmmm, I think I need to get mine finished!!!!
Thanks to Ruth and Cennetta for giving the skirt a try. I think you both look amazing in your versions.
If by chance you give this skirt or any other drafting project I've posted a try, please shoot me an email and let me know, I love seeing what you've done and even more, I love to share your work.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Through the Looking-Glass/The Haute Couture Club of Chicago Fashion Show

As many of you know, I belong to a wonderful sewing group in Chicago called The Haute Couture Club of Chicago. The club is comprised of a group of women who make the most amazing clothes. Each year we host a fashion show that showcases our lovely garments. This year's show will be May 3rd. Through the Looking-Glass is inspired by the adventures that Alice had and the characters that she met as she journeyed through Wonderland.
I have been asked to write our fashion show blog. There you will find lots of inspiration. If you would like to take a look, or journey along with us, you can find the blog HERE.
For today's post, I found hats that the Mad Hatter himself would love. Here's a sneak peek.

We are looking forward to a fabulous fashion show. If by chance you are going to be in Chicago on May 3, 2015, we cordially invite you to attend. If you sew, you will love our show!

Owls On Parade

Good Morning All!!! It's VERY cold this morning, but a bright blue sky. I think I'm going to bundle up and pull out my skis. It's just too pretty to stay in regardless of how cold it is.
Before I go, I wanted to brag a little on the pattern weight owls that were made by Julianne Bramson and her American Sewing Guild chapter during their recent winter retreat. They are so cute!  
You may not know that Julianne is part of the dynamic duo who wrote Bias Cut Blueprints.
Julianne is also the brains behind a wonderful pattern line that the book is based on, Fashion In Harmony. In the upcoming months, I will be doing a number of posts on the patterns that are provided in Bias Cut Blueprints. I think you will be amazed.
Now, there's nothing more important than keeping a straight  grainline when you are working with a bias cut pattern so why not make a few pattern weights of your own? I have now made 18, but I've given them all away so I need to get a few made for myself.
If you would like to try making a few, you can find the pattern and a video tutorial HERE.
Thanks Julianne and your ASG chapter for giving the pattern weights a try. Hope you had fun!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Recap of the Thrifty Thursday Whirling Cap

So many of you liked the hat I posted last last week for Thrifty Thursday. It really is a very cute hat. I lost the one I made for the post. Well, I say lost, I actually gave it away. I visited with a friend soon after I made it and she went crazy over the it's now hers :) I think that's a good way to lose a hat!
I wanted to do a recap post because a number of people had a difficult time downloading the pattern. Either go to this website and right click on the image, or right click on the picture below and then save it to "my pictures."
When you print out the pattern, it will look like this. The bottom of the pattern should measure 4" and you can see that the tip of the pattern is off the page. Not a problem at all, just tape an extra piece of paper on the pattern and draw it in.
My original cap was cut on the ribbing edge of the sweater that I used. I had plenty of fabric left in the sweater, so I cut another. The sweater had been felted a bit, but to tighten up the edge a little, I soaked the cap in hot water and then threw it in the dryer.
It tightened up the edge the amount that I wanted and the cap fits great. I just need to stitch the flower on and it will be ready to wear. To tell the truth, I've already worn it :) I'll show you a picture of me in the cap soon.
Linda T of was Johnny on The Spot about getting one made. She makes chemo caps for a hospital in her area and she thought that this would make a fun new design.
She made the cap out of fleece and added a band. I really like the look. You can find her entire post HERE.
Good luck with downloading the pattern. I hope this helps. The pattern is lots of fun to make up and looks so cute on.
I have the 2014 Wednesday Showcase recap post all ready to go....finally! I'll be back a little later today with that post.
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Whether you are a fashion design student or just someone who enjoys twisting your patterns around to create a special look, sketching is a great tool to have. Trust me, I well understand the panic that many feel when they think about having to sketch a figure. When I started fashion design school, we of course had a fashion sketching class. Panic of all panics!!! Our professor started the class by asking us to draw a figure just so she could see where we were. She also said that regardless of our ability, she would be able to have us sketching by the end of the semester. What did I do? Well, I drew a stick figure and wrote on the bottom of my page, "Good Luck!" When this book was published,
she pulled out my stick figure and proudly said, "I told you so!!" The sketch is quite dated now. It was done in 1986. I won an award for the hat that you see in the drawing and the author of the book was just about ready to publish and asked if I would do the cover. I did not do the interior sketches. As old as the book is, it's still a great resource for anyone who would like to design hats. You can find it HERE on Amazon.
As you know, I have been working on the Master Sewing and Design Certificate Program. One of the modules is sketching. If you want to be able to design clothing for others, it is imperative that you are able to express your ideas.
I found this tutorial at that is very helpful in learning how to draw a fashion figure.
 I found this on Pinterest without a link to the original author. The figures make a wonderful croqui.
Iconic Patterns has a downloadable croqui sheet that is fabulous. It's free, which is really nice. You could download a number of the sheets and create your own sketch book. With the Master Sewing and Design Sketching Module, you do not have to create an original fashion figure, you just need to be able to convey your design ideas, so this croqui page is a wonderful tool.
If the long fashion figure isn't exactly what you want, I found this great tutorial by Melissa Esplin. She does a great job of walking you through the sketching process and teaches you how to create a more realistic looking figure. You might want to check out her blog as she has a lot of fun sewing related posts too. You can find her HERE.
Like with anything, being able to draw well just takes practice. So when you have a little time, try working through either Melissa's tutorial or tutorial. I think you'll find that by just doing, you'll become more proficient than you ever thought. Besides, sketching is fun and that's coming from someone who drew a stick figure and thought that was all she could do :)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Monday Morning Inspiration/Zippers

There was a time when a zipper served no other purpose than to close a garment. Zippers have stepped out of their dark seams and have become design accents. We've seen lots of exposed zippers over the years, but I found a few ideas that I thought were rather nice. Some I'm sure you've seen before, but it's fun to be reminded. So I hope you enjoy today's zipper inspiration.
This jacket is amazing! 
 For something similar, you could use this pattern from Silhouette Patterns.
How about using a zipper as straps. As long as the teeth are strong, I guess this would be okay. I might be a little worried about it unzipping at an inappropriate time!!! Fun idea though.
  I love the simplicity of this dress and how the touch of the black zippers make it so special.
The details of this top are so pretty.

 I thought this was a very ingenious design.
I think that both of the following pictures are made from March Tilton patterns.Just love the use of the zippers as a design and color accent.

I don't particularly care for the fabric, but I do like the design. Look closely and you'll see how the darts were manipulated so that the zippers close up the darts and the fullness is then radiated into the skirt.  
 Now, this is interesting, but I'm not too sure about how this would wear.
This is from the 2014 Ballenciaga Fall line. 
This jacket is very interesting. I think I might get lost as to what zips where! 
Someone commented to me about a cuff that was too tight. I came across this picture and thought that it could possibly be a fun fix for such an issue.                      

 If you are doing some repurposing, adding a zipper could really make the design interesting
 How about adding zippers to inverted pleats?
 Just a fun design detail.
 Each opening in this dress is actually a panel that zips closed.
 Same idea from Shingo Sato.
 Alexander McQueen. Now that we can buy zippers by the yard, you can do this at home!

Use a zipper to create a convertible collar/hood. 

  An interesting idea from Saf-T-Pocket Patterns. The zipper conceals a pocket for your valuables.
What a fun idea for children. You can take a ready made sweat shirt and just add the eyes and the zipper mouth.
I'm sure you've seen this before, but from Susan Khalje, a pearl accented picked zipper. You can find the article HERE.
How about this to die for zipper application? This is from Bunny of  You can find the post on this zipper HERE.
Have you ever thought, "if only I could find a transparent zipper?"  Here's a link.  
Now, a few creative pieces.

I thought this was especially interesting. A little too heavy for my taste, but as an accent, it could really be interesting.
The next time you're working on a garment, maybe think about the humble zipper. It just might add a fun and interesting detail to your piece. Zippers are no longer relegated to being hidden!!!
Have a wonderful week!