Thursday, October 09, 2014

October Mini Wardrobe Plan: Black Silk Charmeuse, Black Sequin Stretch Velvet, Black Metallic Jacquard Brocade

The holiday season is quickly approaching and it’s time to consider what you will make for the upcoming holiday soirees.  So there will be no last minute sewing, I’ve put together a mini holiday wardrobe plan. The color scheme is classic black featuring texture and shine to make sure you’re a stand out at every party.  All fabrics are from Sew Much Fabric.

The Basic Fabric: Black Silk Charmeuse

Black Silk Charmeuse exudes feminine and romantic attributes with just a touch of drama.  It will dress up any garment you wear it with. Take a pair of jeans and add a Black Silk Charmeuse blouse and you are ready for a causal holiday party.  Change from your office jacket into a Black Silk Charmeuse peplum blouse then add rhinestone accessories, a clutch purse and strappy heals and you’re off to after-hour cocktails.  A Black Silk Charmeuse jumpsuit would be perfect to ring in the New Year with your significant other. Pattern Suggestions: New Look 6303, McCalls 6990, Marfy 3163     
The Trending Fabric: Black Sequin Stretch Velvet

Tis the season for sparkle!!  If you don’t already have a sequin garment in your closet it’s time to sew one now.  The backing on this fabric is stretch velvet which makes it comfortable to wear to a holiday dinner party at home with friends or to a formal gala just by the pattern you select.  For an edgy look try jogging pants (Burda Style 8/2014 ##138A) paired with a Black Silk Charmeuse top.  For a causal look make a cardi wrap (Named Saunio Cardigan) to throw on over jeans or a pencil skirt.  And for a grand entrance how about a dress with a train (Vogue 1374)!!   Be sure to keep your accessories simple-all the glitz is in the fabric.

The Completer Fabric: Black Metallic Jacquard Brocade

Brocade is a woven fabric with a raised design typically with metallic threads and reversible.  This particular brocade has one side that is shinier than the other.  A modern way to wear the brocade is a moto jacket styled with the Black Silk Charmeuse as a T-shirt and the Black Sequin Stretch Velvet as jogging pants or a pencil skirt.  A slim cut brocade trouser paired with a Black Silk Charmeuse blouse and Black Sequin Stretch Velvet cardi would be another modern option.  Or make a classic trench coat which would be a fabulous way to update any holiday attire you already own.  Pattern Suggestions: Burda Style 3/2012 #115, Vogue 1414, Colette pattern Lady Grey

The holidays will be here before you know it.  Avoid the holiday rush and get started on this mini wardrobe plan!

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

My First Couture Dress

Edited: This post has been edited to reflect the information Guest Blogger Carla meant to share.  Thanks Carla for updating the post!

I attended Susan Khalje’s Couture Dress class in August.  This was my first time taking the class and learning the couture techniques. I've sewn a lot over the years, but had never used couture techniques!  

I sew primarily for my daughter, so I chose a Vogue pattern 8922 (OOP). This pattern had a fitted bodice, flared skirt, and a set-in sleeve.  I especially wanted a sleeve as I have trouble fitting a garment on my daughter with a sleeve!  In the end, we made the dress sleeveless as the sleeve just didn't work

The challenge of this dress was the many panels—6 in the skirt front, 6 in the skirt back, 6 in the bodice front, and 6 in the bodice back!  That’s 24 in total!  With all the steps of underlining, catch stitching seam allowances, hand-picked zipper, attaching the lining by hand, and hand under-stitching—the dress was quite an undertaking!  

I used fabric from Sew Much Fabric –Plum Diamond Wool now sold out (other wool fabrics here).  

I will definitely attempt future garments using these techniques—especially the muslin and fitting!

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Fashion Mixer-Behind the scences of the 2015 Sewing Contest/Fashion Show

Fashion design students from Alief ISD were invited to network and showcase some of their designs at the Mujeres Magazine Fashion Mixer Night at the Marriott Hotel in the Energy Corridor (Houston).  

They were given a booth so they could talk about the fashion design program and the end of the year sewing contest/fashion show.  They put together a portfolio using the techniques they recently learned.......

......and garments they recently made.

The students enthusiasm was contagious!! They did a fabulous job networking and creating interest about their upcoming fashion show. The next generation of sewing fashionistas is alive and well!!!

Thank you to Agnes Rivera and Mujeres Magazine for inviting us!

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

A CCC Dress!

I really like to call this color "aubergine" -- sounds fancier, doesn't it?  This was wonderful wool to work with (this Plum Diamond Wool is sold out but you can shop for other wool fabrics here).  The diagonal weave added so much interest -- almost looks like a wool pique if such a thing existed!  Very nice weight -- not to heavy -- and very amenable to steaming and molding.  Wish it came in more colors!!

The pattern is New Look 6909, one of my old stand-bys.  I love the pockets and the collar.  I call this a CCC Dress -- Church, Cocktails, Cemetery!  Ready for whatever comes my way, but hoping for the first 2 rather than the last.  

I used all of Susan Khalje's techniques for this -- underlining, lining, 
balanced darts, hand-picked zipper and all of that handwork that goes with couture sewing.   I call it "slow sewing", but it is relaxing and rewarding. 

Now for some cooler weather!

Thank you Cissie, this is another stunner!  And I love the acronym CCC!!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Burda Style Easy Fall 2014

To purchase, go to

All Styles at a Glance

Line Drawings

Channeling Jackie O

A different version of the sheath dress.

This coat has nice clean lines.

Interesting Cutouts!
Dress #4F-Navy Ponte Knit

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Burda Style October 2014

To purchase go to 
Sold Out!

All Styles at a Glance

Line Drawings

Classic Caban (Pea) Jacket
Jacket #125-Loden Green Double Wool Crepe

Tunic for Tall Sizes
Tunic #115-Salt and Pepper

This dress is the sewing lesson for this issue.
Dress #101A-Navy Ponte Knit

Unconstructed ruffles!  

Plus Size
The flounce on this tunic is pleated and the sleeves are knit.

So many great details-keyhole neckline and pockets!
Dress #139-Emerald Green Wool

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fall Sewing:Emerald Green Wool Skirt

Here is my skirt from your wonderful emerald green wool.  It was just lovely to sew on and behaved nicely.  This is a color that had not previously existed in my wardrobe before but I think it will be very versatile and a nice change from my same-old, same-old (black and black).  The pattern is StyleArc's Etta skirt.  Basically this is a pencil skirt with a flounce, another variation in my wardrobe!

Thank you Cissie!  Excellent pattern/fabric combination and perfect for transitioning into fall.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Behind the scences of the 2015 Sewing Contest/Fashion Show

You may remember that I sponsor a sewing contest/fashion show for the Fashion Design classes of Alief ISD.  There's a lot that happens before the show and I thought I would share some of the activities that take place before the first model walks the runway. 

The fashion show is an opportunity for all of the fashion design students to share with family, friends and the community what sewing skills they have learned.  The sewing contest is the last scene of the fashion show and the students are given a specific challenge to complete. There are 4 criteria the students are judged on--fit, construction, interview and a portfolio. The portfolio was an area that the students really struggled with so I called fashion designer Aundria, a recent graduate of FIDM, to help.   

Aundria went right to work setting up the presentation in the computer lab.

The students learned how to use Photoshop, Illustrator and Word to put together a portfolio on the computer.

She also shared how to use paper, photo/magazine clippings and other art supplies to make a portfolio without any access to a computer.  

The students put into practice what they learned.

Thank you Aundria for taking the time to come out and share your expertise with the students.  They have the tools now to successfully put together their portfolios for the contest! 

Aundria and Abby (fashion design instructor)