Thursday, February 22, 2018

Burda Style 3/2018

To purchase, go to

All Styles at a Glance

Line Drawings

Love the double zipper front!

For the trendsetters...
Cape/Jacket #105 and Pencil Skirt #103B

The dropped sleeve softens the tailored look of a bow-tie blouse.

The seaming in this dress is perfect for reversible fabrics!

Plus Size
So elegant for a formal affair!

Work appropriate with a feminine touch.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

One Pattern- Several Looks

Here’s the idea! Have you ever found a great pattern and made it in several different fabrics for different events? We’re translating this concept into using ONE pattern and making various looks to extend our seasonal transitional wardrobe!  Let’s use Burda’s version of the wrap dress.

Daytime and Business
The wrap dress in a jersey knit is classic for day wear!  Solid colors like Navy or Torch Red are perfect for the office or any committee meetings you attend.

Weekends and Easy Dressing
Weekend attire is all about errands and rejuvenating with family and friends!  Use fun prints like Mustard/Daisy Rayon Crepe or Field of Flowers Stretch Cotton for your weekend wrap dress.  For a trendy look, pair the dress with jeans as seen on the Burda Style pattern.

Live a Little for After-Five
A wrap dress for after-five? Yes!  Beautiful fabrics like Mini Black Sequin on Tulle or Black/Gold Stretch Lace (with a black lining) will look stunning for that night out on the town!

Be adventurous and think outside the box!  Remember, we don’t have to mimic what we see on the pattern envelope.  Be daring! Try new combinations.  Once you have determined that the fit is right,  you’re free to use them over and over.  Have fun sewing and check out all the new, beautiful fabrics at Sew Much Fabric

Fabric ideas posted by Beverly Gatterson, who teaches fashion design at the Art Institute of Houston.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

T-shirt, Pencil Skirt and Waiting on Spring!

The weather is still a bit chilly but Brand Ambassador, Dorcas Ross, found a way to wear a little spring right now!  Thanks Dorcas!

It's been so dreary this week and I'm SO ready for spring! Sew Much Fabric is, too, with these sunny and fun fabrics. Yellow is trending this year and has always been one of my favorite colors. This Golden Amber Jersey Knit is especially rich and saturated and looks fabulous with the White/Honey/Amber/Black Cotton Stretch Twill  (Sold Out) from Italy.

To me, the abstract print of the twill  was reminiscent of an animal print so I instinctively reached for another animal print because I like to mix them. My friend Julie Starr had just gifted me with a load of bias tapes in 3 different animal prints from Farmhouse Fabrics and one of them was the perfect scale and color for my skirt. I already knew I wanted to use Burda 02/2017 #117 because I love the detail at the yoke and pockets. One would usually go with black for the trim and buttons I but I felt like that was too predictable so I went with the cheetah.

The top is Burda 02/2013 #126. It's basically a raglan tee but with the soft gathering at the shoulders it has much more interest and femininity.

The skirt is fully lined with satin binding at the hem. I love making skirts-probably because they are so easy to fit!

I love my new skirt and top and until it warms up I'll enjoy wearing them with two of my other Sew Much Fabric jackets!

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Thursday, January 25, 2018

February Burda Style

To purchase, go to 
(Sold Out)
All Styles at a Glance

Line Drawings

What's old is new again with this vintage inspired dress!

Pants for my trendsetters

Professional and Elegant!  
This dress as step-by-step instructions with illustrations.

Love the details in the back.
  Perfect in red for a causal Valentine's dinner.

Plus Size
This blouse is a workhorse.  
Wear it for work or the weekend.

 Trench Coat for Spring

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Faux Leather: Mixing a trend with a classic!!

Brand Ambassador for Sew Much Fabric, Dorcas, hit all the right notes with the faux leather trend.  She combined a trending fabric, faux leather, with a classic pencil skirt!  Beautiful-Thanks Dorcas!

I love this skirt! This is a Black Embossed Faux Leather from Sew Much Fabric that is an over-embroidered with a damask pattern and it is SO much fun to wear. It made its debut Saturday night at a birthday dinner at the new Mastro's Houston and everyone raved about it.

Honestly,  I really wondered how this fabric would behave while I was sewing with it and I was so pleased when it went together with no problems whatsoever. I thought a walking foot might be needed but I sewed a sample with my standard presser foot and it worked just fine on the rayon backing and so I went with it:

And pressing was not the least bit problematic. I used an organza press cloth and did my pressing from the inside and it pressed remarkably well. Here are the back darts:

And the darts from the right side perfectly pressed and crisp:

I used my usual Petersham ribbon waistband:

I used Susan Khalje's pattern The Straight Skirt and I've made it several times but I know this one is going to quickly become one of my favorite wardrobe pieces. Give this fabric a try when you want to whip up something edgy and fun! My top is Burda 6990 in stretch velvet.
Thanks for reading and see you again soon!

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Sparkle and Shine!

We're starting off the New Year with sparkle and shine.  What I love about this dress is the classic color and chic silhouette.  It's timeless!   Thank you Dorcas!  You can follow Dorcas at Lone Star Couture.  

Happy New Year! And welcome to my first official blog post as Brand Ambassador for Sew Much Fabric one of the premier on-line resources for exquisite fabrics, notions and expertise on how to style it into fashion!

This version of the classic McCall's sheath 2401 (out of print) is made from SMF's Smokey Taupe Sequin Stretch Lace overlaid on Smokey Taupe Satin, both available on the website. It was my first foray into sewing with a stretch lace overlay and so, as I'm famous for, I flew by the seat of my pants! I decided to approach it by basting the two layers together and treating them as one:

It worked great, even on the darts:

I inserted the zipper and sewed backs to front for a fitting. Thanks to my previous professional fitting with Andrea of Sew to Fit, there were no adjustments to make. Having perfection on fit and the fact that the reverse side of the satin was beautiful, I decided I didn't want the bulk of another layer of lining. My dilemma then was how to finish the neckline and inside? I cut a 2" wide bias strip of the satin and used that for the neckline finish and I was very pleased with it:

I winced and went ahead and serged the other raw seams and it actually looks great. By the way, a great tip I learned from Susan Khalje is not to sew your bust dart down along the side seam, let it remain free for a much better fit:

I left the sleeves unlined and that was an easy process to measure the correct length using the scalloped edge at the wrist:

The final result is I am LOVING this little sparkler of a dress!

I paired it with my Glam Trench Coat (fabrics from Sew Much Fabric: linen sold out, brocade here) and with the unexpected addition of my metallic cowboy boots it was a huge hit! In fact, I was having such a good time I forgot to have some photos taken!

I wish you all a blessed and bountiful 2018 with lots of time for sewing! See you next time!

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

End of Year Clearance Sale!

Out with the old and in with the new!  

Take an additional 15% off fabrics already reduced for savings up to 60% Off! 
Use Coupon Code Save
Sale ends 1/6/18

Thursday, December 28, 2017

A Pair of Sleeves

Thank you Kasey for another wonderful fabric/pattern review!  The embroidery takes this project to the next level.  I think I need a pair of sleeves..... :)  You can follow Kasey and all of her embroidery work at Kasey Sasser Embroidery and Gifts.

I recently used the Black Silk Double Georgette from Sew Much Fabric to make a “pair of sleeves” to coordinate with a black and gold gown for an upcoming cruise.

The pattern is number 4012 from Decades of Style, the Sleek-Sleeved Bolero. In it they describe a “pair of sleeves” which is precisely what we need from time to time. The pattern has some interesting details: a vented sleeve, elbow ruching (which I changed to darts), and sewn in pleats at the collar, which creates a soft gather along the front edge. The pattern was easy to alter for an FBA, and came together very quickly. If you don’t need to line your fashion fabric, even the long sleeve version lets you get away with just 1 ½ yards of fabric. It also comes with a short sleeve variation, so you can have “pairs of sleeves” all year round. The sleeve itself is cut on the bias, allowing for a slimmer than normal fit while giving you plenty of stretch to move around.

To sew the silk I used a size 70 microtex needle and cotton thread – but that’s not even the interesting part! The gown I wanted to coordinate with has an old wrap skirt that was woven with gold and silver metallic threads. I thought embroidery would be the best way to enhance the whole outfit.

The georgette took to embroidery far better than I hoped; perhaps the double-thick nature of the fabric? I used titanium-coated size 75 embroidery needles for metallic thread, which have an enlarged eye. I also used Robison Anton metallic thread (the best one I have found; very little if any breakage, and acts the most like regular embroidery thread.) The color used for this project is “Antique.” I also used a lightweight mesh cutaway stabilizer, which I have in black but the material is opaque enough I think the white would be fine. I also used a light spray of KK2000 temporary adhesive just to help myself as much as possible.

As you can see the results are gorgeous! I decided not to go “matchy-matchy” on the motif so I could wear the bolero with other items if I wished; the peacock design lets it stand on its own. These designs are from the Mehndi Peacock collection by Embroidery Library. Although I did line the bodice of the bolero to hide the stitching, I also used a fusible tricot to cover the back of the embroidery – just in case any metallic threads might’ve come through. For the sleeves I only covered the bottom portion where the embroidery was located.

Need another pair of sleeves even more quickly? Try Vogue 7161, view D – truly a pair of sleeves! (Note on availability: Vogue does no currently list this pattern, but it is still available from 3rd party retailers.) You basically sew a rectangle into a tube, then add some binding to the edges – not even bias binding, it’s cut on the straight of grain. If you decide to finish the binding by “stitching in the ditch” instead of hand sewing the inner edge, even more time saved! In total, maybe 90 minutes from cut to finish? Yes, even with this lovely silk double georgette (sold out) and silk satin from Roz; I had no trouble sewing with these fabrics on the machine. I still had in my # 70 microtex needle, used a little tear away stabilizer to start my seams, and sewed as usual.

Some tips for sewing: it’s double georgette so yes, your cut edges will be a bit wobbly – it’s OK! No one will see that after they’re sewn, so don’t stress about getting the grain perfectly aligned for cutting. Also, leave the pattern pinned to the fabric as long as possible, it will make moving around the cut pieces much easier - Wonder Clips are good here; once you’ve cut out the pieces put clips all around the edges before you move them. The pattern recommends French seams and I second that, it will be the fastest, cleanest way to finish these projects. Also, georgette and chiffon tend to have wiry fibers, so check your finished seams closely for loose strands and pokeys. Forgo the pressing cloth and press from the wrong side. It will be easier to set the edge of the binding without trying to wrestle a third layer of fabric. Yes, the satin will get shiny, but once you’ve sewn down the second binding edge, you can go back with a bit of steam, or spritz and re-press with the cloth to remove the shine.

Afraid to steam or press your silk? Wash it first – it’s not the silk that gets water spots, it’s the finishers and other agents applied to the silk that get spotted. If you wash them all out first, you can always wash your silks afterwards. Warm water on the delicate cycle, a mild detergent like Woolite or 7th Generation, and a few minutes on lowest dryer heat to get out extra moisture – hang to finish drying. You won’t be afraid of your silks anymore!