October 12, 2014

Fall 2014 Collection: Meet Rhiannon!

regular hem, plain sleeve finish
Art Gallery Winged cotton voile featured

The last design in the fall collection is the Rhiannon shirt. Yes, I named this after the famous Fleetwood Mac song! This shirt is SO EASY to make! With only three main pattern pieces and a folded front facing, it stitches up so fast you will need more than one. Inspired by an expensive shirt that I saw in a catalog, I immediately thought to myself, "There's nothing to this design! I can get that whipped up in no time!" So that's what I did.

It has raglan sleeves, a very relaxed neckline that you customize to fit you, options for the length, and a simple elastic casing at the sleeve. You can opt to embroider the neckline as I have shown in one of the variations. I did not include any embroidery designs with the pattern as I made up what I did based on the contrasting fabric that is sewn to the bottom of the shirt. You could easily do the same or even use some machine embroidery on the design to make it fast and easy.

I like the look of the shirt either tucked in or belted, but feel free to wear it however you like. I think it is great with leggings as a tunic or with a cute pair of jeans. Let your imagination run wild!

Recommended fabrics for this design are: cotton lawn or voile, rayon, lightweight eyelet, or silk. I do not recommend regular quilting cotton for this design as it needs more drape. If you find a really silky cotton (like what Art Gallery offers), then it would probably work well.

The stock for this pattern will be here NEXT WEEK (week of Oct. 13), so we'll be busy getting the new designs listed on the website for your ordering convenience.

Here are the variations for the shirt along with fabric information.

Regular hem with ruffle added to lower edge, regular sleeve finish
Art Gallery Emmy Grace by Bari J. cotton voile featured
shirttail variation with tiny ruffled edge, regular sleeve finish
Liberty of London cotton lawn fabric featured
regular length with wide lace trim added, regular sleeve finish
lightweight eyelet fabric featured
regular length, folded ruffle option on sleeve
Westminster Amy Butler's Alchemy rayon fabric featured
regular length with contrasting ruffle added, regular sleeve finish, with hand embroidery embellishment at the neckline
Westminster solid cotton voile with Art Gallery Indelible cotton voile contrast
Happy Sewing!

October 11, 2014

Fall 2014 Collection: Meet Dakota!

knee length, folded collar, back button tab, with silk embroidery embellishment
charcoal Matka silk (available from www.bblackandsons.com)

The second design for the fall collection is the Dakota Duster. This is an unlined jacket that stitches up quickly. Design features include princess seaming, set in sleeves, and the option of making it fingertip or knee length. The princess seaming is flattering and at the same time really lends a flowing quality to this jacket that I love and the weight of it is perfect for cool days when a couple of layers are excellent.

I gave you a couple of options for the neckline. You can choose a small folded collar or a Mandarin collar that stands up nicely. There are also options to add in-seam pockets to the side fronts as well as button tabs, scalloped back yoke, and layered ruffles to the center back. You also have the option to add contrasting fabric to accent different parts of the jacket, an option to add ruffles to the sleeves, and a sweet ruffled flower for the front.

The construction is very straightforward and you'll be glad to know that the facing is incorporated into the center front so that it is folded around to the wrong side. That means no separate facing to worry about! I think it leaves a more professional finish and is quicker to stitch as well. I chose to serge the seams and press them open throughout the instructions. This is great for smooth seams and optional topstitching, as was completed for the faux suede jacket.

The recommendations for fabric are many! I would highly recommend Matka silk, linen, faux suede, twill, velveteen, corduroy, lightweight wool, and denim to name a few. Simply the choice of fabric with your personal preference on design details guarantees that you'll have a one of a kind jacket that suits your style. Don't forget to raid the vintage button box! This jacket is a perfect place to flaunt a set of beautiful buttons!

Here are the details regarding the samples you will see in the pattern along with the fabric information (as I have it).

We are expecting the stock to be in NEXT WEEK, (week of Oct. 13), so we'll be busy getting the new designs listed to the website for your ordering convenience.

knee length, folded collar, front in-seam pockets, back yoke and button tab
Shannon fabrics cuddle faux suede featured
I LOVE this fabric! It is so easy to stitch and the result is really like suede. You won't believe it!
Front View of faux suede jacket
fingertip length, Mandarin collar, 3/4 length sleeves, back button tab
Westminster Amy Butler Alchemy linen featured
fingertip length, folded collar, center back ruffles and button tab, ruffle trim on sleeves, & ruffle flower on jacket front featured in gray linen
Back View of linen jacket
knee length, folded collar, in-seam pockets, button tab
contrast fabric used on collar, pockets, button tab and sleeve edges
Moda Mixologie linen fabric featured
fingertip length, Mandarin collar, in-seam pockets, scalloped back yoke with purchased sew-on applique embellishment in cream linen
Back View
knee length, Mandarin collar, in-seam pockets, and center back ruffles
Moda enzyme washed linen
Back View
Happy Sewing!

October 10, 2014

Fall 2014 Collection: Meet Isabella!

knee length, short sleeves, sweetheart neckline
Moda Gardenvale fabric featured

It's that time of year again! I am not sure where summer went, but it was full of activity and fun. Now the light outside is beginning to change and the leaves are falling. Hopefully, the temps in Texas will be too, soon. It is October, after all!

I have been hard at work getting the fall designs together and today I reveal the first of three designs, the Isabella Dress! A version of this dress has been floating around in my brain for a while and it was finally time to get it into fabric. It is a VERY retro shirtdress design with a curved waistline, gathered bodice, and princess seaming in the skirt. I decided to provide a couple of neckline options: V-neck or sweetheart. The front bodice of either works beautifully with the rest of the pattern pieces, so there is only one facing and front to worry about changing out to switch the look. There are also two different length set-in sleeves and a variety of skirt lengths to suit whatever look you are after.

I found that this dress is a fantastic companion piece for a jacket, as its slim silhouette works well underneath. Depending on the design details and fabric you choose, you can have a wonderful casual tunic to wear with leggings or an elegant dress with heels, and really anything in between. I would say that my favorite length for this dress is the knee length, but I really like the way it stitched up in every length.

Even though this design is rather slim, the A-line princess seaming in the skirt and elevated waistline are truly flattering. You won't believe how skinny this dress can make you look!

You will see that the waistline is accented with tiny piping. If you haven't ever made or sewn with piping, it is really easy, so don't let that distract you. All you will need is a zipper foot and some cording and you'll be good to go! You also have the option to finish out the front with buttons or snaps. I added snaps to the butterfly fabric tunic and they were so easy to install. I love the look and ease of wear with snaps. I think I'll definitely be using more of them in the future!

If you have never worked with snaps, I highly recommend that you check out Snap Source. They have wonderful snaps and their tool is THE BEST, hands down. No clumsy pliers that only work about half the time....check them out! You won't be sorry.

This dress works well in a variety of fabrics. I suggest cotton, cotton lawn or voile, rayon, silk, or lightweight linen. There are other wovens that I am sure I am not thinking of now that would also work well, but this is a good starting list for fabrics to consider for the design.

So, here are some variations of the new dress along with design details and fabric info.

The new stock should be here NEXT WEEK (week of Oct. 13), so we'll be working to get the new designs up on the website for you to order.

below knee length, short sleeves, V-neck
Riley Blake The Cottage Garden fabric featured
tunic length, elbow length sleeve, V-neck (snap closure)
Art Gallery Winged fabric featured
knee length, short sleeve, V-neck
Free Spirit Fabric Dowry by Anna Maria Horner featured
above knee length, short sleeves, V-neck
Moda Color Theory fabric featured
above knee length, short sleeve, sweetheart neckline
Moda Regent Street cotton lawn fabric featured
below knee length, elbow length sleeve, sweetheart neckline
Michael Miller Emma's Garden fabric featured
knee length, short sleeve, V-neck
Windham Cascade fabric featured
Back View
Happy Sewing!

May 3, 2014

Spring 2014 Collection: Meet Jade!

Knee Length, Layered Lower Jacket with ruffled cuffs
Made from black slub linen

And last, but certainly not least is the third new design for the spring collection, the Jade Jacket! I know I have said this before but really, THIS ONE is so EASY you won't even believe it! There are only 4 pattern pieces in the whole pattern and only the bolero length is lined. That means there are 6 whole seams in any version you choose! There are NO FACINGS, as the edge is finished with a lining for the bolero length or with a bias binding for the longer lengths.

Bolero Length with Lower Back Detailing
Made from Textured Matka Silk (purchase at www.bblackandsons.com)

There are a variety of variations with an optional collar, back detailing, cuffs, and edge finishing. I even went back to my old roots of applique and had some fun with wool felt and hand applique with Pearl 5 cotton thread! (this is for those of you who feel adventurous!). All of the instructions and pieces for completing the applique are included.

Knee Length with Three Quarter Length Sleeves and Raw Bias Binding on Edges
Applique completed by hand featuring Wool Felt for pieces in assorted colors, stitched with Pearl 5
Made from Textured Matka Silk (purchase from www.bblackandsons.com)

I chose a variety of fabrics to make this jacket from, as you will see. Everything from linen to silk to faux fur to KNIT was used to create these jackets! With so many options, you can make this jacket several times and none of them will resemble each other.

Fingertip Length with Ruffle Detail on edge and ruched sleeves
Made from lightweight knit
Shown here with the new Tara Tank Dress
Bolero Length with Turned Cuffs, bodice was cut on the bias for a chevron effect
Made from Chinchilla faux fur by Shannon Fabrics
Shown here with the Marilyn Dress, available on our website.

This jacket is designed to be worn open with the option of belting it. You can also easily alter the length of the sleeves by adding or subtracting from the ends of the bodice pieces. With dolman sleeves, the fit is easy and comfortable.

Fingertip Length with Lace detail added between upper and lower jacket sections,
 narrow collar and cuffs
Moda Mochi Linen Dot by Moda Fabrics
The new patterns are now in stock! Go to our website to place your order today!
Happy Sewing!

May 1, 2014

Spring 2014 Collection: Meet Willow!

Tunic Length & Three Quarter Length Sleeves
Moda Bella Solid (color: feather) and Moda coordinate
Close-up of the embroidery work on the bodice....designs courtesy of Alison Glass...see the link to her website below!

It is time for the second reveal of the spring collection! Today I would like to introduce the Willow Tunic. This design is a semi-fitted sheath with princess seaming on the front and back. There's a zipper incorporated into the left side seam so that the back has a nice uninterrupted flow to it.

There are no facings, as the yokes are self lined, and you have a choice of either a cap or three quarter length sleeve. You can also choose to make a tunic or dress length. I wanted to design this so that there was enough ease through the hips to wear skinny jeans or leggings underneath without fitting too closely so that you are fussing with your clothes all day. I hate that feeling! It is nicely fitted without being too loose or tight....resulting in a rather nice silhouette!

As you will see throughout the photos, I have offered several variations for the design. I even got ambitious and embroidered one on the bodice and sleeves. For the embroidery, I used 2-3 strands of DMC floss in a variety of colors and stitches...whatever suited my fancy at the time! I chose to feature the fabulous designs in Alison Glass's embroidery patterns for the stitching. Her patterns are great! If you don't know about Alison, she is a wonderful fabric designer for Andover. She designs quilts and embroidery designs that are based off her graphic art. You can see more of her work and order her patterns over at www.alisonglass.com. I used motifs from Clover Sunshine Animals and Flowers.

So without further ado....here are the variations for Willow, with fabric and design details listed with each.

Dress Length & Three Quarter Length Sleeves
Anna Maria Horner's Pretty Potent from Free Spirit Fabrics
Tunic Length & Cap Sleeves
Michael Miller Fabrics: faux patchwork and coordinate
Renaissance decorative ribbon featured on the yoke and hemband
Dress Length & Cap Sleeves
Modern Eclectic by Blend Fabrics
Side Fronts, Backs and Yokes were cut on the bias
Tunic Length & Three Quarter Length Sleeves
Maisie by Blend Fabrics
Dress Length & Cap Sleeves
Damask, Dot, and Houndstooth by Riley Blake Fabrics

The new designs are now available for sale! Go to our website and order yours today!!
Happy Sewing!

April 29, 2014

Spring 2014 Collection: Meet Tara!

Fabric: Lula Magnolia by The Quilted Fish for Riley Blake Fabrics

Hello Everyone!

Well, it's that time of year again....I have been super busy working through the new designs, which entails a lot of drafting, then sewing, photography, and writing! I am excited to share the first of the new designs with you today, The Tara Tank Dress!

This is a wonderful dress design for any time of year. Perfect by itself during the spring, summer, and early fall, pair it with a cute jacket or cardigan, maybe some skinny jeans or leggings, and you can keep wearing it through the rest of the fall and into winter. I have provided a variety of skirt lengths so you can make anything from a tunic length to a maxi.

Fabric: Beauty Queen by Jennifer Paganelli for Free Spirit Fabrics

Fabric: Botanique by Joel Dewberry for Free Spirit Fabrics

This is a super quick design to sew as there is no closure to worry about! Simply pull it over your head and pull up the drawstring and that's it! I opted to do a bias binding on the neckline and armholes, so there aren't any facings to mess with, either. This is a perfect beginner dress or something super fast and fun for the experienced sewer.

Of course I have added in all sorts of variations for you, as you will see in the photographs. For the gray eyelet version, there is some hand embroidery around some of the openings of the fabric. I include the different stitches I chose to use for that part.

Fabric: Grey Eyelet and coordinating Cotton Couture Solid by Michael Miller Fabrics
Fabric: Weeds by Me & My Sister for Moda Fabrics

The bodice of the design has 6 pleats centered on the front. These are so easy to do! Simply fold, press, and stitch 1/4" away from the fold, and then press again...it's a snap! This dress can be made from regular cottons, eyelet, cotton lawn, or voile. If you are using a really sheer fabric or the eyelet, be sure to line the bodice and skirt. This is easy to do, as I have included a front bodice piece without the pleating to make a lining. Simply add the lining to the bodice before binding and that's it!

The skirt has the option of being slightly gathered (if you would like a bit more room through the hips) or plain (still plenty roomy!). You can also choose to center the drawstring or place it over to the left front.

Fabric: Color Me Happy by V & Co. for Moda Fabrics

Fabric: Roses by Martha Negley for Westminster Fabrics, paired with the NEW Jade Jacket!

Note that I am also including the different fabrics used for each variation. I was lucky enough to use some brand new fabric that isn't out quite yet, but keep your eyes peeled, as it will be out soon!

The new patterns are now available for sale on our website!
Go place your order today!

Fabric: Sweet as Honey by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics

Fabric: Confetti Border Print with coordinating Cotton Couture solid by Michael Miller Fabrics

Thanks so much, and as always....HAPPY SEWING!