Sew News 2018 – New Year, New Columns!

The start of the new year is always kind of exciting around here. We all like starting anew (ahem, new projects), and we’re so excited to present our new line-up to you!

The Common Thread – Explore the stories that connect us through sewing with blogger, podcaster and author Abby Glassenberg.

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Clothes Minded – Take your handmade wardrobe to the next level with planning and styling tips from your favorite fashion and sewing bloggers, starting with Riva La Diva.Screen Shot 2018 01 17 at 3.42.05 PM 223x300 Sew News 2018   New Year, New Columns!

Get the Look –Translate runway and streetwear trends into home sewing patterns and fabrics for real life!Screen Shot 2018 01 17 at 3.42.38 PM 300x200 Sew News 2018   New Year, New Columns!

High-End HacksRecreate high end looks  with how-tos by our super stylish assistant editor Jessica Ziebarth.

Serger School – Use your serger to its full potential this year with tips, techniques and special topics.

We’re also happy to welcome fit expert Rae Cumbie to take on Curve Appeal, we’re continuing with Linda Reynold’s super thorough Masterclass series, pattern hacking fun with Meg Healy of BusaStyle.com, and a lineup of terrific sew alongs to help you build your handmade wardrobe, starting with the stunning Luzerne Trench  pattern by Deer & Doe.

And no issue would be complete without basic training, perfect if you need a refresher and also perfect if you’re looking to increase your sewing trivia knowledge.

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And we don’t mean to humble brag, but there’s so much to love with the first issue! In Sew News Feb/March 2018, you’ll find all of the above, plus:

  • Learn how to work with wool coatings and jacket fitting techniques – perfect if your #2018makenine includes a coat or two.
  • Plan your sewing better with fashion sketching and a fun wardrobe challenge.
  • Statement sleeves are sticking around! Learn to draft and stitch the perfect flounce for pattern hacking success.
  • Whether you’re making jeans for the first time or hacking a favorite pattern, grab this hack for moto-style jeans.
  • Make the most of your pattern library! Turn a pencil skirt pattern into a pleated a-line for spring.
  • Create a sweet pleated boho blouse with a free pattern (while on newsstands).sn10318 2 221x300 Sew News 2018   New Year, New Columns!
 Sew News 2018   New Year, New Columns!
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January is Hot Tea Month! Celebrate In Style

January is the perfect time of year for sipping hot beverages, which is probably why it was chosen to be hot tea month.

Hot Tea Month January is Hot Tea Month! Celebrate In StyleNot only is hot tea delicious, but it’s also a great excuse to stitch up cute tea accessories — either to use at a fancy tea party or just for curling up by yourself to enjoy a nice cuppa. As an added bonus, tea accessories tend to be quick to sew, making them wonderful instant-gratification projects when time is tight. I’ve gathered together some great quick tea-lover projects to fill up the day until teatime arrives.

When friends are coming over, dress up your table with a pretty party runner. The Above the Curve Table Runner is inspired by the artwork of Rex Ray. Or for a more festive table, try the Peggy Party Runner. With its simple piecing and fun pompom trim, it makes a great centerpiece. It even comes as a kit with an instructional video!

Curves January is Hot Tea Month! Celebrate In Style

Above the Curve Table Runner

Kit Image Runner January is Hot Tea Month! Celebrate In Style

Peggy Party Runner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
If table runners aren’t your thing, check out the pretty Blossom placemat and napkin set, sure to do your table up right.

Blossoms January is Hot Tea Month! Celebrate In Style

Blossom Placemat & Napkin Set

 

To protect your table from a hot kettle, make a Quilted trivet… the only problem is, you might not want to cover it up! And keep your table and trappings safe from spills with the Tea Time Coaster Set. The pieces are reversible so it’s easy to change up your style from party to party.

Trivit 1024x946 January is Hot Tea Month! Celebrate In Style

Hot Seat Quilted Trivit

Tea time January is Hot Tea Month! Celebrate In Style

Tea Time Coaster Set

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wearing an apron can give a hostess a little extra flair. For tea, I personally like a half-apron with an interesting hem, like the Chicken Scratch Apron. Or consider the Swine & Dine set — changing the apron from a barbecue theme to tea apropos is as easy as changing out the fabric. And the matching towel project is a great way to make your tea towels coordinate!

 

apron January is Hot Tea Month! Celebrate In Style

Chicken Scratch Apron

SwineDine 200 January is Hot Tea Month! Celebrate In Style

Swine & Dine Set

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of my favorite tea projects doesn’t require a pattern at all. A mug rug is simple and quick to make, and it’s a great way to use up scraps or feature favorite fabrics. Just cut two 5”-6” squares of fabric and a matching square of batting, sandwich them, quilt as desired (this is a great use for your machine’s decorative stitches), then bind with bias or cross-grain strips. Ta-da! Easy as can be.

I think I’m going to go make myself a nice cup of chai… How about you? What’s your favorite tea?

Kate signature January is Hot Tea Month! Celebrate In Style

 

 

Don’t miss out! Find more great projects and ideas in our newest issue, available on newsstands and at shopsewitall.com!

 January is Hot Tea Month! Celebrate In Style
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Project Runway All Stars Recap: Season 6, Episode 3

Project Runway All Stars Recap: Season 6, Episode 3: Perfect Pairings

photos courtesy of mylifetime.com.

Despite Alyssa telling us there would be no more team challenges this season, we start episode 3 with…a team challenge.

The designers were tasked with creating designs inspired by food and wine pairings. They were sent to an upscale restaurant and sat at tables of two. Each pair was served a dish with a glass of wine and one person had to use the food as inspiration while the other used the wine. Got it? Phew.

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My first thought was: What is Alyssa Milano wearing?

Screen Shot 2018 01 19 at 1.23.08 PM Project Runway All Stars Recap: Season 6, Episode 3Is that a napkin and a tablecloth sewn together? Or do y’all think this is gorgeous and I’m off my rocker? If the left side of the dress was duplicated on the right, I’d like it. Carry on…

Candace started the challenge convinced she’d be in the bottom with Merlene. And oh, did I mention that this was a double elimination? The losing team would BOTH GO HOME.

Screen Shot 2018 01 19 at 1.24.29 PM Project Runway All Stars Recap: Season 6, Episode 3Sure enough, they were in the bottom two. Georgina couldn’t get past the bad construction of Merlene’s outfit. But, excuse me, you could ALSO SEE THE MODEL’S CROTCH. So many problems with this look–I just can’t count them all. Candace’s look was ok. The top was cool. But the pants were too heavy with the sequins so the hem kept distorting as the model walked the runway.

Melissa and Ari were also in the bottom. Melissa had an elegant pant-and-jumpsuit look planned but scrapped it when the model fitting didn’t go well. She then ended up with a frumpy dress with strange sleeves that didn’t jive with Ari’s “trampy” look (per Georgina).

Screen Shot 2018 01 19 at 1.24.14 PM Project Runway All Stars Recap: Season 6, Episode 3I thought Helen and Edmond should have been in the bottom simply because their gowns competed instead of complemented each other. But at least the construction was on point.

Screen Shot 2018 01 19 at 1.25.39 PM Project Runway All Stars Recap: Season 6, Episode 3Anthony was on the top again this week with his splatter-painted gown, along with Kimberly, who made a super cool blue jumpsuit. Whoppi Goldberg was the guest judge and really wanted to wear this look–she pointed out that this look would look good on all figures. Incidentally, Helen was a bit snarky about the look, stating that it was super simple to “cut holes in fabric to stick your arms through.”

Screen Shot 2018 01 19 at 1.25.07 PM Project Runway All Stars Recap: Season 6, Episode 3Ken and Fabio were also on top, with their sleek gowns that really went together well. Not sure about all the volume at the hips on Ken’s gown, but Georgina and Isaac really loved it.

Screen Shot 2018 01 19 at 1.25.45 PM Project Runway All Stars Recap: Season 6, Episode 3After the harsh critique of Merlene and Candace’s gowns, I was surprised to see Melissa and Ari go home this week. I really had high hopes for Melissa–can’t she get a win already people? And Ari was a fan favorite, too. Georgina even threatened to be “done with Merlene entirely” if she did this same terrible applique technique again. But, alas, they live to sew another day.

Screen Shot 2018 01 19 at 1.25.17 PM Project Runway All Stars Recap: Season 6, Episode 3Buh bye, Melissa & Ari. Best of luck to you both out in the world!

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And I just have to ask again: What was Alyssa wearing for the runway show? (Yes, that’s a crop top worn with a high-waisted pencil skirt.)

Screen Shot 2018 01 19 at 1.23.53 PM Project Runway All Stars Recap: Season 6, Episode 3See you next week!

 Project Runway All Stars Recap: Season 6, Episode 3
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Need A Warm Hat This Weekend?

Do you need a hat for marching around town this weekend? I’m planning to sew up a few, we’re having record cold temps. I made a similar hat in a light weight knit last year, so I decided to sew myself up a cozy fleece version.

The unique shape of the hat is easy to achieve; the ear shape is made by folding over a rectangle and seaming the sides. Here’s a quick and easy method that even a novice can master.Pink Hat e1516291513492 300x300 Need A Warm Hat This Weekend?

  1. Measure the circumference of your (or any other marcher’s) head. Divide that number by two, then add 3/4” for seam allowance. Record this as the width.
  2. From pink fleece, cut a rectangle that measures the recorded width by 22” for an adult, 20” for a child, 16 1/2” for a toddler or 14” for a baby. Cut with the width along the direction of greatest stretch.
  3. Fold the rectangle in half widthwise with the wrong sides together. Mark 2” from the raw edges on both side seams. Stitch from the mark to the raw edge using 3/8” seam allowances.
  4. Clip into the seam allowances at the mark, being careful not to cut the stitches. Clip the seam allowances at the raw edge on the diagonal.SquareHat 1 Need A Warm Hat This Weekend?
  5. Turn the hat wrong side out. Stitch the remaining sections of the side seams with a 3/8” seam allowance.SquareHat 2 Need A Warm Hat This Weekend?
  6. Turn the hat right side out. Turn up the lower 2”, creating a cuff. Easy peasy!

 

Femme Fatale Need A Warm Hat This Weekend?

I decided to jazz my hat up with some embroidery. Urban Threads has a collection called “Femme Fatale” that I’ve been eyeing for a while, so this seemed like a great opportunity to put one to use.

The design is big — 7.83” wide by 7.01” high, which was just big enough to fit comfortably on the front half of my hat (my width was 12”). I reduced my cuff to 1 1/2” in order to give myself a little extra room.

To find my center point, I first decided that the lower edge of the design should be 3 1/2” from the lower edge (that’s 1 1/2” for the cuff, 1 1/2” for the fabric the cuff will cover, and 1/2” so it’s not right against the edge). Then I divided the height of the design (7.01”) in half (approx. 3 1/2”) and added that measurement to the 3 1/2” I designated from the lower edge. That made my center point 7” from the lower edge. I chose one of the short edges to be my front, found the lengthwise center, and marked 7” up from there.

Embroidered pink hat e1516291564950 300x300 Need A Warm Hat This Weekend?Because my rectangle was too small to be hooped in the required hoop, I hooped only a piece of heavyweight tear-away stabilizer, then sprayed it with temporary adhesive and finger pressed the fleece onto the stabilizer. Then I covered it with water-soluble topper so the stitches didn’t sink into the fleece, holding it in place at the edge with painter’s tape. When I embroidered the design, I chose darker pinks than the design called for to make the flowers pop against the pink of the hat.

In hindsight, I probably should have purchased a smaller version of the design (I somehow missed that there were size options for this one!); the “feminist” gets lost a little in the fold between the ears. Oh, well — live and learn! I’m still pretty pleased.

Pink hat on e1516291530152 300x300 Need A Warm Hat This Weekend?Of course, if you’re not a feminist killjoy (or are but don’t want to advertise it), you can embroider anything you like on the front of these hats. They don’t have to come in pink or be for the Woman’s March, either — they’re a super fast make in any color with any design, and they’ll keep you warm no matter why you’re out in the cold.

Don’t miss out! Find more great projects and ideas in our newest issue, available on newsstands and at shopsewitall.com!

 Need A Warm Hat This Weekend?
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High-End Hack: Pearl Hem Pant Tutorial

Pearl Hem Pants
Embellished denim is everywhere and adorned with everything, including pearls, gems and embroidery. Begin with a pair of ready-made jeans and easily create your own designer denim without breaking the bank.

Final Look web 682x1024 High End Hack: Pearl Hem Pant Tutorial
Follow these simple step-by-step photos to create your own designer worthy denim!

Supplies:
-Pair of jeans
-Beading thread (size D)
-Size 10/13 hand beading needles
-Pearl beads (approximately 25 for each leg)
Materials web 1024x682 High End Hack: Pearl Hem Pant Tutorial

1. Pull Thread Taut1 Pull Thread Taut 1024x682 High End Hack: Pearl Hem Pant Tutorial

2. Double Thread Needle2 Double Thread Needle 1024x682 High End Hack: Pearl Hem Pant Tutorial

3. Start Inside Pant Leg3 Start Inside Pant Leg 1024x682 High End Hack: Pearl Hem Pant Tutorial

4. Thread Back Through4 Thread Back Through 1024x682 High End Hack: Pearl Hem Pant Tutorial

5. Thread For Second Pearl5 Second Pearl 1024x682 High End Hack: Pearl Hem Pant Tutorial

6. Hold Pearl and Pull Taut6 Hold and Pull Taut 1024x682 High End Hack: Pearl Hem Pant Tutorial

7. Tier 1, Repeat to Change Pearl Size and Color7 First Layer 1024x682 High End Hack: Pearl Hem Pant Tutorial

8. Second Tier8 Second Layer 1024x682 High End Hack: Pearl Hem Pant Tutorial

9. Third Tier9 Third Layer 1024x682 High End Hack: Pearl Hem Pant Tutorial

10. Fourth and Final Tier10 Fourth Layer 1024x682 High End Hack: Pearl Hem Pant Tutorial

11. Tie Off Inside Pant Leg11 Tie Off 1024x682 High End Hack: Pearl Hem Pant Tutorial

12. Double Overhand Knot12 Double Overhand Knot 1024x682 High End Hack: Pearl Hem Pant Tutorial

13. Secure Knot13 Secure Knot 1024x682 High End Hack: Pearl Hem Pant Tutorial

14. Cut Thread Tail14 Cut Thread 1024x682 High End Hack: Pearl Hem Pant Tutorial

15. Turn Pant Leg Inside Out15 Turn Inside Out  1024x682 High End Hack: Pearl Hem Pant Tutorial

16. Cut Interfacing Square to Cover Threaded Area16 Interfacing Square 1024x682 High End Hack: Pearl Hem Pant Tutorial

17. Steam Interfacing to Pant Leg17 Steam Interfacing 1024x682 High End Hack: Pearl Hem Pant Tutorial

18. Secure Interfacing18 Interfacing Secured 1024x682 High End Hack: Pearl Hem Pant Tutorial

19. Turn Right Side OutFinal Angled Leg 1024x682 High End Hack: Pearl Hem Pant Tutorial

20. Repeat on Remaining Pant LegFinal Both Legs 1024x682 High End Hack: Pearl Hem Pant Tutorial

Find styling tips and outfit ideas on the next High-End Hack: Pearl Hem Pants blog.

Hem Detail web 1024x682 High End Hack: Pearl Hem Pant Tutorial

For more in-depth instructions pick up the February/March 2018 issue of Sew News and check out the High-End Hack column.
COVER High End Hack: Pearl Hem Pant Tutorial

-Jessica Ziebarth, Assistant Editor
croppedshirtHEADSOT 300x276 High End Hack: Pearl Hem Pant Tutorial

 High End Hack: Pearl Hem Pant Tutorial
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Project Runway All Stars Season 6, E 2 Recap

Project Runway All Stars Season 6, E 2: Damsels in Distress

This week, the designers were tasked with creating a distressed look. They had to concoct a story for their model that included some sort of tragedy–a reason why her clothing was torn, ripped, burnt, bleached, etc. The designers really went all out with these stories, and it made the work much more entertaining.

photos courtesy of mylifetime.com.

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Out came the blowtorches, hazmat suites and bleach bottles.

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Several of the designers had a difficult time deciding what to “destroy” from their garment. Anthony especially struggled–he made his gown first, and then had to decide where to distress it. Whereas many of the other designers distressed as they sewed.

Some questionable pieces resulted from this challenge, but it really wasn’t meant to be a “wearable” challenge after all. So the story was the most important thing.

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Stanley’s frock looked like it belonged on an extra from “Beauty and the Beast.” It looked dated and dirty and not at all fun. I was sure he was going home. I honestly can’t even remember his story because this look was so boring I might have fallen asleep during his explanation.

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Kelly went with trashy, IMO. Her gal was supposed to be from the future. She started the apocalypse because she was an ice queen who started on fire when she began dancing at a rave. Um…..ok. The mesh, fringe and headphones were just too much and every judge thought so, too. Her grater and utility knife didn’t do much for distressing this look, either.

I had a few favorites from the night. First up, underrated Melissa–she makes the coolest stuff. I hope she rises to the top soon and gets a critique. Her girl was on point. Didn’t get to hear her story because she was “safe” from the judges.

Screen Shot 2018 01 12 at 10.18.50 AM Project Runway All Stars Season 6, E 2 RecapNext up, Ari. The judges thought the dress was ordinary. Um….excuse me? I thought it was a stunner. She was in the top but didn’t win. Her girl narrowly escaped a fire. Not much of an elaborate story, but I get it nonetheless.

Screen Shot 2018 01 12 at 10.00.35 AM Project Runway All Stars Season 6, E 2 Recap

 

I also loved Helen’s look. The model looked really put together despite being in “distress” and everything about the whole outfit was interesting and editorial. The styling was super cool, too. Again, not sure of her story because she was just “safe.”

Screen Shot 2018 01 12 at 10.01.00 AM Project Runway All Stars Season 6, E 2 Recap

Merline was also in the top, with this number:

Screen Shot 2018 01 12 at 10.19.03 AM Project Runway All Stars Season 6, E 2 Recap

She has a unique point of view, architecture meets fashion, which got her far in her season as well. She stayed true to it tonight, with 3D appliques stacked on the bodice. And finishing the dress with the blow torch to create holes and interesting edges was a nice touch. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it either. Her gal was supposed to be from the future and holds the key to humanity’s salvation.

The surprising winner was…

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Anthony! He was more shocked than anyone and let out a loud shriek when they called his name. It wasn’t my pick for the night, but I did like how his confidence was boosted by the win because he was really torn (hee hee, pun intended) about having to distress his lovely fabrics. His gal was an African queen who had to fight her way through fire to survive.

With these two in the bottom, I was surprised by the loser this week.

Screen Shot 2018 01 12 at 9.59.56 AM Project Runway All Stars Season 6, E 2 Recap

Screen Shot 2018 01 12 at 9.59.40 AM Project Runway All Stars Season 6, E 2 Recap

 

Kelly’s look was at least editorial and she had an elaborate story to go along with it, while Stanley’s girl was just sad. But Kelly goes home. I’m not sad. She is a sweet girl and has a very particular style (which is great! but not my cup of tea). She will do well designing for Hot Topic, no?

 

 

 Project Runway All Stars Season 6, E 2 Recap
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Wardrobe Planning with Riva la Diva: 4 Steps to Developing Your Style

Butterick Magenta Coat b6385 225x300 Wardrobe Planning with Riva la Diva: 4 Steps to Developing Your StyleWe’re so excited to launch a brand new column for 2018. Clothes Minded will focus on wardrobe planning, style considerations, finding your style and more, featuring a great list of sewists, bloggers and fashionistas. First up is Riva la Diva, who has immaculate style, definite sewing skills and an inspiring message about developing your own style.

Telling Your Story
Most of us don’t sit down and consider what we want our wardrobe to say about us. Sewing fashion is a passion of mine, though it’s often overlooked as a form of art. Art tells a story and makes you feel a certain way. Fashion is art. There’s a reason why the movies, television and theater shows have costume designers: They’re telling a story about specific characters.

What story are you telling with the clothes you wear?

When in school for fashion design, I learned that many fashion designers spend time considering the audience they design for when they create a collection. They ponder and research questions such as: Who is my audience? What are they wearing? What stage is she at in life? What is she hoping to feel when she tries on a garment? What story is she telling others when she puts it on? Most designers go more in-depth and think: How much money is she making? Is she a feminist? Is she in the workplace? Is she a housewife or mother, local socialite, all of the above? What part of the world does she reside?

Until I started my blog, RivaLaDiva.com, I never really thought about those questions for my personal style. If designers spent time thinking about what I was wearing and hoping to feel, why didn’t I think about that myself? I found myself in an oversized closet in a suburb outside of L.A. surrounded by endless boyfriend V-neck T-shirts from my favorite store in every hue imaginable, sometimes two of each. Naturally, I paired it with something from my endless collection of jeans and denim cutoffs. I had given myself a uniform and not even realized it. What’s more unfortunate is that I went to fashion school. I knew how to make interesting and beautiful clothing, yet somehow, I didn’t own a single garment that brought me excitement or that I made for myself. At the time, I was a brand-new mom for the fourth time, and I dressed the way I was feeling. I was in a rut. It was at that moment that I made the choice to be the fashion designer in my life. But where does one start?

Leopard McCalls m7534 Dress Wardrobe Planning with Riva la Diva: 4 Steps to Developing Your StyleStep 1: Know what you’re about.

To design for yourself (or anyone), know who you’re designing for. It’s amazing how much more you learn about yourself and your aesthetic when you write it down. When you do, keep it positive. Forget the world around you and focus on you in an environment free from self-criticism and comparison to others. The following questions are great inquiries to ask yourself. Keep the answers in a safe place to remind you who you are when you lose focus or want to re-evaluate for future reference. Here’s what that looks like for me.

Who am I? Married, mother of 4, living up to a name that rhymes with diva.

Who are my style icons? Hollywood bombshells. I love someone (or place) that’s super feminine and unapologetic about it.

What are your driving style values? Drama and romance. I have always been drawn to boldness in design, color, shape, silhouette, print, motivated by romance and beauty.

What are you about? I am a maximalist. More is BETTER. Bring on the gaudy.

What makes you “you”? I’m a fashion-sewing-blogger loving fool and embracing my own sense of style.

Step 2: Create a mood board.

Vogue Jumpsuit v9075 225x300 Wardrobe Planning with Riva la Diva: 4 Steps to Developing Your StyleMood boards are an essential tool for wardrobe planning. They can inspire and keep you focused on the fashion story you’re trying to tell.

When I lived in southern CA, I frequently visited the beach. I loved to drive through old neighborhoods near Hollywood. Art museums and gardens were my happy place. I love movies and music, and I’m also a sucker for foreign fashion magazines.

Find that special something that brings life and excitement to your world. Let it inspire you and review it often. With that said, sometimes you need to hunt that thing down because it may not be in your surroundings. It might exist across the world! Your mood board may consist of images and phrases on a poster board, inside a sketchbook, a Pinterest board or a file on your phone or computer. Use whatever resources help get you into the zone.

Step 3: Purge your current wardrobe.

I’m a big Project Runway fan, especially of mentor Tim Gunn. In his book Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style, Tim writes that we should all go through our closets and “clean house”. Inspired by the book, I examine my closet every season and divide my wardrobe into four categories: donate, trash, repair or alter and keep.

To follow suit, take time to look at each garment in your closet. If the garment doesn’t represent who you are and the story you want to tell, donate it. If you hesitate for half a second, donate it. If you don’t want to make time to alter or repair a garment (be honest), donate it. If it doesn’t fit but you hope it will one day, donate it. When in doubt, donate.

Step 4: Add new fabric and sewing patterns.

After reviewing what’s left in your closet, determine how to fill the gaps. Consider what classic pieces you need in your wardrobe and what fashion trends you’re willing to include. Search for fabrics and fashion patterns that address those needs and compare those choices to your mood board. Some people like to start with fashion patterns first, then fabric, or vice versa. I love both equally and some options speak louder than others. It’s sometimes a pain to find a perfect textile for a particular garment; other times there’s a pattern I need in my life. I like to keep my options open, stay flexible and move with inspiration as it presents itself.

When I share a bit of myself, it makes my creations special. It reminds me of who I want to be, where I am going and where I have been. If the fashion world can coin the phrase “power suit,” then why not create for yourself the perfect power top or dress? Some might say this is a little too deep for the subject of clothing and wardrobe planning, but I disagree. We may not all become the next Coco Chanel but we all can famously be the fashion designer of our own life and social sphere.

Nicole Miller Vogue v9197 Dress Wardrobe Planning with Riva la Diva: 4 Steps to Developing Your Style

 

 

 Wardrobe Planning with Riva la Diva: 4 Steps to Developing Your Style
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