Project Runway All Stars S6, E13: Finale Recap

Project Runway All Stars Season 6, Episode 13: History in the Making

It’s the FINALE!

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photos courtesy of mylifetime.com.

In this episode, the three remaining designers had to finish seven-piece collections to show on the runway for a few hundred people. Past-eliminated designers were on hand to help with the final sewing, as everyone was only given five days to complete their looks. Candace helped Anthony, Amanda helped Stanley and Helen helped Fabio. It was a love fest. I’ve never actually seen more actual sewing, pressing, fiddling and overall process on this show and it was such a welcomed change. No drama–just a bird’s eye view on their process. It was fascinating.

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Stanley went with an “all-American” collection, featuring a sportswear take on red, white and blue.

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Fabio went with an oversized collection, including his smocked look from last week and hinting at it in other garments in the collection. He edited his fabric print and swapped it with a bright yellow that really made things pop.

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Anthony did his “Audrey Hepburn turned Rihanna” collection, and it didn’t disappoint. He included velvet, mesh, paint and an interesting print to tie it all together. He was the most concerned with construction technique, falling behind to make sure everything was sewn impeccably. Candace was continually worried for him, but she managed to help him achieve his goals.

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After a very long deliberation, it wasn’t clear who was the winner. All of the judges liked each collection for different reasons, with Alyssa favoring Fabio, guest judge Catherine Zeta Jones favoring Anthony and Isaac favoring Stanley. I still secretly wanted Anthony to win for his sheer delight and enthusiasm alone. Enthusiasm goes a long way in my book.

I thought Stanley’s designs were too basic. The red dress, which Isaac fawned over, looked so simple to me. I thought Fabio’s looks were interesting but not wearable and, to Zeta Jones’ point, looked too “strange,” as if someone on the street might wonder who you were and what you were trying to be. Anthony really went with his vision, stating it several times. It showed. His attention to detail and editing eye all played a part in his sleek collection.

And… to everyone’s surprise. ANTHONY WINS! I honestly couldn’t believe the judges trusted him with this win. I thought for sure they would choose safe, polished Stanley. Even Fabio had a leg up because of his artistic point of view. I’ve never been more happy and in more agreement of a Project Runway winner. His squeal was everything.

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 Project Runway All Stars S6, E13: Finale Recap
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Sketch to Sew: Using a Bullet Journal with Ho Mei of Arrow Mountain

This month, we’ve been exploring fashion sketching and how to utilize it effectively as part of your sewing practice. For our next Sketch to Sew feature, we chatted with Ho Mei of @arrowmountain and Arrow Mountain on Etsy (the most amazing buttons!) about how she uses a bullet journal to plan her sewing.

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I like to draw in my dotted bullet journal using a ballpoint pen. A dotted journal is really great for guiding proportions when sketching. The photos are taken by my phone and often edited with Instagram filters.

I find [sketching] most useful for planning what to sew next and capturing ideas in my head, as it can get quite overwhelming with the number of patterns and designs I want to try. I see it as a dumping ground for all the ideas floating in my head. I also find it great for planning a capsule wardrobe: to sketch entire outfits for a season and see how each different garment can go together and what are the key pieces to sew.

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 Sketch to Sew: Using a Bullet Journal with Ho Mei of Arrow Mountain
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Styling Ideas for Wide-Leg Crop Pants: Patterns and Inspiration

Are you geared up for the Emerson Crop Pants sew along with Kelli Ward of True Bias? If you’re a devotee of skinny jeans and slim-profile pants, wide leg pants can seem like a whole new world, especially when it comes to pairing it with tops. With wide leg pants, and cropped varieties in particular, it’s all about creating balance – and you’ve got lots of options for doing that. Today, we’re talking top patterns but join us later for an in-depth discussion on shoes!

widelegcroppants Styling Ideas for Wide Leg Crop Pants: Patterns and Inspiration

(Image Credit: left; middle; right)

Generally speaking, because the leg is fuller, consider tops that are either cropped or slim-fitting. Consider these options:

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Mixing a high neck with a wide leg cropped elongates the look.
Image Credit: Getty

  Fitted tank or top with high neckline to elongate body:
Nikko Turtleneck Top by True Bias
Durango Tank by Hey June Handmade
Adventure Tank by Fancy Tiger Crafts (<Kelli’s recommendation!)

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Of course a fitted blouse, cami or top in a silk will look great with cropped or longer wide pants.
Image Credit: Getty

A camisole in a silky fabric:
Ogden Cami by True Bias

Boxy cropped tee, in woven or knit:
Lou Box Top by Sew DIY
Penny Raglan by Grainline Studio
Shirt no. 1 by 100 Acts of Sewing (<Kelli’s recommendation!)

wide leg pant 3 477955511 Styling Ideas for Wide Leg Crop Pants: Patterns and Inspiration

Boxy tops are great for pairing with wide leg pants.
Image Credit: Getty

Boxy v-neck tank:
Leni Top by Tessuti
Hadley Top by Grainline Studio

Tee or tank with a tie front:
Hunter Tank by Jennifer Lauren Handmade
Key Largo Top by Hey June Handmade

wide leg pant 4 Styling Ideas for Wide Leg Crop Pants: Patterns and Inspiration

Alternatively, a flowy blouse with wide pants can be the ultimate in easy, casual styling. It’s a look that preforms well in casual situations, such as beach side, cocktails and the like.

Tee or tank with high-low hem:
Lou Box Top by Sew DIY (included as a variation)
Hi-Low Blouse 04/2013 #104B by BurdaStyle (super cool button-down option!)
Evie Knit Top by Style Arc

For the ultimate spring statement, consider pairing your Emersons with a matching blazer or cropped jacket or with a top in matching fabric for the ultimate setacular – a jumpsuit with bathroom options!

These are simply guidelines – you really can’t go wrong with a comfortable, chic pant like the Emerson Crop Pants! Join us next week for the first installment of the sew along.

 Styling Ideas for Wide Leg Crop Pants: Patterns and Inspiration
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Project Runway All Stars S6 E12 Recap

Project Runway All Stars Season 6, Episode 12 Recap: History in the Making

The final four are revealed in this episode of Project Runway All Stars, and with so many twists and turns we finally learn who is showing their collection for the win.

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photos courtesy of mylifetime.com

It’s taken me a minute to post this recap because there was just so much to process. First, Alyssa meets the designers at the Smithsonian in Washington DC and tells the designers that they are (surprise) in fact the final four and will be creating a six-piece collection with a $2,000 budget and one-week timeframe. The fab four are ecstatic and head back to NYC and off to the Mood warehouse to choose fabrics and notions.

Once back in the workroom, Alyssa appears again to notify them that one more elimination challenge is ahead of them. They in fact aren’t the final four–one more designer will be eliminated the next day. The designers have to choose one design from their six sketches to execute fully for a runway show to decipher the final three. This design must tell the story of their entire collection and leave the judges wanting more. So, off we go in a mad rush to the finish.

Fabio wants to incorporate nods of his grandmother, who apparently loved smocking. So he created a smocked skirt using a striped fabric, which actually started looking pretty cool. Then he paired it with a strange top using a bird print and textured white fabric. I wasn’t sure about the combo, but he always does something a bit unexpected and it seems to work in his favor.

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Stanley was inspired by the Smithsonian exhibits of the First Ladies, Military Uniforms and African American Innovators. He combined that inspiration to come up with a full skirt and top with leather accents (yes, the skirt has tulle and black layers underneath). The collar was a bit much for me, and the judges preferred it without–luckily he made it detachable.

Screen Shot 2018 04 04 at 1.14.03 PM Project Runway All Stars S6 E12 RecapAnthony went with a gown (no surprise), though he mentioned wanting to include a jumpsuit and pants into his collection. I wish he would have gone with one of those looks because that would have been so out of character for him and, as such, more interesting. The judges seemed to like it with differing opinions on his fabric choice, which was a velvet-faced neoprene of all things.

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Ken chose to make a pant with a structured bodice and strange flourish. His original design included poofy detachable sleeves and a cape (or sash, I guess he called it). He should have stuck with the original sketch, perhaps editing the cape. His color choice of fabrics was also out of character and underwhelming, IMO. The judges hated the flourish but loved the pant choice. Isaac mentioned that the pant had smile lines as the model walked.

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After the critique, Alyssa hit the designers with yet another twist. She walked them to the backstage control room, behind which a sewing studio and bins of leftover fabric scraps sat. They were then challenged with making a look using the fabrics from past challenges of the season using eliminated designer’s leftovers. Oh, and they ONLY HAD AN HOUR TO DO IT.

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The designers surprisingly came up with some pretty good looks for only having an hour. Sure, there were unfinished hems and some pressing that was clearly needed. But overall the designs were interesting and finished!

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The judges were instructed to weigh the first runway more heavily than the second. (I’m not really sure why they even needed the second challenge, but it sure was the most interesting thing to happen on this episode. So maybe we just needed some more heightened drama?) Stanley was for sure moving forward to next week, followed by Fabio. So it was between Anthony and Ken for the final spot.

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Shockingly, Ken was eliminated. His second salvaged gown was liked by the judges, but too “ready-to-wear” for their tastes. I thought for sure they would choose Anthony to go home for his pageant-style gowns. But thankfully he lives to sew another day–or several days, as he will have one week to create the rest of his collection along with the other two designers. I just love Anthony–he is so sweet and has the best one-liners!

I think Anthony was more upset than Ken, who actually teared up after the judges praised his work upon exiting. He gave a nice goodbye to his fellow teammates and left the building.

Screen Shot 2018 04 04 at 1.13.29 PM Project Runway All Stars S6 E12 RecapSee you on Thursday for the finale! I’m going to pick Fabio FTW for a twist. Typically the one you THINK will win doesn’t (Stanley), so I’m going to go with Fabio, secretly wishing Anthony will win for the sheer delight he will express.

 

 

 Project Runway All Stars S6 E12 Recap
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Meet the Maker: Dana Willard of Made Everyday

Dana Willard is an author, designer, photographer and the bright personality behind the MADE Everyday blog and YouTube channel. Her latest fabric collection, Day Trip for Art Gallery Fabrics, takes you on a colorful adventure through fields of cacti, bluebonnets and everything she and her family love about their home Austin, TX, including a taco or two.
Visit Dana’s amazing site: www.MadeEveryday.com Logo Meet the Maker: Dana Willard of Made Everyday

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1. Describe your perfect day.
Sunshine, 80°, playing at the beach with family and friends, chips and salsa, mint chip ice cream, Diet Coke and a dance party. In no particular order.

2. What’s the last hobby you picked up?
Embroidery! Though I can’t say I stuck with it. Guess I need to pick it up again. I love projects I can work on in the car, on a flight, on the couch — things that don’t require a machine. And I guess my second new hobby is listening to podcasts — can I call that a hobby? They’ve really brought an enriching aspect to my day-to-day life. It’s like reading a book while designing fabric and working. I love it!

Dana Willard 12 Meet the Maker: Dana Willard of Made Everyday3. What’s your spirit animal?
I’m not a real animal or pet person, so I’m going to go outside the box and say the sun. When I wake up and can see that it’s a sunny day, I feel so much energy to be productive and have a smile on my face. Sunshine just makes me happy and makes me want to share things with others. That sounds cheesy, but there you go!

4. What’s your best way to decompress?
I love eating out with my family where we can sit outside and chat and enjoy the warm Austin weather. Or I like to swing on the porch swing with my kids, in our backyard in the evening. I’m definitely someone who feels the need to be really productive during the day.

Dana Willard 2 2 682x1024 Meet the Maker: Dana Willard of Made Everyday5. Which talent do you most want to have?
I wish I were a better artist, someone who paints and illustrates with ease. I recognize that I’m an artist in other ways. But I definitely have artist envy for those who create beautiful florals on canvas, or have sketchbooks bursting with doodles. I’m more of a geometric/digital shapes kind of gal, which is totally great. But I have admiration for other genres.

6. What’s your greatest extravagance?
Food and travel. My husband and I are pretty sensible when it comes to our everyday spending, but a unique food experience or a cool trip somewhere feels priceless. We love to travel internationally and within the States. And we love tacos, sushi, Indian food, and of course donuts and gelato. We will often buy every donut flavor in the store, just so we can try a bite of each and decide which is the best.

7. What’s your most treasured possession?
I would have to say my kids. They’re not a “possession,” but they’re among the most important things to my husband and me. They just get more and more fun as they grow up and develop into their own people.

8. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I’m pretty happy with the business that I’ve grown from the bottom up. It started as a hobby and a way to feel creative with little kids in the house. And now it’s grown to a full income with a part-time employee.

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9. Who’s your dream client and what would you want to create for them?
I’d love to create a line of products for Target or be a DIY expert on a TV show. I’d love to take my YouTube channel (also called MADE Everyday) to the next level. My degree is in TV and film, so TV/entertainment is always an aspiration for my business and brand.

10. What’s your must-have tool in your studio?
Bias tape maker. It’s such a cheap, simple tool, but I LOVE BIAS TAPE! It’s almost therapeutic to make. If you’ve never made it, I have a simple video for you on my YouTube channel. You’ll be hooked too.

11. What’s your favorite fabric to work with?
All fabrics, including knits, quilting cotton, canvas, silky things, felt, vinyl and paper. I like to dabble in everything.
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12. Where do you find inspiration?
Store products, Pinterest, childhood memories, childhood photos of our clothing and styles, wall art, my kids’ artwork, color combinations.

Dana Willard 41 682x1024 Meet the Maker: Dana Willard of Made Everyday13. If you were a sewing superhero, what would your name be?
DIY Dana.

14. When did you learn to sew?
My grandma and my mom both taught me to sew when I was about 10. They taught me to use big-box patterns, and I liked to make my own elastic-waistband pants, simple dresses and a barrage of scrunchies. In fact, that was my first business! My best friend and I sold custom-order scrunchies to our friends in middle school. We even had a fabric swatch book they could pick from. $1 a scrunchie.

15. What is your motto?
Make it work. I know, that’s Tim Gunn’s motto. But I love it. It works for all aspects of life.

Make sure to check out Dana’s website at MadeEveryday.com and to follow her on Instagram @Made_Everyday.

 Meet the Maker: Dana Willard of Made Everyday
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National Serger Month – Learn About The Right Thread Choice

If you’re new to serging or looking to expand your serging skills, a basic understanding of serger threads is a must. From shimmer to stretch, each thread type serves a particular purpose based on its content, strength, decorative qualities and other properties. Check out our 10 great threads for sergers

 

babylock serger National Serger Month   Learn About The Right Thread Choice

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Acrylic: Acrylic thread is finely twisted and works great for decorative serged edges.
Fine Rayon: This thread can be very economical but won’t hold up as well as regular
rayon or polyester. It’s mainly used in the upper looper for flatlocking.

Heavyweight Decorative Thread: This thread is best used for flatlocking. It gives a striking finished look and is great for a high sheen decorative stitch. It’s fragile but serger-friendly and doesn’t fray.

Metallic: This thread has a polyester core that’s nylon-wrapped. It’s a nice accent to wooly nylon and while it’s tricky to use in a standard sewing machine, a serger handles metallic thread effortlessly.

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image courtesy of www.superiorthreads.com

Metallic Yarn: This rayon and polyester blend is easier to use than fine metallic thread and gives a touch of glamour to projects. It’s mainly used in the lower looper.

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image courtesy of www.wisegeek.com

Monofilament: This thread is made from nylon and has high strength and low stretch. Its invisibility lends a decorative quality but it tends to melt easily.

Perle Cotton: This thread is available in both matte and shiny colors, along with solar reactive and glow-in- the-dark properties. It tends to be expensive but adds personality to projects.

Polyester: This thread is made for general purposes and works well for the high-speed sewing of a serger.

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image courtesy of www.threadart.com

Rayon: This thread is made especially for sergers. It’s available in solid and variegated colors for decorative purposes. It can be used in both upper and lower loopers for a finished look.

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image courtesy of www.threadart.com

Ribbon Thread: This is usually made from either rayon, nylon or polyester. It’s serger-friendly and lends a unique look to seams.

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image courtesy of www.threadart.com

Silk: This is the strongest thread on the market. It won’t melt and can be used in the
needle for flatlocking.

Topstitching Thread: This thread is typically 100% cotton or silk. It’s an economical
option, however spools typically come with a small amount of yardage. It’s great for
home-décor projects.

Wooly Nylon: This heavyweight thread is very stretchy and works well on garments that have similar qualities, such as leggings and swimwear. It’s great as a decorative thread and on rolled hems but melts easily, so be careful when pressing.

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image courtesy of www.threadart.com

If you’re new to using a serger, or want to try out a serger for yourself, be sure to visit a BabyLock dealer during the month of April. As part of National Serger Month, Baby Lock retailers are hosting Sip N Serge events. Bring your own soda, tea or other drink and you’ll be provided with everything else you need – including the serger, fabric, instructions to make an apron and more!

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 National Serger Month   Learn About The Right Thread Choice
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Top Kimono Sewing Patterns – A Roundup

Here’s our top kimono sewing patterns.

Springtime is kimono time, friends! Seriously, there is no better layering piece for this transitional season (except maybe my other favorite: cardigans!).

Kimonos provide coverage while also being feminine and stylish, they’re perfect for all the slippery fabrics in your stash you’ve been avoiding, they’re an easy way to wear tanks and camis off-season and they’re fairly easy to sew and fit, even if you new to garments.

Kimono Wrap Post Top Kimono Sewing Patterns   A RoundupHere are a few of our favorite kimono wrap sewing patterns, in a variety of cuts and shapes, to consider this kimono season.

Kochi Kimono by Papercut Patterns
The Kochi is a fan favorite and looks great in every fabric! Bonus, there are multiple design options to customize your look. The modern cropped length keeps the kimono shape manageable, so you won’t get swallowed by fabric. This might be my favorite, in terms of blending traditional and modern.

kochikimonopattern 274x300 Top Kimono Sewing Patterns   A RoundupBreezy Blouse by Sew News
Slightly oversized, this kimono-style blouse includes buttons for a more secure closure option – but you could easily leave them off or use a single button instead. The fuller sleeve and split hem offer upscale design details, for coverage and style.

breezyblouse kimono pattern 244x300 Top Kimono Sewing Patterns   A RoundupLace Kimono 07/2011 #124 by BurdaStyle
Combine a traditional kimono shape with lace for a chic summer layer that pairs with jeans or trousers for a formal look, complete with satin trim. I’m thinking wedding kimono.

lacekimonopattern 281x300 Top Kimono Sewing Patterns   A RoundupKimono Jacket 02/2018 #105 by BurdaStyle
For a bit more coverage in the form of a nice lightweight jacket option, this classic kimono jacket is a great pick. Sewn up in a slightly more stable fabric, this design offers a unique balance of comfort and flow. (That’s it, I’m making one!)

kimono jacket pattern 244x300 Top Kimono Sewing Patterns   A RoundupVenus Kimono by SewThisPattern
For a different look more akin to a classic dolman, the Venus Kimono offers a curvy take on the classic kimono shape. With cut-on sleeves and simple shoulder darts, this design is a bit more cocoony, perfect for beach days.

venuskimonopattern 248x300 Top Kimono Sewing Patterns   A RoundupAsaka Kimono by Named
Check out these sleeves!!! If you need a statement kimono in your life, you should check out the Asaka. It’s got the length and lines of a traditional robe (and we’re totally okay with that!), but the split sleeves make for a swooshy layer that’s high on drama.

asakakimonopattern 255x300 Top Kimono Sewing Patterns   A Roundup

kimono fs 1000 690x1024 Top Kimono Sewing Patterns   A RoundupWant to draft your own? We’ve got expert instructions in our April/May 2017 issue of Sew News (for only 5.99!) You’ll find instructions for how to draft a classic kimono plus how to draft for different types of fabric. And, tips and tricks for making this kimono super lux with French seams and more! Find the issue here!

 Top Kimono Sewing Patterns   A Roundup
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