Tag Archives: sewing pattern

Fall 2012 Sewing: Recreate Looks from Dior, BCBG and YSL

I must confess that I’m a bit of a magazine queen. There are towers of magazines all over the apartment, driving my husband crazy. I try to organize them in order of urgency in which I want to read them, but it gets to be too much. My problem is that I’ll subscribe to almost anything –especially fashion magazines.

So while all the fashionistas have already devoured their September issues, I only just got to them this past weekend (quelle horreur!). Well, specifically I got to the phonebook-sized issue, otherwise known as September Vogue. While I was flipping through the issue, I was trying to think of how I could recreate the fall fashion trends that I liked with available sewing patterns.

Christian Dior’s Peplum

Christian Dior Couture, Fall 2012

Usually I only like a couple of pieces in any given designer’s collection, but I fell in love with almost every piece in Christian Dior’s fall couture collection. J’adore Dior! The emphasis was on an hourglass and feminine silhouette — very Betty Draper. The waists were nipped in from the coats and dresses to yes, the peplum. Above, the peplum is paired with a trim pair of cigarette pants. It’s modern-day Audrey!

Vogue 8815

You can recreate the look with the peplum pattern in Vogue 8815. To make it a little edgier, try using faux leather like Erica did on Erica B. DIY Style –it looks amazing and ties in the leather trend as well.

Vogue 8837

For the slim pants, Vogue 8837 has a pattern for tapered, cuffed pant. Paired with pointy heels and the peplum, you’ve got the Dior look!

BCBG Max Azria’s Colorblocking

BCBG Max Azria, Aliza color-blocked dress

Just like colorblocking was hot in spring and summer, the trend continues into fall. You could pay $298 for this dress from BCBG Max Azria (ab0ve), or you could sew your own dress using Vogue 1313 (below). For a flattering combination, pair a dark color for the side panels and a bright color for the front, like the BCBG dress.

Vogue 1313

The edge this dress has over the BCBG dress? Pockets!

Yves Saint Laurent’s Fit & Flare Dress

YSL’s textured-knit detailed dress, Fall 2012

If I only take away one trend for fall, it’s that red is the “It” color this season — the new black, if you will. Shades of red were everywhere, but burgundy, was specifically the color that appeared at all of the shows.

A great way to incorporate red or burgundy into your wardrobe is in a fit and flare dress, like this dress from YSL (above). This dress, while beautiful, retails for just over $2,000. Yes, $2,000! Or, you could make your own couture dress with Simplicity 1802, a Cynthia Rowley pattern.

Simplicity 1802

With a couple of key pieces like these, you’ll be all set for fall. Now I need to catch up on all my other September issues before the October magazines start arriving!

Posted in Sewing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Sewing Project: Audrey Hepburn-style Summer Dress

White floral Givenchy dress of Audrey Hepburn

White floral Givenchy dress of Audrey Hepburn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lately I’ve been dipping my toe back into sewing with some small projects, like the tote bag and quilted sleep mask, but now I think I’m ready to try a bigger project – a dress!

About 6 or 7 years ago, I bought this Butterick 4443 pattern (see below) because it reminded me of the Givenchy dress Audrey Hepburn wore to the Oscars in 1954 when she won Best Actress for Roman Holiday. I love that fit and flare shape and I especially adore bateau necklines. Also, that 50’s silhouette is pretty flattering on me too!  I had bought a lovely cotton/poly blend fabric with a black and white floral print from Joanne’s that would be just perfect.

My husband and I are going to a wedding this Saturday and I thought this would be a great excuse to make a dress – and give me a deadline so I couldn’t procrastinate. I started it over the Memorial Day weekend and well, today is Tuesday, and I thought I’d have finished an awesome, swingy dress to brag about by now. Not so much.

I first made a muslin version of the dress last week, just as a run through so if there was anything I found confusing in the instructions, I could work it out on the muslin. Also wanted to make sure I was the same size as I was 7 years ago when I first cut out the pattern!

So good news/bad news – the good news is that I have to take in the bodice a little bit. Bad news is that I’m not sure how to go about it. I made the rookie mistake of thinking I could do all the alterations on the real fabric instead of testing it on the muslin. Argh! I may go back to the muslin version to figure it out before ripping the bodice apart.

This afternoon, I decided to look up the pattern on PatternReview.com and lo and behold, there are over 40 reviews of this pattern. And wouldn’t you know, the biggest complaint is how big the bodice is and how the shoulders are designed for a linebacker. Awesome!

I’ve got my work cut out for me. So do you have any sewing alteration tips? If so, please share! More to come…

Enhanced by Zemanta
Posted in Crafts, Sewing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Easy quilted sleep mask tutorial

One of my goals with this blog is to get back into sewing. It’s always been a little challenging and intimidating for me – I’m much more comfortable knitting and crocheting. I’m also one of those people who absolutely must sleep with a sleep mask every night. But, the sleep mask I had was getting too stretched out and a little gross.  How about sewing a new sleep mask? It’s a small project and it motivated me to dust off my sewing machine. Plus, I had leftover fabric from a halter I made a couple of years ago and minky fabric from a baby blanket project.

I used Amy Butler’s instructions in In Stitches as a guide, but made a bunch of tweaks.

Quilted sleep mask tutorial

Finished size: Approximately 3-1/2” wide x 8-1/2” long


  • ¼ yard fabric for front of mask & strap (A)
  • ¼ yard soft or silky fabric for back of mask (B)
  • ¼ yard muslin
  • Traditional polyester batting


  • Wax paper
  • Cutting mat
  • Quilting ruler
  • Scissors
  • Matching thread
  • Chalk pencil or fabric pen
  • 1/8” elastic, about 10-15″
  • Straight pins
  • Safety-pins

1. For the pattern, you can download my pattern or draw your own. To make your own pattern, take an old sleep mask and fold it in half. Trace around it on a folded piece of wax paper and cut it out.

2. For each, cut 6” x 10” from: mask front fabric (A), muslin and 2 panels of the polyester batting.

3. Place the muslin on a flat, clean surface and using the quilting ruler and chalk, draw diagonal lines across the muslin, 1” apart.  Then, turn the fabric around and draw diagonal lines, 1” apart in the opposite direction. This will create a diamond pattern, which you will next quilt.

4. Place the mask front fabric (A) with the wrong side up and stack the two polyester batting panels and the muslin with the chalk side up.  Pin all the layers together.

5. Starting with the center diagonal line, machine stitch with a mid-length stitch. Work from the center line out and then stitch the lines drawn in the opposite direction. Now you have your quilted front

6. For the strap, cut out a 3” x 18” panel from the fabric that matches the front of the mask (A). Placing the right sides together, sew the sides together using a ¼” seam allowance. Turn the strap right side out using a turning tool or the eraser end of a pencil.

7. Next, cut out a strip of 1/8” elastic. To figure how much you need, stretch the elastic around your head from one temple to the other. Cut the length however it feels most comfortable. I like a strap that’s not too tight, so I cut a 13” length.

8. Pin one end of the elastic to one end of the strap tube with a safety-pin. Then, attach a safety-pin on the other end of the elastic. Fish this end with the safety-pin through the strap tube. Stitch both ends of the elastic to the strap to tack it down, about a ¼” or less from the edge of the strap.

9. Going back to the mask, take the mask pattern and pin it on the quilted mask front and cut out.

Then pin the mask pattern on the fabric for the back (B). Cut the back of the mask out, but don’t cut too flush to the pattern. You want to have about a 1/8” extra fabric for the back to account for the thickness of the quilted front.

10. Place the right side of the quilted mask front with one end of the strap and pin in place. Machine baste together using a ¼” seam allowance. Do the same on the other side.

11. Next, to keep the straps from getting caught, pin the loose parts of the strap to the right side of the quilted mask front. Then place the right sides together of the quilted mask front (A) and the mask back (B) and pin in place.  Machine stitch the mask together using a ½” seam allowance. Leave a 4” opening at the top of the mask.

12. Trim the seam allowance to about ¼” around the mask. In the nose area, clip into the seam allowance, being careful not the cut into the stitching. Then turn the mask right side out and press flat.

13. At the opening at the top of the mask, turn in the edges and pin. Top stitch completely around the mask as close to the edge as possible.

14. Now you have a completed mask – sweet dreams!

Posted in Sewing | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment