Batik is a technique of applying wax to fabric in various patterns, which resists coloured dyes, producing beautifully designed fabrics. This technique originated in Indonesia. Watch the video below to see this fascinating process.
Whether you’re going out on the town or celebrating at home, make a statement and ring in the New Year wearing something luxurious or sparkly … or both!
Sequins, velvet and lace are go-to choices for fancy dresses and evening wear. Pick your favourite pattern and fabric and sew yourself something spectacular just in time to shout HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Tips For Sewing Sequins
Pick a simple pattern with as few seams as possible.
Identify the “nap” or the direction of the sequins and cut all pieces in the same direction. Cut your pattern pieces from the wrong side, and from a single layer of fabric.
For best results, remove any sequins from the seam allowance by hand before sewing pieces together; particularly if they are large and stiff. You may need to hand sew ‘extra’ sequins along the seam afterwards to cover any blank areas.
Use a needle that’s thin and sharp and keep plenty of extras on hand. A thicker or dull needle can get stuck in the sequins when sewing.
Don’t iron, but do press. Very low heat (remember sequins may melt at high heat), press from the wrong side of your fabric and use a presser cloth (such as a scrap piece of cotton) to protect your sequins. Remember to test on a scrap piece beforehand.
Sequined fabric should always be lined to avoid skin irritation.
Tips For Sewing Velvet
Cut all patterns pieces in a single layer. Lay your fabric nap side down and place your pattern pieces on the back to minimize slipping and use a lot of pins.
You want to make sure your pattern pieces are secure and won’t shift when sewing. Again, use a lot of pins or hand baste in place before sewing.
Use only the sew-in type of interfacing if needed.
To press use a towel or scrap fabric to protect the right side of your fabric while you steam the wrong side. Hover with the iron rather than apply any pressure so the velvet isn’t crushed.
Tips For Sewing Lace
Check your lace fabric for any obvious right and wrong sides. Pay attention to the design elements of your lace and place the pattern pieces to take advantage of the design rather than trying to cut the lace straight across. Cut all patterns pieces in a single layer.
If pins don’t hold the lace pieces together, try small binder clips. Another option would be tailor tacks or a loose basting stitch which can be removed afterwards.
Use a narrow zig zag stitch for the seams. Use a strip of skin coloured fabric to bind the trimmed seam allowance; it will then be almost unnoticeable against your skin. Alternatively, use a French seam.
A traditional choice for nobility, velvet for fashion is more accessible than ever. Woven or knitted, this luxurious and super-soft fabric is the go-to fabric for party season, but is showing up in more casual outfits as well; with smoking jackets, tops and pants! And with it’s warm and cozy feel is perfect for any winter event.
Stretch velvets are particularly rewarding to sew and, although a little tricky to cut and sew without the pile shifting, are a little more forgiving than classic woven velvet.
While you’re planning your party dress, why not get a head start on gift making for the holidays? This DIY Fringe Scarf, using an assortment of stretch velvet, is an easy, elegant project that all will love.
Trends from the 80’s are back with a 2019 twist. The old rules of bright colours in the summer and dark colours in the winter no longer apply.
We are seeing a refreshing return to brighter colours used as accents to the deeper more typical shades of autumn.
Bright yellow, fuchsia, sapphire blue, kelly green, orange, red, purple and peacock teal are showing up in over-sized coats and sweaters. These brighter colours are also appearing in prints as accented pops of colour, working with rich autumn shades and earthy browns.
Faux leather & fur are making a comeback; looking more realistic than ever before.
Typical autumn colours in handcrafted looks with a western edge. Mustard, orange, olive, rust, cognac, brick, plum, chocolate, teal and camel.
Top designers are showing soft leather dresses in vibrant colours. Porcelain blue, butterscotch, cognac, deep red, mustard, olive, purple and black. The leather trench coat also headed down the runways.
Fur is equally important for the season. Colourful sherpa, shearling and long hair fur in jackets and coats, as well as accents for collars and cuffs. Vinyl & plasticized trench coats are also trending this Fall.
What to watch for: Clear vinyl for rain wear. Printed vinyl. Shiny Vinyl in bold colours. Sherpa. Shearling. Leather dresses. Printed leather. Bonded leather to fur. Printed fur. Camouflage. Trench coats. Vests. Patchwork suede and sherpa. Faux fur.
Head back to the future with silver metallic!
Special Occasion dressing is looking icy cool with: Chunky sequin dresses. Sweater knits with silver lurex. Chiffon prints and solids with silver lurex stripes. Stretch faux leather knit activewear in silver grey. Silver grey lace. Silver satin. Silver lame. Sequined striped suiting. Silver on black brocade prints. Iridescent hologram. Ruffles in silver grey knit. Crinkled silver texture. Silver embroidered florals. Silver faux leather.
Making this origami crossbody bag is easy and fun and oh-so-rewarding. Mix bag and lining fabrics to match all your outfits and add your own strap styles and embellishments to create extra personal touches.
It’s easy to adjust the size to make smaller as an evening bag or bigger for shopping … just be sure the rectangle size is length is 3 times longer than the width.
What You Need: .3m of 150cm boiled wool fabric (or similar weight) .3m of lining fabric (any width) 1.2m faux leather or other trim for the strap 2x triangle rings 2x swivel hooks
STEP 1: Cut 1 piece each of the wool and the lining 36×12”. With right sides together, sew around all edges leaving a small opening.
STEP 2: Turn right side out, press flat and edge stitch around the entire rectangle. Mark 14” on top and bottom edge as diagram and fold as shown.
STEP 3: Fold sides towards the center along top and bottom points and pin. Machine stitch in place as far as possible along edgestitch end as shown. Hand stitch remaining opening to the point.
STEP 4: Flip over and repeat. It will be trickier to sew the flap to the body on the 2nd side. Sew as far as you can and hand stitch remaining opening closed.
STEP 5: Fold top of the bag tips over triangle ring bar and stitch in place as shown. Cut the strap to your preferred length, fold ends over swivel hooks as shown and stitch.
STEP 6: Attach handle and add embellishments such as tassels or appliqués to personalize.
With the swivel hooks, it’s easy to make multiple straps to suit your mood or for an extra-easy version, just sew the strap trim directly to the corners of the bag.
A versatile addition to your wardrobe, a kimono is great for an evening event or a daytime outing. Plus, with breezy, sheer fabrics, kimonos also make a beautiful cover-up to wear at the pool or beach. Use our DIY how-to and make your own; a great piece for your upcoming Summer vacation!
TIP: If using a fabric that frays easily add some bias binding along the front and neckline edges instead of turning under for added strength.