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Chanel Show

Friday, 29 January 2016

Gabrielle Chanel’s signature style was reaffirmed in Lagerfeld’s latest show: her favourite colours and her own garden resonated throughout the collection. Fittingly, the focus was on the Chanel suit. Tailoring featured neat fitted jackets with oval sleeves partnered with skirts of varying silhouettes, from mid-length pencils to full skirts and breezy, wide culottes. The oriental influence was manifest in those fabulous oval sleeves and Eastern grooming.
The traditional, often quirky, Linton tweeds were accompanied by feather fine pleated dresses. Woolly, natural coloured tweed skirts – with fragments of shaved wood woven in – looked lightweight, with hemlines splaying into full fringes. That nod to nature extended into night-time hours too, one dress had sleeves embroidered with feathered bees, others boasted wooden birds, and of course petal appliques abounded.
There were some interesting styling details especially in accessories: hip holsters which Chanel described as smartphone pouches.

Stabilizers and Interfacing

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

So many super stylish silhouettes rely on stabilizers or interfacing. Put simply, they're an additional layer applied to the inside of garments, in certain areas only, to add firmness, shape, structure, and support to areas such as collars, cuffs, waistbands and pockets; and to stabilize areas such as shoulder seams or necklines, which might otherwise hang limply.

At first, it can all seem a bit confusing but these haberdashery must haves will make the difference between an amateur and professional finish. Interfacings come in two main types (fusible or sew-in), three main weaves (non-woven, woven and knit), and in different weights (light, medium, heavy weight). It is important to choose the correct type of interfacing for your garment; if you are using a pattern, they will normally indicate if interfacing is required and what type you need.
When you buy interfacing, you need to decide:
  • should you buy sew-in or fusible interfacing?
  • do you need woven, non-woven or knit interfacing?
  • what weight of interfacing should you buy (light weight, medium weight, heavy weight)?
  • which colour interfacing is most appropriate?
Sew-in or Fusible? For most dressmaking tasks fusible is an easy and effective option. However fusible interfacing may not be suitable for:


  • very textured fabrics – the glue won’t bond well to the fabric
  • napped fabrics (e.g. velvet / fur) – the pressing needed to bond the adhesive will crush the fabric
  • fabrics that are very heat sensitive – e.g. sequins, metallics, vinyl fabrics (the heat can melt or distort the fabric)
  • fabrics with a very loose or open weave e.g. lace, mesh (the glue may seap through to the right side of the fabric)


Non-woven interfacing is made by bonding fibres together and therefore has no grain. You can cut it in any direction, plus it will not ravel, so it is particularly easy to use, and is suitable for most uses (except stretch fabrics – see knit interfacing).
Woven interfacing, like woven fabric, has a lengthwise and crosswise grain. When you cut woven interfacing, be sure to match the grain of the interfacing with the grain of the part of the garment to be interfaced, to make sure the two layers of fabric work together properly. Because of the need to match the grainline, it is less economical than non-woven interfacing, which can be cut in any direction.
Knit interfacing is made by knitting the fibres together, and so it has an amount of stretch in it. Knit interfacing is especially suitable for use with jerseys and other stretch fabrics as it will stretch with the garment and not hinder it (if you apply woven interfacing to a knit fabric, you reduce the fabric’s stretch properties as the interfacing layer is unable to stretch with the outer fabric layer).
The decision as to whether to buy woven, non-woven or knit interfacing is usually dictated by the pattern and / or type of fabric you are using. As a general rule, non-woven interfacing is suitable for most tasks unless you are sewing with a jersey of stretch fabric in which case knit interfacing is appropriate. You only really need to consider woven interfacing for particularly fine fabrics such as sheers and silks, where a very natural shaping is essential to preserve the qualities of the fabric.
The weight of the interfacing should generally be the same as the fabric, or a bit lighter. Generally you should NOT use a heavier weight interfacing than the fabric, as the interfacing will ‘dominate’ the garment and add an unnatural structure to it. So for medium weight fabrics, use medium weight interfacing. For medium weight knit fabrics, use medium weight knit interfacing. As a general rule, if you try and match the properties of the fabric to the properties of the interfacing, you can’t go far wrong – for very sheer or lightweight fabrics, you can even use a second layer of the main fabric as a form of sew-in interfacing!
3 Top Tips: 
  1. Before you apply interfacing to your main fabric, it is worth doing a test using a scrap piece of fabric and interfacing. This will let you check that the weight of the interfacing is suitable and that it results in the right amount of shaping to the garment. If you find the end result is too “stiff”, you should try a lighter weight interfacing; if the result is too flimsy, try a heavier weight.
  2. When choosing the heat setting, it’s usually appropriate to use the “wool” setting for medium or heavy weight fabrics. For light weight fabrics, use a heat setting slightly higher than that which you would use directly on the fabric (as you have the press cloth as a protecting layer in between). When you do your test piece at the beginning, it’s a good time to check the temperature setting is appropriate – too hot and you’ll damage your fabric, too cool and the adhesive won’t bond to the fabric properly.
  3. NEVER skip using the press cloth when applying fusible interfacing! Not only does it protect your fabric from excessive heat but it also helps prevent getting any of the adhesive glue on to your iron plate! You may also wish to place a layer of scrap fabric underneath the main fabric, in between the fabric and the ironing board, to prevent any leaks on to your ironing board cover.

Half Price January Sale

Thursday, 31 December 2015

It’s January sale time! One of our most popular digital designs, the Beth dress pattern, is currently half price. As you can see from the wonderful dresses here, this sewing pattern offers endless styling possibilities.
Part of our Contemporary Classics Collection, Beth’s flattering silhouette features a relaxed and stylish empire line fit with a back closure. Following our illustrated instructions, seamstresses of all abilities will be able to construct this perfect dress.

The Back to Work Edit

Wednesday, 30 December 2015


Dragging yourself back into the work wardrobe can feel like having to leave your individuality at the door. Alessandro Dell’Acqua is settling in at Rochas and produced a striking yet wearable collection that would have me positively skipping to work.
Why not cut through the post-Christmas blues by vamping up your wardrobe? Forget trawling through the sales and looking like everyone else; create your own take on style classics. You can’t go wrong with our Carla skirt pattern made up in a bold fabric. You could shorten the hem and go for opaque tights or lengthen and create a strong column of colour. Make this season your season.

Sew Your Runway Look

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Sew Spring 2016 runway looks. This week, Paule Ka’s show was so fresh, so fun and so wearable. The collection featured beautiful dresses in quirky fabrics. If you’d like recreate this look at home Muse Attire's Beth dress pattern would be the perfect choice.


 

Sewing Fashion Icons

Friday, 2 October 2015

 

Cloning the looks of others takes the creativity out of our style identity but fashion icons can inspire our sewing. Carine Roitfeld’s urbane style was the inspiration behind some of the key pieces in Muse Attire's Contemporary Classics Collection.

 

Carine’s casual, sleek silhouette is timeless and effortlessly elegant. The Carla skirt reflects Carine’s clean lines but also has a fit and form that would make it practical for women’s busy lives. The inclusion of a back vent enabled the design to keep her fitted look whilst ensuring ease of movement.

Likewise, the Lauren shirt is all about strong femininity. It’s a masculine wardrobe staple with a feminine fit. If you want a super hot look opt for linen or sheers rather than cottons.

Whilst fashion icons often have extreme styles, they are a wonderful source of initial inspiration. Magpieing and mixing design details is a great way to approach your own styling.

 

 

Monday Fashion Fix

Sunday, 20 September 2015

A Monday morning fashion fix takes the edge off the back to work blues. Whilst I'm enjoying the weekend, I tend to be a style sloth so I rather relish donning something more appealing for the return to work.

Our Contemporary Classics Collection of sewing patterns are perfect for creating in-work style. A smart shirt, sleek skirt and you're back in business.