Category Archives: Spring style

Trimming a hat for the Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is just a week away! Though we live many states away from the actual event, we still have the urge to celebrate it in style, which can only mean one thing: fabulous hats!NSB - Kentucky Derby header

We checked in with coworker and milliner Izzie, who kindly shared her hat-trimming expertise with us. She brought in several of her undecorated hats and used ribbons and millinery trims from our Ribbon Room to create several different looks.

The first hat was hand blocked from a natural color straw braid, and features a rounded crown and wide, curved brim. NSB - Kentucky Derby straw braid 1 untrimmedWorking in a rich red color palette, Izzie selected millinery roses & berries, vintage ribbon, and veiling for trimmings. NSB - Kentucky Derby straw braid 2 with trimmingsShe created a wide, layered bow from the ribbon as a base, formed a second bow from the veiling, and then nestled the roses and berries into the center of the bows. NSB - Kentucky Derby straw braid 3 trimmedThe resulting look is bold and lush, without going over-the-top.

 

The second hat was blocked as a cloche from a raffia-like, vintage yellow straw.NSB - Kentucky Derby raffia cloche 1 untrimmed To enhance the cheery hue, Izzie chose trimmings in sunny tones, including picot-edge vintage ribbon, leaves, and two styles of flowers. NSB - Kentucky Derby raffia cloche 2 with trimmingsShe began by encircling the base of the crown with the ribbon and tying it into a multi-looped bow. After arranging the flowers and leaves, she affixed them atop the bow. NSB - Kentucky Derby raffia cloche 3 trimmedThe final look is a sweet and simple monochrome topper, perfect for wearing indoors or out!

 

The crown and brim of the third hat were blocked from two different straws. NSB - Kentucky Derby double straw 1 untrimmedIn keeping with the color palette provided by the two straws, Izzie selected trimmings with a neutral feel. NSB - Kentucky Derby double straw 2 with trimmingsGreen leaves, little mushrooms, pale yellow black-eyed susans, and a brown poppy all lend to a more natural look. NSB - Kentucky Derby double straw 3 trimmedThe final arrangement is chic and modest, and would look at home at a derby party, a garden party, or rowing a boat on a sunny summer afternoon.

 

For those with a more subdued sense of style, Izzie also shared the perfect simple way to trim a hat: ribbon! For this straw fedora, she chose a vintage striped ribbon. The varied stripes in five colors look especially smart when tied in a clever knot.NSB - Kentucky Derby fedora with ribbon

 


Will you be attending a Derby party? What kind of hat will you wear? Share the details with us in the comments below!

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Planning for Me-Made-May ’16

Have you heard of ‘Me-Made-May’? It’s a fantastic annual challenge set up by Zoe at So, Zo…What do you know?, encouraging people who make, refashion, and upcycle garments to actually wear the things they create!NSB - planning for MMM16 header

We at Nancy’s are no strangers to wearing the garments we make, but we love the idea of encouraging everyone in the sewing community to celebrate their making achievements. As such, we are pledging to partake in Me-Made-May! Our staff will endeavor to wear handmade garments and accessories every day, which we will be sharing on our Instagram account. We will also take a closer look each week at what people have made with a blog post!

In preparation of this event, I’ve asked the staff to share some of their current sewing projects that will be worn for Me-Made-May. Check out all the fun details below, and join us throughout May to see the finished garments!

If you are interested in participating, head over to the So, Zo blog to read more about the challenge and consider signing up! We hope you will participate!


Kristina is using two of the patterns from the possibly-perfect-in-every-way book Everyday Style by Lotta Jansdotter.lottajansdotter91744jf-1077x1200

Kristina is making the Tedra skirt, using a bold black-and-white 1″ gingham check, cut on the bias.

She is also making the Kiomi dress – a sweet, swingy style – using an open weave rayon plaid.


Amy is making up a blouse using the fantastic Sewing Workshop pattern, Florence. Her fabric of choice is 100% cotton chambray in a gorgeous orchid color.

The Florence boasts 14 buttons on a real placket on the front, a faux placket in the back, and button cuffs; Amy selected fun buttons with a confetti look to really make the details sing.


Ellen is making a coat from the Japanese pattern book Casual Sweet Clothes: Favorite Pieces for Every Day by Noriko Sasahara.casualsweetdress1Ellen is using a woven linen/cotton Ikat to make the round-neck coat with turn-up cuffs.


Marilyn is making a smart skirt and blouse ensemble. She will use Burda pattern 7136 to create a button-down blouse of Indian cotton voile, woven of pink and palest green. For her skirt, Marilyn selected Vogue pattern 7937, a semi-fitted, straight-style skirt with hemline detailing. Her fabric is a slinky rayon crepe with a fun jungle print.


Jessica is adding two dresses to her wardrobe for May. The first pattern comes from BurdaStyle magazine (Spring/Summer 2016 Plus size special). Drafted for knits, the dress features a casual cocoon silhouette, with pleating at the bodice and interesting draped armholes. Her fabric is matte jersey in polyester/spandex with a graphic navy on red print.

For her second dress, Jessica is modifying her favorite pattern (Decades of Style 2003 1920s Hazel’s Frock, used last year for her 1920s ensemble) to reproduce an original 1920s sailor-style dress found on Pinterest. For her version, Jessica picked out cotton lawn for the body (variegated hot pink stripes on lavender ground) and Indian cotton voile for the sailor collar (hot pink with coral cross-weave).

Because the lawn is lightweight and somewhat sheer, Jessica will make the bias-cut slip from Folkwear 219 Intimacies to wear underneath, using rayon/acetate satin faille in rose/gold.


Are you currently working on any spring sewing projects? Are you inspired to join in the Me-Made-May fun? Let us know in the comments below!

Fabulous spring patterns from Decades of Style & Decades Everyday

We’ve talked before about our love for independent pattern company Decades of Style and our love is still going strong! For the Sewing & Stitchery Expo this year, we decided to once again feature patterns from their fantastic catalog, with a special focus on the Decades Everyday micro-line. We created a fun collection of garments that would be perfect additions to any spring wardrobe!

NSB - DoS spring wardrobeAll of our Decades of Style samples look so wonderful we want to share them with everyone! Check out all our makes below.

The two newest Decades Everyday patterns are separates: the Three’s a Charm Jacket and the Buttons & Bows Blouse.

For the expo, we were lucky enough to have an exclusive prerelease of the brand new Buttons & Bows Blouse! This fun new style has two options for pussy bow ties, buttons up the back, and has a gorgeous curved hemline.

Jeannie, who made the beautiful Dolce & Gabbana inspired dress for our anniversary sale, whipped up a Three’s a Charm in multi-color patterned wool. Though the basic pattern is unlined, she opted to add a lining and finish all edges with bias tape made from sweet printed lawn. The result is a perfect transitional weight jacket. She also constructed a Buttons & Bows using one of our all-time favorite fabrics Indian cotton voile in an iridescent blue/violet color. Jeannie made the version with the shorter ties and used a double layer of voile through the body for more coverage.

We paired the blouse with the 1940s Empire Waist Trousers from the original line, made in a lovely wool/linen suiting with a subtle lavender pinstripe. The waistline of the trouser combined with the ties of the blouse give this ensemble a sweet sailor effect!


Tamara made the Decades Everyday Given a Chance Dress. This shift dress is a great example of sophisticated simplicity, with a bias-cut, origami-inspired yoke and attractive double bust dart. Tamara’s version was made from textured Japanese cotton with a print that features 8-bit interpretations of Japanese landmarks. This style is easy to make and easy to wear!


Jessica used two Decades Everyday patterns for a sweet ensemble: the E.S.P. Dress and the Three’s a Chance Jacket. For her jacket, she used a floral print Japanese linen/cotton, constructing her version according to the instructions and leaving it unlined. For visual interest and a retro touch, she finished the facings and hems with a decorative running stitch. The result is a Three’s a Charm that is the perfect layering piece for spring.

Jessica’s E.S.P. dress was sewn from a striped linen/cotton shirting with a seersucker look. The stripes were placed horizontally on the bodice and vertically on the skirt. Though the E.S.P. is drafted as an unlined pattern, Jessica opted to line the bodice and skirt, leaving the sleeves unlined. Inspired by the stripes of the skirt, Jessica constructed the skirt with pleats, rather than gather as per the original instructions.


Marilyn, who created the fabulous Dries Van Noten inspired jacket for our anniversary sale, used the Siren Sundress pattern from the Decades of Style original line, sewing it up in sorbet colored cotton voile. This pattern, originally from the 1940s, features a unique wrap-in-the-back silhouette: long straps cross at the open back and wrap around the front waist to tie in the back. The pattern is drafted with a lined bodice and unlined skirt and straps. For additional coverage under our lightweight cotton voile, Marilyn added a full lining to the dress and doubled the straps. It’s the perfect sundress!


Will you construct any new garments for your spring wardrobe? Do you participate in Me Made May? Now’s a great time to get started! We’d love to hear what you are planning; tell us in the comments below!

Bettie Bomber jacket – weeks two & three

Marilyn is back this week to share more about the Bettie Bomber class! Miss out on the first class? Check it out here.

NSB - Bettie header pt 2 Because we were missing one person, week two was spent helping students alter their patterns and cut out their fabric. I had already cut out my fabric at home on my dining room table, so I worked on marking my fabric, talking over seam finishes and doing my stay stitching. So what are my tips on cutting out your jacket? If you are like me and don’t have a real cutting table, it is worth purchasing some bed risers and lifting your table up to a comfortable height. I like to cut with weights and a 28 mm rotary cutter, but Jacque cuts out with pins and scissors. I have a tiny sewing space and I really appreciate my set of three Olfa mats that clamp together to cover my table. The clamps can get in the way now and then, but I don’t mind because they are so much easier to store than the big mat I had before. I also really appreciate the self-healing quality of the Olfa mats. I don’t know what you call a non-self-healing mat, a tortured mat maybe? Mine old one was so sliced up that it was hard to cut on and it certainly caused me pain. My fabric is a very dark plaid and I tried to match plaids under the arms, and at the shoulders. I think it should match up well, because there are lots of straight seams in this jacket and the only seam with ease is the back sleeve around the elbows. When I am cutting plaid fabric, I cut each piece individually. It also helps to draw on the seam allowances, so that you match the plaid where it will actually join – not on the cut edge. NSB - Bomber2-1 With week three we were back to work. Some students were still getting some pattern alteration advice, but we moved on to discuss garment construction, zippers, snaps and pockets. Jacque showed us how to shorten a zipper and we all gave it a try. There is definitely a knack to cleanly pulling off zipper teeth, so I was glad to have some pointers and practice. NSB - shiny gunmetal zipper I decided not to shorten a zipper myself and instead I am ordering a custom length of our nice zippers from California. For an additional dollar, they will cut the zipper of your choice to the length that you specify. I chose a black zipper with shiny gunmetal teeth and pull. NSB - Bomber2-2 Along with zippers and snaps, we worked on different pockets for the bomber jacket. Jacque gave us a pattern piece for kangaroo pockets and sample kangaroo pockets to finish & apply. We learned to finish the curved top edge of the kangaroo pocket, one method for a turned hem and one for a bound edge. I liked the turned hem technique and it looked great the first time I tried it. It was a bit trickier to use a knit or ribbing to bind the kangaroo pocket’s curved edge – but the nice thing about this style of pocket is that you can try making a few pockets, then apply the pockets that turn out best! NSB - Bomber2-3 Thanks so much Marilyn! Looking forward to the next installment!