Stash Couture Styling: Wearable “Muslin”

A Very Wearable "Muslin"

A Very Wearable “Muslin”

Prior to cutting into the silk dupioni, one needs to be sure the selected pattern will fit.  Making a “muslin” or “practicing the pattern” to identify any fit adjustments and design options is a necessity.

The fabric for this “muslin” was to be stretch, because stretch fabrics tend to fit better – even when the fit is not quite right!

Stretch linen is one of my favorite fabrics.  The Stash contained an apricot colored multi-yard piece that I have longingly viewed numerous times.  However,   it.  is.  plain.

Plain apricot color. 

Plain and Lace Overlay.

Plain and with Lace Overlay.

It needed something.

Stretch lace over the linen would add that special touch and still, well… stretch!!  Unfortunately, The Stash does not contain any stretch lace.

McCalls 6953:  A Cup-Sized Patternm

McCalls 6953: A Cup-Sized Pattern

Armed with coupons, I found a mocha/black stretch lace at the Fabric-Store-that-will-not-be-named.

The pattern is McCalls 6953.  It is a cup-sized pattern!  I love the fit of the cup-sized patterns!!!!

Lace over Linen - both stretch!

Lace over Linen – both stretch!

I was not sure of the rounded neckline and as this was a “practice dress,” I wanted to determine if lowering the back neckline slightly affected the fit.

I also wanted to determine if a pleated skirt was a viable option or if it would add unwanted bulk.

As I sewed the last skirt panel together, I noticed two HUGE HOLES in the linen!!! These were 4″ long and 1″ wide.  And there was not enough fabric left to recut the piece!!!

Pleats - center seam and "topstitching" of inner folds.

Pleats – center seam and “topstitching” of inner folds.

However, because of the lace overlay, I could piece the underlying linen and the patch was not visible at all!

Stretch fabric does not always fold well.  To ensure the pleats would remain “crisp,” prior to releasing the basted pleats, the inside folds of each of the pleats were sewn very close to the edge – much like topstitching.

The muslin served its purpose well.  It helped me decide the final dresses for the wedding should have V-necks rather than rounded necklines.  The shorter length would be appropriate for the rehearsal dinner, but not the wedding ceremony.  Pleats are doable – as long as they are sewn down 3″ – 4″ from the waist.   And best of all, the cup-sized patterns actually fit – the first time – with just minor adjustments!!!

There are two barbeques scheduled the week of the wedding.  I think I will wear this Linen and Lace “Muslin” to one of them!





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Stash Couture Styling for the MOG

MOG-Stash Couture Styling

MOG-Stash Couture Styling


A lot of fun AND a great opportunity for Stash Couture Styling!!!

For the wedding, a MOG dress in a border print silk chiffon, lined with silk dupioni.  The jacket is the same dupioni, self-lined.  All fabrics from The Stash!

Vogue 7963

The jacket is Vogue 7693, a design that includes all the elements this MOG requires in formal wedding attire:  Timeless, elegant, sophisticated, NOT matronly or “age-appropriate”,  and most importantly – comfortable.

Butterick 5982

Butterick 5982

The jacket is a Very Easy/Very Vogue.  Experience has taught the “Very Easy” can be misleading, but in this case, it was true.

The jacket body was lengthened two inches.  The dupioni was interlined in quilting cotton.  The portrait collar is stunning!

MOG Stash Couture Dress

MOG Stash Couture Dress

The bodice of the dress is Butterick 5982, sleeveless and V-neck. Love the Cup-Sized Patterns!!!

The skirt is self-drafted (translation:  pleated rectangles to accommodate the border print!)

The colors of the bridesmaid’s dresses are a very muted pink (MOH) and grey.

Silk chiffon

Silk Chiffon

This silk border print has a bit of the pink and a grey ground.  It also has a bit of green, yellow, brown and rust – all very muted.

Zipper requiring careful hand basting - right side print was 1" longer than left!!

Zipper requiring careful hand basting – right side print was 1″ longer than left!!

This fabric has been in The Stash so long I cannot remember even what decade I purchased it in!  But it is perfect for this wedding!

Sewing with the silk chiffon was not as easy as with the dupioni.  Spray starch was used to add sufficient structure to be able to pleat the skirt.  Matching the print at the center back zipper was a challenge – one side was 1″ longer than the other!!!

Total Costs: Less than $20!

  • Dress:  $10 for bodice pattern ($2), zipper ($4) and spray starch!
  • Jacket:  $9.50 for pattern ($5) and pin ($4.50).






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Silk Dupioni Tunic

Silk Dupioni Top

Silk Dupioni Top

The Stash contains some beautiful fabrics – including yards and yards (and yards) of silk dupioni.  I went through a “Silk? Gotta have it!” period.

One piece of dupioni was just over a yard of an almost iridescent lightweight silver/teal weave.

The Stash also contained a sheer woven damask with the same muted teal and some gold.

A “top of some style” was needed to wear to a Bridal Shower.  By combining the two fabrics and two Vogue Patterns (5891 and 9062) a new favorite top was sewn.

Vogue 9062 - Bra Cup sized tunic pattern

Vogue 9062 – Bra Cup sized tunic pattern

Love! Love! LOVE! Patterns that are bra cup sized!  Such an improved fit!  Vogue 9062 is one such pattern.

Dupioni Top

Dupioni Tunic – it fits!

It is just a simple tunic pattern, but fits so much better than a tunic pattern that requires  modification.

The length and shape were cut from the 9062 pattern.

The collar and front closure were taken from Butterick 5891, a Tilton Top that I have used and used and used.

Damask Collar

Damask Collar

The inner collar, armhole and front facings were cut from the sheer damask.

The inner collar is attached by topstitching “in the ditch” of the outer collar binding and again along the lower edge of the inner collar.

Collar Topstitching

Collar Topstitching

The selected buttons were recycled from an old jacket.  They were the perfect color and size

SIde View

Side View!

Silk dupioni is luxurious, but requires care when sewing.  Microtex machine needles were perfect for the fine weave of the fabric.

To prevent fraying, all seams were serged or french seamed – or both!










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Fit and Fabulous T-shirt Remake

Original Old Navy Men’s T-shirt

It started as an Old Navy men’s XXL T-shirt.  The Cerulean Blue color caught my eye – and the $6 price tag sealed the deal.

Fit and Fabulous T-shirt Remake

Fit and Fabulous T-shirt Remake

McCall’s 6747 was used for the Fit and Fabulous T-shirt.  After cutting apart the XXL tee, there was more than enough fabric to add 1″ to the length of the t-shirt version (View A).

McCalls 6747

The McCalls pattern has some shaping in its center back and side seams.  To ensure a comfortable fit, bust darts were also added.

Scrap Cottons and Stash Buttons

Scrap Cottons and Stash Buttons

The placket and neckline were sewn with scrap woven cottons from The Stash.

As knits can be difficult to tame, I choose to exert my independence from pattern instructions and stitch the placket bands to the front prior to cutting the opening.

Shaped Back Seam - with matched stripes!

Shaped Back Seam – with matched stripes!

Unfortunately, the same trick could not be used on the neckline – and it S T R E T C  H   E    D ……

But it was nothing stay stitching (slightly gathered) could not handle.

Love the colors – and the comfort!

Note about deconstructing ready-made garments:  It is always surprising how “off center” and “off grain” the garment pieces will be.  This is especially evident when working with striped fabric.  Because of this, it is best to select the ready-made item several sizes larger than the intended finished garment.






Posted in Clothing, Repurpose, Scrap Couture, Sewing, Sewing for a Teenager, Stash Couture, T-shirt remake | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Valentine’s Top – Just one Shade of Grey

Valentine's Top and Grey Sweater

Valentine’s Top and Grey Sweater

Grey and Black have been the colors this winter.  Grey sweaters, black leggings, grey coat…  All very comfortable, but lacking in color.

By Valentine’s Day, this monochromatic issue requires attention.

So, the search was on for a colorful fabric that had some grey and black in it – to match all the cool weather comfort clothes, but also brighten them up!

With all the stores still looking like a black and white photo, this intensely hued fabric was easy to find!

SBCC Gibson Blouse

The pattern used was SBCC Gibson Blouse.  The width of the “skirt” seemed a bit excessive in the photo – almost peblum-esque.  After measurements were compared to other longer blouses, the skirt width was reduced by 4″.

Back View

Back View – such Happy Fabric!

After pre-washing, the 100% rayon fabric emerged from the dryer surprisingly soft and wrinkle-free.

The front band and back neck were lined with a plain white polyester lining fabric.  This avoided “Print Shadows” which would have shown through if the bright print self-fabric had been used for the facings.

When working with rayon, I tend to apply the fusible interfacing to the lining.  It can sometimes “crinkle” when being adhered to rayon.  The buttons were simple red buttons from The Stash.

Beautiful colors!

Beautiful colors!

The colors of the fabric are bright pinks and reds, but also include a brilliant violet, small sections of black, and the requisite grey.

This SBCC Gibson blouse pattern is built for comfort.  It flows away from the body – not snug or clingy at all.

The buttonholes were made (Singer attachment variety) but not cut as the blouse slips easily over the head! Being sleeveless it will be wearable all summer long!

If The Stash provides another lightweight fabric, it will be sewn into this pattern for another of these comfortable tops.




Posted in Beginner Sewing Projects, Clothing, Sewing, Sewing for a Teenager, Stash Couture | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Stash Couture version of the Anthropologie Lata Tee

Anthrolpologie Lata Tee

Love the embellishments on these Anthropologie Lata Tee’s.

Anthropologie T-shirt

Stash Couture Version

Lace and calico bias binding?  The Stash has those!

I thought it possible to replicate these with just a few modifications to a long sleeved t-shirt.

The Stash has lace, calico and buttons!

A quick trip to Old Navy found a long-sleeved long-tailed striped T-shirt on clearance for $6.

Sleeve and Neckline Embellishments

Sleeve and Neckline Embellishments

The Stash had several options for lace.  One motif approximately the right length was white – so it went into the coffee pot to be darkened.

The V-neck was cut and a double layer of blue and calico binding sewn around the neck. A few small buttons from The Stash and The Stash Couture version of the Lata Tee was complete!




Posted in Beginner Sewing Projects, Clothing, Embellishment, Scrap Couture, Sewing, Stash Couture, T-shirt remake | 6 Comments

Cosmetics and Jewelry Case

Stars and Moons

Stars and Moons

My daughter actually ASKED me to make her something!

She needed a cosmetic and jewelry case that would work for traveling and for the dorm room.

We visited The Stash and she selected a Stars and Moon Face fabric.  A yellow quilting cotton was used for the lining.

Travel Essentials by Annie

The bag is based loosely on Travel Essentials by Annie.

Lower 3 Pockets

Lower 3 Pockets

The bag includes 4 zipped sections.  Three were made with mesh cut from a laundry bag.  The mesh allows one to see what is inside the pockets and wears (and washes) better than vinyl.

CLosed and Ready for Travel

Closed and Ready for Travel

The lowest pocket is actually a dimensional pocket with more than enough room for “all that stuff.”

The whole thing rolls up for travel.  It even has a carrying handle.

No raw edges here!

No raw edges here!

Construction of the bag required a few starts and stops.  The pockets were sewn to a separate lining piece.  All raw edges were turned under, even the mesh pieces. The lower pocket is fully lined.

Opened Bag

Opened Bag

I also added a ring strap using snaps that have been in The Stash since making baby clothes decades ago (which prompted a little, slightly emotional trip down memory lane!)

After completing all the pockets and securing them to the lining – it was stitched to the outer quilted piece.

These bags really are great for travel, dorm rooms and bathrooms in small apartments, so I will probably make a few more.  Some changes I implement on the next ones:

Lower pocket.  Depth is 1.5".

Lower pocket. Depth is 1.5″.

  1. Add at least one more closure/hanger.  When hanging, the single center hanger location will cause the bag to tilt.
  2. Finish the ends of the lowest pocket zipper with fabric to reduce bulk in binding.
  3. Use a stiffer batting in base and an interfacing in lowest pocket.
  4. Use pleats in lower pocket rather than sewing on the base piece.  The bulk at the lower corners broke sewing needles.

The Zipper Stash was not able to help with this bag.  Although I did use the zipper from the laundry bag for one of the white zippers.  As this bag requires a total of 4 zippers, I will have find a bargain zipper supplier prior to sewing additional bags!


Posted in Accessories, Bags, Quilting, Scrap Couture, Sewing, Sewing for a Teenager, Stash Couture | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments