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Design Outside The Lines with


Decorative Stitching DemystiямБed







16 Fashion Academics

Vogue Patterns June/July 2014

Linda Przybyszewski, a professor with a passion for sewing, lectures a nation that’s forgotten how to dress. by Daryl Brower

18 Class Act Learn what’s inside Vogue Patterns with, an innovative approach to online lessons.

20 Decorative Stitching Demystified Discover how to take advantage of your sewing machine’s creative potential with built-in decorative stitches. by Linda Turner Griepentrog

28 Design Outside The Lines Inspiration takes flight with an airplane themed shirt. by Diane Ericson

38 Focus On Fit Banish the gap. Learn how to fit summer’s bare necklines and sleeveless styles.

ON THE COVER Kay Unger’s floral brocade dress, V1392, Misses’ 8—24. Earrings and ring: Anne Koplik. Bracelets: Chamak. Hair and makeup by Joseph Boggess.





48 Dress For Success

44 Cut-Away Couture

A fabulous collection of designer dresses that covers all the bases from sweet to sophisticated.

60 Tote Couture Koos van den Akker’s take on the city tote.

62 Very Easy, Very Vogue How to look casually chic no matter where you go.

Create your own version of this elegant runway look with a simple embroidery technique.


6 Editor’s Letter 8 What Are You Sewing? 10 Must-Haves 12 Web Watch 14 Star Blogger

72 Easy Summer Style Dresses that take no effort at all to look great.

78 Vintage Vogue Fabulous designs from the fifties. As glamorous today as they were then.

80 Today’s Fit Sandra Betzina’s newest designs for the season.

82 Sweet Nothings


86 Guide to Pattern and Fabric Requirements 90 Body Measurement Charts 92 Shop & Sew Marketplace 96 Fabric and Accessory Guide

When you need a little something to top off your outfit, try a little jacket from Elizabeth Gillett.


84 Lovely Lingerie Even if you’re the only one who sees them, you still want them to be beautiful.


62 JUNE/JULY 2014 3


Decorative Stitching Demystified BY LINDA TURNER GRIEPENTROG


erhaps you’re perfectly content to sew with only a straight stitch, a zigzag stitch, and an occasional encounter with blind hemming. But depending on your machine, you may have hundreds or even over a thousand other options available to you. You don’t have to sew for kids to enjoy the myriad stitches hiding in your machine; they’re great for home décor items and to embellish garments for women and men. With so much creative potential at your fingertips, isn’t it time to see what your machine’s decorative stitches have to offer?

TIP Make your life easier by creating a stitch sampler. Simply stabilize a large piece of fabric and stitch row after row, trying out every decorative stitch your machine offers and varying length and width if desired. Use a permanent marker to label each stitch at the end of the row. Next time you need a stitch, you can refer to actual examples instead of the symbols on the screen or panel of your machine.


Most machines have two types of stitches, utility and decorative. Utility stitches (1) are the reliable old standbys: straight stitch, zigzag, mending, hemming. Decorative stitches usually involve more intricate patterning: flowers, stylized motifs, and maybe a few animals and alphabets thrown in. But these categories aren’t mutually exclusive. Utility stitches can be used decoratively, and decorative stitches can be used for utilitarian purposes, like holding up a hem. Instead of limiting yourself to the intended purpose of a stitch, think about how it could be used so you can make your machine’s capabilities work for you. There are two major types of decorative machine stitches. One type is formed by stitching only forward (2), and the other by stitching both backward and forward (3) to create the design. Forward-only stitches are generally less complicated than their reverse-cycle counterparts. As a result, reverse-cycle stitches may put more thread into the fabric than the forward-only stitches, which can require special consideration—especially when using novelty thread weights. Some fabrics aren’t sturdy enough to support heavy decorative stitching without puckering or tunneling. The latter happens when a wide stitch pulls the stitch edges toward the middle, creating a ridge. Most often, this kind of distortion won’t press out. Heavy stitching on lightweight or loosely woven fabric can actually damage the cloth, so think about whether your fabric is stable enough for what you have in mind. One way to expand your options is to add a stabilizer under




the fabric before stitching. Some stabilizers are permanent and stay with the project, while others can be removed once the stitching is complete. Another option is to starch the fabric or use a liquid stabilizer to firm up the base for stitching. This makes the fabric almost paper-like for the stitching process, then washes out afterward. It’s important that the machine can feed the fabric evenly over bulky stitches so they don’t distort and appear uneven. Your machine probably has a clear plastic or metal foot with a recessed underside so the stitches can pass through without any drag. Check your manual for help identifying the satin stitch foot. You may also want to try an open-toe foot, which can usually be purchased separately if it didn’t come with your machine. This foot allows for greater visibility if you’re trying to precisely position a line of decorative stitching, for couching or along an appliqué edge. Decorative stitches can be sewn with any number of thread types and sizes. Metallic, rayon, wool, and acrylic threads are fun to play with, as are larger thread sizes that make stitches more prominent. To compare the look, stitch the exact same stitch (at the same settings) using different thread types and sizes. With the proper size needle, most machines can stitch with needle threads from size 60 (fine) to size 12 (large) without issue, allowing dramatic variations in the appearance of the stitch. This sample (4) uses 12 wt. cotton, 30 wt. cotton, 30 wt. rayon, and 50 wt. cotton, arranged from top to bottom. Variegated threads offer another option for changing the appearance of decorative stitches. Depending on the brand and the selected stitch, some threads stitch out in stripes while others produce more subtle variegation. (5) Still others offer two thread colors twisted together. Just one more thing to play with! The needle you should choose for decorative stitching depends on the thread type and size as well as the fabric you plan to stitch on. The eye has to be large enough to allow the thread to pass through it without undue abrasion. If your thread shreds or breaks during test stitching, try a different needle size or type. A universal needle is commonly used for decorative stitching, but if you’re using metallic thread you may need to use a special





JUNE/JULY 2014 21


Design Outside The Lines

Inspiration Takes Flight With An Airplane Themed Shirt BY DIANE ERICSON

I make a garment every year for my birthday that reflects a personal theme I take on for my new year. The theme for this birthday garment was Flight. It has been a great metaphor and symbolic of lightening my load (personally and in my studio!) Ready for my life to be lighter and easier, I followed this theme away from the 747 image to a glider...or a paper airplane. It was a first for me to begin sewing a shirt by folding paper airplanes, but it was perfect for seeing myself as fluid and moving out into the world in new and less stressful ways. This inspiration influences how I work and what I interpret into garment details. Moved by the desire to have a new experience, I am always inspired to explore ways to bring sewing and fabric into resonance with something more intuitive in me. I think

there is a moment like tuning an instrument—even if you never played, you can relate to the process of finding that place where it is right and harmonious. So jumping in and trusting the process, I folded airplanes until I forgot what I was doing and could just BE at the beginning with airplane in hand. I found folding led me to drawing them, which led me to create a group of paper airplane stencils. As I played with stenciling the airplane designs on fabric, the look was appealing right away. This got me going with my fabrics. I began making some fabric airplanes by folding rectangular pieces of fabric in the same way as paper. When I placed them on some of the gray fabric I had stenciled with airplanes, I liked the combo. The creative challenge is to stay in the moment and not rush to see the finished garment. More design options show up if we work with each step as it comes up. I often use a design board as I work; it helps keep my mind clear and is an easy, visual place to keep sketches, details, possible buttons, color combos, sample fabrics and notes. I selected Lynn Mizono’s shirt pattern V1274 as my design canvas, and re-fashioned two gray men’s shirts by piecing them together in an abstract collage to match the pattern pieces. If you look closely at the shirt you will see that I leave many of the original shirt details, like buttons and plackets, and let them become new design features. I also used three textured pieces of striped white linen for accents. I am attracted to the idea of ‘white collar and cuffs’, so you’ll see how that plays into the design later on. And, naturally I wanted to combine some fabric airplanes into the abstract silhouette of the shirt, so I decided to turn the airplanes into godets placed randomly at the hem. Another element I added was a pocket bursting with fabric airplanes. The button tab on the shirt’s front is a vintage silk belt, held to the shirt by the buttonholes. As you look closely at my shirt, you’ll see that I’ve added lots of little details that were spur-of-the-moment ideas. Use them as inspiration for your own unique design. To help you along, here are some techniques I used on some of the major details.

The airplane shirt captures the spirit of ďƒ&#x;ight with a combination of stenciled paper airplanes and folded-fabric airplanes. Opposite page: Ericson’s design board with her sketches, samples and notes. A back view of the shirt with airplane godet at the hem.


JUNE/JULY 2014 29


Dresses that take no effort at all to look great take the fuss out of getting ready in the morning!


Stand out in a crowd with this stunning lime cooler. Opposite page: The ten-gore skirt of this tted-bodice dress gives you plenty of volume at the hem while keeping the waist slim. V8998, Misses’ 6–22. Earrings and bracelet: Rivka Friedman. Shoes: Nine West. This page: Princess seams shape this sweet number. V8997, Misses’ 6–22. Earrings: Rivka Friedman. Shoes: Fergie.


This page: The requisite little white dress for summer, with pockets hidden in the princess seams. Great idea! Very Easy Vogue, V8996, Misses’ 8–24. Earrings and bracelet: Rivka Friedman. Opposite page: It’s a wrap! Done in denim with white topstitching details, this one is sure to become a wardrobe favorite. Very Easy Vogue, V8992, Misses’ 8–24. Earrings: RJ Graziano. Bracelet: Carolina Design. Belt: Nanette Lepore. Handbag: Eric Javits. Shoes: Jessica Simpson Collection.







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Vogue Patterns Magzine June/July 2014 Sampler  

FASHION ACADEMICS: Linda Przybyszewski, a professor with a passion for sewing, lectures a nation that’s forgotten how to dress. by Daryl Bro...

Vogue Patterns Magzine June/July 2014 Sampler  

FASHION ACADEMICS: Linda Przybyszewski, a professor with a passion for sewing, lectures a nation that’s forgotten how to dress. by Daryl Bro...