apparel design

selmadressFeatured: Selma dress

In many cases, discover your fabric as inspiration and the theme for the piece begins there. There are so many design ideas you can do with patterned fashion fabric and a bit of elastic. Take for instance, the Selma dress with an elasticized bodice and striking rope trim makes for a nautical style and fun back by Christopher Deane. Come across your own themed fabric and try this dress draft for summer.

You will need:

  • approx. 2 ½ yds. [2.3m] of fashion fabric, 45″ [114 cm] wide (depends on desired length)
  • shirring elastic thread.
  • 4 yds. [3.6m] of cording, 1/2″ [12mm] diameter
  • Coordinating thread


X = bust measurement (measure just under the arms around the fullest part of the chest).

Finished length = measure vertically from the armpit to the desired hemline .



This is a patternless design (simple block draft). Plot and cut block layout  directly onto the fabric according to your measurements as illustrated (seam allowance is included).


Cut 1 front, cut 1 back, cut 4 bra cups and cut 4 loop carriers (1-1/2” [4 cm] wide strips).


1. Make 2 self-lined bra cups. Begin by layering 2 pieces, with right sides together. Stitch across narrow top edge using ½” seam allowance. From machine stitching, measure down ½” and sew down both sides of bra piece, using ½” seam allowance. Press seams open; then turn bra cup right side out. Press bra cups flat and topstitch across the top of each bra cup below the openings. Baste the raw edges together. Set aside.

2. shirWith FACE side up, shirr fabric panels using elastic thread in the bobbin. Begin 1” from top edge of panel and stitch across width of each panel. Do parallel rows of shirring about ½” apart (I used the presser foot width as a guide) and continue until you have a shirred length of fabric equal to 1/3 X.

For example: if the bust equals 36 inches , you would shirr 12-inch length from the top edge of the panel.

3. With right sides together, layer the fabric panels and align the shirred portions while matching the edges along the length. Pin or baste and stitch to create a tube, using ½” seam allowances. Press seams open.

Design Note: The fit of this style is not a snug one. The dress is designed to hang from the shoulder straps. You may get a closer fit by increasing the seam allowance at the side seams.

4. Hem the bottom edge of the tube with a narrow double rolled hem by turning under the bottom edge twice by ½” and press. Topstitch hemline.

5. On one panel front, find the center of the panel above the shirring and mark. Pin/baste one bra cup on either side of this mark, with right side facing. Sew across bottom edges of bra cups.

6. Make carriers 1/2″ X 3″ [12mm X 75mm]; you will need 4 of them. At the outer edges of the bra cups, fold a carrier  in half to form a loop and secure to either side of the garment. Divide the back portion between the two loop carriers into thirds. Place a loop carrier at each location and secure.

7. selma backSerge or pink the raw edge of the top edge. Turn top edge to inside and press. Topstitch in place.

8. Cut 2 lengths of cording. Thread cord in each bra casing and gather up excess fabric to create the gathers. Knot cording together to create halter straps and thread through loop carriers.

0x0-nf best behaviorFeatured: Best Behavior

Stay “kewl” this summer with this gossamer sun serape. It is a cinch to whip up in an afternoon. Take your styling cues from Danish design house, Best Behavior and layer it over your tiny tees and baggy pants.

You will need:

  • approx. 2 yds. [1.8m] of transparent fashion fabric, 45” [114 cm] wide such as chiffon
  • 1 pkg. of bias binding, 1” [25 mm] wide (matching colour)
  • coordinating thread

DIMENSIONS: approximately 34” X 44”  [86 cm X 112 cm]



This is a patternless design (a simple block draft). You can plot it directly onto your fabric but you will need to straighten the cut ends of your fabric before you are going to cut. The corners should be 90°.  Once that is done, trim away the selvedges.


Cut a rectangle 72” X 45” [183 cm X 114 cm].


  1. Find the center of the cloth by folding it in half, both lengthwise and widthwise. Mark the location with a pin. Radiating from the center, lightly chalk an arc 5″ [12.5 cm] away from one fold to the other. Carefully cut on chalked line through all layers to create the neck opening.  Reserve cut away portion.
  2. Fold the width of the bias tape in half and align the raw edges of the tape along the FACE side of the neck opening. Stitch around the neck opening using a ¼” [6mm] seam allowance. Grade the seam allowance. Turn bias binding to inside of opening and press seam flat. Topstitch around neck opening.
  3. Open the fabric flat, FACE side down and machine a narrow double rolled hem along all sides.
  4. To make the pocket, re-fold the cut away portion from the neck into quarters, with right sides together. Reduce the radius of the arc by 1″ [25mm].
  5. Open the fabric flat and fold in half , with RST. Stitch around the curved edge, using a ½” [12mm] seam allowance, leaving a small opening to turn-out. Trim the seam allowance close to the stitching. Turn pocket right side out and slipstitch opening closed. Press pocket flat.
  6. Align pocket to left side of centerfront and edge-stitch pocket to front of garment.
  7. Fold garment in half and align corners. Measure up from matching corners on each side approximately 14”[35.5cm] . Tack front and back together at this point (●).

c2009_11_eyelet vest

Featured: Chulette

Simple eyelet vest with a “peek-a-boo” attitude.

Try styling it similar to this one from Chulette; fully lined with tan colour cotton fabric to add some contrast.

You will need:

  • 1 ¼ yds. [1.15 m] leno-cut fabric, 45” [114 cm] wide such as eyelet.
  • 1 ¼ yds. [1.15m] of matching lining, 45” [114 cm] wide such as broadcloth.
  • Coordinating thread
  • Kraft paper


Bust – measure around fullest part of chest, just under the armpit.

Waist – measure around narrowest part of torso, just above the navel.

Shoulder – measure shoulder length from ball socket to neckline.

Back width – measure across shoulder blades from armpit to armpit.

Backwaist length – measure vertically from nape of neck to waistline.


vest draft

Cut a length of kraft paper equal to your bust measurement + 3” [75mm].

Fold the paper in half across its widest point.

Plot point A on the foldline at the top of the paper.

A-B = 2” [50mm]

B-C = backwaist length

C-D = ½ of B-C less 1” [25mm]

Square across all points at 90°

D-E = ½ of bust measurement

Square up and down from E to locate F and G.

H = midpoint of A-D.

Square across from H.

H-I = ½ of back width minus 1” [25mm].

A-J = 3 ½” [90mm].

K is located where lines squared from B and J intersect.

Draw a shallow arc at K to join B to J as shown.

L is half of D-E.

Square up and down from L to locate M and N.

F-O = 3 ½” [90mm].

E-P = 3” [75mm].

Q is located where lines squatted from O and P intersect.

Draw a deep arc at Q to join O and P as shown.

M-R = J-K + ½” [12 mm].

Draw a straight line from J and O to R.

J-S = 2/3 of shoulder measurement.

O-T = 2/3 of shoulder measurement.

Join S-I-L with a smooth curve as shown.

Trace this curve on the front portion between L and T.

G-U = 3 ½” [90mm].

G-V = 3 ½” [90 mm].

Draw a smooth arc at G connect U and V as shown.

C-W = 1” [25mm].

Square a line across from W.

N-X = ½” [12 mm].

X-Y = 1” [25 mm].

X-Z = 1” [25 mm].

Join points W-Y and V-Z with a smooth line.

Join points Y and Z to L with a straight line.

Add seam allowances to perimeter of pattern pieces except armhole.

Cut out pattern with paper on the fold.

Grainlines are parallel to CB and CF of pattern.


vest layCut 2 bias strips 2 ½” wide [65mm] in lining fabric.

Cut front 2X self

Cut back 1X self

Cut front lining 2X lining

Cut back lining 1X lining.


  1. With right sides together (RST), match up vest fronts to vest back and pin/baste side seams and shoulder seams. Stitch seams and press open.
  2. Repeat Step 1 for vest lining.
  3. With RST, align and match vest to lining around outer edges. Pin/baste in place. Stitch around the perimeter of the garment. Trim and grade seam allowance close to stitching. Turn vest right side out through armhole.
  4. Press seam flat around outer edge of vest. (Use a press cloth as not to mar fabric).
  5. Align and match up armhole opening. Baste both layers of fabric together.
  6. Bind each armhole with bias strip. To do this, fold the bias strip in half lengthwise (wrong sides together) and press foldline (use an up & down motion). Place the raw edges of the bias strip along the armhole on the face side of the vest. Stitch around the armhole using a 3/8” [1 cm] seam allowance. Turn under the short ends to neaten and complete.
  7. Fold the bias binding over the seam allowance in the armholes and align the folded edge to the machine-stitching. Slipstitch binding to lining.
V283627 victoria's secretFeatured: Victoria Secret Peasant Skirt

You’ll this easy-to-sew skirt…XOX.

You will need:

  • Approx. 1 ½  to 3 yds. of fashion fabric (depends on fabric weight and width)
  • Coordinating thread
  • Heavy-duty topstitching/upholstery thread


Waist – measure around narrowest part of torso (just above navel level)

Hips – measure around the fullest part of the seat, about 8” [20cm] below the waistline.

Finished Skirt Length – measure vertically from waist to desired hemline.


This is a simple block draft. You can plot it directly onto your fabric but you will need to determine the dimensions of the panels you are going to cut.

(This also will help you determine how much fabric to purchase.)

Designer Tip: If you wish to use a printed fabric, look for a print that has been “railroaded”, that is the print runs along the fabric’s length. That way, you needn’t piece the fabric together to create the tiers.

XOX Block Draft

xox 1

Measure the hip. You may round up the measurement to the nearest ½” [12mm].

O = (hip measurement + 2” [5cm] ) divided by 2.

Next, determine the desired length of each tier; divide the finished skirt length by the number of tiers you desire. You may round up to the nearest ½” [12 mm]. The featured model from Victoria’s Secret has 3 tiers and is approximately 21″ [53.5cm] long.

X = (finished skirt length + 2 ½ ” [6.5 cm] ) divided by 3.

For example: for a size 14 hip measurement of approximately 38” [96.5 cm] and the finished skirt of approximately 21″ [53.5 cm] long, the tiers are 7 ¾ ” [19.5 cm] long.

Again, you may round your answer a little if needed; this is not exactly rocket science.

O = 20” [51cm]

X =  8” [24 cm]

Time to plot and cut.

Determine if the fabric print runs up-and-down OR railroaded (sideways) on the surface.

Now to add fullness to each panel width.  Gathering is usually a 2:1 ratio.  (If you choose a thin/lightweight fabric you may need a greater ratio.)

layYou will cut 2 panels to make each tier. (skirt front & back).

Plot a 2” [50 mm] band across the fabric’s width OR length. (see  layout diagram)

Set up XOX block as illustrated.

Top Panel = 1 block

Middle Panel = 2 blocks

Bottom Panel = 3 blocks

Designer Tip: Short on fabric? Try cutting the second tier in a contrasting colour or fabric.

xox 2

Now you have all of your skirt pieces and are ready to start sewing!

*Designer Tip: Embellish your tier panels with flat ribbons or braids if desired.


1. Attach the pair of 2” [50 mm] bands together at one short end to create a drawstring. Fold along its length and press flat. Open the fold and turn in raw edges ¼” [6 mm]. Refold and edgestitch along the length on the open side, then along the fold side. Knot each end.

2. xox 3With right sides facing each other, sew the side seams together on each pair of panels using ½” [12 mm] seam allowance. Edge finish each of these seams with an overlock machine if you have access to one, otherwise trim with pinking shears to keep the raw edges from unraveling. Press seams open. There are now 3 “loops” of fabric, one for each tier.

3. hemAt this point, sew a narrow double-rolled hem around the entire bottom edge of the lower tier. Press up 1/2″ [12 mm], open the fabric back out, and press the raw edge in to meet the first crease. Sew the rolled hem.

4. Edge finish the upper edge of the top tier. Fold 1 ¼” [30 mm] to the inside and press to form a casing for the elastic. Turn raw edge under ¼” [6 mm] then stitch about 1″ [25 mm] from the fold all the way around.

5. On the top edges of the middle and bottom tiers (and with right sides facing up), sew a wide zigzag machine-stitch over the heavy-duty thread all the way around the seam allowance.xox 4

6. Starting with the bottom tier, grasp the heavy-duty thread ends and start pulling gently to form gathers in the fabric. When the circumference of this edge matches that of the lower edge of the middle tier, stop and tie your thread ends together to keep everything in place. Then slide the gathers around until you are happy that they are distributed fairly evenly.

7. Flip the middle tier inside out so that the right sides (the face of the fabric) are facing each other and pin it to the bottom tier — the bottom edge of the middle tier (the edge without the gathering) should match up to the top gathered edge of the lower tier and the right sides should be together. Pin/baste this seam just below the zigzag stitching. (basting is your friend on this project!) Now, flip it right side out and check your gathers and re-adjust if necessary. Machine stitch this seam along the basting; then remove the heavy-duty thread and basting.

8. Repeat the procedures from Steps 6 and 7 to attach the middle tier to the top tier.

xox 6

9. Serge or pink the gathered seam allowances you’ve just sewn to finish the raw edges.

10. On the outside edge of the ‘waistband’ casing, open 1” [2.5 cm] on one seam carefully with a seam ripper. Thread the drawstring through the top casing. (Alternatively, you may use elastic in the casing, if desired)

sundress2Featured: Simplicity

The button-front “chemise” sundress— the quintessential of summer attire – is easy to wear, unrestrictive and yet not without that “sophisticated look”. This summer, you’ll find the sundresses  will be both elegant and appealing. And I am sure that because of its easy patterndraft, this lovely addition to your summer wardrobe will inspire you with your favourite fashion fabric.

You will need:

  • 1 ½ yds. [1.5 m] of Fashion fabric, 60” [150 cm]wide
  • 1 ¼ yds. [1.2 m] of Fusible interfacing 24” [60 cm] wide
  • 12 buttons, 7/8” [22 mm] dia., line 34
  • Coordinating thread
  • Kraft paper


Bust – measure around fullest part of chest, just under the arms.

Hips –  measure around fullest part of seat, about 8” [20 cm] below waistline.

Back waist length – measure distance from nape of neck to waistline


sundress draft

A-B = back waist length

B-C = 2 times back waist length (or desired finished length**)

B-D = 4” [10cm]

Square across all points.

D-E = 1/2 of hip or bust measurement (whichever is the greater)

Square up and down from E to locate G, H.

I = half distance of A to B.

Square across to locate J.

I-K = 2” [5cm]; square across to locate L.

J-M = 3” [7.5 cm]

N = half distance of I to J.

Square down from N to locate O, P, and R.

N-Q = 1” [2.5 cm];  I-S = 1” [2.5 cm];  join M to Q.

T = half distance of B to P.

Square up and down from T to locate U and V.

L-W = 3” [7.5 cm]

H-X = 3” [7.5 cm]

Join W and X with a straight line.

Measure 1” [2.5 cm] on either side of P. Shape sideseam by joining Q and R with a smooth curve passing through the points on either side of P.

Measure ½” [12 mm] either side of T. Make a shaping dart by joining U and V with a smooth curve passing through the points on either side of T. (optional)


Trace out A-G-K-L.

Add ½” [12mm] at K and L. Join new points with a straight line.

Divide rectangle horizontally with 1 ½” [4 cm] intervals (3 in total) to create the pintucks.

Each pintuck is ½” [12 mm] wide with 1” [25 mm] spacing. (see diagram)


Trace out on fold S-Q-R-O-C for the dress back.

Trace out J-N-O-R-Q-M for the dress front.

Trace out L-W-X-N for the front placket.

Trace out on fold K-L-J-I for the dress facing.

Add ½” [12 mm] seam allowances to all pattern pieces.

Add 1 ¼” [ 32 mm] hem allowance to dress back and fronts.

**Design Note: This patterndraft can be shorten to waistline for a smart summer camisole.


sundress layCut BACK 1X self on fold

Cut FRONTS 2X self

Cut FACING 1X self on fold; 1X interfacing on fold

Cut PLACKET 2X self; 2X interfacing.

Cut PINTUCKS 1X self on fold

Cut 2 SHOULDER STRAPS =  16” long X 1” wide

[40 cm x 2.5 cm]


  1. Make 2 shoulder straps ¼” [6mm] wide.
  2. Iron fusible interfacing to wrong side of dress facing and both placket pieces, following manufacturer’s directions.
  3. Make the pintuck border. Beginning at the top edge, turn under 1 ½” [4cm] and press. Stitch ½” [12 mm] parallel to folded edge. From stitching, turn under 1” [25mm] and press. Stitch ½” [12mm] parallel to pressed edge. From stitching, turn under 1” [25 mm] and press. Set aside.
  4. Stitch the suppression darts on the back piece. (optional)
  5. Stitch fronts to back along side seams. Press seam open.
  6. Align and match bottom edge of pintuck border to top edge of dress. Pin/baste with right sides facing together. Machine stitch. Grade seam allowance and press upward.
  7. From face side, baste along seamline (while tucking in the seam allowance) to complete last pintuck. From last pressed fold, stitch ½” [12 mm] parallel to seamline.
  8. Press all pintucks downward on the face side of the dress.
  9. Set shoulder straps in place on front and back. Baste to top edge of border.
  10. Align and match dress facing to top edge of dress ensuring the straps are caught in the seam. Pin/baste in place. Machine stitch the seam. Grade seam allowance and press to one side. Understitch facing. Finish bottom of facing by turning under ¼” [6 mm] then topstitching. Turn facing to inside of dress.
  11. With right side of placket to wrong side of dress fronts, pin/baste placket to each front (allowing for seam allowance at top and hem). Stitch seam and press to one side.
  12. On opposite side of placket, turn under seam allowance and press flat. Fold the short ends of the placket back on itself and stitch across top and bottom. Trim corners, then  turn plackets right side out. Align the pressed edge to the row of machine stitching and topstitch closed.
  13. On the right front placket, divide the length equally for 12 1-inch [2.5 cm] vertical buttonholes spaced 3 inches [7.5 cm] apart from the top. Position the first buttonhole 1″ [2.5cm] from the top of the dress front opening.
  14. On the left front placket, sew on the buttons.
sundress12Courtesy: Vogue

A flirty flouncer has that button-to-hem flippancy and shows lots of sun-kissed shoulder.

A very easy sundress draft to get you in that tantalizing “island-in-the-sun” attitude.

You will need:

  • Approx. 2 – 2 ¼ yds [1.8 - 2m] of fashion fabric, 45″ [114 cm] wide
  • 2.5 yds. [2.3 m] of pre-cut interfacing, 1″ [2.5 cm] wide
  • 1 pkg. of single fold bias tape, ½” [12.5 mm] wide
  • 1 yd of elastic, 3/8″ [10 mm] wide
  • 8 buttons, line 20; ½” [12.5 mm] diameter
  • Coordinating thread
  • Kraft paper


Bust = measure around the fullest part of chest just under the arms.

Hip = measure around the fullest part of the seat about 9″ [23 cm] below the natural waist.

Back waist length = distance from nape of neck to natural waistline.


draft2This pattern is drafted by height.

Make a SQUARE template with length and width equal to your Back Waist Length.

On the kraft paper, square lines from X at 90 degrees.

The line squared down from X is the length. It equals the centerline. (dress length)

Along the length line of the paper, set up A-B-C as shown.

Across the width line of the paper, set up C-D-E-F as shown.

1. On square A, divide the length into 3 equal parts.

Add 1 inch [25 mm] at the first division by marking a parallel line above the division line.

Subtract the difference between your hips and bust measurements on this new line, opposite the centerline.

Join this point to the bottom corner of square B with a straight line.

Cut pattern  piece A-B out.*

This is the pattern piece for the front and back of the dress.

2. Save remaining piece of square A for O.*

This is the pattern piece for the shoulder straps.

3. Parallel to the centerline, draft K piece from X and make it 2 inches [50 mm] wide.

Cut pattern piece K out.*

This is the pattern piece for the front button placket.

4. Along the top edge of C-D-E-F, add 1 inch [25 mm] by marking a parallel line above the squares.

Along the bottom edge of C-D-E-F, add ½ inch [12.5 mm] by marking a parallel line below the squares.

Label centerline on square C.

Cut out pattern  piece C-D-E-F.*

This is the pattern piece for the flounce of the dress.

* Note: Add seam allowances to pattern pieces.

Grainline is parallel to centerline.


dresslay2Dress Back – cut 1X self on fold

Dress Fronts – cut 1X self on fold

Button Placket – cut 2X self

Shoulder Straps – cut 2X self

Flounce – cut 2X self

Interfacing – cut 2 strips equal to dress length


  1. For the shoulder straps, fold each O piece lengthwise with right sides together (RST).
  2. Stitch along the long edge. Press seam open.
  3. Stitch across one short end. Grade and clip corners. Turn strap right side out. Press flat.
  4. Make 2 shoulder straps. Set aside.
  5. For flounce, cut one of the two fabric pieces in half. Align and match each short piece to either side of the long piece with RST at the short ends. Pin/baste and sew the seams. Press seams open. Finish  the raw seam edge (I used pinking shears).
  6. Hem the bottom edge of the flounce by turning under ¼” [0.7 mm] and then ¼” [0.7mm] again. Press turnings. Machine stitch in place.
  7. Then, turn upper edge down 1 inch [25 mm] to make a heading for the flounce, and baste. Gather fabric along the basting. Set aside.
  8. For the dress fronts, cut one folded fabric piece in half. Align and match each front piece to either side of the back piece with RST at the side seams. Pin/baste and sew the seams. Press seams open. Finish  the raw seam edge (I used pinking shears).
  9. bias-tapeTurn upper edge of dress down 1 inch to make a gathered ruffle, and baste. Apply the bias fold tape on top of the raw edge of the turned dress edge. At this time, place one shoulder strap under the top edge of the bias fold tape and locate it in the middle of the front pieces. Make a casing for the elastic by stitching on both sides of the tape’s edge, ensuring you catch the raw end of the shoulder straps.
  10. ruffleOn the bottom of the dress, apply the flounce to the bottom edge. Gather along the lower edge of the heading and distribute the gathers evenly. Pin/baste flounce in place. Stitch on top of the first stitching to secure the gathers to the dress.
  11. Wrap elastic over the bosom and stretch to a comfortable fit. Cut elastic to that length. Thread elastic through casing to shirr the top and secure at each end with stitching.
  12. Fold each button placket piece (K) in half lengthwise with wrong side together. Press fold. Open each placket piece and baste the interfacing strips to one half by aligning with foldline.
  13. Pin/baste each placket piece to the front edge of the dress from the top edge down to the hem of the flounce with right sides of the placket facing the wrong side of the dress. (Note: Remember to allow for seam allowances at top and bottom edges). Stitch plackets to dress.
  14. On opposite side of placket, turn under seam allowances and press. Then turn under the seam allowances on the short ends. Press. Align and match the turned edges of the placket to the stitched seam of the front edge to encase the raw edges and topstitch the plackets to the dress.
  15. Divide the right hand side placket into 8 equally spaced vertical buttonholes. Make buttonholes.
  16. On the left hand side placket, hand-sew 8 buttons to align with buttonholes.
  17. Try dress on and drape dress straps over shoulder and pin to fit. Hand stitch ends of straps securely to inside of dress on bias tape.


moncler3aFeatured: Rouge Passion Capelet by Giambattista Valli for Moncler.

The famed puffy ski coats from Italy’s Moncler has teamed up with Giambattista Valli for the Moncler Gamme Rouge Collection. The beautifully sculpted pieces flaunt huge collars with twisted closures. Why not hit the ski slopes wearing a capelet puffer?

You will need:

  • Approx. 60″ [152cm] of Marilite® waterproof nylon, 60″ [153cm] wide
  • Approx. 24″ [61cm] of hi-loft terylene batting, 60″ [153cm] wide
  • Coordinating polyester thread
  • 4 sets of covered dome snaps, ½” [12 mm] dia.
  • Kraft paper
  • Tissue paper


This pattern is drafted by height. The body proportion is made up of 8 heads.

Your height divided by 8.

Shoulder width = distance from shoulder point to shoulder point across the back.




Make a perfect square equal to ½ of the shoulder width measurement.

redoUse a set-square to draw a 90 degree angle on the Kraft paper.

Set up a grid using the square as shown: A,B,C

Point O is 4″ from top right corner on square C.

Point Z is midpoint of right side on square C.

Join points O and Z with a curved line as shown in draft.

Point ■ is midpoint of upper square B.

Point X is located at left top corner of square C.

Points ■ (red) are located 2″ [5cm] from point X.

Fold new sheet of kraft paper into quarters.

Place left bottom corner of square A on folded corner of paper.

Trace out solid line outline of squares A-B-C.

This is the back and sleeve portion of the capelet.

Fold a second sheet of kraft paper in half width-wise.

Place bottom of square C on fold of paper.

Trace out solid line outline of square C.

This is the front piece of the capelet.

NOTE: Add seam allowance around perimeter of pattern pieces. (thick solid line)

Cut out pattern pieces while paper is still folded.


Use a set-square to draw a 90 degree angle on the Kraft paper.

Set up a grid using the square as shown:

1st row: A,B,C,D

2nd row: E,F,G,H

Find the vertical midpoint of squares D and H. Join with a straight line.

Point + is midpoint of upper square C and lower square G

Add seam allowance to perimeter and cut out pattern piece. This is the collar.

Draw a rectangle 24″ x 2″ [61cm x 5cm]. This is the neck band.

Draw a rectangle 15″ x 5″ [38cm x 12.5cm]. Divide into 3 equal parts. These are carriers.

Add seam allowance to perimeter of neckband and carriers. Cut out pattern pieces.


Capelet Back and Sleeves – cut 1X self

Capelet Fronts – cut 2X self

Capelet Neckband – cut 2X self

Capelet Collar – cut 1X self

Carriers – cut 3X self

lay-bBack and Sleeve Insulation – cut 1X batting

Front Insulation – cut 2X batting

Neckband Insulation – cut 1X batting

Collar Insulation - cut 1X batting


  1. For each carrier piece, fold in half lengthwise with right sides together (RST).
  2. Pin/baste long raw edges. Stitch seam and press open. Turn right side out and press flat.
  3. For each front piece, place one carrier at point Z face up. Fold fronts in half width-wise with RST.
  4. Pin/baste front edge and side seam. Sew seams, ensuring the carrier is caught in the seam, and press seams open.
  5. For back and sleeve portion, fold in half width-wise with RST.
  6. Pin upper edge and pin/baste under-sleeve arm edge on both ends. Sew seams and press seams open.
  7. Attach one front armhole to armhole on back portion with RST. Pin/baste armhole seam in a “U” shape. Sew armhole seam. Clip seam allowance if necessary.
  8. On back portion, fold self fabric at point X with RST, and pin/baste from X to red point. Sew seam and press open. Repeat on opposite end.
  9. Insert batting into each body piece. Baste insulation to seam allowance of armholes on the front portions and upper edges of all self pieces. Topstitch through all layers on back portion vertically at CB and vertical sides of square B to contain the insulation. (see tip below)
  10. Align one piece of the neckband to the upper edge of the body at the CB and at the CF with RST. Match the upper edge of the front piece and shoulder with the neckband and allow for seam allowance at the front edges. Pleat out any excess on the sleeve portion. Gather the upper back edge evenly into the neckband. Pin/baste into place. Layer the second neckband piece on the inside of the body to sandwich the 3 layers together. Pin/baste in place. Machine-stitch the neckband to the body. Sew up short ends of the neckband.  Press seams and trim if necessary. Turn right side out.
  11. Insert batting into neckband and baste upper edge closed.
  12. For collar piece, staystitch at pint +. Fold collar lengthwise in half and pin/baste from point + to end of collar and across short end. Sew seam; press and grade seam.
  13. On opposite short end, gather edge to remaining carrier. Fold carrier to form a loop and attach midway in seam. Gather collar onto it. Fold collar lengthwise with RST. Sew gathered end. Grade and trim seam allowance if necessary. Turn right side out.
  14. Insert batting into collar and baste to seam allowance. Pin/baste collar to neckband between the + . Sew collar seam. Turn seam allowance into the collar and slipstitch the open side to the neckband.
  15. To complete the capelet, handstitch 4 sets of dome snaps evenly-shaped to front edge closure and attach short end of carrier under the armhole by turning under the open end and sewing to the back of the capelet to create a sleeve.

TIP: To sew batting with fabric, place the batting side, face down on tissue paper and machine-stitch with the self fabric on top of the batting. Tear away the tissue paper from the seam afterwards.

striped-caftanFeatured: Oscar de la Renta Caftan

Oscar de la Renta shows us how to relax with this 2009 caftan style. The sheer striped silk print is so feminine and the flat braid trim makes this style ultra luxe. Can you just imagine lounging around in this? (You’ll definitely want to sew one up as no pattern is required.) This is a classic piece that belongs in any collection of beautiful, fine clothing.

You will need:

  • Fashion fabric, 45″ [114cm] wide
  • Flat braid trim, 2″ [5cm] wide
  • Coordinating thread
  • 12 half-ball buttons, line 20 [12.5 mm dia.]


Measure from the nape of your neck down to the desired length: purchase twice this amount of 45″ [114cm] wide fashion fabric and four and a half times this amount of 2″ [50mm] wide flat braid trim .


Cut the fabric into two equal lengths.

Reduce the width of both pieces to 35″ [89cm].

From the excess cut-away material, cut two rectangles, each measuring 10″ wide x 40″ long [25.5cm x 102cm]. Set these aside to be used for the sleeves.


Choose one length of fabric to be the front of the caftan. Spread it out on the tabletop, face side up, and fold in half lengthwise. Mark and cut the front neck opening as follows:

frontneckFrom the foldline at the center top edge of the fabric:

Measure down 4″ [10cm] and mark with a pin.

Along the top edge, place a pin 4″ [10 cm] from the foldline.

Arc a curve using a compass from the top of the foldline between the 2 pins.

Cut out the neck opening. Refer to diagram A.

Cut along the foldine of the front piece in two halves  (centerfront seam).

backneckChoose the other panel of fabric to be the back of the caftan. Spread it out on the tabletop, face side up, and fold in half lengthwise. Mark and cut the back neck opening as follows:

From the foldline at the center top edge of the fabric:

Measure down 1 ½” [4 cm] and mark with a pin.

Along the top edge, place a pin 4″ [10cm] from the foldline.

From this pin, measure down 1 ½” [4cm].

Shape the back neck and cut out the neck opening. Refer to diagram B.


On the two front portions of the caftan, turn ½” [12.5mm] seam allowance along the centerfront edges and press flat. Open the folded edge.

braid2Align the edge of the flat braid to the foldline of the seam allowance. The trim should be on top of the seam allowance with wrong sides together. Edge-stitch the braid to the centerfront edge.

Repeat (as mirrored image) to the opposite front piece of the caftan.

Layer both front pieces with right sides together and matching the braid trim. Align the trim at the center front.

Measure down from the neck edge 8″ [20cm] and mark with a pin. This will create a keyhole neckline.

Measure up from the hem edge 18″ [46cm] and mark with a pin. This will create a center slit.

With wrong sides together, stitch the centerfront seam of the front panels between the two pins. (Note: Do not catch the trim in the stitched seam.)

With the front piece FACE UP, gently press the centerfront seam open by placing the braid trim flat. On the open edge of the trim, edgestitch the braid to the caftan fronts.

With wrong sides together, pin/baste back piece to front piece at shoulders. Sew shoulder seams. Press seams open.

Take the two sleeve rectangles and pin braid trim to one long edge in the same manner that was used for the centerfront edge , aligning trim with seam allowance. (There will be some excess at the top and bottom). Edge-stitch braid to fabric to create the wrists.

With right sides together, fold each rectangle in half width-wise and mark  midpoint location with a pin.

With right sides together, pin/baste each sleeve rectangle to the body, matching the pin to the shoulder seam. Sew sleeves to body.

Measure the neck opening of the caftan (do not include seam allowance). Cut a length of braid trim equal to this measurement plus 1 inch [25mm].

Turn short ends of trim under ½” [12.5mm] and press flat. Fold trim in half lengthwise. Bind the raw neckline with the trim. Pin/baste in place. Topstitch along edge of braid from CF to CF.

caftan2To complete the caftan:

Place the front of the caftan together with the back, right sides together. Pin/baste the side seams and underarm seams together.  Trim any excess of the trim, if necessary.

Stitch the sides. Press seams open.

Hem the bottom by binding hemline with braid trim in the same manner used for the neckline.

Sew a thread loop and button at the neckline at the centerfront.

Sew a button at the base of the keyhole opening and another at the top of the center slit.

Evenly space the rest of the buttons along the centerfront seam and sew in place.


The Wrap skirt pattern tutorial has been removed by the request of the designer. To view this design, check



Featured: DKNY Pencil Skirt

Both sexy and classy, the pencil skirt creates a flattering silhouette on every woman, no matter what size. Pair it with an all-business top for work, then slip into a pair of sleek stilettos to glam things up at night. The elastic waistline allows for an adjustable fit and may be worn with a purchased belt. This version of the pencil skirt is fully-lined.

You will need:

  • 1 yd. [0.9 m] of fashion fabric, 45″ [115cm] wide
  • 1 yd. [0.9 m] of  lining, 45″ [115cm] wide
  • 1 yd. [0.9 m] of elastic, 1 ½” [40 mm] wide
  • Coordinating thread
  • Bodkin



This is a simple block pattern. It may be measured and cut directly on the fabric. Seam allowance is included.


Skirt shell (A+5 x B+5) – cut 1X self

Skirt lining (A x B) – cut 1X lining

Waistband elastic – waist measurement less 6″ [15.25 cm]

Note: Cut all fabrics on the straight grain.


  1. miter4Mark the center of each fabric piece.
  2. On the bottom corners of the fashion fabric, measure up 1″ [2.5 cm] and across 1″ [ 2.5 cm]. Join these 2 points with a straight line and cut the corner away.
  3. Fold this 45° angled line in half with right sides of the fabric together. Pin/baste and sew each corner, using a ½” [1.25 cm] seam allowance, to create a miter in each corner.
  4. With right sides together (RST), align and match the lining and fashion fabric along the length on both side edges, from the inside corner of the miter to the top edge. NOTE: Remember to allow ½” [1.25 cm] seam allowance on the  hem on the lining portion.
  5. miter-12Pin/baste and sew each seam using ½” [1.25 cm] seam allowance. Press the seam allowances towards the lining. Turn this piece right side out.
  6. Align and match up the centers of each fabric and pin the layers at the top edge. Allow the fashion fabric to turn at the ends and press flat along the fold edges from the top to the mitered corners. Turn the skirt wrong side out.
  7. Align and match the lining and hem allowance of the fashion fabric along the bottom edge. Pin/baste and sew the bottom edge using ½” [1.25 cm] seam allowance. Press the seam allowance up towards the lining. Turn the skirt right side out.
  8. slit1Lay out the skirt with the hem away from you and the fashion fabric face up. Fold the fabric along its length so that the 2 sides meet at the center. Measure from the mitered corners 6″ [15.25 cm] and mark the location with a pin. This will be an open slit.
  9. Working from the open end at the waist, align and match the foldlines from the pin to the top edge. Sew the 2 foldlines together to create the skirt from the inside of the layers.
  10. Along the top edge, turn under all layers ½” [1.25 cm] to the inside of the skirt and press flat.
  11. Turn under 1 ¾” [4.5 cm] to create the casing for the elastic waist. Pin/baste the casing through all layers. Press flat.
  12. elastic3Topstitch 1/8″ [0.25 cm] along the fold of the top edge of the skirt.
  13. Topstitch 1/8″ [0.25 cm] along the bottom edge of the casing, leaving a 2″ [5 cm] opening at the back seam.
  14. Cut the waistband elastic to your waist measurement less 6″ [15.25 cm] or wrap around the waist and adjust to a proper fit. Using a bodkin, thread the waistband  elastic through the casing and secure the ends together. Be certain not to twist the elastic as you do so. Slipstitch the opening in the casing and complete the topstitching on the skirt.


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