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NEW! Introducing Capital Chic Outfit Designer January 16 2017

I'm very excited to be unveiling a new feature on our website today: Capital Chic Outfit Designer!

The idea behind Outfit Designer is to help you plan your sewing projects using Capital Chic patterns - you can select any dress, shirt or skirt (or any combination of the separates) from either of our collections and choose a colour or upload a photo of some fabric from your stash to create an illustration of how it will look. Click here to try it out.

Capital Chic Outfit Designer

 

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Bellini Sewalong: Designing your blouse – Embellishment September 09 2014

One of the most fun things about making the samples for this blouse was thinking about what kind of embellishment could be added to the collar.

This is where you can really be creative and add whatever you like to your blouse. Beads, sequins, studs, gems... the choice is yours!

If you’re sewing or even gluing on something, you have two options.

You can either embellish the collar before you sew it together, like Marie did with hers. This worked because the beads she sewed on weren’t very close to the edge of the collar, so she could sew the collar seams without sewing over the beads. On the plus side, the reverse of her beading is hidden by the undercollar, so it’s nice and neat.

Marie has a great post on how to do it here. She also added topstitching in matching thread which I think makes the whole thing look professional.

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Bellini Sewalong: Designing your blouse – Choosing a fabric (or fabrics) September 08 2014

Whether you’re planning on making a smart blouse for the office or for evening drinks, or something for the weekend, Bellini has you covered. This versatile pattern can be made up in a wide variety of blouse fabrics to suit your lifestyle. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Suitable Fabrics for Casual Blouses

Do you plan to wear your blouse as part of a casual outfit? Maybe you live in a hot country and need something lightweight? Here’s a selection of casual fabric ideas that might fit the bill.

Heather made her Bellini from this fun cherry-print cotton broadcloth.

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Weaving Destination Contest Entry: Part 1 August 20 2014

I was very excited to read over on Debi’s blog a few weeks ago that Weaving Destination were going to host a fashion contest, with a fashion show to be held during Edinburgh Festival. I decided almost immediately that I wanted to enter. The contest was open to all, with the entries to be created from Weaving Destination’s fabric; this very special fabric is hand-woven by survivors of human trafficking in Assam, India. You can read more about Weaving Destination here.

I loved the idea of helping a social enterprise, promoting the idea of ethically-sourced fabrics and giving myself a creative challenge at the same time. In this post I’m going to be telling you a little more about the inspiration behind the design of my contest entry, and about the fabrics I used and why. In my next post, I will be talking about the pattern drafting for my design. And then I will be talking in detail on the construction of the dress in a final post, as well as sharing some photographs from the fashion show (sorry, it was just far too much to put into one post!).

I was very inspired by seeing pictures of the Weaving Destination ladies working their hand looms at their campus in Assam, India. I wanted to do something that represented the tradition of hand weaving, and also something that celebrated the connection between the weaving ladies in India and Weaving Destination's fashion show in Edinburgh. I therefore chose to make the dress from a combination of Weaving Destination's cotton fabric from India and Harris Tweed, a traditional wool fabric which is hand-woven by the islanders of the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. The design is jointly inspired by Indian and Scottish traditional dress.

 

On the Weaving Destination hand-woven fabric from India

Weaving Destination is a social enterprise, run by Debi and Javita, which promotes the financial independence and empowerment of indigenous women in Northeast India through the sale of their hand-woven organic cotton and eri-silk products. All of the women employed through Weaving Destination are either survivors of human trafficking, living with HIV/AIDS or are female migrant returnees who are highly vulnerable to re-trafficking, social exclusion and poverty. Weaving Destination provides employment and also housing and support for the women and their children.

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White Russian’s inspiration: designer animal sweatshirts July 22 2014

(NB. If you’re reading this in an RSS reader, you may not be able to see the embedded pins and images in this post. If that’s the case, click here to read this article on our website.)


White Russian’s inspiration most definitely came from the many quilted sweatshirts that appeared from designer and RTW companies over the winter. The trends seemed to be quilted fabrics and/or appliques of animal motifs. It wasn’t until I saw a slim green quilted sweatshirt on fellow blogger Kathryn that I realised how much I wanted one.
Plain quilted fabrics were the most chic, in my mind, like this one from Reiss.


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Martini: The inspiration behind this ‘cocktail dress with a twist’ July 14 2014

Today I want to write a little about the inspiration behind the Martini pattern and hopefully give you some ideas for fabrics and styling of your own version of it.

(NB. If you’re reading this in an RSS reader, you may not be able to see the embedded pins and images in this post. If that’s the case, click here to read this article on our website.)

Martini’s inspiration

Martini’s shape is designed to emphasise the waist. By making the top of the dress hang away from the body all the way around, and the waistline very snug, an optical illusion is created that makes the waist look narrower to the eye. This same trick was used very effectively in Chanel’s Spring 2014 Couture collection.

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