I can see why red became part of the holiday's that pop of color we need as the landscape dulls that just seems to sparks everything. Lets talk RED Fabric in this blog: How to create fresh combinations and a texturing technique for making your fabric combo more eye-catching!

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Here are 3 red pieces in my wardrobe: 2 vests & a cowl scarf: Each with ideas for a winter sewing project or color combo.

#1 What's Your Combo? 

Spending more time selecting the materials you really want to use...and how you combine them with will change your work. This scarf piece combines a devore' burn-out silk, a jaquard woven blend and a vintage velvet piece that is almost thread-bare in spots. The aging velvet is the pivotal piece for me. This scarf is made from a pieced 18"x 42" rectangle, sewn into a tube, then connecting the ends. For more dimension, a twist can be added before connecting the ends.

A unique fabric combo makes your scarf unique

Considering the characteristics of each fabric piece can suggest a design direction in your project. The fabric piecing with crossed strips is just enough detail on the scarf....a vintage pin would be beautiful finish.

Ventana Vest in Melton Wool

#2 Melton Wool Vest- This lovely wool was enhanced by a trip through the washer and dryer first. It gave the wool a slightly more hand-made look and just holding it, warm, right out of the dryer... construction ideas began to come. I used my Ventana Vest Pattern and decided to leave all the edges raw and lap the seams with black topstitching.

For this garment, the triple stitch was used for a heavier look. A topstitched piece is a great way to explore some of the stitches on our machines. Extra pieces were added along the neck and front edge in that same style. If raw edges make you nervous....but you want to give it a try, a tip is to give the edges a trim every once in a while to freshen it up. Notice I used a pair of pinking shears for some of the edges too. The edges can get a bit frayed, and you get to decide how much raw edge you want. This works well on some fabrics, so you may want to trim and see how it works for your fabrics. The advantage to this raw edge approach is that you can re-cut an irregular hem or change the shape on the collar with a swipe of the scissors!

Contrasting machine stitching and raw edges are the repeating elements in this vest

#3 Textured Layering: Wool on Polar Fleece-

This vest was made from the Walkabout Vest Pattern. The pattern design, by Australian Felter, Polly Stirling, includes a set of regular size pattern pieces, AND a set of 50% enlarged pattern pieces with Polly's felting directions for making your own felted pieces! Very fun!!

My layered version is wool jersey on polar fleece. It's perfect for those of you with a wool issue...who love wool and want to use it for outer-layer winter garment.

 A Walkabout Pattern Studio Vest 

Steps for Creating the Layered Fabric:

  1. Cut the vest in the polar fleece (my dark piece) leaving extra down the front (to cut a shaped edge later), and a second vest from wool jersey (my red knit).
  2. Pin the two layers together and stitch lines up and down on the fabric. An irregular approach looks best when the wool jersey stretches. Accent thread color and stitches will add to your results.
  3. Steam the wool jersey and allow to stretch. Remember Polar Fleece is a synthetic and will melt. The iron does nothave to sit on the fabric for this to keep the steam moving over the top of the jersey. You can also steam through a pressing cloth. After a first pass, take a pair of scissors to the wool jersey: slashing and cutting away shapes that enhance the surface. Some of my print fabrics were added to the cutouts.

  1. Steam again as needed using a pressing cloth.
  2. When fabric is cool, Add other accent fabrics and trims.
  3. If the polar fleece is wider at the front edge, it can be cut to influence the design of your vest.
  4. Continue with construction and consider overlapping seams for more interest too.

Cut a shaped edge in the polar fleece to complete the look


More is not always better....But DOING MORE with your favorite fabrics might just add the creative edge you are looking for. Enjoy your winter fabric stash!! Diane

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