I don’t know that I’ll ever stop hacking patterns, especially my own. I get bored making the same thing over and over again, so tweaking things here and there just helps keep things fresh.
When I was working on Modern Style for Girls, I kept thinking of new ways to hack the patterns in the book. At times, I had to force myself to stay focused because an idea was so appealing that I wanted to get started right away!
One of my ideas was this sweet party dress. I actually made and photographed this one as an extra style shot for the book but it didn’t get used. There’s only so much room! But that just gives me the chance to share it with you and give a little more information about how you can use Modern Style for Girls to make one for the girl in your life!
This dress uses the same Basic Bodice but the full length instead of one of the alternate cutting lines. There’s still an invisible zipper in the back, so no change there. I paired it with the short sleeves and the collar from the Collared A-line Dress (make sure you use the correct neckline). I actually flat lined the collar with a piece of ivory lace I had in my stash. If you do this, make sure you pay close attention to where you apply the lace. I find it easier to lay out the collar as it would be on the dress so that I don’t accidentally flat line the same side of the collar pieces.
For the skirt, I used a beautiful sheer cream fabric with a rolled hem and a cream lining fabric for a nice double-layered look. Because the invisible zipper ends above the waist, I could cut the same size pieces for both the front and back of the skirt (you can use the back skirt measurement from the Wrap Top/Dress as a starting point). Since these fabrics are so lightweight and gather easily, I cut them a little wider than I would have if I used quilting cotton or something a little heavier. The lining is a hair shorter than the exterior skirt but you could make them the same length, if you prefer.
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Modern Style for Girls is finally here! It’s such a crazy thing to see it “out there,” where anyone can buy it and sew from it.
The book includes three basic garments — bodice, skirt, pants — that you can modify to create a variety of wardrobe pieces in sizes 7-12. Add collars, shift necklines, change armholes — all kinds of tips and tricks for making each piece have a fresh look.
I’ve broken things down again by garment: Basic Bodice, Pants and Skirts. Each garment has four projects for a total of 12 pieces. But that doesn’t mean you’re limited to 12 looks! Mix and match parts of patterns to create something completely different, whether it’s adding the collar from the A-line Dress to the Sleeveless Empire-Waist Top or adding the cuff from the Cuffed Dig ‘Ems to the Shorts (instead of lace). I really love playing with patterns to make them into something new and encourage you to do the same thing.
The techniques in Modern Style for Girls are the next step after my first book, Little Girls, Big Style. I’ll show you how to add invisible zippers, sew a set-on waistband, insert a trouser zipper and even on-seam pockets.
All the looks in Modern Style for Girls are reflective of today’s kids, my daughter included. She had a lot to say about the projects, from the ruffles to the fabrics. I hope you love it just as much as we do!
Here’s your chance to win an autographed copy of Modern Style for Girls! I’m using Rafflecopter, so just click and comment.Good luck!
Around this time last year, I was signing a contract for the book now known as Modern Style for Girls. It simultaneously feels like yesterday and forever.
Writing craft books is not for the impatient. The process — and it’s definitely a process — takes around 18 months. There are times when it’s the only thing you’re doing and it just consumes every waking minute of your day. And then there are times when you sort of forget that you’ve written a book because you’re not actively working on it and it’s not time to start digging into the promotion of it.
Less than two weeks ago, I spent eight days reading, reviewing and marking up the final proof of Modern Style for Girls. It’s the first time I was able to see the book laid out and designed, and the last time I’ll see it before it’s printed and bound.
It’s such a different experience, seeing my words and photographs pulled together in book form for the first time. I’m so fortunate that my daughter and her friends happily modeled for me. It makes me smile to see them wearing what I designed and made, and know that other people will soon be able to make the same garments.
In April 2014, I was finishing up a book proposal I’d started maybe 18 months prior. By the end of that month, it was in the hands of C&T Publishing’s acquisitions editor and less than two weeks* later received the exciting news that my proposal was officially going to be my second book:
Modern Style for Girls: Sew a Boutique Wardrobe
Stash Books, an imprint of C&T Publishing
Give your favorite girls the gift of endless wardrobe options!
Best-selling author Mary Abreu is back with a book that will shut down the dreaded words, “I have nothing to wear!” from young girls. Starting with three basic pieces—a top/dress, skirt, and pants—you’ll learn how to modify simple patterns and rectangles to make twelve classic garments: four tops/dresses, four shorts/pants, and four skirts. Technique instructions teach you how to gather, create waistband casings, and insert zippers. Advice on choosing fabrics and adding embellishments is also included. With this handy guide, you can help your girls develop a style all their own.
• Add collars, change armholes, and add ruffles to basic garments to create updated takes on existing pieces
• Clear techniques will guide you on how to finish seam allowances, insert zippers, hem, and add unique embellishments
• Help your girls create an entirely new wardrobe of classic pieces to mix and match in any way they want.
*This was unusually fast. Not that I’m complaining. 🙂