We're doing something a little different this month, which is both exciting and a bit terrifying (for me - you'll most likely remain terror-free). Instead of choosing a garment type this month, we're choosing a sewing method: The Bias Cut.
One of the first things you learn as a beginner sewist is to make sure your pattern pieces are on the grain. The bias is something relegated to binding tape. But as you become more experienced in sewing, the bias opens up a world of possibilities.
This month, we want to feature those fabulous qualities. A bias-cut garment stretches and shapes to your body to drape in ways that a straight-grain garment simply can't. This translates into a fit that is literally MADE for your own body and a look that is completely your own!
And if you're intimidated by bias sewing, we're making it super easy by including tips and tools to help you master it. We're including tissue paper for accurate cutting and banroll for easy hemming. We'll also have a banroll tutorial on our social media after the boxes go out.
For colors, we're taking a step back from the bright colors and bold prints we've been featuring the past few months for a more muted palette. August sewing is a chance to transition into fall, so we've got some lovely greens, plums, and blush tones to help you wind down from the summer. And, because this is the totally biased box, they are silky, drapey, and divine!
So, without further ado, let's dig in!
Sew Essential Box: Evie Bias Skirt from Tessuti Fabrics
If you're just starting out with bias cut garments, a bias skirt is the perfect place to start. Two pattern pieces, two seams, one stunning skirt. And the Evie Bias Skirt is a tried and true pattern for this look.
The pattern has two options, depending on your desired complexity, with either a simple elastic waistband or an invisible zipper closure with the facing. Both give you the same figure-skimming look that twists around your curves, drapes like liquid, and ripples at the hem. Dressed up or down, it will become a beloved part of your handmade wardrobe. We promise.
To accentuate the flow of this skirt, we focused on the drape of the fabric, opting for silky satins and luscious rayons. Greens, purples and classic black are the name of the game, and each one is as gorgeous as the next. So let's take a look!
- Bottle Green Satin - Satin is an obvious choice for a bias cut skirt, and we love the medium weight of this one. Crepe backed, it will have nice body the skirt, without being too heavy. And then there is the color. A deep, jewel green, it's the color of emerald and pine trees rolled into one. A lovely way to add some luxury to your wardrobe!
- Paisley Explosion Rayon Challis - Bold and vibrant, this printed rayon challis is a stunner. A bright navy background acts as a gorgeous canvas for swirls and spirals of luminescent colors. The challis itself is silky, soft, and semi-fluid, making it an ideal match for this skirt pattern. And the nature of the print - bold and non-directional - lends itself so well to the bias cut. A knockout fabric, if you ask us!
- Black on Black Textured Jacquard Suiting - Black is practically an essential in a well-stocked wardrobe, but that doesn't mean it has to be boring. This fabric livens up the look with a textured jacquard weave that is nubbly and varied, like a basketweave or tweed. The fabric is on the lighter side of medium weight, making it ideal for this skirt. Plus the soft drape has movement and flow. You'll wear this skirt with everything!
Sew Select Box: Monroe Woven Top from Style Arc
Going back to our March sleeveless blouse theme, we extolled the virtues of the simple woven shell top. But if the cut is simple, the blouse really doesn't have to be! A bias-cut top adds that extra oomph to the look with a marvelous drape and body-skimming fit.
Like all Style Arc patterns, the Monroe Woven Top is fashion-forward and chic, with ready-to-wear inspiration and instant wearability. The cowl front is soft and elegant, and the fully lined construction adds an extra layer of softness against your skin. Tucked into a pencil skirt or high-waisted pants, and you'll look straight out of a Katherine Hepburn movie. (A perfect pair for those Protea Pants that everyone seems to be making right now).
For fabrics, we went a little bit lighter since we didn't have to worry about translucency. That means crepes and lawns, all in cool, silky viscose. So here they are!
- Burgundy Floral Viscose Dobby - From the looks of this fabric, it should be heavy and stiff, like what you find on a table runner, that sort of damask print. But instead, it's gloriously light, silky, and thin, exactly what this top calls for. The floral pattern is woven into the fabric, adding texture and catching the light as you move. And the deep wine red is rich and sumptuous, a grown up cranberry red that will look stupendous as this dress!
- Blush Viscose Crepe - Light, neutral, yet full of texture and interest, this fabric is a stunner! The blush champagne color is luxe and soft, and the viscose drapes so nicely for the cowl of this top. It will completely mimic a silk blouse, but without the headache of upkeep. For a dressy top that is (bias) cut above the rest, this is the fabric for you!
- Posey Passion Viscose Lawn - You could get lost in this floral. Dark and dreamy, it evokes enchanted forests and Alice in Wonderland caterpillar dens. And we think it will become a fantastic blouse. The fabric itself is soft, light and silky, with a tight weave and cool hand. The floral is dense, non-directional and loaded with color - peach, turquoise, pink, and orange. A bouquet of hues!
Sew Indulgent Box: Sicily Slip Dress from By Masin
The genesis for this theme probably originates to the release of this pattern. All of a sudden, I was seeing these gorgeous slip dresses all over my Instagram feed, and my mind started to scheme on how to integrate the pattern into our boxes. A 90s throwback theme? A slippery fabrics theme? And finally, I came to the bias cut idea.
I am fully and wholeheartedly in love with this pattern. Slip dresses were everywhere in the late 90s, and I'll admit I had a few. I loved the silky feel of them and the swishy, slinky fit. The Sicily Slip Dress runs with this idea and transforms it from a nod to the humble undergarment into something timeless and elegant.
The extended sizing, long or short length, and skinny or full coverage straps allow you to customize your look so you feel your best in this dress. Plus, it's the ultimate day-to-night dress. Topped with a sweater or cinched with a belt, it's a comfy, warm-weather brunch outfit. Paired with heels and a nice clutch, and you have your date night dress all ready. This dress can do it all!
To accentuate the slip of this dress, we went with silky, lightweight fabrics in gorgeous, earthy tones. Satins, crepes, and faux silk are designed to create a knockout dress. So let's dig in!
- Cactus Green Seed Print Crepe - It's the green of this fabric that first caught our eye. Slightly blue and softly saturated, it feels moody and muted, a vibe we can relate to sometimes. Combine the color with a silky, dry viscose crepe and you have one killer fabric. The drape of this fabric is divine, skimming across the skin like silk. And the subtle pattern of the seed dot - random circles of cream across the surface - completes the look. A simply magnificent fabric!
- Black Sandwashed Cupro - Have you ever wanted to own a silk dress but everything about silk terrifies you? Yeah, we know the feeling. Silk is amazing but also hard to sew, clean, and maintain. Enter this viscose/cupro fabric. Because of the cupro, it looks almost exactly like washed silk, but it's machine washable and has a little more body, making it easier to sew. Fool all your friend into thinking you bought an expensive silk dress, and then smile because, one, you made it, and two, at the end of the day, you can throw it in the wash!
- Shiraz Fan Print Viscose Satin - First, can we talk about this design? The print of this fabric evokes art deco architecture and the roaring 20s, which makes it perfect for this decade. A deep plum color combines with almost peach lines for a print that is truly unique. Plus, the viscose satin is silky and smooth, with a drape that will look soft and elegant for this dress. A beautiful choice!
If the thought of bias sewing gives you palpitations, fret not. Our Tried and True Boxes will give you all the drama but on the straight grain. We're reviving our Woven Wrap Dresses from a few years ago, and they are simply stunning. As perfect transitional garments, these dresses can go from end-of-summer heat to fall layering with style. And who doesn't want that?
Until next time. . .