Vernon Fashion Studio’s Blog

Archive for October 2011

I made these for four women who went to a party as the hard shelled heroes. Made my own patterns and used the fabric they supplied. Theoretically these are not to hard to do but in fact they took a bit of doing. I learned one lesson, use stretch fabric to do these.

The other thing I learned is that Halloween fabrics are the pits to work with. The gold ones were made with a very flimsy fabric that did not forgive mistakes. Had to sew most of it with tissue paper between it and the  feed dogs, so it would move.

Happy Halloween Everyone!


That is the question from Chanel for Fall/Winter 2011/2012. While other designers have shown peplums on the runway this season, Chanel was the first on I noticed and liked.

What is a Peplum? From the Free Dictionary dot com:
pep·lum (pplm)
       n. pl. pep·lums
1. A short overskirt or ruffle attached at the waistline of a jacket, blouse, or dress.

I can’t be certain but it also looked like Carl Lagerfeld had them attached to the skirt. It can be hard to tell from video and stills. I remember peplums in the 70’s and they have turned up upon occassion since then but it has been a few years since I had seen one. (Apparently peplum dresses were trendy in 2009 but I missed them)

Peplums can be longer or shorter then the hip line. They can be stiff or flowy. They can be made from a heavier fabric like wool or from a light lace. If you have no hips and/or broad shoulders then try one that is stiffer and stands out from the skirt a bit, at hip level. It would help create an hourglass figure.  No Judy Jetson here though. If you are more of a pear shape then keep the fabric light, laying smoothly over the skirt and a couple inches below your hip level. An interesting shoulder detail or poofy sleeve can help balance your shape.

If you have a round or rectangular shape, or are petite, I would avoid peplums. And anyone wanting to try wearing a peplum, should do a muslin first and use it to find the perfect fabric weight and length. Personally, I would make a pencil skirt or sheath dress and add the peplum as a separate piece that can be removed and the fabric reused.  How about a sequin, glittery or embellished fabric peplum over a solid color skirt for a holiday party? The fancy fabric is expensive but a peplum needs less fabric than a skirt would and the effect would be just as fabulous.

See peplum dresses and skirts here:

From Tongue in Cheek website, pics of Top Shop peplum skirts:

So do we peplum or not? I think these are a passing trend that shouldn’t be overly indulged in. They will be trendy for Spring/Summer 2012 but I doubt they will be around next fall/winter. But I have been wrong before. 😉

For not being very busy at the Studio, I sure have had a tough time finding time to post here. Things have been happening…progress has been made…life has moved ever onward! How philosophical!

So where to start? I guess I will start with this great book I just got from Amazon:

Sorry, I should have cropped before I downsized it. Anyway, it is a book by Liberty of London called the Liberty Book of Home Sewing. It is hardcover and looks to have been new in September. It has some wonderful project ideas that would be best with Liberty fabrics but will make up very well in whatever you can find at the fabric or quilt store. And they aren’t hard projects, just fun ones. The book is filled with classic Liberty prints, on paper, used as chapter dividers. There is also an interesting history of Liberty fabrics to start the book.

I have been working on some personal sewing. The first is the red trench coat. It is getting there but has taken a backseat to other projects because I want some specific buttons from Mood Fabrics but the cost to ship them to Canada is outrageous. Unfortunately, I don’t know anyone who lives near the New York or LA stores, to have them pick them up for me. So I thought I would see how much it would cost to send them to one of my kids who in turn can send them on USPS for cheaper than UPS would cost, but they have run low on the buttons in their warehouse in New Jersey. I guess I wait for them to restock then try again. Until then, the trench will hang on the dressform waiting.

I also made a pencil skirt out of black stretch cotton sateen. I put a side detail on it that also wants buttons. I need to find time to visit the local Button Lady to see if she has anything fabulous I can use. I am sure she does.

I also have started working on a holiday party top made from this fabulous beaded, embroidered and silk ribbon, silk organza, designer fabric I got from Gorgeous Fabrics. I think it is sold out since I bought most of it. I made the pattern and did a muslin. Next I thread traced the seam lines.

I stopped there when some other work came in that pays money. I should get back to it later this week. Along the selveges there were these little parts of the design which are great for filling in holes in the design when you construct it. I plan to use lapped and appliqued seams so I used a couple of the flowers to try machine appliquing to a plain silk organza.

Here’s the back:

Doing it by machine can work but I think hand sewing the applique on would probably be better. Of course I am using silk thread for this project. The lining for this top is black silk charmeuse. The designer fabric will only be on the front of the top. Personally, I think it is better to not sit on or lean back upon all that beading and sequins. I also think I would wear it with a black jacket to work or out for the evening. If I am going to go through all this trouble to make it, I plan to wear it…a lot.

I threw together a simple a-line knit skirt with an elastic waist the other day. I made it more ankle length since the weather is getting cooler and snow boots will be needed in the near future.

So what is on tap this week? Well the week is a day short due to Thanksgiving today. I will be finishing up, hopefully, the two remaining alterations, then I need to finish the two tote bags that are ready to be sewn together. Then I have 3 lap quilts in the queue. Two need binding and the other needs quilting by me then sent to the quilter to do the border before binding. They will be done by Christmas, I promise. Then I can get back to the holiday party top.

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers and Happy Columbus Day to my American readers. Have a great sewing week!