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Archive for the ‘DIYStyle Patterns’ Category

DIY Lingerie

Lingerie Pattern

A girl can never have too much lingerie. And it’s even more fun to add to your stash when the goods are created by yours truly. So, our original DIYStyle Lingerie pattern (panty party anyone?) now has a sister…………tah dah……..check it out! Our first panty pack along with the Cami and chemise was styled a bit girlie. Sporty was more the theme here with a cute little halter and comfy beater tank, string bikinis and boy short. And, these pieces stitch up in a snap, just right for beginning sewers. DIYStyle for McCall’s 6128. Hope you have fun with this one…………….

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DIYStyle Launches 4 Designers!

Launch Show Opening


What a whirlwind at St. Louis Fashion Week! DIYStyle was so honored to present one of 6 shows for the fashion and style packed week. Our show was called LAUNCH–showcasing the DIYStyle Collection and the collections of 4 new designers, Connie Bourgeois, Allyce King, Maggie Laskowitz and Courtney Stiles. Each of the designers had not shown their fashion collections on the runway (besides fashion design school), so this was an opportunity of a lifetime for all of us! And it was at a super cool venue, Lumiere Place Hotel, attached to a premiere upscale downtown casino. STL Fashion Week staked out their big theater for all the shows………..we could not have asked for a better place in St. Louis to “Launch” these talented designers.

After months of preparation, designing, fitting, sewing, and organizing it all came down to the day of the show. Since the fashion show was scheduled for 1pm, our call time was SUPER early, at 6am……….not easy since most of us were still sewing away at 2:30am the day of!!! But all the models arrived (50 plus) in all, and all the volunteers (about 40), then the production team (director, lighting, sound) and all the make-up and hair artists. What a huge production, and it was so much fun to see it all come together. Now we completely understand (and appreciate) how much work and dedication goes into a professional runway show like this…….and we could not have done it without all of our teams both from DIYStyle, the volunteers and St. Louis Fashion Week! When the models started walking down the runway the adreneline was pumping, the music was playing and all flowed just beautifully!

Here’s a bunch of the pics from backstage.

Backstage 1

Backstage 14

Backstage 28

We opened the show with a tribute to Breast Cancer Awareness. Each of the designers created these art to wear fashions, and DIYStyle did T-shirt surgery with Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Tees. These definitely had an impact with the audience (with the models walking to Beyonce’s Halo song).

Poker Dress

Angel Dress

Noodles Dress

Telephone Cords Dress

Next up was the DIYStyle Collection, showing styles from the pattern line with McCall’s, our vodcasts.

Kristen Loungewear

Katie Fleece Jacket

Then the collections of each of the featured designers were ready to go. First was Conjetta by Connie Bourgeois. Beauty meets the Biker!

Conjetta 3

Conjetta 5

Next up was ML by Maggie Laskowitz. Cute, bouncy, yet elegant dresses.

ML 2

ML 10

Stiles by Courtney Stiles was next. Beautiful cocktail, evening wear and bridal.

Stiles 4

Stiles 10

Allyce King Designs by Allyce King closed our LAUNCH show, with Hamptons style resort and swimwear.

Victoria Swim

Draped Swimsuit

For more pics from the show, check out our Facebook page. There are pics of most all of the models, and even more behind the scenes takes. Thanks to all of the STL Fashion Week crew for all the neat photos! And, check out vodcast episode #66…it’s a quick look at the runway show! Now, we’re ready for next season………….what 4 designers will be “Launched” in the Spring show?!

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It all started when I was cleaning out my sewing room. The stuff was too good to toss in the trash! I started thinking…maybe I could get a little cash for the items. The resale shop was not interested, so, I had heard about “eBay”, an online site for the selling and buying of just about anything. And I mean ANYTHING!

I hooked up my account and went to work. It was easy, trust me, I am not a computer guru by any stretch of the imagination. The site leads you through the set up, step by step. Once my account was in place, I started taking photos of fabric, patterns, books; you name it and listed each of their wonderful and valuable attributes. Five days later I was raking in the dollars from the items that I had sold. I was pumped!

Photo + Description = DOLLARS…for the things I didn’t even want anymore. So now I continue to clean and search for items to “list”. My family members are a little worried that if they sit still too long I may list them on eBay! Ummm, no I really wouldn’t! But, I have really made some progress to a more organized nest with the benefit of a little extra cash.

The only thing you must watch out for is when doing research for selling items…you may be “seduced” in to buying an item or two or three. But, the deals can be great! The other great benefit is when I’m looking for a unique item or one that may be older and no longer available…eBay can be a great resource. In fact, that happened recently, I wanted leopard look spandex for some lingerie, at the store the fabric can run upwards of $18.00 a yard! On eBay I was able to score 10 yards for $24.00. You read that right…$24.00!!! Granted, I will have leopard panties for the next 50 years!

Excuse me I gotta go, I have an eBay listing I need to post! And so do you!


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Avant Cirque

Allyce Market Day

“Market Day at Stephens”

Boy has this been a long semester!! Graduation is finally over (YEAH!!!!), and it’s been so crazy busy I have not had a moment to slow down at all. Just to give you a quick update of my last semester at Stephens College, from January to March I was working on five ensembles of my senior collection. It consisted of 11 garments total! I worked with a lot of fabrics and trims that I had never worked with before, including LOTS of feathers. Senior collection is all about getting the most experience you can out if it, so crazy me choose a ton of different fabrics. All together I worked with swim lycra, bamboo knit, stretch linen, embroidered tulle, leather, stretch charmeuse, silk charmeuse, china silk, and silk chiffon. We worked on fitting a lot of our garments last semester in muslin but it’s not always exactly the same result when you get into the final fabric, so I also worked on fitting these garments so they looked perfect. Our entire senior collection was turned in seven weeks after we started, and immediately after we began our portfolio’s and a computer aided manufacturing class. I have learned quite a bit in computer patternmaking, and hope to be able to continue this after my training here at school. We began to learn this program sophomore year but this was a more intense seven weeks of it.

April 4th was Jury of Selection, where all of my garments were judged by industry professionals from companies like Abercrombie & Fitch and BCBG. This day decided what got into the Stephens fashion show. Then (finally!) on April 18th we had our Annual Stephens College Designer Fashion Show “Avant Cirque”. The show had a high fashion circus theme, and opened with a choreographed high wire type act—it really was very cool. I was juried in to show three ensembles from my senior collection (you’ll get to see which ones soon), my wool tailored coat and dress, and my rejectamenta (the poker card dress).

 Avant Cirque Opening Act 1   Avant Cirque Opening Act 2

Avant Cirque Opening Act

 Rejectamenta Group   Poker “Breast Cancer Awareness” Dress   Poker Dress Back 

Rejectamenta “Poker Card Dress” for Breast Cancer Awareness

Allyce Coat     Allyce Coat & Dress    Allyce Dress for Coat

Tailored Coat and Dress

And……April 18th will always be the best day ever because not only did I get to display all of a years hard work to 1,200 people but……… my boyfriend PROPOSED to me that morning before the fashion show! I was so surprised, and I did say YES!

Even with all this going on somehow I have managed to keep up with work at McCalls. There are more cool, fun patterns on the way. I look back at this year in awe and do not have a clue how it got all done! In my next post I will show you the garments I had in the show one at a time with my sketches, so keep a look out for them coming soon!


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DIYStyle Dress: Fun in the Sun!

M 5881 DIYStyle Sundress

Need a dress in a hurry? A new DIYStyle pattern is fresh out from McCall’s! M5881 is a super easy sundress, with several views to create your own design-it-yourself style. Stitch one up in a fun cotton summer print for a picnic or barbecue, or choose a solid silk or stretch sateen for that special dinner, wedding or evening event. This is one of those patterns you will be sure to use over and over again…..each time you make it up you will have a completely different look……and it’s SO easy to sew!

When you’re done with your creation, send us your pics of your completed dress at and we’ll post them here on DIYStyle! The first 5 Creative Chicks to send in pics of their M5881 DIYStyle dress will recieve a free DIYStyle pattern of their choice! What are you waiting for…….that cute new dress is right around the corner!!! 

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DIYStyle Happy New Year!

Our TGIF Gifts contest has come to an end, and so has 2008. It has been an incredible year for the Creative Chicks of DIYStyle (and our resident male, Matt our video producer). We want to wish all of our DIYStyle followers Happy Holidays and especially a creative and style filled Happy New Year. :)

And it’s time to announce our final winner in the TGIF Gifts contest. The lucky winner is……..Helen! Thanks for your comment about how you started sewing……..sounds like many of us learned to sew making doll and Barbie clothes. Your Sulky package will be sent soon. A big thank you to all who entered. We loved reading your posts, and will definitely use your ideas in planning our shows for 2009.

We have some new things to reveal in 2009 at DIYStyle, and to keep on top of our latest antics, you can subscribe to the RSS feeds for both the vodcasts and blogs. And……..there are several new DIYStyle patterns from McCall’s coming in the New Year too………we’ll give you the scoop on that very soon (a new design goes on sale in January……whoo hoo)!


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TGIF Gifts Contest:: Our Fourth Gift and Winner Announced

So who won all the loot from our 3rd TGIF Gifts post (in case you forgot it was a copy of My Style, My Place and a set of the DIYStyle patterns)? We had some great posts, but only one gets away with the gifts…………..Pamela you are our lucky winner! You’ll get a note from us soon asking where to send all of your lovely goodies. Congrats!

And, I’m sure you are wondering what is up next?! Let’s see, behind door (or should I say gift box) #4 is a basket chock full of wonderful tools and notions from Clover! This basket includes Clover’s neat felting tools & supplies PLUS some Pom-Pom makers to try out too. This gift basket of Clover Notions goodies is worth over $200!!

Clover Goodies Basket!

So, we’re ramping up the “entry” stakes a bit too! We still want you to post your comments to this blog post, about what you would like to see on DIYStyle, AND we’re also asking you to leave us your favorite quick sewing tip as well. We’ll still randomly pick the winner (so if you are a sewing newbie and tipless, that’s OK–you still get a chance to win the gift basket), but, we’ll also vote on which tip submitted is the best of the bunch, and feature it in an upcoming episode of DIYStyle. And we’ll even mention the Creative Chickie who submitted the winning tip on the show! The tip winner also gets a prize too, a set of Clover felting tools.

Get your comments (and tips) in……….somebody’s gonna get lucky!


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TGIF Gifts Contest::Our Third Gift and Winner Announced!

DIYStyle TGIF Gifts Contest

It’s time for us to reveal our TGIF Gifts lucky winner of the Dual Duty XP thread pack. Congrats to Kati, your present will be on it’s way to you pronto! And thanks for leaving us that nice comment about DIYStyle :)

Our next TGIF Gift is not one…………but two gifts!! Allyce is gifting a copy of her very own My Style, My Place book. It’s full of super easy fashion and home dec projects (kinda like we do on DIYStyle!!), just in time for your to create your own gifts for the holidays. AND…….we’re adding a full set of DIYStyle patterns (Lingerie, Coats, Dress and Tops) as the bonus gift! Yes, 4 patterns and the book. What a treat for one lucky Creative Chick.

My Style, My Place cover 


M5651  M5662

M5705  M5714

Be sure to leave us your thoughts about what you want to see on DIYStyle on this blog as your contest entry. We love hearing what sewing techniques you need to learn, and what kinds of projects you would like to see on our vodcasts. So, get writing…… could be our next winner!


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New York Minute: Allyce

Fashion District

I traveled to so many places this summer…it has been exciting and inspiring, getting ideas for my Senior Collection. My favorite place of them all would have to be New York City. The last week of my summer break I took a nine day trip to visit the big city. I had a few goals in mind for the trip. Here is my list”

1.) Shop for senior collection fabric in the garment district.

2.) Have a great meeting with McCalls.

3.) Use what I have learned in my Pre-20th Century Costume class to identify garments on display at the MET museum.

4.) Learn the subway system enough so I will ride it on my own.

5.) Add to my collection of 500 inspiration pictures that was assigned for my senior year (that has not been a huge challenge especially being in so many different places).

Boy was I in for a wild ride. First of all, I stayed with some amazing girlfriends (love ya Julie & Danielle!) who love the fashion industry and were so great about teaching me about the city. My adventure began at the MET museum. It had been recommended by Kathy (at McCall’s) to be sure to see the Super Heros exhibit. It was a very interesting presentation of garments that were inspired by the super hero movies. These were the actual costumes used in the movies. The experience didn’t stop there. I ended up walking around the MET for six hours pointing out to my friend the name of every garment from the Egyptian period through the 19th century that they had on display. I had just finished taking a summer class in the history of costume, and it was really incredible to see in person what we had been studying in books. A few of my favorites: seeing a sheath dress from the Egyptian period completely constructed out of beads, a Greek Ionic Chiton (modern day tunic) and himations (a large cloth used as a wrap) carved out of stone into amazing statues. You may think I’m crazy but I had fun hunting down 3000 B.C. fibulas (the world’s first ever safety pin–before people even sewed clothing together). I also got to view a few of my favorite painter’s works. I love Andy Warhol and Roy Linchenstein, and seeing their work in person was really cool. One down, four more goals to go.



Next I spent two whole days shopping for fabric in the garment district. The first day was discouraging at first because I didn’t have good direction except that I was looking for knit prints. We went to a ton of stores on 37th and 38th street between 7th and 8th avenue. They were small “hole in the wall” type stores. It was great to get a lot of good swatches so that I could go back for what I wanted if I needed it for my collection. Towards the end of the day I fell in love with this one piece. Picture this: dusty rose pink tulle with embroidery that totally covered it in sage green, lavender, and dusty rose. Then the piece is covered in black and brown feathers with a natural color bead at the top of each feather. It was an exquisite piece! Feathers are so hot this season and I plan to design a cocktail dress…….this would be perfect. I thought I wasn’t going to get anywhere in these small independent stores but I did, and I bargained with the guy to get a great price. One main collection piece, more to go! After that I went to Mood Fabrics. There I found some notions that could be used on my garments as well as my mood boards for school. I bought a piece of leather that was a pink embossed alligator with a pearlized finish. I plan on using it for the cocktail dress bodice piece or small accent pieces. The next day that I spent in the garment district was with great success. I went to B&J Fabrics and found a great but pricey silk charmeuse print that made my day. It was the perfect color palette and the look I was going for. On this shopping trip I also was able to find my chocolate brown wool coating fabric for my tailored coat.

B&J Fabrics

Fabric Rolls

My next goal was not too hard to achieve. For my senior collection we were assigned to take pictures that would inspire us for our garments. It could be anything from architecture to nature to garments. Walking the streets of New York gave me lots of photo opps. The window displays were incredible. My favorite was Dior’s window! It had a carriage in the window with suits and dresses on display. Being a visual merchandiser would be fun but hard work! I also always get inspiration from Betsey Johnson, so I had to go to her store off of Madison Ave.  I almost camped out on their doorstep for the rest of the trip once I found out that she just lives right around the corner from her store! That would have been too cool to meet her.

Betsy J

Designers Way

I was super excited for our McCalls meeting. I felt like I had been preparing for the meeting for weeks. I prepared boards, sketched, and bought some supportive sample garments. I was so excited how my boards turned out and the great samples I found, I even found some great swatches of the fabric that I thought would be perfect for the garments we were proposing. Everyone seemed pleased with McCall’s decisions, so look forward to more great DIYStyle designs for 2009! Thanks to McCall’s hard work to making our dreams come to life! Only one more goal to achieve!

Julie & Danielle had explained the subway the first day that I arrived, so I was able to take the subway the whole trip. The girls live in the East Village so it was good practice taking the subway all over the city instead of taking cabs. I feel like being in New York for that amount of time helped me to prepare to be a better designer. Through inspiration, great fabrics, seeing in person a history of garments, and working in the offices of McCalls for a day really has helped my creativity and motivation as a design major. I will definitely be back in NYC soon!


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Party On DIYStyle!

DIYStyle Party 5

We have had such a busy summer, including the long awaited trip to Chicago! This event was something that DIYStyle has been planning and looking forward to for months. Our very first DIYStyle party was held during the American Sewing Guild convention…..we thought it would be a great place to debut this new event.

The Chicago trip was a BLAST! At the party there were four different project stations…a panty station, where we had more material than you could have wanted (courtesy of Vogue Fabrics!) including our lingerie pattern for making the scalloped edged panties. Another station was distressing denim using sand paper and everyday objects to create an interesting look. A really popular station involved reconstructing tee’s. Digging into a huge pile of tee shirts, attendees made anything from a purse to a skirt to a tubetop. The last station was our DIYStyle eco friendly tote. Overall, people loved the day long sew-in and we personally think it was a hit with the girls our age who came.

DIYStyle Party 4

Many girls were combining supplies from different stations to be a creative as possible. We also had a great DJ (thanks Matt–we never knew you could DJ too!) that made the whole event really upbeat. And to make it even more exciting, we had two fashion shows that featured original designs from local Chicago designers. It was so much fun for us to greet people at the door and show off our DIYStyle McCalls patterns (we were wearing our own designs of course). Some at the party had never sewn in their life and they loved the experience! We hope everyone who attended had fun creating and partying. Stay posted…there may be more DIYStyle parties coming to other cities soon.

DIYStyle Party 1

The rest of the trip was good too. We even watched Pati Palmer (Melissa’s Mom) give a keynote speech to hundreds of people at the convention, where she was also inducted into the ASG Sewing Hall of Fame! All of us had a chance to do the tourist thing too, walking Michigan Avenue and around downtown Chicago. It is a really beautiful historic city and we can’t wait to go back to visit again!!

Thanks to everyone in Chicago and to the people who came to the DIYStyle Party…hope to see you all (sewing) again soon!!

Allyce & Melissa


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And the Numbers are In!!

Melissa and I are proud to announce that the DIYStyle patterns from McCall’s are a success because of you! The May numbers are in and they are awesome! Both of our patterns are in the top 25. The knit top is a top seller and the lingerie has been very popular as well.

Melissa and I are already working on our 2009 patterns, so look for five new patterns to come out in 2009. I know that sounds so far away but don’t be too disappointed….we have two patterns coming out mid-July! Our designs have made it to be on the cover of the McCall’s pattern books in sewing stores…how cool is that??!! I’m particularly excited about our new fall patterns, and can’t wait to make them myself to wear. I hope our patterns, designed with you in mind, will help inspire people our age to sew. :)

Allyce xxxooo

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Our Design It Yourself Patterns are HERE!

I can’t believe the day is actually HERE! Our long-awaited DIYStyle patterns from McCall’s go on sale TODAY! We call them Design It Yourself, because you can take our basic look and tweak it any number of ways to suit YOUR style. Totally flexible, wearable, and dare we say, chic? Pick them up at any fabric store that carries McCall’s patterns, or click here to order directly from our friends at McCall’s.

Melissa and I designed a line of knit tops: McCall’s 5662, plus sexy but sweet lingerie: McCall’s 5651. Hope you love them as much as we do, and see something that makes you want to grab your sewing machine and get started! I’m so excited to be able to walk into a store, open the big pattern book, and see our designs…. as a matter of fact, I’m heading there now! Let us know what you think, we’ll be anxious to get your reactions, so do tell.

As a special treat, in tonight’s vodcast, we’ll share a project with a few great ways to personalize one of the designs in our knit top pattern — OK, sorry, that’s next week! Tonight we’re showing clips from our fashion show in Vegas where we debuted the DIYStyle patterns, and you’ll get to see the different views of the knit top pattern. Next week we’ll share some creative options for the hardware on the knit top from our pattern, or you can use our tips on another project you may be conjuring up.

Thanks to everyone for your enthusiastic support. It means a lot to Melissa and me!


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Well ladies, hang on just a few more days — the DIYStyle spring patterns will be on sale April 22. Bigtime anticipation over here. Can you feel it? In the meantime, we just posted a new vodcast where you get an up-close and personal look at the big trade show we attended in Vegas, where we got our very own DIYStyle booth!! We were stoked. But take a peek at the show, it’s pretty cool to see how the vendors display their products for the stores, everything from textiles and buttons to the latest sewing and crafting gadgets.


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The Big Show


We got back from the International Textiles Show in Las Vegas last week. I think I’m still exhausted. We had the big release of our DIYStyle pattern line with McCall’s Pattern Company and it went beyond our expectations! There is a mix of feelings of total excitement and joy to major relief to see all this hard work come to fruition. When you work really long and hard on something — and with a pattern, there are SO many elements, it takes 6 to 7 months for a pattern to be published and distributed to the public — it’s hard to imagine how you’ll feel when it’s completed.

But there we were at a huge trade show with tons of people, and our faces were larger than life on blow-up banners of the pattern envelope covers for the new DIYStyle “Design It Yourself” line of patterns. (Look for them around April 15th in stores, and they’ll have it online at McCall’s, too!) We also played the DIYStyle vodcasts for visitors, and talked to a lot of wonderful shop owners, textile manufacturers, designers, costumers, and other folks. It went over great, and all the hard work was totally worth it!

The second day we were in town, Melissa and I spoke on a panel with two other women in the sewing industry, Amy Stalp from Sew News mag, and Jessica Johnson from American Sewing Expos. Cindy Cummins (our head Creative Chick, and my very own mom) lead the discussion and we talked about sewing from a 20-something point of view.

Bright and early next day (our call time was 5:30am — yawn), was the BIG International Textiles Fashion Show, and we got to kick if off! It was an opportunity to showcase our pattern line in high style for everyone! We modeled the pieces from all four of our patterns (two are coming out for summer and two more for fall). Melissa and I spent a lot of time choreographing our segment of the fashion show and helping pick out the music. (I’d had great practice in this from my fashion show production class a few weeks before!) We wanted to make a statement that this pattern line is fashion forward and geared to a younger generation of hip chicks! Wait until you see the adorable lingerie we’ve done. Too cute. Everyone loved it and we had the time of our lives! I can’t wait to see the McCall’s pattern book in stores with our designs in it. Just a few more days….. eeee!

While walking the show I found wayyyy too many cool fabrics to use in projects for design school as well as for our own DIYStyle pattern line, and on the vodcasts. I spied some great cashmeres and wool blends for my critic presentation this week. Right now I am in hand-tailoring class with all the “hair canvas”. Tons of fun, right! (psst — only five more weeks to go and the school year is over.)

In our vodcast this Tuesday (same day as our patterns debut!) we’re doing a recap and special up-close view of the Textile Show. Be sure to check it out to see all the behind-the-scenes drama, and as always, we love to hear what you think, so don’t be shy!


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