One of the great things about being a sewist is the ability to update your wardrobe to suit your favourite fashion trends. Whether it means adding embellishments, altering hemlines, or creating entirely new pieces, it helps to have a finger on the pulse of fashion. Check out these ten trends for your 2018 sewing projects!
1. Draped outer layers
Comfy, cosy, and fashion forward, these long, draped cardigans and jackets lack the tricky tailoring of their structured counterparts. Use lush knit fabrics for multipurpose pieces that you can wear to the office or around the house on a lazy day at home. If you have a serger or overlock machine, you can make quick work of these projects, but even if you don't, you can still work with stretch fabrics. Make sure to support your fabric as you sew, and use a walking foot to avoid stretching the fabric while you work.
2. Fringe and tassels
These classic embellishments are back again. If you're not ready to deck out your entire wardrobe with fringe and colourful tassels, start small by decorating your accessories. A handbag or messenger bag is the perfect place to experiment. Layer fringe with lace for a boho-chic aesthetic, or channel the 1920s with rows of black fringe and beading. Want to try tassels instead? You can even make your own using embroidery floss—here's a tutorial on how.
3. Vintage prints
Bold is in for prints this year, especially in florals and botanicals. These vintage inspired prints make it easy to mix classic and modern looks. Try using these prints in unexpected pieces, like a blazer or slacks. Not ready for something so bold? Try using a panel of printed fabric instead, paired with a solid colour or neutral.
4. Bold colour combinations
The soft, muted tones that dominated fashion for the past few years have had their day. This year's looks are much bolder in their choice of colours, and in how those colours are combined. Pair a vivid blue with rusty orange, or bright green with rich navy. Though the colours themselves may have changed, the trend of colour blocking is still very much alive. Combine solid panels of contrasting or complimentary colours to create interest without looking busy.
5. Long, full skirts and wide-legged trousers
In much the same way that loose, deconstructed blazers are in fashion, wide-legged slacks are taking the place of tightly tailored trousers. This is true both for daytime professional looks and casual weekend wear. Opt for soft fabrics or knits for dynamic movement, or something a little heavier and more crisp if you want a retro vibe. Ready to make your own? Check out this video tutorial from Spoonflower!
There are lots of different types of ruffles, and it looks like all of them are back in fashion for 2018! From the subtle movement of a flutter sleeve to the soft, feminine elegance of a ruffle-fronted blouse, there are lots of ways to work this fashion-forward trend into your existing design aesthetic. You can even add ruffles to your accessories, from fun fabric cuff bracelets to a dainty ruffled clutch purse for a night on the town. Keep in mind that different ruffles call for different fabrics. Soft, flowing ruffles work best with suitably lightweight material, while a more structured version requires material that can hold its shape and stand up to wear. If you're just getting started with ruffling, this handy reference has lots of tips on how to cut, edge, and gather your ruffles.
Is denim ever really out of style? This year sees the perennial fabric back in some new ways as well as old favourites. Raw-edged, cropped jeans put a retro spin on the usual, and make for an excellent excuse to get into making your own blue jeans, if you've never done it before. For those looking for a quicker project, quirky embellishments, like lace appliques, are replacing studs and gemstones as the go-to look for jeans. For an even more versatile material, check out denim's softer cousin, chambray. It's gaining popularity for everything from button-down shirts to peasant blouses.
8. Cropped blouses
Everything old is new again, and this year it seems that fashion is channelling the trends of the 90s with cropped blouses back in style. There are lots of different ways to make this trend your own. Knit tops with a cut-in-one sleeve, such as a batwing, dolman, or kimono style, are both trendy and easy to give a loose, cropped hemline. Choose a subtle hi-lo hem for a fun alternative. Peasant blouses, with gathered necklines and easy-to-elasticise hems, are another excellent candidate for a new spin on the cropped look. Choose wide, soft elastic for maximum comfort.
9. Sheer fabrics
Floaty, flirty, and fun, the loose, layered look that's so popular right now lends itself perfectly to sheer fabrics, especially for spring and summer. Sheers can be tricky to work with, as they tend to be slippery and may fray easily. A few simple tricks can help minimise those issues. Cut one layer at a time, using very sharp scissors or a new blade in your rotary cutter. A narrow hem foot can help put delicate edges on your sheer layers, while techniques like French seams keep the seam allowances from unraveling inside your garment.
10. Classic shirtdress
So often, trends in fashion (and in sewing!) are about coming up with something entirely new, or resurrecting something we recognise from a bygone era. Sometimes, though, it's all about keeping the classics alive, which is exactly what we're seeing with the shirtdress. This wardrobe staple is a sewist's dream: no zippers or tricky closures, and simple darts for an easy fit. Combine it with other fashion trends, like cascading ruffles down the bodice, or a bold floral pattern, for a piece that's simultaneously on-trend and timeless.