Me and a small contingent of girls have been here in Paris for a few weeks. Unfortunately I fell ill to a bad cold and the girls--who have been scouring the stores and streets of this fashion capital-- have not found much they like, style wise. On the street, it's all about basics and in the designer store windows--pure fantasy and not the good variety. So, we figured we was long overdue to stop and offer another edition of Tipster! Here, we dissected the last catwalk trends to show you how to create the details that make those clothes special.

On the Fringe
One of the favorite looks was this dress and shorts with fringing on the edge. In making this outfit, I used two different techniques.

It's really very simple. For a straight edges (like the hem of the shorts), decide how deep you want the fringe. Make a machine stitch at that point, then remove the horizontal threads of the fabric. The machine stitch will keep it from unraveling beyond your chosen edge.

However, when it comes to a curved edge, we have to cheat a bit. Fabric will unravel on a grid, as depicted in the top photo.
So take a spare piece of fabric, make a stitch for the length of fringe you want, then remove the horizontal threads.
Cut your fringe away from the fabric, leaving a small 1/4" (3mm) allowance, then pin to the curved edge of your garment.
Stitch close to the edge. If the curve is steep, you may have to clip the curve so that it lays flat.

Grommets and Studs
This was another popular look that attracted a lot of attention because of the metal eyelets (also called grommets) and the tiny studs. "How do you put them in," I was asked. It took some doing, but I found a solution.

1. I used a grade school compass to help me with this. Slide the eyelet onto the needle.
2. With the eyelet on the needle, pierce the fabric.
3. Slide the eyelet in place and push through the fabric.
4. Using jewelry pliers, make a quick firm crimp.
5. On the right side this looks like this.
6. On the wrong side, the edge is folded in place if it's down properly.

Tiny studs are difficult to handle. 1. So I use jewelry pliers to place on the fabric.
2. Push through so you see the "teeth" on the wrong side.
3. Again, use the pliers to make a quick sharp crimp.

On Angelina's bolero, I used a combination of metal studs and pearl stickers. You could use metallic colored stickers instead of studs, just be aware that the stickers tend to fall away fairly easily.

Circles and Squares
The next trend we've been spotting for awhile are skirts and dresses with handkerchief points. Before I can show you how to make a handkerchief pointed hem, we must begin with the draft of a circle skirt.

While there are several ways to draft this skirt, I've chosen an old fashion technique I learned in school which begins with something called a "dartless sloper."

Here, we begin with the basic skirt sloper. Draw a vertical line down to the hem from the apex of the d'art. Then draw lines down from each dart leg to the hem to join the point of the vertical line. Finally, draw a line from the furthest point on the waist at the side down to the corner side point at the hem. Fold out the darts completely and cut away hip curve. Repeat for the back. We will use what's left as a guide.

1. Here is what our dartless skirt sloper looks like.
2. Divide this into 3 or 4.
3. Cut along those vertical lines almost (but not quite) to the waist edge.
4. Draw or create a 90 degree angle. Spread the skirt out so that the outer slats line up against the horizontal and vertical edges. Spread the other two slats evenly. Note the length from the waist to the hem and make dashes of equal lengths from the waist at the hem. When finished you can draw the curved line at the hem.
Repeat for the back.

5. My pattern thus far only represents 1/4 of the circle.
6. Place this quarter to the other side of the center front.
7. Repeat for the back. Add seam allowance to the horizontal edges as well as the waist edge.
For your waistband, you can use a small ribbon, however if you cut your own waistband, be sure to cut it on the bias (diagonally). It should be slightly longer than width of the waist (for overlap). Use hook and eye to close.

Here is my circle skirt in evening length. In making this pattern. I joined the pattern along one side seam to create a skirt with only one seam.

The only difference between a circle skirt and one with handkerchief points is that one is a circle while the other is a square.

Here, I've placed my circle skirt flat on the table, but squared off the edges.

The result is a skirt that is long in spots, short in others.You can exaggerate the points to create a more dramatic style. Your pattern doesn't have to be symmetric. This is a pattern you can really have fun with.

All images and text property of Fashion Doll Stylist. 2016.

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