Sewing Blog

Fashionable in Fall 2013: Folk Prints

Your perspective on the world at large is greatly influenced by where you live, so when I saw the folk movement blow up this year here in Los Angeles, I figured that it was a local trend. I mean, LA can really get its hippie on without trying too hard. Remember those Laurel Canyon ladies of the 1970s? Yep, they’re back big time, but thankfully, in a modern way.

After watching the runway shows this past spring, it seemed very apparent that the folk trend is not just here on the West Coast, but rather it's going to be a worldwide trend this season.

Woman Wearing Blue Dress, Standing Against Brick Wall

Photo via Craftsy member BiAnCa S

Wondering how can you incorporate this trend into your sewing habit without going overboard? Here are some tips on how to do just that.

First, think about folk prints as an accent.

Instead of making your entire dress from a wild print, consider making just the skirt portion out of a folk-inspired print and pairing it with a coordinating solid on the upper portion.

Another accent could be to incorporate the print on just a small part of the garment, like a patch pocket, collar or a band at the hem of a dress or skirt. To learn how to use an accent fabric in many ways, enroll in the Craftsy class Sewing on the Edge: Finishing Techniques with Lynda Maynard.

Pink and Green Folk Fabric Squares

The fabric collection Belle from Amy Butler was so popular, they brought it back this season. It, and many of the prints from Kaffe Fassett, are perfect choices for using as accents in your garments. They clearly draw some inspiration from folk prints of the past.

These and more choices found in the Craftsy Fabric Shop.

Collage of Shirts, Sweaters and a Jacket

Second, consider embellishment.

The folk trend is a perfect place to experiment with embroidery, beading and other surface treatments.

There’s no better place to start with this kind of manipulation than in Natalie Chanin’s Hand-Embellishing Knit Fabric class. Natalie is the master of folk-inspired modern clothing construction, and following her techniques will most certainly result in a gorgeous one-of-a-kind item.

Another perfect class to learn about incorporating surface embellishment is in Katrina Walker’s Decorative Seams: Techniques and Finishes class. Using Katrina’s lessons, you can mimic many of the folk fabric trends spotted on the runway.

White Shirt with Colorful Embroidery at Bottom

Photo via Craftsy member Sara Sobral

Carol Ann Waugh’s class Stupendous Stitching might be in the quilting section, but for surface embellishment, this class is an ideal choice and can be used on any project you have in mind. Just look at the top Craftsy member Sara Sobral made using Carol’s techniques. Perfect for the folk trend!

Third, think about your home decor and accessories. Not all trends need to be worn on your body!

If you prefer to dress more minimally but want to get on board with folk fabric trends, perhaps these prints are better suited for an accent throw pillow or tote bag.

When you’re ready to sew yourself a new bag, try Brett Bara’s Design Your Own Handbag class, where Craftsy member Danih03 made the folk fabric inspired bag seen below.

Green Printed Bag with Zippers

Photo via Craftsy member daniho3

Fourth, consider muted colors.

Making an outfit in a folk trend print that's in a palette of neutrals, like black, gray, natural or white can make it less trendy, which can result in more longevity in your closet. You might grow tired of a bright red print quicker than one in shades of gray.

Choosing neutrals can also take the folk fabric trend from the runway to the office. Make up The Couture Dress in Susan Khalje’s class or a classic skirt in Deborah Moebes’ Design & Sew an A-Line Skirt in a muted folk print, and you will be perfectly work appropriate and sophisticated.

Rows of Vibrant Red, Pink, Yellow Patterned Fabric

Lastly, consider making your own folk prints!

In the classes The Art of Cloth Dyeing with Jane Dunnewold and Fabric Patterning with Wax Resist with Malka Dubrawsky, you can learn to manipulate, stamp or dye, and print your own trendy folk print fabrics, and then sew them into your next project!

Since you can choose the color and design, it is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. See the sample above from Craftsy member Annick Cottom, made in Malka's class.

There are many ways to interpret the folk trend, but most of all, it is a one-of-a-kind, handmade aesthetic that just begs for you to try to make it at home yourself. This is not a trend that asks for perfection, rather it encourages the hand of the artist in its creations, so give it a try for your upcoming fall wardrobe!

Will you wear folk prints this fall?

One Comment

Barb R

I love BiAnCa S’s top! Great pattern and colors.


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