It is not a secret that such fabric as scuba aka neoprene is no longer for divers' pleasure only.This fabric is in fashion now and will be probably for quite a long time as the European mills found the way of using such an industrial fabric in fashion, giving it softness and drape, lighter weight and eye-catching colors and prints. 

If you are just about to get to know Mr.Neoprene, no worries! Neoprene fabric is of different qualities, and as you might have guessed by now, Italian and French scuba is the best match for sewing something original and gorgeous without having a headache. 

We have just got a couple of neoprene fabrics and one of them you can see our website
You may ask about special techniques on sewing with neoprene and here is what you have to know, beginning with the definition of the very same fabric:

  • Fabric Content
Neoprene fabric is a synthetic rubber material that is used in products that are designed to be both flexible and durable. It comes in several foam styles and densities with the most common and least expensive being an SBR foam. Most neoprenes have a laminate such as a nylon Lycra or Velcro loop on one or both sides. It comes in thickness from 1.5mm to 7mm.
  • Stitching Techniques
Any neoprene over 4mm in thickness will be difficult to sew with a home sewing machine and should be glued edge to edge.
Overlock: The overlock stitch is the easiest, least expensive stitch. It is very durable but when used on a garment may cause discomfort due to the ridges left on the inside. (see edging below to soften ridges)
Flatlock: The flatlock seam provides both durability and comfort. This technique requires taping to hold out leakage from the seam holes. Gluing the joint adds additional strength. A double stitch will provide a much stronger hold than the single stitch.
Needle: You will have better results using a large needle such as a Universal 16 or 18. The smaller needles will not make a large enough hole to allow the thread to pass through easily. Neoprene is sewn best with longer stitches which depend on the neoprene thickness and your sewing machine. Experiment with stitches until you get the results you want. Your needle will heat up with the friction of sewing through the thicker neoprene so go slow to avoid melting your thread.
  • Seam Sealing
Gluing: Use a seam sealer that is made for Neoprene such as McNett's Aquaseal. Gluing the seams together before sewing will increase the durability of the seam.
Taping: The pieces are glued or sewn, then a heat sealable tape is applied across the seam. This method insures a waterproof seam. Use a Melco or Bemis seam seal tape, preferably meant for sealing against nylon tricot fabrics. You'll really want to experiment with scrap pieces here as getting the correct setting/time/pressure to get the tape to bind without damaging the nylon cover or neoprene foam.
Edging: Add a strip of Lycra or fold-over elastic that has been folded in half around the rough side of the neoprene edge. This will create a non-chafing surface. The item on the right was sewn together with a flatlock and the raw edges finished with Lycra binding.
If you have used an overlock stitch to join the neoprene edges then you may also want to “smooth” out the seam by taping a Lycra binding or elastic over the seam like this shown here.
  • Marking
Chalk or erasable pens are recommended.
  • Thread
Use a 100% Polyester or a bonded Nylon thread.
  • Care
Warm water wash and dry. Do not press. Do not use bleach or fabric softeners.
We guess this information is more than enough to "Ready! Set! Go!"  You can always read sewing blogs on sewing garments with scuba fabric and pick some special techniques of real pros!
Enjoy sewing neoprene! 

With Fabriclove, Elliott Berman Textiles
We are thrilled to present another sewing project by Jennifer Byers. And this time her project has made us think of colors and classic styles. How many of you have thought of adding bright colors to your wardrobe but fear of wearing same colors makes us step backward and adore brightness and vivid looks from aside? 

As Jennifer says in defense of us, lovers of dark tones and shades, she finds there is a beauty in the subtle colors that appeals to her, they don't hit one over the head and end the "visual conversation" but instead invite one to look more.  The colorful stuff she has got so far, to her, worked because they were classics. And this is where Jennifer's sewing project comes to prove this point of view with our wonderful Missoni Wool Knit. And "Agreed!" we say. 

As you all know Missoni fabrics are famous for its zig-zag design and certainly unprecedented quality. So having one in your stash would sooner or later result in some finished garment. Jennifer decided to make a dress, which we find 'sew' Italian-looking.
We think Jennifer looks just fantastic in this outfit, as we know before reaching these results there were cutting, stitching, snipping, pattern laying and precise calculation. 

Here the pattern pieces are laid out, correctly aligning the stripes. There is the other half of the back and a second sleeve to align and cut after this. Everything must line up or it will look peculiar! And after that you have to snip, snip and again snip!

What comes next is overcasting the edges with a simple zigzag stitch. 

You will deal with fibre and dust coming out of this fabric that will stick to the machine foot!  

So be patient!

When the back of the dress stitched up, it will certainly need to be laid out to iron. 
Here you see the back seam close up, post pressing.

On the left you can see long view of the inside back. You can see the center seam and the dart that runs from the bottom up to just above the waist.

Below this is the outside front of the dress, the neckline, all pleated and pinned. Next I will run stitches inside the seam line to set them in.

The next step is to set in the pleats and put in shoulder stays.

As far as the sash is concerned, inside it is all stitched, trimmed and pressed. Next you will flip it right side out, trim and attach it to the side of the dress (the same for its mate as well). Then tuck in the ends and slip stitch them shut. Outside the sash must be pressed.

When all stitches and seams are finished, the dress  must be pressed. It is almost all done except for the neckline facing, the hem and shoulder pads. You can see the sash to the right side of the picture, almost lost in the riot of stripes!

First fitting, no sleeves. Looking good!

Overcast sleeve with elbow dart ready to be pressed. 

The sleeve is complete with the under seam sewn in and being pressed open.  

Here the dress is inside out, the sleeve that is about to be attached is lined up with the arm scythe and ready for insertion. Once the sleeve is pinned, it is ready to be stitched.

Second fitting with the sleeve stitched. Neck pleats still have to be stabilized the  as well, as you can see.

Back view of newly set in sleeve. The stripes line up! Yeah!
The shoulder pad is positioned and pinned in properly. Jennifer actually sew shoulder pads from the outside in order not to disturb their placement and let them stay bent in the correct direction, stitched along the arm scythe and the shoulder seam. Jennifer recommends to go inside after and stitch down the neck facings to the pads and make any additional necessary stitches.

To make the dress prettier and probably give it more individuality, Jennifer decided to hand-stitch a crocheted lace strip to the inside of the hem. The same crocheted strip of lace has been applied to the inside cuff. And her you can see the inside view of the finished hem.
Swipe off drops of sweat, as of now the dress is completely finished and it is time for a cat walk!
Jennifer looks simply fantastic in this Missoni dress and she is living La Dolce Vita!
Exploring the world of fashion and textiles cannot be more interesting if one has a chance to visit fabric stores, textile mills, fashion runways and special exhibits. And this time Elliott Berman Textiles could lose an opportunity to see an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum "The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk"
One of several features that made the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum extremely engaging and worthwhile, was its multi-media presentation. Throughout the exhibition, numerous mannequins came alive with interactive faces due to the placement of overhead projectors. The combination of audio/visuals amped the viewer’s level of engagement to its maximum potential. This mannequin is from the opening segment of the exhibit titled, The Odysessy of Jean Paul Gaultier, which displayed many of Gaultier’s trademark themes in the beginning of his career: religious iconography, sailors and mermaids.

The following items were also displayed in, The Boudoir, section of the exhibit: The left piece, a custom metal and beaded jumpsuit worn by Beyonce while she was on tour in 2009; The right one of the many cone bra’s Gaultier designed for Madonna on her 1990’s Blonde Ambition World Tour. Another stage of the exhibition, titled, The Boudoir, touched on his fascination with the transformation of lingerie. Gaultier is most famous for the infamous cone bra designed for Madonna on her Blond Ambition World Tour. The glass case in this section of the exhibit displays his childhood teddy bear, on which he used as a model for creating his first ever cone bra out of newspapers when he was a boy.    
One of the many points made throughout the exhibit about Gaultier is his belief that fashion has the freedom to not be gender specific.    

Punk Cancan, was a section of the exhibit dedicated to showcasing the designs of Gaultier that displayed his love and appreciation of the London Punk aesthetic. 
In one of the final portions of the exhibit is a giant room, containing looks in which Gaultier pulled inspiration from cultures and artists  all over the world. Each garment shows off his capabilities to be diverse as well as his outstanding technique and haute couture craftsmanship.    
If you feel like jumping into the world of Jean-Paul Gaultier with all his creativity, artist's madness, illusion and love for fashion, leave all your projects going on and rush to the Brooklyn Museum as the exhibit will last till February 23, 2014 only.
On November 8, 2013 we had pleasure to host a party to celebrate the 12th Anniversary of The guest list was covering two pages: sewing bloggers, Vogue Patterns magazine editors, fashion designers, and Deepika herself! The fact that Deepika was attending the party was an absolutely pleasant surprise for everyone! 

The theme of our party was Little Black Dress, and, according to that, all guests were asked to put on their own "LBD" and join the celebration. As famous LBD in the 21st century can allow itself broaden the borders and become simply a creative statement, our guests beat the record and we got the best of the best on that night!

When having great people, it is a challenge to be great hosts, but we tried and did our best. The night was spiced up with Fashion Trivias, a PR (aka contest, LBD Runway, music and Friday night refreshments. 

Fashion Trivias were such fun; it turned out that fashion history was like 2+2 for our guests, but guessing the fiber content of the fabric with their eyes closed was not the easiest one, however, they truly enjoyed it. 

It is the fact that all our guests are experienced sewers, besides that they are outstandingly talented. And that's why we had a special PR contest for them. Ten people made up two teams: "Velvet" and "Remnants". Having a couple of small fabric stashes, 40 pins and 15 minutes, they had to create "The Year 2020 Look" Their spontaneous creativity and unprecedented team work impressed us. The rest of audience compared the looks and chose the winning team - "Remnants". 
The winners were rewarded with beautiful prizes: Chanel Brocade and New York Print Viscose Knit. 

The party reached its apex, when our guests participated in a special Runway, demonstrating their self-made LBDs.
We wish Mlle Coco could see it! Oh, that was superb, and you do not expect anything else when dresses are fantastic! After the secret voting, three winners stepped up on the pedestal: Cathy (Peter Lappin's cousin) - Winner #1, Kyle - Winner #2, and Mary - Winner #3 

After so much laugh and fun the evening smoothly entered the part of PR Birthday Cake cutting and Champagne glasses clinking. The guests chatted for a short while more and, finding it to be a hard decision, had to leave... but to return again! 

We want to thank everyone who came to join the celebration! Those who could not make it this time, we felt your strong desire to be with us! 

We certainly will get together again!

With Fabriclove, Elliott Berman Textiles

These two dresses are among the simplest and most stunning projects I've undertaken.  I refer to them as Street Scene and Sunrise.  They are fabulous because they take full advantage of the beautiful fabric, require minimal time and fuss, and are straightforward to sew.

The fabrics really make the dress.  They both are French digitally printed viscose jersey from Elliott Berman Textiles. The colors are clear and the prints are beautifully defined.  They were easy to sew and unlike many lightweight knits, did not curl at the cut edge.

I used Kwik Sew 3561 which is essentially 2 pieces – the front, back and the sleeves.  Any simple dress pattern for knits would work.  
The pattern I used suited my purposes because it was very easy to vary. I have varied it several times. 
And this is my how-to-do instructions:

1. I made solid sleeves, picking up one of the colors in the print. I found this showcases the print.

2. Instead of turning the edge of the neckline under, I added a neckband. For Sunrise I used the printed fabric. For Street Scene I used the sleeve fabric.

As to make the neckline as flawless as possible on this type of dress is quite critical, this is how I managed it:

I cut a strip of fabric 4 cm wide and 5/6 of the circumference of the neckline.  The neckline took as long as the rest of the garment and it was worth the extra care. I carefully marked out on the band where the center back, center front and the shoulder seams are.  I placed the band seam center back, folded the band in half lengthwise and stretched it as I sewed.  For the Street Scene I only sewed one edge of the band to the neckline and hand-stitched the other on the wrong side.

3. The Sunrise dress has a 2-layer strip of a soft black net-like knit attached all the way around. I did this because I did not want to have the dress to finish with the lightest color at the hem.
Elliott Berman Textiles thinks that Jean's sewing project is very inspiring! 
Take a great print and make something easy and effective!
Episode 1

I like to call this cape "Winter is Coming" as I was watching through (or listening, on the tricky bits of the cape) all the episodes of "Game of Thrones" and love the North, the cold and the fur all the characters wear. Being a proud, cold-loving Canadian gal,  I can tell all of you as well that winter really is coming! I wore this out this past Friday at 0°C (32°F), and it was quite warm, so I am confident that it is going to handle the lower temperatures. 

The cape is actually a Vogue 8776 pattern, view C, which is the longest of the three capes. While it is an "Easy Vogue", I rarely do any of the Easy Vogues in an "easy" way! I used a lovely wool/cotton boucle I bought from Elliott Berman Textiles Yard End sale for it. I interfaced all the fabric to give it more body, using sew in interfacing and many small stitches. Once that was done I took a wool that I used from a previous knitting project and ran it through the warp and the weft on a wool needle to give the fabric a more three dimensional and rustic feel (you can see that in the close up of the neck)
Episode 3

The trim and the neck exterior are recycled deer hide, three large pieces that used to line a coat, bought from an Etsy vendor (FabulousFabricFinds) . The neck is so warm and cozy, a real delight to wear as you can tell from the closeups.
Episode 5
For closures I sent away to a lady online on Etsy (thewoodsmanswife) who makes toggle buttons and jewelry from antlers shed by deer. They are attached on leather thong, attached inside in between the lining and outer boucle layer. I used grommets on the boucle layers for a more professional finish.

Episode 2

For lining there is a standard brown kashka lining (satiny on one side and fuzz on the other)

Episode 4

I ran the trim all the way down the front, the hem, around the armholes and the pockets. All the fur was hand attached using fur needles, pliers and was reinforced from the inside so the stitches won't tear through. 

I have been wanting a cape since the trend started in the last 2-3 years, but I was never able to find one I liked. Now I have it!

Happy winter everyone!

(Sewn and written by Jennifer Byers)

PS. For any questions you might have for Jennifer Byers, please ,email to

This is a dress made by another original and talented designer and fabriclover Olga B. It is made of our Italian woolen brocade in rich brown  and green fig leaf with slight satin finish. 

The dress is based on Olga's own design and that makes it absolutely unique. 

The fabric is very flattering in the upper body. As Olga suggests it would look good on someone with a larger bust and gives fullness to someone with a smaller bra size. If you have a complex pattern, the fabric blends together nicely and looks continuous across seam lines. 

To see more Olga's designs, visit her shop Sofia Fiodor on Etsy 

If you got inspired by this classic and elegant dress, shop at for the same fabric available in rich navy blue/black colors as well. 

We would love to introduce our intern and future fashion designer Amanda Lalite. Her sewing talent does not know limits and she goes on creating her own patterns. Here is one of her latest sewing projects on making a stylish outfit made of our stretch jacquard. 
I used this beautiful Peach Silk stretch Jacquard from Elliott Berman Textiles to create a flirty matching outfit that is very comfortable and perfect for going out. 

I made a racer back crop top that flares out a little and a slip-on mini skirt with pockets and no zipper. During the construction, I thought of using the reverse side of the fabric on the back of the top, inside of the pockets, and as a border at the hem of the skirt would add a great amount of contrast and contribute to the overall design.That's a technique I love to use and often seek fabrics that have a interesting "wrong" side as the contrast is always interesting to me. I believe this makes the outfit more modern and special. 

The silky gloss is really beautiful and prefect for a special event or just for a day you want to feel pretty. 

The one difficulty I had working with this fabric was its stretch and making sure it didn't affect the appearance of the fabric and how it lays. Overall, I'm very satisfied with the outcome of this design and love the fabric!
P.S. To see Amanda's collection and learn all about her achievements, please, visit her online portfolio
Sewing machines and skills do not only give us an opportunity to spend time doing what we love but save us money, especially when it comes to designer items. We all love scarves, and certainly had times when tried to make some of those ourselves. Was it cotton gauze or voile, silk or mohair knit?

Jennifer Byers shares with us her project sewing a scarf with Dolce & Gabbana digital print silk. You might say that it is not a challenge, however, the scarf hems can be troublesome to sew and hand-rolling (the neatest manner)requires pure patience and attention.

And here is what Jennifer shares: “I am hand rolling the edges on that gorgeous D&G fabric. It is delight to work with! It is a slippery fabric but it is not hard to work with because it has a bit of "tooth" on the surface, which helps me keep a grip of it. It has a bit of body as well, more than other sheers and silks” 
P.S. This Dolce & Gabbana silk is available on our website
The pattern which Joen used to make this beautiful tunic is quite easy. As Joen says the fabric was wonderful to work with and so comfortable for the hot summer days. "The neckline was sewn per the pattern instructions which is twisted as you see, but you decide now many twists you want to add to your neckline", says Joen. She altered the sleeve length and gave it a looser fit to be more comfortable wearing.