Hooded Baby Towel made with organic terry cloth by Katie Himmelberg.
The Odekake Tote by Ayumi Takahashi is a great example of Japanese design influences.
Alissa Haight Carlton's Yellow Pop quilt shows off modern quilting style.
Contemporary Sewing Trends
Over the last three years of Stitch,
we've covered a wide variety of contemporary sewing trends to inform
and inspire readers. And with every featured trend, we give an overview
of the trend and then break it down into information you can use at home
in your own projects, from fabric and sewing supply ideas to design
inspiration and techniques. Each trend has inspired me to look at my
approach to sewing a little bit differently, so I wanted to take a tour
of my ranking of the top four most influential contemporary sewing
trends that continue to impact the sewing world in a big way.
• Sew Eco
- This major trend encompasses everything from organic fabrics and
notions to recycling, refashioning, and sustainable fashion practices.
We covered this trend in our premiere issue in Stitch Fall 2008,
and it's still going strong in 2011. As the sewing world continues to
go green, we are also seeing more emphasis on low-impact dyes and
nontoxic finishing methods, ethical and fair labor practices in the
textile and fashion industries, and sustainable packaging. If you want
to sew more with planet-friendly materials, try sewing with organic
cotton, organic wool, bamboo, hemp, Tencel, and vintage or recycled
• I [Heart] Japan
-Japanese-inspired sewing has gone global and continues to widely
influence the sewing and quilting world. From traditional to
contemporary styles, Japanese clothing design, textiles, zakka-style
projects, and craft publications intrigue sewers. For fabric lovers,
kimono fabric, sashiko, shibori, and other unique fabrics and textile
techniques are still popular. In our coverage of this trend in Stitch Fall 2009,
we took a tour of the Japanese design inspirations that sewers can
choose from, plus offered a step-by-step guide to sewing with Japanese
pattern books. To add Japanese handmade style to your next project,
emphasize clean, simple lines with topstitching, embroidery or piping or
try creating your own shibori or sashiko fabric for a handcrafted
• Modern Quilting
- Regardless of whether you quilt, modern quilt style is showing up
everywhere, from small patchwork gifts to home decor. With an emphasis
on improvisational piecing, graphic impact, and an inspired use of
color, this quilting style has created an exciting quilting community.
We gave a tour of this trend in Stitch Fall 2010,
along with great tips for making a modern quilt. To join in on this
trend, try improvisational piecing in your next project, play with
different designs on a design wall for inspiration, and practice coming
up with your own unique quilt designs.
• Vintage Style -
Since everything old becomes new again, the vintage trend is still
going strong. From classic vintage and vintage-inspired patterns to
contemporary vintage remixes and refashioned projects, there is
something for everyone. And the world of vintage fabrics and notions
is still popular with sewers. We chronicled this trend in Stitch Spring 2010
and offered a helpful guide to altering vintage patterns to fit. Since
standard size charts have changed over the decades, it's important to
shop for patterns by your measurements instead of the size listed.
Vintage patterns tend to be more fitted, so be sure to create a muslin
sampler first so you can make alterations where necessary before you sew
it in your final fabric.
Read more about these trends in Stitch
back issues and take advantage of our StashBuster sale to get any
copies you missed. And more importantly, find a way to make each trend