BLOG #3: Behind the Seams – Fabric Selection and Design Inspiration for my Love of Sewing Challenge

Selecting the right fabric for a design and sorting through inspiration is a very rewarding part of creating any project. I love the fact that I can look through my fabric stash to “shop” and imagine my design ideas in different textures and colors, and sometimes as I create the garment the design takes exciting twists and turns to the final creation. There is always a launching off point for any given design such as color, end use, customer need, or simply something creative you want to include in your sewing. For the Love of Sewing Challenge the color theme of navy and gold/yellow is where I began.

Baby Lock Sewlebrity Love of Sewing Challenge - Designer Joi

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I pulled beautiful fabrics such as wools, tweeds, suitings, shirtings and complimentary fabrics to match my color theme. The original fabric I gravitated to at the very beginning was a pin stripe that I have been saving for my own use (see tan with stripes on the right photo above), however, as I “shopped” my stash I found the perfect hounds tooth stripe tweed with navy, cram and yellow accents (next to the pin stripe). It was PERFECT! 


I inherited a wonderful collection of Italian wools a year ago, and found the perfect navy to match for the upper bodice. It was drapy, lightweight and comfortable.  The final decision I had to make was weather I would choose from tan, cream or ivory as an accent. I selected the lighter creamy white color because it matched the best, however a camel brown would still look nice when matching a client’s skin tone.

The tweed fabric reminded me of something I had in my inspiration file. (You should always keep an inspiration file to reference. It’s a great tool). I had a Dior Dress that featured similar fabrics and embroidery. Watch my video to see this inspiration. I knew I would use some of the techniques in a project and this was ideal. I loved the layered embroidery so I added that as an extra technique. More on that later this week.

What do you think? Do you like this combination?


I decided to use a simple pattern as the foundation since the fabrics are interesting and I was adding some details. This is my brand-new Designer Joi McCall Pattern #7568. Although the pattern features a special occasion fabric, it sews beautifully in suiting and everyday fabrics for an entirely different look. I simply shortened the skirt and added a short petticoat for fullness when I took the photos. Other than that, it is the same design.  Not everyone will wear fancy fabrics every day so this is a great example of how a fabric can change the entire look of a pattern


Note: This pattern will be available in a few weeks from this original post date at your local pattern dealer. Autographed copies are available through my studio by emailing If you want to start right away, you can substitute my McCall’s #7280 design. The skirt is slightly more narrow on this pattern, but it would be similar.


I am really happy with how this design turned out. I think the fabric combination was successful, it’s fun & whimsical yet could be very classy with the navy and suiting look.  I have a new pattern in the works where I think I might make the shorts in a similar fabric and the top in a solid fabric. That would take this concept from dressy, to casual and I can still include all the same details. 

Tell me what you think? How would you take one thing from my selected fabrics and apply it to your wardrobe?

This is my Fabric Vault in my Studio.

Baby Lock For the Love of Sewing Challenge

Baby Lock For the Love of Sewing Challenge - Designer Joi - Destiny II

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