I have loved this tee since day one! However, I don't have enough cash to fork over $68 for a tee. So sad. So, I finally tracked down some good rayon jersey (it's taken months) and whipped this up one night a couple weeks ago, just in time for a wine n dining event in my department. And no, I don't have a serger, so there's still hope for the rest of us making do with the stretch stitch settings. =)
I blame Anthropologie. Ever since they sent their "print" catalogue, I have been itching to have a print in my wardrobe, too! I had an old silk wrap skirt with a great print bottom that I was hanging on to to use for fabric, so I dug it out and did just that.
The yoke is lined with a nude rayon for extra strength. The bottom, of course, is quite full, with gathers at the center front. Whaddya think? Is it ready for a test-run to a day of classes, maybe with some bermuda shorts and flats?
I know she's really busy right now, so here are some pics of what I sent snowyangel:
a reconned red tee with half sleeves, raw hems. I put abstract dandelion-type flowers on it in brown ink (inspired by art on snowy's wist). Three of them are covered with a light blue applique (stitched down with brown thread). There is also a kitfox printed from a stamp that I carved. He is stitched with brown thread, too. He looks a little wrinkly, but he smooths out when the shirt is on.
a close-up of my little guy. sorry it's kind of blurry.
a wisty surprise! I copied a painting on snowy's wist, but changed the background to red (per her preferences in her wist comments). See where I got my T-shirt inspiration? =)
welp, not quite finished doing the trim, but I wanted to get in before the deadline. I had a hard time figuring out how to make a great "costume" movie into something wearable for real life.
Soooo. I took Marie's dress from her birthday party/gambling scene (I actually haven't seen the movie yet, I wish it would hurry up and get out on DVD!!) and reinterpreted it as ... a swing coat! The coat is cut close through the shoulders/sleeves (but I can still get a lightweight sweater or tee under it, at least). It flares below the bust and is full at the hem.
I draped the pattern on my dressmaker's dummy. The coat is constructed of two layers of a very lightweight ivory silk that my boyfriend's sis brought back from India (!) and is lined with taupe satin (the pockets are also lined with satin). The sleeves, neck, and pocket are trimmed with gathered strips of an old scarf that I'd been saving for "some project, sometime."
the lining! (the pocket lining is sandwiched between the outer and lining layers)
the trim! I hand-sewed two ribbons and some fluffy fuzzy ivory trim along the neckline. Did something similar on the sleeves.
blurry, but I wanted to give you a fully body shot so you could see what it looks like!
the inspiration. I decided not to do the big flower brooch because I thought it would be a little *too* costume-y for regular wear. I figured the red flowers printed on the scarf that I used for trim would get the colour in there instead.
Updated! This jacket was inspired by sleeves on a coat in Burberry's spring 2007 line, and the fact that I did not own a bolero/cropped jacket and happen to think that they are very cute! I made it out of linen/cotton canvas (fabric.com). Designed and drafted the pattern this December, but didn't finish the embroidery on the shoulder (because I can never leave well enough alone!) until just now. The blue colour was definitely influenced by the lovely world of Alicia Paulson, whose blog I simply adore. The embroidered cami I'm wearing underneath is also my handiwork - it's posted on the embroidery board.
I have some lovely chocolate leather buttons and will eventually make a neat little closure for this (and will probably trim the buttonholes with the same blue thread in blanket stitch or something), but for now, it's time to take it out in the world! I'm really happy with how this turned out, I haven't had a lot of jackets fit my shoulders properly before.
sorry the pics are so big!
jacket front, before the sleeves were hemmed. I basically created circular princess seams. This made for some interestingly-shaped pattern pieces.
jacket back, also before the sleeves were hemmed. Yup, a tiny pleat at the neck. Because I like such things.
body shot. the sleeves are hemmed now!
hey! what's that on my shoulder? It couldn't be ...
Three bangles covered with cashmere! Specifically, I had some old cashmere sweaters on hand. I washed them over and over again in hot water to felt them down. I cut the ribbed cuffs from three arms and used them to cover these bangles. The second black one has swirl embroideries in some fine chocolate brown merino yarn.
Not a total overhaul, but I spose "recon" is the closest description. What to do when a retail name tag punches a hole in a favorite tee (and one of the few that is long enough to be work-appropriate)?? Cover the dang hole!
But I wanted to do it stylishly, and - unable to become inspired, I set this aside for a couple...years. But browsing the fall 2005 Urban catalogue, I was totally inspired...by the "scrapbook" style of the catalogue. There was this little bird that I totally loved (you know the one, a classic "Urban" swallowtail). So I got to work.
Sketched the bird in pencil on a bit of upholstery fabric and then embroidered it. I used satin stitch for most of it - swapping to tiny little overlapping stitches for the head, and closely packed bullion (or french knots) for the yellowish chest. I wanted it to have texture. To secure anchor it before applique, I used regular sewing thread and stitched around and around it, weaving among the fabric threads. Then I cut it out, leaving a sort of flange of the fabric I'd embroidered on visible (it's pink!) to let fray and give the beloved Urban "deconstructed" look. Using the same magenta sewing thread, I tacked the bird down to the shirt by going over the outline AGAIN. Feeling like it needed a little bit "more", I added a pale seafoam silk ribbon (meant for ribbon embroidery), loosely tacked with the same magenta thread.
The results? I was actually really happy with it. Wore it to work a lot, and got a lot of compliments.
and now the best part: pictures.
body shot. You can sort of make out that the silk ribbon swirls and wraps its way up over the shoulder and ends on the back side of the "flutter sleeve." (and yes, I know the flutter sleeve is on its way out. *sigh* soon I will have to FURTHER revamp this shirt.)
gives a better shot of the embroidery and ribbon, with some neckline for context.
So. I was starting to feel a little stressed. I mean, here it is, almost mid-Sept, and I hadn't really dug in and started on this costume yet, and I'd already dropped more $ than I'd like to say on boots and fabric (btw, anyone need some "faux raccoon?" *sigh* I have SO much left. Oh well, I'll figure SOMETHING out - there are always future Halloweens, after all)
so, I took the time yesterday, put about 3 hours into sewing (that's Party Girl and Amelie), and about 4 or 5 in today (many, many episodes of Buffy) and finally made some progress! Using the my mock-up for my pattern, I made a fresh set of "muslin long johns" to line these buggers (thanks to nocturnaloner for the tip about itchiness of faux fur fabric!), completely reinforced with french seams (I seem to do a lot of these lately). Then I narrowed my tabi boots through the top of the foot, ankle, and calf (curse of having long skinny feet - size 10 length was right, but the boots themselves were super floppy. I'm glad I did it, they feel much more secure now. I'm less likely to hurt myself (which I am very good at).
Then, took a deep breath, and cut out the fur. Sewed it together, then began the laborious task of attaching it to the pants. Currently, the lining is sewn to the fur at the waist (which I have yet to turn under/finish). The lining is also sewn to the boots. In addition, the fur - here's the great part, since my boots are attached to the legs and don't come off - is attached to the boots along the velcro strip that runs up the back of the boots to close/secure them. I made sure I had an extra lip of fur sticking out over the top/fuzzy part of the velcro, and then just butted the fur up to the edge of the grabby part of the velcro underneath. I rip it open and slide the pants on to get in, then brush the fur away from the velcro while I secure the boots, and simply brush it back into place and the seam is completely hidden.I mean, completely. Turned out to be way easier than I'd expected.
As I want to dip the pants very low in the front, I want them to fit a bit more snugly. As such, I've reinforced/sewn the lining to the fur on the left side - I plan to put in a zipper (am I asking for trouble or what?) there. This way, I can add darts to the back and the right hip, and make sure these things sit very snugly on, once zipped.
That's the next step. Then I need to make the hooves and secure them on the front with more fur, then it's time for horsehair fringes and tail addition. The butt is a bit saggy/bulky, but I don't mind. It's not like I'm trying to make it look petite! (and if I were, adding 2" thick fur is NOT how I'd go about it).
A quick (and blurry - sorry) pic from the boyfriend. These are giving us no end to the giggles tonight.
So we're off! Welp, now that I've spent the whole day SEWING, it's time to get back to some more cleaning and unpacking.
Another recon inspired by my love of Anthropologie's lovely style. This started out as a cloak for a Halloween costume when I was in high school. I actually kept the cloak for a long time, because even though I rarely used it, it was SO nice on those late night meteor-shower stake-outs. However, when I was unemployed for a while last year, I didn't have money for much in the way of craft supplies to feed my addiction, so I started turning to recons, in a big way.
The skirt is a red wool blend, lined with brown acetate (from the lining of the cloak). The skirt is made of 7 panels, with a wide waistband/dropped waist. It zips up the back and has a slightly extended tab closure over the waistband (with 5 hidden snaps), and the waist drops in a point to an inverted pleat over the left leg.
I had some black lace on hand that I used to line the inside of the pleat. There is lace appliqued on either side of the pleat, and another piece of it over one seam. I actually think I may add some more - around the zipper, on some of the hems, etc. something like that. we'll see.
I also purchased 12" of some really expensive lace trim that was beaded and embroidered on a sheer fabric. I cut the beaded/embroidered parts out and rearranged them to make the decoration at the waist. It was like playing with tangrams!
My boyfriend said I looked like I should be in a hoedown, but my fashion conscious high schoolers this fall said it was RAD, so I felt pretty good about it. It's nice and warm in cold weather, so I like to tromp around in it with my motorcycle boots.
skirt front. please excuse the mess, we're moving!
skirt pinned back so that the lining of the pleat is visible.
detail of the lace arrangement at waist. Yes, it is symmetrical - I just couldn't get it all in in the angle of the pic.
also added some of the beaded/embroidered lace pieces over the lace on the right hand side of the pleat.