Saving the planet... one garment at a time!

... and one upcycle at a time... Welcome to my blog: A place to have an "over the fence conversation" about sewing, altered couture, upcycling, and all kinds of crafts using found objects, beads, ephemera and other vintage finds!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

That Downton Dress - III

I continue to work on the Downton Dress.  All the hems have been very time consuming, but they continue to progress, and the results are very satisfying! Now I'm beginning to think about the embellishments.  The front of the dress has a draped belt and it needs clasps.  The woman I'm making the dress for bought gorgeous 1920's clasps on Etsy.  These are the real deal, and look as thought they were made for this dress!

Evening dresses in the era were often beaded and embellished.  The print on this dress is quite ornamental itself, but I purchased some other embellishments which will match nicely with the clasps.

One thing I'd like to do is put a single rhinestone on each point of the handkerchief hem, along with three bugle beads.  The larger piece will be on the back of the dress to stabilize the v-back.

This is a fun project, and one that I hope will yield stunning results!  Thanks for checking in!

p.s.  Any thoughts on the new logo?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

That Downton Dress-II

One challenge with a vintage pattern is a scarcity of directions - even when the pattern is a repro, Much was assumed about the skill of the seamstress.  This dress has many handkerchief leaves in its hem, with no direction as to how to finish them.  A couture dress is distinguished by the hand sewing that goes into its production, so I decided hand rolled hems would be the most appropriate for this gown.  This is a painstaking process, but very rewarding in the end.

First, the raw edge is folded over and held in place with a tiny running stitch.  Then, a running zigzag is made, taking only a few threads into each stitch.

Here's another look in case my big thumb was obscuring your view.

After you've made a half dozen or so of these stitches, gently pull on the thread and it magically rolls into a beautiful rolled hem, which looks like this from the wrong side:

And, like this from the outside of the garment:

I'm super happy with the look of this, but there are a lot of them to do! Hope your week's sewing is going well!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Tunic with Embedded Recycle

As part of my stash and UFO busting crusade, I came across a cotton T Tunic I had cut, probably years ago.  In case you were not aware, a T Tunic is a tunic cut using a shirt from your wardrobe as a pattern.

In this instance I wanted to incorporate an antique pillowcase that had a few holes in it.  I love clothing made from antique linens, and the white of the pillowcase and the dainty embroidery contrasted nicely with the blue check.

I cut off the body of the tunic, turned it sideways and stitched a center back seam.  Then I added in the area of the pillowcase I wanted to use.  I gathered the new body of the tunic and attached it to the kimono arms.  Here is the resulting tunic.

I've already worn it, and it's light and airy and comfortable for summer, but could carry into fall with a long sleeved top underneath. This was a quick project to do, allowing me to wind down from more intense painstaking work on the Downton Dress.  Thanks for looking!