Wednesday, March 27, 2019


1: Making sweater with cone of plum-colored thrift store yarn (size 6 needles, lacey pattern).

2: Rainbow sequin/bead cross hanging - inspired by my frustration at the Methodist church for their recent decision. Our congregation is a fully inclusive one (reconciling congregation), so I imagine the fight will go on.

3: AC-style pansy top - only a couple edges to stitch on in the back out of the 22+ flowers, then a bit more stitching on the stamen.  Sequins need to be added to about 80%, but that goes pretty quickly.

4: Matching skirt - not done at all!  I did trim the tops of the skirt+lining, and have the elastic ready.  Need to base the top edge over the elastic, so that I can fit the side seams. 

Refashioning of thrift store purchases:

Wide-leg canvas cargo trousers, trimmed into hemmed, above-knee bermuda shorts.  Comfy, but Jeanne says they are very unattractive!  :)

Full length black, embroidered gauzey knit trumpet skirt with big, swishy godets along the bottom.  I bought it to see if I liked floor-length skirts, but it was a bit too big around the waist and the massive heft of the thing constantly pulled it down.  Uber-frumpy.  So, I hiked the whole thing up to about knee length, re-used the elastic waistband after chopping it and taking it in, and took in the side seams.  Was limited a bit by the point where the godets tops hit the side seam - that now falls about 2" 1" below where I started decreasing to the waist.  It's okay, and much more wearable than it was.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Finished top photos

I finally took photos of my completed top - started 3 years ago during our first trip to Britain!

As a reminder, I made a stencil out of transparency film (ugh - won't do that again) and hand stamped the design using silver fabric paint on one of two xxl men's tshirts.  I snipped off the neckline of the underlying shirt (light gray), and recut armholes and side seams so that it is slightly snug in the upper torso and then more flowy at the bottom.  

I left the bottom hems intact, and stitched on necklines from another shirt into the armholes after stitching/snipping the design.  Oh, and originally the lower shirt was tan but I didn't like all that contrast, so I did an almost tie-dye effect on the lower layer in gray.  I used a mix of grays for the embroidery, so everything is at least mildly organic (I hope).  I wish I could have had matching shirt necks for the armholes, but I couldn't find anything. It actually looks far worse here (darker) because this just came out of the wash and the arm bands are darker when they are wet.

Neckline, showing how the under-layer is stitched to the top layer on the inside.  Also, so many knots!  This was a lot of hand stitching.

Closeup of stitching.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

England! Again!

We are back in England!  And I'm ALMOST finished with the Alabama Chanin-style t-shirt refashion that I started last time, 3 years ago.  By almost, I mean that I only have to stitch on the binding on the armholes, which means I'm really close!

I liked it so much, that when I noticed that there was a tshirt printshop right near my workplace (University of Bristol), I went in and came out with 6 tshirts for use in another project.  My goal is something like this:

I want to use as much of the original as possible this time, i.e., the neckband and possibly the binding that covers the shoulder seams.  I've been deconstructing tshirts (Gildan brand, not QUITE as soft as the other ones I used) all week and have really developed an appreciation for how they are put together.  The above photo was just for overall shape and color/pattern - I'm planning on draping and pinning the tshirts (xlarge) once the sleeves are removed.  So far, for the top, I may actually just fold beneath the armpits and leave the shoulders as is for kind of a cap-sleeve look.  

For the skirt I'll actually use 2 shirts (double layer, so 4 total), so there will be a horizontal seam around knee-level.  I haven't decided how to involve the transition from tube with armholes (big u-shapes after the shoulder is opened up) into skirt with narrow waist.  I pinned a bit this morning and think I can seam the sides to a point and then leave it open below that, without adding too much bulk at the hips.  But I'm not sure if I want an actual side seam, a pleat, or an overlap that is stitched down.  The lower layer will be a dark olive, for a little bit of contrast when I'm sitting/crossing my legs.  At least I THINK I'll do two layers - could still change my mind.

Since I have 3 chocolate shirts total, I have plenty of necklines to use two of them on the armholes, which is what I'm doing with my previous, almost-finished top.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Fortuny gown, take 2...

Yup - pleating stretch silk charmeuse appears to be a no-go.  I THINK it's the "stretch" part that does it in.  I still plan on trying this out someday with real silk charmeuse.  I do like the full gown version in some ways a bit better than the 2-piece. 

Bubbles, bubbles, everywhere.  It's ALMOST homogeneous enough that it is wearable, but I think not quite.  It does look pretty with a belt on, though!  Perhaps I just now have the world's most luxurious nightgown? (that I can't wash?)