Sunday, October 3, 2010

It's coming along

First of all, let me say it: I LOVE HAVING A STASH. Remind me of that when I grumble about occasional workroom avalanches, okay?

From my last post, you all know I was mightily inspired by Andrea's embellished skirt on Friday, to the point where I sketched out the design and then enlarged it on the copier for ease of transferring it to my skirt. (Carolyn, I didn't actually have the free time at work, I just pushed a pile of stuff over to be dealt with Monday, and didn't get caught!)

When I got home, I went to the shelves. I wanted something of a similar color, not so much to be a complete copycat but because Andrea's skirt would fit really well with my wardrobe. Up on the top of the shelving unit I found several yards of a tobbaco-colored linen purchased years ago for a specific project. After I'd washed and dried it, I found that the wrinkles it sustained in the wash had set into the fabric as it dried. It's a nice distressed look, but not what I wanted at the time. I used another fabric, but this stayed on the shelf, waiting . . . apparently for this skirt to come along.

I cut out the pieces for my skirt, and then got my design and put it on the reverse of the skirt front. I had some old tracing carbon but it was too tired to transfer, so I borrowed some charcoal from Mario's art supplies, rubbed it on the back of the paper and then went over the design with my tracing wheel. The charcoal transferred well, if a little smudgily, and I went over the lines with white tailor's chalk. I quickly thread-traced all of the design that was going to be embroidered. I didn't bother transferring the flowers and leaves; they're embellishments to be added later.

Since I don't have an embroidery machine, all the green part was done with my standard Singer's zigzag stitch, set on a narrower width. I practiced a bit to get the curves down. It's not perfect on the final version, but I don't mind that. It's meant to look hand done.

On the inspiration skirt, the leaves are embroidered. That wasn't going to work for me - no way was I doing that much hand embroidery, and even if I were willing, it wouldn't look that good. Applique was the way to go. I had a chunk of chocolate brown suede left over from a craft show project, so I cut all my leaves from that, stuck them down with leather glue, and then anchored them with a line of hand-stitching in the same shade of green as the satin stitch. It works for me.

The flowers on the inspiration skirt were three dimensional. Crocheted, I believe. Something I do not do, though Andrea keeps threatening me with lessons in all things yarn. I'm afraid of another skill that would cause me to acquire a stash, so I think I'll stick to sewing.

I went with something fairly obvious, but by the time I'm done I hope they'll look like what I want. I made yo-yos (or granny circles, depending on what the older women in your family called them) using a leftover ivory lining fabric, and then I spritzed them with tea to take the color down a notch.

They've now been hand-sewn down (no photos of that yet) and I'm taking a break so I can figure out how I want to do the centers. The last photo here is pre-flower; I was using buttons as place-holders just to get an idea of how it was going to look.

This afternoon, I'll probably sew the skirt together. All the work that needs to be done flat has been finished at this point. The centers, when I decide on them, can be done by hand on the couch.

I'm noticing a trend here of a lot more handwork. I've never minded hand sewing, I just don't know where it's all come from lately.

And I guess by this project we can conclude I've overcome my fear of embellishment.

What's it going to take to get me over welt pockets? I can't even imagine.


Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

Wowza! You've figured it all out and you didn't have to leave the house for anything! I'm sooooo impressed! Now are you leaving the crocheted edge off?

meredithp said...

This is going to be great! And obviously, it's something you wanted to get to right away!

Kitty Couture said...

Fabulous! I am so impressed.
This is going to be fantastic.

KID, MD said...

So fantastic! And I am so impressed that you tackled this project without and embroidery machine.

Lori said...

Wow, great job.

Gail said...

This is coming along very well. I'm interesting in the way you used buttons to create the flowers. Its an interesting effect.

Little Hunting Creek said...

Beautiful! I love how this looks already.

lsaspacey said...

I have to admit I like it with the buttons too!