Thursday, August 23, 2012

Crochet Collar Blouse

This blouse was a nightmare. The fact that I still call it a blouse even though it's sleeveless (am I right to think that blouses can't be sleeveless? I can never get my head around th shirt/blouse difference) should show you that my bruised ego will not let this one go.

crochet collar shirt

So I'm not saying it's not a nice blouse shirt. I made it a few weeks ago and I've already worn it plenty of times and I've even gotten compliments. But the makings of this shirt was so frustrating it nearly brought me to tears and made me rethink the whole idea of sewing and if I'm even good at it.
I now know I was having a sewing related breadown and that just because I failed at one shirt doesn't really mean I can't sew.

crochet collar shirt

What was so frustraing, you ask? well, first, I was really excited about this collar and about this fabric, it has such a deep plum color and it's so beautiful. I wanted to make a really sweet blouse with the collar being the highlight. and I was hung up on the idea of making tulip sleeves. I can't seem to find my initial inspiration, but it was the cutest little tulip sleeve made from baby blue chiffon with dainty lace trim. I was so inspired and I had figured out quite easily how to draft the sleeves. 
Only, something got messed up along the way, I had to redo the sleeves twice only to have the final product look unappealing and frustrating. Chiffon can be SUCH a difficult fabric and I really don't know what I was thinking when I decided to try this using chiffon. In retrospect I should have used an easier to handle fabric (that was not so hard to cut and hem for instance) just to try out the style. I was so worn out by the end of this ordeal that I didn't even attempt to embelish the shirt in any other way. I just finished off the armholes and threw it in the closet in fustration.

Now, a few weeks later, I can say I'm happy with the shirt - I mean just making the crochet collar is a cool addition to a blouse and a new thing for me, but at the time all I could think of is that I'm unimaginative and that all I can make are sleeveless shapeless tops with collars (see Double Collar Blouse, and I will show you more evidence of this in the following posts where I unearth more of these drab garments) 

crochet collar shirt

Anyway, I made the collar using Sophie's  Detachable Collar Tutorial from the blog Iro Iro.
It was the first thing I made using crochet and it was SO fun. I already told you about my crochet craziness. This is what started it.
I promise you, my next few projects won't have even a trace of yarn.

crochet collar shirt

I tried to get sassy and do the high low hem. Only I didn't really make it a continuoes line but made the front a straight line and the back a long curve. Not sure if I like it or not. Oh well.

Is it strange that I wore a denim skirt? I know they're really out of date but something made we want to wear them with this blouse, especailly since I tend to pair everything else with either high waisted black short or skirts.

What about you, dear readers? do you often get frustrated with sewing projects? do you let it get to you? how do you deal with disappointments related to sewing? 

Also, I'm sorry for the big break I took, we're in the US on vacation and we're just so busy. I can honestly say I was thinking of the blog ( and sewing) constantly, so you were always in my thoughts! I hope I'll be able to post again soon as I'm taking a trip to Maine for a week.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Crochet Heart Dress

crochet heart, vintage dress, vintage fabric, floral dress, heart cut out dress

So I had this crochet obsession a while ago. Not to say that I was very good at it, but I was obsessed with including things I crocheted in my clothing.
You can see more evidence of this escapade in my Diy Circle Shirt

 I decided to make a little crochet heart (which, for some reason came out more like a circle) and add it to a cut out in the back of a dress.

crochet heart, vintage dress, vintage fabric, floral dress, heart cut out dress

 I'm not sure I'm too excited about the way it came out, but I do like the allover look of the dress. The fabric is from my grandmother's stash. We haven't saved that many fabrics of hers, but for some reason this hung around and I just LOVE IT. It's some sort if silky rayon material thats really light weight but kind of tends to cling to everything.

crochet heart, vintage dress, vintage fabric, floral dress, heart cut out dress

I am belting this dress, not because I am trying to make a fashion statement, but because I'm trying to hide my mistake. I guess I didn't measure myself correctly (who knew I could be this off?) and the bodice - which was supposed to end at my waist, ends right at the bottom of my boobs. This doesn't not give the dress a nice empire waist you would imagine it would have. No. It looks like a medieval nightie:

crochet heart, vintage dress, vintage fabric, floral dress, heart cut out dress

The lighting is terrible is these pictures. I don't even know how to correct this. Oh well. Lets all agree to call this Art.
At some point this will hang at the MOMA and I shall cal it "Feta Cheese". Because that's what modern art it all about.

crochet heart, vintage dress, vintage fabric, floral dress, heart cut out dress

I drafted the pattern (it wasn't very good drafting, I admit) from my custom bodice (you're probably tired of hearing this!).
I also drafted the sleeves, which I cannot decide if I like the look of:

crochet heart, vintage dress, vintage fabric, floral dress, heart cut out dress

They kind of stand up. A lot.

crochet heart, vintage dress, vintage fabric, floral dress, heart cut out dress

But I also this it kind of balances out the proportions well. kind of continues the contours of my torso and makes it look like a perfect triangle.

crochet heart, vintage dress, vintage fabric, floral dress, heart cut out dress

You could say this is a substitute for shoulder pads. You could also say this give me the perfect triangle proportions of a man. It is only the mouthwatering biceps I lack.

crochet heart, vintage dress, vintage fabric, floral dress, heart cut out dress

And with this parting words, I shall curtsy and fare thee well. Mayhap I shall get some sleep in this well cast of a nightie. Adieu!

Friday, August 3, 2012

4 Things Sewers/Designers Can (and Should) Learn From Anthropologie

Once again, let us indulge ourselves in interesting, well made clothes we can't buy, and try to absorb some inspiration and knowledge before we start crying.

 What can we, my friends, learn from Anthropologie?

1) Incorporate different textures in your garment by mixing different kinds of fabric:

Striped flight V - Neck
Whirled Mesh Top

For some reason, I tend not to use different kinds of fabric in the same garment, I tend to stay in the same fabric family (cotton with cotton, jersey with jersey) rather than spicing it up! Do you feel the same way?

2) Make your garment unique by using ruffles and geometric pleats:

Gathered Grace Cardigan

Crimped V neck

3) An armhole isn't just and armhole, use it as a design element:

Instead of just a round armhole, try a different shape, to give your garment a whole new look!

Pleated Panel Shell
You don't always have to add full set in sleeves to make a shirt a little more modest, just add a ruffle and you're good to go!

Ruffle Sleeve Blouse
Create a shoulder yoke out of a different fabric to keep things interesting:

Opening Stripes Tee

4) Incorporate jewelery and beading into your garments to add a hand - made couture -  esque look to your garment:

In the neckline:

Talakona Blouse
front panel of the shirt:

Beaded Abraxes Top

I'm going to break the rules and say that another excellent example of this is Julia Bobbin's Jeweled dress : Isn't is beautiful??

Julia Bobbin

Do you try to add interesting details to your garment to single them out from the crowd? Do you, like me, tend to drool look through your favorite unaffordable stores to get inspiration? What interesting element do you want to add to your next garment? (doesn't have to be from this list!) I'd love to know!

If you have any questions about how to actually take act on any of the inspirational details I share above - leave a comment!

Want some more inspiration for your next sewing project? Check out 4 Things Sewers/Designers Can (and Should) Learn From Modcloth

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