Monday, December 6, 2010

The camisole!

                    I did get to wear my fabulous new "recycled" frock on Friday night to an awards banquet. Boy did I look good! ~ it was the shoes, of course! As I had mentioned previously, the jacket was just a jacket, so therefore it required something to be worn underneath. I really did not have time to make one "from scratch" and, after all, I did have some some of the silk velvet left over from the jacket. I was lucky enough to have a camisole in my arsenal of undergarments that actually fit. Unfortunately it was the right color, but was silk charmeuse print. This would clash with my skirt. Soooooo . . .  I cut out a piece of velvet from the back of my skirt ~ on the bias. I pinned this onto my ready made cami at t he top edge. Then I cut out a back piece. I could not cut this on the bias as there was not enough fabric. I was worried that this might be a problem and I was right. I went ahead and pinned it to the back top edge of the cami. I basted up the side seam on one side and then sewed it on the machine; I pinked the edges. Yes, this was being sewn right on top of the original fabric. I left it in place as though a lining. Next I had picked in the invisible zipper. Beautiful! I went ahead and hand stitched the top of the cami in place all the way around, BUT I added a little pizzaz! With each stitch I sewn on one tiny seed bead (left over from the beaded jacket). If you look closely at my photo you can see the beads. So, what did I do about the cami being cut on the straight of grain on the back. Well, it was a little tight. I measured to the center back and bravely cut straight up through the velvet to about 4" from the top edge. Then I added a godet from the left over netting from the lining of the beaded jacket. Voila! It looked so cool, fit the mood of the garment and it fit. Can you ask for anything more?! Well, I am going to get to wear my new ensemble again this Friday night for my birthday!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day Two & Three: "A Date with Killer Shoes"

        I have been busy sewing and cutting and sewing and beading! I must really have my head examined ~ I could have made something from "scratch" I think in less time. But, it is really all about the "Journey", right?

I have finished the skirt - or so I thought. I tried it on and the length was correct, but the waist was now way too big! I really did not want to rip it out and start over. You know that feeling! So, I had to get creative in "fixing" the problem. I finally decided that I would sew a pretty ribbon on top of the waistband as embellishment. Then I threaded a narrow strip of elastic through the ribbon, but only on the back of the skirt's waistband. Voila, it worked ~ & I even added a little bow!
Now for the top of the outfit, I have two jackets, shown below:

                       The beaded one on the left is a gorgeous color and has incredible beading. The entire jacket is lining in a stretch netting (remember this!) The jacket on the right is a silk velvet which also have a matching tea length a-line skirt. My first daring act was to measure down the back of the jacket to where my waist is, measure up 2" and mark this point in the center back. On the side seams I measured  down from the underarm 3". I drew a curve from one of the side points to the center point and then back to the other side. I ripped out the side seams up to each of the side points. Then on a flat surface, I carefully cut along this curved line and removed this portion of the back of the jacket. From the matching velvet skirt I cut out a flounce ~ near the hemline. The resulting flounce was a little wider than my curved cut off piece and about 8" long.  I sewed a stabilizing row of long stitches along the top of the flounce. I pinned this to the back of the jacket. The sides matched the sides of my jacket. The flounce, being wider, I gently gathered it in the center back for a little extra fluff! The only tricky part was getting the side seams and the flounce to miter into each other without a bump. Ah, it worked!~ just as I had envisioned it.

                     My second daring act was to cut into the beaded jacket. I cut along the straight beaded sections in the center front up about half way up and then started rough cutting around some of the heavier beaded motifs. I pinned this section to the front of my new jacket and sat through several inane police dramas as I hand stitched all of this beading to my jacket. It was very labor intensive and required really good lighting and very sharp embroidery scissors to trim between the motifs  but so worth it. It looks great. 
                   Now for a hem . . .  I was stumped. I did not want a regular hem. It had to be soft and elegant. So, I started cutting long strips from the stretch netting left over from the lining of the beaded jacket. They were about 3-4" wide. I folded them in half lengthwise and finger pressed them. I ran a gathering stitch along each near the cut edges. I ended up with four of them. I gathered them softly and pinned these to the bottom edge of the jacket ~ overlapping the raw edges when I needed to add another strip. Wow, it was looking good. I sewed my ruffle to the jacket, but, of course it still needed something!
I told you that I should have my head examined. Whenever I design for myself it always becomes far more complicated and time consuming than first estimated. This is why I am so conscious of ease of design and simplicity of construction when I choose to design a kit for the store.  Ah, why can I not keep this in mind ALL the time! So . . .  I decided to do some beading all along the hem right above the ruffle.
 So, the jacket is done. The skirt is done. But what am I going to wear underneath the jacket??? Hmmm . . . I have a couple of ideas and this requires a trip to my closet 
 and another adventure in my sewing room!
I have to have this ready to wear in about 6 hours, so I will post tomorrow what the "camisole" will be.