…. where LC stands for Liz Claiborne. Here are the facts: a 100% linen skirt was purchased 21 years ago, worn very few times, acquired oil stains, but saved so I could do “something” with it. The time to do something has come.
(Don’t worry, friends. I’m alive and well; just took a hiatus from the blog without telling you. A combination of hitting a dry sewing spell and some other things —- well, something had to give, so my weekly posts went to the back of the line. Oh well, I am back and hope to keep a consistent writing schedule.)
This top in Ellen Miller’s book (Creating Couture Embellishment) resonated with me and I immediately pulled out the LC skirt and some stashed cotton lace — it’s time had come.
Pattern: out of print Vogue but it’s amazing what a straight shift dress/blouse version can be turned into; I added a flare, starting from under the armhole. This flared hack was used before in the yellow pique top with the Bonnie Cashin inspired pocket. Remember?
Methodology: the goal was to get this flared shape without ripping open the side seams unless necessary.
The shoulders, arms and bust are a good fit, so placing the Center Front and Center Back of the pattern on CF and CB folds of the skirt was the way to go. The paper pattern side seams were on the original, un-ripped side seams of the skirt, and overlapping just enough. All I had to do was cut out the shoulders, neck and armholes. But wait!! What about the bust dart? I decided to pivot the bust dart on the pattern to the shoulder. The continuity of the stripe had to break at some point if I was to use a dart while keeping the side seam intact. It worked out, in my opinion. Guess what, there were back darts on the skirt which ended up as back shoulder darts on the top. Yay.
Embellishment: Now was the time to apply lace along some of the bias stripes. No issues here, since I just pinned the lace to audition it, then machine stitched it on. The lace is more pronounced in the inspiration top, but you can see the subtler effect on mine if you squint….
Finishing: the neck and armholes were finished with “narrow bias facing” (edit: sorry, an earlier version said “french binding”); the hem was evened out because the original somehow ended up with a high-low look (not my thing). Done! But wait some more….
Further embellishment: What is that lace bow thing on the shoulder of the inspiration top? I had no more lace left. Something similar has to be done for a focal point on the shoulder. Using lace trim scraps (from another project), silk scraps, and bits from the LC linen, I decided to create a cluster of yo-yos to be placed on the left shoulder, cascading down a few inches — this gave some dimension and texture to my top. Sewing on a small cluster of beads and buttons onto the center of the yo-yos finished them off. I have found new admiration for yo-yo art in fashion, thus far relegated to quilting arts. Heck, I also used a plastic yo-yo maker by Clover.
Now, a chatty, non-sewing item for book readers; did you read this piece of non-fiction? I love real spy stories, and this gripping one is about Virginia Hall, an unsung American agent who helped the French Resistance during World War II. I read this “two books ago” (yeah, I’m not just always sewing, I’m also always reading).
Friends, it’s good to be back on the blog! Hope you all are well. I’ll try not to disappear again.