Friday, February 19, 2010

Red chiffon for Valentine's

Here I am singing last weekend wearing the very first top I made for was Valentine's weekend, so I thought the red was just the right shade. I made this out of a (expensive) chiffon or georgette fabric I bought at F&S Fabrics, using different pieces from different patterns, and then I added the burgundy beaded straps. I also designed the little red flower (with beads in the center) and attached it at the flounce seam. I was really proud of this at the time, but last Saturday was my first time wearing it (I had begun to think it resembled a figure skating costume)!

As you can see, I actually made a matching skirt from McCall's Pattern #5055 (which is now out-of-print), and I have yet to wear the two pieces together! Last weekend, I just wanted to rock the top a little bit, so I wore it with fishnets and a short black pencil skirt.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Rehab-ing old clothes

Here's an idea...rather than getting rid of those old T-shirts and vests, try embelling them and give them a new life!

Check out this inexpensive vest, which originally had buttons on the front, with no trim. (Boooooooo-ring....)I removed the buttons, added a frog closure, and trimmed the edges with lace. Now it has rock-n-roll vibe, and how cute is it with just a simple white T?

Next, we have a worn, simple peach-colored long T-shirt. I found two matching (sewn by hand) vintage lace pieces from a vintage textile trade show. These pieces look like they may have been cut away from a table cloth or a garment. I basted one piece on the back of the shirt (right unnderneath the neck) and another one on the bottom side. I then sewed them in place and then very carefully cut away the T-shirt fabric behind the lace. The result is a strategically-placed see-through applique.

So, before getting rid of my old clothes, I'm going to view them again with a fresh eye toward embellishing.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

19th Century-Inspired Doll Quilt

In the summer of '09, Mom and I popped into a textile store in the preserved mining town of Columbia, CA, where we saw hundreds of reproduction fabrics from the 1800's.  It was so amazing to see all these beautiful calico, paisley and other vibrant prints which were exact duplicates of fabrics used to make clothes over 100 years ago.  I had to have some. I had no idea what I was going to DO with it, but I knew I had to take some of these wonderful fabrics home.

We then saw a book called "Prairie Children and Their Quilts", by Kathleen Tracy. 

Inspired by actual children’s diaries from the American frontier, this book explores the origins of doll quilts made during the era. It also had instructions for making doll-size, antique-style quilts.  Mom told me that she has a wooden doll bed up in the attic, which was never used.  It has always been a dream to put it together with her prized Madame Alexander doll from the 1940's - so we decided we would buy packages of reproduction quilting squares, and the book, and I would make (my first) quilt.


(Click to enlarge)

This was the most rewarding project. All of the squares are made from 1800's-era reproduction fabrics, and the background and border fabric was made from vintage fabric I picked up at an estate sale.

I can't wait to give this to Mom on her birthday!