Sunday, September 23, 2012

Embellishing a shirt

I was looking for something to sew today. Across the room a yellow shirt was making noises on the sewing table saying, choose me! Please choose me! The shirt is an Eddie Bauer linen shirt that a friend gave me to embellish a little over a year ago. Living in France gives me access to a lot of old lace. Most of the lace was cut off of a garment when it's useful life was over. This means instead of yardage I get what I call bits.
I laid the shirt out on the table and pulled out my boxes of lace bits. I began pulling bits out of the box. Quickly I noticed that bright white worked and the off white or ivory pieces got lost on the shirt. First step done, choose which color laces to use. I laid things out until the shirt began to "speak" to me. It always happens that the garment I am embellishing tells me what to do to it. Sometimes more, sometimes less, and I always know when the item I am embellishing has enough So here are several pictures of my early trials with the shirt.
I just lay things out until I find something I like.
I really like the machine made, modern, Cluny lace I have. You can see it on the picture above. It is about 1.25 inches wide and best of all, I have a whole roll of it. I bought it at a yard sale here in France. When I bought it the woman looked at me in disbelief that I was going to buy the whole roll saying "mieux dans votre cave que la mienne" or better in your basement than mine. What basement? I live on the 4th floor of an apartment building. My "cave" consists of cardboard boxes in my sewing room.
Where to begin? I first tackled the bottom of the sleeves. They were the easiest. I was able to do the pinning using a sleeve presser. Here is the before  and after photo:
Ok, so not really. one is the right sleeve, the other is the left, but you get the idea. The little cotton medallions of flowers are vintage and they came from an antique store in Wisconsin. I picked up a card of them while there in August. I find them every once in a while in France, but they are already cut apart. The card I found was small amounts of yardage wrapped around a card. There was an assortment of 5 different ones.
Here are a couple more pictures as the shirt came together. I like to take pictures since then if I change something and want to go back to a previous idea I can.
You can clearly see some of my collection of lace bits I have to play with.
  I liked this one, but too symmetrical. Something is wrong.
This one is a lot of fun. I love the curves on the left and the straight line look on the right.
It's done! I kept the idea above for part of it and I think it turned out great!
Front View 2

Front View 1
My Friend should be pleased. It is really cute one me, Too bad I don't look good in yellow. I would keep it for myself.




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