Sunday, September 7, 2014

A Talbot Remake

Last year I saw a beautiful shell in Talbot's catalog. I liked it so much I tore the page out of the catalog and put it in my inspirations folder. On one of my trips to the US late last year, I happened to stop into a Talbot store. There on the shelf was my inspiration, on sale, in my size. I tried it on, it fit beautifully.

I didn't buy it.

Later thinking about my missed purchase, I went to the website and purchased it. 
Why did I have to think about it one might ask? The price was right and shipping was free.

It is fake!

Yes, it is 100% silk, but the lace is a print on the fabric not real lace. That was the whole reason for it being placed in my inspiration folder in the first place! I am a tactile creature of habit. I like my lace to be lace and my silk to be silk. Somehow the two together did not make sense to my brain.

Enter in exhibit A: Really Ugly Fabric. Ok, that was cruel, how about not my color? Fabric purchased in Belgium for almost nothing. Others must have thought it ugly, I mean, not their color too? Most of the bolt was there. Further proof that many of us must have this problem with this fabric. 

I bought it so that I could see what it would do when thrown in a dye vat. Having no idea the fiber content, this was a big gamble. Look at the before and after. Just WOW!
Well that worked, quite nicely actually, now, what to do with it? Not showing real well in the picture is the depth of blue shades. Just stunning!

Even though I now owned the Talbot shell, I still saw it as inspiration for something "real".

I bought a Craftsy class called "Pattern Drafting From Ready-to-Wear" with Steffani Lincecum quite a while back. Normally I wait until something wears out and then I take it apart for its pattern. My new Talbot shell was not going to be taken apart. I was planning to wear it once in a while. So I made a pattern out of the shell using the tips given in the class.
I tweaked the pattern a little to make it more to my liking and then  went off to choose fabrics. 
If you remember this blog, I was given some vintage black lace from a French friend. It turned out to be just the right width and length for this project. (First picture, bottom of the two laces).

Add in the dyed, now not ugly fabric of unknown fiber and a loose linen weave from my stash:
It was time for this inspiration to become real.

When working with lace, there is one thing that happens more than I like to admit. Due to washing and pressing, stretching can occur. In this case one end of the lace was longer  and narrower than the other end. The lace was pressed as much as it could be before application, but they were not exact. Assessing carefully which piece should be placed first, the first side of the lace sewn down and then the grain lines were basted so that the other side could be placed properly. Thank goodness for a glue stick. KK2000 and lots of pins! 
Taming the second lace into place so that it could be sewn was the hardest part of this project. If the lace was crooked the whole shirt would thrown wonky and unwearable.

All was successful, may I present to you my newest shirt, front:

The button came from my stash and the loop had to be sewn by hand as the linen was too loose of a weave to be sewn any other way.

Notice my lace design goes all the way front and back. the Talbot shirt is a plain black silk back. I thought it needed for the design to follow through all the way
Now, someone mentioned scarf. I have fabric left and a different black lace. I 'll think about it.

This week I am linking up Shabby Art Boutique for Shabbilicious Friday Link Party!


  1. I love how your dyed lace turned out...and the top you created is so, sooo pretty! I wish I could sew like this! :)

    1. Thank you for the complement. Most of the time I am amazed I created something.

  2. Jean, you always make the most amazing things and they turn out beautiful. I enjoy your blog.