Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Draping & Fabric Flowers

I'm visiting my grandma, who is an excellent seamstress with two sewing machines and a basement full of fabric and notions, but I needed a lot of inspiration-gathering. I'd like to make a soft knit jersey top with some kind of embellishment-- gathers, flowers, maybe sequins. These pictures are from Anthropologie except the ones on models, which are from JCrew. This top one I found a year ago while I was doing the same thing. Last year I learned how to make millinery flowers out of fabric, and I made a few. One simple one out of felt is pinned to my hat, but the more elaborate one sits in my drawer because I made it out of an old dingy white t-shirt. Gross.

Love this one below because of the defined waist.

I love the drippy look of these sequins. We saw dozens of shirts similar to this in the stores recently.
Way out of my skill range, but lovely.
I think this red one is my favorite.
I saw this one in the store! It is bits of folded fabric appliqued on, rather than embroidery. Unfortunately the underside of the embellished part is very stiff and bumpy; it should have been lined on the inside.
The smocking is a little too much, but the flowers are pretty.
I tried on a lot of on-sale printed knit tops, which are no longer up on their website. Grandma doesn't have much fabric in soft, printed (florals, bright colors, abstract designs) knits that are so popular in stores. They are probably pretty cheaper-- grandmas prints are often woven in, and the knits are more substantial. In a way, I like the thin drape of the "store-bought" fabric, but I tried on a top in Anthropologie that had a cowl neck and wide bat-wing sleeves, and it doesn't look very good when the wrong, unprinted side of the fabric shows in all those drapes. Nevertheless, I like the drapey front of this blouse and the fact that it has a defined waistline. (My cousin says that because I am young and skinny I can get away with all kinds of loose blousy styles, but for sex appeal I still like a defined feminine figure.)
Speaking of retro sex appeal, I just saw a blouse a lot like this one on a picture of Joan from Mad Men. Did you know the actress is not a natural redhead?
Another secretary-ish blouse, now from JCrew. Very pretty, no?
I've mentioned before that I am sick of JCrew's obsession with ruffles, but this is just over-the-top enough (pink! ruffles! flowers!) to be awesome.
This is the first shirt I downloaded, and is probably closest to what I'm going to come up with: a simple tee adorned with fabric flowers. But none of that scratchy-looking tulle, yuck. And in light blue. I'll post pictures when I'm done!

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