I love love LOVE Marcy Tilton's silk screens, and I'm slowly adding to my collection of her wonderfilled, creative pieces.
|Marcy Tilton's "Chi" - one of my faves!|
My process in embellishing a garment often goes something like this:
1. Choose pattern & fabric & make garment (this is really 12 or 17 or 39 steps, not including all of the actually sewing steps, but we're only talking embellishment here...)
2. Realize that it needs a little something extra.
3. Think about options and play with them (buttons? Fabric pieces? Painting? Silk Screen? Hardware? Something totally off the wall?)
Unless a garment is a super simple, straightforward, no changes other than fit piece, (like, say, a simple pair of knit pants) I have an utter INability to visualize the finished piece before I start. I do admire people who can do that, but it ain't me! It's the same with decorating my home, getting dressed to go out, even planning my day. I just don't have the gene that allows me to be that organized with my planning, and I've accepted the fact that I'm just a go-with-the-flow kinda gal. I am, however, very punctual, and if I make a promise to do something or be somewhere, I'll do it and be there! I just don't make promises I can't keep ;-)
But - let's get back to the juicy stuff - the garment! Sandra Betzina's vest, Vogue 1375.
I saw Sandra's vest in person when she presented at PR Weekend San Francisco, and fell thoroughly in love with the fabric she used - a wool gauze from Stonemountain and Daughter. I loved the fabric so much that I hightailed it to Stonemountain first thing the following morning (ensuring that I would beat any other PR fabricaholics) and bought ALL they had - which wasn't really that much, really it wasn't.... To my credit, I did share the yardage with 2 other friends - 'cause in the end, that's how I roll ;-)
I also liked the striped edging Sandra used, and I happened to have something similar in my stash (Oh, how I love shopping my stash!!!) What I did NOT like about her version was the shoulder edging. I call it the "gladiator look", and even with my narrow shoulders, it's just not for me. True to form (see paragraph above), I made up everything else before deciding on how I was going to deal with the armscye edging.
I made Version A in a size B. Note the pleating and the asymmetric hemline on A - Version B is a simpler design.
Here's my finished pleating:
Both of my fabrics were VERY fray-prone! Adding stabilizer at the armscye was crucial in this fabric, and probably a good idea no matter what fabric you use.
Once everything else was constructed, I decided to use the selvedge of the edging fabric for the armhole edging:
After that, it was time to play with the silk screening! I had already made some test prints on my fabric (which is what I usually do) I placed the test pieces on various spots of the garment until I had the placement I wanted, and then plunged in and printed directly on the finished piece. Some people think this is bold and a little crazy, and I have indeed made some "mistakes", but as with anything in sewing, my attitude is that almost ANYthing can be turned into a creative opportunity, and I just pretend that I meant to do that (I learned that trick from my cats...if you've lived with cats, you know exactly what I mean!)
The finished piece is fun, and I'm definitely finding places to wear it!
You can see how sheer the wool gauze is here:
I used Marcy's "Riffle" silk screen on the front:
Oh! I almost forgot to mention! Sandra B was at the recent Britex event where some of our favorite bloggers presented some short but fabulous talks! I was wearing this vest, and Sandra zipped up to me during a break to see if it was her pattern or "a really good copy". She's always a hoot, and one of our local treasures :). I was delighted that she got to see my version!
I know I've asked this before, but I'm always curious to hear what folks have to say... what is your process in getting to the final version of a garment? Are you able to see the finished piece in your mind before you start? Or do you stumble merrily along and let it evolve as you play with the garment? Or maybe some other approach?