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Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Monday, September 21, 2015

Round 2, SPR's sewing bee using an embellished fabric!

I stressed about this round of SPR's sewing bee.  Embellishing garments for me is something I enjoy, but I have never felt like my skills would land me a winning place in a contest.  And honestly, my goal is to make it to the next round, not win!  I just like the challenges every week as I feel like it makes me step out of my comfort zone.  

Here is what I submitted to SPR's contest and the questions I had to answer: 

What type of fabric did you start with for your project? 
I started this top with two pieces of fabric, both knits. The coral/burnt orange was from Fancy Tiger Crafts, in Denver and the other is a ponte from Fabric Mart. Both were similar weight and coordinated well. Both have similar stretch lengthwise and on the cross-grain. 

What techniques did you use to modify your fabric?
I used reverse applique and also some free-motion quilting with variegated quilting thread. The 'reverse' of the applique is the coral on the gray and the gray on the coral. My inspiration was from a garment I viewed on Pinterest.

Invierta apliques:

I am just gob-smacked by this top!  I knew I didn't want to recreate it exactly, but I love the styling and the sharp contrast of the fabrics chosen.  I also wanted to use fabrics from my stash as it is running over and seems to be multiplying like rabbits when I am not looking!  

For my top, I purchased a stencil from Wal-Mart, traced the outline of it, layered both pieces of fabric, sprayed 505 temporary adhesive to help with the stitching and using a quilting foot, I  lowered the feed-dogs so I could move more freely and with the design I drew.  I used variegated cotton thread to 'trace' the design and also add a little design element at the center of the larger flowers. After stitching, I used some very sharp scissors and carefully cut away the top layer of fabric, close to the stitching. I made a mirrored image of the stencil on the front and a different motif on the back. As I was cutting around the designs, I decided to make a slight modification with the large flower. Can you spot the difference? 

What pattern(s) did you use for your garment, or is your entry self-drafted or draped? 
I used a favorite pattern of mine, McCall's 6435 which is a close-fitting top with the contrasting yokes and one sleeve. It was just perfect for what I had envisioned! I made this top as is except for a swayback adjustment, which is typical for me.  I feel like this top doesn't have as much ease as other patterns and I highly recommend going up one size when stitching.  I ended up adding a neckband as that's how i roll with knit tops such as this!  Typically I cut my neckband about 3 inches smaller than the circumference of the top but I play with it a bit as the degree of stretch also matters in some cases.  My advice?  Baste your neckband, if it doesn't lay correctly--too large for the neckband, cut it down.  Does it cause the top to pucker?  It is too small.  I would rather cut several neckbands than to have one that is ill-fitting.  

How does your garment show off your fabric modifications? 
The modifications are shown in the stencil I used along with the contrasting fabric underneath that I carefully cut away but not through the variegated thread I used to outline the design. 

What particular features would you like to point out to the judges? 
I love how the two fabrics show together; they coordinate but play nicely off each other. I love the variegated thread I used to outline the stencil design and also please notice how carefully I cut so closely to the stitching! I love the fit of this top and that it is long-sleeved, perfect for rapidly approaching fall weather here in the northern plains of the US. 

Any other details that you want to share about your fabric modification or the garment you made from the fabric?

I have always wanted to try an 'Alabama Chanin' style garment and now I have finally dove off the edge of the pool so to speak! I really love this top and will wear it to death! 

Thanks for reading!


  1. What a beautiful garment! I don't usually make comments but you deserve accolades for this project.

    1. Thank you MaryAnn! I do appreciate you taking time to comment on my top!

  2. Beautiful shirt and it fits perfectly. Lovely embellishments!

    1. Thank you Julie! I really love this pattern and it fits me really well!

  3. I think your top is absolutely fantastic. Pity I can't vote for it - I certainly would have if it was member voting! You've really showcased your AC type reversed applique embroidery and I love the inspiration garment too.

    1. Thank you for your kind words Anne! I really had fun creating this!

  4. I love this, I will try this myself soon.

    1. Hi Heather, I do hope you will try this technique, it's fun!

  5. That's really nice, Sue! I think it looks great. Good luck in the contest.

  6. Love this! I too have been considering using the AC technique, your take with the color blocking is pretty amazing! Good luck in Round 3 as I'm sure you will advance!!