"To live in the world without becoming aware of the meaning of the world is like wandering about in a great library without touching the books.".....The Secret Teachings of All Ages

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

ETT — Update

After having put everything on hold for over a week while I recovered from The Crud, I have now gone back and done a bit of work on the Empire T-Tunic. I really like the color combination, and I have noticed that my embroidery stitching is getting better, and more uniform looking. Nice to know there is improvement there, as my hand stitching work is not all that great.

Here is the bodice cut out and sewn together. The necklace is one of mine, made from a vintage section of bracelet.

Here is the bodice with the black binding, sewn with embroidery thread. I picked a color of teal one shade lighter than the shirt, because I didn't think the dark teal would show up very well on the black. I think it was a wise decision, as the slightly lighter thread looks perfect.

Here is a close up of the stitching...and the necklace.

Next step is to add the black pleated skirt, and then to bead the binding. I don't think I'm going to put any applique or stenciling on the bodice. I kinda like it plain, and think the beading around the neckline, armholes, and where the skirt will be sewn on should be enough decoration for this piece.

Note: I have tried posting photos on the "Extra-Large" setting, but they bleed over into the blog sidebar and it looks sloppy. So, if you want to see a larger version of the photos, I'm afraid you'll have to click into each one. Sorry 'bout that. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

The ETT — Empire Tank Tunic

In the Alabama Chanin Studio & Design book they refer to this design as a Babydoll Dress. At my age, I am not going to refer to anything I wear as being "babydoll." I'd feel silly. So, I am calling this next project the empire tank tunic (ETT). Empire = having an empire waist.

Caveat: I took these photos outside on the deck (you remember me saying previously that the inside of my house is like a cave in winter), so the sunlight has lightened the colors in the photos, especially the closeup of the pleats, which look gray.  They aren't.

The teal blue T-shirt is one I bought years ago. I like the color, but the shirt is too short and too boxy. But it is a good, thick knit, so would make a good base for something.

The black-skirted mini-dress is a piece I found at the Goodwill for about $2.00. It is too small for me (tight across the back and under the arms), but I liked the pleated skirt part. I also wasn't too crazy about the pleats being above the bustline. As well as sewn in, the pleats are permanently ironed into the knit fabric, so that was new and different. Downside of this dress is that the knit is thin (you can see the sun shining through the yoke fabric in the closeup photo), and is one of those that collects lint and cat hair like a magnet. However, if sewn into a heavier yoke, I think the thin skirt will be okay. As for the lint and cat hair...well, I'm used to it.

For the binding color, I haven't decided yet. I have enough other black T-shirts to do black around the neckline and armholes, but I doubt I'll have enough of the teal blue to add to the black. I'd really like to have a strip of beaded blue on top of the pleated fabric just where it is sewn onto the blue yoke. If I don't, then I may opt for a third contrasting or complimentary color for all the binding.

What I hope to end up with is something like this, only longer...about mid-thigh. Blue on top, pleated black on the bottom. It will also be beaded. I want to be able to wear it over long-sleeved T-shirts, or with a bolero, for when the weather is cooler, or I know ahead of time I'm going to be trapped in a building with the AC running at sub-arctic temperatures.