Friday, 31 May 2013

Free Download and Tutorial: Oversized Eyelet Lace Embroidered Necklace

Free Download and Tutorial by Cicely Ingleside - Oversized Eyelet Lace Embroidered Necklace

This tutorial would have been totally cutting edge last year. But I didn’t have a blog last year. Nevertheless, oversized eyelet lace is still having its moment, and this is a fresh, summery DIY project.

Last year, I fell totally enamored with the oversized eyelet lace items by Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton that were in every magazine and worn by so many famous people. (The collar was especially ubiquitous.) And the colours – white and turquoise and pink and yellow – so awesome!  So, since I couldn’t buy any Louis Vuitton clothes myself, I thought I would try and make myself something.

Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton Spring 2012

This spring, I have seen oversized eyelet lace cropping up on clothes at the mall and on fabric at the sewing store. That’s why I say that this post would have been more cutting edge last year, since you couldn’t get this anywhere! Fortunately, now oversized eyelet has crept into the mainstream.

I used white linen fabric, and hand-embroidered my own oversized eyelet lace necklace. I have learned that it is actually called “Broderie Anglaise”, or “English Embroidery”. (Kind of ironic that you are supposed to say it in French, then, eh?) Here is a tutorial and a download so you can make one too, or add your own oversized Broderie Anglaise to a dress or shirt. I think that if I were making this project this year, I would choose instead to do it on a Peter Pan style collar.

First, if you want to make a necklace, you can download and print this file. I hand-drew the shape of the necklace and the eyelet pattern.

If you want to make a Peter Pan collar instead,  here is a link to a good downloadable template. (The template is part of the sequined Peter Pan collar DIY post.  Just scroll down to find the download link. This blog "A Matter of Style" is full of cool projects, isn’t it?) You can either trace the eyelet pattern from my necklace download onto this, or draw your own features to embroider.

  • Fabric – white or light-coloured linen (or 100% cotton) is recommended.
  • Three skeins of embroidery thread (totalling approx. 24 yards or meters)  in the colour of your choice. I used DMC colour #598
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Water-erasable fabric marker
  • Embroidery needle
  • Small pointy scissors
  • Ribbon for necklace, or to tie the collar together

1. Cut a rectangular piece of fabric big enough to fit your design and to fit in your embroidery hoop.  Put your fabric over top of your paper print out, and trace the design onto the fabric with a water-erasable fabric marker. (This is a fabric marker whose marks will disappear with water.)  Do NOT use a disappearing or vanishing marker, because your pattern will likely disappear before you are done. If you have trouble tracing the design through your fabric, you can tape the paper and fabric up on a sunny window to trace it.

2. Put the fabric in your hoop. (Your fabric should still be a rectangle. You are NOT cutting out the shape of your necklace or collar until after the embroidery is finished.) The entire design will not fit in your hoop, so just start embroidering at one end of the design, and once you are done that end, you can take the fabric out and put it back in again so you can do the other side.

3. Cut a length of embroidery thread about the length of your arm. You can see that your thread is likely made up of 6 strands of thinner thread, twisted together. So that the thread is flat, thinner, and easier to work with, you should separate your thread. Trust me, this is so worth it.  To do this, hold one end of your cut piece of thread, and pull out one of the strands with your other hand. Pull out another one. Now you have two strands of thread, and you can thread your needle with these two strands – basically just pretend they are one strand. (When these run out, go back to your initial thread and pull out two more strands to continue embroidering with.)

Free Download and Tutorial by Cicely Ingleside - Oversized Eyelet Lace Embroidered Necklace
Separate your thread by pulling out a strand.

4. TIE-ON and TIE-OFF TIPS: Now, you could knot your thread are start embroidering, just like you would do when sewing. However, because your fabric will be a bit see-through, you may see your knot all lumpy beneath your embroidery. If you want to avoid this, do the following: knot your thread, and plunge your needle into your fabric at least 6 inches away from where you plan to start embroidering, going from the top of the fabric to the bottom. Now your knot will be sitting on top of the fabric, and your needle and thread are underneath. Then, come up with your needle from the underneath where you want to start embroidering and do your stuff.

Free Download and Tutorial by Cicely Ingleside - Oversized Eyelet Lace Embroidered Necklace
Enter your needle here, away from your design.

Free Download and Tutorial by Cicely Ingleside - Oversized Eyelet Lace Embroidered Necklace
Bring your needle up here, on your design, and then start embroidering.  See the knot sitting on top, back where you originally entered your needle?!

When you are finished embroidering a shape or your thread runs out, here’s what you’ll do: To tie-off, don’t tie a knot. Instead, put your needle underneath your work and thread it through the other bits of embroidery at the bottom, until it feels secure, then cut the thread off. (For those of you who are knitters, this will be familiar.)

Free Download and Tutorial by Cicely Ingleside - Oversized Eyelet Lace Embroidered Necklace
This is the back of the work.The needle is sliding in to tuck itself  under the other embroidered bits.

Now you also want to deal with the part where you began, because you don’t want to leave that first knot you made sitting on top of your fabric. So, from the top of your fabric, cut the knot off. (Careful not to cut your fabric!) Your thread will now hang loose underneath. Thread it onto your needle and then, on the underneath side of your fabric, thread it through the other bits of embroidery until it feels secure or is all hidden away. The reason that I recommended placing your initial knot at least 6 inches away is so you’ll have enough thread to do this and secure it using your needle.

Free Download and Tutorial by Cicely Ingleside - Oversized Eyelet Lace Embroidered Necklace
Carefully cutting off the knot on the topside of the fabric.

There!  You have no knots on your embroidery bottom, and yet your work is secure.

5.  Now on to the business of embroidering an eyelet. First thing to do: trace the outline of your shape with a simple running stitch. (The blog to which I linked here is fabulous for embroidery, with a great index of many different kinds of stitches.)   This running stitch will be covered up with other embroidery later, but doing this secures the fabric. Next, cut into the middle of your shape. With the flower petals, I typically cut one straight line from bottom to top, but I didn’t cut close to the edges of the shape, because I found that the linen, once cut a bit, naturally unraveled to widen the cut while I worked. If you are using cotton, you may need to cut more.
Free Download and Tutorial by Cicely Ingleside - Oversized Eyelet Lace Embroidered Necklace
Running stitch around the shape, and then a cut in the middle.
Now, do a satin stitch around the hole: Come up with your thread about a quarter inch out from your stitched line, and bring your needle back into the hole. Now come up again right next to your last stitch. You’ll see that this will pull the extra fabric bits that are hanging around your cut hole to be tucked in the back and covered up.  Keep doing this until you go around your entire shape. Then tie off your thread as per the instructions in number 4.  

Free Download and Tutorial by Cicely Ingleside - Oversized Eyelet Lace Embroidered Necklace
Doing a satin stitch around the hole.

If you have lots of thread left on your needle when you finish a shape, it is tempting to not tie off and instead start embroidering the next shape.  However, if you bring your thread along the back of your work, you will be able to see this through the top and it will look messy. So, I recommend tying off when you finish each shape, unless you are really close to the next one – in which case, you can just keep going.

6.  Finish all your eyelets! This takes a while. Do it over a few nights while you watch TV, or wait for the bus. It is a very portable project.

7.  Outline the edge of your necklace or collar with embroidery. You do not need to start with a running stitch for this. Simply do satin stitch along the length of where you want your necklace. The dots between the petals are also done with a satin stitch.

8. When all your embroidering is done, VERY CAREFULLY cut your necklace or collar shape out. You will be cutting right below your satin-stitched edge. Don’t cut your beautiful stitching! You can cut around the dashed lines to give yourself somewhere to sew the ribbon on to. (Cut them to fit your ribbon of choice.)

9. Find a ribbon and hand sew it on to your embroidered piece in order to make a necklace. If you have made a collar, attach some ribbon to the front edges so it’ll stay on when you wear it.

Free Download and Tutorial by Cicely Ingleside - Oversized Eyelet Lace Embroidered Necklace

Other ways to use this oversized eyelet embroidery, besides making a necklace or collar: cut out the top of a t-shirt and sew your embroidered piece in. Or add sleeve details or front placket details on a shirt, or cover the border of a skirt. I originally envisioned making a skirt covered with this embroidery, but that would have been a major, major project.  Instead you could just embroider a few oversized eyelets on a skirt!

I hope that you enjoy this post. If anyone makes this project, please send me pictures!  I’d love to post it or Pin it!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Anthropologie Knock-Off: Blue Ikat Skirt

Blue Ikat Skirt and Lace Top by Cicely Ingleside

The theme of Project Sewn this week is "Signature Style", and so I thought I would post this outfit as part of the sew-along. Why is it my signature style?  It is a skirt, it has one of my favorite colour combos with pink, blue and white, and it has lace! 

I am also posting this as my first project for the Summer of No Pants, a skirt and dress making challenge which has started this week!

Here's how the project came about. I was ogling the Anthropologie website, a common pastime of mine, when I came across this dress:

I loved the blue and pink colours together. The dress cost somewhere around $300. The same day, I was browsing the Spoonflower website (a design-your-own-fabric site), when I came across the fabric you see above, called Sea Cream Ikat by Domesticate. I was struck by the similarity with the Anthropologie skirt, and thought "Maybe I could make that." Worth a shot!

Blue Ikat Skirt and Lace Top by Cicely Ingleside

I ordered the Spoonflower fabric in Organic Cotton Sateen. It's a little more pricey than the Kona cotton, but it is quite lovely, and has the added advantage of being wider, with a 56" wide printable area.

I used a pattern I'd used before, the  Burda Style Pattern 7124, view A. I added a white cotton lining. I'm still a relative beginner and I haven't done a lining very often, so it went a bit wonky. But fortunately it's hard to tell! 

The bow is stitched on. I used some 'blanket edging' actually - it was just the right colour.

The top, on the other hand, was major trial and error. I ordered some pink lace online, and when it came, it was not what I wanted. Then I bought this blue-green lace at my local fabric store, and thought I would make a lining underneath with pinky-purple satin. The satin lining turned out b-a-d. It's on the junk pile.

Finally, I sewed the shirt using just the blue-green lace. I used Burda 7052, without the collar. I added white bias tape to the collar and sleeves, which worked well. Since the lace was a bit stretchy and I can put this on over my head, I didn't need real button holes, so I sewed the button placket together and sewed on the buttons as decorations. 

Blue Ikat Skirt and Lace Top by Cicely Ingleside
Aren't the buttons purty?
I think these buttons are one of my favorite parts of the outfit. They are little faceted glass-look buttons - so delicate!  I think that both they and the green lace are kind of 50s reminiscent.

Here's another shot of the outfit. So, pretend I am 19 and skinny and red-headed. Now, doesn't it look like my Anthro inspiration outfit?

Blue Ikat Skirt and Lace Top by Cicely Ingleside

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Spoonflower Tops: Star Wars and Equestrian Themes

Spoonflower Tops by Cicely Ingleside

Do you know Spoonflower?  I was so excited when I first discovered it. It is a site where you can design your own fabric (and wallpaper and wall decals), and purchase other people's designs. I love it. I am trying to learn Illustrator and Photoshop so I can try designing some of my own fabric - but I think that'll be awhile. I have all these ideas, but after a day on the computer at work, I don't feel like doing much more of that in my free time. 

As an aside, trying to learn these programs which are way less intuitive than programs like Excel (I'm pretty good with Excel!) gives me even more respect for all the bloggers out there who not only sew, but take great photos, manipulate blogging sites, manage their online identities and sponsors, and design fabrics, graphics and patterns using these complex programs. What they do is soooo much more than "mommy blogging"! Givin' them some props.

Spoonflower Tops by Cicely Ingleside

Okay, anyway, I bought some fabric from Spoonflower and these are the first things I made! 

First up, this adorable tunic/dress in a horse print for my daughter. The fabric is Gentleman on Pink Fabric by Ragan. I love all of her fabrics - all equestrian themed. 

I ordered the Kona cotton, which I recommend. Previously, I had ordered something on Spoonflower's "basic combed cotton", which is $17.50 a yard, but I found it thin and the colours not as vivid. The Kona cotton is $18 a yard, and so for 50c more, you get a nicer fabric with great colour. The only thing to note is that the printed area is only 42" wide. So I used up the whole yard making this top!  Some of the slightly more expensive Spoonflower fabrics have wider printable areas - such as the Organic Cotton Sateen, which has 56" width.

Spoonflower Tops by Cicely Ingleside

The pattern is the Sunshine Dress pattern by Schwin Designs.  I shortened the dress by 3" according to the instructions for making it tunic length.  It's still is more of a dress, but I like this length as it'll be more practical for playing. I chose a black cotton for the top so stains won't be visible. (Except snot. Why is snot always visible, even on black?)

Spoonflower Tops by Cicely Ingleside

For my Star Wars crazy son, I ordered this cute Star Wars Kids fabric by NixonGraphix. So nice to have a Star Wars option without guns or inappropriately dressed females! Good for a 5 and a half year old.

Spoonflower Tops by Cicely Ingleside

I used another Shwin Designs pattern - I bought a whole bunch because they have a discount for multiple purchases, plus I really like them. This one is the Maxwell Shirt pattern without some of the bells and whistles, since I wanted the fabric to be the focus. The Shwin and Shwin blog even has a video tutorial for the collar, which was really helpful.

Spoonflower Tops by Cicely Ingleside

He will only pose for me now while climbing on this chair in his bedroom. Fair enough. At least he'll pose. 

Spoonflower Tops by Cicely Ingleside


Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Plaid Taffeta Summer Dress

Plaid Taffeta Summer Dress by Cicely Ingleside

Because I may be posting this to a Sundress Sew-Along, I should start off by saying this may not exactly be a traditional sundress, but it is definitely a summer dress.  It might look more summery if I wasn't wearing tights in the picture, but hey, I live in Canada and I took this picture in April.

However, the fabric is a very light and airy taffeta-esque, and there is a strand of teal colour running through the plaid, making it more summery to me than traditional fall plaids. That’s what appealed to me in the first place, since it struck me as unusual to see a summer plaid.  Since then, I have been waiting for summer to wear it.

(If you’re curious about the Sew-Along, check out Project Sewn here.)

Plaid Taffeta Summer Dress by Cicely Ingleside
See?  Can you kind of see the shiny-ness of the material here?

So, in past posts I have shared my love of eyelet lace, and another one of my fabric loves is plaid. One day this winter I looked down and realised I was wearing a red plaid coat, with a red plaid scarf, and carrying a red plaid purse. Okay, it wasn't as crazy as it sounds. They were all different patterns but with the same tone.  I decided I was going to go for it and wear it anyway.

Then one day I was at my local fabric store, and had already paid for my purchases and was on my way out when I saw this plaid fabric. I was sucked right in – I had to buy some to make myself something. Like I said, it is very light and taffeta-y, and has a nice sheen in the light.

I always love me a full skirt, even though it is not the most flattering for me when it sits right on my waist. That tends to make me look much huger than necessary.  So, I found this pattern - Vogue V8020 - which was appealing due to the fact that the skirt flare starts lower than the waist. I also loved the Kate Spade-esque bow belt.

Vogue pattern V8020

Since I’m on the tall side, and I often have trouble with waist lines sitting too high on me – like up on my rib-cage (which, amazingly, is also not flattering) -  I thought I’d try adding an inch to the waist length.  I also ended up making the dress one or two sizes too big. So, I took in the side seams and the front and back darts, but I decided to leave the waist loose, instead of making it more fitted. Having the waist longer and looser gives it a bit of a Twenties feel – and I had just finished watching the 3rd season of Downton Abbey when I made this, which is set in the Twenties and features amazingly gorgeous drop-waist dresses. So I think this influenced me a teensy bit.  (Lots of the Downton dresses were in velvet, so it also made me decide to make something with silk velvet. The silk velvet fabric is now sitting in my stash while I work up the nerve to try cutting into it.)

Plaid Taffeta Summer Dress by Cicely Ingleside

I lined the dress with lightweight black cotton silk (ooh la la!).  That sounds more extravagant than it really was, because I got it on a big sale, so that it was not much more costly than polyester lining. The cotton silk was the only thing that to me felt light enough not to weigh down the plaid.

So, I’m very happy with this dress, and I can start wearing it now that the weather around here is starting to get warm. Yay!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Inspirational Thoughts from Others about Creativity

Changing things up a bit, I thought I would do a shout out and share two recent posts from Bloggers that I think are noteworthy.

This is a picture from a beach near my house! Kind of fits with the "inspiration" theme, no?

First, this post entitled "You Need to Read This. Now." from Alida Makes. She shares a poster and some inspirational words about the importance of being creative, valuing that in yourself, and sticking with it. This spoke to me because I had never thought of myself as creative, but as I have been sewing and knitting and crafting the past couple of years, I have really begun to feel fulfillment from that, from feeling like I can be creative, and from making something that I envision come to life. 

One of her best lines is "They may even call you a Mommy Blogger when clearly your blog is about your love of DIY fashion." 

I have sometimes felt that there is a stigma attached to the word "crafty", since I have associated it in the past with kids' non-serious art. But recently I learned that some of our modern use of the word comes from the "arts and crafts movement" - an international design movement from the late 1800s to early 1900s, which valued traditional craftpersonship. The traditions of handmade goods and crafts are incredibly important, and I think that modern DIY bloggers and Pinners and home crafters are advancing and evolving these traditions, and making them relevant for the modern era. (And doing kids' "non-serious art" is when we start learning to explore and be interested in creativity, so that I shouldn't dismiss that either!)

So, a long and high falutin' way to say that I resolve to no longer be embarrassed to call myself a "crafter"!

And here is another post I enjoyed from Decor 8, a prominent design blog. She talks about the role of blogging, and I liked her discussion of sharing:
" I’ve long been a champion of sharing and not so much in support of this new idea that every blogger must only blog custom content with projects and photos produced by them. Some blogs only accept exclusive content. Other blogs won’t share what another blogger posted no matter how much they loved it because they are scared to upset someone or appear like a copycat. I’ve been teaching blogging classes online and workshops for over 4 years and most of my students are terrified to blog about something if another blogger already covered it. This can ultimately lead to the death of blogs as influencers and early adopters. Really gang. While I’m all for columns, exclusive stuff, taking your own photos, etc. I think balance and caution is needed. 
How can we influence something or adopt it if we fear writing about it because another blogger already covered it?  How can we discuss trends if no one has images to share supporting those discussions unless they take these images themselves – and because they don’t have the images they clam up? While it’s important to get permission from photographers and to link back, credit sources, etc. These discussions need to take place and should be taking place for the sake of our community. Many voices combined can start a wave of change; launch a new idea, etc. To be innovators, we have to share our ideas with our tribe and our tribe, in turn, must share with their tribe, and so on.  This is how popular trends are kick–started."

Sometimes, I've been reluctant to post things I made because I got the idea from someone else on Pinterest or a blog post, and now this makes me think differently about it.

 It also inspired me to write this post today! Hope some of you may find inspiration from this too.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Space Pants and Planets T

Space Pants and Planets T by Cicely Ingleside

I recently finished a job after a 9 month contract, and had a couple of weeks off before starting my new job. So I had the luxury of two weeks at home when I could do whatever I wanted. It was great. Mostly, I chose to sew while watching Netflix. Maybe that's not what everyone else would choose, but it made me happy.

So I have a few kids' clothes projects to post!

Except I realize I am a terrible photographer. When I finally get the kids to pose and get a good shot, the lighting is horrible. So please be patient! Imagine the clothes being cute even if you have to squint.

Space Pants and Planets T by Cicely Ingleside

Here's my first project. I had bought some really cute "space" fabric:

Cute, eh?

The fabric is called "Hello, My Friend Space Town" by Kokka, and I bought it from Miss Matatatabi. This was part of my quest to try and use pattern for boys' clothes - which is kind of hard, outside of shorts and pajamas.

I bought some navy linen, and made some summer pants. I used the pattern for Pier 49 Convertible Pants by the Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop, with the space fabric as the pockets. I also added a stripe of the space fabric going up and down the leg. The pants actually roll up, and I covered the inner seam up to the knee with a stripe of fabric too.  I have no pictures of this, because my son doesn't like to roll up sleeves or pants. I forgot this when I decided on the pattern. Maybe he'll change his mind when it gets hot out.

Space Pants and Planets T by Cicely Ingleside

I bought a blue t-shirt and ironed on a rocket. When I showed it to my son, he said he liked it, but "It's not finished, Mom. It needs planets."

So he drew some planets onto white cotton fabric and I used double-sided fusible web to iron them on. (I did not know this stuff existed until recently. It is great! It's a light webby sort-of-fabric that is sticky on both sides, which you place in-between the fabrics, and when ironed, will stick.)

Space Pants and Planets T by Cicely Ingleside

That is Mars on the left and Earth on the right, and I think the big one is Venus. He also drew a humongous Jupiter but we couldn't fit it on the t-shirt.

Space Pants and Planets T by Cicely Ingleside

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