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Thursday, 5 January 2017
Sweater and skirt with appliques.

A while back I got some sequinned and embroidered tulle lace. I made a dress with satin under and the black embellished tulle over. It was nice, but it was a little too glitzy and glam for my current lifestyle. After making my winter coat with the embroidered and sequinned applique I though HMMMM...there's something about the contrast between the heavy wool and the delicate embroidered tulle that's interesting. I wonder what else would look nice with wool and sequin appliques...


which led me to this sketch here!The top is a cut and sew sweater knit in a lightweght mohair. The V neck is trimmed with a vintage rabbit fur ruff and the wrists also have the same rabbit fur ruff. Based on the shape, size and everything about the fur pieces they appear that they were designed to be used on a V neck and sleeves. The skirt is a simple bias cut a-line in a wool flannel or brushed twill. The fabric I have -the brushed twill -is a bit heavy so the bias cut adds drape and suppleness. The motifs are appliqued in such a way that it mimics a border print. If there are enough of the appliques I might use some on a satin blouse. 

I already have a cut and sew V neck sweater that is very plain. I have some brushed twill in black. I took apart the dress -the satin is good enough to use for the blouse -and began cutting some of the motifs out so I could applique them. And here's the results: 

I played around with the placement and decided that the idea in the sketch looked best. I picked a couple different motifs and to vary the appearance some were taken apart and had the element re-arranged so it wouldn't look like the same flower over and over.I pinned them in place and when I was happy with the arrangement I sewed them down. They need to be hand sewn. There's no way to do it with a machine. It's faster and more accurate to hand sew.

To use sequined and embroidered tulle as an applique you must leave enough tulle around the motif to sew into. Sew as close as possible to the embroidery and sequins and use small slanting stitches. Do not pull the thread too tight. For sequined tendrils use a whip stitch between the sequins to secure them. On the very end of th tendril backstitch several times into the hole of the final sequin, knot on the wrong side and trim the thread. after stitching trim away as much tulle as possible.

I haven't started the skirt yet because I spent the skirt sewing time shrinking and prepping the wool. Wool must be pre-shrunk before sewing. The best method is something called "London Shrunk" also known as "sponging" no sponges are needed, just a modern steam iron and a water sprayer. Basically, you spritz the wool with water and then hold the steam iron over the fabric and glide over the fabric without touching the fabric. The fabric draws up and ripples in places, but don't panic -it's supposed to.

After spritzing and steaming as loosely as possible roll the fabric up and let it rest. Unroll and re-roll once so the inner part of the roll is now the outer part. When the fabric is cool and dry it will be sufficiently shrunk, unrippled and needle ready. Some wools can be hand washed or machine washed on delicate after a London Shrink. My one hounds-tooth skirt was London Shrunk by the maker and it could be machine washed without further shrinking.

And that's the progress so far. When the skirt is completed in a few days I will post a picture! 

Posted by lincatz at 11:24 AM EST
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