Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Frida Kahlo Challenge



I didn't get as far as I had hoped with this challenge. I wanted to make a cloth necklace, and a flower head band as well as a blouse inspired by Frida. All I got to was the blouse, and it had a few glitches. But I did make some cloth flowers around the neckline. I used the same blouse pattern from the plaid blouse I made in Spring with the matching chicken skirt. I also recycled some of the scraps from that blouse to create the little flowers on the neckline

The flowers are made up of scraps from the eyelet blouse, and from my plaid top.
I intended to line the blouse with purple, but the top did not have enough ease.  I was a bit worried about the eyelet letting in too much skin, but after trying it on, modesty wasn't really a problem.

The redesign of the lining into a top felt more like an up-cycle project.  I did not want to waste this really nice cotton but the thought of trashing the whole idea did cross my weary mind.  I had completed the lace blouse on July 3rd.  But due to my school schedule, I didn't get to re-working the lining until last week.

The lining is 100 percent cotton, and has a wonderful weight to it and doesn't cling to the body.  Which is why I think it's perfect for linings, even though it's a bit on the thick side.  I used a similar piece, but different color on my chocolate lace dress. The lining on my lace dress was pink instead of purple.

There was a problem with the length of the lining, which was cut a lot shorter in order to fit in the original eyelet blouse.  I found some leftover fabric from my daughters quilt and added a piece to the bottom.  I added bias tape on the neckline and arm hole to create a nice contrasting effect.  After I was done, it looked like a short dumpy mini-dress.  The bottom was too narrow to actually walk comfortably.  I hated the look.

I made my daughter try it on, and she didn't like it either.  I chopped off the bottom and re-hemmed it. Now it's just a cute little sleeveless top.  I gave both the eyelet and lining top to my daughter.  Lucky her!

Before I cut the bottom.
After I cut the bottom.  Looks a lot better.

You probably can't tell, but it is not perfect. The blouse is slightly off around the edges, but the side seams match, so I can't really complain.

This is a great way to lengthen any blouse, or if you want to up-cycle an existing piece and change it by adding new binding to the edges.

Using bias tape is one of my favorite things to add on a garment.

Here's a close-up of the neckline with the custom-made bias tape.  You can barely tell that there's some purple in the blue fabric, but it's there, and compliments the rest of the blouse nicely.
For this project, I broke out my new one-inch bias tape maker that I picked up at Hart's Fabric this past January. It's manufactured by Clover. It took me a couple of tries, but once the fabric evened out, I created a couple of yards with the greatest of ease.

I also used my new wooden clapper to iron the bias tape fold. It really made a nice crisp edge. I recommend folks who create a lot of bias tape to invest in a clapper.
The wooden clapper is one of those tools that I never thought I needed until I actually started using it. It makes fantastic creases, and presses out my seams flat. I have started looking at collecting more pressing tools, and the next thing on my list is a proper sleeve horse. I had one attached to my ironing board, but it broke a while back. Next post will be more about some of the new tools I've collected this month.

Happy Sewing!