I’ve been really hooked on the idea of embroidery as embellishment lately, and the swirling drops in graduated colours shown above (from a DIY kit) were the perfect match for me. I practised the crewel embroidery technique with the kit first as the lovely thick wooly threads included weren’t colour-fast, so they were hardly appropos for something to wear’n’wash!
I came across the vintage McCall’s pattern 6130 on Etsy a while back (it even comes with pattern pieces for the cute little bow and belt!) and I’m yet to come across a woven princess seamed blouse pattern I like the idea of more. After rather a LOT of fitting adjustments (I’m still in amazement at how tiny the waist was in ratio to the bust and hips, and how those side darts pointed up towards my chin initially instead of the bust point – fallout from the bullet-bra’s of yesteryear, no doubt) and making the bateau neckline slightly wider – I’m happy with the end result.
For the embroidery, I simply transferred a slightly curvier translation of the drops outline onto my fabric, embroidered then cut it out (After a lousy first attempt I realised you need the tension that comes from having your fabric secure all around the embroidery ring, rather than having an already cut piece in there, which yielded a pretty messy result).
I really love the the textural aspect of linen (making it perfect for embroidering) – but its proclivity for wrinkling and creasing has always kept me at bay. After reading about Marina’s gorgeous linen panel dress and how she underlined it to minimise this, I pulled out the silk organza and got busy. I chose the linen to match the ‘neutrals’ on my colour wheel – very cool because I’d never normally choose a fabric in this shade (although I can always be found swooning over earthy toned textural linens in fabric stores) and it makes a perfect backdrop for the red and pink droplets.
I even catch-stitched the seams down with silk thread, couture style, because I liked the inside pictures of Marina’s dress so much. I was more than a bit worried about fraying from normal wear so I also used some fray-check too. Mostly I was just too lazy to use the standard rayon seam binding treatment. The linen also had a really pretty striped selvedge which I kept for around the sleeves.
I really loved being able to veg on the couch with my beau at the end of a long work day (unfortunately for me all my work days are long at the moment), switch off mentally and slowly work through embroidering this. Especially as the weather has been SO dreary of late. It was definitely sewing for the soul.
Really lovely! I love to hand sew and spend some of my evenings basting together my projects if I can't find anything else to sew.I think I'm inspired by your embroidery idea and might try it on my next Cambie dress.
Love the idea of crewel embroidery on your top. Fantastic sewing skills, as usual. I can see how having your colours done has really helped in choosing correctly. I'm saving to have mine done in Spring.
This is a) so beautiful on you and b) so beautifully made. This kind of attention to detail and love for the craft is an inspiration and challenge to my (just effing serge it) mentality. Brava!
Wow! That is stunning. I love the bright colours on the linen, and the shirt instead of a dress… Well done!
The embroidery is a perfect and pretty embellishment on your top:)
Your work is fantastic and imaginative. I really like your blog, and find it rather inspiring. Thank you so much! This blouse is just genius!
Gorgeous! This is such a unique and lovely top! Great job, girl!
That is gorgeous and it looks like it fits so well. I'm a huge fan of linen, wrinkles and all. Love the embroidery.
what a gorgeous top! Embroidery is one of those details that adds so much quality to a garment
Now that's the type of embroidery that is very appealing on clothes. It's so pretty.
Love your embroidery embellishment! It is so pretty and adds such a great burst of color to a nice basic top.
Gorgeous top, so unusual and a lovely way to use embroidery. I've just bought a book called New Crewel, the motif collection by Katherine Shaughnessy – will be looking at it for more inspiration!
A fabulous use of embroidery, indeed.
My mom used to do crawl work on the top of our dresses when we were little! So for me, this has a touch of the 70s vibe to it. Love it!
Gorgeous! The embroidery really compliments the linen, and it's so beautifully done!
That embroidery is gorgeous! Go you!
OOh, the embroidery really does transform the top into something special.
oh wow! this is just SO beautiful! the embroidery is the perfect touch and makes an otherwise basic top extra special! great job on the fitting too, it looks like it fits you perfectly.
Wow – what a beautiful top, the fit looks great and I love the embroidery.
Thankyou! And I would love to see it on a Cambie – I think the styles would go well together!
Oh good! You won't regret it – I've used my wheel several times already!
Thanks a million Heather :)
Thank you! :)
Thanks Victoria :)
Oh Charlie – you're a dear! You've made my day and I'm super glad I can be an inspiration :)
I'm now an official fan of linen too – the underlining works a treat! I'm definitely going to be sewing with this fabric more from now on :) And thankyou!
I rather thought so :)
I might have to keep an eye out for that book – crewel is so easy and satisfying to do! And thankyou :)
:) why thankyou!
haha – awesome. Go the 70s! Thanks Karin :)
Thanks Sherry :)
I thought so :) Thanks Clio and hope you're having a fabulous time in London town!
Thank you Sallie :) Taking the time to fit properly never lets you down!
Thanks Robyn :)
LOVE this! The embroidery is beautiful and it's just the right thing for a streamlined linen top.
I seriously love this – your style is so fantastic. The embroidery is beautiful – I'm very inspired to give it a go.
I love the graduated colours within the embroidery – really makes an otherwise plain top into something amazing!
OMG this is stunning! The colours you have chosen and the way the garment fits are just lovely :) Awesome!
That's totally ace! Such a unique detail, fantastic work,Zoe xx
This is lovely, what a great idea for embellishing a top.
Love the ombre effect reminds of Tussar silk cocoons (they're wild moths with naturally coloured silk)..