The “Mr. Brightside” Top and the “Ron” Collar
As usual it took me several days to figure out what I was going to make for this challenge. A jacket pattern and a dress pattern sat on my work table as I finished up the cheongsam I was making for the daughter of a business contact. I decided to save the dress pattern for a future challenge and I knew I was not going to have enough time for a jacket so I decided to make a collar necklace and a top to wear with it.
Pattern: Burda 8220 for the top
Fabric: 3yds lightweight fabric in a blend of some kind (sorry Leimomi) $6.50
Notions: Fabric paint from stash for silk screen , 1 ft window screen $1.25, 2 boxes of large flat head brads from craft store $8, 2 packages of upholstery nails in nickel and gold $8, and one button from stash
Total Price?: about $24
First Worn: Today for church and lunch/dinner with new friends
Wear Again?: yes
The blouse is pretty simple. I did make it a bit shorter because the pattern is more of a dress. At the last minute I decided to print something on it. It’s been a while since I’ve printed on fabric. I made one mistake that almost ruined the whole thing. I place freezer paper on top of areas I have printed on if I’m going to do multiple prints. For whatever reason I placed freezer paper underneath the layer of fabric. I ran the squeegee down the screen and lifted it and saw that the entire area was covered in paint. Trying not to panic I mixed a soft gray color and ran the print again then did some hand painting to try and hide some large white patches at the bottom. I was trying to be OK with it-you know-be as positive about it as I could. Well I hated it so I took the blouse and ran it under cold water. Miraculously the extra paint washed away and what was left was the print of the owl just like I planned. I’m sure there is a logical explanation for it but I call it divine intervention.
We didn’t really get any good pictures of the blouse. It’s a hi-lo or “mullet” as some of you like to call it. It’s so casual and cool I want to make more. When I was learning how to sew for real in home-ec back in jr. high I made a top like this. We all had to make this basic blouse with facings and short sleeves. Even then I was enamored of menswear and wanted mine to have a tail like a tuxedo jacket. My home-ec teacher sat down with me and helped me make all my changes. We rounded the edges, lengthened the back and the sleeves. I don’t remember my teacher’s name but I owe so much to her. She encouraged my creativity and proudly displayed my work in the school showcase. After that she let me sew whatever I wanted. Mostly headbands from scrap pieces of fabric.
This is actually the second collar I made. The first one was kind of a mess. I had to work through my original vision to make room for something better I guess. I used vinyl in a soft pink color and had safety pins and swarovski crystals all over it. I glued a ribbon along the edges and had it tie in back. I put it aside and the next day I realized that I needed to try again. It was just too crafty looking for my tastes. By this time it was Saturday so starting over was kind of a gamble.
I went to the hardware store and bought 1 foot of window screen then got to work taking apart the other necklace. The larger pieces are the brads. Super easy way to embellish something. Just make a hole and pop them in you don’t have to worry about them lying flat. The smaller gold pieces are also brads but I had to use wire cutters to make the posts smaller. The upholstery nails were harder to work with. They’re really cheap so it’s easier on the budget but the posts are really tough to bend. It took a little imagination to find a way to make them work. I’m planning on posting a tutorial on my blog and I’ll try and show you how I did it. I’m sure there was an easier way. I used a button for the center piece and made “bias tape” out of screen and sewed it along the edges. To smooth it out underneath so it doesn’t poke me when I wear it I used duct tape. I would have used ribbon if I’d had any in the right color. The duct tape works fine and adds another element to it. There are multiple hooks in back so I can wear it shorter if I want to by removing one the the hooks.
I hope you all don’t think I cheated. It is a collar and it was sewn.
Doesn’t it look like a wave is coming to wash me away? This is a part of Northwestern where people paint messages on the rocks. There are marriage proposals on some and some sweet college farewells on others. Perfect place for a photo shoot. I named the blouse after a song by The Killers and I I named the collar after a guy named Ron who works at the fabric store I shop at. He helped me find the right pieces for the necklace so I told him I’d name it after him as a thank you.
As usual it’s way past my bedtime-happy sewing ladies (and gents). See you next week!