Monday, May 25, 2009

Very Versatile Clothing

I recently created a series of flowy tops that are constructed out of fabric remnants from Ana Lisa Hedstrom's Shibori collections. Due to the design of the blouses and beautiful drape of the fabrics it allows the wearer to wear the shirt in multiple ways, front, back, twisted, sideways, inside-out, etc.

To some the prospect of so many possibilities in one top is daunting. To others, it is a gold mine of constant creative discovery.

Below I have photographed myself in three of these tops, demonstrating the multiple styles you can get from each one. Where the .... symbol occurs, it means I am in the act of changing the position of the top. There is something very poetic about lingering in transition and using it as a fashion statement. I don't know about you, but I personally love to rearrange my whole outfit so that by the end of the day my earlier look has a totally new feel.

Monday, May 18, 2009

How to make quick and easy ruffles

One of the questions I get often about my blazer vest is how to make the fun ruffles that adorn the neckline. Fortunately for us, creating the ruffles is probably the easiest part of making the vests. With the technique I am going to show you, you can easily use small pieces of scraps or long ones. In the end it doesn't matter, just with smaller pieces of fabric you will need more of them to fill up the collar area.

Here is the step-by-step process to create an easy ruffle.

1) Choose a light-weight fabric that is in a rectangular form. Using a fabric that is at least 5 inches wide and 8 inches long is helpful. As you can see in this picture other shapes can be used for more interesting and asymmetrical ruffles.

2) Folding right sides of the fabric together, fold the rectangle in half matching rough edges. With the asymmetrical piece I took a pin and folded the fabric to match it to the other edge because otherwise it wouldn't match.

3) Pin in the ruffles. Every inch or so (for me the more the better) pin little bunches of fabric together. It will look more interesting the more folds you have in the fabric.

4) Serge the rough edges and folds together with an over-lock machine. Be sure to remove the pins as you go, you don't want to break your needles by serging over them. After a while you will get used to sewing folds into the ruffles and you don't need to pin them at all. Just bunch the fabric as you go by scrunching up the fabric as you feed it in. Be care not to make the fabric too bulky because then you can jam your machine.

5) Serge closed one side of the ruffle so that we have a clean edge. Next, pull the ruffle through the open side to reveal the fashion fabric. To finish the open side of the ruffle you can turn the edges inside and hand sew it closed. Otherwise, I just sew it closed on the jacket itself.

6) Lastly, attach the ruffle onto the jacket, adding more tucks and volume through the pinning process. Then hand sew the ruffles in place and your done!

EXTRA! One of my high school interns did her own version of the blazer vest by using a hooded sweatshirt. I think it turned out great! Here is a shot of her wearing her creation.

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