Nellie"s Needles

Friday, April 27, 2007

Couched Embellishment

A project that my friend Alicia and I had fun with when she visited last year was to embellish purchased shirts with strips of fabric.
Hers is a linen shirt with a damask weave. We had pulled all the red fabrics from my stash and rotary cut wavy strips in various widths. These were put into a laundry basket and drawn at random to decorate our shirts.
The underarm seams were opened so the garment would lie flat.The red strips of fabric were sewn to the shirt by couching yarn down the center length of the fabric strip.
Since posting my tutorial for couching yarn, I've added another tool to free up both hands. The thread stand meant for feeding thread off big cones works well to hold the yarn in the correct position for couching it down the center of these strips.
I had purchased a light-weight plain weave linen shirt to make my jacket. My initial intention was to space the strips much like Alicia's shirt. However, it "told" me otherwise. Initially I couched yarn to the linen between the strips. I ended up going back to fill in all the spaces. This meant going into my stash and cutting more fabrics. So, I pulled fabrics that went with the reds.
It also indicated that it wanted to be a jacket rather than a shirt. If I had known this up front, I would've looked for a colored shirt. Red, orange, pink, or even black would've been great.
The edges of my jacket are finished with couched yarn. I did this two times on each edge to stabilize them as well as for a more substantial finish. I ended up using a whole skein of yarn. I love the texture of the raw edged strips and couched yarn. This 3/4 sleeve length jacket is light-weight for wearing in the Spring and Fall here in Knoxville and cool summer evenings in Michigan.

16 comments:

Waltraud said...

I think you had much fun, the jacket has so wonderful colours.

Doreen G said...

What a clever idea Nellie and I think it will be very smart on.
Well done.

Vicki W said...

Oh, wow! That is so cool and it looks like a lot of fun too. I must save this idea to try myself sometime.

joyce said...

Great looking jacket. I like the idea of using the thread holder for couching and I have a special foot for my Pfaff for feeding the yarn in so I have no excuse for not trying this.

arlee said...

YOWSA i like that! Rather than trying to find new stuff, i'm just gonna use the clothes i have and love, and that fit :}

marisa said...

wonderful work !

Emporyum Global said...

The combination of the colors was very pretty. Congratulations.

Helen said...

Nellie, this is fantastic. Is it very heavy with the extra fabric or just cuddly and warm? You are so generous sharing your techniques and ideas with us - a big thank you from me!

Nellie Bass Durand said...

I'm pleased you like this jacket. It was fun to make. Although, I kept thinking I was about finished several times, so it took longer than I had originally planned.

Helen, it is not heavy. The linen shirt was light-weight to begin with and there's about a yard of fabric total within the strips.

Quilting Journey said...

I absolutely love this idea, as well as the process! I must head off now, I have some shirts in the closet that I need to go and listen to;) Mine had better talk pretty like yours did! And I think mine may need to give me a few more suggestions and maybe even lend me a hand (a sleeve?) Thank you, Nellie! I just love how you inspire all of us!!!

jude said...

fabulous!

teodo said...

I can't imagine you as a dressmaker!!!!
It's beautiful.
ciao ciao

Helen said...

Nellie, I can't believe it took only a yard of fabric. That is a lot of impact for just one yard!!

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

I love the shirt. What a clever idea.

Judy said...

Whoa Nellie....that is GORGEOUS!!!!
Thanks for the tutorial. :-)

Lynnda said...

I loved the jacket and also the idea that it started with a simple shirt. I gotta get my sister, the seamstress, to look at this. I tried to describe it to her, but ??? indescribable!