When Inspiration Strikes

I don’t know where I found this pic:

but it was so interesting that I saved it immediately.   I was cleaning the stash room. Folding and putting back fabrics. Either pieces pulled and not used or left over pieces from garments.  I handled the remaining peach colord silk  in this failed garment

and thought it was such a shame.  It’s beautiful fabric. Most people think of silk and think shiny, slick, slippery.  But I love this rougher silk it’s soft cushiony feel and slubbed textured surface. I knew that with the right garment, even on a non-model (6+ decades, plus-sized, me) a really beautiful garment was possible.  It was then that I hunted through my inspiration photos and found the pic above. I think they’ve used the same or a very similar fabric. Looks like a match made in heaven.

However, I don’t have a pattern but maybe that won’t be so hard.  I retrieved my woven, sleeveless sloper and traced the front. Then I extended that into a full front.

I spent some time doodling.

It wasn’t aimless I was trying to figure out where the front should be trimmed to create the look in the photo.

I’d always thought the garment had an Oriental feel.  I think I associate the asymmetrical with the Orient.  That’s not necessarily correct, but it is me. I also thought the front overlay would be perfect for showcasing embroidery.  So I hunted through my embarrassingly large digitized embroidery collection and picked a freebie that I think EmbHome (defunct) distributed.

Color has never been my strong suit. When I can, I choose my colors from a fabric print. However, I didn’t have that to cue me.  I played first with colors from the same peach tone as my fabric and yellow greens. However for the embroidery to show up, the colors became vibrant. I didn’t want a vibrant embroidery.  I wanted quite; subtle but I still wanted it to show up.  Finally I switched to a clear red tone.  A few stitches later I knew I had the perfect solution. Light pinks, greyed greens colors more from the summer pallet than my spring peaches but I got want I wanted: subtle and visible.

Unfortunately, the pics don’t do the final embroidery justice. You’ll have to take it from me, it is truly beautiful.

When I cut the overlay, I realized this fabric didn’t have enough width to make the overlay faced. So I had trimmed another 2″ from the side and serged a folded strip to that side for finishing and to return the overlay to it’s desired width.   I decided to cut two of the overlays instead of a full front with an overlay on top.  It’s summer. Nearly all my sleeveless garments are intended for summer wear. Which means styling which helps me keep cool. I decided to cut a second overlay and  finish the side the same.  When the embroidery was finished, I aligned the overlays right sides together; serged the neckline and then inverted.  I carefully pressed the neckline and understitched. The back neckline is finished with a 1″ wide, commercial bias strip.  Back and front are joined carefully at the shoulders and then the armscyes finished with the same 1″ wide bias strip. The shoulder do feel a little thick and it’s an interesting pressing adventure.

How well did I copy my inspiration?

I should have paid more attention to the hem.  I think maybe the inspiration was cut at an angle.

I may also have a bit more ease and flare at the hem. Overall, I’m satisfied.  So much so that I cut the pattern pieces as a one-off and intended to discard them as soon as the garment was finished. I’ve decided to keep them.  I can see making variations in the overlay and even using contrasting fabric.

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