13 April 2008

Tips - Unique Clothes

I love to sew. I actually love to quilt, but I do also do some clothes making. I actually prefer to "embellish" than make however.

Embellishing takes in a range of skills - embroidery, applique, painting, beading. If you've got some sewing skills you can turn a $4 t-shirt into a one-off masterpiece.

Some ideas I've used:

  • a spray of beads down from one shoulder on a dark shirt (beads are time consuming);
  • beads in blue and silver on a very plain black dress, with matching beads on a blue over jacket
  • flowers around the collar, cuffs and pocket top of a man's dress shirt;
  • a wave of flowers down the front of a bottle green, button up vest - the vine was plain green stem stitch, the flowers were variegated pastel thread
  • if you have an embroidery machine you could do all sorts of marvelous things
  • These days everything seems to come with shell buttons; add some colour - contrasting or complimentary or silver/gold buttons or even fun buttons.
Applique: I've used:
  • a spray of green and brown gum leaves on one shoulder of a pink shirt
  • a swirl of boxes all in (different) blue fabrics on a blue shirt, and various other abstract ideas
  • a lovely mask from a piece of fabric
  • The options for applique are really endless. You can choose complimentary colours or contrasting colours, or an array of colours. Decide how you want to wear the item first. If its a black shirt you want to wear with anything you probably don't want a bright red pattern on it.
  • I've also used applique to coordinate an outfit. I had a pair of pants that were too short. I added a hem to them, and used the same fabric to applique an abstract image on a shirt. When I wear them together they look like a 'suit'.
If you're going to buy cheap t-shirts it sometimes pay to run a line of ribbon around the inside of the hem and along the shoulders. This helps prevent the shirt from stretching out of shape so quickly. One shirt I actually used bias binding in a darker shade than the shirt, ran it around the hem, the neckline and the sleeve ends as a contrast.

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