These are the days that I really appreciate being retired. I can watch the snow pile up and not worry about having to be anywhere. And boy did it pile up! It was the perfect excuse to hunker down in my sewing room and work on my December Artful T.
The obvious choice was a Christmas theme, but since I have been getting these done late in the month I figured it would never be ready for Christmas anyway. I opted for a New Year's Eve 'schmancy' T.
For schmancy I went straight to the silk box. I found a wonderful fat quarter of a jacquard woven dupioni. Not sure when or where I got it, but it's been hanging around for awhile.
And nothing says 'take me to a party' like velvet! I found a piece of black stretch velvet that I think was a left over from another project, only about 3/4 of a yard...plenty!!😝
It's kind of been my thing this year to use hand sewn running stitches. I really like the rhythm of hand stitching and it seemed perfect for a snowy December day snuggled up by the fireplace.
This time I layered the silk dupioni with a silk organza. I really like the way the organza mutes the pattern and color of the taupe silk. I chose a machine decorative Sulky thread in the same taupe color as the dupioni. I thought about following the pattern of the fabric, but it seemed too obvious...and my favorite is lines and cross hatching...I doubled the thread and started stitching.
It's very subtle, but I think it is quite elegant. It's hard to see the sheen of the thread in the pictures, but it is a nice highlight against the matte finish of the organza.
The silk stitched panel got pinned in different places on my dress form, but kept coming back to front and center! OK....front and center it is.
The velvet has a lovely drape and worked for a dropped shoulder style sleeve. Of course my 3/4 yard piece wasn't quite big enough to get the whole top, so a bit more scrounging around in the stash produced a black and metallic knit that blended well with the silk panel and the velvet.
As I cut the pieces I let the hems fall where the fabric ended. It creates a 'stair-step' effect around the hem of the top which echoes the stitching of the front panel. The extra wide ballet neckline is almost a 'cold shoulder' style, ...I used two strips of the metallic to create straps and bring the metallic of the side back to the front of the garment. My plan was to continue the 'straps' down the back to the hem like the front, but I really liked the way they were hanging on the dress form and decided to let them stay. They are attached at the neckline, but hang loose...finishing at the center back with a Chinese knot.
I cut the sleeves the same as the rest of the garment pieces, just letting the hems fall where they may. Rather than cutting them off to wrist length, I hemmed them and ran a short gathering thread in the seam at the wrist to bring them up to the right length. They feel very decadent...
Now all I need is a date and some champagne and I'm ready to welcome in 2017!