Stitchin’

  Top: Uniqlo, remixed

Sweater: Uniqlo

Jeans: Levi’s Plus

Shoes: Novo

What’s this? A new post, and not even six weeks after the last one?

It’s cold, grey, wet day in Melbourne today, and I’m procrastinating a few other jobs on my list by doing that embroidered collar tutorial that I promised you. Behold! the first DIY post I’ve done in over a year (the last one was that heart tee remix from the start of 2016, yikes!)

I got the idea for this shirt after seeing a photo of the wonderful Stephanie Beatriz (the actor who plays Det. Rosa Diaz on Brooklyn Nine-Nine) wearing a shirt with the words “fuck” and “off” embroidered on the collar. She pulls it off magnificently, but she’s about 193 levels of sass above me, so I thought I’d have a go and DIY myself something similar… but with a slightly less provocative catch phrase.

I chose “Feminist Killjoy” because, well, because I freaking love the phrase, and Stephanie Beatriz may be 193 levels of sass above me, but that doesn’t mean I have zero sass. I wore it and felt fierce and spent the whole day exchanging grins with women on the street and on public transport.

For the tutorial I’ve chosen a very Australian phrase: “Yeah, nah” (International readers – it means no. As opposed to “nah, yeah” which means yes).

For this project you just need a collared shirt, some embroidery thread, and a pencil or a disappearing ink fabric pen.

You can freehand the text straight onto the shirt, but my handwriting is atrocious so instead I used a font generator online and printed out the words to create a template to work from.

If you’re doing it this way the first thing you’ll have to do is position the template on the underside of the collar – make sure you’re using the correct word for each side, I feel like “Off Fuck” would have had a lot less impact!

Once you’re happy with the size and placement of the templates pin them in place (printed side to the fabric)

If you hold the collar up against the window you should be able to see the template through the fabric and you can trace the words on to the right side of the collar. I tend to do little dots, so the fabric doesn’t shift as I drag the pen around.

(Once you’ve got the template inscribed it’s worth going over it again on a flat surface.)

Embroidery floss is usually made up of six strands, which is probably too much for the kind of delicate work that you’re going to sew, so I cut a length and separate the threads so that the line that I sew will be made out of four strands.

Starting at the very beginning of one of the letters (and with the knot on the underside of the collar, but you guys probably could figure that out by yourselves) sew a stitch along the line of the template.

You’re going to be sewing a split-stitch, which is exactly what it sounds like. When you bring your needle back up from the underside, feed it halfway through the first stitch that you did.

Then the next stitch further along the line, and the next one halfway through the previous one. And so on, and so forth. You might have to make slightly smaller stitches around the tight curves.

And voila!

Super easy, and a really great way of fancying up a plain button-down shirt.

If you’re stumped for what to sew, here’s a couple of ideas I’m thinking of for next time:

  • Shine Bright
  • She Persisted
  • Read More
  • Love Thyself
  • Bite Me
  • What. Ever.

Any more ideas? Leave a comment!

 

 

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Where’s Spot

Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouTop: DIY from Aster pattern & Spoonflower fabric

Skirt: Modcloth

Shoes: Rockport

For a few years now I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect dotty top. A couple of years ago I had one made by Loni at Love To Love You on Etsy, and it was wonderful, but recently I’ve been thinking that I quite fancied the idea of having one made with smaller dots.

I spotted this fabric on Spoonflower and thought that it fit the bill, but I didn’t pay much attention to the measurements (rookie mistake) and when the fabric came the dots were much bigger than I’d anticipated. Still, I’d bought Colette’s Aster shirt pattern especially, so I thought I’d give the project a whirl.

The fabric that I chose was the basic cotton, and I’ll be honest – I don’t love it; it feels a bit cheap and crunchy, but the colours are spot on and it washes really well. It’s possible that the fabric will soften over time, but at the moment it’s probably a bit more crisp than I ideally wanted.

Colette’s Aster pattern was also just ooookay. It definitely wasn’t really a beginner-friendly pattern, which surprised me a little, as Colette’s instruction booklets are usually so well written that anyone can follow the steps without too much trouble. The shirt is collarless, but has a lovely yoke at the back.

Frocks and Frou FrouThe instructions for the front placket were kind of inscrutable, and even after I’d finished I wasn’t confident I’d done it correctly. The sleeves were far too long, so I’ve rolled the cuffs, and I also put more buttons in than necessary so that the shirt stood a chance at staying fastened over the Rack of Doom.

Frocks and Frou FrouI found the fit a bit problematic, but the wonderful Laura recently dropped by to teach me how to do a full-bust adjustment, so I’m definitely planning to give it another go down the track (perhaps with a less starchy fabric).

The good thing about this top is that those wonderful watercolour dots will go with everything. Black yellow, red, green, grey, mustard… I’m wearing it with (another) Breathtaking Tiger Lilies skirt from Modcloth.

If you get in quickly, Modcloth has a 25% off Family & Friends sale on right now, with the code F13m64G, and don’t forget, you can get free International shipping for orders over $150.