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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Remix: Sunspots dress-to-skirt

Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouTop: Princess Highway

Skirt: Remixed from 17 Sundays dress

Shoes: Seychelles

You may remember this dress, which I bought from 17 Sundays back at the start of the year. I wasn’t particularly happy with the fit of the bodice – it was short-waisted and baggy with armholes cut too deep, and it didn’t suit my figure at all. Belted and worn with a cardigan it was okay, but it was definitely one of those one-hit-wonder style outfits, which meant it spent most of its time languishing in my wardrobe.

Last week I finally mustered up the energy to remix it from a dress into a skirt, using the same process I did all those years ago when I altered a too-small Gorman dress I’d splurged on (you can find the tutorial here).

Frocks and Frou FrouIt was a fairly easy remix – the bodice had enough fabric in it for me to cut two waistband strips, which I interfaced for stability as the fabric itself is a soft and stretchy jersey. Because the skirt already fit well around the waist I was able to salvage the pleats by basting them in place before I removed the bodice to Frankenstein it into a waistband.

Frocks and Frou FrouI’m really happy with the result, and I’m getting a lot more use out of the dress as a mix-and-match separate that I can wear with a variety of different tops including this pretty rose-pink sweater from Princess Highway.

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 11.00.45 PMMEANWHILE!

I’m hilariously excited about Melbourne Fashion Week Plus, which is taking place 22-28 August. There’s a slew of events taking place, including four – count them, FOUR – runway shows, and a variety of panels on everything from feminism, to the state of the plus-size industry.

The organisers are keen to ensure that it’s an event that promotes everything about plus size culture: design, discourse and body positivity.

The runway shows include several new designers that are new to me, as well as some of my long-time favourites, and I’ll definitely be attending all four, so hopefully I can bring you news of some brilliant new local and international names to add to your lust-lists – If you’re in Melbourne I’d thoroughly recommend you check the event out yourself (and if you need another excuse to visit Melbourne and would like to make a weekend of it A+ Markets have scheduled their next market for the 28th, too)

You can find tickets for MFWPlus here.