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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Smooth Sailing

Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouTee: Heart On My Fingers

Jeans: Levis Plus

Shoes: Evans

Not a terribly inspiring outfit, but actually that’s not the point of today’s outfit!

Little (I suspect) known fact about bras: the support should come from the band, not the straps. Which means if you’ve got big boobs you need a good, tight band. And if you’ve got big boobs and are a bit squishy you’re going to have back rolls.

Years (and years and years) ago, before I started Frocks and Frou Frou, I discovered the Unbelievabra. Here’s my review on the Vogue Plus Size Fashion Forum, way back in 2008:

Oh My God, girls. I’m head over heels in love with my new Unbelievabra,
It’s like a sucking innie cami top whatnot with a built in bra, and it’s ohmigod comfortable, but what I LOVE is… NO BACKFAT! Hurrah! It gives you a really lovely smooth line, so I’m really looking forward to wearing all those tight tees and light knits that I couldn’t before because of the love handles. Pics for your interest:
Me, in my normal bra (after a long day, so it’s ridden up a bit, but still) vs me, in the Unbelievabra:

BA_11
They’re not cheap… $85, plus $20 shipping, but honestly; I’ve paid more for a bra that I’ve been less happy with.
Staci – the woman who developed the bra is extraordinary, and really goes out of her way to make sure you’re happy, and wearing the right size.

It’s been a few years since I retired my last Unbelievabra and just got a bit more creative with how I dressed (cardigans, layers, blousy tops and slips cover a multitude of sins) but I’ve never forgotten how comfortable and flattering the Unbelievabra was.

Recently I decided I wanted another. I’ve put on a bit of weight, and in my job I’m spending a lot more time sitting down. I was sick of the welts around my ribcage, the constant digging and adjusting. I have some amazing bras (Ewa Michalak is my boob-guru) but I still can’t wait to have them off at the end of the day.

‘Unbelievabra’ has been rebranded as ‘Shapeez‘, and the range has been dramatically expanded, but the product is still as brilliant as ever.

A Shapeez bra differs from a regular bra in the way it resembles a tank-top from the back. Made from a moisture-wicking lycra fabric it provides a smooth line, and support without cutting in. There are two lengths – a full camisole that can be tucked into waistbands, and a shorter piece that resembles a regular bra from the front, but curves down to cut off at the waist at the back. Other variations are differences in neckline and strap width, and molded foam cups, or seamless non-padded cups.

I ended up buying the Silkee Long and the Tankee Short both of which sport the lower back neckline and cut-in shoulders that make more suitable for sleeveless tops and dresses. They both take a bit of contorting to get into (how I wish the front-fastening ‘Demee short’ was available in larger cup sizes) but once on they are ridiculously comfortable, and you can see, they work a treat.

frocks and frou frouThis is me, wearing the Tankee Short, and as you can see the bra dramatically smooths the line of my back compared to my regular bra.

They’re still not cheap (between $80-$90) and International shipping is still fairly prohibitive ($45 to Australia), but you’re unlikely to ever find another bra with this much support that’s this comfortable and provides such a nice line under tight clothes. Consider it an investment.