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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Merry Mekko

Top: DIY York Top with Marimekko fabric

Skirt: Modcloth

Shoes: Edward Meller

I was paging back through my old posts to see the last time I blogged one of these York tops, and was staggered to discover that I hadn’t yet!

Some months ago, a sewing buddy of mine sacrificed one of her Sundays to come over and teach me how to do a full-bust adjustment. I’m still getting the hang of doing them by myself, but the original pattern that she helped me draft – the Seamwork York – has had a very good workout – I’ve made four different versions in a variety of fabrics, including this gorgeous Marimekko linen.

The fabric cost a good $70 which was pretty spendy for yardage, but cheap compared to ready-made Marimekko clothing. I love the bold patterns and colours, and they’re fairly difficult to find in plus sizes or in fabric, so I figured it would be an investment.

The York top is designed to be boxy, and normally I would have had to cut a few sizes larger to make sure it fit the Rack of Doom. With a full bust adjustment I can wear the smaller size, and the result is a boxy shape without being swamped.

I hemmed it fairly short – partly so I didn’t have to buy so much fabric, but also because I wanted to play up that boxy cropped shape. As a result it doesn’t tuck in very well, but I actually quite like how it looks with this full skirt from Modcloth.