Print Vs Embellishment
Posted on Tuesday the 7th May 2019 by Sewing Angela
Usually when I think of making a garment, a blouse especially, I automatically look at printed fabrics, after all there are so many beautiful prints around and it is impossible to resist them!
But then I thought what if I turned that around, thought differently and chose a plain fabric with some sort of embellishment?
So, I looked at trims and plain fabrics and this is the result. I hope you like it.
I wanted a white blouse with a blue trim and chose a white Cotton Lawn Fabric
for the blouse itself. There are some amazing trims and I was spoiled for choice. In the end though I kept to my original colour scheme and chose a royal blue Sequin Trim
which would not be too heavy for my delicate cotton lawn.
This Simplicity easy sew blouse is one of my favourite go-to patterns. It is adaptable with plenty of variations and is easy to sew. It also fits me well without any alterations so that is another reason why I like it. There is nothing wrong with using the same pattern again if you love it, it will always look different even if you just make simple alterations to the pattern.
I spent a lot of time thinking about how to embellish the fabric. What I wanted was a simple embroidery design on the fronts with the trim along the button band. The fabric is very lightweight and so the embroidery needs to be open and delicate or it will look so wrong and will distort the fabric.
I use an embroidery machine, but you could do hand embroidery if you prefer.
Think about the placement of the embroidery - I quickly realised that my flower motifs needed to be more towards the shoulder rather than in the centre of my bust! (For obvious reasons).
In order to hoop the fabric for embroidering I did not cut all the way around my pattern, instead I drew around the outline leaving a large amount of fabric around the area to be embroidered. The pattern pieces will be cut out after the embroidery was finished.
I used an iron on tear away stabiliser and chose a simple open flower which I have in my embroidery design collection.
I chose an embroidery thread to match the sequin trim as closely as possible.
It is vital to measure the centre of the design carefully on your fabric so that each side will have the flower in the same position. Also the design needs to be reversed for the opposite side.
Once the design has been embroidered peel off the backing paper and carefully press on the reverse. Then cut out the fronts along the lines drawn on earlier.
Attach the sleeves and the front bands as explained in the pattern instructions.
The little stand collar is easy to attach. The instructions say to just topstitch all the way around the collar but I like to slip stitch the facing down for neatness. Then afterwards I top stitched down the button bands and all the way around the stand collar.
Think carefully where you want the trim to go. I chose to place it next to the button bands, but this is your choice.
If you want to stitch the trim on by machine then there is a foot for most machines called the Pearl and Sequin foot. It works by feeding the raised sequin part of the trim through a raised part of the foot and stitching over it with a zig zag stitch.
It is very simple to use, just make sure that the direction of the sequins is facing away from the foot.
You may of course stitch the trim on by hand, which makes it easier to remove if the garment needs a heavier wash than normal. Whatever you do, treat your sequin trim gently and never iron directly over it or it could be damaged.
The next thing to do is to sew the buttonholes. If you have an automatic buttonhole foot like this one the button fits into the back of the foot and the machine sews the buttonhole exactly to fit.
I like to use Fray Check on the buttonhole before cutting it out with sharp pointed scissors. Just put a small amount along the centre of the stitches and let it dry before cutting out. This ensures that your beautiful buttonholes never fray and always remain neat.
You may think of alternative places for your trim, for example two rows both sides of the button band, with or without the embroidery would look good. As would some trim around the edge of the sleeves.
The point is that plain white fabric can look very special indeed when used as a background to display a beautiful trim and some embroidery. It all shows your creativity off in a way which a patterned fabric cannot.
Do have fun with plain fabrics trims and embroidery, you will be creating a garment utterly bespoke and which can be made to exactly match an existing garment so that you have a perfectly coordinated outfit to wear.
I hope that I have given you something to think about and that you will be inspired to incorporate one of the many beautiful trims from Minerva into your next project.
Thank you for reading this post,