I’ve been in serious need of blouses in my wardrobe; skirts I have loads of, but there’s a significant shortage of blouses.
I went and pulled out all of the blouse fabrics I have in my stash and selected out a few of those that would work for the springtime. Then separately, I went though all of my blouse patterns and selected out the ones I actually wanted to make.
One of my fabrics that I’ve been hesitant to use is a 3-ply silk crepe fabric. Silk crepe is my FAV fabric of all time and while my inclination is to hoard it, I know I’d love it even more if I used it for a blouse that I could wear. I have certain patterns in my stash that lend itself wonderfully to the drapey silk crepe, the Vogue 5011 is the one I choose to pair with my navy-colored crepe.
I decided that this simple blouse needed some embroidery and set about looking on the flickr group: Hoop Love Vintage Transfers. I picked out a few that could work, but choose this little bird transfer.
Every time I think of birds on fabric (or on anything really) I can’t help but chuckle and think of Portlandia’s Put a Bird on It. I contemplate if I like the item simply because it has a bird on it… Most times that’s the case, but I still can’t help it. Birds are cute and make everything better. So I’m putting a bird on my blouse. heh
I’m a total newbie when it comes to embroidery, as I’ve only done one embroidery project in the past. So I’m still choosing very simple designs that I can complete with a few stitch types: stem stitch, daisy stitch, back-stitch, and running stitch.
I decided on this color scheme: 3 blues for the bird, 2 corals for the flowers and two greens for the stems and leaves. I went to Joann’s knowing I wanted a blue for the bird, but I always bring my fabric swatch & embroidery pattern so I can select the colors, all the while building around the blue and seeing what shows off well against the navy fabric. Oftentimes I wander to the front of the store that has the natural lighting, to ensure that I’ve chosen decent colors. I’m not sure about your local craft stores, but the fluorescent light can throw things off in a strange way.
I love incorporating multiple shades of the same color within a project, as I think it gives the embroidery a bit more depth and looks somewhat more professional as I’m just starting out.
I taped my transfer directly onto the front of my blouse, pre-stitching.
And I used some wax-free transfer paper and my knitting needle to trace the design onto the fabric.
I ALWAYS test these things out on scrap fabric first. Sometimes I can use a pen as the tool to transfer the design, but I found that my knitting needle does the best job of transferring the image to the fabric.
The one thing I didn’t test was the durability of my transfer. As soon as I started stitching the bird’s head the rest of my transfer markings were falling off of my fabric. *yarr!* So I basically had to wing-it as far as replicating the original transfer design.
The bird is similar, but you can totally see some differences in mine vs. the transfer.
Most of these images are taken on separate nights too. My work has kept me really busy and all of last week I only managed to embroider for 45 minutes before needing to head to bed. So instead of spending all night to finish the design, I was at this for 4 nights.
My favorite part of the design was the flowers. Those little bits of coral-pink really cheered me up as I was working on them.
I removed the hoop and you can still see the imprint that it’s left. I’m hoping this will lessen after I was it for the first time.
While it’s not perfect (or as nice & tidy) as my first embroidery attempt, I think it looks pretty cute and ‘makes’ this blouse.
I currently have three blouses in the works, but my birdy blouse is the closest to being completed of the three, even with the addition of some embroidery. Over the weekend I was able to stitch the rest of it up, and the only thing I have left on it is the hemming (as always). I’m already planning on making a few more as it’s such a great basic blouse for the summer or for layering over in the winter.
Hope you all had a great weekend!