Friday, December 07, 2018

Linen Tunic: My Garden

   A little bit of this, a little bit of that, and before you know it you have something wonderful, quite different, and really fun to wear. I have wanted to make one of the Japanese style aprons to wear as a tunic or top for quite some time. 
   My theme or story for this piece is my little front garden. It is quite wild and unruly, but it gives me a great deal of pleasure just to be there in the midst of the nasturtiums, ferns, and other growing things. Just as I no longer strive for perfection in my art, I have no desire to tame the great outdoors.

    After searching for ages, I finally came up with the closest pattern I could find to suit my needs; Simplicity #1133. This pattern had a huge dart along the side seam that I eliminated by pinning the edges of the dart together. I wanted to have one entire piece with no seams so I could freely paint and stitch away. It is made from the Natural Linen I carry in my shop.

   After sewing the garment together, my first step was to spray it with Jacquard's airbrush ink. After heat setting the ink, I started applying my nasturtium shapes and rectangular strips of fabrics. The flowers were glued on with a teeny bit of glue, and the rectangles were hand basted on. The last thing I want on a garment is a fusible that will be stiff and heavy feeling. 
 After machine stitching around the edges of the flowers and leaves, I painted in my moths with my Giant Moth Stencil using Neopaque and lumiere. Next came the really fun part as  I started drawing in the abstracted stem shapes for the hand embroidery to visually tie all the shapes together.

 I wanted to emphasize the edges of the garment, but I didn't want anything too fussy or exacting. I first worked a row for Cretan Stitch around the edges, then an irregular blanket stitch, and ended with short little stitches for just a little touch of added color. I found some beautiful old shell buttons that were just the right size for the tab closures at the shoulders.
  Detail of the stitching on the back.
   For the rectangular overlays, I used scraps of my hand dyed cotton. I love the way the fabric puckered up after washing to give it that beautiful bumpy texture. 
   Now I am getting ready to start another tunic. My next effort will be in black linen that will be cut on the bias, so it will be interesting to see how different the fit is. I am thinking rust tones,splashes of brilliant blues, and little bits of a lovely pearl gray hand dyed sateen. I haven't quite decided on a theme yet.


Spinnerholm said...

Love the tunic and a very deserved congratulations on the Victor Jacoby award!


A.Sproule said...

Thank you very much Connie.

Michele R said...
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Belle Love Clothing said...

Wow. This is nice. I like this type of Italian linen tunics.

Mishi Rowland said...

Wow! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a completely different topic but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Wonderful choice of colors!