Haute Minute

Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story
of that woman skilled in ways of machine stitching,
finds a fabric, crimson and translucent,
which leads to a bespoke adventure,
and by whose hands, rolls a hem.

I’m being a bit dramatic, parodying Homer, but I feel like I embarked on an unexpected hand-stitching odyssey!

It started with some red “muslin” I purchased for a shirt…


Watching the fabric swaying on the line as it dried, I decided I wanted a scarf.

First, I cut out the shirt for which I originally bought the fabric, being careful to leave enough remaining for a scarf. I ended up with 2 long pieces approx. 7″x 30″ each. I sewed the short ends together with a flat-felled seam.

One side was the selvage, which I lazily left untouched. The other raw edge I finished with a hand-rolled hem.wp-1504101812150.jpg

Once I got the hang of it, it was really fun and relaxing. It was so pleasant that I finally rolled the hems of a beautiful silk panel I bought from Mood on sale in the Spring (pics below).

The final touch for the red scarf was fringed edges. I sewed a zig-zag stitch about 2″ from each edge to secure the fabric. Then I cut the selvage off the edge, which allowed me to pull each individual weft thread out. Each side took about an hour. I used my seam ripper to tease out the threads, then pulled them with tweezers.

Immediately after pulling the wefts, I had this beautiful fringe…


…but it didn’t last.

The threads were already clumping together, so I tied the clumps each with a little knot. In hindsight, a 2″ fringe was not long enough. Although I did tie all the knots, it was rather frustrating and slow because I was working with such short threads.

In the end, I’m really happy with this and the other scarf I created after. Also pictured below is the shirt I made with the red fabric. I had to use black for the inner collar stand and under collar to leave enough for the scarf!

Finally, my new confidence with hand stitching led me to embroider a collar. This dress is my self-drafted shirt dress but with sleeves. I had to gather the sleeves ever-so-slightly to make them fit, but they still lie nice and flat.

It’s a very simple dress with brown buttons, so I kept the embroidery simple as well, matching the embroidery floss to the buttons. It’s a detail you can miss unless you look closely, which is how I like my details.

Here are some pics of the shirt, scarf, and dress in action. Also pictured is my Lupin jacket, which I made before I started blogging. It looks fab with this dress and scarf – it’s like they were meant to be an outfit (which is great because this jacket only goes with a few outfits right now and doesn’t get the wear it should).

And I no longer dread hand-stitching!


*ok so I was sleepy when I took these pics and most of them turned out horribly. its about the “craft”, not the pics anyway, right?

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