I’m sure you remember this viscose embroidered blouse from last year:
In case you don’t: the back of the blouse became a transparent panel with an illusion neckline for my “Elvis” wedding dress which you can read about here.
Just to recap, the blouse was originally £4.50 from the Mind shop in Whitby.
I still had the front and sleeves left in stash. The front had a lovely tonal embroidery on it which was too good to throw away!
The idea for this one was to embroider over the embroidery in a contrasting colour, and then turn the pieces into a summer top.
Since the material was fragile, I hooped it with a layer of embroidery stabiliser. The type I am using is the clear plastic type that dissolves in water.
For the design, I took some of the leaf, fruit and flower shapes from the original embroidery.
I drew a design onto the stabiliser as a guide, using as many of the original design elements as possible, then started stitching in navy blue.
Here’s the whole design.
For the other half of the front, I traced the same design onto another piece of stabiliser, and flipped it over to make a mirror image on the other side.
There was nothing particularly difficult about the stitching. All it needs really is patience.
The design elements include leaves, berries…
…stems and fruit.
Here’s how the whole thing looked when I finished the embroidery (before I hand washed it to remove the stabiliser). I love this double embellished effect!
To turn it into a summer top, I made the front of the new top from the front panels of the old blouse, carefully cutting out the embroidered panels and French seaming at the centre front. The new top is made from a vest pattern I traced from a top I already own.
The panels turned out to be a little small for the embroidery to be placed where I wanted it – so some piecing had to be done, but I don’t think it’s noticeable.
The rest of the top is made from an off white polyester I found in my stash. The embroidered panels are used as an overlay to the front, hemmed separately.
Probably with the memories of the Elvis wedding dress in mind, I chose to use the same finish as I used on the illusion neckline for that dress. It’s essentially a folded edge with a tight zig zag over the edge, then the excess is trimmed.
After securing my rouleau loop straps I did the same finish all the way around the front and back necklines and armholes.
It’s not 100% perfect – a bit wobbly in places – but I really like the thin, lightweight effect this technique has.
I hemmed the overlay separately to the inside front and I really like how it falls – the overlay ended up slightly shorter which I think helps emphasise the fact that it’s a double layer.
This top got a LOT of wear on my recent trip to Majorca. We stayed in Soller and it was the perfect outfit for exploring the old, narrow streets.
It also did excellently as a day-to-night outfit, ideal for dinner outdoors in the balmy temperatures.
Looking at these pictures I possibly could have done with some more blue pattern in the centre front. But I do love it the way it is.
Since my shoulders weren’t covered, I needed my hat to protect me from the sun during the day, but no big deal.
The two-tone embroidery is such a lovely effect. In real life it is slightly shiny and also gives the piece an interesting texture.
I chose a fan to match my outfit from the local market, which ended up coming everywhere with me!