Monday, May 6, 2013

"Antipast" Inspired Upcycle



 I finally finished the hand applique on this modified Simplicity 2192 from Cynthia Rowley. It has become my TNT go to tee top and I love how this upcycled version came out.  It was inspired by a version on the Worthwhile website, poorly made, IMO, and way overpriced.





Pattern: Simplicity 2192, a Cynthia Rowley design. The fit has been petited and I love the bateau neckline and 3/4 dropped sleeves. Don't let anyone tell you you can't wear a bateau neckline if you are short. Are you kidding? It widens narrow shoulders and works great with a long neck, IMO, a shorter neck maybe not so much. It has always been one of my favorite necklines. This pattern is easy and whips right up.

Fabric: This under tee is a sheer 100% cotton which the camera makes appear to have more solid looking flowers. It really is a softer and sheerer looking in real life. The "lace" part is a former crocheted lace sweater that I shrunk miserably and never had the heart to chuck. I can't chuck a nice textile, never mind the fit. It's "shrunken-ness" made it sort of felt and tighten up so it was very cutable and didn't ravel. The neckline and wrist trim is Entredeaux, a classic heirloom trim.


Construction:   The first thing I did to this pattern was add center front and center back seams, like the inspiration piece which you can see here:

photo courtesy of Worthwhile

My top has dropped shoulders and I used just the sheer cotton for the sleeves, no lace.  Almost all seams are French seams, including the underarm seams. That was a bit tricky  because they transitioned from French seams to a placket with a teeny hem. I will try to do a tute on how I did it later. The hem was done with the Kenneth King tiny hem technique that you can find in the tutes in the sidebar.

The wrists and the neckline are finished with entredeaux, a ladder like heavy cotton embroidery used often in heirloom sewing.  These seams were reduced to a 1/4 inch and the entredeaux stitched with an edge stitching foot exactly up to the edge of the trim. The fabric was pressed away from the trim, double topstitched, and then trimmed back to the stitching.


The armscye was also double topstitched.

The sweater was appliqued to the top before the side seams were sewn and after fiddling around with them on the dress form. I had more crocheted lace than I needed and trimmed it back to fit the bodice the way I envisioned. Since pins would not stay in I needed to find another way to secure the crochet to the top. Thank you Steam A Seam! I cut little bits of it and pressed it on the more dense edge areas of the crochet but not along the hem. I wanted the hem to hang free. The crochet was then ironed in place and it was very easy to stitch. Size 80 heirloom thread and back stitching made the stitches pretty much invisible.

Bottom line: I love this top, got plenty of compliments at work today, and take great pride in the fact that it is constructed far better than the original 395.00 top. Don't you just love to sew?

Apologies here for the cranky looking face pic. Staring at my vinyl siding doesn't really inspire me to facial pleasantries. I guess I should imagine something pleasant.  My handsome photographer is still in the Boston area and getting great health care.  . I am back home working for health care coverage. You do what you gotta do....our girls are taking very good care of him....Bunny

30 comments:

  1. Great top. It looks lovely on you.

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  2. Very pretty. Love the edging!

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  3. Just looked at the Antipast web site and admire the fact that you can take inspiration from it. You're sewing is so superior and you don't have any awkward sticky-out bits like they do ;-)

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    1. Every time I go to that site I am impressed by three things. First, the design CONCEPTS are fabulous. Second, the workmanship is sub par. And third, the pricing is no reflection of their quality. I still want to know who pays for such crap? If I had four, five hundred to toss on a top, it would not be one of these. Being sewists we can take concepts and then work them up to the quality we want them to be, instead of making something that looks like it came of the floor of a back room in Bangladesh.

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  4. Exquisite work, as always :)

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  5. So beautiful, Bunny, and so much better than the inspiration piece.

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  6. Nicely done! Beautiful interpretation of the inspiration garment... yours is quite a lot finer.

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  7. This has turned out fantastic - love it

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  8. This looks awesome. My 25 year old daughter has finally realized she wants to learn to sew (I never wanted to pressure her) and she is really drawn to the Rowley patterns. Can't wait to show her your creative flourishes!

    PS - Next time you go to Boston, if you have time to do any fabric shopping check out greysfabrics.com in the garment district (I guess it's now called the "SoWA" -- south of Washington arts district). They also have an Etsy shop with some lovely apparel fabric selections. I just stumbled upon them and they have a really fun and fresh attitude. Most of the garment district shops have disappeared (including Windsor Button). So it's great to see some young whippersnappers trying to keep the traditions alive.

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    1. I thought the entire garment district disappeared when the Big Dig came through. I will definitely check this out. It's not far from where DD works. Windsor Button was fabulous but unfortunately those days are gone. It is very heartening to hear that there is a new fresh spirit retailing fabric and I will definitely check it out. Thanks for the heads up.

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    2. Oh no! Not Windsor Buttons! I always visited the shop when I was in Boston. One more store to cross off my list. But how nice to find a new one!

      I did not realize the Big Dig was responsible for the disappearance of the fabric district. I thought it had folded under the shift to overseas manufacturing.

      Beautiful top, Bunny. Thank you for the detailed construction info.

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    3. I am sure that contributed but the Dig definitely put the nail in the coffin. Have you seen that skyline coming in on the Southeast Expressway going North? You'd never know that area even existed. Many of the places we did business with when I worked in a textile mill eons ago were there and no longer physically exist there. Time moves on.

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  9. Lovely top, lovely photos and good description of what thought went into making such a cool knock-off only BETTER! It is a mystery who buys the original tops at such prices for shoddy workmanship but they do sell don't they? You and your hubby are in my thoughts and prayers. So now will you be on the prowl for other shrunken crochet articles to turn into new masterpieces?

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    1. I've already have a great ribbon sweater that is falling apart and am trying hard not to work it up immediately. I need to get back to my "planned" projects. It sure is fun to sew on the fly, however.

      Thanks for your kind thoughts and prayers.

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    2. I just wanted to add that when I lived in NH there was a saying that you could easily tell the wealthy people from the regulars in Peterboro, NH, a town of writers and publishers. The wealthy were the ones with the elbows torn out of their sweaters and the patches falling off their tweed jackets and it was true. Maybe that sort of esthetic is what appeals about the products in Worthwhile's lineup.

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  10. So happy I found your site. Very inspiring! Beautiful top.

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  11. What a beautiful job you've done. Our unusually (for Georgia) cool and wet spring is making me wish for more light-colored things with a little weight to them. Lovely piece. Thinking good thoughts for you and DH.

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  12. That is so beautiful. White on white; designs overlaid on one another...

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  13. very pretty, a white top is a great sign of spring.

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  14. Lovely, airy top. I especially like the sleeve hem work. BTW, your new page header is gorgeous. Part of a project I missed?

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    1. It's a closeup of a a bag made about a year or so ago. I went on a clutch binge. Glad you like it. I am overdue to change the pic as I try to put up a new one on the first of each month, something I've made.

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  15. Sewing is the best! Precisely for this kind of reason. Beautiful top!

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  16. This top is really lovely. The combination of crochet overlays on the cotton print (or is it burnout?) and the entredeux neckline trim really make it unique. The trim is a wonderful way to use heirloom sewing in a modern garment. It is no wonder you get compliments when you wear it!

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  17. I just absolutely love the top, especially how you used pieces from an old sweater. It is just gorgeous. It's great to sew!

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  18. Bunny, I love how you've used entredeaux here and also how you've explained this neckline. Thanks for sharing!

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  19. I had never heard of Antipast, nice ideas, but the sewing?? WTF. Even when I was a rank beginner I would have been embarrassed to produce something with sewing this bad. I wonder too, why they don't press their clothes.

    Your top is gorgeous, far better than the inspiration.

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