I find sewing inspiration all over the place including some of the high end fashion labels. One of these labels, in fact possibly my absolute favourite, is Dolce and Gabanna who regularly produce collections that make me want to drop what I am doing and head straight to the sewing machine. Two summers ago they had a collection that I was totally in love with, I watched the catwalk show numerous time trying to figure out ways in which I could create similar stunning, heavily embroidered white-work garments.
At the same time as this very memorable collection other design houses were producing their own collections filled with cutwork and embroidery and as always these influences filtered down to the high street and the shops have been filled with lace and cutwork ever since- much to my delight!
Being lucky enough to be the very proud owner of an incredible embroidery machine I was able to create a few pieces inspired by all this gorgeous embroidery. One of which is arguably a terrible idea for me and my dimply moon face but I couldn’t resist! It is a button down cutwork blouse that really has to be worn buttoned right up to the neck for full effect- much better suited to someone like Sarah Jessica Parker but hey sometimes you just have to wear what you love and deal with a less than flattering neckline. Hehe!
The idea for this blouse came largely from a Louis Vuitton shirt as I just loved the simple daisy-like giant cutwork flowers and the embroidered collar. I also adored how twee it managed to be whilst still being oddly contemporary and chic. I wanted a kind of watered down, more day-to-day version of the blouse and decided to make it from cotton lawn. I also decided to make it sleeveless – just because in this instance I felt like it!
I started by drafting the simple sleeveless shirt form my block and making a up a toile; whilst I was busy doing that my embroidery machine was hammering away in the background stitching out various cutwork designs to see which would work. In the end I went with a cutwork flower design from a husqvarna viking embroidery collection called Romantic Cutwork.
I had to fiddle around with the design a little to get it to curve around in the shape of the collar and eliminate parts of the design down the front of the blouse where I didn’t want to have a scalloped edge. Once I had figured out the placement I marked it up on the paper pattern, embroidered the cotton lawn I was using for the project and then cut the blouse panels out.
One of the most amazing things about my embroidery machine is that you don’t need to man it continually. Once the fabric is hooped up and you have things positioned on the fabric correctly you can go off and make a cup of tea, or water the garden and the machine is happily just getting on with it. Kind of similar to magic!
I am so happy with the way the blouse turned out that I really should wear it more than I do. I think it looks best paired with casual jeans to add a slight contrast to the overwhelming tweeness of the embroidery but I have worn it tucked into a skirt a couple of times too. The fabric I used is a really good quality cotton lawn that I buy from an eBay supplier for £33 for 10 metres. Bargain!
The buttons are some nice little faux-pearl ones which I bought from Maculloch and Wallis, I always have some in my stash as they are great for this type of project.
Have you made anything recently that was inspired by a high end designer?
Thanks for reading!