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Inspired by Louis Vuitton: Cutwork blouse

May 14, 2014 · 62 comments

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!

Dolce and Gabanna inspiration

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.

Dolce-3

Dolce-4

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!

Collar-detail

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.

Dolce-1

 

Dolce-2

Have you made anything recently that was inspired by a high end designer?

Thanks for reading!

{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

Debbie Iles May 14, 2014 at 8:09 pm

That’s really pretty. I especially love the collar.
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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 8:45 pm

Thanks Debbie :)
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Emma May 14, 2014 at 8:22 pm

Wow Ami this is STUNNING!! Such a pretty blouse and the embroidery is gorgeous. You must have so much fun on that amazing machine :) It looks perfect with jeans, I love delicate blouses with jeans, such a perfect combination. I also get inspiration from so many different places myself, I am a big lover of lace tops and dresses and this beautiful blouse of yours has inspired me to get cracking on!! I would also love to see how you drafted the pattern for this from your block, well done Ami and thank you for even more inspiration xx

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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 8:46 pm

Ah thanks Emma! Yep I was thinking of doing a tutorial on how I drafted this at some point :)
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Andrea May 14, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Wow, I love this. Yet one more reason to look into an embroidery machine.
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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 8:47 pm

They are amazing machines Andrea!
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Ginger May 14, 2014 at 9:19 pm

That’s really pretty! I can’t believe you did the embroidery yourself! I totally would’ve guessed that you’d purchased the fabric already looking like that!
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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 8:47 pm

Ah thanks :)
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Abbie May 14, 2014 at 9:20 pm

This shirt is so pretty. I’m in love with the scalloped collar and embroidered flower design, both add the perfect finishing touch.

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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 8:47 pm

Thanks Abbie! :)
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NAOMI May 14, 2014 at 9:57 pm

That scalloped collar is divine!

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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Thank you Naomi!
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Ann Sinclair May 14, 2014 at 10:21 pm

Beautiful blouse and the white work embroidery is just lovely. Perfect for dressing down with jeans or dressing up with a smart skirt. Love it! Xxx

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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Ah thanks Ann :)
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Amber Walker May 14, 2014 at 11:28 pm

Oh my, I love it!!!
Hopefully I can manage to make something so pretty when I get better at drafting! (And sewing and everything haha) xx

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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 8:49 pm

Hehe, thanks so much Amber :)
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Marie May 15, 2014 at 12:41 am

This is breathtaking Amy, what fabulous detail!!!
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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 8:49 pm

Ah thank you Marie :)
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Mia May 15, 2014 at 7:37 am

Here I was, surfing the web for inspiration on a summershirt I am planning to sew, suddenly remeber you had made a good locking piece earlier, and headed to your blog just to find this one. It is absolutely stunning, you are great! And what I joy to own a machine, that help you bring your designs to life. Keep up the great work and thank you for sharing it with us.

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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Ah thanks Mia! Yes the machine really is Amazing to own! :)
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Sally May 15, 2014 at 8:16 am

Your one is much nicer!

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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 8:51 pm

Ah thanks Sally, can you tell that to the boss at LV! Hehe!
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Gemma May 15, 2014 at 8:36 am

This is beautiful!
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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 8:52 pm

Thanks Gemma!
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Katalin May 15, 2014 at 8:45 am

OMG! This looks amazing! Love, love, love!

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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 8:52 pm

Ah thanks Katalin! :)
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Sarah May 15, 2014 at 9:25 am

Oh this is so beautiful. I have recently discovered your blog and its a source of such inspiration. My skills are not up there with yours but you have inspired me to improve the professional finish to my work.
Keep posting and inspiring us!

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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 8:57 pm

Thanks Sarah! I’m so happy to hear that I am inspiring you and hopefully others to sew :)
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PollyG May 15, 2014 at 9:53 am

WOW. This is such a beautiful piece Ami.

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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 8:57 pm

Thanks Polly!
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Sarah May 15, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Amazing! From start to finish! How do you cut out the fabric in the embroidery?
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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 9:00 pm

Hi Sarah, thanks so much. The machine stops after it does the running stitch around the shape that will be cut out and then you can either cut out the shapes with little embroidery scissors or use cutwork needles that have no thread and are basically like a little blade that hammers around the shape and perforates the fabric. Either way once the hole is made you press play again and it does the satin stitch around the hole! It’s really really clever! :)
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Danielle May 15, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Oh, wow. This is about as perfect as a summer blouse can be! Just beautiful :)
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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 9:00 pm

Thanks Danielle! :)
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coco May 15, 2014 at 12:57 pm

So very pretty – and you’re right, it looks trendy and contemporary – but so fresh. Your embroidery work is beautiful.

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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Ah thanks so much! :)
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Gail May 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm

So lovely! I really appreciate the close-up of the embroidery: amazing! You are indeed lucky to own that machine – you have so many design options at your fingertips!
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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 9:04 pm

Thanks Gail, yep I really am, it’s such a clever machine :)
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Laurel May 15, 2014 at 2:15 pm

I am awed by your blouse, The collar is amazing!
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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 9:04 pm

Thanks Laurel! :)
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Angela May 15, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Your blouse is much better than the Louis Vuitton one that inspired you. What a great piece for your wardrobe.

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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 9:05 pm

Ah thanks Angela! :)
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www.thisblogisnotforyou.com May 15, 2014 at 3:17 pm

I love this! You’re a really lucky girl to have an embroidery machine! I once started to recreate a Marc Jacob top, it’s still on the WIP pile but now that you reminded me it there I might as well try and finish it!
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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 9:06 pm

Ah yep, you should- nothing like finishing off a longstanding UFO!
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Karen May 15, 2014 at 4:01 pm

What I really like about this blouse (besides everything!) is how perfectly understated the embroidery is in those two rows down the front. Anything more would have detracted from that gorgeous collar. I love it. I want one!
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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 9:07 pm

Ah thank you so much Karen :)
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AriB May 15, 2014 at 6:16 pm

Very nice Ami. I didn’t realise such beautiful embroidery can be done at home! It really is a beautiful blouse. I love the collar especially.
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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 9:07 pm

Thanks so much, yep neither did I before I got this machine! It takes a while but is so much fun to do :)
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Karina May 15, 2014 at 7:31 pm

Beautifully done, it looks like it came right off the rack! :) Definitely need to add embroidery machine to my setup, it brings such amazing design abilities.

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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 9:08 pm

Yes it really does add lots of possibilities Karina, such a great machine to have :)
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kimberly May 15, 2014 at 9:03 pm

looooove the blouse! I’ve been looking for something to embroider for myself — this is perfect! the sleeveless idea is brilliant. thanks for the fabric hook up too – it really helps in getting the same effect. was wondering…does your Viking do the “cutting” as well as the embroidery? or, did you have to cut after the embroidery? I have a bernina 800 series embroidery machine with cutwork software, am thinking this would be a great first project as I have some designs that are very close. once again, well done, and many thanks for sharing with all of us!

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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 9:10 pm

Thanks Kimberly! Yep I have the cutwork needle kit, to be honest though I sometimes think it is quicker to cut the little holes out with normal pointy embroidery scissors! I am still not completely decided!
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Olu May 16, 2014 at 11:25 pm

Wow! I’m sew impressed.

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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Hehe, thanks Olu!
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Carolyn May 17, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Fabulous, just wondering, what sort of machine do you use, it’s one to add to my wish list?

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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Hi Carolyn, my regular sewing machine is a bernina and the embroidery machine is a husqvarna viking :)
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francesca May 27, 2014 at 11:39 am

Wow. another gorgeous creation. much more wearable than the original, I must say. The collar is perfection, and you really balanced it well with the embroidery down the front.
I must say one thing though – what moon face? you have a lovely oval face and high wide cheekbones. Definitely not a moon:)

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amelialowden May 27, 2014 at 9:12 pm

Aww thanks Francesca, thats so nice of you to say! Hehe. :)
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Antoinette June 1, 2014 at 9:17 pm

I really like your version better. It looks really high end to me. Louis’ didn’t grab me. Good work!

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hopflower June 2, 2014 at 2:35 am

I love that cutwork daisy blouse. How you got those patterns positioned so you wold avoid scallops and broken embroidery along the button placket area I will never know. But, having said that, I wish I could do it; and that blouse is fabulous!!

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Emily June 3, 2014 at 9:41 pm

I love love love this blouse!! I need to get an embroidery machine to make myself something similar! Fantastic blouse xx

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Yvonne October 25, 2014 at 11:25 pm

Just came upon your website today via Pinterest. I love the embroidery on this blouse. What type of embroidery thread did you use? It appears to have no sheen.

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