Monday, November 28, 2016

Make the (Shower Curtain) Fabric Your Own

I have many reasons for entering sewing contests. Sometimes it's the prize, sometimes it's to teach my kids lessons in working hard, winning and losing. Other times it's to develop a new skill or for the challenge of adding creative elements. I enjoyed the "Make the fabric your own"  round of the 2015 PR Sewing Bee. For the creative challenge, I decided to participate in the stand along contest currently running on Pattern Review
                                             



                              
The goal of the contest is to modify fabric in a way that changes the end result.  For this skirt, I started with a Room Essentials garage sale shower curtain. I did not intend to channel my inner Scarlet Ohara for this project, but when I saw this fabric, had no choice. I love the mix of large and small scale motifs and thought it was the perfect base for embellishments.
                             


I used an out of print McCalls 6389 skirt pattern as the base. I like the higher waist and cannot resist a maxi skirt with side-seam pockets.    

                                               



To change the fabric up, I added embellishments to the upper surface and behind the fabric. The skirt is covered in frayed applique, hand embroidery, and reverse applique. I love the improvisational process of this skirt. Each embellishment was taken on its own when I decided what to do. 


Collage of Embellishments
Over the course of weeks between custom orders, I would pick it up and stitch on a whim. 

                                               
Despite my lack of planning, I was careful to keep with primary colors and solids so the end result remained cohesive. 


                                

With all of the hand work involved, there were lots of thread tails and fabric edges on the underside of the skirt. I added a full lining to protect the work and my skin from the loose ends.

     
I had so much fun with this! It is the first of its kind for me and I am really pleased with the result. There are areas I love and others I may change in time. I have it in my mind to keep working on it when I need a stitch project. This will become a walking stitch sampler by the time I am done. 

                                               
There are relatively few entries in this contest. I am surprised considering you could do whatever you want with the fabric. It overlapped with another contest, so I think others gravitated toward making for that one. Regardless of the reasons, I am anxious to see the other entries in this one. If you are so inclined, I would appreciate your vote for my skirt if you think it is worthy of it. Voting will open on Dec. 3.

                                         
                                           

Life is too short for boring clothing so go and make something breathtaking!

Happy Sewing,
Bianca

23 comments:

  1. Bianca - this is gorgeous and I love how you just let your creativity flow & thrive in each piece you create.

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  2. This looks so cute! You really added value to this fabric, and I love the skirt. The lining is a nice, high-quality touch. I tried the link to go vote for you, but couldn't get through. I'm not sure if it's my phone or something else, but I wanted to let you know in case the link is broken. I'll give it another try. I hope you win!

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    1. Thanks so much Lisa! Voting hasn't started yet, I will update the post with the date 😁.

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  3. This is nothing short of fantastic! Your embellishments are so creative and really make this skirt one of a kind and dramatic in a very fun, joy-filled way. Love it!

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  4. Scarlett O'Hara could only be so chic! I love all the embroidered touches and the idea of a living stitch sampler. This is such a happy skirt. I wish you well in the contest--you totally have my vote! I'm excited to see what people come up with as well. Hopefully, PR runs this contest again and I'll be able to throw my hat in the ring. This year, I'm hoping that my pattern I bought from Finland arrives in time for me to make the jacket I'm planning for my husband for the menswear contest. Fingers crossed!

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth! A Finish pattern, how intriguing. I find menswear so intimidating. My husband is not picky about what he wears, so I haven't had much practice. I hope it gets here so I see your jacket.

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  5. Love, love, love this idea! It looks absolutely fabulous and it's beautifully executed as usual!

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    1. Thanks so much Cindy! I am trying to mix up what I make and focusing on spending more time on the details.

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  6. Winner winner chicken dinner!!! Uber creative and fashionable!

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    1. Woot! Woot! Thanks Kyle, let's hope.

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  7. Wow - you are so creative! It's beautiful.

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    1. Thanks Tomasa, I am really happy with this one. :)

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  8. I am so stunned by this Bianca! So gorgeous!

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  9. You are so inspirational ! Can't wait to vote for you. Is there a book of embroidery or embellishments you used to learn some of these techniques ?

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  10. Thanks so much! I have lots of embroidery books, but find myself going to this site more often than not: http://www.embroidery.rocksea.org/ I like her clear instructions and pictures.

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  11. Your creativity is astounding! If they gave a Nobel prize for creativity, you would get one! Your ideas are wonderful and, as others commenting on your blog have observed, very inspirational. I really love your encouragement about making breathtaking clothes at the end of your post. With respect to the others participating in this contest on Pattern Review, your skirt is far and away the best entry!

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    1. Tina! You have made my day! Thank you so much. I am trying to slow down and be more intentional with my garment making lately. I can whip something up pretty quick, but I am trying to make meaningful clothes now.

      I did not say this, but the political events lately have made me so sad. I focused that sadness into this skirt. It is a reminder that things aren't black and white. There is depth, complexity and always changing. If we take time to explore that, our perspective may broaden.

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  12. WOW! I sat down to look at PatternReview today, needing some inspiration in clothing, and life, and I clicked on this contest and saw your AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL skirt and also your amazing, beautiful smile, and it made my day! And, then, reading your blog post, I saw the original shower curtain and realized how much you had transformed it into a living, breathing work of art that you plan to continue to embellish with your daughter. How lovely is that! Political events over the past year have made me very sad, also, and I love how you focused your sadness into creating a beautiful garment of richness and complexity, like the lotus flower, that blooms beautifully from not-lovely conditions. And that, too, is how I am thinking lately--that life is never simply black and white, and how can we mine the complexity of reality in a way that helps us to change and grow and evolve? Thank you in so many ways! And, I'm happy to have found your blog! All the best to you!

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Heather. I'm learning that even in a competition or an arena where you will be judged to make something that is important to you. At the end of the day, if no one else is impacted, at least you can be. To have you say that this and some of my other pieces inspire you and make you feel happy is icing on the cake for me. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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  13. Hey I hope this isn't inappropriate but I've been reading your blog and noticed your continuous problem with your knots on the back of the fabrics when you handsew.

    I hope I'm not 'splainin but

    If you do a double (or single but i do double cause im skerred) backstitch and tuck under the thread on the last pass before the loop tightens you get a knot that looks identical to a stitch itself, except that one extra thread in it (for me lol). The knot hides itself in the fabric this way.

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