Cloning Designer Garments, Lace

Finalist in the Threads Fancy Fabrics Challenge

My entry was selected as a finalist in the Threads Magazine Fancy Fabrics Challenge. Please visit and vote. The garment I entered was a modification of an Alexander McQueen top.

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Back view. Notice the lace pattern is a mirror image on the right and left sides. This was a design element in many of Mcqueen’s designs.
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The lace was backed with silk tulle and additional embellishment of crystals on the lace were added.
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The garment as designed. I modified the neckline to be more wearable.
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couture sewing

First Project of the New Year

I joined the Ready-to-Wear Fast on It is a pledge to refrain from ready-to wear clothing for this year. What a great idea and it will also motivate me to use up some of my ever growing fabric stash!
While in Paris and London over the holidays I couldn’t help but notice that everything was devoid of color. All black and white-everywhere!
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I found a lovely piece of wool, angora and rabbit hair double cloth in my fabric stash and decided it would make a fabulous cape. Amazingly it was black and white. Double cloth is two layers of fabric, usually contrasting colors or textures, woven together. Seaming this fabric is time consuming but the result is a truly reversible garment. After cutting the pattern pieces, the edges of the fabric need to be separated. This can be maddingly laborious so I usually do it while watching TV. The fabric edges need to be peeled apart for a little more than double the seam allowance.
double cloth seam 4
Seam the face side of the fabric together in the usual manner. Press open. Then turn under both edges of the reverse fabric side and slip stitch.

double cloth seam 1double cloth seam 3

I wanted bound buttonholes for the front closure. The two fabric layers were peeled apart for about 3 inches along the center front. This gave me room to construct buttonholes. I like my bound buttonholes to be between 1/4 and 3/8 inch wide. Too wide and they don’t look professional. The lips of the buttonholes were formed from a single layer of the black fabric. On the facing side, I stitched a rectangle of white silk organza to the white facing side of the buttonholes. Turn and press and hand stitch to the reverse side of the buttonhole.

buttonhole closeup 2buttonhole closeup

Next was drafting a collar. I used scrap fleece which was the same weight and body as the double cloth. I draped a collar and will show the construction and finishing in the next post.
cape collar draft
This is how the cape is progressing.
cape with collar draft
A shot of the reverse side of the buttonholes.
cape buttonholes

couture sewing

New Year; New Projects

Finally back after a busy holiday season. I got a special holiday treat of fabric shopping in Paris and London. Janssen & Janssen in Paris was the absolute highlight of the trip for me. While drooling over the exquisite fabrics there, I met fellow blogger Julie from Check our her site as she posted some great pics of the inside of Janssen.
Janssen does have the most georgeous fabrics in the world with prices to match. Fortunately I had the good sense to take my husband shopping at Chanel first, so the cost of fabric to make my own Chanel jackets seemed like a virtual steal! The trims were equally pricy but unlike anything else. Some of my selections:2014-01-03 09.04.27
Also some of my fabrics:2014-01-03 09.02.22

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I also managed to complete a fancy lace top to wear New Year’s Eve with black skinny pants. It is entered in the Fancy Fabrics Challange on the Threads Magazine website. Link to the site:

Here are some photos:2013-12-21 22.00.38 - Copy

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And some closeups of the details.2013-12-21 22.01.59 - Copy

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This is a pic from the Alexander McQueen show at the NYC Met several years ago. I fell in love with this design but felt it needed modifying to be wearable, at least where I would go.
2013-12-11 08.27.40-1 - Copy. Please leave a comment if you like it.
Now that the holidays are over I hope to post every week, usually Mondays. I always love comments.