My friend, Mary (from Inside Stori), has talked me into entering my quilted jacket into the wearable art competition at the Mancuso Mid-Atlantic show. She encouraged me to complete the extra pieces and enter the full ensemble category. Well, I really didn’t want to spend money on fabric for pieces I would likely not ever wear, but in the back of my mind I thought I might have some black fabric in the stash. It took a bit of searching, but I found it, and it was perfect. It is a dressmaker weight cotton/poly blend, and I had four yards of it. I laid out the pattern for a sleeveless top, and cut some bits on which to experiment with embroidery. My plan was to embroider a blue rose on the top. That failed miserably, so I cut out the top and came up with a new plan.
The shoulder and side seams were serged together, then the raw edges of the armseyes and neckline were serged to finish them.
Then the serged edges of the neckline and armseyes were turned under to topstitch.
I needed to have some way to tie the extra pieces to the jacket, so I dug around again and found one measly partial fat quarter left from the jacket, but it was all I needed. The print is one of the diagonals on the jacket front. I cut some strips at 1-1/2-inches wide.
The strips were sewn end to end, then pressed in half.
Pinning them to the bottom of the sleeveless shell, right sides together, I put the ends together just like you do for binding on a quilt.
Carefully pinning all the way around, the length is checked again to be sure it is exactly right. Then I serged the raw edge of the trim and bottom edge together, and pressed the serged edge to the inside, leaving a 3/4-inch trim strip showing on the top. The top is longer than the jacket, and will be worn outside the skirt, so the strip will show.
Next, I constructed a simple elastic waist skirt with the serger. For the hem, I used the blind hem stitch on my machine. Once you get the hang of this, it is not only fast, but the stitches are even and bury themselves in the fabric.
All done, ready for labels. Mary is helping me with those too, and she has designed a beauty! I have to have name of the piece, my name, address and phone number on all of them. She has the ability to print labels on fabric with her computer, and has made some for me with a blue rose on the side to go with the blue rose fabric. She is an amazing artist. Can’t wait to see them!
Now that I am looking at the photo above, I am second guessing my decision to have the top longer, should I shorten it? Ugh!! I need to decide then get the entry done. I still want to send the hat with the outfit, and found some air bags to put inside it so it will hold its shape. Surely the people doing the displays will fix it if it mushes down.
I am undecided about the extra pieces with the purse. I think the ensemble is displayed on a mannequin, so there wouldn’t be any way to show them.
I have to tell you, I am itching to wear it! After all, I originally started this project in response to the resurgence in quilted jackets for fall. But I don’t dare. The entry deadline for this juried show is coming soon, and I won’t know if my submission will be accepted until late January. I’ll keep you posted!