Sunday, July 14, 2019

Fringe Benefits 2.

You cannot think of fringe without thinking of vintage--an ongoing trend that often sends fashionistas to second hand shops and flea markets. You can wear fringed garments as is for a theme party can come make a few modifications to bring the look up to the present norms of high fashion. While putting together this, the second part of my project, I kept that idea in mind especially after Monster Crafts left a comment stating how she normally doesn't care for fringe..except perhaps for accessories! As usual I had so much fun putting this post together!

In the early days of this blog, I did a post in honor of the film "Great Gatsby" which is set in the Roaring Twenties. And of course I made a cute little dress for one of my Barbies. The original dress is a strapless sheath with five rows of evenly spaced 1-3/4" (33mm) silk fringe. I still like this dress, but I have noticed how around the holidays none of my dolls are requesting to wear this dress. So for this post,  I decided to make a somewhat more modern version.

Built on the base of a one shouldered mini dress with the same l-3/4" silk fringe, what makes this dress interesting are the rows of fringe falling at an angle.

 1. Again, the dress is quite simple...a one shouldered sheath dress. Be sure with your choice of fabric and color because as the fringe moves, the fabric will peak out from underneath. I've used a matching midnight blue taffeta for the underdress. Then using chalk, I marked guild lines for where I would be sewing on the rows of fringe. For you to really see a slant, the rows must be place at a 45 degree angle. When you get to the side seam, the row of fringe reverses its course upwards, again at a 45 degree angle. Note: around the top of the dress, the top row of fringe goes from front to back, ending at the back center back (where the closure is.
2. Start from the bottom and work up, being careful not to catch the strands of fringe in your stitches.
3. Unless you want the top of the fringe to show, it is a good idea to cover it.
4. I used a bias cut strip of the same my underdress.
5. You can also embroider or add beads, ribbon or glitter to that edge as well. On Anna's dress, I added beads for a couture touch.
6. The dress closes in the back on a slant. I used a hook and eye.

Another way of modernizing the classic 1920's dress, is by choosing a novelty fringe. Nadja's dress is exactly the same as Anna's, except for the fringe which is a mix of knitted silk yarn and crystals. I've belted the dress to give it more shape.

 You can also use a long rows of fringe to create a more modern dress! I found this lovely 3-3/4" (92mm) silver fringe which was perfect for this Versace Couture inspired dress.
 1. The under dress in this case, is a simple, fitted sheath. It is best to use a woven fabric so that the dress doesn't stretch while you sew on the trim. I have drawn in (red) a new, halter neck neckline.
2. After cutting away the excess, the silhouette looks like this.
3. After you put in the seam allowance the pattern looks like this.
4. Cut a piece of bias fabric the width of the neckline. Add 1/4" to the width and seam allowance.
5. For this dress I made an "over collar" out of leather. The fringe is sewn or glued into the bottom of this collar and the whole thing is sewn to the under collar of the dress.
1. The fringe is added to the dress at the points indicated above (just over the bust, at the bustline and again at the waist.
2. The dress can be worn loose as seen here.
3. It swings freely all over the dress including the back! But it can also be belted for a totally different look.

Of course you don't have to use fringe all over the dress. Think of it as a trim. And, think of layering it at the hem of a gown for example.
This Chanel inspired dress is a simple sheath with spaghetti straps (and a good dose of glitter over the silver lurex fabric). The original dress called for faux fur at the hem, but I wanted to play up the silvery aspect of the look, so I added six rows of 1" (25mm) silver fringe upwards from the hem. Since the top of the fringe is decorative, I left it in full view. But if you are using fringe where the top portion is not so press, you can make the dress shorter. Add trim to a width of fabric, then join it to the hem of the dress so that dress overlaps the top layer of fringe.

Novelty trim--especially when it's fringe--is always fun to play with. It doesn't swing and sway the way silk fringe or cut fringe does, but it lends a playful look to the garment. For this dress, I decided to make an entire party dress.

1. Here's my fringed trim. It has little bits and pieces to it. I decided to make this dress in two parts: camisole top and the skirt. Either item can be paired with another garment.
2. For this look, I started out by making a lace, 1-piece camisole. This is because the trim by itself doesn't cover the doll's bust. So I thought it would be nice to have a bit of lace peeking out from under the frou-frou. A single row of trim is use, facing UPWARDS, from center back seam, around the front and to the opposite center back seam is sewn in place. You can use snaps to close the top.
3. For the skirt, I cut a simple straight (mini) skirt. I use a row of trim instead of a waistband. Another row in the middle and a final row above the hemline to create the skirt. I have purposely left space in between each row so that you can see the gold stripe on the top of each row of fringe peaking through! If you are going to line this, you should make the lining separately and stitch it to the backside of the first row of trimming.

Awhile back we featured a dress inspired by a Ralph & Russo gown.
What we liked about this 2-pc dress is how the fringe was used to accent this asymmetrical look. Since I didn't have access to pink fringe, I had to make it myself by threading the edge along the hem and around the armhole with lightweight cord that I knotted myself. I decided to make a more simple version of this dress to share with you.
The top is a one-shouldered top. (The tutorial is HERE). The bottom is a draped sarong skirt.

1. This skirt begins with the basic straight skirt sloper. You will need to trace it to the other side to have the full front. About 1/8" (5mm) down from the waist on the upper right tip of the front, make a mark. The next four marks should be about 1/4" of each other. Make one single mark on the left side of the skirt sloperabout 2-1/2" (6.5 cm) down from the waist. Join the marks on the right side to the left side mark.
2. Slash all but the bottom right side mark within 1/8" of the mark on the left side. Move the slashes, placing them 1/4" between each other. Tape down.
3. Trace the outer silhouette as well as the dart on the left side. Be sure to mark the slash lines on the right side. They will serve as guide lines to make folds.
4. Draw a style line, scoping out an area of the skirt as shown here. Cut that area away.
5. Now create your front sarong pattern by adding seam allowance.
6. The back of the skirt is simply the back sloper with seam allowance.

7. Cut your skirt out in fabric. Stitch the back together, leaving space near the waist. Create pleats on the right side of the skirt front and stitch them down in the seam allowance. Join the left side of the skirt front to the back.
8. Join the left side of the skirt together with the back, folding the back seam over the front. Pin, then hand stitch in place.
9. Fold the hem up and the edges under and hand stitch in place.
10. Attach the fringe along one edge of the skirt within the area as shown (green dotted line). Make the bodice. For instructions as to how to make a one-shouldered top, click HERE.  Finish the edges, and add fringe around the armhole from front to back as shown above (green line).
All by itself, it is quite a lovely dress!

However, you are not obliged to make a fringed garment to give your dolls this look. Think--fringed shawl!!! 
Helena has a shawl made from the same flocked wool as her dress trimmed in long silk fringe. It's a great way to take your doll from day to night in a snap.

For this particular shawl, I cut a triangle that has two sides the length 7-3/8" (19cm) while the base is 13" (33.5 cm).

I added 3-1/2" (9cm) black silk fringe. In this case, I didn't want the top of the fringe to show, so I overlapped the lower edge of the shawl over the woven top of the fringe trim.
I almost decided not to line the shawl, but then had a bright idea. I lined it with a contrasting fabric in the same tones. It's like having two shawls in one.

Akure immediately borrowed it to wear over her dress. The tie print silk of the reverse side of the shawl matches her skirt!
Whenever I travel, I try to check out antique fairs, flea markets and the like for interesting vintage lace. I didn't find this piece there, but I did find a "remnant" in a high fashion fabric store in Paris' Marche St. Pierre. I almost forgot I had it. From this marvelous remnant, I cut away one of the motifs--wide enough to go over the shoulders of a special doll. I added the silk fringe to edge and voila---a gorgeous embroidered shawl with fringe.

 Even if you are not so lucky as I was to find such a treasure, you can make your own. Start with a bit of lace and add beads, rhinestones or even silk flowers to it.
But be warned....this could be the most popular accessory in the house!!! Right on Morgan's heels was Tiah who HAD to have this shawl for her night out at the opera. The black shawl really shows up when paired with a golden gown!!! But even she wasn't able to hold onto this beauty for a long time. Samantha showed up asking if she could borrow it for an impromptu evening sarong!

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Sunday, June 30, 2019

Spaghetti Western

This post WAS supposed to be fringe. And it is. Except....I'm only telling half the story here. In this, the first of a two-part series, me and the girls ventured out to the ye olde days of the wild west for inspiration. Radiah wanted a cowboy jacket for her wardrobe and the 18-year old fashionista buried deep down within me, wanted it for her.

Though you can use almost any jacket with a back yoke, I chose the jeans jacket pattern and altered it by cutting it out of a thin suede and adding cut fringe under the back yoke as well as down the length of each sleeve. You could add more fringe just under the front yoke, but I decided all of the action would be in the back, complimented by a simple front.

Here is my pattern. For details on how it was created and steps on how to put it together please click HERE.

1. Sew the back bottom bodice together. Decide on the length of fringe you want. Cut a rectangle as wide as the lower seam of the back yoke by the desired length of the fringe you want to create. Place it over the back bottom bodice to get an idea as to where the final length will fall in relation to the back of the jacket.
2. Sew the front lower bodice together to the front yoke. Then sew the front to the back yoke at the shoulder seams.
3. Take that rectangle you cut for the fringe and draw in guide lines from the hem to about 1/4" (5mm) away from the top edge. For the moment, don't slash. It will be easier to control if you sew this into the seam as a solid piece.
4. The lower bodice will look like this--a panel to be slashed for the fringe and my princess lined back bodice.

5. I use rubber cement. I apply a thin line of the rubber cement at the top of the (fringe) panel on the exterior side and glue it to the back yoke bottom exterior.  The glue keeps it from shifting as you sew. 
6. Note the placement. the front of the (fringe) panel is pointing upward while the back yoke is upside down. Place the top edge of back lower bodice on top of this. This will form a sandwich where the (fringe) panel is sandwiched in between the back yoke and the back lower bodice. Now, sew the three layers together.
7. Lay the jacket face up with the back upright. Very carefully, slash that center (fringe) panel (outlined in green) using the guide markings to help you keep the slats fairly even and at a 90 degree angle from the hemline.
1. I altered the sleeve pattern by folding it into thirds and cutting away 1/3 and adding seam allowance to each side. That new seam created will fall at the back of the jacket and you will be careful to line it up with the bottom of the yoke. as you assemble everything together.
2. To one edge of that sleeve, cut a rectangle the length of that inner seam to just short of the length of the sleeve. (Be sure you leave space for the underarm seam allowance as well as the hem of the sleeve.
3. Again, I score my panel with guidelines. Place this panel in between the two parts of the sleeve. Stitch all three parts together. 
4. Rubber cement your seams flat and now carefully cut the slats (being careful not to cut the 1/3 sleeve piece).
5. Sew the jacket together down the sleeve outer seams and side seams of the jacket as you normally would. 
6. You will just have to carefully stuff all of the fringe in between the two sleeve seams. I pin the jacket together, but try to keep the pins inside the seam allowance so that you don't create holes within the body of the jacket. Now carefully stitch your jacket together being careful not to catch any of the fringe. (Note: it is easier to manipulate the fringe inside of the sleeve as you sew as opposed to an unslashed panel.)
7. Again, you want to try and align the inner seam of the sleeve with that of the bottom back yoke.
8. Turn the jacket right side out. Be very careful when turning out the sleeves to not tear any of the fringe. I used a pair of tweezers and tried to grasp the sleeve rather than individual strands of fringe. Take your time.
9. Meanwhile, back at the ranch....I had to figure out how to close the jacket. I wanted real buttons, but since there is a front placard to my jacket, I decided to use a strip of velcro instead. From here, finish the jacket...adding on the collar and bottom waistband.

Oh yes, by now you've noticed her boots!
 I used the pattern for SPATS. You can make this pattern as spats worn over existing shoes, or develop it further into real boots using the soles of existing soles. Click HERE.
As with the cowboy jacket sleeves, the fringe is sewn into the seams of the spats with the fringe on the exterior of the spat. Stitch them up, trapping the fringe inside, then turn the spat right side out, being very careful not to tear away the fringe as you do this.

You can add fringe not only to sleeves and spats, but to skirts and pants as well!!

And yes, that is a matching bag on her shoulder!

1. Start out with the basic bucket bag pattern.
2. Cut 2 strips of leather about 1-1/2" long (35m) by the circumference of your bag. Make tiny vertical slashes about 1/16' (1mm). Using rubber cement, make a thin line roughly 1/2" (1cm) from the top of the bag and another thin line alone the top of the fringed strip.
3. Make another small line of rubber cement along the top of the bag. Put a small line of rubber cement roughly 1/2" from the top of the the second fringed strip. Then press the two together.

4. There will be roughly a 1/2" (1cm) of the top fringe panel protruding from top of the bag. 
5. Add 8 metal eyelets equally spaced.
6. Cut another tiny strip of leather (about 1/8" (2mm) for the shoulder strap. and another tiny strip that serves as a drawstring threaded through the eyelets and tie into a knot. 
7. You can stop there OR...create a small tassel. This one is simply a 1" length of fringe rolled up and tied. I added it to the front drawstring.
8. Voila here's my finished back. You can find more ideas for fringed bags HERE.

Here's a no-sew option: a fringed scarf. Take a strip of suede. Turn down the top edge and glue. Slash into tiny strips. You can wrap around the waist of a basic dress. Pictured here, I used the scarf, but you can create a row of with longer fringe that serves as a belt to top off leggings, a skirt or bodysuit.

Or wrap around the neck and shoulders over jeans or a designer skirt.

A few years back, I made a two-piece dress inspired by Jean Paul Gaultier. At the time I used a faux leather fabric.
And although I still liked the dress, I was a little disappointed with the fringe detailing . So armed with a little bit of thin leather, I decided to try this dress again. The dress is in two parts. An easy way to do this is to make the basic dress and add (sew or glue) the trim to the edges. But I wanted to eliminate that step, so I built the fringed trim right into the patter.

1. This is a one shouldered top, so I created a whole front bodice using the basic sloper. Mark in the one-shoulder style line (diagonal red dash line).
2. Create a 1" extension 90 degrees up from that vertical line. It will extend from just under the armhole to the neck shoulder tip of the bodice. Slash into tiny slats (2mm) being careful to cut perpendicular or 90 degrees from that diagonal style line. 
Add 1/8" (2mm) seam allowance to your pattern pieces and lay out on your material and cut.
3. Repeat for the back. Note: the extension is on the opposite side of the back bodice. When placed right side to right side with the front bodice you want the two to line up on the same side of the body!
4. Place the front against the back, right side to right side. Sew along the shoulder line.
5. The sleeve is simple. After tracing off the sleeve sloper, simply plan to slash the bottom 1" (2cm) hem. Set in your sleeve as usual. Sew the top along the sleeve seam and down one side of the top. Leave the opposite side seam open. The top will close on the side. (I used velcro.)
6.  After slashing the extensions into fringe, I roll the slats between my fingers to distress them a little bit. I want my fringed edges to hang down so, if necessary I use an iron on the lowest setting to flatten the fringe down into the direction you want it to hang.

The skirt is just as easy. This is a simple sarong skirt made from the basic skirt sloper.
7. I start off by making a full front skirt pattern. Draw in a curved style line (ignore the far dart). 
8. Trace off and cut 2. These panels will criss-cross over the front of your doll's legs. 
9. Add 1" (2cm) to the length of this new skirt front panel. 
10. Once again, cut tiny slashes (1mm) along the hemline being careful to hold the skirt so that the cuts will be perpendicular (or 90 degrees) from the edge. You want to cut straight, not on an angle.
11. Repeat for the other side.
12. The back is easy. Simply extend the hem by 1" (2cm). 
13. Slash the hem into tiny slats. Add seam allowance and sew the skirt together.
Again, I closed the top with velcro added on the side seam. My wrap skirt is closed with a "brad" or button to one side. 

For Iman, we simply wrapped a piece of suede around the top of her bust, then slashed it into super fine slats. It's worn over a pair of matching slim pants. Her handbag (inspired by St. Laurent) and other fun ideas are featured in our post, "On the Fringe."

But don't go away just yet...Part two is on the horizon. We move from out on the range to east coast high fashion, this time with silk & novelty fringe!

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