Sunday, 6 January 2013

Watch This Lace - Winnie's modern librarian blouse

Now that you're all familiar with Watch This Lace - I honestly can't thank you enough for the overwhelmingly sweet comments on my Armistice Blouse - it's time for the real fun to start! And who better to kick-start the fun than Winnie from Scruffy Badger Time!?! This lady is a right good laugh, she manages to rock both classic and kooky styles and she's well-known and loved for injecting her blog with a refreshing sense of humour. I bet you're just itching to see what she made with her vintage lace...over to you Winnie...

You'd think that nothing could go wrong with such fine ingredients: gorgeous vintage lace, pearl buttons, understated but vintagesque fabric and a vintage pattern. Plus, inspiration abounded with the BBC TV series of Parades End: lace, lace Edwardian lace, everywhere!!! Do not be fooled, quality materials do not guarantee a satisfactory outcome, but that was a journey I had to take and it started  when Marie asked me to join in her vintage lace project. This lace is sooooooo pretty. I am not an expert and have no idea how old it is, but when I clapped eyes on it and rubbed it between my fingers I wanted to do it justice and showcase it appropriately. Vintage lace required a vintage look.   

So very soon after, I'd planned my make: a 70s blouse using some fabric I'd gleefully accepted at a blogger meet and swap from Handmade Jane. I cracked on, feeling my way using the 70s Japanese pattern which literally has the instructions you see before you & relies on your existing dressmaking knowledge. It is a cute semi fitted top with a half front opening bound in piping. There are also rouleaux loops at the neck opening and an all important ruffle.


I decided that this ruffle would be the perfect vehicle to showcase the lace. And the frilly sleeve cuffs. Whilst it took a few attempts to successfully layer the piping, rouleaux, ruffle and facing in the correct order, everything else came together beautifully.


And then I tried it on. It was no good, but whether I tried wearing it with smart clothes or just hanging over jeans it was too reminiscent of the early 80s, princess Di and errr...Adam Ant.  



At best it seemed fit only for bedtime.


It was just too *frilly*!

The lace was scavenged and much thought was undertaken to design a truly suitable garment around it.  Factors that I needed to take into account:
  1. Existing fabric stash only.
  2. Not too frilly, something more wearable and more me.
  3. Something that I could wear now in winter time.
I played with ideas and discovered this blue very thin stripe fabric in my stash. I'd been collecting lacy ideas on a Pinterest board and was overwhelmed with inspiration. In the end went for the Colette patterns Violet blouse (one of my favourites), however, I re-engineered it so that it had a front yoke (covered  horizontally with the lace) and a small opening in the back for a button top. I lengthened the arms slightly so that they would be easier to contain under a cardigan, but kept the same elastic cuff.



At another blog meet swap the lovely Claire from Sew Incidentally gifted me some pretty bias binding which I used instead of a neck facing (and on the cuffs).


I am much happier with this blouse. There's something of the modern librarian about it, don't you think?


The fabric’s a bit weird though – it has the fineness of a lawn, but has a heap of synthetic in it. Wearing it on my walk home from work was like wearing a bin bag! And ironing? Gotta watch the heat of the iron, but that’s for me to moan about elsewhere. The thing is, the fabric’s look suits the pretty lace - there is still a hint of an Edwardian lady in this, even if she does get rather heated!

Thank you Marie for the gift of this lace and the challenge in doing it justice. I hope I have...

I don't know about you, but I think Winnie totally did the lace justice. I would happily adopt both beautiful blouses - the frills and piping of the first one are so romantic and I adore the yoke idea on the second one!

Stay tuned for the lovely Elpida from Madame Pelagie next Sunday and don't forget to check out the full contributor schedule.

27 comments:

  1. hahaha this is hilarious-typical Scruffy highjinks XD The purple version is pretty awesome.

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  2. Well done Winnie! I love that you gave us two blouses in one post! Sam xox

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    1. It's typical Winnie to go above and beyond...and the fact that they're both gorgeous is what gets me!!!

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  3. That is the best Violet blouse I have ever seen!! Gorgeous

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    1. I've got to agree with this, it really is ;o)

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  4. My goodness, both these blouses are great. I love the first one in an over the top 80s way, but the Violet is fabulous. I love all the alterations to it, such great ideas.

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  5. Winnie's amazing! Making not one, but two awesome tops! I particular like the Violet blouse, it's definitely got more than a hint of librarian chic about it. I can't wait to see all the other lace creations x

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    1. Don't worry Jane, not all participants are required to make two items...hehe!

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  6. Aww, thank you ! It was a really good challenge Marie. After I wrote this I then had more thoughts about what I learnt from it - heaps! I've supplemented with a post about it with some outtakes that didn't make it here :-)
    http://scruffybadgertime.co.uk/2013/01/watch-this-lace-outtakes/

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    1. No, thank you Winnie for injecting such fun to my blog! Love it! I really enjoyed reading all your additional 'behind the scenes' info in your post!

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  7. I think the final version is the porridge that Goldilocks ate- just right! This is such a fun challenge- I can't wait to see more!

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  8. This post was hilarious! I laughed when I saw her posing like Adam Ant. I much prefer the second blouse.

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    1. Have you seen Winnie's post where she shows off her different Renfrews, each with a different wig on? The woman is a comedy genius ;o)

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  9. I love this! It's really, really cute! Love the addition of the yoke!

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  10. Great make Winnie - It's so lovely. The lace works really well with that fabric.

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  11. Fabulous! I love v2 and the Adam ant pose is hysterical! Yay Winnie! And Yay you for coming up with this!

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  12. Loving the sassy librarian purple time! The lace adds a little something something to take it from rad to awesome!

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  13. Sexy librarian ... On Winnie you always make me laugh and inpired.x thanks Marie for organising this

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  14. Way to make it work! The librarian blouse is well chic.

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  15. Not one make but two! (and a typically self effacing post from you Winnie!)
    I love the lace banded yoke. Might have to steal that one ;)
    Px

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  16. OK. Now I'm officially stressed. Winnie managed to get two outfits done with the lace, and they're both beautiful (although I like the second one a bit more) and pretty. Very well done, Winnie! And, psst, I went through the same stages as you with what to do with the lace trim...

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  17. Your perseverance paid off, Winnie!

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  18. Winnie, you've made 2 lovely blouses. Very librarian. The trim is so luxurious.

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