i’m back on pinterest in a big way recently. i had a fairly severe addiction over the summer, when it was the only cohesive way to bookmark garden designs and plant ideas while still keeping track of my garment sewing to-do list. also, it is the best way that i know of to gather french jacket inspiration.
so it was during one of my many exhaustive chanel searches that i turned up this look from, i think, one of the 2013 collections.
i loved it – the color, the weird skirt, even the shoes with socks – but what i most loved was how easy it would be to re-interpret using techniques and ideas i’d already been playing with in my studio. i turned to my trusty stack of inherited cashmere and my well-loved alabama chanin kristina’s rose stencil and got right down to it.
i used, as i said, a hand-me-down cashmere but anything could work. i just took one of my t-shirt patterns – in this case, the pattern included in the alabama studio sewing + design book – and cropped it to about two inches above my natural waist. i cropped it this high so that i could re-use the original waistband ribbing from the sweater for a finished look.
then, i stenciled the design as suggested by natalie chanin and string appliqued strips of white rayon knit (remnants from an old t-shirt project) using silk thread and a big catchstitch.
i hand-tacked the pearl trim once i had gotten the front on the dressform, just to check placement, and then finished all of the seams according to the hand-finishing techniques utilized by natalie chanin and the team at alabama chanin. it was my first time going all in on these techniques, not using a machine at all, and for such a small project it was totally worth it. it gave me a feeling of accomplishment and made the project extremely portable.
true story: my boss actually called me into his office and then asked me, “what, did you cut your shirt in half?” and then didn’t understand that i was serious when i answered “yes.” he said, “what?” and i was all, “yes, i literally took apart an old sweater, cut it in half, and put it back together to make this.”
le sigh. clearly i work with people who have no sense of vision!