Wednesday, February 1, 2012

From plain and simple to elegant and ornate

About 14 or 15 years ago a friend of mine who had just returned from a trip to Allahabad, India surprised me by bringing me beautiful silk fabrics yardages, trims, beads and ribbons.  Oh such elegant and wonderful findings and a gift that I knew had to be made into something for a very special occasion and garment.  I carefully preserved and kept it all until I knew for certain what I wanted to make.

Skip ahead many years to this past week.  On Sunday afternoon I was playing my cello in a recital and I wanted something pretty to wear that was a bit different than what I usually perform in.  I remembered the beautiful fabric from India and set about deciding how to fashion it into something that was easy for me to play my cello (needs to be a garment with freedom to move for my bowing arm).  I didn't have enough fabric for a long dress but there was just enough for a plain shell top with long sleeves.  And this is what I came up with:

The top is very simple and plain pattern.  Actually, it is almost boxy with no real eye interest on its own plain design.  PERFECT!  I wanted the rich gold threads, shiney silk, metal baubles, buttons and beads and elegant golden ribbon to to be the center of attention.  And the beauty of such a simple pattern is that it took only an afternoon to sew together.  The careful placement of the ribbons and baubles required some slower and more precise stitching, but all in all it was a very quick to sew up.

I had plenty of ribbon trim and decided that double rows looked beautiful with a brass "bead" or bauble hanging from four points on the end of the sleeve. 
OK ladies, as we age, the neckline design is something we tend to worry about more than men have too.  I thought making a square neckline on my blouse was more flattering than a V-neck or a boat neckline so I went with this and I'm so glad I did.  And at the risk of over embellishments, I just had to add three more baubles to the neckline as well.

My recital went off quite well and it was a fun afternoon of music followed by a lovely dinner "afterparty" and I felt quite elegant in my new top. 

I have two more pieces of silk that my friend brought back.  One is a lovely purple color and the other is turquoise.  Oh what fun it will be deciding what to make with them.

Until next time,



  1. Your top is so beautiful! What a gift you have in using those precious fabrics, trims and baubles you were given. Cant wait to see what you will do with the purple and turquoise fabric!

  2. Oh wow your so lucky to have a friend who brings back goodies like these and you have done a beautiful job on that blouse truly amazing looking forward to seeing more of your creations:) Sandra H

  3. Beautiful! I am always amazed by your sewing skills...and I'm certain your musical talent would amaze me as well!

  4. WOW.You are a clever lady this is Stunning.Can't wait to see what you creat with the other beautiful fabric.xx

  5. You did a beautiful job on that blouse, pretty design


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