Saturday, March 06, 2010

interesting bits.

anthro has some really amazing knit things right now. I've been dissecting (in my mind, mwhuahaha) a few of them this morning in the hopes that my scientific research might nudge the actual fruition into overdrive. Or some such.

In love with this over-embellished knit tee:

So let's get on with our dissection. The tee is a basic cut-on cap sleeve tee with a scoop neck. The scoop is then slashed & spread incrementally to add gathers at the front. Basically in this manner:

The pleats at either side of the scoop neckline would be a little tricker. You'd have to slash horizontally and then vertically up (toward the shoulder) in increments, to create enough fabric for the little pleats. It might look something like this:
Of course you'll have to excuse my very rudimentary-not to scale-drawing, but that should give you an idea. (I'm too lazy to sketch it and scan right now!)

Once you get past the structural part, you get to play with the fun part, the embellishment! Here's a closeup shot of 1/2 of the center front baubles and beads:

I don't think those are covered buttons, but just stuffed circles of fabrics (like stuffed "yo-yo's"). Then there are bias tubes stitched haphazardly down. I can't tell about the triangle points, which look like fabric "shark's teeth" but I assume are created more by mitering a strip of the fabric (or even ribbon would work). Beads are laced throughout the entire piece. I feel like the whole thing is then appliqued down to the tee, but of course it could be inserted (so much easier just to topstitch it onto the tee though!)

See? That wasn't so bad, right? Of course that's quite a bit of handwork for a tee that retails for $68. Since I get kind of excited about projects like that, I'd probably make it before I bought it.

Another one that caught my eye was this one:

Fabric roses we can do, that's an easy embellishment. The tee itself is fairly simple too. There are a few patterns out there that already have that CF ruching or gathering around a piece, but using basically the same technique above you could absolutely draft your own from a well-fitting tee pattern.

Just draw out your oval "insert", cut out (of a tracing of course). Then mark your incremental slash marks all around the cut out edges. Slash, spread, tape tissue underneath. That's it. It will be a way-funny looking pattern piece, but you'll feel so accomplished!

On closer zoom, the CF embellishment turns out to be none other than gathers to create a vertical panel of faux "smocking". Although, you heirloomer's out there, we could so totally do actual smocking. OMG. I just got bit by the biggest smocking bug I think. Cool!

Again, I'd just topstitch this into place, then finish the neckline and apply the rolled fabric roses to complete the top. This one retails for $58. I'd rather make this one than pay that. Just think, you could have it in any color you desire!

While we're on the subject of paying for clothing, here's a perfect example of why I sew:

Adorable color, adorable shape, love the graphics, adore the fluttery sleeves. But...check out that wonky hem and listing grainline. I see off grain knits (and wovens too) ALL the time in RTW. But for $60 bucks? You just know that twisting tee is driving that poor mannequin crazy. I know it would be making me nuts.

And that's why I sew.


  1. Holy crap, that's a lot of handwork in that first one! It should probably cost more than $68 really. I'm not sure I could get away with that top anyway, it's a bit busy for someone my height. But since we all KNOW about you and your ridiculously long legs and all, I'm sure you could get away with it.

    Did I mention I'm not talking to you anymore? I can't remember.

    OK, my word verification is... wait for it... wait for it...


    how mundane is that?

  2. I love that tank! It might be too much for my big ol' gozongas though. The uneven grain on the green tee is ridiculous! I mean really, didn't they even look at at the damn thing before they took a picture of it? Sheesh!

  3. Love those examples. I scope out Anthro and Mod Cloth all the time and sketch the ideas out, never get enough time to make one, it seems... The off-grain in RTW happens all the time. In Walmart clothes, I expect it, but if I pay 30-40+ dollars, I expect it to look right. That is a great reason to sew, to make things that actually are technically right (grain) versus spending money on things slapped together in a foreign country for minimal wages that is nowhere worth the price they charge. Plus, if I wanted to look like everyone else, I would buy more clothes.

  4. It's after you start sewing that your eye zeros in on all those flaws. Now when I go shopping I have the hardest time finding something to buy. I almost always will purchase something I can't make myself, like pieces with embroidery or sweaters with interesting details. Of course they get a really good inspection before I fork over any money.

  5. When that green top is washed it will be even wonkier than it is now. That is one reason I like to make my own t's. So many are made in the tube, and most of the time off-grain.

    On the first top, it looks like prarie points. Easy, peasey to do, and I belive you're correct about the little fabric "balls".

  6. Ah yes, wonky RTW! I have a couple of long-sleeved shirts where the sleeve seam twists all the way around the arm by the time it reaches the wrist. If I'd made it myself, I'd be embarrassed to wear it, but since I paid somebody else to mess it up, it's fine. ;-)

  7. These are really cool tees! I love all the embellishments.

  8. Great post! I was just checking out all these tshirts too. Do you think the fabric roses are made out of the same jersey knit, or do you think they are made out of a woven fabric of the same colour?

  9. I absolutely love that you shared your thought process about how these could be DIY'ed--my usual Anthro thing is deciding I like something, saving a picture, and then not looking at it again for a year or so. And I especially love that you shared ideas on pattern modifications for them!

  10. since we all KNOW about you and your ridiculously long legs and all, I'm sure you could get away with it.

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