Those of you who follow me on Twitter may have seen the final product already (when a seller finishes uploading a product, both Etsy and Cargoh have a Tweet option. It rocks!), but I had to write about this one! Please indulge me.
OK, this sucker took me a lot longer than I thought it would. The cape with it’s GORGEOUS lining wasn’t hard to manage at all. However, what I decided to embellish it with took on a whole freakin’ life of its own.
See, I thought that when I first made the cape that I’d have a fancy-pants closure at the neck and call it a day. I got the whole thing done, except for some finishing of hems and such and decided that it was MUCH too plain, even with the fancy-pants closure. That’s when I started playing around with the embellishments. The first go ‘round looked something like this:
I have the world’s messiest studio, I swear.
It’s an applique I had on hand and I paired it with some pretty crocheted flowers my mom made for me. I liked it and thought the idea was a good one, but it wasn’t “talking” to me like some of my other projects do. I sent these pictures to my mom, my aunt and an old work colleague to get some feedback. The group effort is something I REALLY miss in the development process.
Anyway, they all said the same thing: the shoulder thing looked okay but more importantly, the whole piece needed balance, meaning more applique stuff on bottom opposite edge of the cape. I had one of those V8-slap-your-forehead moments and realized they were right. The only problem was that I couldn’t do that because I didn’t have any more of the applique on hand.
This is one of the problems with finding really cool, one of a kind, and/or vintage pieces. There’s only so much of it.
So I did something I don’t normally do. I went to the fabric store. There is an AMAZING fabric store here on the outskirts of Charlotte called Mary Jo’s Cloth Store. I remember going there with my mom when my parents lived in Charlotte back in the 90’s and being completely dumbfounded. It’s 32,000 square feet of amazing. I hear that tour groups travel from all around the south to visit Mary Jo’s. True fabric stores really are a thing of a past. And no, JoAnn’s does NOT count as a fabric store.
I don’t often go to Mary Jo’s because it’s one of the few places where I lose…control. One can never have enough fabric. Or thread. Or lace. Or trim. Or sewing gadgets. Since TruLu Couture is barely scraping by, it’s not a place I can afford to visit with any sort of regularity. However, they do have really cool scrap boxes with pieces of appliques that I wanted to dig through.
I didn’t end up getting scraps. I bought new. In yardage. GAH! I just hope this sucker sells so I can afford what I spent on it!
So I scrapped the original appliques. The last time I updated y’all it looked like this:
I have three different kinds of appliques mixed in together with some velvet ribbon fans I made. Now, normally sewing all this one would be a little time consuming, but not all that hard. But since I’d already sewed on the lining, it was a BITCH to do. I almost lost my mind and it took much longer to complete than anticipated. Serves me right for not having a plan when I went into the project. But you know, shit happens and the best laid plans sometimes aren’t the right plans. I mean, you guys watch Project Runway, right? You know how sometimes they have to scrap shit and start all over again. That happens not-on-reality-shows too.
Anyway, I got all the appliques sewed on and it still wasn’t right. While I was at the beach over Christmas, my mom was making me more crocheted flowers and she made me these beautiful, teeny tiny ones. So I beaded a few of those and added them to the mix for texture. It still wasn’t done. So then I added in some applique over the shoulder and trailing down the back. Not done. So then I went through and hand-beaded on some vintage sequins and pearl beads and mercury glass beads in and around the appliques. THEN it was done.
OMG, I LOVE THE LINING FABRIC SO MUCH! They look like ribbon bouquets!
So, it’s finally done and up for sale on Etsy and Cargoh. So now I’m going to go work on that other cape, the fur one. I have a feeling that one is going to make me want to claw my eyes out too. Fur is a bitch to work with. Stay tuned!
So what do you think? Like?