Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Project 13: Collared Shawl

Shortly after the big Halloween event was over, one of my co-Workers, a woman in her 30s, approached my desk carrying a piece of clothing. It was a black knit shawl-like something. A rectangle with an opening up the middle and fringe at both ends. She asked me if I would make her something like it.

"Does it have to have fringe?" I asked, being a snot.

"No" she replied.

"Does it have to be black?" I asked, pushing it further.

"No" she replied. "I trust your judgement."

I told her to go to a fabric store and find some medium weight wool coat material that she loved and I would do my best. She brought back several swatches and we discussed them. She picked out her favorite and I got busy making a muslin. I actually made two because I had two different design ideas. One had a kimono-style neck / closure treatment and the other had a collar. She went for that one, which made my quite happy since it was a little more challenging.

The wool that she picked was on the cool end of the spectrum, so for the collar and facing I picked brown silk dupioni on the warm end for contrast. I made a long silk ribbon to bind the hem of the wool and used a blind hem stitch to secure the facing to the body of the garment for a fully finished, secure feeling. Nothing worse than trying to put on a garment and finding your facing flopping out for the world to see.

Once it was done, I realized that she was going to need some kind of a purse since there weren't any pockets in the design. In less than an hour I whipped up a little bag to go with it.

I gave it to her yesterday and she loved it. This morning she told me that her husband loved it too and slipped me a few bills. I can't believe that I've designed and sold a garment. Tim Gunn, if someday you read this, I want you to know that I made it work!


MaineCelt said...

So beautifully and thoughtfully designed! You have a gift! (Okay, you actually have several gifts, but here I'm celebrating your design/sewing skilz in particular!

House Alchemist said...

That's really fabulous, Seumas! The brown duponi and the purse were inspired!