Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Project 15: Silk Basket Weave Vest
So I was in one of my local fabric stores late last year, cruising for bargains at the remnant table when I spied a stack of beige silk dupioni pieces at 50% off the normal price. They weren't big enough to do much with, but out of the blue a vision came to me. If I cut the silk into strips and made bias-tape ribbons I could weave them into larger panels and use the panels to make parts of garments.
Making the bias-tape ribbons was pretty easy. I cut the strips with a rotary cutter and a straight edge, then got a magic folder thing that I just ran the strips of silk through on an ironing board and followed with the iron. I wove the strips on a cork bulletin board and used fabric glue to secure the outer border squares. When I had a piece big enough, I placed the pattern pieces for the front of a vest on them and drew around the outside with a sharpie. (don't faint)
The real trick was figuring out how I could cut the garment pieces out without the whole thing falling apart. The answer came in a flash. I had to stitch around the outline of the pattern piece to fix the upper and lower ribbon squares together at the edge before cutting. It worked like a charm.
I had plenty of silk left, so I made myself a matching necktie. Some critics have said that the look is too matchy-matchy, so I've since purchased some more silk in other colors to make contrasting ties. See! I can take criticism!