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!


MaineCelt said...

I believe this is one of the most impressive seamster efforts I've seen--and stunningly beautiful, too. You could be a shop boss in the Seamsters' Union!

Leslie said...

I love that 'out of the blue' inspiration that resulted in this. You do have great ideas - and you figure out how to make them happen. This is a very cool vest. I hope when the need arises that your dry cleaner will handle it gently.
Nice, very nice work!

LCDSeattle said...

You've quite clearly Made it Work!

Well done

Trapper said...

Truly stunning, Seumas, and a brilliant idea!