MORE Couture Inspiration at United Apparel Liquidators

Continuing with MORE couture sewing inspiration as I stumbled upon in New Orleans at United Apparel Liquidators on vacation…  This could likely turn into several MORE Blog Posts.  Thanks for your comments that you are enjoying the ‘tour’.

Read more about this great chain of stores, read the from March, 2017 HERE.  I was thrilled to elarn that they have several stores just 2 hours from my home in the Nashville area.  Uh Oh…….

TEXTURE-RICH ‘Bridal’ Gown

Beyond description…this silk chiffon gown dazzled and then more so!  These stuffed tubes were amazing, but then transitioned into the scrumptious detail at the hemline as shown below.  I’m keeping these images LARGE so that you can really see the detail.

alt="white-on-white texture embellishment"

alt="stuffed loop close-up"

Embellished Construction Lines

Taking a garment from ‘Ho-Hum’ to ‘Couture Elegant’ can be as simple as embellishing princess lines as was done on this red dress.  Price tag? Just $461 from original $1535.  A bit of stitching worth the effort, I’d say!

alt="Princess Seaming Stitched Embellishment"

Look closely with me and you’ll see this is just 4 rows of stitching with white thread along each princess seamline.  I see:

  • A row of longer Straight Stitching about 1/2″ from each side of theseam line.  My guess is about 4.0 mm in length.
  • An additional row about 1/8″ from the straight stitching of a simple Buttonhole Applique Stitch.
  • Note that the Buttonhole Applique Stitch is mirror imaged – in other words, the ‘legs’ point outwards on each side.  Most modern computerized machines give you the capability of ‘flipping horizontally’ any stitch.  That means that you could run these stitching rows from top to bottom of the garment.  If you don’t have that feature on your machine, just run one of them from top to bottom and the other from bottom to top.
  • The stitching looks like it is of a heavier thread.  I would experiment on the exact same fabric to determine:

1. Thread –  I’d pull out my YLI Jeans Stitch thread to try first.  I carry Jeans Stitch thread in Topaz (the common gold jeans stitching thread), but it also comes in WHITE, which I know I have in my ‘stash’.  Did you know:  WHENEVER you need some specific thread, I can likely get it for you?  The only thing is, thread comes in boxes of 5 or 6.  I’ll give you a GREAT discount and can get it for you IF YOU’LL TAKE THE ENTIRE BOX.  Just email me the thread manufacturer and color number.  londa@londas-sewing.com.  , combined with a Topstitch Needle (larger eye).  I would use regular matching color thread in the bobbin.

2. Needle – for a heavier thread, you need a larger eyed needle and a needle with a deeper ‘scarf’ or indentation along the shaft for the thread to lay (or is it lie?) into.  My first choice to test would be the Topstitch Needle from Superior. Since you should always use the smallest needle possible, I’d start my experimentation with the size 80/12, but my guesstimate is that the 90/14 will be the one to work.

3.  Foot/Feed – Depending on the angle of the princess seam, a woven fabric might approach bias in the bust area, and on a knit, you could have stretching of the fabric as well, so I would test:

*  On my Pfaff 7550, I would engage the Integrated Dual Feed while stitching – or without that, I’d use a Walking Foot installed on my sewing machine – just to keep everything feeding evenly.  ON feet – as well as thread, I can get most any foot for your sewing machine!  All you need to do is email me the foot (or describe the situation for which you need a special foot), and your machine model.  I can assure you, that if I can get it for you – it will be FAR LESS EXPENSIVE than at your local dealer.

*  If puckering happens, I might try a tear away stabilizer below – even a strip of tissue paper for some extra stability.  Thinking of it all, I would test using a larger seam allowance that is pressed OPEN.  That seam allowance would likely be clipped in order for it to lay flat.  Proper PRESSING would be necessary – utilizing a Dressmaker Ham over the bust and a PRESS CLOTH like a piece of Silk Organza so as to not harm the fabric.  OH MY! Embellishing seams in this manner on a classic wool crepe dress would be DELIGHTFUL! j.

alt-"stitch embellishment close up"

A keen eye and straight stitching ability will come in handy as well.

Floral Embellishment

Look closely at this garment – and THINK!  Given a lovely soft crepe (this is undoubtedly silk), a cutting machine (Cameo, Brother, AccuQuilt), and a bit of TIME (Couture prices reflect TIME), you COULD do this!  And, yes, the edges of those small flowers IS frayed as you can see in the VERY close-up photo,  but that’s just more ‘texture’.  My mind conjures up all these details:

The white floral centers could be:

  • a hand done French or Colonial Knot using embroidery floss – look closely, and on most, it appears to be 3 Colonial Knots to my eye.  Think the ‘candlewicking knot’.  I’ll have to do a You-Tube of Facebook Live on how to do these…..added to my ‘to do list’!
  • a ‘tack’ done by machine – using the ‘button-sewing-on-stitch’ adjusted to a very small width
  • a hand-sewn pearl – OMG – a pearl – ‘LOVERLY!!!!’

alt="Floral Embellishment"

The neckline flowers should be bias cut strips – and they appear to be folded edges, so cut double wide of bias, and start twirling.  I show how to do this in the ‘Dior Rose’ in my Refined Embellishments for Creative Clothing DVD  – now just $5!  I apologize for forgetting to snap the price tag on these garments.

alt="floral embellishment'

My creative head just decided this treatment would be LOVELY in mixes of creams and whites for a bridal gown bodice – with pearl centers, of course!  I do have a granddaughter…………Lord willing, I’ll be here to make HER bridal gown.  Perhaps I should start a ‘file’ of ideas, I’m thinking.

OK – enough sewing ‘in my head’ for this morning.  This post has gone plenty long already and it’s time to get out of this cush motel king-sized bed and back on the road to the SEWING RETREAT at the Compass Centre in TX.  Since I’m ahead of schedule, I’ll be stopping by Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Market in Waco, TX.  Bend my arm…….

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