Wednesday, October 10, 2012

DIY: Applique Your Way into Fall

Dude. Seriously. Sometimes I just don't know when to call it quits with a DIY. I always start out with a simple idea: I'll just add a coupla flowers to my dress. Next think ya know, I'm swapping out the buttons on my cardi, adding a matching flower and topping it all off with a big fat gingham bow. The fashion police have given up on me and just planted a "condemned" sign in my craft room. Which I promptly bedazzled.
Well, fall is upon us here in Tennessee. I knew it was coming when the mornings became so crisp that the hard wood floors in our house were like walking on ice. And in preparation, I spent a good two hours over the weekend swapping out my happy summer dresses for heavier darker frocks. With my hoarder ways, it's quite the undertaking and I dread it so. Mostly because it forces me to come to terms with the fact that I have waaaay too many dresses. And sweaters. And stockings. Pants, not so much. But I digress. 

The hardest part about packing things away is what to do with the clothes that fall in the middle. You know, the ones that aren't necessarily winter or summer clothes but something in the between. Clothing limbo, so to speak. This dress DIY that I crafted last fall fits into this category.
I scooped up this retro-stylin dress from the sale rack at Urban Outfitters. And while I loved it's fit and finish, I never seemed to reach for it when it came to getting dressed in the mornings. Seemed to me that it was missing that certain je ne sais quoi (which in the Cassie translation of French means: sumthin tacky).
It's summery with it's light weight fabric but fallish with it's color palette. Seeing it in my closet reminded me that it's a DIY from last season I never shared with you. Wanna add a little something to a snooze-fest of a dress? Here's what I used:
  • One dress
  • Vintage floral fabric from the '60's
  • Black thread and an applique stitch on my sewing machine
  1. I began by cutting out a variety of flowers from the fabric. I chose a floral fabric with a color palette that I thought complimented the color in the dress.
  2. I tacked the flowers into place with some Stitch Witchery and began the slow process of using the applique stitch around the flowers.
  3. I'm not kidding, that's all I did. Which is why I absolutely love applique. You can change the look of something in just an hour. You can see more of my Applique Madness here and here  Oh! And the Rock Star apron I appliqued here.
I've had this plain brown vintage cardi in my closet for ages. Because the dress is sleeveless, I decided to create this sweater to match. I added one of the fabric flowers and swapped out the brown buttons for vintage pink ones.
Shortly after completing the dress, I  followed it up with another applique cardie. Because I'm not only a DIY-over-doer but I'm also a repeat offender. It's a sickness.
When I scored this sweet vintage dress at the thrift store, the hem was out. Way out. So, I took up the dress by several inches. This left me with fabric aplenty. So you know I had to put it to good use. Applique cardie and headband. Das right.

I've currently got another applique project underway in my sewing room. This one is inspired my students' latest art project. I can't wait to share it with you. Oh, and I've been asked by some of you just what exactly a hoarder's clothing closet looks like. Well, you asked for it. I've started snapping embarrassing photos. I'll try to get the courage up to share it with you sometime soon. Until then, go applique something!


  1. Can't wait to see your closet, and your brown boots are lovely.

  2. Great idea and great combo. Hugs from Miss Maple

  3. The print of flowers in her yellow dress looks damn beautiful. The color scheme is totally my choice. Thankyou for sharing it. I am going to buy it.


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