Butterflies and Black Lace Patchwork Dress, ‘Love Never Dies (I)’ – Making process

‘Love Never Dies’ inspiration taken from autumn floral printed T-shirt patch, used in dress centre front.  A second version ‘Love Never Dies II’  is available, same patches, lined, with white fringed hem.

Bandeau top inspiration: slice cut from ethnic printed skinny stretch dress.

Dress USE - FRONT daylight - edited.png

Patches made and joined in strips of three, then join those to make a length as shown in picture on floor.

Patchwork section attached to stretchy cotton bandeau top, by hand stretch back stitch shown in MAKING INSTRUCTIONS below.

Seams are overlapped one quarter inch – one half inch, and zig-zag machined to avoid bulky inside seams.  6 different patchwork fabrics are used making up a large rectangle of 11 patches x 3 patches.  Keep adding strips (here strips are 3 patches long).  Make strips until there are enough to join up around hips: add 2 extra patch widths to create fullness when attached to bandeau top.

NOTE:  black lace patches are made by fixing over lighter fabric base.  There are possibilities of using different backgrounds for lace, for more subtle effects.

Bandeau patchworks, machined.png

When choosing fabrics, 6 seems to be a good number of alternative fabrics.  They can be either contrasting, as here, or similar in tone.  Dark – Medium- Light is a good mix.

Muted schemes are more satisfactory and versatile than multi-rainbow colour themes.  The size of fabric areas cut from garments, dictates the size of the patches.  In this instance it was the ‘Love Never Dies’ T-shirt print I started from, giving me two patch lengths when cutting.

Bandeau patwork arrangements.png

I was originally going to position the patchworks in diagonal formation over a bias cut lining, but they weren’t cut square so it would look odd.  I therefore turned it to straightforward vertical arrangement.  Recycling 6 different garments, and cutting at least 8 patches from each, is a good start.  I cut more if I like a scheme and want to make another similar.

These patches are 12.5cm x 18cm cut (approximately 7″ x 5″).  Decide the length of garment skirt section needed, from seam under bandeau top, then divide by three for length of patchwork strips: to be either 3, 4, or 5 patches deep. 3 is enough for this short dress.

Dress USE - BACK CLOSEUP - edited.png

To buy ‘Love Never Dies’ or commission new one please email ameliajanedesigns@icloud.com to discuss.

Close up of back, shows butterfly prints, and zig-zag seaming flat overlaps.

MAKING INSTRUCTIONS

Bandeau patchworks mcahined zigzag.png
Zig-zag machining of patches: overlap quarter inch,
making two rows at each overlap (note it is flat,
no folded seams).
Bandeau, pinning bandeau lower front to pathworks.png
Pinning patchwork length equally along bandeau bottom

on the inside.
bandeau-patchworks-pinned-evenly-to-bandeau
The patchwork top folded over and pinned in place, 

ready for stitching by hand.
Bandeau, front pinned, back not.png
How the pinning looks after pinning one section to sew.
More to follow.....
Hand sewing Patches to bandeau A stretch stitch completed two rows.png
Hand stitched back stitch which gives full stretch result.
Photo of stitch process omitted but IS SHOWN BELOW when
attaching lining to this seam join. (Note: I could have
machine-tacked lining to patches first, then stretch
stitched them both together, but I needed to experiment)
Hand sewing Patches to bandeau B stretch stitch outside.png
Outer view shows small hand stitches (stretch back stitch)
showing through.  Quite acceptable appearance;
could even be larger, as a feature.
hand-sewing-lining-c-stretch-stitch-lining-to-dress
Stretch back stitch: holding work this way, each needle
insertion is towards you, hand underneath can test for
flexibility of stretch, to ensure same stretch as patches
fabric.
hand-sewing-lining-a-stretch-stitch-from-left-to-right
Working left to right, back-stitching into patchwork
section above, and lining section below.  This lining
(taken from a dress), is on the 'bias' which aids
stretchiness. It would need to be same width as 
patchwork section sewn to, to give equal stretch.
Hand sewing Lining B stretch stitch lining to dress.png
Needle comes back to lining back stitch from upper
stitch. Needle goes in right to left, but stitches
complete to the right.
bandeau-hand-sewn-stretch-stitch-inside-bandeauside
Finished stretch stitch: inside of dress, just below
where dress patchwork attaches (also stretch stitch)
to bandeau.
lace-trim-turn-over-pinning-easing-in-fullness
Join strips of lace for hem trim.  I used a neck
frill and sleeve edges from a lace dress (4 cut
lengths). Press quarter inch in then pin to dress hem.
lace-trim-zig-zag-machining-turned-in-pinned-to-hem
Machining lace edgings to dress hem.  Zig-zag.
bandeau-inside-dress-after-zigzag-machining-over-topside-frill-edges-folded-in
Finished lace trim attached (inside view).
NOTE: dress fabric was turned under and pressed
towards front beforehand.
bandeau-lace-trim-machined-to-edge-of-patchwork
Finished lace trim showing front and inside back.
love-never-dies-5-fabric-border-added-to-lining
Fabric hem sewn to inside lining:
to sit behind black lace.
love-never-dies-6-bandeau-top-elastic-inserted
Top of bandeau is folded over and narrow elastic
inserted.  Stretchiness is preserved by using
stretch backstitch instead of machining.

To buy ‘Love Never Dies’ dress/skirt please email: awhile Shamanic Nights Online shop is under reconstruction.

Jacket ‘LILIES’

This patchwork jacket was commissioned by 99yr old Beth, a friend of my sister’s in Dorset. She likes something different. Having lived in China, the average high street shop doesn’t attract her.

Clothes I make are well received by women who want something unique and original, rather than from high street chain stores; also for women who appreciate the craft of creative patchwork, resulting in the creation of a new fabric.

Original fabrics
The original fabrics chosen for Lilies Jacket

I chose the fabrics myself for the jacket, having met Beth just once. The item was to be for a wedding, so I wanted it to be light and classic, but to still have some interesting elements. The first fabric I found was the beige skirt with eau de nil applique feature of lilies. I decided this was perfect for the jacket theme.

applique corner
Lilies applique patchwork front corner

Fabrics I used were linen and linen-mix skirts from charity shops. Quite a lot of fabric is needed for patchworks; its best to have at least 5 different ones.

When I cut the patches out and laid out together, I decided there needed to be a highlight colour to accent over and above the all-beige overall look.  I rushed to the shops, and was lucky to see the pale green and pale blue devore skirt with floral print in shiny synthetic satin in the first charity shop I looked in; it seemed a tad shockingly bling, but knew once it was in isolated patches, it would merely enhance the overall arrangement. As soon as I added in the new patches, I knew I would work.

Devore printed skirt with shiny blue flowers on pale green voile base
Devore printed skirt with shiny blue flowers on pale green voile base

For this jacket, I chose skirts with embroidery so I could use the embroidered areas for patches.

Cream linen skirt with brown embroidery.
Cream linen skirt with brown embroidery.

From two embroidered skirts there was enough embroidered area, to give some decoration on every patch in the jacket. I had seen Beth had some embroidered clothes and so guessed she would like it.

lining
Lining in taupe and eau de nil roses

The lining was a bonus find, another skirt, viscose type, having just the right colours of taupe background with eau de nil green in the woven roses, which ideally complimented the classic beige, cream and light green of all the patches.

Cost of fabrics was £42 plus £5 for a synthetic jacket which I just had to get, as it had the shell buttons in shiny light beige with a hint of green, perfectly matching the jacket colours. A touch of shine for a jacket to be worn at a wedding I thought.

Back view of Lilies Jacket
Back view of Lilies Jacket

Due to the centre pattern piece of paper pattern being placed on the bias of the cloth grain/weave, the square patches become diamonds.

buttonholes
Bound buttonholes with two different fabrics and the shell buttons.

Red ‘HOPI DANCE’

Marian modelling 'Hopi Dance' red dress.
HOPI DANCE. Back view. Cream cotton, black spotted viscose panels. Dress tapers to ankles.
HOPI DANCE seated.
HOPI DANCE seated.

To buy ‘Red Hopi Dance‘ dress, please contact ameliajhoskins@gmail.com or ameliajanedesigns@icloud.com – I have the VOGUE pattern to make a different colour-way.

Close up of silk painted panels of Hopi bird design by Amelia

Silk painted panels: Close up of white and black background silk panels of ‘Hopi Bird’ design by Amelia, maker of Shamanic Nights clothes.

My inspiration for the designs on silk were taken from images on Native American pottery. The bird designs had been painted around the pots, making the design full circular; I kept many attributes of the circular designs when putting into 2D.  Colours combine in this case, to compliment the dress colours.

‘Red HOPI DANCE’ Red Linen with hip ties to adjust at hips for fuller sizes.  Pattern used Vogue1234 suitable for knits and so cuts small.  I had to add 1.5 inch side inserts under the arms and sleeves to give better fit for 34-36 inch bust.