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Make Details and Embellishments for Simple Garments

Photo: Dan Kvitka, courtesy of Ann Williamson Designs

Simple garment shapes call out for special details and embellishments. Ann Williamson uses fabric strips and tubes as piecing or appliqué in her quest to create sophisticated, elegant, and modern wearable art.

These embellishment techniques were developed over many years and were influenced by her previous fiber arts and quilting experiences, as well as her study of art. She is always striving to "draw" finer lines with ever-narrower strips of fabric, much as early Northern European painters used brushes of the finest hairs to render minute details. Some of the strips and tubes she works with measure less than 1/8-inch wide.

These narrow pieces of fabric can have an impact on a garment's design. A basic blouse of kimono silk is transformed into a showpiece with the addition of three-dimensional coils at its neckline. A simple tunic becomes eveningwear when made from organza, appliquéd with fine silk tubes, and scattered with beads. Piecing together strips of contrasting silks adds visual interest to a sleeveless shell.

Many types of silk are ideal for strip piecing and appliqué: kimono, organza, chiffon, dupioni, and taffeta. You can use any fabrics you wish, but the best choices are those that are flexible on the bias and don't ravel as soon as they're cut.

In the article, Ann will explain how to create a pieced garment, and how to use bias tubes as appliqué to create intrigue and dimension. Remember that they are the means to achieving your vision- they shouldn't rule your design. All of the garments shown are original designs, but you can apply the techniques to any garment. See her tutorial in this article of Threads #159.

Comments (1)

rosestargold rosestargold writes: Very interesting technique! the fist time I look at it. But maybe i will consider use it in the future because it is too advance for me at the moment. Love the tridimensional one. Thank you for give inspiration!
Posted: 12:43 pm on May 6th

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