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Summer Sewing Challenge - Express Yourself in Linen

On the Cutting Edge

Front view

This ensemble was inspired by a guild challenge to be creative with 2 yards of linen.
Cutwork is a traditional technique that is often used to embellish linen. Here,
I give it a modern edge by combining it with silk organza and by using a non-traditional
color scheme. Every inch of the available fabric was used — the two small rectangles left
after cutting out the jacket and pants were just enough to complete the purse.

The fabrics used are black linen and black silk organza. The top is silk charmeuse. I modified the edges of a simple bolero jacket and pants to accomodate the machine-embroidery.

The elaborate machine-embroidered cutwork borders on the jacket and
pants consist of several smaller motifs that have been grouped
together in software to follow the design lines of these garments.
These embroideries are stitched out using a water-soluble stabilizer.
The linen fabric in the open areas of the embroidery and along the
garment edges is carefully trimmed away before the final machine
stitching is done.  The entire jacket and the embroidered areas of the
pant legs are underlined with silk organza.  This underlining serves
several purposes: it acts as a permanent stabilizer for the
embroidery, as an interfacing for the jacket, and as a decorative
transparent inset for the cutwork. The organza is also used to finish
the seams inside the jacket.


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  1. UnaHagen | | #1

    Very impressive cutwork - having done cutwork on linen and pima cotton myself, I recognize the high level of skill needed to execute this detail. It must be fun to wear this creatively styled outfit.

  2. anandad | | #2

    Wow, I am very impressed. I did not know you could do this with linen :)

  3. SewingAsArt | | #3

    Wow, only 2 yards of linen! I enjoy cutwork embroidery, so beautiful, I didn't know you could machine embroider. i've learned good techniques from your post. thank you!

  4. JanF | | #4

    At last something which I can see is more what i think of as Art to wear -a bit different and shows off a fantastic interpretation of a traditional skill - well done!

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