Saturday, October 29, 2011

It's all in the details

I spied the tunic length Zone Bleue design

in a charming little clothing boutique

on Forest Avenue in Laguna Beach named Duet

that specializes in unique and often hand made pieces

from all over the world.

I was drawn to the feminine ruched collar
and asymmetrical design.

It fit beautifully,

but the color of the top was not flattering for my skin tone,

it being a grey/beige hue

There was enough cotton in the fabric contents
that I believed it could be dyed to a warm beige color.
Upon returning home with the new acquisition
I filled the kitchen sink with warm water
to wet the entire garment
then drained most of the water and added in the contents
of a pot of coffee that had been sitting for half of the day.
I let it soak for about 15 minutes before gently rinsing
and hanging the garment to dry,

fortunately the color came out exactly as envisioned.

As I was pressing the piece I wondered why

the designer had chosen to leave so much of

the over lock stitching exposed on the edges

of the ruffles.

Was it a conscious decision to meet a certain price point?
Maybe I've been watching too much of the show "All on the line"
on the Sundance channel with Joe Zee.
Either way, in my world I couldn't seem to let this charming
design just be as it was created,
something inside me causes me to tweak it and make it my own.

Possibly it is the possessing of a cachet of delicate delights
needing to be seen and not tucked away any longer.

I felt it needed a little more and began foraging through my
cluttered studio to find the perfect vintage laces and trims to add
to the top covering the exposed seam edges.

I chose to also dye the lace pieces selected
for embellishing in coffee
before attaching them to the garment

and pieced several laces
together for additional detail
on the diagonal seam of the back of the tunic.

The lace you see at the collar of this sweet piece
was originally going to be an underskirt on the garment
but after pinning it in place
I realized it was adding too much bulk along the bottom
and found instead the lace was the perfect embellishment
to add along the bottom of the ruched collar

and included it on the sweet tie at the collar
and then recreating the tie into a rosette.

supplies needed...

miscellaneous laces and trims
needles, scissors, thread, sewing machine optional
pot of coffee
a creative imaginatio


  1. Beautiful! It was pretty before, but now it's a masterpiece. And I'm very jealous of your drawer of lace!

  2. Just lovely! I dye muslin all the time. Where did you get your box for the lace!!

  3. I like what you did to that top! I looks prettier now!


  4. I love your redesign! It's wonderful! I like how you made the top your own :)

  5. Just your style! And I can imagine you spending a peaceful afternoon transforming this little gem. Thanks for the story.

  6. Wow, did you do a fabulous redesign transforming this top. Incredible! Thanks for the inspiration, as I need to visually do more of that with my clothes and not just with my vintage redesign jewelry that I currently work with. How Fun!

  7. what a lovely top !
    and what a gorgeous collection you have there of lace & trims :)
    PS I see that we were both published in the same magazine, how fun !

  8. Love it, Paulette! The airy collar lace is especially gorgeous. You really made it yours! p.s. just nominated you for a 'liebster' award... on my blog.

  9. What a wonderful talent you have to transform an already pretty piece of clothing into altered couture. I have done coffee staining before, but only had the guts to do it on a scarf. I wanted to let you know that I loved your altered brown bag featured in the Fall edition of Somerset Life. You inspired me to do my own version, that I blogged about and made sure to give you a little shout out: just passing along the blog karma.

  10. Wow! Definitely a creative transformation!

  11. Wow, you did a beautiful job in making an already pretty blouse into a masterpiece! I am now a follower of your blog. Thanks for stopping by my blog & your sweet comments. Come by & enter my giveaway!

  12. What you have done here is truly a work of art.
    It is truly so beautiful!

  13. Gorgeous!! It was pretty before but now it is amazing.

  14. What fun! Coffee for Dye, what a perfect color and I would never have believed it. This top came out beautiful:) I have been blog hopping on the Thursdays Favorite Things Blog Hop and I have learned so many things from so many amazing and talented people. I am following you and would love a follow back:)

    My Turn (for us)

    Thanks so much, I sure enjoyed the visit!

  15. I love it, may I borrow it? Giggle. Thank you for linking to the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop linky party xo

  16. It was beautiful before, but it looks stunning now. I might just have to steal your idea!
    Thanks for sharing, I'm off now to check my lace stash!

  17. Really beautiful, but do you have a problem with a coffee smell on the fabric afterwards? how about fading when cleaned? lovely lovely top!