7 Getting Started
14 Sewing Techniques Something Old
23 Mom and Apple Pie Apron
27 • Aunt Lulu Loves Pink!
28 Dance the Polka Glasses Case
32 • Men Make Passes at Girls Who Wear Glasses
35 Coco Mocha Coin Purse
40 Ginza Fashionista Purse
43 • Caesar’s Palace
44 • Black Tie at the CMAs
45 Magnolia Blossoms Jacket
49 Safari Backpack
57 Breakfast at Tiffany’s Wrap Skirt
61 • French Riviera Sweater
62 Pretty in Pink Blouse
66 • Deco Diety Tee
67 • Mermaid Sea Queens Tee
69 Hermes Messenger Bag
75 Erica Purse
78 • Antoinette
79 Save the Earth Overalls
85 Spring Espadrilles
87 • Bombay Jewels
89 Reach for the Stars Jacket
92 • Joie de Vivre
94 Celebrity Signature Handbag
98 Savannah Shoulderbag
104 A Geisha’s Journal Vest
109 East Meets West Skirt
113 • Leopards ‘n Lace
115 Chloe’s Wedding Dress
118 Sash and Train
119 Blanc de Blanc Shrug
121 Blushing Bride Hat and Veil
123 Heart’s Desire Purse
Altered style is all about adding your personal stamp and thoughts to everything in your life. Once you start, your life will never be the same again. You’re probably already doing it unconsciously in a practical sense, so now use it creatively and meaningfully. “Altered Style” will lead to an enhanced lifestyle. You’ll look at everything differently. No longer will shopping be humdrum, deciding between the black leather shoes that will match all the other black accessories or brown because it might be the new black…but you’re not sure. No longer will you have to have the very latest and most costly styles. You’ll learn to shop in your own closet, a friend’s closet, consignment stores, thrift shops and sale racks.
Replace old buttons, change the shapes of collars and cuffs with lace, add grommets as embellishment and sprinkle sparkling crystals everywhere. Subtly add your secret thoughts to the inside of shoes and belts, or proudly blaze words across the shoulders of a jacket for all to see.
Check out magazines for the latest design ideas, and create your own version from the clothes you already have. Add snippets of vivid fabrics and exotic beads in hues you love. Use random shapes and a spontaneous placement method to create an abstract style. Use the element of surprise and impromptu doodling in the most unexpected places. You’ll be surprised at how confi dent and fearless you’ll feel!
Wear these signifi cant pieces of wearable art when you need to go out and conquer the world. Then, on days of quiet solitude and introspective peace, let the colors and artful images speak in nuances as the designs are placed in a purposeful trail across a vest. Add a cutout circle portal; the viewer will follow the path of textures and approach the round window that provides a glimpse into the artist’s soul. Journal life’s meaning encrypted in Haiku on vintage kimono fabric with a permanent marker. Use fabric adhesive, and bond it to the inside of the garment. These exercises in developing techniques will boost your self esteem when you begin to express yourself. You may even want to share your wearable art with others in a gallery setting!
To create something new, accessorize and add flourishes to projects made from the ingenious circle. Stretch the creative, problem-solving portion of your mind by thinking of ways to alter the circle to suit your needs. With just a folding of fabric, a few measurements and a simple equation, you will be able to create aprons, skirts, collars, cuffs, pockets and artful designs. Use these simple projects as a backdrop for the drop-dead gorgeous accessories you create.
Some days are just for silliness and frivolity: no worlds to conquer and no world needs to ponder, no techniques to learn and no equations to remember. Grab a pair of high-top sneakers and a handful of scrapbook supplies. No one said memories had to go in a book — and wouldn’t it be fun to send them to your older sister….the accountant?
This book will be your BFF (best friend forever). We’ll have fun, we won’t watch the time, we’ll spread everything out so we can see it all in a glance, we’ll take chances, and we’ll create our own style. Collect some specialty reference books as well as some excellent Web sites. There is a vast world of information about sewing machine needles, thread, seams and more, as well as the material found in your sewing machine manual.
There is some information about sewing…no, not rules, but the standard (for now). Some information is good forever, like basic sewing skills. Some information needs to be updated, such as new improved sewing notions. And some information applies to personal taste, like whether you should baste everything before sewing. Set your own standard to accommodate your skill level while you evolve. Take classes at a nearby shop, and add new techniques to your repertoire at your own pace.
Some basic information on fabrics, stabilizers and notions is provided. Use this as a starting point, and update with new information as you go along. Get a three-ring binder and divide it into sections. Keep notes on the information you gather from reference books and Web sites (so you can go back and look it up in detail), save pages from sewing magazines (they explain the latest products), and sketch ideas for the future.
A trip to the fabric store can be overwhelming (in a good way!). Quilt stores are great because you can buy a lot of cotton fat quarters, sustenance for the altered soul. Buy in groups of four — it’s only a yard! Select a main motif and supporting fabrics. Keep a stash of basic “tone-on-tones” to bridge all the prints. Always keep some black, white and red (or your favorite color). Yellow or a color with yellow mixed in (i.e. green or orange) adds zing.
When you are buying fashion fabric for the circle projects in this book, consider the drape, stretch and ravel factor. A heavier, woven fabric (such as denim or linen) will drape away from the body, creating a lovely fullness. A softer or loosely woven fabric (like chiffon or gauze) will fall close to the body. Knits usually fall close to the body. Fabrics like chiffon and knits allow you to add fullness with gathers with elegance, not poofi ness. How much stretch do you need, and why? Woven fabrics only stretch on the bias. When a circle is cut, there is minimal stretch in certain parts of the circle. This is great for aprons, wrap skirts, and skirts that will have a zipper and waistband. This is ideal for areas that require a fi nite measurement. A skirt with an elastic waistband will require a circle measurement of whichever is larger, the waist or hips. If the hips are larger, the waistband will have gathers.
When a circle is cut from a fabric such as chiffon, rayon, silk or a knit with two-way stretch, there is a lot of stretch. This is ideal for a smooth waist area and will accommodate any size hip with minimal gathering. The chiffon waistband will still need to be the largest measurement, but the chiffon will ease back with very little gathering. With a knit waistband that will stretch, the measurement will be somewhere between the smallest and largest measurement, depending on the stretch. When attaching the waistband to the skirt, use a narrow zigzag stitch to accommodate the stretch. There isn’t a fi nite formula, so a little trial and error is required on an individual basis.