Years ago I found a vintage necklace hand-woven from faux pearls in the shape of a necktie at an estate sale. I had never seen anything like it and of course I was curious to figure out how it had been made.
The vintage thread that the necktie was made with had started to break and some of the beads had fallen off. It was too fragile to be worn so I didn’t feel too bad about taking the necklace apart. It was a complicated little piece but I managed to figure out how to recreate the necktie shaping. I have since found purses and other shaped necklaces made in a similar fashion and I would like to create more patterns in this style. It is time-consuming and I wouldn’t exactly call it easy but you can make these ties yourself. I have found a few vintage pearl ties since that very first one but usually they are damaged or smelly or the old thread is rotting away.
I have made a few finished necklaces for sale in my Etsy store but if you want to try your hand at making one for yourself I have finally written down my complete DIY pattern. It was almost harder to write down the pattern than it is to make them, it took a few years and a lot of pearls to get it all figured out. I also drew illustrations to go along with the instructions and I think it is fairly easy to follow the steps but I would say that this pattern is for those who don’t mind a challenge.
I found the perfect thread to make these ties after a lot of trial and error. Some thread was too thick and some broke too easily. But this Coats and Clarke is the perfect balance of strength and fineness. In order to weave in the pearls you need to sew through each pearl around 3 times so the thread needs to be strong and fine and the needle needs to have the smallest head possible.
And you need a lot of faux pearls, around 500, for one necklace. You definitely want to use a nice glass bead and not a cheap plastic one. The necktie needs to have a bit of weight to it so that it hangs well and the shine on a glass pearl is so much nicer. I use a 6mm pearl to get the size tie that I make and it looks like the original vintage one.
If you want to try the pattern you can buy it here and let me know how your tie turns out.
I’m not sure why these are called Pussy Bows, and blouse bow sounds old timey. Neck scarf bow? I’m really not sure what to call it.
I inherited some of my grandmother’s vintage clothes and one of her blouses had this amazing detachable neck bow. I took it apart and drafted a pattern from it exactly as it was and it turned out pretty awesome.
And when I made it in pink it totally reminded me of the latest Gucci looks that are feminine but somehow tough at the same time. It’s a pretty great accessory for a punch of color.
I’ve made up a bunch of these bows in red, black and pink and you can pick one up at Cut and Sewn on Etsy.
And if you really want to DIY your own blouse pussy Gucci whatever bow you can get my downloadable PDF pattern with complete how to instructions here:
There’s a lot of talk about Slow Fashion right now but I think it can be difficult to figure out exactly what that means to each of us. I think it is about a lot more than just fashion, but fashion is one entry point into a way of thinking more about how we consume and how we participate in the world.
Loved Clothes Last Zine
But specific to fashion what exactly is SLOW? I recently found Fashion Revolution on instagram (@fash_rev) and starting following them for their interesting posts and when they offered the second print issue of their magazine I snapped it up.
This zine turns out to be a great guide to finding your place in Slow Fashion. It contains all kinds of helpful tips on recycling, caring for fabrics, mending and editing your wardrobe. As well as info on the life cycle of garments, the truth about the secondhand clothing industry, and new designers making a difference.
wear and repair
They really focus on mending and cleaning clothes to make them last longer and that is great, I’m all for that. But I wish people would talk more about handmade. Weather you learn to make your own clothes or you hire a local sewist to make them for you, handmade is a great way to find clothes that express your style, last longer, fit your body and have a deeper meaning. Rather than the short lived high you get from shopping handmade clothing is an experience. There is nothing slower than handmade!
So, what does Slow mean to you?
You’ve been asking for it and now you can get all 4 of my collar designs in one pattern.
The Standard Point, Super Pointy, Curved and Double Curved Collars with 1″ stand are all included in this one sewing pattern.
You can make these collars from almost any fabric. I love making one up from the scraps from other projects. These make up great from classic shirt fabrics like poplin, quilting cotton, or get fancy with taffeta, satin or lace.
I’ve written out some very easy to follow instructions with clear illustrations which you can purchase here:
Pattern includes full size pattern pieces in an easy to assemble PDF downloadable pattern.
Fabric and Notions:
1/2 Yard of fabric will make 2 collars
1/4 yard of iron on interfacing
1 Button or snap fastener
And you can brush up on sewing perfect points for your collars in this post with some great tips Making Perfect Points.
I’m releasing two new hat patterns this summer from my most popular hat designs. Now you can make these great hats for yourself.
This rain hat is perfect rainy days and fun to make. It even comes with instructions for little storage case so you can take it with you instead of bringing a bulky umbrella.
This pattern was first published in the book Hat Shop by Design Collective. You can get a PDF version here
And one of my favorite summer hats that perfectly covers up my frizzy humidity hair is a classic cotton turban in colorful fabric. This is easy to make and a breeze to wear.
I have several in gingham because I love the look, but they look great in florals, plaids and solid colors as well.
Make your own turban from 1 yard of quilting cotton, gauze or linen.
You can get the PDF downloadable pattern here
What is a skube? It’s a skirt plus a tube! Skube.me, owned and designed by Monica Kohler, makes fun, easy to wear tube skirts. The idea behind the skube is versatility; fashion that transitions easily from workout to work day. The skube fits right in poolside just as well as a business casual setting.
Over the past few weeks, we at Cut and Sewn have been happy to be a part of the skube production process, contracted to produce 300 skubes for the Skube.me summer stock. Kohler hand selected a variety of complimenting patterns, then delivered them to Cut and Sewn to be made into the finished product. This kind of access to local small batch manufacturing is what Cut and Sewn is all about. It provides a way for entrepreneurs to have their product made locally and affordably, while allowing us to give close attention to the manufacture of every garment. For the small business, it’s a win win situation.
Skube.me will be showing at Second Sunday on Main throughout the summer, starting this Sunday, June 14. Owner Monica Kohler can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (513)505-9384 to schedule a pop-up sale or private showing.
Brightly patterned skubes
Reversible “urban” skubes
This summer I took a big journey into creating art.
I was invited to help with the construction of a Memory quilt for the Contemporary Arts Center‘s 75th annaverary by the amazing Pam Kravetz.
She asked me to make quilt portraits of the members of my family to replicate the work of JR who’s portraits of citizens of Cincinnati cover the walls of the museum.
I had never done anything like this before and I was terrified and excited to try it.
First, I took pictures of my family and myself and using photoshop I applyied a grid over them and applyed the painter filter.
I printed out full size copies of the photos and used the paper piecing quilting method to lay out the image. Then I stitched around every piece of fabric to quilt all the layers together.
The quilts are large, 35″ X 50″ and it took about 30 hours to finish each one.
When the huge quilts were finished and installed in the museum they looked like this:
Earlier this year I sold on of my vintage linen sleep masks from my Etsy store.
The purchaser asked me to ship it as soon as possible because it was going to be used in a TV show. I figured it was a local show and sent the mask off without another thought about it.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when my daughter and I sat down to watch one of our favorite shows together. My daughter loves horror movies and zombie flicks so of course she loves American Horror Story. Coven was our favorite season so far and we even bought matching black hats so we could feel a bit witchy.
So this season starts and it is SCARY. I almost can’t handle it. I have this problem where I empathize with fictional characters way too much. So I’m watching episode 2 and hiding my eyes and cringing when all of a sudden I jump off the couch “that’s my eye mask!”
One half of Sarah Paulson’s character is trying to sleep while her other half is trying to have a conversation and she is wearing, you guessed it, my sleep mask that I shipped off weeks ago and forgot all about.
My daughter was thrilled to think that something I made was in such close proximity to Evan Peters and I was pretty excited to see my work somewhere so unexpected. Their costume people must spend an enormous amount of time looking for unique items that can fit in with the time period. That sounds like a fun job doesn’t it?
…and I am going to keep watching this season even if my eyes are closed sometimes!
It’s that time again, hat and scarf season. Sweater weather is my favorite time of year here in Ohio and when the temperature tips just enough for me to put on a hat I am happiest of all.
I was inspired by my daughter, who has an affinity for the beanie style hat, to design this patchwork version made from recycled sweaters. I wanted to feature the lovely colors and textures of the fabrics and create something that is utilitarian and beautiful. It’s a long process from choosing the sweaters, washing and drying them, then cutting them into the pattern pieces to be sewn together.
They are one of a kind, soft, slouchy, warm, simple and interesting. Too many adjectives? For me, these hit all the right spots for a hat.
Available in my Etsy store.