Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Two Boleros: Beaded Ruffle, and String Quilting

Lucille models a new shape of bolero from Natalie Chanin's Alabama Studio Sewing + Design. I used the tee shirt pattern to extend the bodice shape down to more of a jacket. Then I finished the edge  with a beaded pleated ruffle.

It's Dove jersey, shown over a Nude jersey dress.

Next up, a bolero that uses string quilting--a way of building fabric out of strips. It's very frugal! I could never have scrounged up enough scraps to cut this out normally. But I could find the strips. They are hand-sewn onto a base of jersey you can't see.

It makes for a very sturdy, structured bolero. 

I've sewn almost all of Natalie Chanin's techniques, and this one (it's from Alabama Studio Style) is the trickiest of all. It's very hard to keep all this on the straight grain, and also to maneuver the straight shapes at the curved pattern piece edges.

And, I found I had to work on a tabletop. No sitting and stitching in my lap.

But it is very frugal!


  1. Lovely! Thanks for the tip on extending the bolero. I've wished it were larger but never thought to do this. Great strip piecing idea. Glad also to know that I'm not the only one with a name for my dress model (Lucille, meet Madge...).

  2. I like your Alabama Chanin, however I miss some of your retro dresses as well. Do you sew those anymore?

    Also, happy belated birthday to Felix!

  3. The string-quilted one would be a little more insulation then, for cooler days - a good idea!


  4. It always makes me smile when I see Lucille pop up in a post.

  5. The beaded ruffle is so lovely. carol (in Md)