Sunday, October 11, 2009

Berry Good Beading

On the turn

It's autumn. It's fall. Whatever. The leaves are turning. Crunchy piles of russet, golden and orange gather on the pavements just begging you to kick, jump and stamp in your new boots.

Bejewelled berries

Hedgerow berries sit plump and juicy, embellishing the dense foliage of the wayside, imploring you to gorge yourselves in delicious gluttony, be you bird, beast or morning commuter.

At least, that's how it goes in my mind.

Inspired by the latest AW09 trend for all things shoulder, (and certainly with those gorgeous glimpses of berries adorning trees and bushes not too far from my mind), one of my latest projects that I worked on whilst I was laid up recovering from my op, was this sweater.

Shoulder to Shoulder

When the shops first started receiving delivery of their first AW stock drops in late August/early September, I went to check out what the new season would have to offer, and found many shops doing variations on this theme. Plain sweaters with shoulder-based embellishments. I liked the idea of this look, but did not like the idea of paying the ridiculously inflated prices on what was essentially, an average quality jumper with a few sequins sewn on.

So I did what any self-respecting amateur seamstress would do, and did it myself!

I look moody. I was going for "fierce". This is why I am not America's Next Top Model.

I found that this way, I could search for a good quality of jumper that I knew would last, and design the embellishment to exactly the design that I wanted. It was also a lot of fun!

I found a plain black v-neck fine knit sweater in Gap, which was lovely and soft. It also fitted really nicely. Now that I had my base, I took a trip to the crafter's dream that is John Lewis' Oxford Street Haberdashery. I knew that whatever I was going to sew on would have to be lightweight, as the sweater was a fine knit and wouldn't be able to support too much hardware. So sequins or beading was the order of the day. When I spied the small pot of these tiny golden beads, I knew they would be perfect.

The whole thing worked out a lot cheaper than the original jumpers I was eyeing up in Topshop et al, and I have something unique that I have made with my very own lily-white hands.

Please do try it yourself, it doesn't take long, and the satisfaction and ever-so-slight smug factor of saying 'Oh this old thing? Well, actually, I made it myself' is way worth it. Believe.