Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Craft Corner: Victorian Vest

...From Shell Kepler's "Make Fashion Magic"...

Fall reminds me of a recurring dream...I'm stepping up to the podium to claim my Oscar when Dad's voice wakes me. "Today's the first day of school," he says, uttering the phrase that turns a star-studded dream into a nightmare. "But why do I have to go?" I ask. "So you can go into business," Dad says, picking up his briefcase. "So you can be a fashion designer," Mom says, straightening my sweater. "But I'm going to be an actress," I correct them, as they gently shove me out the door...

My most important lesson was not from school but from something my parents somehow knew. The value of my education was learning when to take my cue.

I love the look of frilly laces on a man's waistcoat. The turnabout is absolutely charming.

Find a vest that fits you (try a thrift shop) or "borrow" the vest from one of your husband's old three-piece suits. Remove the buttons and keep them for another project.

Put the vest on a flat surface. Cut and piece white lace scraps as desired. Enhance the neckline of the vest with the lace scraps as desired.

Place similar lace scraps on the pocket flaps. Then arrange a few leftover pieces along the lower edges of the vest. Once you are pleased with the overall design, pin the lace pieces in place so they won't move while you are working. Then hot-glue or handstitch them in place.

Stitch new buttons to the vest (cameo buttons are used here). Randomly attach a few Victorian charms and crocheted flowers to the lace pieces. Then hot-glue Austrian crystals on the lace as desired.

Supplies: Man's vest, white lace scraps, decorative buttons, Victorian charms, small beige crocheted flowers with pearl centres, Austrian crystals, thread to match, clear hot-glue sticks

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