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Organic Knit Peony Vest

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Peny Vest using Organic Cotton Jersey, beading and hand stitching.

We like to take pre-show photos of our booth at the Original Sewing & Quilt Expos before our customers start coming in and having some serious fun. In Ft. Worth, I took a photo of Kathy in her new English boucle Opal Jacket. Of course, Terry Kennedy, who is tuned into all of our patterns and keeps up with our whereabouts, spotted the Peony Vest over the striped Icon Shirt in the background and wanted to know more.

So here goes. I used two colors of our new Alabama Chanin organic knits, silt and midnight, to make a Peony Vest. I used the two fronts and the back pieces and eliminated the facings and lining.

After I cut out each piece in both colors, I stacked the silt onto the midnight and pinned them frequently. Then I chalk marked a 2" grid over all of the pieces.

We just received our shipment of beautiful embroidery flosses and heavy duty sewing threads (look for them on our web site soon), so I selected a greyish-taupe Button Craft thread to sew a two-strand running throughout the entire grid, holding the two pieces of fabric together. At this point, the garment could have been reversible.

I changed the scale of the grid stitching to 1" in the lapel area and in two carefully placed squares, one on the left front and one on the right back.

After I hand sewed the shoulder and side seams, I used 1"-wide strips of the silt knit to bind the edges, using a herringbone embroidery stitch to attach the binding.

In the 1" grid spaces, I used small trimming scissors to make "X" slits through the top layer only, exposing the midnight blue knit underneath. Sequins and seed beads are attached at each grid point to emphazixe the design.

I chose not to slice the smaller grid in the lapel area. Instead just sewing seed beads at each grid corner. 

Two road strips and a couple of plane rides allowed me accomplish this work and still be entertained. I love the process of hand sewing again. It has brought me back to where I started sewing as a kid. I still have the hand stitched garment that I designed for my Ginny and Barbie dolls, and I enjoy pulling them out and looking at them from time to time.

I have been working on a new pattern that is just asking for a little hand stitched embellishment. Can't wait to get it to you.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy seeing my Peony Vest.

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