"But, really, why does anyone create? You feel a... a restlessness inside, a need to make something new, something no one has ever seen before. You want to add to the beauty and the richness of the world with a gift, an offering that is uniquely yours. It's an act of selfishness and generosity, all rolled into one."

-- Bruce Coville,
The Last Hunt

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"Asters" Shirt

Finally got it finished and sewn onto the shirt. The shirt now needs a slight touch-up with the iron as it got a bit crumpled while I was stitching the tatting on, but I wanted to get the pictures taken while I still had a little morning light left. The pattern is "Asters" from Tatting with Visual Patterns by Mary Konior, and the thread is Yarnplayer's "Twilight Zone" in size 40.

I forgot to take a pic of the finished tatting before putting it on the shirt, but here it is last night, just pinned on.

Before putting the tatting on, I measured and marked the center of the neckline with a pin to help center the tatting. Then I pinned the tatting in place. I have been known to baste tatting on as well, but for some reason I didn't think of that in this case. Anyway, the pins worked just fine.

And here it is this morning after I finished the sewing.

The middle photo shows a close-up of the center, where I modified the pattern to make that dropped-down part. Basically, I turned a 3-ring cluster into a 5-ring cluster and lengthened the following chain a little bit, then did the same thing in reverse coming out of that section. For the dropped down section itself, I made 2 normal repeats, then used the corner from the pattern twice in a row to make the point at the bottom, then another 2 normal repeats joined to the previous bit. You got all that, right?

The bottom photo shows how I plan to wear this, with a short-sleeved shirt over it like a light jacket.

I said the other day that I would tell you why I decided to make this-- not that one ever needs to justify adding tatting to anything, of course! Lately, I have been getting really fed up with my job. It used to be a fun place to work, where everyone got along and worked together to get things done; now there is constant bickering over the pettiest little things, each shift accusing the other of not doing things, etc. So I started applying for other jobs-- still in the same organization, because I've got too much seniority to give it up and start over easily, but in different departments where I can hopefully be away from all that.

Then I realized I didn't have anything to wear to a job interview-- I have jeans and t-shirts, scrubs, and clothes for harp gigs, which are generally fancy party type clothes. I had one simple black skirt that would do, but no appropriate top to go with it. So I went out and found this plain white tank top and black blouse that will go with the skirt and look professional enough, but the outfit really needed some color. Thus, a tatted embellishment was born-- and just in time, I've got an interview tomorrow!

EDIT, a few minutes after originally posting this: Sheesh, I said all that and neglected to tell you the final decision I made about how to sew it on! I decided against invisible thread, because Fox's comment on the previous post reminded me of what a pain in the rear that stuff is. Not only does being invisible make it kind of hard to see, but it is stiff and uncooperative and keeps trying to coil itself back up like it was on the spool. I don't mind it for sewing down smaller pieces, but I decided that for something this size, I'd rather use something easier to work with. I found an eggplant-colored Gutermann sewing thread in my stash that blends very well with the tatting thread.

I also went against conventional wisdom in that I did not sew the picots down. I don't care for the look of a stitched-down picot, so I deliberately made all the picots small enough that they won't twist even without being sewn; besides, I plan to always hand wash this shirt, so I'll be able to keep the picots under control. Instead, I sewed through the stitch caps on the back side of the tatting, with the result that the sewing is practically invisible.


  1. Looks fabulous - good luck with the interview tomorrow.

  2. Usually I do not like tatting on clothing. Funny for a tatter, I suppose, and I wear very little jewellery of any kind, but this shirt of yours appeals to me very much! It is quite elegant - the tatting is so well placed and a great pattern.

    It looks to me like “successful interview” apparel! Break a leg!
    Fox : )

  3. I was waiting to see what thread you used to sew it down. Glad you avoided the invisible one!

    Great idea to keep the picots small (but still visible) and to sew through the caps! On the enlarged photo it looks perfect!
    And that's quite a description of how you manipulated the shape of the tatting!

    Good luck on the interview! In my day (back in the early '60s) we had to wear a dress or suit and a hat (pillbox style) and gloves for our interviews (LOL)! I still remember one outfit I wore! It was a robin's egg blue Jonathan Logan dress, with black piping! (Black hat and gloves)
    Tatting would have looked nice on it!

  4. Absolutely fabulous! Now I want one...(now where did I put that tatting book?)

    Best of luck on your interview!

  5. This looks fantastic, and I hope it brings you luck in your interview.

  6. I absolutely love this, and have been looking for something pretty to put on a t-shirt!
    I might give this a try, it is beautiful!

  7. Love the addition to your top! Regardless of the outcome of the interview (getting you hired, of course) it makes a lovely addition to any wardrobe!

    Pheebes aka Sally Biggers

  8. what a great idea! Lovely pattern.