All wrapped up in a bow...

You know I love accessories, the way they can lift a dress, restyle a look, or draw the eye away from a 'repeated' outfit choice! Today's refashioning is EASY PEASY to do, for a quick new accessory to add to your wardrobe; all you need, to start with, is a wire hanger and some pliers... 

And the blogpost soundtrack for today? A powerful track from Charlie's Angels, that makes me think of working with pliers. Mechanics... concentration... and all that...

I won't lie, the bending part of this project takes longer than you'd think, so don't do this in a rush (at the same speed as the soundtrack, for example...), it'll lead to sure-fire frustration! Unwrap the part where the wire meets itself at the top of the hanger, rework the metal until it's long piece of random wire, then take both ends and overlap them in the middle, making a rudimentary bow shape - to be covered by fabric. I used a remnant piece of black PVC, left over from my Francoise dress (used on the shoulder accents).

Take enough fabric to completely encase the wire bow you've made, width-wise, and pin together before stitching. After you've sewn the mid-section together, pinch the rest of the excess fabric around to the back. Look at this process like wrapping a present, too much fabric will make the wrapping harder to do - so snip away excess fabric until it sits, and folds, comfortably around the wire. 
(*Remember it's unlikely anyone else will get to see the back of it, so just concentrate on how it looks from the front. Unless, like me, you keep telling people "I made it myself, see?! All you do is pinch the fabric around the back like this!!" - in which case, take more care with the process...)

When you've got the basic bow (as in Fig.1 above), secure with sellotape so it stays in place. Then cut a separate piece of fabric, approx 3 to 4 inches wide, and 20 - 30 inches in length (depending on the effect you want to create for the tie) - and sew right sides together, creating a long tube. Then turn that tube the right way out (as in Fig.2), before wrapping around the centre of your bow (Fig.3). Fiddle around with the length of it, until the join is obscured behind the bow, then sew in place. I cut in 'V' shapes into the ends, but maybe you'd rather leave yours straight... Also, as I was working with cotton-backed PVC, there was no need to sew the ends - if you're working with a fabric that frays, you might want to finish the ends off properly to avoid a shabby look. Unless you like shabby. Nothing wrong with a bit of shabby. Anyway... Once you've finished the ends, it's ready to go on a belt... I used a skinny black belt, simply threading it through the back of the bow (as in Fig.4).

And that's that! Inspired by a Mickey-Mouse-Like-Bow I already own on another garment (see above polka dot affair), I created a belt that changed the look of my off-the-shoulder navy dress. I took the 'After' photo in one of the dressing rooms at work, so the lighting's not the best - but you get the idea :)

"No 'arm in the odd selfie..."
If you happen to make one of these, I'd LOVE to see, so please e-mail me a pic and I'll add it to this post! I was thinking I might make another in an rose print upholstery fabric, (purely because I've got some in my stash!) - I think it'd work well over a denim dress... 
I'm not convinced this wire-hanger-bow-thing would work too well with a sheer fabric, or fine delicate fabric, for the simple reason there's a lot of fiddling, stretching, tension and pinning involved... but if you find differently, let me know!

And have a fab week, I've got lots to write up and share before the end of January - so speak soon!

Gema x 

p.s. Don't want to repeat myself... so if you'd like to know why this is set to be a good year, catch up on my most recent post :)


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