The last warm days of summer are still hanging on here in Minnesota, but at nights you can feel the chill of autumn start to roll in.
Personally, autumn is my favorite season … the time of warm apple cider, boots, and fabulous layers. That’s why I thought it would be a great time to share something perfect for wrapping around yourself on a chill autumn evening, the capelet creations of Luci from DuhBe.
Luci joins us today to talk a little about the spark that started her upcycled Victorian creations, and the embroidery embellishments that go with them…
I just love that these are capelets, something you really don’t see much of these days. What inspired you to make these?
I had found this really pretty skirt, but it was too small for me. One day I threw the skirt over the shoulders of my dress form, and it occurred to me I could upcycle that skirt into a neo-victorian styled capelet.
I ended up putting that first one in my Etsy shop and it was featured in one of their emails which created demand for more capelets – so I made more! They are great for keeping the chill off your shoulders, and they are a good canvas for embroidery.
What made you choose the designs you did?
I love the Alice in Wonderland designs and for a while I was putting them on everything! So it just made sense to use those on the steampunk or neo-Victorian styled capelets I was making.
Did you make up the pattern yourself, or follow one?
My capelets are either upcyled skirts, or I make them from my own patterns similar to a-line or circle skirts. But I believe some of the big pattern companies have capelet patterns in their formal wear category as well.
How long does one of your creations take you? Any interesting challenges along the way?
It usually takes 2-4 hours depending on how many embellishments I add. The biggest challenge with converting a skirt to a capelet is getting the shoulders to lie flat. If you remove the waistband and add a dart at each shoulder, you can fix that. Then create a new neckline with bias tapes or ribbon, or just hem it and add pretty top stitching.
Tell us a bit about those awesome fabrics you chose…
Many of the fabrics I use are upcycled from thrifted garments. You can get expensive suiting fabrics really cheap that way!
I also love the linen look, and have used Osnaburg muslin for some of the capelets because it has a vintage look that goes well with embellishments and embroidery.
Any advice for people looking to tackle a similar project?
Capelets are very easy to make – just like skirts. If you add embroidery, my tip is to embroider on separate fabric and then add the design as a patch, along with other scraps of fabric for a cluster effect. You get a lot of design pop for very little money that way. Look for skirts with pretty details like a fancy hemline, so you get all that frouf-y stuff with no work on your part!
Thanks Luci for sharing these amazing creations and adding a little more inspiration to the upcycling trend. I know I’m now secretly wishing fall would hurry up and get here so I can warm my hands on a cup of cider and go thrifting for skirts!
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