I think all of us sewing bloggers can agree that we’re voyeurs at heart, that pretty pictures of finished garments are great, but what we really want to see is the insides so we can mentally sew the garment for ourselves. Right? I know that’s not just me because after I posted about Flower Hmong Fashion, I got questions about how the decoration on the blouses is constructed. So, for my fellow voyeurs, I’ve got a close-up look at 3 different Flower Hmong pieces to share. First is the yoke cut off of a worn blouse. This is the oldest and most handmade piece I have.
You can see on the inside how much stitching goes into this decoration! Also notice a few different fabrics that have bits and pieces remaining – as I mentioned before, the blouses are often put together with several different fabrics in what we might consider unusual combinations.
The top of the yoke is machine embroidered directly onto the yoke. The top thread is much thicker than the bobbin thread and the tension is higher on the bobbin so bits of the top thread are pulled through to the bottom.
Near the bottom of the yoke, the individual stripes of color are each pieces of yarn that are sewn onto the blouse with a straight line of stitching. (I am most definitely going to try this on my own garment sometime soon!)
At the very bottom of the yoke are several layers of decorative trims layered.
The second piece is a barely-worn complete blouse. You can see that the body is a synthetic stretch velvet with metallic print and the part of the front that is hidden under the wrap of the blouse is a synthetic lining material. (Yes, I will totally admit that I bought this blouse because of the pink beaded trim!)
This yoke is similar to the first yoke, although it is not as deep and doesn’t have as much stitching. I find it quite interesting that the embroidery and trims just kind of tail off where they will be hidden in the overlap. The edge was left raw with a single line of straight stitching to keep it from unravelling.
On the inside you can see that the top of the yoke was embroidered independently and the lower layers were added with straight lines of stitching, extending the design.
This skirt panel is brand new. It would be worn in the front of a skirt, held on by a belt. Its construction is definitely the simplest – all of the decoration is a single strip of machine embroidered ribbon that is sewn onto the cheap cotton-poly backing with single straight lines on each side of the ribbon.