This one is great for a fashionable friend/teacher/family member. I'm a big fan of Kate Spade style, but not so much of the Kate Spade price tag.
I first came across the Bee Line sweater on the "What Would Emma Pillsbury Wear" blog. Super cute, no?
This sweater retailed for $295, and even if you wanted to spend that much, it is no longer available. Here are some closer shots for detail.
Pre-made Bee Applique**
Coordinating embroidery thread (I used DMC Pearl Cotton size 8)
Basic embroidery tools (scissors, needle)
* I got my sweater from Target.com. I have other Mossimo cardigans and they are soft, keep their shape, and are a great price. I went with grey thinking it would look great over a black dress. You could go for the inspiration look with the same sweater in black, or if it's for someone really special go for some inexpensive (in the scheme of things) cashmere.
** I got my bee applique from eBay.
Follow the instructions for applying your applique. Mine was iron on. You may want to try on the sweater to get the best placement.
Using a chalk pencil or water soluble pen draw a meandering line from the bee, across the body of the cardigan and off the edge of the opposite side (the line continues around the back on Kate's cardigan, I stopped at the side seam). If you are confident with your embroidery skills, you can just free hand this. I found it to hard to draw a guide line on my sweater so I did it without a guide. Again, you might want to try the sweater on for placement. You may want to avoid any crazy loops around the bust area, unless you want it to look like the bee has circled the wearer's boobs. Up to you.
Using a running stitch, embroider over your guide line. Some hints about embroidering knits: If you need to use a hoop make sure you are not stretching or warping the knit. I found it just as effective to lay the sweater flat on a table and stitch (just make sure you don't stitch through the front and the back of the sweater!!). Don't pull your thread overly tight -- your sweater will begin to pucker. When you get to the button placket, unbutton the sweater so you don't stitch the placket shut. Knot off your thread and then start again on the other side of the placket.
And you're done! In under an hour you have a cute gift for a fashionable lady. You may want to add a tag instructing the recipient to wash on delicate or hand wash, and lay flat to dry.
Original Kate Spade Bee Line Sweater: $295 plus tax and shipping
Hand Crafted Bee Line Sweater:
- $18.00 plus tax and shipping (I bought $50 worth of merchandise and got free shipping) for Cardigan Sweater
- $2.75 (free shipping!) for Bee Applique
- $2.49 (currently on sale for $1.74) for Pearl Cotton (I had this on hand so I am not counting it in my total, and you would use less than a yard)
Total: $21.97 (after tax)
Savings: about $275 (although that implies that I would have bought a $300 sweater, which I wouldn't)
Making a gift for yourself: Priceless (sorry for the lame Mastercard reference, couldn't help myself!)
I tried to get a shot of me in the sweater (Don't judge me, it's a gift or myself!!), but Jaxon lost part of my tripod so I am relying on Charlie for photography. Here's the before work try:
And the after work try.
At least Samantha looks good!