Tuesday 26 January 2010

Hot Gossip

It’s a funny old world. Okay a bleak one, for the most part, at least in this climate, yet still not failing to spring interesting new surprises on us now and again. With today’s society facing barrage after barrage of bad news about the economic climate, and those of us lucky enough to be in employment holding onto our jobs like grim death, you’d think there was no way on God’s green - and sometimes grey - earth that there would be room for extravagant perks, would you? Well, according to Tonic.com, maybe you shouldn’t. Referencing Fortune’s list of the 100 Best Companies To Work For, the article maintains that, even now, there are companies granting their employees free lunches, onsite massage therapists (if you don’t mind) and even thousands of dollars towards down payments on houses.

And what of my vocation, being but the struggling writer that I am? Well, I haven’t made a bean from this blog, as yet, so any perks to the tune of free private healthcare, gym membership or company car for my staff (i.e. me) might be out of reach……. but at least I get to watch Gossip Girl and call it research.

GG is worth watching for the costumes alone. Come to think of it, I haven’t even seen an extra look anything short of ravishing!

And so, for my first Chic Cheat ode to this televisual fashion parade, I thought we’d kick it off with this be-sequinned top worn by Serena, aka. the lovely Blake Lively…

I saw the Lively one sporting this top a few weeks ago, and in recapturing that glorious moment online, again may I thank the Lord above for the gift of the Print Screen function! I mean, sequins, especially metallic ones, are everywhere this party season, and…….

The good news:


Mark out your design, sew your sequins on in neat little rows - all there is to it, so job’s a good ‘un! That’s why this one’s EASY - easy like a Sunday morning!

Total Cost

With a top costing £6 and sequins coming to about £10 (6-8 packets of 1000 required, plus postage) you should be looking within the region of £16-17, I’m guessing that’s just a little bit less than the GG stylist’s expenditure on the original.

The bad news:


Brace yourselves: You will be looking at about 40 hours for this one. I should know having tried, tested and timed my method, it worked out at about 20 hours for each side. Still, look upon it as a worthy investment of evenings and weekends for a versatile look that’ll see you through the springtime as well as the winter party season.

You will need

A top in baby pink or peach like the one sported by Ms Lively. If you can get your hands on one with a scoop neck and/or 3/4 length sleeves, then bonus. I’d recommend Select’s turn-back sleeve top in baby pink (Product Code: S030 14 0202 ) The one I used was New Look’s hanky hem top ( Product Code: 1827468) but I had to doctor it.

About 6-8 pots of 4mm metallic gold cup sequins. Find packs of 1000 at www.creativebeadcraft.co.uk (code: CS4 - nice easy one to remember for all you Photoshop fans out there!) or buy them at their London shop, Ells & Farrier at 1 Marshall Street, London W1F 9BA Tel:      020 7734 1982

Copious thread - you shouldn’t need more than one reel but make it a generous one.


Pencil or tailor’s chalk.

Hair gel or wax - optional.

Okay, my dears, look Lively, now…

First of all, you’ve got to plan and mark out your pattern, using your pencil or tailor’s chalk. Notice how the sequins on the original are in a pattern resembling that of the ripples found in wood. I’ve drawn an example in the diagram below in case you need inspiration:

Stitch your sequins along the lines. The sequins on the original have a lovely, clustered texture to them,

...and, I find, the best way to imitate it is to stitch your sequins in a line, one on top of the other, as shown in the diagram.

Stitch from the centre of your sequin outwards, to the back and then the front. Stitch your next sequin 1mm or less from the last so that half of it covers the one before it, then repeat stitching from the insdie outwards, as before.

Tip: Don’t let your thread give you headaches by knotting all the time. I find coating your thread in hair wax helps both to avoid this and to make knots easier to untangle, but try to use it sparingly to avoid getting grease marks all over your top.

Repeat until all your lines are covered and spaces are filled in. Wear. Stun. Masquerade in a manner of effortless stylishness of which Gossip Girl herself would be envious. Until next time, xoxo

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