Sunday 17 May 2015

Realise dragons - How to DIY a Nicole Miller dragon motif top

While it was 2015's huge oriental trend that inspired me to take on this top, the dragon design in question actually had folkloric fairy tale roots, specifically the illustrations of Patrick Arrasmith and Alan Lee, for The Last Apprentice and The Hobbit, respectively. Whatever inspired it, it captured my imagination so I thought I'd capture the idea myself.

You will need...

Not pictured


Gemstone glue


NB: Make sure the top is not so small it has to stretch to fit you, otherwise it presents problems when you attach the non-stretch fabric. Go for something slim-fitting but not skin-tight.


Very easy

...Provided you don't make the same mistakes I made (more on that later).


A few hours (the exact number of which I was too sidetracked to count).

How to make the top

Print out a copy of the following template, flip the image around so that it's mirrored and print that out.
You should have two images. Pin them underneath the front panel of the top, making sure they're placed at the same height so that the whole image is completely symmetrical.

Using black 3D fabric paint, trace the outline of the image, add some dots to look like embellishment and add some gemstones.

Now to add the brocade fabric. I've mentioned the importance of choosing a top that fits well. I bought mine online, as I had no choice. Sadly, it was a lot smaller than I expected it to be and my execution of the final design suffered on account of it. I could have done better, and I'd recommend you avoid making the same mistake as I did by not choosing too tight a top. The reason for this is that it won't fit properly when you attach the non-stretch brocade fabric. Make sure the top fits you without needing to stretch before you buy.

Turn the top inside-out so that the 'wrong' side (the side you don't want to be visible on the outside of the garment) is facing outwards. Cover the 'right' side of the brocade fabric (the side you want to be outwardly visible) with craft mount and stick it to the 'wrong' side of the front panel. Turn the top right-side-out.

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