Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Pattern Giveaway

Recently a fellow maker Mo gave me a lot of dressmaking patterns. They are mostly from the seventies, with a few from the eighties. Some of them have little drawings by Mo of the garment she actually made. And ever the genius, when the bulk of refolding the pattern after use became too much she put them into a larger envelope then attached both sides of the original pattern envelope.

There is a whole suitcase full of them, so I can't possibly keep them all. IT'S GIVEAWAY TIME!

First up is a coat (size 10) because it'll be cold soon.

This skirt looks like it could be another warm option.

I can't stay away from the practical, this looks like it could be useful, maybe with a few tweaks. It includes the trouser pattern too (I'm rather fond of the t-shirt, which unfortunately isn't included). Another size 10.

Hurrah, for winter dresses... I must get on and make some. You can see in option 2 Mo has given the tunic a more rounded collar, which I'd have to agree with. I considered keeping this one as I like the general shape but the instructions for the smocking are something I will never get round to so I think it should go to someone who actually wants to follow the directions... or you could just cheat and make a shirred bodice!

And, because who's actually got the time to make anything for this winter, I've included a sweet little summer dress.

Last up is this crazy pattern... make of it what you will!

To enter the giveaway please leave a comment below telling me which pattern you would like and why, eg. fabric choice, which style option, who for, etc.

Closing date is Wednesday 31st October. Only open to UK residents but I'll be doing another giveaway soonish. Still so many great patterns to share with you.

Thanks for coming by and taking part.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Edwardian Suit

This is a three-piece Edwardian suit that I made in 2010.

It has been made in red/green silk dupion. The colours are important as they represent the lenses used in Kinemacolour that produced the first colour films. This is important as the suit was worn for the Duke of York's centenary on 22nd September 2010 (hence the Edwardian part as well).

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Making underwired bras

First up is a balconette bra from a commercial pattern , made in June. I was very happy with the results and it was easier than I expected. The main idea behind buying a bra pattern was that I'd been struggling to make my own as I had no idea what they looked like.

Cue the pattern books. I have 'Patternmaking for Underwear Design' by Kristina Shin and 'Pattern Cutting for Lingerie, Beachwear and Leisurewear' by Ann Haggar. The first is really useful for style ideas and the shape of the individual pattern pieces but I found the method really confusing. The second is easy to get the basic shape but is quite vague about the actual pattern pieces, as they would be impractical for a finished bra. So my first attempt looked like this!

So no good at all. The cup was much too wide, as was the cradle. No point going any further with this one.

So by July I'd got here, not too bad. The main problem is the curved lower edge of the gore (or bridge).

And by August I'd made my first soft bra with cups, no underwires, no padding. It's not perfect, the straps at the front are too wide and without underwires it's not a brilliant shape, especially the bridge.

Hurrah! Proper success, I love this one. It's underwired but with no padding, made from jersey. It fits really well, the only small change needed is to make the band tighter. Note: it fits me better than the dress form.

Now I was getting too confident and made the fatal mistake of changing more than one detail at a time! I attempted to turn my pattern into a balconette style and add padding and use woven cotton instead of jersey. I think the last one was the biggest mistake, there was of course no give, which meant that the cups were much too close together. This made the top of the cup stick out. The next problem was the lower cups were very flat, just look at that last photo! I won't be trying non-stretch again for a while. I was quite disheartened by this attempt but my lovely followers on my facebook page were there to reassure and drive me on - thank you!

I am mostly happy with this one. Again, the band needs to be tighter. The gore was doing all kinds of strange sticking out things, so I just made a dart and covered it up with the line of buttons!

I'm a bit exhausted after all this bra-making and research (maybe I'll do a post just on my research). So I'm making a dress for myself and have a few items to make for other people.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Behind the scenes photo shoot by Jonathan Hyde

In March 2011 the very talented photographer Jonathan Hyde took lots and lots of photos for me. Big thanks to DIYcouture for lending the cloak and The Midnight Deer for lending the jewellery.

More thanks to Kirstie, my wardrobe assistant who kept the day flowing. And of course, to the models Georgia, Mavis, Daisy and Marie. And thanks to Mavis for taking these behind the scenes photos.

Sew Hip - Sparkly Dress

This is the sparkly dress I was commissioned to make for the Christmas cover of Sew Hip.