Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Pretty pockets and more ...

Thinking about details and decoration - I  bought this sundress from Camden Passage and I love the embroidered pockets with piping:

My summer dress getting some real sun in Venice:

I love the daisies and forget-me-knots embroidered on this table cloth I bought at a car boot sale - I would like to copy them and add them as a detail on a navy dress collar.  Or on the accent o rthe pockets of a  Roobois dress:

There are some inspiring ideas here on the Coletterie Blog.  I love this collar tutorial on Elegant Musings - cant wait to have a go myself.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

The neverending LBD refashion

I think I have made this refashion overly-complicated and too ambitious for my sewing skills - oh well.  So the question is when will I ever finish my attempt to turn an M&S skirt (see this post:) from this (excuse the terrible photo):

To this (I like a challenge) or something vaguely inspired by the beautiful Audrey:

Progress so far.  Firstly I used the bodice and neckline of Colette Patterns Chantilly for the top as the circular neckline reminds me of the Hepburn dress:

I made an effort to be a proper seamstress and made a muslin:

I learnt to underline ( thanks to Julia Bobbin) here:

It is almost finished but (even with the muslin) there are some fitting issues I need to address on the bodice and the improvised scallop hem of the underpinning needs sewing. 

Next time I attempt a scallop hem I will use this technique (which I discovered on Hettersonjournal Pinterest ).  I only discovered it after I had cut my cloth (oops).  Almost finished ... just need to remove some of the excess around the bust - I really will feel a sense of achievement when I get to wear this out!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Bout de Souffle

I love Jean Seaberg in Jean Luc Goddard's 'Bout de Souffle' and whilst googling my style crushes I found this picture:

Now I REALLY want to make this dress - so I am on a mission to find the fabric and a pattern - rummaging through my vintage patterns - maybe I can adapt one of these? 

Not sure where to find the thick fabric though .. I love Rolls & Rems on 21 Seven Sisters Road, Islington
London, N7 6AN (telephone: 020 7263 3272) it's a bit chaotic but piled high with fabric and bargains:

Saturday, 14 July 2012

(Slightly bodged) beautiful Beignet skirt

After messing up the sizing/fitting I have finally finished my Beignet (I skipped the belt hoops and belt as I like the cleaner lines and if I'm honest I had run out of steam on this). I really love the end result even if it is a little bodged - the red linen remnant only cost £2 so it is a bargain.  I have to admit the colour inspiration came from Tilly & the Buttons - I love her red one and the whole 60s movie star thing she has going on in this picture:

It got my mind wandering off and google-imaging all my 60s style crushes - Audrey, Bridget:

And of course the gorgeous Jean Seaberg - I really want to make this dress for our non-existent summer - need to find a good pattern:

So now thanks to Tilly and some google wandering - there will always be something about my bodged Beignet which will transport me out of rainy, grey summer-less London to sunny Rome in a black and white 1960s movie - all I need now is a head scarf, stripey breton top and cats eye sunglasses...

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Sewing block?

I seem to have hit a wall in the creation of my gorgeous red Colette Beignet skirt - I cut all the pieces out too big.  I got confused about seam allowances and US sizing.  So it all been a bit messy.  The skirt is a bit lumpy and misshapen - not very inspiring.

Do you ever get to the point where you feel fed up with something you are making?  It's not how you thought it would be? 

Like my attempt to re-fashion an old M & S skirt into a Breakfast at Tiffanys Dress - yes an overly ambitious idea but if you have seen this amazing clip on You Tube - Breakfast at Tiffanys Dress by Zephyr Graham Paris Custom Made  - she just makes it look so easy.  You can see her in action here: 

So I've decided to just post a few unrelated inspiring things to take my mind off my inability to finish the Beignet and the Audrey re-fashion.

One of my best friend's - Lucy Miller's gorgeous knitwear (you can find her at Cockpit Studio - Holborn)

The full moon taken through my generous colleague Thalis's telescope for my daughter's homework - I had to stay up until 2am to get this shot but I think it's an amazing full moon.

Roses and geraniums

This is a wall made from old computer keys at the James Hotel in New York - it's wierdly beautiful and a great example of recycling as art.

Yes I know that none of these relate to sewing but I just needed to take my mind off the things that aren't working.  Any suggestions on how to get going on a project that has hit a wall? ,

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The Queen's jubilations have crept into my wardrobe

Somehow everything I have made recently is red, white and blue - I think all the bunting & Union Jacks strewn around London crept into my subconscious.  Anyway here are my latest creations.  My interpretation of the Colette Patterns Sencha Blouse (I slightly changed the neckline).  I love these photos because in the ones with my glasses on I look so like my lovely mother back in the 60s...

More red, white and blue - my second Colette Patterns Ginger skirt - this time in indigo denim with tiny red polka dot flat piping.  I followed the incredibly helpful instructions on their blog here:  http://www.coletterie.com/tutorials-tips-tricks/tutorial-ginger-waistband-with-flat-piping
I love the extra detail the piping adds, I also over stitched in red cotton and added a red zip - I'm really pleased with this - I think I will wear it a lot:
 Here's a close up of the polka dot piping on waistband

 Added extras - the red zip

 Here's my lovely assistant photographer Esme Agnes being shy - very out-of-character.

Beautiful roses - a new colour palette, deep green, light green and white

So what to make next??

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

I love Colette Patterns I have just finished my second one:

this is a Violet in pale yellow polka dot cotton.  I struggled a bit and had to unpick the collar and facing twice but I am  happy with the end result.  So happy I bought myself 3 more patterns (bit over the top I know):

Sencha blouse - I fancy making it in a vintage floral fabric or red polka dot - not sure.  I'm hoping to make a couple for friend's birthdays as well.

Iris shorts - really not sure what fabric or colour for these
and for when I am feeling more confident the Rooibos dress - a bright red version and maybe a navy one for work.  So that's my summer wardrobe planned but I need to get sewing ...

Saturday, 12 May 2012

My first skirt - using Colette Patterns 'Ginger'. 

I was suprised at how easy it was to make - I can't wait to make another in dark, indigo denim with red and white polka dot trim.  I love the Colette patterns - I am trying to make a 'Violet' blouse but the collar has gone a bit awry.  I may have to unpick it all and start again - oh dear.

Friday, 11 May 2012

It is this rickety, old dress form which I spotted in my local Oxfam and bought for £10 that has completely revived my interest in sewing.  I had always wanted a dress form and there it was. I love vintage clothes and inspired by Tilly and the Buttons - I have decided it is time I started to make my own.  I am competent at sewing, always in a rush and not good at details but I am hoping to develop those skills and become a proper seamstress. 

I love, love, love vintage patterns - my very sensible teenage daughter Kitty told me off for buying too many and not making enough clothes - she is right of course, but they are so hard to resist, the glamour and the promise they offer - that perfect jacket, skirt etc that I'm just about to make....

This is a top I made from an old skirt a friend gave me - she always brings her Oxfam bags for a rummage before taking them to the charity shop.

I'm working on another renovation - taking an old skirt from my stylish friend Lucy (see her gorgeous knitwear at http://www.lucymillerlondon.com/).  I have decided that her black lace M & S skirt is going to be miraculously transformed into a 'Breakfast at Tiffanys'/Audrey Hepburn style little black dress - not sure how but a girl can dream.