Friday, 29 June 2012

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Top to dress refashion



After having this top in a stash from a clothes swap for the last few months I thought I'd finally decided to extend the waist and add a different bodice part to make it fir me. However, my daughter decided she really wanted this dress, so I look it in and adjusted the zip so that it fitted her!





Sunday, 24 June 2012

Dregree show summary

Natural forms based work on Glass/ perspex - this was stunning
John and I spent a good couple of hours looking around the Fine Art and Photography final shows at Northumbria University. It was a very mixed bag - there were some excellent shows and some poor ones. Some of work from the A level students at the school where I work would not have looked out of place in the exhibition and were considerably stronger that some of the degree work.

Paint testing?
Interesting texture - I thought to looked like couscous
While I love abstract art and like the work of artists such as Jane Callister and Pia Fries. I found a lot of the abstract work very disappointing and predictable. However there were some pieces that showed a subtlety and careful execution. Some were well thought out and conveyed a message well. Others looked like they were choosing colours for the Kitchen wall.

Here are a few of the pieces I liked.

These were interesting prints on fabric, using some kind of photo stencil


Detailed and amazingly accurate paintings of the world around us


Expressive Portraits - one of a series



This was an interesting piece of work. Lots of images incorporating snippets of overheard conversations.


Saturday, 23 June 2012

Girls day out

Last week my 9 year old announced that we should have a girls day out and go shopping. Today was that day.
We set off at 9.30 this morning and headed straight for the Cinema. Empire Juniors on a Saturday morning means we both get in for £1 each. We saw Happy Feet 2. After this we set off to go Shopping. Into Debenhams where I bought a new bra (sale time). the to New look so Bethan could spend some money - she was banned from clothes as she has waaaaay to many, but shoes and accessories were fair game. She came away with a pair of pink ballerinas.

We then headed to the Settle Down cafe, recommended by my friend Alli and had lunch. On the way back to the car we called in several charity shops. Bethan bought a new headband - pink polkadots with a bow and I got a pair of high waist-ed Jeans. I took a risk as there was a huge queue for the changing room and they were only £3.30 I bought them without trying them on. To my surprise, they fitted absolutely perfectly - now what are the chances of that?

I'd had a call from John asking me to call at the brewing supply shop on my way home, to pick up a few essential supplies (he'd broken a thermometer); while we were there I called in another charity shop and picked up enough black suiting (£2) to make the jacket from Burdastyle that I've had my eye on!


Bethan chose a present for her friends birthday and we picked up some pizza for tea on the way home. - all in all a productive and enjoyable day.

Friday, 22 June 2012

The Movie Project - Dress three - sort of.


I've been very inspired by the shift dresses I've seen on TV and film recently. Inspired enough to make a dress.
I may have mentioned that Last year my Hubby decided to watch the top 100 films - well this list crept up to more than 200! and we are still working out way through it. In response I decided to make movie inspired outfits. so Far I've managed 2, and this is the third.

A couple of months ago we watched Rosemary's Baby, but rather than following the plot I was following Mia Farrow's wardrobe and styling. Lots of classic shift and sack dresses.




And I just LOVE some of the styles worm by Megan in the latest season of Mad Men, in particular this very Mary Quant style dress.




So I thought I'd do my own shift dress. I wanted a black dress that I could dress up or down and I think I've achieved it. I made the dress in Black eyelet cotton with a black lining. It's just above knee length as I guess I may wear this for work - and modesty is a big thing where I work! As with the halter dress I made a couple of weeks ago I used the 60's dress by Alexandra from Burdastyle website as a starting point, but I ended up making quite a few adjustments to the pattern to make it fit my style.


I made the dress sleeveless - I extended the neckline to make a boat neck and a shallow v at the back. I chose the pattern as I only wanted bust darts in the front in order to keep the simplicity of the fabric as a feature. I lined up the fabric carefully before cutting, to ensure it was perfectly on grain. I fully lined this in a black poly cotton, understitching at the neck. the lining is caught to the invisible zip in the back and i'm really happy with the finish. I think it looks professional (no raw edges showing) I took the time to hand stitch the hem and it was worth it.

Now - how do I style it? would love to know what you think.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Embroidered Drawings

Recently I started following BOOOOOM.
It's a art/music/film blog of sorts.
Today these stunning embroideries on top of pencil drawings were posted. They can all be found on Boom and are by Izziyana Suhaimi.









Friday, 15 June 2012

Hairspray - Movie inspiration






We Watched Hairspray again last night - I love it. it's a great story, great songs, great style and fantastic acting! John Travolta and Christopher Walken as Tracy's parents is just genius.






And for those that love Mad Men Style - the film is loaded with late 50's early 60's style, just get a load of these dresses!



Personally I love Penny's quirkyness. and her dress at the end of the film is stunning!


Plenty there to inspire a creation or two!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

get to it girl!

And so the bridesmaid dress sewing begins in earnest. The wedding is at the End of July and that leaves me just 6 weeks to get these sorted for Jess's bridesmaids. I've done most of the  drafting and fitting, but had some fitting issues the other day - which led to a remake of the corselette of one of the dresses.
One bridesmaid is currently living in London - a 6 hr drive away, which means I have to wait till the end of June to do her fitting, as I don't want to go any further until I know the corselette fits properly.

Hopefully I'll have the other two completely done by then so it should just be a one day job to finish them off. All my plans have been scuppered as i've had to do an extra day at work this week. I don't mind and the money is needed, but when you've mentally planned your time and things just don't go to plan it throws things.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Wedding Dress - Done!

The newly married Mr & Mrs Todd - Photo by Allison Davies
 Well it's been a manic weekend, but I can finally share Elaine's wedding dress with you. - whoo hoo.
While the rest of the country is in Jubilee madness, we celebrated the marriage of Elaine and Alan, and the 50th Birthday of John's sister, Ann. - 180 miles apart - on the same day. So it was off to Morpeth Town Hall for the ceremony and then to a sit down reception, before driving the 180 miles to Nottinghamshire and the BBQ for the Birthday celebrations. Sunday was filled with visiting John's parents and my Mum while we were in the area and then the long drive home. Lie in this morning and waking up to the glorious Northumberland sunshine and the keen coastal breeze.

posing for photographs
Anyway back to the dress!
I've been posting little snippets over the last few weeks as I've been making it. There was a lot of time consuming hand sewing in this dress as the fabric was very fine.

the bodice in early stages of creation
 I began by drafting the dress using cotton and draping on a dress form. Then, when Elaine had chosen her fabric the stitching began. it was a combination of drafting and draping, often being pinned and stitched on the dress form to keep the shape.

Adding buttons and button loops
 The Fabric was a fine turquoise polyester georgette, with a top layer of viscose silk - devore style pattern, although there was a lot of backing fabric and only a sparse design. the overall effect was to create a baby blue colour. Exactly what Elaine wanted.

Back view
 I made a fitted inner bodice on which the rest of the dress was supported. this had to be quite substantial as the fabric was surprisingly weighty.

Elaine and her brother
 The outer bodice was added then the dropped waist and finally the skirt - which was draped into place first and pinned before the final stitching took place. The Zip was hidden by a row of pearl buttons and covered pieces of boning which hooked into the bra at the back prevented the dress from slipping and revealing Elaine's bra. I used the same technique on the halterneck dress that I made (and wore) for the wedding.


 Elaine loved it and I'm so glad I could have a special part in her day.

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