Saturday, 8 November 2014

Creative Darts 2

Curved or French darts aren't often seen in today's designs but they're some of my favourites.


I suspect that one reason they're rare is that they do take a little more time and skill: staystitching and careful clipping are essential.


Slicing in colour can create even more impact and help to sculpt curves in all the right places.






Sunday, 2 November 2014

A Trip to the Bookshop

If you've missed previous instalments of our story, you can catch-up here.

Approaching the reassuring frontage of David’s Bookshop, there were no sights or sounds here to affect Elizabeth’s peculiar sensibilities; no bold shop lighting, no garish displays of stock and no chavish customIers. The thought suddenly struck her that as a child she had never dared venture into David’s Bookshop; what did this mean? Had her family been of the type she now so despised? Catching her pristine reflection in the little panes of door glass this thought was hastily dismissed.

Satisfyingly, the bookshelves housed exactly what she was after. There were five books which contained references to the house, or at least pictures which must suggest further reference in the text itself. Elizabeth could have examined the books more closely to work out which would be most useful, thus preventing the duplication of information; as always consideration, compromise and caution were all alien concepts to her. Purchasing all five books she noticed that the property also featured as one of The Letchmore Centenary Postcards displayed behind the counter, ‘Ebenezer, could I also have that postcard of Church Lane?’ Fortunately, although Ebenezer was a prominent local figure and seemed an eternal font of the town’s knowledge he never pried into his customers’ reading habits. Had such discretion not been his manner he would surely have asked why The Comet’s proprietor was clearing his shelves of local history books. Instead he commented on the postcard. ‘Lovely house that, shame about what’s happened to them.’

Whilst attempting indifference Elizabeth began to probe. ‘I noticed it was up for auction, they must have lived there for nearly forty years, are they moving to a smaller property?’

‘He drowned, she’s in hospital,’ came the uncharacteristically cold response from Ebenezer. 'That's awful,' Elizabeth replied: at last she had her story.

'He'd probably had a bit to drink; how'd you drown in your own bath?'

'He died in the house, I assumed you meant the pool.'

'It's his wife I feel sorry for: all those years living with him.' Ebenezer was making little attempt to hide his feelings. Elizabeth was now torn between the excitement of the story and the thought of buying a house someone had recently died in. By the time she reached her car she realised that all old houses must have had a death on site at sometime, besides such a macabre occurrence might keep the price down.

Walking across Howard Green in the afternoon sun Elizabeth wondered if she could ever leave her home on this quaint spot. The cottages which nestled around the green had a fairytale quality to them. Three sides of the green comprised of six cottages and each of the three was painted a different colour. The cottages on the right side were pink, at the back pale green and to the left pale blue; Elizabeth’s cottage occupied the far corner plot and was therefore pale green. Nestled in the top corner of the green her immaculate sitting room was south facing and enjoyed clear views of the green and the four allotments which ran along one side. Brushing past the lavender lined pathway to the side of her house, she interrupted the black squirrels which also called her garden home. Once inside practicality necessitated another call to the agent before tomorrow’s viewing; was the auction still going ahead following Mr Barker's death? She didn't want to waste her time viewing a property only for Mrs Barker to change her mind. Secretly she was hoping for a little more information. She got it: Mrs Barker was in Lister hospital with a dislocated shoulder having tried to pull her husband out of the bath.



Thursday, 30 October 2014

Creative Darts 1

As the title of this post suggests they'll be more to follow. I know I've written lots of posts on darts but I just keep falling in love with them all over again: they're useful, flattering and creative. Over the next week I'll be posting some ideas on how to experiment with placement, seam finishes and angles of darts.

In case you're new to darts here's the basics:
The Anatomy of a Dart



This side front angled dart (below) is a useful variation if your patern requires bust gathers. One of our sew-alongs last year, Butterick 5813, called for bust gathers which look great in medium to light-weight fabric but this time of year you may prefer a heavier fabric.


Butterick 5813



Moreover, if you have a fuller bust, darts are sometimes more flattering; in this case 4 darts, rather than the two below, would be a good option.


Side Front Angled Dart



Sunday, 12 October 2014

Thank You Vogue

Thanks Vogue Patterns for the fabulous designer ranges you do. I've been meaning to get these Donna Karan patterns for ages and have finally got around to ordering them.


I'm going to try and create more of my working wardrobe: usually I sew dresses for events and occasions rather than work. I love being able to dream up my ideal dress, sketch it out (below) and then create it. Whilst working on projects,like the one below, has been so much fun, it means I only get to wear the dress a few times.
I'll also have less time to spend on sketching designs as I'm currently studying anatomy and will be mastering skeletons to Christmas at least! #noclothes


Saturday, 27 September 2014

Changing Seasons

In the UK, autumn's here; perfect excuse for a wardrobe overhaul.

Not sure I'll be as organised as the lady above but I'm certainly digging out some tweed for autumn. From Chanel to Harris, tweed is a classic style choice. Tweed's not just for shooting parties, there's a tweed for every occasion: check out this vintage guide to tweed.

Sewing with tweed is an absolute dream because you can shrink out ease so that it moulds perfectly to your figure. Finally, here's a tweed I made earlier in the year...


Monday, 22 September 2014

Mystery Man

In preparation for a class next month, I've recently been researching couture illustration. Digging through the archive, I found these gems.

Picture him with a very high collar; he's still designing 16 collections a year across 3 different houses! And his name is....


Friday, 19 September 2014

Highlights: London Fashion Week

Couldn't be there this year but I've selected some of my favourites. Sketchbook at the ready this weekend...




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