Thursday, 20 April 2017

Liberty Laurel Dress

I finished this pretty summer dress yesterday after hanging around in an almost finished state for nearly a year. I started in May 2016 and have only just got around to finishing the bias bound neck and fastening at the back in April 2017! If you are not familiar with the silhouette it is the ever-popular beginners shift dress the Colette Laurel.

I remember cutting out and making the majority of this dress last year but luckily I gleaned a bit more information via my 'project' section of the Foldline sewing enthusiast platform. Foldline is a great online community of sewists where you can create a profile and interact with other sewing enthusiasts. You can also write pattern reviews, create an online visual of your stash fabric and contribute to a forum.

Above is an example of my laurel project as seen on my Foldline profile. I added a few notes about the changes I made. Apparently I have added 6cm to the length of the dress (I had forgotten that detail which is bound to happen if you take 11 months to finish a dress!) and the Liberty cotton was purchased in a 30% off online sale. The Liberty print is called Kinetic from the Spring / Summer 2016 collection. You can get it from Sharkut for £14.99 per metre.

Not much else to report other than I used the same closing technique as my Sew Over It Ultimate Shift dress with a hair-band cheat rouleau loop and a lovely button I had in my stash. I used the reverse side of the button as it had pretty flecks of grey, pink and white in it that picked up on the colours of the Liberty print.

I hand stitched the self-made bias binding into position including around the opening at the back.

It fits well on the upper body but is probably a little wider than I'd like at the hip area as I did my usual grading between two sizes from bust to hips. Perhaps I don't need to do this on my next version as it is a fairly loose fitting shift dress. It does however look nice worn with a belt. When I get a chance I will post some photos of me wearing it.

Pattern: Colette Laurel Dress (I made the top here) = £12 (second make from pattern) = £6
Fabric: 1.1 metre of Liberty Kinetic Tana Lawn = £15
Gutterman Thread: Pink from stash = free
Rouleau Loop: Hairband from stash = free
Buttton: From stash = free

Total: £23

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Art Exhibition Adventures

Joseph Frank at the Fashion and Textiles Museum, Bermondsey until 7th May 2017

I visited the Joseph Frank exhibition last week and enjoyed the bold and beautiful prints created by this artist and designer. The work is displayed brilliantly with the original textile prints artworks alongside floor to ceiling lengths of printed fabric. A fun interactive touch is there are several pieces of furniture upholstered in the prints for visitors to sit on.

Upstairs hangs a wide collection of still life and landscape paintings produced by Frank throughout his career. They are bold watercolours that showcase his interest in colour, pattern and texture.
I would highly recommend a visit to see this exhibition before it closes on the 7th May.

Teheran 1943-45

Himalaya 1950
Window 1943-45

Alternative Facts by Fatherless at Stour Space, Hackney Wick until 1st May

This exhibition at the Stour Space Gallery involved a little adventure to get there starting at Hackney Wick station and a walk down the canal towpath next to the Olympic Park. I really wanted to see this show by the Fatherless print collective as I already own one of their prints (below) that I bought from the Pick me Up exhibition in 2013.

They have an interesting approach to making art. As a collective they all add to each piece of work they do layering screen-prints over the top of each other using bright and bold imagery and colours. The artists in the Fatherless collective are Jarrod Hennis, Javier Jimenez, Greg Lang, Dave Menard and Londoner Ben Rider.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

By Hand London Victoria Blazer

I have had both the By Hand London Victoria Blazer pattern and this pretty cotton sateen in my stash for quite some time. The colourful print reminds me of one of my favourite artists, Sonia Delauney who uses lots of beautiful washes of colour and circular motifs in her paintings.
Sonia Delauney, 1914, Prismes Electriques. Image Source
Last Wednesday I decided that the Victoria blazer and Delauney-esque fabric would make a great pairing and set about cutting out the pattern.

I opted for variation two; the cropped blazer.
Things were going as planned and I also found enough bright blue fabric for the lining (leftover from SOI Tulip skirt) and cut the whole lot out.
The construction was great as I used the beautifully illustrated instruction booklet as well as the online sew-along on the BHL blog.

After tackling the very cool collar construction and had assembled the front and back of the blazer things went a little off-piste. It seems I had not cut the appropriate length for the cropped blazer on the front bodice pieces, leaving quite a chunk missing. Luckily, rather than sulking and throwing this in the UFO (unfinished-object) pile, inspiration struck in the form of a pocket.

After looking at Grainline's Driftless cardigan I decided to create a pocket by adding an extra layer of outer-fabric across the full width of the front of each bodice piece. I lined them with blue fabric and sewed the whole lot to the front of each bodice.

I'm really happy with this new 'design-feature' alteration. Additionally I also had to add extra sections on the lining too as I had cut all pieces out at the same time.

As for the remaining construction I did far more hand-sewing than instructed in the booklet but I really love the mindful practice of carefully finishing garments by hand. In part this hand-work is also because my 25 year old Bernina is still playing up and either needs a massive overhaul or (whispered tones) I need to buy a new machine.....

I used the same construction for the lining that I learnt on the Sew Over It Coco Jacket which is to sew the jacket lining to the seam allowance of the arm scythe then to hand-stitch the sleeve into position. It takes A LOT longer to do this than other methods but I love the final finish. I would like to make another Victoria Blazer so I will keep my eye out for a new fabric with the right weight.

Pattern: By Hand London Victoria Blazer paper pattern = £13
Fabric: 1.5 metres cotton sateen from Samuel Taylors (Leeds 2013) = £10
Lining: 1 metre of lining from stash = free
Gutterman Thread: Black and blue from stash = free

Total: £23

Check out lots of other cool crafty blogs at #handmademonday organised by Julia of Sum of their Stories.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Arty Easter Cards

Here is a quick tutorial to make some bright and colourful Easter cards.
I was inspired by some pretty Polish painted eggs I bought years ago and it got me thinking about a simple way to create cards with the following things:
  • Decorative paper (wrapping paper / origami paper)
  • Washi tape
  • Plain cards
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors

First, select your decorative papers and cut out a range of egg sizes.

Decorate the paper eggs with different washi tapes.

You can either trim the excess tape with scissors or fold over to the reverse of the paper.

After you have a few decorated paper eggs arrange them into your chosen composition and glue them down.

Easy and fun. Now all you need to do is write an Easter message inside and send them to loved ones.
Have a great Easter weekend everybody!

Check out lots of other cool crafty blogs at #handmademonday organised by Julia of Sum of their Stories.