Wednesday, 31 May 2017

South London Adventures

I went on an adventure with my friend Charlotte to Brixton, Herne Hill and Dulwich. We went to the Kitchen Counter the newest Mae deli where we scoffed some nice food then we walked to Dulwich Picture Gallery and enjoyed the sculptures in the garden.

Talking of gardens, we walked past some amazing floral displays in the suburban streets of Herne Hill and Dulwich, in particular on Burbage Road.

Here is a selection of photos from the day:
An amazing mural outside a shop in Brixton en-route to Herne Hill


Pretty shops and cafes outside Herne Hill station
The Kitchen Counter at Herne Hill
A beautiful rose in a garden on Burbage Road in Herne Hill







A section of the Phlegm mural in the Dulwich Picture Gallery garden


Peter Randal-Page 2009 sculpture in the Dulwich Picture Gallery garden
Bartley's florist in Dulwich Village


Beautiful rugs and containers in Brixton Village indoor market

Monday, 29 May 2017

Paul Frank Buchanan Dressing Gown


The Buchanan dressing gown has been a long time in the making. I was gifted the Gather Buchanan pattern for Christmas 2015 by my sewing enabling friend, Sophie!
The Paul Frank fabric I bought in 2011 and it has been sat in my stash patiently waiting for me to get my act together to make PJ's and a dressing gown!

I cut the whole thing out last July and it has been in my UFO pile for almost a year. I got busy this weekend and enjoyed the process in three bursts of productivity.

This is an excellent pattern. Good quality paper and very clear illustrated instructions, it was a pleasure to make! The order of making has you sew all the fiddly bits like the pockets, belt, belt-loops and hanging-loop before the major construction.

Alterations I made to the instructions was to use French Seams throughout for a neater finish and add 6cm to the length. The only thing that boggled my mind a bit was the belt-loops - how could I add them with a French Seam?

I added the belt-loop with a 0.5cm seam allowance and then continued with the second seam on the inside using a 1cm seam. It worked out perfectly!






Hand-finishing the loose end on the hem-band.




Overall, I am really impressed with this pattern and I can see myself making some of these as presents for friends and family. Hopefully it won't take me as long to make another one!

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

Friday, 26 May 2017

Me-Made-May 2017 Week Four


Yahoo. The week the weather got it's act together and it felt like summer! As you can see three days of skirts with bare legs and a general sense of not-caring if my pasty white legs may blind somebody as it is too warm to be bothered!

I wore my new BHL Charlotte pencil skirt on Tuesday and loved the fit of it but it is a tighter silhouette than the red Simplicity 2154 I wore on Friday. Overall a really enjoyable week because it felt like summer had arrived.


Day Twenty Two
Top: Grainline Scout Tee in John Lewis Viscose. Made 2014
Trousers: Gap
Necklace: Tatty Devine Brushstroke S/S 2015
Watch: Red G Shock
Shoes: Red Paul Smith Miller Brogues


Day Twenty Three
Skirt: By Hand London Charlotte Pencil Skirt in fabric gifted to me by my friend Sophie. Made 2017
T-Shirt: American Apparel
Necklace: Tatty Devine Watermelon necklace. S/S 2012
Watch: White G Shock
Shoes: Blue suede Paul Smith Miller Brogues



Day Twenty Four
Top: Grainline Scout Tee 100% cotton from Sophie, Hong Kong (underlined with cotton batiste). Made 2016
Trousers: Gap
Jacket: Levi's denim
Watch: White G Shock
Trainers: Blue Nike Air Pegasus


Day Twenty Five
Top: Merchant and Mills Camber Set Top in viscose from John Lewis sale, London. Made 2017. 
Skirt: Liesl & Co Everyday Skirt in viscose from John Lewis sale, London. Made 2016.
Watch: White G Shock
Bird Brooch: Hand-made 
Shoes: Paul Smith black patent loafers



Day Twenty Six
Top: Zara bought from Traid charity shop in Camden for £4!
Skirt: Simplicity 2154 in poly-cotton twill from Samuel Taylors, Leeds. Made 2013.
Brooch: Tatty Devine
Watch: Red G Shock 
Trainers: Nike blue Pegasus





This year's Me-Made-May is drawing to a close and I have enjoyed it as much as I have for the past three years. It is more fun now that I have a wider range of me-made garments to choose from and interesting to which ones get selected to wear again and again. I will be doing a bit of analysis about my most popular and / or comfortable items next week.

In the meantime enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend as it's supposed to be scorchio!

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

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Visit to the London College of Fashion

Last week I had the chance to visit the UAL London College of Fashion Golden Lane. Courses at this site are aimed at footwear and accessories. It is housed in an old primary school and has studios full of industrial sewing machines, jewellery making facilities, IT suites for Computer Aided Design and Manufacture and finally industrial shoe-making equipment. It was a really interesting evening and I was amazed at the amount of processes involved in making shoes.

I was escorted around the site meeting BA and MA footwear students who were prototyping ideas and producing shoes for their final show. They were creating the most amazing shoes and boots complete from design, prototype to final sample size.

Every student has their own leather cutting tools
Industrial sewing machine - note the raised bed to be able to sew all parts of the shoe
Shoe pattern making
A CNC milled heel in wood on the left and a 3D printed version in black on the right
Design sheets
Plastic shoe lasts
A final year BA student with part of his final collection of menswear shoes
Amazing boots inspired by insects!
Industrial machinery in the workshop
A final year BA student with his mens shoes inspired by portraits in the National Gallery. He machine and hand-embroidered the portraits which he said was really enjoyable to do.
 I hope you enjoyed this little insight into the magical world of shoe-making!