Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Ooh La La! What a Palaver.

OK, so things are a little hectic here. All ongoing projects have been dropped and I have been running round like a headless chicken but without the gore. The reason for this is that I have been asked to take part in Ooh La La organised by burlesque beauty, Miss Dolly Tartan, and described as a "tasty treat of burlesque, vintage and hand-crafted fashion". This mix of market and catwalk shows takes place on the 23rd of July in Glasgow's Britannia Panopticon and is part of the Merchant City Festival. For those of you not familiar with the Panopticon (pictured left in the 1890's), it is the oldest surviving music hall in the UK, if not the world! This gorgeous old building played host to some of the greatest stars of  music hall & silver screen such as Harry Lauder, Stan Laurel & Cary Grant.

Ooh La La is a fundraiser towards the restoration of this building which finally closed its doors in 1938. Since then the Panopticon had suffered from years of neglect and had fell into disrepair until the Britannia Music Hall Trust and The Friends of Britannia Panopticon stepped in to the safeguard this wonderful piece of social history from disappearing forever.

Catwalk shows will be on all day so I am designing a small collection of six corsets to be shown with the stunning creations of top Edinburgh milliner, Le Hat Noir. Boy, has this been a hard one. I have spent the best part of a couple of weeks pacing the floor and reading every fashion book and corsetry tome that I have in the house, and there are loads. Still inspiration, that fickle mistress, just sat and thumbed her nose at me and I have been left without a clue of what I was going to make. Saying that, I did make a start at the weekend, spending most of Sunday cutting and sewing like a dervish. Keeps the neighbours amused anyway!

I finally started on a yellow and black number using this fabric combination. I fell in love with the canary yellow sik dupion fabric when I saw it but didn't purchase enough to make a whole overbust corset and be able to bind it in self-fabric. I am going to use black satin duchesse binding and set it off with black velvet and black/gold/white jacquard ribbon.

Hope that it look better when it is finished! xx

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Orange Crush

This is a dress that I ran up for my DD. I don't know what has been wrong with me lately but I seem to have lost my sewing mojo and it seems like I have been sewing this forever. Probably something to do with all the recent late nights at work so I have been way less than motivated to sew when I come home. I have had this dress and the Burda 113 sitting on my sewing table for weeks with only a few small things to do to them. So, this weekend I was determined to get them finished, especially as I have a lot of corset sewing to do in the next couple of weeks (more on that later).

The dress itself is a mash-up of Burda 113, from the 02/2009 magazine, and some strips of fabric I had lying around (for 6 years!). I bought this stuff to make little dresses when DD was much smaller and only had 1 metre of the pink with flowers, 0.75m of the butterfly fabric as it was a remnant, and pieces of the main orange fabric. All the fabrics are nice batik cottons from John Lewis, as is the orange cotton bias tape around the hem.

Initially I had cut the fabric into strips to make a long, layered "gypsy"-style skirt but felt that it would make a nice dress with a bodice added. I chose the Burda113-02/2009 as I had run this dress up for a friend and liked the pattern. The empire line bodice was just what I was looking for. Due to the lack of orange fabric I had to cut the back pattern piece into 2 to get it to fit on the fabric that was left. The shoulder part just fitted with no seam allowance. Luckily however, I was able to place it just slighly off-grain to fit where the straight part of the back piece started. This allowed me to cut this piece with no seam allowance and to add 3cm to the other back piece without distorting the shape. I used yellow cotton batiste for the inner facings as I wanted to keep it cool and summery.Size-wise my DD is very tall, she stands 5' 3" at 9yrs and is broad like me. Based on her measurements she is nearest to a Burda sz40 but I cut a 42 to give me some extra room to play with. It was a tiny bit roomy in the back so I added to straps but she can "grow into it" *haha* and it fits very nicely when these are tied. If I make this again I might shorten the shoulders by 1/2cm or so as it is quite low, but not obscenely so, and it perfect for all the hot weather that we have been having. Now just to get on and finish the 113!

Happy sewing. xx