Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sew! A needle pulling thread!

Why hello!

Thank you for all your lovely comments on my two dresses, you're all so very kind! I'm hoping I'll eventually be able to use my sewing skills in a non-selfish way one day, perhaps by making things to sell, teaching or sewing for others. But we will have to see what the future holds!

For now, like this illustration below, I am hand quilting a blanket for a gift. I know there are a lot of quilting devotees out there and I'm probably not doing it the traditional way, but sometimes its nice to take a break and try something else. I don't want to ruin the surprise as I know the receiver reads my blog, so I'll save photos for later. 

What kind of projects, creative or otherwise, are you working on at the moment? 

Cat xo

Monday, July 29, 2013

An ode to “The Party”- In the form of a dress

Have you ever seen the Peter Sellers movie "The Party"? It's a slapstick comedy set at the party of a Hollywood director. What starts out as a sophisticated dinner party soon turns into an overblown rave with drunk waiters, pools turned into giant bubble baths and a painted baby elephant!

It's rather fun and good for a giggle on a Saturday afternoon while sewing.

When making this dress I was reminded of this movie. The bright pink and purple would be perfect for a party dress! The little orange dots in the fabric go well with gold jewellery and overall it has a rather frivolous feel to it.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

See Emily play

Oh my how the past 2 weeks have flown! So many things keeping one occupied and exhausted but I always make the time to sew!

I have made 2 dresses recently, but I only have one edited and ready for show today

Stockings from Modcloth, Shoes - opp shopped 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Mondays with Marianne

Hello Lovelies! 

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Mine was very busy – getting my hair dyed, record shopping, having lovely dinner dates with the boy and joining my friends for a crafternoon on Sunday. My dear friend is pregnant and is not too far away from popping, so we were making decorations and favors for the belly blessing. Normally you would have a baby shower but being the modern gal she is it’s a party for everyone, even the boys get to come and bless the belly.

I have of course been sewing and have something ready to photograph but must wait for the daylight on the weekend! These short daylight hours really bother me…

I've also been trying my hand at quilting and have been working on some gifts for the baby. I’ll show the photos later on as I don’t want to spoil the surprise for my friend.

Otherwise I've been reading two biographies at once – Eric Clapton’s and Marianne Faithfull’s.

Eric Clapton
Marianne Faithfull
Marianne Faithfull
I've got a sudden desire to read biographies lately, even ones I've already read and listening to a mixture of Cream, Marianne Faithfull and The Stones. When reading biographies, I like to also listen to music – usually to the one they are talking about at that moment. It helps cement the story and puts me in the moment.

Do you sometimes do the same when reading a book?

I’ll leave you for now to enjoy your Monday with some lovely Marianne in the movie Made in U.S.A

Cat xo

Friday, July 19, 2013

60s fashion elements - The Bishop Sleeve

Some of the things about 60s clothing tend to catch my eye when trawling through Pinterest or Tumblr. Certain elements that you begin to notice as integral parts to the look that was being worn by the Dolly Birds and Dandies of the time

In this set of blog posts, I want to explore the different elements of clothing that we often associate with or were popular in the 60s

I'll try to explain the construction of these elements and show some examples of these styles

There are many features that became popular in the 60s - most of which already existed in some form and were adapted for modern youth wear, or were invented from scratch through the genius of designers like Mary Quant or André Courrèges

This week we are going to have a look at Bishop Sleeves. Read onto the end for a little tutorial.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Measuring a button for a buttonhole

Have you ever picked out a big juicy button for a sewing project? 

Have you then only measured the diameter of the button and ended up with a button hole that is too small for your chunky button? 

Fear not! There is a way to work out exactly how wide you need to make your button hole for chunky fat buttons. 
I recently read this technique in Couture Sewing techniques by Claire B. Shaeffer

Friday, July 12, 2013

Before Biba

I’ve just finished reading A to Biba and I was blown away by the vivid and wonderful descriptions of the clothes, interiors and happenings at Biba.

The end of Biba is frustratingly tragic and left me wishing I was a billionaire and could simply buy back the Biba name, gift it to Barbara and bring it back to its original purpose – beautiful clothing in wonderful designs and sold at a reasonable price.

Although Biba’s heyday has past, there are of course plenty of devotees dedicated to keeping the original look and name alive and I hope they never disappear especially with Biba’s many reinterpretations

We know the name came from Barbara’s sister Biba, but interestingly in Polish biba also means spree or jag – which is a period of overindulgence in an activity – in this case a period of luxurious design and beautiful clothing. Perhaps it is never meant to be repeated?

Barbara Hulanicki was heavily inspired by the Hollywood movies she used to watch at Brighton as a girl as well as Art Nouveau and Art Deco design. Classic Hollywood is known for is glamour, with its actresses dressed in silk, furs and feathers and with the sets fabulously displayed with rich fabrics, mirrors and lacquered wood.

There are a lot of blog posts dedicated to Biba and the beautiful clothing and girls who worked for them but I thought I might do something different.

I decided instead to bring you some images which I think may have inspired Barbara in her younger years or that hold that certain something that Biba was known for

Have a good weekend! 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Biba brown chalk stripe dress

Dearest readers! I am looking for your help!

I'm currently reading A to Biba - The Autobiography of Barbara Hulanicki 
In the book she describes 2 dresses which essentially kicked off the Biba Boutique Postal Service 

The Sugar Pink Gingham shift dress and the Brown Pinstripe smock
There are limited images of the Pink gingham dress but even less so of the Brown chalk stripe dress. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Pretty Pattie

Oh Pattie! How much stress she caused me. But in the end it turned out very well!

I cut this pattern 5 weeks ago, and other than a break to make The bliss of Mrs Blossom dress, I’ve been stitching little bits of this jacket, making improvements on the fit and fiddling around with “tailoring techniques” (which in the end were kind of useless), and having tiny hissy fits every time I tried it on

But in the end I am so happy with it I don’t even care about its remaining imperfections!

Blouse from ASOS, Patent black shoes from ASOS, Handbag - Op Shop find

Friday, July 5, 2013

So listen while I play my Green Tambourine

Today has been a rather trying day at work for me so I though we'd have a little fun this Friday to the sounds of the Lemon Pipers - Green Tambourine

Nothing too hard - just a fun little guessing game!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July 1st goodies, or How to spend your tax refund

July first! For most of us that means tax returns (boring) but for the lucky ones that also means tax refunds (hooray!) 

Allow me to make some suggestions from my favourite Etsy sellers on how to throwaway invest your refund into some lovely vintage pieces!

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Dark End of the Street

So how was your weekend lovelies? 

I had one of those 1 step forwards 2 steps back type weekends. 

The sleeves on the Pattie suit are still not right, so I thought adding in the shoulder pads and sleeve heads would help pick up some of the drooping but if anything it only perpetuated the 80s jacket look 

Looks ok...
The inside before the lining.
Not sure why I picked black pads