Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Sewing for Pleasure 2011-Purchases and Earrings

Ok this is definitely my final post about Sewing for Pleasure but I though I should show you what I actually bought at the show even though everything was lovely.  We decided on the plan of going round everything once, watching the fashion show then coming back to our favourite stalls and items.

Firstly I wanted to find some floral print fabric for one of my 1950s dress patterns, there was alot on offer but when I saw this it was perfect.
I love it!  To me it is less granny curtain and more retro vintage or at least I hope that's what it says!  Another thing I was hoping to buy and as if by magic was there was a pattern for my birthday costume.  Every year I have a theme and costume party which I love doing and usually means a night dressed up on the town.  Last year was 1950's for halfway to fifty (I was turning 25) and the year before was Victorian bathers.  This year is going to be Alice in Wonderland because I love it and I think there is alot of options for dressing up and with the Tim Burton film it is pretty popular at the moment.  I have a few good friends who love dressing up but others who think its childish and embarrassing so I am hoping this might be a more inspiring theme. 
This was the pattern I was looking at online, I really like how versatile it is for different costumes.  I am planning on going as the Queen of Hearts and making a jacket and dress combo though not entirely like the pattern.  Just after buying this my friend stopped a lady buying a red ruffly fabric and commented on how perfect it would be for my costume.  She was sooo right!
If you brush it one way it is all red with a black edge and the other is red and black striped.  I'm thinking wearing it upside down, so you can see the red and black would be perfect for the skirt.  These were both bought from the Abakhan stall.

Then I found this gorgeous lace trim the button lady stall
I could only afford a little bit as I had a strict budget and I keep changing my mind on what I want to use it on.  (Sorry the leaflet is upside down!)

I finally bought some lovely beads from Spellbound Bead company which is one of my favourite stalls from last year and has absolutely stunning glass beads.
The pearls were from another stall I forget the name of but I really wanted to use in embellishments and jewelry.

This morning I made these 2 pairs of earrings form the beads I bought, the red hearts are to match my red queen costume as I am very inspired by this idea now.
The second are from the beautiful dragonfly beads, which this morning when I took the picture were purple and when I went to work were definitely blue!  Spooky!


Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Sewing for Pleasure 2011-Underwear through the ages

My second Sewing for Pleasure post is all about undies!  There a was lovely and slightly overlooked display of underwear from the 1800's until modern day which was one of the attractions for me this year.  I love period clothing and seeing how underwear shaped over clothes is important to get the right look.  They are a mix of reproduction and original underwear, the displays didn't say which were which but I think it was fairly easy to tell.
Early 1800s
This shows all the different layers of underwear, corsets, hoops, petticoats and shifts.
Bustle skirt hoop
Gorgeous black and gold corset with decorative and practical stitching
Late 1800/Early 1900
Long corset with suspenders
'Bust smoother' to reduce unsightly lumps and bumps!
Less structured for wearing under flapper dresses
First bras and 2 piece underwear
Child's underwear
Still constricting but keeps the stomach and thighs smooth and reduced
With a poofy petticoat
Blow up bra!!!
Mini underwear for shop displays
Pretty prints, knickers and negligees
Look at that all in one!
Dress made from bras for charity
Really lovely garments I think you will agree!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Sewing for Pleasure 2011-Knitting madness!


I had a fantastic day at Sewing for Pleasure and I am really glad I went now and didn't just give up when I was trying a failing to book some sort of cheap transport.  I was very good and stayed within my budget though my budget was from savings that I hope I can pay back as I had no money left by the time the event came round *sigh*  I have quite alot of pictures so I am going to split them over a few posts but they will be picture heavy as they are all lovely and I want to share.

This post is dedicated to the knitted sculpture that was made by volunteers to raise money for the RNLI which is a very worthy and fitting cause.
The theme was above and below the sea and they built a huge mound which on the outside was above the sea complete with cliffs, beaches, lighthouses, pirates, and everything you can think of.
For perspective this is the sea monster with my friend.  It is huge!
These have to be my favourites, there is even a Jack Sparrow!
Sunbathing pirates!
Then you go through the mound, into a blue lit tunnel and you are under the sea.
There was a heck of alot of mermaids

My favourites from inside were the jellyfish made from lampshades and the stingrays
And finally, the amazing life size mermaid on the way out
As someone that cannot knit I find all this fascinating and I loved looking at all the little details that were included.

It was a great day out and I got to visit all my favourite stalls from last year and got some great bargains too.  The fashion show was good but maybe not quite as good as last year but I think this was to do with there being less recognisable collections.  the next post will be all about...underwear!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Birdy Skirt - Work in Progress

I am off to Sewing for Pleasure after work today and I just cannot wait!  I  am going with my friend Kylie I haven't seen for aaaages and its just been too long.  The buses and trains are going to take hours and are expensive even though I did shop around and have got the cheapest tickets I could. This means I am travelling late at night so I won't be much good come Monday morning but its only once a year so I think I can cope!  The annoying thing is that my broken battery charger for  my camera has finally given up  the ghost completely so I will have to use my phone for pictures for now.

I started this skirt on my day off this week, taking a break from re-doing the sewing room (which will be in an upcoming post once its has done and I can free the 'before' pics from my useless camera.)  I am using this pattern and fabric which is from Ikea and I have had in my stash for too long :S
The boyfriend reckons it looks like a table cloth, gee thanks, but I think it will look spring like as it is cut into panels and looks flattering in the picture.  I have cut it out, though I  am not pattern matching as I  only had one metre and the design is haphazard and has a big repeat which would make it impossible in that small amount of fabric.  It only cost me £2.10 though :)
I have cute the panels and sewn the seams but I don't have a zip the right size and I am waiting on some twill tape for the waist which doesn't have a waistband which is interesting.  Here is it just pinned to my model, I  think it is going to be big on me so I will be taking it in if that is the case.  I had difficulty picking the right size for this pattern as my hips and waist are about 3 sizes apart heehee!  I like that I can tailor it for me though.  Strangley this is the first skirt I have made!  I know that most people start on skirts but I went straight for the dress, skirts are much quicker to go together.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Ebay Pattern Binge!

I have no money.  So of course I bought patterns.  :S  Well in my defence they were paid for using my Papal, so its not like it is REAL money. *ahem* Plus I am going away to the Sewing for Pleasure exhibition in Birmingham this weekend where I am hoping to pick up some lovely new fabric and now I have patterns to go with it!  Enough with the justifications, on to the patterns!
Vogue 6654
This was quoted as a 1940's pattern when I bought it and that was one of the reasons I went for it though it doesn't have the date anywhere on it.  I would like to get the date confirmed but can't find it online so it is quite possible. The style and hair dos look 40s though which is positive.  I don't think I would ever wear this but I would really like the challenge of making it.  I love the pin tucks just not sure about the frills.
Butterick 5033
This is a re-print of a 1952 pattern which I only bid on as I couldn't see it go for 99p!  heehee!  I wasn't going to buy any more 50's but I did and I love the necklines, they are very summery looking.
Sunday People 567
A free with a newspaper pattern but I had to have it as it is so sweet!  I love the bib front and shirt under dress look and this is lovely!  It is a few sizes too big fr me so I will have to have a go at grading it but I am game for this as it was cheap.  It was also listed as 1970's but I think it might be more modern than that as the sizing is pretty much modern sizes, i.e. size 16 is a shop size 16 instead of smaller.

.................and now, my favourite pattern to date.....................
Simplicity 4399
eeeeee  Don't you just love it!  I love everything about this!  The big buttons, the off centre fold, the big skirt and the cute wiggle dress.  I was so happy to get this one as I really love it!  I believe it to be another 1950's patter, again no date shown.  I love it when patterns come back in style and I can't believe how many 50's style dresses and prints I have seen recently.  Hooray!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Dressmaking Inspiration

Where do you get yours?  Mine seems to come from all over the place but I keep a file on my computer for pictures I have seen online or on tv and can quickly save before I forget.  I am working on a kind of mood/ideas board for my craft room at the moment and thought I would share a few of the images I am using on it.  Most of these are pretty much fantasy dresses, ones I do not think I will ever make but love to death.  (These are all pictures I have 'borrowed' from other sites and I don't have the rights to them but I'm sure you could find them if you googled.)
 Alice Dresses
 Who didn't love the Alice dresses in Tim Burton's wonderland?  I love the blackwork on the hem of this one and the buttoned bodice.
I can't tell you how much I love this coat!  It is perfect in every way, colour, fit, cute buttons, tapered towards the back, frogging etc.
A fabulous use of GIANT RIC-RAC!  I have seen this in the shops and I just wouldn't know what to use it on but this is great, plus the velvet waistcoat.
Another gorgeous blue dress with a big ruffly bustle, I love bustles!  The sleeves are really sweet and the dark side panels on the bodice would be very slimming.
Pushing Daisies
I love Chuck's style in this series but this was my favourite dress and I did make my own version which I love to bits.  
I partly watch Merlin for the costumes, but I think I do that with quite alot of tv shows and films.  I one day want to make this dress and overdress which I think is wonderful.  The colours are my favourites and they look so elegant.  I can see me turning up to a ball wearing this and it would be completely different.
Tv Advert
I can't find any great pictures of this dress but on the advert it comes across as beautiful.  It is hard to see here but its totally snow queen.
Red Carpet Dress
Some people hated this dress but I don't.  The graduation between black and blue, the unusual straps and glittering jewel details are so different and lovely.  I want to try draping one day and go for a similar look.
Online Stores
I can't remember which website I originally saw this on but it was an online store and it was sold out in my size so I decided I should make one.  I saved the image and haven't done anything about it yet.  I have a pattern that would work with modifications but have yet to find a similar fabric.  Navy stripes are easy but baby blue?

Thanks for reading!