Sewing

How to design and make a skirt in any size

I wanted to learn how to make things for ipads, so I've rejigged an old zine of mine with improved instructions and colour diagrams. It has step by step instructions and diagrams for drafting a skirt pattern to your own personal size, whatever that may be, and then making the skirt. For anyone really who would like to have skirts, but struggles to find any they like or that fit, and who would like some help with sewing.... Read More...

Fabric designs

I finally got the printing samples back of the fabrics I designed. They are all available on Spoonflower, a print on demand fabric site. I was very pleased with the end results. I was a little nervous about how they would come out, because I didn't stick to the recommended colour palette from the site, but the colours came out exactly as I wanted. You can order them as fat quarters or by the meter/yard. I recommend getting them printed on the kona cotton. If you do order any fabric, make sure to wash it on a delicate cycle with a less harsh detergent like ecover.... Read More...

Haberdashery

I'm currently at my grandparent's place in West Sussex. I picked up some teaching work in Germany over the summer (and some as yet unknown other destinations too), so I gave up my sublet room, put my stuff in storage for the summer, left London for a while, and am spending the next 10 days wandering around Kent and Sussex until I fly off. My grandparents' place is in a small village called Aldwick near Bognor. There's a shingle beach, lots of bungalows and old people, and hydrangeas everywhere. It's about 3 minutes from a very quiet beach (apparently Robert Smith lives here too, but I haven't seen him). My nan died last year, and my grandad is now in a home, with dementia, so the house belongs to my mum and aunt. They are currently refurbishing it and clearing out decades of things. The heavy lifting had already been done, but the other day I went through my nan's fabric stash for anything I wanted.... Read More...

I saw mushroom head, I saw skies are red

Here's a dress I recently made. I'm not very practiced at taking photos of myself, I'm usually on the other side of the camera, and it felt very awkward (and that's probably why I look so bad tempered). The remote control only cost £3, and has to be pointed directly at the camera, which doesn't help. It also didn't help that I don't have any space to use the 50mm lens, so I had to use the 28mm, which is really not a good idea around faces, especially if you've recently been having sinus trouble like I have, with the resulting puffy hamster face. None of the photos facing front were at all to my liking, and the ones from the back just emphasised my scoliosis, so you're not seeing those either. I still need to finish off the hem and the sleeve edging, I prefer to slip-stitch those by hand.... Read More...

Fake fur collar

I recently made this fake fur collar from a free pattern on the Colletterie blog. It's easy enough to draft something like this yourself, but having a pdf to print is far more convenient. I used some fake fur fabric and white satiny coat-lining. I cut out the pom-poms, but they looked scraggy with the wispy fur fabric, so I used a satin ribbon instead, and turned the ends in. When you sew with fake fur, it pays to snip all the hairs off the seams once you've sewn them, because it makes the fabric lie flatter than slashing the curves alone. With denser fur you can tease the ends out of the seams, but it made the edges look too messy with this fabric. The collar was very easy and quick to make. If you can't sew, my friend Kaitlin Kostus often has some very nice ones similar for sale. ... Read More...

Golden Hands Monthly

got this stack of 70s craft magazines in a junk shop in Devizes a few years ago. That place was amazing, a multi-floored cavern of junk. It's gone now, I think. Here's some photos.There's the usual ultra-cheesy raffia work projects and crocheted plant holders and so on, but the clothes patterns are actually mostly pretty nice, which is why I bought the magazines. What I've scanned is a mix of nice things and weird stuff though. I also couldn't scan double page spreads very easily, because the binding on the magazines is dodgy, and I didn't want to pull them about too much in case they broke. These issues are from 1972 and 1973. I have another issue from 1976, but it's printed on much cheaper paper (the paper quality wasn't sterling to begin with) and the contents are pretty dull.... Read More...

Effecting my disguise

Last Saturday me & Tukru decided to go to a party on a boat at the last minute. I saw that a friend of mine, Rob Bidder, who I hadn't seen in person for a looong time, was doing some music at the event, and it would be good to see him, and the party looked like fun anyway. Being on a boat, and near Hallowe'en, the dresscode was aquatic, so I had to come up with something to wear in an afternoon (and Tukru in even less time). Good old Costumes for Plays and Playing came to the rescue. A fish hood/cape with scales for me, and a button-on mermaid tail for Tukru.... Read More...

Costumes for Plays and Playing

When I was a kid I used to borrow this book again and again from the local library. The first thing I ever sewed myself was from it. A friend of mine at junior school's older sister was in a school play of Toad of Toad Hall, and we went to watch. When you're 7, 13 year olds seem incredibly impressive. What impressed me even more were the weasel costumes. I wanted one for myself. Armed with an offcut of brown fabric and a toy sewing machine I'd got at a bootfair, I made a hood with ears like the ones in the book. It was wonky, and I was a bit ashamed of it though, and wished I knew how to sew straight (looking back, I'm not sure the toy sewing machine was actually capable of a straight seam). My opinion of my sewing projects has improved slightly since.... Read More...