Saturday, 27 September 2014

Changing Seasons

In the UK, autumn's here; perfect excuse for a wardrobe overhaul.

Not sure I'll be as organised as the lady above but I'm certainly digging out some tweed for autumn. From Chanel to Harris, tweed is a classic style choice. Tweed's not just for shooting parties, there's a tweed for every occasion: check out this vintage guide to tweed.

Sewing with tweed is an absolute dream because you can shrink out ease so that it moulds perfectly to your figure. Finally, here's a tweed I made earlier in the year...

 

Monday, 22 September 2014

Mystery Man

In preparation for a class next month, I've recently been researching couture illustration. Digging through the archive, I found these gems.

Picture him with a very high collar; he's still designing 16 collections a year across 3 different houses! And his name is....

 

Friday, 19 September 2014

Highlights: London Fashion Week

Couldn't be there this year but I've selected some of my favourites. Sketchbook at the ready this weekend...

 

 

 

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Dreaming of Catwalks

Due to work commitments, London Fashion Week passed me by. I hadn't realised how much I missed my fashion fix until I noticed all the doodling in my planner! My heart was elsewhere.

 

 

 

 

Elizabeth Sees an Opportunity

If you've missed previous instalments of our story why not catch up here?

‘Affordable Housing for All or Aesthetics,’ screeched Elizabeth as she thrust the latest issue of The Comet under Rosemary’s round and now rather flustered face. After a year of working with, or under, Elizabeth she knew any attempt at self-defence was utterly useless. Rosemary would nod, apologise and then play her ace card. If there was one thing which interested Elizabeth as much as work it was acquiring the perfect house. Elizabeth's campaign against the expansion of The Garden City was, at least in part, due to the impact it might have on property prices.

Gradually, Elizabeth’s anger turned to annoyance and Rosemary knew it was time. This week’s property supplement was placed very satisfyingly onto Elizabeth’s well ordered desk. ‘The Ice Cream House,’ exclaimed an excited Elizabeth, momentarily allowing her sophisticated manner to slip. The front page of the supplement featured a property for auction which had occupied a place in Elizabeth’s dreams since childhood. As one of the most distinctive houses in the world’s first Garden City, everyone knew 52 Church Lane: the unique villa with its Neapolitan colour scheme was loved and hated in equal measure. Whilst Elizabeth's adult life had been spent in London, her childhood had slipped by in Letchmore. Passing this house as she walked to and from school everyday, Elizabeth knew it affectionately as The Ice Cream House. To a girl who dreamt of escape it symbolised summer, hope, frivolity and above all luxury. Contented with her diversionary tactics Rosemary turned to leave, Elizabeth was already reaching for the telephone receiver to dial the estate agent.

 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Vintage Dart Tip

I love a good dart tip; I came across this one in 'Home Journal' (1954).


 

Fifties seamstresses were advised to use 'brown paper to press out smooth darts.' Admittedly, I haven't actually used brown paper, I didn't have any to hand, instead I just whipped some regular paper out of my printer.

Below I'm using paper to press a cotton linen mix. Despite pressing hard on a very high temperature, there were no telltale marks coming through on the right side. This also worked well on seams.

 

 

The most useful application is when you have those tiny, fiddly shoulder darts. Using paper allowed me to get the iron right over them without worrying that I'd be left with unsightly marks.

 

 

These pictures are actually of my final summer dress project, I'll be posting on the completed summer dresses next week.

 

Monday, 25 August 2014

Great Fabric Markers

Regular readers will know I have yet to find a fabric marker I like; I usually end up thread tracing everything. Whilst in an epic rush this morning, I made a useful discovery. Having totally lost patience with my tailor's chalk and only needing to mark a short straight line, I took a risk: totally unlike me! The nearest marking tool to hand was a bible Driliter by Swanson. Unbelievably, it worked perfectly: a clear, sharp line which didn't disappear and came off really easily when no longer needed.

This is my best random discovery since the whole hairspray buttonhole revelation.

 

 

 

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