Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Claim to fame... Black Mirror

I haven't shared my exciting new job that I got myself over the summer yet... but I managed to get employed as a seamstress on a freelance basis for a lovely lady who has her own dressmaking & alterations company!

During the summer I had a few projects to work on, (more I will share later!) but this was the most recent one I took part in :) Over the course of about 3 days, a team of five ladies and myself worked long and hard with hundereds of metres of grey jersey to make 65 zip-up jackets. This was a huuge order for us, a small team in a cosy sewing room with only the use of 2 overlockers and 3 sewing machines... but we managed to finish with 6 minutes to spare, and to top it all off, the courier came to pick up the order 5 minutes early!

... piles of jackets, and that isn't even half of them!

But the most exciting bit was being told they were to feature on a channel 4 show at some point in the future.. and then see them on the trailer for next week's episode!

I'll be watching this Sunday just to witness them in action :)

So yes. That's my bit of excitement for this week, as I have a project deadline this friday which has been taking over my life. Will share soon!


Saturday, 5 November 2011

Second Year Project: Photo shoot!

So here they are! The final photos showing the clothing from my little 'Freesize Collection' :)
To show the adjustable nature of the clothing & embracing the 'All Walks Beyond The Catwalk' concept and campaign, I decided to show my clothing on a variety of models- UK 6-8, 10-12 & 14-16.

Below is Jessica, as the 6-8 model:

...and Jo modeling as the size 10-12:

...and Aimee, modeling as the size 14-16 :)

I got each of them to try on each outfit, wear it their own way & adjust it to fit them the way they wanted!

and finally... the knitted trousers! They took me FOREVERR to knit (all done by hand mind) and also cost rather a lot due to certain wool being rather expensive!

The knitted trousers didn't necessarily turn out exactly the way I planned, but they were very warm and cosy and my models seemed to very much enjoy wearing them & said they were really comfy!

All photography Copyright belongs to Jon Ridley :)

What do you think?



Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Second year project #2: Final Designs

Here's my final designs for my second year project :)

They're my presentation boards for my portfolio, so I've done the first as a concept board to just sum up the ideas and inspiration behind the clothes and the designs:

This design below consists of a 'Freesize' floaty top to be worn oversized and/or off the shoulder, tucked into the 'paper bag' waist hand knitted trousers, synched in at the waist with a belt. The top is made from fabric recycled from an old maxi skirt found in a charity shop (I always like reusing the fabric on old maxi skirts, cause you get a lot of fabric!), the wool is a chunky mottled brown, knitted with size 8 needles in a cable pattern running down the front and back centre of each leg. They are gathered in at the ankle and can be pushed up the leg if the wearer is shorter or pulled down if they are taller, with an elasticated cuff at the ankle. I also made the leather belt from scraps of dark brown leather, sewn together in a sort of patchwork :)

Having the belt and no set size on the waist of the trousers means that the waist can be adjusted to the wearer purely by loosening or tightening the belt, and gathering the waist to size.

I also included some scans of my knitting samples!

The second outfit is made up of 3 parts, the first being a gathered ballet-style skirt (made adjustable with a ribbon tie at the waist, allowing it to be made bigger or smaller depending on the wearer), an adjustable top with ribbon tie straps (with ribbon threaded through the front and back neckline to allow it to be loosened or tightened to accommodate any chest/bust size) and finally an overlay decorative top made from recycled vintage crochet doilies, fastened with ribbon ties at the side, again to allow it to fit the size of the wearer:

The last outfit is made up of a slouchy jersey t-shirt, also worn oversize and/or off the shoulder, and tucked into the trousers. The trousers/'cigarette pants' are meant to have a smart, tailored finish to balance out the slouchy fit of the top, and are made from a rusty orange colour wool.

The trousers have two long tabs that fold over each other at the front of the waist, with a series of 5 wooden buttons that run in a line underneath. This allows the wearer to wear the buttons on any setting they like to fit their waist size, either on the tightest/loosest setting or even in between.

This outfit also includes the slouchy loose knit cardigan made from recycled string (shown in the previous post!) with key-hole button holes and tiny little brass keys for the buttons!

Pictures of the photo shoot for this little collection will follow soon!



Saturday, 29 October 2011

Second year making project #1

Here's the photos of my final pieces that I made for my first making project in my second year of uni. I posted about my toiles for project a while ago now (oops!) here, but I thought you may like you see the final outcomes :)

So, the first one is the cable knit wool & jersey mix jumper. I used a mottled beige wool with brown flecks within it, which I think went well with the light brown jersey I used for the body and arms. I added some ribbed cuffs, neckline and hem:

.. it's rather warm, and I've worn it a few times after getting it back! :)

Secondly, the knitted wool flower corset dress:

I used the knitting machine to create strips of knit, and then turned these into knitted roses. I used a wool/ribbon colour palette of neutrals and browns & used a nude colour fabric for the base dress, to create the illusion the wearer was only wearing the flowers.

I must admit this was the one garment I was really not happy with (there is always at least one!) because the roses were rather heavy in a large quantity and made the dress hang strangely around the skirt & hem area!

Then on the back, I created a lace-up corset effect fastening with eyelets and ribbon. This made the dress tight fitting on the wearer so the roses would not make the dress hang strangely!

And next, the taupe bell/bishop sleeve blouse with 2 detachable peter pan collars:

The first collar was made from Aida fabric, and decorated with cross stitch, using the pattern from my grandma's carpet! (See this post for a picture) I used bias binding around the edge, and continued it on to create a bow fastening at the front. The collar attached to the blouse using 2 poppers either size of the zip fastening at the back of the neck.

Cross stitch close up:

The blouse fastens with an invisible zip at the centre back:

The second detachable collar was made from the vintage tapestry fabric. I used a lighter binding on the edges for this one for contrast, and also made it into a neck tie in the middle.

And finally... the tapestry shorts- made from the vintage tapestry curtains shown previously. These are probably my favourite of all the garments I made for this project, and I have also worn these a few times since! They come up quite high on the waist, but that just makes it nice and comfy :)

Close up of the little custom labels that I had made- I sew these into everything I make now! :)

Set of 4 'grandad' type leather buttons on the front for detail.

Rather late for posting all of this...but what do you think?



Friday, 5 August 2011

I do like making birthday presents #1

Back in May, its was my sister's 16th birthday
& I decided I would make her a birthday present. Due to my recent phase of much knitting (as you'll see soon with some of my 2nd year uni work!) I decided I would make her a knitted Tardis iPod/Phone case after seeing a few photos of similar things on tumblr.

I just knitted two basic squares with size 4.5mm needles in a navy wool,
and then embroidered the squares for the windows and the 'Police Box' at the top.
I also incorporated a small fold over piece at the top for the Tardis 'light', which has a popper sewn onto it to fasten the case at the top. This then allowed a gap for headphones to escape whilst in use :)

I think she's happy with it :) haha!


Monday, 1 August 2011

Things that make me smile...

I must say that you all seemed to like my DIY teacup pincushion, I even got a couple of you showing me your handy work when trying it for yourself!

Here's one from Swaen:

And one from Jo! (You'll be seeing some of her later...)

They're so beautiful :)
It made me so happy to see people trying it out!
If anyone else has had a go, I'd love to see.


Monday, 14 February 2011

D.I.Y - Teacup Pin Cushion!

I've been meaning to pop this post up for a while now, it seems I haven't done a D.I.Y in aaages!
This one is quite simple, and can be a really cute addition to your sewing tool collection- whilst being very pretty and practical to use!

You will need:

~ 1 x pretty teacup and saucer (make sure its an old one!)
~ 1 x glue gun and glue sticks to go in it
~ 1 x (approx) 30cm x 30cm piece of scrap fabric
~ Scissors
~ A handful of cushion stuffing/wadding

Most of these are things that can be found quite easily. I bought my teacup from a local charity shop for 50p (I definitely recommend popping down to your local charity shop, you'll get a lovely one for half nothing!). I also got the fabric from my fabric stash, any kind is suitable, as long as it goes nicely with your teacup! I took the wadding out of a cushion I had made in GCSE textiles (shh!), but you could easily get some from any haberdashery shop. The glue gun was borrowed from my mum, but you could use any glue to fix the pieces together :)


1. Take your teacup and saucer, and turn the teacup upside down. Run a thin layer of glue around the rim of the base of the teacup, just where it would touch the saucer when they sit together.

2. Line up the bottom of the cup and the ring in the centre of the saucer:

...and press it down firmly in the correct place.

3. Wait a while for it to dry (this will vary depending on the type of glue you use!)- if you use a glue gun, it should fix pretty quickly :)

All fixed nicely :) The saucer will give you a handy place to store your thread, scissors, thimbles, buttons etc whilst you are sewing!

4. Take your wadding and make sure it is just the right amount to fit inside the teacup. Try it for size:

5. Now take your fabric, and place the wadding in the centre and wrap the fabric around it, pulling it in at the bottom:

6. Take a strip of the fabric you have been using (although you can just use string, or even an elastic band!) and tie the ball of wadding into the fabric. Give it a prod and a poke to make it a nice even blob shape to fit nicely into your teacup :)

7. Snip off the excess fabric with a pair of scissors. This doesn't have to be neat as it will be hidden!

8. Next, pop the cushion into the teacup and just take note approximately where the sides touch so you know where abouts to put the glue. Then remove the cushion, and put a generous amount of glue about mid way up in the teacup, all the way around.

9. Quickly, whilst the glue is still wet, take your cushion and press it into the teacup, making sure the sides touch the cushion. Hold it down for about 30 seconds or so (again depending on the glue you use!) until it is fixed in nicely!

10. Now you are ready to fill it with your pins, and pop all of your sewing essentials onto the saucer! Very handy to have next to you when you are sewing, and also a nice ornament to have decorating your workspace :)

Let me know if any of you lovelies try this, I'd love to see what you come up with!

Happy sewing :)