Tuesday, 18 August 2009

How to sew gussets and gores in corsets

Today I have mostly been TEARING MY HAIR OUT!!!!!!

Trying a new corset pattern, it seems that the instructions are less than useless and obviously written by a teddy bear in deepest darkest Peru who has never even seen a sewing machine, never mind a corset - well at least he might like marmalade sandwiches ;)!

But eventually, after deciding to ditch the stupid pattern, and 'do it myself'....

I have some rather lovely lines...

And the bonus is, that not having any 'scrap' fabric, I chose to make it from a peice of 'good' fabric which I didn't particularly like.

But now I do like it. 
Very very much.

Pattern is by Simplicity

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Brown Paper Packages

I've been taking delivery of things for my new online shop..

There has been much excitement and many things to unpack, organise and examine..

Boxes to be ticked, tutorials to be written, and webpages to be built...

And much much photoshopping ...

But I am nearly there - Hurrah!... And I shall reveal all very very soon...

Saturday, 8 August 2009

An easy way to sew darts

Today I have mostly been sewing darts using a method i've seen in various places on the interweb.  It works a treat!

First of all mark the bottom of your dart with a little cut on each leg.

Then fold the dart, aligning the two cuts.

On your sewing machine, make sure your top thread (the one that goes through the needle) is quite long.  Place the piece under your presserfoot and sew one or two stitches.  Then lift the presserfoot while the needle is still down, and bring that top thread forward.  

Pin the thread  to the end of your dart so that it creates a perfectly straight line of thread which marks the line for you to sew along.  Sew along the line and taper off at the end in the usual way.

et Voila!  A perfect dart.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Vintage Jewellery

When I handed over Miss L's dress to her I was quite sad ... it was like letting go of a part of my life, strange as it may seem.  Ofcourse it was always for her, and I was happy to let it go, but it had consumed me so much that when it left, there was a bit of a gap.  The deal I had with Miss L was that I wouldn't charge her for my 'labour' as it was the first dress I had ever made from scratch and I didn't really know how it would go, but she would pay for the materials. 

I wasn't expecting any other 'payment' than what we had agreed, but Miss L had other ideas and secretly texted Mr Marmalade to find out what I might like as a gift.  Between them, they decided to indulge my  penchent for sparkly vintage things and she subsequently presented these lovelies to me.  Aren't they just divine?  They are all from c. 1930 and were mounted on a peice of vintage velvet ribbon.  
I particularly adore this pair of diamante buttons.

I've built a little collection of vinage buckles over the last year or so, here just for the sake of my own pleasure, is the rest of my treasure...

Can you see the "shell" buckle on the right?  I had a bit of bother over that.  It cost me £4.00 on ebay.  The chap selling it, mailed me about a week after I won  the auction saying that he had dropped it and it had broken, therefore would I accept a refund? ... 'I don't think so'  thought I and so followed a lengthy email exchange where ultimately I insisted that I didn't mind receiving the 'damaged' item and he had no choice but to send it to me.  Ofcourse, it arrived in PERFECT condition and I suspect that I got a very big bargain!!

But where did Miss L get her treasure I hear you ask??  WELLLLL.....

Miss L's mum, the lovely Mrs L (for the sake of consistency), happens to be a world expert on Vintage Jewellery, and selling it is how she makes her living.  I love the story she told me about an occasion at Portobello Market where a smart but unassuming American lady came to her stall and purchased a couple of items which Mrs L presumed to be intended gifts for loved ones 'back home'.  The next day, Mrs L was surprised to find her email inbox full of queries and requests from many prop buyers in London explaining that THE top prop buyer of Hollywood had recommended her as "someone who knows her stuff".  
So if you're after some Vintage Gorgeousness, check out Bag The Jewels, and find yourself something genuinely special.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Boned dress done!

Hello!!  It seems like ages since I was last here, I almost even forgot I had a blog, or that there was such a thing as blogland, even though I have been poking my nose into Google Reader occasionally over the last few weeks.  When last I was here though my batteries were flatter than a flat thing on a flat day.  First of all there was Miss L's dress to finish which I did within a hair's breath of the deadline.   I learned a whole lotta stuff  from making this dress.  Namely, never ever use silk crepe again. It's a devil!  But it looks lovely don't you think?  

Then there was my 'project' and website building which took up all of the rest of my time.  A bit calmer on that front but not ready as soon as I hoped.  Humph.

And then there was a much needed holiday.   Back in April at the Blogerry Picnick, I mentioned to Kitty and Ali that for our holiday this year, we had decided against the Trebbia Valley in Italy in favour of the Tamar Valley in Cornwall.  They both laughed out loud as you can imagine and who can blame them given the choice between blazing sunshine or blinding rain.  I know, I know .. but look at the view ... don't you think it's worth it?

Especially when the man does cooks tea on a rainy day!

We managed a trip to the local rainforest..

The Eden project.  Hmmm... Nice engineering but too crowded.  Much better, the real Cornish landscape...

In all it's rugged beauty, even on a cold and windy day...

With each visit to Cornwall I fall in love a little bit more .. I can't wait to go back.