Thursday, 28 January 2010

Inspiration for sewing

Just when I get back into the swing of regular blogging again, I get struck down by a nasty tummy bug that's doing the rounds, which means that I haven't had a chance to prepare a proper blog post over the past couple of days. Typical!

In the meantime, I thought I'd mention some of the things on my "To Do List" for this year. I'm not sure in which order these will appear, but there's nothing so motivational as a blog to get one going!

My main, and ongoing project for the blog, will be skirt making. I aim to tell you how I make a basic skirt block, and then from there, how I customise the basic block to make different designs. It's an easy peasy skill which might mean that none of us either have to buy a pattern or an actual skirt ever again! I have already drafted up and cut a pattern based on this vintage style vogue pattern:

We'll all be learning together - a variety of styles - as I'm no expert! so I hope you will join me for the ride.

As blogged before, I've been selling a few male corset kits and even a couple of "His n'Her" corset kits from my website, and since i've never actually made a male corset before, that's one of my more pressing 'to do' items. Lucky Mr Marmalade will be my model!

I've been thinking about the idea of making a wedding dress for quite some time now and I think the time has come to just jump in and see what happens. I remember being enchanted when I was a young girl, by the wedding dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face. I thought it was the most beautiful wedding dress that ever there was so I am thinking of designs around this but which also incorporate some sort of corset detail.

Talking of which! I've been featured on the Folksy Wedding Blog - much to my surprise, and with something I had, even more surprisingly, never even thought about - that's my corset there on the top row.

STEAMPUNK weddings! Oh my!! Can this poor little brain of mine cope with yet more ideas racing around it like motorbikes on a wall of death?!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Creative possibilities

.... "I saw a woman at an event last night in a great corset; I found myself staring at all the bits. I blame you for making me stare at strangers in this way. I could get beaten up. " ....

Now every time I stare at the clothes of complete strangers, perhaps a particularly complicated looking seam, a hidden detail, or a beautiful line, the last sentence of that message, "I could get beaten up", rattles in my mind alongside all of the diagrams and calculations I imagine it would take to achieve the shape I'm trying desperately to memorise quickly in the bus que, or on the street, or the local shop or ... anywhere at all - it's as much as I can do to resist getting my camera out to surreptitiously film the object of my 'desire'!

It troubles me somewhat. I just cant stop staring at ladies clothes and all the creative possibilities they communicate to my already overflowing mind! Even if I don't like the actual garment as a whole, it could be something like a clever pocket placement, or an elaborate stitch which might catch my eye.

Mr Marmalade knows when sewing thoughts 'overtake'. He knows the 'look' - a distant, far away gaze. He knows better than to ask what it is that might be occupying my brain so fully that I don't hear or see a thing going on around me and the only sound I am capable of making is a little 'hmm' now and then .. You've all been there I'm sure.

In short, I have become obsessed with lines, darts, tucks, and seams, but it doesn't stop there, oh no!

As a result of reading too many vintage sewing books and couture 'techniques' I have developed an intense love for hand stitching in order to achieve the perfect finish .. you see? It's a bad case.

Now, if I wasn't the type of person who needs to know EXACTLY how things work, in order for them or their purpose to make sense to me, you might call me a cheapskate ... I don't want to spend a fortune on the vintage sewing patterns which regularly have me drooling into my keyboard - have you noticed how expensive they have become since they became 'the thing' to sew?. No. Rather than wrestle with old, unprinted, sometimes incomplete, and hard to fathom sizing issues, I prefer to spend the money on finding out how to sew clothes from scratch, and inspired by those pattern drawings showing the simple and elegant lines of the 50's and 60's.