Tuesday, 28 December 2010

☺ Intercourse Purchases ☺

Helena and I took a road trip to Intercourse, where we ate the most amazing crab cakes and bought the loveliest fabrics. Moda's Sugar Pop is to die for! I also couldn't resist some more repro feedsacks... must have been in a green mood!

I have no idea what I will do with these. For now, I am just happy looking at them!

Stuck in Snow...

I have had the most amazing week in Philadelphia, staying with my good friend Helena. Eating, drinking, shopping and being very inspired by people and places. I was all set to head home last night, when the snow blizzards forced the cancellation of thousands of flights.... I felt a little frustrated, but had another wonderful day with H. We even discovered a place that served mulled wine- unheard of over here! I took these photos around Northern Liberties and Brooklyn.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Lauren DiCioccio

Wow! I've just discovered the most amazing textile artist, Lauren DiCioccio. Check out her website and the following images- unbelievable!

Vintage Sewing e-books

Sabrina posted a comment on my Singer Sewing Machine Post telling me about an amazing online resource for vintage sewing/ dressmaking/ pattern-drafting: VintageSewing.info

It is amazing! There are some wonderful e-books from the 1900s to the 1950s. I have only had a quick look, but already found some great articles:

How to make a dress form using gummed paper!

How to use the tucker attachment on my Singer!

This is an amazing site for fashion students and sewists everywhere!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Dear Golden Vintage

I love the things this girl picks up! She has such a creative eye and her photography really maximises the garments. She has the ability to make vintage look so up-to-date! She gets some great 50s classics. I love the button back detail on the white dress, the slash neck, plaid dress and the print on the circle skirt.

Detachable collars

These seem to be all the rage- there was an article in the latest British Vogue. They have been around for centuries- check out the South American version and the beaded/ crocheted version, reminiscent of 1940s wartime collars. They can completely transform an outfit, like a piece of statement jewellery.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Sewing for Sanity

Sew (ha ha)... I've been very distracted recently by some major changes in my personal life. My concentration has been way off and I have often felt like I'm on another planet... that is until I started sewing again! Nothing too complicated; just some patchwork pieces that I will turn into mini quilts eventually. Sewing is so therapeutic and has really kept me sane these past few weeks.

Moda Punctuation charm packs turned into a 'crosses' quilt from this book.
The finished quilt top:

Moda Rawhide charm packs turned into sawtooth stars (my own design):

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Helena Skirt for Helena

Completed the skirt for my friend, Helena. She chose the fabric and buttons, but didn't have time to make it before moving to the States. It's no wonder she works in fashion... Most of this was completed on the 1933 Singer, but I had to cheat and use my electric machine for the buttonholes. I should have hand-worked them, but she would have got it next xmas, rather than this xmas!

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Port Elizabeth

I am thrilled to say that my top pattern has been downloaded from BurdaStyle over 4000 times! Thanks everyone!

George Eliot- great gal!

It is never too late to be what you might have been.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Moda Rawhide

Some close-ups.

Sawtooth Stars

I am addicted to the new Singer and have been nosing through my mum's fabric stash. She has some wonderful fabrics- the Moda Rawhide collection being one of them. I have spent this afternoon making some 6" sawtooth patchwork patches, which I think look fab! I really feel like a girl from another era using this machine!

The Helena skirt for Helena- made on the Singer

My good friend Helena has jetted off to a new life in Philly and she bought this fabric to make the skirt named after her. She didn't have time and donated the fabric to me, along with copious other textile goodies! So.... I thought I would make this for her as a Christmas present- let's hope she's too busy in her new job to check my blog. I'm no good at secrets and wanted to share with you!

Check out the beautiful engraved steel detail!

Sewing the side seams (there is a seam guide, but the machine doesn't like it, so I marked my SA with tape):

I then used the tiny hemmer to finish my edges- so thrilled with the results!

How neat!!!

Now my only issue is buttonholes... I'm hoping there's an attachment I can find, but doubt it. I'm loathed to make handsewn buttonholes (although it would be good practice for me) and I'm loathed to use a modern machine to make them, since I wanted this to be totally 'hand' made. I could use poppers/ press studs instead- when I was in Lancaster County, I noticed that the Amish and Messonite women used these a lot, most likely as an alternative to buttons and buttonholes, since they don't use electricity. Hmmm... wish I had bought one of those tools in Zooks...

☆ The Singer in all its glory ☆

I L.O.V.E this machine! It is simply amazing. Check out the quality and attention to detail:

Beautiful wooden case:

Stunning paintwork and sparkly steel:

The shuttle bobbin! I forgot to take a photo of the bobbin that goes inside- too cute! Next time!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

♥ 1933 Singer Sewing Machine ♥

My mum picked up a second hand Singer sewing machine, manufactured in the 1930s. It is in immaculate condition and has all the original accessories and booklet. I can't tell you how excited I was to learn how to use this!! (Sad, I know!) I spent yesterday setting it up and adjusting the tension and then had a play with all the attachments- OMG, this does things I'm sure no modern machine could do without purchasing expensive, specialist presser feet. It makes the most amazing hems, tucks, gathers and binds edges without any fuss. The results are so neat and hark back to home-dressmaking of a different era. Just sewing by hand on the Singer makes me feel nostalgic. As a teacher, I am highly critical of my own and my students' sewing skills- the majority of us simply don't make enough of our own clothes to give us the skills and competence to make the beautiful handmade, quality garments that women in the early 20th century did. This machine goes someway to improving this. Oh, and did I mention the shuttle-bobbin?!! More photos next post!

PS all photos taken with my iPhone- A-mazing quality!

The tucker foot marks the placement of the next fold as you sew the first tuck! So intuitive- who needs electricity?!!
Such neat pin-tucks!!

The hemmer- sews a wide hem (you set the size) and takes away all the measuring, pressing and tacking!

This is my favourite, as it reminds me of vintage hems that are so tiny they leave you wondering how they were achieved- now I know!!

The perfect result! This measures a couple of millimetres and I am desperate to try it on some sheer fabric- who needs roll-hemmers?!!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Clear Out

I'm having a clear out and posted lots on eBay. Anthropologie, Hobbs, Russell &Bromley and lots more...

1950s Trousers

I'm selling these in my Etsy shop, if anyone is interested in them.

Fabric: American Jane

American Jane 'Punctuation' collection for Moda- so retro; so cool! Check out the gorgeous quilt made from this fabric collection.