Friday, December 20, 2013


So. I made the dress, I did and I wore it too.
I love being married.

I have no idea how to edit this video down past one hour.  A windmilling Pharrell is perfect enough surely?  I will post more soon...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Walking in Anna Karina's shoes

I have been lately looking for a pair of pointed t bar flats.   Cut away pointed flats to go with my box pleated, wool, above the knee, navy skirt that I haven't found yet either - come on ebay.
Whilst looking to illustrate this, I noted that Anna Karina has single-handedly inspired pretty much any street trend you could identify for the last umpteen seasons.   Bit like when you find out your favourite record was actually a cover version in some cases.  But then. Who could blame them.

I hope to post an update on my wedding dress progress soon, as I have made progress. I have earmarked some silk blend duchesse satin in milky ivory on, you guessed, ebay. I have cut and recut, draped and cried and am at the point of attaching the skirt on the toile. Vogue's pattern instructions are thin on direction and the version I bought was digitally 'let off' rather than 're-mastered' and looks like it was drawn by a child. The graphics on the instructions are printed blurred to begin with and so are,at times, so dense that light bends round them. Spidey sense has prevailed. If I pull this off, I WILL be making a speech about it at the wedding.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

loving Balenciaga cruise

Gorgeous. I LOVE the 50s raffia bullfight thing. The sandals that approximate matador pompoms are lovely too.
By the way, I happen to have a 50s matador jacket in the shop - ping pong.
* please someone, fetch that girl a hot meal?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

oh larry rivers

This is so, so good it makes me antsy. Maybe I should do something about it.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

The runners up were...

I love the 40s dress.  It's so plain yet so frivolous.  And the Edwardian dress is an amazing piece of surviving history but ethereal and it's a Winter wedding (deposit paid). So they are both up for sale at a shop near you.  Soon.
The sew your own wedding dress project is ON. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Jolie lace detective

I've been given some lace fabrics to help identify by the local museum.  No mean task;  machined lace can be antique and without being able to do a burn test, the fibers are ellusive.*  Then is it  bobbin or needle, applique or loomed?  Not to mention the wealth of technique that should reveal its very own gimp thread knotted forever to a small village somewhere in Europe - Europe is quite big.  I'm off to talk to an expert in such matters and drink in their knowledge vicariously.  More on that later.
Meanwhile.  Last summer I tinkered with a 30s bra pattern to make it more 60s led and cut some briefs to match.  At the time it became a liberty fabric bikini but I am now completely inspired by handling these amazing fabrics to make it up in silk and antique lace - not the museum ones, obviously.   If only I didn't have my wedding dress to make by the end of September. Yes.  Must get on with that one...

* silk smells like hair, cotton like paper, polyester like, well, polyester burning
Jolie Mômes lingerie - so good- seen here ,

Friday, June 14, 2013

Wedding shoes

Who decided the bride's shoe need to be peep toe and/or slingback anyway?  I want to be wearing these.  I will make them with my bare hands if it comes to it.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Wedding Dress #3 Winging it.

So.  Here I am, starting from a size 18 pattern when I am an 8/10.  See my troubled, studious face.  My seamstress experience is all a bit taking in jeans down the inside leg (in orange thread) wondering why it twisted. Aged 11. 
So today, I took all my measurements and decided I needed to take 1" off the bodice length, bodice waist and 3" off the bust.  That would be a small bust adjustment then.  Bear in mind that the pattern has no obvious grain measurements and a dart on the back piece seems to be missing. 
I first took an inch off the pattern length at my personal waistline on each piece as I had googled that you had to do length adjustments first.  I guessed where the line was to pleat.
For the bust, I used a dissection method.  I divided the 3" loss measurement across the 4 pieces: 2 back, 2 side fronts and 1 front piece resulting in 1.9cm to be lost off each one - pardon my imperial v metric parlance.  Just realised that adds up to 5 pieces.  Ok, it seems that although I failed to add that up it's fitting fine so far, so we will blip over that error for now.
Most pieces were pleated along a line drawn halfway across the shoulder or the neck down to the hem perpendicular to the grain but on the side front, seeing as it is an armhole princess seam, I decided to take the 1.9cm loss off the bust curve where it started to downturn to take any fullness out there - I technically should have taken that same measurement off the front piece length too to make them match...but it didn't seem to need it.  Winging it.
But look!  I am so proud that all of the above seems to have worked so far and that I only had to re-do the darts once.

To be Continued...

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

What to say?

found here where a lexicographer (her first post uses the word 'winnowing') is blogging about dresses and that. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Said I'd make it. Butterick 4560

And the first toile turned out pretty good if I say so myself.  I have never really altered just part of a pattern to fit before so I am quite impressed with the fact that it actually worked.  I needed to lose an inch on the bust only.  For anyone that needs to know - to make a smaller bust adjustment when it's a raglan sleeve, curve off what you need to lose from the bust at the side front seam whilst taking the same measurement off the length on the front piece.  The neck actually fits as snug as in the illustrations but I like it slouchy anyway so I probably won't bother putting on that button at the back.
 I used some fine knitted cotton jersey that was going for a song on ebay but which is almost certainly going to disintegrate into unravelled threads the first time I wash it.  I need an overlocker.
In my dreams I want to find some slubby sweatshirt jersey and then dye the sleeves a contrast colour using found plant dyes from the garden or the kitchen.  It would also look rather lovely and neat in woven fabric - I may yet take it down longer into a dress.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Well now, here's something to think about.

Yes, I know.  This will be the third wedding dress - some would say I have a problem.  This is a beautiful dress that would do Modesty Blaise proud but there is just one problem.  Just the small matter of me having to redraft it to size and then actually sew it.  Pfff, I would say it looks within my reach.  I have a patternmaster in the post and have already earmarked some  fabric for the toile on ebay.  I love a project. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Come on Spring.

Sun and mountains

Sorry for the absence of posts but we have been a-visiting family in a one horse village in Snowdonia. Beach fired sausage sandwiches on a deserted sandy beach with a view of snow capped, sunny mountains. Heavenly. Followed by a little mountaineering. I think the people reaching the summit of the Arrdu with their laminated maps and poles had their sense of achievement a little crushed to find the half dressed family with a seven and four year old eating cupcakes already there. No mean feat for our youngest I might add. She did the whole thing minus a shoulder lift the last bit down. The moss covered garden is grotto like and the air as fresh as the water in the last photo and we probably added another year onto our lives just by being there for a few days. Til next time.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


I am having a spring sale on Etsy - make room for new items a-coming. Just enter the coupon code SPRING15 at checkout for 15% off all items

Sunday, March 03, 2013


I I hope to be doing this on silk this summer, using indigo dyes.  Its the bacteria imagery that draws me.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Tati in tartan and tweed

I so love the Ivy League look and probably always will.  Which invariably involves tartan; I am wondering how far tartan is going to go and for how long...
Thanks to Vanessa Jackman

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Like the Pink Ladies

But run by Dorothy Parker and more acerbic.  The dog, however, is the punctum here. 

A Situationist Valentine: not for conspicuous consumption

As I was sorting through my sumptuous 1930s stock,  I noted the date and found myself pondering that I probably should have listed the lingerie in the shop* ready for Valentine's Day**. Instantaneously, I realised that this is exactly why I have always narrowed my eyes at Valentine's Day.  Why, they nearly had me...

“In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles.  Love that was once directly lived has become mere representation.” Guy Debord - Society of the Spectacle.

* This and more coming soon to a shop near you.
**Does not include steak, chips, fizzy wine and heart shaped chocolates for two deal priced at £20 from participating garages only.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Natalie Joos styling vintage

With the beautiful Xiao Wen modelling.  Why I love vintage.  Its all for sale on the Manhattan Vintage show website.