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Archive for August, 2010

A Short Break


Hello pretties!  I know I’ve been le rubbish with posting the past couple of weeks, but really, I’m just constantly tired at the moment and any energy I do have is spent on sewing, preparing for uni (I have homework and I haven’t even started the course yet!) and the boring stuff, like cleaning, cooking, etc… So, I’m just going to call a short hiatus on this blog at the moment – I hope to be back in a couple of weeks with some stitchery, those how-tos and some of this:

Much love.  x

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Must sleeeeeep…


I’m still here, my lovelies, just very, very tired!  I have two how-to posts in the pipeline: a recipe and my first tutorial.  Watch this space!

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About That News …


I handed in my notice at work last week.  And no, I haven’t got another job …

But don’t worry – I’m going back to uni, again.  (I just can’t seem to stay away from the place!)

Several months ago I was really pleased to find out I had a place on a PGCE course doing teacher training for the Lifelong Learning Sector (yay!), but that was soon dampened when I found out that I wouldn’t have funding (boo!).  Obviously, I was very disappointed as there’s no way I can afford £3,000+ on tuition fees, never mind not having a job being able to guy, y’know, food and other necessary things.  So I thought I wouldn’t be able to do the course … until I found out a couple of weeks ago that I would have funding!  (Huzzah!)

So, I start next month and I really can’t wait – finally I’ll be able to work towards a career where I can use my degree (teaching English at colleges, prisons and other adult learning situations) and do something other than administration, which will also stand me in good stead for when I one day (hopefully) do a PhD and can teach at universities. 

I am so pleased and relieved and all other kinds of good things!

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… for her 18th century inspired jewellery!  I’ve mentioned the legendary VW previously on this blog – she really is one of the (very) few fashion designers I have any interest in or desire to own the creations of.  And what creations!  I made the mistake of looking at her jewellery collection (silly me!) and found these pretties:

Embroidered jewellery?  A very rococo bow?  What’s not to love about this pendant?  I am sorely tempted by this lovely little cupcake-pretty slice of yumminess, especially as it’s in the sale.  Luckily my wallet cannot stretch that far (even at the sale price!)… Phew!  (But also – cry!)  I was just saying to my Mum yesterday that I was looking for a pair of rococo-esque bow drop earrings – I’ll just have to keep looking!

I do love this combo of embroidery and rococo influence and I thought my lovely readers would appreciate this blend of 18th century and stitcherous serendipity.  But if this one’s a little too simple for you, there’s more:

Or, if you prefer your embroidery at ear-level rather than around your neck (and perhaps within a more realistic price range), there are these:

Or maybe you’re a bit more traditional in your choice of materials and would rather jewellery, y’know, made of metal rather than fabric?  Never fear, Ms Westwood is here to tempt you with more yumminess:

I love jewellery, but brooches are a bit of an obsession for me and this one … wow.  That bow is calling me … must … resist …

But, no – there’s just more temptation!

Bow earrings of WIN!  Damn you Vivienne Westwood!

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Hmm… so, the problem is that I’m a bit behind schedule on my three projects: the PoP: Tamina costume for the Historical Costume Inspiration Festival; my Birthday Masquerade outfit (AKA, Lady Luck Pierrot outfit); and a waistcoat for my young man (for work and for his steampunk outfit for my Birthday Masquerade Party).

  • Prince of Persia: Tamina – I’ve done a quick mock-up of the harem pants in natural muslin (that is, the English definition – I think Americans call it muslin gauze?).  They are very sheer, so I’m glad I’m going for the long-length tunic over the top, otherwise I’d be a bit of a flasher!  I have gone for a very baggy leg because the fabric is so sheer and drapey, which seem to work well, especially as I’ve also decided to pleat the excess fabric rather than gather it.  More on that another time. Still to do – er, pretty much everything?  I might have to go for just the tunic and harem pants in time for the festival, and leave the cropped waistcoat for another time.  Deadline – beginning of October.

  • Birthday Masquerade outfit – I’m still working on these damned stays, but they are an integral part of the costume (and any other 18th century costume I want to make in future), so they need doing.  However, I am currently trimming down the fray allowance and applying fray-check to the edges, so after today the stays will be in a wearable state, even if they’re not quite finished yet (no bias binding).  Still to do – again, almost everything!!  A pierrot jacket, a few petticoats, a sash and a mask.  I had hoped to make a cool hat and a fan, but these accessories might have to wait until a later date.  I have most of the fabrics (just need some cheap white sheets/fabric for the under petticoats).  Deadline – 24th November.

  • A Modern Waistcoat for an Architect-In-Training – we have the fabric (including a rather fun tartan lining, which was free from a friend!) and I’ve traced an existing waistcoat to use as a basis for sizing; his lordship has sketched what he wants (it’s a bit complicated!) and we’ve worked out the construction.  To do – tonight I should be pinning a mock-up to him so we can finalise the pattern; then it all needs making (still – argh!).  Deadline – 24th November.

As you can see, I’ve cut down on some accessories I had planned, so I’m going to try to continue with what I’ve outlined above.  But (isn’t there always a but?), if I get any further behind schedule, I might have to put Tamina on hold and use what I’ve done of my Birthday Masquerade outfit for the festival.

So, I’m afraid blog posts might be a bit thin on the ground as I’m so busy at the moment and I also have some work-related news to share with you in the near future (but more on that later), which means more busy times – goodness!

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Yep, that’s right – all those pesky little hand-sewn eyelets are done and the straps are attached:

Though they started off a little shaky:

The bottom one that you can’t see very well was my first effort – it’s probably just as well it’s not very clear on the photo as it looks awful!!  I tried out a few different techniques: pushing the hole from the outside from the inside, overcasting or using buttonhole stitch, and stitching from the inside or the outside.  I found the best results came from: pushing from the inside to the outside (first with an awl, then with a wider knitting needle); I drew a circle around the hole; I used buttonhole stitch, pushing the needle from the outside and following the drawn circle.  After a couple of practice ones, they came out much better:

But before I could do the eyelets, I realised that I needed something to go behind them, since I’m attaching the lining after doing the binding.  So, I cut a couple of strips on the bias from the lining fabric (purely on the bias because of looks, I have to say!) and hand-stitched them over the folded over section of outer fabric.  Sorry, not very clearly explained, but here’s a photo:

So when the two sides come together, the stripes form a kind of chevron pattern:

So that’s the progress so far, all that’s left is stitching the ends of the last few boning channels, trimming down the seam allowance and then the evils of bias-binding attachment.  Even so, I think the finish line is in sight!

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Hello hello my dears!  More apologies for my current slowness in posting – I’m still working away on ‘things’ and will endeavour to take some photos of my stays progress post haste!

In the meantime, though, it would be quite remiss of me not to inform you of a wonderful giveaway from the lovely, the sublime Rowenna of Hyaline Prosaic, particularly as it has just been opened up to international entries!  The lucky winner will receive a custom made linen shift or shirt – more details on her blog.  The closing date is Sunday 8th August, so get your entries in!

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