Thursday, 20 May 2010

20th May 20's border dress

This gorgeous printed silk and beaded silk arrived today and as it is so fine with a heavy drape, a 20's inspired design it had to be.

One of my favourite designers and inspirations is Jeanne Lanvin, she made these incredible embellished dresses with full skirts and drop waists and created hundreds of sample books full of beading and applique. They are just stunning.

I took the shape of the drop waist and made the bodice a loose bias cut with traditional french seams and low slung arm holes. This could either be worn on its own or with a detailed slip underneath. The skirt is very full with layered nets underneath for support and I tied a ribbon belt to show the true waist.

I am especially pleased with the cascading bows at the back, This is a very simple take on a beautiful silhouette which I will work with more in the future. 

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

19th May Wedding Dress

Just finished today, this has taken a long time to create and I must say that it is one of my very favourite dresses I have made so far.

The initial inspiration for the dress was a host of 50's cocktail and wedding dress chosen by the bride, all with different details that she wanted in her dress. It was a really great way to design the dress and a way for her to have everything she wanted in one perfect dress for her day. I'm especially pleased with the pleated sweetheart and the tiny line of piping at the waist that adds the all important finishing touches.

The dress will be worn with an underskirt edged in the shocking pink binding to match and maybe some little lace gloves.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

18th May Cream Chiffon Dress

I finished this dress yesterday, it's not a 'make a dress a day' more like make a dress in two weeks! Originally made in purple as a custom order for bridesmaids and now created in cream for a graduation. I am very, very happy with the cream!

The bodice pleats are all hand sewn in place and can be very fiddly but it's well worth it in the end, I love the way the chiffon drapes. Just wish it wasn't so slippery!

Will have to try it in organza next or other sheer fabrics and maybe prints. It's very similar to my tulle prom dress in construction and it's amazing how every fabric folds so differently.

Monday, 17 May 2010

May 17th Green Spring Dress

It was a gorgeous day today in the country with plenty of sunshine and everything looking a vibrant bright green. Typically I was inside sewing dresses until tea time but managed a long walk with my spaniel who had decided to be the bully of the lane by barking (and dribbling) on a poodle!

This dress had been made for me by Anna and I had left it unfinished until now, I just needed to add the ruffle sleeves and the detchable bow to complete the dress. Anna is a first class sewer and a very good friend who helps me with the dresses making sure they are perfect, so this is a collaboration today.

The fabric used for the dress is a vintage 60's acetate screen print with a satin binding. 

Friday, 14 May 2010

14th May Screen Print Dress

Here we go again, this is proving to be hard work but very rewarding. I usually take weeks completing dresses especially for weddings and this has been so freeing to have to design, decide and make all in one day. A little like sketching and life drawing loosens up artists, daily designing is great. I'm beginning to think of new techniques to use and new details to add. In a years time I should have a nice big collection of skills in my belt and more confidence.

Today's dress is made from a 50's inspired heavy cotton material found in ikea a few years ago. I love the screen print and as I watched 'far from heaven' last night this seemed appropriate. I did want to make a satin shirtwaister but will need to source the correct shade, the full skirts look incredible in this film along with the poker straight pencil skirts in tweed. . If you haven't watched it, it's stunningly beautiful, very made mad with gorgeous colour tones through out. A painful story but excellent all round.

The dress has a fitted bodice, my cinched waistband and a full pleated skirt. I added a large circular cut ruffle which is detachable and a wide satin ribbon bow at the waist. Bound in a burgundy satin which really make the mustard yellow pop in the print. The fabric was a little heavy to self line the waistband so I used a piece of silk taffeta inside.

Will be listing this weeks dresses in our Etsy shop tomorrow.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

12th May Blue Dress

Not moaning about the election anymore. We must be positive and wish them all well, the best that can happen is that they will be wonderful together, for everyone. In true spirit I have made a blue dress with a little yellow and flowers.

Here is today's dress, made from a gorgeous vintage piece of cotton stored away and as usual inspired by the 1950's. I'm very pleased today, it worked out beautifully and I even had just enough time to add a net underskirt and darling pink floral buttons.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Clutch Bag - Monday 10th May

Toile de Jour clutch bag made with a huge detachable bow and little sweetheart pocket.
I adore this fabric, I made a corset years ago for my final collection at Uni and it never fails to look gorgeously indulgent in a French boudoir style.

My Final collection corset made from a Victorian pattern and instructed by a wonderful costume designer who worked on the corsets for Titanic who also happened to teach us pattern cutting. This corset took at least 4 inches off your waist and was boned with spiral steels. Heavy but very secure!

Lots to do tomorrow as I have to make a whole new dress to make ...eek

Julie & Julia motivational movie

OK, I know this is very obvious, watch Julie and Julia and you'll want to write a blog about doing something everyday. 
Instead of eating like a maniac, I do need to make more dresses and become a lot more
The solution will be to commit publicly to making a dress every day, a whole finished dress. I'm not allowed to include Anna's dresses as she has put the hard work into making them but I can diversify into a bag or two when I'm a little more stretched and I may also include dresses that have taken weeks, as they are special orders.
I will also tell you all about them and hopefully improve my writing skills!
Here is the first one for Monday, it is also a cheat to get me going as Anna made it last week. Sorry this is terrible! 
I can't quite remember where this incredible fabric came from but it is wonderful and  had been hoarded for a while. The cotton is vintage printed by Warner's and named 'Staffordshire Figures' by Jill Owen. 
It's super kitsch and applies itself perfectly to a 50's style design with a full gathered skirt and sweeping neckline. I imagined summer picnics with ladies singing, maybe Hayley Mills in a Disney song! 
Have listed it in our etsy shop

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Courtney's Ascot Dress

A beautiful actress from the US comissioned this dress for Royal Ascot and I am so pleased she did. This colour combination is just gorgeous. She is wearing a stunning hat made by 'by harriet', it's going to look amazing at the races.