Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Start to Finish - creating the Dove Grey Silk Wiggle Dress

 This dress was a commission I designed and created specifically for a customer, a real couture garment in all manner of speaking and the way of working I like best, focusing on one dress for one woman. 

The occasion for the dress is a day at the races and the inspiration, elegant 1950s wiggle dresses to match a fantastically designed hat in grey and black lace. 
The fabric was a heavyweight pure silk satin, very drapey and very very difficult to control when it comes to hand pleating. Many a time I had to walk out of the studio as the silk kept slipping through my hands and refused to be pinned. It makes up for it in it's beauty. 

I have photographed the dress from start to finish as I always find it amazing how a dress evolves from a flat piece of silk into a structured dress.

The muslin base of the dress is where we start and make sure the fit of this is perfect before anything else continues. The light boning is then added to give structure and form.

The outer silk bodice is cut, sewn and added to the muslin base..........

 The chiffon lining is cut (from the same pattern as the bodice) and is pinned in place to the muslin base bodice. The outer silk is quite heavy in this dress and due to the muslin base there is no need to add another heavy lining which would add unneccessary bulk. The dress is for the summer so it is also important to keep the wearer cool.

The skirt and facings are cut and sewn and added to the bodice.

The facings are hand stitched in place to the chiffon lining and a lining for the skirt is cut and added.

The main section of the dress is nearly complete. It needs hemming and a very good steam to remove the creases created from working with the silk. 

The sash is added and pinned in place ready to be hand stitched for the finished dress. The chairs are for me to sit on whilst hand stitching the waist so I'm at the correct eye level (and I don't hurt my back too much). 


Sunday, 22 May 2011

Vintage Bridesmaids Dresses

I'm very excited to show you these two bridesmaids dress commissions we have just completed,  both with a 1950s theme but two very different looks. 
The first is a brilliantly summery collection of halter neck fifties swing dresses with full circle skirts and blue silk pleated belts to match the blue tulle underskirts. Made in a Tanya Whelan print fabric chosen by the bride The matching flower girl dress Anna made is just adorable with the pretty ruffle hem.  I have already seen a sneak peek and one maid in her dress and they look fabulous! 

The second are a sophisticated cocktail style in a beautiful cafe tulle and lace that we sourced on our trip to Singapore. (I'm still kicking myself for not buying twenty more metres of that tulle as the colour is gorgeous, I could only fit enough for these dresses in my suitcase!) Again Anna produced the prettiest flower girl dress to match, complete with dusky pink bow. 

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Birthday Party Silk Cocktail Dress

This fabulous dress was made earlier this year for a birthday party and I have just been given this dazzling photo by Julie Bee the photographer for the event. The dress and birthday girl look gorgeous.
You can view Julie's portfolio here at www.juliebee.co.uk, there's a great shot of George Clooney which is a nice bonus too :)

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Polaroid camera found ....

I have just found my Polaroid camera in the back of my draw that I last used three years ago.

There was still some film left inside, (the first shot I took was in my eye) so I took some pics of my studio. This has a very seventies haze to it as the film in way out of date. Polaroids are awesome and I'm going to order some new film from Impossible project.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Summertime Florals - Spring Summer Collection

A preview of the first dresses from the Spring Summer collection. Lots of florals, silk organdies and pretty ribbon stripes along with vintage floral cottons that I've been gathering for this collection.
Inspired by hazy fifties summers with pastel roses blooming in the garden and dirty dancing holiday camps. Imagine a slightly worn kitsch America and colourful vintage crockery in saturated pastel shades.  It's very indulgent prettiness that I think is best worn with something a bit harder edged and a grunge soundtrack playing in the background. That's  just my thoughts on styling this collection and I would love hear other ideas on this. Maybe you would up the prettiness stakes even further?
All the dresses are available ready to wear and made to order and are limited to one or two dresses made in each print.