Thursday, 31 August 2017

The Danish Design Museum

A few weeks ago, as part of my holiday, I was lucky enough to visit the Danish Design Museum in Copenhagen. It was incredible! They had two fashion exhibitions on, one permanent one called Fashion & Fabric and one named I am black velvet, (which is there until January 28th 2018) about the haute-couture designer Erik Mortensen. Both were really good. I took a lot of photos (it was really hard to narrow them down to just these!) and I wanted to write about as it was really a very good exhibition.

Starting with the Fashion & Fabric exhibition, this dress was the first one that caught my eye. I love the elaborate sleeves, it must have looked stunning being worn down a cat-walk. This was an evening dress designed by Erik Mortensen in 1986. The sleeves are made from artificial ostrich feathers, and the dress is covered in sequins and rhinestones. 

Looking at fashion sketches are one of my favourite things to see at fashion museums. I love seeing the dresses drawn and then created. The sketch in the bottom right is of the dress above, it's amazing to thing that something that started as pen on paper finished as an incredible garment.

The next dress is a wedding dress made out of silk. I love the close up shot of the embroidery - so much detail! It's amazing. The dress must have taken so long to make, and the embroidery is exquisite. I also love how this was worn in 1768 and I was looking at it 250 years later!

Moving on to the I Am Black Velvet exhibition. These are all designs from the haut-couture designer Erik Mortensen. A lot of his works were in black, hence the name of the exhibition. These two dresses are made from black silk and velvet. I like the long train surrounded by ruffles, it hangs really nicely.

These two outfits caught my eye because of the metallic gold machine embroidering. The first is a long jacket with trousers and boots, complete with a turban. The whole outfit left me completely in awe. The dress next to it is another incredibly intricate design, adorned in gold ribbons and beads.

These outfits are made from off-white wool. They are trouser-dresses with jackets and wide belts. The jacket's yoke is decorated with rouleaux and the belt is made of glove leather. I particularly like the details on the cuffs.

The next two dresses are long evening dresses made from silk satin. The appliqu├ęd flowers are slightly crazy yet still strangely elegant. I love the shape of the black dress, and the bright colours are lovely.

Finally, a few more sketches, selected from a few of Mortensen's collections. It was really an incredible exhibition to go to, if you have the chance I would highly recommend going. The Design Museum also has lots of other exhibitions, there will definitely be something for everyone.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Me Made of the Month - August 2017

August always means that I get to wear handmade clothes for pretty much the whole month, as no school means no uniform! It was hard to choose just one favourite thing that I wore, but I've wanted to talk about my Rosa shirt for a while and this is the perfect excuse! So the me made of the month for August is my Tilly and the Buttons Rosa shirt. It might seem strange to pick a shirt for August rather than a summer top, but the weather has definitely not been the greatest where I've been! I think we got all our sunshine at the end of June. This is one of my absolute favourite makes, partly because it was the the make for me that made me realise that I could sew anything.

My favourite part of this shirt is the contrast facing, which I made in a Liberty print. I love how the bright pink is secretly there, I'm a huge fan of secret details! This photo also make me happy, as being able to make matching bracelets to wear with handmade clothes pretty much sums up why I make things! The gorgeous chambray fabric is from the Village Haberdashery, I received it as a birthday present along with the pattern and online course last year.

The Rosa shirt is probably one of my favourite patterns. Since making this shirt in October last year, I've also made the shirtdress, and I'm planning another one at the moment. I love all the details from the princess seams to the topstitching. It's a great learning curve, especially making the collar and the button holes. My Rosa shirt is definitely one of the most special garments that I've made, and I really love wearing it.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Off the Shoulder Top


This is actually something that I made way back in December; that’s right, I made a summer top last December! The reason it’s only just made its way onto my blog is that it’s only recently been warm enough to actually wear and photograph. But it was so worth the wait! I absolutely love it. An explanation for making it is December is deserved, but there isn’t really anything to say, other than I really wanted to sew something, and the only fabric I had on hand was an old shirt of my Dad’s. Re-fashions are really fun to make, but the cotton fabric wasn’t suitable for winter and there also wasn’t enough to make anything with long sleeves, so I decided to make an off-the-shoulder top. The good thing about using an old item of clothing as fabric is that I wasn’t too worried to be making it up slightly as I went along, because I wasn’t wasting any precious fabric.

To make this top, I used mainly this tutorial. However, if you'd rather make one without a ruffle, I'd recommend this one. It was so easy to make! Because I used a shirt I didn’t have enough fabric laid out, so the ruffle has a few extra seams in it, but the great thing is that these don’t show as the fabric is gathered. I used the front of the shirt for the back, and the back for the front, and then the ruffle is made out of the sleeves. This is the first time I’ve actually properly re-fashioned a piece of clothing, and I really enjoyed doing it.

Because a shirt has buttons on it, I decided to make them a feature rather than sew a seam in the fabric. The back of my top has buttons going down it, and I love this feature so much! I would have probably added them even if the shirt didn’t have any already, but the fact that it did meant that I didn’t need to sew my own buttonholes, making it an even quicker make! The fact that I re-fashioned an otherwise unwanted garment meant that I was able to sew something that was slightly outside my comfort zone because it wouldn’t have mattered it I’d never worn it. I’m so happy I did though, as I love it. It’s really good to sometimes use pieces of fabric that you aren’t worried about wasting as it allows you to have so much more freedom with what you make.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Pineapple Trousers

This project is definitely an example of something that I never thought I'd wear, and in fact absolutely love! When I received this stunning pineapple fabric from Faberwood a while ago, I wasn't sure what to make out of it. I had originally thought of making a blouse like this one, with a metallic zip in the back, and while I think it would have looked really nice I just didn't need another blouse, and I actually already have a top with pineapples on it. And so the fabric lay un-used for a little while (far from neglected though, don't you worry, I gazed lovingly at it very frequently!) until a couple of weeks ago, when I brought it downstairs to look at with my Mum. Making trousers had never occurred to me until my Mum mentioned it, but it didn't take me long to decide!

My main worry about these trousers was wether or not they would look like pyjamas. However, I have seen a lot of patterned trousers recently, and the fabric would be far to luxury in my opinion to sleep it! I just adore the print, the perfect balance of fun and sophisticated. To prove how much I love this fabric you can see this top that I've made in the same print but in a different colour. I've sewn pyjama trousers before, and the actual construction of the trousers was really simple. I wasn't sure which pattern to use, and although I saw lots of lovely trouser patterns online, I decided to hack a pattern that I already had, to save both money and time. So the pattern that I used was the Tilly and the Buttons Margot pyjamas, from Love at First Stitch. The main things that I changed was taking the seams in quite a lot at the side and adding elastic at the bottom to gather it. If I had had more fabric I would have liked to have added pockets, but I managed to just squeeze these out of 1 1/2m!

Overall, I really love these trousers. They are exactly what I need for my holidays, which will involve quite a bit of cycling, and are a style that I grow to love more and more every time a wear them. Also, they are so comfortable! So the moral of this make? Risk it! Try a new pattern, a new style that you usually wouldn't dare. It might not be right, but there is a fair chance that you will discover a new much loved style.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Bottle Holder Tutorial

Look at these wonderful bottle holders! I absolutely love them. They provide a soft place to grip a bottle, a fun decoration and a lovely little project! You can whiz up your own very quickly, supplies are easy to get hold of and you will be sure to fall in love with them. I'm definitely going to be making many, many more!

You Will Need:

Batting/Fusible Fleece
1x Outer Fabric
1x Lining Fabric
Velcro or some other kind of fastening
A Bottle

Right! Lets get started. To begin with, measure around your bottle using a tape measure. Then add on 5 cm to the length (mine was 20cm, so total was 25cm). For the width, I decided 10 cm was around the correct length for my bottle, but depending on your bottle size that will need to change too. Cut one piece from your outer fabric (so mine was 25cm x 10cm) and another piece from your inner fabric. If you are using fusible fleece, cut it 1 cm smaller on all sides, but if, like me, you are using batting, cut a piece the same size as the pieces of fabric.

Ok, time to create a 'sandwich'. You should have three layers: the outer fabric, the inner fabric, and your batting. Put them together like this: inner fabric face up, outer fabric face down, batting on top of the outer fabric. Make sure the order is correct! Double check before pinning.  Sew around your three layers, making sure you leave a hole at the top.

Once you have sewn around your fabrics, turn the rectangle the right way out. Your batting should be in between the outer fabric and the inner fabric!! Tuck in the edges of your hole and iron it all flat.

Time for some top stitching! This has a double bonus: not only does it look lovely, but it also covers up your hole very neatly, so you don't have to slave away sewing it up with a needle and thread! Make sure you keep your stitching in a strait line (I lined my fabric up with the inside edge of my foot). You can use a colour co-ordinating thread, or you might decide to go for a nice contrast!

This is the final step - wasn't that easy?! To fasten your bottle holder, stick your velcro onto the outer fabric of one side and the inner fabric of the other. Make sure to line it up right, so it isn't too loose or too tight. I used sticky velcro so I didn't sew around it, but if you are using normal velcro make sure to sew around using a matching thread.


For my other bottle holder, I used poppers to fasten it (this meant that I didn't make it as long at the start). To make sure your poppers are straight, use an iron-off pen (frixon works well) and draw four little dots where the poppers are going to go, and then hand sew them on.

I hope you enjoyed making these bottle holders! They make lovely gifts to go with a drink, or you could stock up yourself for summer!