Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sewing against the Clock

Dinner at my friend's last night... in exchange (teasing!) for setting up her sewing machine. The Ikea SY, I was very impressed with it.
And then a mini hot-water-bottle and fur-like fabric was produced; the grand plan was to make a furry cover for the hot-water-bottle.
Quick look at the train timetable. 35 minutes.
Train station is 18 minutes walk away. Can it be done? Sew a furry cover in 17 minutes?!
It felt like the last moments of an episode of the Sewing Bee. The pressure! Was quite fun. And I made the train.

Monday, November 18, 2013

My Personal Blocks

What are those multi-coloured pieces of cardboard on that hanger?!
I've been doing a pattern-drafting course at Róisín Cross Silks in Dún Laoghaire with Sarah Foy. It's a brilliant class. I'm learning so much, flying along.
Have done skirt and bodice blocks. The green peeping out from the back is my skirt block:
Could be better curved I guess between hip and waistline. And sorry you can't see the darts very well.
I went with shades of red/orange/yellow for my bodice blocks, it was especially important to differentiate between the skirt block of it and the stand-alone skirt block.
 And the sleeve is cut from red cardboard.
I'm enjoying it sooo much. I'm also doing an art class in NCAD "Drawing Approaches" on the same day. There is no doubt about the class I prefer, although the art class is excellent - I have a natural draw to the pattern-drafting, problem-solving, practical, tangible aspect of the design-work as opposed to the artistic expressive drawing output!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

New Colette patterns make me stop and look

Ordinarily when an email comes in from a sewing supply shop or a pattern-maker, I glance at the images and say I'll "come back later... check it out in detail again..." but this morning, an email from Colette patterns caused me to stop in my tracks.
Ok, so the model is quite cute! I'm actually starting (or I should be starting) sewing a Minoru jacket this morning so I was really interested in this other coat pattern. It's unisex. My mother wouldn't be impressed though, she thinks I should wear more feminine coats... nevertheless, this coat could be one for the brothers.
The other pattern is for a bag - looks great in the photographs but I chose to show this image cos the drawings of the three bag options are so pretty-yet-sturdy!
I think "Walden" is the name of the collection. Cooper is the bag and Albion the duffle coat. Nice to meet you!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Great Gatsby trousers

My brother's friend is organising a Great Gatsby party. He wanted plus fours to wear to it. Now, I didn't research plus fours or plus twos or any of that jazz, although I know I should have.
We took an old pair of my mother's tweedy pants.
Took in the waist, cut off the legs, and added a band below the knee.
My brother's under-knee is 32cm in diameter.
I found very appropriate buttons (I think!)
Can't wait til he tries them on.
And I hope to be roped in to dress some of his friends too :)
... I have a feeling I overlapped the button part towards the front when it should be towards the back. So now, with that in mind, I'll undertake some historical research; check if those buttons are as appropriate as I like to think. It was nice to know I could pull it off sewing-wise.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Decorating Julie Feeney's Shoes

I've designed a Clocks Dress for the singer Julie Feeney - to go with her latest album Clocks - she'll wear it on the 9th August at a concert with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra in the National Concert Hall.
The dress is one thing... but shoes... I picked up these leopard-print shoes. I really think the weight of the heel is appropriate for the dress I've designed. 
 Leopardskin is NOT the look I wanted, so out comes the spray paint...

And now for the fun part. The embellishment! I bought these old clock parts from a shop on Etsy. I sorted through them, arranging them into circular cog parts, clock-hands, and "other".

But the problem now is how to attach these embellishments to the shoes. I'm thinking in cog-shapes to emphasise them.

Hot glue is too messy methinks. I'm wondering about sewing them on to a fabric and then gluing that fabric to the shoe... luckily my bastel-crazy sister-in-law is on hand to help. And I still have more than a week to get the shoes done.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Fitting Form just for me

Dressmaker's Mannequin. Tailor's Dummy. Torso. Dressform. Body Double. Cast. Bust. Mannikin. Mannekin. Moulange.
It's hard to fit clothes on yourself! I heard about "duct-tape-dummies" and thought it might be the exact solution I needed for making better-fitting clothes.
And so my wonderful friend came over - she'd done one before - and helped to tape me up and and then cut me back out of the mould!
It's a funny looking thing. A bit freaky sitting on the couch next to me.
I think there's how-to videos on you-tube or other blogs.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Songs of Stage and Screen

I'm doing the "costumes" for Maynooth Musical Society's upcoming production: Songs of Stage and Screen.
It's a variety show so they aren't really costumes, just bits the perfomers put on to help the audience understand the song a bit better - a hat, jewellery, apron, scarf etc. I'm having a ball.
Come see it if you're near the Glenroyal Hotel on Friday (5th April 2013) at 7:30 or Saturday at 2:30 and 7:30.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Map the Sewintists - Giveaway in Ireland?

There are so few of us in Ireland... or so this map shows. If you're a sewer (or a sewintist...?!) add yourself to this google map.
And if you'd be up for a "giveaway" without excessively-priced postage to foreign lands! I'm up for organising one in Ireland if there's enough other participants.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Cutting Table

My back was broken leaning over the kitchen table to cut fabric.
So I came up with a solution.
The ironing board is a perfect height. So I bought a slim sheet of wood to lay on top of my ironing board.
The board is MDF (hardboard is fine too, approx 3-4mm thick). I bought a huge sheet (maybe 2m x 1.2m) and got it cut down in the store to 150x80cm.

Learn from experience

The smaller size board is 1.2m x .6m - I had used this previously. It was actually 3.2mm thick hardboard and, as a material, worked fine but the size was too narrow... because when you think about it, fabric is typically 36", 45" or 60" (90cm, 115cm or 150cm) so you need the board to be able to take a folded-over width of fabric, ie half of 60"/150cm = 30"/75cm therefore my suggestion of a board 80cm wide makes practical sense and this calculation shows that the board which is 60cm is too narrow and will cause frustrations. Trust me! I've been through it!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Costume Design for Opera

I am having the experience of a lifetime. In Brussels shadowing the assistant costume designer for a production of Lucrezia Borgia at La Monnaie|De Munt.
Photo from La Monnaie|De Munt website taken by P. Hoffmann.

On the other hand, I don't believe in experiences of a lifetime. I think everything can be made happen again.