Sunday, 21 June 2015


Hey it's officially summer!  As I type kids are preparing to run out of the classrooms, teachers ready to let loose and I get a chance to quaff free champers get inspired by all of the amazing design work on display at the end-of-year shows in London.

My hubby is an architect who teaches at a university here, and after a long slog of a school year (mine of course, by association) I love having the chance to revisit that annual feeling of achievement and relief that's in the air - even if I know scant little about architecture.

So this year I made a dress for the event.  This heavy stretch cotton waterlily fabric is from the Stofftraum in Basel where I also got the fabric for my Edinburgh dress.
I think i'll just stand over here and drink some wine...

The pattern has kimono sleeves and a slightly tulip shaped skirt with a couple of volume-ifying tucks and pockets.  I already have a couple more on the go in different fabric and colours.
I'm no expert in architecture or fashion, but I do love when our interests meet.   (Kind of like how the best architectural bookshop in Basel is next to the fabulous Stofftraum - kismet!)

 Or, as the lovely Elsa Schiaparelli says in her autobiography:

"[Shchiap] felt that clothes had to be architectural: that the body must never be forgotten and it must be used as a frame is used in a building."

It's something to work towards in every new sewing year...

Happy sewing x

Sunday, 7 June 2015

summer wrap dress

Hello everyone, I just thought I'd share my latest make!  It's the base pattern from the pink pleated dress I drafted on my Kimmy Schmidt week-end (still waiting for another one of those...!)  This time a wrap dress with a button closure rather than a side zip and using a much heavier weight fabric - light blue denim.   I also angled the hemline a bit on the wrap, and turned the waist darts into princess seams.
The denim was stiffer than I anticipated so I used this method to soften it (minus the tennis balls and sandpaper step), and it worked surprisingly well.  
For my pink dress, I used the same bodice base but with waist darts rather than princess seams, and "grew" pleats of fabric to the center front, and folded one by one before fastening at the waist.
My scarf is a piece of really lovely Italian cotton I found in a remnant bin a few years ago and have always been too scared to take scissors to.  I finally added a micro hem and it's no longer languishing in my fabric stash, but my favourite sunny summer scarf.  Should have done this years ago!
 I think the best thing about yesterday, other than wearing my new dress and scarf was finding this masterpiece on a floating barge bookshop:
What a find.  The author has done such a fabulous job of linking styles together using pictures from different eras.  I can't wait to sit down with it and a cup of tea.   Or a gin and tonic.
I hope wherever you are, your week-end is sunny!
Happy Sewing x

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