Showing posts with label sewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sewing. Show all posts

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Barbara Hulanicki - The patron saint of Sewingthe60s

Oh Barbara Hulanicki! How do I love thee!

Barbara Hulanicki of Biba fame.

In a recent interview with The De-brief, Barbara wisely tells readers, that if they want to achieve the 60's look the best way to do so, other then buying it, is to make it yourself!

"The easiest way to do the look yourself then? Make it. 'I think sewing is coming back like mad,' says Hulinicki. 'The high street is doing some simple pieces that actually look very 60's, so you can very carefully unpick the seams and make a new pattern from a finished garment. Then you can make the look your own.'

The right approach to fabric shopping might not be what you'd expect either. 'We used to use a hell of a lot of fabric for furnishing or curtains, which is actually the kind of look Prada’s just done a lot of,' Hulanicki says. If curtains are a step too far, then she suggests that 'fabric shops in the East End of London are fantastic for the brocades'.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Me Made May - Week 3 and 4 and a bit of 5

Well I've taken my sweet time since the last Me Made May post, so here is pretty much what's left of the month! 

(You can see the first and second posts here)

There were more than a few days where I didn't wear me made mainly because I just wanted to get going in the morning and not have to worry about making my dodgier things look normal. 

I also noticed I didn't have enough separates. I have plenty of skirts, but no where near enough tops. I think I have 2 me made tops that I actually want to wear. Hopefully I can rectify that soon as I've recently bought patterns and fabric just for that purpose. 

Also we had some crazy weather this month. Sometimes it was really cold and then, like last week it was Springtime warm! So dressing to match the weather became an art form

So lets have a look then! 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Me Made May week 2

Dear lovely readers, guess what? Monday was my bloggy birthday!

Hip, hip, hooray!!!!

Thank you for sticking around and listening to my nonsense this past year! I'm so darn excited and grateful to have you all popping by every now and again for a look. The frequency at which I post has definitely slowed down from those first few months, but I guess it was all very exciting back then, and it still is, I'm just such a busy little bee of late. 

I wanted to post this on Monday, but man I've been sooo tired lately after work that I crash out after dinner, I haven't sewn in about a week, but that's ok cause this weekend end is gonna be spent behind that machine!

I'm still prepping the pieces for my McCalls coat, which is taking ages cause I have to baste organza to each of the coat pieces. Cause I chose cotton sateen as the coat material it would basically be useless without some sort of under lining so that's what the organza is for! 

So anyway onto the me made's then? 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Me Made May - week one

Hey there fine people of the internet? How have you been?

Last week was another nightmare week at 
work so I did pretty much no sewing and totally forgot about Me Made May!!

I knew May 1st was coming up, but for other reasons, and then May 2nd came and I think the only me-made item I wore was a knitted scarf, but it wasn't anything to sniff at!

So I tried to make up for the two days I lost by wearing my pledged me-mades on the weekend! 

Friday, July 19, 2013

60s fashion elements - The Bishop Sleeve

Some of the things about 60s clothing tend to catch my eye when trawling through Pinterest or Tumblr. Certain elements that you begin to notice as integral parts to the look that was being worn by the Dolly Birds and Dandies of the time

In this set of blog posts, I want to explore the different elements of clothing that we often associate with or were popular in the 60s

I'll try to explain the construction of these elements and show some examples of these styles

There are many features that became popular in the 60s - most of which already existed in some form and were adapted for modern youth wear, or were invented from scratch through the genius of designers like Mary Quant or André Courrèges

This week we are going to have a look at Bishop Sleeves. Read onto the end for a little tutorial.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Tutorial: Setting in sleeves

So as per Fabees request, I have prepared a post on setting in sleeves!

There are two typical sets of sleeves that you will see on most garments.
A set sleeve and a puffed or gathered sleeve. There are other kinds but we will leave them for now.

While both were fashionable in the 60s the one we are going to focus on today is the clean tailored finish of a set in sleeve.

When you look at a sleeve pattern and try to piece it together, you will notice that there is always excess fabric. This is great for puffy sleeves, but for set sleeves we need to use a technique called easing.

Ease (as a verb) means to move or shift with great care. And so this is the principle of set in sleeves. Going slowly, taking you time and being careful will result in a well sewn shoulder seam.

With practice you may get quicker but for now be careful and take your time.

Friday, June 14, 2013


Back at the start of Autumn I spied this image of Celia Birtwell and Cathy McGowan in simple plain coloured shifts. No bishop sleeves, dropped waists, smocking or psychedelic patterns. Just simple and casual.

So chic!

And then I noticed more....

Clock wise from top left - Jean Shrimpton, France Gall, Julie Christie, Model 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

June 13th is Sewing Machine day!

Today, June 13th is sewing machine day! (Whoooo!)

The sewing machine has existed in many forms since 1755 (258 years!) and many variations were invented and patented over time eventually leading to a "patent war" in the 1850s between Isaac Singer and Elias Howe.

Singer won but had to pay out Howe with some of his earnings as Howe owned the original patent. Even though it was 20 years old at the time. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Bliss of Mrs Blossom

I picked up this fabric from Fabric-a-brac (blogged here) and I knew it had to become a dress! The fabric is good enough that I could have even made a jacket – but alas there was only 2 meters!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Blog Society + Giveaway!

Yesterday I attended the launch of Blog Society  and their workshop ‘Learning the art of digital story telling”. It was hosted by Jaclyn Carlson from Little Paper Trees and also included Jen Bishop from InteriorsAddict  and Vivian Mansour from Ish and Chi 

We then broke off into groups to learn a few new skills on styling and photography. I don’t often get to do nicely styled vignettes on this blog, but it was still useful and there are ways I know I can adapt them into sewing life. My group was hosted by Jessica Bellef – Stylist for Temple and Webster  Photographers Milton Gan and Emma Scamell

We learnt about using scale, texture, colour, harmony and shape. Here are some of my attempts…

It was a really useful day and I meant lots of amazing people from all different genres. I was so great to meet my fellow Sydney bloggers;

Noah and Willow (Events planning)
Mscritique (Beauty, Style, Food, Travel)
Lipstick and Cake (food, beauty, lifestyle)
Annette Wilson (Photography)
Antipodean Diaries (Beauty, Style, Food, Home)
The Urchin Collective (Life, style & Curiosities)
The Style Project (Interior Design)
Potty Mouth Mama (life, beauty, fashion and everything else)
Eat Read Love (gorgeous styling, food and photography)
Amanda Fuller of Kaleidoscope (Interior & Graphic design)
Amanda May  (Fashion and Styling)
Dom Morris of Crafted  (crafty tutorials and more)

There was so many wonderful people there I didn’t get to meet everyone (If you were there, let me know and ill add you to my shout out list above!)

After such a great day of networking and learning, I popped down to the book store and picked up some new sewing books – including this nifty zine Fix your Clothes by Raileigh Briggs 

It’s a cute little book which has some very handy hits for repairing your clothes like sewing on buttons, mending seams, darning holes, and caring for certain fabrics.
Pretty basic stuff – but I have met people who didn't know how to sew a button and this zine would have been great to pass on!

As a sewer (and now blogger) I can never stop learning. There are so many techniques out there that I’d love to know and become an expert at. Reading other blogs, going to workshops and meeting other people all help with us learning more and more about our craft or life in general.

To win this book all you have to do is tell me something you would really like to learn. It doesn't have to be sewing related (but that would be good so I can set up some tutorials!)
I will pick a winner and have it sent out to you wherever you are in the world!

If you’re a pretty good sewer and you’re not keen for the zine (rhymes!) let me know in you comment

Cat xo 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Pattie Suit - Progress report

I received my fabric in the mail last Friday for the jacket/skirt combination that I was talking about here.

Before I started, I attempted to read through the instructions, which were the biggest load of gobbledygook, so I threw them in the bin and took out my favourite sewing book - The Readers digest complete guide to sewing.
It has an entire section on tailoring a jacket and recommends techniques that make way more sense and the pictures are clearer.

I also decided to name this the Pattie Suit, because it’s shorter than "jacket skirt combination" and because I'm currently reading Pattie Boyd's biography - Wonderful life. So my sewing will be embedded with quotes and stories from Pattie's life.

So far I have finished the body of the jacket and will move on to the collar, and facings next.

This is what's happened so far

Monday, May 20, 2013

Dedicated Follower of Fashion - Green Dolly

I work in a fairly big company and although they are a pretty relaxed and flexible place, I work in the very Business-y part of the business and so I'm expected to look dressed and pressed each day.

Normally early 60s dressing lends itself very well to corporate wear - wiggle dresses, twin sets and lovely dress/jacket combos, but it's all a bit done in my opinion. 
People stop referring to it as 60s and call it "Mad Men inspired". Now don't get me wrong I love Mad Men and Pan Am when that was on, and will put on my dress/jacket combo when the occasion calls but there is a whole other half of the decade to wear!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Green Shell Top Tutorial

Today I will be showing you a variation on Burda Shift Dress 09/2012 #107

This variation turns the top into a tank style top with a cross back. You can use Burda 09/2012 #107 or Collette patterns Laurel as your base as we only need the front and part of the back of the pattern.

If you have another pattern for a shift dress or plain top, you can use this too! I will instruct you to make this top to fit you so make sure you have your measuring tape and if you have one a dressmakers mannequin or packing tape shell (if you ever made one). I don't have a mannequin and I did ok so don't worry if you don't have one

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Beat it on down the line

So I thought I'd show you what I'm currently busy working on and what I've got planned for the next few months of sewing...

I've recently bought this fabric print in Cotton Sateen from Spoonflower which I intend on making into a skirt and jacket outfit.
I've never sewn a tailored jacket before and am yet to find a decent tailoring supplies store in Sydney. So it's gonna be interesting!

 This is my inspiration image. I don't have this pattern and it isn't for sale anywhere I've looked, so instead I will use a combination of 2 other patterns Burdastyle Mini Skirt 08/2012 #135 (without pockets) and Burdastyle Jorinde 4112. I may change the lapel of the jacket slightly.

The skirt I have sewn many times, so that will be a cinch. The jacket - well I'll keep you included in my attempt at tailoring!