Saturday, 23 October 2010
Friday, 20 August 2010
Top to bottom: sailor hat with swallows i hand-embroidered; top hat with red satin bow; Jane Austin bonnet; Carmen Miranda draped on buckram base; felt 1920s hat with silver birds; red pillbox on buckram base; inside of pillbox; upclose of embroidery; back of Carmen Miranda; better idea of shape of 1920s hat; tophat on block; straw cloche on block; only photo I have of straw cloche with feather trim; overview of Millinery 1 class, with Andrew the tutor, who I found out on Millinery 2 had passed away :(
To date, I've completed two millinery courses, both at London College of Fashion (yeah, I never imagined I'd actually attend a class there, either. Especially after the shocking "tartan/plaid" clash incident of 2001)
Bon appetit! Or something x
What’s the point in having a blog that shares identical themes and whimsical mutterings with thousands of other wannabe Carrie Bradshaws? And the only followers are your mum and her neighbour?
However, since my campaign to actually research what the devil millinery is has taken me almost solely to the blogosphere (what a twat of a label) I have discovered that actually this modern phenomenon is not only useful but inspirational.
Millinery is, I was told by my millinery tutor, “a dying art.” Well, what an excellent time for me to decide on it for a new career path! Judging by the books I’ve read on it, I can only agree. No offence, but I don’t really want to see another picture of a summer hat that only the royals would deem fashionable. I’m fed up of faux-roses being the only trimming available. I don’t care for strange looking creations not even the circus society at uni would approve of. And therefore, thank the higher power above for blogs.
I have discovered handmade hat blocks, fascinators and hats that not only inspire but shock, and a hundred different ways to approach the craft. No longer does it seem a slightly staid area of fashion, but a leading craft that people really do rewrite the rules as they see fit. And I guess that’s the genius of joining a “dying art.” if it’s dying, you can do whatever the hell you want to rejuvenate it.
A few blogs I’ve discovered that take millinery to the next level (away from just the wedding and ascot hit-list):
thanks for reading, mum xx
Sunday, 28 March 2010
Number one: I love this one! The feathers were surprisingly cheap from Hobbyland or somewhere, and it’s quite a nice little number to add to an outfit.
Number two: I made this one specifically for a family-party outfit, tho in all the photos you can’t see the bastard as my hair was freshly black. Don’t worry, I made a point to EVERYONE that it was there and handmade. Poor, poor, relatives.
This final fascinator was for a Craftster birthday swap; she wanted something ‘pretty’ for her hair as she’s a teacher. I popped this one on an
Sunday, 31 January 2010
However, I have recently discovered modern crafting. Dragging what used to be viewed as solely for housewives into the 21st century, the craft revolution has given cross stitch new meaning and new appeal. Thanks to websites such as www.sublimestitching.com and www.subversivecrossstitch.com cross stitch is now cool, and even a little sexy. Waaaaooow!!
My first attempts, and I’m officially hooked (dammit, I should’ve saved that for a crochet post.) I imagined that counting the stitches would get on my nerves, but it’s exciting to see how the piece is progressing. And, MOST importantly to me, it can be done whilst watching Twilight on repeat and eating cake. Because where’s the fun of crafting if you can’t eat and perve over hot fictional guys?
Here’s my first go, from a Subversive Cross Stitch pattern. It’s very me, and goes perfectly with my “fuck, yeah” pillowcase and “that’s what she said” tshirt. It took a couple of sittings, but was great to fill time on the train or whilst waiting for a student to arrive. I love it!
My second was a birthday present for a friend, who’s a bit of a music guru and has a wicked sense of humour, so I thought he’d prefer it to the Extreme Trout Fishing dvd I got him last year. It’s a pattern made by a Craftster, found here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=298208.0
And here is my attempt:
I can predict this won’t be the last of the cross stitch. I just need to sew myself an ironic apron and bake a tart in anticipation of my next project.
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
A trip to Argos and a £50 sewing machine later, I was on my way. Cheap fabric was going for £1/metre at Upton Park Market, and a local haberdashers provided thread, pins and, well, cute little buttons I couldn’t resist but would “definitely” use at a later date (update: still sat in sewing box). Google “sewing tutorial” or “sewing patterns” online, and away you go.
Starting a craft in Britain is quite easy; you cant really go wrong. No wonder our fashion graduates are the envy of the world, and the UK is renowned for such modern and enigmatic clothes.
Paris…..Paris is known as the “capital of fashion”. Where chic just happens. People flock here to be seen and to soak up the ambiance, hoping it will unconsciously influence their wardrobe.
It is also a right pain in the arse if you want to create anything yourself.
Before heading out here, I was in contact with a member of a craft website for some tips on moving to the Ile de France. The most memorable piece of advice she gave me: the French don’t bother trying to make anything that can be made for them by someone with formal training. Crafting for the fun of it isn’t much of a pastime here, and that’s been made pretty clear to me during my teaching.
A few of my adult students have raised both eyebrows AND engaged the pout at the mention of crochet. At admitting to sewing a dress, I repeatedly received the “but you know you can buy them in H and M, oui?” reply. Which, quite frankly, I had a hard time not taking as an insult.
It just staggers me that for a city people regard as being so chic, no one is creative. It is reflected in the fashion. If you wear anything outside of grey, black, or navy blue, you are considered a daring outcast. Fancy a winter coat? Better make it a babydoll swing with strict collars. It’s enough to make a Central St Martins student flee back to the Eurotunnel and die happy in a sea of neon jeggings.
Apparently this subdued chic is a reflection of the egocentric French mentality, where simply trying is the first step to a guaranteed faux pas, as losing face if it doesn’t work out holds too big a risk of social downfall. No wonder the administrative system hasn’t been altered since Napoleon.
Right, I’m off to attempt the impossible; completing a bank transaction in less than 72 hours. *le sigh*
Lu et approuvé,
Saturday, 23 January 2010
Sorrow and the scarlet leaf, sad thoughts and sunny weather; Ah me! This glory and this grief agree not well together!
the hoody that could potentially be a sailoresque creation but as yet is just "bleu"
this is from the lydia pattern on burdastyle.com , and was relatively easy for a sewing n00b like me. although, i had to add a couple of panels down the side as it comes up small, and i loves my roomy jumpers. i also hated the v-neck so added some rectangles on the front, and also lined the hood with the same material. i really like the way it came out, and - most important challenge - my sewing survived the washing machine. i'm on my way to making things that are totally wearable!
materials used: sweatshirt jersey and cotton interlock jersey
times worn out in public: 4
negative comments from public: 0 (yessss.....)
materials: sweatshirt jersey and cute little heart broach i made from lace and felt *happyface*
times worn out in public: 5
times worn on a saturday night on the sofa with wine and cake: too many to count. goodtimes.