Saturday, 27 November 2010

Finished Cape Coat!

Just finished the cape coat and put it up on Etsy at

Made a few changes to it though. I decided to do the blanket stitch in black thread instead of the white and I found it looked neater. I also spotted a young girl on the underground the other day wearing a cape coat with a chain fastening. I thought it suited much better and gave a younger appearance so have replaced the 2 buttons with a chain fastening for a decoration purpose. It is still fastened with press studs to make it warmer.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Cape In The Making

I have just recently started a cape coat out of 100% black wool. I have taken the pattern from a Burda magazine I borrowed from a friend a few weeks ago but have altered it slightly to shorten it and make a mandarin collar instead of a more traditional collar. It is not finished yet but here are a few photos of it so far.

I originally slip stitched the white ribbon detail on but found it too difficult to get a neat edge which can happen sometimes when slip stitching, I therefore decided to hand stitch the top and bottom of the ribbon with a contrasting black thread. I think this also gives a very handmade feel to the piece which is often found in the things I make.
Usually I would over-lock the inside edges of my work but as I spend a lot of time travelling on trains I chose to use a blanket stitch in contrasting white thread that links in with the detail on the outside.

I have also found some black and white buttons that follow the hand stitched theme that I will sew in place quite high up on the cape but will actually use large press studs to fasten the cape.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Bunnies and Lettuces

Just made these to sell at

We Will Rock You

I have recently designed and made a corset, jacket and bustle using 'We Will Rock You' theme.

I have learnt so much from this project especially heat manipulation. I created the bust by layering a fabric called Lurex over a knitted 100% jumper I bought from a charity shop and embroidered into it. Once embroidered I used a soldering iron to burn away sections to reveal the woollen knit underneath. I then layered this over duck feathers, handmade wet felt, and strips of synthetic fabrics and sweet wrappers that have been melted using a heat gun.
I used the rest of the woollen jumper on the inside of the jackets collar using quilting techniques. The back panels are decorated with a technique called Slashing which is made by layering multiple layers of different fabrics and stitching parallel lines about 1 cm away from each other. All of the layers apart from the bottom layer is then cut down each row and the whole piece is irritated by being put in the tumble drier. This produces a mock chenille appearance. The puff sleeves also have some hand embroidery creeping out of the top edge.
 There is an attached Crystal Organza skirt that is cut on the bias. It continues around the back of the corset and ties into a bow at the back that can be incorporated into the detachable bustle. Although it does not show in the photograph I added a small flower pattern along the bottom corners of the skirt using a sublimation printer which prints dye onto paper and then uses heat to transfer it onto the fabric. (the waste paper left over is often what is used to wrap flowers). I also used the sublimation printer to print Queen memorabilia onto the back panels of the corset.
The detachable bustle is made up of more strips of synthetic fabrics and recycled plastics/wrappers that have been treated with a heat gun. I have then embellished this with beads, duck feathers, peacock feathers and handmade wet felt pieces.

My first assignment

I was set a project before starting my course to produce 4 photographs of myself reinvented as an animal, a superhero, my childhood career aspiration and a building. Each is meant to reflect our personality and physical attributes and these are what I produced:

gazelle representing my aspirations to be elegant and graceful

A ballerina as what I wanted to be when I grew up

A pink superhero as I had dyed my hair pink for the summer

An eco-friendly house