cord, designs, magazine, projects, recycling, redesign, revamp., sewing, skirt

Skirting around the issue

 I love the feel of cord, it is such a lovely soft fabric and it feels better as it ages. It is one of those comforting fabrics that you put on during the first chills of Autumn.

I discovered this little skirt in one of my regular haunts; I often look at the shape of something rather than the colour, I simply have never been a beige kind of person, but it was a very lovely skirt and it called to be given a new identity.

A line is such a flattering shape so I decided that I would change the colour and see what happened. The problem is that there are so few dye colours about, I had the choice of purple or fushia pink, (among others but not half as exciting!).

Since cord is mostly cotton it took well but the ribbon had changed colour and was rather insipid. Just when I was trying to think about what to do next I spotted a flower design on someone’s skirt. It gave me an idea.

I never tire of looking at other people’s clothes and have been known to admire the pleats in someone’s skirt or the detail on the sleeve. Most people find it odd when I complement them in that detail as most people simply say I like your skirt but then I have never been ordinary.

Sometimes that is how a project goes, I get so far and then I am not sure what to do next, but by sheer chance I had been invited to meet the editor of Sewing world. I had to come up with a number of ideas, and I had taken the skirt along together with an idea of my version of the flower. It was my first commissioned article and it did prove to be quite a challenge, my advice is to stick with your first idea!  Some would say, it is more my colour, some would say they could never wear something that bright, but I love it. More importantly, it is unique, recycled and feels so lovely and warm.

clarke and clarke, cushion, doily, heart and home, project, projects, recycling, revamp., rocking chair, vintage

Cosy corner

Are you sitting comfortably? Then let’s begin!

This is a lovely corner of my little home. The rocking chair has been with me through many houses, when it was purchased it was a lovely light beech colour but my beloved at the time decided to use a dark stain on it. (you can scroll down to see it before it was revamped) It looked terrible and remained unloved until last year. I was moving into my own little home and deciding what needed to go or stay. I painted it pure white, and the thing I love about doing that is that the form of the piece is revealed. However, I just could not resist adding the blue polka dots to the paintwork, so easy to do! The cushions are made from gorgeous Clarke and Clarke and I love the fabric so much I bought quite a bit of it in its various guises.

If you want a co-ordinated look but not too co-ordinated, it is a good idea to buy the various different patterns of a make, not only with the tones and hues work, but they will go together well, after all that is what designers are paid for, their eye for colour and knowing instinctively what goes together.

The round cushion is one of my favourite creations manly because I love all the pretty doilies that you see in charity shops and car boot sales. Little pieces of art work, lovingly created for the bargain price of 50p.
This one is particularly lovely, it is blue, which makes it unusual, but it is also so perfectly formed with perfect tension. As a hooker myself, (the term I like to use for crocheters!) I can appreciate the sheer skill it has taken to make this delightful thing.

The difficulty is that we no longer use them in the same way, so while I could not pass up the chance to purchase these delights, I found they were stacking up in my studio with no real purpose. The rose material was a remnant, no bigger than a 1/4 metre, but I loved its vintage feel and so the rounded cushion was born. The white background was an old linen napkin. Another beautiful fabric I simply cannot resist, the quality surpasses anything you can buy now, and who uses napkins every day let alone linen ones. So I gathered these beauties together and came up with the cushion. You really don’t see many rounded cushions, so I was rather pleased with the way it came out.

The project itself was published in the May 2012 Edition of sewing world with the rocking chair published a month earlier in April. I think it is such a lovely seat to sit in and I have convinced myself that sitting and rocking while sewing burns enough calories to eat the odd biscuit or two and not feel guilty.

Here is the rocking chair before it was given a new lease of life. 

dressing up, fancy dress, gothic, recycling, revamp., riding outfit, steam punk, victorian, wedding dress

Steam Punk

In case you haven’t read it several times in this blog, one of the things I really enjoy is dressing up.
I was going to a Steam Punk Party, and my dear friend found this wedding dress for me. The bodice was red velvet but the skirt was cream silk.
I managed to dye the silk and it came out a lovely red, but it took quite a few boxes of dye!

I added the lace overskirt, which had a bustle on the back, and the jacket was already mine and has seen a number of different lives!

It was an absolute dream to wear, especially with my red rock boots!

I bought the top hat from a fancy dress shop and it was completely plain. Having researched a little about Steam Punk I was wondering how to create some of the cogs and wheels of the gadetry that goes with the Victoriana, then I happened across an old spyrograph box, the wheels were perfect, once I had sprayed them silver.

A good hour or so with my trusty glue gun and a box of metal beads, and I had created a few items for the hat and a brooch. The feathers were a lovely touch and I had some silver ribbon in my stash. (I love it when you find just the right thing in your stash, its like all the hoarding is finally justified!)

I had an old watch that wasn’t working and a broken necklace, it all looked great on the dress and was fantastic fun to make.

My daughter is very into steam punk and since she is getting married next July has decided to have a steam punk wedding!

I will have to think some more about what I am going to wear, dressing up is such fun!