Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Progress on the Vortex Dress Toile

Today (after cycling to the shop to buy some things I need for London) I worked nearly non-stop on the toile. I noticed yesterday that the pattern had some issues, the chief of which I hope that I have now cleared up. The main issue was with the vortex, whose circles did not match where they ought to have done. If you would like to see what my pattern looks like, here is a screenshot (I do most of my pattern work on Illustrator now):
I will notch things when I've printed them - it's easier that way.
I will notch things when I've printed them - it's easier that way.
You may notice that I have not used much labelling. Well, it's just for me to use, and I can work out what everything is, so I didn't waste my short time on something unimportant. I have, however, colour coded the vortex patterns: pink for front, and blue for back. I'd have used a colour beginning with "f" for the front, but all that came to mind was "fuchsia" and this is close enough for my purposes.
This is the dress so far:
Vortex Dress Toile Front
Vortex Dress Toile SideVortex Dress Toile 3/4 viewVortex Dress Toile BackYes, they are supermarket carrier bags bursting out of the back of the dress. I would have used bags from a clothes shop, but one of the consequences of not buying clothes is that you don't get bags from such shops. Why are there bags bursting out, you ask? The dress is about the wastefulness of consumerism (yes, this is coming from a fashion student), so good things go in at the front, and rubbish comes out at the back.
Now I only have to make the real dress (and it's fabric), finish my boards, design book and sketchbook before Friday. And pack for London. No stress. ��
Until next time,

The Vortex Dress

I have one week left on Module 9: Critical Studies. I have (hopefully, pending referencing) finished my essay, and have the rest of the week to concentrate on the practical side of the module: the dress.
Here is what I have so far:
Vortex Dress Front
Yes, that is a pin cushion on top of my mannequin. She is a pinhead and if you have an "adjustable" dress form, you will agree that they are rather stupid because they simply don't live up the idea. :s
Vortex Dress side frontIt will look different on the college mannequin (mine is the wrong size and shape) and this is only the toile. I want to make my own fabric from discarded clothes (like the my brother's trousers that have shrunk), but depending on time, I may have to use the fabric that is in my spare pannier basket (you can see it in the top photo).
As you can see, I am using Pattern Magic 2 for the vortex and wormhole. I hope that it will all stand up better when I finish it and use stiffer fabric. I think I'll also have to reduce the curves on some of the seams (as pinned above) because they look pointy and not curved as they are currently sewn.
I'll show you more when it's done.
Next Saturday I'm going to London to do my work placement with Libby London, concentrating on the pattern cutting aspects, as well as, I think, general day-to-day fashion business operations. I will blog about it, insofar as I am permitted. I also have to update my tutor every week.
To get to and from work I'll be hiring a Brompton folding bike. I'm going to be lodging with a lady in Hammersmith (incidentally, if you need to find a room, I recommend placing and ad on www.spareroom.co.uk). Yes, it is expensive to go to do work placement in London, but without work placements my degree will be worth nothing because everyone is getting degrees nowadays. It is, in a way, a big thing for me to do all this because I've never lived away from home before. I'm not scared though.
Oh! And after Christmas (only 4 weeks to go) I'll be doing some events with the Hull University Bike Hub at Hull College Park Street and Queen's Garden.
Speaking of the Bike Hub, apparently I had been riding around on a death trap. My handlebar stem was loose (just slightly) and missing the screw that was supposed to tighten it. But because I am a volunteer at the Bike Hub (in the Design department and not mechanics), they fixed it for me and I left safe, but with still a few issues to look into.
Well, must set the table for dinner now.
Until next time,
Sabrina :)

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Module 8: Completed

There seems to be a recurring theme in our assignments. Let's call it the Cinderella principle. Essentially it means that you will definitely still be awake at midnight, and you'll still be run off your feet. On the night of Thursday 23rd October (actually, the morning of Friday 24th) I and the girls from my class were panicking on Facebook while frantically getting our work done. I got my sketchbook printed at home (thanks to my A3 printer) but still had to do my boards at college the next day. The others were worried about their essays (2000 words). And to top it off, class was to end at 3.45pm, one and a quarter hours earlier than last year. That's a fashion degree for you.
But, we got it done (albeit by 4pm-ish). My boards printed out double-sided at college and several images mysteriously disappeared from my mood board in the process, but at least they printed, and all in colour too! I personally think the boards are my best yet, and I even did an extra individual one for each outfit and one for the coat. Oh, wait! I haven't showed you them yet! Well, to save data on Blogger, I'll give you the link to my ArtsThread portfolio, and just show one here:
Mood board
I bought the fabric at Abakhan in Manchester when we went on a class trip to a jobs fair. I got it in the pay-by-weight section (the ground floor). It was for samples, but I will make myself some clothes from it. I have a wardrobe that makes some minimalists look extravagant -- I only have two tops!
I will get my grades within 3 weeks. I don't want to get my hopes up because level 5 is harder than level 4 so the grading will be tougher.
I'm still endeavouring to secure a work placement for December. I'll keep it all under my hat until it's confirmed because I don't want to temp fate! I feel a mix of excitement and worry at the moment. I need a work placement to pass that module.
In other news, I've volunteered to work at the Bike Hub in Hull University, and I start on Wednesday. I'll be able to tell you more about it afterwards, because I don't know exactly what we're doing yet. I start at 9am and we should be finished by 3pm, so I have to get up early that day as well as tomorrow (college).
As I have been too busy to cycle lately, I had a little crash into a garden wall on Saturday after a mini-roundabout. I only bruised my knee, and some kind people came to help and put my chain back on for me. (The world is a nice place after all!) It shook my confidence a bit, so I've been cycling a lot since then to get my confidence back. I did the mini-roundabout again today when I went to the bank for Mum. The lesson here: cycle every day you can!
So that has been my weekend. Thankfully, Beth (tutor) did not give us our study guides for the next module on Friday, so we've been able to wind down from the stress of the last couple of weeks -- a rest we really needed! One of the girls in my class got ill from staying up too late every night working. One of the others plans to be insanely organised when she's doing her final major project. I think I'll have to be as well!
How has your month been so far?

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Module 8 Begins: 1920s Cycling Inspiration for 2010s Style

Yesterday module 8 officially began. I had already downloaded the Study Guide of i-learn and received my brief. The module is called Context and Environment and my title is Bright Young Things, as in the 1920s flappers. However, flapper-girl style is banned from our projects (it's overdone) so after a bit of visual research, and reading The Girls' Bicycle Handbook I have decided to "go down the cycle route" as it were and base my mini-collection on women's cycling in the 1920s.
Cycling played a huge part in the emancipation of women (find out more about it in the afore-mentioned book) and it's practical clothes fit in nicely with the loose-but-stylish clothes of the 1920s.
I have written my client profile (can't do a thing until I've done that!) and printed off my visual research images. I'm going to make a rough sketchbook to plan my pages.
My research images for Module 8. Now I have to arrange them into sketchbook pages.
My research images for Module 8. Now I have to arrange them into sketchbook pages.
This is only a month's module, so I won't actually be making anything for it (though I do have lofty visions of a high-vis orange gabardine raincoat for my cycling) but jersey will naturally feature as it was such a popular fabric in the '20s, partly thanks to Chanel. I'd like to use Merino wool because it's breathable and wicking (so it draws moisture away from the body and helps you maintain a comfortable temperature).
I'm not going with the boyish style, but will focus on the more feminine look of the '20s and alter it for modern style. Whenever women have been further liberated, clothes have become more practical (and usually smaller, but we won't go there). Therefore, my five-outfit collection is going to be a capsule wardrobe of clothes you can cycle in comfortably without looking as though you were going cycling. They have to be suitable for a modern, independent woman to live in. I want to include accessories like pannier bags, helmet accessories and things that make it safer to cycle.
I now have an A3 printer because all our work at college is A3 and it'll save a lot of bother and expense when I print at home. It's print quality isn't as good as the college printers, but it's better than my A4 printer (now in Mum's office/the dining room) and it's about a third of the price (at a guess) of the college printers.
As for the Cornucopia festival, I got a few more things made, but there isn't really time to do any more. It starts on Friday and everything has to be set up. Here are the few more things I made:
Cornucopia Festival Clothes 3
Cornucopia Festival Clothes 3
The contrast cuff facings are hand-stitched on with the felling stitch, and I hand-stitched the buttonhole on the second one with a continental buttonhole stitch. I thought it was called a French Buttonhole Stitch, but I saw an Italian-trained tailor use it on Youtube so now I call it the Continental Buttonhole Stitch.
The two projects above that took the longest to do were the skirt and the shorts. The satin-stitching on the skirt's godets meant that it took me two days to sew them all on. That, and I accidentally snipped the godets and had to darn them. :) The shorts took ages because I had to manually fray them with a quick-unpick. I was doing it with a pin, but then I got a Snippets email from Colette that suggested using a quick-unpick. (Don't you just love sewing-syncronicity.)
I'm still learning to ride my bike confidently and I went to Rusty Riders Cycle Training in Hull last Saturday. The bike I used there was more upright than mine so it was easier to signal without wobbling. Once I had got the hang of that, we went on the street and tried turning, stopping, and a junction. I've since practiced signalling at home on my bike and found out that it's harder because my bike is not as extremely upright. I've moved the saddle forward so it's more comfortable, and I'm getting the hang of signalling. When I can do that, it will be safer for me to go on the road. But I'm going back to Rusty Riders because I need more practice with traffic.
Well, that's it for today. I'll update you when I've news. Oh, by the way, if you'd like to go to the Cornucopia Festival, you can find out more about it here.
Until next time,

Monday, 8 September 2014

Cornucopia Clothes Part 1

To sum it up:
I've been learning to ride a bike (I love it!) and was in a mild road accident (I'm not going on the roads along for a while).
My brother's identity was stolen and someone was using his bank account on a dirty dating website (all sorted now that he's changed banks and we've rebooted his Macbook Pro).
I've made more things for the Cornucopia festival. I've made 14 things so far, and I want to make more. I'm aiming for 30. I'm not the only one making for it, but I'm doing a lot of it.
Also, some lovely seamstresses/bloggers reviewed the Secret Garden Tea Dress.
Here are the things I've made (and photographed) so far for the festival. I made 1.5 things yesterday, but I've yet to take photographs. :)
Cornucopia Tops
Cornucopia Bottoms
So I've made 15.5 things so far, and I'm aiming for 30. Even at charity shop prices, this gets expensive. I've spent about £35 so far, not counting the elastic I used in the skirts, or the thread. The jeans with the pink embellishments were mine but they kept shrinking in the wash and started hurting me when I wore them so I thought I might as well use them for this. I can't use many of my clothes because I don't have many. Fabric simply refuses to appear magically before my eyes. :)
As for learning to ride a bike, I'm glad I didn't get a really nice one because my brother is learning on mine and keeps kicking the mudguards when he pedals. I've had to buy a new set. Eventually, I think a folding bike might be the way to go because EYMS bus service won't allow bikes other than folding bikes on board, and even then I think it's at the driver's discretion, and if I go to Rochester to do my Top-up year next year, I'll have to take the train and the tube in London, and store my bike somewhere when I'm in student accommodation. How do students usually deal with bikes? (Answers will be appreciated.)
College starts for second years on the 16th September and I've got to have the clothes made by then. I'll have to take them in my shopping trolley or I'll look like a pack-mule going to the bus (I'll have my backpack too!) I'm looking forward to college, and we have to do work experience (I'm so excited!) this year so we've got to list places we'd like to work. On my (fantasy) list are Colette, Tilly and the Buttons, BurdaStyle, and By Hand London. I will have to add to this list some more "realistic", mainstream fashion-business choices I suppose, but I can dream! I simply do not want to work in retail because I'm no good at it. I'd much rather work with the same people everyday than with customers. That's just me.
That'll have to do for now because I have a lot to do!
Have a nice day!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Pixie Shorts

I am having physiotherapy on my knee so I needed shorts. I know a lot of religious women won't wear them out of modesty, but when you have to do a lot of leg exercises, shorts are more modest than skirts. :)

So I made these from my brother's too-short trousers. They were a sort of moleskin fabric, and are is apparently Italian-made (when they were trousers). I adjusted my Audrey Short pattern (which I haven't told you about yet) to have princess seams and those petal shapes at the front.

When I put them on yesterday, with socks after my bath, my legs looked quite stocky in them. (I think I look much better in tights.) Rather than think of my legs as stocky though, I would rather think of them as pixie-ish, like Tinkerbell. It's much better to put a nice spin on things, isn't it? I think that's the start of a good body-image for anyone and you might as well like yourself because you're the only self you'll get. :)

Pixie Shorts
Upcycled Pixie Shorts (worn with upcycled t-shirt)

The hardest thing was sewing the curves neatly, which I didn't quite manage to do. In retrospect, I ought to have done a faced hem, but I was upcycling and it was a miracle that the waist-facing was exactly the right length (by accident). I also ought to have used cotton tape to stay the waistline because it's ever-s0-slightly stretched now.
I didn't need to add a gusset to these shorts. I pressed the seam open (well, finger-pressed) and they're perfectly comfortable as they are. Calico seems to be unreliable for fitting purposes because it's so unlike any fabric you'd actually wear.


P.S. Yes, these are inspired by the Pattern Runway shorts, and there's the link to make up for my not buying the pattern (how can I when I can draft one?).

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Craftsy's Big Course Sale Starts Today!

 (Sponsered post)

I don't like to have too many commercial posts on this blog (I try to keep them few, I really do), but this one is so good! Today and until Monday 11:59pm (MT) (That's 5:59am on Tuesday to us in the UK). Craftsy is having a sale on all their courses having 50% off! Just click on the banner below to go and have a look!