Thea Porter and Lynda Maynard

The other day I was in the London Fashion and Textile Museum at the Thea Porter exhibition and found a book by Lynda Maynard on Couture sewing techniques – I bought a later addition of the book listed here. After ogling the Thea Porter dresses in voile and chiffon, this book made me want to try making dresses in those fabrics even more! I read half of it on the train home and the other half that evening, really excited to make samples of these and improve my technique. There are step by step photo tutorials so I know I won’t rely on the internet as much.

The museum allows one to take photos, so I’ve added some here of the dresses I found most dreamy.

The smocking here was breathtaking - and allows for different underwear etc. Fittingly the edition of the Lynda Maynard book has smocking on the front cover.

The smocking here was breathtaking. Fittingly the edition of the Lynda Maynard book has smocking on the front cover.

 

More dreamy smocking

More dreamy smocking

Embelishment

Embellishment

Voile, this would be dreamy flouncing around in the heat

Voile: this would be dreamy flouncing around in the heat

Special lily fabric - note the bottom of the top is cut to the shape of the lily

Special lily silk fabric – note the bottom of the top is cut to the shape of the lily

 

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Anna Dresses

Posing in the sculpture park in New Orleans!

Posing in the sculpture park in New Orleans!

I’ve made 2 Anna dresses. These dresses I am extremely proud of and love them faults and all. The fabric on the burgundy fabric dress I love it, so soft. I get so many compliments on this dress and I feel a million dollars. I think I maybe need to bring the shoulder seam forward 5 mm and the back waist seam drops down a bit. There are some lines running from armpit to shoulder which I am not sure about. The invisible zip I installed in the side ended up breaking because of the bunching at the waist seam with all the gathers and I didn’t properly press the fabric before hand picking a replacement zip so it is a bit bodged but I don’t care. I carry this leaning with me.

Black Anna Dress phtographed in Natchez USA! Chuffed with the dress in this picture.

Black Anna Dress phtographed in Natchez USA! Chuffed with the dress in this picture.

The long black dress, well, wearing black in the summer makes me feel good. This was my first dress I ever made and the first flat felled seams I did after seeing how nice they looked in a Hermes top at the airport. The rough texture of the cotton-linen blend I know will soften, but it reminds me I am here on this earth, in my body. The v neck I love as it provide good coverage. It also reminds me that I want to make a perfect v neck bodice with a too low v neck because I love a too low v neck.

I’ve heard people bemoaning this dress because it generates mono-boob-  I evaluated this in the lift at work in my burgundy dress – yes the mono-boob exists, but on a smaller chest it makes them look a bit bigger, so pay your money, take your choice! Will re-muslin if I make this again.

Even though I'm pulling it down, the fit in the back is nice even though I think the waist seam drops a bit.

Even though I’m pulling it down, the fit in the back is nice even though I think the waist seam drops a bit.

New purpose for blog

The blog began as a way to record what I was doing and potentially meet other people interested in sewing. I don’t enjoy taking pictures of myself in garments and by the end of the day I’m tired of looking at a computer screen from my regular job so have not been able to stick to blogging and have been too busy learning the basics to be commenting on blogs and making friends – though I have a sweet little sewing club of real life friends. I’m going to re-imagine this as a sketch book as this will be useful to capture the ups and downs: if there is only one photo of the garment on a hanger, then sobeit.  I loved keeping a sketch book so much during A Level art and seeing this blog as a sketch book with small notes, might work.

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Tiles in the lobby of the Paris Apartment I rented out in December

p.s. I’m posting a stack of unblogged items showing progress over 2013/2014 in the next few days.