Thursday, 19 October 2017

So Far So Good ... Or Is That Tempting Fate?!

Well I'm really getting back into the swing of dress making again (thank god!) So far I've traced and cut all the individual patterns pieces for the dress. I've completed 4 of the 6 darts that are in the design. Having not done darts for while I was a bit dubious at how good they'd be. I expected the odd muck up. So far so good ... see for yourselves ...

Above is the bust dart in one of the front panels. A triumph if I do say so myself!

You may be able to make out the two long darts in the back panel. (The neck darts in these panels are currently only held in place by pins.)

Here is a closer shot of one of the darts in the back panel. I'm really rather impressed with them for my first darts in a LONG time!

Here is the front of the dress. Obviously when the dress is completed the open lower part of the dress will be stitched together and the top part will button up. That's why these style of dresses are usually referred to as 'step in' dresses.

So far the only part of the dress which is stitched are the darts. I have pinned all 4 panels together just to check everything is where it should be. At the moment there is a bit of an inconsistency in one of the shoulders. The front and back panel don't match as perfectly as the other side but I'm sure I can rectify that quite easily.

I'm quite happy with how it's coming along and I'm also very happy with how the dress making process is coming back to me. I'm one of those people who needs to keep doing things regularly to maintain the skill. Too much time away and I lose my confidence.

I have to say though that I had forgotten just how long a process tracing a pattern onto fabric can be. I felt like I'd never get it all traced off at one point. Then again I was being extra careful that I didn't miss transferring any important markings onto the fabric, so that added to the time it took I guess.

Oh and one other thing ... I know the fabric pattern won't be to everyone's taste. The dress is only being made as a toile and since I have currently run out of calico, I used this cotton curtain fabric more out of necessity than for its aesthetic qualities!

I hope you like the progress I've made so far and hopefully the completed dress will follow shortly. So watch this space!

Cheers Then!

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Well That Didn't Take Long, Did It?!

Since by friend bought me all those wonderful vintage dress patterns last week I've been desperate to have a go at making one. It's taken me a week to make a decision on which one to make a toile of.

The decision was made a little bit harder due to the fact that Rose passed yet ANOTHER pattern to me the other day. Turns out there were 17 patterns not 16. One had fallen out of one of the plastic wallets and she found it in the bottom of her bag a few days later ... and here it is!

I decided to go with a 1967 Simplicity step-in dress pattern. The pattern can be made with either full length sleeves, short sleeves or completely sleeveless. I've gone for the sleeveless option. I've never been too fond of doing sleeves and this will be the first dress I've made in far too long. Hopefully I'll not make a pig's ear of it! Since I've run out of calico I decided to use some curtain fabric. I actually quite like the fabric. I think it's very retro!

Cheers Then!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Vintage Dress Patterns Galore!!

I have to say that I have some of the greatest friends! One of my friends recently picked up a few vintage dress patterns for me in a local second hand shop. I think she only thought she'd picked up 5 or 6. However it turns out that each plastic pouch contained multiple patterns ... 16 in total!

They range from 1952 to 1975. They're AMAZING and I absolutely LOVE them all. Don't know which one I want to make first. However since I haven't actually dress made since what feels like the dark ages I feel slightly rusty. Well with patterns this amazing there is definitely no way I'm going to stay rusty for long!!

Here are the wonderful patterns. I've tried to list them in what I think is their date order of creation!

Cheers Then!

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

All Eyes On James Mullane

James Mullane is a multi media artist currently based in Denver, Colorado. In 2016 he acquired a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree (specialising in drawing) from the Metropolitan University of Denver, having previously studied Interior Design at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, Colorado.

Since 2013, James has seen his work featured in over 20 exhibitions in several galleries. This is a truly astonishing accomplishment for such a young artist.

In James' own words his work "focuses on queer issues, queer acceptance, gender identity, intersectionalities, hybridity and performance acts that create gender" and "explores how the intersecting labels create an individual's unique life experience."

James works in a myriad of media techniques to create his astounding work. These range from xylene transfers, collage, encaustic wax, watercolour and chalk pastels. The combination of medias creates wonderfully vibrant and unique finished pieces.

On a personal level, what I am particularly drawn to in James’ work is that he has such an identifiable style. Once you’ve seen one of his works I think you’d be able to recognise another. That is not to say that his work is formulaic. Far from it. His identifiable style is because of the continuity of subject matter, as well as vibrancy and originality of his work as a whole.

For more information on James please visit his website:

Below are some examples of James' wonderful work. They are titled Fluid, eFEMminate, Bound, TRANSformation, HEel and MANicure respectively.  I hope you love James' amazing work as much as I do!

Cheers Then!

Monday, 12 June 2017

And Now For Something Completely Different!

Some of you will be unfamilir with the amazing Sharon Tate. She was an American film and TV star and fashion icon in the late 60s. The star of such cult classics as Eye Of The Devil (1966), Valley Of The Dolls (1967) and The Wrecking Crew (1968), by August 1969 Sharon was happily married to film director Roman Polanski and heavily pregnant with their first child. Tragically, just 9 days before her due date, Sharon fell victim to demented followers of psychopath Charles Manson. The beautiful and poignant photographs of Sharon below are believed to be the last ones taken of her, maybe even in the days before her death. Two of those monsters are coming up for parole: Patricia Krenwinkel on June 22nd and Leslie Van Houten on September 6th. Anyone can write to oppose their parole. I have done it on many occasions over the years. You can post parole objection letters to; Board of Parole Hearings, Post Office Box 4036, Sacramento, CA, 95814-4036 or email them to Please ensure that you quote their prisoner references. Patricia Krenwinkel's is CDC# W08314 and Leslie Van Houten's is CDC# W13378. Thank you xx

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Bespoke Textile Baby Creations

My nephew and his partner are currently awaiting the birth of their second baby and I have been making a few hand made gifts. I did the same when they were expecting their first child. It's an absolute joy to make gifts that will hopefully remain in their family for years to come and may be played with by another children they may have in the future.

All these cute litte creations were made from designs in Jane Bull's wonderful book 'Crafty Creations.' One of my closest friends bought it for a mutual friend at Christmas. I loved it the second I saw it and had to buy a copy for myself. It's a fantastic book and perfect for crafting beginners. I highly recommend it.

So here are my take on some of the makes in Jane's wonderful book; Georgeanna the Giraffe, Mollie the Octopus, Ollie the Octopus and Wilbur the Pig. I'm currently making Wilbur a girlfriend who will be named Charlotte (after characters in my favourite children's book Charlotte's Web by E.B. White.) Who knows they might even get a baby of their own!

I hope you like them. As always feedback is welcome.

So until next time,

Cheers Then!

Friday, 28 April 2017

My Latest Bespoke Textile Creation

I've finally finished the completely hand made Elephant I've been making for one of my sisters. She's named Lyuba after the baby Woolly Mammoth discovered in 2007 in Russia. (Lyuba actually means 'Love' in Russian.) Every one of the 1842 beads was stitched on individually by hand. I'm surprised I didn't go blind in the process of stitching on so many tiny beads! It was a true labour of love but my sister is worth it. (Now I just just have to finish the bespoke creation I'm making for my other sister!)

As you can see, under one ear I have put my business label and under the other a little message to show it was a bespoke creation made specially for my sister.

I hope you like it. I intend to make several for sale, although probaby not so heavily beaded. So watch this space!

As always feedback would be welcomed and appreciated.

So until next time.

Cheers Then!

Monday, 17 April 2017

New Abstract Prints Available For Sale

This is a selection of abstracts prints I currently have for sale. They are inspired by the From Atoms To Patterns range of designs created for the 1951 Festival of Britain. They are available from A1 to A4. Anyone interested please email me at for price information. More prints for sale can be found on my Instagram at

Cheers Then.