Saturday, 2 April 2011

Spring sewing

Has it really been over a month since the last post? Oh dear, I'm slipping! My excuse is, as it is for all bloggers, that there's not enough time in the day. The nice weather has brought shoppers to the Bentley Heath Country Market and I'm having a job keeping up with demand. This is, of course, A Good Thing.

In between orders and sales, I've been working on a posh frock line. More specifically, a line of communion dresses. It's been great fun sourcing and using beautiful silks and cottons and trying to come up with dresses that will set them off. And then of course I had to find a right-sized model to set off the dresses. My friend volunteered her daughter and we had a lovely modelling session. My two are at the "fixed smile & funny face" for camera stage, so it was so nice photographing a child who looked completely natural. And it doesn't hurt that she is also an extremely pretty girl, so even I can take good photos!

First up was the crochet dress because this was the one I was most anxious about. I kid you not, I made this dress twice - I don't think there's a stitch in it that hasn't been done and re-done at least once. But I finally got it done and made a little viscose slip for under it. To finish it, I made 5 little crochet flowers and put them on hairslides. They looked like little daisies growing in her hair and gave such a pretty organic look to the outfit. I had many a crisis of confidence about this dress while I was making it, but like all good fairytales, it had a happy ending.

Next up: the traditional dress. Well, traditional with a modern vibe, I hope!

This one has a pleated sash over a paperbag waist. I love paperbag waists but no matter how much weight I lose, I'm never going to be able to wear one (there is no diet that can turn a middle-aged apple into a young beanpole) so I'm living vicariously here. The skirt is a self-embroidered lawn, which I hand-beaded to embellish the flowers. You can't see it in the photograph and I did wonder if it was worth doing, but in real life, the little beads make all the difference. There is also a semi-detachable bow at the back. Very traditional, very charming. And since it's getting harder and harder to find all-cotton communion dresses, I'm hopeful it will find a market.

And finally, everyone's favourite: the silk and tulle dress. I found the pattern for this in a Japanese pattern book. I made up a smaller two-colour version for my daughter to test the pattern (photos to follow in another post) but found that the sizing wasn't quite right and so the dress has gone into the shop. She's gutted! I also found that I didn't like the bodice so I played around with another couple of patterns and this is the changeling that emerged.

I knocked up a tiara to match and my model loved both dress and tiara so much she didn't really want to take them off. The dress is lined with habotai silk and it feels so cool and smooth - there is nothing like a silk lining for making a dress feel just sumptuous!

All that remained was for me to actually stock the shop. I've now added an Etsy shop to my stable so I had two lots of stocking up to do, but four episodes of ER got me through the tedium of uploading photos. I'm about to start on some Farbenmix baby clothes using some gorgeous fabrics from Dots & Stripes - it will make a change to use colours again!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...