Sunday, 31 May 2009

Nearly there!

Well, this is just a quick post as I am waiting for hubby to hurry up and get ready so we can go to the beach! I have been totally manic with my proper job this week - yes it's half term, but two days of coursework 'sorting out', paperwork for exam boards and 90 reports to write have made me have to pause the blogging and making this! but no fear, I will resume....

I now have 22 followers! very excited - and have been trying to make sure I follow and read you blogs too. This week I will start making the cuff I promised to one of the lucky followers, in a teal blue silk - thanks for the comments to help me decide!

I am also going to be busy trying to perfect my use of the laser cutter - going to try using a graphics tablet this week, so all very exciting! Oh yes, and will probably do some teaching as well at some point.....

Right, looks like the man in my life has dragged himself off the sofa, so we're off! I will probably post some pictures of our secret location later - not going to tell any of you where it is though, because its a lovely beach, and mine, all mine! whmahahahahah!

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Giveaway for followers!

Well, a big thank you to all my new followers! I have 17 now, very excited, thanks to a few kindly souls who joined and told others about my giveaway too! I wasn't sure about this blogging lark, but now find myself thinking when I am making something - "ooh, can put this on the blog...". Look out for a coming post about laser cutting perspex, riveting silver and perspex together, and the merits of graphics tablets....

Onto the giveaway - A question from Niftyknits was - how would I know who had arrived at my blog via a recommendation? - well, I hadn't really thought about that one...but I guess if you follow me via someone else, then if you could send me a comment mentioning their name, then I know to add them into my hat a few more times! Nifty, you get in my hat three times so far - well done and thank you!

Right, better get making that gift - I thought I might have a couple of weeks, but actually think it might not take that long to get to the magic number!

Question for you all though, potential gift wnners that you are...I am going to make a lovely cuff for the prize...using some suffolk puffs with a contrasting fabric in the centre. Now I have two colours of silk dupion, both gorgeous - which should I use?

The teal blue, with flashes of green - gorgeous (and the fabric that my bridesmaids' dress was made from) or the pale green with a gold sheen - also gorgeous! (a sari donated by a parent from school) both lovely and can't decide!

hmm...not sure how well they photograph...

Answers on a virtual postcard - the cuff will get made sometime this week I hope! I will anounce the winner as soon as I get to 25 and will post a piccy of the cuff. I am planning to make lots more and put them on too - am going to be designing one soon as a corsage/cuff for a friend to wear to a wedding - so keep em peeled!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Fascinators - how to and how not to.....

For ages I have been hankering after fascinators. After my friends wedding, where I was the (ooh) matron of honour, when I remember the Grooms father saying that he thought a facinator was some kind of sex toy - (dissapointed - much?) I have been thinking - we survived for god only knows how long without fascinators - but now no wedding outfit would be complete without one! how does this happen?

My fascination (bad joke, I know) began when I wanted to have something different for my wedding veil - not having the typical wedding dress - mine was a 1950's style gold silk dress I had made by a lovely lady in camden market. I loved the idea of a birdcage veil, a simple one which would cover my face slightly, but wouldn't get in the way or make me feel uncomfortable - but at the time I looked everywhere for help about how to make my own, trying to find the feathers, the veiling - but struggled so much I ended up having to order it from America. I loved it - and it made my simple dress feel so much more special. I have even worn it since, with a bit of adjustment, to go with outfits for weddings and one 1930's party!

But I don't think I would struggle as much now - it seems everyone and her dog are making fascinators - there is veiling and simanay (the stiff fabric used as a base, and for curls and other shapes on the really expensive ones you see) available freely, as are feathers and everything else you could possibly want to adorn your pretty head with!

So I set about making my own for a wedding coming up in a few weeks, for which I am recycling a dress I last wore about 5 years ago. The dress has pink and black in it, so I decided to go for a slightly mad black and shocking pink combo. And, as everyone who knows me knows I am mad about butterflies, I wated to add these too. So my creation is pictured.

Now, I thought - I am making this myself, there really is no need to go making something anyone could buy in any shop - so why not have a bit of a story going on. Now it just happens that whilst browsing t'internet, I happened upon these slightly scary but sparkly birds. In true SATC fashion (well, I like to think so...) I added those to my creation. Well, my husband may say that it looks a bit like the butterflies are attacking the bird, (one is sneaking up to launch a surprise attack) but I don't think thats a problem. It really doesn't do to have things looking too cute, now does it?

So, onto the main reason for this post - I really struggled to get any advice on how to make a fascinator, so just dived right in and had a go. Which is fine as this one is for me, but I have had orders for two others from friends, and I would like to do things differently for them I think. I have learnt a few things along the way, which I will share with you.....

The simanay discs are easily found on ebay - I think I paid around five pounds for three of them. Next I bought merry widow veiling, and some simanay bias binding. My advice would be to use the sheets of simanay - I think I will order this next time, because it would give me a lot more control over the size and shape. The bias binding was fine, but I did have to turn in the edges and iron them flat with a lot of steam - seemed to work ok though. I didn't have any idea what the simanay would be like to use, and strangely enough I couldn't find any advice on using it anywhere - so with a bit of trial and error, I figured that if you loop and secure it, thats fine for the big loops which attach to anything else. However, I really wanted a spiral coming off to one side - for this, I wound the simanay around an old plastic mop handle, secured it with masking tape, and got the steam iron to it. (helps if you have one that does upright steam). Left it for a bit to dry, and the curl was complete - it works really well, and hasn't shown any signs of uncurling yet! (its been a week).
A few other tips, or things I would avoid doing - I attatched my veiling first, and then got in a major tangle as I was sewing all the other bits on. I would do this last next time. Also, whilst everything is sewn on, and I wanted to avoid using glue, I think for some things - the bird in particular, which has a polystyrene base, whould need glue, as I think with any pulling, the thread would cut through the body. And he doesn't need that, not after a vicious butterfly attack! I also think invisible thread might be a good idea, and that feathers would be good to help cover up any stitching which is visible. However, adding feathers to mine might be going a tiny bit too far I think.....
So, for what it's worth, I think the best advice is just to keep trying things and holding the facinator up to see how it looks. If I were going to make more, I would probably get myself a polystyrene head to help me figure things out. I hope my advice helps...although there are probably loads of things I did wrong, I am still pretty pleased with the outcome!
Will post again when I have it all finished - have to pop a layer of felt underneath, and a simple thin black satin hairband, which I am struggling to find, before I can try it on. When I am all in my finery I will pop a photo on!

Saturday, 23 May 2009

ooh, loving these cute badges from 'asking for trouble' on - and I have a friend who would love them or her little boy.

havent worked out how to sort out links yet, but I will!

Lets get this show on the road!

Right, I have decided to begin adding some lovely things. the first thing I need is some followers - and how do I get those? Stand on a street shouting like a scene out of 'The Life of Brian? No, too mad, even for me, and I don't own a toga. I know, a giveaway - you people love free stuff, don't you? The first 25 people who follow my blog get put into the hat for a lovely free gift. I will have a think about what to make later, but I do have some very special teal silk dupion left over from my wedding nearly two years ago, and am currently into cuffs, so I think it might be quite special!
(oh, and if you send a friend over here and they follow, then I will put your name in twice!)

I will find a hat and make the draw as soon as my followers reach the magic number (25, probably).

Come on, what are you waiting for?

Friday, 22 May 2009

Welcome to my blog! I though it was about time to finally begin entering things on here. I want to use it as a way of telling my friends and anyone who likes what I make about the things I am making at the moment. I hope to add videos and photos of different things I am making, an techniques I have been learning or developing. It might take a while to set up, but watch this space!