Monday, September 18, 2023

Bouncing Ballet Bonnet and Baby Dress

I have a dear customer in Australia, who likes to order special gifts for any friends who are having babies. The input from said customer is always interesting, and a starting point for what I am going to put as decorative motifs on the outfits. This time it was for the baby of a former ballerina, so the Swan Lake motifs seemed highly appropriate. 

Made from a delicate Cotton Lawn, with specially designed embroideries, 
hand appliqued into place, and with cotton lace insertions.

Bonnet with a fun scalloped brim.

Details of bonnet, & front yoke embroideries.

Detail of front hem Swans motif, 
and Insertion laces.

Detail of button back and appliqued embroideries.


Sunday, April 16, 2023

Is Hawaii East or West of here?

 I recently had the pleasure of working with an Orthodox Priest in Hawaii, who wanted a phelonion (Orthodox version of a chasuble to us Western Rite people) in Sarum, or Lenten Array. It's now officially time for him to put it away, as it is their Easter Sunday today, I think. So Happy Easter to (Orthodox) Hawaii, and here's some pics of the phelonion. 

(This one was pretty similar to a gothic style chasuble from the back, but cut shorter at the front, as is usual for a phelonion.) The stole and cincture are much wider, also. Made from pure linen, with red silk orphreys, and lining.

Here is Father using it during Lent.

I'm sure something much more splendid was worn for Easter!

Sunday, May 29, 2022

The Mysterious Colour of Dusty Rose

A young lady wanted a bridesmaid's dress making up, the main specifications being that, 'It would be modest, yet fashionable with the right length and colour, & that it fits her well.' The right colour was named as "Dusty Rose" and although the lassie is a student, she liked the idea of having a bespoke silk gown, so I scoured my suppliers for suitable silk. Fortunately, as she is quite petite, I knew I would be able to cut the dress from far less fabric than the pattern advised, so reducing the cost.  After much searching, (and realising what a nebulous name for a colour it was,) I asked her if she could be more specific about the hue. She was able to send me a colour sample she had received from the Bride, which turned out to be quite different from the results of my search. Armed with the sample, I was able to find some lovely crepe backed satin silk from Beckford Silk which went by the name of "Crushed Raspberry!"
Whilst I was at the shop, I found a beautiful end of roll piece of matching Jacquard woven silk. This provided a lovely contrast for the bodice and sleeves.  Unfortunately, I didn't have the best lighting to show off the jacquard woven roses. But this is quite a good colour rendition of the mysteriously-hued fabric. 

The final task was to find a lace to make a mantilla to go with the outfit. Again, after much searching a lace was found, hiding under the name of "Dusky Pink" which seemed to provide a good match. 

Whatever the colour is, the bridesmaid looked stunning, and received many compliments on her attire!

Friday, May 27, 2022

Scotch Bonnets

I heard that there were chili peppers named Scotch Bonnets, but I'd never seen a pepper that looked similar to that item of headgear, and scoffed at the idea that they might, until I came across this image online. 

Having been asked to make a few tartan items for a couple of lads, of Scottish roots, I now have to agree that it is an aptly named fruit (vegetable?)

Tartan waistcoats, and bonnets were the order of the day, for a 3 yr old and a 5 yr old. I decided on a typical country gent's cap for the older one, but couldn't resist the fun of (spending hours) working out where to place the pattern pieces for a true Scots bonnet, wherein all the patterns would match around a centre. It turned out well, methinks.

The lads seem really chuffed with their new outfits!


Fortunately, there's a younger baby brother to pass them on to, when they grow out of them!

Friday, May 7, 2021

Spring First Communions 2021 Update

 I have been very lax about keeping up with the blog. 

Here's a few items off the machine in the last few months - The latest few First Communion dresses have all wanted pin-tucked bodices, and high necklines, very nice, but oh so time-consuming! (Worth it in the end!)

One for Scotland
One for the USA
Fine Cotton Poplin with added embroidered trim.

A mixture of embroidered cotton in the skirt and sleeves,
With pin tucked cotton lawn bodice,
 and applied cotton trim.

This one has a nice big bow, too.

And being a glutton for punishment, I even designed a matching pin tucked bag for one young lady!

Sara's dress was made of one of the heavier embroidered cottons.
A lovely traditional dress with Peter Pan collar,
and long cuffed sleeves.

I've made a few First Communion veils, and have several in stock, so if anyone needs one, don't hesitate to get in touch.

Embroidered Eucharistic motif on tulle.

embroidered organza,
 with a mantilla lace edging around the face.

Small organza mantilla edged veil 
with embroidered cross.

Embroidered Eucharistic motif, and small cross,
on tulle.

Different types of motifs can be embroidered, please don't hesitate to enquire...

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Cool Summer Frocks

A few of the latest items hot off the sewing machine -

A lightweight cotton dress that has made it to its destination in the USA, where I hope they're having warmer weather than we are here in the coldest August I can remember!

The lady who commissioned this frock sent me 3 photos of widely differing designs, and fortunately was very happy with the dress I finally came up with combining elements of them. The dress is made from a cotton poplin, with glass buttons.

I was asked to make some bridesmaids dresses quite a few months ago, but because of the lockdown and other restrictions on Church services, it seemed as though the wedding would be postponed until next year. Fortunately, I did not have too much on, as the new date was brought forward to September, so I was able to get the dresses made in time. The skirts and puffed sleeves are of cotton lawn and the bodice and sashes are of crepe silk, a rather zany colour combination chosen by the bride!

It was interesting when I was photographing them out doors, to see my garden colours reflecting those of the dresses - there was even a blue morning glory peeping out at the top right!