Friday, November 9, 2012

Dino plush toys

These fuzzy little fellas were commissioned recently as gifts for two newborn baby boys.   

They are made from acrylic felt.  The applique eyes, letters and spots are hand-sewn; the body, machine-sewn.  Happy birthday Ted and Louie!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Reverse applique jackets

I recently completed these jackets for a pop-up store.  The pattern and shape is similar to the Reds jacket -- shawl collar, roomy raglan sleeves -- but I have embellished the back and shoulders with a deco fan pattern in reverse applique.

Back detail

Both the herringbone outer and jersey lining are 100% organic cotton, sourced from a supplier in the US.  As the reverse applique is entirely hand-stitched it is a little time-consuming to execute, with production taking a number of days.  There are also a few stages of careful washing and trimming (to get the right amount of fray before the cut edges are stitched permanently in place) but the results are impressive and well worth the effort!

Shoulder detail

 These jackets, in size medium, are available now at The Fleet Store.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Reds jacket

This cropped jacket was commissioned by a fan who wanted a fancy, feminine something to wear to  Queensland Reds games.   The pattern was developed from my basic 'go-to' raglan jacket pattern, and has roomy 3/4 sleeves and a shawl collar. 

On the back I used reverse (or cutwork) applique and metallic embroidery to render 'Reds' in a deco-like pattern.  It is subtle, but leaves no doubt as to who the wearer supports!

The Reds play the Waratahs this weekend, in the last regular match of the season.  With a win (and a little luck in the results of the other matches in the round) they'll make it into the Super Rugby Final Series.  Go fellas!

Wendall 'helping' with the embroidery.  It's nice and warm under the halogen lamp!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Dress ---> jacket

My grandmother was an avid dressmaker.  She made this silk dress in 1967, to wear to my Aunt Roberta's wedding.  It was fairly typical of a 60's shift dress--knee-length, A-line shape--but decorated with a dupion silk ruffle detail on the neckline and centre front.

Grandma gifted the dress to me a number of years ago, but unfortunately it was a fraction too small for me to wear.  It therefore spent most of its time hanging in my wardrobe, only ever coming out for me to examine it's construction or show to friends...

...until Brisbane Roar reached the A-league grand final for the second year running.  I wanted to wear something special to the game, so decided to re-work Grandma's dress into a jacket.  It is, after all, a beautiful shade of orange!

Grandma wasn't a football fan, but I like to think that she'd appreciate my re-making the dress into something I can use and enjoy.  I removed the back zip, and then shortened the dress to the new jacket length.  I then unpicked and removed the sleeves.  The original sleeves and armhole were a bit narrow for me, so deepened the armhole, and using the original sleeve as a guide, drafted a wider and longer sleeve pattern.

tracing and adjusting the sleeve pattern

I cut the new sleeves from the fabric salvaged from the lower half of the dress.  There was only room enough to cut across the grain, but it worked nonetheless.  After re-joining the sleeves to the bodice,  I then joined the two back panels together (making a seam where the zip used to be).  To make the jacket opening, I cut down the decorative panel on the centre front.  The raw edges on the centre front were then folded, pinned and neatly whip-stitched.

pinning the centre front, ready for whip stitching

There are no fastenings on the jacket, as allowing it to hang open gives me a bit more room to move.

Roar won, of course :)

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Little Matt

I finished this puppet recently.  The customer, Matt, ordered one made in his likeness.  Little Matt is made from acrylic felt, acrylic yarn, and re-purposed second-hand clothes.

I would love to have a picture of the two of them together, but Matt is notoriously camera-shy.  So you're just going to have to take my word for it, that the resemblance is uncanny!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Wedding Card

I finished this embroidered wedding card a little while back. It features the bride and groom's names at the top, and their children's names underneath. Sue, who commissioned the card, wanted each image to represent a hobby/interest particular to that child. I'd love to meet Harry's pet snake!

Home Sweet Home

This embroidery is a mixture of crewel work and needlepoint. I used acrylic yarn on a plastic mesh canvas.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Images, again

Like the previous post, these images are of the 'Chance and Bricolage' garments from a few years ago. The model is Phillipa Crummins; the photographer, Tony Phillips.

These garments were made from organic cotton (with the exception of the floral skirt in the last image, which was sourced from a second-hand garment).

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Painting with light

I re-discovered some beautiful photographs while tidying my hard-drive today.

These experimental images were taken in 2007, of garments made in 2006 and 2007. The model is Lauren Orrell; the photographer, Cameron Attree. Cameron and I set up long exposures, and then painted Lauren with torchlight.

Most of these garments are from the 'Chance and Bricolage' collection. The making of these garments was largely improvised, developed from pattern shapes generated by various 'games' of chance (like lottery-style pattern selection, or cutting shapes while blindfolded).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Long time, no blog

I've been busy. Between finishing the PhD, teaching, and running a not-for-profit community arts group, 2011 flew by with little time to devote to anything else!

I've since, however, focussed my work situations and am now working exclusively as a dressmaker from my home studio, The Stafford Street Sewing Room.

New posts coming soon! :)