Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Upcycle a Vintage Gown-Eco-Wedding Fair,Bristol Nov 2012

Eco Wedding fair at the ,Bristol :Nov3rd 2012
A sketch of my vision of the Vintage dress after it has been upcycled...

'BEFORE' :    I obtained this white 1970's gown from Clic Sargent Bridal dept in Clevedon, Bristol. It was a size 8 and was torn in places but somehow it inspired me  to search for a lace trim that could help restore it. naturally I also imagined a corset to go with it ! To make a gown that is entirely eco friendly is a challenge , mainly due to cost. I try to use natural fibres that have been used from sustainable sources but also to save a gown and to recycle is very satisfying  and inspiring.

Machining guipure lace

Guipure Lace extended up around neckline

Adding a different dimension: Creating and constructing a Corset to add an update to the 1970's Vintage gown

'AFTER' :  Sam wears the gown with the waspie corset so well.
Head-dress by Ivory Flowers

White Guipure lace added to Centre front of dress neck opening
How a Corset can appear so different on two alternative women in various contexts! photo courtesy : Stuart Niblock :   (via Damien Lovegrove)

Monday, 15 October 2012

Corset making for the Weekend...

This weekend saw yet another successful workshop of Corset making, a chance to be sociable,meet new people, chat and exchange banter about all sorts that women chat about when they dont even know each-other, that's not to say Men aren't welcome..They definitely would be, but this weekend there were a total of six women  of various ages, shapes and sizes. This Corset workshop was hosted at The SpinningWeal Craft shop in Clevedon , Bristol - Similar
Each time I run a Corset workshop the best ice breaker happens in the first ten minutes and then the admiration for corsets begins as do the roars of laughter and then it feels like we have all known each other for years, it's both bizarre and wonderful!  So the Ice-breaker is to try a corset on for size, it's amazing.All are up for that and gasp at the immediate reduction in waist size !

The guards are down and everyone shares their excitement at having a weekend to indulge in such an activity and what they are doing for lunch...usually all end up sitting together.

Something happens when strangers share a focus, they also share their lives and what's happening, traumas and triumphs and why they want a corset.

So the patterns are out and all start tracing off their size, ready to cut out into their chosen fabrics.

Cutting the right size pattern is so straight forward as we can adapt  after first fit.

Once the  3 layers are all cut and fused ..the corset is matched together and stitched  eagerly!
Here the seams are being opened out and pressed with a steam iron

The channels at the Centre back are created next with a coutil facing ready to accommodate the steels that give your back such amazing posture. The eyelet holes are then measured out and created to  apply metal eyelets.This is done quite early so that the corsets can be fitted incase of alteration, to design and size.

Next the busk is inserted into facings at the centre front.Once the Busk is in the corset can be tried on  but first the ladies are baffled by the lacing up method!

So inserting the laces or ribbons really brings the corset together ...Thread down to the sixth hole and create your bunny ears for real pull on the waist!

Next: Trying on the corset is simple and create more excitement and admiration..This is laced up fairly loosely but you can see the space for more tightening here in the centre back.. No bones are applied yet that's one of the last stages.

The view from the front...the seams are positioned on the outside..which is a great way of also finishing the inside of the garment.  Look at the waist and it's not even tightened.

This illustrates an alternative method of ties , rather than ribbon, we inserted cord which gives a simpler image.
Lace has been overlayed in the pink and charcoal corset made by Jackie..who is wearing her corset to a Christmas party looming up soon.

Next stage is to cut and prepare the channels ready to stitch over the trimmed seams to then carry the steel boning.These are also fused and cut to 25mms

Making the channels is theraputic  and inspring as they really shape the corset, and emphasise the linear quality of all the seam work involved.

With all the channels stitched on which takes about an hour..we can insert the steel boning..nearly at the end..All that is left is to trim the top and bottom edges in preparation to apply the bindings and neaten!
Lucille in the forground with wild pink hair has a lucky daughter who is going to recieve the sage green and Black corset that she is making.

Lacing up the corset back with cord.

This is a finished Underbust waspie Corset (viewed from the Front)

And a view from the Back with pink cord to close.

The beauty of the waist never fails to captivate and thrill!

A spotty corset..these Victorian style corsets really are blank canvases when they start,each and everyone is different by the end of the 2 day workshop

I list the workshops on my website  and they are almost over for this year...however check out The Spinning weal as I have one running there at the beginning of December but also there is another at Heartspacestudios, Harcourt Road, Redland,Bristol mid November with lunch included.

Required: Basic sewing skills only: Come and make your corset! 

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Ston Easton Park : The Essential Wedding fair 30.09.12

The Essential Wedding fair at Ston Easton Park was elegant,selective and as tasteful as expected. Located in a large marquee but opposite the main house visitors persued in a relaxed manor...

Samantha Arrowsmith (aka Miss Erised) and Ella Keating enjoyed 'taking a turn' around the room and swished around in silk chiffon and tulle..

It has become a regular privilege to be amongst such exhibitors as  The Little Wedding helper, Kirsten Butler who is well known for her Vintage styling, Chocolate Delores is second to none with her outstanding Chocolate cakes and shoes! Bridezillas who are located in Keynsham High Street, Bristol    the epitomy of sparkle and glamour in Bridal accessories and then make-up queen Vicki Waghorn was subtley demonstrating airbrush make-up on ladies visiting her stand... These were to name but a few of the other 40 or so exhibitors who attended and many of who gave demonstrations of their specific businesses.

Ella and Sam enhance simple duchess satin corsets

Bridal Neck Corsets were popular an dcaused surprise..

Pure Silk Duchess satin skirt and Tulle detachable train...glamour, worn with pink silk rosebud corset and lace capsleeves

A rail of Beauty

Summer Corset with Multi coloured Silk spider flowers..handmade for 'Bridezilla's' of Keynsham

Amanda and Chloe from Sparking Bridezilla's and me!

One of the benefits of a corset is the posture it provides not to mention sexuality,a small waist and a sexy back!

Ivory silk corset with silk ribbon flowers and sequined tulle overlay...keep this neutral

Beautiful summer Corset inspired by Bridezilla's Bridal accessories store

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Ston Easton Park nr bath: The Essential Wedding Fair 30thSept

Really Looking forward to exhibiting at The essential wedding fair this Sunday as Ston Easton Park...

Showing  my latest work of Corsets for Bridal, Lingerie, the Boudoir...

Monday, 24 September 2012

Photo- Shoot with Damien Lovegrove

2012 has proved to be an exciting year for me and I have worked with many talented individuals, none more so than Damien Lovegrove. 

Damien photographed some of my latest work and what I really enjoyed was  the mixing up of corsets and skirts that have never been paired before and I love the results. You will see a real connection between the model, Victoria Lindsay Coutts and Damien's lense. The way he uses light  and Vicky's natural instincts infront of the camera really does justice to my work. I am so looking forward to working with them again very soon...

Silver & Ivory Tulle Corset and Silk Chiffon skirt..accessorized with neck corset
Model: Victoria
Cosmetics: Vicki Waghorn

Adding the Silk Organza and lace shrug with Duchess silk roses..

White tulle skirt with swarovski crystals,co-ordinated with White Linen and rosebud waspie corset.

Celestial Blue silk satin lingerie Corset and Tulle ballerina Skirt

THE POWER OF A CORSET... Celestial Blue silk satin lingerie Corset and Tulle ballerina Skirt

Silk Organza waspie Lingerie corset with embroidered flowers an pink silk crepe trim and bows

Like an Angel... Long sleeved lace corset and fluffy tulle Skirt

The Back is so sexy and the posture is so enhanced by a Corset

Fluffy Tulle Princess Bridal skirt and long sleeved long corset

The elegance and expanse of the tulle skirt and train is the ultimate in Bridal wear...

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Wedding fair with a vintage twist, Goldney Hall 2012 continued...

Goldney hall was a great revelation to me this year because I am always so flattered when visitors like my style of work but the silk ribbon flowers seem to have really captivated people. We have all become so accustomed by mass production and the manufactured goods that flood our High streets so when something is crafted by hand ..people stare and wonder, even disbelieve that someone has the inclination and time to sit and create silk flowers by hand. Im so pleased, it makes it all worth it and it motivates me for the months ahead.
Ella wears the spring inspired corset and organza silk skirt. Anna is wearing an Ivory lace corset with capped sleeves and Tulle Bridal skirt..

Photographs courtesy of Michelle Scott.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Goldney Hall Wedding Fayre with a Vintage Twist: Sept 2012

Photograph: Courtesy of Dawn Wilkins Photography

Goldney Hall was a beautiful setting and perfect location for the recent Vintage with a twist wedding fair on the 2nd  of September. Professionally Organised by multi talented Sue Fyffe Williams of ‘Aunties Vintage China’  and hosted by Bristol University.Only in it’s 2nd year it was extremely well attended with over 350 visitors. I was delighted to be positioned in the Orangery this year but this is such a fab venue that one is spoiled for choice, however the sun shone and I was surrounded by fellow friends and Artisans,Bella,the calm and serene Mac professional (  Gorgeous Lizzie Melling, ( always fun to have around with her spectacular,enticing and  unsurpassed 'Boutique' Chocolate Cakes, Claire from the Wilde Bunch Provided exactly that and in abundance…effortless perfection ( and then she gave me a beautiful Bunch to take home after we had all packed up!
My feet didn’t touch the ground as there was a constant and welcome stream of Brides visiting my stand. Anna Chancery, a recent Fashion graduate from U.W.E looked stunning wearing the Recent princess Tulle skirt. This design uses 35metres of soft tulle! The Corset she wore attracted a lot of attention and had poor Anna stripped of her Bridal wears! (she did slip into an alternative…!) while various ladies tried the Corset and skirt Combo on…Wow,that style was popular and has urged me to order rolls of tulle in but this time with Swarovski crystals glimmering! The silk ribbon roses are this years signature in my work. I love making them and was taught by Janet Haigh, a former lecturer of Fashion and Textiles when I studied in the eighties but it was Bristol Polytechnic in those days! Janet is a wellknown and established Embroidery Craftswoman & artist, as well as an author, she was a research fellow at U.W.E and is the owner of Heartspace Studios in Redland One of her passions is enamelled textiles and you can follow her here: Janet never fails to  inspire me, she is so generous and always stops and shares her knowledge, she is truly an inspiration.Looking forward to next years already…

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Welcome to my new and long awaited Blog..At last I can show you my latest work, inspirations and things that excite me!
So starting with my most recent Business postcard, as it captures my design progress for the first half of this year. I will reveal some of the processes of how I got to the stages of  these Corsets , Skirts and about where they have been, and who has worn them.

Living in Bristol, I am fortunate to be friends with some very generous and like minded people in the world of weddings I will always credit each individual where possible.

Watch this space....