Tag Archives: Barry M

I’m Baaaaaackkkkkk!

Hi everyone! August has been a really crazy month for me, I had a few weeks working 3 different jobs and I’ve ended up neglecting my blog. But here I am, back for good. I’ve left my retail job at River Island and gone back to working in the office that I used to work in before going to uni. I haven’t given up on uni, I’m just doing the office job 2 days a week so I’ll still be able to fit it around my uni timetable. But it’s better money and better hours.

Anyway on with a quick outfit post, I went to see my friend Emily in Stafford the other day. It was the first time I’d seen her properly in a long time as she’s been of doing a work placement in London. My hair is in desperate need of some attention and so I seem to be tying it in a top-knot quite a lot this week!

T-Shirt: American Eagles

Maxi Skirt: Topshop

Denim Jacket: H&M

Boots: River Island

I’ve had gel nails put on recently and finding that nail varnish lasts much longer on them, so I’ve been having some fun doing nail art. Check out my bondage style nails I did this week with Barry M in Bright Yellow and my Models Own Nail Art Pen:

My amazing ring in the picture is a recent purchase from ASOS, I just couldn’t resist it. Fierce or what?!

Like so many bloggers out there, I made the most of the Models Own fifty percent sale recently. I couldn’t resist sharing my little haul with you, I was very excited when this beautiful box arrived in the post:

It took me forever to choose which colours I wanted but in the end  I went for: Bronze Rage, Gold Rush, Bubblegum, Coral Reef, Orange Sherbet and Grace Green. I also bought a Neon Blue eye paint, Blackberry Lipstick and lip brush. So far I’m really pleased with the quality of the nailvarnishes, the colours go on really nicely and dry quickly too.


Pastel Pop….

Dress: Vintage

Shoes: Irregular Choice

Nails: Numerous shades of Barry M

The past week I think I’ve worked harder than I’ve ever worked before. Hence the lack of blog posts. I’m pretty much surviving on coffee at the moment but I finally feel like it’s paying off, things are really starting to come together. As I haven’t done a post for a whole week I have a huge amount to write about, so make yourself a coffee and settle in for a while…..

Firstly here’s a picture of the pintucked and pleated women’s dress that I recently blogged about, I’ve made the bias-cut slip to go underneath it and it really finishes it off. I used a silk twill for the lining, it’s a bit thicker than the ponge I was going to use and so I don’t feel concerned that the dress would still be too sheer. It was quite strange putting it together, as it is a 1920s pattern the seam allowance on it was 1/2″. I’m used to sewing 1cm seam allowances and to sew such a wide one seemed more difficult!! It also didn’t look as neat once I’d pressed it open to have such a wide seam so I have overlocked the extra off to make it look neater on the inside.

This has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but I am really pleased with it. The only thing left to do is to sew in the press studs and finish the hem. I’ve decided that the best way to do this is to just use fray stop on the edge, I think that anything else I do to the pleated edge will spoil the line of it and look to bulky.

This is the pintucked bodice for the second ladies dress:

Again, I am immensely proud of the construction of this. The silk chiffon I have used for both these dresses has been very challenging to work with as it is so slippy and stretchy. I’ve french seamed the armholes, neckline and all side seams. It looks perfect and I feel that it is made to professional standard. I’ve tried to take a photograph of one of the french seams but I’m not sure if you can really tell what it is:

This bodice is ready to be sewn onto the ruffle skirt, I have been fray stopping the raw edges every evening for the past week! I’m almost there, if I were to make this again I would probably have used something that wouldn’t fray so badly so that I wouldn’t have had this extra labourious task. But then on the other hand I don’t think anything else would have the same effect, it falls so beautifully and feels so light and delicate. Here’s a little close up to give you an idea:

This week I’ve also been working on the final ladies dress, I thought this one was going to be really straight forward but as per usual it was harder and took longer than I expected!!! It was the pintucked panels that caused me the problems…again! I had thought that as the silk linen is much crisper they would be easier to keep even, but I stitched the first three and they just didn’t look quite right. They weren’t perfectly straight or the perfect distance apart even though I had notched and pressed the tucks first. The only way I could overcome this was to unpick them and draw on the lines with a vanishing pen. This kept them the right distance apart and lovely and straight:

I’ve also hand painted the wing design onto the other panels:

This technique has been really effective, the wing is obviously very stylized. If I had done it exactly it would have taken me even longer, each little section would also have been much larger and I just don’t think that it would have had the same impact. I think that it has as much of an impact as printing the image would have done and the lines still look beautifully crisp. On the bottom panel I did have to extend the wing a little further across than I had originally planned, just as I was putting everything away I got a spot of the fabric paint about 8cm away from where I had finished the wing. I wanted to cry, but I have managed to extend it so that it doesn’t just look like I’ve stuck a bit extra on. On my original drawing I had planned to put a small painted section on the bottom left hand corner of the skirt too, but after I had done all the right hand side I have decided that any more on it would be a bit overwhelming and take away from the impact that it has. So this dress is all ready to be joined together too. That means the womenswear designs are almost complete.

Today I’ve also fitted the last two of the childrenswear toiles to the models.  I need to shorten the sleeve length on the dandelion pintucked dress by about 7cm as I want it to be just below the elbow but other than that it fits her perfectly. The child’s dragonfly dress also fitted well although the little girl is small for her age and I have had to shorten the dress length by approximately 5cm. I’ve got these cut out and overlocked now and so am planning on get the hand painting done on them tomorrow and then fully constructed on Sunday. I’m hoping to photograph the dragonfly dress on Monday afternoon and the Dandelion one next Friday. I’ve found a location just down the road from uni so I’m hoping it won’t be too much hassle for the children’s parents to get them there:

I have also completely finished the pleated wing sleeved child’s dress so this is ready to be photographed too. However, I need to speak to my lecturer Lindsay (it’s her daughter modelling this dress) to see whether she might be available for a photoshoot next Friday too. I haven’t taken a photo of it but it looks really beautiful, simple yet striking. The pleated fabric did actually make it rather more difficult to put together than I had expected though!! As with the ladies dress with the pleated panels, I had cut the wings out whilst still between its special layers of paper and then stitched across the top edge to hold the pleats in place before carefully tearing the paper out. I don’t know if it was because they were much larger pieces and not just a straight edge but the paper was much, much more difficult to remove from inside the pleats. In fact it was a total nightmare and although I was ridiculously careful when removing the little remnant of paper it did pull the pleats out of line ever so slightly. Even with the line of stitching holding them in place, it was really difficult to keep them perfect when putting them into the side seams of the dress. I was worried about this, particularly because the pleated fabric is silk georgette that frays even more so than the chiffon of the ladies dresses and so I really didn’t want to risk having to unpick it. The only way I could eliminate this risk was to tack them in by hand and notch where the sleeve should end on the side seam, ensuring they were level. Another time consuming task! I will write more about this dress tomorrow once I’ve taken some photos of it, the light in here is too bad to get decent pictures of it.

Mothers’ Day….

Happy Mothers’ Day to my lovely, lovely mum! We’ve had a lovely day; coffee at Rocke Cottage Tea Rooms this morning and then lunch at Loch Fyne. Then I’ve done an hour of gardening this afternoon before coming indoors to work on my logo design for Start Up Planning and Promotion; I’ve been searching Google for silhouettes to help me draw arms in the correct position that I want and then spent hours doing illustrations. But I think I’ve finally come up with something that I’m happy to scan in to work on further in Illustator. This is what I wore for the Mothers Day festivities;

I felt like the outfit was missing something so I made the bow before we went for lunch, I think it finishes the look of nicely.

Striped Jersey Shirt: Topshop

Leggings: River Island

Boots: Topshop

Hair Bow: By Me

On another note, I stayed at my mum’s last night and so was able to photograph one of the children’s dresses on the stand:

I’m happy with the fullness of the skirt, this has been achieved by inserting the extra for the tucks the whole  length of the dress but then only sewing them into the waist. I meant to scan a few pages from the Winifred Aldrich Pattern Cutting for Childrenswear book whilst I was there too but completely forgot, I think we have it in the library though. I need it to help me grade the pattern up to age 8 before making it for real.

I did borrow another book from my mum, called Printing By Hand it looks like it might it will be useful for doing some sampling of techniques for two of my dresses. It’s quite likely that I will get them digitally printed professionally but I need to try some hand techniques and evaluate them before I decide for definite.

Colour Co-ordinated from Head to Toe

I don’t think I could have been much more colour co-ordinated yesterday:


Blouse: Topshop

Dress (worn underneath): Warehouse

Tights: Topshop Shoes: Irregular Choice

Nails: Claire’s Matt Nude and Barry M: 47 Black

I’ve finished the front bodice of dress 2:

I made the toile from a polyester lining fabric as even the lightest weight calico would not give a realistic impression of how the real garment will look. To begin with I was having difficulty chalking out the pattern, never mind cutting it as it was slipping all over the place. However, then I remembered that Stefanie at Anna Scholz taught me a handy little trick: to tape the fabric onto paper keeping it secure and straight. It makes marking and cutting a million times easier. Before stitching the pintucks, I pressed them into place as advised in the “Sewing Technique Bible”. Again, this made my job a million times easier. I have started working on the pattern for the skirt today too, but need to do some modelling on the stand to get the shape right.

A bit of everything….

Lots of things to write about:

I’ve decided on my brand name for my business module; I started researching fairy names as I wanted something that fitted my illustration style. I came across the name “Adorabelle” and it seems perfect; feminine and child-like but not to girly and cutesie. After that I previewed it in many different fonts to develop my logo. It’s important to find the perfect font, Lindsey gave us a handout last week showing that the Coca-Cola logo has stayed the same for the life of the product where as Pepsi has changed multiple times over the same period. The fact that Coca-Cola is so much more successful demonstrates the importance of brand identity and so I felt it important to be really sure of my choice of font.

I’ve also been working on the toile of my second dress, this is how the front bodice looks pinned to the stand:

It fits the stand really well, I’m pleased as this means that all my dart manipulation has been successful. The next step is to toile it with the tucks, these will be where I’ve drawn the red lines at the moment and then to toile the skirt. I had originally planned to line the skirt but after showing Tracey the sample I had done (see my post “Raw Edged Beauty” we both agreed that adding a lining will make the skirt feel to heavy as I want it to be light, flowing and delicate.

This is what I wore yesterday, I put on tights and boots as it was so cold and foggy I couldn’t see to the end of the drive! But then I went out at lunch to get a coffee and the sun had broken through and I felt completely overdressed for the weather:

Leather Jacket: River Island

Fur Waistcoat: Topshop

Pleated Leopard Print Skirt: River Island

Leopard Print Tights: Topshop

Boots: River Island

Silk Headscarf: Present from a friend from China

I’ve got into nail art lately, it’s a nice little thing for me to do in the evening to switch my brain off from uni stuff etc:

Blue: Barry M 295 Pale Turquoise

Yellow: Barry M 134 Yellow

I just bought myself a matt nude and top coat from Claire’s Accessories today, think I’m going to do nude with matt black tips later.

Sunshine on the window, makes me happy….

The sun has been shining again today 🙂 we even took my photograph outside at 6pm and the sun was still shining. Winter is finally on the way out, yay!! Not quite warm enough for no coat yet though.

So I had my interview today, I was very nervous. I hope that it went ok, I said as much as I could to sell myself to them! But they didn’t give anything away and it could be up to 2 weeks before I even find out if I’ve got on the course. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

The number tights gave out today, this is the problem with sheer tights. They cost me £10 and I’ve only worn them 3 times before making a hole in them. Check out my nails too, I did them last night to try to distract me from my interview. Pretty cute though eh?

Dress: Topshop

Parka: Miss Selfridge

Tights: ASOS

Boots: River Island

Sunglasses: Rayban

Nail Varnish: Barry M Mint Green, Barry M Pale Pink, Models Own Black Nail Art Pen and Max Factor 704

Design Crazy….

Phew, I’ve been such a busy little bee the past few days. I have soooo many designs now, Paris truly gave me some inspiration and got me back into the flow of things. I’m really happy with what I’ve come up with, I’m going to get them all scanned in so I can polish them up a bit on Photoshop before emailing them to my mentors for some feedback. I want to wait and see what they think before I come up with the final designs; I want to know if there’s anything about them that is going to be particularly challenging and also just what they think works best. I’m sorry I can’t show the designs to you but I can’t risk someone pinching my ideas 😦

I went to see my friend Lydia this morning, we spent the morning drinking coffee, watching Gilmore Girls (trust me it’s awesome) and working on illustrations (her’s are amazing). We decided that my velvet headband/turban was a cross between 1920s flapper glamour and 1940s housewife!!! I’m also wearing my long-awaited Urban Outfitters dress. I bought this back in November in the sale, but was trying to save money and felt so guilty about spending money on myself that my mum bought it from me as a Christmas present. It’s a long story but due to flu and various other things I only just got it 2 weeks ago!! I did wear it in Paris but today was the first time we’ve photographed it. Barry M number 141 is a perfect match:

Headband / Turban: Topshop

Dress: Urban Outfitters

Brogues: Topshop