Tag Archives: Irregular Choice

One of those days….

Had one of those days today, I’ve been working really hard all summer on a few different things and today I had a “am I doing the right thing” moment. Then my train was 20 minutes late making me miss my bus and so I had to hang around for an hour till the next one! Worst of all as the train was slowing to a stop my suitcase toppled over and I went with it; a proper ground swallow me up moment if ever there was one. One of those things where you would burst out laughing if you saw it happen to anyone but is horrible when it actually happens to you.

Anyways, my boy picked me up from the bus and took me for a drink. After a glass of wine and a chat I’m feeling much happier, although I have a bruise on my shin ūüė¶

This is what I wore on injury day:

Leopard print top: H&M

Skirt: Topshop

Shoes: Irregular Choice



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.

All Tucked Out….

I’m sorry for the unexplained absence over the past week, things have been pretty hectic; I’ve worked a few extra shifts, been to London, doing uni work and feeling a bit under the weather. So I have lots to tell you about! I’ll split it down over the next few days postings.

All my paper patterns are done now, I just need to toile the third ladies dress and I’ve made good progress with this today. This is the dress I talked about in my last post, the skirt is made up of 10 panels; 5 of vertical pleats and 5 of horizontal pin-tucks. It’s taken me absolutely ages today but I’ve sewn all the horizontal tucks into the 5 panels. It may not sound like a great deal but each panel has 48 tucks, so in total I’ve sewn 240 pin-tucks today!!! If I see another one I may scream; my neck, shoulders and back feel like one solid piece of rock! It should be worth it, the panels I’ve done look lovely. I want to see if there’s an easier way to keep the tucks really neat and consistent though, as they are so tiny it’s really easy to go off the edge of the fold and then the stitches aren’t catching anything. The “Sewing Technique Bible” advises pressing the tucks into place before stitching them, this does make it easier to see where the stitches should be but doesn’t make any difference to the fabric slipping out of place. I will try and find out if there is anything I can do to make this easier, but if anyone reading this has any tips I would be very greatful?

I will start outfit posting again tomorrow, I promise. In the mean time I was looking through my old photos and found this one of an outfit I haven’t worn for about 6 months. Think I will try and wear this hat one day soon before winter is well and truly over:

Dress: Disorder

Shoes: Irregular Choice

Hat: The Village Scandal

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.

Raw Edged Beauty….

It’s been a strange weekend, we had three birthday celebrations and one of the girls was leaving from my work. We didn’t get to go to any of them though because Dave dislocated his shoulder playing rugby! The poor thing said he’d never been in so much pain (and he’s broken a lot of bones!!) It’s back in place now and he’s gone off to London to do a¬†photo-shoot, I had to take him to the train station really early this morning and for that reason there’s no outfit post today.

I’m feeling rather pleased with the amount I’ve got done today, in particular this sample I made:

I think the raw edges really fit with my idea of the fragility of nature. It looks so beautiful I want to make myself a dress from it! The fabric consumption is going to be high but it is most definitely worth it.

I’ve also started working out all the pintucks for the bodice of this dress, but I want to check how the calico plain bodice piece fits the stand before cutting the pintucked paper pattern (just in case I need to make any further adjustments). It did occur to me though that if I really need to put a dart back in, I might be able to put it into one of the tucks.

One last thing, when I was in London I saw the Irregular Choice shoes that I want this season:

I tried them on and they look so amazingly awesome! Unfortunately for me they are ¬£149.99 so not sure when I’ll actually be able to afford them, maybe I’ll have to wait till my birthday.

Qui qu’a vu Coco??…..

“Have you seen Coco?” My outfit today made me feel like Coco Chanel; very monochrome and sleek, even my nails! I bought the blouse in Birmingham from Topshop¬†a couple of weeks ago but didn’t have anything to go with it, then I saw this beauty on ASOS with 20% student discount and free next day delivery: Perfect!! The purchase of the skirt could be justified because I wanted to have a close look at the pleating effect; what type of pleats, how wide they were and how much¬†this increased the volume of fabric. The blouse on the other hand was just naughty, I¬†tried it on and it just looked so 1920s: it was love at first site.¬†Oooh, when I just went on the Topshop website to find the link to my blouse, I saw sooo many other lovely blouses that I want!! I wore my Irregular Choice shoes for the first time this year today; I love them, they aren’t very comfortable but they are worth it! They’re quite Gaga-esque don’t you think?

P.S. I’m totally going to have to watch Coco before Chanel again this week!!!

Blouse: Topshop

Skirt: ASOS

Tights: ASOS

Shoes: Irregular Choice

Anyway, this morning I had my Start Up Planning and Promotion module. I was looking forward to showing Lindsay my business plan so that I could get on to the next part of this module, unfortunately technology failed me this morning and the library computer wouldn’t open the file on my USB. So now I have to wait until next week because she wants a paper copy. But, she did give me some handouts on things the plan should include; I have covered 99% of it but need some info on registering as a sole trader, VAT (although my forecast doesn’t predict I would earn enough in year 1 to pay VAT) and Health and Safety. I’m not sure that this stuff is actually relevent to go into the business plan but will at least need to go into my research file.

Christmas Day Number 1….

This was what I wore for the first of our Christmas Day celebrations….

Dress: French Connection

Shoes: Irregular Choice

Corsage: Topshop

We had a lovely Christmas Day, we woke up at home and opened some presents together. Dave had bought me Blink 182 tickets which was a omplete surprise, it’s not until July 1st but I’m already excited about it. He also bought me a pair of Irregular Choice shoes and I have to say they are now my favouritist pair in the entire world! Then we went over to my Dad’s and had Christmas lunch with him, his partner, my sisters and their boyfriends. We had a really lovely time, I didn’t want to leave. But we did, we came home and I made a Christmas tea for the two of us and we snuggled up to watch Narnia in the evening. Today I had to work but Dave went and had ANOTHER Christmas dinner with his Grandparents! We were supposed to be on our way to my Mum and Manda’s now for Christmas Day Number 2 tomorrow but my Mummy is poorly sick (sending her love and cuddles) so we’re hoping to go to Lydia and Beck’s instead (originally planned as Christmas Day number 3 for Wednesday). It feels strange that I haven’t seen my Mum, it’s the first Christmas ever that we’ve spent apart but hopefully we will see them on Wednesday now instead.