Friday, 29 April 2011

Vintage Vogue 1094

I bought this pattern ages ago in a sale. I've been trying to find a good reason to make it up for ages and the wedding of one of my closest friends in the world seemed perfect, especially seeing as there was a bit of a mad hatter's tea party and I could see a little bit of Alice in it.

I love the design. The bands around the neckline are gorgeous and the big pouffy skirt is fantastic, but most of all I love the dropped waist.

The pattern is fantastic. I read up on the fantastic selection of reviews on, which mostly suggested that a third band is required around the neck as there's actually only two decorative bands. I'd definitely agree with this and did this on my dress.

I made up a toile of the bodice, which fits beautifully - I had made adjustments to bring it into a size 10 hips, 12 waist and 12 bust - pretty minimalistic adjustments but I usually expect to adjust further from there. I found the fit to be spot on (although when I made up in a softer fabric I found it a little large around the bust and waist, but not a whole size).

The fabric I used was a roll-end off the market. I got just over 2.5m of beautiful soft 100% cotton. It's cream with a brown, pink and grey pattern like leaves growing up it in delicate stripes. I also bought a brown cotton to line it with and with the intention of giving it a little more structure. I had intended to make a petticoat until I saw this at beyond retro and the colour match was just too perfect - just take a look at them together

Full Chiffon Petticoat Dusty Rose

The problem was that the pattern called for 4.4m of fabric. I had to work hard to get the pieces onto the fabric. I had to cut the back piece as two pieces and put a seam in the middle, and did the same with the central band. The skirt length was completely down to how much I could fit on the fabric. I knew I had some leeway as the reviews showed a longer skirt than I wanted and the pattern showed several inches of hem, but was nervous to cut a whole 6 inches off the bottom of the pattern! I did a lot of maths with the petticoat and skirt lengths and figured I could probably manage it.

I didn't get any progress pictures as I got really stuck in and didn't notice until I'd finished. The pattern itself is so easy to follow and goes together beautifully. It's strange - the lining and outer fabrics are stitched together at the start and treated as one throughout - this worked beautifully with my plan of building up the soft fabric with the thicker lining. It's strange to work with though as all your edges are showing and not hidden by the lining. I also like the internal belt, I didn't expect that to work so well.

The only other thing that I changed was to add a belt. The dress doesn't need it, but with current fashions I found that the dress looked a bit bland without it. I tried a few of my own, but with the dropped waist they just rode up and didn't look right. So I bought a buckle and copied the bottom of the bodice to create a belt in the same shape as the dress. I had no idea how that would work, but it was an absolute dream.

So here it is, with the hat I made to match it. And I've added a little bit of the bride and groom in there too as they looked fantastic. Congratulations Robyn & Andy - I hope you're having a brilliant honeymoon.

A royal wedding hat fest

Oh boy did I have fun watching the wedding this morning. Firstly the bride and groom looked stunning and everyone looked really happy. It was a beautiful ceremony and it was great fun watching everyone arrive and leave.

But more importantly the HATS. Oh my word they were fantastic!!!

Kate's done so much for hats in this country - it's wonderful to see a young woman wearing so many beautiful hats and she wears them so well. It's only right that there should be so many beautiful ones at her wedding.

There's a good photo gallery at Vogue here which captures a lot of the outfits. Not my favourite one though...there was a beautiful simple grey dress with a fantastically clean lined hat and I have no idea who it was on - I've been searching for hours but I cannot find it! If anyone can help I'd love to see another picture - I'm pretty sure I saw it while the 'lesser' royals were arriving...

Either that or I'd love to be a bridesmaid in Pippa's dress...

I was so excited by hats watching it that I had to make a little something while I was watching (well, I never can sit still) so here's a little fascinator inspired by the royal wedding, in a nice regal purple.

Saturday, 2 April 2011


I'd like to introduce you to Mallory.

Mallory is a mini beret in the most fantastic blue-teal I've ever seen.

She is hand blocked on a one of a kind block designed alongside the lovely guys at Boon and Lane in Luton.

She is decorated with hand-pleated petersham ribbon, held in place with tiny, almost invisible hand-stitches.

She can be held on the head with hat elastic or can be mounted on a hair band, whatever suits your wearing style.

Mallory can be made up in another colour of your choice, just contact me on

Mallory is named for my cousin's fiancee. Welcome to the family.
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