Fashion Exhibitions

Friday, 7 August 2015

Fashion exhibitions are a great place to practise your illustration skills and learn about garment construction. I created the illustration above in response to a Christopher Kane exhibit I saw last month; more of that later.

Sadly, one of the most compelling fashion exhibition's closed this month, the V and A's Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition. Unsurprisingly, it became the museum's best attended exhibition: 493,043 people visited during its 21 week run, a record breaking number of visitors. Don't despair, there are many great fashion exhibitions that are well worth a visit.

The Museum at FIT is running Global Fashion Capitals until November 14, 2015. As the title suggests, the exhibition explores the global contribution that each fashion capital has made; how each city's cultural identity and particular economic, political, and social circumstances combine to elevate its designers to international attention. On show are histories of the established fashion capitals—Paris, New York, Milan, and London—and the emergence of 16 new fashion cities.

Best of all, The Global Fashion Capitals exhibition features classic designers, like Christian Dior, alongside contemporary designers, like Christian Kane. If you've got time this summer, why not escape reality and spend the day sketching or mentally deconstructing some inspiring creations?

Inserting a Concealed Zipper

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Inserting a zipper into lightweight fabric can be a daunting affair, even for experienced seamstresses. Still worse, inserting a concealed zipper, surely this must feature in the top 10 most formidable sewing tasks. The closure might pucker, the zipper might get caught, little gaps in the closure may appear betraying the zipper underneath. At university, these fears were enough to give me nightmares and caused me to avoid many beautiful lightweight fabrics. Yet there is a really simple trick that will ensure perfect results every time: the humble fell stitch.

1. Baste the opening closed. Press seam open;

2. Fold the the back along the centre line with right sides together. Centre the closed zipper over the basted closure. Fell stitch the crease furthest from you to the furthest edge of the zipper. Stitch close to the teeth without actually touching them;

3. Check the zipper will open, close the zipper and fell stitch the other side as follows: undo an inch of basting so that you can see centre of the zipper and access the crease of the closure. Fell stitch the crease close to the zipper without touching the teeth. Continue unpicking the basting and fell stitching an inch at a time;

4. Lastly, stitch the zipper tape to the seam allowances on each side.

I've been in love with the fell stitch ever since, yes it takes longer, longer still on 22" dress zips, but it's perfect every time. Setting sleeves and skirts onto bodices is another great way to use this wonderful little stitch.

Make Your Own Midori

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Midoris are amazing, best of all you can make your own! It took me a morning to finish mine and cost nothing as I used up lots of leftovers. The end result is so user-friendly. I can fill it with whatever I like, this is especially good for art lovers as you can include your favourite artist's papers.

To read more about how to make your Midori please visit our sister site Muse Attire



Summer Reading

Wednesday, 29 July 2015


One of the best aspects of being on holiday is working through your summer reading list. Now half way through mine, I simply had to share some of my favourites. The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce is every bit as enchanting as her first novel, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. When Queenie Hennessy discovers that Harold Fry is walking the length of England to save her, and all she has to do is wait, she is shocked. Her note to him had explained she was dying from cancer. How can she wait? A new volunteer at the hospice suggests that Queenie should write a second letter; only this time she must tell Harold the truth.

My 2015 summer reading list:

  • Anything written by Rachel Joyce
  • Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
  • Still Life With Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen
  • Daughter, by Jane Shemilt

Feel free to share you book recommendations. Happy reading.


Designer Sewing Pattern

Friday, 29 May 2015

If you're looking for a truly stylish sewing pattern, visit Muse Attire. I know I'm biased, as I was one of the testers, but this is gorgeous!



Designer Sewing

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Here's what I've been working on at Muse Attire last month:

Sewing patterns; what’s the difference between a regular, commercial pattern and designer patterns? Wholesale commercial patterns reflect high street trends, allowing the home seamstress to recreate current fashions. Designer patterns don’t respond to trends; designer patterns are the result of a creative process. Since March, Muse Attire has posted glimpses into the research and design process behind their new pattern Grace. Obviously, a sewing pattern which is rooted in a creative process offers a distinctive style.

Home seamstresses are clearly creative individuals so they've rethought the pattern envelope itself. When we’re sewing at home, it’s a continuation of the creative process that started with the designer. When you purchase a pattern, you’re essentially taking on the project construction. To reflect this sense of process and project they’re sending their patterns out in a project folder rather than an envelope. An A4 card folder is also far more robust than flimsy paper envelopes which require the skill of origami to restore used patterns!


Create Your Own Sewing Pattern

Wednesday, 29 April 2015


If you're interested in designing your own sewing patterns, there's a great series of posts running on Muse Attire.