Thursday, May 2, 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Stunning 3pc Ladies suit with Embroidered Waistcoat

This suit has been a long time in the making but by far the most enjoyable to make. When I met Ann and we talked about what she wanted, a suit that had all the features and style that suited her I was thrilled. Ann has been to House of Colour and armed with her colours and flattering style guidelines, we created an individual suit that flatters her tall, elegant frame perfectly. The gentle seams running from the shoulder to the waist and then bouncing out to the skirt compliment the cut away front (which doesn't fully show on my mannequin with no hips) and wide peaked lapels.

The wool is Harrisons of Edinburgh Oyster and the lining a deep blue paisley pattern.

After a toile fitting we added the waistcoat. Ann was after something bold and with the orchid purple colouring featuring. Finding the right cloth that would match the suit perfectly would be almost impossible, stripes were not right and all over patterns were to busy. Many options would be too wedding-like and satin/silk out of the question, this is not dress-ups. So I called on my theatrical background and: when you cant find the right cloth, you make it. 

I have dabbled in machine embroidery over the last few years and have the machine and software to program any design, I've just not the time to fully master it. Now seemed like the time to pick up those skills. This also meant that I had to design something that captured Ann's flair and still remained tasteful and understated enough for day wear. Using a section of a sample that I had on file and countless tests and samples later, this design emerged. 









Thursday, February 14, 2013

Vintage Inspired Cape

This cloth is vintage, from the 60's (I think) and has me leaping for joy whenever I look at it. The bold colours of royal purple mixed with the lime green, brought to life with the lavender and navy really sing to me.

The bold pattern and the limited length meant finding the right garment to make from it took some thought. I found inspiration, as so many do now, from Pinterest. Then from some pattern drafting books. I finally settled on this draft but wanted to merge the style with current ideas and taking into account the bold pattern and a flattering shape.




The opening slits for the arms was not so appealing to me and besides shortening the overall length  I decided after drafting the pattern to open the sleeves up from the body and make a cap sleeve over a body. Something like this without all the extra fullness:


Then it really felt too boxy...


...what it needs is a belt.



Still not quite satisfied with the design, I was working out how I wanted to hold up the belt; what kind of belt loop that I would like and it struck me! Use the back sleeve seam to hold the belt and secure it down to the hem! No more odd tunnel shape and it stops the sleeve caps flapping around so much! Brilliant!

Here is the final cape modelled by my illustrious mannequin.