30 March 2010

Facts about projection

Just thought I'd share this little gem, a film made by a projectionist at Screen on the Green about the craft of his job, which I saw at Flatpack Festival this weekend. Spot the similarities between film projection and sewing...

Facts About Projection from Studiocanoe on Vimeo.

25 March 2010

A study in coyness

[Or, Fashion hints courtesy of the movies no.4]

I just can't get enough of the gorgeous turquoise green and pinky orange in Claude Friese-Greene's THE OPEN ROAD. An early experiment in colour film, THE OPEN ROAD tracks Friese-Greene's journey from Land's End to John O'Groats (ie. from the SW tip to the NE tip of Britain).

This extract shows Torquay beach in 1924:

I'd love to find some fabric which replicates the colours - it'd make a perfect Spring dress.

There are tons of other clips from THE OPEN ROAD on the BFI's YouTube channel.

16 March 2010

Fresh air is not enough!

[Or, Why can't contemporary beauty product adverts be this swoonsome?]

All images from Woman's Journal from 1927, found in my boyfriend's mum's attic. I'm thinking of framing the Amami shampoo advert. Which is your favourite?

[Soundtrack: 'Two Sleeply People' by Fats Waller / Smelltrack: miso soup and dumplings]

14 March 2010

And the winner is...

... Rachel Boo Dog! Hurrah and huzzah! Rachel, please email me your address and I'll pop them in the post. I have to say that the creativeness of everyone who commented was very impressive (and also made me feel rather inadequate). After much deliberation I picked Rachel's suggestion of sewing them down the back of a Sencha blouse because a) it'd look fantastic and b) it's very doable - I expect to see pictures! And don't be annoyed if I copy - I mean, pay homage to - the idea! 

10 March 2010

It's giveaway time!

Fancy adding these darling sewing-themed buttons to your notions stash?

The purpose of the giveaway is to spread the love after I won a gorgeous bow necklace crafted by the stylish and talented Cecili in a giveaway on her blog. I love it so! It winged it's way to me all the way from Reunion, along with a cute note and some lovely yellow buttons.


Back to the sewing buttons giveaway, if you'd like to get your mitts on these little beauties, just leave a comment below saying what you'd do with them (I was just planning to sew them onto a boring black cardigan but if you can think of something better I will happily give them to you). Entries accepted from around the globe. Unless it's a close race, I'm not going to hide behind the diplomacy of a random number generator, I'm going to ruthlessly pick whoever I think has given the best answer as the winner - woohahaha! You've got until midnight GMT on Saturday, and I'll announce the winner on Sunday. Good luck!

[Soundtrack: 'Town Without Pity' by Gene Pitney]

7 March 2010

Me and my clone

[Or, Two or three things I've learned about making a dress form]

Today Oh Sew Brixton held an experimental dress form crafting workshop. Being desperate for a dress form but reluctant to fork out hundreds of pounds, I leapt at the chance to make a replica of my torso using nothing but brown paper tape, some cling film, a wet sponge and a trusty helper. 

If you're considering following suit, here are some hints and tips that we learnt during the day:

1) While a dress form fashioned from duct tape has a smoother and more professional-looking aesthetic, as soon as it's cut off the body it's going to collapse. Parcel tape may be the ugly duckling method, but it's reliably sturdy.

2) Wrap yourself in cling film first - not only will it save you cutting up a t-shirt, but it makes the experience of being covered in wet paper relatively more pleasant.

3) Start by wrapping long strips under the bust line and round the waist, then diagonally across the bust and shoulder blades, then smaller strips round shapely lady parts, and some strips diagonally around the hips (bias cut stylee).

4) Apply three layers of tape and try to be systematic about it so you know how many layers you're up to (I did mine a bit too willy nilly).

5) Don't forget to go to the loo before you start getting wrapped!

6) Don't drench the tape in too much water (unlike moi) and, when you've finished, use a hair dryer to blow dry it until you can blow dry no more - if you take the form off while it's still even slightly damp, it'll start to subside.

7) Draw a line down the middle of the back as a guide line for cutting it off, and draw markings at the shoulder blades and waist to guide you when joining it together again.



Once we'd cut the dress forms off, we taped up the cut with duct tape. Then we drew around the bottom edge onto cardboard to make a base. That's as far as I got with my clone today - I've still got to stuff it (probably with pillow foam), smooth over the surface (possibly with PVA glue, although I'm not sure I'll be able to pin through that), find a suitable stand (I'm thinking a small stool), and eventually stitch a cover (hopefully out of felt). 

If you've got any suggestions of the best way to finish it off, I'd be glad to hear them!

4 March 2010

Mid-week nautical chic treat

[Or, Fashion hints courtesy of the movies no.3]

If you love The Boswell Sisters, 1930s fashion or nautical chic, keep watching!

From 'Transatlantic Merry-Go-Round' (Benjamin Stoloff, 1938). Has anyone seen it?

1 March 2010

Imaginary shopping






1 - 4 from Ray Stitch
5 - 8 from Saints & Pinners
8 - 10 from Ikea
11 - 15 from Repro Depot

Which is your favourite?

[Soundtrack: 'If I Had a Million Dollars' by The Boswell Sisters]