I’m Back!!!!

Turns out I really miss sewing, life took over a bit but now I’m living with my other half in our own place I have free run to do as I want and make as much mess as I need, I’ve even been teaching him to sew!  20160916_133016

I’ve started drawing, focusing on what i want to make and i already have a massive list. It feels good to be back, blogging and sewing.

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Lupe Velez

I was watching an episode of Frasier the other morning before work, as you do and it was one of the early ones. Roz mention a little myth about the actress Lupe Velez, i had never heard of her before, it was about how she tried to remain as beautiful as possible when she killed herself, immaculate make-up, flowers, her hair perfect but when she came to take the sleeping pills she neglected to remember the previous nights spicy food and got up to vomit in the toilet and thats where she died, her ass in the air and her head in a toilet, not the perfect ending she wanted. I was really intrigued and wanted to know more about her; turns out she was a really enigmatic character whose finals hours weren’t quite as the legend makes it out to be.

Born in 1908 in Mexico, she caught her big break in the movie Sailors, Beware! with Laurel and Hardy and quickly progressed from short silent films onto all-talking picture Tiger Rose in 1929. She was often named the IT girl of the time, alongside the likes of Clara Bow, she was named The Mexican IT girl.

She soon found her niche in comedy, playing beautiful but volatile characters in such films as The Half-Naked Truth, Palooka, Strictly Dynamite and Laughing Boy.

Vélez, who nearing 30, had not become a major star was disappointed, so she left Hollywood for Broadway, but she soon returned to take part in the comedy Stardust. However it was her personal life that most interested Hollywood.

A five-year marriage to Johnny Weissmuller and a series of romances with figures like Gary Cooper, were highly publicised. However it was her suicide that made it into the urban legends of Hollywood. Like i said above, the legend has it she was found with her head in the toilet after vomiting up the sleeping pills and drowning herself; this story was first heard from Kenneth Anger in his book “Hollywood Babylon” but was later discredited when finally, some 60 years after her death, crime scene photos were found of her death, showing that actually, the legend was a load of crap and Lupe was as beautiful as ever when she died. Sorry Kenneth and Frasier, looks like you were wrong.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lupe_Vélez

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/barbara-schroeder/mexican-spitfire-mystery-_b_3332978.html

1770’s Corset and Panniers

I recently completed this corset and panniers, its the first things iv’e made with this mannequin and i’m really happy with how much detail you can do in something so small. not so happy with the binding around the edge of the corset, but hey, practise. As i made it over xmas i neglected to get photos of the process, woops.

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Pattern Drafting

Spent my first sunny day off this year drafting patterns, I usually start with inspiration that will help me with the design I want.

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I determine where the seam lines are in the outfit so that i am able to draw the shapes out, creating the basics for the pattern.

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I then place a piece of fabric on top of my mannequin, pinning it down so it is as crease free as you can get it and draw the basic shape on, following the binding lines on the mannequin.

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I then cut out the shape, leaving extra to the sides of the shape and draw a more detailed shape.

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Little Boys in Frilly Dresses – Part Two

Carrying on from where i left off, like forever-a-go; at the beginning of the 19th century little boys dresses were still focused on the  practicality of the late 18th century.

They still resemble the style of adult fashion, as little William Scott-elliott’s tunic shows, yet the shorts begin to separate him from his female siblings and give him access to the free and easy spirit every child should have.

Yet it didn’t take long before the child was old enough to dress as an adult, a practice going back as long as they can document fashion.

As the century went along, the fashion for young boys and girls began to merge again with it becoming very difficult to be able to tell fashions apart. This dress above was worn by Prince Edward, Queen Victoria first son and the future king as a baby in the early 1840’s. You can tell this because Edward is painted in a portrait wearing it, an outfit that would have suited a boy or a girl.

Downton Abbey Season 4 Ep 1

The first episode begins as dramatically as the third series ended, its 6 months since the death of Matthew Crawley and downton is in deep mourning; the house is awaken to the sudden departure of O’brian who has upped and left in the middle of the night to go on travels to india with a women she meet when the crawleys visited Scotland (i can’t remember what the womens name was but i think she was a family friend).

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With departures we also have new characters, the childrens nanny, nanny west has moved into downton to look after baby George and little Sybbie, she’s popular with the family but its a different story downstairs. Its interesting to see how even in the 1920’s nannies and governesses (as they used to be) still have a difficult and almost limbo state in the whole household, not quite one of the family but to good for the servants.

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As the story progresses its evident that Mary is struggling to deal with her grief, she is withdrawing from life and time spent with her son. Another new (or reappearing) character is Enda, the maid who was asked to leave for trying it on with Branson, it becomes clear what it is she is back for.

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Things are also moving fast for Edith, she’s making long and elicit trips to London to be with her lover who is contemplating drastic actions to be with Edith and marry her. It seems to be Edith is now the one living the most exciting life and this is demostrated through her wardrobe which is lovely.

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However, life is still as dramatic as ever at Downton, Thomas is still causing trouble up and downstairs and this time has it in for nanny west, by luck (for him) he suggests to Cora that she should keep an eye on nanny west, and is found right when she make nasty remarks to little Sybbie about her parentage and that George is of pure blood. She is fired on the spot and not heard of again.

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Thanks to Branson and other influences, Mary is encouraged to come out of her shell more for the benefit of her son and his inheritance, Downton Abbey and its estates.

Jane Austen Festival

The Jane Austen Festival was really amazing, due to family circumstances i wasn’t able to finish my costumes but me and my partner had a lovely time. Besides visiting all the sites we ran around all over Bath just to follow the festival which has resulted in a video i have had to edit due to my constant swearing… which i’ve put down to my excitement.

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I wrote this Blog post a week ago thinking it wouldn’t take very long for me to upload the video i made of the promenade, turns out it took forever, but it’s finished now and here it is.