Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Sewing: refashioning a dress

I'm really excited about my first participation in the MMMay'13 - and this is because I'm actually making the clothes for this challenge.  As I've just rediscovered my passion for crafts, I do not have a stash of me-made clothes, so this is a great opportunity to start a collection!  Of course, I cannot only rely on making clothes from scratch and here is where refashioning comes in.  Such an ingenious way to give clothes a second life, I was hooked on all the instruction posts from the other wonderful bloggers...

Without further ado, here is my first refashioning project:

This was the dress in the back of my wardrobe - which I did wear a couple of times, but then found the pattern was a little too large for me at a dress scale.

I followed the instructions laid out by dear Miss P and the whole transformation took less than half an hour.

Now it's a skirt - it immediately reduces the impact of the pattern while retaining the exotic look I like.    The most difficult part?  Actually taking the scissors and cutting the dress! Now that I'm over it though, be afraid my dear clothes set aside and long forgotten, be very afraid...

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Sewing: London calling...

Most of the craft blogs I follow are from the UK - it's only natural then, that whenever I go to London (Eurostar is such a great invention - 2 hours from Brussels!), I will seek out any of the addresses I've found mentioned.

This time around, it was Tilly and Karen who mentioned Walthamstow and Berwick Street, and I was happy to oblige.  Walthamstow is in East London, an area heavily under development.  Which is great from an economic/social point, but not so great from the point of trying to walk around in search of a craft heaven!
my mini-loot from the W. Morris Gallery:
a bookmark and a folding bag 
my maxi-loot: all the trimmings and more!
With a little detour (in Walthamstow there is also a great little museum on William Morris, one of the masters of the Arts & Crafts movement), it was time.  I found High street, and gathered all my courage to zig-zag across the various construction sites there.  I soon found very interesting shops with fabrics and I got excited.  Alas, it was not to be - the prices were normal prices (i.e. like the ones I can find in Belgium), which was not what I was there for - I wanted the 1 and 2 pound-a-metre fabrics!  (I have a slight suspicion that I really looked like a tourist, and that people were not willing to offer me the same prices as to Londoners, but that's ok ...)

What I did find, however, was a tiny little shop with all the trimmings!  Now, that was a great discovery and I'm not ashamed to say I bought half the store (ok, I'm exaggerating a little).  Seriously, all the bindings, the threads, the needles, the zippers -- anything that has to do with sewing was there, and it was at 1/4 of the price here in Brussels.  How could I resist?

my medium-loot from the Cloth House:  rollends

The next day it was Soho day, with a visit to Berwick Street and then on to Liberty.  The Cloth House is a very nice establishment, that carries mid- to high-range fabrics (again, vs. the prices here) but I really liked the ambience that I found there - they even have vintage French buttons (how cute is that!).  I did not leave empty-handed:  I found these two rollends at a bargain!

All in all, a great way to discover yet another facet of London.  Next time, I'll continue with my Goldhawk road adventures...