Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Burlesque Costume - Kiss of the Cobra Woman

Today I'm posting about one of my burlesque acts, called "Kiss of the Cobra Woman", specifically the costume and how it came into being. It's a homage to the Sci-Fi Queens of 1950s B movies and to date is the most complicated costume I've ever made. It took months of head scratching, frustration and eye twitching before it was ready for the stage.

I had a picture in my head of exactly how I wanted the costume to look and even though at times I thought it wasn't physically possible to achieve it I kept trying and am very proud of the finished results. It's had a few tweaks since its first performance and there are still little bits that I think could be better. I like that it's evolving as it goes along though.

In my last post (found here) I showed a picture of the pattern I used to make the dress, which was to be the outer layer of the costume. After I'd pinned the pattern I deliberately left extra fabric below the original calf length line, tapering it along the seam lines so that I could turn it into a longer, almost hobble, dress. Once I'd decided on the final hem length the back split was altered so that a zip could be inserted right to the bottom, although not being able to find a zip long enough I had to compromise and use a couple of heavy duty press studs to close the few inches gap above the hem. Above the waist I followed the pattern exactly and after the pieces were sewn together it took a few adjustments (ok about 6........ish) to make the waist sit as tight as I needed it to be. I was pretty smug pleased with how neat my darts were! To finish off the bottom hem I attached gathered layers of bronze netting to make a stiff frill which took the whole length of the dress pretty much to the floor.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Vintage pattern pile

Today I'm sharing the contents of my pattern box. Some were happy charity shop discoveries hidden amongst hundreds of gawdy 80s knitting patterns and a few were snapped up when Nottingham's Kathleen and Lily's unfortunately decided to close their doors and have a mass clear out of all of their stock (I came away with an unbelievable fabric and haberdashery haul that day but it will need a post all of its own so will save it for another time).

Friday, 12 August 2011

It's the little things....

It struck me yesterday how important the little things can be sometimes........ and also how goofy I can be when I think no one's watching.

One of the things I decided to make, while I was lazily contemplating the day ahead from under my duvet, was a new case for my iPhone. I had a small piece of pink flamingo print cotton hidden in my fabric stash and knew it would be perfect. For extra protection I decided to use some medium weight wadding and quilt the lining with some pretty mint green polka dot cotton.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Making progress

All sorts of exciting things have happened in the last week or so. I finally got round to getting the fabric labels for Red Anchor sorted. After mailing a few different companies I settled on the National Weaving Company, mainly because the emails I had from one of their sales staff, Caroline, were friendly and she replied quickly and doesn't that make a difference! I sent the logo over to her, which was designed by my good friend Charlotte, and paid the £20 deposit (which comes off your order total) for a sample label. They sent 2, which arrived after about ten working days, and I was so happy with the quality I immediately gave Caroline a call to make an order for 500.

I'm itching to get my hands on them so I can start sewing them into everything!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Daggers in the dirt - pottering and antique shop haul

It's been a while since I last posted and to be honest I haven't had a lot of time to do any real sewing for Red Anchor Emp., life and some much needed rest have taken priority. I did make a little stocking bag as a raffle giveaway for the wonderful Wet Spot Burlesque and Cabaret show in Leeds, where I performed the other weekend. They've had a recent overhaul of their branding by my cohort Charlotte Thomson-Morley and in keeping with this the bag was black and white polka dot, lined with cherry red satin and fastened with a very shiny black button. I hope whoever won it enjoys it!

Friday, 4 February 2011

Promo photos!

I had a lovely email today from a burlesque friend of mine, Anna Fur Laxis, sending me some fab photos of the Earl Grey tea bag I made for her.

This is just a quick post as it's nearly 1:30am and I really should be going to bed. I just wanted to share!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Guest Blogging

So my two week slot as guest blogger for Creative Nottingham has come to an end. Read my final posts, part 1 and part 2 here. A big thank you to Charlotte Thomson and the rest of the Creative Nottingham team for asking me to contribute, I really appreciate it!

Last night while my other half was off being a rock n roll star gigging in Newcastle I customised some white Egyptian cotton pillowcases with this cute blue and white striped anchor fabric.

I'm not sure if I can put them on my Folksy shop as the pillowcases themselves aren't handmade by me. I'll have to have a look at the "rules" and find out.

Charlotte put a great post up yesterday showing the unusual little bits and pieces around her apartment that she's collected over the years. I want to steal her Tiki collection. Weirdly it's something I was thinking of posting myself so maybe in the next few days I'll take some pics.

Some photos I'm definitely posting soon are of the trinket box my Grandmother put together for me as I was growing up. My sisters and I each have one, all of them different. There's some beautiful pieces in there that show her love of craft and some strange oddities as well!


Thursday, 20 January 2011

New project

Tomorrow sees the start of a new project. I've been commissioned to make a pretty, ruffle edged, 50's inspired apron with embroidery and sparkle so I'm off to source some fabric and will then probably spend several hours rummaging through the many jars full of sequins and beads that I've inherited from my Grandmother looking for exactly the right colours!

Colour inspirations

In other news, my second guest blog for Creative Nottingham is live! Click here to read some ramblings about my love of craft and all things handmade.


Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Creative Nottingham

I'm sure I'll be mentioning this lovely lady a lot in the posts to come, her name is Charlotte Thomson-Morley and she's a very good friend of mine. Not only is she an extremely talented artist (who designed my amazing logo) but she is also my co-host at Dr Sketchy Nottingham and one of the team behind the Creative Nottingham blog. She very kindly asked if I would be a guest blogger for a fortnight and of course I said yes!

"CreativeNottingham was set up in September 2009 to celebrate and connect Nottingham’s creative, arts and digital business communities – or anything that promotes Nottingham’s status as a creative place. Our news comes directly from blogs, email and websites produced by creative practitioners, and covers Nottingham theatre, music, design, art, events and web."

Click here to read my first post!