Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Late at the Tate

I went to see the private view of the Late Turner exhibition with my friend Rachel at Tate Britain the other week. If you get a chance to see this exhibition I would highly recommend it. I was surprised how much I enjoyed his work.
Seeing so many Turner paintings in one place has a huge impact; his amazing use of light and delicate colour palettes are gorgeous!

I was also excited to see the Phyllida Barlow installation that was a series of site specific sculptures entitled 'Docks'. The show ended at the weekend and I was so happy to get a chance to see the sculptures because they were so crazy, huge, over-whelming, fun and serious all at the same time.

Phyllida Barlow's Dock sculptural installation at Tate Briatin, 6th October 2014
We also checked out the four finalists for the 2014 Turner Prize.
There are three video installation artists in the final this year which I wasn't that bothered about. My favourite entry was by Ciara Phillips. She has created a screen printed room and worked with other artists and womens' groups to create a collaborative art piece.

Ciara Phillip's very Warholesque screen-printed room at Tate Britain
Ciara Phillip's screen printed room
Have you seen this year's Turner Prize entries? 
What do you think of them?

Saturday, 13 September 2014

This week I've mostly been wearing..... or OWOP round-up

After reading so many fun reviews of Tilly's now Jane's One Week, One Pattern in 2013 I knew it would be a goal to take part in 2014. At the time I had only one garment made of any particular pattern. So many repeat-makes later I knew I was set to take on the challenge that is OWOP!

Now, what made participating in this wonderful sewing adventure a bit tricky was the fact it was my second week of a new job. So I had to keep it simple with a garment that was work appropriate.

A process of elimination followed:

Two Dolores Pocket Skirts does not a capsule wardrobe make.
Another thing to consider was my Matisse inspired green skirt is a little too distinctive to wear more than once in the working week - or even month for that matter!

Verdict: No

Again, two lovely Colette Ginger's would not be enough to create a full week of outfits...

Verdict: No

It seems my obsession for sewing two skirts of the same pattern knows no bounds as is the case with my Sew Over It Tulips skirts. Limitations of only two items for the week meant this again was a non-starter.

Verdict: No

My collection of Colette Sorbetto tanks had the possibility of being the chosen pattern, but I felt that they were a bit too summery looking for my second week at work.

Verdict: No 

Which left me with only ONE remaining multi-make-me-made item in my wardrobe.... the very versatile Grainline Scout Woven tee.

Verdict: Yes!

A great little pattern (that I have modified a few times) gave me the option to wear trousers or skirts to change the look of my outfits. Although due to a few late nights (working) and being generally overwhelmed with information for my new job the final outfits are a very basic version of the same thing...

Scout Woven tee + Gap coloured trousers + Gap cardigan + Paul Smith loafers  

I must excuse the grainy distorted selfies in this post because its been a hectic week all round in my household . I just don't know anybody well enough at my new place of work to say - 'Hey would you mind taking a photo of me wearing this home-made garment....'.

So there you have it. My first OWOP. Done.
And the most selfies I have ever taken all in one week ; )
Just in case you were wondering why I had very bendy and extremely weird looking legs, all selfies were taken at Angel tube station because I have no full length mirrors in my house due to my ongoing house renovation.

Lastly, there are only five photos because I spent all last weekend wearing DIY clothes. Too hideous looking to blog about but to give you a visual image: I would say they channel a 1990's deconstructed grunge vibe with a little bit of Jackson Pollock thrown in for good measure!

Did you take part in OWOP?
How did you get on?

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Me-Made Rejects

Have you got those me-made items of clothes in your wardrobe that don't really fit you or you just don't wear?
I have had these items hanging on my rail for longer than I care to remember. Needless to say I felt that despite the hours of work that went into them I just had to pass them onto to somebody else.

Reject Case One

Material: A gorgeous red silk purchased from John Lewis in Nottingham circa 1998
Pattern: Simplicity 9868 (or similar because I don't have the original pattern anymore)
Purpose: I made it to wear to my friends wedding to go with some lovely red silk kitten heel slingbacks - look it was the 1990's!
Reason for rejection: The bodice is too short and too wide and the arm-holes are too deep

 The skills I learnt when making this top waaaay back in 1998 were; rouleau loops for the buttons, self-covered buttons and making an interfaced collar. So it has been good for something!

The problems I always had with this top were the collar never really fitted quite right, as mentioned in the round up above it's too wide on the main bodice, the bust darts just were not that flattering and it is too short. I quite liked the length back in the days where my 20-year old stomach was svelte and taut, but not so much now....

Well, hopefully somebody at the Oxfam Charity shop in Marylebone will like it!

Reject Case Two

Material: Vintage 60's polyester / nylon mix I found in an old stock cupboard at work
Pattern: Self-drafted from my favourite Top Shop dress
Purpose: I thought this fabric would look super-cool in this dress style - turns out I was wrong.... I just don't think the orange background colour of the fabric is that flattering with my pale skin tone.
Reason for rejection: The fit is perfect but I just haven't worn it in over 7 years... that tells you something?!

Although the green ric-rac picks up on the fab colours in the material it just looks a bit too much altogether. The hem is all picked by hand and I faced the bodice in contrasting fabric (forgot to take photos of that bit).

Well, I hope whoever finds these little hand-made gems loves them and wears them - or cuts them up to make something new - I couldn't bring myself to do that!
It is far better that they are out in the world with the potential for some fun with somebody else than stuck in my wardrobe gathering dust!

Friday, 22 August 2014

CJ = Culture Junkie

Despite having a hectic workload of DIY house renovation and MA dissertation writing to do this summer (one of these projects is going better than the other... I think you can probably guess which one) I knew I would need some creative breaks and a chance to get out of the house.

Enter a little bit of culture through some speedy trips to some wonderful exhibitions. My trip to see the Jean Paul Gaultier at the Barbican had been on my 'to-go-see' list for ages so I happily combined it with a few errands over the East part of London.

Barbican - The Fashion world of Jean Paul Gaultier from the Sidewalk to the Catwalk

Wow, catchy title!! First of all I had no idea what to expect in terms of the size of the exhibition because I have never been to the Barbican art gallery before, but I was mightily impressed with the sheer volume of the garments on show.
The way the exhibition was displayed was creative and fun with a side helping of fetish and smut - just what you would expect from JPG himself!
Its running until the 25th August so you have a few days left to check out this french corset creating fashionista.

Here are a few photos of the exhibition split into categories:


Influences and muses

Beading and embroidery details

Fashion and Textiles Museum - Made in Mexico

Last night I met a friend at the Fashion and Textiles Museum to see the Made in Mexico exhibition - I got a great deal on Amazon Local for a reduced entrance ticket price of £7 AND a free hot drink voucher to use at the lovely little tea-room in the museum. If you want to see this exhibition you have until the 31st August to catch it!

I knew the exhibition would be compact - the FTM is quite small - but it packed a great punch; with lots of colour and different styles of exhibit ranging from garments, textiles, weaving, embroidery and artefacts. The upper level of the museum was dedicated to more contemporary work that has been influenced or inspired by Mexican culture.

Here are some images from Made in Mexico exhibition:

I loved the colours and vibrancy of the Made in Mexico exhibition.
Have you been to any inspiring exhibitions recently?

Friday, 8 August 2014


Is it a dress?

No, it is my monochrome two-piece.
Grainline Scout Woven tee plus Dolores Pocket Skirt