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

Monday, 4 August 2014

Monosewn & Two-Piece-Set-Acular

I participated in the July Monthly Stitch challenge for the first time. The lovely ladies at the Monthly stitch cleverly entitled this 'monosewn' because the challenge was to sew entirely in monochrome.
I decided to make another Dolores Pocket Skirt whilst I was in the swing of it using the black and white fabric bought in the John Lewis sale. It came together very well with hand-stitching on the waistband and pockets for added decoration.

It was after completing the black and white skirt I came across Ada Spragg's Two-Piece-Set-Acular challenge and thought I should create a co-ordinating top for that matchy-matchy effect. I will get some photos of me wearing this ensemble later in the week ; )

Quick google-detective work on the fabric revealed the apt title for the fabric is 'Connect the Dots' by Kim Schaefer. You can buy it here

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Scout Jamboree

It appears I have enough Scouts for a jamboree!
OK, so I'm not talking about those kind of Scouts but the Grainline Scout Woven tee ones...

I have wanted to make a Grainline Scout tee in a fabric than drapes (unlike my cotton versions) for a while and the opportunity arose partly due to the fact that I managed to score 3 metres of this lovely (admittedly slightly crazy) abstract viscose in the John Lewis sale. This is before I officially signed up to the Summer Stash Bust 2014. Honest.

After making my original Scout tee in black polka dot cotton I realised the back was a little too full for my liking. Soooo I amended the pattern to have a centre back seam that curves towards the waistline and back out again removing about 2.5 cm from the fullness at the back of the top. It seems to have worked out pretty well and have made a few versions using this adaptation.

Version one - black polka dot cotton

Version two - red polka dot cotton (made during Me-Made-May) - with centre back seam

Version three - b&w print cotton by Kim Schaefer (in John Lewis sale) - with centre back seam

Version four - multi coloured abstract print viscose by Penelope - with centre back seam

The viscose version is by far my favourite out of the four because the drape and fall of the garment is so much more fluid and easier to wear. It also happens to be in a rather fab colourful abstract print which I absolutely love!

I have another 2 metres of this lovely viscose left and I'm contemplating making a matching skirt using the Everyday Skirt by Liesl and Co after spotting Katie's ikat skirt from What Katie Sews
If I made a skirt to match my new Scout tee I could participate in Ada Spragg's Two-Piece-Set-Acular!

What do you think I should sew with my remaining viscose?

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School

What a way to spend a Monday evening. If you get a chance to go to a Dr. Sketchy's event I would highly recommend it!

What is it you ask?! Well, the original events started in Brooklyn in 2005 by a USA artist called Molly Crabapple and the evening consists of a cabaret act interspersed with the opportunity to do life drawing. There is a bar for drinks to get your creative juices flowing (if you need that sort of thing) and the host of the evening provides commentary and dishes out the odd prize or two! I went with my friends Mel and Rachel and we all absolutely loved it.

My friend Rachel sketching the Cabaret Rouge act.
The London Dr. Sketchy event was hosted as part of the Wonderground festival on the Southbank.

This is the outside of the Speigeltent where the Dr.Sketchy Anti-Art school was held. The seating area is like a dodgems at the fair with wooden dodgem cars as little seats and tables! Very surreal and fun!
Our cabaret act for the evening were three lovely dancers called Cabaret Rouge who started the evening in daring black and silver outfits and danced to the Moulin Rouge version of Roxette. Very striking moves. They used chairs to dance around and when they came to do their poses (for the life-drawing element) they used the chairs as props to create bold and interesting shapes. There was a 20 minute interval where you got a chance to get a drink and in the second act Cabaret Rouge had changed into some fabulous flapper costumes and danced the Charleston and other 1920's style routines.

I have to admit some of my drawings were slightly suspect - I haven't really done any figure drawing since art college over 20 years ago! A bit like riding a bike though, once you know the basics of figure drawing it's just practise! My drawings for the second act were better for having a bit of a warm-up.
I was slightly embarrassed but pleasantly surprised to win a little prize (blowing bubbles - such a cute gift!) for my 10 minute sketch in blue crayon.

My 'prize-winning' blue sketch. I used negative space you know.....
It's a pretty niche event but if you like figure drawing and cabaret then you would absolutely love Dr. Sketchy's Anti Art School!

A selection of my 5, 10 and 20 minute sketches from Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art cabaret event