Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Fifties Atomic

Onto the second of my evening projects! This one has been on my 'to-do' for some time.

Lately I've been finding myself more and more drawn to 1950s design, I've always been a big fan of 60s style but the more I look at decor and fashion from the 50s the more I fall in love with it. I love how clean and modern it looks, the prints and patterns look amazingly abstract and modern, but still with such a 'retro' charm, which somehow seems fresher and less cliched than the typical 60s look.

In particular I've been enjoying looking at the 'scientific' inpired prints that were so popular at the time, particularly Lucienne Day's designs which look almost as though they could be chemistry diagrams or botanical drawings. Her designs were used for wallpaper and fabric prints in popular shops such as Heals, and I love seeing how similar prints were incorporated into the home for what still seems a very fresh look.

With in mind I wanted to bring a little of the midcentury modern look into my flat, and as we needed a small table lamp to brighten up a dim corner of the flat it seemed a perfect oportunity for experimentation.

Cue one rather boring cream table lamp from Wilkinsons:

A fat quarter of Robert Kaufman print fabric found for £3 on ebay, sewed into a simple 'skirt' shaped slip cover:

Et Voila! One 1950s atomic inspired table lamp!

I'm delighted with how it turned out. It looks particularly lovely with the light shining through the fabric but it was hard to take a picture with it on that showed the fabric properly.

Two evening projects

In the run up to Christmas I was being incredibly over optimistic about what I could achieve before the holidays, with big plans for a new skirt, dress, and trousers to wear over the festive season... Luckily as it got nearer I realised how over ambitious I was being and that if I tried to do all that I wouldn't actually ENJOY making any of them, so I took a little break from dressmaking to make a couple of super-quick and easy projects that can be knocked up in an evening.

The first was a tiny evening bag from Made By Rae's free 'Buttercup Bag' pattern:

I cannot recommend this pattern highly enough! So easy to follow, I barely needed to read the instructions and it felt like the bag made itself, but the pleated shape gives it a professional looking finish. Also it can be made from just a fat quarter of fabric (plus lining), so is an excellent way to use up leftovers. I used some green and cream striped floral cotton that I bought as part of a fat quarter bundle, and some left over buttercup (ha!) yellow acetate lining from a recent project. Once I'd made the basic shape I got really over-excited by all the possibilities for finishing touches but settled for a little button and ribbon bow trim. All in all a wonderful project that can be made from start to finish in evening.

The one downside is that the bag is rather on the small side, so really just an evening bag. I photocopied the pattern onto A3 to make a larger version for myself, but check out Tilly's version, recreated as very cute make up bags:

I plan to make lots of all three versions for future gifts!

The second project was a simple covered lampshade but there will be a separate post on that to follow. Having been so obsessed with dressmaking lately it was nice to make a couple of simple projects without any obstacles to overcome, I do love a sewing challenge but it was a lovely break to do some fairly mindless relaxation sewing.

Monday, 27 December 2010

New beginning...

Happy Christmas!

I hope it's been a merry one. It's been a long time since I updated my blog. Oh isn't it always?? Well, yes, but hopefully not for much longer! In the past few months my occasional hobby of vintage dressmaking has turned into a terrible, all consuming, helpless addiction (you know when you're selling most of your 'shop-bought' clothes on ebay, for money to buy fabric, to make homemade ones? Yes that is me...), and alongside my other obsession with seeking out and getting lost in so many wonderful vintage sewing blogs I have decided to step things up a gear and transform this rather absent minded little space into an all-singing, all-dancing REGULARLY updated blog to record my sewing exploits of the year to come.

Oh yes!

I have never been quite sure what the aim of this blog is but I think it's all becoming clear in my mind now! I just have to grasp actually taking some pictures of my finished garments first... To practice this I think I will kick things off with some pictures of some of the projects I have completed in 2010, so hopefully there will be some pretty frequent posts coming up soon to get into the swing of things. Also planned are some features on the blogs that have inspired me. And of course some general posts featuring other lovely finds from across the interweb, inside recipe books and hidden in charity shops....

For now here's some frivolous festive fun while I plan my next post.

Candles from the 1950s1940s and 50s festive greetings

View on Christmas Day

After Christmas dinner

Clean sheets for Christmas!

Back soon, Sarah xxx