Monday, 15 June 2015

Cut 21 Shirt

The shirt was the most difficult thing to make, mainly because of the plackets.
It is fitted at the front and dartless at the back (although the CB seam is shaped) to give an asymmetric modern, relaxed silhouette. The sleeves are three-quarter length so that you don't constantly have to roll them up, and you can see your watch.DSC05929Of course, the Cut21 shirt is neither going to be a weird, avant-garde shirt, nor a boring ordinary one. It is fairly subtle in style, but has a few unique features. In more detail:
The shadow pockets. Basically in-seam pockets, but sewn with a felled seam, a bound seam, and a French seam. Excessive? Perhaps, but definitely worth it because it looks so much nicer inside, and will withstand more washing.
Bias-faced neckline. Because I used a partial, asymmetric collar and did not want to use a traditional facing, I faced the neckline with bias binding. The trickiest part was at the front because of the placket bulk. With a fair bit of force and pressing, it turned out acceptable.
You can just see the hand-stitched label here on the inside of the yoke, and part of the collar. Also, notice the customised coat hanger! :D I carved the logo out with my craft knife. I'm pretty pleased with it, especially as I have not exactly got a lot of experience with woodwork.
La pièce de résistance! My hand-stitched buttonhole! It took me at least 4 months to learn how to stitch this neatly, and then it took me about 45 mins to sew it (Savile Row tailors take 7 mins for some perspective). I used the straight-stitch buttonhole on my Bernina 380 to make the guide, and that made it easier to get the sides the same width all the way down, and I suppose it strengthened the buttonhole too.
The placket. Now, admittedly, this is not as neat as I wanted it to be. This is partly because the fabric is quite springy. And it is a pretty tricky thing to sew in a fabric that frays like this. I had to recut a sleeve and start it again after a few goes at unpicking. That's how tricky it is. Would I do it again? Absolutely! You don't think I'll be beaten by fabric, do you? Anyway, I'm sure all it needs is practice. And pressing jigs, which I used (genius idea I got from Fashion Incubator). And hand-stitching. I admit, I had to hand-fell these down in some places (one mostly, and then machine top-stitched) just to be sure of catching the underside. I expect it would be easier in a shirting cotton like Oxford. It might also have helped if I had fused the placket pieces, and not stitched the placket on the bulky felled French seam. I very seldom make things easy for myself.
Also, the buttonholes were passable here. Passable. Not great, but not failures, exactly.
DSC05925The curved hem. This hem is specially designed, not just for looks, but so that you can sink your hands into your pockets without messing up the hang of your shirt. The hem allowance is not equal all the way around. This developed because the front needed extra turn-up for the bulk of the placket, and the concave curves at the side seams demanded a smaller turn up. As long as it's neat.
The back is longer than the front for asymmetry, and also it covers you when you're on your bike. No one wants builder's bum.
The hand-stitching on the yoke. I used the burrito technique to sew the yoke. Lovely clean finished insides! And to set it off, the hand-stitching. It's not much, but it makes a big difference.
The hidden-button placket. (toile shown with sewing error) This fits with the minimalism/modernism part of the concept. You can only see the top button and buttonhole. The hidden buttons are machine-stitched (as if I have time to hand-stitch -- what was it? -- 10 buttonholes!) There is a straight-stitch bar-tack at the waist level to keep the placket from gaping open and showing the buttons.
A pressing jig. As this is one of the most interesting parts of the project, in my eyes, I had to take a photograph and show you. It's basically two rectangles of card. The outer one has a space that is 2cm wide (BTW, a quick unpick makes an excellent scorer), while the inner one is just about 1.8cm wide to account for the thickness of the cloth and the folding of the card. If it were 2cm wide, you'd never get the outer one to close properly. The jig is made from a file divider.
The jig for the gauntlet is a separate one to the jig for the placket binding because they are different widths. It's a good idea to label the jigs and keep the pairs together.
I used different shaped jigs for the hems too. It's a habit I got into at Wayside Flower. We use it for pockets to make sure they are symmetrical and neat. (Neatness is our watchword).
The armscye seam is French seamed! I know! It's so rare that fabric will let you do that, but one nice thing I can say about this fabric (whatever it is -- bought it in Paris) is that it lets you French seam curves, even the very curvy armscyes and sleeve-heads I use. I am just so pleased with this! I didn't take a photo, but I don't really need to because you probably already know what a French seam looks like. :)
Another thing is that to get the nice point on the collar I used the shirtmaker's technique from Off the Cuff (it's farther down that page). This is a great technique -- it's almost like magic for getting nice corners!
Well, I think that will do for the shirt. I'm going to make a longer version with a simpler hem as my graduation dress, and in case the fabric is a little too see-through I've made some shorts (in 2 1/2 hours!) to wear underneath. If it is too see-through I'll make a camisole too.
Currently I am working on preparing the jacket pattern to add to my Craftsy store. Of course, I'll let you know when it's available. I'm thinking of doing two versions: on with seam allowances, and one without for more advanced stitchers who want to learn how to prepare seam allowances for proper production sewing on a simple machine (i.e. not on machines with all kinds of handy feet that do things automatically). They'll be the same price because it takes the same amount of work to make both -- one needs working out of seam allowances and their shapes, and one needs instructions.
Till next time,

Sunday, 24 May 2015

My Final Collection -- Cut21 -- Part 1

When I began my degree in Fashion Design, I often despaired at the lack of examples of Degree-level Fashion work shown online. I soon found out why there is so little to see: it's a lot of work to do and students don't have time to write about it all! That's one reason. The other is secrecy and plagiarism. No one wants their work stolen, and even if that were not an issue, when you upload your written work to the college's/university's database, it checks the Internet for similar work to make sure you haven't plagiarised it so if you blog it, it will think you've copied what is actually your own work. These are why I haven't posted about my final collection. Yes, it has been two years since I began my degree at Bishop Burton College. Yesterday was my last day a Bishop Burton College. I shed more than a few tears once I got home and read the cards that my friends gave me. I won't focus on that or I'll start up again.

Onto my final collection...

It is called Cut21. The concept is a contrast/harmony of modernism and industrialism. It's partly inspired by CC41 (which is also the inspiration for the name). I wrote a 3500 proposition on the concept and I won't bore you with it here. To sum it up, these are clothes for days when you want to kick off the world and do what you want. It's quiet rebellion in clothes, a way of saying "stuff this, I'm doing things my way".
Mood board
Mood Board
Collection Board
Collection Board
 The outfit I made:
final design board
Final Design Board
hand-stitched buttonhole
Hand-stitched buttonhole -- look how neat it is! :D It took me about 45mins to do and at least 4 months to learn!
It consists of an open jacket, a pair of jeans, and a shirt. The jacket is the simplest thing in design and construction. The jeans are more complex and even in the final garment there are issues I would like to perfect. The shirt was, I suppose, the most complex thing to make, and quite fiddly because the fabric was quite springy and I was using 1cm seam allowances or smaller. One premise of Cut21 is that I refuse point-blank to use a stitch other than straight stitch or buttonhole and button-sewing. I did hand-stitch the top buttonhole on the shirt (and I am so pleased with it!). Also, nothing is lined. This means that all seams must be clean finished, either felled, bound or French (that reminds me, we went to Paris to get our fabric -- more on that later!).

How it all began...

In the interests of getting everything done on time, I began my work well before the module began. I began collecting images in December when I was in London. It started with Architecture as Libby (first work placement boss) was telling me about the buildings in London as we ran errands in her car. I was thinking of combining inspiration from old buildings and new ones. This evolved over the following months to being modernism combined and contrasted with industrialism. My boss at my second work placement told me about how concepts are worked with in real life. You take two things that sort of fit together, and sort of contrast, like plumbers and cowboys (both working men, but totally different work).
When I was about 7 or 8 years old I had a pencil tin with a drawing of a modernist chair on it. For my FMP I had been doodling very clean designs with swooping lines and had that chair mind. I couldn't find that chair on Pinterest, but I did find a lot of other interiors images. I wanted my collection to be based on minimalist modernism, but I knew that that wasn't really a concept.
At Wayside Flower, part of the inspiration, as I see it, is workwear. My boss introduced me to CC41 and I researched that. It was very practical, which suited me. But I am rather fed up with vintage as it is in the media (so over-hyped now). So I ended up combining the two influences and got modernism combined and contrasted industrialism. I called it Cut21 because the cut is so important. That had to be perfect. The 21 is a play on CC41 as well, but refers to the 21st Century. One of the logos is C21, which means 21st Century as well, if you are a lexicologist at OED.
I built quite a large Pinterest board with upward of 330 images on it. They vary from furniture and modern art to consumer images and toiles and beyond. Now, the images I picked were mostly what I call 'mood images', i.e. there is not a lot in them that one can design from. The way I worked in this module was to build up the idea in my head, to get me in the mindset of that aesthetic, draw a lot, and the designs would come out like that. No one had ever heard of that happening, but it worked for me. Of course I had to show some link between the images and my designs for my sketchbook, so I had to make some linking sketches. You just have to play by the rules if you want the grades. :)
This is how I worked this time:
1. Develop concept
2. Collect images that reinforce the feeling of its aesthetic
3. Get frustrated with supposed expectation to design something avant garde when that simply isn't me and I can't do it.
4. Go in a mood and design whatever I jolly well want.
3. Sketch in that mood
4. Develop silhouette based that fits that mood
5. Draw style lines that fit that mood
6. Have them be unusual
7. Show tutor and get surprising approval (sigh of relief)
8. Continue designing until you have three outfits and have run out of time.
When you are designing a collection you need a line plan. What garments do you want in your collection? I needed to design 2-3 complete outfits of 2-3 garments each. Once you know what you need to design and made, it's much easier because you have direction, a sort of to-do list (or "snag list" as people seem to call them round here). If you are going to make all the things, it is advisable to have a few base patterns that you tweak for several designs. E.g.:
line plan
Tailored jacket block → basic C21 coat → C21 jackets and coat (princess line, no collar, two-piece sleeve)
Close fitting dress block → C21 Shirts and Utility dress (princess line, back yoke, back-seam sleeve)
Jeans block → C21 jeans and shorts (curved yoke, lowered front waist, pockets, gusset)
The designs have features in common. This is working horizontally and vertically. You have the x-axis of the pieces you want (coat, jacket, shirts, dress, jeans, shorts) and the y-axis (design variations in design book). This way you get the pieces you need, and you work into the designs. It gives depth to your work.
You can see some of my sketchbook pages on my ArtsThread Portfolio here. (It's interesting to see how my work has changed over the last two years.)
On the following posts, I'll show you what I made and we'll start with the jacket because that's what I made first. :)

Friday, 6 March 2015

The Urmston Jacket

This last module has been top secret -- until now. It was our business studies module. Alice, Charlie and I were a team. We had to make a business, but the focus was really on the product. Due to a mix up with the dates I missed the first day and went to work at Wayside Flower (second work placement), but at least I wasn't wasting a day. While I was absent, Charlie and Alice decided to do menswear. They researched our consumer and decided that we would do a jacket that transformed. Originally it was to change from a casual jacket to one you could wear to work, but we ended up with a jacket that turned into a bag. The first design was quite complicated, and I still don't really see how it would work (it worked in Charlie's head), but Alice came up with a simpler one, which we stuck with.
We each had a department: I was production and pattern cutting, Alice was branding and marketing, Charlie was business. These overlapped so I drew a Venn diagram on Photoshop :D.
Venn Diagram
By the time Alice came up with the simpler idea I had only drafted and made the basic block. I used the tailored jacket block from Metric Pattern Cutting for Menswear, but changed the waist darting because I don't like the way the side-back seam never trues. From there I drafted the design toile. When I had mostly sewn that we a guy from the 3D design class was volunteered to come and be a fit model. He didn't match our target customer who was tall, but as the jacket was too short on this guy, it was quite evident that it had to be lengthened. (The pictures are of the jacket on the mannequin rather than on the boy because it would embarrass the poor lad even more, and he was already quite shy and uncomfortable, bless him.)
That round shape is less noticeable on the final jacket -- calico shows everything!
As a bag
For the final jacket Charlie dyed and sanded cotton fabric, and I found some breathable, washable lining fabric from Pennine Outdoors.
With all the grommets and snaps there was a whole lot of banging going on. The 3D tutor came to our studio and asked if we were preparing meat (he likes his food). I enjoyed it. :)
Had I been able to do it all at home or if we had had a zip foot and a top-stitch needle for the industrials at college the zip would have been neater and top-stitched. If I were to do another jacket like this, a version 2, I would use a gusseted hood and find a way of dealing with the straps on the sleeves. The latter where hand-stitched on because a. I didn't know how long they would have to be, and b. the domestic machine at college refused to stitch through that many layers of fabric.
You may notice the branded logo. It is literally branded (I hate the word "literally", don't you? But I mean it.) Charlie got some leather and used her Dad's soldering iron to write Urban Mill on it. She did the same for the box, but I didn't think to get a photo of our branded things.
On Tuesday we went to do a business presentation at Red Carpet, a boutique in Hull that sells one-offs and student work. We didn't have to do much (I especially hadn't much to say because I was production and there wasn't much to say to a buyer), because as soon as she saw it she liked it. :) Alice was so relieved when it was over that she gave Charlie and me a hug! That was the end of our day so we went to a café and shopping before Alice gave me a lift home and instructed me to have at least an hour's break before I get back into my Final Major Project. I took the whole evening off, kind of.
It went quite well all-in-all and I am pleased with the jacket. Alice and Charlie were even more delighted with it. Alice kept getting excited about it.
Now we're onto our FMP (final major projects) and then we will be finished with the course. I'm so sad to be leaving them when I go to university to do my top-up year (well, two years) in August-September. In a way I wish I were staying at Bishop Burton with them, but I want to learn Digital pattern cutting and equipment so I have to go somewhere with those facilities (I have offers from York College, Falmouth University and the UCA in Rochester so far). Sigh. At least I have the next few months, and we'll keep in touch afterwards.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Tutorial: How to Turn a Handbag into a Bicycle Handbag!

I'll just say it: I want my bike to be pretty and it isn't. I like riding it, but it's not exactly going to be a Pinterest Star. So I've been thinking (and photoshopping, and on-line window shopping) about ways to style it. Bike accessories can get expensive, so any way I can bike 'hack' will help. Along this line, I have made a handbag I didn't use (it's too big for me because I like small handbags) into a handlebar-handbag. This is a photo of it on my bike when it was just pinned (taken on my phone, I will take a better one when I get a chance):
I had to keep the brakes and gear cables out of the way (but still functioning well and safely) with my hi-vis snap bands. You can see one of them -- they're pink. I think it's a smarter option for the professional woman making her way through the City on a bicycle (we'll overlook the fact that I am a student living in the country). Baskets require support, and a lot of bike bags seem to be made with male cyclists or tourers in mind.
This doesn't affect steering, and it enables me to keep my water bottle and my tissues where I can reach them at traffic light stops. It also frees up space in my panner basket where I used to keep my handbag, so I can more easily fit shopping in there. I still have to put my reflector back on the bike. It was hidden by the bag where it was, so I'll have to put it on a curved bit of the handlebars.
Anyway, this is how to make your own stylish handlebar-handbag...

You Will Need

  • A medium sized handbag that fits on the front of your bike.
  • 2 sets of snapping buckles (I'm not sure of their proper name, but you'll see what I mean)
  • Quick-unpick
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Scissors
  • Chalk
  • Pins and pin cushion

Remove the Buckles

I got my buckles off the purple bag that I had originally intended to use, but it was too big and weighted down the mudguard, causing my bike to make a rather grumpy noise, so I tried my navy handbag that I almost never use. If you bought your buckles, you can skip this step.
You use your quick-unpick to remove the webbing-buckle-unit from your bag. Repeat for each buckle.
Buckles removed
Repeat for the other buckle set.
Unpick the webbing that the buckles are on, to remove the buckles from your bag.
Unpick the webbing that the buckles are on, to remove the buckles from your bag.

Mark and pin where you want your buckles to go

On the bag you will have on your handlebars, arrange your buckles where you will sew them. You should check this on your bike. Luckily, I still had the original handlebar from my bike (I have changed it to a North Road Handlebar, which is much more comfortable!), so I could lay it on the bag and go from there.
Chalk around the webbing. Here you can see that I changed my mind about which bag to use. :)

Having marked the placement, remove the buckles and...

Hem them. I used a zigzag stitch, which was barely visible in the photo so I drew over it in white on Photoshop.
DSC05144 copy
Then attach them to the bag with your sewing machine. I used an overlock stitch because it uses straight and zigzag stitches and is strong. Backstitch with a straight stitch, of course.

Attach to your bike:

I have yet to do this, because I only finished this tonight, but here is my finished bag:
The eagle-eyed among you will notice that I have put my buckles on upside-down.  That is what I get for sewing at night.
The eagle-eyed among you will notice that I have put my buckles on upside-down.
That is what I get for sewing at night.
If you make a handlebar-handbag, please do post it to BurdaStyle or your blog and leave a link in the comments below!
UPDATE: Here are the photos of my bike now (and I gave it a wash today!):

I think it would hang better if I had put the buckles on the right way up Not bad for a prototype though, if I do say so myself! :)

Monday, 22 December 2014

Tally Ho! I've been on a Cycle Tour!

I wanted to do something good on my last free day in London, and I miss riding a proper bike (I don't like Bromptons now), so last night I booked a cycle tour with Tally Ho! Cycle Tours. I admit it, the thing that clinched it was that you get to ride a Pashley bicycle. :)
They had a pink bike, but I didn't like the handlebars' weird shape and went on a Princess Classic instead. Once you get the hang of them they are delightful. I've never been on a more upright bicycle! It was like riding a horse (I imagine)! Anyway, this is not a bike review, but a tale about my tour, so here it is:
* * *
It was just as well that I gave myself some extra time to find the place I as (unsurprisingly) took a wrong turn. I used the map on my smartphone and soon found the place.
The meeting point was a pub called the Walrus. It felt strange going into a pub somehow, especially as everyone looked seemed to look at me when I went in. I asked at the bar if this was where the cycle tours start and they said yes and that I could sit down or use the toilet if I wished. I did go to use the toilet but noticed (thankfully ahead of time) that they were out of toilet paper, except for what was irremovable from the dispensers, so I waited until I got home. Other than that, and the torn leather upholstery, it was quite a nice pub, and it had a lot of character.
There were only three of us plus the guide. The others were an Asian-Austrailian couple who really didn't know anything of Yorkshire, but had heard of Wallace and Gromit, which was something at least, even if they are from Lancashire. They seemed quite interested in our proper tea-time (as in the drink with cakes, not the evening meal that I call dinner).
When we were in Archbishops Park (or was it Garden?), the tour guide (called Niall, though some people bizarrely think he's called Liam), told us that the expression "Nosy Parker" comes from The Archbishop of Canterbury at the time of Elizabeth I. Evidently he was a gossip with a big nose, so Elizabeth I called him Nosy Parker (she often gave people nicknames) and that is how we got the expression. Other nuggets were learned (and somewhat forgotten) too, but things like that are interesting, aren't they? Niall knew a lot about all this because he has a degree in Architectural History and evidently finds it thoroughly interesting.
He also seemed to rather like the fact that the pelicans in the park near Downing Street eat live pigeons. I and the other (I hate to call myself one, but) tourists, did not like it and we were quite disgusted at the thought. It seems wrong somehow, but then it's kind of wrong for pelicans to be in England in the first place. Apparently, Russia gave them to us a long time ago to butter us up. Seems an odd present, doesn't it?
We went to Buckingham Palace and saw the procession (the band played The Great Escape). Buckingham House was originally built (or was it "acquired"?) so that the then King could have a place to go with this mistress. He can't have been very bright because his usual home was only a few hundred yards down the road.
IMG_20141221_124630For lunch I had a cup of Early Grey tea (which was very weak and not as nice as Yorkshire Tea) and a pain aux raisins, which was nice once I got to the raisins. I had had a banana before I left this morning, so I wasn't too hungry.
I also found out that A.A. Milne went to Westminster Abbey, so he must have been fairly well off! They have some Winnie the Pooh toys in the window of the music/choir building (the red one with all the cars outside it).
Here are some pictures of the tour. I did some graffiti, but I'm not very good at it because you have to be reasonably strong to use a spray can with any deftness. You can't really read what it says, but it's supposed to say: "Q. War, A. [heart]" as in the song, "Love is the Answer". I thought I might as well do something good and political in graffiti. My fingers got blue paint on them because I had them too near the nozzle. There is still a bit on them now. And before you start thinking I've gone off the rails, this was in the place where it's legal to do graffiti. IMG_20141221_133519

It was all very interesting and enjoyable. The trouble was that it was too short at only three hours. I could have done at least two more.  If anyone is in London, I thoroughly recommend going on a Tally Ho! Cycle Tour. It's £25, which for three hours isn't bad. There are much worse things to spend your money on, like kebabs and beer. :)
It was nice to ride a bike again. I miss it.
NB. I am not getting paid to say nice things about them. They don't even know I have a blog yet, but I'm going to let them know because I think people should be told when they're doing a good job. I really enjoyed myself. :)
Our Tour Guide Niall telling us about the buildings here. The building that looks like a ship is for the Royal Navy, and the posts that look like masts are giant aerials to be used if communications broke down in an attack.
Our Tour Guide Niall telling us about the buildings here. The building that looks like a ship is for the Royal Navy, and the posts that look like masts are giant aerials to be used if communications broke down in an attack.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Week 2 of my Internship

I have now been working at LIBBY for two weeks -- hasn't that flown by?! Here's what happened this week:


IMG_20141208_122144Unpicked all the under-snaps on the jackets for some uniform orders so that they could be made bigger. It looks as though the under-snaps were placed too far from the edge anyway.
Checked the sizing of the jacket by measuring it and comparing it with the pattern specs.
Received deliveries.
Took an order from Shopify account and packed it.
The sample garments for SS15 came in time for me to steam them and for Emily to take them to show to a magazine.
Helped take the jackets down to the car via the loading bay lift.
I sketched designs for the AW15 collection, based on Libby’s secret Pinterest board. I couldn’t log into that account, even with the password that was on the dropbox document, so I had to use her computer (we use only Macs). I am quite surprised how much designing I get to do; I didn’t think I would be given so responsible a task as an intern, but it gives me something nice to do.
Made tea frequently.


IMG_20141209_143715Today I did the book-keeping, entering purchases into the online system called “Xero”. Libby showed me how, and I was glad I had a diploma in book-keeping.
Jenny, the designer came. We spent nearly all day discussing the samples-disasters and what we could do to ameliorate them. She agreed with some of my suggestions about the Stanhope dress.
I went to the Post Office and sent a parcel to America. It cost £15.15 sign-for and tracked. This was more than we charged the customer for shipping (£12), but considerably less than the quoteIMG_20141209_172649 from the courier (£22.22 or so).
I helped Libby’s Mum bring garments and fabric up via the loading bay lift.
I started sewing the buttons onto the Ottery Dresses, and designed a dress idea.


IMG_20141210_150617Sewed buttons onto Ottery Dresses and ran out of buttons before I finished.
Libby told me that Jenny was impressed with my pattern cutting. ��
We went to the factory. The sample cutter says that I can come in for a day to see how things are done, but we have to make sure that this is okay with the boss.
We visited a leather supplier and chose and purchased samples fabric for the Brompton dress. We took the one we’re using as inspiration, and a swatch card from GH Leathers (who supply this supplier but are too far away for convenience) to get the right samples.
Given how late it was by the time we were fIMG_20141210_164448inished, Libby dropped me off at Chelsea Bridge and I walked back to the studio (she went to dinner at friends’). I took the wrong exit the roundabout, but found my way back through Battersea Park and then took the correct exit.
I arrived at the workplace but didn’t know how to get through the gates. I realised that I needed to touch my electronic key fob to the intercom box and the gate started to open. Then it stopped and I assumed it was locked. I was wondering what to do, when a man on the other side of them who was about to drive out got out of his car and smiling kindly, said in what sounded like a Polish accent, “Needs a man,” and opened the gate. He got back into his car and drove through the gateway. I went to the studio. I got my things, washed some cups, and left.
I was going to get the Richmond tube home, but found that I had -5p credit on my Oyster card and the Queenstown Road ticket office was closed so I had to go to the Battersea Park station and top-up. I went home from there.


IMG_20141211_105201Libby was late to the Studio because she had to go and pick up the jackets from the factory. After I had checked the company emails and orders, emailed me asking me to phone her mobile. She had left the studio phones on call re-direct so when she called the studio, her mobile took the call, which meant that she was calling herself. I called her and she asked me to cancel the call re-direct (which I did) and she gave me instructions to sketch some designs for the Farley dress, which was less-than-satisfactory in its samples.
I sketched designs until I ran out of paper on my desk (which is a cardboard table that an elephant can stand on and not break!), working on instructions Libby had given my on the phone, to have a simple bodice with a waistline seam; narrow, chiffon sleeves with a baby hem; CB zip; the same skirt as on the Farley dress; a boat neckline. She liked some of my designs and some features like chiffon-layered shoulder sections.
She had also given me instructions as to packing a large order.
Packed three dresses and sent to The Times for the Sunday Style supplement. I printed out an address label (which surprised Libby), and gave the parcel to the courier when he arrived.
Sewed poppers onto jackets, but only got two jackets done because I worked partially on the stand and that is evidently not how I work best.
Took three parcels to the Post Office just before closing time.
Went home via Richmond tube.


IMG_20141212_151025Went to work via Richmond and Waterloo. According to the CityMapper app, this will knock about forty percent off my travel costs. It is also evidently a much less crowded trip to work.
Spent nearly the entire day sewing poppers on and taking up sleeve hems. We delivered the jackets and were glad to be free of them after a stressful week with them. The final three (which aren’t needed until Monday) will be sewn by Gayle, one of Libby’s freelance seamstresses, over the weekend. Libby was exceptionally delighted that it was Friday.
On the way to delivering the jackets, Libby asked me what I would do this weekend, and when I told her she was excited for me that I had a Skype interview for another work placement and offered me a reference. She was also very excited when I told her I would be enquiring about going to the Savile Row Training Academy in Leeds and asked (jokingly, I think) if I would come back and work for her full-time when I had finished it. (Wouldn’t that be great?!)
Libby dropped me off at West Kensington Tube Station and I went home from there. I'm getting the hang of this TFL thing now. :)
I have only one photo today because there was no time to take any more.


Today I had a Skype interview with Wayside Flower of Bridlington to see if I could get an internship there (I did). I have been looking into accommodation in Bridlington, and it turns out that I don't need it. I can take my bike and the train to and from Bridlington and save a considerable amount of money (£235.49 -- I worked it all out). I could save even more if I get a railcard, but I can't get that until I get home and get my passport information. I won't be starting this internship until January, so I will get some time at home, and hopefully, get to help out at the Bike Hub. :) I am so looking forward to getting back on my own dear bike.
My thoughts on London: I think I might live here, or near here, one day. I feel like I fit in quite well with middle to upper class people, what with evidently sounding posh, and liking their way of life. I think I am upper-middle class in just about all but money (I'm not being big-headed, really). The Surrey accent is also very nice. :) If I lived here permanently I would definitely have my bike and use that to get about as much as possible.
One thing I have found is that I can live quite easily on my own, so Mum will have no need to worry if I have to move away for work or university. I also don't need (or particularly want) a television. All my favourite shows are so old that people have put them on YouTube, or they are available on DVD. On Sundays I practise a bit of cooking to increase my skill (which is woefully basic). Last Sunday I made fried eggs on toast. Don't laugh. Everything needs to be learnt if you've never done it before. And have you tried finding instructions for scrambled eggs that don't look like purée? It's so difficult!
My appetite has increased as I've been working five days a week. I must be eating at least twice as much as before (I ate a whole 400g tin of spaghetti with four slices of toast for lunch today!). I've been eating sometimes half a packet of chocolate digestives in a day; two sandwiches for lunch; a banana; four roast potatoes or a fair portion of chips with chicken pie, pizza or 2-4 fish fingers for dinner; for breakfast I have Shreddies and a glass of milk; and I've been eating a fair amount of chocolate, but if anything I've lost weight, which is not a good thing for me. I don't get much exercise, unless you count trying not to fall over on the Tube (which is really good for your legs!). I hover around 7 stone, often going below it, and I really ought to be at least 7st 3lb. I wonder if I just have very lightweight bones and muscles?
Well, I'm off to put dinner on. Pizza and roast potatoes tonight! :)
Until next week,