Saturday, 27 September 2014

Module 8 Begins: 1920s Cycling Inspiration for 2010s Style

Yesterday module 8 officially began. I had already downloaded the Study Guide of i-learn and received my brief. The module is called Context and Environment and my title is Bright Young Things, as in the 1920s flappers. However, flapper-girl style is banned from our projects (it's overdone) so after a bit of visual research, and reading The Girls' Bicycle Handbook I have decided to "go down the cycle route" as it were and base my mini-collection on women's cycling in the 1920s.
Cycling played a huge part in the emancipation of women (find out more about it in the afore-mentioned book) and it's practical clothes fit in nicely with the loose-but-stylish clothes of the 1920s.
I have written my client profile (can't do a thing until I've done that!) and printed off my visual research images. I'm going to make a rough sketchbook to plan my pages.
My research images for Module 8. Now I have to arrange them into sketchbook pages.
My research images for Module 8. Now I have to arrange them into sketchbook pages.
This is only a month's module, so I won't actually be making anything for it (though I do have lofty visions of a high-vis orange gabardine raincoat for my cycling) but jersey will naturally feature as it was such a popular fabric in the '20s, partly thanks to Chanel. I'd like to use Merino wool because it's breathable and wicking (so it draws moisture away from the body and helps you maintain a comfortable temperature).
I'm not going with the boyish style, but will focus on the more feminine look of the '20s and alter it for modern style. Whenever women have been further liberated, clothes have become more practical (and usually smaller, but we won't go there). Therefore, my five-outfit collection is going to be a capsule wardrobe of clothes you can cycle in comfortably without looking as though you were going cycling. They have to be suitable for a modern, independent woman to live in. I want to include accessories like pannier bags, helmet accessories and things that make it safer to cycle.
I now have an A3 printer because all our work at college is A3 and it'll save a lot of bother and expense when I print at home. It's print quality isn't as good as the college printers, but it's better than my A4 printer (now in Mum's office/the dining room) and it's about a third of the price (at a guess) of the college printers.
As for the Cornucopia festival, I got a few more things made, but there isn't really time to do any more. It starts on Friday and everything has to be set up. Here are the few more things I made:
Cornucopia Festival Clothes 3
Cornucopia Festival Clothes 3
The contrast cuff facings are hand-stitched on with the felling stitch, and I hand-stitched the buttonhole on the second one with a continental buttonhole stitch. I thought it was called a French Buttonhole Stitch, but I saw an Italian-trained tailor use it on Youtube so now I call it the Continental Buttonhole Stitch.
The two projects above that took the longest to do were the skirt and the shorts. The satin-stitching on the skirt's godets meant that it took me two days to sew them all on. That, and I accidentally snipped the godets and had to darn them. :) The shorts took ages because I had to manually fray them with a quick-unpick. I was doing it with a pin, but then I got a Snippets email from Colette that suggested using a quick-unpick. (Don't you just love sewing-syncronicity.)
I'm still learning to ride my bike confidently and I went to Rusty Riders Cycle Training in Hull last Saturday. The bike I used there was more upright than mine so it was easier to signal without wobbling. Once I had got the hang of that, we went on the street and tried turning, stopping, and a junction. I've since practiced signalling at home on my bike and found out that it's harder because my bike is not as extremely upright. I've moved the saddle forward so it's more comfortable, and I'm getting the hang of signalling. When I can do that, it will be safer for me to go on the road. But I'm going back to Rusty Riders because I need more practice with traffic.
Well, that's it for today. I'll update you when I've news. Oh, by the way, if you'd like to go to the Cornucopia Festival, you can find out more about it here.
Until next time,

Monday, 8 September 2014

Cornucopia Clothes Part 1

To sum it up:
I've been learning to ride a bike (I love it!) and was in a mild road accident (I'm not going on the roads along for a while).
My brother's identity was stolen and someone was using his bank account on a dirty dating website (all sorted now that he's changed banks and we've rebooted his Macbook Pro).
I've made more things for the Cornucopia festival. I've made 14 things so far, and I want to make more. I'm aiming for 30. I'm not the only one making for it, but I'm doing a lot of it.
Also, some lovely seamstresses/bloggers reviewed the Secret Garden Tea Dress.
Here are the things I've made (and photographed) so far for the festival. I made 1.5 things yesterday, but I've yet to take photographs. :)
Cornucopia Tops
Cornucopia Bottoms
So I've made 15.5 things so far, and I'm aiming for 30. Even at charity shop prices, this gets expensive. I've spent about £35 so far, not counting the elastic I used in the skirts, or the thread. The jeans with the pink embellishments were mine but they kept shrinking in the wash and started hurting me when I wore them so I thought I might as well use them for this. I can't use many of my clothes because I don't have many. Fabric simply refuses to appear magically before my eyes. :)
As for learning to ride a bike, I'm glad I didn't get a really nice one because my brother is learning on mine and keeps kicking the mudguards when he pedals. I've had to buy a new set. Eventually, I think a folding bike might be the way to go because EYMS bus service won't allow bikes other than folding bikes on board, and even then I think it's at the driver's discretion, and if I go to Rochester to do my Top-up year next year, I'll have to take the train and the tube in London, and store my bike somewhere when I'm in student accommodation. How do students usually deal with bikes? (Answers will be appreciated.)
College starts for second years on the 16th September and I've got to have the clothes made by then. I'll have to take them in my shopping trolley or I'll look like a pack-mule going to the bus (I'll have my backpack too!) I'm looking forward to college, and we have to do work experience (I'm so excited!) this year so we've got to list places we'd like to work. On my (fantasy) list are Colette, Tilly and the Buttons, BurdaStyle, and By Hand London. I will have to add to this list some more "realistic", mainstream fashion-business choices I suppose, but I can dream! I simply do not want to work in retail because I'm no good at it. I'd much rather work with the same people everyday than with customers. That's just me.
That'll have to do for now because I have a lot to do!
Have a nice day!