Vivienne Westwood’s buttons…

This weekend I went to Wimbledon. I wasn’t entirely clued in that we were going to go watch the tennis (I’d assumed this was a selfless shopping trip offer from my boyfriend. Oops.) and had some fun shopping. One of several (maybe 6?) stops was Question Air, where I came across a rack-full of Vivienne Westwood (one of my favourite designers!!). I looked at lots of things, but the item that caught my attention the most was a simple summery top with a cowl-necked front and straps leading to a squared open back. There were buttons down the side, and as I was trying it on, my boyfriend noticed one was missing. As if on cue, seconds later, “tap… tap tap tap…” another fell off!!

The shirt was the last one in my size, and already reduced to £120 from goodness-knows-what. I bargained it down to £100 due to the 2 missing buttons. Thankfully the manager had found 1 button, and combined with the spare one in the box I could restore the garment. And (shh!) I had carefully picked up the one that fell off as well, so I do actually have 1 spare, just in case. As soon as I got home I took all of the buttons off (I needed a snip on 2 of the still-attached 4). The buttonwork on the garment was awful. They’d knotted double-thred once, and made about 3-4 loops around the button, without securing it at the end!! Obviously the buttons would fall off!! Vivienne would do well to check the work coming out of her italian manufacturers!

In other news, we did make it to the Courts in Wimbledon, and despite just having grounds tickets (post 17:00, for £14 only!!) we got into Court 1 and watched the last set of the really good match between Querrey and Malisse. Disappointed that Querrey won, but whatcha gonna do?

When I got back home, I found that the green silk dress I’d gotten at the previous London Fashion Weekend had bled a LOT of colour into the washbasin. So much so that my hands would come out coloured blue! (ok, blue-green, but let’s not get technical). So the next day I ran off to Primark while England was being destroyed by Germany’s blitz-team and got me a wifebeater (tank top in the UK. North americans have a much more colourful name for it though!) in white. Which I subsequently dunked into the coloured silky soup. It’s still in there, more than 24 hours later. I shall be getting it out tonight (possibly) using dishwashing gloves. My hands went blue after seconds in there. I’m not dunking them in again!! I’m curious to see how it will come out. And if the colour will stay on in the next wash.

Also, I came across this pair of shoes in LOOK (a decadent weekly glossy with silly things and gossip, but it’s a fun browse) and I am _so_ tempted to buy them!!!

Nobody wears white anymore…

Everyone is SO into black, and I hate it so much, that I decided to make myself a white cotton jersey dress. I got this far in a single afternoon using only pins, scissors and hand-stitching.

The pattern is bias-cut A-line skirt, fitted body with front and back princess-seam-like darts, and angel-wing sleeves.

The plan was to wear it at my birthday party on friday, but that didn’t quite work out as I didn’t have time to finish it on Thursday (was ill. Blah.)

Ironically, I ended up wearing a little black dress. At least everyone said I looked great, so there’s some consolation. 🙂

I built the dress directly on the doll, using quite a large amount of pins, and then sewing the seams and darts by hand. The next step is to run it through the machine to turn them into proper solid stitches, and then I can start working on the finishing touches. Lace applique, hem, sleeves, and the collar (which, being draped, is quite tricky). Plan is to work on it tonight and tomorrow night, so I’ll have it to wear for next weekend. Nothing is planned, but I’ll have an extra dress.

Now if only I could have it in greyish blue… (the colour of my eyes). Wonder if I should, perhaps, dye it?

White jersey and lace

This lunchtime I popped to the trusty Singer shop and nabbed me 3m of white jersey and 1m of white lace. Am I getting married you say? Goodness, no! But I’ve turned 31, have a party to go to on Friday (my own) and really don’t fancy wearing anything in my cupboard right now. It’s just one of those things.

Besides, it’s spring, the weather is slowly warming up (or yo-yo warming up… get it together already!) and I just feel more summery. I would’ve liked to have a red dress, but the colours of the moment really are those funky-named light beige-pinks, that you can’t really wear with anything aside from themselves. And since I have a pair of shoes in that colour python leather (deliciously pretty) and a belt in a similar pale greyish pink, I figured I could just make myself a drapey white dress on which to cinch the belt, and ta-da!! I’d have yet another pretty dress for my wardrobe. Besides, I adore simple white, and with various belts and shoes, it’s ultra-wearable.

So the idea is to make something with a fairly wide skirt (perhaps with godets), a cinched waist (of course! it’s my best asset…) and large loose sleeves (to add volume on top, where is it slightly lacking). I’m thinking Greek Goddess meets Grace Kelly, with Donna Karan S/S-10 draping. I got the white lace to use as applique on some spots. perhaps on the shoulders, or on the hem, or as patches hinting to a corset shape… I haven’t quite decided yet.

The construction will happen haphazardly, by hand, directly onto the mannequin. The dress will be transferred from the mannequin to the sewing machine and then to me on Friday afternoon. Am quite excited!!