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1  I am Gordon Gekko - two shirts - french cuffs, contrasting collars! in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by ludicrouslouisa on: July 24, 2011 03:00:24 AM
I was given 4 patterns by my grandmother because she was clearing out her stash, one of which was for a shirt with several different options as to cuff and collar finishings. This was all very well but the pattern was neutered and ineffectual, when it came to shirts. I wanted something with a collar stand! With plackets! So I drafted those bits myself, and used some japanese cotton I got cheaply in Thailand.

So that was all very well. This shirt, however, was the test for my really expensive fabric, some fantastic italian cotton. I bought the last of the roll but it was probably only 1.4 metres - not enough for collar and cuffs. So I got some bits of a white Paul Smith shirt I'd unceremoniously hacked up a while ago - the sleeves were still intact, and I Gordon Gekkoed it up.

Incidentally I'd always wanted to do a coloured shirt with white cuffs and collar, but until now I didn't have the excuse!

Close up of the fabric, which I got the last of from a fantastic draper, which unfortunately closed down becuase it apparently wasn't profitable enough anymore. Now all I have in my town are fabric chain stores which generally only have...awful, awful fabric. I'm going to go cry now.
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2  Floral voile and chiffon smocked dress, and japanese print tulip skirt! in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by ludicrouslouisa on: February 28, 2011 01:25:49 AM
I bought some beautiful print fabric, and it took me a while to decide what I was going to do with it. Luckily some looking through my inspiration folder, some surfing flickr, and a few tutorials helped me decide.
First up - a tulip skirt! I only had a scarce metre of this fabric so I didn't have enough for a waistband or pockets. I still love what I've done, and it only took me a morning of sewing time! I drafted the pattern from this really helpful tutorial. http://www.burdastyle.com/techniques/make-a-tulip-skirt-pattern-from-a-pencil-skirt-pattern

Sorry, it's not very easy to pose for self timer in a way that isn't awkward.

The back only looks crooked because I am. As it's a quilting cotton it is a little bit..creasy.
a nice close up of the fabric Smiley

With the other fabric I had a lot more than I thought I did, about 180cm by 120 cm, when I thought I'd bought some tiny amount. I should have just done a nice simple shirtdress or something, but I did a smocked design with an a-line skirt and a chiffon yoke, inspired by a dress I'd seen with a lace yoke and pleated bodice (sorry, I have no idea where on the internet that was.) Chiffon was so awful to sew Sad it kept distorting all over the place when I cut it! It has a stand-up collar but I did make the top a bit wonky. Oh well.


^ that last photo probably has better colour.
The dress has hidden pockets, because although dresses with no pockets is fine when I'm on holiday...I hate not having a pocket for my phone when I'm at university.
I might get some more detail shots later, and upload my design sketches for both if anyone's interested.
I used this tutorial for the smocking:
 http://tumblingblocks.net/blog/index.cfm/2008/9/22/Honeycomb-Smocking-Tutorial
I warn you..BE VERY CAREFUL to secure your smocking stitches properly. That means knotting on both sides. I thought looping the thread without knotting would work, but whenever I'd put the dress on for a fitting, several smocking stitches would pop out and I'd have to redo them. Oh well! Lesson learnt, and hopefully my next project will be something nice and breezy.
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3  psychedelic satin shirt WILL SUCK YOUR EYES INTO A VORTEX in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by ludicrouslouisa on: February 10, 2011 02:51:00 AM
I bought myself some fantastic silk satin in Melbourne for cheap, because it was a remnant. Of course, because it was a remnant it meant that I only got about one metre. I wanted to make a minidress with long cuffed sleeves, but didn't have enough fabric, so I squeezed a shirt out of it. Now what to wear it with?



It's very comfortable. I tried to keep the design fairly simple because the pattern is so insane.
I wouldn't recommend sewing with silk satin, it warped all over the table as I was trying to cut it - like cthulhu or something. Does anyone know any tricks to stop it from doing this?

No pattern. I have a shirt pattern I inherited from my grandmother that I was going to use, but then I realised that my bust + hips were a size 12 but my waist was a size 16 in the pattern Sad way to make fun of my complete lack of an hourglass figure! Who even has an hourglass figure anyway? Christina Hendricks and Marilyn Monroe have been just about the only women in history who ever had one. I'll try and tackle that pattern later.
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4  4 dresses - seersucker, silk, scalloped, shirtdress and screenprinting! in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by ludicrouslouisa on: December 14, 2010 05:47:15 PM

These holidays I'm trying to chew my way through my fabric stash. I have an addiction to buying remnants which means that I have to squeeze garments out of a metre or so of fabric. I was also given silk chiffon by my neighbour, who was a felter and incorporated silk into some of her wraps.
Apologies for slightly poor photos, (hopefully I'll be able to get some better ones) but here we go!


3 bits of chartreuse silk, and a few skerricks of blue checkered silk, with metal buttons. The skirt goes to about mid calf


6 different pieces of purple silk chiffon, in 4 different shades. The skirt has 3 layers. Pintucks and metal buttons.



3 remnants of blue striped seersucker - two light blue and one dark blue striped. This dress and the one above have bias binding around the armholes. This one has pearl buttons my neighbour gave me, and a built in tie that I'm not sure if I like. Also this one has pockets, unlike the other 3.


Finally a shirtdress squeezed out of two printed drill remnants, one 1 metre squared and one 1X0.5 metre piece. I screenprinted a design of moustachioed objects, fruit and vegetables which I'd drawn myself. I would have liked to include pockets and longer sleeves and a fuller skirt but I would have needed at least another 50 cm or metre.

The back

Added bonus: I also made a fancy waistcoat last year out of cotton satin printed with those moustache guys too!


If you'd like to see the moustaches in greater detail, they're here. http://www.louisagiffard.com/blogitem.pl?id=70

Hope you like it!
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5  Re: Fiber Friday Funness!!! August 6, 2010 in Spinning: Completed Projects by ludicrouslouisa on: August 07, 2010 08:51:14 PM
I only just started spinning - my neighbour gave me a drop spindle (bottom whorl) and I grabbed some roving off her (she's an ex felter and I only took a couple of bags cause I wasn't sure if I'd take to spinning. Now, of course, I want MORE roving so I'll have to ask her if I can have some more.)
Anyway, it's a little worrying that everyone says top whorl is better, and I'm not sure I'm doing it specifically CORRECTLY (I don't knit "correctly" either - ie my hand positions etc aren't what you're supposed to do, but my knitting ends up the same so why worry?) but hopefully what I'm doing is Ok. there are lots of tutorials out there and a lot of the information conflicts with each other. Anyway, I draft the fibre before I spin it, and I spin the spindle with my left hand and feed the fibre on with my right, which is apparently the reverse of how you're supposed to do it but anyway.

Here's my show and tell
that bluey-grey is wool roving that I spun up. My first go, so it's rather curly - I'd already set it. The stuff on the spindle is spun more evenly - it's alpaca top, randomly dyed. I have a lot of that.

My second skein of yarn - single, the aforementioned alpaca top. This is before I'd set the twist.
Two things I'd like to do - I want to see if I can spin a really really fine lace weight, but I've heard that bottom whorl isn't good for that. In some bits I did get it quite thin, but I'm not sure if I could do that consistently.
Also I'd like to ply yarn, but it seems bothersome to only get half as much yarn as I'd spun in the end. Also cause my singles are at least worsted weight, I'm worried it'll be way too thick if I ply it. Hrm.
Sorry for all the writing :p
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6  huge "segment of the giant void sky" skirt into retro housewife dress in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by ludicrouslouisa on: February 28, 2010 04:08:32 AM
Ok so last  year for Printmedia and Drawing I was allegedly exploring the theme of "place" or something. Anyway. So here in Australia the sky is VERY blue, and very clear and it goes on forever, and if you look up you see a huge blue void, with trees clawing at the edge.
SO yeah, I tried to make a skirt representing that. Only when I came to explain it I just sounded dumb..whatever. Here is the original skirt.

Yeah, it's HUGE. It's a circle skirt with an 8 metre hem..er..I can't remember how long it was exactly, but it was "trip over it" length. The piece of fabric I cut it from was 250cm by 250 cm.
Now you can't exactly do ANYTHING with a skirt that big. You sure as hell can't wear it.
So in any case, well after assessment I got it out, chopped off the waist elastic, and then cut a bodice out of the top. Then I turned it into a retro dress. With pockets for my iphone (I cycle to uni, and I am vastly limited by what I can wear because everything has to have phone pockets.)

The lighting's a bit bad cause unlike the first pic, no pet photographer! Sad
Yeah, it has pockets, the skirt is gathered, it has a shirred back and a waist tie and a tiny collar thing.

With petticoat. The petticoat actually makes it so full it doesn't fit in the reflection.

The back. Heh, I should so make a little apron to go with it (because I don't have enough useless clothing already, naturally! Tongue)
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7  What if you were bad at sewing two years ago? Apple dress improved! in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by ludicrouslouisa on: February 23, 2010 11:12:00 PM
OK so I made this dress about 2 years ago and truth be told it wasn't that great, not very flattering and the skirt was rather too narrow so I couldn't walk too well in it. Also no pockets, and everything needs pockets.

(bear with me, I only have this photograph)
So what did I do? I chopped it up, used the shirring as a back panel and recycled the skirt fabric, of which there was precious little (hence the addition of all the white bits.) It has pockets for my iphone too! I think it's pretty cute, and considering my incredibly bad success rate with dresses (for some reason I just can't do dresses very well..) I'm quite pleased.

The white bit is a segment of a business shirt, pintucked etc.

Cause the skirt was so narrow I had to cut it in half and gather it instead, and then that meant that..well..it was really short. Like, not covering my bum short. Hence the white frillies, and it's more short than I usually wear even now
Close up of the fabric:
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8  How would I do this crazy pleating? in Clothing: Discussion and Questions by ludicrouslouisa on: January 10, 2010 07:05:25 PM
I have no idea where this picture of a skirt is from, but

how was the skirt pleated exactly? The pleats aren't very crisp, is it just unironed box pleats? small gathers combined with pleats? Just gathered in some sections?
Thanks in advance for  your help Tongue
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9  My mean teachers didn't like my rich opulent applique embroidery! in Needlework: Completed Projects by ludicrouslouisa on: June 12, 2009 08:01:34 PM

Ok so I had to do two textiles pieces for assessment, and I only had three days of class time for each one..so I did a lot of this in my own time. And embroidery takes a very long time as you well know, it took me about 40 minutes for just ONE of those little green feathers!
(I'd embroidered the face beforehand btw, that took two days solid of embroidery.)

I was inspired by kazakh and indian embroidery and wanted to create a very opulent effect with rich patterned fabric and a combination of stylised and more realistic eyes. I used chain stitch, buttonhole stitch, satin stitch, split stitch, a tiny bit of running stitch, feather stitch and scroll stitch.

My teachers, however, said that I needed to do more experimentation. "do you consider this finished?" one of them said cattily, adding that she didn't think I demonstrated the commitment needed to take textiles at university.
Naturally I was very upset seeing as I do all I can..I really don't want to sacrifice any more of my life for uni, I already do 35 hours a week in face to face time for one!
I'm thinking I want to change courses to printmedia and drawing, where the teachers aren't so ridiculously demanding.
Anyway, this is about the embroidery, rather than my depressing time at assessment.
More pictures can be seen at my site
http://www.louisagiffard.com/blogitem.pl?id=61
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10  Re: twirly skirt in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by ludicrouslouisa on: June 05, 2009 12:42:26 AM
I'm guessing her hair is dyed with Manic Panic's enchanted forest, which is a beautiful deep turquoise green, like this:
but when it fades, or in certain lights, it looks electric blue or cyan...

(for instance, with the first photo I had to get substantial colour correction because in the photograph my hair was prussian blue.)
Anyway..enough thread bombing..the skirt is magnificent! I love the colour, and I think you can wear it with your hair..just have a colour that compliments both your hair and the skirt for the top you wear it with. 
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