Saturday 22 October 2011

It's not just your eyes...

If you're a regular reader of my blog you might notice that it's had a bit of a redesign. Rather than leave you wondering why it's all changed (and where the pretty black background has gone) I thought I'd give you a brief explanation of why!

Basically, it's all in the name of 'integration' - my blog is now included in the main menu of my website (and has a new web address: and I didn't want it to be too much of a visual shock for people coming here expecting a page which is similar to the rest of my website. So the colour scheme has been changed to match, the banner is the same as the rest of my website, and the only link at the top takes you back to the index page.

If you're browsing on my website, you can get to the blog from any page by clicking on the link in the top right hand corner. 
In other online updates, there is also now a calendar of events on my website, to make it easy to see what craft fair you can catch me at next.

There have been some other behind the scenes changes, but as I doubt you'll notice them unless you browse in detail I won't bore you with them here!

Right, back to actually making things...

Friday 7 October 2011

Another step further on...(with some delays)

Ok, so the application of the crystals didn't go so smoothly yesterday. For some reason, despite my test section working perfectly, about 40% dropped off when I moved the pieces of fabric after the cooling period. Further attempts to iron those that didn't fix first time on again didn't work either, so I collected up all those that had fallen off and put them carefully in a pot and then sewed the pieces of fabric in to the dress. I then collected up the other 20% that fell off during the sewing process and put them in the same pot.

They're not still in that pot though, I don't give up that easily. Once I'd done all the sewing that I could on the dress (it needs hemming and some internal tidying yet but I need the customer in her shoes before I can do that) I sat down with a pair of tweezers and my trusty fabric glue. 1500 little spots of glue and several hours later, the score is Sonia 1 - Crystals 0.

It does look quite spectacular, but I have to confess to being quite glad (at this moment in time at least) that the next commission on my list doesn't involve any crystals!
And the back...
If I had to say why the crystals didn't all fix my first suggestion would be the coating of the satin, although that doesn't fully explain why the test worked, or why some are firmly stuck down. I don't think it's an issue with the iron, as I haven't had any problems with ironing interfacing with it (famous last words!). Maybe just one of those things that are sent to try us...

[p.s. thanks are due to my boyfriend for putting up with the cursing, muttering and general stress grumps last night, and for making tea/fetching drinks - he had the misfortune to arrive home from work just as the second lot of crystals fell off the fabric!]

Thursday 6 October 2011

The difference small things make

I spent a large part of yesterday arranging two sizes of Swarovski crystal on to some satin dupion for a dress commission, and it struck me while doing so how the smaller crystals actually seemed to make more of a difference than the larger ones, so I thought I'd share this thought with you.

First I scattered the larger (5mm) crystals liberally over the area being covered - in this case a downward pointing triangle on the back of the dress, with the point finishing just above the hips.
So far, OK, but even with more of the 5mm crystals added it was still missing something. Then I added the smaller (3mm) crystals and voila, suddenly it came to life!
Oh, and it wasn't just that one piece that took so long - there's also a large quantity of crystals arranged over the bust as well, and carefully graduated in density for added effect. All in all, going on for 2000 crystals!!
Now to iron them all in place...

Tuesday 4 October 2011

Pretty lacy dress (lots of pics!)

This won't be so much a wordy blog as a phew of photos of my most recently finished commission: a lace bodiced dress with a full tulle and net skirt. 
The top part of the bodice was lined with satin dupion (for modesty's sake!) and the same satin dupion featured under the top layer of tulle in the skirt:
The lace motif was transferred on to ribbon (to stabilise it) and ran over the shoulders to form elegant straps:
Swarovski pearls dotted the tulle, which was finished off with a ruffled hem:
All in all, quite a fancy dress but fun to make and it did look good on the girl who's going to be wearing it!