Archive | 9:10 pm

Bella Swan’s wedding dress and The Pippa middleton Bridemaids dress.

6 Jul

I try to hide it from most people, because I am meant to be a well-educated and respectable young woman but I have watched and read the twilight series. Yes, all of them. What did I get from them? A dark insight to one woman’s personal belief that to be happy you need a rich, dead husband who can provide for you eternally. Other than that, I am not sure. I would love a husband who is eternally faithful to me and able to run fast between engagements to get back to me…. Coming back to reality what I did like was Bella’s wedding dress in the latest film. I am all about vintage lace things, and think weddings are the only time I could wear something so extravagant. (also, do you think filming this scene was weird for the couple in real life? I mean, there must have been that uncomfortable moment where one of them asked ‘are you sure that minister is an actor? or ‘this could be us in the future’….WEIRD)

Now did you know this dress was designed  by Carolina Herrera, which was custom fit for Kristen Stewart, took Ms Herrera and four seamstresses six months to complete? Made out of  crepe satin and French Chantilly lace, 152 buttons line the back of the dress, with 17 additional buttons on each sleeve, this dress is now available to all brides! You can have a hand crafted, fitted to your body Bella dress and made by the designer for a mere $35,000. Wow. Personally I would not want the same dress- this seems very stalkerish in my opinion but a similar dress, taking elements from the design….yes! Any way the point I was going to make before I started researching this dress (that I knew nothing about previously) was that Butterick have released a pattern that is very similar to the Herrera design.

This is Butterick 5779. To be legal and not be charged with copy right infringement garments have to have 7 major changes made to them (need I mention the Harry potter fleur delacour wedding dress issue). Can you see what these could be? I know which one I would want, but i also know which I could afford. I would like this dress in dark navy without the train. I wish I had some balls to go to…I might actually consider making this.

The other dress that I stumbles upon (and have actually bought the pattern) is Pippa middletons Bridemaids dress.

Now, I had not thought about it but it very similar to the Bella Swan dress. Designed by the lovable Alexander McQueen this dress reportedly cost around £20,000. Just like the Bella dress you can get replicas all over the net at much lower prices but Butterick have struck again with a very similar pattern.

Butterick 5710 is a wonderful alternative. I bought this pattern the week it was released- not because I am a royalist, getting married or even making a wedding dress for anyone else. No, I have a surplus of vintage velvet and I thought a short version of this would be a lovely evening dress. One of my favorite seamstresses has made this dress from scratch already. Julia bobbin’s sister looks every bit (or is it Butt) the Middleton.

After making another version of this Skirt and designing a wiggle dress that actually fits, then I may turn my gaze on to this pattern….. watch this space.

Simplicity 2226, the perfect skirt pattern. A homage to the Cath Kidston Guard Skirt

6 Jul

A while back Cath Kidston released a Jubilee inspired range called ‘London calling’, which included this lovely guard skirt @ £35.   I had full intention of buying one but they sold out in about 2 days. I was sad about this, but life goes on and you can not cry over spilled milk.   This year I visited the NEC’s creative craft fair and bought quite a lot of fabric, as well as participated in a few demonstrations. One of my favorite stalls does not sell their merchandise online, so I always look forward to buying their well sourced fabric. This year they had a lovely Jubilee themed selection by makoweruk. This is the same company who designed that lovely Brighton fabric that I am hording. One of their fabrics jumped out at me.

So it’s not exactly the same as the guard skirt, but Cath also did a ‘London sites’ fabric that had the London eye on it, and suddenly I was imaging owning my own guard skirt after all. I bought 1m for £11. Bargain. Then all I had to do was find an appropriate pattern. The Cath version has side pockets, elasticated contrast waistband and it is lined. The fabric was pretty thin so it needed to be. I looked around but then I had an operation and all thoughts of sewing went out my mind.

In May, Cath Kidston reissued their Guard skirt. Edward bought it for me, as a present. I kind of forced him into it, but he knows how grateful I was and still am. We were going to a friends wedding over the Jubilee weekend in Bournemouth and I wore that lovely skirt 2/4 days we were away.

It really is a beautiful skirt- and it sold out very quickly again so I am very lucky. The only issue I have with it, which other people have blogged about as well, is the amount of excess fabric. Having an elasticated waist band means the fabric can bunch up under things and I have to wear a top over it to rain it in. I know this is the reason it was £35 and not the usual £60 you may expect to pay. I still love that skirt.

But I had the Makower fabric not being used and my good friend and bully Pilar suggesting I needed to sew something. I had bought a skirt pattern with the high hopes of using it, but then stored it away with all my other patterns. That pattern is Simplicity 2226. There are lots of versions of this skirt all over the Internet.

Here are a few of my favorite Blogged here, here and here. I love how the skirt can be made as quirky or as simple as you like by manipulating small details. I have been struggling with the idea of sewing something new because after loosing weight ALL the items of clothing I painstakingly and lovingly made no longer fit me :( I will be reluctantly selling these items on ebay (or if you are interested contact me) but I decided it was time to accept I am slim enough and clothes can be made without worry of them being to big/small anytime soon. My body has completely changed and I have found committing the fabric, and time needed to get to know it quite scary! Usually I make dresses. I hardly ever wear dresses strangely enough. I tend to wear jeans and tops, or skirts with shirts. With this in mind I concluded a skirt would be a good compromise. No worry about talking the top in/out and only half the amount of fabric needed. Win, win! With some research I found that a very awesome person had done a Sew along for this pattern! I am year to late, but It helped boost my lacking confidence and it was very well explained, which we can all agree most simplicity pattern instructions are not. More sew alongs please!

And here we are, me prating about in Stratford Upon Avon wearing my fully finished Simplicity 2226 view c with bias binding finished pockets, contrast pockets and belt loops and added contrast bias binding waist band for detail. I call it, Alice underground. As the pattern calls for 1.5m of fabric (short length) I had to use contrast pockets, which I would rather have not done. I used 0.50m of my Cath Kidston for Ikea blue with red spots to give it a more ‘Cath’ feel.

Because I have been sewing for some time now, I always try to add something a little harder to the pattern and finish the inside as neatly as the outside. Here are some close up pictures of the finish and detail. I used Bias binding where the pockets ended to give them some strength as I know I will be shoving my hands in and out of them all the time (like the child I am) and I serged as I went (really helped by the sew along) to make sure all the seams are neat. Next time I will use the `French seam’ method on the side seams as suggested by Noodlehead in the Sew along. There of course will be a next time- it is already on the sewing table :) This skirt is so wearable and needed no alterations making it a very quick project. I cut a straight 10. I worried about it being to small because of where is sits on the waist, but after making a mock up of just the waist band I realized a size 8 would also have been okay. I am 36, 26, 36 for all you ladies wondering what size to make.


Main fabric £11, Contrast fabric £2.50, Bias binding £2, Zipper £2

£17.50 seems very reasonable to me compared to £35 for a unfitted skirt….

Which one do you like? (the answer for me is both)


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