I day dream and think about my different creative projects everyday. A lot of the time I wonder if it does me any good as I tie my head into frustrated knots about not being able to dedicate the time to make them happen. However my creative output is still moving slowly along, very slowly along, with me fitting in, half an hour in, here and there when I can.

Every now and again I find myself inspired and get carried away. The butterfly costume for  little EEM’s charity event is a good example of self delusion about how long something would take. 

Inspired by the hungry caterpillar I found some fun fabric crayons in the art shop and EEM and me got carried away. Ideally a bit more planning would probably have made the project a lot less frantic, saved me from my midnight sewing sessions and the exhaustion that followed. I confirmed my lovely husband view that I am bonkers but yay little EEM was thrilled with her butterfly costume and enjoyed helping to make it.


 What I should have done, was looped elastic around in a figure of 8 for EEMs arms to slip into. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Instead I decided to recycle EEMs old leggings into a striped tunic body. 

What was I thinking. As I embarked with enthusiasm chopping the leggings up carefully organising them into a patchwork stripe, it dawned on me that no way were these going to stitch together without utter distortion as they went through the machine. It was one of those moments where I perhaps should have cut my losses and had a re-think, but I was invested in recycling the leggings. So I bought interfacing and lining. Tacked and basted the stripes together. Several long hours later they were ready to stitch on the machine.


I cajoled and I eased each line of stitching through the machine. Until in the middle of the night I was finally able to attach the wings to the body.

Finally an hour before the birds started to sing, it was finished and I was no longer sure whether I liked it or not or whether EEM would like it. Exhausted I crawled into bed.

A few hours sleep, new day, new perspective. Hurray! a super happy little EEM dancing around as a beautiful butterfly.


“Best butterfly costume ever Mum”

It was all worth it!

So this year I haven’t been able to tackle a big project, but I seemed to have big ambitions. This makes me frustrated. Then I remind myself, slowly forwards, do what you can, when you can. The challenge as always is to find acceptance in only finding an hour a week to snatch a moment of creativity. So the big plan is to create some beautiful limited edition scarves. So far I have managed just a few studies since May 2016. When I worked full time in the fashion industry as a designer, I pushed everything through at breakneck speed, I guess now I get a chance to savour the journey, let’s hope I end up with a body of work to savour and treasure.

It has been a while since I designed and produced a wedding dress. While I love doing them, they require a lot of physical and emotional energy and time. Not something I find I have a lot of as a full time working Mum.  

The process for me always starts with the bride, and a conversation about who they are, how they see themselves. It takes time, often to draw out the person but I believe strongly that the dress should reflect the bride and her spirit. Once I have a sense of this I let my creative instincts explore ideas. 

When I first met with JW she talked about playing in the woods as a child, climbing trees, free open spaces, wild flowers. Her and her fiancĂ© had already decided to have gerbera, and daisies as floral decoration. 

  JW talked about how they both loved to be outdoors and in nature. Hidden under the free spirited tomboy that favoured converse trainers over heels was a hidden romantic that reminded me of a pre-raphaelite heroine. I used images found on Pinterest to generate a mood board for JW, and then began to quickly sketch out ideas. When I took JW through my ideas she was torn between a long dress with a train or a short 50’s style skirt. After much debate we agreed to find a way to do both.  Initially I played around with the idea of the long skirt transforming into the short, but as the sculpting on the body of the dress progressed the simplistic solution was to have two skirts. 

Sculpting the bodice

  

Creating the skirt silouettes

Creating a circular skirt out the beautiful wild flower lace daisy border fabric  required time and patience. I carefully clipped around segments of the embroidered pattern and then tacked them into position before sewing along each clipped edge on the machine. There were around 32 seams in total. The overall effect was very pretty. 

Constructing the lace part of the circular skirt

    The bodice and the long skirt were embellished with sections of the lace painstakingly cut out, positioned and hand stitched on.

Adding lace embellishment to the bodice

Adding lace daisies to the train

It is difficult to capture the effect of this in the pictures but the daisies puddling on the train and at the front of the long skirt made me feel as if she was romantically floating in a field of daisies. 

I created a classic cummerbund belt to hide the waist of each of the skirts, so that the overall effect looked like a dress. 

Cummerbund belt with lace embellishment

 Jenny wore small heeled shoes under the long skirt, but for the evening we embellished a pair of white converse to go with the flirty circular lace skirt.  

Lace embellished Converse trainers

Myself and the seamstress worked right up to the eleventh hour to complete everything, but the result and the happy smile all day on the glowing bride was worth it. 

Ready for church

  

Ready to dance the night away

 

The happy couple

  

Its a while since I managed to post, the bulbs that me and little EEM managed to plant back in September are pushing there way through and bringing joy a reminder that I am and life is moving slowly forwards. 

Since posting in December I’ve been making a Wedding dress for a friend, a post for another day, and alleluia I have finally been awarded the professional qualification that I was required to attain. This will free up some of my time and allow me to enjoy pursuing my creativity. 

    

I doodle in meetings, it keeps me sane. It stops me from speaking out of turn, and somehow my doodles are free. So I bought a note book just for doodling and I’m going to fill it.

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Finally managing to post a few of the creative bits I’ve done recently,

Winter Pots

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Halloween lanterns

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Retreat: withdraw to a place of safety; runaway; a haven; a place of rest and rejuvenation.

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When I sit and pick out the stitches I realised this is what I am doing. I have so much to do, and for a short time when I pick this up I rest x

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Slowly adding colour and detail, butterfly brought to life, by picking out highlights with the pink.

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Really enjoying the way embroidery works, little by little the design is picked out in stitches. It gives me a great sense of inner peace to slowly bring the design into being.

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This is a design and embroidery that I started around 7 years ago. I ran out of the brown thread, and at the time couldn’t find it in my local shop. I kept the thread’s packaging squirrelled away inside a pencil case. In the hope that I would eventually come across it. Two house moves, two jobs and little EEM (now almost two and a half) I pull out my sketchbook with the unfinished embroidery pressed carefully between the pages. Two or three swipes later on my phone, and I have located and purchased the thread. Three days later and it pops through my letter box- amazing! The internet didn’t work quite as well as that 7 years ago. Finally tonight I began sewing again.
Truly moving forward slowly