Project Seat Cover.

Hello fellow crafters and fashion lovers!

Don’t you just hate it when you have a beautiful piece of furniture that just doesn’t seem to be practical? I have this amazing industrial looking stool purchased from Alexander & Pearl that I currently use in my sewing room, the only problem is I literally slip off it no matter what I am wearing. So today was the day I was going to do something about it.

My first instinct was to crochet a cover but then I remembered I had this great gold strong cotton material sitting on the shelf. The cotton was bought from Les Coupons by Marché St Pierre in Paris last year and I believe it was about 3 metres for 10 euros.

After bit of measuring and a few false starts later I had completed my cover. No need for staple guns here, I simply threaded a piece of elastic through the bottom seam (a bit like a shower cap!) and it holds really well. I like that it is also a temporary solution and I can take it off whenever I like. I won’t lie, sewing round things is difficult, but I am eager to do a round leather bag for Atelier Boyceau so i’m hoping practice makes perfect.

Oh and the grip on my derrière is just right! 🙂

Project Upcycle Paper Lantern.

Finding myself distracted by redecorating our nid d’amour I came across the rather sad looking plain white paper lantern in the bedroom. But what to do with it? I had originally planned on gluing on some synthetic purple leaves I had seen previously, but when the shop didn’t have them anymore I challenged myself to be more creative.

Surprise, surprise I found some white cotton already knitted up from an abandoned project and got to seeing how I could attach it. As you can imagine working with a collapsible paper form was quite tricky but with some patience and some cream cotton ribbon I came up with two designs. Check out the photos, using this technique possibilities are endless!!!

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Project bridesmaid cover up.

So I am very excited to be a bridesmaid at the end of November for my very good friend back in the North of England. I was very lucky that I was there when she chose the bridesmaids’ dresses, and was very happy with the final choice. Originally the bride was going to order them from the bridal shop but when we saw the choice, cost and quality of the ready to wear dresses in the department store we were blown away. She also had her wedding dress with her that day so trying on dresses and seeing how they went with her dress was key to choosing right (lots of “ahhs” in the changing room that day!).

There are 4 bridesmaids in total and 2 of us are wearing this beautiful navy “lori lee” dress from Coast, while the other 2 will wear the long version in light grey. The bride decided not to have us all in the same so to add variety to the colour palette of the day. Good choice!  The other bridemaid and I are “petite” hence the short version  (thankfully!) and we have decided on pairing it with nude court shoes, and tan tights.

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The sheer overlay drapes beautifully and the sparkle detail on the waist ribbon goes perfectly with the sparkle on the bride’s dress. The bride’s dress is very unusual, white long fitted 20’s inspired plunge neck and back with short net drop sleeves and lots of clear rhinestone detail so the bridesmaids need to be simple and elegant. The bride will be wearing a fake fur grey stole on the day, très chic!

Et voilà! Pretty perfect I’d say! (Promise to post a picture of the final day, her dress is a MUST SEE).

So the discussion turned to cover ups as it is sure to be very cold on the day, may even snow! Some suggested pashminas, some suggested nothing (Northern spirited of course) but I am certain we will be happy of a jacket or a cardigan. But what would you put with this dress to compliment, not over power? Something subtle but worthy of the day? And of course something you will wear again. Nothing in the shops, little online. As always I tell myself “If in doubt, make it yourself”.

I had wanted to develop a short boxy knitted jacket for a while, it is a project that I had wanted to add to my Atelier Boyceau range, so this was the perfect opportunity to try it out. Combining 2 separate patterns and adapting to the chosen yarn (Phildar 55% lambswool in Caban navy) I was able to come up with this:

CIMG3299 I was extremely happy with how my pattern worked out (seems I am ok at maths after all) and the measurements were perfect for me. I used my manual knitting machine LK150 to make the 5 main pieces (decreasing along the edges of the front and back panels to create shaping) and hand finished all edges in a thick band of moss/seed stitch.

So now to make it really earn its place at a wedding……

CIMG3305Having been unsuccessful at matching the beads from the waistband exactly I ordered a variety of glass beads from Cultura and away I went…..

I was in 2 minds whether to put the beading around the collar rather than the front but in the end it helped to give rigidity to the front to enable it to hang better.

For the matching bridesmaid I ensured I made the sleeves longer on version 2, wider shoulders, and to flatter her shape I added claps to the front that she can choose to do up or not.

CIMG3317CIMG3295So there we have it, very happy with how they have turned out! Is so satisfying to see the final result! I think the sparkles set off the waist band perfectly and we certainly won’t freeze!

I have improved my skills and now have the confidence to start making similar versions for the shop.

Imagine red wool with gold thread knitted throughout, gold border with mutli coloured bead work all around the collar……COMING SOON!

Please visit my shop and receive free shipping on all orders until December 31st 2013 with this code:

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Thanks for reading, let me know what you think x Alexandra