Friday, 18 August 2017

Vogue 9278 Vintage Pattern



Hola sewers! Happy Friday, hope all is well. This week I have finally completed my first ever vintage pattern make!

This is a big milestone for me, I started collecting vintage pattern pieces when I was 18 (5 years ago) and this is the first one I have actually ever made.



I don't just pick any old, vintage patterns. Because I have been practicing pattern cutting for about 6 years I know how easy it is to make simple blocks and adapt them to almost any shape. So when vintage pattern shopping I only buy the patterns that really intrigue me. The Vogue 9278 pattern was definitely one of those!

The pattern comes as one size, to fit a 36 inch bust, I didn't adapt this to my size because I wanted this style to be slightly oversized. It also suggests making it up in a medium weight, medium kind of drape fabric- like a wool jersey blend or a crepe. But of course I was absolutely determined to use an off cut I had lying around of a heavy textured polyester. Probably not the best choice.




Ok, so this was the hardest thing ever to make, or even understand how to sew up and I definitely should have used a recommended fabric for my first attempt at it lol.

 I did not manage to get the back shaping in AT ALL. I ended up just turning it over and attempting to hide it with some nice topstitching. This seriously pissed me off, not going to lie πŸ˜‚ I literally work as a garment tech- mostly cutting and sewing bespoke clothing for disabled people so I would say I'm an experienced sewer? BUT I JUST COULDN'T MATCH THESE. I blame the fabric and the pattern shape 😩 and the fact i sewed this up rather rushed and refused to unpick...

Next time I do this I'm 100% going to be tracing the pattern first onto thicker paper and tracing out all the random dots on it to actual markings I understand and then Im going to make it up in a nice soft wool jersey! Just need to thrift some good fabric for it!




I do really like how it looks tho! And i like that because its tie up there is tons of different ways to wear it.⬆️⬆️⬆️ 
So i would defs reccommend this pattern as a make. Classic wardrobe staple πŸ‘πŸ»

Let me know what you think, lots of love, Maria!

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Mens Shirt Refashion

DIY boho top!
Ive been really get back into thrift shopping and refashioning and have been obsessing over loads of peoples refashioning of mens shirts!

I already have a shirt where I've cut off the top and put in elastic to make a Bardot top, so i really wanted to be a bit creative and do something different this time.

Shirts are a huge trend at the minute. I was toying with the idea of doing an off the shoulder style top, or one shoulder. Butttttt, they look better when you just push a normal top off and tie it up. Not exactly much of a refashion! Or creative.

So i just started cutting and seen where it took me!





I cut off the collar and decided I would be turning it around so the buttons were at the back. Can we just take a sec to appreciate how beaut this fabric is?? 100% cotton shirt bought for £2 in helping hands πŸ‘ŒπŸ»reeeet barg!



I then cut off the hem to make it more of a boxy shape, and cut off the cuffs. I really like the cuffs cut of as it turned out to be a nice 3/4 length sleeve. I turned both these up by 0.5cm twice to finish.



Then i took the fabric i cut from the hem and decided to make it a collar. I absolutely winged this, but basically I used the hem of the top, so i didn't have to sort any raw edges, and i kind of cut it in a typical neckline shape. I made it smaller so i could gather the top into it. Also I made it like a collar at the button stand at the back.

Im so glad I did this because it pulled the top up to sit higher, giving it a really flattering neckline. However, I had to put a few stay stitches in this collar at the front so it sat right on my body. Obviously this was because i didn't take the time to figure out the pattern exactly and I just winged it at the start cutting off more than i should have...



Anyway I hope you liked this refashion. On a side note, I have been adding way to much blue to my wardrobe recently and I really need to get some other colours in there πŸ˜‚

Any feedback/ comments would be mucho appreciated!
Lots of Love! Maria.


Friday, 4 August 2017

Costume Design Degree: My Experience


I was at Benicassim festival 2017 on the day of my graduation!

Its a very difficult thing to try and recall 4 years of you life and put it into a single blog post. But il give it a go..

I graduated from the University of Huddersfield with a 2:1 in a BA Hons in Costume Design with Textiles. I graduated in July and im now moved in with my boyfriend (who i met at uni) and have a job as a garment/pattern tech. So some would say uni was worth it. Id say different.

Its a bit hard to come out of university in the UK at this time and not feel like you've been conned into a lifetime of debt for absolutely no reason. This isn't a depressing post, the last four years have been amazing and Im very happy where I am now. But i want to make it extremely clear that you do not need uni to be successful.  Many people, especially from my generation are showing that education is not just taught through school/college/uni anymore. There are a thousand ways to learn and to make a career these days. So don't just go to uni because you feel like your being forced into it! Thats what happen to me.

So heres a list of what i learnt at university!

  • Everyone studying art and design courses seem to have to eat, sleep and breath uni!
Seriously! No disrespect to other courses but, at huddersfield at least, we had dissertations alongside final major projects. Even 1st years spend 4 full days a week in uni AND have to work at home. My course leaders literally looked down on people who had to work or who chose to join clubs. It was so difficult that I spent placement year just working and saving so I didn't have to work at all in final year!

  • Design, Construction and Textiles is basically 3 degrees in one. Expect tears.

The course at Huddersfield teaches these three aspects alongside each other, combining them in second and final year to create a costume. Again, you have no time to think about anything else. Also as a side note you cannot chose for one area to weigh more in final grades, for example if you are best at design and terrible at textiles, you don't have the option for one to mean more to your grade.  They are all equally weighted.

  • University is expensive.
Sketchbooks, mount boards, markers, pencils, paints, fabrics, threads, pattern tools, final fabrics, printing costs. Again this might be specific to art and design degrees. Because my boyfriend spent very little on his course. Literally everything adds up. I worked my whole placement year and saved to afford my final year costumes. Some final years on my course have been known to spend 2 grand on one costume.

  • Be friends with the technicians 
They will teach you more than any tutor. They will also be there for you after really bad crits  or really good crits to give you advice and help to move forward. Also if your pals with them they may also share some supplies with you (ahem free fabric or interfacing ahem).

  • You learn more about yourself from 18 into your 20s than ever before in your life

Its crazy. Honestly. Throw all this self-learning into having to think about uni 24/7 and its not easy.


  • You still have a lot to learn when you get a job.
One thing I am happy for is that there was so much ground covered in my course that there is so many areas of work I could now go into. You dont leave the course wanting to be a costume designer, even if that is how you went into it.


My second year costume (not something im particularly prod of)

My final year costumes! My last two posts have been on these costumes.
So its safe to say Im super happy uni is over, but i am grateful for the last four years! Onward and upward πŸ˜ŠπŸ’•

You can check out my tumblr if you want to see some of my work throughout the years. If you have any questions il answer them in the comments too!

Tuesday, 1 August 2017




Final Female Costume

 So here is my final female costume! I feel like this costume is one of those things in life where everything really comes together at the right time and works out just right!


Sarah, my beautiful performer, is a professional dancer and I met her because she's a family friend to Kurts family. She is SO FLIPPING TALENETED. The photoshoot was done in 10 minute slots per student, which is crazy fast to try and get a good shot. But both my performers managed it. You can check out Sarah killing it making up some Irish dance moves on the spot here, also on that tumblr you can see a bit more about my degree journey throughout the last year and my final major project.



Obviously this is not a typical Irish dance dress but it is heavily inspired by one. I had to heavily research Irish dance dresses and their journey to how they look today, to write about in my dissertation and to justify my design choices... Dear lord are those dresses awful! But I'm also kinda obsessed because the craftsmanship and ideas behind them are INCREDIBLE.  

This dress kind of mixes early 19th century fashion with a silhouette of a typical modern day Irish dance dress. The skirt is made in a heavy linen and interfaced so much it feels like cardboard. It was fully lined because jumping about obviously shows the inside... often, lol.  The skirt was also so short that Sarah's booty was literally out the whole day of the show, but she's a professional and was totally making that seem casual backstageπŸ˜‚ The front embroidery on the skirt is one of the pieces i am most proud of, it was amaya and hand stitching worked together to create a celtic pattern that spelled out the journey of the swans from human to swan.

The top half of the dress is made in three layers with a printed french crepe, chiffon and cotton underlay. I designed the printed fabric on photoshop and sent it off to contrado (a long fabric printing company), it literally arrived the next day, amazing service AND great student offers so if you need anything like that check it out. The fabric also made the frills on the hem of the sleeves and skirt.



To finish off the look the costume had wings to give the swan vibe and a fairytale crown. I DIE at these adorable photos of my beautiful swan babies together πŸ’›πŸ’šπŸ’ž






 If you enjoyed seeing a bit of an insight to this final costume, you might want to check out my last post where I talked about the male costume! Im so glad its all over and I am planning a post all about uni and a bit more information on my degree in costume design with textiles!