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Studio update

Hello again. Just a quick round up today of what I’ve been working on. First up, there’s been quite a bit of dressmaking going on. I don’t know if it’s the change of season and accompanying drop in temperatures, or the need to deal with the huge heap of fabric that’s in my workroom, but I’ve been feeling the need to sew lots of new clothes. Amelie is so easy to make for, well except for the fact that she’s growing like a weed and anything I do make doesn’t seem to last for long before it gets passed down. She needed a new coat and I couldn’t resist using a faux fur remnant I picked up at Abakhan in Shrewsbury. I knew there would be suitable patterns in the Ottobre books I love and sure enough, she picked out one she liked with a hood for extra cosiness!

I made harder work of it than I should have done, but in the end it went together nicely. I don’t find sewing with fur to be particularly tricky, the only thing to note really is that it gets everywhere. A vacuum is most definitely the key bit of equipment you’ll need! And one of those sticky rollers to gather up any stray bits. The pattern called for patch pockets, but with this longer pile fur I thought that inseam ones would work better so I drafted a little pocket bag and added that to the lining.

The lining is a single jersey which makes it cosy, but we picked it out purely because the colour went nicely with the fur. It closes with press studs and I found this jumbo ones in an antique brass finish on eBay. Really pleased with those. Needless to say it’s her new favourite thing and she’s been wearing it inside and out!

Next I sewed myself a hooded sweater. Pretty quick to make. I went up a size on the pattern to make it oversized and knowing that I want to wear it over other layers. Spent most of the time just going over it with the sticky roller to pick up the bits of fur that were still appearing everywhere after making the coat. Fabric is a soft, drapey knit which might have some viscose in it, but I can’t be sure. Again I think it was from Abakhan.

I used ribbon to cover the seams of the inside hood and inside back neckline which finishes it off neatly as it’s unlined. I’ve not made this pattern before, but I’m sure I’ll do it again when I have other suitable fabric as I’ve already worn it a few times. It has patch pockets with can be tricky to sew in soft fabrics as the foot can drag and distort the garment. I’ve done a little tutorial on how to avoid this which you can find over on the DesignMatters Art & Craft School website.

It’s not all been sewing. In the evenings I’ve been trying to do a little drawing. Spurred on by the return of Portrait Artist of the Year on tv, I’ve been drawing faces again. Well, trying not to draw faces really, but heads. Trying to find some volume rather than being caught up in the features. These are graphite pencil in a little 5″ x 5″ sketchbook.

Likeness is always the tricky thing with portraits. I wonder what matters more, likeness or a ‘good’ drawing? Or whether those two things are inextricably linked or quite separate? One of these had a better likeness, the other, I think, is a stronger drawing. Obviously I need to work on having both of these things happening at the same time in the same drawing. Practice, practice, practice!

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading.


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