Tuesday, 23 October 2012

A Very Gray Earl-Gray Day

As the title states, this is a very gray day here in Dublin, Ireland. I can't wait the dark to have an excuse to light up the turf and just sit down doing absolutely nothing. Probably just in my imagination I'm there, in front of the fireplace, alone, sipping red wine, eating cheese, maybe chestnuts....that's what autumn is designed for, isn't it!?

Back to reality, I'm sewing up special drawstring bags for tea bags. On friday I'm leaving, and someone asked me to bring back a few good irish teas. Since I travel as light as possible, I generally throw away the cardboard boxes, and transport the tea bags like this...it's practical, and nice to see. 

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Dyed Jade. A Small Secret about Costume Jewelry.

Dyed jade is the last trend in gemstone jewelry. It is beautiful, and easy to make. Gemstones are just warmed up and colored - and that's it!
Dark Green Dyed Jade. 

It's a very easy process, and the results are lovely. To be fair, most of the gemstones we use in costume jewelry are color-enhanced to meet the buyer's expectations (as black onyx or striped agate).
 Fuchsia Dyed Agate.

So the difference is that now the producers dye specific semiprecious gemstones with unexpected colors, proposing it as a plus when the natural tint is not exactly a instant success. 
Dark Red Dyed Jade.

Why jade, then? It's not obvious. Maybe it's all about a world-wide surplus. More probably because jade has a opalescent texture and a neutral color - going from white to green, sometimes verging on yellow or other lovely nuances.
Apple Green Dyed Jade.

Pure jade is very expansive, while small pieces with inclusions can be much more affordable. Unfortunately, at a first sight these latter can be mistaken for far cheaper quartzes, and that makes the reselling a nightmare.
Blue Dyed Jade and Turquoise.

On the one hand, jade is highly valuable as you buy a well refined craft; on the other, it is not that beautiful or spectacular on its own (and this counts a lot in jewelry!). I mean, it doesn't shine, and the color is so delicate that sometimes it's just sad. Maybe here lies the other reason why the smart merchants dye those small, cheaper pieces!

Lavender Dyed Jade and Freshwater Pearls.

Eventually, I'm just fascinated with dyed jade because of the possibilities it opens. I hope you like it as well! All the pictures come from my shop, just click on the image and go there to see more! 

Stay tuned!

Friday, 12 October 2012

1960s Mimi Cotton Dress.

Meet the other small dress I made under the creative urge I described here
The pattern is the same, but this time the shirt is left long enough to become the perfect 1960s piece! I still have to work a lot on the sewing, but right now I'm very happy to have this cute little thing in my wardrobe!
I chose white silk and embroidered cotton. Both couldn't be used on their own, the cotton being pitted and the silk being transparent. The cotton is similar to sangallo fabric.

I used the silk to make a close-fitting, but comfy slip: the slip is slightly shorter than the actual dress, and slightly larger below, to let you move freely. When I cut the cotton, I used the same pattern increased of a couple of cm (1 inch) - as passing from a size 8 to a size 10, for instance.

By hand, I sewed the cover to the neckline (front and back), the armholes, and the zip. I left loose the rest of the fabric. By sewing machine, I then stitched together the two sides. Eventually, I hemmed.
The button-zip solution on the back is the same of the shirt: I use the silk leftover to wrap the button and make its eyelet. 
...and here it is! tadàn!

PS. To take pictures, I first tried to lie it down, then put it on a clothes-hanger, but the results were kind of awkward anyway! I hope they're good enough...

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Thank you, Cucicreando!

Happiness is receiving cute lovely little things!

 ...and I got mine from CUCICREANDO, after I won her giveaway on facebook!!!

Cucicreando is a EIT team mate, she lives in Majano, Italy. 

If you're passionate about embroidery and sewing, pop in her awesome etsy shop!

Have a nice day!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Sewing what a passion!

Recently I could have forgotten to update blog and shop (...more than usual). That's because I'm lost in my sewing projects, which - no need to say - are completely random! 
I bought some fabric, mainly because I ran out of cloths I can recycle. Nonetheless I used a zip I had (which in fact is of a different color).

Anyway, that purchase was my ruin! I started sewing the day after and spent all my spare time trying to archive something (well, anything). DIY is addictive.

While working, I found myself solving problems I couldn't even think about before starting. It was a challenge, and the lack of a proper sewing machine made it more tricky. 

I must admit it gave me great satisfactions, for instance...this shirt eventually fits perfectly my silhouette (women will agree: we're all different!), the cut is original, the fabric I choose is very good, and bla bla bla.

So, I'm quite happy with the results - among which a comfy pair of velvet trousers -, but there is a lot of "but". On the one hand, I'm worried about the possibility to reproduce what I've done that easily, as in the common case of a friend who asks you for one (already happened).

Of course I now have a pattern for that shirt. I took some notes as well. I also read about how sizes work. But I'm sure it would be an effort! On the other, if these few days were not enough to gain confidence about sewing clothes, were enough to become aware of the knowledge one needs to make beautiful things out of fabric. And it's a lot of knowledge!

So, I'm still unsure about tailoring as a simple hobby, but I fell in love with it and so I'll try to keep on making stuff!

Stay tuned!