Sunday, 17 March 2013

Twist in the tale...Clifton Life Magazine. Bristol UK

Once Documentary and fashion photographer Marie Man had  mentioned Lavender during our first design meeting ..I got to work sketching this corset, skirt and Bustle.. as I had already noticed
the fabrics in my library of silk books. I quickly matched certain fabric textures  to achieve the look we wanted to create.

Initial sketched designs, a result of the first design meeting with Photographer..Marie Man.
We talked about Fairy tales with a twist and alternative ideas..What a team..Intuitive from the start.
On arrival at Woodchester mansion, Stroud, Gloustershire I was met by the team...
David Hill Souch, director at Shoot DHS Models, bath models in Bath..We had worked together on an earlier shoot s that was fun to se him there.
Make-up artist  for the day was Sophia Cox and Hair by Chris Bryce who also styles at
Katie Roxburgh gets prepared in Corset, Bustle and Skirt

Helen Diaz and Dave Hill Souch get in the Mood!
while all around test lighting

Chris Bryce is the selected Make-up artist on Set

Bustle in the making in my Studio / Somerset

Creating two way lavender Silk Duchess roses
combined with Silk Organdie and Silk Tulle

Silk spider Roses in detail..embroidered by Hand on the edges of the  Bridal corset

This Corset is made of Silk Duchess Satin overlaid
with embroidered Tulle and then the ribbon flowers have been added by hand
These can be added in any colour or flower design of choice, perhaps to tie in with a theme or Bouquet

Pages 22 & 23 March 2013 Clifton Life Magazine. Bristol UK
LIGHTING: Damien Lovegrove
Floral Bouqet: Grace Haskins Bramble and Wild
Chocolate cake Wedding specialist : Lizzie Melling, Chocolate Delores
Alternative Wedding Shoot: Twisted Wonderland, Woodchester Mansion, Stroud, Glos. UK JULY 2012

Behind the scenes...

This promised to be an exciting experience,and it did not dis-appoint! The Photographer and Director, Marie Man called me to ask if I would be interested in providing some conceptual Wedding ideas based around colour themes...Lavender and Fucshia...both separate themes.

I was already in the process of building my portfolio for 2013 and these colours fitted in perfectly. I am not inspired by the mass flood of Ivory Bridalwear in the traditional sense so this was great inspiration for me....alternative but commercial, inspired although indulgent as Bridal wear and Unique as it should suit the Brides personality...

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Collaboration with Itsy Bitsy Vintage (London)

Over bust Charmeuse Corset
      It was great to see my work being showcased within the Itsy Bitsy Vintage Fashion Lingerie collection, London Fashion week...see the Video\;     London Fashion Show (Itsy Bitsy Vintage). Two pieces were included, the overbust corset and a waspie underbust version. Designed to slot and compliment  with the range of upcycled fabrics. I first met Tracy Constance  and Oonagh Mass at the Bristol Vintage Wedding fair last year..we were neighbours at the fair and liked each others work straight away. Who knows what's next or indeed what is around the corner!

Friday, 22 February 2013


New Website and Welcome to an exciting 2013!

Welcome 2013! It looks to be an exciting year and what better way to begin than with a totally new Website!

I am so excited about the events coming up…. On March 3rd I will be exhibiting and supporting the Wedding- Wishing Well Foundation at Bakers & Cutlers hall, Brasserie Blanc, Cabot Circus. This event has been organised by the Lovely Jo Robbins of Jo&Co Wedding Event planning and You will find me in an area all about ‘Boudoir’, I will reveal more at a later date but its going  to be sumptuous to say the least!

Wedding Wishing Well Foundation Wedding Fair

March 10th see’s the annual event return of the Ever popular Bristol Vintage Wedding Fair hosted at the Pavillion rooms within Bristol Zoo, by non other than Ali Cook (owner of ). A Bridal event with a difference, packed with Artisans,passionate people who Love what they create and so want to share …This show is very busy and really captures the highest quality of suppliers but without the pretentious expense..It evokes style, quality. I promise any visitor will leave feeling a real ‘Buzz’ from the  show! Not to mention Vintage glamour and sparkle… Keep watching! I will be bringing my Collection along to this as well as some other exciting ideas…

If Thats not enough to get the creative juices flowing… How about : The Weird and Wonderful Wedding World Show to be held @Bristol Science Centre. Another Unique event set art from all other Wedding/bridal shows because the Title says it all! Organised by a creative collaboration of Emily Fisher of Fishee Designs (FDPhotoBooth) and Ali Cook of Bristol Vintage.This promises to be ALTERNATIVE, UNPREDICTABLE lead with AMAZING TALENT &BEAUTY…! to be held on Saturday April 13th,  an Evening event no less!

Weird and Wonderful Wedding World

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Upcycle a Vintage Gown-Eco-Wedding Fair,Bristol Nov 2012

Eco Wedding fair at the ,Bristol :Nov3rd 2012
A sketch of my vision of the Vintage dress after it has been upcycled...

'BEFORE' :    I obtained this white 1970's gown from Clic Sargent Bridal dept in Clevedon, Bristol. It was a size 8 and was torn in places but somehow it inspired me  to search for a lace trim that could help restore it. naturally I also imagined a corset to go with it ! To make a gown that is entirely eco friendly is a challenge , mainly due to cost. I try to use natural fibres that have been used from sustainable sources but also to save a gown and to recycle is very satisfying  and inspiring.

Machining guipure lace

Guipure Lace extended up around neckline

Adding a different dimension: Creating and constructing a Corset to add an update to the 1970's Vintage gown

'AFTER' :  Sam wears the gown with the waspie corset so well.
Head-dress by Ivory Flowers

White Guipure lace added to Centre front of dress neck opening
How a Corset can appear so different on two alternative women in various contexts! photo courtesy : Stuart Niblock :   (via Damien Lovegrove)

Monday, 15 October 2012

Corset making for the Weekend...

This weekend saw yet another successful workshop of Corset making, a chance to be sociable,meet new people, chat and exchange banter about all sorts that women chat about when they dont even know each-other, that's not to say Men aren't welcome..They definitely would be, but this weekend there were a total of six women  of various ages, shapes and sizes. This Corset workshop was hosted at The SpinningWeal Craft shop in Clevedon , Bristol - Similar
Each time I run a Corset workshop the best ice breaker happens in the first ten minutes and then the admiration for corsets begins as do the roars of laughter and then it feels like we have all known each other for years, it's both bizarre and wonderful!  So the Ice-breaker is to try a corset on for size, it's amazing.All are up for that and gasp at the immediate reduction in waist size !

The guards are down and everyone shares their excitement at having a weekend to indulge in such an activity and what they are doing for lunch...usually all end up sitting together.

Something happens when strangers share a focus, they also share their lives and what's happening, traumas and triumphs and why they want a corset.

So the patterns are out and all start tracing off their size, ready to cut out into their chosen fabrics.

Cutting the right size pattern is so straight forward as we can adapt  after first fit.

Once the  3 layers are all cut and fused ..the corset is matched together and stitched  eagerly!
Here the seams are being opened out and pressed with a steam iron

The channels at the Centre back are created next with a coutil facing ready to accommodate the steels that give your back such amazing posture. The eyelet holes are then measured out and created to  apply metal eyelets.This is done quite early so that the corsets can be fitted incase of alteration, to design and size.

Next the busk is inserted into facings at the centre front.Once the Busk is in the corset can be tried on  but first the ladies are baffled by the lacing up method!

So inserting the laces or ribbons really brings the corset together ...Thread down to the sixth hole and create your bunny ears for real pull on the waist!

Next: Trying on the corset is simple and create more excitement and admiration..This is laced up fairly loosely but you can see the space for more tightening here in the centre back.. No bones are applied yet that's one of the last stages.

The view from the front...the seams are positioned on the outside..which is a great way of also finishing the inside of the garment.  Look at the waist and it's not even tightened.

This illustrates an alternative method of ties , rather than ribbon, we inserted cord which gives a simpler image.
Lace has been overlayed in the pink and charcoal corset made by Jackie..who is wearing her corset to a Christmas party looming up soon.

Next stage is to cut and prepare the channels ready to stitch over the trimmed seams to then carry the steel boning.These are also fused and cut to 25mms

Making the channels is theraputic  and inspring as they really shape the corset, and emphasise the linear quality of all the seam work involved.

With all the channels stitched on which takes about an hour..we can insert the steel boning..nearly at the end..All that is left is to trim the top and bottom edges in preparation to apply the bindings and neaten!
Lucille in the forground with wild pink hair has a lucky daughter who is going to recieve the sage green and Black corset that she is making.

Lacing up the corset back with cord.

This is a finished Underbust waspie Corset (viewed from the Front)

And a view from the Back with pink cord to close.

The beauty of the waist never fails to captivate and thrill!

A spotty corset..these Victorian style corsets really are blank canvases when they start,each and everyone is different by the end of the 2 day workshop

I list the workshops on my website  and they are almost over for this year...however check out The Spinning weal as I have one running there at the beginning of December but also there is another at Heartspacestudios, Harcourt Road, Redland,Bristol mid November with lunch included.

Required: Basic sewing skills only: Come and make your corset! 

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Ston Easton Park : The Essential Wedding fair 30.09.12

The Essential Wedding fair at Ston Easton Park was elegant,selective and as tasteful as expected. Located in a large marquee but opposite the main house visitors persued in a relaxed manor...

Samantha Arrowsmith (aka Miss Erised) and Ella Keating enjoyed 'taking a turn' around the room and swished around in silk chiffon and tulle..

It has become a regular privilege to be amongst such exhibitors as  The Little Wedding helper, Kirsten Butler who is well known for her Vintage styling, Chocolate Delores is second to none with her outstanding Chocolate cakes and shoes! Bridezillas who are located in Keynsham High Street, Bristol    the epitomy of sparkle and glamour in Bridal accessories and then make-up queen Vicki Waghorn was subtley demonstrating airbrush make-up on ladies visiting her stand... These were to name but a few of the other 40 or so exhibitors who attended and many of who gave demonstrations of their specific businesses.

Ella and Sam enhance simple duchess satin corsets

Bridal Neck Corsets were popular an dcaused surprise..

Pure Silk Duchess satin skirt and Tulle detachable train...glamour, worn with pink silk rosebud corset and lace capsleeves

A rail of Beauty

Summer Corset with Multi coloured Silk spider flowers..handmade for 'Bridezilla's' of Keynsham

Amanda and Chloe from Sparking Bridezilla's and me!

One of the benefits of a corset is the posture it provides not to mention sexuality,a small waist and a sexy back!

Ivory silk corset with silk ribbon flowers and sequined tulle overlay...keep this neutral

Beautiful summer Corset inspired by Bridezilla's Bridal accessories store