28 September 2014

love at first stitch - Demystifying dressmaking : tilly walnes book review

I have in the past written up little book reviews on my blog, I wrote a personal review about #GIRLBOSS a few months back.

I have been a massive fan of Tilly Walnes since the Great British sewing Bee which needs to come back asap! As much as I love the Great British Bake off, I'm more of a fan of the fabric kind. So when Tilly followed me on Twitter Yes I did fangirl a little ha! So when I grabbed this book in the V&A shop I fell in love as I flicked through the pages.

So lets take a moment and appreciate the front cover of Love at first stitch. Before I knew it was Tilly Walnes who wrote this book I was lured in by the simple and beautiful front cover. The colours defiantly appealed to the artist in me. At the start of the book, Tilly takes us through her story and the basics you will need too start. I adore the photography that features in this book but more of that later. 

One of the great things about the start of the book is that Tilly talks us through the different types of fabric and where to use them best. I learn't this from an early sat in front of the sewing machine with my grandmother, but its always great to hear other creatives knowledge.
Also there is a well written 
Tilly takes us through simple items to begin with. One of the reasons I had to get this book was the fact she showed us how to create simple pieces like scarfs and not so simple pajamas( I tried to make trousers before it ended badly). The book is very wordy which is great as its so indepth. As someone who did textiles and fashion at A level I had a basic knowledge but i'm a messy impatient sewer i'm not one for tacking or pinning. So reading and looking at the detail and precision that  it takes to make a great garment has opened my eyes.  

You can easily adpat the patterns that come in this book, I am after making a crop style top, and some of the dress patterns would be great for this.
Now lets talk about photography and layout. I'm a sucker for bright colours and a well laid out page. The colour themes that run through the book are yellow and blue with a few hints of different fabric colours. Now the headings are cute and fit in so well with the cute clean look of the book.
I loved this part of the book, creating an inspiring sewing space, which I am trying too translate into all aspects of my creative life. Simple but effective ideas, I just wish my space was as clean and simple. Love at first stitch is a great mix of how too and how too use this book to get the best from your sewing life/how too wear it/how too sew for your lifestyle I could keep slashing. Unlike other sewing books I have read, Tilly's book talks about sewing as a lifestyle, showing that anyone can create their own clothes ans wear them with confidence (Page 159 is one of my favorites "sew for your lifestyle")
Now this was the deal breaker for me, at the back of the book Tilly has added patterns for all the dresses, skirts and other garments that feature in the book. There are a few pieces that I am desperate to get making I'm in love with the Delphine Skirt ( which features on the front cover) which I think would look amazing in my new black and white sprinkle fabric . I still have to get my head around pattern cutting as I haven't done it in years. But as soon as I laid eyes on this book I needed it in my life, I think that speaks volumes and at one £20. There are also some really wonderful blogs that are featured at the back of the book, Tilly has her own blog Tilly and the buttons. I would recommend this for newbies as well as seasoned professionals as I think you should never stop learning. Its a great un-patronising and defiantly demystifys dressmaking.

I give this book a wonderful 5 stars for its sheer wonderful knowledge, photography and openness for beginners.
*All opinions are my own this is not a sponsored post.

26 September 2014

sneak peeks

I finished my last full week at work (just looking at my first post when i started) with the lovely delivery of my new illustrated fabric from SpoonFlower . It has been a strange week, mingling with Cara Delevingne, buying my first piece of proper art, bagging some great illustration jobs mixed with the emotions of leaving my students and my old life.

The fabric will be turned into my new dresses, skirts, crop tops and scarfs to be sold online which I am super excited about. I am currently brushing up on my sewing skills with my new sewing machine. I also have a hand-drawn print of my pinstripe illustration which I just want to cover everything in.
Finding old doodles and sketches in my sketchbook and adding new additions too it for a fun project is currently my way of switching off and enjoying my down time.Its nice too get my watercolours out occasionally as I have been working a lot in pen. If you are wanting a doodle or something like a blog header I have a few spaces left if you want to Hire Me

Have you been working on anything or looking forward too something fun?


25 September 2014

throwback thursday : paris

One of the joys I found with Paris is that it didn't move at the speed of cities like London, it had a slower much more calmer pace making it the perfect place to grab a coffee and doodle the people who filled the streets and buildings.
Cake who doesn't like crazy amounts of pastries and cakes? Paris was the perfect combination of naughtiness and indulgence when it comes too food.
I'm not going too lie I had an Amelie moment  first creme brulee ever, in the sweetest little Parisian cafe, whilst the Eiffel tower. Special little moments are always important.

I wanted to share with you reminiscences of past adventures. So today's throw back Thursday is when me and Lyzi ventured to Paris way back in 2012 I have shared the blog posts in the past, I never showed these photos as I felt it might have been a tad bit overwhelming. I adored the walk around the Monmartre Cemetery. It was so beautiful, it didn't feel like a place that housed the dead but a monument to such wonderful lives that people lead.

We spent hours wandering around the streets in search of cafes, vintage shops and beautiful buildings.  Drawing and taking everything in. Two years since our trip and I haven't been out of the country since, my feet are itching too travel again.

just wanted to make you all aware my blog is now taking advertising spots. Please head over and have a little look I have some rather exciting things happening over here at ella masters. Also if you fancy hiring me have a look at my portfolio.


23 September 2014

victoria and albert museum

Adventures with Jaymie are always my favorite, we decided after work to head to one of our favorite  museums, i haven;t been in while probably not since I took a little trip to the Science Museum and the V & A with Lyzi a few years ago. Its funny how hectic life can be, its nice too take time away and enjoy the slow pace and tranquility that museums promote. Ever felt overwhelmed with life I suggest you pop along too a museum, will be the perfect brain break!

So I fell in love with the paper cups that the V&A serve their tea and coffee in, not going too lie I took the cup home and now has pride of place on my desk. Its the artist in me!

So we stumbled up the wedding exhibition, both me and Jaymie being scrimpers and savers at the moment decided to admire from afar. We popped into the nail boutique for some fun little selfies!

The fashion exhibitions have  always inspired me, I remember wandering around looking at the 1950's Christian Dior exhibition when I was doing my A levels and couldn't believe the wonders I was seeing. 

The museum had closed up a lot of its exhibitions as it was rather late, but we stumbled across some Beatrix Potter illustrations and letters down a lovely tiled corridor. The atmosphere was lovely in the evening quite and peaceful as the light passed through the stained glass and bounced around the room.

22 September 2014

read . wear . do

*Full review soon 
Sally Hansen colour frenzy nail varnish | Cheap bright nail varnish 
Working in my sketchbook on new art work.


21 September 2014

a walk in the park

I just absolutely adore the stationary department in Fortum and Mason, its like my absolute dream. If you've never been before seriously it so lovely. Tables of notebooks, endless cards and wrapping paper of all kinds. I was on a spending ban which is a total killer in a place like this, I did however buy myself some Rifle Paper Co. wrapping paper for a little D.I.Y I am currently working on.

Me and Mum always make a beeline for the Christmas shop inside Fortnum and Mason, it was playing Bing Crosby and everything glittered. Its lovely too see the kind of colours and decorations that will be popular a lot of customers walk around and take photos in awe of the loveliness. Mine was obsessed with the feather covered decorations. I loved the sweetie and cupcake tree decorations.
The Tea and confectionery level is every child's dream... chocolate and cakes at rather affordable prices. Thats why I love it, I snapped up a Slated Caramel Cupcake and a Victoria sponge for the mother as a secret little gift as I was taking her out for her birthday.
The weather was rather glorious which made the wander through Green Park, I wouldn't normally ( I always jump on the underground)  the trains were out so we had to walk to the Tate Britain, you wouldn't hear us complaining though. The scenery was perfect, the sky was bright blue and the company was a delight. Me and Mum wandered past soldiers standing on guard and we talked about how lovely it was being a Londoner. I don't often say that. Today I felt grateful.
H&M Crinkle Skirt  / New Look Breton top / Primark Woven shoes / Tote Bag Emma Lewis
I had enough of wearing jeans and baggy tops, I thought I might put my favorite Black A-line skirt that I recently purchased from H&M and teamed it with my favorite New Look Breton top, its rather old. I am a massive collector of canvas tote bags, I have rather a few. This one from Emma Lewis I thought went well with my Parisian look. My hair was a complete accident I have been recently letting my hair styling relax, Its normally rather wavy so I've gone back to just casually pinning it around the back of my head, normally without looking in the mirror. I'm not an up-do kinda girl but this style has always worked for me.
So the whole point of today's adventure was to take mum to the Turner exhibition at the Tate Britain. I'm not the best at buying people's presents, I am probably the worst in fact, I forget and panic that they wont like what I've bought so this time round I decided on something more experience based. Once a month me and Mum try to get a little culture and so I bought tickets for us too admire one of our favorite artists work. I recently watched a taster caller private view of what you will find adorning the walls of the gallery. The Exhibition itself was worth every single penny, it was crazy busy but I guess that was just the time that we went. I loved getting too see Turners pallets the most he is one of my Idols when it comes too art, so being that close to something he used too use really made the whole exhibition special for me. Being in the presence of his amazing work was a gift. I highly recommend popping by if you get the chance.
It was a beautiful day filled with lots of cakes and lovely tea definitely the best way too spend a Sunday.

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