Some stunning new Mini Top Hats.

New things have been listed (finally!) in the Laura After Midnight Etsy store, hooray!! I feel as if I am a whirlwind of activity at the moment, and had actually given myself today off. What do I find myself up to? Writing a new Zine, and excitedly photographing things for Etsy then listing! Oh well, I’ll sleep when I’m dead and all that!

Gold Hat 1 Gold Hat 4 Gold Hat 2

In the spare time that I do have, I’ve been hand embellishing some Mini Top Hats I made a while back with all sorts of lace, spangles and adornments I have found in my stash, and I do have to say that I am mighty impressed with the results! I bought a Vintage Embroidery book a while back which was all about the results Chain Stitch can give you if you layer it up.  As you can see I have used it to make Flowers and mixed it in with Spangles for a very effective and highly embellished look.

Cream Hat 3 Cream Hat 5

Above are just two, there are more in the shop! Because my line of Spats have proven so very, very popular, I have been working towards make a new and slightly more colorful range. What do you think? I adore the Pirate Spats soo much!!

Red Spats 1 Ship Spats 2

Stripe Spats 1 White Spats 1

In other news: I am on target for my 2nd Zine! Eek!

I am furiously commanding Photoshop to do my bidding as we speak, scanning in illustrations and generally having a high old time. This one is actually going to be given away as a free little extra with any Zines I sell and is all about the Vintage Sewing Books I use, and find most helpful. As I think every Seamstress (or Seamster!!) should own a couple and I have hand illustrated the covers and written a small review for a teeny tiny yellow Zine.

Right, time for tea me thinks…

Happy stitching!

Notions: Pretty Lace Edge

lace edging 1 NEW

To achieve this pretty Lace edge detailing- ideal for Slips, Pyjamas, Lingerie or Skirts- first decide upon the Lace & measure the garment to ascertain the length needed. There are some beautiful, & colourful, Lace edgings out there & it doesn’t have to cost the earth.

Next, fold the wrong side of the material over to the right side, to form a narrow hem. Then fold the hem back again to the wrong side.

This should have formed two folded edges on the material as in the above illustration.

Sew the Lace edging to these folded edges with small overhand stitches however; be sure not to use this type of French Hem on a curved edge. This is due to the straight grain of the lace, which wont curve.

To machine stitch this edging, make the 2nd fold in the fabric at least 1cm deep. Tuck the lace in to the fold as deep as possible. Top stitch the folded edge of the material with the machine with care to sew beautifully straight.

Happy stitching!

Wordless Wednesday

From La Belle Epoque: Edwardian Fashion 1900-1914, the ‘Beautiful Era’ of Edwardian fashion currently running at Peterborough Museum until 6th May 2013.

Happy stitching!

Look what I’ve just bought!

I’m so excited!!

Vintage Sewing Book 1930's Underwear and Lingerie Ebook Parts 1 and 2 Huge How To

I’m planning some new courses & one of the ones I am desperate to run is a Vintage Lingerie course however; a lot of what I have learnt, & indeed a lot of my techniques, have been built up over so many years I have been worried that my teaching style for this would be a little chaotic & not very informative. In trawling Etsy this morning looking for pattern inspiration for this and a couple Vintage 40’s & 50’s Dress courses I found the above which is from a 1930’s book entitled Underwear & Lingerie. 

Apparently it is a huge how to of the time, & I am almost swooning with excitement! Don’t you just adore ‘a’?

I have also purchased a pattern for a 1950’s Pin-Up Bra (which is very similar to ‘a’ above), because I simply couldn’t resist!

I am also in the process off a rethink of my Corsetry course & just might whip up a 1950’s Satin Waspie & a cheeky little Ribbon Corset, for the students who don’t want the challenge of a complete corset, or maybe want to make something slightly more unusual…

Happy stitching!

Wonderful little tutorial from Vivid, Please!

sugar skull brooch

Not just for Halloween!!

For this, my first Tutorial Thursday, I wanted to share this because I love this little Tutorial, and I love Vivid too!

Click on the above picture for the Tutorial, then have a good poke around the Vivid Blogspot site, they’re crazy talented & I always see something I want, or want to make, or just plain drool over. I recently read a great book on owning a small growing business & it said to find people you admire to follow & take inspiration from to act as sort of unknowing  mentors, & these guys are definitely one of mine. I really take courage from other growth businesses in the same crafty field as me because it means there is a market out there, & that I am not being delusional!

Happy shopping stitching!

Notions: 6 ways to create a tip top Fascinator!

Fascinator Class 1 Fascinator Class 3 Fascinator Class 2 Fascinator Class 4

This week I taught my first Fascinator Class for Flo-Jo Boutique on Gloucester Road. As I am developing a fun little Fascinator Kit I found it especially interesting to see which elements people had difficulty with & I thought I’d pass on a few tips in case you all were thinking of making a tasty treat for your head this festive time of year…

1. To begin with make sure you have a firm base to sew things on to. You can use card or buckram covered with fabric, or felt it doesn’t matter so long as it will support everything you wish to sew on to it.

bias 1 bias 3 bias 5

2. Use Bias Binding around the edge to neaten, which comes in so many colour ways now it’s almost an art form in itself! I love to use Satin Bias in a contrast colour which I can then overlay with lace if I want. It is real easy to channel a Retro vibe with some of the patterned Bias Bindings! You could also go all out and make your own Bias Binding for all sorts of yummy effects, click here for a basic tutorial.

3. Pleat your base in to a cone to make it a little less flat. This will also give you a useful ‘platform’ to attach feathers & net & to decorate on to. Buttons look particularly fetching applied to the back of a cone shaped Fascinator.

skull  BlueCherry KER1619a

4. Although I tend to favor circles, your Fascinator base can be any shape you desire- heart, skull, star, anything!

5. You’ll be stitching through multiple layers to attach things & this can sometimes be tricky. Thimbles are an excellent way to help you with this however; I actually wind a thin strip of Gaffa Tape around the end of my finger. This doesn’t fall off & still protects me from gouging holes in my finger tips.

6. So, last but not least, what do you need or want to decorate you Fascinator with? I find the best way to approach this part is with a little planning… sounds dull I know!! I like to make a pile in the middle of the table of all the things I think I might like. Then I put my fascinator base against all of them and start editing! Also, more is more when decorating a fascinator. They are so small you may as well go all out for the fun of it!

Black and White Fascinator Flower Fascinator

I do hope you try to make your own Fascinator, they are so delightfully fun & frivolous & wearing one for the office party, or nice lunch out or even in the bath makes everything just a little bit more special & fun!

Happy stitching!

Late night shopping event!

 

If you are in the Bristol area on the 6th December why not swing on by to Flo-Jo Boutique & join in with the Christmas shenanigans there?

Open from 6 to 8pm for late night Christmas shopping I’ll also be holding a Fascinator Making Class, for just £10 this is a great way to make yourself something unique and interesting for the party season, there will be discount shopping offers & a raffle in support of DEKI along with a cheeky mulled wine to get everyone in to the Christmas spirit!

It promises to be great fun & places for the Fascinator Class are booking up quick, I can’t wait!!

Happy stitching!

On sale now!!

Get them while you can!! Mini Top Hat Kits on sale now…

    

    

 

Please go to my Etsy store- click any of the photos above- to buy. Great as an unusual Christmas Gift, as something to make for yourself for the Party Season or to learn basic millinery skills with I guarantee you wont stop at one!! The pattern included is re-usable so with just a short dash to your local haberdashery store you could be making them for all your friends, for your bridesmaids or wedding party, as gifts or to wear yourself to the envy of all!!

Pictured above is our basic range, I also have some special little treats in store including Kits with Vintage Kimono Silk, Embroidered Silk & some funky Moustachioed Fabric too!!

Laura After Midnight can also Gift Wrap and send to the recipient so don’t forget to buy that option too for a fuss free Christmas… We are urging all who buy to share their creations by sharing the photos on Facebook  or by emailing heresmyhat@lauraaftermidnight.com & I can’t wait to start sharing everyone’s wonderful creations.

Currently you can also buy them at Flo-Jo Boutique on Gloucester Road in Bristol too. Please do not hesitate to contact for Wholesale prices, samples or to discuss bulk orders and Hen Parties.

Happy stitching!

A kit is born…!

Finally, I have just finished putting the finishing touches to my Mini Top Hat Kit & I have to say I am enormously proud of myself!!

      

So, I am off to the printers in the next couple days to have them printed up & they will be available to buy (in many colours & all with decoration details included), from my Etsy store from the 1st November along with many other scrumptious goodies for Christmas!

Happy stitching!

 

 

Retroville!!!

7th October 2012, from 10am

Tobacco Factory, Raleigh Road Bristol. 

So I am booked in for my first Vintage Fair!! How exciting!!

I have been exhaustively searching the local area for Craft Fairs, Vintage Markets & any other places which might suit a Laura After Midnight stall, & I think I may have found the ideal place. Retroville hosts all sorts of stalls- alongside their regular Sunday market, which I am also looking forward to mooching around- with Vintage & retro clothing, jewellery, home ware as well as books & other bits & pieces.

It was actually a really big decision to take, as I mostly make items to order or when I am able to at the moment. I am having to fit this business around my regular work & my Costume work & I was worried I would end up with a very sparse stall if I attempted anything bigger. What changed my mind was the cost outlay, which is likely to be less than £50, & the opportunity to reach a wider audience, which will hopefully give me the opportunity to grow Laura After Midnight a little, & maybe cut back on waitressing!!

Things are steadily falling in to place. I shall have my Mini Top Hat Kits ready to sell by then, a super wide range of Mini Top Hats, Witch & Tricorn Hats as well as a selection of smaller pieces like brooches, jewellery, Sir Twitchalots & the new & fabulous range of Dark Bunnies! I am also hoping to use the opportunity to do a little ‘de-stashing’ & sell some Vintage ribbons, buttons, trims & fabrics. I’ll also be showcasing Spats, some Corsets & more expensive items, & I’ll be taking orders for the party season too eek!! I do so love Christmas!!

If all goes well, I shall block book Retroville & be there every month. Which sounds like a gas!! I’ll be running a couple deHaveathons in the next couple weeks, & if you choose to visit me at Retroville you’ll get freebies & money off coupons for your effort.

Of course if you can’t make it watch this space for the deHaveathons, & check the Laura After Midnight on-line shop for all the new pieces coming soon.

Can you tell I’m excited?! Can’t wait to see you there…

Happy Stitching!

Click here to see a full event and programme listing for The Tobacco Factory.