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!

Fascinating Feedback!

I have just received the first feedback from a Fascinator Kit I sent out as part of a give away on Facebook for Laura After Midnight. If you shared or ‘liked’ the image of my new Fascinator Kits you got put in to a hat to be sent one! The response was phenomenal, & everyone seemed to love the idea of the dinky & oh so pretty Fascinator Kits.

The ones I sent out to the lucky winners were the first design, since then I have added a pattern sheet with three different patterns to follow. There is now a choice of Tear Drop, Circle or Heart, & of course I have changed to packaging slightly to reflect the ‘look’ of Laura After Midnight. They are now branded as a product, & I think they fit in well with the Mini Top hat Kits.

Fan of Fascinators 1   Fasc Kit 1

Above shows the first design & packaging concept on the left, with the new look Fascinator Kit on the right. 

A5 Equipment and Supplies    Pattern Sheet

The above shows the original Pattern Sheet with Supplies on the left, & how it looks now. Much clearer!

So it is with many, many thanks to Adele W that I share the following images! Adele has photographed them beautifully on her favourite Vintage plate & is extremely happy with the result… as am I!

ADELE 7   ADELE 2

”Hi Laura… As you can see the result is wonderful.

It is fun n flirty and was incredibly straightforward to make. I thought the birdcage veil was very clever (I’ve definitely learnt something new there).

I even think I have found some dress fabric to make an outfit (just need the right occasion now).”

ADELE 4

ADELE 6   ADELE 1

Thank you so much for the amazing review, & wonderful photographs; yet again you have come up with a way to use the ribbons and decoration provided in a way I wouldn’t! I am looking forward to seeing you all put together with an outfit to match!

I am always looking for people to try my Kits out, it is wonderful to have the feedback from complete strangers, people new to the craft or just enthusiastic sewers alike. As I am currently developing Press Packs for these little darlings the feedback I have received has certainly helped me develop the Kits, iron out any language barriers (as a long term seamstress I sometimes forget steps which are obvious to me, but not so to others! A hazard of my trade I am learning!!), & generally make me a little more confident in the product.

I look forward to sharing more images from the other winners as I receive them.

Happy stitching!

This is the second Kit Adele has given feedback for. Her first was a Black Silk Mini Top Hat Kit.

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!

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!

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.

Make your own…

   

Two pages from my up-coming Mini Top Hat Kit…

I have been hard at work over the last few weeks designing and illustrating the first in a series of Kits to be available for sale soon. The one above takes you through every step of properly constructing a Mini Top Hat using Millinery techniques I have both been taught and picked up over many years of Costume Making. I shall also be releasing one for a Mini Tricorn and other designs if this sells well. . . maybe even for clothing like Spats!

Packaged as a gift idea, the Kit will come with an A5 booklet of instructions also filled with illustrations, hints, tips and ideas along with all fabric needed to construct the hat, pins, needle & thread and some embellishment pieces like ribbons, buttons and feathers.

Because it is a gift there will be an option to request a word or phrase of your choice be embroidered on the lining, and you will of course be able to choose from a range of colours and fabrics!

It has been a wonderful but extremely labor intensive project, but I am so very happy with the results and can’t wait to see the finished thing… just a few adjustments to the booklet and I’ll be away!! I’m going to run a competition to win a few, so watch this space!!

Happy stitching!

The Mini Top Hat Kit will be available soon through my Etsy online store. Please click here to visit now to see other items, and Mini Top Hats.