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!

Work in progress…

Tonight I figured out how I’d use my Rouleau Loops… to make a beautiful collar!

2013-05-09 01.43.25 2013-05-09 01.42.21

Deciding to sew up a simple version of my final design, I drew the pattern on to a piece of paper, then pinned the Rouleau Loop to the pattern & hand stitched the Rouleau where it overlapped. Quite simple in the end really!

I haven’t ironed it yet because I can’t decide if I’d like it to be flat or still rolled however; for a first attempt I am very happy. Eventually I’d like to add it to a simple top or T-Shirt but I think I’ll design something a little fancier first because I like the idea of a teeny tiny loopy edge!

What do you think?

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.

New Fascinator Kits!

I have been hard at work here snuggled up at Midnight Heights, whilst the blizzards blow & the world turns to white.

There are a couple new listings in my Etsy store however; the long anticipated Fascinator Kits have finally been designed, illustrated & put into production. The first batch have turned out delightfully retro & super colourful, & I couldn’t be happier about that!

I am also running a Facebook/Twitter competition so if you fancy giving one a twirl share this & in return for some feedback on the making up process, & a couple photos I’ll send you one for free…

Fan of Fascinators 1

Because these are samples I have used all sorts of scraps & Up-Cycled snippets of fabric! All these have been used for various projects in the past but I think they have found their home in these Kits, don’t you?!

  Fascinator Construction 11. Fascinator Construction 22. Fascinator Construction 33.

Step 1: The instruction Booklet, Pattern sheet, Veil & Binding… Step 2: Add the Bow, Button and Vintage Lace embellishment… Step 3: Add in the Ribbon & it’s on to the exciting part! Choosing the fabric combinations!!

Fascinator Construction 4

The finished Fascinator Kit. Each pack includes a top fabric, lining Fabric (up to the maker which one you choose), Stiffener & an Instruction Booklet which takes you through the process of making the Fascinator & also has illustrations on how to make things like a Birdcage Veil, Rosette & other decorations. Also included are various Decorations however; you are more than encouraged to have a snoop about your local haberdashers & add to these!

Retailing at £10, they’re a snip! Also available as a Party option, I can theme them or even host your party for you! What do you think?

Happy stitching!

Cutesy little Treasury

I’ve just had the most fun making up a cutesy & quirky little Treasury inspired by one of my Mini Top Hats. I started to think where you would wear such a fancy piece of finery, & that lead me to start pondering upon what party the hat would attend!

I loved looking through all that Etsy has to offer, & it has even started to inspire me in to thinking about the Fascinator Making Parties I would like to host for all sorts of events, I’m quite a-buzz with excitement!

Take a peek & maybe treat yourself…

White Silk and Pearl Mini Top Hat vintage English tea cup and saucer set, Stanley bone china tea set, gold roses and white wedding gift Fenton Hobnail Diamond Point Cottage White Cream and Sugar Gift Set for Morning Tea or Coffee

Strawberry Shortcake with Strawberry Souffle Buttercream - Four 4 oz Jar Cakes Enchanting Vintage Glass Cake Stand 9" 23cm Sweet Sweet Mallow Homemade Marshmallows

Vintage Royal Vale Tea cup - White and Gold Floral with Stars - circa 1930's-  Stars Antique Linen Hand Towel Vintage, Silver Plated Teapot

Michaela White Silk Flower Hair Clip with Silver Rhinestone Vintage Fascinator vintage blue and white bone china tea cup and saucer set, 1950's Royal Grafton English tea set, gold filigree Rose Scented Butter Cookies

Vintage 1940s-1950s German White / Gold Tea Cup & Saucer Set Butterfly BARRETTE Silk Origami Hair Clip Vibrant Plum and Magenta with black lace Silks Gift LARGE SIZE shown Milk Glass Cake Stand / Fenton Hobnail Cake Stand / Vintage Wedding Cake Pedestal / White Cake Plate Ruffle Cake Stand / MilkGlass Cakestand

Please click here to see the Treasury & start shopping.

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!