Hollywood Old Timey Jazz Glam!

Given the chance to design a Chorus Line for a show I of course went Old Timey and pulled influences from old school Hollywood!

11-342784_0x440 624ebee3dd49e4d932371bf6c681d048 1002a9b6a88472a51de0c9a965081967 tumblr_mmz6fnxdBK1qf1hu0o1_500

Who wouldn’t, right?

Working with a very limited budget, I decided to create some stand out Tail Coats, then add different Costume elements to them to create different looks. Most of the budget for this show went into these Tail Coats, and I think they really sell the piece… not so much on this mannequin though! Why are store mannequins so weirdly shaped?!

13288826_10153581409531272_1990597414_n 13292857_10153581409601272_191919733_n 13293254_10153581409811272_1892463809_n

I thought that Black Sequin fabric was a super swell find, and would really pop on stage, but I didn’t want to over use it. The Black fabric was also sequined, but a little more gently, and simply shimmered but provided real movement.

We also made silver waistcoats, hot pants (girls) and trousers (boys) with silver sequin tuxedo stripes. For the more modern dance numbers which were a little more energetic we created t-shirts with stars and others with music notes on them, also from the silver sequin fabric (actually, the silver sequin fabric scraps! We were really using every last piece!!)

13289063_10153581409971272_1484358053_n   13236139_10153581409411272_1351522536_n   13282153_10153581409016272_1412618336_n

Finally, and I was super duper over the moon with these bad boys I can tell you!, I made some silver mini top hats with shooting stars… ta da!!

hat1 hat2 hat4

And put it all together and… … …


That’s some pretty hot jazz!

Happy stitching!

New poster! Dressmaking Classes in Bristol…

Aprils Poster


Some of the above only have a couple of places left, and the Bra Making Course is almost all sold out but I could squeeze one more person on to it! There are 3 places left on the Play Suit Course, which I think is going to be awesome as I have three different patterns including a super Retro 40s style Land Girl one! The UpCycle Sew Anything  and Vintage Summer Dress Courses are both booking up and have just three places left each… book quick guys!

I love all of the new Project Days I have put together too! You can learn how to make Pyjama Shorts, Patchwork or Machine Embroidery in just one day among other things, and for just £35 which is pretty darn spectacular if I say so myself.

You can still book most Classes and Courses for just a £10 deposit, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions!

Happy stitching!

Notions: Herringbone Stitch.

MCCALLS Herringbone StitchIllustration from McCalls Sewing in Colour, 1960. 

I know this seems complicated but I use Herringbone Stitch for all my hems. I first got taught this technique when I was working at the- now sadly closed down & sold off for parts- BBC Costume Department in West London.

The reason it was being used on costumes was twofold… firstly it doesn’t show from the front, at all! Secondly, it’s super strong. If your heel gets caught & rips one stitch the rest don’t immediately unravel because of the way Herringbone Stitch is worked.


Herringbone stitch, often called Catch Stitch, is a most useful little stitch to know. As you can see from the above diagrams, it is a version of Back Stitch, in Cross Stitch form. Turn your hem up as needed, or refer to your pattern for instruction.

Firstly, thread you needle in a complimentary colour, then stitch a couple stitches ‘on the spot’ to start. This stitch is worked backwards so the first stitch you take will be through the main body of the fabric. Take a stitch from right to left but only take up a couple of threads of the fabric. This stitch should lie directly above the hem fold as illustrated.

Secondly, and roughly 1.5cm to the right of the first stitch, take a larger stitch through the fold in the fabric. Do not go all of the way through to the front. Move to the right again and take another stitch through the main body of the fabric, as illustrated, and only taking up a couple threads. Continue until the hem is complete or you need to re-thread.

The examples above I have completed in black & white, so you can imagine how the stitches disappear when executed in a complementary colour.

Happy stitching!

*This was originally posted on 19th March 2013 but I have been talking about it so much recently I thought it would be helpful to re-share! 


A Tangled Stitch on Etsy

Dusken Spats PDF Sewing Pattern Victorian Edwardian Steampunk DIY Craft Kit Eventide Corset PDF Sewing Pattern Victorian Edwardian Steampunk DIY Craft Kit Mini Top Hat PDF Sewing Pattern Victorian Edwardian Steampunk DIY Craft Kit

My Etsy Shop, A Tangled Stitch, is back open for business since closing after Christmas and my concerns about VAT issues which Etsy have waylaid for the time being. I am hoping to add in new products soon, but for the moment all of my Patterns are back on sale including the Eventide Corset Pattern, Dusken Spats Pattern and Original Mini Top Hat Pattern as well as a Pack of all three! I am keeping the reduced prices until the end of the month too, win!

If the Eventide Corset Pattern strikes your fancy remember that as well as teaching a Course in April, I also hosted a Sew-a-Long here for you to peruse as you make your very own Bespoke Corsetry.


As mentioned last year, I am hoping to add to and expand my Pattern line and am already sketching away on a couple of Dress designs, and a T-Shirt Pattern to begin with. All are inspired by Vintage lines but have the Midnight Ateliers classic, linear aesthetic which (hopefully!) lets the style lines shine through and pays homage to the past, but doesn’t imitate it.

I’m so excited because I am pouring all of my knowledge in to these patterns gained over the last few years of teaching. The sizes are a little more generous, the making up process a little simpler but easily manipulated in a series of ‘hacks’, and every Pattern will come with information on how to adapt them to fit perfectly.

I’ll start drafting the first Pattern soon, and I’m going to be making up a series of Samples for sale at the end of April in my Pop Up Shop (more news on that soon), I can’t wait to relieve myself of my current work load and get started! I’m hoping to offer the Patterns as both PDF’s and Hard Copies so there is much work to be done.

Is there a Pattern out there you’d like to see?

Happy stitching!

New Sunday Sewing Bees!!

sunday sewing bee image Are you as excited as me about the Sewing Bee? And have you seen my first crazy challenge?! I have had many, many enquiries recently about all sorts of Sewing related projects so I thought I would pop a few Sunday Sewing Bees in on the Calendar to help everyone out!

You can book up here, and they’re only £25 for the whole session or £5 an hour. There are six spots for each Sunday. I think they’re a super way to create your own course- book two and make yourself a Dress or something new and lovely to wear whilst joining in with Make Me A Wardrobe!!

They will also be a chance to learn at your own pace, without having to keep up with a class, and whenever you want! Alternatively, if you have been inspired by last years Sewing Bee, one of the many glorious Sewing Magazines or have a Sewing Machine secreted away somewhere, use them as a way to dip your toes and see if you like this crazy world!

Bring a Pattern and Fabric or use The Midnight Atelier’s extensive Pattern and Book collection to trace off a Pattern to make for just the price of the Pattern Paper!

Contact me for ideas and suggestions, or join the Bristol Sewing Club’s Facebook Page and talk to the group! Alternatively, you could use them to learn a specific skill… ever wanted to try your hand at Pattern Cutting? Designing? Embroidery? Have you liked a Course I have been running but couldn’t make the time slot? Come now and learn at your own pace!!

Find out more information or book here, and I look forward to seeing you soon!!

My Sewing Bee Challenge

Have you been watching this years Great British Sewing Bee? I love it and everyone already, I must stop being such a complete softie!

As ever, they covered such a vast amount on the first week from Pattern Matching to sewing Curves beautifully, Bias Binding and the correct application thereof (sorry Matt!) that it left my head in a spin! My favorite piece was Lorna’s Trousers. I loved the beautiful print laying diagonally across the fabric. Here at the Midnight Atelier there has also been much discussion of how nervous they all seemed, which is fair as it must be very stressful! Previous years must just have taken it all in their stride a little better, I’m hoping they settle in this week.

Well, this is all very well and good you may be thinking, but why am I prattling on about it? It’s because I have decided to challenge myself! Each week I shall be giving myself the same time limitations and re-creating the Alteration challenge right here at The Midnight Atelier and, having completed one already, I have to say it’s amazing fun!

I know I have a slightly unfair advantage in that each week I shall have longer to think about what I am planning to do simply because I have to go out and buy the supplies however; I am hoping you’ll forgive me as I intend to auction off the final pieces at the end of The Great British Sewing Bee for a local Charity. My time limit is also technically a little shorter as I have to make the piece as well as take pictures as I go so I think I’m making amends!

The minute Patrick revealed the Denim Shirt last week I thought ‘Red Gingham’, so mu so that I was very surprised no-one else did!! I blame my ultimate decision to make a Retro themed Beach Set on my new Class Schedule planning as I have lingerie on the brain… but what do you think?


I draped the whole thing on the Mannequin super quick to get an idea of the curves, then used the Cuff for the front of the Bikini, and parts of the Sleeves for the rest as I used the Front of the Shirt for the Front of the Shorts- cut so that the Buttons and Button Holes lined up to create a feature!- and the Back of the Shirt for the Back of the Shorts. Ta daa!!

So, without further ado, here’s the whole Photo Story…

gbsb2 gbsb3 gbsb4

I don’;t know who it was that said it, but making a little sketch right at the beginning of a timed challenge is super helpful

gbsb5 gbsb6

Draping the Shorts from some scrap lining fabric, and marking where I wanted the buttons, pocket etc with a felt pen.

gbsb7 gbsb8 gbsb10

Placing the Pattern Pieces on the Denim Shirt, then lining them up before I cut to make sure the Buttons and Button Holes lined up. I had to add in a Button Hole but all others worked out beautifully!

gbsb11 gbsb16

Re-sewing on the Patch Pocket at a cheeky angle! the shorts are nearly finished, just some Lingerie Elastic for the Hem!

gbsb13gbsb14 gbsb15

Draping the Bikini from the Cuff! I was so pleased about this! after I draped the Front, I marked the pieces with pins on my Dress Mannequin then traced over them to cut the real piece. Quick as anything!! I draped the Gingham insert then Cut and Spread to make the Gathers.

gbsb17 gbsb19 gbsb20

Pinning the Order of Sewing on to the Mannequin… then sewing! The Bikini took about twenty minutes to drape (and I was worried for a split second) but then only about five minutes to sew up! Voila!! Just some Ribbon straps and Gingham Ties to  finish!!

gbsb27 gbsb32

I finished with about five minutes to spare… and look at the devastation something like this wreaks upon your work space!!


gbsb25 gbsb29 gbsb28gbsb33 gbsb31 gbsb24

Such fun! I love the final outfit, and can’t wait to see what I’ll be up against tonight… eek!!

Catch up with The Great British Sewing Bee here, and don’t forget my new Class Schedule will be out on Monday and ready to book. There’s so many treats and fantastic Classes coming guys, I’m so excited!!

Happy stitching!