Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy Hogmanay

This is my veiw from where I have been blogging for a whole year in blog land. Who would have thought it. My reason for starting this blog was to see if I could buy no unethical clothes for a year. Did I do it?

Truth be told, no. Right at the last hurdle I gave in to temptation and bought a rather lovely top on sale in a high street chain... darn those Xmas pre-sales.

It did get me thinking though... if I can go nearly a whole year without buying mass produced garments and recycle and make my own clothes maybe I can do that again and again... I do now feel no real joy in shopping as an activity. I used to almost get high from it and then crash and burn with a wardrobe full of mismatched hardly ever worn clothes.

So this year as made a vast improvement to my out look on shopping, I don't think it is cool at all to be a shopaholic.  I have made vast leaps in defining my person style too and well it is always great to know yourself a wee bit better :)

I think the focus of these pages widened also to include my passions in life as well as my quest for the local over the global shop, the handmade over the mass produced and the refashioned over the landfill. Plus my studies in costume and desires in Anthropologie, haha.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading my blog in 2009 and join me for more Bubbledust related goodness in 2010. Not the smoking kind either... I searched for my blog online and was amused to see that you can not only read Bubbledust but smoke it too... yikes!

Well I will sign off for this year and leave my seat at my computer and sewing machine empty as I get ready to go over the mountains and celebrate Hogmanay with my friends and family in the warm summer night.

Thank you for reading and have a great Hogmanay and 2010. Bring it on.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Square Stitch

I just went for the longest walk to try and work off some Christmas cheer. Trifle seems to last the longest... well if you have had nearly 5 servings over 3 days it does tend to want to stick around.

I have not gone near my sewing machine and I have heaps of refashions and make news to do, but I am feeling really lazy. I thought I would show you a little item that I picked up when I was away on my little holiday after I graduated.

That is one of the best things about holidays, new op-shops!

The bambi, the bowl of flowers, the jug of flowers reflecting in the mirror, its so super cutey. It is in fact a fire guard and I use it to hide the little mess pile that seems to appear when I start to sew something in my studio.

Right now I am trying to sew a green silk dress that I cut out ages ago but the sun keeps on luring me out and about, but at least it gets to hide some where in style when in between construction stages.

Maybe I should sew it up right now...


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Festive hello!

I hope that you all had an amazing Christmas Day, ate well and were merry. I had a lovely day with my family and friends and ate lots of yummy food. I also got amazing gifts. I wrote about one of my favourite artists a while ago and lamented how a print of one of her works had eluded me.

Well no longer. I received an authentic, signed print of a work titled 'If only you were here' by none other than Audrey Kawaski ... and here it is.

I love it. I can sit on the sofa and stare at it with my full belly and glass of wine.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Summer shorts...

In between all the studying I did manage to make some shorts for summer! Yipeeee, I got to wear them on the weekend for some very stylish gardening. I bought the material ages ago as a remnant for $15 and I got the pattern in an opshop trip.

I made a tolie out of some flannel and made them into winter PJ's, you can read about that on Wardrobe Refashion. They brighten up my white and pastey legs, he he.

I was also lucky and won a giveaway. Emily from This Is Emily Kate was giving away a spare copy of Burda World Of Fashion and I won. The sun is shining. Thanks Emily :)
Check out her blog as she is always making wonderful garments and collecting very sweet ceramics. Plus her kitty cat Edie is very cute indeed and her Procrasintation Station is amazing.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Costume Creation: The final Installment

Last time the costume had changed and breakdown had begun! If you have missed out (or don't know what I am writing about) click for Part One and Part Two.

Under the lighting the costume did not look old and dirty enough. It was suppose to belong to an old judge that had been hung and then enjoyed the breeze for a couple of weeks, lovley! Plus at this point Emma really wanted to mess this costume up more at the ends. Here is the final stage of breakdown, which I did with a tints of dark grey paint.

I covered the dummy again with a black bin bag to stop the next person who used it from cursing me forever.

This seemed to do the trick, Emma was happy with the costume under lights and then I handed over the costume to Shadon Meredith. This is when you have to let go of that costume and go watch the performer use it on stage, very exciting.

Hope you enjoyed the little journey through my final student costume creation. Hopefully the 'for real' costume creation is not so far away.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Back on track...

I gave my blog a festive present and birthday treat all in one... a little make over. I got some cards made up and now my blog matches my cards. Still little bits to do but they will get done without you noticing too much :)

I was going to go through all my old blog images and change the border colours but well... I have got better things to do, like day dream over presents I would buy myself.

First up would be a Retro Glider by Raleigh, ok there are more expensive versions but I had a gold Raleigh when I was a nipper and I LOVED it.

Then of course Anthropologie needs a visit, this wonderful blouse, dress and top would be my current top picks... but I would wear the dress. Then as I rode on my new bike in my new dress I would stop and snap away with my LOMO Diana... ahhhhh daydreaming.

Hope yours come true.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Make over

Hiya, Bubbledust is going through a make over, so it may be a bit chaotic for 24 hours!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Costume creation : Part Two

In the first post called Costume Creation: Part One, I went through the process of receiving the design from the designer, research, consulting, making samples, and starting the build. If you did not get to read part one, click here.

The next stage of the process is to keep on keeping on and make that costume! I organised fittings through the wardrobe supervisors and consulted the designer throughout this process. Below is the costume before I started breakdown.

Before I started breakdown, the performer wore the costume in a rehearsal. This is where you find out if any changes need to be made to the costume. The performer may have introduced new movements that the costume does not allow for etc. In this case the wig was to restricting and so was not used (well it was for spare parts) and more movement had to be incorporated in to the overall costume.

So the costume may of looked like the design, but in the reality of performance it just needed to be changed. So you change it. It may seem a tad heart breaking after hours of work to cast something aside or cut another thing up, but you want the costume to not only help the performer with their character but ensure that the designer gets the feel and look they want. Its your job and it is these challenges that make it enjoyable :)

So I cut into the waistcoat at centre back and made a split that gave more movement and snipped in to the rolls and messed them up a bit. Then on to my first phase of breakdown!

I covered the dummie to protect it as it was going to get dirty. From talking with the designer Emma the wigs where to look old and dusty. So I did some more samples with different products and methods and the one that seem to sink into the rolls and give depth was a mixture of talc and dye. I made up some diluted dye and then mixed it with lots of talc and dry brushed the solution on. I concentrated on the bottom more than the top of the costume as this was to look more ragged and old.

In the final installment there will be more breakdown and then da ta, the costume on stage dharling!

Until then check out the interview from costume designer, Janie Bryant who designs the wonderful costumes for Madmen, what a dream job!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Vintage style

Swoon. I love the pattern above. What a lovely little number from the 1930s. I found this pattern on Vintage Fashion Library via blog A Dress A Day. It is a reproduction of an authentic pattern so there is more than one up for grabs.

One other blog that I am following is Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing. Gertie found a copy of a 1952 Vogue Sewing book that made the claim if you could sew all the garments in the book, 14, then you would become an expert home seamtress. So that is exactly what she is doing!

Her blog charts her progress along with other interesting blogs posts and vlogs. Gertie also gives vintage sewing advice on BurdaStyle too in her guest column.

I really love the late 1930s style, but really it is hard to pick an era. So I ask that question, what is your favorite fashion vintage era?

Until next time.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Costume creation : Part One

So what is it that I do, what are my skills? Mmmmmmm. Well I make costumes, ok... but how does that happen... why don't I give you an example. I will use the last costume that I made for a production at Toi Whakaari.

Righty, the first thing that comes my way is the drawings from the costume designer. In this production Emma Ransley was the costume designer and I was allocated the design that I was to build.

Emma's costumes were based on the premise that you are made of what you do. So for my design of the characters costume is a cape of wigs from old dead judges that have gone before.

The first thing to do is research. I went to see if I could find images of real judges wigs and saw different types and the history of them too. Then asked Emma lots of questions. What does it looks like from the back? Real wigs or materials that just reference wigs? Is one wig sitting on his hand? Is the wig on his head separate? Colour to be the same as the drawing? Level of break down?

You ask these questions until you feel that the designer is comfortable and you now what you have to get done! Then you would assess what materials you have, time for completion and of course the needs of the performer.

I went to rehearsals to see how much movement the performer was to do, did they use the costume in any other way apart from wearing it? What would help their performance or hinder and how to minimise the later.

Your costume supervisor for the production helps with questions and answers heaps too, they are so important!

The materials that were available to me was Dacron... pillow stuffing... unspun wool...spray glue calico...organdie and paint. Real wigs would have been very expensive and after talking to Emma this is not what she wanted. Big, bold shapes. The first thing I did was to make a small sample, a mini wig if you like and then I made a base waistcoat.

I decided on the base waistcoat to provide some way for the performer to easily get this costume on and off. Plus it would act as a base to layer my fake wigs. I tried the waistcoat on the performer and then set to work on my Dacron rolls.

During my samples I found the best way was to get a thick Daron sheet, split it into three layers. I would take one of the layers and run the iron over it with steam (with press cloth on top). This made it flat and provided me with a base layer to attach the rolls onto and hide the calico and organdie waistcoat.

Then I went and laid the other sheets flat, sprayed them with spray glue and then placed thin layers of wool strands over the top and pressed down! I waited for them to dry, turned them over and then spray glued in sections then rolled up to the thickness the rolls needed to be.

I made lots of these. Some I used to make the head wig and I secured the ends with stitches before I put them on to a Dacron fused base shape.

I then started to attach the Dacron rolls onto the waistcoat layer. I started slow and took Emma into view my progress regularly so I knew I was still going in the right direction.

Below is my first real stage of development that really looks like the design I was given.

That's the end of part one. I did this in parts, three altogether, so its not a scroll-a-thon for you. Plus I may get you show some of the new garments I have been making myself, at last!


Monday, December 14, 2009


I live in a wonderful spot in Wellington, Island Bay, and to get into town I have to drive along a looooong road... lucky for me then at my first set of traffic lights I get to gaze into the windows of the shop and studio of Emma.

I have gazed and I finally went in. Beautiful clothes by fashion designer and director Emma Wallace. Sumptuous materials, stylish prints and quirky detailing. Check them out for yourself at the shop or online at Emma Collections. Not only is there clothes but a very great collection of accessories. Plus Emma is lovely too. Perfect.

Up and coming is a chance for you to get some local hand made gifts for the holidays. From the 18th to the 24th of December at the Thistle Hall Gallery, Upper Cuba Street is JUST GOOD STUFF. Check out the blog for a preview of some of the good stuff on offer.

Some good stuff for me was noticing that my major work dress was project of the week on BurdaStyle, sweet as. I got lots of very kind comments too, thank you.

Today I have been listening to Kings of Convenience and then watched some of their videos and here is one of my favourites.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lazy, hazy days

My oh my I just looked at the last entry date for my blog and was a wee bit surprised how quickly time has speed past... but the sun has been around... I have no more studies... erm... I have been on holiday... I am a slacker... so sorry for the lack of posting.

This post is about my graduation dress that was inspired by vintage Lanvin and Christopher Kane.

I used my pinking tool to create scalloped edges on black silk organza and then used this to create a modern texture, inspired by Mr Kane. I placed this on top of a black drop waisted dress with petal sleeves, lined in dusty light pink. I used pink silk organza to make a small detail on the sleeve to lift the garment.

The black material that I used for my dress was vintage inspired Japanese cotton. Now I have removed the black silk organza (ready to pop back on of course if needed) I have a wonderful LBD.

I also made a head piece to go with my outfit and a small clutch. On my wrist strap for my clutch I placed a vintage button that I picked up from Salvage in Auckland, it is so cute with two swallows and I plan to make a print for a t'shirt from it.

In our graduation ceremony instead of a black cloak and mortar we receive a cloak made by a fellow student and we get to keep it! I received a stunning cloak made by one of the now second year students in the costume course Michelle. It was perfect and has the most adorable bunnies in faux fur as decoration, with black feathers to top it all off.

That's Doug my partner too, he needs to get some posing lessons :)

See you soon-er.


Monday, November 30, 2009

If I could paint a picture...

What handsome couple... they are in fact my two amazing fur babies Floyd and Isla painted by the very talented Rins Dekker. This painting was commissioned by my dear friend and collaborator on the Light Dress, Karen Curley as a gift to me for my graduation and I LOVE IT to pieces.

I love the costumes, the nessie in the background the colour and falling blossoms from the trees. I have never meet Rins but just through some images of the dogs and my blog for reference she created the perfect painting for me. I am a very, very. very lucky lady. I gave such a belly laugh of glee and contentment when I received it and unwrapped it from its wonderful wrapping paper, also by Rins!

Thank you! xx

So just to finish of my major work pictures here is the final one with a link to my workbook (in which the fabric samples are empty, I printed the journal out then added actual samples).

Click on the PDF icon to download and view my journal for my major work. Leave a comment if you have any problems.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Image heavy... but not in a bad way

Hiya... well I am still no longer a student and I have just been on my first holiday for ages! My parents are here from Scotland so I went on a bit of a road trip with them round the north island of NZ. It was great and I feel a little more relaxed.

Apart from giving my house a good spring clean (which includes my sewing room, yikes) I have been looking at my list of Bubbledust post ideas and its loooooong! But that means there is lots to post, yippeee. So lets start with the last promise of more pictures of my major work... well what about those after some pictures of my fellow costumiers work... yes that sounds good.

Sorry but you may have to scroll for a bit as I want to make the images as big as I can. There are 6 fellow costumiers works to get through! You can click the images and they should load up bigger!

First up Helle's work.

Helle created a witch, but not any ole witch she created Baba Yaga, the witch of Russsian origins. The witch transforms on stage with the inner beauty of Baba the final exit.

Now Miss Tara's bad ass bride.

Tara was inspired by Christian Dior and the myth of the runaway bride... smokin!

Next up Jane's work.

Jane hand screen printed every singe fan, the print on the skirt and gown. A masquerade dress inspired by Japanese patterns.

Now for Eliza's beautiful Edwardian gown.

Quite simply her character's name of Florence says it all. Inspired by Charles Fredrick Worth and of a sublime green this dress had some fabulous undies too!

Now for Liz or as I like to call her Luz who has a love affair for Erte.

Oh those feathers! Oh those painstakingly hand sewn beaded chains and gem encrusted everything. I salute all things Luz :)

Lastly, Kellys work, my 18th century man!

The hand quilted waistcoat (click the image for more detail), the self fabric covered buttons, the pleated stock the wonderful detail and skill, amazing!

And finally another two images of my work from the photo shoot. In my next post I will post the final image and upload my work book of my major work for anybody that may be interested in my research etc. See you soon.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Major Work

I return to the pages of this blog no longer a student... I graduated. Whooo! I have a few things to show you that I have made but the first thing has to be my major work. Remember my post about my inspiration all those moths ago... well here is the final dress that I made.

I am very lucky to have had my dress used in a photo shoot by Derek Elvy, director of Buoy Hairdressing and for the king avant-garde to create the wig to go with my major work for costume showcase.

In the photo shoot Derek used the dress as the backdrop to his wonderful hair sculptures and the photography was taken by Yoshi Su. My model Kathryn was amazing as ever, she graduates herself in a few weeks from The New Zealand School of Dance. The photographs are so opulent and I could not of wished for a better end to a long project.

I am so pleased with my work and will pop up more pictures from the photo shoot when I get a chance... along with pictures of my fellow costumiers work.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Its love!

Oh golly gosh perfection does exist after all... I love this dress from the colours, to the modern lace work, to the shape, the graphic quality, yum, yum, yum! It is from Alexander McQeen's 2010 resort collection.

I am busy, busy finishing costumes for the graduation show, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, and tailoring, then waiting for graduation... which means making my grad dress... but hey I may find a couple of thousand hiding in an old shoe under our house and be able to get the dress above *sigh*

I will be finished school this week so expect some bumper updates in the next couple of weeks. Until then make a date and check out CRAFT 2.0 this Saturday, 24th of October and make room for Fabric-a-brac, Saturday 14th of November.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Fringe benefits

I needed to make something for my night out at World of Wearable arts... WOW in another word. The dates for the show are half way over and I can't think why I have never mentioned it before for in a Make a Date post! I went on awards night and the array of costumes or really works of art are quite amazing. But I needed some thing quick to go with my Graphic Ruffle skirt and black shirt (from my $20 bag) that I was going to wear... accessory time.

I saw a similar necklace on online magazine N.E.E.T via a post from Sally Jane Vintage and I thought I would attempt to make one. Here is what I did.

1. I got my supplies together. Some upholstery fringing in different colours and lengths. Length of gold chain and links from the bead shop (but you could reuse and existing chain) and got out and needle and thread and jewelry tools!

2. I arranged the fringing the way I wanted it for the finally placement and sewed them all together... with invisible stitches. I then made up my chain but forgot to take pictures, sorry.

3. The next step was to attach the fringing to the chain. To do this I doubled up a thread in a colour as close to the blue fringing (the one at the back) as I could find. Then I whip stitched it to the chain.

It worked and looked really good with my skirt and I think it will work well the a white tee and jeans too. Now for the finally hat installment, it is Make do and Mend, yippeee!

Click to download the pages from my workbook for my Make Do and Mend Hat. Just leave a comment if you have problems.


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

In the pink

I do have another hat file for you to look at but its short so I thought I would update you with some of my recent-ish opshop finds. In Wellington it is raining... as I type... and what could be more delicious than banishing rainy days in the pink. I found this raincoat in an opshop and apart from the lining having seen better days and no matching belt it is GReaT. I adore the little hood at the back with its button to keep it in place when not in use, or you can just take it off.

The little woven bag was another steal, it is made in Italy and will be perfect for summer days with floral dresses. It had a rather ugly plastic cord on it but I swapped it with a chain from another bag I have.

I bought a skirt via an auction site not that long ago and I think its the perfect companion for these two lovely items.

Mmmmm, well, well as I promised here is another hat installment. We all had to make a straw hat. I saw a lovely picture of a Lanvin hat c1910, in the amazing Lanvin book and decided to recreate it. The book as also inspired my graduation dress along with fellow Scot, Christopher Kane but that's another post altogether :)

Click the PDF icon to download my workbook page for my Lanvin-esque straw hat. Any problems just leave a comment.

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