Sunday, 26 May 2013

A new creation, and a new promotional poster for Captain Bayley's Infernal Mechano-Perambulator!

Captain Bayley has just published pics of his long awaited sporty kid brother to the IMP, the Infernal Dichoto-Velocipod!

Introducing the all new, 'Infernal Dichoto-Velocipod' - for all your Amphibious Transport needs!
Image from Captain Bayley
I've also made a promotional poster for the original Infernal Mechano-Perambulator, inspired by pulp fiction magazines. Enjoy! Should I make prints available? Let me know in the comments!
Captain Bayley Presents Poster by the Mothworks

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Decopunk dress is done!

Well, the Decopunk dress is finally finally finished. It looks nothing like the pattern is meant to, but frankly, that is a good thing because this pattern was suffering badly from a case of optimistic packet artist (Which, by the way, explains why there are only ever shots of the finished dress from the back on the internets!). It is glamourous and long and it swishes, but I don't have any pictures of it, because I want a picture of myself in it with properly done hair and not looking like I've spent two days in my pyjamas eating cheesy bread and watching Doctor Who.

Judgemental cat is watching you.
To make up for it, here is a picture of cross Sophie, whose crossness may have something to do with the fact that now that it is warming up, before I put her outside in the morning I have to kneel on her and force-spray her ears with factor 75 so that they don't peel off. Look at that fluorescent nose! 

I do have my next-next-sub-next project in mind (have I learned NOTHING from the Decopunk dress!?), which is to say, it is a dress that will be one of the next three dresses I make subject to willpower, focus and panic. 
Because £189? Really?  Hobbs Blue Invitation Vienna Dress
This pattern is super simple, and it will look nice on me. Plus I get to add a bit of length if I make it, which is important because I look like a fat stork in all 'above the knee' dresses bought from shops. I also have exactly the right amount of either royal blue or burgundy silk dupion that I impulse bought from MacCullough and Wallis back when I was well-paid. I might lengthen the darts in the front skirt as well since it looks like it might go a bit pouffy in the front. I think I will have to enlist the Captain's help in drafting the bodice. 

Monday, 6 May 2013

The Deco-punk dress, second attempt!

While the Captain soaks dog chews for the rawhide, I've been busily making stuff as well. Remember the dodgy dress pattern from last week? I decided to buy this one:
What could possibly go wrong?
Initially, I thought it might be an idea to use contrasting shades of grey for the inset panels to really amp up the deco look, but I wanted something subtly different, and the ones in the local fabric shop were too extreme. In the end, I just cut some of the panels on the long grain and some on the short grain. The fabric I chose - charcoal satin - is quite shiny so the effect of the alternating grains was pretty similar to the look I was going for anyway. 

I made the body of the dress up on Saturday, and it wasn't too bad. I was anticipating a really horrifying, slippery mess on account of very unforgiving, slidy fabric and a complicated construction, but actually most of those panels are edge-stitched and cut on the straight so it went together very easily. Unfortunately, it also looked like a bag. 

What you can't see in the glamourous pattern image, is that there isn't any provision for the belt - if you nip the waist in with a belt, all you get are massive wrinkles, and there isn't much scope for adjusting the bodice to give it some shape of it's own. Plus I'm taller than the average person, so the belt looked weird at my natural waist. As I stood there, gazing into the bathroom mirror in my bag dress, I have to admit that a tiny voice in the back of my head said 'you should have made a toile'. A moment later, I came to my sense and squashed the little bastard, deciding to turn my expensive mistake into an opportunity to be creative. I lengthened the edge stitched darts in the back to take in some of the fullness, and then created a pin-tucked art-deco style fan in the front to make it a bit more flattering. This created an unpleasant and slightly suggestive effect towards the bottom of the front inset square:

uh oh.
'Excellent!' I may or may not have cried, 'Another opportunity to be creative!'

So here is what I think - 'Decopunk' is barely a thing, 'Metropolis' notwithstanding, so I get to invent it myself a little bit. I went to the hardware store and bought some of these:

[I was going to have a stock photo here, but you try googling 'tiny nuts' (on second thought, don't)]

After all, if steampunk has gears everywhere, deco-diesel-I-made-it-up punk can have tiny nuts. Anyway, I bought a few packets of beads and some tiny nuts and decided to try my hand at embellishing over my mistakes (it's a lifestyle choice!). I'm pretty happy with the result:

Please ignore the creases - I've had it rumpled up on my lap working on it. 

A close-up of the deco-sunburst 

It isn't finished, yet. I'm going to add an internal stay instead of a belt and tack the dress to it to make sure it isn't just hanging off of me, and I've also been strategically putting off (avoiding) doing the final finish (snaps and hem).
Mark says it looks like a pair of She-Ra's pants, but that's fine because he spent yesterday making a shield out of a table top and rawhide dog chews, and then may or may not have brained his best friend with it. 

'The Trouble with Tribbles' meets 'Ice-9'

It's a bank holiday weekend, which means it's time for Captain Bayley to make another impractical, large, and messy purchase. Today's involved 2 cubic feet of tiny, staticky polystyrene balls in a bag. These are normally sold for the purposes of making beanbags, in which you decant all of them in one go into a fabric sack and then spend the next four months finding stray ones stuck to your clothes. I can't say what they are for, but I am assured that they are a crucial part of the creative process. 

I don't know if you have worked with these things before, but they are so highly charged that they have a tendency to levitate in the bag, and I'm 100% certain that if even a single one makes contact with an part of our house we will be over-run with tiny replicating white spheres. The Captain is sitting next to me doing something with them that involves them being in a tray. I have visions of one of the cats innocently leaping up onto the table and sending said tray flying, and then spending the rest of it's natural life covered in tiny white styrofoam balls and looking like a low-budget alien extra in a sci-fi horror film.