Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Reflections on Collaboration Part One.

Excuse me not posting but this week has been a bit frantic already. Sprogzilla's dad went in for another op yesterday so I am home from work for the week. We knew he was going in but has had complications so was back in theatre today. We have been at the Hospital for hours and are feeling a bit frazzled.

Mum was also here Monday/Tuesday so I spent most of the weekend cleaning. Understandably, none of the planned sewing has been done but I did get a bit of time tidying up in the garden, glamorously assisted by my Mum and painted the bathroom (French navy since you're asking). The weather has been glorious. Mum, Sprogzilla and I had a wander round the shops and went out for a pub lunch on Monday.

The folly of a monster lunch.

So today I would like to reflect on collaborations past and future and share a very small selection of my favourite photos. It is quite late and I have collaborated a lot so I will keep this as a first post with more to follow. There are lots and lots of pics and I don't want to miss anyone out.

What got me thinking was that I have been very lucky to be asked again to take part in Newcastle Fashion Week. This will be the third year running and this time it will be in collaboration with the lovely directors of F6 Studios, Helen Rafferty and Lydia Bayley. Both Helen and Lydia are textile designers who produce exquisite work and I only hope that my sewing skills will do justice to their beautiful designs. More on that later this week.

We found this fabulously arty graffiti up a lane.

Being a completely self-taught sew-intist I always feel like a total bit of a fraud around "proper" designers when I am making stuff and consider myself very blessed and lucky in who I have worked with. In recent years I have met the most amazing designers, photographers, models and all round superbly talented people.

Images are in no particular order, just as I come across them on my hard-drive.

This is one from 2012 and is modeled by the beautiful burlesque performer, Lilly La Rousse. The shot is by Jade Photography. The corset is a very simple triple layer, silver dupion outer with silk piping and an insert panel of Zoffany home decor fabric. I only had a tiny bit or I would have added more. Isn't the fabric beautiful? This was inspired by armour.  For such a small corset it is pretty heavily boned with a concealed full-boned panel under the front. It is tiny. I could probably get it round my thigh *sigh*.

Joan of Arc by Ingres

Next up is another corset from 2012. The image is from a shoot with milliner Mairi Brunning and styled by the amazing Laura Villanueva. She is such a talented milliner and images from this shoot were featured in Core Magazine. I wish I could have gone to this shoot. I love horses and Friesians are my favourite breed.

The most recent collaboration was a few months ago with accessories designer, Melanie Kyles and photographer Michael McGuire. We had such a fun day ablely assisted by fellow photographer, Lucie Cox and model Millie Parker. The corset and headwear thingie is from last year's Fashion Week and the collar and cuffs are by Melanie. I was inspired by some deco dresses on Pinterest and the headwear incorporates a vintage beaded necklace, Swarovski crystals & vintage glass beads and the belt buckle is original Art Deco Diamante. It is piped as well. I like a challenge.

Well, I am now feeling very sleepy. Hope this week is great for you all and that you are enjoying the nice weather wherever you are.

One last thing, today I was a showcased blogger on the fabulous "Rhonda's Creative Life" blog. If you sew or craft you should really add her to your blogroll. Her sleeves drafting how-tos are completely amazing and there is always so much that informs and inspires me. I am really very touched and it totally brightened up what was a pretty miserable day.

Later lovelies, K xx


  1. Oh dear, I hope your man is OK, being in and out of theatre is no fun.
    Nice to see your mum and daughter tucking in to their Big Lunches!
    My goodness, I had NO idea you made those amazing corsets, they are absolutely beautiful. Get you! Talented or what?! Can't wait to see what you make for this year's Newcastle Fashion Week. xxx

    1. Thanks Curtise, He is feeling a bit better today. Hoping he won't be in for too long. Yes, the lunches were a bit big. I don't have a lot of time to sew these days or I would be making things all the time. I am excited to see what lovely fabrics Helen and Lydia have created. Kelly xx

  2. Hope the man is on the mend.
    Love, love, love the corsets. are so very talented. I keep saying I'll have a crack at making one but a) never find the time and b) they scare the bejesus out of me.

    1. Yes, he sounded better today, thanks. We are just on our way up to see him. Corsets are pretty easy. If you can sew a straight line you can make one. It is all in the fit and making sure you have enough boning in them. If you ever have a go and need some pointers just drop me a line. I can see all the mistakes in the ones that I have made in the past but aren't we always like that with the stuff we sew? xx

  3. Kelly your corsets are truly stunning, I absolutely adore the one with the silver dupion and Lilly looks gorgeous in it! Can't wait to see what yous come up with for NFW :) I've seen a bit of Helen and Lydia's and the colours are lush! Xxx

    1. Hi Melanie, Lily is such a beauty isn't she? I am so excited about NFW too. See you later if you are down at F6. xx