Articles by Zoe Edwards

Zoe Edwards   —  

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  • Colour Analysis and Choice

    I don’t know if you will agree, but I find the freedom that sewing my own clothes provides can at times be as daunting as it is liberating. By applying a few basic pattern cutting skills to the plethora of sewing patterns available, virtually any style, shape or detail that you could find within ready-to-wear …

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  • The Language of Fashion

    Every industry has a lexicon, but how does the lexicon of the fashion industry effect those of us who are interested in style, clothes and their creation but who do not work in it? Obviously, there is a wealth of specific terms related to pattern creation, garment construction and the necessary technology that are common …

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  • Mid-Century Kimono Sleeves

    The kimono sleeve came into fashion for ‘Western’ women’s clothing towards the tail end of the 1940’s when the exaggerated shoulders which had previously been fashionable began to evolve into a more natural silhouette. As women’s fashion entered into the 1950’s, the fashionable silhouette for shoulders continued to move away from the large padded ‘Power’ …

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  • Self-Stitched-September: Join Us!

    Some of you made already be aware of the Me-Made-May challenge that I wrote about on this blog back in April. Initially created as way to expand upon my personal Me-Made-March challenge, Me-Made-May took on a life of its own! Over 80 members of the sewing community participated by challenging themselves to wear their handmade …

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  • Style Icon: Annie Hayworth

    Last year I was lucky enough to go to an open air screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s film ‘The Birds’. It was a magical night, with the sun setting behind us and the film projected onto the side of a castle. But aside from the memory of the experience, I also came away that evening with …

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  • Piping

    If you’ve read my posts on this blog before, you may already be aware that I often use them as an excuse to indulge and fixate upon my sewing-related obsessions. On that note, enter today’s topic: piping! Very little seems to have been written (on the internet anyway) about piping aside from fairly basic explanations. …

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  • Pattern Variations

    This weekend I undertook the interesting (to me) task of laying out all my me-made garments in preparation for my Me-Made-May challenge. I’ve never seen them altogether before, and was surprised to see how many ‘multiples’ I’d created. By that I mean garments that used the same pattern for their creation, either ‘straight up’ or …

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  • Picture Appliqué

    Flicking through a 1970 edition of Golden Hands magazine recently, I discovered this image of an awesome appliqué panelled dress. The caption reads: ‘This enchanting evening dress with its pretty floating sleeves and attractive appliquéd bodice panel was designed by Adele Cooper, a fashion student at Hornsey College of Art. The dress is made in …

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  • Me-Made-May: Join Us!

    (image source) So, do you actually wear the clothes you spend time creating? Personally, I often find it too easy to find fault in my newly completed creations and at times used to shove them in a drawer and allow myself to be quickly distracted by the next project. But thankfully eventually, the ratio of …

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  • Cotton Sateen

    As much as I love Barkcloth, I must admit there is another fabric type that regularly vies for the covetable title of My Favourite Fabric. Whereas the appeal of Barkcloth for me is predominantly based on the awesome midcentury patterns and prints often featured, the attraction I feel for Cotton Sateen is all about the texture. …

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  • Fine Tucks Make Fine Fashion

      According to an article in an edition of Golden Hands magazine from 1971, ‘Fine Tucks Make Fine Fashion’, and who am I to disagree?! Especially when confronted with evidence as convincing as these fantastic illustrations. The article suggests that tucking ‘gives a well thought out, expensive looking finish to any garment, and lends itsef particularly well to simple, easy …

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  • Fabric Covered Buttons

    The origin of buttons is difficult to establish, but the word itself probably stems from either the French bouton for bud or bouter to push. The French were passionate about the potential of the button and by 1250 had established the Button Makers Guild. The Guild produced beautiful buttons with great artistry, much to the …

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  • Style Inspiration: The French Resistance

    When I was little, Sunday afternoons always seemed to feature a film in black and white about the Second World War playing in the background because my dad was pretty partial to watching (read: falling asleep in front of) them. To me, most of these films were more or less just background noise, except for …

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  • Contrast Fabric Dresses

    If you have read any of my recent posts for this blog, you will already know that I’ve been thinking a lot about ways to use smaller pieces of fabric you may have in your stash. I find it very frustrating when I have a great piece of fabric, perhaps in an amazing print or …

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  • Make Do and Mend: ‘Getting Ready For Baby’

    Yesterday I went to a massive flea market here in Barcelona called Encants (where I previously picked up the amazing vintage hand-painted buttons), with a sewing friend of mine who was on a mission to score some supplies from the haberdashery stalls. I was only going to keep her company but ended up getting in …

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  • Internal Contrasts

    As you may already be aware, recently I’ve been thinking alot about sewing with my existing stash of fabric rather than buying more, and I’ve been trying to encourage others to do the same. Tackling the larger pieces of 2 metres-plus is proving easy enough, but so much of my stash seems to be comprised of smaller …

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  • Stash Bustin’ Fabric Swap!

    You may have seen my post here on this blog a few days ago which spoke about the Stash Bustin’ challenge I have set myself and others to work through our fabric mountains and avoid trips to the fabric store. Well the post received many lovely comments, including a couple calling for some kind of …

  • Stash Bustin’

    I’ve been thinking a lot recently about fabrics stashes. Of all the beautiful and useful pieces of fabric that I, and probably every sewer everywhere, have stashed away somewhere not realising its potential whilst I (we) have been continuing to make trips to the fabric shop to harvest yet more. I like to think that, …

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  • Make Do and Mend: Darning

    A few weeks back I wrote a post which served both to introduce a book entitled Make Do and Mend and to give a general overview of the deprivations effecting the civilian population, particularly in the UK, during the Second World War. Many people took the time to add some fascinating comments regarding this subject, I …

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  • Decorative elements: Lace appliqués

    What are sewing blogs for if not to share our triumphs and tribulations? If you follow my personal blog, you may have seen a skirt (pictured above) I made back in April 2009. It was a simple A-line shape made in red poly-cotton twill. I carefully cut out some shapes from scraps of my mum’s …

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  • The Beat Generation

    When it comes to TV shows, if I’m going to get into them, it’s going to be near on a decade after everyone else, which explains why I’ve only just started watching the first series of Mad Men. And like pretty much every woman I’ve heard on the subject, I have become obsessed with the …

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