Bags. Handmade!

New tech – old fabric

I love travelling. I love preparing for trips. I probably spend more time researching compression socks for long flights, hammams for a stopover in Istanbul or cameras that are not only affordable, but will work for taking photos on holiday as well as in the flat, for shooting the latest piece of fabric I’ve just snapped up, than actually on said holidays.

After an epic 4 month research, review reading, Youtube watching, saving, and a fair amount of dreaming, I finally updated my 7 years old laptop. In laptop years that is exactly a hundred, but the veteran still stays in the family. The new kid is currently being tested, I love new technology, but I’m also quite suspicious, so the box it came in will be part of the furniture for another 12 days…


In the meantime, I decided to make a little case for it, so that I can take it outside and see exactly how mobile the two of us are.

You must be tired of this fabric by now, this is the same I used for the Bangkok bag and the camera case too. It is a waxed cotton from Nigeria: easy to sew, easy to iron and pretty durable. I have 6 meters of it, so once I run out of gadgets to cover, I might even make a dress for myself. 🙂

I have used up pretty much all the remnants of the military jacket’s lining to line the case, with some batting sandwiched between the layers for extra padding. The edges are bias bound, and some elastic is sewn at the back to hold some magazines, or paper…although given the fact that there is a pen that works wonderfully with the laptop/tablet (no notepad necessary), and having Pinterest and the whole of the internet with all the information and photos available I could possibly need, I don’t see why I would be carrying a 200 page magazine with 150 pages of adverts with me. Oh the design-fails we make… 🙂

TheSecretCostumier - Laptop case4

TheSecretCostumier - Laptop case5

TheSecretCostumier - Laptop case1

From scratch

Inspiration #1: That Dior dress

It all started a few months ago when I discovered the remnants box at the Rolls & Rems in Lewisham. I found over 2 meters of this beautiful floral chiffon for £4.50. I wanted to make a dress that was not too girly, but I couldn’t imagine using a minimal pattern either, so I just ignored it until I came across this Dior dress from the 2012 RTW Spring-Summer collection.

I was going to use a nude colour for the bodice part, but could not find any see through chiffon that matched my skin tone, so I decided to pick something striking instead, like…red.

I do feel a little bad about shamelessly copying the design (“shamelessly” if it turns out well, obviously), but I do have a few points to calm my guilt:

  1.  I make it for myself, not for sale;
  2. Great painters learned the techniques by copying their predecessors;
  3. It. Is. Hard. Work.

It really is hard to sew the chiffon as it frays within seconds in my hands, and the bias binding that I chose frays too. That must be the punishment, I guess. I chose a Burda pattern that is really simple, and has an interesting dart on the bodice and pretty little sleeves, although I just realised a HUGE difference between the pattern I’m using and the original dress: the original is made of a single front and back piece, with no seams attaching the sleeves. That makes a big difference as mine will have more design details showing through… I will (have to) do tons of hand sewing, as I decided to go with the hand rolled solution to finish the neckline and sleeves. I haven’t figured out yet how to attach the top part, but it will possibly be done by some more hand sewing.TheSecretCostumier - Inspiration: That Dior dress

The new pledge that comes with making this dress (which I have no idea what shoes to wear  with?!) is that I will sew at least 15 minutes a day (as suggested by Sarai Mitnick @ Coletterie), so I should be done with it by the time temperature rises above 20 ºC here in London. Just kidding, I will definitely finish it before August! 😉

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