Thursday, 29 September 2011

My first blocked felt hat (underway)

Last week at college I blocked my first ever felt brim - I forgot to take photos then, so here are a couple now...

This one was taken after I had unpinned the brim from the block, and cut it to size, ready to be finished.  I've put it back on the block to show that it really was from that block - it can be quite hard to tell for sure, because the block is upside down.

And the brim when off the block, and sitting the right way up.  The dome piece behind the brim is the crown part of the capeline, cut from the centre of the brim, which is now sitting pinned to the block drying out, ready to be attached and finished next week.

The narrow strggly bit to the side of the brim is the off cut - I managed to choose a wide brim for my first go, meaning that it was a real effort to stretch the felt to the necessary size, and that I had hardly any left over.

Home work for this week is a sample file of stitching, and to finish the edge of my brim - and to start thinking about how to trim it - the really fun part!  :o)

Tuesday, 27 September 2011


This post has absolutely nothing to do with sewing, or with my work.

When winter is on us, and the two old trees outside my sewing room window are denuded, I can see the workings of Kellingley Colliery through the gaps in the bare branches.

This afternoon there was a roof collapse at Kellingley - one of the last handful of deep coal mines working in the UK.  According to accounts, two ment were trapped - one was rescued, although injured, and one man died.

My thoughts are with their families, friends and colleagues.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Etsy and Facebook

I've been meaning to do this for ages, but time, time, time...

Anyway, I have finally set up a facebook page (or pages) for my work.

My costume page is here!/pages/Deborah-Lough/123277781105753 (or search on Deborah Lough). 

And the page for my padding is here!/pages/The-Padded-Armour-Company/122691571164098

Click on the links to either page, and then click like, and you'll get updates of what I'm doing, and pretty pictures of my work, etc.

Now then, other news is that I've just set up an Etsy shop, where I'll be listing assorted items of costume, and accessories, both stock items and pieces that are made to order.

You can find it here - - at the moment I have some livery badges listed for sale, and I'll be adding more over the weekend, as well as some other bits and pieces.

I'm also in the process of setting up a shop for my padding.

All quite exiting, and I may actually be approaching the 21st century (not entering yet, but approaching!!)

Thursday, 15 September 2011

A strange week...

I've had a bit of a stange week, since last Friday...  highs and lows...

Firstly, good news - the scary health stuff is now over - my cancer scare is done, and the doctor is happy with my healing (I had to have some surgery), so I now officially have the all clear health-wise, and can get back to normal.

Then a couple of days after that, I discovered that a competitor has set up making padding, and has copied some of my design elements (such as using metal washers to reinforce eyelets), and more importantly, and absolutely infuriatingly, has obviously gone through my whole website, and has used parts of it as a base for his - including lifting certain paragraphs whole and without change.

I have no issues with facing competition, I know that I'm good at what I do.
To an extent have accepted that my work will be copied, because it has been many times before - usually by those without the training, experience, or in-depth knowledge to develop ideas and techniques for themselves - don't get me wrong, it's still upsetting, but my attitude (for self-preservation reasons) has evolved into one of 'let them scrabble about in the mud of last year's design and research, while my work moves up and on'.
But the wholesale copying and pasting of text from my website is a new one for me to face.  I'd be lying if I said it didn't hurt - it does - I take time to ensure that all the infomation on my site is accurate and concise, and having somebody else coming along and just take it makes me feel a lot like I did after a burglary a few years ago - violated.

Anyway, the other nice thing that's happened - I started college yesterday, finally.  I'm now a fully fledged student, and a trainee milliner.

Ok, so the first day was largely comprised of sewing circles and straight lines on calico and paper to make sure we could use the machines without killing ourselves, and then a 50 minute health and safety lecture, but we got to look at some hat blocks! :o)  And I finished my machining first so got to leave early.

The course proper starts next week, and we start with the bit I've been looking forward to most - blocking of felt!  Just have to assemble bits and bobs of my sewing kit to take with me.

So, all in all, a mixed week, but on balance, a good one.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Back to work...

I've not been working full strength for the last month or so, because of some moderately scary 'health stuff'.  But I'm getting back down to it now, so thought I'd share the thing I'm working on at the moment.

Another dolman, still under construction, this one not a historically correct one, but to be worn as a modern coat / jacket.

It's cut to fit a woman, so has darts at the front, under the braiding, which is a new challenge (getting the braid to sit correctly over the shaping.

Hopefully I'll manage to get it done in the next few days, and show you some proper 'finished pics', but here are some teasers in the meantime!