Summers end

Hard to believe that two years have come and went. My time here in the UK is coming to a close and I am squeezing in every last bit of what this city has to offer. 

I spent the last couple weeks making a sizeable number of regency era gowns from my studio in South East London. Lots of silk satins and lace! I was so pleased to be applying many of the techniques I mastered in my course in York, as well as using my foundation in garment construction to crank out these dresses methodically. I don’t have many details for the production for which they’ll be featured but once it’s released I will definitely be broadcasting that information. 

The other day I had a thought while packing up my flat and studio. It’s funny how endings look a whole lot like beginnings. Empty rooms waiting to be filled resemble that of spaces recently cleared of their possessions. I suppose the only thing that distinguishes them is the feelings they represent for the person leaving or entering the space. While I will miss the studio that has served as a place to house my work and inspiration over the last year, I trust that something wonderful awaits me upon my return. I’m looking forward to reestablishing myself with all the many skills I am bringing back with me. 

Next week I will be starting a course in tambour embroidery at Hand & Lock, the very same studio that does embroidery for the Queen. This is a skill I have been wanting to add to my repertoire for many years and I couldn’t be more thrilled to learn it in an atelier with such a notable reputation. 

With that I leave you to enjoy yet another rainy day here on this side of the pond. Here is a slideshow of various ongoings from the past couple weeks. Looking forward to seeing all my favourite faces in the very near future! And eating poutine once again….

Some beautiful leaves in the rain as captured by Thibaut Vandame. We had our coffee on a stroll in the rain ☔️ ☕️ Some graffiti on the Regents Canal. Just loved this colour combo. A view from the Sky Garden. Studio still life: one of the many over the long dress making days. Lace sleeves waiting to be attached! An unassuming garden 🪴 Front detail on my adjustable regency petticoats. Back detail on my bodiced petticoat. Raised needle lace collar designed by Josef Storck 1880. So much work and so pretty! Tiny frog bag from the Bags exhibition at the V&A. Victor & Rolf dress from the Curiouser & Curiouser exhibition at the V&A. I just adored the texture and colours on this one. A projector scene from Curiouser & Curiouser exhibit. This changed and animated on a loop showing how trippy the Alice and wonderful tea party could get. I loved the colours! A scene from the Chintz exhibit at the Fashion & Textile museum. I just loved this large “Dutch” cap from 1750. Might need to bring this one back. Just a photo I found on the internet and adored these dresses. Would love to recreate. Photo of my collab with artist Harriet Foster. Tufting by her, pattern design by me. A gorgeous rose. I just adore these colours! How incredible nature is.

The Making Of: 1930s Tail Coat & Trousers

The last month has flown by! Hard to believe we’re already in August and I’ve been back in London for over a month now. While we’ve had a lot of rain, I’m enjoying the temperate summer that England is best for.

It’s been a slow process sifting through the many days worth of time lapses and documentation of my time at the college. Tonight I had a little window of time and decided to compile the making of my menswear project. For anyone who has ever been interested to find out what goes into the making of a jacket, this is for you! In short it’s a lot of precision cutting and hand sewing. I gotta admit I love me some pad stitching! Tailoring was definitely my most challenging of the course and I am grateful to my teacher Sil Devilly for teaching me the many tricks of the trade with this one. I feel that much more confident around a suit having completed this. A big thanks to my wonderful boyfriend for modeling this creation.

That’s a Wrap!

Oh how time flies! I’m officially back in London and my 15 week intensive costume course is complete. I feel like I learned a lot of new techniques and am proud of the body of work I’ve produced. I would say the most challenging (and also rewarding) part of the course was the tailoring.

I can often be quoted as saying “sewing doesn’t lie”. If something is stitched poorly you’ll see it; there is no hiding ill construction. With that in mind, tailoring requires that every step is done to perfection in order for the next step to go smoothly. Making welt pockets? You’d better snip it open to precision or it literally will not sit flat or be made weak at the joints. Every hand stitch must be done delicately; pulling too tightly will warp the garment and sewing too loosely could leave the garment to come undone. There is a reason it takes years and years to be regarded as a master tailor. While I may not be a master yet, I am very content with the work I’ve produced and have no doubt that this will beget many more interesting projects.

Without any further ado I would like to present my final project showcase in the video below. If you aren’t already following, please follow me on instagram @madewithjjoy for more content. I will be doing my best to post more timelapse videos documenting the creative process of the costumes featured in this video.

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