I have a really bad habit at this time of year. You may have noticed. I get all sure of all the things about Me Made May I’d like to post – I make some plans in my head. Then we get to the end of May and I realise I’ve done nothing of the sort.
This year, there’s also been a lot going on offline which isn’t really for discussing here. So while I’ve actually been making quite a lot, my impetus for photo-taking has weaned. There’s a bit to catch up on – mainly some kinda fun experiments with jersey and chiffon.
But what brings me here today is something that I ran off for the weekend. The idea had been brewing in my mind for a little while, since a recent-ish trip to the Cotton Print Factory Shop. Of course I went in to look at sensible cotton. Of course my magpie eyes were instead attracted to some extremely shiny metallic fabric instead.
On a separate trip, I was down at Fabric Bazaar. I scored a sweet print – it’s like a red, pink and teal plaid with these beautiful yellow roses over it.
‘This will make a perfect shirt dress’, I thought. Sadly, when I made the dress up, it looked more like what I can only describe as a hospital gown mixed with children’s TV presenter smock. VERY BAD LOOK.
While I have no idea what I’m going to do with that sad mess, I still had a little strip of the lovely fabric left. And suddenly my mind started putting together the rose print with the shiny metallic stuff. And the Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber jacket (which I wear my previous version of all the time). And much like anyone considering making a metallic shiny bomber jacket, I thought of Ryan Gosling in Drive and knew that it must happen.
There’s something very satisfying about transforming something with appliqué. What I did was very carefully cut around the roses, interface them, then stitch them on carefully to the cut pattern pieces (I managed to bag some metallic thread in just the right colour from Remnant Kings). I love the contrast between the shiny shiny fabric and the sharp print.
Don’t worry, I meant for it to be off-centre. Try not to look at my hair too much from the back.
The other thing to note is that this whole thing came about at the same time as my birthday. I’m not known for coping well with getting older. So I guess this year my reaction was, make a crazy jacket and who cares what’s appropriate? Although to my mind, it’s always appropriate to wear clothes that make you smile and feel happy – and this shiny fun thing really does that for me.
Being able to make something like this is, to me, the best part about sewing. It’s not like I’ll ever be able to find this in a shop. No one else will ever have (or perhaps, want) this jacket.
The other thing which makes me feel better about my birthday is getting dressed up in general. So for a wee trip out I added some new Ted Baker sale steals, my trusty Doc Martens and an awesome birthday present necklace from Bonnie Bling. Not to mention an extremely yellow bag. While I liked this, I feel like it’ll really go well with black jeans or a plain black dress. It’ll never be low-key, but I can pair it with more low-key things.
There’s not too much to say about the construction here, as it came together super quickly. I love the Rigel bomber because it’s a simple, but very effective make. Especially now that I’ve got the knack of putting in the cuffing. You might notice that I haven’t yet put in the pockets – that was purely because I was in a hurry to get it finished to go out. I keep going to put my hands in non-existent pockets – so it’s kind of a must. I’ll get round to it. And I’ll try and make sure both pockets are at the same height this time
These pics are from an amazing place near Edinburgh called Jupiter Artland. I’ve wanted to visit for years but as it’s only open in summer, at the weekends, for some reason I just never got round to it until now. I thought it would make a fun birthday outing so grabbed Craig, and the awesome besties (who are very indulgent to let me impose sculpture parks on them – luckily it was a bright, beautiful day and they assure me they enjoyed it!).
It’s pretty amazing that the owners basically open up their garden and their artworks for people to explore. Plus they have great taste – there’s some awesome works and some artists who I just love. Cornelia Parker, Anish Kapoor, Jim Lambie, Nathan Coley… all just arranged for you to happen upon as you stroll through the woods.
The grassy hills are by landscape architect, Charles Jencks (whose work you’ll also have seen if you’ve been to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh).
One of my favourite works was The Light Pours Out Of Me, which is by Anya Gallaccio. It was like being inside a meteor. You climb down these narrow stairs into an amazing, totally immersive kind of bunker of amethyst. You’re still in the woods but it feels like somewhere else entirely. The colour is so intense and rich, and I can imagine spending hours finding little interesting parts of the stone.
I’m so glad we finally visited! If you’re in the area, and you have any interest in sculpture and site-specific art, I urge you to get down there. I’ll pop a couple more pics down here to try and encourage you.