Friday, 29 March 2013

Fashion Friday: Orla Kiely S/S 2013

What can you say about Orla Kiely? I think there's too much for one post, she is a real design hero of mine and one of the masters of print and pattern. Orla Kiely's stem print is instantly recognisable and popular worldwide as are many of her other prints that have their own individual style. But what has this got to do with fashion? Well you may remember I picked up an old issue of Selvedge magazine at the vintage jumble sale last weekend, in the magazine there is an article about Orla Kiely and the front cover image features a dress from one of her previous clothing collections. Previously I hadn't known that Orla Kiely designed and sold clothing as well. It almost seems like a crime that I hadn't known about this before, I'm wondering what I have possibly been doing with my time! So to make up for it here is a Fashion Friday dedicated to Orla Kiely's S/S 2013 fashion collection.
Similar to her patterns, I think Orla Kiely's clothing has a distinctive style through the colours and styles. Much of her clothing features her prints which is just a match made in heaven. I also love the vintage style of the garments and the beautiful trims used to accent parts of some of the garments.


Thursday, 28 March 2013

Handmade by... Yulia Brodskaya

Handmade by... is a new feature for Handmade by Hannah where I will showcase other artists, designers or makers work that I am impressed by and interested in. Personally, I love looking at other people's work and find it incredibly inspiring. I also find it interesting just to see what other people are doing and how someone has interpreted a particular technique or theme. I have shared other people's work on my blog before as you may know but I thought it was about time I made a proper feature out of it.
So for the very first of these features I have chosen the work of Yulia Brodskaya. I love Yulia Brodskaya's work because it uses the very traditional technique of paper quilling and brings it up to date with bright colours and beautiful detail. I can only imagine the hours it must take to make these pieces. I love how the pieces include blank spaces to form shapes and words which is very unique and not something I have ever really seen used in quilling before. I also think the use of abstract shapes to create images (for example the figure in the image below) is wonderful and of course, the pieces are so texturally interesting.

Images from:

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Hello Heaven papercut

I have been doing some papercuts again and this time I coloured a piece of water colour paper with water colours in blue and pinky-purple and allowed the colours to mix together. I then transferred one of my drawings to the back of the paper and cut out the letters. I have also saved the cut out letter pieces to use on something else. I like the calm and serene mood of the piece.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Vintage Jumble Sale

Once again I have been vintage shopping...
There was another vintage jumble sale yesterday and I got a few things as you can see below. Among them was a back issue of Selvedge magazine which I was really excited to get because I have always read in interviews that many designer/ makers read the magazine for inspiration. I don't think I have ever seen it for sale in the shops although it may because I have never really been looking for it in particular. I was pleased to see I had got the magazine for a big reduction on the cover price and I have been enjoying reading it this weekend. I also picked up some thick cotton embroidery thread, metal bird decorations more lace and vintage china. Plus I bought two really old postcards and they even have beautiful writing on the back, the writing is in French but my GCSE French skills don't stretch to reading the backs of postcards unfortunately! I think I may have to turn to an Internet translator, I probably won't get a very accurate translation but I'm curious to know what they say.


Friday, 22 March 2013

Fashion Friday: Haute Couture and Ready to Wear

When it comes to Haute couture and ready to wear it can sometimes be confusing about the difference between the two, when I first became interested in designer fashion collections I know I was unclear about the difference and there is more to them than you might expect. So this week's Fashion Friday is dedicated to explaining Haute couture and Ready to wear, plus it's the perfect opportunity to show a few beautiful garments from Haute couture and Ready to wear collections for extra clarification.
Haute Couture is a collection of made to measure garments. A fashion house will design, make and present thirty five day and evening wear garments for each season. The garments will be made by at least fifteen members of staff in a Paris studio for the collection to be labelled as Haute couture. Haute couture collections tend to be extremely elaborate and extremely expensive! They include all manner of detailed embellishments such as exquisite embroidery and beading. Due to the time and materials used for Haute couture garments, many fashion houses do not gain large profits from Haute couture collections, in fact some fashion houses have been known to gain no profit from particular season's collections.
Elie Saab S/S 2013 Haute couture
Dior S/S 2013 Haute couture
Valentino S/S 2013 Haute couture
Ready to wear (RTW) is also known as Prêt-à-Porter. RTW garments are produced in standard sizes. RTW collections tend to be more simple and less elaborate than Haute couture collections however they do still include luxury fabrics and embellishments and are cut and tailored to a high standard. Although the garments are not made to measure the prices are still high but not as expensive as Haute couture. RTW garments will also be more frequently copied and interpreted by high street labels.

Elie Saab S/S 2013 RTW
Dior S/S 2013 RTW
Valentino S/S 2013 RTW

You may also notice from the images of the RTW and Haute couture garments that the Haute couture collections tend to be more elegant, classic garments in subdued colours. Although this is not the same for all Couture collections this seems to be the standard theme of many collections. In contrast, the RTW collections are more bold and experimental with silhouette, colour and style.

Images from:

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Diamonds and pearls...and feathers

Well, ok this necklace doesn't quite have diamonds but the Swarovski beads are close enough. This necklace was inspired by the left over feathers I had from the feather hair decoration I posted about a few days ago. I was thinking about different possibilities and how I might attach the feathers when I came up with the idea of creating a curved V shape to sew the feathers onto. I chose to use white felt to create the V shape because of it's sturdiness and the fact that it doesn't fray meant that I wouldn't need to worry about hiding and finishing raw edges. Using a template I had drawn I cut out three felt V shapes, onto one of these I sewed on enough beads to cover the whole piece including pearls and Swarovski beads as well as seed beads to fill in the gaps. I then arranged and sewed the feathers onto another of the felt pieces and then I used the other piece of felt to back this piece and sewed the bead encrusted layer on top of the whole thing. I felt that using chain would be the wrong sort of finish for this piece so I used some white satin ribbon for the back of the necklace instead.
Feathers always seem to be associated with a hippy kind of festival vibe and I wanted to add some luxury to the piece, which I achieved by using luxurious beads and satin ribbon. The necklace works well worn over a plain top to add a statement or peeking out from under a collar. I thought the bead encrusted layer was particularly effective and is definitely something I will include in my designs in the future, I'm dreaming of lovely bead encrusted collars...

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Embroidered and Liberty print shirt

After I had been to London at Christmas you might remember I said I was going to use my Liberty print fabric to customise the cuffs of a shirt. It took me a while to find a completely plain white shirt that would be suitable for what I wanted to do, but I did find one in the end (from Topshop in case you wanted one) that was perfect for what I wanted to do.
I decided to embroider a line of flowers onto the top part of the placket, this shirt is particularly suited to this because it has a hidden placket. I drew different styles of flowers onto a piece of paper first so I could decide what would work best on my shirt and which would match the print of the Liberty fabric nicely. After some consideration I settled on a rose style design with small leaves and then drew the design down the placket with an air soluble fabric pen. I then embroidered the flowers and leaves onto the shirt in three different shades of blue and green embroidery thread to compliment the colours of the Liberty fabric.
To add the Liberty print to the cuffs I sewed the fabric on by hand and I had to create buttonholes in the Liberty print fabric as well. I thought it would look best to do make the buttonholes with small pieces of the same fabric instead of making them by machine. So I used a technique similar to a bound buttonhole style and also sewed this by hand, kind of making it up as I went along. The Liberty print fabric is on the inside of the cuffs as well so that the cuffs can be turned up in warmer weather and the Liberty print will still be on display.
This is the perfect way to add your own twist to a shirt and display some of your favourite print fabrics. Hand embroidery has always been one of my favourite crafts and using embroidery on a wearable item is a great way to add a handmade touch to your clothing.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Fashion Friday: Valentino Pop Couture Highlights

Short but sweet the Valentino pop couture highlights features four dresses. Dripping in lace and radiating bright colours these are the perfect summer frocks. If you do just one thing today it should be to take a visit to the Valentino website to view the dresses closer and you will see that what appears to be an all over lace fabric is actually sections of delicate lace sewn on top of sheer fabric. You might recognise some of these dresses, particularly the first one which I have seen on Pinterest an awful lot. I love the summery colours and lace is always a winner.

Images from:

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Chiffon bows

Shirts and blouses are my absolute favourite thing to wear so I have quite a collection now and chiffon is one of my favourite fabrics. A good way to add your own twist to your shirts and blouses is to make chiffon bows to wear around the collar. I made two in pink and white chiffon, silk chiffon is best because it has such a good drape. Although silk chiffon is expensive I only needed to buy 20cm to make these bows and I still had some left over. They are really simple and quick to make, all you need to do is cut a long and thin piece of chiffon then fold it in half lengthways. Sew along the length (you may want to neaten the raw edges) then turn what will now be a tube of material the right way round and turn the short ends under and stitch them closed by hand. Then iron it flat. There you have it, a beautiful chiffon bow to tie around your favourite shirts and blouses.
Why not make them in lots of different colours to add a splash of colour to pale coloured shirts and blouses. The bows also present the perfect opportunity to show off your collection of vintage or handmade brooches. Just fasten one at the knot of the bow. You could also use the bows to decorate a hairstyle, tie them around a ponytail or bun and let the ends trail behind you.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Felt blooms

Who knows what is going on with the weather here at the moment? Rain, sun, snow then sun again it's hard to tell when the weather will warm up and all the beautiful flowers will come out again. If like me you're impatient for the summer months why not make some beautiful felt blooms. These have got to be the next best thing to real flowers, mine are courtesy of a Mollie Makes free gift from one of the back issues I bought at the vintage fair. They were meant to be rings but because they are quite large I'm going to keep them in my stash for when I need a lovely felt flower to brighten up one of my projects. For now I'll just have to keep dreaming of warmer weather and fields of flowers...

Friday, 8 March 2013

Fashion Friday: Maia Bergman

Like beads? Like them all over everything? Then you had better pay attention to this Central Saint Martins graduate. Maia Bergman's work was brought to my attention the other day when I was looking at Pinterest (seriously don't you just have so much to be grateful to Pinterest for?!). So a quick search and I found Maia Bergman's tumblr and there are many lovely things to be found there.
I find the bead laden garments truly breath taking, the beads create explosions of colour all over dresses, tops and trousers. I love the combination of different coloured beads that appear to fade into each other and the varying scale of the beads creates a wonderful texture. I'm not entirely sure how the beads are attached to the fabric but the contrast of the coloured beads on white and sheer fabric is just wonderful. What I think is so special about Maia Bergman's garments is that they are truly original. There can't be a better way to express your love for beads.