Petal & Pins

Tag: design

The Last Days Of Summer

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

As summer draws to a close so too does the wedding season.

A bride picked up her dress yesterday for a wedding this weekend on Bruny Island and I’m finishing off another for a garden wedding next weekend.

With a slightly less hectic schedule, today I made time for some other creative pursuits.

It’s been a few weeks since my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe gained something new so that was the first thing I did.

Already there are little signs of Autumn appearing when I look around the garden – the apples are almost ready to pick, there are rose hips and a blush of colour on the leaves of the lilac bushes.

Some of the geraniums I struck last year are coming into their own and it’s the flowers from one of these that I’ve combined with fuchsias for this Garden Fairy dress.

With a birthday party to go to tonight I then turned to making a present. I had decided earlier in the week to make a bag and came up with the idea of printing some of my ‘kaleidoscope’ photos onto the smooth underside of a heavy cotton drill.

I chose a different image for each side of the bag and finished it off with a pink zip closure and hot pink silk lining. The bag could be used as a clutch purse, to hold jewellery or a pencil case.

I’ve been wanting to play with those images on fabric since I took them and I’m pleased with how it’s turned out.

I’ll post some photos soon – for now it’s wrapped up ready to give to the birthday girl – I just have to write on a card – a Petal & Pins ‘Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe’ card of course!

Spilt Wine

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

My silk macaron project isn’t complete but it has progressed.

The Ladurée box I brought back from Paris that sparked the idea for the project had a little mishap with a glass of red wine.

By way of explanation, evenings in the winter months are usually when I work on projects like this – free of my work deadlines that fill summer and spring – a bit of fireside stitching and a glass of red are very complementary – as long as you don’t bump your glass!

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

I think La Belle Miette in Melbourne is the closest thing  to a Parisian macaron experience I have found in Australia and their boxes are just gorgeous so I’ve swapped to using one of theirs.

It’s a smaller box but I do have a larger one for when my collection – or should that be selection grows.

So when the last of this season’s brides is complete I’ll dive back into my silk scraps and boxes of beads….and be careful where I place my glass.

Georgie’s Dress

Dress Front

If you read my previous posts The Beginnings Of A Dress and Embellish And Adorn you will find the story behind the creation of this dress.

flower detailBodice detailhandcut silk flowers

These silk organza flowers are handcut and embellished with a Swarovski crystal in the centre.

The dress does up with small silk covered buttons down the back.

Dress - back

Choosing Sides

© Sandra Alcorn 2012

© Sandra Alcorn 2012

The ‘wrong side’ of some fabrics is sometimes just as beautiful as the right side and can make a more interesting choice for a design.

Cotton prints reversed can have a faded vintage feel, the reverse of some brocades show the pattern in bands of stripes and jacquards can have a striking positive/negative effect that begs to have both sides showing.

The underside of the Morning Glory flowers revealed softer shades of purple and a pleat like texture that inspired a very different look to the previous Garden Fairy’s dress – which is your favourite?

Fern Flapper Dress

© Sandra Alcorn 2012

© Sandra Alcorn 2012

Wallflower

Yesterday’s rain made the roses sparkle with droplets of water in the sun. I wished I’d picked a bunch in the morning but looking down on them from the sunroom window gave me an idea. I pulled out the cotton yo-yo flowers I’d made with no particular project in mind – in my imagination they have been a quilt, embellished numerous things and been teamed with vintage bamboo handles for a bag.

Patchwork and I have always had a lot of false starts – the only ones I’ve ever finished have been for gifts as baby quilts – I wonder if it’s because I’ve had a finite size and deadline to work within? Mostly I enjoy the process of playing with colour and pattern, by not making the pieces into something gives the opportunity to play again.

Yesterday’s idea is the perfect way to use them – on display to enjoy but easily rearranged and re-imagined.

Aquilegia, Agapanthus & Sugar Flowers From Paris.

dress made out of Aquilegia flowers

© Sandra Alcorn 2012

It’s a year to the day that I created my first Garden Fairy dress so it seemed apt to do another using the same flowers. The aquilegias in the garden are in lots of shades of pinks and purples. They line the garden path to my front door and have self seeded into the cracks in the paving down the side of the house. In the first dress a year ago I also used the leaves but this time I combined the flowers with some of the seed pods that have already started to form.

One of the pleasures of having a garden is sharing – so this week I swapped some grape hyacinth bulbs for some agapanthus. Another pleasure is the surprises they bring – the colour of the agapanthus are unknown so time will tell if they’re white or blue!

Well, a year on the fairy’s wardrobe has grown considerably, found a home in this blog and I’m pleased to say the first edition of the gorgeous Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe cards are now available through my Petal & Pins shop.

There are two collections in the first edition – ‘High Tea’ which includes chrysanthemum, lilac, aquilegia leaf, fuchsia and violet dresses and ‘Spring Gala’ which features rhododendron, plum blossom, iris, paper daisy and peony gowns – only a few of which you will have seen on this blog.

How will I mark the occasion? I’ll plant the agapanthus and bake a cake – perhaps decorating it with the tiny sugar flowers I bought in Paris.

Mademoiselle Cécile Brunner

Cécile Brunner

© Sandra Alcorn 2012

I love these little roses, they last for ages and the bushes will flower from now right through to autumn. Tiny vases of them are scattered around the house and posies given to friends and clients. I’ve sugar coated them to decorate cakes and always try to slip a petite bunch into my bag for my mother when traveling to Sydney.

Cécile Brunner posies

Ode To Chanel

© Sandra Alcorn 2012

© Sandra Alcorn 2012

© Sandra Alcorn 2012

© Sandra Alcorn 2012

© Sandra Alcorn 2012

© Sandra Alcorn 2012

 

Coco Chanel’s signature flower was the camellia.  Friends generously offered up a basketful of blooms from their garden. Merci beaucoup David et Margot!

Hello Yellow

yellow dressClaire Danes and Julianne Moore both chose yellow dresses to wear to the recent Emmy  Awards. I think yellow is  hard for most people to wear but it looked striking on both. I have a client who loves the colour & I’ve designed several outfits in what I think of as her signature colour – from the soft buttery tones right up to a bold cadmium.

It got me thinking has there ever been any yellow in my wardrobe and I can only think of a bright canary yellow hand crocheted poncho when I was about 7 years old.

Yellow delights me more in the garden, a banksia rose, daffodils, daisies, a lemon tree abundant with fruit, the wattle that are in full bloom around the neighbourhood at the moment.

When I was little we would pick butter cup flowers and hold them under our chin and ask “do I love butter?” the glossy  petals would reflect yellow on to our skin eliciting an excited yes you do! I don’t remember who showed us this quirky game but in the garden on the corner of our street was a patch of buttercups that my sister and I eagerly anticipated reaching on our walk to Sunday school each week to pick and play the game.

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