Lanys Library: What I Read May 2013

by Lany

I know, it’s SO LATE! I know!! I’ve been so busy at work, have hardly any time to update here, and it’s something I really regret, but lets let bygones be bygones and I’ll start catching up with my “Lanys Library” series!

Without further ado these are (very few) books I read in May…
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The Night Circus- Erin Morgenstern
I really liked this book! I’ve had it on my bookshelf for the past year or so, I bought it when it came out and it was just sitting sadly in my bookcase, until one evening I just picked it up…and didn’t put it down until the wee hours! I was entranced in the colourful world and the fabulous characters that Morgenstern has created. I don’t really know what else to say with a deep fear of spoiling this glorious world for you, so I’ll just say if you enjoy a little bit of fantasy, magic and love then you will probably like this book!

Gears of War: Aspho Fields – Karen Traviss
This was a re-read for me, (it’s also been read by my partner and a lot of our friends as you can see from the state of the spine…), it’s based off the video game Gears of War (no-one could have guessed!) but it goes so much deeper than the storyline within the game goes, the backstories are absolutely heartbreakingly lovely and very true to life, and make the characters very endearing, Karen Traviss has given the characters a depth that can’t be gotten from the game. I really love what she has done to the series (if you couldn’t tell) she is a fabulous writer! If you love a good sob story/war story/brothers in arms story/are a fan of the game then this is a must read.

The Noteable Brain of Maximilian Ponder – J.W. Ironmonger
This was a very quirky book that I picked up in a 3 for 2 offer in my local Waterstones, and I’m kinda glad I did pick it up! Basically the book starts with the death of the main character in a way…its pretty much both a fictional memoir of sorts and also raises interesting questions about what is memory and how does our brain work the way it does? I really liked this novel anyway, I reckon anyone who likes odd and very slightly morbid but utterly engaging stories would have some fun reading this too!

I’m super sorry for the very delayed update, expect to see my June and July updates fairly soon! And we should get back to regular updates from Sophie and I when September comes round and both of our work schedules calm down a bit.

All the best,
Bookmarks and baked goods for all!
Lany
xx

P.S. More crafty posts later! <3

Irish Blog Awards Long List!

by Lany

Hi guys!

We’re super sorry for the unexpected hiatus, we’ve all been up the walls with work (the joys of being a 20-something in todays world) and other commitments!

This is just the first update of many, and it’s to say a big thank you to all of our followers and friends who nominated us for an Irish Blog Award!
We’ve been long listed in the “Best Craft Blog” category!

We’re all really excited and cannot wait to get back to regular blogging!

First up will be some very overdue “Lanys Library” posts, and Sophie has some awesome handmade clothing that she is looking forward to sharing.

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A big congrats to our friends over at Random Descent and AuroraLaPetite (and of course all the other nominees in our category) on their nominations too!

Take care everyone and thank you all again!

Lany
xoxox

The Hawthorn Dress – Colette Sew Along

by Sophie

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the lack of updates. I’ve been quite busy with this and that! I’m hoping next week to get the Jasmine from Colette patterns finished. I bought some super lovely fabric from The Cloth Shop in Dublin for the shirt a little while ago and I simply haven’t gotten around to it. If I’m completely honest it may be because I have been obsessively playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf instead of working on any projects! (sorry, not sorry)

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So Colette Patterns recently added a new pattern to their collection, the beautiful Hawthorn dress. I am in love with this new pattern. It’s simple, versatile and really beautiful. It’s also perfect for everyday wear.

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Now this pattern in an intermediate pattern, which threw me off at the start. I’m certainly still a beginner sewer, especially when it comes to using patterns. However the coletterie (Colette Patterns blog) are doing a sew along to help people make the dress. When I heard they were doing a sew a long I decided that I would take the plunge and do my very best making this dress.

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I bought my fabric from a lovely etsy shop called NekomataTextiles. I bought this adorable fabric called the Kawaii Cotton Monster Fabric by Cloud9 and she shipped it out to me the same day, right before leaving on vacation. It’s still on it’s way over to me as I type but hopefully it will get here in the next few weeks so I can start making the dress.

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All together I am both very excited to make this dress but also quite nervous. There are a lot of pieces to it and a lot of things I have never done before. However I feel that I really enjoy this dress and if I can’t make it with the help of a sew a long I’ll just have to keep trying until I can.

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Wish me luck! I’ll keep you all updated.

Sophie

A very Daisy Dress – The Great Gatsby Sewing Challange

by Sophie

THE-GREAT-GATSBY

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
― F. Scott FitzgeraldThe Great Gatsby

Hi Guys,

So I went to Tenerife for a little while which was why I hadn’t gotten a chance to post my The Great Gatsby dress! I finished it right before my SO and I went away and I thought it would be much nicer to take some photos of it in the sun.

I took a large amount of my inspiration from Daisy’s purple and silver dress. For some reason I kept coming back to that dress. There was something about it that I really loved. I decided to alter the Laurel pattern from Colette patterns to make the dress.

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I was originally going to make it silver and lavender like the one in the film. However when I went into The Cloth Shop to pick out the fabric I wanted to use I found this really beautiful golden yellow. I fell completely in love with it. Also a very large part of me felt that if this was to truly be a The Great Gatsby themed dress that there HAD to be gold (or green) in the dress, since they’re such important colours in the book.

So along with the beautiful golden yellow I picked a cream lace to put over the dress. When I told my Mum about my colour choice she laughed at me and then said, quite knowingly, “Yellow on the inside, white on the outside. Just like a Daisy.” So I think I made a very Daisy themed dress alright!

So this is my final dress

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The dress ended up being much more simple then I originally planned. However I feel that it was probably a good idea to simplify the dress. It meant that I could work on making it well constructed and I’m very happy with the result. There are a lot of firsts in this dress so I feel like I increased my sewing skills without completely overreaching.

Also here’s a photo of the pool! =)

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I’m really glad I did this challenge. It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot. I’m hoping to take part in more of them in the future.

Hopefully I’ll have an update for you soon on the reading I did on holidays! I read a lot of books while lying in the sun.

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I might do another update of the full Gatsby outfit, I’m going to try and make some super cute accessories to go with it! I’m going to be heading off to see the movie tomorrow. I’ve heard it’s not the best but it’s visually amazing.

- Sophie xo

Lanys Linkage: Craft TV

by Lany

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I like reality television shows, but my preferred ones are craft based shows, where talent and skills are shown off and creativity is allowed flourish. Unfortunately there aren’t many, and my two favourites are the only ones I think are worth mentioning. Regrettably both shows are sewing and garment based but I guess it would be rather difficult to make a show where you watch someone knit or crochet for several hours at a time!!

I have watched Project Runway for years now, and I love the exposure to high concept very highly skilled couture sewing skills are shown every week, I love the ‘bizarre’ challenges and the absolutely fabulousness of the show. I also enjoy the (very) American dramatics that accompany the show too! The outfits created are always creative, sometimes pushing the envelope on what fashion can be and I love how innovative and startling some creations can be, it’s always a treat sitting down to catch up with this show.
It’s in it’s eleventh season now, but I am slowly working my way through them as (ssssh) the series aren’t available very easily on this side of the Atlantic! I adore Tim Gunn, I just wish that there was a LOT more of him in the show.
I decided to try and limit myself to mentioning only three designers that I loved (but might not have won!) throughout the first nine seasons and the first season of the Canadian version of the show.
Austin Scarlett is the designer who made me fall in love with Project Runway, I loooved his designs and am so jealous of his vision and skills! Leanna Marshall and her intricate and stunningly beautiful work makes me want to try and become a better sewer, and what higher praise can you give someone other than they are an inspiration? My third favourite is so difficult to chose as there have been so many amazing designers, and certainly I have liked at least some of a designers work in one show or another. I think I would have to go with a woman who took part in the first season of Project Runway Canada, Marie Geneviève, I think her work that reflected her own personality and fun style really captured what I would love to have the skills to design and make some day.

The most recent show in this vein that I have gotten into is The Great British Sewing Bee, quite simply, I LOVE this show.
Wearable articles of clothing, beautiful execution (that make me wish I was as talented and amazing as the people who took part), and the beautiful atmosphere of gentle competition makes this my standout favourite (for all reality shows, nevermind craft based shows). It also makes me feel  that this skill level is attainable, that I can do it!
It aired in the last few weeks in the UK on BBC, and I think it was the sublime down-to-earth attitude that drew me to this show. The pieces created are ones I can imagine (and hopefully one day will get around to), sewing and wearing. The people who took part were all relatable, yet the drama was not projected onto other contestants nor was a make believe drama created to add interest to the show. The contestants had strong personalities that shone through in their work.
I also was very taken by the style of presentation and judging that was adopted by this show, the judges saw the work being carried out on the garments, the presenter, Claudia Winkleman, had genuine relationships with the participants and the very subtle British/Irish style of humour and comradeship  made me really fall in love with this show. It also helps that the tailor Patrick Grant (he took over Norton and Son when the business was flailing and resurrected the company) is so well dressed that you cannot help but fall a little bit in love with him (or is it his clothes I’m falling for? Who knows! All I know is it’s love!), I also have a super soft spot for May Martins approach, and her constructive criticism. (I also may want to try to sneak into Ann’s home and force her to teach me everything she knows!)
Oh and how can I not mention the room the show is based in, that haberdashery selection, the fabrics, the trims, the buttons, everything just makes my mouth water!
I had read criticism from a lot of British TV reviewers, complaining that the show was boring or a waste of time, I just think that it’s glaringly obvious that they really don’t understand the workmanship that goes into sewing and they cannot appreciate the effort and satisfaction of producing something that you’ve made yourself. I really hope this show comes back for a second season!! I would also love to dream about a spin-off of this show, where sewing classes are taught and simple projects worked through by like a Delia of sewing, that really would be the icing on  the cake for me.

What do you guys think? What TV shows do you think highlight genuine talent and skills? Have you any recommendations?

All the best,
Lany
xx

GlitterNotGold Seamless Pledge

by Lany

The Seamless Pledge

When you go clothes shopping what do you look for?

Do you look for something cheap, a bargain, that will last only a few washes and was mass produced?
We’re all guilty of having gone for the big chain store options, even when we are all aware of the horrific conditions the workers in garment factories are forced to put up with. We know of the ill treatment and lack of prosecutions for violations of human rights. Some of the more recent factory disasters have surely given us chills, thinking about the dangerous conditions people are forced to work in to survive. It’s chilling to think that people (both adults and children) are being exploited so that we can buy a t-shirt for under a fiver.

People are beginning to call this fast fashion, and consumers are beginning to question more and more if they wish to support this regime of cheap clothes produced by cheap labour in factories with little or no regard for the lives and well being of their workers. The cost of fast fashion is so much more than the garments we buy!

We need to start thinking of our own morals and our ethos, and start looking at shopping as a way of demonstrating our ethics. We need to show that our beliefs translate into actions, and the first step is to become more aware of what it is you’re buying. Paying attention to where companies source their clothes, seeking out more sustainable clothing companies and actively doing so may take a lot of time, but it’s time well spent.  You don’t need to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe of new clothing from ethical companies, just be aware and make a more conscious decision when you next feel the need to shop! Swapping clothes with friends of similar sizes, second hand shopping, ethical company choices, even just living with fewer choices, making our own clothing, there are loads of things we can do to change.

The fabulous blogger Elena Cresci of Seamless has started the Seamless Pledge, a pledge to try our best to make a difference, and it was coming across this pledge that cemented these thoughts into a blog post!

Cheap disposable fashion accessories may only last a few months, but your demands to companies can make changes that last forever.

We can’t change the laws of a country, only the governments can, but we can demand better of our own native retailers and hope that this will initiate change for the better!

For a myriad of reasons the Seamless Pledge is a great idea, I could keep warbling on about this topic all day but suffice it to say we all fully believe in the benefits of taking time out from our busy consumer lives to appreciate the choices we make on a daily basis.

Without further ado our pledge:

We, the ladies of Glitter Not Gold, take the Seamless pledge until the end of 2013. We will abstain from buying any new clothes until the end of our pledge. We will find ways to be fashionable without breaking the bank and without contributing to the cycle of fast fashion consuming the high street. We will trawl through charity shops, we will attend clothes swaps, we will look for second-hand items on eBay and Etsy and we will continue to make our own clothes with our own hands.

We hope you guys will join us, let us know if you do!
Lots of love,
Lany and all the ladies here at GNG!
xx

Lanys Library: What I read April 2013

by Lany

I read very few books in April, and from the photo two are ones that were left over from February and March that I had forgotten in my last post, and so without further ado let’s get down to the books!Lanys Library April 2013 GlitterNotGold

Bossypants by Tina Fey
I love Tina Fey, and her book certainly didn’t let her down, she writes exactly as she speaks, sorta like she’s your best friend and you’re settling down for a cosy chat over some chai tea and chocolates! Powered through this book on the bus journey to Sophies, a three and a bit hour journey (damn rush hour traffic), and some of that journey was spent feeling utterly dismal and dizzy and wondering what had I done to deserve travel sickness! It cheered me up and was like a breeze of fresh air, which I liked very much, it distracted me from feeling crap too which is always a good thing. I’d recommend this if you like/love her comedy style and delivery and if you’re a fan of biographies, it’s a very quick enjoyable read.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
I actually read this one a while back in February (I remembered commenting on Misfortune of Knowings blog post on the same book), as I said in my comment there, I felt this novel to be a bit forced in places, but overall it was a nice read. An unusual book to come across and one I am glad that I read. It reminded me of “We Need To Talk About Kevin” a wee bit, but that’s not a bad thing, I loved that book and its stuck with me for several years now. Would recommend Harold Fry if you like fictional books with journeys of self discovery, of mental anguish, relationships and redemption.

The Heart Of A Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov
Written in 1925 by a Russian doctor who also wrote satirical pieces for newspapers (before he was stopped…ok this won’t spiral into a history lesson, read up about this guy, he’s an interesting character who even wrote a book about overcoming morphine addiction -he was injured in one of the many war zones he worked in)…back to the boo in hand! You can look at this book two ways as a whimsical yet sci-fi-ish (sssh it’s a word now) story about a doctor with a strange and terrible hobby, or as a parable for the Russian revolution, whichever way you chose to read this, it is superbly written and very unputdownable (also a word now)! Thoroughly recommend, especially if you have an interest in Russian history and literature or odd and offbeat stories.

Winter Games by Rachel Johnson
This book, I’ll be honest, it’s so-so. I liked it but it wasn’t compelling. The story moves in alternating chapters between a grandmothers experiences in Germany just on the cusp of WWII and the granddaughters experiences set in modern day. I’ll be honest with you guys, I would have preferred a straight story about the grandmother, her character is much more relatable, better written and more enjoyable to read. The granddaughter seems very…slick? All gloss and no substance sort of character. I mean I liked the way the two stories overlapped and the final chapter was a good tying together of loose ends and whatnot, but something about the main character seemed ‘off’ to me. I’d recommend this book for a holiday or a bus journey read, nothing too serious and still a nice story, it just seemed to me to fall a little flat.

The Moving Toyshop (A Gervase Fen Mystery) by Edmund Crispin
LOVED this book. I am a big fan of ‘old fashioned’ murder mystery stories, and this one delivers, enjoyable characters, great story, fast paced has action, romance, danger everything you could ask for! The characters are warm and engaging, the story is light and bubbly almost, it fizzes along taking you on a most exciting journey. A ‘classic’ murder mystery with a locked room, a disappearing toyshop, bashes to the head, tied up heroes and a cunning villain. I would read this again in a heartbeat! Must try and find some more in the Gervase Fen series!

One Day by David Nicholls
This is the other book I read in March but had forgotten to include in my last round up. It’s sorta written for a female audience (I’m trying to avoid the patronising term chick-lit), with two characters Emma and Dexter who get together on the night of their graduation. What follows is a story of friendship and love with the story spanning twenty years. Each year, on the same date we visit both characters, this way we can appreciate the changes or the constants in their lives and how they include or exclude each other, it’s quite cleverly done. I went along for the journey, it’s a good will-they won’t they tale, with a really fabulous ending (I can’t ruin it for you, but it is a great and atypical of books in this ‘genre’). So overall a thumbs up, would recommend to anyone who likes an interesting relationship (and beyond!!) story.

Vegan With A Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
It’s not a novel per se, but I can’t be the only person who reads cooking books for fun?
Right….?
I bought Veganomicon back in January, and I decided on a whim to get this vegan recipe book by the same author. I love flicking though this for recipe ideas and interesting flavours to pair together, and it has some fabulous muffin and cookie recipes that I plan to try in the near future! It’s a great recipe resource for vegans and for anybody who has an interest in fresh new ways to jazz up fruit veg and grains!

I am so sorry for the super late update, I was going to post this ages ago but I hurt my back while spring cleaning and I have been in serious pain with a herniated disc (it’s as much fun as it sounds) so much so that I couldn’t walk, sit comfortably, sleep, crochet, anything! Went to a super nice physio and we’ve a series of more appointments to ease the pain. Thanks to Aurora La Petite for the physiotherapist recommendation and for being really thoughtful, I appreciated it very much.

Hope you guys are keeping well!
Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?

Stay safe,
Lany
xx

P.S.  Also just claiming our blog on Blog Lovin’here, go on give us a follow! :)

Hats, hats and more hats

by Sophie

Hi Guys,

So I love hats. When I cut my hair off last year I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to wear nice hats anymore. That fear was completely unfounded. The only thing I like more than hats is hand making hats. They’re usually a quick knit and if you don’t have to go to work the next day you could easily finish an entire hat in a night depending on the pattern. Lately I’ve been going a little bit hat mad so I though I would show you some of the hats I made!

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Okay so I know these aren’t hats but I made them at the same time as the hat below. I made them on the bus back from when I visited Lany because the first hat was so quick to crochet.

Pattern is here

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I crocheted this hat on the bus home from Lany’s. It was crazy quick to do and took about a half hour to finish. I wear it cycling a lot and I find the glittery bits in the wool makes it interesting.

Pattern is here

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This is one of my favourite hats I’ve made. It’s made of colour changing Noro wool and was lots of fun to knit. It only took about 4 hours to make in a round and I wear this hat cycling every day. The Noro wool, although kind of scratchy, holds the shape of the hat really well. Mostly I love the colours though.

Pattern is here

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Finally this is the Gin and Tonic hat. I really like the wool I made this out of and I think the pattern is really cute. I made this in a night once again (but it was a late night). I really like how the pattern turned out even though the original reason I though of making it in the first place are because my kittens are called Gin and Tonic. The only problem with this hat is that I did the ribbing in the same sized needle and the rest of the hat and as such it’s a bit loose when you wear it.

Pattern is here

Here is a photo of the two little devils who inspired me to make the hat!

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They’re much bigger then this now, so much so that they both don’t fit on my lap anymore!

Do you have any hats that you really like the patterns of?

Happy knitting! Lots of love,

Sophie

xxx

A very, very late Christmas knitting post

by Sophie

Hi guys,

So I did a lot of knitting over Christmas to make presents for my friends and family. I ended up starting all of my knitting in October so I would be able to get it all done in time. I was still stuck for time close to the end but everyone who got presents seemed to be really happy with them.

So here’s what I made!

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I made this cowl for my granny. Lany made a similar one for a friend of hers. It came out really nice and I think my Granny liked it.

The pattern is here

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I made the Dudester scarf. One for my Dad and one for my brother. I liked how these came out because they’re not very girly scarves. I used Malabrigo Yarn Rios for this one.

The pattern is here

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This is Oscar. I made him for Lany. He came out about 3 times bigger then the original pattern said he would however I really like how he came out. He also looks like he’s blazed 100% of the time. I made a mini Oscar for another friend of mine but I forgot to take a picture of him =(

Pattern is here

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I made these gloves for my mum. I had never made gloves before nor had I used double pointed needles before. It took quite some time to get used to but it was worth it in the end. I’m really happy with how they came out.

Pattern is here

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This was the Dudester scarf I made for my Dad. I made his one in grey because I felt he wouldn’t be able to wear the bright red one to work. The grey wool was super soft and I was really happy with how it came out.

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Gin sat with me while I knit quite a lot.

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Here’s a picture of the Dudester scarf when it was finally finished it. I finished it at lany’s house, thus the fab table cloth!

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I also made Chutney for my Dad, my aunt and Sachas parents. It was apple and cranberry and was very tasty. It was really easy to make as well.

I painted a watercolour of the Ha’penny bridge for my mother as well. It didn’t come out quite how I wanted it to but I still was quite happy with it, especially as I hadn’t painted in quite some time.

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My SO’s family had a tradition of making homemade mince pies so I made my own for my SO as a surprise. There was enough that there were plenty to go around to my family as well. They had quite a lot of cranberries in then and they came out really tasty!

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I crocheted a Lobsty for Selene. Lobsty has been a character of ours since we were 14 so he’s quite special to us. I had never made a plush toy before so I think he came out pretty cute.

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This is a picture of all of the presents wrapped up. As with every year I think I may have gone a bit overboard on the present giving.

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Gin was exhaused after all the help he gave me.

So those were my handmade Christmas presents to people. I’ll no doubt be making birthday presents soon enough so I’m enjoying my knitting time to myself.

Lots of love,

Sophie

xxx

The Great Gatsby Sewing Challange

by Sophie

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Hi everyone,

I’m still waiting for my Laurel pattern to arrive. While was browsing around looking for inspiration I came across http://misscrayolacreepy.blogspot.ie/

She’s just announced that she’s doing a The Great Gatsby Sewing Challenge and I am jumping on this! I love the book The Great Gatsby quite a lot and I’m really looking to the movie. I’m not 100% sure how I feel about the casting but it looks like the world alone will make the film brilliant. Also the costume design. The costume design is beyond breath taking and the colours are divine. Lot’s of golds and greens (of course!)

I’ve been looking at patterns and I think I’ve settled on this one

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I’ve been looking at a lot of the stills from the film for colour choices. A lot of the colours Daisy wears are golds and lavenders as well as pinks.

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I really like the lavender and silver look of this dress as well as the lace. Also the little silver gloves are beautiful.

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I love this gold dress. Gold plays huge significance in the book and this is really beautiful. I like how it’s sparkly but not too over done. I also really love the furry thing!

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I really really love this dress. The colour of pink is really pretty and the bottom of the dress almost looks like feathers or butterfly wings.

I think I’m going to go with a pale lavender and gold colour scheme for my dress. I feel that a The Great Gatsby inspired dress needs to have gold in it! Also I think the gold will warm up the lavender without being overwhelming. I think if I have time I might try to make some king of fake fur shawl as well and a little matching hair band. For a lot of these outfits it’s the accessories that really make the outfit.

I found this handy website that you can put an image into and it will create a colour scheme for you! Pretty cool!

I’m still a beginner sewer so I’m probably being overly ambitious with this dress but I have to try! I’ll update you with my progress and the many many problems I’m probably going to have! All of my updates will have this nice little stamp on it.

Wish me luck!

Sophie

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