Studying Theatrical Costume and other adventures in London - sewing, fabrics and events.

Tag: shopping

Shopping: Ikea fabrics

Finally got some top fabric for the corset.

Fabric from Ikea - Berta rand red/white

Last week I told a friend at work that I had been looking at Ikea fabrics online, but hadn’t had a chance to go my local shop in Wembley as they don’t sell the fabrics online. They have quite a few 100% cotton or linen mixes to be used for bedding, draping, and light upolstery, and they seemed to have stripes which I would really like to use.

Luckily a few days ago my friend went to the Ikea in Edmonton as he needed a few things for his new flat. He got me a meter long remnant of the Berta rand red/white 100% cotton for 99p (normally £5.99 per meter). It is fairly heavy and has 5 mm thin woven yarn-dyed red and white stripes.

Shopping: Fabric shops on Goldhawk Road, Shepherd’s bush, London

I went to Goldhawk road to see if I could find some inspiring fabric for my design. I think I went to every fabric shop on Goldhawk Road and had a good look at the ones in Shepherd’s Bush Market too.

I got swatches from these (I will try and get round to taking photos soon):

Classic Textiles

  1. cotton stripe.
  2. plain silk £13
  3. silk stipe £5

Orya Textiles

  1. green and gold stripe £7.50
  2. Red Stripe £7.50

Fabric World

  1. Red Gold stripe silk £10 (45″)
  2. Orange/red/gold stripe £15 (60″)

(Fabric world tried to charge me for very small cut offs of fabric)

The main problem was that they stripes are all quite narrow. The orange/red/gold stripe was lovely, but too expensive for the project.

I was trying to keep an open mind, but there was a lot of polyester fabrics and not really any traditional prints. Not surprising really as they mostly cater for modern dressmaking. Maybe I am just not looking hard enough.

I am still on the hunt (mostly on ebay).

First day – Theatrical Costume @ Kensington and Chelsea college

As usual, I turned up just in time. The morning had been going so well, but then there was traffic from Earls court to college and I had chosen to take the bus. Anyway it wasn’t too bad and there was still a space for me in between Lorna and Alex.

Claire, our tutor for the year, gave an introduction about the college, the course, and what was expected.  The theatrical costume course at Kensingtion and Chlesea College (KCC) is based on a BTEC in fashion and clothing level 2 certificate, but you also get a certificate from KCC to say it specialises in theatrical costume. Claire gave us a psychometric test, and quite a few hand-outs which contained a list of London fabric shops and museums we were to visit in the afternoon.

In the hand-outs there was information about our first 2 units: developing production techniques (unit 9), where we will make samples to demonstrate our knowledge and skills; and developing pattern construction skills (unit 7), for which we will make undergarments for a polonaise (1770-1785). The course is made up of 4 units (60 hours each), and we will be doing 2 in the first term and then one each term after.

We were also introduced to Eileen who will be teaching us some of the practical parts of the course – samples etc. Eileen showed us log books and portfolios of previous year students. They were very impressive and a lot of work had gone in to the presentation as well as the content.

In the afternoon I paired up with Kate. We walked to the Victoria and Albert museum to look at the fashion and theatre & performance collections as well as getting distracted through the other rooms. Afterwards we walked to the Wallace collection where I discovered Mary Robinson, an actress, writer and poet who lived from 1758 until 1800.

Robe 'Polonaise' 1775-80 at the V&A

Mary Robinson by John Hoppner c 1780

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