Kerry O'Brine Womens Wear

Behind the seams


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Wet Your Arty Whistle – 3 exhibitions to get excited about in 2015!

I am excited about 2015. As well as the usual hopes and promises a new year brings.

For me there are personal and business events happening in 2015 to get excited about, as well as a fantastic roster of art exhibitions!!

I’m so excited that for once there are exhibitions of my favorite artists and photographers! For now I have chosen 3 exhibitions to wet your arty whistle!

Marlene Dumas

2015 begins with an exhibition by Marlene Dumas. Her work is strange and beautiful, modern and classic. I first encountered it in New York at the MoMa museum. I had paid the main museum entry fee and made my way around the museum eventually making my way to the very top floor. Here on the top floor of the MoMa I gazed at the special exhibition of Marlene Dumas wonderful work, a refreshing sight.

I had to have the book of this top floor bonus exhibit! This is the book Marlene Dumas: Measuring Your Own Grave

So in 2015 I have to see the new exhibition at Tate Modern!

Marlene Dumas: The Image as Burden, Tate Modern, 5th February – 10th May 2015

Barbara Hepworth

From the 24th June – 25th October 2015 at the Tate Britain there is the first major exhibition in London for almost 50 years of the work by Barbara Hepworth.  According to the Tate Britain website her ‘prominence’ is ‘often overlooked’ ‘in the international art world’. I find that to be crazy! I love Hepworth’s work, especially her sculptures. Her work had a massive impact on the world and she had huge success during the 1930s and then again in the 50s and 60s.

If you are ever in Cornwall, go to St Ives as her lovely home, garden and art studio is well worth a visit. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and this book, The Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden, is on my wish list because the sculpture garden was my favorite part.

To see her work and learn more about Barbara Hepworth head to this major retrospective in London next summer.

Babara Hepworth Tate Britain 24th June – 25th October 2015

Alexander Calder

Finally, in 2015 the Tate Modern has an exhibition of Alexander Calder’s work. The grace and elegant balance that Alexander Calder plays with in his work is beautiful to see. In my eyes his work is so contemporary, it would easily fit into any modern minimalist home.

Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture, Tate Modern 11th November 2015 – 3rd April 2016

Get ahead of the crowd with this book Calder (Album Series) which receives great reviews on amazon.

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Christmas Gift Giving – All Wrapped Up

If you struggle every year at Christmas time with wrapping presents. I’ve come up with some ideas for you!

  • Get a gift wrapping Book
  • Go on a wrapping course – one to one, group or corporate
  • Get someone else to do it!!
  • Choose some different and unusual wrapping paper

How about doing a wrapping course? They go on all across the country

Jane Means

Jane is a British ribbon designer and gift wrapping specialist and does courses in London, Glasgow, Hampshire, Manchester and Lincoln.

Eclipse Gift Wrapping (Porthcawl, Mid Glamorgan)

Courses and Training

Gift wrapping services

All Occasions Gift Wrap (Wolverhampton)

A range of online, DVD and in-person gift wrapping courses

Creative courses online

Corporate Gift Wrapping Service

More Pretty Things

Gift wrapping courses: (Derbyshire and Yorkshire)

Corporate gift wrapping courses

Get yourself a book on gift wrapping! Books are great for giving you instructions to follow combined with some fab creative ideas.

Gift Wrapping by Lucy Berridge

Gifted Wrapping: Step-by-step Instructions for Stylish and Elegant Wraps for Perfect ‘present’ Ations by Christine Fritsch

Quick & Clever Gift Wraps: Quick and Clever Gift Wraps (Make it in Minutes) by Nicole Steiman

Gift Wrapping: Creative Ideas from Japan by Kunio Ekiguchi

Jane Means recently released a book on gift wrapping:

Get Someone Else To Do It

If you can’t manage wrapping due to a severe lack of wrapping abilities or you just don’t know when you are going to find the time you should get someone else to do.

There are people out there whose job it is to wrap your gifts and take some of the Christmas pressure from you.

Wonder Wrap – Kent

Urban Angels – London

Wrapsody

Thats a Wrap – Greater and North London and Essex

Wrapper Snapper (Pop Up Shop at Old Street Underground from 15th -24th December)

Sue Lacey – Warrington

Don’t forget that most top retailers online and in store will offer a gift wrapping service. Even if they don’t offer one the rest of the year, often they provide a special one at Christmas.

In their Piccadilly store Fortnum and Masons (one of my favorite shops!) does a gift wrapping service:

‘this is priced at £5.00 per item or free for individual items over £100’

Aspinal of London

A few online gift shops offering a wrapping service:

Selfridges

Stylish Life

The Present Finder

Jarrold – Norwich in store and online

Vintage Toys

To help make your gifts look a bit different try getting your wrapping paper from somewhere different this year!

Paperchase: I love paperchase. They seem to come up with such a nice range of different ideas each season. I buy a lot of their wrapping paper!

Not On The Highstreet have a variety of brands who sell various types of unusual, creative and quirky designed paper and wrapping stuff!:

Paper and bags made in India. Pretty range of brightly coloured and patterned designs: Namaste

From chalk board wrap and washi tape to wads of Art Nouveau paper: Pipii

From maps of London to a full skeleton. Different and unusual wrapping paper at the National Gallery.

Jean Means sells a range of nice ribbons, paper, bags, ribbon spools and other lovely bits and pieces for wrapping requirements on her website!

Stylish paper and coordinating ribbons. I like the crafty yet smart range of their items: Cox and Cox

At the Dot Com Gift Shop they stock a huge range of different wrapping papers. From flowers and Paris fashion to Christmas foxes!

See some ideas for wrapping your gifts in different ways here….

Full disclosure: Just to let you know that I’m an Associate of Amazon and if you purchase some of the items on this page via clicking on the pictures I will get a small payment!


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You will find me in the library

fashion art and sewing books in the studio

Kerry takes you for a snoop of her book shelves!

If you are interested in any of the books, artists or designers I featured in my little video clip then I’ve popped some links below so you can find out a bit more.

If you are in Essex or nearby and you want to visit my studio to see the books then you would be most welcome. Please contact me via my business website to book an appointment.

I know the books could be quite useful to a fashion or art student or someone learning to sew. I can send you a full list of books to select from. We have a colour photocopier in the studio and we charge 10p per copy (just to cover the ink and paper costs).

Books, artists and designers featured in the video:

Marlene Dumas

Book: Measuring The Grave

Website

I went to see her exhibition ‘Measuring Your Own Grave’ at the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art)

Jean Paul Gaultier

Website

Book:

Want to see the exhibition in New York? – get some info here

Alexander McQueen

Website

Book: Savage Beauty

I went to see this exhibition at the Met (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)Want to see it in London – get some info here

Charles James

At the MET Museum where I saw this exhibition

Book: Beyond Fashion

Guy Bourdin

This is about an exhibition of his work I saw at the V & A

Book: Exhibit A

Ellen Von Unwerth

Book: Wicked – but there are other books with her work

A bit of info on Wikipedia!

John Galliano

A bit of info and updated news on the designer

Book


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Pattern Cutting – Book Review

For the first read the book Metric Pattern Cutting by Winifred Aldrich is hard to get your head round. That link above is to the latest edition of the book and perhaps they have altered and improved it since I purchased this 2004 edition of the book.

I found Aldrich’s instructions to be too short and leaving gaps in the information. Aldrich takes you through creating blocks in a very specific way and then how to adapt them to create certain standard shapes and style lines.

In creating the blocks I often found the clarity of her instructions left me frustrated. Once I had worked with the book several times and started drawing out the blocks I began to develop an understanding of what she was saying.

I don’t think this is a book for a beginner but would be good for someone with a base knowledge or experience in pattern cutting. In Aldrich’s adaptation of the blocks to other designs she uses clear drawings but again for anyone not experienced there isn’t a lot of instruction.

The edition I have includes overgarment blocks and close fitting blocks. As well as blocks for knit and stretch fabrics. There is a small section on CAD at the back of the book that feels like a token and unnessary gesture.

Drafting blocks for individual figures is a useful part of the book but I have other books on alterations for fit which demonstrate in clear photos the problems and solutions better.

Although I don’t think it’s for beginners the design adaptations are not advanced and for more help with more complex designs you might find another book more helpful. If your looking for a pattern cutting book with instruction on creating new and interesting shapes and styles then look towards the Japanese pattern makers. For instance I purchased Pattern Magic by Tomoko Nakamichi which I’ve found to be inspiring.

Overall I feel the book has some great and useful information, I have created many starting blocks from the book. I feel that it would be even better if the book was more focused on just the blocks and block adaptations and expanded further in this area. The other areas Aldrich touches on would be very useful as seperate books and she could then extend the information.

I often go back to the book as a starting point and keep it nearby for reference.