Our Dancing Town

Festivals, Film work

While our final year costumes were being displayed at the LBT in Huddersfield, there were some rehearsals going on for a parade through the town centre celebrating the people who live and work in Yorkshire, and the many cultures they being with them. The leading West End performer/choreographer Steve Elias was rehearsing with the groups of dancers and, while on a break, stumbled across the display of costumes and decided they had to be included – what an honour!

The final parade was filmed later on and broadcast on the BBC on Tuesday 24th January 2017 as part of a series called ‘Our Dancing Town‘(see the final dance through this link on YouTube!) You can just see my costumes about half way through as they start walking down the main straight of the tour – it was a shame not to see more of them but the dancers were just so incredible!!

We had to do a small interview with Steve for the show – felt very glamorous doing the hand shake, the smile, the “hello…I’m Amy”. Although this was not actually used in the episode, it was good experience and fascinating to see what goes on behind the scenes when filming!

My original performer Julia Blair took part to celebrate the heritage of Huddersfield, and a good friend of mine picked up the mantle of John Cabal as my brother could not make it. Stephen Finn was brillant and took it in his stride, actually his costumes were in the parade too – so proud that they were so enthusiastic!

Commencing Curtains!

Construction, Homeware

This is an aspect of homeware that I have never attempted – either because I have not had the opportunity or simply because we don’t have curtains in our new flat. However, I was asked by my boyfriend’s eldest sister if I could make up some pencil pleat lined curtains for her son’s bedroom.

Now, I am a complete novice so I did was internet research and found this little video on YouTube which had all the information I needed Рshort, sweet and to the point.

Fairly confident I started measuring and cutting, and, due to the information on the video, I don’t think I went too wrong. Somehow I managed to miscalculate 130+22 and get 142cm so I had less fabric to work with when it came to hemming. Additionally, like most of my projects on this blog, I had to do some jiggery pokery to get the two curtains even but in my eyes that is part of the fun of it! Also the only way I now know how to make curtains is by making some mistakes and learning from them – so I am so glad I took this job on!

For my own reference as well, here are my tips for the future Amy who says yes to making curtains for someone else:

  • By a metre ruler, or two, or three, because curtains are BIG!
  • Double and triple check ALL measurements.
  • When sewing with the plastic feeling blackout material, sew with it on the bottom as the teeth on the sewing machine catch it better, and the foot gets stuck on it. No point for guessing which side was the first and failed!
  • No worries if you find an edge is not straight – but FIX it!
  • Leave hand sewing the bottom corners till LAST as these may alter slightly with the final press.¬†
  • One more thing…don’t worry about creasing the fabric every time it goes under the machine – press before pulling the cords!
  • ALWAYS have the fixed cord end as the join side of the curtains as it looks neater.
  • Stripes are really nice to work with because they are STRAIGHT!

And these are the finished items in situ! And for a first pair of curtains I am very proud!

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Right whose next…!?

Turns out anther family member would be asking me a similar question but on a different scale! Alex’s mum requested 13 unlined pleated curtains to replace some old ones on a their new boat – this meant they were shorter than my previous make but all different lengths and widths! Tracey had chosen a heavy navy linen which I could iron within an inch of it’s life and it would sit beautifully – very nautical!

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We started with five metres and I was able to create 5…which look amazing and fit in so nicely!

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Because a most of the curtains had different measurements I decided to do some proper calculations in order to see how much fabric I would need and we settled on another 10m! So lets see how I do…stay tuned for more photos!

We were invited aboard the Halcyon to see the curtains in all their glory! And I am so impressed, they match the interior theme beautifully and fit their specific windows amazingly – that is thanks to Tracey’s accurate measuring and my ‘measure twice, cut once’ rule!

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I think this little one in the bathroom might just be my favourite!

Wonder where the next curtains will be for!?