Makes, craft and Props
Bonjour, Bel bonjou’!
Makes, Props and Craft sound like a rice krispies brand, I know. I haven’t jumped gun to catering, don’t worry.
I am part of “London International Choir” and as we take a summer break I take time to reflect on the props I have created for our concerts over the years as well as the various outfits I made for myself.
Winter of 2014 – “Strangers in the night”
I was not by then too experienced in sewing, still very timid and I kept a low profile in offering my skills. My contribution was to choose the colour scheme: Black, purple and gold. I made myself a black and gold obi belt for myself which I wore with a black turtleneck and purple skirt.
Obi belts are easy to make and a good confident boost for those starting their sewing journey.
Summer of 2015 – “Voices behind the mask”
For this concert I created a sea of ribbons for our actress Natalia to represent the Maypole dance. I carefully arranged a choice of colours around a collar I made with white denim and Velcro which she had around her neck. As she twirled the ribbons twirled with her. A true representation of summer colours and the Maypole dance.
For her elaborate mask I used a gold mask with fringes to which I added seashells I collected in Singapore, shop bought feathers, roses I made myself and leaves given to me by a choir member. It could almost tell a story by itself. I used 3D paint around her nose and cheeks.
For my own mask, I did run out of time and kept it simple. My feathers are real duck feathers which I found in my local park, in Crystal Palace. Funny how things jump at you when you are in need of something original. The colours are truly spectacular. Thank you ducky for donating your feathers.
Winter 2015 – “Season of lights”
There was no need for props this time and although very ill around that time and there limited I could just about make my outfit. The dress code was: “Dress to meet the Queen”. I went for a brocade number in blue and green. I have to thank Jane at Saheed Fabrics http://www.saeed-fabrics.co.uk/ for picking the right fabrics for me. I knew what I wanted to make, didn’t know in what fabric. Jane is very experienced and knowledgeable about fabrics! The top half is a self drafted pattern and the bottom free hand cut.
It was a fantastic winter concert and with a new Musical Director appointed, we were all looking forward to the new year. For me, I was, at that point, waiting for the Sewing Bee response. 2016 was setting it out to be exciting….
Summer 2016 – “London Calling”
What a crazy 6 months it had been since our winter concert: I had filmed the Sewing Bee by then! But life had to go back to normal and LIC and its LICers were back to singing. The summer concert was upon us.
For “London Calling” we needed a flag as prop. The design was left up to me. Perfect scrap busting opportunity!!! I knew it had to feature a music note, our name and maybe a symbol of love. I had no choice but tackle appliques for the first time. The result was not too wonky considering it was my first attempt. I enjoyed the process. I did cut my own patterns for this.
I was also commissioned to work on our collection boxes to support the charity “Smile of Arran”. The thought process was quick! What do I have around the house to make 2 identical collection boxes!?!?! Champagne boxes jumped at me (yes I am a guzzler)….then I thought of the London Calling theme…..How could I dress them to fit the theme? It took literally 3 seconds: London Calling…..call…..phone box! Perfect size!!!
I wrapped the boxes in red paper and roughly penciled in little squares for the windows which I blackened…This is a very inspired make and could be seen from a distance. Hopefully the originality helped the collection.
For my outfit I did find in Brixton this hibiscus print in which I made a simple summery dress. This is how I dress when I am out and about sightseeing.
It is a mixture of patterns I copied from a high street for the top and a circle skirt I cut myself.
As much as I like sewing, I am more into craft and creations of all sorts. It is good fun having the choir to express myself.
By the way, London International Choir is recruiting this year! Join us on our try outs on September 7th, 14th and 21st. Please ask me for more details.
Photos by Mark Jenkins (except photo 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11) www.zarkhovphotography.com (Contains nude photographies)