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  1. eternal magpie organic cotton moths border print fabric

    If you've been following me on Instagram you'll know that I'm completely smitten with these new organic border prints - so much so that I've added a whole collection of them to order in women's sizes and for children

    This "entomology" print on a moss green crossweave fabric is my absolute favourite, so I've ordered a little piece to make a dress for myself. 

    eternal magpie organic cotton moths border print fabric

    It arrived this morning, and is whizzing its way around the washing machine as I type. I love that I happened to get a piece with the label still on it!

    eternal magpie organic cotton moths border print fabric

    I also love that the Organic Textile Company work so closely with their team in South India. Recently they shared this picture of Devaki, one of their team in Kerala, who is winding organic cotton yarn in preparation for weaving the fabric. 

    I really appreciate being able to put names to the people who made the fabric that I'm using to make our clothes, and the Organic Textile Company are really good at highlighting all of the different processes that go into the production of their fabrics. 

    I genuinely believe that the more we know about how our clothes are created, from the plant in the field to the sewing machine - whether it's mine, or in a factory somewhere - the more inclined we'll be to appreciate the work that goes into every process, and the more we'll value our clothes.

  2. eternal magpie happy customers: Milly

    Say hello to my lovely niece, Milly, who spent a pleasant summer evening in the pub wearing her new upcycled Bambi dress! I've been saving this fabric for several years, until Milly was old enough to know who Bambi was. Turns out that six is the perfect age!

    The fabric is from an original 1980s duvet cover, which I used a long time ago to make a bolero jacket for a friend. I had just enough left over to make this dress for Milly, and another little one for the shop, to fit age 3.

    I've actually been making this dress for Milly for, I think, about three years now. I make one for her birthday, one for Christmas, and sometimes one for Hallowe'en as well. At some point I'll do a round-up and show you the amazing variety you can get out of one simple dress - including being an angel in the school play! (I'm still finding bits of glitter and feathers from that one...)

    The little book she's holding can be found in the pocket of every dress I send out - and I've filmed a quick and easy tutorial for making your own, which you can link to from the sidebar to the right!

  3. eternal magpie outfit post: celestial dress

    Hello! I'm in an underpass, contemplating a painted barn owl. Paul pointed out to me afterwards that I should have held my hand out to make it look as though the owl was flying to me. Next time... 

    So, this is what the Celestial dress looks like during a casual summer lunchtime walk to the pharmacy. (I go to all the best places!) This fabric is interestingly chameleonic - it transforms from blue to grey depending on where you're standing and who's looking at you. Which means that it goes with just about everything, like your favourite pair of ancient jeans, but it also makes it extremely difficult to photograph the colour accurately. 

    (Oh, and, I've moved the pockets a little bit further down the dress since I made this one.)

    As you can see, I'm wearing bloomers underneath. I wear them a lot in the summer, when leggings are just too hot. This pair is made from lightweight cotton lawn, with an embroidered trim that has tiny little pears on it! 

    I first started wearing these bloomers when I worked at a museum that was carefully climate-controlled. I wore them as an extra layer under long dresses, with knee socks, so they're carefully designed to be just the right length that your knees don't get cold when you sit down. When I ventured out into places that were considerably warmer than eighteen degrees (so, everywhere, these past few weeks!) I discovered that they were absolutely brilliant for preventing your legs from getting all sticky and uncomfortable in the heat.

    I've been contemplating making a few pairs for the shop, in a very lightweight muslin and trimmed with vintage nylon lace. I'll make a couple of sample pairs so you can have a look at them, and see whether you'd like a pair or two, too.

  4. eternal magpie skirt tutorials

    As promised, I've rummaged through the depths of my computer and unearthed my two free tutorials for making skirts with an elastic waist! You can either use them to draft your own skirt patterns, or you can simply print out the instructions and follow them each time.

    I've added the two PDF files to the sidebar - you can see them on your right.
    (Or scroll right down to the bottom, if you're on mobile.)

    Please bear in mind that these are from 2008, when my digital camera left a lot to be desired, so some of the photographs aren't that great! At some stage I'll get around to re-doing these tutorials with better photos, but you're very welcome to download these two in the meantime.

  5. eternal magpie blue stars and moons dress

    I'm really enjoying taking photos of the dresses hanging up in my lilac tree. Okay, it's not going to be as picturesque in winter, but at the moment I think the website looks rather nice with pictures of dresses-up-trees. 

    However, I'm aware that this doesn't really show what the dresses look like on an Actual Person, which is quite different from how they look on the hanger! So, I thought I'd have a go at taking some dress-selfies. How hard could that be? Well, given that the photo below is the best of an afternoon's faffing about, the answer turned out to be "quite hard, actually"!

    eternal magpie blue stars and moons dress

    This one's called "Argh, the self-timer's still on!". Although, to give it a tiny bit of credit, you can at least sort of see what the dress looks like when there's a person inside it I suppose!

    eternal magpie blue stars and moons dress 

    This one my husband took when he got home from work, by which time I was so flustered and cross that I didn't really want the camera pointing at me, and I didn't know where to look, and now it seems as though the dress is making me cross and uncomfortable. Which it isn't. I did that all by myself. And I got a great big insect bite on my foot from standing in the shrubbery!

    eternal magpie blue stars and moons dress

    We tried again the next day, in a car park. That resulted in a photo so bad that many filters were required to make it look... less bad. (I don't think it's worked...) 

    I think the best solution is probably going to be to make lots of sample dresses, and save up for a Proper Model and a Proper Photographer. In the meantime, I think I'm going to stick with Dresses Up Trees, and photos sent in by my lovely customers. I'm starting to collect a few of those now, and they never fail to make me smile.