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  1. eternal magpie elastic waist skull skirt

    Please excuse the teeny-tiny picture - this photo is from 2007, when my digital camera apparently had fewer pixels than my phone does now! 

    This was my very favourite skirt for years and years, and I wore it until the elastic gave out and the fabric went very thin indeed. I called this a "stealth goth" skirt, because it looked so colourful and pretty from a distance that it usually took people a long time to notice that the design was actually skulls!

    eternal magpie elastic waist space skirt

    This one was a very close run second - and I think the first skirt that I ever made from an old duvet cover. The print is space travel, and features carefully labelled astronauts, space craft and planets. 

    eternal magpie custom Dr Who skirt

    The reason I stopped making these skirts is that the frilled elastic I used for the waistbands has been discontinued. There is a similar one now available, but it isn't as soft, and it's three times more expensive, which adds quite a lot onto the cost of the finished skirt. I'm still thinking about whether that's going to be a viable option for the future. I've been using up the last few little elastic scraps to make skirts for my niece, but I've very nearly run out altogether. 

    eternal magpie custom Star Wars skirt

    The other nice thing about making skirts for my niece is that I can use licensed fabrics, which I don't do for eternal magpie unless the customer supplies them to me.

    (There's a huge grey area about what you can and can't make with licensed character fabrics, particularly now that Star Wars belongs to Disney, who are very hot on preventing infringement.) 

    eternal magpie custom Star Wars ball dress

    I'd originally bought this fabric - which glows in the dark! - to make a dress for my niece and a pair of pyjamas for my husband. Then my niece decided that she'd rather have a skirt, and my husband decided that glow in the dark pyjamas might be a bit disturbing... so I find myself with quite a large piece left over. I know it's silly, but I have to confess that the temptation to buy some bright orange lining and made myself a ridiculous Hallowe'en dress is extremely strong right now.

    Shall I? 

  2. GothStuff Baby Horrors Baby Cthulhu t-shirt

    Well, this was an unexpected blast from the past! 

    Way back in the mists of time (otherwise known as 2001) I ran a business called "GothStuff". It did what it said in the tin - I made and sold a variety of clothing, jewellery and footwear, online and at various goth/alternative events. One of those events was Infest, a music festival that's enjoying its 20th anniversary this weekend. My husband is there... and he spotted one of our t-shirts out in the wild! We haven't sold these for at least a decade, so I'm extremely impressed that this one still going! 

    (Particular thanks must go to this lovely man, and also to my husband who, when he texted this to me, was met with the reply "GDPR!! Ask him if I can blog the picture!!") 

    GothStuff Baby Horrors Baby Cthulhu t-shirt

    This is what Baby Cthulhu looked like when he was brand new! Paul designed the characters, and we heat pressed them onto heavyweight t-shirts using a flock medium, so the images were fuzzy. Each colour had to be cut out and pressed separately.

    gothStuff Baby Horrors Baby Frank t-shirt

    All of the characters were horror literature or movie themed - we called them "Baby Horrors". This one, as you can see, is a baby Frankenstein's monster... 

    gothStuff Baby Horrors Baby Mummy t-shirt

    ...and this one is a Baby Mummy. (I know. Very confusing.)

    gothStuff light reflective bat t-shirt

    We also had a range of... I suppose you could call it "casual clubwear", if that's a thing. You can't really tell from a picture taken in daylight, but this silver bat silhouette was light-reflective.

    gothStuff blacklight skull and crossbones

    We also had neon colours that were blacklight/uv responsive, which we printed onto more formal workwear, as well as onto t-shirts.

    (I don't think I ever went to work looking quite like this, but those actually were my work trousers for a while!) 

    These photos were taken in the summer of 2004, and while I was digging around in the depths of my computer looking for them, I also turned up some other photos of things I've made over the past few years. So, prepare yourselves - there's a new Blast from the Past coming every day for the rest of the week! 

  3. eternal magpie birthday sale 2018

    Get your shopping fingers at the ready, because it's almost that time again! 

    Every year I run a sale on or around my birthday, and every year the percentage discount is the same as my age - which this time, is 45!

    All you need to do is type in the code "happybirthday" at checkout, and the cart will do the sums automatically. It also works on items that are in the Sale section, so you can get a proper bargain on those!

    The sale will run from the 10th to the 16th of September, and will include all in-stock items, but NOT made to order.

  4. painted rock with the words You Are Stronger Than You Think

    Hello! It's been a while. I'm sort of here, but not here.

    It was recommended that I should streamline my time by creating lots of social media posts all at once, and scheduling them to appear each day. The idea was to spend less time doing this, so that I could have more time to do other things. This has worked! I definitely spend less time photographing things and composing posts and thinking of the right hashtags when I'm doing it for a whole week at a time, rather than individually every day. 

    But, the side effect of not directly posting to Facebook/Twitter/Instagram every day is that I'm not checking them every day (which is part of the time-saving thing, I suppose), and the result of that is a feeling that I'm... disconnected. Disconnected from my friends, and disconnected from my sewing and knitting buddies, because I'm not seeing the lovely things that they're posting in a timely fashion. Add in the complication of the dreaded algorithms to that, and I'm barely seeing anything! It also means that I'm missing comments and messages, because it looks as though I'm hanging out online when I'm actually not available. 

    There must be a happy medium around here somewhere, but I definitely haven't found it yet. 

    I'm also not making much in the way of new dresses at the moment, mainly because I've already got more than twenty in stock, and it seems futile to spend my time sewing even more things that are going to sit on my website and in a cupboard for months on end. So, I'm having a bit of a re-evaluation about what I'm making now, and what I want to make in the future. I have a couple of personal projects coming up soon (a ball dress for myself, and a prototype cloak for my swordfighting group), so maybe that will perk up my lapsed sewing interest a little bit. To be honest, my health has also been a bit more challenging than usual over the past couple of months, so my time and my focus have been not entirely on the dresses. 

    Still. The unbearable heat of summer is beginning to calm down, we're gently heading into Autumn which is my favourite season, and it's almost my birthday, which means Birthday Sale! (More about that in the next post.) Hopefully I'll find a way to feel a little more connected very soon.

  5. IMG_8328-1

    Remember that 1990s jumpsuit pattern I was coveting on Etsy? Well, I bought it... and I made it! 

    The top used up most of one side of a single duvet cover (white with tiny green leaves), and the bottom - which is a jumpsuit even though it looks exactly like a skirt - used up one side of a double duvet cover (dark green with faint green stripes). 

    It's so soft and it's so comfortable, and I used a pretty little leafy embroidery stitch to hem the bottom of the legs, just because I could. It has pockets (of course!) hidden in the side seams, and the front and back necklines and the armholes, are all rather low cut.

    1991 jumpsuit in recycled fabrics

    Unfortunately, as is sometimes the way when you can't try something on before you make it... it doesn't fit me. It's not just a little bit too big, it's completely wrong for my proportions. This is very sad, as I was really looking forward to wearing it!

    So, it needs a new home, with someone who's quite a lot taller than 5'4", and who has a hip measurement of around 52-53". That's a UK size 22-24. The jumpsuit will still be a loose fit, but comfortably so. 

    I've popped it into the Sample Sale, at a never-to-be-repeated price, as it uses up about twice as much fabric as the dresses as well as taking more than twice as long to make. And now, back to the drawing board, as I poke about with my pattern drafting software and try to draw up a new version in my own size!