Wear The Look – Lauren

Our Contemporary Classics Collection is all about stylish versatility; here’s how to wear the look casually for our Lauren pattern. To create a timeless casual look, wear the neck unbuttoned and team up with skinny jeans and pumps. This shirt is also great with three-quarter length Capri pants. 


Sewing Your Own Fashion

Create your ideal wardrobe; sewing clothes is a great way to develop your own fashion identity. We all know how frustrating it can be when you go clothes shopping only to come back empty-handed and disappointed. At Muse we’re in the process of completing the final pieces for our Contemporary Classics Collection which, as the name suggests, is compiled of timeless wardrobe staples.  
Become your own designer; sewing your fashion favourites, making the styles you want, in the fabric and colours you like is easier than you might think.

At Muse Attire we aim to inspire women to create their own style. September is always a key month in the fashion world, it’s also a great time for us to evaluate our own wardrobes. As home seamstresses, we love sewing but we also need to love wearing the clothes we’ve created. Like all designers, it’s important to think of the practical as well as the aesthetic.

Before starting your next project, some of the following questions may help you pick the ideal pattern and fabric for your needs:

  • Which current garments really work for me and how could these designs inspire future pieces?
  • What is my signature style or a quirky detail that’s individual to me?
  • What fabric textures do I love wearing and how can different fabrics types compliment or contrast one another?
  • Do I have an ideal style in my head which is not reflected in my current wardrobe and how can new garments bridge that gap?

This September why not sit down with a sketch pad and design your ideal style identity? Above is an example of one of our research and design boards for our Contemporary Classics Collection.

Fashion Exhibitions


Fashion exhibitions are a great place to practise your illustration skills and learn about garment construction. I created the illustration above in response to a Christopher Kane exhibit I saw last month; more of that later.
Sadly, one of the most compelling fashion exhibition’s closed this month, the V and A’s Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition. Unsurprisingly, it became the museum’s best attended exhibition: 493,043 people visited during its 21 week run, a record breaking number of visitors. Don’t despair, there are many great fashion exhibitions that are well worth a visit.
The Museum at FIT is running Global Fashion Capitals until November 14, 2015. As the title suggests, the exhibition explores the global contribution that each fashion capital has made; how each city’s cultural identity and particular economic, political, and social circumstances combine to elevate its designers to international attention. On show are histories of the established fashion capitals—Paris, New York, Milan, and London—and the emergence of 16 new fashion cities.
Best of all, The Global Fashion Capitals exhibition features classic designers, like Christian Dior, alongside contemporary designers, like Christian Kane. If you’ve got time this summer, why not escape reality and spend the day sketching or mentally deconstructing some inspiring creations?

Inserting a Concealed Zipper

Inserting a zipper into lightweight fabric can be a daunting affair, even for experienced seamstresses. Still worse, inserting a concealed zipper, surely this must feature in the top 10 most formidable sewing tasks. The closure might pucker, the zipper might get caught, little gaps in the closure may appear betraying the zipper underneath. At university, these fears were enough to give me nightmares and caused me to avoid many beautiful lightweight fabrics. Yet there is a really simple trick that will ensure perfect results every time: the humble fell stitch. To learn more about this super technique visit Muse Attire’s main page.

Make Your Own Midori

MidoriMidoris are amazing, best of all you can make your own! It took me a morning to finish mine and cost nothing as I used up lots of leftovers. The end result is so user-friendly. I can fill it with whatever I like, this is especially good for art lovers as you can include your favourite artist’s papers.

Supplies to make A5 size:

Material 46cm x 62cm
Medium to heavy weight fusible interfacing 46cm x 62cm
5 eyelets
Elastic cord 1.5 meters
Notebook made from folded A4 card and paper.

Six steps to create your midori:

1. Cut the outside and inside cover with an additional centimetre all the way around, iron on your interfacing;

2. Place wrong sides together, stitch along the half way point, this will mark the spine;

3. Zigzag the outside edges together;

4. Set eyelets along the spine: 2 at the top, 2 at the bottom and 1 in the middle;

5. Thread the elastic cord through the eyelets at the top and bottom of the spine. Tie inside. Using the middle eyelet, create the band to close your Midori.

6. To make notebooks, fold your chosen papers in half and slide into place.



IMG_8061As we get older, it can be so hard to hold on to our creativity. Even those of us who are the ‘creative types’ can get stuck in our own ruts. Mine is colour, or more specifically lack of it.

Recently, Julie Burstein delivered a talk on how we can kickstart our creativity:

I was so inspired by Julie’s 4 lessons in creativity that I undertook my own creativity audit:

1) Experience: my weakest area. I’m often too busy planning ahead to experience the here and now;

2) Challenge: without poor finances in my younger years, I would never have started creating my own clothes;

3) Limitation: I’m getting better at this, I used to see my poor photographic skills as a hindrance but it’s prompted me to develop my illustrative skills instead;

4) Loss: I always used to draw and paint with my dad; only years after his death did I begin to revisit those skills.
Going forward, I intend to enjoy the creative process and life’s experiences.

Fashion Lessons

The more I explore the fashion lessons that style classics can teach us, the more I’m inspired to experiment with them, the more I realise how much I love fashion. Continuing the theme of reinterpreting classic designs, I’ve been investigating what fashion lessons we can learn from academic dress. Academic dress is iconic the world over; it seems to transcend cultural distinctions.There’s a paradox in these gowns: they suggest formality and order whilst allowing complete freedom of movement. The style and colour are timeless, yet are they wearable outside the hallowed halls of learning?

Forget bearded professors, these classic designs offer drama and fluidity; who wouldn’t want to saunter around in one? Dynamic clothes, as we know, can lift a potentially mundane working day. My eyes have a boredom threshold: there really is a limit to how much clone-like clothing I can be subjected to in any 8 hours. Nothing, not an early finish, nor a great lunch, nor a cancelled meeting, lifts my working day like seeing someone flaunting their own unique sense of style.

Reminiscent of the kimono, or perhaps it’s the other way around, academic dress is surprisingly wearable. Recently, draping and movement have been a recurring theme as you can see from this season’s featured pattern. This time of year it can be difficult to find professional dress which is practical as temperatures rise. Flowing lines in sombre colours are a stylish solution; they are so flattering and really capture the freedom of summer.

Summer Reading List


One of the best aspects of being on holiday is working through your summer reading list. Now half way through mine, I simply had to share some of my favourites. The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce is every bit as enchanting as her first novel, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. When Queenie Hennessy discovers that Harold Fry is walking the length of England to save her, and all she has to do is wait, she is shocked. Her note to him had explained she was dying from cancer. How can she wait? A new volunteer at the hospice suggests that Queenie should write a second letter; only this time she must tell Harold the truth.
My 2015 summer reading list:

  • Anything written by Rachel Joyce
  • Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
  • Still Life With Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen
  • Daughter, by Jane Shemilt

Feel free to share you book recommendations. Happy reading.

I Love Fashion

How can an intelligent woman love fashion? I suspect that this is a question that many of us have heard, in one guise or another, at some point in our lives. Our inquisitors wondering why we are incapable of grasping that fashion is, at best, a mere waste of time and money; at worst, a capitalist construct to subjugate women. An interest in fashion, as we all know, is something of a personality flaw. Fashion conscious women are both superficial and selfish – superficial in that they care more about appearance than character, selfish in that they’re wasting money which could serve a more worthy purpose.


For most of my life, I’ve felt rather guilty about my love of fashion. Now older, I refuse to adopt an apologetic attitude: I love fashion. Not only am I irritated, insulted and bored by the anti-fashion brigade, but I am becoming increasingly determined to challenge their obvious prejudice. Truly, it is they who are making superficial judgements.

True, fashion isn’t of paramount importance, but it represents something larger than: “does this make me look attractive?” Paradoxically, fashion’s critics acknowledge this when they complain that runways are inhabited by odd looking models, wearing weird looking clothes. Virginia Woolf is right in her observation that, “vain trifles as they seem, clothes have, they say, more important offices than to merely keep us warm. They change our view of the world and the world’s view of us.” Fashion is a visual language, hence the term fashion statement. For many of us, our clothes are part of an on-going conversation with the world about who we are. Only the culturally naïve, believe that fashion doesn’t matter.

Reinterpreting Classic Fashion

Some classic fashion is too great to forget. Strong design is strong design. I’m really inspired by the thought of reinterpreting some style staples. There’s something quite striking about adding quirky details to iconic designs. Inevitably, juxtaposing the unexpected with the expected always runs the risk of ruining a beautiful look but creativity is a process of risks.
As the Summer Ball season is almost upon us, I’ve been playing with timeless evening gowns.Classic Fashion
Starting with sketching out a classic gown length, I reworked ideas around the train. Not there yet but I’d like to create a way of shortening the gown whilst keeping the concept of a train. Obviously, we all remember Dianna’s stunning ‘Revenge Dress’ by Christina Stambolian but I wanted something a little more edgy.

Classic Fashion


Pleating a short train or having it interfaced and jutting out is probably the next step. Alternatively, the train could start at the neckline, wrap across the body and out. The ideas, the mistakes, the ‘what ifs’ are what make designing fun and frustrating, often in equal measure.