Ming Makes Cupcakes

Everyone should probably take a look at this blog, I am going to make as many of these as I possibly can before I go back to London… they look amazing!


#ming  #makes  #cupcakes  

Hello there Tumblr, it has been quite a while. I’m back at my parents’ house at the moment so have the luxury of free time and internet access before going on holiday. I’ve been living in London for the past three months doing what began as a work placement, which evolved into an internship, then freelance work, and now a full time job at Angels! The worst thing about it is I’m not allowed to talk about exactly what I have been working on, but I can say I have sewn several famous people’s clothes, learnt a great deal about costume construction and millinery, made various hats and costumes from scratch as well as reconditioning old ones… basically learning loads and loads and getting paid to do what I love.

I have been mega busy, staying at friends’ houses as I still don’t have a home, spending hours and hours and hundreds of pounds on public transport, running, drinking gin, and have now turned into one of those boring people who has to go to bed really early.

Probably the best bit about my new job is that I am allowed to use the equipment for my own projects in my spare time. Yesterday I returned from Kendal Calling, for which I made a costume for cartoon and fairy tale themed fancy dress day on the Saturday. As much as I wanted to go as a Disney princess I decided to go with the obvious character being Rogue from XMen due to my hair, and I made myself a green and yellow lycra suit with a brown belt and buckle. I’m hoping sometime soon some photos are going to crop up that I can post if anyone is interested, if not maybe I will put it on again and take a few just for record’s sake.

#Angels  #Rogue  #XMen  #comic  


Dia del Mothra

(via christianlloyd)

Star Wars

The more I look, the more excited I get about this placement in April. Angels made the costumes for the original Star Wars trilogy, oh I love Star Wars.

These images are from a site I found about Princess Leia’s costumes here:


#star  #wars  #princess  #leia  #costumes  


The other day I went for an interview for the chance of work experience or an internship at Angels The Costumiers, which has the largest collection of costumes in the world. Based in north west London, Angels supply costumes for the film, theatre and television industries worldwide and has worked on 26 Oscar winning productions to date. A few of these include Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, Dr Who, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows and many more.

I applied for work in their Alterations Department, in which I would be helping to fit costumes, add or remove trims and details to ensure historical accuracy, repair and restore and generally work on the details of the costumes without making any of them. If I were to progress to an internship then I would have the opportunity to choose to move to either the dressmaking or tailoring departments where new costumes are made to order.

So in late April I will be starting my two week provisional work experience which, as long as I can prove myself after the first week, will extend to a two month internship. Because of my lack of qualifications in fashion/costume construction to prove exactly what I am capable of, they are giving me a trial period off the back of the costume and research I showed them in the interview. Not having the right degree means that I’m really going to have to prove myself when applying for costume jobs with a hell of a lot of research and a magnificent portfolio. Up until the 23rd April when I start my placement I shall doing an enormous amount of research into construction techniques and costume history, I am definitely getting this internship, I want it so badly.

Here are a couple of examples of Angels’ costume work:

Shakespeare In Love

The King’s Speech

Finished Stays

Here they are, my finished pair of stays! They look much better on a soft squishy person rather than on my mannequin, but you can see the lines of the bones and get the gist of how they shape around the waist and hips.

From the back you can see that I haven’t sewn the shoulder straps on yet. The stays are a bit big for me, I don’t want to attach the straps in the wrong place and it would make it a lot easier to position them whilst it is being worn by someone else.

Here they are flat with the front side facing up. The outer fabric I have used is quite coarse, and after doing some research I have learnt that the outer fabric and inner lining would often be silk. Originally this pair of stays was only intended for use underneath the costumes to achieve the correct shape for filming, and not for show as a piece on its own, so if I make another I will certainly be finishing it with a prettier fabric. I also learnt that eyelets weren’t used in stays until the 1800s, but sewing each of the 26 eyelets by hand would have been unnecessary for the purpose that it is intended for. Maybe next time, if I decide to make a 100% historically correct one.

This is what the inside looks like. Those two little banana cushions are only pinned in, on our visit to Bristol Costume Services we spotted a pair of stays with some in and so I decided to make some to see what effect they have on the shape of the figure. I think they are intended for small chested people to make their breasts bulge out the top and so enhance the hourglass effect.

I cannot wait for my books to arrive though I think it is going to be weeks, I have been looking at other peoples’ efforts at stay making and many patterns have been taken from Norah Waugh’s ‘Corsets and Crinolines’. There are some really beautiful ones out there, I fancy making a 19th century one.

#crinoline  #a  #real  #social  #evil  


My stays are completely finished, though I am still lacking a charger for my camera so no photos as of yet. I might take a few on my phone so you can get the gist of it, but I need a proper camera really. If it’s sunny tomorrow I shall do just that.

Yesterday I spent a whole lot of money on books. One book that I bought is Corsets and Crinolines by Norah Waugh, which certainly wasn’t cheap, because I have become really interested in the cut and shape of historical stays and corsets. After making my first pair, and them actually being a success (if I might say so myself), I want to make more and I want patterns! In fact I want to own lots of them, hundreds, in all shapes and sizes and colours. I would also like to give crinoline making a go, which I don’t really know much about but have done a bit of research this evening and they look pretty exciting.

I’ve got my first proper interview next week so I’m having a big push on the portfolio front. I’m getting together a research folder for the costumes I’m making for Hannah More, as well as examples of patterns and fabrics of the period, though it is nowhere as easy as it was when at uni because I do not own a printer and the library computers and printers are slow and very expensive. As a result of this I have taken up drawing again and have actually been enjoying it. I have some of the rushes from filming the other weekend which include my costume to put up too, but portfolio is taking priority at the moment.

Hannah More

So today I helped the filming of two of the early scenes of a film about Hannah More, a famous Bristolian poet, teacher, playwright and practical philanthropist. Above is a scene in the school where Hannah was born and taught by her father, and is here teaching young girls about her play. We were in the actual building in Fishponds, I didn’t play any part in the making of these costumes above.

Above is Hannah’s mother, this was my outfit comprising of a jacket and skirt. I added the ribbon and bows to the little cap but Anthea made the majority of it. I was so happy that the jacket fitted, the pattern that I used was obviously made for a very short lady and had a very high waistline. The cuffs, inside front and back of the neck are lined in the same fabric as the skirt, and underneath that the fabric is strengthened with a layer of cotton and overlocked together to stop it from warping. Hooks and eyes fasten the front. The stays underneath also gave the front a slightly unusual shape but overall it worked and I am happy with that.

This was the scene my outfit was worn, in which Hannah’s parents discuss how her lessons are to be cut short for her father fears she is becoming too passionate about learning.

Hopefully at some point I’ll be able to get my hands on some screen shots rather than just phone photos, annoyingly I do own a camera but not a charger to go with it. Next stop banyan and corset.

Filming tomorrow

A couple of posts back I said I was to be making a jacket and skirt for the mother in a film about Hannah More, and have posted little since then as it has been taking up all of my time. Well now they are both finished and I am half way through making some stays, which are similar to a modern corset but more rigidly boned in a conical shape and have shoulder straps. I have sewn thirty channels for bones but have come to a halt as I don’t have anything to cut the metal boning.

Anyway, the scene that my outfit is worn in is being filmed tomorrow so I should have some nice photos to put up of my clothes in action. I put a hell of a lot of work into that jacket so I will certainly be showing it off. Next I am making a banyan which I am pretty excited about because it is going to be far quicker and easier and the fabric is very pretty.