Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Design work in progress

Here’s a sneak preview of a design I’m working on for my next bag workshop – I’m planning to make this into a proper pattern as per the Trapeze tote. It’s another pretty simple style, but should work well in lots of different fabrics and would easily lend itself to adaptation.

As usual, I did everything you’re not supposed to and designed it as I went along, rather than working up a toile version. I find this method works for me, but does involve a fair amount of sighing, a little bit of mild swearing and quite a bit of unpicking. I never realised how much I talk to myself before but was working on this at the weekend with Mr Loulabelle in the next room and he’s been looking at me very strangely ever since.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Japanese "Town Blouse"

I’ve had my eye on some Japanese craft books for a while now, but have always been too scared to take the plunge. After reading this great post from Flossie Teacakes, I pulled myself together and ordered a copy of “Feminine Wardrobe” from M is for Make.

My to do list is enormous: I should be making bags, working on pattern templates, writing craft posts… anything but sewing for myself, but ever since this book landed on my doormat, I haven’t been able to think of anything else. My usual approach is to go into a frenzy and buy material for 5 different projects, then never quite finish any of them. But this time shall be different! I’ve decided to take my inspiration from the calming, simple aesthetic of the book, quieten my frantic mind and just buy fabric for one project at a time! I thought I’d start with the “Town Blouse” to begin with as 1) I love the design and 2) I think I can work out more or less what to do from the pictures without needing to do too much translation.

This is the fabric I’ve chosen – not sure yet whether to use grey lace or white for the edging. I was drawn to the grey first, but then got a bit concerned that it may just end up looking dirty.

And all very coincidentally, I discovered earlier today that M is for Make is hosting a Japanese Pattern Book Sewalong in the next couple of weeks - so this is all perfect timing!

Friday, 18 February 2011

A skirt for me!

I made this skirt before Christmas and completely forgot to post about it. So, here is my "origami" skirt. I like it an awful lot indeed. There are many reasons: first it’s the first thing I’ve made myself in ages. Second, it’s the first thing I’ve made myself that came out just how I imagined it would in even longer. Third, it was really quick and really easy to make. Fourth – it looks like it was really hard and took a very long time to make. Fifth - I love the fabric. Sixth… okay, you get the picture. I’m happy with my skirt!

So, if you want to make one too, it’s from the 11/2010 issue of BurdaStyle magazine. Eventually, I’m going to make another in a more glamorous fabric for evening time – there’s no rush right now as my evenings are mostly spend in pyjamas with a sewing machine, but maybe one day a new era of cocktail parties and sophisticated soirees will open up before me and when that time comes, I shall have just the skirt prepared!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Cardigan treat for Freya

Lucky Freya’s lovely grandma send her a special present in the post last week with a little note suggesting that she ask Mummy to sew on some buttons. Mummy had a look in her button stash and found some cute vintage red flower buttons that went perfectly…

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

My grocery bags in a real life shop!

Up till now I’ve only sold my bags online, or on my own stalls, but now these little beauties are available in a real life, brick- and-mortar shop. Charlie Boots has opened a shop in Bristol featuring UK made, womenswear and accessories from ethically sourced materials. And, I’ve just heard that at least one of them has been sold – so, if you’re in Bristol, check it out!

Monday, 14 February 2011

It feels like I only just wrote my last post –how did another 2 weeks flash by so quickly? So, things have been busy busy as always – not enough time for sewing and crafting as I’d like – not even enough time for things I don’t like really (dusting, cleaning the bathroom, taking more than one pee a day…) But there have been a few crafty moments…

Definitely the highlight of my fortnight has been a weekend mosaic course with Jo Thorpe. I was never drawn to mosaic until researching this post for UK Handmade. I loved Jo’s work and felt inspired to have a go. Jo runs the courses from her flat and despite us all being nervous at first, she manages to make it feel very relaxed and comfortable right from the beginning.

I don’t think I could call myself a natural! It took a while to get the hang of cutting the tiles. I couldn’t quite get my head around the concept of making the shapes in my design by laying down square tiles, rather than cutting tiles into curved shapes. And my use of colour could be described as anything but clever, but I loved every minute of the two days. I meant to take photos of the session but got so engrossed that I could think of nothing beyond nipping tiles like a lunatic.

I wished the course was 4 days as I’d have liked to have a second attempt to put right all the things I messed up in my first go, but here it is…. My not so gorgeous mosaic (supposedly inspired by a 70s textile design, but not sure you’d know it!)

Oh, and also highly exciting was the opportunity to go to a Hackney warehouse party on the Saturday night – an album launch of a friend of a friend – and we were out past midnight (4 minutes past precisely!) and I slept on sofa cushions on my friends floor – not a nappy or a tommy-tippy cup in sight!


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