Thursday, 17 December 2009

My best Craftacular purchase!

I bought this very pretty lady from The Great Cake Escape, and guess what, it was as delicious as it is beautiful. The Great Cake Escape had a wonderful selection of russian dolls-inspired gingerbread; the detailing of the eyes is so gorgeous and so 1960s! I love gingerbread, but sometime they can be quite hard and too peppery, but this one was perfect! It inspired me to try making some at home. I bought all the ingredients last night, so today's the day! I only have a "gingerman" mould, so I'll be baking goblins with red and white caps...

Wednesday, 16 December 2009


I had a lovely day at Craftacular. I was really pleased that my felt corsages were appreciated - I sold out! I had to make some more on Sunday:


Available from the website!

Friday, 4 December 2009

Folksy Sue Ryder - Upcyle Christmas

Finally, my entry for the Folsky/ Sue Ryder competition is complete:

This cuddly little pig is made of pure wool (guaranteed! See below).
He measures approximately 29 cm long, has some old plastic buttons for the eyes, his snout is made of soft light pink cotton velvet. And because he's so sweet, he has a winner red and pinks rosette.
A while ago, I purchased two pieces of wool fabric to felt it… A red one “boiled” (not in a good way), and the other felted far too much! Whilst the original fabric had been beige, it turned into an odd pink/beige … and it became really thick too! The flesh colour was clearly unsuitable for nice things, such as a pair of slippers... Needless to say the felt I now use come already “felted”. I kept the pieces in my fabrics box; I knew they would come handy one day! And indeed, this pink/beige one was ideal for this project, as I was not allowed to purchase anything new. 
***Upcycle Christmas is a competition for people to take second hand / charity stuff and make it into something ‘new’ and desirable to be sold at an online auction starting on the 7th December. All proceeds from the auction will go to Sue Ryder Care, the healthcare charity. ***

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

December happenings!

A busy month has just started. First thing this morning, I was cutting and sewing bits of coloured felt to make some rosettes. I then attempted to make this "programme card" in photoshop... A little too complex for me, but it was fun to do anyhow. Loving the "vignette" style - so old fashion and a bit corny!

There will be more sewing this evening. The rosettes are coming along fine; they will decorate a new flock of lavender doves.
And I'm still working on my submission for the Folksy Upcycle Christmas Competition...

11am - 4pm / Free entry
Morley College/ 61 Westminster Bridge Road/ London SE1 7HT
Nearest tube: Lambeth North

BUST Magazine is decking York Hall with boughs of holly, plus the hottest handmade wares! Over 60 crafty vendors – Tatty Devine Christmas Tree Tombola – Pop-Up Christmas Party by Lady Luck Rules OK – knitting and stitching workshops – DJs and drinks all day – goodie bags for the first 100 through the door. Admission: £2.
12pm to 7pm
York Hall/ 5-15 Old Ford Road/ London E2 9PJ
Nearest tube: Bethnal Green

Thursday - Sunday 3 -6 / 10-12 / 17-20 December
9 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DX
Nearest tube: King's Cross

Friday, 27 November 2009

20% off for a week on

Fabric-covered button badges, shiny clutches with giant studs, blue check denim clutches...
More stock arriving early next week!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Working on new stock!




I've been rather busy lately! Preparing all new stock, from badges to leather clutches! More will be uploaded onto the website this weekend. I'm in a preppy mood, so expect more checks and stripes!

Monday, 23 November 2009

Bust Craftacular!!!


Hooray! Craftacular returns on Saturday 12 December! Only three weeks to go!
Not to be missed! 

York Hall
5 - 15 Old Ford Road
London E2 9PJ

Nearest tube: Bethal Green (just under 1 min walk)

Friday, 20 November 2009

Gold & massive shoulders!

What a combo: gold and massive shoulders! But it works! No party in sight for me, but I'm really loving this dress by Moonsoon. I've actually never been into one of their stores, but it does look great. The sleeves are great too, very sculptural. The cluch, on the other hand, looks a bit cheap, and one can easily find a vintage one in a similar style.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Travelling yesterday & Kristie and Coralie's Christmas Cooler

I was travelling back to London yesterday evening and this great picture by Eggleston, one of my favourites, spells travel for me! I took the Eurostar and was not having any cocktail tough...

It's all back to business today, shipping orders and making plans for the next coming months. An exciting opportunity is the Kristie and Coralie's Christmas Cooler: a "drink, shop and do" venue in an art space near King's Cross opening for three weeks in December! Great designers, lots of cake and mulled wine and plenty of events with the like of Stitch and Bitch, Make.Do.Mend and Smack My Stitch Up...

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Teaching at the Make Lounge

Last Monday evening, I taught another group to make small snap purses. I found starting with 6" frames easier, as the frame is not too big nor too small, so probably easier to start with...
Below are the lovely purses we all made:

I love the tatoo print, so maybe I'll be using it for my next demo! It is always nice to see how the purses come out, and how they all look so unique in these different fabrics. My own demo is the dictionary print with the red spotty lining at the bottom of the picture.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Love necklace

How amazing is this necklace! Really one-of-a- kind, a real showpiece! The picture is from Bluebird but unfortunately I have no idea who is the designer/ maker...

I am so tempted to give crochet another go! (if that's the technique used!).

Monday, 9 November 2009

My picture of the day: Patty Boyd drawing

Another Karen Kilimnik picture, but this time a drawing. I won't be doing any drawings myslef today, but I needed something to inspire me today!

On Saturday, I taught my first class ever! I was exhausted afterwards, talking for three  hours or so is not easy! It was nice to see the little clutches the students made with me at the Make Lounge. Helping to attach nine purse frames at the same time was a bit of a challenge, but the students seemed to have enjoyed themselves!

And on Sunday, I was finishing my red checks shirt - only the pearl snap buttons to fix! Maybe I'll post of picure of it when it is finished.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Autumn red

I love this picture! No idea who the photographer was, or who designed the clothes, only that it dates from 1944. I love the contrast between the dark suit, the cream overcoat and the red gloves and tights. I had this picture in my diary for a while, and finally bought some red tights last Saturday... from the children section of John Lewis. The tights are of much better quality than I thought, and at £5 for two pairs, a real bargain!

When my copy of Vogue arrived earlier this week, I was pleased that I was not the only one who fell for red:

The dresses at the front are from Jill Sander. The cut is based on a magyar/ kimono sleeve, and really looks fantastic, just as the colour, a deep garnet red.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Lumberjack-style red checks shirt...


I love All That Heaven allows, especially the clothes worn by Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson! Hudson is a free-thinking gardener and is often seen wearing a lumberjack-style flannel shirt; she is the ultimate 1950s housewife, always impeccably chic. He is the archetype of cool, so that is no surprise that Jane Wyman fell for him!
I had wanted a similar red checks shirt for a while and intended to buy a vintage one. Last Saturday I found by chance some great (and cheap) cotton fabric at John Lewis. It is not flannel, but at£5 per meter, it was too reasonable to resit! The colouring is really good, the perfect red, with quite a bit of white and some thin stripes of yellow and navy blue. It will also save me hours of shopping in thrift stores and the like! And I needed a distraction from sewing clutch, so this is a new project. I am hoping to wear it next Saturday!
So far, most of the body is done, but I have yet to place the pocket and insert the sleeves. I  have never used press-stud buttons, so there's going to be a bit of hammering in my flat soon!


Monday, 2 November 2009

New suede mini clutch with handmade felt flowers


I love working with felt; the colour and texture of this material are so playful; and I do not use it as much as I would like. So this is one of my first attempt to include felt in my clutch bags. This clutch is made of black goat suede on the front and dark grey wool at the back. I have decorated the front with flowers and leaves in a variety of greys and burnt orange felts for the flowers, and dark and medium greens for the leaves. I am quite fond of the pearl button buds!

- Outer: Black soft goat suede at the front, pure grey wool fabric at the back
- felt fowers and leaves with pearl buttons
- black nickel frame
- Lining: beige 100% cotton with an handy inside pocket
- All seams are double stitched

Approximate dimensions at widest points: 7” x 5” (18 x 13cm). The frame is 4.5" long (12 cm).

The clutch feels quite luxurious, I am rather pleased with it!

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Picture of the day: William Eggleston

Just like a lot of people, I'm a huge fan of William Eggleston! I love the rich colours and this picture is autumnal as well, so it's perfect for today! I love the fact it suggests travel and movement, it is so beautiful yet "unpicturesque" (if this word exists). It depicts nothing really, just an ordinary rail track, yet it is a sumptuous image. His work mesmerises me. 

Friday, 30 October 2009

L'Air du Temps & my all time love of doves

My mum used to wear this Nina Ricci perfume when I was small. I loved the two fluttering doves on the bottle cap. Nowadays, almost all fragrance bottles tend to look very angular, with diamond cut edges, or anything that spells "expensive" "luxurious" and so forth. This Lalique design is so different, it suggests feminity, grace, youth, whilst also refering the universal values of peace, purity, freedom and love. I really like the fragrance name as well: the air that we all breathe, the mood of the moment.
I think it was created in 1948 but there is nothing retro or overtyped about this perfume or its bottle. It is amazing how some designs do really transcend fashions.

Doves (and horses) feature heavily in my work, often as appliques, such as this candy floss pink leather pouch: 

Thursday, 29 October 2009

::::new::: winter blue clutches

A little while ago, I bought some lovely fabrics from Liberty. I selected a few in blue tones, as it is so wintery chic. These two clutches are made of a cotton lawn called "detritus" and is designed by Anj Smith. The fabric is part of the Liberty art collection, a selection of fabrics designed by artists.

I chose this Anj Smith design, as I really liked the intricate detailing, its pencil drawn style and the stag's heads! Smith's paintings often incorporate references to the realms of fashion, nature and popular culture. It seems that the design she created for Liberty was inspired by the memory of her mothers’ kitchen curtains...

Sadly, the weather was a bit too cloudy when I photographed the clutches, so the pictures are not perfect and I will have to redo them at the weekend!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Norman Parkinson: A Very British Glamour

I went to see this exhibition at Somerset House at lunchtime yesterday. I was walking through the courtyard when I saw the poster, so it was a much unplanned visit! The exhibition celebrates the publication of a book of the same tittle and presents an interesting selection of his work.  

I had forgotten how good Parkinson's photographs were! His career spanned from the 1930s to the 1980s, and consistently evolved. He is celebrated as a pioneer of fashion photography, and for instance initiated fashion shots on exotic foreign locations, from South Africa to New York.

Whilst I am especially fond of the London pictures, this is (possibly) my favourite, taken in New York in 1949. The colours are so vivid; it looks more like a film still than a fashion photograph. It is lively and humorous, staged but not theatrical.

The London pictures blend the chic glamour of the 1940s and 1950s with humour, the energy of the 1960s with spontaneity!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Picture of the day: Karen Kilimnik & The Avengers

I have pinned this image on my "inspiration" wall above my studio desk; I can keep my eyes from it! I loved The Avengers so any stills from the series could have ended on my wall, but I especially like this picture! I love the bright colours, Mrs Peel's yellow shirt and Stead's bright red military jacket, the way they look at each other, their connection.
I do not know very much about Karen Kilimnik's work, I just love its energy, her pop reference, its loose style, the pastiche. Her paintings have such a youthful/ teenage feel about them!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Teaching a new workshop at the Make Lounge!

I am starting a new workshop at the Make Lounge in Islington in a few weeks! It is going to be short sessions on creating a small snap purse/ clutch. Below are two purses I made to publicize the course! I am very pleased with the photo (not taken by me!).

It is a new experience for me, so I have quite a lot of preparation to do but it is so very exciting! For further detail on the course, please click here! I am really pleased that the courses have sold so well! There are many keen sewers out there!

Friday, 23 October 2009

Vogue's best ever issue?

Well maybe not, but I am not often so thrilled by Vogue!
Today did not start too well! My homemade soup leaked onto my Vogue this morning... And because of the postal strike, my copy only reached me last Friday. Well, I am so glad it finally came, as this "more dash than cash" issue is really inspiring!
I am filled with awe with William Tempest's take on tea towels: pure genius and great craftmanship! (and the print of the season!)

Loving the 80s feel of this pick-and-mix suit too:

I tend to be a little wary of updating vintage clothes and patterns, as they often loose what was vintage/ nice/ unique about them. But I was really drawn to the creative uptake on these vintage Vogue patterns. And only a few months ago, I nearly bought the same pattern that Miranda Almond used for this dress; but I had not realised that it could look so current! 

I had been making quite a few clutches in Liberty fabrics recently, so I was really pleased to see how Kate Phelan had used a Liberty floral print and a 1930s pattern and turned a very modern and edgy outfit!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Polka dots a gogo

I was having a little of a polka moment, with some new clutches and pouches, and I was not the only one, as this lovely etsy treasury suggests!

I especially like this mobile, handcrafted by Lubin rom felt and ribbon:

Always the retro girl, I'm very keen on this little dress from Spun Sugar Vintage. Really loving all the ruffles at the hems and the batwings sleeves! And it is "simple" enough that it could be accessorised with some of the retro hats that I have made but can't never wear, fault of an occasion... Spending most weekends with my the sewing machine is not easy and practicality has dictated that I opt for the (oil) stain-proof jeans and tees.

Picture curtesy of Spun Sugar Vintage.

On a dot mood, below are some of my new items: 

Tiny clutch/ large change purse in cotton dotted fabric with luxurious black leather suede at the back, black kisslock frame:

Bright cheerful dotted pouch, with silver leather at the back and lovely warm brown leather tassel:

Having just returned from a shopping trip to Liberty, there are some lovely clutches in Liberty prints coming soon!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Scottie button badge sets!


I have been quite busy lately, and this is my new range of fabric covered button badges. They are available here
The larger badges measure 1.25" (about 3cm) and the smaller one 1" (2.5cm).
They are made of fabric bits and pieces that would have otherwise been discarded, so this is move towards up-cycling! Most of the fabrics are cottons, with some wool (grey scottie) and linen (cream scottie). The scotties are made of brass.