Sunday, 28 April 2013

Tilda sewing angel

I made this Tilda sewing angel from a kit that was given to me at Christmas. It has been a project that I have dipped in and out of for the past months as and when I had a chance to get my sewing machine out. You can get loads of these kits to make up different angels but this one was particularly appropriate for me because of my love of sewing, the kit even included a sewing machine made out of card to press out and put together. The kit was brilliant and included just about everything you needed to make the angel. If you can get your hands on a Tilda angel kit don't hesitate to buy one, they sell some at John Lewis and Panduro Hobby as well as other Tilda goodies which are hard to resist.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Fashion Friday: Tick Tock

There's just something about watches don't you think? Maybe it's because they are functional and beautiful too and there's so many lovely watches to choose from now I just can't get enough of them. Watches are the perfect accessory to finish off your outfit and in delicate vintage, classic or bold modern styles there is always the perfect one to compliment your style. Urban outfitters always have a good selection of watches with interesting faces and I love the Marc Jacobs watch because of the way the letters mark the place of the numbers. If you see one you fancy all the links are at the bottom of this post.
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Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Friendship bracelets

I remember making countless friendship bracelets when I was little, they were usually just simple plaits with a few beads strung on. I think I made a few more complex ones using kits but plaits were definitely the easiest.
Friendship bracelets have seen a comeback in the past few years but this time in more sophisticated designs. Chevron and striped friendship bracelets combined with chain have a tribal feel and are the perfect summer accessory. The chevron design is about a complicated as I can manage, I had a go at a few other designs but with no success. There are so many tutorials out there you can make enough to cover both arms in bracelets! Some good tutorials are available here and remember more is more with friendship bracelets so make loads and stack them up. I have a few more ideas on my to do list I just need to get lots of coloured cord.
Something I remember very clearly about my childhood friendship bracelets was that the only way I ever fastened them was by tying the ends of the embroidery thread meaning they were stuck on you until they eventually fell off. This is why I have finished the ends of my bracelets with folding crimps and clasps so I can wear them when I choose to. These two little birds were so curious about this new style of friendship bracelet they came over to investigate...

Monday, 22 April 2013

Still making granny squares

Its gradually growing..
I think the blanket is about a third of the size it needs to be now, so I still have quite a way to go. I think by the time I've finished it I'll be able to make granny squares in my sleep!

Friday, 19 April 2013

Fashion Friday: Tatty Devine

This weeks Fashion Friday is dedicated to one of my jewellery heroes, Tatty Devine. I think I first heard about Tatty Devine in an issue of Mollie Makes and I have been in love with their designs ever since. I love the use of bright and bold Perspex shapes and I adore the quirkiness and originality of the pieces. The Tatty Devine website ( sells everything from small pendant necklaces to large statement jewellery and as you know I have a bit of a penchant for statement necklaces.

Tatty Devine was founded by Harriet Vine and Rosie Wolfenden in 1999 who met at art school and then went on to set up Tatty Devine (what a brilliant name by the way!).  Below I have picked out a few of my favourite pieces from the website, it was hard to choose just a few but I particularly love the lady and dog brooch.



Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Crochet flowers watch

I have had this watch face for almost a year now and in the past I have had a few ideas of a strap to make for it but none of the ideas ever really seemed good enough. So after all that time I finally came up with an idea this weekend that I did like.
I wanted to create a fairly tight strap that would prevent the face from slipping underneath my wrist because I have found this to be a problem in the past with previous watches I have made straps for. For this reason I knew I didn't want to make a bracelet style watch strap which I had been contemplating before so instead I used bias binding embellished with vintage lace and some crocheted flowers which I posted a pattern for previously. I also sewed another layer of bias binding underneath to strengthen the strap and hide the stitches from the embellishment on the top. Bias binding was a particularly good material for using for this strap because it's not slippery like ribbon and because it is cut on the bias there is some stretch in the strap which will make it more comfortable for wearing. I used a small metal popper to attach the two ends together.


Monday, 15 April 2013

Charm bracelets

I was making a bracelet the other day which involved lots of small red heart beads on a single piece of chain, I attached the first bead onto the centre point of the chain and for some reason or another I held it up to my wrist. As I did this I thought the single bead on the chain made an interesting bracelet, so this formed the idea for the set of bracelets pictured below. I tend to just collect all kinds of craft stuff when I see something I like and I might have a particular item in my stash for ages before I use it. So I had a few pretty charms and beads which were perfect to use for these bracelets. I also used a selection of different fine chain along with the charms and beads.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Fashion Friday: Ted Baker

Among my list of favourite clothing brands and designers are Ted Baker, French Connection, Erdem (of course) and Alice Temperley. But this week I'm focusing on Ted Baker. I think Ted Baker offers more affordable luxury and I particularly look forward to when they have a sale on! These images are from the Ted Baker spring/summer 2013 look book and what can be better for summer than light breezy fabrics and heavenly floral prints in bright candy colours with a splash of neon accents. They are just the perfect garments to keep me dreaming of warm summer days...


Thursday, 11 April 2013

Acorn necklace

I have had this acorn charm for a while now I have just been waiting to get some gold chain, the acorn came from as did the leaf pendant hanger which I thought matched quite well with the acorn. I had another visit to Bijoux Beads on the weekend so I was able to get some gold chain to finish the necklace off (they stock the best selection of chain). I made the necklace long because I thought it would suit the pendant best as it is quite large. I love how the smooth texture of the wood contrasts with the bumpy metal on the acorn pendant.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Crochet flowers peter pan collar

I love collars and what can be better than a detachable collar which you can wear to add a finishing touch to many outfits. A while ago I had crocheted lots of small flowers, from my pattern which I published here, and leaves which I also made up a pattern for. I thought they would look good all over a peter pan collar so I traced the collar of a top to get the basic template for the collar shape, if you are drafting your own collar pattern a tip is that the pattern piece should not lie flat in a circle shape when laid out on a flat surface, this means that the collar will sit flat when it is worn around your neck.
I then used a plain white cotton fabric for the top and base of the collar and some lightweight interfacing on the back of the top layer. I sewed on the crochet pieces adding seed beads in the centre of each flower to the top layer. Once this was complete I sewed the collar pieces together, I did this by hand just because I felt like it but it could also be done on a machine with a gap left to turn it round. Then I added a loop at one of the corners where the two points meet, one of the crochet flowers on the opposite side is pushed through the loop to secure the collar.
I was originally planning to sew beads between the crochet flowers and leaves but I liked the effect of the crochet against the crisp white cotton so I decided to leave the beads out. The collar works well worn over a plain top or dress and is the perfect item for those wardrobe malfunction days. When I get round to it I'm also going to make a collar out of some Liberty fabric, the question is do I make a peter pan collar or a pointed collar?


Sunday, 7 April 2013

Liberty print covered notebook

A while ago I wrote about a covered notebook I had made as a gift. This time I wanted to make one for myself because I've needed a good sketchbook for sketching out ideas and designs and I wanted the book to have thick paper so I can use watercolour on the pages. I bought my plain hard covered sketchbook from an art shop in Bath ( the shop is only small but they have great stock and the staff are so helpful and friendly, if you are in the Bath area it's worth visiting.
I used Liberty print fabric to cover the sketchbook but first I covered the book in thin white fabric. This is because the Liberty fabric is quite light and fine and although it is a dark colour I wanted to make sure the colour of the cover wouldn't show through. I decided to leave the cover plain because the Liberty fabric is so beautiful and detailed it doesn't need any extra ornamentation. On the inside pages I added some Tilda striped paper and a small tag for a finishing touch. Now I have a lovely sketchbook with a personalised cover and just having a beautiful cover will surely inspire more ideas...

Friday, 5 April 2013

Fashion Friday: A closer view

Sometimes you need to look more closely at a garment to appreciate the finer details. As a sewer and general maker how things are made has always fascinated me. I often find myself examining a garment and considering how the techniques have been used to create a certain effect. Getting my head around how something has been made is just a part of my creative process that is in the back of my mind all the time and its just something I consider whether it's for future use or just curiosity. There always seems to be a certain element of pride if you can go into a shop and say 'I could make that' which I'm sure many of you have done before. Gaining and perfecting new skills is just as much about studying other people's work as it is practising the technique.

High end designer's collections are the best place to seek inspiration for surface embellishment and fabric manipulation techniques because much more time and care is spent over creating the garments. What can also be fascinating about fashion collections is the interpretation of traditional techniques into couture garments. Below are a selection of stunning close up images of garments. Whether you discover lace appliqued onto chiffon, a delicate print or elegant embroidery its always worth looking more closely. After all it's the small details that make or break a garment.

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Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Vintage teacup with roses

Just a quick one to show you a little vintage arrangement. You may remember my post about the vintage jumble sale a few days ago, this teacup featured in the post and I bought these fabric flowers to put in the teacup last week. I just trimmed the stalks down and arranged the roses and leaves in the teacup. I think the roses compliment the pattern and colours of the teacup nicely and what can be better than a bunch of roses growing out of a vintage teacup?