Before Christmas, I made a custom woodwork apron for a client – it was a long design process, several months, and required 3 toiles (calico versions) and lots of advice from woodcrafter friends. I’ve tinkered with the pattern some more, and finally have the first finished woodwork apron for the Folksy shop. The cargo style pockets are quite a challenge, and the magnetic pocket tabs are tricky… they want to stick to everything including the sewing machine plate! Hopefully I’ll get James to model for photos tomorrow….
This week I’ve gone back to working on a woodwork apron. I made a custom woodworkers apron for a client before Christmas, the development was a lengthy business. The pattern’s been tweaked a bit and today I cut out the apron pieces…more photos over the next few days…..
My annual outing to the Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace, with my trusty K&S companion Charlotte – whose exceptional taste and style ensure that I spend too much money but have a lot of fun doing it. Stuff for Christmas present making, socks, scarf, jewellery, handkerchiefs, lavender bags…
Made myself a skirt using very very nice Merchant & Mills ‘Indigo Spot’ Indian cotton, with cotton tape from myfabrics.com. Particularly fond of the gingham pockets made from vintage bits of Oilily fabric.
I never thought I’d ever get so keen on wearing elasticated waistbands – but it’s great for working, when I have a lot of bending over do, like when Idrafting patterns or cutting fabric/patterns.
I’ve been working on this dress for some time… partly because I was was doing a workshop at Number 57 for this particular pattern, I was making it in stages so they could see the progress – but I didn’t manage to finish it with them because I decided it needed different sleeves. But I finished it today “Hurrah”!
I used the ‘Dress Shirt’ Merchant & Mills pattern, but it needed pockets so I drafted a pocket pattern and added those into the side seams. Once I had the main body of the dress done, I realised it needed cap sleeves (to balance the dark yoke); so spent time drafting those properly and making a calico one to make sure it worked!
I’ve made four of these dresses myself, and helped four people make theirs in workshops at Number 57. One comment I would make about this Merchant & Mills pattern is that it has a lot of ease in the sleeves, which works ok with loose weave fabrics like linen, but with fine or close weave fabrics fabrics I’ve found I have to pull in the extra fabric into a little section of gathers across the sleeve head on the shoulder.
The lovely Indian block printed fabric was bought from The Cloth Shop – Ladbrooke Grove back in February.
I had a good afternoon at Number 57, friends dropped by, artists came to introduce themselves, had some great discussions. I even sold some lavender bags, which were the sum total of things I made this week (half-term never pans out the way you think!). They looked lovely nestling in beautiful Jan Barker bowls (see photo).
… and a picture taken at home this morning before I went to Number 57.
Earlier this year, in collaboration with Nipper Skipper, I designed a set of t-shirts based on their very cute logo-mascot Pip (Penguin) – They went on sale yesterday!
Nipper Skipper sell sailing gear- safety gear and technical clothing for children who sail – age 0-10 years. The t-shirts are their first foray into Nipper Skipper branded products.
Rather than straight copy their Pip logo I went for a simplified, yet still very recognisable, strong line drawing of Pip.
Nipper Skipper felt strongly that their customers would be keen on organic fair trade t-shirts. After some research we settled on Stella and Stanley marl shirts, printed by 3rd Rail in Bermondsey London, using water-based discharge inks – which give a fantastic soft feel (no horrible plastic finish) you can hardly feel any ink on it at all.
Lastly, we thought about packaging. I’d had these gorgeous stripey candy bags on one of my Pinterest boards for ages, they come in a lovely range of colours and sizes. The yellow ones were perfect with the set of Pip stickers Nipper Skipper already send in their parcels.
Spent hours today trying to sort out an image to advertise the ‘Sewing Clinic’ I’ll be doing at Number 57 in May and June. I wanted to suggest different kinds of sewing projects; so came up with a big collage of bits and bobs with a red cross shape in the middle.
Last night I added a new men’s apron to the Folksy shop, and made a ‘men’s apron’ category.
A ‘one off’ mens apron; made from denim offcuts, different shades and some reversed, pieced together to make a unique maker’s apron. It was quite exciting to make; usually I plan designs very carefully, do diagrams etc but this one was more spontaneous, folding and handling the fabric until I got all the fabric pieces in the right place.
No 6 aprons will use the same basic pattern with adjustable neck tie with a loop, pencil pocket on the breast, large pocket, narrow ties, but each will be unique with different arrangements of fabric offcuts.
As ever the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace, London was so inspiring. My friend Charlotte and I go every year, I think this is the 6th, with packed lunch and a plan…..
This year we did things a little differently and started with the artist and student exhibitions. Some of the knitwear students work was genuinely brilliant, distinctive and really well presented; Caren Garfen had a huge exhibition space, I bought one of her ‘tea towels’ a few years back when she was at the show as a graduate exhibitor – it’s framed and hangs in the hall; my favourite piece though was by Susie Vickery see it here ‘Charles Babbage:A conversation’.
The first thing I bought was a lovely book ‘Text in Textile Art’ by Sara Impey, then some star decorations made in India from vintage saris which inspired me to buy some rather sparkly braids, ribbons, sequins with the Christmas Market in mind. The Merchant and Mills stand had lovely fabrics and there were nice made up garments of their patterns which looked much nicer than they do on the website!
This was the first year we stayed right to the end… all the coffee shops were shut!!!