Monday, 31 December 2012

Bronze and gold journal cover

You know how much I love using fabric with a soul!

I was asked if I could make a journal cover from a beloved piece of bronze two-tone fabric.  Sure, I said!  Well, the person who asked me was clutching it to her at the time so I had an inkling of how much she liked it :)

So I added some gold satin and this is how it turned out...

It fits the journal nicely!

The outside was created from both fabrics which just so happened to wrap the spine in an effortless hug!

 I do hope the recipient likes the two-tone effect cover!


Saturday, 29 December 2012

Denim jacket to satchel refashion

I absolutely adore refashioning items with a history (or should that be story?) into something wonderful and new.

So when I was asked to refashion an original Levi's denim jacket which had been embroidered by the owner's wife-to-be half a century ago, I jumped at the chance.  Sure, it was a little tentative - what if it went wrong?  You certainly can't get another one of these! 

And that is the beauty of sewing for me - to produce unique items which capture a moment in time for somebody else. 

We agreed that it would be made into a satchel.

The front of the jacket was embroidered with a rainbow and had a branch on the lapel.

While the back had a ram emblazoned on it.

I looked for some fabric to line the soon-to-be satchel.  Nothing seemed 'right' to me.  Then I remembered that I had a denim shirt from the same lady that I could use - and it would tone really well.

Before even thinking about cutting into the jacket, I had to plan where each part was going to go.  I figured that the ram from the back panel was to go on the back and along the top of the satchel.

The front of the satchel was created from part of the sleeve - I thought it looked good with the seam running down it.

Try as I might, there was not enough 'satchel' to incorporate the rainbow.  So I placed it in the front pocket.  Well, the best things in life are hidden until you realise they are there, aren't they?

And of course that meant that the pot of gold was in there too using applique.

I had a bit of luck with the side of the front pocket - it appeared that the waistband of the jacket was the precise width that I needed.  So that was incorporated too; press studs and all - I do so love retaining as much of the original item as possible.

The Ralph Lauren shirt was used for the interior, the interior pocket and the strap and side-release buckle tabs.

The strap itself together with the satchel gusset was made from a pair of jeans.

And the branch was appliqued onto the top of the satchel.

One embroidered denim jacket satchel!

One fabric memory :)


Thursday, 27 December 2012

Secret Santa

Every year I participate in a Secret Santa with friends from across the world.

This year I chose one of my friends in America. 

I used a stocking that I had received in a previous mailing - you know how much I love recycling!  It just so happened that it was a Disney stocking with Eeyore on it.

After I'd filled it with goodies I had an idea.  My friend's name was Diane - and didn't the word Disney at the top look just a little bit like 'Diane'?

So I got my red thread out and tinkered with it...

I do love it when I can make something more personal!


Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas!!

Here's one I made earlier...

Wishing everyone who reads this a totally wonderful Christmas and an utterly fabulous 2013!!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Panda hat alterations

Ok, so I didn't make this panda hat, but the poor thing was being left in the cupboard because it didn't fit very well.

If you have a look, there was a lump at the top that was a little too proud for the wearer's liking.

Being nifty with a needle I decided that I would see what I could do so that it could be worn again.

So I cut into the lining, pulled the fur through it, shaped it, sewed it back up again and sewed the lining back up.  I just love learning how things are made!  And the ears are hollow!!

One happy wearer!


Thursday, 20 December 2012

Look what I just found!!

I'd  completely forgotten that I had a thing about cross stitch many moons ago!

But up in the loft was a case full of reminders - so I thought I would share...
Country Companions band

Winnie the Pooh and Tigger too (not forgetting Piglet!!)

I tawt I taw a puddy tat...

And another Piglet!


All of them were counted cross stitch and took hours to do.  But I love the way they turned out.

Also in the case were a few items that I had made on the soft furnishings course.  I will post them here just to keep track of everything!


Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Blue silk journal cover

London.  December. 2012.  Lunch with friends.  Charity shop.  Blue silk top.  Preloved.  Yum!

French designer top, no less.

Suitably purchased.  Everyone happy.

Bias binding from the neck used on a caftan.

Majority used on a journal cover.

100% silk cover.

100% cotton lining.

From the lining of the top.

Perfect colour combination :)


The new recipient of the journal cover asked me if I could add a pen holder to the cover. 

So I used the sizing ribbon from the silk top and added it into the seam (I do love using as much of the original garment as possible!).

With the pen in place it does look to me as if the journal cover is giving the pen a big hug!



Denim joy

I was asked to make a journal cover in blue with a yellow 'joy' similar to the Razzmatazz applique cover that I had made previously.

What immediately sprang to mind was using preloved denim and sunshine yellow.

So I had a play.  Discovered some preloved jeans; added some yellow fabric and voila - another journal cover was created!!

The thread I used to top stitch the cover with was the same orange colour that I'd used to change a jeans zip.  I thought I would use it again because it was in keeping with the jeans theme.

This cover was born to keep the Your Body Speaks journal cosy!


Monday, 17 December 2012

Caftan capers (or is it kaftan kapers?)

I love making something that I've never made before.  Why?  For the pure challenge of it; and the experience AND because it's fun and incredibly satisfying!

So when I was asked to make a caftan I jumped at the chance.  I was loaned an original and asked to make something similar.

This is how the creative process worked...

Make pattern

Figure out the 'how to make it' from the beginning involving much visualisation of caftan components

Find sheet

Use the sheet to make a mock-up of the caftan without lining it (that will come later)

Compare mock-up with original

Tweak pattern - add a bit here, remove a bit there (the sleeves I'd made were FAR too voluminous!)

Cut out new cotton fabric whilst holding ones breath (it was precious fabric and I so wanted to get it right!)

Add some preloved silk and cotton from a French designer top purchased on a recent trip to London

Tweak and tweak some more

When happy, add the bias binding from around the top of the designer top to the neck of the caftan (why make binding when there is the perfect sized bias in the perfect colour already there?!)

Trim sleeves with more silk

And there you have it - one completed, lined caftan which I believe is off on holiday pretty soon with its new owner!



Thursday, 6 December 2012

More journal covers!

I'm loving making journal covers right now!

The covers are designed to fit the Radiant Recovery Your Body Speaks journal (or a book of a similar size). All of the covers are softly padded to protect its precious cargo. And every single one is unique. I never make two the same.

The vast majority of the covers are created from preloved fabric - I love using preloved fabric as it not only gives new life to a piece of fabric that might otherwise not have a home, but the fabric tends to have more unusual patterns than you can generally get from a fabric shop. Texture, pattern and heritage are important to me!

I've even made some journal covers from faux fur too for a bit of fun!

Some journal covers have one magnetic snap fastening while others have two to allow for two books to be covered - you may like to have a diary or notebook in there too to keep the journal company!

Here are the latest creations...

Poppies Journal Cover:
I fell in love with the fabric for the Poppies journal cover as soon as I saw it.  It was created from a skirt that was refashioned into a child's swing top for a while.  It has also been used as a bucket bag.

It's one of those fabrics that always brightens my day whenever I see it.

Created from a preloved skirt (which was also used for a bag and the appliqued 'Joy' journal cover) and some satin. The sense of connection is important to me - how one piece of fabric is connected to another, maybe across the world.

Created from a fabulous pair of two-tone curtains that shimmer in the sunlight. This fabric was also used to create a tunic top that is sitting in my wardrobe.

Oranges and Lemons:
I discovered a beautifully lacy top that was begging me to take it home.  There was such a pretty pattern on it!  Whilst the lace was used to trim my apron, the remainder was refashioned into this adorable journal cover.

I found a gorgeous preloved patchwork skirt on one of my forays into a charity shop.  This was one of the first journal covers I'd made as I was still perfecting my technique back then!  After much tinkering and unpicking it became the Patchwork journal cover! 

The patchwork itself was from an a-line skirt which flared softly giving the resulting journal cover its characteristically quirky asymmetrical appearance.

Pink butterfly:
I just adore butterflies! They are so symbolic, aren't they?  This Pink Butterfly cover was created from a preloved top and some satin. 

I hadn't appliqued anything before - but decided to put the fabric from the Razzmatazz bag (and now journal cover) to good use again.  Created from two skirts discovered in the same shop on the same day, these colours were meant to be together!

Happy Days:
Happy Days was created from a fabulously printed tea-towel.  Another one of those patterns that brightens my day just by looking at it!  Happy Days was teamed with a red cotton lining for yet more colour.

Baroque was created from a preloved throw which was love at first sight for me.  Its three stripes harmonise effortlessly and the gold lining is from the same throw.  Sometimes you just have to be a bit decadent, don't you?

Flocked journal cover:
Made from a flocked leatherette which was a planned-over from a previous project, this sturdy cover will protect your journal like no other!  It is lined with the same gold lining as the Baroque (above).


And a lot of fun was had with faux fur journal covers...

Big Cat:
This short furred journal cover is wonderful for all those moments when you want sleek design and something tactile.  Big Cat is lined with gold satin from the ubiquitous throw.

This chunky fur journal cover is lined with felt and sure to become a talking point!  Not a journal cover to be hidden away!

Brown Bear:
Another chunky journal cover - a good way to give your journal a hug.

And there are more in the pipeline too!