I love this Orla Kiely print. It somehow manages to be perfect for any age group and either boys or girls.
Both sizes of the print are both beautifully simple and graphic and are great for everything from quilts to cushions.
It's a fairly lightweight cotton, and I've used it for baby quilts and even a dress for Lily.
I have a little bit of yardage of this left over from some projects that I've been working on and have put it in the shop.
And since we're heading rapidly in to October and as far as I'm concerned that's the month of orange, I've also added some pumpkin inspired wool felt to the shop.
I first made this cushion 3 years ago for my niece. This one is almost exactly the same as the first one and is made out of a Paul Smith check that is so soft it feels almost like a brushed cotton.
The front has the cat silouette cut from chenille and the word 'cat' hand embroidered on it. And the back has an envelpe opening also cut from chenille.
The whole point of both the original cushion and this one, was for the cushion to be as cuddly as possible, so as well as the incredibly soft cotton and chenille, both the front and back is also quilted, using a pure wool batting.
On a completely different note, I'm off to Berlin for a couple of days at the end of this week and would love some recommendations for fabric shopping etc. So if you live in Berlin or just know it really well, I'd be ever so grateful if you could offer me some advice! Thanks!
I love this snood by Toast. I'm pretty sure it's perfect for the school run during winter. I really don't like umbrella's, especially when I'm trying to hold both Bella and Lily's hands. So having something that I can just pull up and down easily, that will also keep me warm seems like a great idea.
But of course I can't afford a Toast Snood, so instead I made this one.
I would LOVE to tell you that I knitted this, but of course I didn't. And I never will, because knitting and I are very unlikely to ever get on. But I did make it.
I found some huge knitted pieces on sale a few weeks ago and bought a couple with some different projects in mind. The pieces are 5 metres long and have finished edges, so I thought I would use them for a few ideas that I've had for a while, that would ordinarily require me to pick up the needles if I actually wanted to make them.
And top of that list was a snood.
It's not been cold enough to wear it outside yet, but I've been happily wearing it whilst sat on the sofa, most nights since making it.
And for those of you wondering, most the other mums on the school run already think I'm weird, so I'm fairly confident that this will illicit no more than the normal rolling of eyes ;)
I was able to get hold of some of the most beautiful pieces of leather last week and have been desperate ever since to start making some headbands and cuffs with them.
The colours are amazing. The colourway below is very reminicent of my Dungeness colourway, which is why I have indeed called it Circles Headband - Dungeness!
And I hate to say it out loud (and lord knows I swore I never would) but I really do like the purple leathers. Although I'm calling them grape and mauve, in an attempt to ignore the fact that I seem to suddenly not hate purple.
I'm finding all these colours so inspiring at the moment. There's such a feeling of autumn about them. The colours are deep and yet slightly subdued. It's the way that that special light makes the landscape look on bright autumnal mornings.
These are in the shop now.
Spurred on by a comment recently from Melissa, I decided to just crack on last night with sewing with jersey.
Lily pretty much lives in leggings. They're easy for her to get on and off herself, which is hugely important at the moment because she's just out of nappies and is fiercly independent about going to the bathroom by herself. Plus they look good with everything and don't restrict her when she's running, jumping, climbing and dancing.
Which means of course that she also wears out many pairs of leggings, so it makes complete sense to make my own. Especially as it means that I can not only use up some of my ever growing jersey mountain and conquer a sewing fear, but also make her some leggings that have a little more personality than the boring ones available at Mothercare.
I started with a pattern based on an existing pair of leggings (just traced over them) and had a trial run with some thicker, slightly less stretchy jersey, before cutting in to this Patty Young jersey knit that I picked up on sale recently from Fabric.com .
I used a coverstitch on my sewing machine to make the leggings - I don't have an overlocker and wouldn't know what to do with it even if I did. I am lucky enough though to have the use of a fairly high tec Pfaff sewing machine. And I found that the combination of using the right stitch with the right needle made sewing with jersey very straight forward. The only thing I did find was that I had to fight the temptation to pull the fabric through, because jersey feeds throughso much slower than cotton and I found myself becoming impatient.
I sewed the leather patches on before sewing the seams and simply switched to a leather needle ( making sure you use the right needle is extremely important - you can read about all the different types here).
I made this top for Lily this morning, to go with the leggings (not in any kind of matchy way, just because I wanted her to have something new to wear with them) out of a Liberty print that I bought on my birthday.
I actually intended it to be more of a dress or tunic length, but totally misjudged the sizing. I couldn't get a shot of it on a hanger because Lily wouldn't take it off, but it's got an elasticated bottom that sits at the top of her legs when pulled down straight.
I always feel that I learn the most from sewing clothes. I think that with most other types of sewing you can fudge it a little bit if you're not sure what you're doing. But the very nature of clothing and the fact the it needs to fit properly and wear well, means that things have to be done the right way. And I like that. I really enjoy the process of learning how to do it right. Not that I'm getting it quite right yet, but I'm definitely getting more confident.
And finally.... the winner of the bag of felt scraps is......
Lucy (The Project Lab)
"Ummm yummy! Gorgeous colours and excellent quality. What's not to love!? Please enter me in the giveaway :)"
Congratulations Lucy! If you email me your address I'll get the felt in the post to you.
One of my favourite Etsy shops at the moment is Bake. The shop itself is fairly new, but I've been lucky enough to know the designer Becca, and her work for a good few years now. And am even luckier to own a few pieces myself (including a bag that she designed and made years ago, that still gets more compliments than any other bag I use).
I think that all of Becca's work is beautiful , but I particularly like her new felt and leather Hexagon collars (I was lucky enough to get hold of this orange one and am wearing it constantly). The design is clean and elegant and yet the different combination of shapes that come together within it, is completely inspired. I obviously love the hexagons but it's the shape of the leather pieces that really gets to me.
It's not just the design that I appreciate though. When you see any of Becca's work up close, it's immediately obvious that as well as an eye for design, she has a real eye for detail too. She is meticulous in her work and finishes off every tiny detail perfectly. Each of the hexagons on the necklacces have hand stitched edges.
Of course I'm a huge fan of all things leather at the moment and Becca's bucket bags are exactly what I love. The top two thirds of the bag are made from cotton (in this case it's a Kaffe Fassett print) and then the final third is a soft yet really sturdy leather. Which makes the bag completely practical as well as great looking. This is one of those designs that I look at and can only wish I had thought of myself.
Her much larger totes also combines leather and cotton and are equally beautiful.
The thing that I love so much about Becca's work is that she effortlessly combines simple, graphic designs with the sort of beautiful detailing that makes handmade so sort after.
Thank you to everyone who commented, tweeted, emailed etc about Bella. We ended up only needing to be in hospital for a couple of days and she's already much, much better. Although she's desperate to get back to school and driving us a little nuts! It was a bit scary for a minute there though, so I really appreciated all your support and well wishes. Thank you again!
Also, I promise to announce the winner of the scrap bag tomorrow!
It was a natural progression for my Circles Cuffs to become Circles Headbands, so after spending the last few days working out the practicalities (trying out different ways of fastening it and wearing the different designs to see which were the most comfortable) here is my first one.
I've never been a headband wearer, but I've always loved the way they look on other people. I have to say though that I really like the way this one wears and feels and will definitely be sporting one from now on.
As with the cuffs, this headband is backed in a really soft, buttery leather, making it both flexible and sturdy. I decided to use leather ties rather than elastic because I found that it stopped the headband from slipping off. I don't know if I just have an odd shaped head, but whenever I put on elasticated headbands they start to slip off almost immediately. The ties also mean that it comfortably fits any size head.
I already have a few more of these waiting to go and am especially excited about some of the new colourways that I'm working on. I was able to buy some of the most amazing pieces of leather today, in some gorgeous new colours, so I'm hoping to find some time over the weekend to start stitching a few more.the shop now.
I designed and made this little game about a year ago. It was originally supposed to be included in a collaborative book of patterns but that was sadly put on hold, so it's been literally hanging around in my studio and I've been sitting on the design ever since.
Recently though I needed to come up with an original birthday present and decided to go with this and see what they thought. I'm relieved to say that it was such a hit that I've decided to start making some more of them.
The original brief for the design was to make something for a baby out of small pieces of fabric, so I focused on using lots of small scraps.
I already had the animal templates for using in my various appliqued pieces and every time I had cut them out previously I had played with the idea of using them as more solid pieces (something that I'm still playing with).
So it wasn't a very big leap for me when I started thinking up ideas for a simple game for a baby and decided to use my animal silhouettes.
As well as being able to use up scraps I wanted the game to be completely baby friendly, plus light, small and portable. So I decided to make a simple Animal Matching game.
I started with a little linen mat, that is backed in a bright cotton and has wool batting in between the two layers, and appliqued brightly coloured felt animals on it. I then hand embroidered the animals names next to each silhouette and machine embroidered a decorative stitch as a border.
The top side of the animal pieces is cotton and matches the colour of it's sihouette, but so that the pieces stick, the backing is also felt with a tiny piece of velcro sewn on to it.
The whole thing folds up easily and fits in to the drawstring bag. And because there are no hard edges or small pieces, the game is totally baby friendly and is designed to encourage the learning of colours, shapes, names and sounds.
The set, which is suitable for a boy or girl is available in the shop.
Thank you for everyone that left a comment about the felt. I have now closed comments and will announce the winner of the bag of scraps tomorrow.