Roehampton Culottes


Finally! Some sewing just for me!

Looking back to our trip to Asia earlier this year I blogged about how in Brunei textiles were full of pattern. The contrast to Hong Kong couldn’t have been more marked. The street style was definitely distinctive but it took me a day or two to really put my finger on it. There’s hardly any printed patterned fabric being worn! In Hong Kong it’s all about the shape. Yes, you’ll see a little print, maybe on a tee-shirt or a rucksack, perhaps a few stripes just occasionally, but almost everything else is plain.

Shapes are boxy, and loose in the main, looking slightly oversized and just gorgeous and quite cute in a stylish way.

I bought a few things – as one does – a navy floaty, pleated chiffon skirt, a loose, culotte jumpsuit with a boxy overtop, and a pair of navy and white striped ankle-grazer trousers.

How does this affect my sewing? Well for a while now I’ve been trying to slim down my wardrobe into things I actually wear. Using Project 333 as inspiration I got rid of the things I'd bought and never worn (don’t pull that face, we’ve all done it!), that didn’t fit well, that I didn’t actually like and so on, and was amazed by how much easier it was to get dressed in the mornings! I could see what went with what but I could also see gaps in my wardrobe.

I’ve realised I tend to wear trousers most of the time with the occasional skirt or dress in the mix. What I need is more loose, short trousers and culottes for summer to bridge the trouser/skirt gap.

Hence my latest sewing make – the Roehampton culottes.

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I was given this lovely book last Christmas and it’s taken me this long to get around to using it. I considered several fabrics from my stash for the first make but settled on what is probably the worst-fabric-on-earth-to-sew-culottes with!

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I should say at this point that I have not been asked to write this review or am I being rewarded in any way.

This is described as a book for beginners, and whilst I am not a beginner sewer it’s a good idea once in a while to go back to basics and try to get rid of bad habits, and with 24 different skirts from 8 basic blocks this book represents good value for money too. 

At first glance this book could terrify a beginner! The instructions skip about a bit throughout the book so you might start on page 92 but then find yourself sent to page 144 for a detailed instruction on how to insert a zip. 

The pattern sheets appear to be a nightmare of a tangle of different coloured lines and markings. 

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HOWEVER, if you follow Wendy Ward’s instructions to the letter, it all makes perfect sense. If you have a little knowledge, the temptation could be to skip a few instructions and I think that could land you in a few problems, but provided you stick to Wendy’s no-nonsense steps you won’t go far wrong.

Tracing off the pattern requires patience and a gimlet eye to follow some of the lines. Don’t take your eye off the ball - I ended up with a waistband that was a good 5 inches too long at the first attempt! Some pieces are printed on more than one sheet so piecing together is required…

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… sometimes with a little bit of extra paper added on!

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Ensure you transfer all the markings for the darts, grainline, etc.

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The fabric I chose is a permanent-pleated jersey in a soft grey. It already had a double folded narrow hem and I wanted to keep this because I didn’t want to have to hem a fabric with tiny pleats - nightmare!

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This presented its own problems as the culottes hem is curved and my fabric is straight. Hmm. In the end I decided to go with it and see what an asymmetric hem might look like on the finished garment. Ha! Fearless!

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I added on an extra 4 cms to give me longer length.

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I overlocked all the raw edges.

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I REALLY should have stay-stitched to top waist edge of all my pieces to keep the pleats in place but I didn’t. Hmm. I tried out a stretch-stitch on a spare bit of fabric and it really didn’t like it for some reason so I reverted to the ususal straight stitch.

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I pressed all the seams open as I went along, using another Christmas present - a funky tailor’s ham.

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It’s a while since I inserted a lapped zip and I found Wendy’s instructions very clear. Now, if you’ve been sewing a while you might think you don’t need to tack (baste). I confess I don’t tack most of the time -  except for fiddley stuff like positioning a set-in sleeve - but having read Wendy’s excellent blog post on tacking, even when I don’t tack I can hear her at my shoulder saying, “That would have come out a lot easier if you’d tacked it first!”, so this time I followed her to the letter! I used a marker with disappering ink to mark it first...

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… then tacked and sewed...

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... and it was better than I thought it might be with such wibbly wobbly fabric.

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I even tacked the waistband, yay! Essential with this fabric.

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Stitching was a bit fiddly with this super-soft, slippy fabric - did I mention it was going to be really hard to sew?! - and stay-stitching the waist would have helped, but it turned out “OK”. 

Now I had a dilemma. Usually when I attach a waistband I fold so the the inside is slightly longer than the outside and then 'stitch in the ditch’ on the outside, which catches the inside in place. Should I abandon this for one of Wendy’s methods? I decided to go with what I know in this instance, just with a little handsewn finishing.

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A snap fastener completed the waist and then came the moment of truth. Would that hem look avant garde or just badly sewn?

 

The hem slopes so subtly you can’t actually see that it’s not straight except if I stand directly sideways on and very, very still! Phew!

 

Would I use this pattern again? Yes, I’m about to cut out the navy linen I’ve had in readiness. These will be longer, more ankle-length and not quite so wide in the leg, so a bit of adjusting to do. But with straight hems!

I like this book. It’s well laid out, though going back to my days as a book designer, I would have liked a photo gallery of the 8 basic garments on the Contents page. The techniques pages at the back are great for beginners and advanced sewers alike. It’s always good to have access to sound basics for measuring, putting in zips, pockets, etc. In fact, I might put pockets in the navy pair I’m going to make. I’ll let you know!

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Cheers, but no straw!

Which is easier to drink without a straw – a mojito or a caipirinha

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Back in November last year I set myself a task of making one change each month to reduce the amount of plastic I use – read the blog here.

This is my progress so far:

November – Buy larger sized containers of everything I’m able to.

December – Absolutely refuse carrier bags, always, everywhere, even if I have to carry everything in my arms.

January – Use a refillable water bottle and remember to take it with me.

February – Buy moisturiser brands that use glass jars instead of plastic tubs. 

March – Take my sandwiches to uni in a reusable plastic box, not plastic bags.

April – Put loose fruit and veg bought at the supermarket straight into the trolley, not into a plastic bag first.

May – Stop using dental flossers with toothpick attached in favour of a reel of floss.

June – Use cotton buds that have a paper stick, like these from Muji (expensive) 

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or Wilko (cheaper).

July – Buy soap wrapped in paper instead of shower gel (my special treat from Liberty)

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August – Take my own mug to the coffee shop. Reusable AND I get 25p off for not using their cup.

I do realize that some of the above do not cut out plastic completely, and they are very small changes, but they do reduce the plastic I consume. I’m well aware there are many people out there living a plastic-free existence and I really take my hat off to them. My intention was to challenge myself to make 12 small changes to get the ball rolling so to speak.

This month I had an interesting visit to a well-known high street coffee shop in the UK when I asked for a take-away latte WITH NO LID!!! If I sat in the shop I could have my coffee in a ceramic cup or a glass mug with no lid but if I wanted to take it out I had to have a plastic lid, “for Health and Safety reasons”. I could not convince them, so from now on I’ll take my own reusable travel mug and get my discount to boot.

So, getting back to the cocktails! I usually only have cocktails as a treat on holiday or at Christmas, and as I’ve been on holiday already this year I’ll have to wait until December for the opportunity to refuse a straw! There are some very graphic videos online showing how damaging simple straws can be to our marine wildlife. So it’s no straw in future or maybe one of these stainless steel numbers?

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I have another couple of ideas for September and October to round off my year but would be very interested to hear if you have any suggestions.

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Something from nothing

Can you make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear? Can you make something out of next to nothing? This is what I set out to do when I made my jacket for New Designers 17.

Upcycling is very on-trend at the moment, make do and mend being very cool again, and so my jacket is made almost entirely of pre- and post-production waste to give it it’s fancy name. In layman’s terms, its the fabric that’s scrapped either before a garment is made or after.

The basic jacket block is made from a pre-production waste fabric sample given to me by a friend (thank you P!) from a local company that is no longer in business. The layers that are added are post-production fabrics from a variety of sources: leftover scraps from dressmaking, deconstructed redundant clothing. The top layers are deconstructed worn-out shirts that I dyed. The gold layer is new fabric – paper lurex – and the sewing thread and beads are also new. I wanted to use glass beads as they would be eventually recyclable but the weight and cost put me off. I used acrylic in the end and even these were very heavy in bulk. Not great using plastic, I know, but I felt it was ok for this experimental piece.

For the basic block I radically hacked a Grainline Studio pattern – the Tamarack jacket – and this went fairly smoothly as I had a reasonable amount of the green cotton fabric to play with.

 

The next stages were more tricky as I tried to make up layers using odd shapes. 

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I decided early on to dye the top layers navy and burgundy to try and bring the whole jacket together visually. This was a tenuous nod to William Morris and his medieval colour palette. Adding the gold was another link. And I do like a bit of bling! 

This jacket very much evolved as time went on, with it almost taking on a life of its own at times! Originally it was to have a beaded smocked waistband and a similar collar but these became a yoke instead when I found the pieces of fabric didn’t fit as planned. There were a few occasions when I wanted to just fling it out of the window when nothing seemed to fit anywhere, but I persevered!

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The body and sleeves were made using the layer, sew and slash method, which I  wrote about in my blog “What can you make from scraps?”. This is the right front layered up and stitched...

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...and the left front sewn and slashed.

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Then the folds were sewn to give a rippled effect. 

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Water and reflections are a constant inspiration to me and especially since my trip to Brunei and Hong Kong this year. I love how this jacket reminds me of that.

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I actually sewed the middle section of the back twice. The first time I sewed lines straight across but when I slashed them the layers of fabric began to fray because they were not cut on the bias. Why did I forget this?! 

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So, I undid the stitching of the middle section and rethought the lines to give cuts on the bias. There was a lot of use of the ruler and set square at this stage!

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The sleeves were a doddle by comparison!


Moving on to the beaded yoke, what was I thinking! I chose to smock the yoke inserting beads as I went along. It took forever! But I really enjoyed the process and although I was really up against it, time-wise, I found I enjoyed this hand-sewing stage much more than I thought I would. And, yes, more waves!

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I had serious issues trying to attach the yoke to the bodice, and because it was made of separate pieces, I had to come up with ideas to hide the joins.



Epaulettes? Collars? Nah. Tried both, abandoned both! Eventually I settled on yet more beads!

 

The raw edges were bound with more green cotton and it was eventually complete.

 

Oh, did I learn a lot from making this! The end result is in some ways better than I expected, seeing as I made it mostly from waste. I’m not entirely happy with the finish of the beadwork and I think the colours would be different if I began it again. There’s a weird blue cast to the gold in this photo but it’s just the odd lighting.

 

I really like the inside! At one point I thought about lining the whole thing, but I like that you can see how it’s come together, even the repairs to the damaged areas.

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I would definitely use this method of construction again, maybe washing it to give a chenilled effect.

 

And now I have left over a bag of bits of shirts and so on which I would like to make into something else so I will have used up everything I can.

Overall, I’m really happy with the way this worked out. I did what I set out to do, to make a jacket mainly from waste, giving new life to scraps. However, I do know that eventually this will go to landfill. Maybe not for a long time but eventually. It’s great to upcycle things but very hard to keep upcycling fabrics as they degrade so much at each stage.  More research for me to do I think!

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New Designers 17

What a busy month June turned out to be! Apart from written work hand-ins and delivering my conference paper, the general election and taking part in the count for the first time, and my birthday, every other minute was taken up preparing my work for the New Designers 17 show at the end of the month.

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New Designers is a two-part exhibition showcasing emerging talent from universities all over the UK and takes place every year at the Business Design Centre in London.

I was very fortunate to be exhibiting alongside talented BA Design, and MA By Creative Practice students on the Liverpool Hope University stand. Ceramics, textiles, metalwork, jewellery and surface pattern made a rich display.

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I had a lot to carry down, not least Fifi - my mannequin - in a ruck sack on my back!

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I stayed in halls nearby. I never lived in halls even as an undergrad so this was another new experience! I was lucky enough to have a flat to myself and it was lovely and quiet.

 

We spent Monday and Tuesday putting our stand together.

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The tricky bit - adding our name!

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Ta dah!

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All the exhibitors came together for a briefing...

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Wednesday was judging day, Private View and the Awards Ceremony. I managed a cheeky snap of one of the ceramics judges, Keith Brymer-Jones, from the Great Pottery Throw Down.

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Sponsors Peroni provided the free drinks at the Private View.

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Then it was the After Party, yay!

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Thursday, Friday and Saturday were public viewing.

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We showcased platinum lustre ceramics by Leone Davis, Japanese inspired tableware by Casey Cain...

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and architecturally styled ceramics by Charlotte Fahey...

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Japanese inspired printed textiles and wallpaper by Casey Cain...

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a unique perspex collar and deco inspired jewellery by Lucy Cunningham...

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award winning silversmithing and hand-raised metalwork by Alex Owens... 

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and more. 

My own work was a jacket upcycled from waste textiles, but more of that in the next post!

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There were opportunities to talk about our work with judges and visitors...

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There were many talks to attend over three days which were very informative.

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And a little time to visit some favourite places: 

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Especially good was the Reveal Festival on the Friday evening at the V&A to celebrate their opening of the Exhibition Road Quarter galleries and outdoor courtyard. An extravagant mix of Boiler Room, the English National Ballet, and many other musicians, singers and dancers made it a very memorable night. 

What a beautiful place to eat in!

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Can you spot me?

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Highly reflective, hmm.

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Feeling subterranean.

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A summer party feeling.

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Choreographed by impulses.

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Boiler Room in the entrance had everyone dancing.

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Overall, I’m glad I took part in New Designers. Most of the exhibitors were hand-picked as being the best of this year’s graduates and it was very inspiring to see examples of unique, accomplished, vibrant, and exciting work. Everyone commented that the footfall at the show was very low this year, which was disappointing, however it did mean not having to battle with the crowds to see things. Always a silver lining!

Would I do it again? Yes and no. 

Being halfway through my research, I used it as an opportunity to gather research from visitors and exhibitors, testing the temperature for sustainability in textiles. As a graduate I would approach things differently. I’d be more prepared earlier, not just with my work but with submitting publicity and maintaining my presence on social media. It’s a very commercial show with appreciation of highly finished products. I’m not sure how well my work fits this mould, but I had encouraging feedback from other artists and businesses, so time will tell. I’m very grateful for the opportunity and feel blessed to have been part of such a wonderfully creative event.

Phew, a long post! Thanks for sticking with it! In the next one I’ll tell you about my jacket!!!


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What can you make from scraps?

Playtime is over! Having just completed the Exploratory phase of my MA By Creative Practice, I’m now entering the Developmental stage. 

More and more I’m inspired by images of water - rolling seas… 

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droplets in pools, light reflections…

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… and so on - and my visit to Brunei and Hong Kong has strengthened that.

Coupling this with my interest in sustainability has led me on to chenilling this week. For those of you who don’t know, chenille is a type of yarn that is very fluffy and is a fabric made from this yarn. There is also a third definition made from layers of fabric that has been slashed, and this is what I’ve been making.

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Here’s what I did. First things first - I ordered a slash cutter. You can make chenille fabric (also called faux chenille) using scissors but using a slash cutter is easier on the hands and reduces the chance of blisters.

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Next, I found some fabrics to work with. The purple and green fabrics are cotton remnants from a clothing manufacturer, the blue is left over curtain lining from the previous house we lived in (20 years ago), the print is a top my DD discarded and the gold paper lurex is actually new. It hurt to buy new for this project because I wanted to make something beautiful and interesting essentially from waste but another inspiration currently is icons and the way gold lifts everything. Who doesn’t like a bit of bling?!

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I layered up the fabrics, pinned around the edges and made 1 cm lines across the bias.

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Then I sewed along the lines in deep blue thread.

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It looked a bit wobbly at this stage but I pressed on...

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… cutter at the ready!

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I found it easier to insert the cutter if I snipped the fabric to get started using sharp scissors.

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Then I cut between the sewn lines, TAKING CARE NOT TO CUT THROUGH THE BOTTOM LAYER!!!

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I could have just washed it at this stage and the job would have been done but I decided to add some of those waves that have been pestering my mind.

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I marked lines across the bias in the other direction, lazilly just using the width of a ruler as a guide. It turned out to be just the right width! ;)

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Then I sewed across, folding over one half of each strip in turn. 

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This tool was very helpful. I don’t know what it’s called but it’s the other end of the brush that came with my sewing machine. 

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Wow, that gold!



Then I sewed back and forth alond the lines, alternating the direction, like feather icing on a cake.

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And here’s the end result! And I love it! I love the colour combination and how the gold really sings out. In fact I love it so much I couldn't bear to take it to the next stage, which would have been to wash it.

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So, strictly speaking, this piece isn’t chenille at all, it’s simply manipulated fabric. Hmm.

Ok, THIS is chenille!

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I followed the same principles but this time I used scraps of fabric as a layer. Not the sort of gal to throw stuff away, I have plenty of scraps.

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I should mention all the fabric I used is woven, not knitted.

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Again, I used green cotton for the base layer, then just placed scraps in layers on top.

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A layer of gold, then purple cotton kept the scraps in place.

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1 cm lines sewn.

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Fabric slashed, manipulation begun!

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This time a lot more colour showed through.

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And I was brave enough to complete the final stage - washing! It’s best to wash the fabric with an old towel or a pair of jeans (I used both) to roughen up the fibres. Then I tumble dried it to fluff it up even more.

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A few loose bits came away but that’s to be expected when using scraps as it’s hard to predict where the cuts are when you are slashing the top fabric. The end result is fluffy, thick and snuggly!

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I love both versions of this journey into chenilling and can see uses for both. I’m most impressed that they have come from remnants and scraps. The whole is bigger than the sum of its parts. A scrap is just that, but when you put it with others! I feel a garment coming on!


Beautiful Brunei

This is the first post for a while as I have been so busy with uni work, and preparing for and enjoying the trip of a lifetime!

Spoiler: this post is likely to be full of superlatives!!!

Never having travelled outside Europe the chance to visit South East Asia was like a dream. DH was offered a week’s work at the wonderful Jerudong International School in Brunei Darussalam and I was able to accompany him. From there we visited our DD in Hong Kong and spent a lovely week catching up with her and seeing the sights.

For those of you who don’t know (and I confess I had to look it up) Brunei is on the island of Borneo. Yep, think rainforest!  

DH worked his little socks off as he usually does, but the school made sure we had time to explore a little, including a boat trip up the Brunei River into the mangrove forest and a swim in the warm, bath-like waters of the South China Sea.

We were collected from our hotel at 7am (school starts early in hot countries) after a substantial and unfamiliar breakfast. 


It seemed odd to be offered baked chicken and fried noodles but I suppose no stranger than bacon and hash browns. A good vegan option was delicious vegetable dahl. The porridge was definitely different though, made with rice and eaten with optional sprinkles of crispy fried onions, pulled pork, chopped spring onions and mushrooms! 

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Every morning there was something new but always accompanied by deliciously succulent fresh fruit – pineapple, papaya and more types of melon than I ever imagined.


Jerudong International School educates children aged 2 to 18 years. You could be forgiven for thinking you had walked onto a university campus in the UK, the site is so large and so state-of-the-art, with its three swimming pools, its full-sized theatre, its library and halls of residence. 

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But it’s the confident, academically advanced, and delightfully friendly children which stick in the mind most of all. Expectations are high here and so are the achievements. This sounds like an advert! 

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But this really does feel like a very happy school with a family vibe to it, despite its size. A lot of this must be down to staff, who are mainly from the UK with some from Australia, South Africa and a few other countries.

DH delivered 20 sessions, two assemblies and a PD talk, which encompassed a great number of the children and staff. 

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I was privileged to go on a school trip with the Early Years department to a local supermarket to buy ingredients to make smoothies back at school. We also had a drink in a café before getting back on the coach. 

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The next day I spent some time in another early years class where I had a tour and spent some time with the children, most of whom spoke English, but not all. I’m very grateful to the staff for sharing with me so generously.

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Our downtime was spent sightseeing and eating. The never-to-be-forgotten boat trip to see the proboscis monkeys, the long tailed macaques, the monitor lizards, common kingfishers, egrets, and sea eagles in their natural habitat was an experience it will be hard to beat. 

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Three hours flew by and I felt so full afterwards, as if I had breathed in the whole jungle!  


Kampong Ayer is the largest stilted village in the world and is built in the river itself. 

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It is a place of contrasts from the monsoon-battered houses which look as though they are held up by willpower alone, to the brand new homes which have been built to encourage people to stay living in this unique community. Equipped with its own police station, fire station and schools this village seems to have all its needs met. 

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I found the sun-bleached colours of the wooden buildings very beautiful and inspiring. Sailing by in our little boat, we were given many friendly waves from dads and children fishing from platforms and jetties. No swimming in these crocodile infested waters though!

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So, when is she going to write something about textiles, I hear you ask! Well to my delight there were fabric shops all over the place! 

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I did an initial recce of some, taking photos to decide how best to spend my dollars, but found the turnover very fast and some of the fabrics I had photographed had sold out when I returned a couple of days later. 

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Brunei is big on printed fabric with a lot of silks, wools and cottons made in Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand and Dubai on sale. Lots of eye-popping colour and pattern!

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There is a lot of fabric described as ‘machine washable silk’ which I’m still not sure is silk, even after several conversations! Other fabric described as ‘crepe’ I was told is made from crepe, so obviously some things got lost in translation. 





That said, I did manage to come home with a stash, some of which I know exactly what I will make into, and others I will live with for a while until each piece decides to tell me what it would like to be!


The week was packed and flew by and there’s so much more to say, but I’ll save that for another day. What a beautiful, beautiful place Brunei is! I’d go back in a heartbeat!

What’s the most amazing place you’ve been to, I wonder? Please share!

New year, new projects.

Christmas is well and truly behind us for another year and I’m relishing the familiarity of a routine once more. How many times over the break did you hear people ask, “What day is it?” Even a few days off throws us out of kilter somehow.

I’m really enjoying my MA course at Liverpool Hope Uni. I’ve found it difficult to get my head around the academic writing again but I wanted a challenge and it would be no fun if it was easy! Also, I no longer feel guilty for sitting at my sewing machine a little longer than I intended. I feel I have permission to play!

I have a list of new projects I’m itching to start on. Every year my resolution is the same – finish a job before you start another. Every year the resolution is broken. I really do need to finish a few things though as the WIPs are taking over!

Currently I’m playing with the book cover I started a while ago. I’m adding gold French knots and I need to buy some tiny gold beads. I’ll be padding some areas and I’m grateful to S and L for giving me ideas for how to tackle this in another way on a future project. 

For this cover I’m slitting the back and stuffing, then sewing up. This is because I didn’t know I was going to pad it. That’s where playing gets you!

I love the ideas that come when creative people get together. Chatting with S (a wonderful textile artist) and L (an extremely talented fashion student) gave rise to all sorts of avenues I want to explore.

Not one to have too many days off without making something, I made this sleeve for my Kindle Fire.

I used new synthetic felt for the lining (nice and soft), 

and the outside is cut from a pair of shorts my DD had put in the charity bag. 

Sorry, charity shop, my need was greater this time! I love this tapestry style fabric, it’s very me! 


As ever, this prototype is for just for me (mwah, ha, ha!) but I’ll make another more refined one to sell, as I still have the other leg of the shorts. ;)

What’s on your machine currently? Anyone out there upcycling a discarded garment or two? I’d love to read your comments!

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Happy New Year, whatever it brings

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all enjoyed a happy, peaceful Christmas.

Looking back over the last year I expect your life has been a little like mine, highs and lows, moments of sheer joy and others of difficult trials. Most lives seem to be rollercoaster rides, sometimes all in one day! I feel so blessed to know that even when I walk in the darkest shadows there is light at the end.

The Flash, 1st January 2017

I’ve been following Proverbs 31 posts for a few years now and this one posted yesterday (http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/start-the-new-year-prepared) struck chords with me. Not only does it confirm God’s promise to be with me through all life brings, but it sits well with my aim to make life more simple.

This Christmas I requested thermal socks, 

warm slippers, 

and Wendy Ward’s new book 


from my family. Modest gifts by some standards, but exactly what I wanted and needed. What we give to someone doesn’t have to be a reflection of how much we love them. It also means we don’t have to spend Boxing Day finding places to stash everything! I also appreciate the consumables – smellies and food – which are useful and indulgent at the same time!

A gift from my Goddaughter was this beautiful journal. 

One of my very favourite bible verses! I struggle with being still! But it’s so wonderful to know that even in the times I’m squirming most, God is in control.

I wish you all a very happy year ahead, filled with love, light and laughter and with peace and assurance when times are tough.

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And the winner is...

Thank you for your entries to my competition. You came up with some ingenious ideas! Well done to everyone who took part, but the prize goes to Amanda ‘Titch’ Acton for her idea to use a bag to store childhood keepsakes, such as hospital wrist band, first tooth, first curl, etc. So adorable!

For those of you in the Cheshire area, why not come along to the CAP Christmas Fair on Saturday 10th December at Christ Church Hall, Crook Lane, Winsford, CW7 3DR. I will be selling my bags and there will be lots of other stalls and activities. It’s a charity fundraiser which should be a lot of fun. See you there!

 

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Have a greener Christmas

What’s on my sewing machine? CHRISTMAS!!!

I have a stall booked at the CAP Christmas Fair on Saturday 10th December at Christ Church Hall, Winsford, and I’m up to my ears in Christmas fabric.

I’m busy making reusable gift bags, to reduce the amount of waste wrapping paper that goes to landfill each year. Yes, I’m attempting to single-handedly save the planet! Ok, a major exaggeration, but every little helps and you can help too by reducing the gift wrapping you use this year.

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I see my gift bags as an investment as you can use them year on year, especially for family gifts – just snaffle them back when the present has been opened.  

If you would like to win a set of three Christmas gift bags, write your suggestions in the comments box below for how you would reuse a reusable gift bag. Have a look at my original post here, with some comments, so you get the idea. The competition closes on 4th December as is open to anyone in the UK. Good luck!