Friday, 21 January 2011

He said he wanted flags...

... so flags it what he got. It's so easy to make, and I had fun choosing the fabrics. I even broke into my cherished stash of fabrics for this one. I'm not sure if you have the same thing, but in my stash of fabrics I have a number of fat quarters that are almost too precious to use.

Almost without exception they are out of print Kokka fabrics and the longer I leave them untouched, the more precious they seem to become. So, I thought that bunting, which we would see everyday, would be perfect for this beloved bird print (I used the green colour way to make this door stop).

I am fairly sure the instructions didn't include stuffing it quite so zealously

I'm increasingly realising that a print is only as good as it's supporting fabric, be it spots or stripes, so I chose Kiyohara stripes and honeycomb spots to coordinate. I then went and found some really pretty new Michael Miller fabrics for the shop with this in mind (coming soon).

Here they are finished, (like his sister) they only adorn one side of his room, I don't trust my DIY skills sufficiently to not worry about them falling down on him in the night.

These glasses were in his stocking at Christmas and have lost their googly eyes. I have taken to putting them on members of his extensive cuddly toy collective when he is not in the room. My husband caught him with his hands on his hips bent over guffawing at the sight of his lion in spectacles. Proving to me that despite his many experiments to test the limits of my (not very well honed) mothering skills he is actually quite lovely sometimes.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Making a room

All the houses in our row are identical in layout. It's quite spooky when you go into your neighbour's house and it's your house but with all their stuff in. We all have this tiny room at the top and both our neighbours have asked '...what have you done with your box room?' to which I reply, 'it's Luke's room'.

Being the last on the scene he drew the short straw on rooms, but luckily he doesn't seem to have noticed that yet. Before he was born, his room was full of all our old junk, so after a bit of re-organisation, some white paint, a cot, couple of pictures, his room was done.

It's only recently as he's getting older that I thought it was time to make a bit more effort with his room. So over Christmas I finally bought this print from Strawberry Luna that I have had my eye on for him for ages. The customs gods were smiling on me and it snuck through without them noticing, if only all my Etsy orders were the same.

The print is even more beautiful in person, the colours are wonderfully dense and matt, the animals so cute. But it has been a long time between my Etsy purchase, Christmas, asking our neighbours to pick up a Ribba on their Ikea trip, slicing my finger on the perilously sharp glass and then getting the drill out and finally hanging it on the wall. Now, our son is many things; contrary, noisy, shy, often quite terrible, but he is also he very good receiver of presents being first speechless and then effusive in his thanks when he gets something he loves. It makes it all worthwhile.

Not stopping there though, further demonstrating the perils of internet shopping (it's just too easy) I succumbed to the Belle and Boo Christmas sale and bought these Dinosaur wall stickers that again, I had been eying up for ages. If you have kids or want a really beautiful gift, have a look at their shop (and their story is pretty inspirational too if you have an Etsy shop).

I was a bit wary of getting wall stickers as I just knew the boy could suddenly decide they were too scary and I would find myself picking them off the wall at 3am on a Tuesday morning.

But these stickers are beautiful (again even more so in person) the colours are so rich and real. They were really easy to put on, the hardest thing was deciding where. Belle and Boo (and friends) are riding the dinosaurs (who look entirely friendly and non-threatening) and I have persuaded him that it's actually him and his sister taking a ride which appealed greatly.

Finally, on closer inspection of his sister's room (when putting her up her beautiful new Strawberry Luna print - 'mummy there's a heart in the bike wheel!'), he noticed that she has some pretty bunting that my mum made for my gran's 90th birthday. So my next task is to make some bunting, and I shall do it quickly because he has asked me about it every day since we first talked about it.

Sorry I have been a bit absent this week, it's a combination of being rather busy writing for another blog (more to follow on that exciting news if it happens) and perhaps a contrast to my excessive blogging last week. Thank you Florence for noticing though :)

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

I love you Pond Reflections Dress

It's a while since I posted pictures of pretty things that have caught my eye on Anthropolgie. A girl has to have a hobby, and this is mine. The website is so beautiful (one of my favourites) and they are just putting up more springlike clothes - good for them in mid-January. Check out their Road Trip outfits, the whole collection is beautifully put together.

So here are a few that I like. I shan't be buying them, well, maybe one of the tops if they go on sale (they have great sales) but the dresses, if only I had a wedding to go to...

This top caught my eye because it looks very like my hunting and gathering top with extra frillyness in a Nani Iro print. Great idea for a future mod to this pattern. Love it in this print too, reminds me of some of the tops I loved at the Boden preview.

I really love this dress apart from the asymmetric hem, don't like that at all (but would it work without it?). But maybe with some sharp scissors and a sewing machine I could rectify that. No, bad idea, it would look awful. I love the candy stripes and the way they have been used in the wrap top. It is genius, remember this idea, and go forth and use it.

Quite like this dress, mostly for the fabric, I can spy 2 unnecessary buttons though, and long term readers of this blog should know how I feel about unnecessary buttons. There will be a test later.

The neckline wouldn't work for me, but I love the use of the print on this dress and the pleated neckline. It is similar to one of the girl's dress that I loved at the Boden preview.

This last dress looks really make-able to me, or maybe that is just good design. But I love the gathered neck and how this is pulled in at the waist. Something I tried to do with my dress on my pattern cutting course, but failed.

I love you Pond Reflections Dress
(I'd even be prepared to look past your terrible name)
(and your racer back which would give me all sorts of problems finding a suitable bra)

At the waist is a really simple belt that is the same as the one I used on this dress from Autumn/Winter wear for women.

You should probably have a think about making one of these tomorrow, let me know how you get on.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

A new addition

I mentioned the new addition to our family when I made my hunting and gathering top a few weeks back. I've been thinking about getting a mannequin for a while, mostly for showing off fabric and to give an idea of what the prints look like on.

So after chatting to Jane and Florence who have both have new mannequins and after far too much searching on the internet I bought this little beauty.

And she is a beauty, I went for that over anything else. Her size is the same or close to mine if a little larger in places, close enough to model things I have made and do a bit of fitting when I get round to making clothes. And hey, if I give up the running and carry on eating chocolate at my current rate, I think I can make some progress on the sizing issue.

She is in really good condition, and I love the markings, I'd like to know where she was before me (I'd like to imagine in some Chanel sewing room, but this may be a little optimistic). I also like the base which at first I was a little disappointed by as it's not very pretty, but now I think it is functional and can imagine it in some (Chanel?) studio or classroom.

I would love to have her on display in our bedroom but I know I would wake up in the night, see her and think some headless zombie was coming to get me (thanks husband for making me watch the Walking Dead even though it scared me witless). So she is in the fabric shop and has started something of a sort out and tidy up, so that can only be good.

Put to work on day 1 modelling my hunting and gathering top.

All this talk of Chanel reminds me of some amazing videos about their design process that Emily sent me ages ago - do you still have the link Emily? I'd love to watch them again.

Yay! thank you, here is the link.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

The boy in my life...

It's hard to get much past the (3 year old) boy in my life, I made this cushion for his sister a few weeks back, and ever since, he has been reminding me that I must make him one.

So at the weekend, lined up the fabrics above (a notable omission was this rainbow fabric which he loves now, but I think he might find a bit to girly later on this year). And he made the popular choice of the Eau de Mer Zoo fabric.

So today with the first hour of child free time in what feels like a long, long time, I finally got round to making his cushion.

The boy himself is at nursery today, so in his absense, here is Buzz to model it.

The animals are so cute and 70's on this print, the kids always make a bee-line for these lions though and ask me why they are sad.

Usually, the best I can come up with is that maybe they've had a falling out, or are having a bad day (something we can all relate to after a long holiday with too many days spent inside enjoying each others' company). In my head I am thinking 'it's because they are in a zoo'.

Only my daughter has experience of a zoo at Chessington. We were there for a birthday party and we walked through the zoo to get to the rides, it was her first experience of seeing actual wild cats. We walked past the tiger enclosure, and although it was pretty grim, there was a beautiful, massive, tiger sat in the middle, amazing. She cries 'Oh look mummy - a squirrel!'

Having read this back, I should point out that there was also a (clearly more impressive) squirrel in the enclosure, she hadn't confused the tiger for one.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion

I've been meaning to mention this exhibition at the Barbican Art Gallery for weeks, it's coming to an end at the beginning of February, so there is still time to visit. Here is the blurb from the Barbican wesbite...
" Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion is the first exhibition in Europe to comprehensively survey avant-garde Japanese fashion, from the early 1980s to the present. Curated by the eminent Japanese fashion historian Akiko Fukai, Director of the Kyoto Costume Institute, the exhibition explores the unique sensibility of Japanese design, and its sense of beauty embodied in clothing.

Japanese fashion made an enormous impact on the world fashion scene in the late 20th century and designers such as Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto redefined the very basis of fashion. Their works will be shown alongside Kawakubo’s protégé, the techno-couturier Junya Watanabe, together with the acclaimed Jun Takahashi, and the new generation of radical designers including Tao Kurihara, Fumito Ganryu, Matohu, Akira Naka, Mina Perhonen and Mintdesigns."

Judging by the pictures, it is amazing, I love Japanese fashion.

I'm going to meet some fellow bloggers there on the 15th January, Karen from Did you make that and Jane from Handmade Jane.

There are some great courses running at the Barbican if you are nearby, these caught my eye, 'Flatness and Form' which is about innovative pattern cutting techniques. Future Fashion: family workshop - take your 5 year old future fashion designer along. And this one about Kawaai and fashion, what could be better?

I have for some time been meaning to add a 'what's on' section to my blog with links to big exhibitions and shows. Once I have successfully cloned another me I will get on to it right away. Otherwise, look out for some blurry 4am blog posts...