Monday, 5 September 2011

Mini Cooper

Hello! (many apologies for the belated update) Just a quick update for everyone to say that I gave birth to a baby girl on the 7th July! She weighed a petite 6lb 13oz. We are both doing well- just doing a lot of adjusting! The labour lasted just under 4 hours which a lot less than with Coniah (18 hours!) so I was really thankful for that. (The photo above was taken a couple of weeks ago)
My shop is temporarily closed until further notice. I hope I'll be able to get a few items out for this winter season, even if it's just accessories, but we'll have to see. There seems to be a lot less time for sewing when you've got two children under 2! Hope everyone else had a good summer!

Monday, 4 July 2011

Unravel- Beautiful new haberdashery shop..

I just had to do a post about Unravel- the brand new haberdashery shop which has just opened in Denby Dale.

There are so few good wool and sewing shops opening especially up here in West Yorkshire so it's quite a treat to have one open your doorstep!

As well as having some of your usual acrylic knitting wools, Unravel also stocks lovely unusual wools which contain other natural fibres such as linen, silk and cotton, these are available in a great range of natural shades. Some of the wool brands stocked are Shilasdair, Debbie Bliss, Louisa Harding, Artesano, Elvincraft yarns and many more.

Towards the back of the store there are sewing notions and beautiful Indian trims and tassels.

On the first floor there is a charming room called The Shawl Room which houses vibrant scarves, cushions, fabrics and much more from India.

There's also a smaller room next door which contains a nice little range of quilting fabrics. The owner Mary, has also utilised the top and ground floors. The top floor being a gallery space for local designers and artists to exhibit in, while various craft classes will be held on the ground floor. Unravel's website should be up and running this week you can check it out here (there may also be an opportunity to buy from the website in the not so distant future).

Mary has gone for a clean look and layout for the store which I really like, and I think enhances the warming colours of all the wools, threads and trims she stocks in the main area of the shop.
Just seeing all the lovely wools in this shop makes me want to take up hand knitting again, I'll definitely have to try out some of their wools on my knitting machine when the winter comes...I can't wait!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Long time no post! general update...

Long time no post! Sorry for the time it has taken to update the blog. We've been in the process of moving house and preparing for baby number two which is due in a couple weeks! I had mentioned beforehand that I was hoping to get a spring/summer collection out for 2011 but it's looking very unlikely. I have designs ready and waiting to be sewn up and photographed but with all that's been going on it hasn't been possible to commit the time needed to the work. Hopefully I can work on a few pieces for autumn/winter 2011.

On another note I was pleased to receive an update on the Burdastyle Sewing Handbook which I was able to contribute to last year. It's due to be released on November 1st 2011 and I noticed that my bag features on the front cover! I'm really looking forward to seeing all the great projects that the members of the burdastyle website have worked on.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

3D Type Book

Today I received my copy of the 3D Type Book by FL@33! Last year some of my Graphic design work was chosen to be included in this book published by Laurence King. It features lots of interesting ways various designers have constructed handmade typefaces and letter forms and it is described as "the most comprehensive showcase of three-dimensional letter forms ever written, featuring over 1,300 images of more than 300 projects by more than 160 emerging talents and established individuals and studios".

I designed a typeface using cress plants I had grown in paper I handmade. I then screen printed them onto cardboard cards and made other recycled pieces which all went towards trying to promote and bring awareness to the recycling of paper.

Even though most of the work I do now is sewing based it's still nice to see design work I made a while back, shown in such a way. Oh, how I would love to do some screen printing on fabric someday soon!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Spring Archive Sale continues...

I've just set up a new facebook page for the shop here and i've continued the spring sale there with many spring/summer archive skirts there starting from £10! (2010 winter items are also featured there) Please do check it out if you can and also follow the shop there too, latest news/info will be posted there first!

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Spring Heart Giveaway! - Winner!

Thank you all for your great comments! The websites and blogs that were mentioned were really interesting sources for inspiration and ideas. The winner of the heart was chosen at random yesterday, and the winner is Anna! Well done Anna, the navy spotted heart will be in the post today! Stay tuned, as I'll be having another giveaway in the not so distance future...

Friday, 25 March 2011

Spring Heart Giveaway!

I have only but a few of these hearts for home left in stock and I would love to give one away for this spring! This is a lovely cotton/linen navy heart with a removable cover, so you can pour scented oils on the main heart piece- a perfect mother's day present or something for yourself!
All you need to do is leave a comment below with the website or blog which you draw inspiration from for your creative projects (and also your own email address). You have until Tuesday 29th March, 11.59pm GMT!

2 hour Maternity top

As many of you will know I'm expecting our second baby in a few months. I'm at that stage where I need proper maternity clothing, tops more than bottoms. I love many of the items for sale at Isabella Oliver as they are stylish as well as wearable. I also like the range of jersey tops they have which are fitted under the bump area instead of gaping, which in my opinion makes me look 5 times bigger! However, as usual I don't have the budget to fork out £49.00 on a plain jersey top so I set myself a challenge. As I'm busy with the summer collection, I don't have heaps of time so the challenge was to design, draft and make a simple, versatile maternity top which could be made in a couple of hours. Yesterday afternoon I managed to do just that!

I started off my altering an existing basic jersey top pattern. You can get the Lydia pattern from burdastyle for a dollar (or free if you email me, I'll send it to you).
I created ruching by cutting and spreading the tummy area, roughly the length of my bump.

For detail I altered the neckline so it was more of a bateau shape and also inserted a gathered shoulder yoke.

Then to finish it off I drafted some very simple grow on cap sleeves.
Voila! A simple jersey top which can be worn as it is or layered in colder weather.

The length and fitted hem is perfect for wearing as a gathered top (allowing you to wear your usual trousers with the fly undone) or a tunic. For this first top I used up some spare petrol coloured fine jersey I had in storage and it's incredibly comfortable, but I think I'll try using some jersey which is a little thicker but still very stretchy. I hope to be making a few more of these in the coming weeks and maybe try out a few other styles too.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Spring Sale..

Our Spring sale has now started! Do check it out! Up to 30% Off selected items, only a few items are left! (the Liberty print ties are also included in the sale but are not currently featured in my etsy shop. For any inquires please drop me an email!)

Thursday, 17 March 2011


I often take a lot of inspiration from nature when designing clothing or with other projects I have on the go. As I'm currently designing the summer collection I've found a great deal of inspiring images from one of my favourite magazines, Bloom - a unique forecasting magazine which includes a lovely blend of fashion, horticulture and design.

The photography is edgy and exciting, and there are countless depictions of the beauty we see around us in nature. I would love to own more copies of this magazine but with a price tag of £55 per copy I think I'll settle for gazing at their amazing online photo library for free!

Monday, 7 February 2011

Norio Surikabe

Recently I've become more interested unusual pattern cutting and drafting. After viewing some of the clothing made by Natalie Purschwitz I've been inspired to plan some pattern cutting experiments of my own and try out a few new ideas. Along with Roland Mouret I also love the garments of Norio Surikabe, a Japanese fashion designer who continually pushes the boundaries of garment construction and does so in such a playful and interesting way. Here are a few images from his 2011 Spring collection..

(photos courtesy of

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The Final Mouret dress!

Happy new year and apologies for the lack of posts over the holidays! Before the Christmas break I managed to finish the Mouret inspired dress for my friend, Carol. I was really happy with the outcome and so was Carol. Carol choose the perfect colour to complement her complexion and also found some really lovely accessories which matched the dress perfectly. She looked beautifully elegant.

I was especially glad to have been able to achieve that square neckline which didn't gape but sat nicely on the shoulders and chest. I find that this is a great difficulty for me and many others when wanting to buy an 'off the peg' dress from the shops. The chest area always gapes! so I end up wearing dresses/tunics mostly made from a stretchy fabric like jersey. A big thanks again to all those more experienced seamstresses from The Sewing Forum who answered a few of the queries I had about this neckline!

The poly satin fabric we used wasn't too much of a nightmare to work with although I did find it difficult to press on a low heat and take to the fusible interfacing at times. This fabric frayed very easily, especially at the bust points where the seam allowances were clipped. Using iron-on interfacing on the seam allowance of these seams really helped me out! and will be something I will be definitely trying out again on other garments.

Hemming this dress was also a tricky choice as it was so fine and snagged very easily. I thought I would be able to hem it by hand but the impression stitches on the right side would have spoilt the hem for sure, no way was I going to spoil the dress right at the end!
So I researched into hemming satin and silk fabrics and decided to use fusible hemming tape which worked beautifully! One word of advice - always, always try out stitches or fusible tapes on a scrap piece of fabric. I had quite a few tries with the tape on scrap pieces of satin before I went ahead and tackled the dress itself. The patience was well worth it!!
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