I`ve been busy this week making some more round heart brooches. They proved to be popular for Valentines day so I decided to make a few more. I used more muted colours for these ones, with some thick, twill-woven vintage calico for the background. I was quite pleased with these, the rough texture of the calico gave them a look (I think) of little sandstone pebbles. I only have a small piece of this fabric, so I`ll keep it for more brooches. I`ll be making a few of these brooches for my stockists, these ones are heading into my Etsy shop.
I`ve been experimenting with bits of linens and lace this week and I bought a big piece of calico to play with. I used to use calico all the time and it`s fun to work with it again. It`s such a humble fabric, with a folksy, homespun feel and speckled with tiny imperfections, but is also really sturdy and versatile . I love combining the textures of calico, grainy old linens, homely ticking and frothy vintage lace. I`m planning to combine these in new work, using the lovely creamy, neutral shades as a nice contrast with embroidery.
The calico I bought was stitched together like this on the roll. I like the utillitarian, rough stitches.
My first butterfly… lots more to follow…
I`ve been working on some little keepsake hearts this week too. They are stitched from calico, vintage fabrics, vintage lace and shell buttons. They have a linen sachet of lavender inside as well as a bit of padding. I like the idea of making little one-off treasures and mini embroideries, something I`m hoping to develope over the next few weeks. I tried to give these hearts a collagey feel, and I`ve used both machine and hand embroidery.
My Edinburgh stockists have been keeping me busy over the last few weeks on the run up to Christmas. I`ve been making lots of all my best sellers to keep them topped up. This batch of heart brooches were for Flux in Leith.
Some of my favourite brooches to make for Autumn/Winter are my leaf corsages. Inspired by Autumn leaves, they`re made from recycled tweed and felt which I`ve dyed in leafy colours. Each corsage is made up of a layer of four leaves, finished off with a rustic wooden button. The leaf shapes are ‘drawn’ freehand on the sewing machine so they are all slightly different.
My new layered corsages have been selling well and I`ve just finished my fourth batch of them. I made some lovely muted ones using recycled velvets and brocades mixed with voiles, tweeds and vintage ties.
I even made myself a silvery one to wear on my sparkly Christmas jumper!
The corsages inspired some little fascinators which I made for Miss Katie Cupcake in Cockburn street. The flowers are layered onto black felt with lots of net. I made them on hairbands so they are very easy to wear, perfect for a Christmas party!
Yesterday I took some time off to gather greenery from the garden to make a wreath for the front door and lots of bunches to hang up in the cottage. I used lots of textures and leaf shapes, mixing holly and ivy with hebe, laurel, golden privet and other evergreens. I always add a few sprigs of rosemary to the indoor garlands for the lovely scent.
Merry Christmas to all and best wishes for 2013!
Look out for my online shop, opening soon in the New Year.
I was having a (much needed) tidy and sort through of my fabrics recently and thought it would be nice to combine lots of different textures and make some new corsages for Autumn/Winter.
The flowers are made from lots of different recycled fabrics, including tweeds, tartans, corduroy, denim, vintage ties, satins, velvets and silks.
They have a sprinkling of vintage bits and bobs in their centres- buttons, beads, crystals and sequins. I enjoyed playing with all the combinations of textures and was quite pleased with the jewel-like effect.
My first batch of these brooches have gone straight into Flux, Fabhatrix, and the Lucie Fenton Gallery. I`m now working on another lot, all made in lovely berry colours, which should be ready in a few days.
I`ve just spent all afternoon making the leaves for these rosebud corsages. Not the most exciting job, but very satisfying to get them all finished.
The rosebuds are made from strips of cotton in toning colours and patterns, each one carefully folded and stitched to look as life-like as possible. Each corsage has three rosebuds and three quilted leaves.
I use mostly vintage cottons, recycling old sheeting, blouses, etc, in fact anything in the right shades. I collect cottons specially for my rosebuds and have bags of reds, pinks, yellows and blues, plus greens for the leaves.
I have a wonderful piece of vintage Laura Ashley cotton in leaf green printed with tiny white flowers which is sadly running out, but I found some lovely block-printed Indian cotton in K1 Yarns in Victoria Street, Edinburgh, which is the perfect leaf shade and a good substitute. I`ve also recycled some khaki trousers to make some solid coloured leaves.
I like mixing florals with polka dots and ginghams in my rosebuds. I`ll sometimes mix in some linens in the right shades for a different texture (like my old, much loved and missed, red linen trousers!). I found a red blouse with tiny white polka dots in a charity shop which is perfect for rosebuds, but that`s nearly running out too. I`ll just have to keep an eye out for more fabric, a good excuse for lots more charity shop rummaging!
Whoops! No blog for a couple of weeks…
I must admit I`ve been taking advantage of the sunny days to catch up with friends, get some gardening done and go for some lovely woodland walks.
I`ve been busy sewing too, making stitched heart and daisy brooches for Boho in Aberdour, top ups for my other stockists and lots more fascinators for Katie Cupcake (she`d sold out again!).
I made a fresh batch of decoupage brooches last week, I really like these pinky-toned ones.
I`ve still got lots of other brooches to catch up with to make sure my stockists have plenty for the summer. In the next few days I`ll be sewing rosebud corsages, rosette corsages, tweed hearts, embroidered brooches and lots more little stitched hearts.
I`m so glad that my new little hearts are selling well, they are definately my favourite at the moment and I`ve been wearing one every day. They are really light and dainty, perfect for wearing on a T-shirt or Summer dress.
I hope we have a few more sunny days next week so I can sew in the garden. There`s nothing nicer than sitting on a rug under the apple tree with a cup of tea, getting on with some sewing while listening to a play on the radio. My cat, Matilda, loves the sun and usually keeps me company, sprawled on the rug beside me.
I`ve just discovered that my favourite charity shop now has a fabric rail! Here are some of today`s finds:
This lovely vintage embroidered linen cushion cover was only 20p! I love the old curtain fabric too.
More embroidered traycloths to add to my collection!
The best find was this gorgeous length of 50`s (I think) print on a satin weave fabric. It reminds me of the apple blossom in my garden. I like the pale sky-blue background too.
I do try to use mainly recycled fabrics in my work, but now and then I can`t resist a fat quarter. Because I use such tiny amounts of fabric, a quarter metre can last me ages, even years. I had to stock up on thread in our local haberdashers today and decided to treat myself to these packs of fat quarters by John Louden.
I couldn`t resist these tiny stars and really liked the muted colours.
This pack with its subtle blues and tiny scattered letters was a must-have too.
I`m sure I`ll really enjoy using them for lots of future projects!