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Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Oooh look!

An interview about me!

Thank you to Pink leaf designs!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Market ahoy!

It's getting all a bit Albert Square here, but in a much posher way - I am lucky enough to have been given a space at the Jubilee market, Covent Garden, where I shall be asking other people to watch my stall while I get a coffee in Ian's cafe, and selling my hand made and organic cotton kids wear. Prices will be slightly discounted from the website, and I will have market exclusive designs - so if you're in town do pop by and remember, a gift of clothing for the kids is also a gift for hard pressed parents!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Lady Kimonii - experiments!

This week, I have been working on my 'Lady Kimonii' project - to produce my Kimonii design in adult sizes (Somehow saying 'Adult Kimonii) sounds a bit ... dubious, sort of like adult diapers? Anyway...

I found a sari for sale in my local charity shop, it's quite a good one and sometimes has pieces of fabric, and sometimes I find these nice lengths of sari fabric with the sale stickers still intact. This one was a beautiful pink and green, with a lovely gold border.
I was hoping it was more green than pink when I saw it folded up, but it turned out to be more pink than green. The fabric it's self was most odd - sometimes I find sari fabrics to be a little strange in composition, as they are not designed to be cut and tailored as western fabrics are. It had a heavy waft thread, and an almost invisible weft thread, which meant that when it was cut, any pointed shapes such as the crotch shape, were almost fraying out of existence before I could start sewing. I had to over lock every edge of each pattern piece before I could put them together, and although the end result looks good, I don't think that actual sari fabric is the way to go for production - though it's very attractive.

But I am more excited about my next one - a kimonii made from jersey fabric.
If you don't know about these things, jersey or any knit fabric with a stretch can be a bit of a nightmare to sew without the right machines, and I had been advised that what I'd need would be jersey binding to finish the edges.
But that would mean having some made, which would mean an investment I don't have right now, so I decided to think round the issue.
I have never worked in jersey before, so I had to read up a little and then ignore all that and kind of go for it! I put the regular pattern down, sort of blended it together to remove as many of the seams as I could, and reduced it down from a 10 piece pattern to a four piece pattern. I even 'grew' the sleeves on, so that it would eliminate sleeve fitting issues.

This is half way through construction - I decided to not try and hem or turn any of the loose edges but to simple use my over locker to finish the edge and let it ripple where it wants to - in fact, I decided to encourage it to ripple, always believing in making a strength out of a vice as ever!
When putting it together, I over locked the seams together first, then stitched them with a wide stitch afterwards, and it worked really well.

To finish the front edge, I used a grown on facing, and wiggled with delight at my own cleverness by also including a back neck facing to the front facing which I sneaked into position, thus making the whole process much quicker and easier - also removing the need for binding the back neck, way hey!
Anyway - here it is all finished - rippled edges and all -

Black is a wardrobe staple, but it was also the cheapest jersey I could find - however, now I have worked out a few bugs ( crotch depth needed to be dropped by 4 cm, obi belt needed to be shortened and made a little deeper) I shall be looking for a more interesting fabric -

Like this one! Yummy!!!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Lady Kimonii - Threads

Lady Kimonii - Threads

This is just a little blog about my developments with the Kimonii -

Friday, 16 September 2011

My take on the circular vest project - Threads

My take on the circular vest project - Threads

Is this the height of lazy? This is a link to my Threads blog about making my cunning new fleece cardigan!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Thames festival


I have finally got my self back together after a weekend at the Thames festival, on the craft trail with we make London.

We had something of a night mare journey, as although we had plenty of information of how to get there, no one could predict that we would spend 40 minuets in the Stainer street tunnel unable to move due to insane traffic lights. Although the South Bank is pedestrianized, we had been granted access, but we were up against the clock and when we'd finally escaped the tunnel, that access was over. We we were turned away, and tried another way, where some numpty in a day glow jacket let us enter. It turned out that he really shouldn't have done that, as we were suddenly driving through crowds of pedestrians giving us evil looks, until we gradually came to halt in a water feature. We were not alone, the numpty had allowed another pair of crafters though as well, and in the end a yellow jacket with a walkie talkie (clearly a sign of rank) lead us back out onto Tooley street.
'Follow me!' he promised, and then promptly vanished, and in the end we parked legally and ran to our stand with arm fulls of cakes and swearing.

But never mind! We made it!
And so did our cup-cakes and kidswear.

The events then went pretty well, there was a steady stream of people and many happy crafters attending the free workshops, all thanks to the we-make-London ladies, who kept it all going through rain and (mostly) shine.
The cakes went down pretty well, and I even sold some kids clothes, which was the main purpose of being there, and I certainly handed out a lot of cards. It's a hard and sometimes disheartening slog building up from the ground, but it's always good to realize that people are trying to make a difference - thanks we make London!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

This is what I have done today!

In preparation for the Thames Festival on the 10th/11th September - my nearest tube will be London Bridge - I have been making some lovely one off outfits which will be for sale there. It means I get to let my imagination wild and you can buy something really special!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Kappuke-ki Kidswear

Kappuke-ki Kidswear

OOoh look, what a lovely green listing site this is, and doesn't my entry look nice!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

New how to blog...

I have written this on Squidoo - if you sew you may find it interesting as it has tips on how to make a waistcoat with a professional finish.

Go see!

Cup cakes ahoy!

As well as having my Kappuke-ki children's wear collection at The Thames Festival with the lovely 'We Make London' craft collective, I will also be putting on my apron and running my 'Kappuke-ki' stand. Kappuke-ki is the Japanese word for Cup Cake, and where the name for my clothing company came from, as my designs are inspired by traditional Japanese costume, and each is small, sweet and delicious, just like a cupcake.So, if you come on down to the Festival and enjoy a weekend of amazing free events, save room for a cup cake and pick up some beautiful handmade clothes for the little people in your life.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Always take a ball of string...

...and a carrot for the minotaur!
Ok, we didn't find any minotaurs - but we were the best dressed maze followers in the Saffron Walden turf maze.
This maze is laid out in brick work and is based on the ancient Celtic mazes which were inscribed on mirrors, jewellery and stone carvings. Their true meaning is 'lost in the mists of time', which means we don't really know if they were just pretty, or served some deeper purpose, but they are still fascinating.
For the Maze event, a group of knitters had knitted a very very very long scarf, which traveled the length of the maze - which is a mile, if you follow it carefully round.
As this is England, it was gently raining as our intrepid junior Minotaur hunter set out - but then I suspect that the ancient Celtic peoples often got a little damp around the edges. I imagine them looking out over the green lands of ancient Britain at the epic monoliths they had constructed in order to commune with their Gods. I imagine it was raining then too, and the first thing they were really keen to find out about was a neolithic pack-a-mac. Oh how less dignified though, if the heart stopping rituals of blood and fire were accompanied but the all consuming rustle of rip stop nylon, so reminiscent of summer holidays in England. One wonders if the common Celtic man was less worried by the Roman invasion when he spied his first sauna.
Anyway - the maze seekers set off - not daunted by the drizzle, and follow the ancient lay lines and the jolly knitted scarf.
The mini mazer looked lovely in her Union Jack Kimonii, and stands out against the green and pleasant land.

Keep going - it's not far now - well, it is far if you only have short legs, but she's doing really well. Even so, the whole mile may have been a bit of an ask for a two year old, even a two year old who is nearly three - so in the end, a short cut was employed...
And like and all good mazes, there was treasure at the end, even if we didn't get to see a Minotaur.

If you want to learn more about the Kimonii, please click this link.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Amazing Maze

We're off here today - to visit friends in Saffron Walden and to see some Mazes - It's a free week long events and seems to be mostly free, so a great way to spend what might be a reasonable summers day.
I think it may be reason enough for Wednesday - to wear one of these!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Do you Squidoo?

I do - this is where I write in-depth articles about how to do some of the things I do - have a look at this very interesting post about cocktail cup cakes!

New threads!

It has been a while since I blogged, but I have been very busy. I had my first trade show which scared the life out of me, but I did manage to get a few wholesale orders. I learned a great deal, and I have decided to push ahead with retailing my children's wear as well as supplying shops.
To that end, I will be at the Thames Festival on the 10th and 11th of September with the lovely 'We Make London' craft collective - so do try and come down. It's all free except what you buy from the stalls!
This is one of the new styles I have been working on - a bubble dress with harem pants. This one was made from a sari I bought in a charity shop, and I hope to have some more made in a range of fabrics for September.
It's a lovely pattern, and it's made of a half circle of fabric, with one seam at the center back, as shown her, and button straps. I just wanted to see if I could spread my usual dress pattern into a half circle, and this is the result!
It's fully lined, and the lining is attached to the hem and it both more narrow and shorter, to create the bubble effect.
And I've been making these - little waist coats all based on my favorite asymmetrical pattern, with my big round patch pockets - they are so useful to add warm layers and cover up ice cream on t-shirts!

Will blog more soon, on how my preparations for September are going, and I should have new pictures of my corduroy coat soon! 

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Oriental by accident

This Kimonii was an experiment to see what an all cotton version of the style would be like, and also to try out my apron skirt idea.

The colours though suddenly look  very traditionally Chinese, I think it's that clear sky blue and the cherry red; and the straight skirt.

I finished the skirt edge by using mitered corners, which is my new lasted rave; it saves binding the skirt and makes the hem really neat - or it would have done had my sewing machine not slightly pulled the bobbin thread, meaning it didn't press very well!

But I do think it's very pretty, I think though I need to make the skirt a little more full on this little size, this straighter style would be better on the slightly older age group.
This is an idea for a little smock top, I really like this simple, triangle shape on little kids, 

The fabric is too heavy, but I like the colour, I wish I could get some linen look cotton which would hang perfectly for this idea,

I love circular pockets, bit tricky to line up though!


Saturday, 29 January 2011

Hello my three fans!

Hello gang!
I am planning my next sewing exploration, and I have ordered some turquoise Chinese satin from a budget ebay supplier with the aim of making Kimonii for myself,Lisa and Andy to wear at TG.
I have adjusted the pattern to include a more traditional Japanese drop shoulder, which in fact makes it easier to make as this is a far simpler shape than a western sleeve; the down side being that you have no where to hide when it's not perfect - Western design allows for easing, squeezing, adding in decorative pleats when inaccurate pattern measurements trip you up - so we'll see.
As they are for TG, they are a little more 'out there' then I might pursue for day to day wear, I have gone for turquoise satin with a gold faux leather belt for Lisa and I, and black Suedette for himself; and I have added some other details,including delightful exaggerated sleeves and much shorter pants than I would normally have!
I will post pictures as the project progresses!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

And now with pictures!

The first one a sweet all corduroy Kimonii play, with a trim of a vintage print of deep red cherries on a cream cotton back ground. Ideally I would have put all the press studs in, but I am waiting for a new press stud tool and the ones I've got don't give the best finish; so I've left them out for now.

The second one I wasn't planning to make, but then I spotted some olive green fabric with a floral print my Mother in Law had given me, and the olive tweed wool, which went together perfectly; and I wanted to try out my new apron skirt idea, so here we are...

Front view, with buttons in place of snaps.

 I do love the binding on this, and the back view is so sweet!

So, listen out for me on the radio - I'm on three counties radio tomorrow (Thursday) between 1.30 and 2.00, sx!