Should the stripes go vertically or horizontally? Should I expose the darts? Will the fabric fray? - Just a few of the questions I asked myself when embarking on this project. And yes, you are right - at the time the photo was taken I hadn’t yet attached the buttons and loops at the back. Well spotted!
Ever purchased a pair of shoes you’ve fallen in love with to find you don’t really have anything to wear them with when you get home? I would like to say this doesn’t really happen to me (I am not a shopaholic), however, if I am shopping in Italy, where shoes are so covetable, I am not immune! This has got to be one of the advantages of being able to sew. I loved these black and white flats. In fact I liked the shoe so much I bought it in plain black as well! (Not like me at all……) I have really enjoyed working with the basic shift shape of late, sometimes making it in an unbleached linen and using it as a blank canvas. What you can see in the top pics was inspired by Pompeian mosaics. I decided to work the twisting pattern in black and white on the linen. The other pics are details of a black shift with a central inset of white bias strips on tulle. To be worn with skinny jeans or white pants.
Hey, I would love to hear from you if you happen to know the name for this type of shoe.
It is no secret that I love pattern. The wilder the better. It came as a surprise, however, to receive some fabric as a Christmas present from my brother-in-law. Who would have thought? Eager to show my enthusiasm, I was keen to start a project as soon as possible. Bold pattern, basic shape is what I thought would work best. Centre the pattern and try to keep that silk from slipping! Here’s the leggy Helga modelling it on New Year’s Eve. What do you think?
I have always had a bit of a penchant for dots. Dots of any kind. If ever I think I might be too “grown up” for them all I have to do is look at what Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons does and my passion reignites. A twist on the classic, a pocket somewhere unexpected, a seam showing, something that would usually be on the inside exposed. Subtle, different. So, with only a small piece of dotty fabric at my disposal, (and not true dots at that), all I could do was make myself a classic tote. Nothing particularly novel here. If you look closely the grain is going in the opposite direction at the top - the design here dictated by the limited amount of fabric.
I have always loved the Toile de Jouy. These monochrome prints of bucolic, mythological or exotic scenes have always captured my imagination. No doubt this is the effect they had on the French at the time they started being produced. It was the age of exploration and the wood block prints making their way from India at some stage were banned, leading to the development in 1760 of the famous factory in the town of Jouy by Christophe - Phillipe Oberkampf.
Enough with the history! Seeing I will be making my first appearance at a craft market this Saturday (Primrose Fair at Toorak College, Mt Eliza) I thought it would be good to have a series of totes for sale. Although they are all the same shape, they are still one- of-a-kind! There is not a one with the same print and the straps are of varying lengths.....
I love working with natural textiles. Gorgeous Elitis linens come in a multitude of muted shades that are perfect for creating that classic chequerboard look.
It does seem like it was many moons ago, but looking over my pics I remember what fun I had on my recent trip to Paris, hunting for haberdashery. The Abbesses area is great for textiles but I was hunting for trims and hardware. Rue de Saintonge in the Haut Marais has a handful of shops for maroquinerie, or leather work. I walked past these on many occasions, but naturally I made my largest purchases on the day of my departure. Gerard Diffusion is a small and dusty store near the apartment I was staying in in the Canal Saint Martin area. Not discouraged by Monsieur Gerard's gruff announcements that all items would require a ten piece minimum purchase, I blazed ahead in my best French, asked lots of questions, bought as much heavy metal as I thought I would be able to carry on my cheap flight to Milan the next day. By the time I left said Monsieur had transformed into a charming gentleman, keen to assist should I need to order any items from overseas. A big tick to Gerard Diffusion.
The time has come! I have decided to make my first foray into the hand made market scene! To that end I have been working on a collection of new leather patch totes that can take you to many places... There are many different colour variations - as usual, there are no repeats - all one-of-a-kind. Come see me at Primrose
will be held on October 4th
Don't leave home without a few little gifts when leaving on an overseas trip. You never know when that occasion will pop up where you will want to give something you have made yourself (because those things are priceless), or some local speciality. I made these mini clutch bags before my recent trip to Paris and the north of Italy. One side is leather and the other is a funky waffle weave that contains some silk.
I was delighted to meet a gorgeous actress in Paris to whom I gave the pink suede one. The bronze metallic leather one went to a dear friend in Venice.
Checking the pet rescue site for me is the equivalent to watching a good movie on the television - something I don't have much time for but that I love to do. I often wonder woefully if we will ever get a dog- it is hard when you live in an apartment most of the time and your country abode has fences that tribes of wallabies can get through with a hop and a skip and no problem whatsoever.
Apparently there is one dog to every seven people in Paris. Having been there recently, that is a statistic that I am happy to believe. They come in all shapes and sizes and are happy to meet you wherever you may be. The doggy in the window was in the Rue des Vinaigriers just around the corner from my apartment near the hip area that is the Canal St Martin. On the other side of the canal at the famous Hotel du Nord I couldn't help but drool over the excitable pup at the bar. Not far away, but in many ways worlds away, I came across the curiously proportioned bulldog wandering purposefully around the suitably sophisticated Places des Vosges. Oh Paris - I hope I get back to you soon!
Well, it has been a long time between visits to the garden, and even more between time dedicated to working there.... Oh well, sometimes one just has to go with the flow. On a personal note, I am trying to curb my desire to be constantly productive and trying to take is easy. Taking time to smell the roses, as they say. Even if the roses are not so fragrant broccoli flowers at the moment.
Architectural folds on a two-sided pouch.
I adore long walks along the beach. Although I am usually powering away, trying to burn some calories (it would be great to think that is of no consequence to me...) I do actually take note of my surroundings. They change every day and you could say, every minute. There is the movement of the clouds, the water, the birds, and there are also wafts of sea scents of all kinds. I always think to myself that if I were an artist, this is where I would get my inspiration. I find the walks invigorating and have never thought they actually inspire me in a literal sort of way until I was looking through these photos. What do you think?
When I am not busy sewing down at our island retreat, I love spending time in my organic edible garden or in the kitchen.