Scrap-bustin’ thank yous and superstitions

scrap busting thank yous and superstitions

Quality scrap-bustin’ that is! The word scrap doesn’t and shouldn’t be associated with a gorgeous piece of turquoise silk and some beautiful vintage cottons. But scrap-bustin’ it is until I think of something else!

This little zipper pouch was inspired by a combination of prompts. I often frighten myself with all the intended ‘must-have-a-go-ofs’ that lurk in the back of my brain. The first to come to the fore, was a spot of free-motion embroidery. I spotted some lovely work by @thebobbinbird on twitter and that certainly set the ball in motion. I also needed a way of saying ‘thank you’ to my colleague’s mum who kindly donated a sack load of zips to me! (I’m not kidding about the sack. I’m still bringing them home a handful at a time because they weigh a tonne!) And I have been itching, for so long, to incorporate these tiny pieces of beautiful fabric, into a worthwhile project.

butterfly pouch

Now this is of course free-motion embroidery in the loosest sense! I pinned the tangerine-print butterfly pieces to the silk, lowered the feed-dog and using Sulky metallic thread and an embroidery foot, I ‘walked’ the stitches, free style, around the butterfly wings and to draw the curly antennae. I really loved the process, as I thought I would, and I’d love to be more adventurous next time. Perhaps even incorporate the technique on a garment or two!

butterfly applique detailI love the free nature of it all. The wonky lines and the fraying edges and the grain of the fabric. Quite a relief from some of the more precise methods usually employed in dressmaking. And oh how those colours pop!

I had to use one of the millions of zips, of course! Would have been daft not to! And I covered the ends of the zip to act as stoppers and also because I had cut the length of the zip to fit.

covered ends of zip

The lining is a gorgeous vintage printed quilting cotton. Again part of another generous donation to me from a lovely friend and neighbour. I made small hand stitches around the opening edge to make sure it didn’t get caught in those rather hefty teeth!

pouch liningAnd the superstition bit? Well I’m not entirely sure how Mrs J will use this pouch. She may well use it as a purse so to be on the safe side I’m including a shiny penny to ensure good luck and prosperity. It is bad luck to give an empty one. Does anyone else do this or is it just me… and my mum who made me believe this?!

I think you may be seeing a lot of zippered projects to come. But if you have seen or employed any innovative uses recently I’d be very interested to hear about them!


ooobop! review: Burda Style February 2012

burda style feb 2012 cover

Sometimes its good to judge a book by the cover!

One might think that given my day job as a designer who works mostly in publishing, that I would have read the cover lines before I grabbed this issue off the shelf and literally ran to the checkout desk!

I am doing a bad job of hiding my disappointment BUT I am not going to cast an unnecessary slur on my beloved Burda, which I have been faithfully purchasing, every month, for over a year now. For there are always without fail at least 4 or 5 patterns which I would definitely bookmark for future and sometimes instant projects. And at a cover price of £4.75 that’s a bargain in my book.

I do like a fitted dress and I really must get round to making a couple of LBD’s and I think both these dresses (1&2) would be great. Nothing too fancy. Ability to dress up or down. Relatively simple to put together and easy enough to line. Not sure about the yellow or beige in version 1b, would probably exchange for red and grey, but this one illustrates how it is constructed. A fitted pencil skirt (3) is a good wardrobe staple too and this one is constructed the same as dress 1.

burda style feb 2012 likes

Burda Style February 2012 issue: likes

Little Miss Ooobop! is seven and a half (so I am constantly reminded) and definitely at an age that requires her approval before I waste my time on sewing anything for her. She hasn’t seen these yet and would, without shadow of a doubt give a bit thumbs down without hesitation or even waiting for an explanation on how much cooler they would look in a different fabric. Actually who am I trying to kid? She would hate them, however I dressed it up…. but I think they are quite cute:

Burda Style February 2012 kids

Burda Style February 2012: kids

Now I have tried to be fair and I have thought long and hard… but nope… I’m afraid I can’t see a gap in my wardrobe for these little beauties, as much as I love that fashionable orange colour!

burda style february2012 dislikes

Burda Style February 2012: dislikes

And in this instance I will be giving the Asian look a miss…

Burda Style Feb 2012: Asian style

Burda Style Feb 2012: Asian style

Though if it makes you feel this good . . .

Burda Style Feb 2012: asian

Burda Style Feb 2012: Sexy Asian look!

Never one to wish my life away, but roll on March issue… before I lose the faith!

New Shoes!

orange shoes

Very orange patent leather brogue lace-up high heel sling backs!

Well I thought I might brighten everyone’s day with a picture of my new shoes that begged me to take them home this weekend.

Yes they are orange patent leather and no they don’t really go with anything I have but do I care? They came from Office in Westfields and were £62 (I think…. I got a bit excited and cant remember exactly how much they were!)

I have got the hang of Westfields now and from the giant scary place I once thought it was, I now feel elated that it is a mere walk away. Having said that, I have to walk past the fabulous fabric shops in the Goldhawk Road first so the entire journey can take some time but who is complaining?!