Archive for the ‘patchwork’ Category

Deadlines, patchwork, swimming, site redesign, and corsets

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

What ho! Today, a catchup on what I’ve been doing. My aim now is to update my Facebook and Twitter several times each day with pictures and updates about what I’m working on, and then once or twice a week to have a longer post here pulling everything together.

First things first! As the title suggests, I’d like to talk about deadlines.

I love deadlines.

That may sound odd, but I am sure a lot of you can relate to my position. If someone asks me to make something, and sets me a deadline, that thing will be made by that deadline. No questions. Last Sunday, I was at a market in London, when a friendly fellow asked me to make him a pair of trousers. BUT, he added, he needed them to wear to a party on the next Saturday. That’s six days, including shipping them to London (for those of you outside the UK, it’s small, but it’s not THAT small, and I live about 6 hours away from London by road). No problem! I measured him, drafted them on Tuesday, cut them, and made the fly on Wednesday, leaving myself just the waistband and the hems to do on Thursday, which I did before shipping them special delivery just after lunchtime. They arrived Friday morning, and he had a great, bespoke outfit in under a week.

So when I am set a deadline, I meet that deadline. Questions? No? Good.

The other side of the coin is when people say “Oh, no rush”.

Goddamnit, people! I NEED the rush! If there’s no rush, if it’s a run of the mill product, it’ll take anywhere from a month to in excess of six (SO sorry, customer (you know who you are)). If it’s something I’m excited to make, I’ll get the basics of it done super quick, but then all those little finishing bits will drag on and on and on. So please, if you’re ordering something from me, tell me when you want it by! It can a week’s time, or a year, but let me know!


Now, item number two in the list is Patchwork! I do love me some patchwork, and I think it really brightens up some relatively normal designs.


Me, in cotton Harlequin trousers

These trousers, for example, are a pretty standard cut. A little higher in the waist, perhaps, and they have only one pocket, but still. Add some patchwork to one leg, and you get nothing but compliments!

Several of my recent designs were inspired by that very black and white diamond patchwork fabric. Those of you who know me well will know that I have a thing for harlequins, and when I saw this fabric, I had to have it. However, it’s quite expensive on the roll, and the shop that I got it from has only the one roll and cannot get any more. Not wanting to rely on no one else buying any, and that already slim roll somehow lasting forever, I decided to figure out how to make it myself, quickly and easily.

To cut a long story short; I did! Mainly thanks to my overlocker. I love my overlocker.


NOT SHOWN: Lipstick marks.

If anyone’s interested, I’ll post a tutorial on how to do it. It’s a very quick method that does not involve cutting out hundreds of tiny diamonds which then fray and get lost before you have a chance to painstakingly join them by hand.


Logic would tell us that now is the time to talk about swimming, but it’s not! That comes later! I’m going to talk about the upcoming redesign of this site.

When I first got this site, it didn’t have much direction. I made stuff that I thought was cute, and it was! Oh my, was it ever. But now, I have a lot more direction. Recently, it’s been Circus Swing, and further back, Steampunk. So I’m going to have parts of the site redesigned to better reflect this! I’m also going to get rid of the portfolio section, replacing it with some kind of garment retrospective, and I’m going to get rid of the “Home” page, because what on earth do you put there that doesn’t go in another section? The site will work just the same, it’ll just look different. Better, I hope!

Now, by way of an apology for the last paragraph’s dramatic departure into chaos, corsets! I am working on some corset designs. There’s not a whole lot to say here, except that I’ve only ever dabbled with corsetry, and I’m excited to be getting properly into it! Keep an eye on my twitter for excited tweets as it all comes together/despairing, angry tweets as it all falls apart.


Finally, swimming. The event I was training for, the 2.2 mile Breakwater Swim (swimming from Plymouth’s Breakwater to the shore) was last Sunday. You can read a bit about it here (that’s me on the right, refraining from doing what the photographer suggested and putting my hand on Pauline’s shoulder, because she was covered in Vaseline). This was before the swim, when we were all excitedly nervous. Anyway, it went off without a hitch, once I was in the water (although I came off my bike on the way there and did the whole thing with cuts all down my right side and a swollen elbow on one side and shoulder on the other). I took longer than I wanted, but 12 weeks ago I couldn’t swim 25m crawl, so I’m still pretty happy. Now it’s time to work on my technique and my speed. I set the bar nice and low for next year!


Thanks for sticking with me through all that, folks! That was long. Reward yourselves now! Perhaps a cup of tea, or something from the store?


Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

One of the blogposts that was lost recently was about a pair of yoga pants I made for a friend. Over the years I’ve been making clothes, I’ve been given many old items that would have gone out, or gone to charity, and among them, I had a crateful of t-shirts. When my friend asked me to make her said yoga pants, I realised that this was a chance to use some of them up.

The result is the riot of colours and designs you see on the right. She wanted them loose and comfortable, with a deep crotch, so I just made up some rough templates, laid out bits of fabric to fit, and stitched the whole lot together, adding an elasticated waistband at the top, and some ruffles to the ankles.

Today, I will be making my mother’s christmas present, and she also wants yoga pants, although ones that are rather more sober than these, and also a rather different fit. Pictures to follow!


Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

I like to knit.

I realise that, as a 21 year old male, that makes me a little unusual, but roll with it.

There is something wonderful about knitting. I have always been a fan of knitted garments, my mother being an exceptional knitter, and while other teenage boys may have balked at the thought of wearing something knitted by their mother, I could not wait, preferring chunky jerseys because they were ready quicker.

Learning to knit was something I had intended to learn for quite some time, but I didn’t actually do it until the beginning of this year. I had always been a maker, but mostly with wood and metal, and when I was trying to think of something to make for Marta, knitting offered the thrill of creation without the need for a workshop or expensive tools. Marta had knitted me a lovely scarf for christmas, and I wanted to make her something nice for the next time we would see each other. Somehow, my plan to knit her a scarf of her own turned into a rather more ambitious plan to knit her a patchwork quilt.

Looking at Etsy, not many people have done that, which is a shame, because it makes for a very nice cozy quilt. The result can be seen just here:

This was an excellent first project, since there was nothing more complicated than knitting and purling in it. And I would reccomend it to any knitter, new or experienced; I have just started making another, and now I can try out any cable or fairisle combination, see exactly what happens if you do that then that and then something else, without having to dismantle it afterwards.

Also, because there is no point in letting a good post go by without advertising something, the first thing I ever knitted to a pattern, this hat, is now for sale on Etsy. I knitted it for Marta, but it turned out to be too small, so there it is.

Swatchwork Quilt

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

I am very excited!

Our first item is listed on Etsy!

The Swatchwork Quilt

I made this from a fabric sample book. I carefully matched the patches into pairs that looked nice together, and then washed them to get the labels of the back, which lost the order, and then I sewed them as they came to hand instead. It’s quite nice though!

The patches themselves are actually upholstery fabric, pure cotton, so they are rather more heavy duty than most patchwork that is around; this is swatchwork, baby!

I am currently working on my next quilt, which will be made of knitted patches. I have a post brewing about that one, so watch this space!