Saturday, 30 August 2014

Elephants -- Prints

This months elephants are elephant prints.

1. Lovely colourful image with lovely flower detail in the foreground.
2. Simple monochrome design with foliage
3. The black elephant really stands out but when you look closer you see the other elephants behind it.
4. Another monochrome design this time with a busier background.
5. Another colourful image, this time with green and orange
6. A simple design of the head only in just two colours.
7. The lines in the background really draw your eyes to the elephant
8. Another image using just two colours - white and orange this time with an more embellished elephant
9. A more naive drawing of an elephant, again using just one colour on a white background.

For more images of printed elephants visit my Elephants board on Pinterest.

All links above are to Pinterest as a number of the items pictured are no longer available at their original link.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Riga Art Nouveau inspiration

The sun came out in Riga today allowing us to walk round Riga looking at the Art Nouveau decorated buildings. There were so many motifs of different designs - here are some of my favourites.

I believe the buildings these motifs were taken from are as follows:

1. Smilsu iela 8, Riga.
2. Smilsu iela 2, Riga.
3. Elizabetes iela 10b, Riga.
4. Elizabetes iela 10b, Riga
5. Riga Graduate School of Law, Alberta iela 13, Riga.
6. Riga Graduate School of Law, Alberta iela 13, Riga.
7. Alberta iela 4, Riga.
8. Alberta iela 2a, Riga.
9. Riga Graduate School of Law, Alberta iela 13, Riga.

Here are some of the facades of the buildings.

1. I think this might be at Skunu iela 10/12 but can't be sure ...
2. Stockholm School of Economics, Strelnieku iela 4a, Riga.
3. Smilsu iela 8, Riga.
4. Alberta iela 4, Riga.
5. Alberta iela 13, Riga.
6. Alberta iela 2a, Riga.

The windows, doors and iron work were also beautiful. My favourite is the dragonfly railing (number 8) this motif may well be making its way into some of my designs soon.

1. Elizabetes iela 10b, Riga.
2. Elizabetes iela 10b, Riga.
3. Alberta iela 4, Riga.
4. Elizabetes iela 10b, Riga.
5. Alberta iela 4, Riga.
6. Elizabetes iela 10b, Riga.
7. Elizabetes iela 10b, Riga.
8. Alberta iela 4, Riga.
9. I think this might be at Skunu iela 10/12 but can't be sure ...

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Finnish design inspiration

I'm in Helsinki on the first stop of my holiday that will take in Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. On my previous visit to Helsinki I discovered Marimekko designs, here are some of their designs that caught my eye recently.

2. Taapeli design, repinned from Marimekko's own Pinterest boards
3. Blue dotty design (can't find the name for this) again taken from Marimekko's Pinterest boards
4. Bright line drawn florals no name attributed, but from Marimekko's Pinterest boards
5. Melooni, repinned from Marimekko's Pinterest boards
6. Classic Unikko poppy I even saw a lady walking round Helsinki wearing a jacket with this print
7. Another variation on the Unikko poppy, I just love the calm colours. Have a look at the 50 years of Unikko pages to see loads of other variations
8. Kultakero love the hills, the trees and the colours in this design
9. Lakia again repinned from Marimekko's boards, this reminds me a bit of some of the lovely Africa textiles I see out and about in and around Peckham

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Wrapped Bracelets tutorial

I love these bright and beautiful bracelets and they are so simple to create.

Here is how you make these:

Source some cheap plain metal bracelets - these came from Primark.
The only other things you need is some colourful thread (I used crochet cotton), a needle and a pair of sharp scissors.

Start by tying a knot to secure the thread.

Wrap the thread round making sure that you also wrap round the loose end (hold it on the inside of the bracelet). Its easier to do this if you just cut a length of thread but the difficulty is not knowing how long the thread needs to be. So although it takes a bit longer I passed the spool of thread through the centre of the bracelet on each wrap.

Once you've wrapped the whole bracelet tie a knot to secure the thread. and weave in the ends with the needle - do this on the inside of the bracelet.

You can then customise the bracelet further. In this case I wrapped the bracelet again in a contrasting thread to create a criss cross pattern.

Once again knot the thread to secure and weave in the ends on the inside of the bracelet. Trim all the loose ends.

You can create other designs by creating alternate wraps in different colours, wrapping a portion in one colour before switching to another, using the design of the bracelet and wrapping around any particular features.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Sorbetto tops

After making the Clémence skirt I turned to the Sorbetto top pattern.

Judging from some of the pins on Pinterest I'm about 3 years late on the obsession with the Sorbetto top pattern by Colette patterns. But it doesn't matter - it's a great pattern and very easy to sew because the instructions are so clear.

I had to alter the pattern slightly by shortening the length of the shoulder, this rectified gaping under the arm and the neckline falling too low for my preference.

This pattern requires bias binding and I made my own using this tutorial.

The fabric I used was some pre-cut cotton I bought from John Lewis £15 for 1.5 metres, it's about as thick as the cotton poplin that I used for the Clémence skirt.

And I loved the pattern so much I made a second one. This time using some cotton lawn, again from John Lewis costing about £5 per metre.

This time I tried the continuous method for making bias binding tape. This had a few more joins in it but is good if you only have small lengths of fabric left.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Clémence skirt

I've been sewing a Clémence skirt from Love At First Stitch

The great thing about this skirt was you created your own pattern. The photo tutorials and the explanations in the book are super clear.

The hardest part of the process was the 'stitch in the ditch' technique to secure the waist band - at this point I wasn't very confident with my sewing machine as hadn't developed good control over the speed of the stitching via the foot peddle.

The best thing about this pattern was learning about French seams - what a great idea to hide the raw edges.

I used some cotton poplin I bought from John Lewis for about £6 a metre - I love the colour however the fabric does have a bit of a rustle to it when worn. I only had a standard zip rather than an invisible one so I used that. I used the zip foot on my machine but found it tough to sew in neatly - I guess some more practice is required.