The Art of Shibori

I recently took part in a workshop at the Shibori Studio. I have to say, I knew nothing about this, kinda flying blind really, but what an amazing experience!  For those of you who have no idea about Shibori (like me) it is the Japanese art of resist dyeing. It’s like tie-dye but way cooler and more planned in its approach. Indigo dye is often associated with Shibori and this is where we started. I dyed a few pieces with such surprising results, I just couldn’t believe how good they looked.  It’s such a quick and simple process, well it felt like that, although I think that something to do with Karen and Pepa’s guidance. These girls really know there stuff and are a real inspiration to be around.  Check out there beautiful range of wallpaper, cushions, fabric and leather – you can’t be anything but impressed.

Shibori workshop
My first Shibori piece using pegs
Shibori workshop
Aren’t those circle just fantastic!

Of course, I had to make something out of one of my pieces. My favourite piece became a cushion cover for my Mum.  The square pattern is so beautiful and reminds me of old-fashion film negatives – remember them?

Shibori and japanese double gauze cotton made into a cushion
Little windows of loveliness

Farewell dress, hello jacket

I bought the most beautiful apple green neoprene fabric from Tessuti Fabrics this year.  Such a great fabric and so easy to work with.  The process of deciding what to make usually takes the most time. I finally decided on this kimono sleeve t-shirt dress.  I made the pattern based on something similar I had made before.  I wore it a few times, lets just say, I didn’t love it.  Bit sack-like if I am honest. Being the ‘Proper Northerner’ that I am, I can’t bare waste, so an upcycle was the obvious answer.

Apple green neoprene kimono sleeve dress
Farewell sack-like dress

So, the hours of unpicking commenced, a real labour of love.

I finally settled on a jewel-neck jacket I found in one of my favourite Japanese pattern books, Casual Sweet Clothes by Noriko Sasahara.  As I was restricted by fabric, I have altered the pattern a little to remove some of the volume in the flared sleeves and remove the fastenings to leave my jacket open.  It was a surprisingly simple transformation and I am really pleased with the results.

Apple green neoprene jacket
Hello awesome jacket

Tea and biscuits

Grab yourself a cuppa and have a read of this….

It was my cousins 40th birthday last week and my very talented brother, Richard and crafty sister, Helen thought we should get together and make a present for her.  Not so easy when they live on the other side of the world from me.

Helen found this awesome book, Felt Biscuits by Ouissi Gresty, a guide to making the ultimate felt biscuit tin with the best British biscuits have to offer. Ouissi Gresty is a felting genius, you have to check out her website, British Cream Tea, it’s the most delicious thing you could ever behold.

We diligently followed the instructions, with a few minor alterations along the way, adding in her initial and a ’40’ reference.  I made the biscuit tin (the hardest bit, well it felt like that!), Helen made the beautiful biscuits and Richard wrote the delightful little ditty.  Teamwork!







Twinkle toes

Not exactly sewing but a bit of fun all the same!

A couple of weeks ago I bought these rather boring boots at Manly Market for $5.



I wanted to make them really shine so I took inspiration from this awesome book, Adorn, 25 Stylish DIY Fashion Projects by Kit Lee and Shini Park (what great names!) and I invested in some pretty special shoelaces from Maverick Laces, the King of all Laces.

A bit of gold spray, some masking tape and the super special royal blue laces and this is the result.

I will be dazzling the school yard this winter!



The Captain Barnacles Suit

Bertie and I are off to see the Octonauts stage show this week. In honour of this epic event in our social calendar, I made him a Captain Barnacles outfit!  It was a real mishmash of patterns, the top is part of a girls dress and the pants are my favourite ‘Parsley Pants‘ pattern from Made by Rae. I used poly cotton for the main pieces in the two blue colours and decorated with wool felt.  The zip is by far the best feature, it’s a 1960’s zip found in a charity store in York (UK) for 50 pence. He is pretty pleased with it, having slept in it for days!