Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Marbled Sketchbooks

In July I attended an amazing 6-hour workshop to learn how to marble paper. I ended up with over twenty beautiful marbled papers which have been patiently waiting for me to do something with them. I decided to make some easy machine-sewn notebooks (my first set are here) and set to work to produce a bunch that I can include in my Christmas stockings in a few weeks time!

I bundled them into pairs and taped strips of tracing paper around them printed with 'CJ Made hand-marbled notebook'. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best ones!

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Up-cycled fabric gift bags

What do you do when a pair of your favourite PJ's get a huge rip in them? I could have patched them up, but instead, I decided to up-cycle them into six fabric gift bags to put Christmas presents in!

I simply cut the legs into four sections and then sewed along the bottom to create a fabric bag. The hem along the bottom of the legs created a casing that I threaded ribbon through to make drawstring bags. The remaining bags are simply tied with ribbons on the outside. I managed to use ribbons that I've had in my stash for a long time which makes this little project totally free!

A great stash buster and helps you use those worn out clothing items in your wardrobe into something useful that your family and friends will appreciate and hopefully use again!

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Crochet and Culture at the Fashion and Textiles Museum

I attended a fabulous workshop at the Fashion and Textiles Museum in the last week of October to learn how to crochet with the absolutely lovely knitwear designer Katie Jones. She delivered a 3-hour session with the help of her mum where she taught us the basics of crochet and by the end of the session we had all made a crochet necklace.

We used t-shirt yarn in a variety of colours which is a pretty chunky type of yarn made from recycled t-shirts. Due to the thickness of the yarn you created a decent amount of crochet in a short space of time.

Here are some photos of my progress.

Learning how to get into the rhythm of a continuous chain 
The first row was 20 stitches long

My first attempt at adding a new colour to the second row. Still too early to tell if I have done this correctly!?
The finished piece after a third grey row. This final yarn was VERY chunky which gives the illusion of extra volume but it's exactly the same stitch as before

On the first Friday of November, I attended a talk by Amber Butchart on the 'Chronicles of Fashion' her most recent book. She is an associate fashion lecturer at the London College of Fashion and also presented the BBC programme 'A Stitch in Time'. 
Amber spoke about a number of the best-dressed people from history she has selected when writing the book which covers over 100. The talk was extremely interesting and engaging and at the end of the evening, I bought her book which she kindly signed!

The ticket to the event also included entry to the current exhibition 'Night and Day; 1930's Fashion and Photographs' which has an abundance of absolutely glorious bias cut, beaded and embroidered dresses. A true feast for the eyes! I would highly recommend you pay a visit. The exhibition continues until 20th January 2019.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Fashion Life Drawing Class at Cass Art Islington

I enjoyed a great evening art class at Cass Art on the 17th October. The event is hosted by the lovely illustrator Francesco La Ianoco who organises a gorgeous model and a graduate fashion designer to showcase some amazing outfits.

We were treated to the striking fashion by Maddy Stringer who has produced the most stunning PVC coats that were vividly coloured and wildly sculptural. Check out the photos and a selection of my studies below. The evening was split into a series of 10-minute and 15-minute poses with two contrasting outfits. I used a variety of media including watercolour pencils, marker pens, inks, oil pastel and watercolours.

A 5-minute study in oil pastel, pro-marker and watercolours
A 10-minute sketch with pro-marker and watercolours
20-minute sketch with oil pastel, pro-markers and watercolours

A 10-minute sketch with pro-markers and watercolours
A 5-minute study in watercolours
A 10-minute sketch with pro-markers and watercolours

A 10-minute sketch in oil pastel and pro-markers
A 15-minute sketch in watercolours and pro-markers
A 5-minute sketch in oil pastel and chalk-pencil
A 10-minute sketch in pro-markers
A 10-minute sketch in watercolour
I thoroughly enjoyed my evening at Cass Art whiling away two hours with paints and marker pens. I would highly recommend going to any type of life drawing class if you like drawing and painting because it really challenges you in new and interesting ways. The structural construction of Molly Stringer's garments was such fun to draw!

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Adventures in Rye

My friend Charlotte and I had the most glorious October escape away from London last weekend in East Sussex. Rye is a beautiful town with red tiled housing and cobbled streets. It is steeped with history at every corner and was a visual feast for the eyes.

The morning was spent walking around the town popping into charity and antique shops. I bought some vintage Sylko sewing threads for 50p each which was a little bargain. There was a fab craft fair at the Old Literary Society building where I spend a very reasonable £10 on some gorgeous hand-crafted pottery for Christmas presents.

Amazing views were seen from atop the Bell Tower at St. Mary's Parish church which is a highly recommended thing to do. We had lunch at a lovely cafe called The Fig which served gorgeous fresh salads and hand-made quiche and cakes. The afternoon was spent enjoying the sun and sea at Camber Sands. We took the local bus to the coast and had such a relaxing afternoon soaking up the sun and paddling in the sea. I couldn't believe that the sea actually felt warm considering it was October!

I hope you enjoy the photos I took during my weekend including some fast and fun 15-minute watercolour paintings of the coastline looking out towards the headland at Hastings.