Crafts

Craft as radical?

I’ve split the article up into four sections- my criticisms of radical spaces and scenes I’ve known, of the fashion industry, and of the current commercial craft revival, and then at the end explaining the ways I think doing textile crafts can be radical. In writing the article, I was specifically thinking of crafts such as sewing and knitting, both because they are things I do, and also because they are stereotypically done by women and often dismissed as silly and frivolous, but a lot of the points can apply to any handicraft. As well as dealing with the topic of crafts, it’s really more of a kind of wander round my thoughts about “radical”. The section on crafts is actually the shortest, but I’ve used it as the overall framing device. I’ll probably manage to piss off both the cliquey punx and the craft blogger people with this, but never mind. ... Read More...

Patchwork quilt- a work in progress

For the past six months I have been hand-sewing a new patchwork quilt for my bed to replace the worn out one my nan made for me when I was a teenager. I'm still no-where near finished, but I've done the bulk of the work. These photos are from my Instagram account over the past few months, so they're not as sharp as if I'd taken DSLR photos of the work.... Read More...

How to design and make a skirt in any size

I wanted to learn how to make things for ipads, so I've rejigged an old zine of mine with improved instructions and colour diagrams. It has step by step instructions and diagrams for drafting a skirt pattern to your own personal size, whatever that may be, and then making the skirt. For anyone really who would like to have skirts, but struggles to find any they like or that fit, and who would like some help with sewing.... Read More...

Fabric designs

I finally got the printing samples back of the fabrics I designed. They are all available on Spoonflower, a print on demand fabric site. I was very pleased with the end results. I was a little nervous about how they would come out, because I didn't stick to the recommended colour palette from the site, but the colours came out exactly as I wanted. You can order them as fat quarters or by the meter/yard. I recommend getting them printed on the kona cotton. If you do order any fabric, make sure to wash it on a delicate cycle with a less harsh detergent like ecover.... Read More...

Fabric stash

I have a lot of fabric. Mostly remnants from charity shops or from my nan's stash (she was a dressmaker / tailor). I haven't done any sewing this year, because I lost a lot of weight in February due to a nasty bout of gastritis, and it seemed silly to make something that would later be too small, or to try to guess at what my normal fitting would be. I'm back to my normal weight now though, so I can go ahead.... Read More...

Prague Puppet Shop

Puppetry is a big thing in the Czech Republic. As well as being the home of Jan Švankmajer and Jiří Trnka, there are a few puppet shops in the Old Town in Prague selling the work of local puppet artists. I'm afraid I didn't get the names of the artists who made these ones I photographed. I really wanted to buy a small puppet, they weren't hugely expensive, but I didn't have much chance of getting it home in one piece, so I reluctantly gave it a miss.... Read More...

Haberdashery

I'm currently at my grandparent's place in West Sussex. I picked up some teaching work in Germany over the summer (and some as yet unknown other destinations too), so I gave up my sublet room, put my stuff in storage for the summer, left London for a while, and am spending the next 10 days wandering around Kent and Sussex until I fly off. My grandparents' place is in a small village called Aldwick near Bognor. There's a shingle beach, lots of bungalows and old people, and hydrangeas everywhere. It's about 3 minutes from a very quiet beach (apparently Robert Smith lives here too, but I haven't seen him). My nan died last year, and my grandad is now in a home, with dementia, so the house belongs to my mum and aunt. They are currently refurbishing it and clearing out decades of things. The heavy lifting had already been done, but the other day I went through my nan's fabric stash for anything I wanted.... Read More...

I saw mushroom head, I saw skies are red

Here's a dress I recently made. I'm not very practiced at taking photos of myself, I'm usually on the other side of the camera, and it felt very awkward (and that's probably why I look so bad tempered). The remote control only cost £3, and has to be pointed directly at the camera, which doesn't help. It also didn't help that I don't have any space to use the 50mm lens, so I had to use the 28mm, which is really not a good idea around faces, especially if you've recently been having sinus trouble like I have, with the resulting puffy hamster face. None of the photos facing front were at all to my liking, and the ones from the back just emphasised my scoliosis, so you're not seeing those either. I still need to finish off the hem and the sleeve edging, I prefer to slip-stitch those by hand.... Read More...