Friday, February 27, 2015

A dreadful error part 1

What I Wore Today

Hello everyone, happy Friday! It's feeling entirely sunny and Springlike in London today, and I got the best seat on the top deck of the bus, the better to see it all from.

Today I have that Friiiiiday fashion feeling! I am a fashion plate:

On a scale of E to EXCELLENT I give today's outfit an EXCELLEN - coveted extra T to be added if my stupid hair calms down and stops looking bonkers (hair not shown on cat model).

Anyone else wearing a super Friday ensemble they feel good about?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Fabric Design competition shortlist!

My fairies fabric design has made the shortlist of the By Hand London fabric design competition! By Hand London are a really super indie pattern company who are now printing their own fabrics too. Their Anna Dress is one of my favourite patterns I've made so far

There is a vote on their blog now - the pattern with the most votes by this Friday, 13th February will be the winner! And then their fabric will get printed - too super!

If you have time and the inclination, it would be lovely if you could go to the 

to vote. 

Thank you! 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Two Darling Ranges Dresses

I love Megan Nielsen's pattern for the Darling Ranges dress - I'm really liking button front dresses and blouses, and now that I have a new sewing machine with a one-step buttonhole stitch, it's a breeze as well. I liked the slightly old fashioned look of the Darling Ranges, and figured it might suit me and be a useful day dress. But my first attempt was fairly hopeless and frustrating - I messed up the neckline somehow, perhaps partly it being my first go at self made bias binding - I don't know. Either way I got furious with it, and left it unfinished and hanging up by my desk, where it could think about what it had done.

Deciding to tackle it again marked the first time I really bothered unstitching long lines of sewing, which felt like crossing a mental barrier for me. I'm trying to slow down with my sewing, and take time to get things right or correct things that go horribly wrong. And Megan Nielsen's detailed sewalong on her website really helped to break down the bias binding steps, so that the next attempt worked far better. 

The first dress is in a shirting cotton from Goldhawk Road, which I think was about £5 a metre, so I didn't feel too scared about using it. I had to make a couple of adjustments, taking 1cm off the shoulders and putting a small dart in the back - my first alterations! 

I transferred the changes to my paper pattern, and made up a toile of the bodice to check I'd got it right before making the second dress in a more expensive shirting from The Cloth House on Berwick Street. I also added 2" to the hem, as I'm all about the knee-length skirt these days.

These buttons are handmade ceramic chaps from my button box - I think made by my grandmother. I tried to grade the colours as they went down, which I think was more or less successful! 

I'm learning, slowly, how different fabric looks once it's in finished form to what you imagine when it's on the bolt. I loved this shirting, which is quite rich in colour and textured like soft elephant skin - but made into this dress I think it just looks like denim or chambray. Which I love, but isn't the look I was going for. Learning learning! I'm starting a short trouser course at Sew Over It this week, so I'll share the results of that if all goes well!

Thank you Els for the photos!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Fabric pattern

By Hand London is running a competition until tomorrow midnight, to design a fabric pattern for their new pattern line. The theme is Once Upon a Dream - it's pretty dreamy to combine illustration and fabric! I think this went too kiddy really - might be nice for a child's shirt or dress? And I was trying to make it adult, darn it! I was thinking of toile colours and patterns... anyway, here it is. Wish me luck!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Friday, January 23, 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015

Back in the Saddle

Happy bright, cold Monday! I had a couple of commissions for Christmas this year which I thought I could post now.

This was based on a Norman Rockwell, and is now the third pastiche of him I've done. Can't be done enough I think!

Norman Rockwell - Triple Self Portrait, 1960

The one below is a portrait commission of some lovely cats, Scout, Al and Coco!

And in really happy news, the keyboard that I spilled a whole beer over at the office Christmas party, resulting in a complete lack of capital "i"s, has miraculously regenerated over the holiday! A New Year's miracle, no doubt.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Beautiful Digby model!

I just received a most super surprise parcel from the lovely illustrator Rachel Clowes. Her son Harry made a model of Olive in clay a while back - and here is his Digby Dog! He comes with a separate stand, and uses it a treat. He's so special, thank you Harry and Rachel, I love him and will treasure him!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sewing Round-Up

Happy New Year!

I wanted to share two new things that I've sewed in the past few weeks on my new sewing machine.

First up is the Anna Dress pattern from By Hand London. I've seen a few lovely ones of these made up, and wanted to try one in chambray. It's not very seasonal, but it fit pretty well straight away. My fitting knowledge is currently fairly non-existent, and it is the big sewing thing I want to work on this year. But in the meantime it's good to have things that don't need adjusting.

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22" invisible zip down the back, worked a treat

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Nice flared skirt

Next project was the Hudson Pant by True Bias patterns. I'm SO INTO THIS ONE! Really comfy, really easy to put together (and ahem no seam finishing because I'm imagining this jersey won't fray??!) Lovely spotty ponte roma fabric from Fabric Godmother

I want to make more of these for sure.

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Dancin' pants

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Radical spot close up

I am starting to realise that I need to sew things I actually want to wear often, and I'm trying to work out how to do this. I'm still far far away from being able to look at most of the pattern photos and imagine what I could make from them that would suit me. Which is why the wealth of wonderful sewing blogs out there is SO great. I think I want to work a 40s-comedy clown-rock-Molly Ringwald-Jersey wives-wearing lots of "T"s for Tor Look. So that's my sewing plan for 2015!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Co-edition giveaway - FINISHED

This is now finished, thanks for playing guys!

I have some extra Digby co-editions, so I'm wondering if anyone would like some multilingual Digby action? 

If you're interested, please leave a comment in the box below specifying which language you'd like, by midday on Monday 5th January. If there's more takers than books per language, I'll pull names from a hat, chapeau, hattu or Hut!

I can post free to Europe, but for anywhere further postage to be paid by winner please, by Paypal or bank transfer.

Plus two copies of the Toucans in German!

Butterfly friend for moth, by Karen Wall!

Karen Wall, who made the beautiful moth from Ambrose Goes for Gold that I blogged about here, has made a butterfly to go with him! Isn't he completely beautiful? I love the photo of them both together - combining children's books and sewing, what a lovely thing.

Thank you Karen!

They reminded me again of the work of one of my favourite artists, Mimi Kirchner. I covet her sailor and lumberjack dolls... she's just posted a round up of her dolls from 2014, so now is a good time to check out her blog if you haven't seen it before!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


It's been nice going through old work to update my website (that sounds contradictory - but I guess some of the old stuff still seems relevant, and it's nice not to have it buried in my blog). 

I found this picture of Molly Ringwald, looking stylish as always... her character in Pretty in Pink was the reason I started sewing aged 15, and has been the longest running style influence in my life. I used to think about making myself a WWJD-style bracelet for when I was clothes shopping - if ever I was unsure of what to buy: WWMW - What Would Molly Wear?

Sunday, December 7, 2014


I had such a lovely day at Hifest in Hastings yesterday. I went with Alice and Barney, and shared their table, and their snacks. I met so many great people. The organisers had done an excellent job of spreading the word and getting people through the door - it was a great turnout, especially for the first year.

As usual, Al and Barney were the best company. They were there with their new collective, Pinch Press - check out their stuff! And Barney's new graphic novel, Beetroot, is out any day now. I was lucky enough to see an advance copy yesterday - it is SUPER, and I can't wait to get my own copy!

Some of the wares I was selling 

 Setting up our stall! 

Al and Barney manning the stand

The quality of other exhibitors was really wonderful - I could've ended up spending any money I made, but limited myself to these great pieces - the vase screen print is by Melissa Castrillon, the house with yellow moons by Somin Ahn (I love it - where is that house? What's happening? Why are those pigs hanging around???) and this brilliant card by Benjamin Phillips - a real pet portrait! Lovely lady dog.

I'm already looking forward to next year, and will plan to spend longer there and see Hastings. I can hardly feel walking from the carpark to the exhibition hall crossed it off my list...!

**Soundtrack: Absolute Crock: Tush, ZZ Top**

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


I've practically finished the book I've been working on! So it's on to new things... this Saturday is Hifest in Hastings. I'll be there with half a table and bits and bobs to sell. Come along, O please do!

 I've finally worked out how to use my printer, thanks to a top paper tip from Emma Farrarons - so I'll have some digital prints, I think mostly on A5, with me. 

Some of these lizard guys for sure:

I've also given my website a good makeover, through Cargo. It's at the same place as ever:

and now has space for books and everything else that my coding wasn't quite up to including on the last site. Please check it out! 

And lastly, here are some ballet cats, for no good reason. A palette cleanser, maybe. 

Plus I've been trying to draw hermit crabs and those dudes are HARD.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Iguana make a riso

Of this guy... thinking about colours. Oh, which to chose! Should he even BE a riso??
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