Tuesday, 3 March 2015

mini trench coat

I made a trench coat years ago. I still wear it a lot but it really needs a new lining. I'm dreaming of a colourful one, the lining I have is black and falling apart at the seams.

Last week I made a mini trench coat. Have you ever designed clothes for dolls? Its so much fun to try to translate a normal sized pattern to mini. I used this tutorial about how to draft a sloper, and also got inspiration from this post about sewing a trench coat for a doll. A sloper is a pattern that is made to exactly fit your doll, so that clothes will fit well. Its fascinating :-). Since my fox isn't shaped like a person (well, I guess it is shaped more like a person than a fox), this means the trench coat fits the proportions of the fox.
Once I had the sloper I looked at a pattern for a trench coat and basically sketched out the pattern over the sloper, simplifying a bit as I went. I used a pattern from one of my burda magazines.

I love the finished coat, it has real working pockets, little belt loops, epaulets and gorgeous lining. I used a swatch of my cat damask fabric for the lining and a bit of leftover fabric from this project for the coat. And of course if you want to, you can sew the fox yourself with my cut-and-sew pattern. Let me know if you try a trench coat too!

Saturday, 28 February 2015

a cut and sew fox

The fox is finished! I got the fabric in the mail a few days ago and sewed it together. One of our seat cushions got raided for stuffing, but other than that it was straightforward sewing. I took lots of pictures of the process in order to write a tutorial. Will post that soon, but for now, here's the finished fox. The fabric is for sale in my shop.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

a Teumessian fox

I haven't entered any spoonflower contests for a long time, because I've been busy with other things (editing and revising mostly) but this week's contest really inspired me and I started doing bits and pieces a few weeks ago and finally finished my design just in time to enter. Every once in a while spoonflower has a cut-and-sew contest, which means, instead of just designing a pattern, you need to design a pattern for a three dimensional object as well. This week its stuffed animals, more specifically, mythical stuffed animals. I've always wanted to design a pattern for a stuffed animal, and have been playing around with ideas (and a few small prototypes) for years, so this time I finally started turning some sketches into drafts into prototypes into a finished design. I like it when I spend a lot of time on something over the course of a few weeks and feel like the finished product is what I had envisioned at the beginning.

Here is some of the process:

I ended up making three different prototypes, changing the shape of the pattern or the way I put it together each time.

As you can (hopefully!) tell, its a little fox. I was looking for mythical creatures when I started and came across a fox that inspired me - the Teumessian fox from greek mythology that was turned into the constellation Canis Minor.  I was also inspired by the foxes that live behind our house. Sometimes you can see them sleeping beside the train tracks in the sun.

Once I had the pattern finalised I transferred it to the computer and started the fun process of adding colour and design. I also designed a little dress for the fox to wear. 

You can see the finished design here, where it will be for sale soon. I ordered a quarter yard of the fabric on linen-cotton canvas and am eagerly awaiting it so I can sew the fox with the real fabric and then write a tutorial for anyone who wants to buy the fabric and make the fox. So, more soon hopefully! 

Be sure to check out the other designs in the contest and vote, it starts tomorrow. 

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

felt hair clip

Just after Christmas I started sketching ideas for more little things to make with felt. I came up with this little sketch of a cherry blossom and a leaf, thinking of making it into a little felt hair clip. Now I finally put it together. This is a rough draft, I want to refine it a bit, and then maybe make a pattern / tutorial.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

inspiration and learning

One of the main focuses of my blog is to share things I learn (for instance through the tutorials I post) and places where I find inspiration for designs.

I love to browse through the library, picking up books about design, artists, knitting, gardening, cooking etc. When I have a bit of time at home I leaf through the books, get inspired and learn new things.
I love design reference books and have recently started analysing how designs are put together by sketching elements of the design. Actually putting a pencil to paper helps me to see better how the design works.

In the bottom picture there is a book I borrowed about the history of Morden and Merton. The house in the picture is where liberty fabric used to be printed. After looking that up I came across Merton Abbey Mills, close to where we live and a place I'd like to visit some time!

Monday, 12 January 2015

tea towel calendar

I posted earlier about my tea towel calendar design for 2015. Since I gave a few tea towels as christmas gifts, I didn't want to post photos in December. Here is a picture of the finished tea towel. I ordered the linen cotton canvas and hemmed the edges. The fabric is now available for sale in my shop.

Friday, 9 January 2015

inkscape tutorial - create a union of different objects

When I work in inkscape it's often helpful to create a union of different objects. This is similar to grouping them, but rather than creating a group of different objects, a union functions as one object. This is useful if you have many small objects in a design like the dots on my rosehips below.
Inkscape seems to be a bit buggy when it comes to very large files with many groups of objects. Reducing the number of groups helps when working with large designs.

Step 1: Decide which objects you want to create a union with. All the little dots on the rosehips are single objects. I want to be able to manipulate the colours more quickly, and want lines of dots to function as single objects so that I can more easily change colours and move the dots around.
Step 2: Select all the objects.
Step 3: Under path click on union. Or use the keyboard shortcut CMD +
Step 4: The row of dots now functions as one object. Change the colour, or move the object to a different position.

ps. do you like the pattern? Its one I've been working on the last few weeks. I'll share more when its done.