Flower Obsession

It started with a book ‘Kanashi in Bloom’ and then became an obsession. During the last couple of weeks flower power has hit the sewing room! I have probably made around 60 odd flowers, each one a learning curve and then taking me in new directions. If only they had a perfume my sewing room would be a fragrant, floral haven.

It started with Kanashi which is the fabric origami equivalent. Kanzashi is a traditional Japanese art form of folding and stitching fabric petals for use as beautiful decorations. You can buy all sorts of makes from companies like Clover but there is really no need as it is quite a simple method to make without any additional help.

Kanzashi1I made these flowers using a variety of different Kanashi techniques – these are great for stash busting all those odds and ends of fabric that we all have lurking. Not enough to make a garment from but too much fabric to throw away!

My interest now moved on to other ways to make flowers from fabric so researched the internet and my many sewing magazines and books to find other methods. I then produced these which are similar to the Kanashi flowers but do not require any folding:

Fabric BloomNice but still moving on I found a great tutorial on YouTube for flowers using the ‘burnt’ method. That was it I was off to QD to purchase a plethora of tealights.


Burnt1Aren’t these pretty and so much fun – these were used with leftover lining material. I then moved on to roses:


By now I really had the bit between my teeth and then started making loads with different themes, using jewellery and bits and bobs from the sewing room – combining flowers to make corsages, adding wire for floral displays etc. Some of these are, in my opinion, a bit tacky as the gold material I used is a bit strong but this was just for fun and kept me amused for hours and hours!




Finally I had the great idea of combining a few to make a fabric corsage:


Homage to Edson Raupp

This is my self-drafted, put together bag which is a homage to Edson Raupp. The bag is made from a man’s jacket – the front of the bag is from the 2 front jacket panels and the flap is made from the sleeve. You can see more of Edson Raupp’s bag on the Suitcase Website


On the back I took the front lapels and stitched them together and added a fake handkerchief from the material I used for the lining and straps. I wanted to give the bag a more feminine look although Edson Raupp bags are unisex.

012009Edson Raupp is an ingenious designer who saw the potential in recycling men’s suits, bought from charity shops in London, and turning them into hardwearing and very useable unisex bags. I first came across his bags on a visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum shop in London. I was intrigued with the design and decided to have a go at making one for myself. First, take one man’s no longer required jacket! I found mine in a Marks and Spencer Outlet. They have a great clearance sale and this jacket – brand new – was £9! This is cheaper than the used jackets found in charity shops. I do have a confession to make as Steve bought the jacket for his son. Unfortunately the sleeves were too long for him so I volunteered to shorten them until I remembered Edson Raup! As a sidenote I did get permission from Steve to use the jacket as a bag before I set to it with my seam ripper!


I wasn’t sure how this bag was going to work out so didn’t really have a plan so just got to it with my seam ripper and pulled the thing apart. Actually it was quite interesting to see how the jacket was put together. Once I pulled it apart I just cut out the panels I wanted and made up a simple messenger bag.


I am really pleased with it although if I were to make another one I would do things a little bit differently. I now have a plan and a method for making the bag.

I am going to enter this bag into the Pattern Review Handbag Contest so please pop over there and give me your support! The latter is barefaced begging!!

The London Collection

Weight Loss: 4lbs Weight Loss to Go: 14lbs

Well the weight is coming off slowly and since I am on a no clothes making until I lose weight embargo now was the perfect time to fulfil my intentions with this London theme fabric from Makower.

I spent last week cutting out everything and making sure  I had all the extra bits – it really peeves me that despite a huge stash of fabrics, patterns and notions I never seem to have the right colour of zip, the right bias binding when I go to make something. I then have a mercy dash to John Lewis to find that they don’t have what I am looking for so I go online – then have to wait for the parcel and by this time I have gone off the whole idea! Anyway to my amazement I had everything I needed in my stash!

I started with an A4 cover for my notebook:


This is an adaptation from an article in Molly Makes Issue 9 – I have already made some of the paperback covers. This is a nice, fun project that only takes about half an hour to sew and a great stash buster for those oddments of fabric. Have you noticed the little telephone box attached to the handle – I picked these up in the works for 99p each.


I start my creative writing course tonight and will be taking this along to record all those wonderful pieces of writing the course will inspire. I am a bit nervous as never tried anything like this before but will post how I get along.

I will be putting my folder in this simple tote bag but learnt a lesson with this one – always know what you are going to do before you start as I was going to put red leather straps on the bag but then decided at the last minute that the quality of the bag didn’t really warrant putting £13 straps on and they would be better served elsewhere which meant that I had to unpick the bag  in order to push the straps in – I tried putting them on the outside but it was really messy and I couldn’t get the bottom of the strap to sit at a right angle properly. However I did add a post box keyring to the straps for an extra touch.


Lastly but not least I made 2 easy peasy purses (or that is how Lisa Lam describes them) from a pattern I purchased as part of a kit from Lisa. The kit comes complete with fabric and all notions plus some very detailed instructions. I managed to completely screw this up the first time by sewing the purse upside down – from which there was no recovery – and then wondering why it didn’t fit in the frame! I really must pay attention to instructions in the future. Anyway I made these very quickly but then came to the glueing part! Oh my! Glue was everywhere – on my hands, on my cutting mat – but still pleased with the results.