Friday, 22 September 2017

Go green

Go green with this fabulous envelope clutch bag! It's made from a vintage Japanese obi fabric using a simple green and white geometric design.

The bag is nice and roomy and is held closed with a silver magnet closure.

I've used a fabulous bright green satin for the lining which creates a great flash of colour when the bag is opened.

This bag makes a perfect match with my green jeans!

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Decorex 2017

London Design Week is in full force and it's always difficult to decide which show to go to in a busy schedule. This time I chose to dip into the Decorex show at Syon Park. It's actually very close to where I live, but I'd never been to it before. It was great to dip in and get inspired about upcoming interior trends both for print and pattern, but also for colour palette and home styling.

As soon as I walked in the door I was met with a sea of vibrant colour on the Mathew Williamson stand. He has designed a stunningly rich home collection for Osborne & Little which you can see above. I also loved the rich colours on Margo Selby stand which you can see below. She uses fabulous geometric designs in woven fabrics.

In contrast, the Barneby Gates designs use a lovely natural linen to print bold images and geometric designs onto, using bright pinks and corals.

They had hung their pretty coral fabrics against an ivy design wallpaper in soft greys which you can see below. Such a lovely colour combination.

Fanny Shorter also used a similar style of simple two-colour designs in interesting colour combinations which you can see below in reds and greys. I like the use of block printing influences in both designers. Check out her website to see some beautifully bright and rich colour combinations using nature-inspired prints as well.

Woodland animals are still a popular theme and I spotted these jolly cushions at the Prestigious Textiles stand. 

I also saw a lot of nature-inspired floral prints and loved the oversized floral designs by Abigail Borg that come in a soft colour palette of pink, green and lilac.

Charlotte Gaisford, below, used a traditional design inspiration of Indian woodblock prints but with a fresher colour palette that is very easy to use for the home.

I love the designs by Mini Moderns and their stand (below) stood out as being simple and modern with a fab fun colour palette of orange and yellow with a shot of grey.

The Santorus stand was quite a contrast to the Mini Moderns one, with an opulent colour palette and dramatic imagery, using elephants and tropical birds.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Mary Katrantzou

London Fashion Week is now drawing to an end and I've been coveting some of the collections online. I'm always drawn to the designs of Mary Katrantzou who is a pioneer of print and colour. Her latest Spring 2018 collection was no exception, with a full spectrum of bright colours and floral prints. She often draws her inspiration from her childhood, growing up in the 80s and has used Lego influences, as well as painting by numbers and even a few crocheted pieces in her collection.

The stunning floral above has been combined with a sporty nylon rainwear fabric.

I love this form-fitting crochet dress above. Who said crochet couldn't be sexy?!

I always gravitate to bright colours and the outfit above uses all my favourite colours. I love the Lego-influenced skirt design and flamingo handbag.

The outfit above uses another traditional technique - quilting.

The outfits above and below use a fabulously overblown floral. I love the way that some of the florals are kept as black and whites to give the feel of painting by numbers.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Scarlet stunner

I've just added this double sided scarlet stunner to my store. It's a decorative scarf made from vintage Japanese kimono fabrics in a colour palette of reds and creams. On one side I have pieced together a variety of patterns and designs. On the other side I have used a red and cream kimono fabric that incorporates maple leaves, houses and a stream. It is mentioned in another post here.

The scarf is very decorative and bright and looks great draped around the neck.

It's 204 cm long which means it's long enough to go around the neck twice. Because it's double-sided, it looks great however you decide to drape it.

I love the vibrant red colour and have used a few fabrics that add some extra colour, such as yellow and green. You can see this in the chrysanthemum design and in the backing fabric.

Up close, you can see the delicacy of the design. The flowers below have a very light tint of pink, yellow and blue, but it's only been added in certain sections so as not to overwhelm the design with colour.

I love the stylised design of the chrysanthemums below, and the fact that some of them are coloured and some are just left as an outline.

You can find this beauty in my store here.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Marc Jacobs

New York Fashion Week has now come to an end with Marc Jacobs' ready to wear collection being one of the last. He was inspired by tropical prints and colours which looked stunning against the backdrop of the cavernous armoury. Apparently there was no music soundtrack, just the sound of the swishing of fabric. It's great to see such a wide use of print and pattern and the gorgeously bright colour palette.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Sew simple

I've recently been adding this little collection of items to my store. Each piece is made from a tape measure fabric that I designed for Makower UK a while ago and I love the bright colour combination. I decided to use a sweet little green and white cotton button lining to match the outer fabric, which compliments it perfectly. These items would make the perfect gift for any sewing addict! 

The card case is lightly padded and perfect for storing credit cards, business cards or travel cards.

The coin purse is big enough for storing small change, but also makes a perfect headphone case.

The glasses case is lightly padded and could also be used as a pencil case or as a makeup bag.

The tissue holder is a fun way to store tissues and the bright colours makes it easy to locate.

You can find all items in my store here.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Kimono heaven

I received a lovely package from Japan yesterday and now I'm in kimono heaven! I ordered these two lovely kimonos from Litre, a shop on Etsy that specialises in vintage kimonos amongst tother things. These will be perfect for using to make my clutch bags and scarves that I sell in my store, although it's going to be very painful for me to cut them up!

The first kimono is a stunning multi colour floral kimono with touches of gold here and there. It's pretty short, so I'm guessing it was a child's kimono.

There are so many lovely colours in it that I can use to co-ordinate with other colours. When I make my scarves I love to mix them up with a combination of kimono fabrics.

The second kimono is red and cream and much longer, so this would have been an adult's kimono.

I love the touches of green and yellow in the design.

If you look closer, you can see the detail. There are maple leaves and blossoms that are a traditional Japanese motif, but you can also see houses and a stream nestled amongst the foliage.

The kimonos were beautifully parcelled up and came with a selection of lovely items including a hand-written note from the owners and a selection of postcards and stickers. Lucky me!

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Golden delicious

While I was in Switzerland recently I dipped into a lovely little fabric shop and came out with this delicious gold and cream cotton fabric. It uses a traditional Japanese geometric motif which I think will work really well with some of my vintage Japanese obi fabrics.

I've been foraging through my extensive collection and I've found a few obi fabrics that contain gold and will match perfectly with the fabric I bought. This will be the ideal combination for making an evening purse or clutch bag.

Many of the obi designs use stylised motifs. The design of the orange and gold obi above is based on a chrysanthemum flower which has been incorporated into a diamond shape.

I love the black and gold cotton obi above. It's a vintage piece but looks so modern.

I love the stunning orange of the obi above. Now I just need to decide which colour I'm going to use for the lining.

I will probably combine the two fabrics to create a bag like the clutch bag above, where the obi fabric becomes a central insert and the gold and cream fabric will be on either side. Watch this space!

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Stunning Switzerland

This weekend I was lucky to go on a fabulous whirlwind trip to Luzern in Switzerland to visit my dear friend Catherine who I've known since I was 5 years old! She has lived there for 8 years now, and moved there around the same time that I moved to Japan. We went through similar experiences of settling in, but I moved back to the UK four years ago and she is still living in Switzerland. I thought it was about time that I made a trip there, and how lovely it was! I stayed with her and her family in their lovely apartment in the hills just outside Lucerne, a walking distance into the town, along the lakeside.

On Sunday, the weather was gorgeous, so we decided to head into the mountains via a boat trip along the lake. I loved the way that all the small settlements hugged the shoreline, mainly because the mountains suddenly soared up into the sky, and it was the only place to be. Having said that, there were still homes, nestled up in the mountains with stunning views.

We got off the boat at Vitznau and took a little train up the Rigi mountainside. The views were stunning!

We got off near the top of the mountain and worked our way down the gravel path and taking in the view and beautifully clean air. I was mesmerised by the pretty cows that scattered the hillside. Each one wears the traditional cow bell and you can hear them echoing around you.

A short walk down the mountain took us to the beautifully modern Mineral Baths and Spa at Kaltbad where we spent a few hours. There was a wonderful choice of heated waters to wallow in, including an outdoor space with a stunning view over the mountains. My favourite room was the salt bath where you lie suspended in a quiet dark room with a calming blue ceiling.

After a few hours in the spa we headed back down Rigi mountain via the cable car, with more stunning views of the surrounding mountains and then headed back home on the boat, basking in the afternoon sun.

Needless to say, I ate and drank well while I was in Switzerland. This lovely meal was eaten at the Hotel des Balances on the terrace overlooking the river in Luzern. I highly recommend the 'Quick Lunch' option which includes three courses like the one below.

We went out on Saturday night and had drinks at the Rathaus brewery by the river. This was our view as we sipped beer on the terrace.

Of course, being a fabric-lover, I have to sniff out the fabric stores in any town I go to. Luckily Luzern has a lovely little fabric store called Alja with a very friendly owner. I came out with a gorgeous gold and white fabric which I will mention in my next post. Below is a little sample of what she sells. I love the bright colours and geometric designs.

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