Monday, 9 November 2015

Pirate's Booty

Ahoy there! 
With the impending arrival of a nephew looming, lately I have been making moccasin baby booties by the gallon. This began with gifts for the aforementioned and has grown into a teeny tiny empire via social media and word of mouth (mostly my mouth). I've made quite a few pairs now and even have a small stock in Dot.Tea's Vintage Tea Boutique. Here's a few of the pairs I've made so far:

As you can see, these come in many different [exciting] colour combinations! They are great fun to make as they're so small and therefore quick, so no time for the impatient sewer to become frustrated and throw them and the machine out the window. I already have an order for another pair, so back to work it is for me! 

Friday, 6 November 2015

Blurby Blurb

There's a short blurb up about my work and experience at Hand & Lock, London on my University website today! Click to see pictures and read a little about my work:

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Hand & Lock Internship: Day 20 / Last Day

On my last day I helped Robert with a sort of 'admin' task; we worked in the military room sorting out all the laces, braids and Related Things. Here's a picture of the racks before we started:
 And here's the racks at the end of the day:
We didn't quite manage to finish them but as you can see we made a vast improvement! Here's a picture at the sort of middle stage:
We emptied each rack, re-wound and untangled everything that needed winding and de-tangling, sorted everything by colour, design and size and put them back on the shelves. They were quite mixed up so it took us a while! Some people may have found this job a little dull but I felt very satisfied seeing the cages looking so neat and tidy at the end of the day.

Unfortunately that meant I didn't have time to get creative with the goldwork materials but Janika told me that they will keep my sci-fi beading sample to show future beadwork students as inspiration. I'm really pleased about this and it's exciting to think that my work may possibly inspire others!
My finished sampler - a UFO eye view

At the end of the day everyone came together and along with some birthday celebrations, another intern and I were given sewing boxes as a leaving gift, this is mine:
It's a beautiful peacock feather print basket from Liberty! I absolutely love it and feel very lucky to have been given such a lovely gift at the end of a brilliant and super fun internship so thank you Hand & Lock!
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Thursday, 8 January 2015

Hand & Lock Internship: Day 19

Today when I arrived I was surprised to be asked whether I wanted to join in the tambour beading class; which of course I did! I'd never tried it before I was really lucky to be given the opportunity to try it out under expert supervision. First we tried out the stitches and casting on and off using only the hook and thread:
This part wasn't too difficult as it's just like a chain stitch which I have done before. After that we traced a pattern and started the beading, this was my sample by the end of the day:
A bit wonky in places but not bad for a beginner I feel... I wanted to try several techniques to make the most of the day but the sequins were the most successful and my favourite element to do... interestingly they are supposed to be the most difficult!
I was really pleased that I was asked to join in the class and had a lot of fun; I'd recommend the classes to anyone interested in embroidery or beading as it's a lovely environment to learn in and Hand & Lock really are the experts and very friendly people to boot! The full list of upcoming classes is here.

After the class I stayed on to finish my non-tambour beading sample which I blogged about previously, so here are the final pictures of that one:
It's a little difficult to see from the pictures but I ran turquoise thread through the transparent beads to add a pop of colour, matching the turquoise sequins I had used previously. I would have liked to have spent a little more time on these but since tomorrow is my last day I wanted to make sure it was finished in good time. Hopefully you can still see the sci-fi influence in the shapes I have created:
Tomorrow I'm hoping to work on some creative and experimental samples with the goldwork materials, which will be a great way to end my work experience!

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Hand & Lock Internship: Day 18

Today was primarily spent checking 28 metres worth of embroidered curtain panels for glitches and marks, so there isn't much specifically to write about! The panels had been embroidered out-of-house and needed their backings and loose threads trimmed, some minor adjustments by hand, spot checks, plus ironing, rolling and packing (there was a team of us for this job but I had a major role) so this took most of the day. I rather enjoyed working as a team though since I've been a bit of a Han Solo lately!
Other smaller tasks included key cutting and lightbulb buying, machine embroidery placements and my beadwork where I could fit it in!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Hand & Lock Internship: Day 17

Today I did a few small errands such as buying stationery, making tea for visitors and folding / packing shirts:
But mainly I continued with my creative beadwork samples. Here are some photos of what I've done so far:
As I said yesterday, I chose materials that I liked the colours and shapes of and began with this sample:
As I'd been asked to find inventive new ways of using existing stock I used the oversized sequins upside down, which sort of reminded me of satellite dishes so as I went on sampling, I made myself a mental mood board of sci-fi b-movies and tried to make new shapes and patterns that were reminiscent of UFOs or strange plants that could be growing on other planets. Here are some images that might help explain what I mean:
War Of The Worlds illustration by Edward Gorey
Plan 9 From Outer Space
I still have some more work to do on these samples but I'm enjoying the opportunity to be creative and have had some very positive feedback about them so far so I'm really happy!

Monday, 5 January 2015

Hand & Lock Internship: Day 16

This morning I began by continuing my beadwork from last week, trying new samples and finishing the old ones. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture but will add one tomorrow / later in the week!

After that Laura asked me to touch up an owl she had machine embroidered; similarly to the French Bulldog I worked on last week there were a few not-perfect areas that needed a little mending. Here is the owl before I fixed it:
Design by Hand & Lock, London
And here is the owl after I'd made a few small changes:
Can you spot the areas I hand stitched? Didn't think so! This was another piece I really enjoyed working on as the design appeals to me a lot and it was fun to work on something with such an exciting colour pallet.
The next job of the day was to take down the Christmas window that some of the other interns and I had created in December. I cleaned the window, took down all the decorations and stored them for next year and then put The Collection back in the window:
Hand & Lock's SS15 Collection
Which was no mean feat I can tell you! But The Collection is so incredible that who can complain?!

Find out more about Hand & Lock here

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Hand & Lock Internship: Days 14 & 15

Day 14 was a half day as it was New Year's Eve, so I finished Mr. / Mrs. Dawg from the previous day; filling in the remaining gaps with satin stitch (by hand), re-stitching some black detail over the top and then unpicking and trimming the excess grey area:
Finished dawg
And here's the back of him... I always find the back of embroidery works interesting, plus you can see more clearly the areas that I hand stitched (along the bottom):
I was really happy with how he turned out and so was Laura, plus I really enjoyed working on it so this was a success in every way! After that I helped with trimming threads and folding some shirts that had been machine embroidered and then it was home time.

On day 15 I was asked to make some small beading samples, my brief was that I could use whatever I liked and to be creative, so that was very exciting! Having not done much in the way of bead work I think I may have had an advantage in that I wasn't constricted by any 'rules' as such; on the other hand having no experience perhaps left me a little under-confident. I chose materials that I had colours and shapes I liked and went from there. These were two of my favourite samples:
Oversized cup sequins with bugle beads stitched inside all piled and layered up
And more 'drop' shaped beads with bugle beads all piled up. I think these were slightly inspired by my recent uni work that included one heavily embellished sample featuring broken mirrors and laser-cut shapes:
So I really enjoyed being free and creative and being able to develop an idea I had already planted some seeds for. Another job of the day was to hem a beading sample that had just been finished:
Design by Hand & Lock, London
At first I wasn't convinced that my sewing skills were up to scratch enough to make straight lines but it turns out that they are! So it was a little confidence boost to do this quickly and to a high standard, especially as it was a meshy, slippery fabric and I couldn't use pins because the holes would show up and spoil the finish. It was also important to trim it well, with all the sides being even, straight and not cut too close so as to overwhelm the design.
I was pleased with my Day 15 work and happy to end the week on a high!

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