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  1. Where is the year going?

    On Sunday 29th July, as part of the Sunday Specials Workshops I taught belt making at Queens Park Arts Centre. What a wonderful day and a great group of individuals who all made belts to fit themselves. If you enjoy crafts and creative activities then have a look at their programme. Paste this into your browser:

    https://www.qpc.org/Workshops.aspx?g=b9f167c3-4072-407b-af0f-a9d5aa77e8ad&/Sunday%20Specials%20Workshops

      QPAC Belts July 2018

     

     

     

     

  2. One of the things I have been thinking about it how to develop my shoe making. I am considering options, one of which is starting with slippers. In January 2018 I had the pleasure of meeting Ollie and Lucy from Ottowin footwear. They were running a course in London on making hand painted and decorated slippers. What a great idea! A little out of my comfort zone with having to produce some handiwork but this was a good challenge.

    handpainted inspiration  Ottowin course slippers 

    This course gave me the chance to think about where I can go next. I need soe more time to practice hand welting before starting to make for customers. I like this idea of painting and decorating the slippers. Everyone on the course had a different style. I also like the idea of making moccasins, possibly in Devon shearling. 

    At craft fairs the baby moccasins I have on my stall always draw the most comments and requests for adult sizes so I am thinking about starting there. I have also used my original lasts to try a slip on option too, see picture below. So watch this space for developments.

     bespoke leather slippers

     

  3. A few years ago I spent a weekend with Katherine Pogson at Designer Courses on one of her bag making courses https://www.designercourses.com/

    Katherine had a lovely brown bag that was made from one piece of leather. I was quite taken with this and used it as inspiration to create my own one piece. I have made a couple of these since then and then recently when meeting with a client was asked to make another one. This client was having receiving the bag as a present from a friend so we needed to be sure of her requirements. 

    Though she loved the original red bag it is not always possible to purchase the exact same leather, so you need to consider how to achieve the same result. It is similar to ordering enough fabric in a certain shade or enough paint so there is enough in the same dye lot.

    Though I was able to find a beautiful red leather I needed to extend the lining to ensure that the bag stayed upright. My client also wanted an internal pocket for her phone and magnetic clasps to hold the top together.

    bespoke bag pocket red one piece bag

    Red one piece side view bespoke bag

    The side view of the bag gives a sense of the depth. Ladies, this is not a bag to carry everything. This is a bag that is useful for anyone who likes to carry the minimum - purse, keys & phone. No fuss, just a simple bag.