Tag Archives: style

Pili-pala

(photo used with permission)

Pili-pala is butterfly in Welsh – isn’t that lovely? It’s a fluttery sort of word, somehow.

I finished the above commission for a lovely lady recently – she’d seen my Shanghai Butterfly headpiece (below) and wanted something similar in red and blue to wear to a wedding of a friend. I tracked down this gorgeous crimson silk dupion for the piece, and sewed the emerald-blue silk dupion “eyes” with hand-painted veins and detail. I’m really pleased with it, and I think the customer was too!

Shanghai Butterfly headpiece for sale here on Etsy.

I think these butterflies are possibly my favourite of all the hats and headpieces I make. Each wing is sewn separately with a thin wire frame, which means you can bend and shape it to fit the curve of your head, or have it sticking out for a bolder look – and the wire also means it flutters a little as you move!

I’ve made big ones, small ones, and teeny ones that fit on hair slides so far – and have also started branching out into dragonflies! With a thinner and more defined shape, the dragonflies make a slightly bolder statement than the butterflies – smaller but with more impact! I was recently commissioned to make one in peach silk with brown and gold detail, and it looked really lovely. (Hopefully post pictures soon).

I’m open to commissions on both the dragonfly and butterfly headpieces, so if you’d like one or know anyone who’d like one please drop me an email! Granted I can source the fabric (or in some cases dye it to achieve the right shade) I can make them in any colour you might like. The upside of commissioning your own headpiece is that you can have input in all the design features – and know for sure that no one else will have anything quite like it atop their heads! Think of all those dreadfully dull “fascinators” and hats at the Royal Wedding earlier this year! BORING! These are individual, hand-made, and made to suit you.

Enough self-publicity? Okay. I’ll just leave you with this lovely photograph by Adam Hobden, with the lovely Sophia Louise modelling my Shanghai Butterfly hat at a bridal shoot last summer – wouldn’t it look gorgeous on a bride?

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Winter warmers

At this time of year I always find myself longing for autumn, my favourite season. I get homesick for the countryside – cosy nights by the fire hearing the rain and wind on the window panes, smelling woodsmoke and wet leaves on walks outside. I love the shorter days, the autumn colours and (when we’re lucky) the crisp bright mornings. But I also really love the autumn clothing – lovely knit scarves, jumpers, gloves and hats (of course, hats, this is me we’re talking about). I’ve never been much of a knitter but I just love making things – and I especially love it when you can take something like a ball of wool and turn it from a long thin bit of nothing to a piece of clothing – something that can be worn, something practical, something with a purpose. It’s the same kind of amazement I get from turning a felt cone into a blocked hat, that alchemic moment when it becomes something other than the separate parts, and as if by magic it’s transformed into one single object.

So I’ve picked up my knitting needles once more and tried to progress from something other than a scarf in the most basic knit stitch, which is all I’ve ever managed in the past, and began a couple of projects – one of which I’ve finished (but is top secret at this stage as it’s a gift for someone). This is what I’m going to start work on for myself soon – working with circular fixed needles, so a bit of a leap!

The pattern is by Rowan, and I’ve bought two balls of the most beautifully soft green Rowan wool for it, so I can’t wait to get started.

I’ve also always really loved knitting patterns – not the actual pattern itself as until very recently they seemed to be written in a complex code that made no sense to me at all. No, I really really love the styling and photography in these patterns, like the one below from Rowan:

Here’s one I’d love to try, by Sublime, complex as it looks, but I’d perhaps make it a bit longer and wear belted around the waist:

They remind me of Mori girls – a really lovely Japanese style genre. Normally Japanese styles are a bit too full-on for me, plus I’d find it difficult to commit completely to only one style, day in and day out – I prefer to be a jumble-sale of a girl.  But Mori girl style is really beautiful and wearable in an everyday sense, and probably the one I’d choose if I had to stick to one style for the rest of my life. It apparently means “girl of the forest” and they tend to dress in lots of vintage-y style knits, checks, soft natural fabrics and antique lace.

hudle.com

Spoon magazine

morigirls.tumblr.com

http://nyanyalea.tumblr.com/post/7411896510

And this one, because it’s just beautiful and theatrical and brilliant:

http://www.tumblr.com/tumblelog/xiaowangzi/2

Here’re those pictures and many more knitting patterns. The first lot are Rowan patterns and can be found here, and the white background ones are by Sublime available to buy here. Mori girl pictures linked above.