Tag Archives: crafts

My Sewing Bee

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Having watched, and sort of enjoyed, The Great British Sewing Bee, I remembered making a waistcoat for a special person.

I don’t think it would pass inspection by the Bee Judges but at the time I was proud of this attempt at tailoring! It was in 1979 that my Sis got married and asked my eldest son to be her Pageboy! I made the trousers and waistcoat for the event and forced him to wear a bow tie. I remember making bound buttonholes as my machine didn’t have the facility. I was taught how to do bound buttonholes at school and have always had success with them.

Happy days!

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Scrap Booking

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Scrap booking is not a craft that I normally indulge in, but my recent Indian adventure inspired me to make a record of it. I had printed off a selection of my many photographs, bought some glue and off I went. I had purchased a beautiful note book whilst in India which is what I have used.

I collected waste silk from the dying process, ephemera from the hotels and Textile workshops and of course, photographs. All these have been added to the scrap book. I’m not quite finished because there has been much more work than I anticipated. Hubs is keen to reclaim the dining room table so complete I will. May be I could do another one on crafts??

There is a dining room table under here somewhere!

Flash Back Fri

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In an attempt to trawl through old photographs to make a scrap book of ” items that I have made” I have come across a few gems. Most can be filed under Vintage and many can be filed under ” did I REALLY wear that?”and

There are a few gems and including this Clothkits jacket that I made for my daughter in about 1986. This was a quilted jacket with a zoo theme. There was even mini stuffed animals in the pockets. Clothkits still exists as a company but with a slightly different format. The garment was printed onto the fabric and it was a matter of just cutting it out and sewing. I loved this jacket and Darling Daughter still remembers it with fondness.

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Crafts of India 3

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Whilst my trip to India was a wonderful adventure, I was extremely disappointed to find on arrival in Delhi that the block printing section had been removed from the itinerary ( as were most other people on the tour) The travel company “Colouriscious” had removed that leg of the holiday and no one realised until we arrived in Delhi. The remaining elements of the adventure however, were amazingly good.

We did see a small example of block printing when attending other workshops.

Used blocks covered in Indigo paint.

Cloth printed and partially embroidered. This fabric is destined to become a sari. When the embroidery is complete it will be washed in the river ( Which didn’t look too clean!) and dried in the sun. The washing removes the indigo print and leaves the white embroidery. It will become a beautiful, very white sari.

Bear with me! Only one more Textile Adventure blog to go!

Shopping in India

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Surajkund International Craft Fair reputed to be one of the largest in the World! It was huge! There was a great atmosphere with all ages visiting the annual fair. It felt completely safe with much friendly banter. We were the only white faces to be seen and obviously a spectacle of interest. We were constantly asked for permission for the locals to take selfies with us. I felt like a celebrity when even three policemen asked could they pose with me!

There was music everywhere, dance troupes at every corner and street food of every description.

I learned to barter which doesn’t sit easily with my shopping habit! I did, however buy pashminas, scarves and cushion covers!

It was the hottest day of the holiday but that added to the atmosphere of a never to be forgotten experience, in India.

The People of India (2)

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There was men weaving on “pit looms” the most exquisite silk saris. Their sons would often sit with them to learn the trade. The homes where this takes place, were frequently poorly lit. Interestingly they were also listening to cricket on the radio ( and India was winning!)This lady attempted to show us how to work Chiken stitch a traditional shadow stitch often worked on saris and pashminas. I tried hard but failed miserably!Market stalls were piled high with traditional textiles in eye popping colours.

Traditional crafts were apparent in the maintenance of buildings, contrasting with the poverty on the roadsides and city streets.

on my recent “Textile Treasure Hunt” to India I saw many people working long hours in often, difficult conditions. They were invariably pleasant, smiley and happy.

The People of India

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I recently had a holiday to India when I visited Delhi, Varanasi, Lucknow and Agra. It was a fantastic trip aimed at learning about Indian textiles. The experience was wonderful, enhanced by the many people that I met en route. How do they do this?.

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IMG_2478Making fishing nets , the whole family involved

IMG_2498Still working! This time assembling packets for sale Could be a knit and natter group

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The Village water supply

The Colours of India

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Just about recovered from my jet lag and thought that I would share some memories with you.We visited Surajkund International Craft Fair where there was no shortage of colour, noise, smells and people. An amazing assault on the senses, but one that I wouldn’t have missed.Beautiful textiles at every angle There was silk,wool, and cotton in a rainbow of colours, hues and shades. It would have been very rude not to buy ! So I did! ( many times!),No “Political Correctness” hereNo Magnolia here!

The Indian Terracotta Army?

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Don’t you just love these Terracotta horses? We visited the Sanskrit Centre today. It is a museum and arts centre with three museums. The museums are dedicated to Terracotta (or pottery) Everyday art and Textiles. Sadly we could not take pictures of the inside and their beautiful textile display. Also they did not have post cards or photographs of the displays as it would not be in keeping with their philosophy of no commercialism.

There were artists in residence with accommodation available. We saw a potter making these clay horses and I met a photographer who was on a seven week sabbatical. A lovely place to retreat into crafts.

The exhibition of textiles was amazing and inspiring. Another Forget me not sort of a day.

Taj Mahal

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Memorable visit to Taj Mahal today in this wonderful, amazing land of contrasts.The poverty is difficult to swallow but the culture is immersive. I love love love the textiles and crafts. I am with a specialist textile company called Colouricious who have taken us to hidden gems. Whilst I am devastated that we have not had a block printing workshop ( my reason for coming) I am loving the other textiles. I am learning as much from my travel companions as we are all like minded.Marble inlaid with semi precious stones

Only a few more days to go before home.