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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Driftwood bag

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Driftwood Bag

Hurray! I have finally finished the prototype of my driftwood bag. You know what? I am quite proud of myself. I was not at all confident about my pattern making or sewing machine usage skills, so to have something that looks quite like a bag is a big surprise! The fabric is a brown faux leather which I have crafted into a rectangular box shape. This was inspired by some trend research that I did and is my take on the camera box bag (apparently it will be big this season?)  I thought the texture would be good against the natural materials I have used, but it is too perfect looking – I need to rough it up a little!Driftwood handleThe handle is made from a piece of the driftwood I got on my visit to Formby Beach, which I sanded, cut and drilled using all sorts of scaring looking woodwork machines. It was then attached with rope and some chunky knots to some D-rings held onto the bag with rivets. The final touch was to replace the zip pull with a shell from the beach trip which I think really highlights the ‘Beachcomber’ theme of my collection. The lining will be a silk satin printed with my own design that I am having digitally printed (very exciting!) I still have some tweaks to make and I might change  the outer fabric so that it holds its shape better, but overall I like it very much!

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Formby Beach

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Formby Beach

My college project is on shells so I went to Formby Beach to scavenge some materials. I like Formby because it is owned by the National Trust and it also has a red squirrel park attached to it where you can see the squirrels in their natural environment (although when I went this time, you couldn’t see them because they were ill or something and the area where they were hiding had been corded off!) Anyway, the beach is really good for beach combing and I managed to get some driftwood, shells and small coloured pebbles and little rocks (some of which I have been told might be fossilised tree and Iron ore) I am planning on making beachcomber inspired bags using my materials and have already designed a Photoshop pattern which will be printed onto silk satin for the bag lining. Hopefully they will look really interesting but also be practical (they look really good in my head!) All I have to do know is work with my driftwood and shells and stuff to make them useable in my product.

Emmaus Mossley

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Emmaus MossleyLast week I went on a trip to Mossley to visit the Emmaus shop. It was brilliant! Emmaus is a charity founded in 1949 by a french priest. The aim is to help people who are homeless or who have personal problems by giving them a job and a place to live. The profits go towards the accommodation of the people who live there and on keeping the place open, the rest is donated back to other charities. The people who live and work at Emmaus are called Companions and they can stay there for as long as they want. Basically Emmaus Mossley is a huge second-hand junk shop selling everything you can think of. There is a lot of cheap furniture (some of which is restored or upcycled by the Companions) toys, books, clothes, crockery, glasses, ornaments… all of which is perfect for the aims of my college course which is re-using and upcycling things.  As I was on a trip with college, we got a tour around the site seeing the warehouse where all the donated goods are sorted and repaired. We were also shown the living areas and were made a really yummy (and huge!) lunch by some of the people who live there.  The good thing is that there are Emmaus communities all over the world, so anyone can visit and support this amazing charity. Please have a look at their website to find your nearest Emmaus shop (open the Group Directory pdf) and then get yourself down there!