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Make your own butterfly chair cover

Butterfly chairs are currently in vogue again. I saw lots of them at Maison et Objects in Paris. They were covered in a variety of fabrics and skins including leather and pony skin.

I bought this old butterfly chair in a junk shop for £10. The cover was rust stained and not very nice so I decided to give it a revamp.

butterflychair .jpeg

You will need

3 metres of white cotton drill

Dylon goldfish orange machine dye

Dylon Tulip Red machine dye

Dress making scissors

Sewing machine

Thread

Pen

15mm bias binding

 

Instructions

 

  1. Cut the fabric in half and using the instructions on the pot, dye half the fabric red and half orange.
  2. Draw round the old cover to make a pattern and don’t forget to add the seam allowance
  3. Cut out the pieces and sew the pieces first in one colour and then in the next together as in the original pattern.
  4. The only difficult part is pinning and stretching the seat top to the seat bottom as you are joining a concave piece of fabric to a convex piece. With right sides facing, pin the top of the seat to the bottom at the center seam. Sew from the center of the seat outwards stretching as you sew. This way the two pieces will fit together. Repeat this step to join the other half of the chair top to the chair bottom.
  5. The pockets for the front and back of the seam are neatened at their bases and then sewn with raw edges onto the cover. This is repeated for the reverse of the seat.
  6. Once the pockets are in place, with wrong sides facing, sew the seat top to the seat bottom round the edge and then hide all the raw edges with bias binding.

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Meet the Maker

Meet the Maker: Deirdre Hawken

DeidreDeidre Hawken makes what might loosely be called hats or head pieces. However that description does not do justice to the exquisite intricate pieces of work created by this multi talented designer. I and my photographer went to interview her recently in her studio. radish salad toms opener

 

JB.I know you as a hat designer and maker, but I understand  that you also design and make jewelry. Can you tell us which discipline you trained in and how you came to practice both?

DH I trained in theater design, sets and costume, at the Central School of Art and Design, now Central St Martins.

 

I worked as a Theater Designer for some time and I was an Art Director for a couple of design companies, but I have always loved the design and making process. I have made costume accessories for The Royal Opera House, English National Ballet and the BBC, I also designed a run of windows for Harrods, Harvey Nichols, and made props for Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Asprey Ltd and I had an exhibition in Fortnum and Mason among others, and I created collections of jewellery with my sculptor husband for various fashion designers.

three hats

 

JB.What is a typical day for you?

DH. There is no typical day! I could be designing hats or jewellery or researching new work, seeing a client or dealing with boring administration.

into studio

 JB. What do you love most, about what you do?

DH.I love researching ideas, it is now so easy on the internet, and as I said I love everything about the making process, especially dyeing fabrics.

working pages with fabrics dyed

 JB.What do you dislike most about what you do?

DH Any kind of administration.

JB.Have you ever worked for anyone else? Or done any collaborations ? If so with whom?

DH.When you are a designer for the theater you’re basically working with and for the director, but I have been a freelance designer most of my life. I did collaborate with a jeweler, we were asked to make a joint piece, but I did not really enjoy the experience. I have also made jewellery with my husband.

mushroom onions etc

 JB.What made you want to start your own creative business?

DH. I love working for myself, although I sometimes have an assistant on a really big job, such as when I made jewellery for Saks 5th Avenue.

 JB.Have you had any training recently? If so where and why?

DH.Not recently, but in 1998 I won a scholarship to study couture millinery. This was through QEST, Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust. There are no age limits and but you do have to fill in a very difficult application form. I trained with Rose Cory in Couture Millinery and had an internship with Stephen Jones. I also went to America and studied at the Met.

JB.Can you describe your creative process?

DH.First I have an idea, then I research, choose the materials. I only work with a few materials, leather, silk taffeta, silk velvet silk organza and organdie. I dye all the fabrics myself using Dylon dyes. I then decide how to make the headpiece or perhaps a collection of jewellery. Most of my headpieces are one off designs. I never make another piece exactly the same.

cigar making in progress

JB.What are your biggest challenges?

DH.Selling work.

cigars

JB. What advice would you give to someone starting out in your field today?

DH.It has always been difficult to be self-employed, especially in the Creative Sector, I believe good training is essential, also you must have self belief.

JB.Compared with when you started, do you think it is easier for designers to set up on their own nowadays or more difficult?

DH.I think it is harder, as everyone thinks they can be an artist or a designer.

JB.Have you exhibited? If so, where?

DH. I have had so many exhibitions it is hard to choose which ones to talk about. I have work in the following Public Collections: Victoria and Albert Museum – London, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Costume Institute – New York, Kyoto Institute of Costume – Tokyo, Graves Art Gallery– Sheffield, Museum of Costume –Bath, Philadelphia Museum of Art-USA, Hat Museum- Stockport.

 JB.How do you find clients?

DH. Clients come to me and I sell at exhibitions.

JB. What are you currently working on?

DH.A very tricky Summer Pudding Headpiece for submission for the London Hat Show early 2018.

summer pudding

 JB.Do you teach or run workshops? If so where?

DH. Not now! I have taught at various Art colleges and was an assessor for the BA Jewellery course at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and design, Dundee for three years. I have given many talks including one at the V &A and many workshops all over the country.

lemons leather

 JB.What is next?

DH. I am developing a range of headpieces which can be displayed as Still Life’s in acrylic cases, which I am finding very exciting.salad

 

JB. That is a great idea, your work is far too lovely to store out of site, in a hat box.

Many thanks Juliet

http://www.deirdrehawken.com/

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Upgrade your duvet cover and create ombre bedlinen.

Recycle your old cotton bed linen by using dyes in this years fashionable Pantone colours of Rose Quartz and Serenity, or as we know them pale pink and pale blue. We also added some jeans blue as Denim is so fashionable at the moment.

OmbreBeding

You will need

1 packet of each of the following Dylon hand dyes in Powder pink, Flamingo pink, Ocean blue and Jeans blue.

750 grammes of table salt

cling film

Double duvet, 2 pillow cases in 100% cotton

Measuring jug

2 buckets and a large container in which to dye

Scissors

Silicone gloves

Tips

You will need lots of hanging and rinsing space for drying between different colour dyeing.

Instruction

1.Wash the duvet cover and pillowcases and leave them damp.

1 dip dye .jpg

  1. Use cling film to wrap the part of the duvet and pillowcases that you do not want to dye. (About 2/3rds of it)
  2. Mix the powder pink dye according to the instructions on the packet. If you want to make the colour a bit brighter then add about 1/3rd of the colour from the flamingo pink.

2 dip dye .jpg

  1. Fill a container large enough to hold the duvet and the pillowcases, with water. Add the 250g of salt and then add the mixed dye to the water and stir.
  2. Add the wet unwrapped part of the fabric to the dye bath. The colour changes, as the dying proceeds. Stir as in the instructions on the packet. Leave for a further 45minutes.
  3. Once the fabric is dyed, rinse under a tap until the water runs clear. Cut away the cling film.
  4. Hang the duvet and pillowcase to dry. Drying between dying different colours makes the fabric easier to handle. A wet duvet is difficult to manoever.3dip dye

8. Repreat steps 2-7 but over dye the last 1/3 of the duvet cover and pillow cases in jeans blue.When the fabric has dried, cover the pink part of the fabric in cling film. You will then need to hold the part of the fabric you are going to dye under a tap to dampen it.

4 dip dye

9.Follow steps 2-7 with ocean blue. Dip all the remaining duvet cover and pillow cases in the dye bath

6 dip dye

OmbreBeddingDetail

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Dye your own shibori chair

2C2A2810 copy.jpgRecycling week starts today so am posting some classy recycling projects on my blog this week. When I spotted this down at heel cocktail chair in a charity shop, I knew I was  onto a winner.

I made a pattern and then created my own shibori print just by pleating and using clothes pegs. The hook and loop tape opening on the side seam makes fitting easy.

Tip: Before doing anything with the fabric, wash on a hot wash and then tumble dry it on a hot setting. This way it will shrink as much as it is ever going to. Iron so you have flat fabric to work with.

chair

You will need:

6m of medium weight Calico

Pins, needles and thread

Safety pins

Cotton tape

Water-soluble pen

Dylon Ocean blue hand dye

Salt

Clothes pegs

Sewing machine

Hook and loop tape

 

1.To make the pattern for each section of the chair cut out a piece of calico, cut them large so there’s enough spare fabric for fitting, the lower edge of the chair will need more than you think necessary to allow for making a tape casing, so be generous. Pin each section onto the chair and then add seam allowance. Remove the section and cut out. Sew the calico cover together, leave one of the side seams half open. Fit the cover onto the chair, pin the side seam closed and adjust the fitting, taking it in to give a closer fit.

2. Remove the calico cover from the chair, mark the sewn seams with felt pen as well as the centre line of each panel.

3.Unpick the calico cover, your pattern, and pin onto more calico to make the chair fabric. Cut out the fabric, into as many pattern pieces as you need, I had 6, and press.4 Pin pattern onto washed and ironed fabric.jpg

4.Concertina each pattern piece of calico into pleats.

5 Concrtina each pattern piece into pleats

5. Press flat with a steam iron.

6 Press Flat with a steam iron.jpg

6.Peg the pleated pieces at even intervals.

7 Peg each pattern pieceat regular intervals.jpg

7. Wet the pegged fabrics. Mix the  Dylon hand dye according to the manufacturers instructions and then put in the pegged fabric pieces. Follow the instructions on the dye packet.

8 Wet the pegged fabrics.jpg

8. Once the dye has taken, remove the pegs and open up the fabric and put the pieces under running water until the water runs clear.

9 remove pegs and rinse the pieces until the water runs clear..jpg

9. Wash and dry the pieces

10 wash and dry pieces.jpg

10.Sew the pieces together as you did for the original calico pattern leaving one of the side seams half open.

11 Sew all the pieces together .jpg

11. Try the cover on the chair inside out and pin any adjustments that need to be made. Remove the cover and make the adjustments on the sewing machine.

12 try the cover on the chair inside out and pin to make any adjustments needed.jpg

12. Cut a 3cm bias strip from calico to bind the curved raw edges around the chair legs. Pin, and sew, turn the raw edge under by 0.5cm then turn the binding and sew in place. Sew hook and loop tape to both sides of the seam opening.

13. To make the tape casing, turn lower edges of the chair cover in by 4cm, turn in the raw edge by 1cm then sew down close to the edge. Measure up for the tape, thread through the casings with a safety pin.

 

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Marble your own fabric to create these stylish cushions!

Recently I found an ancient, well 1990’s Dylon leaflet about marbling on fabric and so intrigued were we that we decided to create a marbled cushion.

Traditionally marbling was done on paper and was achieved by floating oil colour on water or size. If you try and do this on fabric, the fabric feels hard and unpleasant.

I did a few experiments on different kinds of cloth and the ones that give the best colour and luminosity are Silk and Satin. I have used a heavy slipper satin for these cushions. For best results use a white or light coloured fabric.

FINAL.jpg

You will need

Shallow plastic trough. This needs to be bigger than the pieces of fabric that you are going to float in it. The fabric needs to be large enough to fit over the cushion pad

Bucket or large jug

Whisk

Fabric pieces. Satin or silk

Dylon fabric paints

Tool from one of the following: Knitting needle or a barbecue stick or toothpick

Roll of kitchen paper

Sewing machine

Scissors

Pins

Thread

Ruler

Fabric marker pen

Cushion pad we used a 29cm sq

Lots of newspaper to cover the work surfaces and access to a sink

Waterproof gloves

Spatula

2C2A2125 copy

Instructions

1.Put on your gloves to protect your hands. Whisk the wallpaper paste into water according to the manufacturers instructions, until it is the consistency of yoghurt. Pour into a shallow trough until it is almost full. Leave to stand for at least 15 minutes. Tip: Whilst you are waiting for the paste to set, use the time to cut your fabric so it fits in the troughwith enough border to lift it in and out. Cover the work surface in newspaper.

1.whisk wallpaper paste into water

2. Apply drops of colour onto the surface of the paste and then use your tool to swirl them around. This can look pretty messy at this stage.

2 Drop ink onto surface and then draw a stick through it..jpg

3. Carefully lower a piece of fabric onto the paste surface. Leave for a few seconds for the paint to absorb, you may need to push it down with your fingers.

3 another pattern.jpg

4. Carefully lift off the fabric. It will be covered in paste as well as a pattern below the paste. Leave on a work top for at least 5 minutes.

5. Wash off the paste from the fabric under running water. Leave to dry.

6. When dry, iron the fabric o the back, using a hot setting for 1-2 minutes to set the colour.

Tip : To clean the paste between applications use a spatula to remove the surplus colour.

To make the cushion cover with an envelope back

1. Measure the cushion and cut one piece of marbled fabric to that dimension for the cushion front. 29cm x 29cm

4 lay cushion on wrong side .jpg

2. Cut two further pieces the width of the cushion cover by approximately 2/3 the length. (29x 20cm) For the cushion back.

5 meaure mark and then cut out front

3.Turn under by 0.5cm and 0.5cm again and pin and then neaten with a running stitch along one 29cm side of each back piece of fabric .

6 turn under by 0.5cm and again and neaten.jpg4. With right sides facing, and neatened edges overlapping in the centre, pin the 2 backs onto the cushion front and sew round the edge.

7 sew round edge with runnng stitch.jpg

5.Turn the right way out and fit the cushion pad into the cushion

8 Turn right way out .jpg

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