Tinker Maker

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linendress

The lovely Felicia of The Craft Sessions very kindly asked me to participate in her I Made This series.
You can read the story of my baby friendly pinafore over here as well as the contributions of many other inspiring makers.
I love reading Felicia’s carefully considered thoughts on making (and other topics), well worth a visit and I can’t wait to attend The Craft Sessions retreat this year!

 

 

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Link on the right over there —>

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New branding. Naturally dyed silk labels and hand painted swing tags, tag shown is painted using Rose, Cochineal, Lac and Cutch, each one is a tiny artwork. Anthemis silk/hemp shell top.

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I designed these bags for Pop&Scott to package their beautiful swings when sending them off to customers. The bag needed to be big and strong enough to hold a large, heavy hardwood swing but I thought it would be great if it could somehow be made small enough to be used as an everyday tote. So I came up with this design which folds into itself. These bags are a slightly smaller version of that original design.

When folded the bag is a great, roomy shopping tote, but extended to full height the bag is large enough to take everything you’d need for a weekend away.
Sewn with heavy duty 10 oz natural cotton canvas using durable french seam construction on my trusty 1956 Singer 201K named Madeleine. The bags have double folded canvas handles on the bottom and strong cotton twill handles at the top.
Hand dyed by me using natural indigo (from the legume plant Indigofera Tinctoria). Each bag is submerged several times in the indigo vat to build up the depth of colour. As these bags are hand made each one is unique and the dye pattern will vary slightly.

Dimensions (folded): 33cm high x 37 cm wide.
Dimensions (full height): 60cm high x 37cm wide.

Available now in THE SHOP.

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Double silk scarf. Hand dyed with Acacia Catechu, Cochineal, Alkanna Tinctoria, Pomegranate and Indigofera Tinctoria.

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tinkervest

A new vest design I’ve been working on.

 

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Some time ago I heard about Project 333 via a friend, inspired to give it ago I went through my wardrobe and got rid of/gave away/donated the majority of my clothes. One thing I noticed when going through all of these garments was the ones that I kept were invariably the oldest clothes I owned, that were still in the best condition and made of silk, wool or linen. And they would have all been fairly expensive to buy new.
It made me think, why do we more often than not spend the least amount of money on the things we wear the most? Garments that are often poorly and cheaply made using resource intensive synthetic fabrics and dyes by people who aren’t adequately compensated for their time. There’s some really good related articles on the topic here and here.

So at the end of of last year I resolved to spend the next 12 months only wearing clothes I already had and making any new garments that I really needed. I’m very proud to say that I stuck with it and plan to continue for the next 12 months. Below are just some of the garments I made mostly using fabrics and yarns that I’ve been hoarding for years, apart from saving money I’ve been making space in my home, win!

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I started Tinker because I wanted to do something that I really loved and that could be wholly mine. My aim is to create simple, classic clothes that can and should be worn all the time, that are well made, using beautiful, quality fabrics. But I also want to inspire others to make their own because it’s rewarding, it’s fun and if nothing else it makes you value the skill, resources and time that goes into the making of garments. The Seam allowance project is a great idea but even 25% is probably a lot to make for most people, especially those who don’t sew or knit regularly. So at the risk of sounding like an evangelist, I ask, how about making just one item? Plan to make something simple, something that you’d wear most days. Jeans and pants are hard if you’re a beginner. Simple dresses are good. Choose a quality fabric, linen or a fine hemp is a good choice, easy to sew and hard wearing. Patterned textiles are fine but they go in and out of fashion, basic colours are better for longevity. You can always add interest with accessories.

If you can knit, please don’t waste your time and money with acrylic or plastic yarns. Quality yarns are expensive, it might cost you close to or more than $100 for enough pure wool to make a jumper. But if you spend a month of cosy, calming, meditative evenings knitting it and then it lasts you for the rest of your life and probably another generation beyond that, I’d say it’s definitely worth it. Even if just for money you’ll save on therapy sessions. Seriously. Anxious?  Stressed? Try knitting.

I can hear you saying you don’t have enough time. Yes, you do. Turn off the TV, there’s at least three hours every night. There’s no better way to start to break the perpetual cycle of needing to earn all the money to buy all the things. Am I being too preachy? Sorry. But just give it a go. If just one person makes their own dress instead of buying a polyester piece of crap from Supré I shall consider my job done. Now go forth and conquer.

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It has been a busy time around here, making up orders and gifts for the flurry of birthdays and impending holidays, here’s just a couple of things that have been keeping me busy over the last few weeks.

Garland for a very dear friend, made with linen yarn and polymer clay.garland1garland

 

And a jacket for my (very youthful) Mother In Law’s sixtieth birthday. Naturally dyed, 100% silk habutai.

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New tops, cushions and coasters in the shop now.

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Had a bit of a rethink of the Buttercup top. Both the design and the dye. I’ve altered the neckline and sleeve length and added a pocket.
Turmeric as a dye choice turned out to be too problematic, it fades rather quickly to a soft pastel yellow, which I don’t mind. But you might. So instead I’ve decided to use Reseda luteola, commonly known as Weld. This is one of the many plants I have growing in my little dye garden. But the plants are only teeny tiny seedlings, so for now I have purchased some to use until mine matures. It dyes a bright, almost neon yellow and it is importantly lightfast.

This is Buttercup undyed. More photos coming soon.

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