Tag Archives: leather

Soft shoes

I made another pair of soft shoes, with leather scrap soles from the stash, and a nice old pair of tracksuit pants providing insulation. I guess-graded up the Spoonflower pattern to the growing foot of the grandbub…

These seemed to be some kind of sample–each labeled with a colour, like a paint swatch card! I figured the bub wouldn’t care. The outers are little scraps from a hand printed table runner I bought at Oxfam and converted to a beautiful bag. Now the final scraps have gone to a lovely use too.

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Just Mend It!

Exciting news!  I will be spreading the joy of mending (and some skills for mending) in two workshops at The Joinery (a lovely, central, public transport accessible venue) coming up in May and organised by the good folk at the Adelaide Sustainability Centre. Should you be local and keen…

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So–bring along holey socks, dropped hems, missing buttons, evidence that clothes moths have left their babies to feed in your drawers and whatever else is plaguing your wardrobe and we’ll see what we can do!

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In preparation for the big event, I am constructing mending kits.  No doubt some people who come will be dedicated menders.  Others may not be so well equipped, and these kits are for all comers. I began with a leftover scrap of woolen blanket dyed with pohutukawa leaves. Soon, I had a little pile of hand-stitched needle books complete with pins and needles and suchlike. Meanwhile, the call has gone out for boxes and tins for the kits to go into and tins formerly full of tea or chocolate and all manner of other good things are trickling in.

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Then I started on needle books made from fabric scraps, and since I found some woolen felt of unknown origin rolled up in the cupboard, I tried some with scrap leather and vinyl samples as covers with felt pages within. My grandmother’s pinking shears were pulled out for use rather than wonderment for the first time in ten years, at least!

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Soon it led to a wish for more woollen blanket and as it happens I have a few blankets acquired at the op shops of Adelaide on a previous occasion.  I walked out to my favourite Eucalyptus Scoparia as the sun went down after work, and set the dye bath to heat by the light of a moon though cloud (this is a picturesque way of saying this photo is dark…)

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Next day, things were looking promising…

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And it may be this is enough to make needle books for everyone I know.

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Filed under Leaf prints, Natural dyeing, Sewing

Seat cover from local sheep hides

I apologise right now to vegans and vegetarians.  This post is about my latest engagement with my friends’ nose-to-tail approach to the sheep that they have working on a bush block they are rehabilitating in a rather wonderful way.  Confronted with the option to use hides from local animals tanned by a local craftsman… how could I refuse?

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These are Wiltshire Horn sheep hides–Wiltshire Horns are not famous for their fleece, in fact they shed rather than requiring shearing, which can be a distinct advantage in the climate these sheep live in.  The skins do not have a lot of fleece on them at all.  The question for me was whether I could stitch leather–but these hides were quite supple.  So I decided to try,

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I have been making my own car seat covers for some time.  The bought kind involve underpaid labour in China, far too many fabrics that will never biodegrade, ugliness and… let me count the things I don’t like about them.  Having a car is enough of a problem.  I cut a seat cover up for a pattern years back and since then have made and worn through several made of upholstery scraps and recycled curtains and suchlike.

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It was easier to make the cover than it was to take a decent photo on an overcast day.  I did apply a razor near the seams to get the pile as low as I could prior to stitching–and I did measure three times before applying the scissors–that was about it for special techniques.  Next year I might even make a mate for this one, as I think my friends have found takers for all the hides they had this year!  Please feel free to suggest what I might make with the small scraps that remain.  I am all ears!

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