Baroque Matador Jackets

Baroque Matador Jackets

I do love a good collaboration. These jackets were a joint effort with the super talented upcycling label Red Mutha. These guys have been doing it since the 90’s. They used have a shop in Brighton but now they focus on festivals and online sales instead.

The jacket pattern were designed, cut and sewn by the talented Red. She used old curtains and sweatshirts in washed out cream and gold. I can really appreciate how much work went into these. The mutton sleeves, the lining…

I continued the process by adding the embellishments to them. More is more after all! Plus a statement jacket is not complete without a leopard on the back, or maybe an owl or doily in some cases. Here is the outcome. Only 6 jackets in this collection and all of them completely unique. They will be listed in my Etsy shop.

Patchwork Dresses

Patchwork Dresses

Only someone who knits or crochets will appreciate how long it takes to make a garment. So when I find discarded knitting projects I can’t bare to see them go to waste.

This piece started as a beginners knitting project accidentally boiled in the washing machine. By simply cutting out a hole for the neck, adding some jersey and sewing up the side seams it turned into an oversize dress/top. The added crochet patches finishes it nicely.

Next up is a neatly crocheted baby blanket in yummy colours turned into this stylish little number. Instead of sewing, this one was crocheted together at then side seam, hem and neckline for a neater finish.

Last but not least is this pastel number salvaged from a crochet patchwork blanket. I actually managed to get two dresses out of this one. Worn here with our pompom wooly robe.

If you have a similar project tucked away somewhere, why not turned into something wearable? Or maybe just a cushion cover if you inner hippy is a little shy.

Festival Season 2018

Festival Season 2018

When preparing for the season ahead its always difficult to predict what the weather is going to be like. But as we are in the UK, rain and cold evenings are always on the cards. So we make summer kimonos, bra tops as well as jumpers and jackets to cover all angles. Who would have thought 2018 was going to be the hottest summer in over 40 years?

First stop this year was the local Alfresco Festival  A small intimate little number focusing on groove based dance music. And as there was no Glastonbury this year we had June off festivals (but still super busy making stock) to enjoy the sunshine in Brighton.

In July we continued with Farr Festival. A young crowd where its all about dance music. And I mean from 12 midday until the early hours. Not a single band in sight. There weren’t much dressing up going on and I think the youth had prioritised buying other things to keep the weekend interesting. So it was pretty slow. Plus the only act I wanted to see, Moodymann had cancelled. Meh! But hey, it was a scorcher of a weekend so we topped up our tans and got to know our fellow traders.

Next up was Latitude Festival. Another sweltering weekend where everyone was too hot to try anything on, or wanted to buy your display parasols. At least our usual spot in front of the main stage gave us good views and entertainment.

We hadn’t been to Bimble Bandada for a few years. Small but perfectly formed. Definitely remains as one of our favourites. Even the bad weather on the Sunday didn’t put us off! Sadly they are having a break next year. Roll on 2020!

After Bimble we had one night in our own bed then headed straight to Bestival. Thankfully they moved the festival to the mainland last year, so we didn’t have to get on a ferry to the Isle or Wright or anything. We were part of the Dressing Up Tent, a shared space with lots of other creatives. Always nice not having to set up a marquee.

We had a weekend off back in Brighton before we headed to everyones favourite; Shambala! Sharing yet again with Crystal Vintage. Unfortunately I wasn’t very well so I mainly sat around on a beanbag watching the festival go by. Could have been worse!

This year also said goodbye to Festival Number 6. As it was their last one it would have been rude not to go. Being north Wales, the September rain was unavoidable but hey, we made a bit of a Welsh road trip out of it. Such a beautiful part of the world.

Yet again we take away from another festival season, happy customer and many moments of dance and laughter. Hoping 2019 will be as warm and sunny, but please mother nature give me notice so I can make more bikini tops!

Festival Kimonos

Festival Kimonos

The kimono. The perfect garment to throw over anything night or day to create a bit of va-va-voom. Well, these aren’t strictly kimonos. They are a much simpler cut that creates no waste fabric.

Here is a selection we made in preparation for the festival season. We use scarves, sarongs, saris, you name it. So all complete one of a kind as usual.

Acid Smiley Jumpers

Acid Smiley Jumpers

In preparation for the festival season we always try to stock up on one of our staples, the upcycled acid smiley. We use 100% cotton salvage sweatshirts or high quality wool jumpers. Each circle, eyes and mouth are then hand cut from leftover jumpers and fabrics and machine stitched in place. No print here! Each one is hence a complete one off.

Equally loved by old rave dads as well as young and hip millennials like Satya here. You can have your very own made by sending us your jumper that you want embellished or get in touch to see what we currently have in stock.

Mid-Century Ben Chair Restoration

Mid-Century Ben Chair Restoration

I do love a mid century Scandinavian chair. At the first glance you might think this is Danish, but Ben Chairs were actually made in Frome, Somerset in the late 60’s. They are recognised the world over for their fluid designs and use of bold colours alongside natural teak wood frames. So when I found this carver all on its own in Shabitat, looking all sad, I knew I had to give it a second life. These chairs would usually have a vinyl covering. Practical dining room furniture as you could simply wipe off any spillage.

vinatge ben chair for sale

 

So it was obvious this was not the original cover. Well used though looking at the state of it.

After taking the whole chair apart, it was a pleasure getting this ugly grey-green corduroy off it. I think Ben the chair was pretty pleased too.

The woodwork had some surface scratches too that was going to need much  attention.

Can of worms!

 

 

 

After hours of sanding by hand, I used a tinted wax to bring out the natural teak colour. I was well pleased I found a piece of retro damask (from Shabitat again)  that was just the right size for this project. Love it when that happens.

Well here it is in its full glory, happy with its new attire. Bold and beautiful again. Mid Century Restored vintage Ben Chair

Patchwork Tubchair No 8

Patchwork Tubchair No 8

Looking at my previous armchair post, it was nearly three years ago I upholstered one of these. Well overdue! I found a bag of ready cut pieces of material from the last chair, added a few new colours into it, mainly all from vintage velvet curtains.

I thought people would be over patchwork armchairs by now but it seems they still fly off the shelves! This one has already found a happy home in Saltdean.

Need one in your life made in your favourite colours? Get in touch

 

Corner Sofa Re-Upholstery

Corner Sofa Re-Upholstery

Have you ever been searching high and low to find that very specific piece of furniture and eventually you find something that is close, but not perfect? Do you go for second best or try to find a way to make it what you want?

Sian wanted a corner sofa for her flat. Something comfortable that you could fully stretch out on. Preferably in vibrant but earthy colours. She found this in Shabitat. Comfortable yes, stylish and vibrant, not so.

Structurally it was in a good condition  and she didn’t mind the brown, so I suggested we could just recover the seating covers and the scatter cushions to create the look she wanted.

jute fabric for upholstery

I didn’t have enough material of what she was looking for at my studio so I recommended the Fabric Warehouse in Kemptown-Brighton. An amazing fabric shop with a quirky owner that knows his stuff and will try to guess your star-sign and probably get it right!

This is what she came back with. A thick stripy weave of jute in camel, purple and pink. Looks better than it sounds indeed.

And he had just enough of it, so meant to be right!

 

The vibrant fabric paired really well with the sofas earthy brown body and also with her pink feature wall. Three seat , two back and three scatter cushions later, voila! What a transformation!

If your sofa could do with a facelift you know where to find me!

Festival Season 2017

Festival Season 2017

After last years challenging one I was in two mind about doing another season.  But as they say time is a great healer and I hadn’t come up with a grand plan to change career, plus I did think “can it be any worse than last year?” Not possible.  So yes, we did pack our bags and van and made it to six(!) different festivals. How did that happen?

shaboutique Glastonbury stall green fields

Well, I’m glad I did decide to do another season as the weather was (mostly) glorious! Especially Glastonbury. It was so dry people were complaining about the dust! (always something). We also finally got offered a pitch up in the Green Fields instead of down in the main market babylon. Yay! Its like a different festival up there…

glastonbury acid smiley

Latitude, Wilderness and Shambala were sunny too, but sadly Secret Garden Party did get some rain. It was the last one ever too! It was still lovely and it did clear up.

I also went along with Red Mutha to Bestival that now have moved from Isle of Wright to the mainland. I wanted to check out the new site, but we had one dry day and it rained, and rained… Mud bath! Luckily I only had half of rail of stock to pack and de-mud the other end.

bestival denim jackets

But all in all it was an great season in every aspect. Lots of new friend and happy clients.

Customised Denim Jackets

Customised Denim Jackets

I love working with denim. Especially embellishing denim jackets. It’s a great way to use all those beautiful little trimmings, borders and fringing I find on my adventures. Each piece turns out completely unique.  Half way through the festival season I found some time to make some more. Here they are. Get in touch if there is one you like, when they gone they are gone!

 

Embellished Jackets

Embellished Jackets

The world is overflowing with textiles! We buy them, wear for a bit, then get rid of them, either by donating to charity shop or putting it in the bin. Most of these clothes still got plenty of life left in them, but fashion changes or we have no space left in our wardrobe so we choose to throw out and make space for new.

Suit jackets are timeless pieces. However they can be a bit plain and boring if you want to wear the outside the office. Here are a few I customised for the festival season.

I bought these amazing trimmings in Mumbai exactly for this purpose. All painstakingly hand stitched with love.

If you got your own suit that needs some bedazzlement, we are here to help!

 

 

Summer Kimonos

Summer Kimonos

I really love making these kimonos. Well, they aren’t strictly kimonos, but a floaty summer layer inspired by. They are made from saris, sarongs and any other reusable fabric that comes my way. The trimmings I do buy new from my travels, the rest is all upcycled goodness.

Its a definite winner for the festival season. Put it on over your spandex, pair it with a headdress and you are ready to go!

If you want to get your hands on any of these one of a kind pieces before they go, get in touch. These is only one of each!

From Rag to Riches Handbags

From Rag to Riches Handbags

Sometimes you might find a piece of fabric, a garment or in this case a ripped rag rug in a charity shop that you don’t know what to do with to start with, but later on it becomes clear why you picked it up. Yes it was ripped but the colours was so yummy I couldn’t see it go to waste. A few weeks passed and one day I looked at it and I knew exactly what I was going to make out of it. Hand bags!

After trimming off the ripped part I cut the remaining rag-rug into four equal pieces and ran them through the overlocker to seal the edges. I wanted to give match the cotton rag rug with something luxurious. Like raw silk, which I had from an old curtain that I salvaged. Again after trimming off the sun damaged part, I had just enough to line the bags with.  Completed with handles made from trimmings salvaged from old saris.

Well here they are. Same same but different as they say.

They will all be available at a festival near you.

 

Chalk Paint Furniture

Chalk Paint Furniture

Sometimes I get the urge to paint furniture instead of working with textiles. Even tough in some cases I’m really against it. If you have a good condition, antique hard wood piece of furniture, please don’t ruin it with chalk paint! This piece however really needed a rescuing. It was scratched and somebody had already attempted to paint parts of it. (Forgot to take a before photo sadly)

I used two different tones of grey chalk paint. The darker tone underneath, and the lighter on top, plus finish with a generous rubbing of wax.

It only lasted 3 days in Shabitat before it got snapped up!

If you have a piece of furniture that you think is in need of a facelift, get in touch!

We also do painting classes.

Made to Order Giant Floor Cushions

Made to Order Giant Floor Cushions

I have lost count of how many of these giant floor cushions I have made and sold in Brighton. A lot of flats and houses in this town are very small, so it can be hard to fit enough seating. These cushions are ideal for those kind of spaces. Plus there is something quite cosy about a pile of cushions on the floor instead of a sofa. I have always wanted a cinema room filled with these… One day 😉

 

Synthetic stuffing isn’t very eco to produce and the natural ones are very expensive. However if people prefer these they can be used too.  My normal method is using recycling duvets. I make sure they are washed and clean before using them of course. The outer covers are made from old curtains,  end of roll, or any other fabric that are thick enough. I add a zip so they come of to wash as well. They are generally around 100 x100 cm and start from about £30 each depending on the fabrics used.

Can be found ready to buy in Shabitat depending on stock, or made with your desired fabrics.

If you need some of these in your life get in touch!

Chequered Coffee Tables

Chequered Coffee Tables

My client had a nest of tables that she wanted painted in chequered black and white. I knew there was going to be a lot of layers of paint and masking tape involved but I took on the job as I like a challenge as well to learn new techniques.

This was a style of furniture painting I had never made before.  But I thought, “How hard can it be?” It wasn’t particularly hard, just very time consuming…

I chose water-based matt paint in black and white. I also needed an undercoat, plus a matt varnish to go on top. Ronseal Diamond Hard Varnish came recommended to me.

After two layers of undercoat and having to wait each layer to dry, I finally got the first layer of white paint on all the three tables. Then I had to watch more paint dry…

Now it was the task of measuring out the lines and using masking tape, followed by two coats of black paint. “This is going to well!” I thought, until i peeled off the masking tape and realised the black paint had bled under the tape. Aggghhhhhrr!!  I do some research and find a type of masking tape called Frog Tape. I head down to B&Q and grab a roll.

Masking all the lines take two.Paint with white, wait to dry… Peel tape off. Guess what? It does exactly what it says on the tin. No bleed!! Yes! Oh if had known this before it would have cut my workload by half! With all the waiting for paint to dry, correcting mistakes and 3 layers of varnish, it took a week to complete. Luckily Breeda loved them. Phew! And here they are in her home looking very Alice in Wonderlandish.

Would I take on another commission like it? Yes, now I know what I am doing, but with an increase in the price 😉

 

Festival Season 2016

Festival Season 2016

Wow! Festival season 2016 is going down in history, and maybe not for the best reasons. The weather gods were definitely playing their wicked little games on us all. Torrential rain, mini tornado, you name it we had it!

We opened the season with Glastonbury where it had been raining non-stop for a whole week before we arrived. Out pitch was literary a lake. We waited 24 hrs with the set-up, but then it rained even more, so half of our shop was submerged. We had to beg borrow and steal some pallets to put down to make it possible to enter. Hay-bails, and tractor loads of wood chip were being delivered for the traders to use which were hardly making a difference. 7 days in that spot was challenging to say the least. I seriously thought I never wanted to trade at another festival!

Later on in July we had Latitude which was gloriously sunny which boosted the morale a little. Oh what a difference the weather makes!

Straight from Latitude we headed to Secret Garden Party. Still unbelievably sunny and hot. Half way through rigging our marquee big black clouds starts heading our way and within minutes it was raining like mad. That part was kind of nice and felt like we were on a tropical island in the monsoon. Suddenly the sky turned even darker and the wind picked up, we were standing under our marquee that didn’t have any walls yet and looking out over the traders opposite. Some of them started to shake and were being plucked like mushrooms by the powerful wind. Within seconds we were next. We tried to hold on to the marquee but we were lifting with it! We had to let go and watch this 6 by 4 meter structure end up in a tree 20 meters away. Even the empty clothes rails were moving! At this stage I was in the brace position on the ground. After a few more minutes rain and wind the sun came out and it was like nothing had ever happened. 4 other traders lost their marquees, and one person broke their nose by flying objects. Madness! Later on we were told it was actually confirmed as a mini tornado. I guess you don’t really see it when you are in it.

We had to make do with trading out of our 3 by 3 pop up kitchen/storage and another broken marquee we found. Luckily nobody got seriously injured and it was sunny for the rest of the weekend but a new marquee ain’t cheap. Ouch…

We finished the season with Shambala, which is always nice no matter the weather. Don’t need a big marquee for that one luckily as I trade as part of Crystal Vintage and the magic horsebox shop that is Gloria. So I guess we finished on a high but it was testing in every way possible. Career change? Hmmmmm…..

 

 

Festival Bra Tops

Festival Bra Tops

June is finally here and its officially summer!  Not long until Glastonbury, which is our first stop this year. These neon bra-tops are an ideal festival staple for this summer. Flattering and fun! Modelled by the lovely Leah. Hat and feathers by Feathered Fantasy.

 

 

 

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Summer Festival Season 2015

Summer Festival Season 2015

Another festival season bites the dust!  Glastonbury, Latitude, SGP, Boomtown Fair, Shambala and Number 6. This year you might have noticed that we have started trading under our shop name Shaboutique. Which also means we have other makers and designers under our roof.

shaboutique boomtown crew

shaboutique festival stall latitudeembellished jacket acid smiley stall

Glastonbury treated us to its usual al seasons weather with sun, rain, sun and rain. We were in the main market area this year rather than the Dance Field. I’m grateful to avoid the sound clash.  We also had the amazing bumbag queen Beksies Boutique with us. Check out her stuff. It’s the best bumbag you will ever own.

Two new ones on the cards this year was Latitude and Boomtown. Very different from each other I must point out. Whilst Latitude is a middle class family affair, Boomtown is as they put it themselves,  “a city of wonderment, theatre , escapism and community with breathtaking and intricate stages and streets just waiting to be discovered” We just wanted to shut shop and go and explore!

Feathered Fantasy was on board at Latitude and Boomtown this year. Always a pleasure!

 

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Luxury Handmade Kimonos

Luxury Handmade Kimonos

 

The sun is out and summer is on its way. Our festival preparations are coming along nicely. We have been mainly busy with making our festival staple, the kimono cover up. It’s a more modern, casual and airy take on the classic Japanese variety. We use vintage saris, cotton sarongs, salvaged trims and a lot of love making these. They are all one of a kind statement pieces perfect for your summer festival or holiday wardrobe. These are all coming to the festival circuit with us, but if there is one you like, get in touch and grab it before it goes!

Modeled by the beautiful Lucinda Kennard. Feather headdresses by Feathered Fantasy.