Top Secret Project(s)

I’m trying to post more regularly. I managed to do two posts yesterday by accident, such is my keenness!

It is a bit challenging when what I am working on at the moment is secret projects for my new book. So the blog might be a bit random for a while (what is new, you ask?).


My design process, strangely, usually involves a lot of books. Picture books. My favourite kind. I had to work on a handbag design yesterday, among other things. So out came the books. I hadn’t got my HUGE book on bags, that was at home. I don’t mind that so much, I don’t tend to design bags by looking at bags. My design process is much more organic than that. I look at pictures and faff about with fabric, rootle around in my box of samples and as yet un-used ideas, my sketchbooks (which are very haphazard) and my noticeboard (nothing as co-ordinated as a mood board, just a random selection of things). Mostly something just appears. This time my bag design was inspired directly from a pre-existing apron design, sparked off by something else entirely, which I have already forgotten. Funny how that works. I didn’t even get half way through my stack of books.


Often my ideas come direct from the fabric, particularly when I’m using vintage or unusual fabrics. In this case it was peace silk and lace. I spread the fabric out, play around with it and see what happens. Sometimes it clicks immediately, sometimes it takes ages to work out. This seems to be a bit of a problem when I HAVE to design something specific, rather than just whatever comes. I had a real challenge with the apron for Sew It Up. I just could not come up with a full-length apron design which I like. I made one, wasn’t at all sure about it. Once it had been photographed I really hated it and had to knock out a completely one in about 24 hours. Including tracking down the required recycled stripy shirts. Its amazing how the thing you need just doesn’t exist in the shops when you need it.

Apron sneak peek.jpg

Much better. I always know when a design is a bit duff. It just doesn’t feel right.
I had lots of pre-existing things I planned to use for this second book, but they didn’t feel right and I had to start again from scratch. Which takes time, but is so much more fun.

I’m sure I had something else to say, but I have just been distracted by an email from my mum containing a review of a toaster. Is that normal at 10.45pm? Maybe not in your life, but it is in mine. I’m off to consider the relative merits of the Krups Toast expert FEM 231.
Toast expert, no less!

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