Today is the birthday of Michael Bond and to celebrate we would like to share this Paddington Bear shopping bag!
I have always loved Paddington Bear – there is something so appealing about his character. We would also wave to a Paddington Bear, every time we got the bus into Glasgow and so this was a very nostalgic lovely make.
I decided to use chain stitch for the umberlla and I loved the effect it helps to give the umbrella texture and also emphasise the shape of each section.
The tag was upcycled from a pair of chinos and we were lucky because the stud on the trousers became the hole of the luggage tag. Serenpidity is an great thing!
If you would like to look after this shopping bag feel free to purchase it from our Folksy store! http://www.folksy.com/givielane
Any other suggestions for author bags please let us know!
It is funny where ideas come from; you can sit for hours staring at a slowly cooling cup of tea trying to come up with a use for that old pair of denims (oh, wait that is just me?) but the best ideas come when you are not actively thinking. When you give your brain time to mix together all the things you have seen, read and been inspired by and then the spark of inspiration comes.
This is true of our First Date Doll — the idea came out of a friend’s Facebook post. The girl was talking about how she was having a clothes clear-out but didn’t want to get rid of the dress she worn on her first date, yet she would never wear it again. Ping! (Imagine a lightbulb above my head) I checked with Givie (the sewing expert) and yes it was possible to turn a dress into a doll wearing the same dress.
So how do you do it?
A teeny-weeny with no polka dots, yellow dress into this:
A fun memento/doll that would keep your memories fresh but without taking space up in your wardrobe, because there is always new dresses to buy and wear.
The first thing is to remember you are only creating an impression of the dress, that it doesn’t have to be an exact replica – I am sure my friend didn’t wear yellow shoes but it fits with the dress and also goes with the look of the doll. You are aiming for something that sparks a memory
However it is important to have small details on your dress, as that is what makes it so special like the zip detail on the back of this dress:
This is also what makes crafting so interesting – the thought that goes into working out how to make things look good. It is also true of the waistband of this dress, took trial and error to realise that the best way to get the waistband to sit where it is needed was elastic – just as it was on the original dress!
The hair is created with felt – felt is great because it keeps it shape and helps with the overall cartoon-y fun appearance of the doll, accentuated further with the face, drawn on with pens that don’t bleed into fabric.
This was a fun project to work on – mainly because you know that it will have special meaning for the person you are making it for.
What dress/outfit would you turn into a doll?
It is funny what we anchor our memories to – seemingly insignificant items can take on such meaning that you can’t bear to throw them out and yet don’t want them to languish in the back of a drawer or shoved into a neglected memory box.
We first worked on this idea when my granpa died and we were left with all his ties, ties that symbolized my granpa at his best; strong, determined and always having the right tie for the right occasion. We selected ties that suited each member of the family and Givie gave me the responsibility to sew them up. So the ties not only, for me, represent the love that I had for my granpa but also for each member of the family that I slowly (with tongue sticking out!) made the appletie for.
We never sit on an idea though and always look for ways we can use a craft again and again and my dad has recently stopped working at a teacher and so Givie has worked her sewing magic to make an appletie from his school tie. Which made us wonder are there more ties laden with memories just waiting to be reborn into appleties?
Pictures of the Abronhill High Tie – made by Givie for Mr Givie!
The finished Appletie