, , , ,

Baby shoes

Now that I have retired from the university, like lots of the retired, I find myself in straitened circumstances.  One of the things that I do to support myself is to work as a Humanist celebrant.  I create Wedding and Naming ceremonies.

Humanists do not believe in supernatural forces, including God, fate, destiny, and so on.  This means that we all have to think about living a good life for its own sake and not because we can expect some ultimate judgement in an afterlife.  We are highly discouraged from describing Humanism in these negative terms, according to what we don’t believe in, but I think it is by far and away the most interesting thing about it.  When I write what we are for you can see that it is not that different from the Christianity that I was brought up with: kindness, tolerance, openness, inclusivity and a desire for human flourishing.  If you want to know more about this, you can have a look at www.humanism.org.uk where luminaries such as Stephen Fry, Alice Roberts and Sandi Toksvig explain the principles extremely well.

All that out of the way, I can turn to the  point of this post, which is that in order to do anything at all these days, it seems that you have to have a web presence.  So, I put up quite a bit on instragram (@AnnRippin if you want to have a look).  Finding things to photograph and put up about Naming ceremonies is quite difficult, especially if you don’t want to put the child’s photo on the web.  So, I have been thinking about what I can include instead.

I have decided to make a series of baby shoes and put a poem that people planning a naming might like to consider.  The shoes are designed as decorative items, although theoretically they could be worn.  Maybe only for photographs, though, as they are very likely to fall off.

This pair is my prototype.  I made up a piece of patched together cotton fabric and quilted it roughly onto some purple felt.  Then I cut out the shapes from the ‘yardage’.  I stitched them together very roughly with variegated thread.

I really enjoy making them.  The pattern is by Simplicity and I got it in a pattern sale for a fiver.  I will blog more about that later.  Suffice to say they went together really easily and with only the tiniest bit of easing around the heel.

This pair also has pieced soles which I like.

The fabric for this pair comes from Aldi and/or Lidl.  They sell packs of fat quarters really cheaply and it looks a bit poor quality until you wash it, when, once the fierce dressing is out of it, it becomes delightfully soft.  Their cotton is from Pakistan, which is a change from the gorgeous US cottons we often use.   A lot of the designs, as you will see in later posts look a bit like vintage Laura Ashley which I also like.

Lots more to post on this project later.

 

 

, , ,

Improvised doll à la Ann Wood

Some of you may know the work of the mighty Ann Wood who makes lovely fabric dolls and other creatures as well as a range of galleons and little boats and so on.  She has a variety of free patterns on her website and an Etsy shop which is worth a look.   She has a whole range of tiny dolls with clothes and accessories.

One of her blog posts which caught my eye was about improvised dolls.  She describes her process of just starting off making a doll and not knowing where you will end up.  So you use what you have around you and just make a doll, trusting that the process will come up with something worthwhile.  I thought that this would be a really good holiday project while we were in a cottage in Pembrokeshire, particularly as it has been known to rain in this part of the world and you do need something to do when it pours.

I started to make my doll and I only had fabric and no stuffing with me, so I knew that it was going to have to be a rolled rather than sewn and stuffed doll.  So I made some fabric rolls from a beautiful soft cotton from the Cloth House in Soho.

These dolls are rough and ready and folky so they are not supposed to look highly polished, hence the wonky seams.  I stitched the legs onto the back of the torso so that the doll could sit on a shelf.  It was all going well until it came to the head:

Trying to fix a little roll to a large roll was tricky.  I could have stitched and then rolled more cloth round for a neck, but in the end, I decided to wrap it in a circle of linen and stitch the circle down:

This took a surprising number of attempts and was really ugly, but linen is linen even if it was a cheap end of roll bargain and I wasn’t going to throw it away.  The only thing then was disguising the very unlovely graft, which I don’t seem to have a photo of.  I was intending to make a nice girl doll, but the neck fiasco meant that a beard was called for:

I suppose I could have made a circus bearded lady, but I rather liked his shaggy look.  I had stitched a long nose, and had used black beads for his eyes from a variety pack from Tiger, and I used the coloured pencils in the photo above for his eyebrows and mouth and cheeks.

I found him really appealing, like a gentle hippy character.  I made him some Dad jeans and then really enjoyed knitting him a little sweater with gorgeous hand-dyed Welsh wool yarn I had bought in a woollen mill in Solva in Pembrokeshire.   The roll neck also helped to camouflage the weird neck situation:

I left the hands and feet free to fray.  I could have tidied them up, but I liked the messiness of them in an improvised piece:

So here he is complete:

The happy end to his story is that he has gone off to a new home in the USA.  He caught someone’s eye and we did a barter, although I would have been happy just for him to go off to someone who wanted him.  He would just have gathered dust here because the important part of the project was the process, which absolutely worked.

 

, , ,

Revisiting an old friend – The Laughing Cavalier by Frans Hals

I was in the Wallace Collection a couple of weeks ago having a look at the delightful Manolo Blahnik exhibition.  The shoes are dotted throughout the exhibition which means there is a kind of treasure hunt to find them.  One of them was placed in front of this famous portrait.  Now, The Laughing Cavalier was ubiquitous when I was growing up.  It turned up on biscuit tins and calendars all the time.  Because it was so familiar, I was a bit sniffy when I saw it up on the wall, but I thought I might as well have a look as it was there in front of me.  I am glad I did, because it really does reward close attention.  Frans Hals could really paint fabric.

A bit of information about the painting first.  Of course, the sitter isn’t laughing and he isn’t a cavalier.  Apparently, the motifs on his sleeve suggest that this might have been a betrothal portrait, and he was probably a merchant of some description.  The Wallace Collection website states:

In this exuberant half-length portrait, a young man poses, arm rakishly akimbo, against a plain grey background. The painting is inscribed with the date (1624) and the sitter’s age (26). The work is unique in Hals’s male portraiture for the rich colour that is largely imparted by the sitter’s flamboyant costume: a doublet embroidered with fanciful motifs in white, gold and red thread, with a gilded rapier pommel visible at the crook of his elbow…

By the early nineteenth century, Hals’s reputation had fallen into relative obscurity. Despite this, the portrait became the object of a furious bidding battle between the 4th Marquess of Hertford and Baron James de Rothschild at a Paris auction in 1865. It was acquired by Lord Hertford for the princely sum of 51.000 francs (about £2,040), an event which proved to be a turning point in the artist’s critical reputation. At the Royal Academy exhibition of 1888, the painting was exhibited with the title ‘The Laughing Cavalier.’

What caught my eye was the fantastic painting of the sleeve, particularly the embroidery, and also the lace.

 

I love those buttons and the lace on his cuffs.  Also, look at the way the ruff is painted:

Look at the gorgeous way he has painted the black silk:

And finally, the lovely frill of lace in the lower left-hand corner of the frame:

I think this is just too gorgeous to walk past.  Here’s the Manolo Blahnik that went with it:

Now, I can see why they paired the picture with Blahnik’s interpretation of the riding boot, but I think it misses the point.  Although materials and craft employed here are exquisite, this portrait is not about restraint.  It is flamboyant and rejoicing in excess.  I think it’s been matched with the title.

Just glorious.  Next time I go to the Wallace, I will go and have another look.

,

Dieter Rams and Ten Principles of Good Design applied to Quilting

 

There was a very good documentary on BBC 4 last night about Dieter Rams who was, for many years, the head of design at Braun.  I had an orange Braun hairdryer throughout my adolescence which I really loved, and was slap-bang in the middle of his tenure so he may well have had a hand in it (now going for well over £100 on ebay).

 

He is an industrial designer, still working, who has a very stripped back aesthetic.  His own home is pretty minimalist and, frankly would drive me bonkers:

 

but it does show that he is consistent in his values and lives with them.

He is well-known for having developed his ten principles of design, which I thought were worth thinking about in terms of designing quilts and other textile pieces.  This is not because I think we should slavishly follow Herr Rams, but because I think it is good practice to think about what we do with a set of prompts which might just jog our thinking.

There is a very good account of the ten principles on Vitsoe’swebsite: https://www.vitsoe.com/gb/about/good-design.  He is currently designing for them and they have a show room just around the corner from the Wallace Collection, which is currently probably my favourite museum.

The ten principles then:

  1. Good design is innovative.  This one is straightforward.  Even if we are working in a really traditional way there is scope for innovation.  EPP is a good example.  Naomi Clarke demonstrates fantastic innovation in what is a particularly traditional form.  If you slavishly copy a quilt you are a copier not a designer, obviously.
  2. Good design makes a produce useful.  Of course.  There is little point in designing a circular bed quilt unless you have hot feet, in which case it is brilliant design.
  3. Good design is aesthetic.  For Rams, this is a pared back, stripped back aesthetic.  Design is about purity and he avoids fussiness or decoration.  I expect he would admire Amish quilting which exemplifies this approach.  It is plain.  But he is a bit more accepting of design that isn’t product design having a few more frills.
  4. Good design makes a product understandable.  All those things you look at and think, ‘what’s that for?’ are not well-designed.  When you look at a quilt, it ought to be recognisable as something you could put on a bed or on a wall.
  5. Good design is unobtrusive.  The idea here is that nothing should shout out at you.  When you go into your kitchen your eyes should not immediately be drawn to the kettle or the toaster.  We are after visual calm.  This might be worth a note to self as I reach for the fuschia pink highlight.
  6. Good design is honest.  It does not try to be anything other than it is.  It does not try to fool you with features you don’t want.  This is hard for quilters, I think.  I don’t think we try to suggest that our quilts are anything other than quilts.  But, I think that it applies to cheap printed quilts you can buy ready made.  They exist, but they arennot as lovely as the real thing.
  7. Good design is long-lasting.  This is an easy one for quilters.  The standard form of three layers is timeless.  And, we still collect antique quilts which will fit into most interiors – even Herr Rams cool white house.
  8. Good design is thorough down to the last detail.  Yes, thinking about how we are going to finish a piece comes under this heading.  Choosing the quilting thread.  Designing the label.  All these things need to be designed in at some point.
  9. Good design is environmentally friendly.  Rams was talking about our impact on the environment as early as the 70s.  He is a bit of a champion and hero of environmentalists.  This one is tricky for quilters.  On the one hand, many of us recycle and repair.  On the other, the textile industry is a massive polluter and dehydrator.
  10. Good design is as little design as possible.  This is back to simplicity.  I have seen quilts where I have thought to myself, ‘Blimey, they’ve thrown everything at that’.  But this one doesn’t have that much to say to me.

Rams is also famous for his nostrum: buy less, buy better, which Vivienne Westwood also recommends.  I think this is probably true for quilters.  We should think about the impact of what we buy on the world.  Will we use that fat quarter?  Can we buy organic?  All those concerns.

, ,

Henry Moore Helmet Head Exhibition at the Wallace Collection

Yesterday I treated myself to a trip to the Wallace Collection to see the Henry Moore Helmet Head exhibition.  Moore apparently went to the Wallace Collection to study and draw the helmets in the Collection’s armour exhibitions.  He worked on these ideas throughout his life.

I only like three elements of Moore’s work; his drawings of sheep, his king and queen sculptures and his helmet work.  So, I really did want to get to see this show.  It’s been on for a good three months and I finally got to see it yesterday, the day before it closes.  That is typical of me.

The exhibition was wonderful, and the catalogue is great.  The Wallace is a lovely place to visit, and have lunch.  And there is a tiny branch of my current favourite shoe shop just around the corner.  That’s all I need, really.

I don’t have photos of the heads themselves, and they are easy enough to find on-line, like this one:

 

I went to draw the heads.  I think you understand what you are looking at a lot more if you draw it as well as just look at it,  So what follows is some pages from my sketchbook.

But, you can’t really go to a good show without learning something.  So, what I learned was that for Moore:

  • the helmet was a protector and  an object of war and brutality.  It has elements of the victim and the perpetrator.
  • the helmet is akin to the skull – it protects the brain – although within that it seems that the brain, for Moore, was the protector of the mind.  The mind is the thing that most needs protection.  It is the most important thing – the human consciousness.
  • the helmet is vital to the aggressive warrior but also protects the terrified soldier.  There is the warlike and the anxious.
  • there is tremendous human tenderness, somehow, in his portrayal of the human ear.  I wondered how much you heard in those helmets, and whether they amplified the sounds of war.  It turns out, that they had an arming helmet underneath which deadened the sound, which was good, but also meant that you couldn’t hear orders.  Infantrymen had much more open helmets which meant that they could hear order.  The heavy cavalry wore these enclosed helmets and couldn’t so once they charged, that was it – they were out of control.
  • I didn’t know about his lithographs which were stunning and a real extra special gift at the end of the exhibition.  He talked about them as soldiers looking out over the battlements getting ready for battle.  Anxiety leeches out of them as you look at them.  They reminded me as well as Goya’s unbearable painting of the little dog in his horrors of war series.

 

I also learned that Moore can make a much more graceful line in bronze than I can make on paper.

I think this anxiety about a world in peril, and people needing protection is very relevant again.  Moore had been in the First World War and seen the horrors.  I have lived a life of it on television.  I felt this exhibition gave a real feel of what it is like to suffer from this inescapable anxiety and to live with the ghost of war throughout our lives.

On a lighter note.  I loved doing these drawings.  I was going to give them some watercolour washes on the train home, but it was packed so there wasn’t room.  I finished them off this morning instead with coloured pencils and some kids’ crayons.  I absolutely loved doing it.  I loved layering the colours.  The sketchbook is a small six inch square one which gives you some idea of the scale of the drawings.  The collage elements were good for finding the proportions of the heads, which were a lot squarer than I thought.  Anyway, here are the pages.

 

This was one of the first exhibits of a helmet which had inspired him.  This one is from antiquity, whereas most of them are medieval or renaissance.

 

One of the things I learned from drawing was that the insides were cast separately from the helmet form, which is probably obvious, but took me a while.

 

I don’t normally like the stringed elements in Moore and his contemporaries’ work,  but I felt it worked here with some sort of reference to arrows as well as helmets.  Also seen in this collage of mine:

 

I loved the ambiguity of the above which looked masculine until you saw it sideways on when it had a goddess’ hairdo.  Also, whoever invented the Cybermen onmust have seen these heads.

These terrified me more than the Daleks, which must tell me something.

 

I love the shadow helmet which has emerged as I worked on the previous page and transferred some of the pigment from the purple head.

The piece on the left was affecting because it had the war-like lobster plate armour on the right as we look at it but an embracing, enveloping arm on the other.  Again playing with the duality of war: aggression and protection.  The drawing on the right is my version of Moore’s drawing.  Really perfect for layered stitching.

Good example of how cutting a square or a rectangle of paper helps to get the proportions right in these collages.

My attempts to work out how he did it!

 

 

I may well do some more work on these lithographs as they are almost preparatory sketches for stitched panels.

 

In short, this was a great show, beautifully mounted, and thought-provoking.  It had a brooding quality, which I think is instructive and highly current.

 

, ,

Making miniatures with Megan

Last weekend I went to a wonderful workshop with Megan Ivy Griffiths.  Megan is an illustrator who discovered embroidery and decided it was the medium she wanted to work in.  Perhaps this is the reason that her work is so small.  She is used to working in a scale which fits books.  The result of this is that her work is really charming.

The photos in this post are not great, because of the conditions in which they were taken, but I hope they are good enough for you to see just how delightful Megan’s little doll creatures are:

Her work is exquisite and uses a limited colour palette and fairly small range of stitches on a very basic calico.  She uses ordinary embroidery floss.  I loved the folkloric feel of it.

We had a choice of what to work on, and had to produce stitch samples as practice before we started:

We all voted to work on the design that Megan had prepared for us:

The above is Megan’s original.  I really enjoyed working on mine and was foolishly thrilled at being able to do the leaf stitch in the middle.

I had forgotten how much I like embroidering in a hoop and how much it adds to the finished result.

I was also interested to see that she is moving onto painting blocks of the figures:

I think this adds another element to her work without making it heavier which is important for small pieces like this.  You could do it with fabric bonded onto the calico, but that would make it more difficult to sew through.

I was also interested that everyone really wanted a small work to take home.  I fell in love with a giraffe and lots of people were asking for a lion workshop:

This led me to wonder, not for the first time, about the appeal of miniature things, and in particular, things that can fit into the palm of your hand.  I wonder if it makes us feel more powerful like Gulliver in Gulliver’s Travels.  Or if it evokes something magical like Alice in Alice in Wonderland.  Or if it stimulates some instinct in us to look after tiny, vulnerable things like babies.  I am not sure, but there was definitely something enchanting about these pieces, and I was delighted to have my own.

I think I might have overstuffed mine, which is worth remembering for next time.  I intend to mount it as Megan does her’s in a box frame and put it on the wall.

Megan’s work is wonderful and she sells it on Etsy.  I think it sells out almost instantly, so you would have to be very quick.  She is also really lovely and a very good, well-prepared and generous teacher.  Well worth going to her workshop if you see one advertised.  She also looks a bit like a young Jane Birkin/Charlotte Gainsbourg which added an extra charm to the whole thing.  Highly recommended.

 

Pomegranate Studio on Instagram

 

I am so sorry that there has been such a gap in between my posts.  Some of this has been because I have been posting on Instagram quite a bit.  If you want to follow me there search for Ann Rippin or #pomegranatestudio.  This will let you see work in progress.

I am back to blogging, though, so if you don’t do Instagram you won’t be missing too much.

 

 

 

, , ,

Patchwork and quilting as problem solving – or why sewing is good for the brain

There was a piece on the news a couple of weeks ago about the negative impact of the over-fifties watching more than three and a half hours of television a day.  It seems that over these three and a half hours people became more forgetful.  I was never much of a social scientist, but even I had to ask myself about the sample size and make-up.  Who did they ask?  Did they do anything other than watch television, like crossword puzzles or mental arithmetic?  Were they watching game shows or subtitled black and white art films?  Was this a snapshot or a longitudinal study?  Those sorts of questions came to mind.

I am sure that I watch more television than I should, but I don’t just watch television.  I use it like an augmented radio and knit or sew while cocking half an ear to it.  I have sewn on a gazillion beads and put in a million seed stitches while watching the television.  I wondered if the study took this into account.

I get this industrious habit from my mother who was never keen on my sitting idly and passively consuming television.  She drilled me in making the most of my time.  She also introduced me to the concept of a good ironing film.  Sometimes when the stitching is particularly engrossing I really do just listen to the television as if it were the radio.  I recently sat down and started watching a film with the Medieval Historian and just had the feeling that I had seen it before.  I knew the entire plot but did not recognise any visuals.  Then I realised that I had heard it but not seen it.  Very strange.

This is all just a preamble to thinking about craft as therapy.  There is a lot around at the moment about how good sewing is for you, which is something I really do subscribe to, and I am increasingly interested in the way we link the felt and the seen together so closely.  Sewing can certainly slow you down and calm your thinking.  You have to get the posture right, though, as I find that if you are hunched over your work it can lead to diminished breathing which lowers rather than raises your mood.  If you can take care of that, however, then craft can be therapeutic.

This is fine, but I think that our passion for craft is much more than a mood booster.  When you become good at a craft to the point of having mastered it, perhaps, something else becomes important.  Beginners follow instructions, sit with their teachers or watch a YouTube video and learn the basics.  Once we become proficient, though, and want to produce particularly distinctive work, we have to start working things out for ourselves; we have to become problem solvers.  We have to use our accumulated skills to work out how to get the result we want.  Quite a lot of the time we fail, and many artists talk about falling short of what was in their imaginations, of the gap between the subject and the made object.  Some people hate this, but I like the voyage of discovery.  I love those times when you stand back and think, “I made this’ but have no idea where it came from, and I have blogged before about that feeling of turning up and providing the hands while the work almost gives birth to itself.

There was a phase a few years ago when we all got interested in management development in the notion of 10,000 hours producing mastery.  People have been lining up to take potshots at it as a theory for some time, but I still think it has some validity.  You do have to practise your craft.  I remember when I was still teaching at the university and was in a writing class.  One of my students produced a really moving account of why he worked in the NHS.  Someone asked him how long it had taken him to write it, and he was about to say three hours or whatever, when the guest tutor who was leading the session said, ‘40 years’.  All your life experience and all that practice goes into producing our very best work.

In my most recent work I have been rediscovering my childhood passion for making dolls clothes and drawing historical fashions.  This return to childhood with the benefit of a lifetime of experience and education has been therapeutic in the sense of helping me to recover a lost delight.  It has also made me work very hard to exercise my skill and do some immediate problem solving.  My brain has had to get involved to a surprising degree.  How am I going to represent hair?  How am I going to suggest shoes?  How will I get a 3D object to sit satisfactorily on a 2D substrate?  What shape do you actually have to cut to get a wraparound pinny?  What can I use as a blazingly glittering ring when I don’t have a spare diamond lying around?  I have solved all sorts of problems and even if some of them are not that brilliantly realised, at least I had the mental resources to think of something.

I was talking to the excessively talented English Paper Piecing guru, Naomi Clarke, about the therapeutic side of sewing.  We were talking about people wanting to claim it as a way of achieving mindfulness or as a self-soothing activity, but we haven’t seen anything on sewing strictly for the joy of doing it, or as a way of exercising really quite ‘left brain’ skills.  These are the logical, sequential, numerical skills that have been associated with men for so long and leading to high-paying jobs.  Sewing requires great accomplishment in these skills.  It requires planning, conceptualising in three dimensions, calculating quantities and proportions, prototyping and reworking.  These are the skills required in many of the new approaches to strategic management and project management.  I think I could almost argue for dressmaking and embroidery to be on the curriculum at all business schools.

Just to show you what I mean about problem solving though, here is some work in progress from a series of appliqué portrayals of women for my new talk on cozy crime novels.  I start with the basic body form:

 

This gets modified sometimes, as here, to give a profile:

I thought she looked a bit Egyptian at this point, but because of time constraints I had to go with the original plan.  Her face is deliberately just sketched in.  This is because she is an illustration rather than a portrait.

I knew that I wanted to give her expensive highlights and so I tried some glittery fabric:

This is not brilliantly successful and so I will continue to work on it – watch this space.

Then I wanted to make it more three dimensional so I stuffed it a bit, and I love the way that this gives a sort of crêpey neck.

The arm worked really well.  I wanted her to have a wrap dress so I found a scrap of jersey which I sort of draped over her body.  The size of the scrap meant that I had to drape the less stretchy size of the jersey over the form and this did not give such a good finish, but she is well on the way.

I will post more as the series continues.

 

, ,

Trends for 2019

 

For some time I have wondered about doing a pictorial blog, and so this is an experiment using pages from my little ideas notebook.  I am going to start with a bit of a summary in case my writing is too hard to decipher, but after that it is notebook pages.  Any feedback gratefully received.  Just for information, this is my ideas notebook:

It’s a very nice Italian number with wooden covers, which I picked up at a bargain price at TK Maxx.  It’s very small, and I literally use it for quick notes when I have an idea.

This post then, is about trends in decor from the January number of Elle Decoration.  I occasionally do this quick review and have a think about what impact the trends might have on patchwork and quilting.  I think the answer is basically none, but it is worth thinking a bit about if you are hoping to sell anything, or just want a prod to do something slightly different.  This year’s trends then are:

  • Industrial luxury (I am none the wiser having read the article)
  • 1970s full-on Abigail’s Party
  • Yellow and in particular deep mustard and turmeric.  Also recommended: deep mustard, terracotta and teal
  • Chrome
  • Handpainted tiles
  • Lozenges
  • Woven art work on the walls
  • Eco surfaces
  • Coloured stone
  • Graphic lines
  • Rust and rose together
  • Timber

 

 

 

I hope you find something here of interest.

 

, , , , ,

New Year’s Doll 2019

 

Bethan Bear at the only service station she will deign to visit: Gloucester Gateway

Every year I make a doll on New Year’s Day.  I have a few rules.  It must be made from scratch and it must be completed in a single day.  It also has to say something about the year that I have had or the year I want.  This year I broke the rules a bit, because they are my rules for me and I can’t see much point in giving myself a hard time in our current climate.  The doll was finished in one day, but the clothes took me a lot longer.

This year I have been making bears for sale in my Etsy shop so I decided to make one for myself.  I also wanted to make a doll based on a photograph I saw in House and Garden of Bethan Laura Wood who is a textile designer.  She is a walking work of art and I particularly love the way she does her make-up with two spots of rouge and then two extra dots on top:

This was my starting point.  I made the bear out of wool felt with boiled wool features.  Once I put the eyeliner on like Ms Wood, though, the bear suddenly looked like a lioness or a puma, which was a bit of a surprise.

I really enjoyed doing the stem stitch round her eyes, which was done with three strands of embroidery thread.  I made her with long legs in order to make it possible to dress her.  The little squat bears are lovely but their bandy legs are hard to get into trousers.

I took the decision to stitch the clothes by hand which was a debatable choice, but does give them an artisan feel.  I started with trousers and a tunic:

The fabrics are by Amy Butler because I love her joyful use of colour.  The little cotton scarf, however, is a piece of IKEA furnishing fabric which I had dyed for another project.  Then I made the duster coat to go over the top, and started on the accessories.  I made her a shawl from mustard yellow yarn which is pure acrylic but produced a lovely drapey texture.  The colour is also apparently one of the hot looks for 2019.  I appliquéd a felt artichoke on it.  I don’t think it particularly looks like an artichoke but I do like it as an appliqué piece:

For her hat, I used the rather ropey knitting I did on four needles.  It was my first ever piece of tubular knitting.  I crocheted an edging to try and make it a bit more appealing as a wrist warmer or something.  It remained stunningly unattractive, but came into its own as a hat from Bethan.  I added two tassels and appliquéd a rose in a finer wool and acrylic mix felt:

I made her some jewellery and finally, I made sure to add some pompoms on her shoes to echo the fantastic ones on Bethan Laura Wood’s pumps.

I absolutely love her and she is definitely not for sale.