Street Style Wales

Knitting, stitching, thrifting, crocheting


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By Hand London hack: Turning the Anna dress into a skirt

DSC_0797 editedYou all know by now how much I love the By Hand London sewing patterns. The Anna dress is a firm favourite, with its beautiful A line skirt. Having made quite a lot of dresses lately, I thought it was about time I mixed it up and made something different. I really love the shorter skirt from the Anna dress and it’s a great length for wearing to work, so I thought, why not make it into a skirt of its own?

I was lucky enough to be given some fabric remnants from the sewing editor at work and managed to cut out the skirt pattern using pretty much all of the fabric (I had to be quite crafty with my cutting skills). I altered the waistline and added in a shorter zip and here you have it, one Anna skirt.

I followed my normal size but somehow the skirt ended up being far too big, so I had to bring it in quite a bit. The length is great and I really love the print so overall it’s a really lovely skirt to wear, but next time I’ll definitely be a bit wiser when cutting the strips and measure my waistline correctly.

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The dream Ruby dress

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This dress, the Simple Sew Ruby dress, was a dream to make. It only took a few hours to sew up and, like my previous experience of Simple Sew patterns, the instructions were really easy to follow.

This dress was actually a freebie with Love Sewing magazine but it’s such a great make that the magazine rereleased the pattern a few months ago. I got mine on its original run but stashed it away for a future make. Recently I found some fabric I didn’t have a use for and, on a break from another sewing project, I decided to make it.

I’m glad I did as I really love the shape of the dress and it has a great circle skirt. One major thing I’d change (and should have done differently this time but I didn’t have enough fabric) is lengthen the skirt considerably. I really don’t like the dress length at all and even in the drawings it appears to be short. I think that’s even why I didn’t use the dress pattern straightaway. Looking at these photos I think next time I’ll also lengthen the bodice. I wonder whether other people have felt the need to lengthen the pattern?

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I’m definitely planning to make more Rubies, especially as they’re perfect for the hot weather that we’ve been having lately! I guess next time I’ll order far more fabric to be able to make these changes.


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Made by Hand craft fair 2014: Part two

IMG_1900If you haven’t caught up with yesterday’s Made by Hand post, please click here.

As I mentioned yesterday, there were some great designers and products at the Made by Hand craft fair. So much so, in fact, that I’ve decided that the fair warrants two posts.

I’m often drawn to colours and quirky designs, so I was glad to see plenty of products that fitted the bill at the fair. This time I’ve featured my favourite jewellery, ceramics, prints and embroidery. Have a read about each artist and click onto their sites if you’d like to know more.

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Ellymental lives and works in Cardiff where she sells jewellery pieces inspired by animals and collage. Her work is stocked in shops and galleries across the UK and it’s easy to see why. Each piece is lovingly made and whimsical. You can buy her work on her website or her Folksy shop and you can follow her on Twitter here.

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Bryony Stanford is based in Shropshire and graduated from Birmingham’s School of Jewellery with a BA (Hons) degree in Jewellery and Silversmithing. Her work, such as the animal pins featured above, often features the relationship between construction and deconstruction and she uses different textures and finishes to make each piece unique. You can find her on Twitter or Facebook and she also sells on Not on the High Street.IMG_1865

What I particularly loved about Esther Connon’s work is that she creates children’s books from her beautiful drawings. Esther works from a studio on the north coast of Cornwall which actually happens to be her old grammar school. She has always had a passion for storytelling but uses minimal or no text, instead using her drawings to tell the story. You can find out more here.

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I’ve encountered Alice Shields’s work before, last year. The ceramicist’s products are inspired by the outside as well as the eccentricities of British style and she creates beautiful pieces for the house, the garden or for adorning clothes. Each piece is handmade and you can follow her adventures here or here.

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Becky Crow’s wonderful silver jewellery is definitely something to put on the Christmas wishlist. Becky uses sheet silver and copper to create her unique pieces and works from a studio in Brighton. Her work features images of nature and people and you can find out more about the pieces on her website.

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I just loved the colours of Megan Alice England’s hand printed textiles. Megan creates each piece from scratch, designing, printing and sewing from her studio in Cheltenham. You can buy her work on Etsy and Not on the High Street and follow her on Twitter here.

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Creator of Boop Design, Laura Pearcey, uses stories from her childhood to inspire her ceramics and jewellery. I particularly loved Laura’s bottles, like the ones shown in the above photo, for their individuality and sweet floral and button designs. You can find more of Laura’s work via her Facebook or Twitter.

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And finally, I somehow managed to miss By Kirsty on my first trip around, but I’m so glad I went back for a second look as I ended up buying one of the wooden alphabet brooches from here. Designer Kirsty Patrick specialises in wood and acrylic and also has a shop based in the Cardiff arcades (one of my favourite places) selling homeware by British designers. You can find out more here or here.


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Made by Hand craft fair 2014: Part one

IMG_1852Last Friday I was lucky enough to be invited to the Made by Hand craft fair in association with The Contemporary Craft Festival, held in Cardiff’s City Hall. With 140 stalls on two levels and work from ceramicists and jewellery makers to printers and stationery designers, the fair was well-worth a visit. The work featured at Made by Hand was well-made, exquisite and unique and I went away wanting far more than I’d actually bought.

The fair was held on the 31st October until the 2nd November and, as well as the stalls, there were plenty of expert talks and workshops for participants to try too. Workshops included making miniature story books, mosaics and embroidery with Craftivist Collective founder, Sarah Corbett.

Although some crafters had come from further away, there were quite a few local and Wales-based designers, which I was particularly happy to see, and overall the standard of stalls was brilliant.

There really was a lot to see and the event is annual, so I’ll definitely be going again next year.

But for now, here is a selection of some of my favourite exhibitors. As there were too many for one post, part two will follow tomorrow.

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Virginia Graham creates her range of colourful ceramics from a studio in Cardiff. Her work includes mismatched teapots and mugs, floral coasters and even ceramic brooches. Her work is sold throughout the UK and a list of stockists appears on her website. You can keep up to date with her news via her Facebook page here.

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Helaina Sharpley is a wirework artist based in West Yorkshire, who specialises in detailed and beautiful wall art. Her work ranges from postcard sculptures to more intricate posters, like the above. Helaina says it takes her many hours to make each piece of work. You can follow her on Twitter here.

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I really loved Ruth Green’s screenprinted notebooks and cards. The artist sells on Not on the High Street and works from her studio in Birmingham to create prints inspired by the flora and fauna of the British countryside. You can see more of her work here or here.

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All of the items sold by Grace & Favour Home are handmade in Devon. Creator Rachael Rowe works from her studio on the edge of Dartmoor to make unique products, including bunting, cushions and stationery. You can follow her work on Facebook or Twitter.

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I’ve come across the work of Mid Wales based company Llynfi Textiles on many an occasion before and their work is always lovely. Specialising in woollen garments, the brand is run by Sue and Emily James, a mother and daughter team. Llynfi Textiles also has a Twitter, Facebook and a blog, so follow away.

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I just loved the ice lolly necklaces that My Bear Hands was selling. Jewellery designer Sally Haysom’s pieces begin life as a watercolour painting or a sketch with digital colour and she then turns them into wearable jewellery using digital or hand applied techniques. You can follow her adventures on her website, Facebook, Twitter or blog.

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The work of Plymouth College of Art students Luke Axworthy and Nieve Perry really impressed me. Luke’s jewellery pieces were very innovative and I loved Nieve’s ceramic milk bottles.

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I absolutely love screenprinted posters like the ones on sale by Print Garage. Each design was different and I particularly loved the colours of the prints. Creator of Print Garage, Iain Perry, also runs a selection of workshops for anyone interested in learning the craft which you can find out more about here. The Print Garage Facebook page can be found here and its Twitter is here.

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I can imagine having a lot of Katie Almond‘s ceramics in my home as they’re incredibly lovely. Inspired by vintage textiles, Katie creates jugs, cups, plates, teapots and cake stands full of colour and with quirky designs. Plus she also does commissions! Keep up with Katie’s work through her Facebook page, Twitter or blog.