Category Archives: Fashion

Lagenlook : Moyuru

I seem to have been sleeping under a rock, or something. How could I have missed this latest Lagenlook fashion trend? (Well, maybe not sleeping, but preoccupied with other crafty projects and personal improvement practices ๐Ÿ˜Š). 

So, who’s this latest new kid on the block? It’s a Japanese fashion designer called Moyuru. Try as I might, I’ve not been able to track down one specific website for them. Moyuru appear to supply several independent fashion retailers in various countries. Rather than me trying to list the retailers, and missing out several or more of them, just Google “Moyuru” and your own country, and find out for yourself if there’s a retailer near you. 

I’ve also found several listings for Moyuru on eBay. Perhaps there are some sellers in your country too? Good luck!

A few words to describe Moyuru: edgy, monochromatic, contemporary, futuristic, cutting edge, muted colours, sculptural, boots, linear, geometry, trend, quirky, wool, linen.

Pinterest, as always, provided me with the most pictures and links. I’ve curated the following Moyuru from my own Pinterest board “Tunics & Lagenlook“, so if there’s one or three that particularly catch your eye, do take a look at my Pinterest board, click on the photo therein, and you’ll find more information about it. 

Enjoy Moyuru Japanese Lagenlook! 

Patchwork Sofasย 

I’m in love with the idea of having a patchwork sofa in my home. Problem is, I’m not sure where I’ll find the space for it in the living room. There IS a battered armchair  recliner that my dog Shelagh uses as one of her daybeds (yes, she’s very spoilt ๐Ÿ˜„), I could try my hand at re-upholstering it, or maybe I could donate it to a charity shop instead, and buy another armchair that I Could do up myself. 

The armchair that I have is not vintage or even beautiful, but it serves its purpose. It IS bulky and creaky, though, and the reclining part has barked my shins several times OUCH! So, I’m going to go for Option Number 2 – change it for a better one.

I’ve been researching upholstery techniques online, and I’ve browsed through a library book on upholstery. But, to be entirely honest, it looks very time consuming and labour and parts intensive. 

So, I might just have to save up and try to get a readymade patchwork sofa. Or ottoman, or bench, or stool. Or, maybe just do a simpler project with easier, straight lines. I DO have a piano stool that needs recovering, hmmm maybe I could start with that?

Meanwhile, in the land of the rich, here are some patchwork beauties from Pinterest, to whet your appetite.

Colours Make Me Happy

Just sharing some of my favourite photos, curated from Pinterest. I appear to have come down with the dreaded ‘flu. ๐Ÿ˜ข

But hey, I made a commitment and promise to myself nearly 4 years ago, that I would write something every day, and I’ve more or less managed to do that bar a couple of mishaps and accidental deletions. 

So here’s today’s offering to you all…a variety of colourful, vibrant scarves. Because Colours Make Me Happy. Colours uplift my spirits, make me feel cheerful and inspire me to go create my own splash of psychedelic combinations. I have some rather sweet pillowcases that I mean to turn into cute patchwork scarves, I might just start doing that.

Or..maybe wait til I feel a bit better.

Enjoy today’s Pinterest curated offerings!

Yeah, and scarves make me happy too ๐Ÿ˜„!

Upcycling:”Origami Bento Bag”

So this just happened…I’d recently accumulated several orphaned pillowcases (orphaned as in single, having been separated from its original pillowcase, bedsheet and duvet cover set) from my local thrift shop, and had already used a couple as the basis of some “Kantha” scarves. (I’ve since realised that those creations could just as equally be used as table runners or wall hangings, and have as much visual impact as a scarf…but more about that later).

My latest find at the thrift store was an orphaned quilted pillowcase that reminded me of Japanese/Indian textiles. Right up my street. 

I’d been wanting to make one of those roomy, triangular Origami-style carry-alls I’d seen on the internet. They’re called “Origami Bento Bags”. This seemed the perfect opportunity to use up some pillowcases.

This is the site I went to for the instructions:

Now for the math…

The instructions call for a piece of fabric measuring 17 x 51 inches, the length being 3 times the width. I found that a standard pillowcase measures around 19 x 29 inches. 2 pillowcases, joined together lengthwise, would be 19 x 58 inches. 3 x 19 = 57 inches. Sweet! The extra inch in the fabrics would be used up anyway as the seam allowance when sewing the 2 pillowcases together.

The other beauty of using old pillowcases to make this Origami Bento Bag is that I get to choose whether I want the 2 pillowcases to be complementary, or contrasting in their designs and colours. Another big plus is that the backs of the pillowcases make natural linings for the inside of the bags. So, there’s no need to create a separate lining for the bag. These bags were originally used in Japan to carry everyday items like groceries and also food, so there’s no need to be precious about whether the seams show on the inside or not. If you really must have perfectly smooth seams on the inside, then just sew a French seam. I’ve left mine raw.

If you use pillowcases that have different backs and fronts, then the resulting bag will be even more colourful and attractive. And, if you Do sew a French seam for the inside seams, then technically you’d have a reversible bag.

The first photo below shows how the 2 pieces are arranged and pinned together. The other photos show the finished product.

I used a separate piece of fabric to create a tube, through which the sewn ends of the bag are passed through to create a simple handle.

Very happy with this one. I think I’ll test it out on my next grocery run. Might even use it as a library book. Or for general shopping use. It certainly is a BIG bag, you could use it easily as a baby’s nappy changing bag, and carry all of baby’s things in it – bottles, wipes, change of clothes, toys, books etc.

I love upcycling and recycling, and this project fits the bill perfectly. 

Going to make more bags like this and also more “Kantha” scarves/table runners/wall hangings, and put them up on my Etsy and eBay stores, to help my “Escape From Australia” fund ๐Ÿ˜„.

Kantha Haiku

I had the notion to try sewing a “Kantha” scarf/wall hanging/table runner using only white embroidery thread. I wanted to see if the resulting finished product would have as much visual impact as one sewn using many colours of thread.

This is the result, and I must say I found it rather cathartic to not have to plan ahead with colours. It’s very like my current circumstances – having no money makes you think twice about rushing into making any impulse purchases, and whittles down your choices. Having only one embroidery thread colour to use restricts your impulse to go wild with colour, and lets you concentrate on your stitches.

Here’s the finished product. The first 2 photos are of the front, the 3rd shows what the background fabric is (a pillowcase):

This scarf is very flowery indeed, and reminds me of a garden. That, coupled with the snow flake effect of the white running stitches, gave me cause to write this Haiku:

Snow flakes on flowers

Blanket their winter slumber

Spring is still a dream

AlyZen Moonshadow

October 2016

My 3rd “Kantha” Scarf

This is my 3rd handsewn “Kantha” scarf, made with the ethos of recycling/repurposing/make do and mend in mind. The backing fabric is actually a thrifted pillowcase, opened up. The fabric patches are remnants from past projects. The only new things used are the bright red pompoms (my first time sewing pompoms onto anything!) and the embroidery thread, from my local Spotlight haberdashery store.

I love the idea of giving new life to old fabrics and finding new purposes for old objects. People throw away things too easily nowadays, even perfectly good items that our forebears would’ve kept using til they fell to bits…and then they would’ve just stitched them together to other cloths and created something useful, and that “new” item would’ve lasted a good many years beyond that. 

My Maternal Grandmother and my own Mother are good examples of the above practice. Grandma would turn old rice gunny sacks into useful tote bags. She made flowers out of colourful shopping bags. She sewed my cousin’s swimming medal ribbons into a bag. She made rag rugs, patchwork quilts, she painted landscapes on planed pieces of timber, she knitted jumpers and hats out of raffia string. 

My Mother was never as artistically inclined as Grandma, but she still wears clothes that are over 25 years old – I know because I bought some of them for her. She still has a set of Hello Kitty hair clips that I remember her buying when I was not even a teenager. Up until a few years ago, she kept my old collection of soft toys, one being a Merrythought Spaniel dog that I had in England, back in 1973! 

Anyway, this scarf is destined for Ireland, to a dear friend and a rekindled friendship. I hope it keeps her warm in the freezing Irish Winter months. 

My “Kantha” Scarves – Part 2

This is my 2nd “Kantha” scarf, made using a thrift shop velvet scarf, overlaid with fabric remnants and sewn in place simply using a running stitch with different coloured embroidery threads. The scarf is an Oriental one, with one side in black velvet and the other in a golden silk. 

This time round I tied the ends of the thread on the patchwork side, leaving the black velvet side clear of any knots. 

I love the bright zingy colours, and how the embroidery threads create an interesting contrast against the black velvet. 

My “Kantha” Scarves – Part 1

Following on from my previous posts about Indian Kantha, I bit the bullet and tried my hand at creating my own type of Kantha. 

I bought a packet of embroidery floss, 36 skeins in all in various colours, from my local Spotlight haberdashery store. I also found a large, long needle…it may be a needle for darning carpets or rugs…perfect for getting those thousands of stitches sewn faster than a tiny needle.

The 1st Kantha scarf I made turned out to be more of a shawl, made using some black velvet fabric I’d gotten at a thrift store. This scarf measures 16 wide x 72 inches long. That’s a lotta sewing!

I layered some fabric remnant pieces over the cut velvet, played around with various configurations, and when I was happy with the arrangement, just pinned the whole thing in place and then started handsewing. I tied the ends of the embroidery threads to the black velvet side for this project. It meant the velvet side showed a riot of coloured running stitches and also the tied and snipped off ends of thread. 

Here’s that 1st scarf/shawl, hanging from my orange tree.

The front part 1.

The front part 2. 

The back panel in velvet.

Close-up of the running stitches at the back.

Yes, of course I could’ve pre-marked the lines on the velvet with tailor’s chalk, to get perfectly evenly spaced and straight lines. But the whole point of the exercise is to try and sew in a straight line, and if you find yourself going off-piste, to simply correct yourself by stopping the line, tying it off and starting a brand new one. I had to do this a number of times with this scarf, but you’d never guess at first glance, right. 

A bit like real life, really. Fall off the bandwagon, get back on again. Or, alternatively, make your own tracks and head off into the sunset on your own.

For my 2nd attempt at making a Kantha scarf I’m going to make the knots appear on the side with the fabric arrangement…see tomorrow’s post!

Patchwork Scarves

I’ve been busy accumulating fabrics from various sources, to feed my current passion for sewing. One thing I’ve found out is that you never really use up all the fabric you’ve got…there’s always bits and pieces left over, pieces that are too small to make into garments on their own, but too pretty or precious to just throw away in the bin.

After casting around for ideas on how to use up my fabric scraps and remnants, I’ve decided that the best thing to do would be to turn them into patchwork scarves. I love colour, and I love the idea of mixing up different patterns to create something attractive, vibrant and useful at the same time.

The following have been curated from Pinterest, to my Board titled “Scarves”. Enjoy!

(If I do get round to mustering my fabric scraps together and sewing scarves like these, I’ll be putting them on my Etsy store. So, watch this space!) ๐Ÿ˜Š

Madam Bukeshla – Part 3

The quirky Madam Bukeshla boutique in Fremantle, Western Australia, is not only home to Trish Bygott’s sewing skills, it also houses the wonderfully quirky naรฏve sewn dolls of Danielle (d_for_daniowl on Instagram) and the floristry skills of Sandy (clippings.freo on Instagram). These 2 lovely ladies were very charming, welcoming and curious about me when I visited. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Here are some photos of the glorious garden behind the shopfront of Madam Bukeshla, where florist Sandy works. I can’t imagine a more tranquil, peaceful and conducive environment to work in.