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Accessories

Specs’ keepers renewed

The biggest surprise of the past couple of weeks has been the interest in my specs’ keepers. They are one of those accessories which disappear off the scene for awhile, and then for no apparent reason — return. And that’s what’s happened, and I have found myself stringing beads for hours on end for this seemingly simple creation.

Not that they are difficult to make, but when you no longer have nimble fingers, can be very fiddly and a source of great frustration, plus the occasional cuss, especially when — as happened to me today — all the beads fly off the thread into every corner of the room. Would you believe I have just found a dozen beads caught up in my hair too!

So for those who are looking to keep their goggles to hand, back in my Etsy store, as of today, a couple of new summery colours, and as usual, the possibility to contact me with your own colour choice. Use the personalisation box on the listing page to let me know.

Here’s the link to follow >>>

DIY emergency mask kit


Whilst my previous post giving details of the DIY mask template and tutorial download has been extremely popular, several people have shown interest in finding the materials for making the masks. It goes without saying that if you have some scraps at home to improvise your mask — old shirts for instance — that would be more than acceptable as a possible source of fabric, but on the other hand, you might prefer something a bit more interesting to cover your face with without having to purchase yards of elastic and textiles!

With that in mind, I have created kits for those of you who have no access to textile stores or haberdashers. Each kit contains material for two masks (minimum purchase), including the necessary elastic — and a copy of the template and tutorial. Easy to make either by hand or with a sewing machine. The cost shown for the listing (minimum purchase 2 pieces) also covers shipping to Europe and the USA. In the gallery below you can see all the fabrics available for the masks — all in printed cotton whilst the plain lining fabric (not shown) is naturally dyed and boiled cotton. Hover the images to see colour details or click for enlargement.

If you would prefer to purchase 2 ready-made masks, follow this link to my Etsy page. The same colour choices are available as in this dropdown list. Shipping times (free to EU and USA) will be lengthened by two days to allow for the production of your chosen masks.
Click here for Etsy >>>

Choose colours from dropdown list :
Elastic colour :

I must stress that these masks are NOT to be considered medical standard, but only for community use such as for shopping and social distancing in general.

Number of kits/masks available per fabric pattern:

  • Red & white check (3 kits)
  • Blue on blue floral (3 kits)
  • Grey with beige climber (3 kits)
  • Green paisley (2 kits)
  • Orange with random dots (1 only)
  • Light orange (3 kits)
  • Oriental fan (4 kits)
  • Navy with novelty fish (4 kits)
  • Pink Tyrol (1 only)
  • Green with white dots (2 kits)
  • Coral with black seedheads (3 kits)

DIY emergency mask template [English & Italian]

For the moment I don’t have a photo to post, but will get one organised soon.
Just thought it might be useful to have immediate access to this mask pattern and tutorial so that you can supply your friends and family with community masks as requested by numerous local authorities at the present time.

They are NOT medical masks, but are in keeping with local community activities such as shopping and recreation where it is important to keep our OWN droplet emissions from spreading when we cough or sneeze.

Feel free to download for your own needs. In the pdf file you will find a template and instructions to make the mask — including tips for down sizing for children.

Mask kit available for those who would like to make their own but have little or no access to the necessary materials for doing so. Click here for details

Versione italiana

Fat quarter drawstring bag

Fat quarter drawstring bag


Looking for things to do during isolation? Here’s a quick and easy idea for a fat quarter — or any textiles measuring at least 50cm x 50cm you have available to use — to make a drawstring bag to use for all manner of things. Here are just a few suggestions — a shoe bag, a grocery bag, a craft bag, maybe to hold your latest sewing or knitting project. The box corners are optional. Download the instructions here.

Day for toting

houses-tote02Well this is only half the story… the bottom half in fact! One of my recent shopping adventures produced this fun fabric in very dark grey with fun stylized houses printed all over it. I knew I wanted to use it for something a little unusual, but just needed to think about it for a short while before true inspiration hit me.

And what emerged? A big, fun and very roomy tote bag with exceptionally long handles to pass across your shoulders leaving all hands free to deal with stroppy kids and/or wayward shopping carts. I even added a rigid fabric covered base (recycled card) so that you can safely carry that ready cooked lasagne over to ma-in-law’s when you want to make a good impression! Then remove the base and voil√†…a pure cotton, eco-friendly bag to roll up and tuck into your handbag for those surprise shopping sprees which seem to affect us women so often!

ps. Got to use one of my gorgeous little embroidered “handmade” labels for the first time. Unable to find anything locally, I’m afraid these were sourced in Germany from what is fast becoming one of my favourite ribbon suppliers.

New frilly scarf

argentina-frillsJust added a new frilly scarf to the collection. The yarn for this one is a little different, though still with that lovely lacy effect, this one also has minute pompoms along the edging in a coordinating colour. Nice combination here of a dark mauve with the pompoms in a light grey/mauve. Very tempted to keep this one for myself!

Felt & knitted shoulder bag

felt-knitted-maroon002Just finished the first of several of these bags which I plan to make. Pleased with the result, and as usual, I love the colours! I like to make things which I use/would use myself, so inevitably I end up using mainly my own favourite colours. Obviously if any of you have other colour preferences, just give a shout and I will keep my eyes open and imagination alert for other colourways for listings.

Felting fun ‘Cossack’ hat

cossack-hat001Inspiration in progress – what say this should become??? Experimented with some washing machine felting yesterday and this is the resulting piece.

I was pleasantly surprised to see how soft the felted piece remained. As you can see, first of all I had to knit it up and then give it a fairly energetic whirl in the washing machine with some neutral liquid soap to get the felt effect. I could have continued with hand felting to flatten it completely, but decided instead to leave the piece as it is as I really like to see the knitted stitches in evidence.

So here you can see what my piece of mystery felt became – a sort of Cossack hat. I was really pleased with how it came out and decided to do some simple embroidery to decorate the felt crown, and to add a scattering of interesting buttons on the front area of the headband. I continued with the same colour theme of gingernut brown and deep blue throughout – for the embroidery and for the buttons. Well whoever buys this will know that it is unique! I only made one!

Frivolous accessories

frilly-scarf002Just adore this new yarn I have used for this touch of glam on a cold day – a frilly scarf to brighten up even the plainest coat or jacket and bring out the feminine in you! Pretty, frilly and surprisingly warm in spite of its airy appearance. Love these colours too! I think there will be a couple more on the way soon. Must check out the other colour combinations.

Specs’ keepers

old-gold-amberFollowing an unexpected couple of requests, I have now added a couple more specs’ keepers to the collection. The one you see in the image is made with old gold silver lined Rocaille glass beeds and has an amber colour glass bead at each end of the thread and gold findings. The other one is a lovely midnight blue with cobalt blue glass feature beads and silver findings. I will be posting the image for that very shortly.

Made by Hand

When you buy something from an artist, you are buying more than an object. You are buying hundreds of hours of failures and experiments. You are buying days, weeks and months of frustration and moments of pure joy. You are not only buying a thing, but a piece of heart, a part of the soul, a moment in the life of someone.

by Giacomo Cinque
'La Sartoria Antica'
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