I’ve been stitchin’ again. 😀 These ‘Tea and Sewing’ quilted bags are available in my shop now! http://bethanyeowyn.etsy.com
Hello! I seem to be able to manage one blog post per season at the moment! This is my summer post. ^_~
I’ve been enjoying the summer so far! Back in July I celebrated my birthday with a new sewing machine! Baby Poppy is keeping me really busy, but I have been able to spend a few blissful days and a lot of evenings sewing. One of the first things I made was a summer dress for Poppy, from sparkly goldfish fabric I bought on a very hot day in Tokyo, it seems like a long time ago now!
I think Poppy likes it. ^_^ She’s 7 and a half months old now and she’s getting so strong and clever! She amazes me every day with all the new things she can do. This summer has been all about picnics and parks! We put quilts down on the grass and let Poppy play.
I like the kimono style crossover bodice so much that I made another baby dress which is available to buy in my Etsy shop. This one is made from Japanese fabric with a traditional floral print. The dress is trimmed with Japanese lace. This one is made to fit a 12-18 month old. Let me know what you think of this style. ^_^
I’ve also been making lots of Blythe doll dresses and my Dolly Mixture Etsy shop is well stocked at the moment! I’ve been experimenting with applique, top stitching and printing my own fabric. ❤
I’ve got a few more projects planned for the rest of August. Next up are some Totoro applique cushion covers which should be in my shop very soon. ^_^
That’s all for now! I’m sure I’ll update again in Autumn! ❤ xxx
Back in May I took part in the Cambridge Union Society Golden Festival. I had a stall at the Hanami Exhibition during the day along side lots of other wonderful artists and designers, and I showed my Look Street Spring/Summer 2012 Collection in the fashion show at the evening event too. It was a fun day and a fantastic charity event which raised over £1,100 for Aid For Japan. It’s taken me a while, but here are some of my photos from the event!
My Look Street dresses on display
Pretty origami crane decorations
The lovely Sweatdrop Studios ladies, Emma & Irina
Laura’s fabulous PinkAppleJam stall! It’s always fun doing craft shows together!
Yummy cakes for Aid for Japan. OK… as long as it’s for a good cause… ^_~
Lovely Lyuba & Hong from Strawberry Kimono dressed me in kimono! I got this gorgeous pink & black kimono at Brighton Japan Festival last summer, but I had no idea how to wear it and no obi belt until I met these ladies.
Their vintage kimono are gorgeous and really reasonably priced – if you’re lucky you might catch them at an anime con this summer!
After a quick noodle break it was time to start the Yozakura party fashion show! Here are some of my lovely models back stage. All the models were Cambridge University students.
The Lolita & Kimono part of the show. The outfits were *stunning*!
The Look Street section of the fashion show!
Everyone taking a bow at the end!
Backstage with my lovely Look Street models after the show.
How did you celebrate Golden week this year?
Since my trip to Japan in July last year my brother Aleister & I have been working on our new clothing label, Look Street. My designs are inspired by Japanese fabrics which we sourced in Tokyo last summer. The name ‘Look Street’ comes from a street in Koenji, a district of Tokyo, which is full of gorgeous vintage clothes shops! After a lot of hard work our site is finally online, where you can browse and buy our designs for your very own. I’m so excited to finally be able to share my designs! ♥
This dress is possibly my favourite piece from our Spring/Summer 2012 collection. It is made from stunning cotton fabric from Japanese designer Kayo Horaguchi. The fabric features a delicate design with roses, birds, vintage sewing machines, mannequins, pocket watches, castles and ballerinas in teal on a black background. The dress is trimmed with beautiful Japanese cotton lace. It is also available in two other gorgeous Kayo Horaguchi prints, featuring carousel horses & rainbows, and tiny angel fish and sea foam flowers! It’s like stepping in to a grown up fairytale.
Of course the collection also includes some vintage inspired dresses! I fell in love with this Japanese playing card fabric and knew it would make awesome rockabilly style dresses. This design is also decorated with three black heart shaped vintage Lucite buttons on the front of the bodice. I found a precious untouched card of these vintage buttons at Judy’s Vintage Fair last year, I was saving them for something very special! ♥ This design is also available in two fabulous nautical prints, in red and navy. Ahoi Sailor! These are perfect for summer.
When we were in Tokyo in July, lots of summer matsuri (fire work festivals) were happening, and it was not uncommon to see couples walking the streets dressed in traditional summer Yukata. A Yukata is a spring or summer Kimono, traditionally worn to spring cherry blossom viewing festivals. The fabric is light and breathable and features beautiful blossom prints. I thought they would be perfect for spring and summer dresses. We picked out this beautiful teal & gold fabric, as well as cherry blossom fabric in pink & white and pink & black.
I was so inspired by the beautiful traditional kimono silks I saw in Japan. The quality of the silk is so luxurious and the prints are absolutely beautiful. This violet evening gown features a vibrant flowers and red guzei bridges on a striking background of purple, violet and indigo clouds. Silk evening gowns are also available in orange and peach.
I am very excited to finally be able to share my designs & I hope you like them! You can see the full collection at lookstreet.net and you can also follow us on Twitter @heylookstreet and Like us on Facebook. I have some exciting designs planned for Autumn/Winter already. ^-^
Day 12 in Tokyo, Sunday 24th July. I finally got the chance to hang out in Yoyogi Koen on a Sunday. Yoyogi Koen is one of the largest parks in Tokyo, located next to Harajuku station. On a Sunday it’s a popular hangout where people gather to play music, practice martial arts, dance & enjoy other hobbies. The bridge across the train tracks leading to Yoyogi Koen is also where teenagers dressed in extreme subcultural fashions come to hang out, pose and be photographed for fashion mags and blogs. I had the impression that this was more popular a few years ago and that the trend had died out a little as it had turned in to such a tourist attraction, but on the day I was there lots of kids were hanging out on the bridge posing for the cameras. A new generation of FRUiTS perhaps? It was great to see!
Note the really dinky lolita on the left! She must have been no more than 13 and was accompanied by her dad. So cute!
By the entrance to the park, groups of rockabillies show off their dance moves. This subculture has been around for twenty years now and these guys & girls are really impressive dancers, I watched them for ages.
Refreshing Watermelon Lollies ^_^
Giant torii gate leading to Meiji Jingū
Barrels of nihonshu are stored in the park while they age. The designs on the barrels are amazing.
Barrels of wine are also displayed here. Amazingly they are never tampered with or stolen. I can’t imagine the same things working here in the UK somehow. ^_~
Meiji Jingū, built in 1920.
After walking around the shrine we headed back to the entrance and got to see some more dancing, this time from the ‘Lebels’ – a greaser gang!
This tiny rockabilly was getting his hair done by the gang’s hairdresser.
Japan’s youngest rockabilly?
The park is such a nice tranquil place to hang out.
Words of wisdom at Harajuku station
As we headed to Shimokirazawa for dinner, I took this shot of Shibuya scramble crossing in action.
We had dinner at a Shabu-shabu restaurant. On the table is a hob with a pot of boiling stock. You order raw meat and vegtables and cook them yourself by swishing them around in the pot (the name Shabu-shabu is derived from the “swish swish” sound of cooking the meat in the pot). It’s delicious & so healthy! We were wondering why it hadn’t made it’s way over to the UK, but we noticed when we got home that a Japanese restaurant in Cambridge is now serving Shabu-shabu so perhaps it will get popular here too. Oishii!
After dinner I had a bubble tea in this cute crepe cafe which was tacked on to the side of a huge arcade.
Perfect Tokyo Sunday!
Straw handbags (“kagobagu” in Japanese) were *everywhere* in Tokyo this summer. Tokyofashion.com reported on the Tokyo summer fashion trend back in July and their post gives you an idea of the range of styles & designs these bags come in. While I was in Tokyo in July I picked up a couple of beaten up basket bags from a second hand shop for just ¥200 each. I love a good bargain so I decided to re-vamp them when I got home.
I really liked the shape of this one and it has some handy pockets on the inside, but I wasn’t so keen on the silver straps. I removed the straps (with the help of some needle nose pliers!) and re-decorated the bag.
I used a tiny piece of black & white gingham fabric (about 30cm or so) and some gorgeous Japanese polka dot lace and embroidered strawberry trim. I managed to re-use the original handles by covering them in fabric, and I also re-used the original magnetic snap closure.
I put my cute Rilakkuma ichigo dangle on the bag too. ♡
The most awesome kagubagu I saw in Tokyo was probably this nautical one, in a second hand designer clothes shop in Shibuya:
I got another smaller & rounder second hand basket bag that I am going to customise so maybe I will attempt a nautical style for that one. It’s feeling more like Autumn in the UK already though so I may have to wait for Spring before I can use these!