Monday, 17 March 2014

Swallowtails - perfect inspiration!

The inspiration for my swallowtail was a  request  from a very good customer and fashion blogger
Fashioneyesta, After purchasing several of my other hatchlings Emily asked if I had considered a Swallowtail butterfly as it reminded her of a childhood story. After several sketches I felt I had perfected the shape and made my first sample. I decided to keep the colours to black and a very strong contrast in pure silk. the first hatchling was made in turquoise.
I used a layer of shot organza over the top of the silk, stitching with variegated threads and then a sprinkling of micro sequins. The antennae made from finely, knotted hemp string.

Several other colour ways followed, the most popular at the moment being the green.
After a making session one day I placed all the swallowtails on my mannequin and this sparked a new idea!
The swallowtail necklace was born. I decided to make a combination brooch/necklace, a small silver ring is sewn above the brooch bar, the ribbon and cords can then be threaded through. This was decided after a comment by a follower on Face Book. I'm very lucky to have such inspirational 'cyber

The collection is available in my Etsy shop with a new product coming soon, the Swallowtail cuff.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Liberty Lepidoptera.

I first fell in love with Liberty prints during my degree course. This was when Liberty had a small store on King's Street in Manchester. I would spend hours pouring over the beautiful Tana Lawn prints, occasionally purchasing a remnant with my meagre grant.
I added to my 'stash' many years later when I moved to Devon. I was lucky to find a small factory that made blouses for the London store, every now and then they had a sale, I was in heaven.
The prints have a wonderful quality to them and the fine cotton is just wonderful to work with. When I was a student I wore handmade pyjama style trousers in Liberty print. So my collection grew and stayed in a box until very recently. At the beginning of the year I decided to combine my hatchlings with the pattern and colour of Liberty.
And so the Liberty Lepidoptera collection was born. First were the butterflies or Liberty Belles.
These are very delicate brooches, made in layers of silk and cotton. The butterflies are then embroidered and finally embellished with tiny seed pearls or micro sequins.
Next came the moth shape, Liberty Beaus, the design based on the Luna Moth. the first one of these is winging its way to Australia
They make a great, lightweight present, maybe for Mothering Sunday. I think they would look fantastic on a cardigan, floral dress or denim jacket. At the moment I am offering free postage and gift wrap on the hatchlings, they are £12.50. Please see my Face Book page for current colours or contact me on
The free postage offer will be on until the end of March. I will then be listing the collection on Etsy.

The colours and prints have a lovely, cohesive vintage feel. It is fantastic to combine these great designs with my butterfly and moth shapes.
I hope you like the collection, I am very happy with my Liberty Lepidoptera and know many more hatchlings are to come.