Archive for March, 2011

Last Thursday I trotted down to the V&A Musuem of Childhood with my pigeon pal Shinks ready for whatever the crafty kids at The Papered Parlour could throw at us during their Ethical Fashion in the Age of Austerity event.  I was fully prepared to fall in love with all sorts of little bits,  like these cloth owl things:(what are they for?!)

But I didn’t expect to take part in a jewellery making masterclass being offered by jewellery supremos Tatty Devine! Thankfully for me, Shinks signed me up for the class while I was on the tube (good job she did as it was booked out almost instantly) so with pliers in hand, I selected a handful of shiny acrylic shapes and sparkly doo-dah (such a magpie) and got down to work.

(sorry for the appalling quality of the pictures but it was REALLY hard to take pictures, drink wine and make jewellry at the same time…)

And despite being puny of finger (I’m puny of most things), with a few hints from Harriet Vine, one of the two founders of Tatty Devine, I managed to create not one, but two masterpieces!!


Hearts and stars charm bracelet.

I’m such a 3 year old, trapped in the body of…someone slightly older (ahem) than 3.

Hearts and telephones… I do spend a lot of time on my phone… perhaps too much time.

There’s even a matching ring!!!

Feeling pleased with myself is such an understatment.

And if all of that wasn’t enough, I managed to convince Harriet to take a moment from helping the hapless, put down her glue gun and answer a little question or three:


TSA: How did you meet?

H: We meet at Chelsea School of Art and became flat mates. We were studying Fine Art and had every intention to      become artists, but I guess jewellery making became out destiny!

TSA: What was the original inspiration behind Tatty Devine?

H: We found lots of bags of leather on the street and turned them into wrist bands, which were inspired by a bit of old belt I was wearing round my wrist at the time. We started selling them at Portabello Market, and Spitalfields and they were selling out every week! A stylist from Vogue saw Rosie wearing a hairband and loved it. Our collection then featured in the Millennium edition of Vogue, which was just incredible. It wasn’t until we went to New York that we became inspired by all the colours of acrylic and the amazing shapes you can make with it.

TSA: Of the pair of you, who is Tatty and who is Devine(divine)?

H: We are both Tatty and Devine!  One cannot be without the other.

TSA: What has been the most exciting moment for Tatty Devine so far?

H We have had many exciting moments in the past eleven years. Opening our Covent Garden store was such a highlight. We paraded through the streets of Soho from our old shop with a brass band leading the way. It was very special.

TSA: Do you have a most loved piece?

H: The dinosaur necklace still send shivers through us, inspired by the dinosaur at London’s Natural History Museum it is made up of fifty bones that are all hand beaded together. Every season we have different favourites, I loved the Goggles Hairband from our last Autumn Winter collection, but the dinosaur is a classic.

TSA: You’ve collaborated with a number of artists and musicians in the past including two of my personal favourites, Rob Ryan and Belle & Sebastian. Who would be your dream collaboration?

H: Oh tricky, maybe Jeff Koons, Karl Lagerfeld and Vivienne Westwood

TSA: You’ve recently held a number of workshops for events such as Make Do and Mend and The Papered Parlour, how did these come about?  Do you have any more lined up for the near future?

H: We love doing the festival circuit every year, and going to different stockists around the country doing little pop-up shops, as its nice to get out of London. Our next one thought, that we are very excited about will be held at the British Museum in May, which inspired our current collection, so it’s nice to go back.

TSA: What advice would you give to budding jewellery designers?

H: Make original, inspired design and wear them out whilst you’re having fun to see what reaction they provoke.  If you plan on selling what you make then ensure you cost in your time too. Try and have a good idea of what is being made by your contemporaries, try to ensure you are not making work that already exists.  Have fun, be brave!

TSA: Where do you see your brand in 10 years time?

H: Hopefully going from strength to strength!
And with slightly numb fingertips but a horrendously goofy grin (see previous post for evidence of said grin), I wandered off with Shinks to the pub for a glass of wine and the chance to jangle my wrist at complete strangers.
Ps. yay!

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Three Small Apples makes a gawky, toothy appearance in the Tatty Devine Diaries with a ring crafted with her own paws.

Note to self: try to look cooler.

There’s a matching bracelet which I’ll post soon, as well as an interview with Tatty Devine-r Harriet in the pipeline…

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After months (and by months I actually mean 2 years. At least.) of pining and whingeing for a sewing machine, I finally got one for my birthday. Yay!!  Then I realised that I didn’t have the first clue how to use it.  Boo!  Luckily for me, I live in North London, where the twee, latte drinking, brunch eating, floral wearing, vintage brigade are located in full force, so it didn’t take me long to find a recommended beginners class nearby.

The Thrifty Stitcher in Stoke Newington runs a selection of beginners and intermediate classes on both weekdays and weekends. Classes are kept small so you’re never far away from a helping hand when your machine/ability malfunctions.  With that in mind, I trooped along with fellow fashion blogger Sarah Betty on a Saturday morning ready to thread needles, step on foot pedals and get our sew on…

Now it might seem obvious, but I think it’s important to mention that the first rule when taking any kind of class or trying to learn a new skill is to try not to be hung over. And unfortunately, thanks to Sunny’s birthday at Drink, Shop & Do, I broke my own rule. Thankfully our teacher, Alex, was gentle and generous with both advice and tea and before I knew it, I was filling my bobbin with the best of them .

By the end of the class, we each make a cushion that we can take away as a squishy souvenir and proof that we were competent (or at least not as incompetent) sew-ers! This meant fabric choosing and even a hangover didn’t stop me from picking 2 of the busiest patterns on offer:

Take THAT subtlety! I laugh in the face of tastefulness.

And with a little bit of machining, ironing, unpicking (I only had to unpick stitches once…) and stuffing, I was the proud producer of a gen-u-ine cushion cover. The lovely Thrifty Stitchers even give you a cushion to put in it.

And look, who said my fabrics wouldn’t go?

A wee bit of blue ribbon solves everything.

(This wavy kind of ribbon is called Rick-Rack apparently.)

So… got all the gear but no idea? Then check out classes with The Thrifty Stitcher. They even give you biscuits.



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I know they’re potentially deadly but I’m a bit in love with these:

The combination of a black suede Mary Jane with the added bonus of a platform sole and, my favourite, a wooden heel make me certain that these are the shoes that I need for the 4 weddings that I’m going to this summer.

I’m not usually a sling back fan (I can’t really figure them out, too much movement at the back of the heel… feels a bit a bungee-ish for my liking…) but I’ve tried these on already and the Mary Jane strap stops them feeling like they might slip off. Can’t guarantee that they’ll stop me falling off however…  but the 4 1/2 inch heel will make me almost 5 ft 10 (God I wish I was tall) while the 1 inch platform will stop me from trying to amputate my own legs before the first dance.


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Worship my superior cake-y knowledge!!

Apparently Drink, Shop & Do think my opinion matters. Now to convince everyone else of the same thing.

World domination will be mine!

I like cake. Cake likes me. I love Drink, Shop & Do and they don’t mind that either.  That’s nice isn’t it?



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