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Friday 23 January 2015

How I Made A Velvet Cape/Shrug Type Thing

Some fabrics are so beautiful it's really difficult deciding what to do with them. Then it's really painful when it comes to cutting them up. This pink devore encrusted with crystals is one such fabric. I've had it a while (originally picked up from Khushboo Textiles in Birmingham) but just couldn't make my mind up about what to do with it.
I toyed with using it as an interiors fabric or in my wardrobe. In the end I decided it had to be worn - but at the same time I thought it would be wasted on a specific garment like a top or skirt so I turned it into an article than be worn with different things while remaining the focal point.
So I made it into a shrug/cape type thing, short at the top to show off the jewels...
and long at the back because the fabric drapes so well.
The cape required minimal construction, but as the fabric is transparent and soft it needed a lining.
I started by folding fabric around a mannequin and then pinned it where I liked the shape and this translated into the fabric I cut out as a template to make the lining.

I then joined the lining to the fabric and folded over the top to create a pocket, but only stitched the edges 
together. This created the arm holes.
It's still a bit of a work in progress. The shrug can currently be worn but also I could still emphasise the folds and draping more or even fasten it at the front. It's incredibly regal and reminds of the kind of gown a fairytale king might enjoy wearing! 
It also a bit strange and actually I think the crystals are upside down to what they are meant to be but I like the fact it's unique and there is nothing like it in the whole world!

Monday 5 January 2015

2015: My year to be Brave

To welcome in the new year I went to the Channel Island of Jersey with friends. The air was fresh, the views outstanding, and despite freezing temperatures the skies were blue and the sun was out. On my first morning I went for a run along the beach....something I very rarely do, it was December 31st - my last run outdoors was in Kolkata in January!

Every year I like to do something unique to mark New Years Day - previously it's included a private flight over the Himalayas in Nepal, snorkelling in Bali and hitchhiking in the British countryside...this year I decided to swim in the sea in conditions that most normal humans would never consider!

The first two times I ran in inspired by my friend Obie who joined me on the mission and we both screamed from the pain. The water was so cold it hurt but then my legs went totally numb and I couldn't feel them. I maybe should have given up but I was committed to a full-on swim. The water was shallow so the only way I could swim was if I went deeper in - that's when it clicked this required extreme bravery!

So third time lucky went for it, stayed there a while and swam - it felt amazing! A local couple passing by offered to take our photo then emailed it to us which is the one above.

Afterwards my teeth chattered all the way back to our apartment but a hot shower thawed me out.

I'm going to remember this morning every time I get unsure, nervous or scared about something. Bravery boosts confidence and makes you feel great when you've accomplished your goal so my hashtag for life in 2015 is #BeBrave.

And here's a few more pics from Jersey just because it was so beautiful...