• Digital Textile Design
    Digital Textile Design
    by Melanie Bowles, Ceri Isaac
  • Textile Designers at the Cutting Edge
    Textile Designers at the Cutting Edge
    by Bradley Quinn
  • Excellent Women (Virago Modern Classics)
    Excellent Women (Virago Modern Classics)
    by Barbara Pym
  • Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design
    Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design
    by Faythe Levine, Cortney Heimerl
  • Patterns: New Surface Design
    Patterns: New Surface Design
    by Drusilla Cole

Make Do and Mend

There has been a recent upsurge in making your own clothes. Sewing machine sales have increased this year, and the book published in 1943 'Make Do and Mend' is a sell out. Mary Jane Baxter has been travelling around the UK in order to investigate whether this new interest in make do and mend is a passing fashion or a common response to the recent economic downturn.

Watch Mary Jane Baxter's first film on Newsnight on Friday 2 October 2009 at 10.30pm on BBC Two

It does seem somewhat strange that people are returning to old-fashioned values that became prominent during the late forties and early fifties. Now, the price of clothing has become incredibly cheap therefore you would think that making your own would be out of the question. Sewing lessons are also being advertised for those who missed out on those at school and women in their 20s are attending Womens' Institute type meetings in London.


Anna Maria Horner

We love the work of Anna Maria Horner. Designing clothing since childhood and a love of fabrics and patterns has meant that Annas work is highly sought after through her online site. Colour and vibrancy are evident throughout Annas' beautiful work.

drawing room

In addition you can also buy Seams to me written by Anna Maria Horner with wonderful ideas of products to make.


Paris: Made by Hand

Boy it's got cold in London these past couple of days, so what could be a better idea than a trip to a book store to plan an autumnal well needed day trip to Paris hunting around for vintage and hand made finds. Aren't we lucky we can get there in

as little as two hours on the Eurostar from London. Thank goodness, as I need my Paris trip fix for inspiration.

There are so many beautiful books now and this one is a must-have. Paris: Made by Hand, written by Pia Jane

Bijkerk is a great start to a day of vintage and handmade shopping in Paris, I know it's coming with me.

Check out Janes blog here



Eat Shop Drink 


As part of the London Design Festival from 19th - 27th September 2009, we will be keeping an eye on B3 Designers latest idea called Eat Shop Drink. Showing from their studio in Bethnal Green, the B3 team
will be setting up shop, restaurant and bar from their very own base. B3 have told us that the main theme of the event is in the reclaiming of goods that are either used, lost, or abandoned, alongside vintage products such as classic chairs and furniture and putting them into a new setting. We can't wait to see the outcome this year, as cardboard cafe was such a great success last year.

Junichi Arai at the Otsuka Textile Design Institute in Tokyo

My tutor

My tutor, Junichi Arai at the Otsuka Textile Design

I found it difficult to contain my excitement when I read a recent post on the internet informing me about a wonderful man. In a summer month whilst I was studying for my BA Textile design degree at Derby University, I was lucky enough to stumble across Junichi Arai at the Otsuka Textile Design Institute in Tokyo. I then spent time in his home town in Kiryu, Japan learning and gaining an understanding of his methods and techniques. I even own some of the beautiful textiles that Junichi Arai kindly gave to me. I owe it to him for becoming far too fascinated in the burning of metallic fabrics and the amazing results that can be achieved by transfer printing! I had such a wonderful time that summer. I was totally amazed by the work of Junichi Arai and the way he combined ancient techniques such as Shibori with new fabrics and technologies.