Tuesday, 24 November 2009

from here it begins



So in the last few weeks here I've been mentioning some creative work I've been doing but I didn't want to jinx it by giving out too many details. D's rule of thumb is that for every three creative partnerships/enterprises you set out on, only one comes through and I think that's about right. And I really didn't want this one to be in the other two category.



But I think we're far enough down the road now that we're all committed and so knuckle in mouth it is time to share.


If you've read my blog for a while and paid attentions to the things I sew and buy, you'll know I've been a fan of Ink and Spindle since before they were Ink and Spindle. I bought hand printed fabric from Lara back when she was doing tiny occasional print runs and I'd wait with baited breath when a new batch appeared so I could grab some before it was all snapped up overnight. Looking over my sewing archives there is ample evidence)



When Bianca came on the scene I bought a piece of what I am pretty sure was her first ever print run. As a long time fabric buyer, collector and user the advent of the new textile mafia was exciting - this was the beginning of an era and I knew it. I've used a lot of the fabric pieces I bought from this time, but some I still have and treasure.


Locally produced hand printed fabric just seemed like a dream come true. Not only because they were nice fabrics, with interesting and unusual designs, and made locally but because in buying them I was supporting people who were like me - people doing what they loved and sharing it with others.



And when Ink and Spindle was born and environmentally sustainable business practice was thrown in the mix and I actually got a chance to meet Tegan, Bianca and Lara my admiration grew to pop star status. I like their products, I like their business.



So when a bit of playful banter developed into a full blown proposal to do some creative work with them I jumped at the chance. I was happy to risk the infecting of my hobby with the work virus for a chance to take my designs, combine them with their fabrics and make accessible contained sewing projects for beginners. With the Melbourne Design Market on December 6 as the launch date I set to work sewing and testing and sewing some more to refine and simplify four projects just perfect for summer and Christmas. No fuss, no fear, all fun.



We haven't finished all the detail work for the packaging and so on, but we're all really happy with the way the fabrics and designs work together and I'm so excited about the whole thing I am fit to burst. I love how the finished pieces look and feel and when my kids tried on the clothes for photo shoots I had to engage in some fairly disgraceful bribery to get them to take them off. Except when I got Wil into the size 2 skirt - clearly a man's man already since he immediately felt his dignity compromised and shouted off! off! Not even time for a photo for the vault...



So the patterns start with the sling bag (above), modelled on the beach bag I devised for myself a few months ago. This is simple to construct, but just different enough from the standard tote to be a real accessory. I love its simple lines and symmetry and get a lot of use out of mine.



I've added a pocket here but that's completely optional.



The shoulder bag is the second pattern and it's a refined version of the olive bag I made for myself. It is the bag I use everyday and I love it to death. It's also easy to make with a minimum of details and fiddly bits.



An itty bit of extra patience is required to fit the base into the sides, but it isn't anything a beginner couldn't do with a bit of time. It has a fully adjustable strap so it can go from messenger style to handbag height in a snap.



The last two patterns are my essential kids wear - the long shorts and the just above the knee length slightly A-line skirt. The shorts come in a multi size pattern for 6 months to 3 years and the skirt from 2 to 6 years. The sizing is very generous - Amy is comfortably wearing the size 6 skirt and she's 7 and a quarter and while Wil is almost 3, he'll be wearing his size 3 long shorts for years yet I am sure. At the moment they are super dude big, which is the look I really wanted, but they will look great at a more fitted size too.



The skirt has a flat front which is a bit more sophisticated than an elastic waist, but it has elastic at the back so it is comfy and easy to get on and off. And of course making either of these shorter or longer is a breeze.


Both these patterns are super super easy. You can embellish them to your heart's content if you want something more complicated or want to use a plain base cloth like I have above, but you can also keep it simple if that's where you are at too. With beautiful designs in Ink and Spindle fabrics, it's not like you really need to add anything to make a great garment. My kids like pockets for keeping toys in, so I tend to add those and there are instructions in the patterns for doing it, but you can skip them if you want to.



Depending on how things go I guess they will be available through the Ink and Spindle shop too, and I know they will be at Stitches and Craft next year. And who knows if they prove popular, maybe we'll expand the range? I'll keep you up to date when I know more!

Anyway, it's such a relief to be able to tell you all! I'm so crappy with secrets and nerves, and the whole project has completely absorbed me in the last few weeks, in the best possible way. I've been sleeping and dreaming about these pieces! I hope people like them, but even more I hope people who may perhaps have felt a bit scared to have a go will feel like maybe this will give them the courage to do so.

39 comments:

craftapalooza said...

congrats lady, bloody awesome and what a fabulous mix of creatives. FYI your kids are adorbs. Love your photography of them.

Hollabee said...

OMG OMG AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME! I love it soooo much! Thanks Sooz, you R.O.C.K!

Stomper Girl said...

What an awesome collaboration, congrats to all involved. I'll put my hand up first for the shorts pattern to have a big boy version as well sizes 4- 10 maybe?

One Flew Over said...

Congratulations Sooz! Loving your bags and the kids clothes have an edge to sophistication about them!

Suse said...

Ooh exciting! Congratulations!

Kate said...

Amazing work Sooz - all looks fantastic!

Eleanor said...

It feels so right! Well done to you all, and may your new enterprise go from strength to strength.

So very inspiring!!

Donna said...

Congratulations, the pieces look great! So simple and comfortable and the fabric is so special.

Claire said...

Ohhhh Congratulations! They all looks sooo good and inspiring.

sooz said...

Yes, Stomp, I would like to do a larger boys one - need some models though! Being so far away from everyone up here makes it hard to be confident I have the fit OK. But, yes, if only because I'll need them when Wil outgrows this lot! :-)

Jill said...

It's all gorgeous, congratulations, I can't wait to get my hands on them! :-)

Psylova said...

That's so awesome, congratulations! I hope it all goes really well and I'll keep my eyes open for them!

Cheeky Beaks said...

Lovely Sooz. I have a 6 and 9 year old boys.. if you need some models, we'll head up for a holiday!

Madeline said...

They look great! I've been reading your blog for years but have only just started sewing again for the first time since high school. I'll look out for these patterns.

Kate said...

Hoorah! And I am definitely tempted by those bags... they look like they're walking the line between 'sack' and 'scary sewing project' quite nicely!

Tania said...

Congratulations with (clanging) bells on! The patterns have an edge of difference and complement the ever gorgeous fabric. Way to go Mrs.

LissyLouLou said...

Oh please please please do a size 4-8ish in the boys shorts. Please please please!!

PottyMouthMama said...

These are super cool. I love them all. How exciting and inspiring. Well done!

Janet said...

ooh how mega exciting! well done!

Clementine's Shoes said...

Faaaaaaabulous!!!!

trasha said...

Ooo! Ooo! I see Stomper's bid for larger boy's sizings and raise her 10-12 sizing for that skirt!!!

Ali said...

How wonderful. Great for you and beautiful products too. Wishing you every success!

jac said...

Congrats! 6 December you say? *runs to diary*

sue said...

Fabulous work Sooz. Some very interesting prints too which I love. Only one thing I was unhappy about, why isnt the skirt to fit a size 10 -12! My daughter would absolutely love one and everything that is really nice seems to miss that sizing for some reason. Congratulations on your new work and I am sure they will be very popular and a sellout too!

the nest said...

congratulations! i've always liked your designs for their simple shapes but with your added applique and stitch detail, they are awesome! love the skirt with the patches and zigzag stitching! and the bags are truly special with those fabrics.

knittingrid said...

This is so great Sooz, congratulations!

sooz said...

I am completely overwhelmed by all the support - thank you so much! I am totally surprised and honoured and I will absolutely get onto larger sizes for both girls and boys!

Turning Japanese said...

See you ARE famous!

"I know someone famous!
I know someone famous!"

Congratulations. You deserve all these compliments. You make people believe in themselves. You make them believe they can do it! I love you for that! Thanks...

ps my code is obespot - almost oobee spot

Jodie said...

Soooz, what a perfect collaboration. Your clean lines and I & S fabrics are perfect together!
This is so exciting - no wonder you are fit to burst - go ahead and burst....I hope this is just the begginning......and Stitches ??? We can hang out ?

no blog norma said...

great stuff and we get to share soon,clever girl you !

Michelle said...

Congratulations! I thought your secret might have something to do with I&S fabric - your style and theirs are such a good fit. Hope the patterns go really well at the market!

froginthepond said...

I nearly squealed outloud. At work, no less!

This is just so utterly fabulous I'm hyperventilating. I just found out that my family KK this year is my mum. And I can totally see her with one of the bags. Even better, I can see me with both of the bags.

As for the kids' clothes and larger sizes, I will only say one thing: mine are cute, tall, and I'm happy to hire them out ;)

bentleighsocialhousing said...

Good stuff... there's a real gap in teh market for cool kids' stuff. Count me in

habitual said...

Congratulations!

Beautiful!

A wonderful collaboration, and of course the models knock it out of the park!

Gina said...

This is really exciting! Congrats. Love the fabrics and love the designs you're using them for. Top notch.

Claire said...

So good! Congratulations by the bucketfulls. xx

Leonie said...

Fabulous idea. Great photo shoot. cute kids. Wonderful designs.

Congratulations on getting your idea off the ground and happening, I suspect it will be the one in three that works!

Kylie said...

Yay for you what wonderful inspirational designs and you get to work with excellent materials and people, sending you prosperous, creative, completely happiness type thoughts your way I just love people to succeed at what they do!

Elizabeth said...

Love the designs...wish somebody (hint) would make patterns for older children. Maybe kids won't wear home-made after the age of 9? I'm sure they would with the right fabric.