cloth doll flower fairy by vaudeville hippie

A Cloth Doll For Esme: Flower Fairy

“And as the seasons come and go, here’s something you might like to know. There are fairies everywhere: under bushes, in the air, playing games just like you play, singing through their busy day. So listen, touch, and look around — in the air and on the ground. And if you watch all nature’s things, you might just see a fairy’s wing.” (Author Unknown)



Esme is a friend from college studying art and then Ba(hons) Contemporary Textiles Practice at UWIC together.  When I think of the textile pieces she created, I always remember a strong floral influence and therefore the cloth doll flower fairy was born. This doll has also been inspired by my childhood memory of flower fairies and our own beautiful flower border, which Steve has been slowly developing this summer.


the wings

My biggest success has to be the padded wings, which developed on from a technique I tried on the ears if the Machi, adapted into fairy elf ears on this doll and then onto a much a larger scale to create the wings.


To make them, I lightly padded the shape of the wing and top stitched the line details.  As you can see the wings have been decorated with pearls and small beads.


finishing touches

I managed to tuck the raw edges inside the body before closing together with a ladder stitch. Buttons were used for strengthening stitches and extra detail.


creating the look

I was fortunate to receive a selection of vintage fabrics including this delicate floral pattern used for the body.  This was my starting point for the colour scheme, choosing coordinating pale pinks and purples for the rest of her clothing.


The fairy look has been completed by adding a simple, yet raw edged waist wrap detailed with a matching button and decorative ribbons.  This was inspired by one of the first dolls I made from my Jan Horrox book.

Sparks the Robot: Pattern by Craftseller Magazine

“Sparks the robot! reboot your making mojo with our felt buddy” (craftseller Magazine, issue45)

My First Craftseller Project

So after several months of subscribing to Craftseller Magazine, I have finally managed to create my first make from one of the magazine’s royalty free projects.

Hand sewn robot

The Design

As you can see, I changed the colours scheme a little from the original, this was down to the fabrics I already had in my fabric store.  However, I really like this colour scheme and think the fabrics work well together.  I also simplified the detail on his body, choosing to only add two buttons, rather than the suggested six.
Hand sewn robot


He is mostly made out of felt  and sewn by hand, with the exception of the polka dot areas, which were machine stitched and in a poly cotton fabric.

Deatil of Hand sewn robot

This was a fun project and very different to what I would normally make.  There are a couple more Craftseller projects that I have my eye on, particularly this month’s circus characters pattern pack, so watch this space!

Upcycled Crochet

Sunny Day Crochet

We were walking through Bournemouth Upper Gardens today and happened to walk past a lady sitting on a bench doing a bit of sunny day crochet.  However, as we got nearer I realised this was crochet with a difference because she was using strips of cut up carrier bags instead of wool.

I have only ever dabbled with crochet a couple of times, which was quite a few years ago, so I am not really up to speed with contemporary crochet practice and therefore I have never seen this before.

Recycled Crochet

Out of interest, I did a quick google search for ‘recycled carrier bags crochet‘ and it turns out that this quite a popular idea.  With the rise of eco design and the trend of up-cycling I am not surprised, but really pleased that crafters and makers have shown that the issue of surplus plastic carrier bags can be re-used in a purposeful and creative way.

Reducing Plastic

Recently Steve and I made a decision to try and reduce some of the plastic in our home.  Now there is a big debate about this and surprisingly, research suggests that plastic production has a lower carbon footprint than paper and card.  Our reason for reducing plastic is the simple fact that some parts of our oceans have become areas of a ‘plastic soup‘ meaning that tiny particles of plastic are being mistaken for plankton by marine life who consume this, which is likely to enter the food chain.

After looking at a few ideas on Pinterest I am now keen to give this a go.  Lets hope this trend continues as designers and makers continue to lead the way in repurposing materials that would otherwise end up in landfill sites to create the very best in contemporary eco design.

Useful links:

Weekend Wish List – Back to School

As we reach the mid point of the school summer holidays, this week’s wish list looks towards new items for the new term.  This collection has a colour scheme of grey, yellow, brown tones, white and black and includes the very best of Etsy finds, both contemporary and vintage pieces.back to school etsy treasury by vaudeville hippie

What re your favourite back to school finds? Please share below!

organising my craft room

Organising My Craft Room

“This is the place of creative incubation. At first, you may find nothing happens there. But, if you have a sacred place and use it, take advantage of it, something will happen”. (Joseph Campbell)

My Craft Room

The challenge is on this summer to organise my craft room.  As you can see it is a small space approximately 3m x 3m so it only takes one or two craft sessions before chaos descends, and I am rather ashamed that I have let it get to this stage.  Not a fit for purpose space at all!

my craft room

Space and storage

Since starting making my cloth dolls the time has come to take action.  Fortunately constructing the dolls does not require a lot of space.  However, the frustration sets in when I have to hunt for a particular tool that has become buried or that perfect piece of fabric for one of my cloth doll’s clothing.

My disorganised craft desk space

Despite having a lot of shelves, storage is still a problem.  Like a magpie, I hold onto everything that may potentially become useful and I should really just be brutal one day and simply get rid of those items  that are very unlikely to ever be used in a craft project.

My disorganised craft shelves


Despite my best efforts to group the tools and equipment I need, the organisation has fallen apart.  This is purely because I start a project and stop mid way with the intention to continue, lets say after dinner, but then its several days or weeks before I return.  During the organising process I will have to train myself to tidy as I go.

My disorganised craft resources

Craft Room Style and decor

The inspiration behind giving my craft room a complete overhaul has come from reading the beautifully produced ‘Craft, Sell & Show’ by Torie Jayne.

Craft, Show & Sell by Torie Jayne

The very first chapter introduces the idea of creating a workspace that reflects your personal style, which in the long run with help to establish your craft brand and creating a visual style and cohesion to everything you do.  This chapter then leads nicely into the second chapter, which gives practical ideas in how to explore and create a handmade craft brand.

Torie’s Pinterest board and Facebook page gives you s sneak peak into her tips and advice.  However, the book shares imagery of several makers gorgeous spaces and is well worth a look.

in conclusion

As you can see, my craft room is very much lacking any clear visual cohesion and lets face it, is a cluttered mess!  Since reading Torie’s chapter I have created a couple of Pinterest boards to get me started.  My first idea was to look at Vaudeville inspired interiors and then I widen my criteria to include my theme and chosen name of vaudeville hippie and what this means to me.  Craftseller magazine have also produced a crafty spaces board containing really inspirational craft room ideas.

I am excited, yet a little bit daunted by this process and look forward to sharing my craft room make over as it happens.  I would love to hear about your creative spaces and how they have developed and transformed over time.