Thursday, 30 March, 2017

He’s got your back

He’s cute, he’s tough, he’ll carry your books for you. What’s not for a kid to love about this awesome cat backpack from Little Leaf Eco?

littleleafco blog

Made from 100% recycled cotton canvas, this 35cm x 28cm bag is durable, lightweight, and spacious enough to carry small toys, bottles, snacks, gadgets, and anything else your little one wants to bring along. It has two small pockets inside, an easy magnetic button closure, and adjustable shoulder tie on straps to fit your young one as they grow.

 

Pick up yours today »

 

Wednesday, 29 March, 2017

Fresh on Felt

empath blog

kaiwairuaart blog

 
This week: Gorgeous jewellery for kids and grown ups, stunning photography, lovely homewares, schnoz butter(!) and more…

designer decor, art and homewares

kaiwairuaart – striking and appealing New Zealand photography

children’s clothing, accessories and toys

myearthcub – sweet environmentally friendly jewellery for youngsters
redeemed – gorgeous garlands and characterful softie creatures
krewcastle – awesome snail mail subscription stories for kids
toysnmyheart – characterful knitted toys
pikki – kid-friendly moulded sidewalk chalks and concrete pendants

myearthcub blog

redeemed blog

clothing, jewellery, accessories and skincare

empath – stunning sculpted spiritual jewellery
dennah – clever and creative silver jewellery inspired by life, language, and humour
justnatural – sweet skincare products, featuring the fabulous schnoz butter for the furry whanau

gifts and goodies

ecofoodwraps – reusable food wraps made from 100% cotton and locally sourced bees wax

ecofoodwraps blog

justnatural

Tuesday, 28 March, 2017

Some bunny will love this

How could this chap fail to bring a smile to your face? Sandra of The Felted Room makes her characterful and colourful cushions from sustainable or recycled materials. They make a perfect gift and look great in any setting, from nursery to lounge.

feltedroom blog

 

See more from The Felted Room »

 

Monday, 27 March, 2017

Saisei: the beauty of vintage kimono, reborn

Saisei means “reborn” in Japanese, and it’s a name which perfectly reflects Wellington maker Hana Yoshida’s work. Hana’s beautiful clothing and accessories were born from her grandmother’s collection of vintage kimono and they continue today with the vintage kimono and fabric she still sources from Japan. Hana says: “When I unpick kimono, I think of somebody in Japan who spent days to hand sew the kimono for her loved ones. I think of someone who wore it with much care and love.”

saisei hana

saisei
saisei

saisei rings

What do you make?
I upcycle and repurpose vintage Japanese kimono fabrics into modern and stylish clothing and accessories.

How did you get into your craft?
I am originally from Japan. When I went back to Japan last year, my mum mentioned loads of kimono that were left in my grandmother’s wardrobes. They had been there for decades since my grandmother passed away. As a lot of women did in the old days, she used to hand sew kimono for her whole family. She was a very good seamstress, so that often kimono retailers asked her to make kimono for their clients when they received custom made orders. She also taught students how to hand sew kimono at her home. My father still remembers her students coming to their house to learn kimono making. I was blown away by the beauty of the craftsmanship and fabric itself and decided to bring some back to New Zealand.

I have been always into making stuff myself. When I was kid, I used to knit a lot of things and I learnt basic sewing skills at my university. My earliest memory of recycling is making a bag out of my old jeans. So when I got my grandmother’s kimono, I started making some scarves and cushion covers with them. This is how it all started last year. Now I used up all of my grandmother’s silk, so I purchase fabric in Japan and get it shipped to New Zealand.

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
No, except for at my university when I learnt basic skills as part of my Education/Teaching course. I’m self taught, so learnt a lot by trial and error! I also take private lessons from professionals.

saisei pattern

saisei textiles

Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
My favourite material is pre-loved and antique kimono silk. It’s getting rarer because most modern Japanese people have stopped wearing traditional kimono except for special ceremonies or events. So traditional kimono hand-crafting is in decline and there are fewer people who can pass on the techniques of crafting and dyeing kimono to the next generation.

Aizome boro cotton is also special to me. “Boro” means patched. In the old days, when the fabric was damaged, people didn’t throw it away. They patched the damaged area and kept on using it for a long time. So the cotton has a huge amount of character and really interesting textures. Nowadays, these textiles are loved and highly regarded by many all around the world.

My favourite process is creating the right patterns. It takes a long time and uses a lot of paper and sample fabrics. I repeat amending the patterns until I make the right ones. It is a long process, but really satisfying in the end.

Tell us about the techniques involved in producing one of your pieces
I purchase vintage kimono fabric from Japan. Some are actual pre-worn kimono and some are vintage kimono silks that are in bolts and never sewn or worn before.

The sewn kimono are unpicked (this can take around four hours) before being hand washed. Then they are dried in the shade and ironed gently. This is done before making anything. To make my capes, I make outer wool fabric and linings separately. The vintage kimono silk is used exclusively to make the linings of the capes. Because of the width of the silk (usually around 36cm), I cut up the silk into 8-9 pieces and sew them together to make one lining. Then darts and a collar are made. Finally I sew the lining, the outer wool and collar together.

saisei cutting

saisei cape

saisei capes

What inspires you?
Tattoo arts, 50s-70s vintage fashion.

Is there a philosophy behind your work?
I would like more people to enjoy the beauty and craftsmanship of kimono fabric in their daily life.

Tell us about your pets:
We have a cat called Rika. We got her from the Cat’s Protection League as a kitten back in 2002, so she’s an old cat now. We have two little kids so Rika gets less attention than she used to, however when the kids are in bed she likes to sit on my lap and fall asleep.

What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
A flowering branch necklace on Felt from a maker in Nelson. This pendant top was about 6cm and looked just like plum flowers. I liked the oriental feel to it. I wear it on my market days.

What’s in store for the rest of 2017?
There will be more capes and reversible silk cardigans. I would like to add dresses as well, but I will see. Also men’s organic cotton T-shirts with Aizome cotton pockets.

saisei
saisei
saisei
saisei

Hana will be holding a stall at Wellington Underground Market on Saturday 1 April, from 10am to 4pm. This is one of only a handful of markets that Hana will do this year, and it’s a good opportunity to see and try on her garments. Hana will also have sample fabrics on the day, so you can choose fabrics for you own special cape or cardigan.

Hana has also very generously offered a prize for one lucky Felt reader of this lovely autumnal scarf. This vibrant silk scarf with an orange leaf pattern, measuring 17cm x 180cm, was made with 100% vintage Japanese kimono silk. The silk was hand woven and hand printed in Kyoto, Japan.

saisei
saisei

To be in to win this gorgeous handcrafted prize, simply leave a comment telling us what appeals to you about Hana’s story and her reborn creations. The draw will be made on Friday 7 April and is open to New Zealand residents only.

 

Explore Hana Yoshida’s beautiful work on Felt »

 

saisei cardigan

Needles needing a yarn?

If your needles are itching to knit some cosy accessories for your and your loved ones, we’ve got the yarns

crock blog

trubywool blog

spunout blog

littlereds blog

Keeshond dog and alpaca yarn by Crock | Naturally dyed merino/nylon sock yarn by Truby Wool | Textural handspun yarn by Spunout | Hand dyed merino yarn by Little Red’s Yarn

 

Purchase beautiful yarns here »

 

Need a pattern? We’ve got that covered too! »

 

Friday, 24 March, 2017

Friday finds

wraptweaving blog

homesewn blog

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

alexoandco blog

bambina blog

Handwoven alpaca scarf by Wrapt Weaving | Merino slouch beanie by Homesewn | Log Cabin wool fingerless mitts by Cornflakepurl | Little Kiwi hottie cover by Adventures of Alex O & Co | Floral tea pot cosy and pot by Bambina

Thursday, 23 March, 2017

A pinch of this, a dash of that…

We love these beautiful pinch pots from Gwyneth Hulse Design, hand-turned from New Zealand Tōtara and finished with food-safe tung oil and beeswax polish. They’re perfect for holding salt, pepper, or spices, or as pots for rings and earrings.

Purchase yours today!

ghdesign blog

Wednesday, 22 March, 2017

Fresh on Felt

greenbay

 
This week: Soothing natural balms for winter throats and skin, art for indoors and out, and gorgeous jewellery and homewares. Grab a cuppa and go shopping in comfort!

designer decor, art and homewares

naturesgift – lovely homewares made from natural products such as harakeke
craftdujour – awesome embroidered art
modenartnz – unique garden sculptures to enhance any garden setting
doubletreble – classic and contemporary crochet art and craft items

craftdujour blog

clothing, jewellery, accessories

flatcat-dezigns – delicate resin drop earrings
themindfuljewel – resin jewellery inspired by the beauty of nature

acqua_sapone blog

trishramos blog

body and health

greenbay – soothing manuka honey lozenges made from raw manuka honey
trishramos – luxury body and bath products
acqua_sapone – small batch skincare treats for body and soul

modenartnz blog

Tuesday, 21 March, 2017

The Easter bunny loves Felt

Easter treats don’t have to be chocolate! We’ve found some sweet alternatives to make Easter special for little ones.

zippitydoodah blog

pinkbasket blog

sewmama blog

mimiandrufus blog

twomagpies blog

 

Shop local and lasting for Easter »

 

Monday, 20 March, 2017

Beautiful Pacific-inspired homewares from Deep Green Inc

Deep Green Inc brings textures of Aotearoa and the Pacific to life through a love of textiles and design. These gorgeous homewares make use of woven flax, feathers, paua shell, dying techniques, hand drawn designs, and beautiful 100% New Zealand wool.

deepgreeninc cushion blog

deepgreeninc runner blog

 

Purchase from Deep Green Inc today »

 

deepgreeninc wool cushion blog