Sunday, 9 October 2011

Top Five Favourites by Zoe Edwards

Hi, my name's Zoe, I'm a seamstress who creates clothing for my label 'Blatant Self Promotion' which is stocked in the Handmade Co-op shop. I also co-organise Brighton Craftaganza which supports local crafters/designer-makers and promotes handmade products over their mass-produced equivalent. I also blog about sewing and sustainability here.

I popped into Handmade today and decided I'd try and figure out what my top five favourite items currently on sale are. Kirstin then suggested I write this guest blog post about them, so if you're sitting comfortably...

It was a really tricky task to pick just five things with so much talent represented in the shop. Choosing twenty would have been so much easier. But in no particular order, here they are:

Knitted Sandwich Purse, by Sarah Harwin, £14.

I've been into these for so long. I cannot believe how much work has gone into these for such a low price. Filled pitta breads also available!

Printed Fabric Badges, by Vickeh, £2.

Apparantly these are a new addition to this talented designer's range, so if I were you, I'd hurry and snap some up before they sell out. I bought two (a letter and some scissors) for Christmas presents. I normally wouldn't think about Christmas so early but these were screaming 'BUY ME' so I racked my brains to find a reason to obey!

'Eric on Brighton Beach' Postcard, by Kirstin Stride, 50p.

In my opinion, this is the most perfect souvenir postcard. I've sent a few of these to friends who live abroad in thinly veiled attempts to lure them to Brighton to visit me!

Birdie Shorts, by Charlotte Haggerty, size 8-10, £55.

Charlotte Haggerty is making a real name for herself in the UK fashion scene, so it's really exciting to see some of her creations in the flesh. I love pretty much everything she makes, but these shorts are such a clever design they really stood out to me. As a sewer myself and therefore pretty obsessed with these things, I was quick to discover that the finish of all her garments is absolutely phenomenal. These shorts are going to make someone very happy!

Gallion Print, by Fox Fisher, £35.

It was so difficult to select my favourite print from all that are stocked in Handmade. I have a bit of a weakness for nautical imagery, and I love how this traditional illustration is juxtaposed with the multi-coloured ink effect. Total limited-edition genius for just £35!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Can you help? Tables and desks needed!!!

As you may know, we have a rather lovely and useful basement space at our disposal here at the Handmade Co-op shop. Last month we hosted our ‘Selling for People who hate Selling’ symposium in as well as a regular photography workshop. We also have other plans in the pipeline to facilitate cool new discussions/workshops/exhibitions/classes for creative-minded locals to get iinvolved in. This will also attract more attention to the work of the artists and designers that is stocked in our shop. And as a non-profit co-operative, any funds that these events can generate will help cover overheads and insure we are able to support those artists and designers for longer. Win-win-win.

One particular set of plans that I am very excited about could do with a little helping hand to actualise. We aim, starting very early next year, to provide expert sewing assistance and access to sewing machines and equipment to people without the often-preventative cost and commitment needed to sign up to a standard sewing class. The sewing sessions will be user-directed, so the sewing experts can be on hand to help with whatever the individual wishes to learn, rather than following a set ‘making a skirt’ or ‘making a cushion cover’ formula.

We have been offered use of a sufficient amount of sewing machines, overlockers and equipment, but we are severely lacking in surfaces to use it all on. Due to the non-profit nature of Handmade (and the make-do and mend nature some of us share!) buying a load of new tables isn’t an option. So if you have, or know of, any unwanted tables, desks or computer tables that could be used to sew on, please please prettiest of pleases, email (at) hotmail (dot) com to donate them!!!!