Sunday, 27 May 2012

Introducing our Maker's Market...

ShopFloorWhore's Vintage clothing collection
Not only will you get a chance to make cool stuff at The Make Escape, we also have a Maker's Market selling handmade crafts and goodies - so don't forget to bring some cash, there's some serious shopping to be done! As part of our Fashion Fiesta Launch this month we'll also have a fabulous collection of vintage clothing on sale by ShopFloorWhore. Check out her ASOS shop here and read all about the founder on her fantabulous blog. Yes we are drooling already aswell...... : )
Susanna Wallis' Beautiful Feltwork
Susanna Wallis' soft felty loveliness will make you go 'ooooh' and 'aahh'. Susanna is a felt mistress extraordinaire and has even written a book about needle felting.
Make a Brooch workshop
She'll be selling her felted finery and running a brooch making workshop that is free to join in.
Dot Your Teas Pomtastic jewellery
Meet Londonium based fashion & accessories designer Chloe Bosher who's label 'Dot your T's and cross your I's' specialises in items that are fun, fun, fun! Anyone who works with pom poms and precious stones gets our thumbs up. She also stars in the brilliant book State of Craft just like our Rosie. Check out her addictive blog here.
Pompom workshop

You won't want to miss Chloe's pompom making session either....(neither will we, if one of us  goes AWOL on the night, you'll find us here!)
Emma Slater's Vintage jewellery
Theatrical and super stylish are just two ways of describing Emma Slater's stunning handmade jewellery. Using brass and copper clay, each piece is totally gorgeous and unique! Read about Emma is this inspiring newspaper article all about her! (Famous stall holder alert!)
Jewellery making workshop
Be sure to visit her stand and attend her free jewellery making session too.

So that's FOUR more reasons to come to The Make Escape on Tuesday May 29th!!
Hope to see you there : )

If you'd like to sell your work at a future Make Escape night - email us at with some images of your work and a bit about you! 
We'll be in touch x

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Monday, 21 May 2012

I CAN Make Shoes at The Make Escape

Londoners are very lucky in many ways. London is a city full of choices - if you can imagine something, it probably exists in London. We have a great number of shoe shops and young, innovative shoe brands designing beautiful, cutting edge structures in which we glove our restless feet.

We also have I CAN Make Shoes, a shoe-making studio run by designer Amanda Luisa, where if you can imagine a shoe you can make it come to life. They run workshops from a beautiful space in Hackney.

I CAN Make Shoes will be running a Shoe Design Station at the launch of The Make Escape. They will be offering guidance on design and providing a range of inspirational materials to help aspiring shoe designers think about the possibilities available to them.

I CAN Make Shoes will also be offering the generous prize of a place on one of their 'Ballet Pumps for Beginners' workshops, for whoever creates the most imaginative design on the night.

There are many possibilities when it comes to a pair of ballet pumps. You could make a pair that look like cats...

... or a pair of graceful velveteen evening shoes.

Come down to our launch and release your shoemagination. You may soon be putting your design skills into practice.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Launch party preparations

Our preparations are gathering pace for the launch of The Make Escape at The Hackney Attic. It's a beautiful venue - a long, elegant room with generous arched windows on the very top floor of a cinema. We went along to explore and make a floor plan. On her journey there, Momtaz picked up a pair of giant golden scissors at a second hand market.

The Attic has an unfathomably enormous 'backstage' area, which is almost as large as the front-of-house venue. It has one fully mirrored wall, which makes it the perfect place for our dressing up area. We're going to bring along most of the clothes photographed in the DIY Couture book, so you can try things on and get ideas about making your own.

The Make Escape is just one of many events the venue hosts. They have a board game night, quiz nights and musicians visiting from all round the world. This evening of 'Palop' music from Guinea-Bissau looks especially brilliant.

We're very lucky in that Barley from local sewing studio Fabrications, will be bringing some of her brand new Brother sewing machines to the launch. Here is her beautiful studio, which is on Broadway Market in Hackney. She hosts all sorts of crafty workshops there.

You can see that a lot of care and attention has gone into the creation of her studio. Almost everything has a special handmade touch.

Barley will be bringing to the launch her great eye for design detail, and will be helping anyone who wants to, to make a turban-style chainlink hairband. Here is a picture of DIY Couture author Rosie wearing a turban hairband at Fabrications. We'll be bringing along fabric and thread for anyone who wants to give this a go. It is suitable for absolute beginners and a good way to get comfortable with the basics of using a sewing machine.

There will be more activities at the launch and we'll be blogging about these in the next few days.


Sunday, 13 May 2012

DIY Couture at The Make Escape

I'm so pleased to be planning the launch of the DIY Couture mega book to coincide with launch of The Make Escape, a new monthly night for making things in Hackney. The launch has many exciting things in store, including a Shoe Design Station run by I CAN Make Shoes, a sewing machine corner run by Fabrications, a dressing up rail and a collage corner for you to make your own, personalised paper fashion doll. It all takes place on the 5th floor of the Picturehouse cinema on Mare Street, a beautiful venue called the Hackney Attic.

One of the unofficial mottos of The Make Escape is "there is no right or wrong in craft" and this positive, can-do ethos is very much inline with my own theories about making clothes.  I feel that many people would like to give clothes-making a go, but they are worried that they will do something wrong, so never quite get round to it. If you are one of these people, I hope that my book will encourage, inspire and enable you to make unique garments that you love wearing.

The book contains ten sets of instructions, each one describing and illustrating how to make a particular garment from scratch. The instructions can be interpreted in an endless number of ways - in other words, two different people could follow the same instructions and come up with two entirely different pieces of clothing. To illustrate this and hopefully inspire experimentation, I designed eight collections. You can see two of them here:

For each collection I created a mood board, which helped me choose fabrics and think about styling. Here is the mood board for the 'Rude Disco' collection.

These are the illustrations of the ten DIY Couture garments made Rude Disco style. It is hard to pick a colour that properly represents gold sparkles.

I sourced a lot of pieces for styling the collections from charity shops but also borrowed some great items, like these leggings from latvian company QooQoo, and this beautiful giant perspex zip necklace by Tatty Devine.

I was also very happy that Above + Below London were kind enough to lend me this pair of high-tops   made from disused seating fabric from London's underground trains.

This is how the hoody, the waistcoat, the skater skirt and the slouch top turned out, modelled by Danielle Doobay, who I spotted wandering down Brick Lane way back in 2009 and has been modelling for DIY Couture ever since.

Here you can see four different incarnations of the slouch top, made for four different collections featured in the book; Rude Disco, Jungle Punk, Tea Picnic and Monochrome Art.

We will have a dressing up rail at the launch, where you will be able to try on many of the piece of clothing shown in the book. I hope this will help you to think about how you can invent your own creations using the DIY Couture instructions. This launch is an open event - a party. The more the merrier, so please do come along, bring your friends and have fun experimenting with DIY fashion.

I hope to see you there-

Rosie xx