Revisiting Dongdaemun Market

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My visit to Dongdaemun Fabric Market in Seoul last year left me with the impression that this was one of the best fabric markets in the world. Having the chance to revisit it this year, I’m pleased to report that it is just as fabulous as ever with plenty to see and do.

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Review: The Golden Thread

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It was always going to be a challenge to dislike to a book that starts with the sentence ‘I am assuming here, Dear Reader, that you are not naked’. It was also always going to be a challenge to dislike any book that promised an adventure through our textile past, present and future.

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Review: The Secret Lives of Colour

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For regular readers of the blog, it will come as no surprise when I say I really, really like colours. I like looking at them, playing with them, making them and stumbling upon which combinations come together to make something even more exciting than their constituent parts. It probably also comes as no surprise then, that when I saw Kassia St Clair’s ‘The Secret Lives of Colour’, I felt as though someone had written a book just for me.

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Review: The Embroidery Stitch Bible

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One of the great things about the spread of the Internet has been the increasing accessibility of information on even the most niche of hobbies. This is great news for crafters for very obvious reasons, but with a growing number of wonderful Youtube tutorials and online stitch tutorials, is there any place left for a hardbound stitch bible?

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Coaster IV – Broken Dish Pair

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For my previous coasters, I’d stuck to following some great online tutorials. To me though, patchwork seems like one of those skills where it’s far better if you understand the concepts behind constructing a block and can mentally deconstruct patterns, much like making temari, rather than just learning to follow a pattern blindly.

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Review: Ribbonwork Embroidery: Techniques and Projects

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Ribbonwork embroidery (or ribbon embroidery) is, rather unsurprisingly, the art of sewing with ribbons. This is often done in combination with embroidery floss and other materials. As well as being delightfully quick to work up, ribbon embroidery is excellent value in the effect versus effort department, with even the simplest of stitches looking very dramatic. Also, who couldn’t love something that involves getting to play with silk?

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I had the pleasure of taking a Royal School of Needlework Day Class with the author of Ribbonwork Embroidery, Sophie Long, over a year ago now. When I heard that she was going to be writing a book on ribbonwork embroidery, one of her specialisms, I was rather excited to say the least.

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A Good Day for Post

It’s always a good day when you come home to find you have three rather exciting parcels lying in wait.

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After playing around with the dyes last week, I’d ordered a few more acid dyes from Kemtex to make it easier to experiment with different shades. When I spoke with them on the phone they recommended longer steaming times (40-45 minutes) and using citric acid, as opposed to white vinegar, for its slightly lower pH. Vinegar is also relatively volatile, hence why it has such a strong smell when you use it, so it can evaporate while you work meaning the pH isn’t acidic enough to fix the dye properly, which isn’t an issue with citric acid. I think I might miss the smell though!

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