Thursday, 31 March 2016

Wedding ties to match bridesmaid dresses

I love the part of my work that involves helping brides and grooms choose ties and other accessories for their wedding - its such a joy to work with people at such a happy time!
Often the most difficult bit is finding just the right fabric - a job that is made so much easier when the bridesmaids dresses are already being made from a Liberty design!!

I've had two such requests in the last month and although different have loved both the fabric choices

The first was a request to match the bridesmaid dresses for two lovely little girls (I've had a sneak preview so have seen how lovely they look!). Their dresses were being made in the lovely blues of Liberty's Kaylie Sunshine which is a print of a floral watercolour design
Liberty Kaylie Sunshine ties on the cutting board

The finished ties being packed for despatch

The order was for a couple of ties for an April wedding - lets hope the skies are as beautifully blue as the fabric...

The second order was for ties to match the bridesmaids' dresses made from a lovely shade of the Liberty Mitsi design, a fabric which plays on Liberty’s history with Japanese style cherry blossom.
Mitsi design Liberty ties 
These are for a summer wedding - I'm really hoping to get to see some photos from this wedding too!

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

The Versatility of a Cravat

I have been making cravats from Liberty tana lawns for just a year now and despite some telling me that they are out of date I have been pleased to find they are still a much wanted item of neckwear. One question that crops up quite frequently though is what is the difference between Day Cravats, Ascots, Wedding Cravats, and Ruched Wedding Cravats. The answer is - not a lot!

The main difference between them all is how they are tied.
I'll get Gerald, my man (or mannequin!), to illustrate.....

Day cravats and Ascots are names for exactly the same thing, these are tied loosely around the neck and tucked inside the shirt.

Liberty Day Cravat or Ascot

But with the exact same cravat you can tie it as a traditional wedding cravat which is secured by a cravat pin

Liberty Wedding cravat tied traditionally

or tie it as a ruched, or scrunchie, wedding cravat by basically using a standard tie knot - the excess fabric producing the ruched look

Liberty wedding cravat tied in the ruched or scrunchie style

I'm hoping to get a step by step guide added to the CatkinJane website soon which will detail how all these looks are created - Gerald and I need another photo session

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Wedding Colour Scheme Inspiration

I'm always interested in where brides and grooms get the inspiration for the colour scheme of their weddings from, many have already decided on what colours they are going to use before they come to CatkinJane looking for ties for the groom and other men (and boys!) in the wedding party.

Last week I discovered exactly where one couple had got theirs from - the tie they'd seen on my website last year!
The tie they had seen, and bought, was this lovely one made from Liberty's Ciara fabric

They had got back in touch having decided that they'd like a pocket square to go with the tie and whist I sat invisibly hand-stitching the four foot of hemming required there was plenty of time to study the fabric in detail and admire their choice

The black of the background with the grey foliage must have covered the suit choices

The lovely splashes of an ivory white flower would be echoed in the brides dress

And then you have a selection of pinks and soft jade green to use for bridesmaids and flowers

Along with the pocket square I sent a couple of swatches that could be used for the venue stylist and florist - it's going to be a beautifully coordinated wedding without being restricted to just one colour!

Monday, 11 January 2016

Review of 2015

As it has been almost a year since I last posted I thought the best way to start this year was with a review of the highlights of 2015
CatkinJane has grown a lot over this last year, the main focus is now the ties I make from Liberty tana lawns. These wonderful fabrics allow for such a wide range of styles, from the classic to modern, fun to elegant, and such a wonderful range of colours...
I now make many ties for peoples weddings and post out all over the world.

As well as ties for the adults at the wedding I also have been making ties for the boys
Little boy's bow tie

Boy's bow tie
Its so lovely to be involved in such a happy time.

Something I learnt during the year is that by making my ties from all cotton (outer, linings and interlinings) they are suitable for vegans - you can read a bit more here

In May I got involved with my first photo-shoot using live models, it was organised by Becky Moore of Design Inspire Live who was organising promotional material for her October event

I also had fun getting my own fabric printed for a commission - I was asked to make map themed bow tie and pocket square but ended up also making a tie and set of cuff links from a vintage Cumbria map

Vintage Cumbria map used for ties, pocket squares and cuff links

I'm still hoping to get some good Yorkshire map fabric printed!

There are plenty of plans in the pipeline for 2016 so I am looking forward to another exciting year.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

New Workroom

2014 was an exciting year for me, moving in January from the edge of Ilkley Moor into rented accomodation near York whilst I found a new place to live and then having found my new home spending 6 months overseeing the repairs and improvements it needed.

This is how my 'workroom' looked back in June

work progress......

and now I have a great new space to work and store all my fabrics with the added bonus of a big window looking out into the village so I can see the world go by (well some of it anyway!)

Time to get some work done.....

Friday, 12 September 2014

Our Handmade Collective

I've been meaning to write a post for ages now about the wonderful shop in Leeds that I joined earlier this summer called Our Handmade Collective.
I have finally got around to it prompted by the fact that last Friday night the shop won the Best Place to Shop [in Leeds] award in the Leeds indie awards organised by Leeds Love Affair!

The shop was the idea of two people: Claire Riley of Little Shop of Lathers, and Natalie Entwistle of Handmade by Natalie; just over a year on there are now more than 50 designers, makers and artists,  collectively known as Our Handmade Collective, who showcase their work there in The Grand Arcade,  Leeds.

It is a fantastic shop full of a great range of specially selected handmade gifts, I love my visits to renew stock as it gives me a chance to take a peek at all the other fabulous work, and it's great for me to be part of an award winning outlet. 

If you get a chance, the shop is most definitely worth a visit!

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Bespoke tie making service

Previous visitors to my blog may know that I started making ties last year at the suggestion of my brother-in-law who was struggling to find anything 'different' in the shops.

Over the following months I found that the number of ties I was selling increased gradually, and the number of special requests has increased dramatically as people find the ties through my website, and on the Etsy and Folksy websites where I also sell.

These are sometimes just for a particular fabric that someone has seen, with the advantage of being able to produce a matching pocket square; or often they are for some special occasion.
Liberty tana lawn tie and matching pocket square

It may be that they want a tie a little wider of narrower than those they've seen.
Ties can be made in varying widths

This year I have found myself in the enjoyable position of being included in a number of wedding plans - making ties for the groom alone up to the groom, best man, father of the bride, and all the ushers....

These can be of all the same fabric, or perhaps with one colour of a design for the groom and a different colour for the rest of the wedding party, or even a selection of colours in the same design.

For different colours of the same deign of Liberty tana lawn

The most fun has been making ten ties of varying designs in complementary colours for all the men of the wedding party - hoping I may get to see a photo of them all together!