Friday 9 March 2012

Happy happenstance

Happenstance? 'Happenstance' you say Bloom? Hmmm, I am reading Charles Dickens at the moment, so my use of 'happenstance' is his fault.
Motivated by the wonderful adaptation of 'Great Expectations' on the ABC, I am trying to read ahead before next Sunday's episode. Catch up with last week's episode on iView, or read it with me by downloading a free copy on iTunes. Oh, the irony, or is it juxtaposition - Charles Dickens now on iView and iTunes! 

Sorry, I digress! Since first posting to this blog over five years ago, one happy happenstance has lead to another and I find myself designing patterns. 

Last October, I was invited by Australian Homespun to contribute a design for a new project-of-the-month (POM) initiative called 'A Trip to Remember'. The POM is a series of 10 projects, one per month until December, each with a travel theme. All projects have been constructed using Amy Butler's dramatic new line 'Lark' (below), and the the series is being launched in this month's issue.  
There is an awe-inspiring roundup of designers who will present their creations over the next 10 months, including:
 Natalie Bird of The Birdhouse
Jodie Carleton of Ric Rac
Lesley McConnell of Faeries in my Garden
Natalie Ross of Natalie Ross In Stitches
Monica Poole of Moonshine Designs
Nicole Mallalieu, of Nicole Mallalieu Designs
Brenda Ryan of Thimblestitch
And even the inimitable Ms Butler herself. What a treat!

I am weak at the knees and completely humbled to be in the company of these amazing women. I feel like I'm in a real-life version of Sesame Street's 'one of these things is not like the others'!

Each designer was generously supplied with fabrics of her choosing from Amy's range. I chose these:
My brief was to construct a garment bag. Concepts for my designs are usually directly inspired by the fabrics - their colours, scale and mood. Amy's 'Lark' fabrics struck me as flamboyant, extravagant and dynamic. I decided on an appliqued panel with a floral 'flourish' twining from top to bottom.
The applique background was problematic, with just the right shade of 'almost black' unrepresented in my stash. Thankfully the lovely Rita @ Red Pepper Quilts came to my rescue with some perfect Kona 'Pepper'. Thanks so much Rita - you were a godsend!
The reverse side of the bag has a central zipper ...
... and two zippered pockets for safe keeping of jewellery, stockings etc.
It is a bit hard to see, but there is a gusset all the way around to accommodate several garments, and the bag is finished on all edges with a fine bind. It is fully lined inside.
It is particularly special that all projects in the Australian Homespun's 'Trip to Remember' program will be donated to Alzheimer's Australia. This organisation is the peak support body for people with dementia and their families and carers in Australia. The projects in Homespun's program will be auctioned or raffled to raise funds for this important cause. I doubt that there are many women who are not affected, indirectly or otherwise, by the suffering caused by dementia.

This month's issue of Australian Homespun (No. 106) is just hitting newsstands now. 
Australian Homespun can also be purchased in a digital format from Zinio.
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