Monday, 4 November 2013

Sew Over It Patterns & Kits

So I'm a little late posting this but...the Sew Over It patterns and kits have arrived!!!
Aren't they pretty!?

For anyone who doesn't know, I work at Sew Over It, but was really touched when Lisa (founder of Sew Over It) offered me the step by step illustration work for the patterns and kits. Ofcourse, I was said YES and the rest is history.

We were already selling kits in the shop, but wanted to rebrand it all so that when we released the patterns they would all be uniform and easily recognised as Sew Over It. Lisa selected what she thought would work best and off we went. It really felt like a Sew Over It team effort. Lisa was doing the patterns, I was on board with the illustrations, and Dom (who also works there) was writing up the instructions. 
One of my illustrations taken from the Shift Dress Pattern instruction booklet.

I'm super excited about seeing the patterns, with my hand drawn illustrations in them, finally released to the public. People will be making the patterns up and following my illustrations! I felt like I had been working on them for so long I forgot what it was all for! But here they are finally, in the flesh. I can actually hold it close to my bosom now. It's real.

They've already been blogged about and are selling amazingly! I even saw a little peak of my illustrations on Tilly's blog! Eeeeee!

image from Tilly and The Buttons

You can buy your very own pattern or kit from the Sew Over It shop in Clapham, or order one here.

Monday, 1 July 2013


As a way of saving a few pennies, I have been doing a little recycling recently...

Exhibit A: I dug out an old Primark vest that had been buried into the deep dark corners of my wardrobe-evidence in itself that it wasn't getting any wear. I decided to turn it into a simple crop top by using a dress I have with the same neckline. Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo of this in it's previous form, but here it is in it's completed glory!

Exhibit B: I was browsing the amazing charity shops that Clapham High Street have on offer, one day before work and this fabric caught my eye. Upon further inspection, I discovered that it was a pair of wide leg trousers. I wasn't sure about the garment itself, but loved the fabric so much that I decided to go ahead and purchase in trousers anyway (a whole £4!) in the hope that I can make something from the fabric.

So, i went home and unpicked every single seam as carefully as I possibly could, making sure no fabric goes to waste. I knew that ideally, I wanted to make a summer dress from the fabric-ambitious considering the limitations on fabric!

I used a button down skirt that I had at home as the pattern for the bottom (it JUST about squeezed on!) and then used a vintage shirt pattern as a rough guide for the top. Luckily it all worked out fine in the end-it just about buttons up and it is pretty short, but I love it! I've already worn it several times-it's so incredibly comfortable!

Monday, 10 June 2013


Typically when I'm illustrating, I find it super easy to get completely absorbed in what I'm doing-both in a good way and a bad way. It's obviously great to be really into a piece of work or drawing that you're working on, but on the flip side, it's real easy to lose an objective eye and get bogged down with too much detail. As I am the queen of this, I thought the solution to my problem could lie in a doing a 'quickie illustration' every week. I've given myself a time period of 1-3 hours to create a simple illustration of anything at all! Here's the first two...I seem to have opted for the same structure for them! I don't know if I will carry this on every week, or mix it up, but we shall see!

Come Get Your Hotdogs!

A dude selling hotdogs on Bourbon Street, New Orleans.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Tools of the Trade

Can you guess the trade?

NY Resolution So Far...

So I thought I would give a little update on how I'm doing on my New Year's Resolution (or should I say challenge?) of making my clothes and not buying. And in a nut's going great! I feel like I've been making at a consistent pace, changing up the difficulty of garments I've been making, and types of fabric. The best thing I've got out of it so far (apart from a fabulous new wardrobe ofcourse!) is confidence in my own abilities. I feel like my dressmaking has come along leaps and bounds!

As I've been posting mainly photos of garments alone, I thought I would post pictures of my clothes in action. It's all well and good seeing a garment on a hanger, but it's supposed to go on a person and that's how you really know it fits! So here goes....

1.) Tartan Coco Jacket (and fur scarf!)

2.) Wool crepe trousers and mustard blouse (both Burda patterns)

3.) 'Joan Dress' (and there's the fur scarf again!)

4.) Aztec skirt (just about!)

...And many more!

I feel like this is the start of something new. When I took my dressmaking vow in January, I wasn't confident that I would be stick to it, but now I'm wondering why I didn't do it sooner. Making your own clothes is so satisfying! With every project I complete, somehow my mental list of 'to makes' gets longer, so there'll be plenty more to come!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

My Mustard Blouse

Earlier this week my boss had a clear out of the fabrics she had hoarded over the years and I was assigned the job of packaging them up as remnants for the shop. Ofcourse, I couldn't do this without having first dibs on any fabrics I wanted to add to my personal collection at home. One of these was this lovely sheer mustard fabric-a blouse waiting to be made. And a fabric it became!

The blouse is based on a top from my BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook. I didn't want the bottom to flair out, as in the original pattern, because I know I'l be tucking it into all of my high waited shorts and skirts. Instead of having the waist go in, I simplified the pattern so that it went straight down. Easy! Well, not really. It was my first experience with such a light fabric, so it was challenging to say the least! 

I got there in the end though, and the best part was I got to use one of my vintage buttons that had been sitting in my drawer for years for the top of the blouse! Again, this wasn't featured in the original design, just an extra touch I thought I would add. Hope you like!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentines Day!

Hope everyone is having a lovely Valentines Day, whether coupled up or not. As a singleton myself, I thought I would share a few things that I am loving at the moment:

  • Sewing (obviously!). I am loving making my own clothes. It has bought me lots more joy than I expected it to and I'm all about doing things that make me happy this year. It's challenging, but so rewarding and the possibilities are endless. My 'dressmaking projects to make' list is ever growing. My recent creation inspired me to make a matching fold over clutch bag too!

  • Drawing (duh!). Here's an original sketch for my 'Sewing Essentials' piece.

  • Aaron Taylor Johnson/Anna Karenia. Having recently watched Anna Karenia, I can but help swoon over the tasty Aaron Taylor Johnson. Hunky men aside, I absolutely loved the film too! It was done so creatively- almost like a cross between a theatre play and a film. The costumes were also a feast for the eyes and it was jam packed with sexual tension. I'm not usually big on period dramas or Joe Wrights previous films, so I was pleasantly surprised! I definitely recommend it-just have a fan or bucket of cold water handy!

  • Reading. Now I've never been much of a reader at all, which is why it surprises me that I have recently been devouring books at quite a fast pace! After my GCSE's I probably didn't read a book for about 5 years! Not even one. Then came Uni where I got into feminism via my dissertation (realising that I was one all along!), so I read anything and everything that relates to feminism and beyond. Still, I was never a reader of novels. I was of the opinion that if you're going to read, you may aswell be gaining knowledge while doing it. Now, having read some novels that actually interested me and that I enjoyed, I totally disagree with my previous ideas. What good book doesn't make you think? I'm totally hooked! Films are also a big part of this too. My film obsession seems to feed my book obsession and vice versa. I have no idea what I did on public transport before I carried books around with me!

That's what I'm loving at this very moment. Hope you're all doing things that you love too and that make you happy. Nothing is more important than your happiness.

Tweet Tweet

This was inspired by another image I am currently working on (aswell as my map illustration ofcourse!). It's one of those things that just snowballs. You start one thing and then ideas spring up from there and each new idea brings up another and another get the idea. 

The original image is almost finished, so I may post it up later today. Exciting stuff!

Also, on the subject of birdies, I'm trying to get back into the habit of tweeting again, so do follow me @tugbakop. That is all :)


Sunday, 10 February 2013

Dressmaking Adventures: Straight Skirt

My latest make is this simple straight skirt made from gorgeous I had lying around the house! I'm really happy with how it turned out, it fits like a glove and the fabric is awesome! I've already worn it twice since completing it only 4 days ago!


Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Map Update

Two more elements to add to my map of America. 

Exhibit A is a 'Hand Grenade'-a cocktail concoction that consists mainly of sugar and water, with a hint of alcohol, served in these novelty grenade shaped containers to attract tourists (yes, I bought into it too!). You can choose to have it as your standard mixed drink or as an icy slushy. I had it as a slushy which was nice and refreshing...for the first sip, then it was ridiculously sweet and my throat started to burn. Good times.
 An alligator from the Gatorfarm in Florida.
That's all for now folks!


Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Delicate Arch

Here's another illustration towards my map. It's a mini hike I went on called 'Delicate Arch' (I wonder why?). What's awesome about this particular hike is that you don't get any glimpses of the arch on your way up, so when you do finally lay your eyes on it, you really get that wow factor!
 And seeing as I was feeling rather delicate myself on the day, I think I can call my arch delicate too.

More to come.


Wednesday, 30 January 2013


Having just watched the new Spielberg movie, Lincoln, I thought I would share a sneak preview of a new illustration I've been working on. The plan is to create a map based on the route I took on my American road trip, including things I saw along the way. It's taking quite a while, as I'm having to do around 38 separate illustrations (one for each stop), and simplicity is an art form I have yet to learn! This one may take a while, but I'll try to share the individual illustration along the way. Anyway, here's the first stop, Washington!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Handmade trousers = hunk magnet

Ok, ok...maybe these two hunky fellows didn't  make a bee-line in my direction in order to admire the handy work on my trousers. I may have gone to see a Dreamboys show, as a birthday 'treat'. Not sure treat is the word, but it sure was an interesting experience! Large groups of girls dressed up in glittery dresses, novelty tiaras and excessive amounts of pink, while me and my two friends were looking rather awkward and under dressed. But not as under dressed as the men! Sorry, couldn't resist that one.

Anyway, the point of this post was so you could see my trousers in action, so try to focus on the trousers people! *Focus*

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Arty Tools

Here's another illustration I have been working on over the past few days. I thought it would compliment my 'Sewing Tools' image and thought I could do a whole series of them eventually! Although the image is ultimately created using photoshop (after hand drawing everything from observation ofcourse!), I have incorporated as many of the different mediums that I have drawn into the image. So if you look close enough you will see that the colour used for the crayon for example is made up of crayon scribbles! 

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Trousers and Jacket

As promised here are some pix of my trousers I made over the Christmas/New Year break. They're made from green wool crepe and are super warm and comfy! I downloaded the pattern from the Burda website and printed it on my printer at home. It's so nice to have a pair of trousers that fit perfectly and have all the elements that I look for in a pair of trousers. Up until now that was impossible, so I barely wore trousers for this reason. Now I cant get enough of them!

I have also recently made this tartan jacket from the Sew Over It 'Coco Jacket' pattern at work. There were a few mistakes in the pattern, so it's not perfect, but I am pleased with how it turned out. I'm also tempted to make a matching pair of trousers to go with it. I may end up looking like Rupert the Bear, but he is awesome so it's all good! :-)

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Only in America.

Another illustration  This one is inspired by the many odd, funny, tacky and just totally insane signs I came across in America. This is just the tip of the iceberg!


Thursday, 3 January 2013

Happy New Year Everyone!

Happy New Year to all! Hope you're feeling refreshed and ready for the new year!

As it's the time for resolutions, I thought I would share a few of mine with you all.

1.) Make, not buy. I have always made things instead of buying here possible, but this year, I'm going to take it a step further! Seeing as 99% of all the clothes I buy need altering in one way or another, I have decided to make (most) of my clothes this year. That way, I will avoid having a build up of clothes I don't really need or like any more. Obviously, I'll still buy some bits (tights, underwear and things!) but I want to aim to make around 80% of all that I wear this year! Despite dressmaking being more expensive than buying (most of the time) and most definitely more time consuming, it's a labour of love. Not only will it help me develop my newly discovered dressmaking skills, but will also have lots of one of a kind garments! I have already complete a pair of trousers, and I LOVE them! Picture to come soon, but in the meantime, here's a picture from the pattern I made them up from.

2.) Learn to Crochet. It's a craft I have never been able to get the knack of. I really want to have a craft skill that I can do one public transport, as I spend alot of time on trains. Even though I usually use this time to read, it's always nice to mix it up a little.

3.) Give Illustration a Shot. Despite being 'trained' in it, I never really gave it a real shot. I love it as much as I do my sewing and other crafts, so I have started to build up a new portfolio of work (separate from my embroidery work). Here's one I JUST finished!

4.) Travel. Since my American adventure in August, I have wanted to get away from London more often. If not for good. SO, even if it doesn't happen this year, I would like to plan another trip and possibly live somewhere for 3 months - 1 year.

Quite ambitious resolutions, but I think that's a good place to start.