Growing your hair takes patience and sometimes as long as a year before seeing anything that looks good to you. Its not easy particularly at that ‘in between’ awkward stage where it falls in your face and yet its still not long enough to pull back.
Its annoying and distracting but take a look at these examples below all found on Pinterest and you’ll see why it so worth the persistence. There is a solution however to help with this crazy stage and its this quick, easy and cheap DIY for a leather hairband in 3 simple steps. If you are making it for ‘him’ it will keep his hair off his face and off his mind so he can get on with his stuff. And if you’re a guy please don’t go get a decent haircut. : )
Some long hair inspiration
Top from left ; Devran Taskensen, Christopher Mason & image from collegetimes.com all found on Pinterest (Warning: don’t go there!)
This could equally be sewn with a machine or hand sewn using a strong sharp needle with a strong thread like a waxed cotton or a polyester.
What you’ll need :
1 x strip of leather approx 45 x 2cm
1 x length of elastic 7 x 2cm
Hand sewing needle or sewing machine
Waxed cotton or polyester thread
Cutting mat & knife and ruler
1. Measure around around the head, following where the band will sit. Minus 10cm this will be for the elastic at the back and the seam allowances. Cut a strip of leather to this measurement and approximately 2cm wide depending on the look you want to go for. Our measurements were 44 x 2cm.
2. Cut a length of elastic 10cm long. Attach it to the underside of the leather on one side, allowing for a 2cm overlap. Make several rows of stitching to secure it firmly. At this stage you can try it on and hold in place to get a secure fit.
3. Stitch the other side and you’re done. Easy.
This example has a wider leather band than the one in the main picture which is only 1cm wide but you can make it to any width and colour you like. You could also use faux leather or material but it really needs to be quite firm.
So what to call this post? Leather male band? Male hair band? Boy band? Man bun band?
This is just so cute, it was made it to display some of my linen elephants at an exposition but I think it would look really sweet in a child’s bedroom to house those little teddies and toys. You can make it any size you want but bare in mind that if you use foam boards like I did there will be a limit to how much weight you can apply. Its so simple and quick and you really don’t need much in the way of supplies.
What you will need:
6 x polyfoam boards but you could use cardboard or even light weight wood, Paper to decorate I used wrapping paper but again an alternative can be used such as wallpaper or material.
If you are like me and tend to look at the pictures rather than the words this tutorial is right up your street.
Tape the three rectangles at the joins and fold up to form a U shape.
Place the larger rectangle underneath and tape all the joins. It will protrude beyond the sides but this is ok as it will form part of the roof.
The roof is just 2 taped pieces of card formed into a V shape. Place this on the protruding end and cut away the excess.
Now attach the roof by taping it down at the back.
And there you have it you are finished. All that’s left now is to decorate your new home. You can use wrapping paper like I did or wallpaper, paint or even material. A self adhesive hook can be placed at the back if you want to hang it up but remember to watch the weight that’s placed on it.
If you are familiar with the drawings of French illustrator Rebecca Dautremer then this book will give you an insight into how she achieves such mesmerising and dream like quality illustrations. And if you are not let me introduce to the magical world of this extraordinarily talented artist.
Vice Versa is a large format book by the artist and illustrator Rebecca Dautemer. And in keeping with the artists unique personality it is split into two parts cleverly separated in the middle with a 360* double spread photograph of the artist and her husband Tai-Marc Le Thanh working in their studio. As you arrive at the centre you have to turn the book upside down in order to continue on reading. On one of the covers is an illustration of a young woman serenely standing in a field of tall grass and on the other almost as if caused by turning the book upside down the girl is now topsy turvey and unbalanced. Its this attention to detail which is quite impressive through out the book. There’s also little touches such as the price tag being incorporated into the cover design itself.
The premise of the book is rather like a diary journaling the processes through all her projects since 2009. Presenting the mock-ups, the props, the working drawings, sketches, paintings and photographs some of which are personal photographs of her family and of herself dating back to her childhood. The narration between Rebecca and her husband who is also an artist and photographer is sweet, funny and natural and perhaps explains how you feel you have access into their private world.
Over the last couple of years she has expanded her work portfolio to include theatre, costume and animation films which seems like a natural progression and some of these examples can be seen in this book. It’s almost as if she is recording actual life events and no detail has gone unnoticed. It demonstrates rather than reveals, as its already evident in her illustrations, her quirky sense of humour and her wonderful take on life.
The temptation to frame practically every page and have my own gallery is only stalled by the fact that I hate to deface books. I particularly like that it unveils the working drawings of one of the characters from her earlier book ‘ Le secret journal du Petit Poucet’. She has such a lightness of hand which is so evident in her depictions of this tormented little character. It’s actually with this book that I first came across Rebecca Dautremer and finally committed to learning to read french. It was in 2010 on a visit to France and my intention was that ‘this time I would read a book in French from beginning to end.’ Hence my move to the children’s department.
It still makes me laugh to look back and see how I had to translate literally every word and remembering how taken I was by the drawings I would sometimes doodle them in my notes. Thankfully my French has considerably improved.
And I really did feel like I had progressed to reading grown up books when out came Soie in 2012. This is no children’s book and is really of an adult nature. It has a more sensual tone but with the same softness and sensitivity she applies to her children’s books. The cover unfolds into a poster format which is quite beautiful and moving and features a character from Soie with an intricate and detailed tattoo design on his chest. She has such a profound understanding of the characters and works closely with the authors that she is able to interpret the angst and emotions perfectly through her illustrations.
Whilst researching for this post I came across this Youtube video of Rebecca working on ‘Alice au Pas des Merveilles de Lewis Carroll’ which is quite mesmerising and worth taking a look at just to see an artist at work. This in itself was quite amusing for me as my first collection of handbags and accessories was entitled ‘The Wonderland Collection’ and was also inspired by the story of Alice in Wonderland. Interestingly I was lucky enough to meet one of Lewis Carroll’s relatives at an exhibition I had in London based on this collection. She herself is an artist so her comments to me were really touching and inspiring. So with my father being from Mauritius (where the dodo bird is said to have become extinct) and the character in this book it seems the name Dodo was inevitable.
I hope you enjoyed this book review of ‘et Vice Versa’ by Rebecca Dautremer.
As someone who has been making handmade products and clothing for all my adult life and I guess my childhood too its great to see a shift in the perception and the perceived value of handmade goods. Gone are the days when it would signified poorly made or old fashioned clothing and products. Today the business of Handmade is a really exciting and diverse one, which is rightly coming into a new era of appreciation. Which can also be seen in the increasing amount of DIY enthusiasts producing well made, stylish and on trend products. Out dated craft techniques and processes are being revitalised and used in new an innovative ways. Perhaps this is due to the access of information being easily available with the internet and sites like Pinterest. Or due to economic or environmental factors or just for the simple understanding of the pleasure gained from ‘creating’.
I should really have a disclaimer here as this article is being written by someone who is completely obsessed and passionate about the beauty of handmade but in case you need a little convincing yourself here are 6 reasons I feel Handmade is good for your soul and makes you happy.
A simple and sometimes overlooked benefit is that being the pure satisfaction of creating a handmade item. Its difficult to explain why its so impactful but in a world where we are always so busy, so connected and plugged in its a great form of escapism and self expression. The hours really do pass unnoticed when you’re so enthralled in your project and when you get into that ‘zone’ where the magic happens it can take alot to be distracted. It can explain how you can sit doing the same thing for hours on end possibly only moving because of ‘pins and needles’. Persisting after several failed attempts to perfect a skill because of the enjoyment in the process as much as in the end result. For the amateur and the professional alike making for themselves or someone else gives the opportunity to create something that has never existed before and to put a little of themselves into it which in turn leads to a great sense of accomplishment.
When someone makes a handmade product whether that be as a professional or for themselves the ultimate aim is to create a quality product. Using the best in materials often times using techniques which are more time consuming or intricate simply because they love what they do. The aim is not for the perfection of a machine made factory item. You may be able to see the mark of the maker or some imperfections but you can be assured all the time, attention, care and love has gone into producing it, without a ‘how can I make this with the least thought and cheapest materials?’ mentality.
It may be questionable whether grandma’s clothes are fashionable or not, I guess that depends on your personal style but I strongly believe without grandma’s innate sewing skills some of our most treasured clothing and textiles would not have endured the test of time. To be admired, cherished, collected, handed down and many still able to be worn. The same craftsmanship and attention to detail can be seen in the work of many craftspeople such as carpenters with emphasis on the finer details such as dovetail joints and solid wood. As consumers we sometimes don’t have a choice with products actually being made not to last but to be replaced by the latest model. This encourages a sense of don’t repair just replace. I’m truly convinced that if we care even just a little it can make a big difference and it’s worth mending a high value product rather than replacing with an inferior one.
3 Good for the environment and your pocket
And obviously doing your bit is good for the environment. If you are buying from an artisan or small company you can almost guarantee that everything is used and very little wasted. Besides when you make for yourself you usually look to what you have already that you can use such as left over cotton curtain material for a pair of summer PJ shorts for example ( I have a tutorial for this coming soon). You can keep up with the ever evolving trends by making it yourself whether that be for your house or for your wardrobe. Factoring in the cost of the material and the pattern can mount up of course but in the long run you do save money as you can reuse the pattern over and over and the garments and products that can be bought for pittance are usually so poorly made they need to be replaced after a season of wearing or if its a piece of furniture after the first time you try to move it (Talking from experience). Of course you can recycle too and today there are some beautiful and elegant examples of recycled works in which we previously would not have used these two words to associate with recycled products. Take for example one of my favourite rings, the red recycled plastic and wood ring by Sarah Thirlwell. There are so many possibilities with recycling that I feel it deserves an entire separate post which I will be writing in the future.
A handmade item is a unique creation and even a one of a kind item made in a similar colour, size, material or style will always be different as its made by hand and we humans aren’t perfect so there will also be slight difference. Certain techniques can not be cost effectively replicated by machine as yet making it unattractive for mass production so you only achieve these results by hand crafting it. An artists interpretation, ideas, culture, skills, education, tools and techniques all combine to influence their own individual creations. Added to this the fact that it is possible to customise an item to your own specific requirements can potentially lead to some awe-inspiring solutions. Not to mention the possibility of getting to know the designer/maker in person which I always find rewarding which in turn creates a connection and the added value you may feel from this. It can also be a truly unconventional form of self expression and appeal only to a small niche of like minded people.
And so talking about connection this I find a touching side to handmade is the element of bonding and for me this is really precious. Whether this be within families or communities where people come together to create, learn and share. It can be the glue that connects families with parents and grandparents investing their time and passing down their skills to their children and loved ones. And lets not forget the Aunty who can sew or the Uncle who cooks. Children love those special times and those times become the creation of memories. Us adults too appreciate these benefits with meeting up in classes and groups of other like minded people where the aim is to both create and to socialise. Its also also worth noting how powerful it can be when people come together as a community in aid of a cause with events such as ‘sew-alongs’ to produce pieces to donate or raise money for deserving causes.
Many crafts were originally created in order to produce practical objects to be used in everyday life and subsequently with an advancement in technology along with a different pace of life, the demand has disappeared in many cases the profession and expertise too. So its heartening to see some of these lost skills being rejuvenated and brought back in to the modern day in turn contributing to the preservation of these traditional skills high in value and finesse. Today lots of artists and craftspeople are applying their skills to a diverse range of products especially if the demand in their particular industry has died and its this cross over which has resulted in a fresh pollination of new products and ideas. Large corporations are incorporating elements of Handmade (and sometimes faking the look) into their businesses and collaborations with artist and designers are almost common place now. A recent example of this is the way in which cross stitch, a previously out dated stitching technique has been incorporated by artists and designers alike to feature on all types of products. There are some gorgeous examples of on trend furniture pieces and clothing such as this cross stitch embellished sofa by Ellinor Ericsson.
This article was not meant to knock the value in new technologies, processes and advancements and whats been called the New Industrial Revolution but just to shout out the praises of the Handmade community.
If you’re like me and you love books check out these gorgeous examples on Handmade found at Waterstones Bookshop, London:
The craft and the Makers: Between Tradition and Attitude by Duncan Campbell
Digital Handmade: Craftsmanship and the New Industrial Revolution by Lucy Johnson
ClothBound: Iconic Fabric Designs; Stories of a Handmade Process by Julie Paterson
Makers of East London by Charlotte Schreiber.
Maybe you can tell that I could have quite easily gone on but tried to make this as succinct as is possible for a Handmade freak so maybe I’ve missed something out that you think makes your heart sing when you create if so let me know.