Each journal is designed and hand bound by me, using good quality materials. My inspiration comes from the materials themselves.

My handmade journals are now for sale through The Handmade Gift Co

A couple of hand bound books that I made today. Really pleased with them. Plan on having another session tomorrow, kind of hooked on the process! Hope to put together a book binding tutorial, when I have the time! In the mean time check out this guy, there are many bookbinding tutorials online, this is the best tutorial I have come across for Coptic stitch book binding.

Alternative Fashion Week Day 4 London UK

The Alternative Fashion week pulls in a diverse crowd and is open to all to come and view the spectacle for free.  The models are all volunteers and the designers pay nothing to show their creations.

The show takes over Spitafields for 6 days and brings with it 80 emerging designers from the UK and and other parts of the world. This a chance for the designers to let loose their creative imaginations to create collections that range from the height of sophistication to the extreme of outrages, covering just about everything the creative spectrum of fashion could possibly offer. The models enter into this creative frenzy with their own unique style and are as diverse as the collections they parade on the cat walk. The band, The Mannequins added to the atmosphere providing fitting music for each show. This is truly an amazing open event where everyone is welcome to view the shows without the normal snobbery that is associated with fashion events.

Presenting Adrienne Ford’s new capsule collection, launched at the  Alternative Fashion week Adrienne is an extremely imaginative and creative knitwear and accessory designer who’s talent crosses over many disciplines. Her love of knit and crochet and her desire to experiment with unusual materials informed this unique collection of garments and accessories made from hair extensions, using traditional crochet and plaiting techniques to create designs fitting for the cat walk and also very wearable. Adrienne’s talents are extremely diverse, if you want more info on her work click on the link which will take you to her website.

Alternative fashion Week at Spitafields Traders Market, London UK, Day 4

Behind the scene it was crazy and exciting. Not even the torrential rain and the thunder storm could dampen the high spirits of designers, makeup and hair artists. The models were amazing, cold but still in managed to get into the spirit of the event.

Adrienne Ford is the designer I was working with, her designs are just amazing.

Karla Powell did the fantastic make up for Adrienne

Amazing old fashioned haberdashery shop in Prato Italy. Just love the vibrant colours.

Link to colour forecasting/trends

Colour and Texture. photo Italy, Claire Mantell.

Colour and Texture. photo Italy, Claire Mantell.

Colour and Texture.   Photo Prato Italy, Claire Mantell

Colour and Texture.   Photo Prato Italy, Claire Mantell

I have been busy designing & making a book cover for a wedding planner book. I wanted it to be unique, pretty and tactile. I raided my stash of fabrics and ribbons, looking for special pieces which have memory…. I cut up the selected pieces into very small pieces then laid them onto water soluble stabilser, added layers and layers of machine stitch to blend everything together. I hope you find this post helpful? I will be posting the putting together of the book including binding technique…. in the next couple of days! PS. click on images for info…

Alice kettle is a well known textile artist that uses machine stitch in her work.

Another source for in inspiration: the 62 group

About the 62 Group


In 1962, the belief that co-operative effort can be more effective than individual enterprise united several young embroidery graduates in a common enterprise – they formed the 62 Group of Embroiderers to be a pressure group and a support system for its members. They knew that their work deserved wider recognition and that for this, it needed to be seen in prestigious venues with appropriate publicity and critical attention.

This dress was inspired by rust and the the layers of time. I started off by aging cotton fabric, I pinned it to my garden fence for 6 months. I then wrapped the fabric in rusty nails for a couple of weeks. This formed the skirt of the dress. the bodice and top layer of the skirt was made by hand dyeing different fabrics which I then cut up into very small pieces and stitched them to form a ‘new fabric’.