Babbitt #7 in Wales

This Babbitt was made for a 2 year old little girl in Cardiff named Poppy ūüôā accompanied with a copy of The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.

If you’d like to order a Babbitt and book for ¬£25 just email me rachel.jillions@gmail.com

 

Babbitt #4 Germany

These 2 cuties were commissioned for 2 little ones¬†in Germany. I was quite busy in the run up to Christmas so had carried them in my bag so I could get sewing in any free bit of time I had…luckily I had a train journey to York for a social media course one day…

 

Babbitt #2 Collaboration for a Christening

I was commissioned to make a Babbitt by My friend, Zoe, of Zoe Beck design for a christening present for Beau. Zoe gave me some fabric she had designed and printed and I created the Babbitt from this, so it was a design collaboration ūüôā

   

Beau and mum Dawn of Fairytale Occasions visit the Facebook page loved the Babbitt and book and sent these photos to me ūüôā

Thank you for the great photos Dawn and great collaborating with you Zoe, let’s do it again soon!

If you’d like to order a Babbitt, just email me at rachel.jillions@me.com

Babbitts on Etsy

Babbitt by Rachel Jillions

I have now listed my first Babbitt on Etsy!

See Etsy listing

Babbitt 1a 1b 1c

Handmade soft toy ‘Babbitt’ inspired by one of my favourite childhood stories.

This Babbitt (name invented by Theo aged 2) is inspired and accompanied by Alpaca by Rosemary Billam, a storybook I read with my dad in the early 80s.

The Babbitt is handmade, hand washable, is made from locally sourced fabrics and has a hand embroidered face and paws. It is inspired by the Alpaca in the book and by my house rabbit Nigel.

Easy to care for and will withstand everyday life with a baby and toddler.

I’m hoping this will help children and their parents enjoy more bedtime stories together and build strong loving bonds.

Ram’s Place Fashion by the Barbican

I went to a great event on Saturday 12 July organised by the Barbican, with VOGUE GOES ROGUE and the extraordinary Lyall Hakaraia leading a folk art-inspired fashion procession and ceremony, alongside work by designers Craig Lawrence, Louize Harries and Laura Shepherd.

Ram's Place Nicola Bowery Craig Lawrence Craig Lawrence 2

 

Giant handmade totems by Lyall Hakaraia,¬†Craig Lawrence,¬†Louize Harries¬†and¬†Laura Shepherd paraded through East London from the Barbican to Ram’s Place in Hackney, followed by talks from Nicola Bowery (Leigh Bowery’s wife) and¬†Lyall Hakaraia, music from folk singers and entertainment from drag act Jonny Woo.

The market was on from 12 Р20 July 2014, Ram Place (off Morning Lane)

http://www.barbican.org.uk/artgallery/event-detail.asp?id=16304

Rabbits by Rachel Jillions

Rabbit by Rachel Jillions

 

Soft toys designed and handmade by Rachel Jillions.

One-off designs, inspired by favourite childhood storybooks and created in your favourite baby clothing to create toys with attachment, meaning and value. These toys have been made with a lot of love and will be treasured over generations.

Bailey and Gaultier

Every now and again I decide to cycle around central London for the day visiting exhibitions and catching up on culture.

Bailey’s Stardust, National Portrait Gallery, 6 February – 1 June 2014

http://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/bailey/exhibition.php

On my recent visit I decided to go to Bailey’s Stardust at the National Portrait Gallery and Jean Paul Gaultier at the Barbican. Two people I love and two galleries I love, the former for it’s architecture and grandeur and the latter for it’s exciting fashion exhibitions and it’s brutalist architecture. Cycling into very central London is always quite scary for me even though I cycle into Kings Cross, where I work most days, past there the roads get bigger and busier, bus lanes get busier and faster and drivers get angrier! The Stardust show was worth the scary ride though, lots of images of Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Stella Tennant, blah blah blah oh and David Bowie and Mick Jaggar, Seal, but what really blew me away was the room of portraits from Papua New Guinea and Mozambique. These were beautiful and personal and delicate. I thought it was a real shame Bailey only photographed Aboriginals from Brisbane and Cairns and not their holy lands in traditional costume, I think he would have got so much from a visit to the outback. But Australia is huge and also Aboriginals are opposed to having their photos taken I think, I just think they could have been captured in a beautiful way like the people of PNG and Mozambique. The other amazing room was the family portraits, I just thought it was a window into his family life and I thought it was a real honour to be invited in.

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk
9 April 2014 – 25 August 2014

http://www.barbican.org.uk/artgallery/event-detail.asp?ID=14772

The Gaultier show at the Barbican was completely different, very interactive, you could take photos and hashtag them so that they became part of an online conversation, taking the exhibition to a whole new level. I loved this, but I’m sure some people find it takes away the special feeling of visiting the show in person. I loved the different ways of displaying Gaultier’s creativity and was amazed about how many forms this took, Spitting Image on TV, illustrations, clothing, film, etc. The exhibition inspired me to learn more about Gaultier and his muses.

A thoroughly amazing and inspiring day!

Barbican mannequins Gaultier JPGaultier Gaultier2

Travelling Collection, sunny 2014

Inspiration board sunny 2014

Whilst I was on holiday in Borneo, on Turtle Island to be exact, I came up with ideas for a new sunny wellington collection. It takes inspiration from my travels and is for ladies who travel. Comfortable useful pretty clothing that is sun bleached, worn, battered, patched and colourful. Fabrics and shapes from around the world, taking inspiration from the Japanese kimono and Indian dhoti.

My mindmap

mindmap sunny 2014

This is my inspiration board…

Inspiration board sunny 2014

The first thing I started to make was the kimono. I researched how a kimono was made, sketched out the basic pattern, took guesstimate measurements and cut one out. The first one I make of everything is always for me, so I can test it out, make practical changes. I grows and changes as I sew and wear it. After sewing it up and trying it on, I decided to unpick it all and add a different lining, so it would hang differently and the soft cotton lining would juxtapose the bright sari outer layer.

20140402-223619.jpg

 

This weekend I had a surge of sewing activity and made a pattern for a summer jacket, a pair of shorts, a sweatshirt. Here is my progress so far

Pattern cuttingGetting busySweatshirt

Christmas presents from sunny…

I decided to make my Christmas presents this year, I had a lot of fun doing it, but it took a long time and a lot of effort. I was very pleased with the results though and hopefully my friends and family liked them too ūüôā Here are some snaps, during the making and the final products…

Cushions for my friend Trish

(Wonky) Mosaiced vase for Trish

Mosaiced plates

Mosaiced pots

Button necklaces…

Pillow talk

Pillows I’ve been making…ideal Christmas presents???

Long pillows, £4 each
Mixture, large edged + 2 long = £15
1 long + 2 small = £10
3 small = £10
Large, long and small = £12

PRICE LIST

Individual cushions/pillows: small = £3.50, long = £4, big = £5, big with edging = £6

Assortments of cushions/pillows: 3 small = £10, 4 small = £12, large/long/small = £12, 3 large = £15

Email me at sunnyw@hotmail.co.uk if you have any enquiries or would like to order anything you see…

Exhibitions I‚Äôd like to see before Christmas!

World Press Photo at the Festival Hall is an annual exhibition of the worlds best press photos. On until 5 December.

Move: Choreographing You, performance installation at the Hayward, on until 9 January, £10

Lucy and Jorge Orta at the Natural History Museum, art documenting trip to Amazonian rainforest, free ends 12 December.

Gauguin at the Tate Modern until 16 January

Bridget Riley on at the National Portrait Gallery until 20 march

Treasures from Budapest: European masterpieces from Leonardo to Schiele at the Royal Academy, ends 12 December, £12

Newspeak: British art now – part II, Saatchi Gallery, free til 16 January

Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballet Russes 1909-1929, ends 9 January at the V&A, £10

Shadow-catchers: camera-less photography at the V&A until 20 February, £5

Poussin to Seurat: French Drawings from the National Gallery of Scotland at the Wallace Collection until 3 January, free.

Another World: Dali, Magritte, Miro, and the Surrealists, Dean Gallery, Edinburgh until 9 January, £7

Hello everyone!

The next night I saw Yeasayer at the Roundhouse, an amazing venue for music…they were good but were a bit too experimental in some places for me! We were in the mosh pit at the front though and the kids loved them! A cross between Kula Shaker and Spiritualized…

 

A few weeks ago LCF hosted an international conference called Fashion Media: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow. I sold tickets, promoted the event, managed enquiries and helped out at the event. It was a fantastic event organized by the wonderful Penny Martin and Djurdja Bartlett. It brought together academics, industry and students to investigate and discuss the fashion media of past present and future and indeed on and offline. The audience enjoyed a jam packed agenda with papers from members of UAL staff: and academics from around the world including Valerie Steele, Elizabeth Wissinger and leading people from industry. The Pecha Kucha session http://www.pecha-kucha.org/ was inspirational and  added to the fast pace of the conference. 4 students were given 6 minutes 40 seconds to present their research projects in 20 slides. Dr Ane Lynge-Jorlen started the session presenting her work from her recently awarded PhD: Felice McDowell and Suzzanne Neita from LCF also presented with Cheryl Roberts from Brighton University finishing.

I also went¬†to the RCA’s research degree open day posing as a prospective student and my boss was my mum! They had all of the PhD work displayed, which was a mix of films, art, glass, ceramics, fashion, textiles and some students talked about their work too, very interesting. I walked back along the park and got on an old fashioned bus without doors or bells, it was interesting trying to get off!

In the studio since I got back from Skiathos I have been updating my wardrobe…here are some snaps…

I have also made a start on some new ideas, cushions…

and knickers! Was thinking of a label called JillionsMillionsFrillions!

And some purses…

And some iPod cases…

In the next few weeks I am going to be hanging out with my new friend Tiana and mosaicing shelves! Her sister over in Oz is an art teacher and has mosaiced some furniture to make it look absolutely fabulous! Some inspiration…

http://www.google.co.uk/images?q=mosaic%20furniture&rls=com.microsoft:en-US&oe=utf8&redir_esc=&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1659&bih=811

Here are the results of 2 girls mosaicing for 8 hours straight!

I’ll be back updating my site soon…
xxx

Sunny update

Dress trousers and open back silky top and key dressKey dress and silky chemise with long sari skirt
Technical drawings of the final line up

I have also been making some Rude Boy pants for my friends as quite a few people have liked mine when I’ve worn them to work and out and about ūüôā

Zoe in some Rude Boy trousers

In the studio this week‚Ķ

I just thought I’d start off by showing you where the magic happens, or where sunny wellington gets creative and I make all my clothes…well, usually I have things spread out all over my flat usually but this is supposed to be the hub of the activities!

The hub of sunny wellington activity

This week I finished a pair of trousers which I designed with Rihanna’s song Rude Boy in mind! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e82VE8UtW8A

Rude Boy, fabric inspiration

The pants were very easy to make, just lightweight cotton fabric and a basic loose trousers pattern I had made at University. I then added elastic at the waist and at the bottom of each leg. The grey bits were white at first, they made the trousers look a bit too loud and gaudy, especially as I wanted to wear them for work and around Romford (not the most accepting audience!). So I decided to dye the trousers with grey Dylon, I think they have turned out well and I have already had 2 orders! They are really comfy, especially on a hot summers day and can be dressed up with heels or down with gladiator sandals…Let me know what you think…

Rihanna Rude Boy pants
Rude Boy pants - close up

This week I also finished a top which I started to make ages ago but it was going nowhere and had just looked like a piece of sack for a while, then I got inspired by the high neck, in at the waist blouses which were around and big sleeves from the 1940’s. There is a really good exhibition on in the gallery where I work at the moment, which is open to the public about Fashion and Fascism, curated by Judith Clark…come along and visit here: http://www.fashion.arts.ac.uk/5661.htm

See below for my butterfly top…

Butterfly top and re-conditioned pink skirt
Back of butterfly top

I had a lovely puffy pink skirt which I loved wearing so much that the zip and waistband had worn out, so I decided to update and upcycle it with a new zip and waistband. I added a bit of a sunny twist by using flowery fabric and mismatching buttons though! I also had some silky fabric left over from an old nightie which I had transformed into a lace vest. With the remaining silky fabric and some buttons I created a simple but smart, chic backless cream top.

Upcycled pink skirt and cream backless top
Back of cream backless top

The last thing I did on this week’s granny sewing day was to turn a stripey tee shirt into a backless dress with buttons on! Just by cutting the back away and adding elastic to the sleeves so that they were ruffled and then adding some sunny buttons I created a comfy adaptable dress that can be dressed up or down and worn both in the summer and winter…

Stripey dress
Buttons and ruffled sleeves

What will next week’s delights have to offer? I’m thinking some last minute adjustments for my Glastonbury wardrobe! I’m thinking about making a Phil Collins tee shirt and flag as this is our groups theme. I want to also graffiti my good old green Dunlop wellies too…will post the results soon.

sunny w   x

INSPIRATIONAL PEOPLE

This is one of my last weeks of working at London College of Fashion, I have enjoyed working there for 4 years now and have met some truly inspirational people. I though I’d post a little snippet about a few of them as I thought they may inspire others…

Penny Martin, approachable, bubbly, dynamic and uber positive. Penny worked at SHOWstudio with fashion photographer Nick Knight before arriving at LCF. SHOWstudio is a website/blog which allows ‚Äėnormal‚Äô people to get an insight of the fashion world and behind the scenes‚Ķhave a look: http://www.showstudio.com/

Penny is also involved in the creation of The Gentlewoman, the female alternative of Fantastic Man http://www.ftape.com/media/?p=7487

Penny has also curated exhibitions, one of which was at Somerset House, last Autumn about SHOWstudio. I visited and found the interactive live fashion shoots and videos really inspirational. http://showstudio.com/project/fashionrevolution/

Somerset House has some really interesting stuff on this summer, Film 4 is screening films on a huge outdoors screen, just like a drive thru without the cars J http://www.somersethouse.org.uk/film/default.asp

And, of course the Martin Margiela exhibition is on until September http://www.somersethouse.org.uk/fashion/maison_martin_margiela_20/

So thank you Penny for being so inspirational and thank you for my Vivienne Westwood Active Resistance broach! http://www.activeresistance.co.uk/

Helen Storey works at LCF, she has been a fashion designer since the early 90s, you can find information about here here:

http://www.helenstoreyfoundation.org/

http://www.fashion.arts.ac.uk/helen-storey.htm

http://www.fashion.arts.ac.uk/5192.htm

Helen is almost unearthly when you meet her, she is truly amazing. She is so calm but so productive, is able to turn things on there heads and come up with crazy ideas and explain them to anyone. She is not scared to ask questions, push boundaries and loves to learn. Amazing! She has been involved in projects which have created disappearing dresses, washing powder which purifies air and plastic bottles which melt once they are no longer needed…true story.

Chris Breward worked at LCF until 2004, whilst there he built up the research community, he has written many books about fashion and worked at the Royal College and the V&A. A few weeks ago he spoke at an Away Day for LCF research students, I found his friendly and open manner along with his incredible knowledge of the fashion world truly amazing.

http://www.vam.ac.uk/about_va/whoswho/dept_research/chris-breward/index.html

Welcome back sunny times!

MAXI DRESS: Inspired by all of the maxi dresses around this summer and also by the fact I will be attending Glastonbury and wanted an easy-to-wear festival wardrobe I decided to make my own version of the patterned maxi dress. Riffling through my ever-growing collection of fabrics I came across a box of second hand sari’s, and thought this would be perfect to make a long dress with. I decided early on that I would need to make the dress with 2 layers of fabric so that it wouldn’t be see-through. I thought the silky fabric would be difficult to work with, but it was very adaptable and suited the pattern and cut fantastically.

Long view of the maxi dress (back)
Long view of the maxi dress (back)

I am really pleased with the dress so far, I just have the front top section to work on, gathering it to make it presentable and shapely…I have marked this with a light blue circle, any suggestions would be great! The back top section proved difficult but I overcame this by pinning the dress on to my mannequin and creating pattern pieces to fill in the gaps! A bit unreliable but it worked…this time!

Maxi sari dress, front view
Front of dress needs work...
Front of dress needs work...

CARDI/DENIM JACKET: After a recent trip to a jumble sale where I came across a denim jacket and a fantastic blue and white stripy cardigan I decided to fuse the 2 to make a button up long jacket. I cut the arms and the collar off of the denim jacket, leaving a denim waistcoat behind. I hand sewed the arms and the collar on to the cardigan, as you can see the hand sewing is quite crude, giving a real handmade look. I then added some more gold buttons and a broach. This makes a very adaptable jacket that is warm and can be worn with lots of different things, lovely!

Cardi/Denim Jacket
Finished off with extra buttons and a broach!
Finished off with extra buttons and a broach!

Hand sewing the sleeves into the cardigan
Hand sewing the sleeves into the cardigan
Crude hand sewn look
Crude hand sewn look

HEADBAND: Again, thinking along the festival wardrobe look I wanted to create lots of hairbands that I can use to decorate my hair which may become a bit dirty after a week of Glastonbury! So I found an old hairband I didn’t want and then lots of pretty fabric scraps and a sequined decoration, glued it all together, et voila, easy peasey!

Headband
Headband
Glasto head gear
Glasto head gear
Sparkle at Glasto!
Sparkle at Glasto!

CLASSIC SUNNY WELLINGTON SKIRT: OK, so I always re-create this draped and gathered skirt again and again, but it is me, my design, it just happened at first when I bought a table cloth and only had a needle, thread and some buttons at hand! And no I am not going to stop making it as each one is very different and they always get a lot of attention and it makes people that wear it feel special, that’s what sunny is about!

Classic sunny wellington skirt
Classic sunny wellington skirt
Front of the classic sunny skirt
Front of the classic sunny skirt
Close up of the classic sunny skirt
Close up of the classic sunny skirt

TREASURE CHEST: This is the start of a project really…I am going to make this into a seat, of sorts and pad out the top and make it pretty, but it will obviously have to match my black furniture and red signature wall…

Treasure chest
Add padding for seating...

More to follow, I’ll keep you updated on any developments….

TV and films that I watched whilst creating: The Duchess, Skins Series 1, 24 Series 1 and Abigail’s Party…

Music I listened to: The Luminairies, Two Door Cinema Club, Bombay Cycle Club, The Foals (new album), Willie Nelson, Slash! and a few more all featuring at Glastonbury this year!

Ta ta for now, sunny w xxx

Little Things

As a spin off of sunny wellington Rachel decided to create ‘Little Things’ which is a children and baby clothing line. At first she reworked tee shirts, cleaning, repairing, and making old unwanted tee shirts pretty again!

These tee shirts can be made to order, in an array of colours with different things stitched on, so please email me at sunnyw@hotmail.co.uk with your suggestions. These orders can be made up and sent out within a week, £2 for P&P.

£7, Ickle stripey ribbon tee shirt
£7, Ickle tee shirt
£7, Close-up of ickle tee shirt
£7, Ickle pink tee shirt