Monday, 27 February 2017

Shark attack

I love the fact that I have such a variety of items in my store. One day I could be adding a stunning obi tote bag, the next day I could be adding a novelty shark item! I've been adding shark products over the past week and may have actually gone a bit OTT. I now have a shiver of sharks - apparently the collective name for them. The collection includes a card case, tissue holder, coin purse, glasses case and cosmetic bag. I love the fun print and used a red and white polka dot fabric for the lining.
I think it's a really fun gift idea that could apply to both men and women.

The shark collection can be found in my store here.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Fabric Friday

Anyone who loves fabric, knows how therapeutic it can be. There is something very pleasing about choosing a selection of fabrics and piecing them together to create something new. A year ago I was going through a difficult time in my life. My parents were very supportive and I was staying their house at the time. After dinner, mum and I would sit in front of the TV (with a glass of wine of course!) and the sewing would come out. My mum was in the process of making fabric hexagon squares and so I decided to do the same, using fabric pieces I had in my stash.

Paper hexagons are cut out, and then the fabric hexagon is tacked onto the paper one, to give it shape. The hexagons are then whip-stitched together in batches of seven, to create a bigger hexagon.

From the back, it looks pretty messy! But the paper is a great way of keeping the shape of the hexagons as you sew them all together, and the paper, and tacked stitches will be taken out at the end of the process, for the grand reveal!

Once you have a good amount of larger hexagons, you can start sewing them together, which is what I am now doing.... a year later! I love the fact that sewing projects can be left for a while, but you can always come back to them and start where you left off.

The fabric selection includes, polka dots, bright solids, and a mandolin design! Now I just need to decide what to make my lovely hexagon project into. A funky clutch? Or a fun tote bag? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017


On Sunday afternoon I went along to the Victoria and Albert Museum to check out 'Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear'. It's a temporary exhibition which follows the evolution of underwear design from the 18th century to the present day, with over 200 examples of everything from everyday items, to the luxurious and custom-made. The exhibition covers the notions of the ideal body through the ages. The beautiful corset below shows how tiny the waists were expected to be!

The exhibition also highlighted how lingerie still influences the fashions of today. London Fashion Week is in full swing and several of the collections use underwear influences with a new twist.
Preen uses corsets in their Autumn/Winter '17 collection, but layer them over chunky-knit sweaters.

This beautiful camisole top from the V & A collection uses soft silk and delicate lace trim.

The Christopher Kane Autumn/Winter '17 collection also uses delicate lace as shirts and dresses, but pairs them with an oversize knit in pastel pink, or layers it with a dramatic white fur-lined coat.

 The silk and lace negligee from the exhibition, below, is just stunning in its delicacy and attention to detail. I love the v-shape that the lace creates.

Erdem used a similar type of lace and bias cut-style to create flowing dresses in shades of lilac in his Autumn/Winter '17 collection.

The example on the below right shows how large knickers have also been a part of underwear history, great for holding in the stomach area and contouring the body.

Large knickers were also represented at London Fashion Week, at the Anya Hindmarch Autumn/Winter '17 show, but they were more like baggy bloomers than body con fashion. She also included knitted play suits, all in a fabulous Alpine style.

The Undressed exhibition closes soon, and I recommend going along there before it goes.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Going for gold

I've been getting rather busy with the tote bags recently and have just added another beauty to my store. This one is made from a vintage obi fabric and is pretty stunning with its mix of terracotta, green and orange, mixed in with the all-essential metallic gold. It makes quite a statement and could just as easily be used for a shopping trip as it could be for a big night out. It has two sturdy canvas shoulder straps, a vibrant orange lining and a gold metallic snap closure to keep everything safe.
You can find it in my store here.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Josef Frank

I always love a trip to the Fashion and Textile Museum and yesterday I went on a pilgrimage there to check out the stunning textiles of Austrian architect and designer Josef Frank. He designed his first fabrics in the 1910s, but by the time he moved to Stockholm in the 30s he had gained vast experience in design and interior decoration.

The first exhibit was this lovely room set. It's a sea of colour and pattern that all works together to create a really inviting environment. He felt that a home should feel comfortable and cosy and used soft sofas, hardwoods and dramatic fabrics to create a haven.

Frank's designs depicted paradise, with all sorts of berries, leaves and wildlife sharing one environment in a vibrant colour palette.

He was designing during the second world war and his vibrant textile designs were a stark contrast to the horrors of what were going on.

 Fantastical fruit sits next to bold florals and scale varies a lot within one design.

Josef Frank's designs are seen as distinctly Swedish and have paved the way for the likes of Ikea and Marimekko, which is why they might look familiar!

Thoughoutt the exhibition, there were pieces of furniture upholstered in his stunning fabrics, which visitors were invited to sit on.

I highly recommend a trip to this inspiring exhibition, a haven for any textile-lover.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Double Vision

We're seeing double at Cheeky Leopard today with this fab spectacle combo! It's compiled of a roomy tote bag and matching glasses case in a vibrant magenta and black spectacle fabric. This would make the perfect gift for a book worm or student - a funky book bag with a fun glasses case to match. You can find them in my store here.

This pink and black fabric makes quite a statement and is made from a thick, sturdy cotton.

Both items have a fun black and white circle lining to compliment the outer fabric.

If you're looking for more items in this fabulous fabric, you can find a cosmetic bag in my store here.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Happy Valentines

Happy Valentine's Day!
I'm celebrating with these lovely little padded heart decorations which make pretty ornaments for a loved one. Each one is made from vintage kimono fabric and has a message of love on the front.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Pick up a penguin

We love a penguin print here at Cheeky Leopard and I have a much-loved fabric that has been made into many cometic bags and coin purses. Sadly, I only had a small piece of the fabric left and so I decided to make a coin purse and tissue holder out of it.

These little cuties would make a great gift set for a penguin-lover.

I've used a loose navy blue and white spot for the lining which compliments the outer print perfectly. 

You can also find an iPad sleeve in my store, made from the same fabric.

Pick up a penguin in my store here.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Ta dah!

On Monday I mentioned some obi fabric that I was going to make up into a new tote bag, well here's the end result! A rather stunning bag made from a multi coloured vintage Japanese obi fabric. I think it makes quite a statement and would compliment any outfit - use it as a bag to go shopping, or to dress up an outfit for a night out. It's big enough to fit all the essentials and has a magnetic snap closure to keep the bag closed. This would also make a wonderfully unique gift item.
You can find it in my store here.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Happy Monday

The Japanese obi is the 'belt' that goes around the kimono and they are often found in heavily woven, brightly coloured designs. They lend themselves beautifully to bag making as they have a natural stiffness to them, on top of the fact that they are stunning! I recently made some obi fabrics up into practical tote bags that make a statement. Each one has a complimentary lining, two strong canvas straps that fit over the shoulder and a magnetic snap to keep the bag closed. Here's a selection below which you can find in my store.

The green and gold tote bag above has a turquoise cotton lining and matching turquoise straps.

The beautiful tote bag above has an orange lining that matches the orange in the obi design.

The tote bag above is made from a stunning green and gold decorative obi and the lining is a rich green satin.

The stunning obi fabric above will be my next tote bag project. It will have a bright red lining and red canvas straps. Watch this space....

Friday, 3 February 2017


I have this iPad case in my store and it's made from a stunning scallop design vintage Japanese obi fabric in vibrant shades of orange, silver and gold against a black ground.

The lining is made from a terracotta cotton and the case is held closed with a vintage black and gold button and orange suede tie.

I only recently realised that if the case is folded in half, it can be reincarnated into a pretty little clutch bag! It's just big enough for the essentials for a night out and tucks snugly under the arm.

I'm now looking forward to making more of these beauties and already have a stunning emerald green and gold obi in mind. Watch this space....

Wednesday, 1 February 2017


I couldn't resist sharing this cute shark fabric that I just bought from Creative Quilting!
These happy fellas have a textured grey body and a big red toothy smile and will be the perfect addition to my Cheeky Leopard store.

I'm going to make them up into cosmetic bags, coin purses and card cases and will use a fab contrasting red and white polka dot fabric for the lining. Watch this space!

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