Friday, 21 October 2016

Fabric Friday

This Friday I'd like to mention some fabrics I designed many years ago! The reason I'd like to mention them is that they were the starting point to the naming of my business - Cheeky Leopard.

It was about 18 years ago, I was living in New York and working for a textile company called Fabric Traditions. Back then, we created all our designs through hand painting and this particular group was based on safari animals. With each group of designs, we created a collection that included about 5 to 8 designs that compliment each other. The main print generally tends to be an allover design and is the one that guides the rest of the designs. Each image was hand drawn in pen and ink and then the colours were painted in using goache paint.

The design above was the main design in the group and shows a variety of safari animals on a black background. I was hoping to include a leopard in this design, but a cheetah got in instead!

The bamboo design made a pretty allover and was something that was quite versatile.
The fact that it doesn't have such a strong safari theme makes it a more usable fabric.

The fabric above is a stripe design and this is where you will find the cheeky leopard that is the namesake for my business! You will see him to the right of the image, cheekily looking over his shoulder.

The banana leaves above make a nice set design.

This chequerboard design incorporates many images from the group, including a leopard print and a zebra print. Many quilters like to use this type of format to create a cheater quilt if you have little time. It means that the fabric already appears to be sewn together in squares so that you can then just use running stitch over the top to quilt it.

I liked the idea of bringing in a green colouring so applied it to an allover leaf design.

Seeing these designs has made me want to go back to hand painting. There is something so therapeutic about using a paint and brush. I will have to find a nice project to start with. Maybe painting some of my bags would be a start?!

Monday, 17 October 2016

Happy Monday

I recently posted a 'Fabric Friday' post where I mentioned a cute little fabric with Japanese girls on. I've been busy sewing over the weekend and it's now been made up into a fab little coin purse. I've just added it to my store and you can find it here. It's the perfect size for storing small change or for keeping headphones in.

The black and white polka dot lining works perfectly!

 I also have a lovely little blue version which you can find here.

This purse has a red and white polka dot lining.

As you will see, I now have a lovely set of three little coin purses, all with cute little Japanese girls on them, in a choice of red, cream or blue backgrounds. Irresistible!

You can find them all in my store here

Friday, 14 October 2016

Fabric Friday

This Friday I'd like to mention a very cute little fabric I have in my collection. It's on a cream ground and is covered in sweet little Japanese girls wearing brightly coloured kimonos. I couldn't resist it! It's now in the process of being made up into coin purses, glasses cases and cosmetic bags in preparation for my trip to Tokyo in November.

I've decided to give each item a black and white polka dot lining
that compliments the outer fabric perfectly.

The two little cuties below are my favourites!

New items will be in store as soon as I can make them!

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Ruby reds

We do love a bit of red here at Cheeky Leopard and I'm always on the lookout for a sumptuous ruby to add to the collection. These beauties have recently been created and added to my store and I love them! They are both made from Japanese fabrics that are quite different to each other but both just as stunning. These are the smaller size clutch bag that I do, and I call them my Little Gems. They are big enough to fit the essentials for a night out and fit comfortably in the palm of your hand.
You can find them in my store here.

The clutch bag below is made from a Japanese obi fabric and is woven, using a decorative design of deep red and gold on a red ground. I used a red cotton fabric for the lining.

The clutch bag below is made from a beautifully soft kimono fabric with a red and cream blossom design that has touches of turquoise. I decided to pick out the turquoise colour and use it as the lining colour to compliment the outer fabric. 

Monday, 10 October 2016

Happy Monday

Happy Monday to all on this beautifully sunny, crisp day! My weekend was very productive, preparing for the up-coming International Bazaar at the Tokyo American Club, as well as creating three clutch bags to send to my aunt Judith in Australia.

Judith has been an amazing supporter of Cheeky Leoaprd and gives my clutch bags as presents to friends and family in Australia. The latest batch are all made from vintage Japanese obi fabrics. The obi is the 'belt' that goes around the kimono and they are often richly designed and intricately woven. They lend themselves very well to clutch bags, partly because the fabric is thick and holds its shape, but also because they are vibrantly coloured and often use gold thread.

The clutch bag below is made from a stylised chrysanthemum design that you often see in obi fabrics and kimonos. The outside has a hint of blue, so I decided to use blue for the lining.

The clutch bag below is made from a green and gold geometric obi fabric and I chose a fresh light green lining for this one.

The clutch below is made from two obi fabrics sewn together. One is a terracotta and gold, the other is all gold and makes quite a statement. This bag has a green taffeta lining.

The clutch bag below is being sent to the Tokyo American Club to be part of their display.
Vendors who sell at the International Bazaar can have one of their items displayed around the club a few weeks before the show to give customers a taster of what's on offer.
I always like to display one of my large clutch bags. This one is a stunning green and gold ribbon design and has a mustard lining.

Friday, 7 October 2016

A new addition!

I've just added a new member to the Cheeky Leopard family, these beautiful vintage kimono greetings cards! They come in packs of three and each card is a unique item. The pack could be given as a gift or individual cards could accompany a Cheeky Leopard gift item. Many of the kimono fabrics on these cards have been used in the making of my clutch bags.

More will be added to my store over the next few days and you can find them here.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Foxy loxy

I just had to mention this fabulous foxy fabric I bought recently from Creative Quilter. It's such a simple design and I love the regimented feel of it. Foxes are still a popular design motif and I'm looking forward to making this fabric up into a coin purse, glasses case and cosmetic bag.

I have a prefect yellow and cream polka dot fabric to use as the lining.

From a distance the fox heads look like a little geometric design,
but up close you can see their cheeky faces.

Foxy items will be in store soon.....

Monday, 3 October 2016

Doggy duo

Recently I mentioned some rather fabulous doggy fabric I bought in Chichester. It was a Boston Terrier/French Bulldog fabric (depending on which side of the Atlantic you live!) and I've been busy over the past few weeks making up some gorgeous little items.
These two have just been added to my store.

The glasses case is softly padded and big enough to fit a large pair of sunglasses.

The coin purse is so cute and is big enough for small change or can be used as a headphone case.

Who could resist this cute little fella?!

I will be adding more items to my store soon.
Keep an eye out for a matching doggy cosmetic bag and card case.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Dries Van Noten

I'm a few days late in mentioning this, but I had to post some images of the latest Dries Van Noten collection shown at Paris Fashion Week a few days ago, and seen on
As a textile designer, I always gravitate towards pattern and colour and the Dries Van Noten collection had all of that, and more! Dries wanted a brutalist approach to this collection, chopping up garments and throwing flower prints onto them to create heavy contrast.

Some garments were asymmetrically designed. I love the extra long sleeve of the dress above. 

Vibrant colours sat against deep black or soft white grounds. The coat above is stunning and reminds me of many of the vibrant obi fabrics I came across in Tokyo.

Several outfits incorporated heavily beaded Victorian-Inspired neck pieces.
The blue one below picks out the blue from the print on other outfits and acts as a dramatic contrast to the beige and black dress.

The coat below reminds me of the Chinese silk fabrics I picked up on a recent trip to New York and am looking forward to making some more clutch bags out of it. Watch this space for the next instalment.

I love the combination of the acid yellow and brown of the outfit below, with stunning florals.

It's a bit difficult to see from these photos, but the runway was flagged by stunning floral arrangements that emulated rich botanical oil paintings. Each arrangement had been frozen in a massive block of ice to create a temporary ice display case for each piece.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Whale it's about time!

It's taken me a while to rustle up some items in this fab whale fabric I bought a while ago, but I'm so pleased with the result! It's a great little image and I love the way that the whales are regimented in rows. Can you see the odd one that has water spurting out of its blowhole?!

You can find it in my store here.

The lining is made from a matching spotty navy blue and white cotton.

This cute little pouch could be used as a cosmetic bag, handbag organiser of phone charger pouch.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Happy Monday

Happy Monday to all! I always enjoy spending part of my Mondays reconvening and looking back over the weekend. After spending Friday at the Design Centre in Chelsea Harbour, I decided to bookend my weekend with a trip to the London Design Fair, held at the Old Truman Brewery. It holds the largest collection of international exhibitors, designers and brands all under one massive roof. The warehouse feel of the old brewery is the perfect venue to house this event, and there are endless floors and doorways leading to endless design inspiration.

There was a lot of bright colour used. I love the deer heads on the left. The beautiful wall art on the right is made from brightly folded paper pieces.

The top floor housed design from India and was a stunning warehouse space filled with light.
This wallpaper with matching throw and cushions caught my eye.

I love the quirky designs by Miss Print and the yellow and black bird wallpaper below is fab.

I always love a Mid-Century Modern Scandi-esque chair and these two caught my eye.
The mustard yellow of the one on the left is stunning and the one on the right has simple, ingenious coasters built into its arms.

I thought these lights were fun.
They are made from glass but emulate the lightness of balloons beautifully.

Monotone was a popular theme.

And crafty techniques sat beautifully amongst the modern.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Fabric Friday

This week's Fabric Friday is brought to you from the Design Centre at Chelsea Harbour. Twice a year they have an open week for trade and on the Friday the public are allowed to view the most recent home decor collections. It's a great chance to see what's out there, as inspiration for Cheeky Leopard, but also for inspiration and colour palette ideas for the design work I do at Makower UK. It's great to have every showroom under one roof and to get an over all view of trends.

The main atrium had a massive chandelier made from richly coloured tassels.

I love the richness of this Sarasa-inspired fabric at Colefax and Fowler.

The floral above was heavily embroidered and the flower heads were huge!

Scion does lovely fresh colour ways like the one above. I love the use of pinks and mustards with soft grey.

Villa Nova also does some pleasing colour ways. There seemed to be a lot of grey and yellow out there...... well as coral and grey. The silhouette leafy fabric above has a lovely soft watercolour feel to it. The collection is called Hana and is inspired by crafts and motifs of Japan.

The Kelso collection by Romo draws on heritage charm and uses delicate florals with plaids and stripes. It has been inspired by the British countryside as well as stately homes and country cottages. The designs are historical but have evolved to suit a contemporary client.

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