Sophie Kingo Blogs

Insight into Sophie Kingo's African-Scandinavian inspired clothing and accessories


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African print tote bags

In the run up to my inaugural market stall, my Mum made a few items to sell, including two lovely tote bags that sold in no time. So when my husband suggested she make more, she jumped at the chance and made no fewer than nine lovely tote bags/shoppers. None of them the same, all of them beautiful.

And tonight they hit the Sophie Kingo Folksy shop. Check them out and let me (and my mum) know what you think. And, of course, if you want to buy one, you know what to do!

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African print autumn accessories

Last weekend I decided to experiment with sewing autumn accessories. I’d been admiring “infinity scarves” or “cowls” for a while now and decided to try making five up from my lovely African print fabric stash. Two use a lovely mustard, royal blue and grass green kente print fabric and have contrast yellow or green lining and one uses a lovely brown, green and black wax print fabric. Two others are made with a beautiful leaf print fabric – one pink and blue, the other orange, green and blue.

And the best thing? They’re not just for the ladies. As wonderfully demonstrated by my husband and me on a rainy London day, they are unisex. So men and women alike can bring a bit of bright Ghanaian colour to these miserable British autumn days. Oh, and they’re reversible. Bonus!

I’m thinking of making up many more to sell in my Folksy store, so do let me know your thoughts. And keep an eye out for another take on these I have in mind.

African wax print cowl

African wax print cowl

Kente print cowl with green contrast lining

Kente print cowl with green contrast lining

African wax print cowl

African wax print cowl

African wax print cowl

African wax print cowl


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The inaugural Sophie Kingo market stall

Before Saturday, I’d only ever sold online or through friends. That all changed on Saturday, when I set up shop (read market stall) for the first time ever.

I gave the honour of popping my market stall cherry to Brixton Market. Every second Saturday of the month Brixton hosts the Makers Market where you will find local hand made fashion, art, crafts, furniture and gifts. Undoubtedly the perfect place to test out the Sophie Kingo range of African-Scandinavian design.

What a day. It was the hottest day of the year so far – hitting 30 degrees Celsius – and a long one to boot. My husband, J, and I were on the go for 12 hours, busily setting up, chatting to buyers and battling the heat.  But it was worth it. The vibe was great, with so many friendly fellow stall holders, endless varieties of reggae blasting out across the market and a great crowd browsing and buying. Not to mention the friends and family that popped along to wish us well. And we made some sales to boost!

So what next? Well, I’m planning on attending the September Brixton Makers Market. But in the meantime I have an African print newborn dress to make and the items that didn’t sell on Saturday to add to my website/Folksy shop. Then I need to get making more bags, oyster card holders, ladies’ clothing and more. Right after this hot spell has wound down a bit and I’ve mended my pesky broken overlocker needle…

Me and the hubby selling on the inaugural Sophie Kingo market stall

Me and the hubby selling on the inaugural Sophie Kingo market stall

Some of the things for sale

Some of the things for sale


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Stockpiling

I’ve been hoping for a while to have a market stall to try out some of my items at. So, I’ve been busy stockpiling items to sell rather than plugging them online.

I’ve just put in an application for Brixton Makers’ Market on 8th June, so fingers crossed there’s space for me. I’ll keep making items to sell in the meantime and may even venture into the world of making ladies’ tops and skirts, so watch this space…

Here’s a taster of some of the things that’ll be appearing on the stall. More to come:

Lavender pouches

Lavender pouches

African print girls' dresses

African print girls’ dresses

African print shorts

African print shorts

African print dribblers

African print dribblers

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Sewing Christmas presents

As well as knitting Christmas presents for 2012, I also sewed a few.

For nieces L1 and L2 for Christmas 2009, before Ls 3 & 4 came along, I made named bunting. These have been hanging in their room ever since. But L3 and L4 have been missing theirs. So 2012 was the year. I gathered together a range of fabrics and tasked Jeffrey to draw the letters while I cut out the flags.

Here they are in progress and complete:

Making buntingBunting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also wanted to sew something for my Mum for Christmas and had been meaning to sew myself a knitting needle roll for some time, so thought my Mum could also do with one. I browsed the internet for inspiration and amalgamated a few I came across to come up with these. Each one is made using a range of African print fabrics and has two different height pockets – a taller line of pockets for straight pins and a shorter line for circulars, haberdashery needles, stitch holders, scissors, etc.:

Knitting needle roll for me

Knitting needle roll for me

Knitting needle roll for my mum

Knitting needle roll for my mum


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Some knitted Christmas presents for 2012

Hats

As you may know, I often make Christmas presents for people. Especially for the many nieces and nephews. Here’s what I made in 2011.

I have knitted several hats for L1 and L2 in the past, but in the run up to Christmas 2011 L1, who was five at the time, said to me, “Aunty Sophie, I don’t want clothes anymore”. So when it came to her sixth birthday it was slightly entertaining to see L1 quite unimpressed with some of her presents.

But one day this autumn, when the family popped round to ours, L1 asked me to knit her another hat, this time “a plain dark blue one with no flowers or anything”. L2 then piped up saying she would like a yellow one. So, I used some of the remaining navy yarn from my Acer cardigan for L1’s hat, and bought some amber Sirdar Baby Bamboo yarn For L2’s.

I used the trusty Sirdar Tiny Tots Essentials beret pattern and knitted two large berets that could accommodate L1 and L2’s Afro hair. L1’s beret ended up somewhat neater than L2’s, as I much prefer knitting with the rougher merino wool yarn than the silkier bamboo and wool yarn. Especially when using plastic circular needles. But I understand L2 was more than happy with her hat. So much so, that when P, the girls’ mother, put L2’s hat on L1 the other day, L2 wasted no time in moaning that L1 “is wearing my hat. Yellow is my favourite colour. Aunty Sophie knitted the yellow hat for me”.

L2 and L1 in their berets

L2 and L1 in their berets

L1 in her navy blue beret

L1 in her navy blue beret

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, of course, there’s the new addition to the family. The third nephew – baby A – entered the world on 19th December 2012. The obligatory Aunty Sophie new born hat was called for and I knitted up a lovely little white and silver moss stitch hat made from Sirdar Baby Bamboo. I amalgamated a couple of patterns from the Sirdar Tiny Tots Essentials pattern book to make this white moss stitch hat with silver brim.

Starting the hat for baby A

Starting the hat for baby A

Hat for baby A

Hat for baby A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bazz Man Doll

What with 20 month old OKBK getting a baby brother for Christmas, I thought it’d be nice to knit him up a little toy. For my last birthday my sister bought me Jujus Loops knitting book from the lovely knitting shop Loop in Angel. I’ve struggled with and given up on a lovely hat pattern in the book, but noticed a great pattern for knitted dolls – Bertie – which I thought I could easily rustle up out of scraps of yarn knocking about the flat.

So, I chose a variety of double knit yarns in navy, grey, white and maroon marl to create this lovely fella while watching Forbrydelsen on telly one Saturday evening. By the time I’d finished the him, Jeffrey and I saw a close affinity between him and O’s dad, with his hands in his pocket, baggy jeans, and Paul Smith-esque jumpers. So, we had to call him Bazz Man. He lived about our flat for a few weeks and when it came time to pass him on it was quite a shame. But I’m hoping OKBK appreciates him.

Here he is prior to stuffing and hanging out in the rosemary:

Bazz Man in progress

Bazz Man in progress

Bazz Man in the rosemary

Bazz Man in the rosemary


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A New Sophie Kingo Website

It’s that time, ladies and gentlemen, to release on the world the new Sophie Kingo website.

I decided a couple of weeks ago to explore how much my own domain name would cost and look at developing a great website showcasing my African print girls’ dresses that continue to grow in popularity.

One thing led to another, and by the end of my lunch hour I was in possession of a domain name and web hosting service. Fast forward a couple of weeks, several nights web developing (with some much needed development support from a techie friend), and testing by a few friends and family and it’s ready.

You can find information on how to order your own Sophie Kingo African print girls’ dress and where to buy Sophie Kingo Afro-Scandinavian inspired jewellery, along with information on available fabrics and testimonials.

More will be added over time – including, I hope, a gallery of Sophie Kingo dresses in use by the lovely little trend setters who are lucky owners.

This blog will still be in action to showcase all that I am making whether it’s for me or for others, but please do share the new website with your friends and family. You can find it at http://sophiekingo.co.uk.