Sophie Kingo Blogs

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


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New home: Sewing/spare room

Sewing has taken the backseat somewhat after the last Sophie Kingo market stall at Brixton Market in October 2013. But, fear not, I’m hoping to start up again thanks to a new and dedicated sewing space.

For the past four years, sewing has been confined to the dining table in the cosy living space of our one-bedroom Highbury Stadium Square home. But in December, four years and one week after moving into Highbury, the hubby and I waved goodbye to our first home together and ventured 4.9 miles north east to Walthamstow. To a house. With stairs. Three bedrooms. And a garden. And this means room for my very own sewing area. Score!

I will be blogging our home renovation progress – and heck, is there some work to be done?! – as we go. We will be knocking down a few walls, upgrading the extension, re-configuring and replacing the kitchen, refurbishing the sash windows, replacing the bathroom and decorating every room.

First stop, and complete two months after moving in – the room with the least work to do. The loft.

BeforeOn the left you can see the loft in the hands of a 21 year-old guy who lived in the house with his parents before we moved in. The walls – like most of the walls in this house – were a mucky beige, the floor was covered with dark brown lacquered cork tiles and the staircase was lacquered wood. Overall, the room was nicotine stained, smelled of stale smoke and had years worth of paint painted over everything.

It wouldn’t work as a sewing room as it was.

 

 

 

 

 

Our plan: to create a fresh, cosy and practical spare room cum sewing room cum office space. 

With a bit of elbow grease (read several days of painting walls and woodwork), a lick of paint (read three coats of pure white matt emulsion on the walls, three coats of eggshell on the bannister and three coats of floor paint on the stairs), a few minor electrical jobs (thanks to the hubby’s ever expanding DIY skills) and a dash of inspiration (collated on a Pinterest board, below) we created a spare room that is bright, clean and cosy, with space to relax, sew and admire the views of the top of the Shard, the Gherkin and the BT Tower. And, of course, in the on trend colours of grey, yellow and white.

loftWe bought most of the furniture from Ikea – bed, bedside unit, desk, picture shelf and storage unit, and painted the Ikea chest of drawers the seller left with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey. 

In my many hours on Pinterest I stumbled upon the wonderful world of pegboards for housing all things craft. Feeling inspired by Slugs on the Lettuce’s home made pegboard, the hubby and I went on the hunt for materials. Unfortunately, it seems pegboards are confined to the shops of the yesteryear, with many now preferring to use slatboard or just plain shelving over pegboard. We couldn’t find any in any of the East London DIY shops. But my Dad wouldn’t have it, so took over the hunt up in Hull. Failing to find anywhere that would supply him with less than an inordinate amount, he set about making his own, marking out and drilling holes every inch along a piece of plywood before attaching it to a frame and painting it submarine yellow on my orders.

Add a few embroidery hoops of West African print fabrics and a flash or two of kente, a simple mirror, an Anja Jane yellow and grey owl print and the screen print of our wedding date my sister did at my hen do to the walls, and yellow Ikea bedding, a grey hare cushion from Habitat and my almost 30-year-old Popple to the bed, et voila. Our perfect sewing/spare/office room is ready to go. Now, while we wait for the builders to get on with downstairs, I’m going to set to sewing.

 

Pinterest mood board


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Child’s bird mobiles (for sale)

As if I haven’t made enough fabric birds lately (my Mum and I made approximately 60 for my marriage to Jeffrey last month) I’ve gone and made more.

I first stumbled across a lovely pattern for fabric birds last year and made a grown up bird mobile out of scraps of West African cloth for my and Jeffrey’s first owned home together. For Christmas last year I made a couple of simple triple bird mobiles (one for my Mum and Dad and one for my cousin) which went down a treat.

And since then I’ve had many people admire the birds – with one neighbour asking if I can make her one for her daughter’s bedroom.

So, this weekend, having found I have twitchy hands after everything that I’ve been making for my and Jeffrey’s wedding (more on that here) I decided to buy some fabric in primary colours from a great local fabric shop on Seven Sister’s Road in Holloway, and got to making. The result? Four triple bird mobiles in red, blue and yellow with embroidered wings. Each is different with different embroidered wings and with different colour placement. Unfortunately the light was too bright and the wind too strong for me to get images sideways on, but you hopefully get the idea from the images below.

I’m hoping to sell these and will take them along to a craft fair my sister, her colleague and I will be selling at in November at Lauderdale House in Highgate. Alternatively, if you fancy one please get in touch with me and we’ll sort something out.


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Some of what I’ve made recently

A couple of years ago my Mum bought me a couple of crochet hooks and a crocheting book to learn how to…crochet. I just couldn’t seem to get it for some reason and rather quickly gave up. So, at Christmas I decided enough was enough and took my book and hooks home to Hull with me to learn to crochet over the holiday. I made two pot holders with scallop edging as practice pieces. Needless to say one is better than the other. Then I decided that, having not seen any nice coasters around for our new flat, I would make my own. So I checked out how to crochet rounds and made those you can see below. Apologies for the dodgy photos.

I haven’t made that much since Christmas. And I still haven’t managed to get photos of the things I made for Christmas presents (see my D’oh post) yet unfortunately. But I have got a couple of (albeit super crap) photos of the bunting I made for L1 and L2, Jeffrey’s cute little nieces, for Christmas above.

Oh, and if you look here you can see the cushions I made from the batik cloth I bought from Obuasi market in Ghana in the summer. I will be making a trip to Brixton market this coming Saturday to buy some more batik and some kente to get brightening up the bedroom. Exciting times.


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The new flat

Jeffrey and I bought our own flat in Highbury Stadium Square, the old Arsenal ground, just before Christmas last year. Here are a few initial photos of it. Still in progress so more to come…

Note the killer teak items. The nest of tables – g plan and a bargain found in a Barnardo’s charity furniture shop in Hull by my wonderful Daddy for £25 (he had to do them up to get them looking smart and did a cracking job) – and the dining chairs – six Danish 1960s teak chairs found in a vintage furniture shop round the corner on Blackstock Road a bargain at £200 (my Grandma in Denmark has a set just like it but with orange seats).

All the bedroom furniture was made by my Dad and his mate Tim – cabinet makers extraordinaires I think. They’re in the process of making our living room furniture now.  Will post pictures up when we get it. But, in the meantime, if you want anything making – shout. They may be willing.