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Thoughts I had Making a Kimono


You may have noticed (because we keep talking about it) that we’re really trying to up our making game in 2017 and my last blog post was all about making up Mattie’s Rob Ryan Clothkits skirt, which we thoroughly enjoyed.

This week I decided to pop open one of the Kimono Clothkits paper patterns that we sell and give that one a go, since it’s been my favourite since they arrived on our doorstep. What follows is part review, part nonsense – enjoy!

One of the main reasons Mattie and I get so reluctant to make anything is that we don’t like using up the beautiful stock that could be sold to someone etc etc, but since we’re trying to go against this instinct I boldly decided to use our most delicious fabric to make this kimono. In for a penny, in for a pound and that.

We call this our William Morris fabric, for obvious reasons, and it does sell at a rather exciting £20 a metre. But, and I know I would say this, it is 100% worth it – it’s the most beautiful colour in real life (we have a yellow version too!) and it’s amazingly light and soft and it just makes me all gooey, ok?

First things first, I traced the pattern out in a size small, basically because I was thrilled to make something in a size small and not have to even worry about it fitting (because it’s a kimono and clearly very loose in all sizes).

This is issue no.1 – I am not a perfectionist and so even while tracing things I get distracted and end up with real wiggly lines that I try to even out during cutting but never really managed to overcome. Important note: this made absolutely no difference to the finished kimono so there.

There’s 3 main pieces, plus 3 facing pieces. It said that the pattern wasn’t suitable for any fabric smaller than 115cm, but this one is 110cm and was fine…I assume because I made it in the smaller size.

Sewing this was pretty straightforward until the facings got involved. You do have to finish a lot of raw edges, and since we’re all still scared of the overlocker (it has blades! run away) I did a standard zig zag stitch…to be honest this was the downside of this make – I got super bored of doing zig zag stitch. It’s necessary but my god it’s dull.

Here’s the facing fun. This forced me to do a lot of standing still, staring at it, sticking my tongue out all deep in thought. I think if I’d cut my pattern/fabric out really neatly this wouldn’t have been so confusing for me but you live and you learn. Basically there were two ways these could have been sewn together and neither way looked like the picture in the instructions so I gambled and just went with one. Luckily it seemed to work out ok so I didn’t really even learn a lesson here.

Sewing the facing to the main piece was v tricky and I did purposeful slow sewing. Once that was done and all ironed to within an inch of its life, you have to top stitch basically all edges of the kimono, which again made me all nervous and sensible for a while.

And here’s the finished piece!

Conclusion: I loved making this, mainly because my eyes got to gaze upon this fabric for a whole day. It was pretty straightforward, but the same as with the skirt pattern I did feel that a certain amount of prior knowledge is assumed even though they’re aimed at beginner’s. It’s nothing you couldn’t figure out with a friend/the internet though.

Thank you for reading this! Hang out with us on facebook, twitter and instagram for first peek at our next make.


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Clothkits Pattern Review

 If you haven’t heard of Clothkits before (I had no idea of anything more than the name until about a year ago) here’s a bit of history – they’re a British company that’s been printing awesome sewing kits since 1968 that were hugely popular in the 1980’s. Their speciality is patterns that are printed directly on to fabric, so you don’t have to arse around with too much cutting out. After spotting them at a trade show last year we’ve been selling their paper patterns in the shop – the first patterns we’ve ever liked enough to stock! We’re fussy like that.

A few years ago Mattie acquired one of their fabric patterns, a Rob Ryan printed skirt. It has ever since been living around the back of Bunyip and it’s only now 3 years on that we’ve managed to commit the time to making it!

The first thing we did was trace over the pattern so that we could keep it for next time! Smart. I’m hoping to make a shorter one in our amazing peacock fabric, but considering this took 3 years to start I’m not getting my hopes up until around 2020.

Plus points: obviously I really enjoyed not having to mess about with patterns too much. You just join up the cutting lines to the size you want and voila – cut it out. The fabric the design is printed on was beautifully thick and printed in the UK which obviously fills our hearts with joy. There were also only a few pattern pieces, meaning the whole process didn’t feel too overwhelming and there was less chance of losing any of it.

The whole skirt from cutting to finishing only took us about 2 afternoon sessions in the shop which is pretty good going!

My only criticism of the kit was that some of the instructions were slightly confusing and I had moments of standing looking at the pattern for too long trying to piece together what they were trying to tell me. Considering that the pattern is meant for total beginner’s some of the processes are really brushed over and I think I would have struggled slightly if it had been the first garment I’d ever made. Also the photos they used to demonstrate said instructions were really hard to see! I know it’s hard to take photos of sewing lines but even so…

That being said, we actually stock almost the same pattern in our paper range, so we cracked it open to see if they’d updated it at all and – they have! Instead of photos there’s lovely illustrations, and they’ve changed almost all of the instructions that I had any complaints about. So even though you’ll have to cut the pattern out yourself you may find the process even more enjoyable!


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January Inspiration & Making

One of my favourite things about January, a month with a pretty bad rep, is that everything feels new and fresh. It’s a time for cleansing, reevaluating and figuring out where to start now, especially  after being Christmas centric for about 3 months.

Our Bunyip new years resolution for 2017 is to make more, not something you’d think we’d generally be behind on but it’s surprising how much our day to day shop lives can leave us with little time to actually be creative! So this year we’re changing that, allowing ourselves more time to do what we love and take time to put our inspiration into action. This blog is a little look at all the wonderful things we’re feeling motivated by, and the beautiful trends we can’t wait to take ahold of our making in the next few months….enjoy!



So Pantone’s colour of the year is Greenery, news to which I think I made a dissatisfied grunt about the first time I heard it. However, being the easily influenced person I am, I am already starting to pursue a bit more of this shade into my everyday life & making. You can see the connections between this and the ever growing enthusiasm for plants – I can barely scroll through instagram without seeing many a beautiful botanical scene.


I had a wonderful time picking out all our green beads and buttons for a magazine project recently, and Mattie’s been working on a fern necklace that’s got us all pretty joyful…

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This is one of those trends that’s almost left the runway shows now but is continuing to dominate the high street. I’ve taken one of our botanical embroidery books home with me so that I can spend my Sunday’s in bed stitching mini cacti on to a plain t-shirt I picked up – so satisfying and really eliminates my Netflix binge guilt.

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Once I’ve finished this project I’d love to start embroidering something sheer, like these ridiculously beautiful dresses that would maybe not look as amazing on a normal human but still make me really gleeful to gaze upon. We’ve recently ordered in a lot more sequins to the shop, so I’m hoping to start using more of these alongside our tiny shiny beads to embellish shirt collars, etc.


Mattie grabbed a plain sweatshirt recently that she’s planning to embroider geometric shapes & patterns on to – I can’t wait to see!



Wearing mid length flowing tulle skirts makes me feel so happy and glam and I can’t wait for more of that in 2017. We’ve only recently added tulle to our fabric selection in store and immensely enjoyed making up a no-sew tutu for the window by knotting long strips around a piece of elastic. We’re moving on to proper tutus next and I’d love to really embellish a long sheer skirt…maybe I could adorn it with green beads and combine all these lovely trends into one really intense garment? Yes please.

Thanks for reading! For more crafty beauty and nonsense join us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!

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2016: Happy Highlights!

2016 was a packed year for us at Bunyip, from substantial business changes to awards ceremonies, we had all the fun and hope you did too! Whether you’re a customer, a friend or a follower we’re really grateful for you getting involved with Bunyip Craft in the last 12 months and can’t wait for a suitably crafty 2017.


Customer parties

In 2016 we hosted three parties for our customers and enjoyed it so much that we briefly considered new lives as party planners. Our summer shindig was a crazy 2 hours of craft hecticness that flew by in seconds, with 60 + customers enjoying Pimm’s, hair braiding and goody bags!

For Christmas we decided to split our celebrations across 2 evenings, meaning it was a bit easier to browse around the shop and to have a go at mini wreath and pom pom making. Having lots of our regular & loyal customers join us for a glass of fizz was one of our favourite points of 2016, and we can’t wait to start planning our 2017 shenanigans.


Shop Merger
A vital part of the business this year was obviously when we merged Bunyip Beads with Otton’s Haberdashery in April, with us slowly but surely implementing our ‘Bunyip Craft’ rebrand. This has allowed us to spread our craft joy into new territories, since we were no longer bound by the beads & buttons branding. We’re really happy that the haberdashery side of the business is flourishing under it’s new investment, and we hope to carry on expanding into new areas of crafting this year.

The Contemporary Craft Fair
Pimms, deck chairs, Punch & Judy and the most beautiful craft you’ve ever seen – I don’t think I need to explain further!


Parties & Workshops
We booked in more parties and workshops than ever this year which was wonderful! I couldn’t keep count of how many Children’s birthday parties we hosted and there were a huge array of adult get togethers too, with keen people learning everything from tote bag making, to decoupaging letters, to charm bracelets and we even made half a wedding dress for a halloween costume!


Fore Street Flea
This year we helped organise the first ever Fore Street Flea, which was an awesome success! A gorgeous sunny day in September saw the road fill up with traders, friends and treats – we flogged our old party dresses, munched on greek street food and my dad even got his vinyl collection out. Our second flea market was slightly chillier but with even more wonderful goodies to choose from – we’re holding out for some May sunshine for the next potential event. (Spot Mattie below…!)


Award Nominations
In April we were lucky enough to attend two awards ceremonies, as Otton’s Haberdashery was nominated for Best City Centre Business at the E&E Business Awards, and Bunyip & Otton’s was nominated for Best Retailer at the Exeter Living Awards. Sadly we missed out on both awards, but we had the most fun getting dressed up and sipping (glugging?) fizz at the ceremonies – Mattie was even a judge for the Exeter Living Awards! Just getting nommed for both of these was a real boost for our confidence and we still have our ‘shortlisted’ stickers proudly displayed…

Little Wool Shop
Back in early Spring the wonderful Lisa opened up her Little Wool Shop concession in the shop and has been part of our crafty family ever since! We get just about as excited about her orders turning up as we do about our own and her workshops and knit and natter groups are ever growing – she even made us pumpkin pie with added rum!


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How to: Bubble Collar Necklace

These awesome laser cut shapes make the perfect chunky collar necklace, simply because they’re so light! Ideal if you require constant drama in your jewellery but can’t deal with your neck aching at the end of a party (a consistent problem in my life….)


We sell these plastic shapes in cream or black (sadly we’re out of stock of the blue) and these necklaces are wonderfully easy to piece together, providing you have access to the following:


6 Bubble Connectors 

42cm of Wide Link Chain (with openable links)

1 Medium Lobster Clasp

Flat Nosed Pliers

First off, use the pliers to open and remove 12 links of the wide chain. We’re going to use these in place of jump rings, as the oval shapes makes them a lot more subtle as connectors. If your chain doesn’t work for this, just use a large jump ring!


Use the links to piece together your connectors in your chosen way so that they all sit beautifully together and flat on your neck. This may take a bit of experimentation, but is worth getting right…


Split the remainder of your chain in half by opening another link.


Attach one piece of chain to either end of your bubbles.

Finally, pop your lobster clasp on one end by – you guessed it – opening up a link, popping it on, and closing it again!


This can obviously be done with any kind of shape you can find, plastic or otherwise, the struggle comes with getting them to sit right. But like I say, worth the effort for such an easy statement piece.

Have fun! x

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How to: Chunky Crystal Necklace

This awesome necklace design came into the world because of what I can only describe as a…slight excess….of certain colours in our crystal hexagon range (also know as: we have one million orange crystal hexagons dear lord let’s make something with them).


Despite this creation of convenience, this is one of my favourite designs that Mattie has ever come up with, essentially because it is massive and heavy and looks super cool in all colours….I photographed the blue version here, but I hear that the orange is particularly beautiful.

You will need (to make an 18″ necklace):

120 x crystal hexagons (we sell these in the shop in bags of 30 for £1 – BARGAIN)

1 x chunky toggle clasp

1 metre of tiger tail

4 x crimp beads

Flat nosed pliers


The technique here is very similar to that of the wave necklace I wrote about before – it’s a straight forward tiger tail necklace, made special by the way the beads all sit when they’re tight together.

First off, pop 2 crimp beads on the end of the tiger tail. Put on half of the toggle clasp on next, and then feed the end of the wire back through the 2 crimps. Use the flat nosed plier to give the crimps a damn good squishing!

We’re using 2 crimps here instead of the normal one because it just adds a bit of extra safety to the necklace, necessary because all that crystal does have a bit of weight behind it.


Now you can thread your beads on, pushing the first few over the end of tiger tail that will be sticking out near your clasp to cover it.


Continue threading beads on until you’re happy with the length, try holding it up around your neck to double check where it’ll lie.

Once you’ve reached your desired look, thread on your remaining two crimp beads, and the other half of your clasp. Again, thread the end of the wire back through the two crimps and through a few beads at the end, pulling everything together tightly so that you don’t have any unsightly wire sticking out. Squish your crimps! And trim off your wire.


Tada! All done. These are so cool, I just can’t get enough of a statement necklace. And ridiculously, they cost less than a fiver to make. Madness!

Thank you for reading 🙂 And come hang out with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, if you like.


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Fore Street Flea!

We’re getting really excited now about the very first Fore Street Flea Market! Taking place on Sunday 18th September, we’ll see the road being closed from the Co-Op down to the Boarding House & loads of traders spilling out on to the road selling their treasures…

We’ll have second hand goodness from a fabulous mix of people, as well as food trucks, live music, and even one of The Real McCoy’s £1 yard sales inside the McCoy’s Arcade! There’s going to be so much lovely stuff going on, I’ve got no idea when I’ll have time to actually sell anything.

The event will be taking place from 12pm to 4pm, and lots of shops (including us!) will also open up for the day – so you can stock up on crafty goodness on your way down to the authentic greek food truck….

And we’ve still got room for more! If you’d like to have a space to sell anything you like (no guns or puppies), or you’re a busker who’d like to come down and entertain the shoppers for a while, please get in touch on [email protected], and I can book you in. This is our very first event of this kind, and we’re really keen to have lots going on so we can figure out our best plan for the next one in November…

Exciting! x

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How to: Turquoise Wire Earrings

This week’s How-To is these ridic pretty turquoise and rose gold earrings, since a) we haven’t delved into wire wrapping yet and b) I think about rose gold all day every day. It was suggested a couple of days ago that I should take off one of my many rose gold accessories, since wearing them all while typing on my rose gold macbook (oh yeah that’s right) was potentially ‘too much.’ I laugh in the face of ‘too much.’

Anyway, these are really straightforward to make once you’ve mastered the art of wire wrapping, which can be a bit fiddly to get to grips with. Luckily we sell craft wire in big rolls so you can practice lots…

You need:

2 x turquoise chunks

2 x rose gold earring hooks

6mm rose gold craft wire

Flat nose pliers, round nose pliers & wire cutters

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My camera hates me for trying to take photos of big and small things at the same time.

First of all, pop a turquoise chunk on a 10cm piece of wire. You want it about two thirds of the way along…


Now, take the longer end of wire and wrap it all the way around your bead, a couple of times if you can. Use your fingers to push it close to the surface on the turquoise – we don’t want any unsexy gappage here.

The aim is to meet the two bits of wire at the top, like so:


Now, this is the bit that can take a bit of practice. What you want to do is wrap the long piece of wire really tightly in a lovely coil around the short piece of wire, at the point where it comes out of the bead. This photo will help explain this:


I find it helps me to really pull the wire hard outwards, as I’m rotating it around the other wire, to ensure a beaut tight coil.

Once you’ve smashed that step, use your wire cutter to trim off the messy piece of long wire that’s left. You should now have what the children in my workshops call ‘a bead on a stick/a balloon/a lollipop.’

Trim the remaining straight piece of wire down to 1cm.


Now take your round nose pliers and bend the 1cm of wire over to a nice right angle.


Gripping the wire right at the very end, roll your pliers over to make a lovely loop. Again, this might not be perfect first time, but that doesn’t matter! The great thing about wire is you can just chop it off and start again until it’s how you want it.

And that’s it! Just use your flat nose pliers to open the loop on the bottom of your earring hook up, pop the turquoise dangle on there, and close it again.


Isn’t the lighting in this photo nice? That’s because I went and stood in the street to take it, like a lunatic.

Is it important to mention that you have to do all the above stages twice to get two earrings? If you’re sitting with just one and you’re tired just pop it on a chain and have it as an extremely pretty pendant.

Happy Friday! xx

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How to: Wave Necklace



This week’s DIY is this simple Wave Necklace, made from these ‘S Tubes’ that we sell in the shop. Their wiggly shape makes for a pretty necklace that looks more complicated than it is (e.g. our favourite kind of make…)


For a 45cm necklace, you will need:

12 x 33mm copper S tubes

13 x 6mm yellow glass rounds

1 metre of tiger tail

2 x crimps

1 x copper lobster clasp

1 x copper jump ring

Flat nosed pliers

Obviously, all the colours and sizes here are totally open to interpretation – the technique will work with whatever you have at home!


Firstly, thread one of your tiny crimp beads on to the end of your tiger tail. I said you need two crimps in the intro, but this does not include all the ones you drop on the floor (at least another 18).

Thread your lobster clasp on to the end, and then push the end of the thread back through just the crimp bead. Tuck it up nice and close to the clasp, and give it a squish with your plier. Explanatory photograph may be useful:


Tada! That is literally the most complicated part of this tutorial.

Now you can start threading your beads on. We go for a tube, followed by a round, and on and on until it’s the length you’re after. Your first few beads should tuck over both threads so it’s all neat and beautiful.


When you get to your desired length, pop another crimp bead on, pop a jump ring on the thread, and then push the end of thread back through the crimp, and hopefully a couple of beads too, tucking it away nicely.

Give it a squish!


Even just doing these photos I lost about 12 crimps.

And that’s it! Simple as that. I LOVE tiger tail – it’s so simple and I think it looks so much nicer than knotting.



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Piping Cord: A Journey

We’ve only recently started stocking piping cord in the shop, essentially because no one had asked for it until about a month ago. (Top tip: if you want us to stock something, just ask! We like knowing what we’re missing).

I’ve fancied having a play with it ever since, and have been noticing more and more people making piped cushion covers lately. Having just moved house, my current pillows are looking really sad in my new room so I thought this was a perf opportunity to try it out – which is why this is a much bigger pillow size than I normally would make!

Note: I don’t think I’ve ever actually used piping before, though I do remember doing homework about it in GCSE textiles amazingly. This was vaguely tricky, (probably on the same level of pom pom cushions, which we all know are life) but if you’re willing to give it a go and it not be 100% perfect then go for it! I basically mashed mine though the sewing machine and it came out pretty good, if I say so myself. (I’ve written this before I’ve actually taken it home and seen if it fits the cushion, so might not be so pleased with myself later.)


Before I started I read through this tutorial, and used it to work out my measurements etc.

You will need:

Front fabric (equals the size of your cushion, plus 1.25cm on the height & width)

Back fabric (the length of your cushion, plus 18cm on the width, cut in half to make two rectangles)

Piping Cord (I used size 4, and you need enough to go around the entire edge of your cushion, plus a touch extra for safety)

Bias Binding (you can make this yourself, if you’re a better person than I am. You need the same amount as the piping cord….)

Sewing Machine, unless you really really love to hand sew

Scissors, Pins, Iron

First things first, fold down one of the long edges on your back fabric 1cm, then 1cm again, hiding the raw edge. Press into place with an iron, and pin into place if you need to. (Reasons you might need to: you didn’t actually iron it, like me).


Stitch down with your sewing machine, and repeat on the other piece of back fabric.


Now the piping fun begins.


Starting about 5cm from the top of the binding, lay your piping along the middle of your bias, wrap the binding around it and pin together. I started doing this, decided it was too thin and went back and opened the binding out before pinning it. I have no idea if that was the right thing to do or not, but it seemed to work out ok.


You binding should have wrong sides touching


This is a representation of how my brain felt during this


Now, sew this together, but don’t sew the 5cm you left at one end.

This was where I started to get in a faff, because I realised that the foot on the machine would stop me getting that close to the piping. So I stitched it down, but quite near the edge.



 Now, what the other tutorial I read said to do next was to pin this around the edges of your front piece (piping facing inwards) and stitch it into place, clipping your corners as you go to get it to sit better.

I obviously ignored this, and decided that I knew better and that I should just skip right to the end. THIS WAS AN ERROR. Do not do this. It was really difficult  and the piping kept moving around all the time and the corners were super hard.

At the point where your two ends of piping meet, you’ll hopefully have a little bit extra. Trim the piping so it meets perfectly, and then tuck the 5cm end of binding over the other end, meaning you’ll have two layers of bias binding over a small section of piping.


So hopefully if you have taken my advice you now have a beautifully attached piece of piping cord to the front piece of your cushion, in which case all you need to do now is lay your 2 back pieces face down, overlapping in the middle.

I don’t, so what I’m doing here is laying the piping cord around the edge of the right side of the front piece, then laying the two back bits face down so they overlap in the middle, and the pinning this all into place. Sigh, hindsight…


All you have to do now is sew around the outside of the cushion. I used my zipper foot instead of the standard one so that I could get a bit closer to the piping cord, because I didn’t want it to be weird and gappy.

Once you’ve done that, flip it right side round, clip the corners and give it a good press with the iron. And that’s it!

 Update: through some sewing miracle, it fit my cushion! Woop woop. Now I just have to make 2 more matching ones…

I’d love to hear if you’ve given this a go – let me know!

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