We are all familiar with pop up books as it is something that many of us grew up with as a child. Meet Michael Caputo - an accomplished paper engineer who cleverly designs paper pop-ups. Michael firstly comes up with the idea, building up the layers with a combination of different heights and shapes. Then with his precision of angles, he creates outstanding pop-ups for various different mediums, from children’s books to 3D signage. He has designed for Warner Brothers, Ralph Lauren and the Museum of Modern Art to name a few.
Offering a new take on how to use our Lifestyle fabrics with his creative engineering skills, Michael has made his own representation of our famous Tudor building.
We caught up with Michael to find out more about his unusual and beautiful paper crafting talent:
“Ever since a young age I have loved to build things, I remember as a child playing with Lego for hours on end. When I graduated from Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC I found a job designing children’s books for Harper Collins where part of my job was to design and create simple novelty projects. That lead to me to a weekend internship wuth Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda, which evolved into a career as a paper engineer. At that time they were the only artists specialising in pop-up books as a full time job.
For a year and a half I worked with Matthew on several of his projects learning all the tricks of the trade. A few years later a position at the studio became available and I jumped at the chance to work with them again. But this time as a full time paid employee! After about five years I moved on to Penguin who were starting to expand their novelty group, and I was hired to design novelty projects for all sorts of licensed characters and books. About two years ago we moved to London and I have been freelancing for several different companies all over the world since.
While I was back in NYC working for Penguin, I managed to win a few NY Book Show awards for Best Novelty Projects. I won second place in 2010 for my book, “Everyone Says I Love You”. This book was one of my original ideas – an around the world journey starting in New York with Lady Liberty and ending in Paris with the Eiffel Tower. On each spread a different language was used to say “I Love You”. Then 2012 I came in first place for a book on optical illusions called “Spin” at the NY Book show.
I learned how to quilt about 8 years ago. My mum taught me over Christmas as I was stuck at home with flu, bored and ever since then I’ve been addicted! Liberty Fabric was not the easiest to find in NYC, and the only shop that carried some of it was Purl Soho. Liberty was always the pinnacle of fabric in my eyes – something to use for special projects. After we moved to London I joined the London Modern Quilting Guild and started to use Liberty prints more and more in my work. The colour palette was always something that appealed to me and the new Lifestyle fabrics make it easier to incorporate classic prints into modern designs. Having the original Liberty haberdashery so close to home allows me to create without worry about running out of material! I recently started keeping track of (or at least trying to keep track) of my projects – both book and quilting related – at patchworkandpaper. It sometimes can be hard when you are in the moment to stop and take pictures.
Follow Michael on Twitter: @patchworknpaper
Would you like a mobile phone holder like no other? We’ve made this mobile phone and card holder from Wells and Mackintosh fabrics to fit an iPhone 5, but the instructions can be adjusted to fit another phone model. Just choose two prints which compliment each other and away you go!
Firstly cut one piece of each of the fabrics to measure 30cm by 18cm, this includes extra for seams. We have used Wells for the front of the case and Mackintosh for the inside.
What you will need:
Poppers or Velcro
Cut the pockets for the cards to go into first – we have created two using each fabric. They measure 6.50cm across (plus seam allowance) by 10.50cm deep (7.50cm once hemmed) plus seam allowance. We would recommend 1cm for seam allowances on the pockets.
Start by hemming the edges, do not stitch all the way to the edge to leave detailing on pocket. There should be a rectangle of stitching within the pocket once all stitching is complete. Stitch the top and the two sides first, we have used a yellow thread to pick up on the colour on Wells. The bottom of the pocket will have a deeper fold so that the card slots in and fits snugly.
Sew the seam along the bottom of the pocket, one by one on the right side of the piece of Mackintosh. It should be 3cm away from the left hand side and in line with each other, with spacing of 1.50cm between each pocket. Alternate each print as each one is laid down.
Hand finish by sewing along the side, as shown above keeping the stitches small and discreet.
Using card, cut it to size, it measures 14cm wide and 24cm in length. the length is separated into six sections. The measurements for the individual sections are 1.50cm, 7.50cm, 1.50cm, 7.50cm,1.50 and 4.50 cm, this is form left to right. Once the measurements have been made, score them with the back of a pair of scissors.
Place the two fabrics together right sides facing and using the card as a template to mark its position, stitch three sides of the card holder together, leaving a opening at the opposite end of where the card pockets are. Trim the excess on the edges with pinking shears to stop them from fraying and clip the corners so there is less bulk.
Apply spray mount or double sided tape to the smaller sections of the card, similar to if you were covering a book. This will prevent the fabric from moving later on.
Make a tab from Mackintosh fabric, cut a piece of fabric measuring 5cm +1cm seam allowance by 10cm. Sew a tube, and turn fabric the correct way. Fold one of the ends to make a triangle, trim edges to remove bulk before double top stitching for finishing.
Unpick enough stitches along the seam where the card pockets are, insert the tab and secure into place with stitches.
Turning the mobile phone card holder the right way, slip the card into the fabric sleeve, making sure it fits snugly and has a smooth finish. Cut two pieces of elastic measuring 6cm each. Measure 15cm in from the left, unpick a few stitches and add the elastic, sew into place using the sewing machine. Do the same for the other side.
Your mobile card holder is almost ready! Trim and fold in the edges of the open end and hand sew close with slip stitches, keeping the stitches small and discreet.
Fold the right side over to secure the other end of both pieces of elastic, this is the part where the phone will be held. Match up the sides and unpick a few stitches on the opposite side to where the sewn elastic comes out and push the other end of elastic into place and hand sew. Make sure the elastic is taut leaving very little elastic showing for the mobile to be held securely.
Add either velcro or poppers to the tip of the tab and where it will hold closed to the front of the case.
The mobile phone card holder is now complete, be the envy of your friends with your handmade and unique phone accessory!
As many of you will know the month of May was an Instamatic one and so we called upon all Lifestyle fans to get creative. No matter how big or small the project, as long as you used the Instagram app and hashtags #LibertyLifestyle and #BundleGiveaway, you could have the chance of winning a fat quarter bundle.
We thank all of you who participated with your innovative use of the Liberty Lifestyle craft fabrics. It was fantastic to see the wide variety of different projects from egg cup holders, to chair covers, to the traditional quilt. We’ve made a collage of some of the amazing submissions below, can you spot your creation?
With so many fantastic entries, it was a tough call to select, but we managed to whittle it down to five lucky winner’s who have all been contacted and a fat quarter bundle is making there way to each of them!
Cécile Frimat is a dedicated fan of Liberty print, so much so she even named her blog Libertylle where you can find lots of Liberty print projects and tutorials. Cécile has made a wide array of jewellery, bags and much more, and although she has only been blogging since 2011, she has been sewing and crafting since she was a child. Originally taught by her grandmother, Cécile is soon to be a grandmother herself and she cleverly came up with the project idea for a hot air balloon mobile which she shares with us. Using prints from the pastel colour palette of the Lifestyle Stile collection and crochet, this hot air balloon is perfect for a nursery or children’s bedroom. Follow the simple step-by-step below.
We caught up with Cécile to discover more about her crafting history, her passion for Liberty print fabric and how she loves to use it in her projects.
“I’m a French, 48 year-old mother of three children who are now aged 24, 22 and 19. I live in Nancy in the East of France and by profession I am a dentist, but after my children came along I gave up my career to focus on them. This also gave me time to work on two of my greatest loves: sewing and crochet. I was taught by my grandmother how to crochet when I was a young child and ever since it has been huge part of my life – I am always thinking about what I will make for my next project! I have always been creative; I love drawing, painting and thoroughly enjoyed fully restoring our home and all the DIY projects that came with that.
Liberty prints are most definitely one my passions, especially as all the prints remain timeless with a wonderful range of colours and such softness to the touch. It is always better to work with good quality fabric, and with the ever increasing range of different types of fabric, I nearly always wait eagerly for the release of the new collections in spring and autumn. Since the release of the Liberty Lifestyle craft fabric, I have made several projects using the first collection, Bloomsbury Gardens, and found it was the perfect weight for crafting. Along with the hot air balloon mobile project, I have many more ideas I would like to work on using these.
Now that my children have grown up, I really appreciate having more time for my favourite hobby, crafting. In 2011 I started my blog, along with a part time job as a secretary of a medical journal, and my sewing and crafting projects have become a major part of my life again. This has been a real turning point and I’m now very busy and find there are not enough hours in the day!”
Fancy making a beautiful hot air balloon mobile like Cécile’s? Follow her easy step-by-step guide below to create a stunning gift for your little one or someone who’s expecting!
Crochet hook: 3mm
Crochet hook: 2,25 or 2,5mm (to end the work)
Yarn: linen yarn or natural cotton yarn
Four 20cm coloured yarn
Using a 3mm crochet hook make a chain of 5 stitches and close with a slip stitch.
Round 1: 2 chain, crochet 11 double crochet stitches into the round.
Round 2: 2 chain, 2 double crochet in every stitch of previous round. (22 stitches) Close with slip stitch.
Round 3: 2 chain, double crochet in each stitch of previous round, close with slip stitch.
For rounds 4, 5 and 6, do the same as round 3.
Using either a 2.25 or 2.50mm crochet hook join and finish. Sew in the ends.
Using some spare yarn equally mark the four sections on the basket where the crocheted ropes will be added to the basket. Using 3mm crochet hook, make a chain of 25 stitches.
Attach the chain to the basket with a slip stitch, slip stitch along the basket.
Chain 25 stitch to finish. Do the same for the other side of the basket.
Now its time to make the balloon part of the project.
Hot air balloon
4 assorted Liberty Stile Collection fabric, I have used Newbury, Rennie, Wells and Mackintosh
Felt to make a circle of 5 cm diameter
Metal button and a double ring
Assorted cotton thread
Scissors, needle and pins
Start by cutting the fabric pieces for the hot air balloon, using the template here. Cut 2 pieces from each of the four fabrics and a 5cm circle form the felt.
Please note that the pattern pieces has a 1cm seam allowance included.
Right sides facing, pin in place and sew 2 pieces at a time, pressing seam open when finished.
Trim the excess on each of the pairs of fabric. Don’t forget to leave one of the pairs with an opening along the seam for the stuffing to be added later on.
Now its time to sew the 4 pieces together, pinning and sewing as before.
Iron seams when sewing is complete as before.
Insert the metal ring inside the balloon, the back of the button should be facing towards the top, add the double ring for attaching the invisible thread to suspend it later on.
Working inside out, use pins to secure the basket in place. There should be 4cm of the ropes of the basket showing when finished. Hand sew the crocheted chains into place.
Using the circular felt piece, insert and hand sew to the balloon.
Turning the balloon the correct way, fill with stuffing and hand stitch the seam until closed.
The hot air balloon is now complete…up, up and away!
Ruth Singer is a textile artist, lover of fabric manipulation and a firm believer of eco sewing - all of which she has written books about, making her an author too. Her most recent book, Fabric Manipulation, has projects and techniques aplenty if you fancy dabbling and learning a new skill.
We caught up with this multi talented textile artist to find out how she got started, and how she went from sewing enthusiast to published expert. After winning a competition in Leicester last year she now runs workshops offering lessons to all different levels, from school and community workshops, to one to one teaching.
“My fascination with the techniques started when I worked in the Victoria and Albert Museum and ran guided tours of the fashion galleries. I wanted to know how the extraordinary pleated decorations on 18th century Mantua gowns were created, so I experimented with fabric, studied and admired many costumes and read a lot of books. Since then I have specialised in fabric manipulation and have been using a wide range of techniques to create my own textile artworks. Fabric manipulation includes the art of folding, stitching, cutting and layering fabric to create amazing textures, patterns and effects in fabric. These skills can be used to turn a two dimensional piece of fabric into a three dimensional art form that can be used as wall art decoration, or added to garments and accessories for embellishment.”
Ruth is an advocate of the endless possibilities with folding, stitching and embellishing fabric and teaches us how we can sew economically with no wastage.
“I’m always keen to be environmentally-friendly in my sewing and hate to create waste that won’t be used. I put all my fabric leftovers into a scrap box at my studio for people to use when I run various workshops. If you can up-cycle an existing garment or home product and give it a new lease of life by embellishing it with your creations, then you have achieved two sustainability goals in one go.
One example of adding an item to a garment is this origami-inspired corsage (shown above). You will need to make six aeroplane folds as shown here, each made from a 7cm square of fabric. If you don’t like fraying edges then use fusible webbing to fix two layers of fabric together then cut out the squares, or finish the raw edges with pinking shears or fray check.
To assemble the corsage, stitch all six aeroplane folds to a small circle of felt, points to the centre then add a vintage button on top. This can be made into a brooch by sewing a pin on the back, or you can simply stitch the whole corsage onto a top, dress or cardigan. It could also be used on a bag or a hat for an instant revamp, or use several joined together to make a cushion cover!”