Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Count down to Christmas

Union Jack Dog Cap £5
Well it is nearly that time of year again, the only thing I have managed to make for it so far is a Christmassy dog bandana. I have also made some dog caps! I saw these at The Robinhood and Country Fair last month and they looked adorable. You would think the dog wouldn't like to wear them but apparently they're not fussed!

Red Christmas Dog Bandana From £3

I have also got two new stockists for my pet accessories one is Mrs Bishop's Doggy Deli which sells yummy treats for your pup and kitty. The second is Little Scruffs an online pet boutique which is sweat shop free specialising in products from local Designers.

You will soon be able to buy make up bags from us and also see a new range of products for the new year. Don't forget about our products under £10 which are available online now and include mobile phone cases, hair ties and purses.

If you are looking for a new bag for the party season why not take a look at our boutique prom style bags? They can be made to order in a variety of colours to match your dress.
'Burlesque' clutch £40

And last but not least, I have a picture of another happy woofer: Zeta in her Conker leather collar, doesn't she look cute!?

Thanks for reading xx

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Halloween dog bandanas/neckerchiefs for handmade Monday

This week I have been busy preparing for the Robin Hood Game And Country Show which takes place at Newark Showground on the 15th-16th October. It is a fun event for all the family and will host lots of different entertainment from dog shows-in the fab all about dogs zone, Jousting to a medieval village. I really hope the weather is kind! If you attend, please stop by my stand and say hi.

So this last week I have made matching leather leads to go with my saddle stitched collars:
Pink Diamante saddle stitched natural veg tan leather lead from £24
Available in 1/2" and 1" width

Plain saddle stitched natural veg tan leather lead from £22
Also available in 1/2" and 1" width

As it is Halloween at the end of the month I thought I'd get in the 'spirit' and do a few doggy bits. So, I have created some bandanas so your pooch doesn't feel left out should you be throwing or attending a party.

Funny bones dog bandana from £3

Skeleton dog bandana from £3

Multi spooky dog bandana from £3

BIGGEST SELLER! Ship mate dog bandana from £3

You can purchase these direct from my site, or they will be available from my stand at next weekends Robin Hood event. ZukieStyle bandanas work by simply slipping over the dog's collar - this ensures your pup will not return to you minus their new bandana (I've had many people come to me and say the tie on neckerchiefs tend to come loose!) We are also happy to announce that a selection of our bandanas can now be purchased from Pets View lifestyle centre, North Hykeham, Lincoln and Wragby Pet Shop.

And here are some VERY happy pups in their Ship mate bandanas:

Check out Chewie from Dottypig in his new purchase!



We also stock these in our Etsy boutique and ship internationally. If you have a larger dog please email for a custom size. We have created bandanas for all sized dogs, most of which can be clipped around the dogs neck by a plastic snap fasten. 

Don't forget to stop by 1st Unique Gifts blog for Handmade Monday and see what lovely products people have created this week.

Well, back to my machine and ta ta for now!

Dee xx

Monday, 26 September 2011

Handmade Monday - saddle stitched leather dog collars

Well, as promised I am finally taking part in handmade Monday again as organised by Wendy from 1st Unique Gifts. Do pop by her blog and see her new awesome Stig and Spider door hangers

After ordering some leather (I went with a natural veg tan) I decided to start adapting my new found leather stitching to my pet accessories. I haven't got the correct skimming equipment yet to start on my bags, so at least with the collars I can use a paring knife and crack on with them. I decided not to dye them as I want them to look quite traditional, as I go on I will be using various dyes and leathers.

The collars below are available in various lengths and two widths at present 1" and 1/2"

Natural plain leather veg tan dog collar from £20

Natural pink diamante veg tan leather dog collar from £22
Natural pink diamante veg tan leather dog collar detail
pink diamante
close up of stitching and keeper detail
Natural spike veg tan leather dog collar from £22
Natural spike veg tan leather dog collar
Spike detail

Keeper and saddle stitch detail

The diamante are a nickel rivet and have been inserted by first creating the hole with a punch and then hammered in place. The nickel spikes are screwed into the pre-punched holes.

All edges have been bevelled and burnished to create a quality finish.

Brass buckles are on order so I will be making that option available shortly! Watch this space :)
I have also created matching leads which will be uploaded ASAP!

You may order these direct off my website  or simply send me an email at stating your specifications and you can pay by direct bank transfer/cheque or paypal.

Thanks for listening
Dee xx

Thursday, 22 September 2011

My week in Tetbury, learning how to handstitch leather

Well, it has been some time since I last posted. Sorry about that! As some of you may know I went off to Tetbury for a week to attend a summer school on hand stitching leather goods. The course was provided by Macgregor and Michael and the lovely Val is the kindest, understanding teacher you will ever meet. When I arrived on the Sunday evening I had, had quite a journey. I decided to get the national express coach from Lincoln as it seemed the easiest option! Well...9 hours later I arrived at my destination! I had a LONG wait at Birmingham! I had intended to blog about my week daily but I found the bed and breakfast I was in only had internet access on the landing and so I would have been in the way of other guests. So here it is!
Bright and early Monday morning (after a yummy breakfast) I made my way to Val's workshop. There I met 4 lovely people who were also looking to learn skills for leather production. One of them been Jules from Cloon Keen Atelier - An exquisite perfume company based in Galway. The smell from their candles is amazing!!!!
We talked to Val about what we aimed to get from the course. I was after expanding my handbag designs and pet accessories.
First, the basics! We had to learn how the leather was prepared and then on to do a basic saddle stitch:
These are the basic hand tools needed for working with leather.
The leather is first marked to show where the stitches will be.

It is then the stitching can begin! As you can see my first attempt was not very straight!

After stitching we bevelled and burnished the edges (bevelling is where the edge is white) this helps to show I nice finish on products)

Burnished edges are created by using a special gum which is then rubbed onto the sides of the leather by a linen cloth.

Once my trial piece was finished it was time to begin my bag! I designed a style I wanted for myself, a timeless classic. So I chose a lovely red leather and a saddle shape. First, the pattern was made:

Then, it was time to cut out the leather with these tools- 

eeek! This was so scary! Especially cutting around the curve I'd decided to use on the front!

I was so worried about cutting it out as it would be very expensive to waste! I'm not sure if you can see on the picture but the crease marks are from the cow, every piece of leather tells a story!

Next I made the gusset for my bag, this was by far the hardest part! It involved lots of cutting, gluing ,clamping,bevelling,burnishing and stitching!

Time to mark the guidelines for channelling-

The edges of the gusset had to be channelled on the backs to allow them to be folded when gluing.

Then clipped in place to allow the glue to set.

The glued edges were then stitched (A little straighter and neater than my first attempt!)


I then prepared my strap. This also had to be bevelled and burnished, plus a keeper to keep the strap secure.

Burnishing the edges of the main body.

Next I marked out where my clasp was to be positioned and cut the trickiest hole EVER!

The two lines are where I next needed to cut, it had to be the correct size for my turn lock. involving lots of attempts with tracing paper to get it right!

After that, I attached the rivet on the strap to the gusset. This was a fun part, getting rid of any pent up anger!! WHACK!

It was now time to attach the dreaded gusset itself!!! This was very tricky and involved at least two pairs of hands! I have no idea what I would have done without trusty bulldog clips! I had to ensure all corners were evenly lined so the bag didn't end up out of shape!

Bit by bit it was time to stitch......

This took a while....

Phew!!!! Now, there were a few uneven edges, this was easily sorted out by shaving them all together to make sure I had a straight edge

And of course you cant't leave the edge like that!!!

Beautifully bevelled and burnished!!!

Nearly there just have to glue my inner pocket to the main part of the bag, This was cut out with pigskin, commonly used for linings and pockets. I glued this to the back of the bag and trapped it between the other side of the gusset and commenced more gluing and bulldog clipping!

To burnish this edge I needed to use a red dye as the pocket is a light colour it showed through on the outside.

Finally, the last bit was to attach the buckle and its keeper,

The keeper and beeswaxed thread ready for stitching

The strap then needed to be marked,a hole cut for the buckle and skimmed (this was also done on the gusset) to enable me to stitch through the double layer.

Then glued down in place ready for stitching.

The keeper is held in place by two double stitches,

The last bit was to punch holes in the strap,polish the main bag and voila!! As they say!!!

One special bag!!!

If you like what you see I will be shortly creating my own in my workshop at home. Also in my next blog I will update with pet accessories I have made. Using the traditional hand tool method in leather production is very satisfying and the double saddle stitch technique lasts far longer than any machine stitch would ever do.

Please visit zukiestyle for all the latest designs from Zukie's leather boutique

Thanks for listening!x

Dee Dee's Bag!!!!x

All About The Bag

All About The Bag
Photo Shoot For 'Beached Out' 2010