23 January 2015


So pleased with my first mini blanket. Let me introduce THISTLEDOWN...

Lots of colourful crochet goodness. Perfect for a new little family member, be them Human, feathered or furred, or even as a cover for your favourite armchair to add a hint of Gypsy caravan to your home. 

Made in 25% wool to offer warmth and durability, making this little blanket a treasure to keep long after your little darling has grown and flown...

Sneak Peek...

Custom spaces will be very limited during January / February, with none available during March, while we build our stock base ready for Summer. Look out for treasures from April onwards (see sneak peeks on facebook).

I will also preview shoes being made for stock here on the blog, all of which will be in the shop from April onwards. The whole month of March will be dedicated to bag making!

I don't think I have made a THIMBLE bag or a CLEMMIE for over 6 months! I shall remedy that in March at least :)

So... although life will seem rather quiet in Fairysteps land for the next few months, we will infact be working jolly hard in the background getting lots of loveliness made and ready for the coming Summer.

Ren x

ps. Have also been busy of an evening working on 'Thistledown', my new mini blanket which will be available very soon in the fennel and wren shop. Ive already started the second one. Each any every one will be different...

20 January 2015

Dimity complete

So pleased to have finished this beauty! She was a long time in the making, infact I can remember the Summer evening that I started making her...

Made in super soft pure wool, a mixture of Merino and Cornish organic lambswool means that this lovely will last a lifetime.

For sale in the Etsy shop here for anyone who falls in love with her...

Update: this is sold :)

18 January 2015

Sheet dress... will be

I finished the maybe sheet dress yesterday, all the pins gave me a round of applause, because I was flagging near the finish. Mainly because my lovely vintage industrial Singer that I used to make it has developing a fault. The motor (it looks like the original from when the machine was made in 1973, its younger than me...) has developed a terrible screech. And by screech, I do mean screech. Its very piercing, especially on a long seam as it gets louder. Mr Fairysteps is going to put a new motor on for me next week when he emerges from the trench...

The shaping turned out a treat. Very pleased with the bust darts and front pleats that encase the ties.

Also chuffed with the soft edge. As it ages and washes this will look rather pretty. I stay stitched the neckline twice for extra stability. The sleeves also had the zigzag treatment.

Despite the fact that I would look like Ive just escaped from hospital having first chopped up my undersheet and made a dress... it does infact look rather nice I think.

I will tweak a little on my pattern. It needs to be an inch longer, and that back centre seam will have to be brought in by half an inch to tighten the top neck edge. But, being so economic with fabric usage (I took careful note of how much it used for different widths) its going to be a cheap make.

140/150cm wide fabric = 130cm
110/115cm wide fabric = 200cm

I found some stunning japanese linens and double gauzes on Etsy in this shop, MissMatatabi which are 110cm wide and at roughly £4.50 per half metre it means the whole dress will cost £18.00 plus postage, and I will have scraps to use for pockets and trims or patchwork projects. The patterned linens are stunning! Although, having said that, I may make a simple, plain dark coloured one first. Maybe deep forest green or navy.

Better get on with my Sunday now! Much to do, logs to get in from the wood shed, a smidge of shoemaking, kitchen to tidy, fresh pizza and pesto rissoto planned for tea, a crochet jumper to finish, rubbish to take down to the bins, washing to hang up, Rayburn to light, and hopefully a walk in this glorious, albeit cold, sunshine, before dusk...

Ren x

17 January 2015

Sheet to dress... maybe

Well, as I woke up this morning planning to do a spot of dressmaking seeings as its Sunday and all that... I decided that having since discovered that it wasnt actually Sunday after all, I would carry on with my plans.

Years ago in my Jumble Sale days (couldnt cope anymore with all the people!) I used to look out for vintage clothes. Bearing in mind I was only about 12 at the time and everything in the whole wide world was black ash chipboard furniture and polyester grey shininess... I have to congratulate myself on recognising beauty at a young age!

I found a particularly beautiful dress in a pink and white spotted linen. Homemade, and patched from all the wear it had. Plus a nightdress made in heavy duchess satin. Not the artificial stuff, but the real thing, in a deep rich clotted cream colour. I still have them. I wore them both for years until I was afraid that anymore wear would be their end. They were both zipless, but flattering. And therein lies their perfectness. They were flattering, not shapeless. Not gathered, and very much looking like maternity dresses, just simple, pull over the head, effortless clothing.

Ive been wanting a weekend to have a play with some pattern drafting from these old vintage beauties, this weekend was it. Littlest finally gave up her old cotton sheet that had a huge hole in the middle from being threadbare and worn. Heaven knows how old it is, but its pure cotton and a good weight. "Please can I keep it Mummy, its so soft..."

Threadbare sheet has been washed and chopped into, and alas is no longer a sheet, but, fear not it is being reinvented at least! I may dye it bottle green if the dress sits okay once made, or I may keep it for pattern perfecting.

This dress has to do alot to tick all the boxes Im after!
  1. it must skim over my bottom and not cling, thus making me look like one of those broad bean pods that only have one giant bean in the middle and several shrivelled little tiddlers on either side of it...
  2. it must flare out nicely into a decent A line that can have a little swish if called for and not stick to my new tummy that I seem to have since my big op last Spring (Im sure they sneaked in implants without asking me...).
  3. it must have some adjustment under the bust to add a little shape, so ties are needed.
  4. the neckline must be loose and adaptable to have a collar added for a change.
  5. no sleeves so that they won't be stuck in the top of a cardigan, all scrunched and lumpy looking. Slightly extending over the shoulder edge to flatter less than skinny upper arms :)
  6. pockets, because where on earth do you put your hanky for that ever present dew drop?
  7. easy and quick to make with minimum pattern pieces and cutting so it can be whipped up in an afternoon before that "why on earth did I start this?" sets in.
See what I mean... its a tall order! So far its going quite well. It may well be my Summer wonder, in which case I shall make up a patchwork one in the Liberty style cottons I have all washed and ready to make up.

This prototype is having a tight wide zig zag on the raw edges so a little scruffly bit is showing of the weave. I quite like it and may not bother with bias binding. Its a little softer and suits it :)

Ren x

ps. Later on I plan on making a baby blanket to sell in my Etsy shop, and timing myself to see how long it actually takes. I see a late night ahead :) Happy planning to you all x

16 January 2015

New leathers...

I am hoppy up and down excited to be able to offer you some rather special leathers for made to order shoes! Utterly heavenly colours with an instant aged appearance... so... if you fancy a pair of shoes that look like the fairies did actually make them, these are for you :)

Ive added them to the listings in the shop here.

Have a lovely weekend, Ren x

15 January 2015

Latest hatching...

I had such a lot fun making this variation on CLARA. They are a one off, so rather special! Someone lovely bought them for their special wedding day. I feel honoured to be a little part of it...

CLARA, UK 7 in Chinese Jade. In the shop as stock. 

QUEENIE, UK 7 in Really Red. Already sold to a lady across the oceans :)

I thought these were the perfect fairy shoes!

A batch of MOONSHINE boots are nearly finished, but won't be ready for the shop for a little while yet. Custom opens for the first time tomorrow morning so I won't have much time for making stock. Never mind :) Always good to be busy.

Ren x

10 January 2015

Back on track...

Ive had a lovely break from the madness of custom shoemaking for a whole month! Its been wonderful to recharge my batteries. Thank you so much to everyone for your patience while I had a little rest. But all good things must come to an end...

If only I could pay for groceries with buttons ;)

Bit of a shake up for a new year ahead... limited shoe and boot styles.

9 of our most popular styles...

Our most popular boot style, MUSTARDSEED, available in any of our 4 special toe shapes, fairy, elven, imp and round, and 4 style variations as shown above.

12 delicious colours in antiqued, thick, supple leathers with a rich depth of colour. As well as any colours that may be available on the shoes in the GALLERY.

First listings will go on sale on Friday 16th January, and thereafter we hope to offer limited CUSTOM spaces each Friday (subject to workload) for you to have your own special pair made just for you x 

Ren x

07 January 2015

On the workbench…

I am currently working on the following shoes and boots ready for the shop soon...
  • UK 4, MOONSHINE Button boots in Dark Damson with Teal nubuck button applique. Fairy pointed toe shape.
  • UK 6, PUCK Shoes in Conker Scuffle with star punchwork. Imp toe shape.
  • UK 7, NEVERLAND Shoes in Lipstick pink, Mustard contrast and leather ties.
  • UK 4, MOONSHINE Button boots in Chesterfield brown and Lichen green. Round toe shape.
This is alongside the last of last years custom orders :)

Ren x

06 January 2015


Glorious colours on my worktable today. Neverlands I think...