Bow Ties Sydney, Australia - Le Noeud Papillon - Specialists In Self Tying Bow Ties

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Funnily Enough, You Can Do Most Of It At Home

All the products we consume are mostly made up of little tricks that culminate in one big trick that makes you think 'Oh, my, I couldn't make that, how wonderful, I'll take it!'. When you break it all down, it's usually very simple processes added one on top of another until you look back and you think 'magic' to yourself, but it was really just putting one foot over another in the manner in which it is best done. The same could be said of dancing, woodwork, car making, music composition and cooking. Layer upon layer of refined techniques which usually are not that complicated at the most basic level, but, put together in the right technique over a number of stages make us marvel. I am beginning to repeat myself so I will come to my point. I had a lesson on my new sewing machine the other day. I asked many questions and they were all answered succinctly and visually in a row. 'You mean to say, I could make my shirt from start to finish on this machine?' - Yes. 'You mean to say that I could make a pair of jeans on this machine'? - Yes.

When it comes down to it, it can all be done by hand. So, adding a machine is just an extra workhorse.

Even the bow ties we sell, as much as I would love to tell you that they could not be made by anyone else, they can. A sewing machine, the right tools, the right silks, the right linings, the right metal clips - if you can source it all and you know how to make a pattern, it can all be yours. I do not advocate everyone giving up their weekends to sew their own clothes, but it is food for thought. Especially for Australian men, if you can't find what you want in a store (and is often the case Down Under), consider getting a sewing machine and making it yourself. You will get a great sense of enjoyment out of the process and you will create something uniquely yours.

Enjoy your weekend.

Carlo Riva Cotton Shirt, Red Woollen Trousers Using Holland And Sherry Cloth

The Australian summer 2012/2013 - a pop over and red pants combination
This is my latest adventure. Red pants and a tartan pop over shirt with navy loafers. It's a little unorthodox but the Carlo Riva fabric is light and airy and the pants were a stark contrast. It's hot, so you can't wear a tie.  The pop-over with the grandpa collar is the easiest alternative when it starts to get muggy and you don't want to wear a t-shirt. As for the red pants - well, they're made of Holland & Sherry wool and they could not be cooler despite the heat.

If Woody Allen Were To Die I Would Weep Like A Child

Oppenheimer the other night said 'did you listen to the soundtrack to Midnight In Paris?' and I hadn't. The music began and I was transported through all the nostalgia of Woody Allen's films from Radio Days to Annie Hall, The Purple Rose Of Cairo, Everybody Says I Love You, Hannah and Her Sisters, Whatever Works and on and on, the clarinet of Sidney Bechet just drifting you through the annals of his masterful film making and I almost wept like a child. Nobody can capture nostalgia like Woody Allen. When I first watched Annie Hall I was studying for my HSC exams and I switched off from my English studies to turn on the television. Diane Keaton and Woody Allen were walking through the sandy heaths of Long Island and I just fell in love with it instantaneously. The dialogue, the characters, the flow. In one small moment I became a lifelong disciple. I then told Oppenheimer about it and subsequently that is just about all we do with our lives now - wait for the next Woody Allen film and talk about his body of work so far.

Incidentally, the film below is close to my heart. In 2007 I spent 4 months in Paris and during that time I struck up a friendship with Owen Wilson who at the time was hanging out in Paris. I had the pleasure of cycling around Paris with Owen, going to jazz clubs, nightclubs and I believe I was the first person to take him to the Brasserie Lipp. I probably remember a lot more of it than old Owen, but nevertheless, when this film came out I could not help but feel that I had somehow played my own part in it. Enjoy the music of Sidney Bechet below and don't be ashamed if you too weep like a child recalling fondly all the memories of the cinema of Woody Allen and entwining them with your own experiences.

To read more about Sidney Bechet, click here

PS: Si tu vois ma mere - translates to 'if you see my mother' - how Woody!!!

Corporate And Uniform Bow Ties

Okay, so we rarely do corporate work but these just came off the work bench and I think they are incredibly fun. The team behind this business was after something 'fruity' and fun for their staff in a high end juice bar environment. In the end we had to re-design our existing tie your own bows to try and make them look as tied your own as a a pre-tied could look. It would have been nicer to get them to tie their own, but as  the owner of the business rightly said, the staff were still finding their feet, to ask them to learn how to tie a bow tie might be a bit much at this stage. Do you like these bows? You can enquire for something similar on 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Send someone a very special gift this festive season, one which they can't get anywhere else.
We, and when I say we I mean my lady and I (do I write 'me' here or is it 'I' ?), are off to New York for Christmas. I am off to stay with an old friend from Paris who moved back home to Manhattan post the GFC and then I am off to explore Vermont for a couple of days to see whether I can bear the cold. It has been a terrific year for us, one which we owe completely to our customers who give us a mandate to continue our work by buying our products.

This year our customers have come from the Ukraine, Germany, Belgium, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Brazil, USA, Mexico, China, Canada, South Korea, Italy, France, Spain, Colombia and many more countries that I cannot remember off the top of my head. And then of course, my fellow Australians. To all our customers I say a very big THANK YOU.

During the course of this year we have expanded our product range, our silk suppliers, we've developed new products, challenged what can be done in a Sydney workroom, taken a quilting course, learnt how to embroider, discussed many sartorial topics with Dom Knight on ABC 702 and kept a blog about it the entire year. If anyone had ever told me that business could be exciting  I would have told them that they had rocks in their head. When I was a young man I worked in a newsagency and all I did in the morning was take the money for the newspaper and hand back the change. I vowed that I would never want to work in the realm of retail... but as the business grows, I think perhaps this might in fact be on the agenda for 2013.

Have a merry merry Christmas and we look forward to hearing from you in 2013 if not before.


Monday, November 26, 2012

My Girlfriend's Christmas Pillow

In order to appreciate this image you would probably need to expand it. This is the culmination of my new skill set having taken my stitching classes for two weeks. I cut by hand the rectangular repps silk (the best stuff for bow ties but now it has a new application) and then I used my new sewing machine to work the panels together. Tie silk is very hard to manipulate and having now worked with the sewing machine a bit more I have a new found appreciation for the workmanship that we do get out of our workroom. My number one seamstress, Linda, is often complaining about working with some of my new and fancier designs for bow ties and from here on in I might lay off a little. It really is difficult to get silks to work on squares, so you can imagine the difficult in getting concave and convex shapes right. To finish the pillow off, which took me a good forty five minutes to stuff, I hand sewed my girl's first initial into the bottom right and then finished off by hand stitching the label into the top right corner. It is the final cushion in a string of practice cushions I did over the weekend which became gifts for unsuspecting recipients. Were they happy? Yes, I think so, and what is more, a pillow is a nice gift for a girl so she can appreciate our silks without having to wear a tie.

The Simple Tricks Are Often The Most Useful - Sewing A Straight Running Stitch

I was having a lot of trouble sewing straight. I didn't come from a sewing background and I have had to learn everything I know all on my own. The other day whilst stopping in to see my tailors -who have created nearly all my custom made silk and wool jackets and have been so supportive no matter how ridiculous my ambitions - I was given a short lesson on how to sew a straight running stitch using a needle and a thread alone. Below I present to you old blue eyes, Frank the tailor.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Xmas Ensembles At Claude Sebastian, Martin Place, Sydney

Admittedly, I have never been a fan of the name Claude Sebastian, it sounds a little flowery and faux francaise for my liking but it apparently has a story which revolved around some dandy wandering around the  streets of Paris. However, it was Claude Sebastian that gave me my first break a few years ago when the buyer, a Persian named Sassi Jazani, after initially dismissing my idea that 'bow ties were coming back', took one of my velvet mayfair bow ties out of my hand and said 'Now that's a bow tie!'. Over three years I have watched them work slowly to build up the brand and it's placement inside the store. On Friday I popped in to see what looks they were running for Christmas. It was a pleasant surprise see that we were on every second mannequin and nestled amongst the Paul Smith and Valentino. Not bad for a kid with not one iota of fashion or textiles knowledge three years ago.

The first bow tie we sold Claude Sebastian - a velvet mayfair

Our silk grenadine ties

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fresh Off The Press - New Carlo Riva Cotton Shirts

I had no idea that a roll of fabric that is wound on a piece of timber is called a 'bolt' but you learn something new every day and occasionally I get an email from the oracle of menswear, Will Boehlke of A Suitable Wardrobe. It was a rejection of an invitation to purchase a length of my Carlo Riva fabric from me. His response was 'that's okay, if I need some, I will just order my own bolt' and then I quizzed him on it and his response sounded like 'Kid, you got a long way to go'. I sure do. Every day I learn something new in this game and the knowledge levels are like layers to an onion. You penetrate one level, then you have a thirst for the next layer and so on.

In the meantime, enjoy what we have put into play with our recent Carlo Riva bolts.
Blue white stripe voile with curved cutaway collar and band detail
Tartan yellow blue and white voile with grandpa collar on a pop-over shirt

If You Were To Give Something Different For Christmas... I'd Choose This

If you were to give one gift this Christmas that was different, and really, I do not need to sell this because they will no doubt be sold out in two weeks, but if you were, I would suggest the limited edition 'Speakeasy' range of felt hats from Akubra designed by the duo of Robert Caroll and his nephew Richard Caroll of 'Strand Hatters' fame. The colours to pick, in my humble opinion, are wine (pictured below) or the navy with grey trim. Like I said,  I don't need to sell these as they will most likely be sold out soon enough, but they have just arrived and I am telling you readers so that you get to them before they are gone. Anecdotally, Akubra hats are still made in Kempsey, New South Wales, Australia - so you are supporting something home grown.

Ingmar - Something Special For The Man Who Knows His Bows

So, an anonymous person left a remark under one of my posts on velvet bow ties and he said that I ought to try doing one side in silk and one side in velvet. Unfortunately, despite our best attempts, we still cannot feed the bow through our existing clip sets. As a compromise, we've created a made to order number as a single piece bow tie. That is, black mogador silk on the one side, black silk and cotton velvet on the other. Luxurious, you can get two of the best bows out of it. Either a velvet with a silk half knot, or a silk with half velvet knot. The choice is yours. We were going to name this bow tie 'Anonymous' but then I thought of black and white films and that wonderful Swedish film maker Ingmar Bergman and I couldn't help myself. 

How could this bow tie be anonymous? 

Magnus Omme Returns To His Work

Following our successful portraits in Sydney with photographer Magnus Omme, I could not give up an opportunity to work with him again. Magnus is now on an assignment to photograph the best and most interesting people of Scandinavia featuring our bow ties. His first submission is below. Follow more of Magnus' work here.

Anchors bow tie and Leo bow tie - available through

Chefs Ola Rudin & Sebastian Persson 

After a stint exile to New York and Stockholm Ola and Sebastian have set up their base in Malmö, south of Sweden. With the world as their kitchen, they often travel to inspire and teach food lovers about the New Nordic cousine. After their first success, gourmet restaurant Trio, they are now working on their new project, Saltimporten Canteen, which is located in the new hip industrial harbour of Malmö - 

Quilting Is No Stitch And Bitch

I said to Christine Mitchell, the woman who has been really helping me the most since I started on my quilting  odyssey, that if it weren't for her I would have given up ages ago. 

If I had my time again, knowing what I know now about the art of quilting, the time it takes, the planning, the patience, the skill sets required, I would have been tools down after the first bell and never come back. It is the fact that Christine has assisted me and broken the back of some of the stages of work that has allowed me to stay with it. 

Tonight she had sewn the last of the panels together which I had sewed with her last week using a sewing machine. Tonight the process we were working on was called pinning and basting. As to what was what, I could not tell you. (I think it could be a typo. Could have been pinning in which case I now know what she meant). What I can tell you is that we were doing a running stitch to each end and then a single back stitch. We were attempting to bind together the quilt, the wadding and the backing together to prepare it for quilting (the art of sewing the layers together using a design). The class began at 6pm and went until 8pm at Hobby Sew in Ryde. To be frank, I was so slow on the hand work. Christine was zooming around me using her A game whilst I was sluggish and stabbing myself  over and over with the needle. Eventually she handed me a spoon to help me get the needle through the three layers and to prevent me from putting any more blood on the quilt. I am going to post a photo below, because it actually looks like we were getting into the Harry rather than doing any quilting. I have to be honest, if I were to do another major quilt, I might get stuck into the Harry before hand just to make the time go a little easier. 

It's not a Stitch And Bitch, it's more like a Sweat And Get Stabbed In The Finger kind of affair. At one stage Christine said 'oh, don't you complain about a little prick, wait until you get a needle up under your finger nail'. I almost fainted at the thought. 'You won't go around saying that tailors are wussies anymore'. I never did, but yes, it should be said, don't discount the number of times your tailor stabbed himself getting your suit made.

Yes I am balding, but concentrate on what I am doing with the stitch work.

A better angle

The quilt almost ready for quilting....

Not what it looks like, that spoon is there to help raise the needle so you can pull it through. No, we don't use China White at quilting. 
See my dainty fingers and be jealous. I am a man of needle and thread these days....

What Thor Wore

Thor wore a skinny batwing from Le Noeud Papillon of Sydney
Honestly, I cannot keep up with the who's who but I did notice this as I was sitting with my shirt maker the other day. He buys all the magazines when they come out to see what's happening in the world of shirts. I was shocked that we were included in the GQ shoots. For three or four years I'd gotten so stroppy every time the GQ advertising rate cards were offered to me because not once had I been featured in their magazine yet they were always asking for advertising dollars. Someone must have finally taken heed or else they couldn't find anyone else with the product. I don't mind if it's the latter either. It's just nice to know that finally they are including product from their own countrymen. So, perhaps the cold war between myself and GQ is ready to 'Thor'??? Shocking I know, but it is late at night and I am ready for bed.

Not Bad, Looks Like My Attitude Towards GQ Is About To Change...

Australian actor Richard Roxburgh wearing a black mogador silk bow tie from Le Noeud Papillon . Many of you may remember him as the patron of the Moulin Rouge, but in my eyes his greatest performance was as the cold blooded police detective Roger Rogerson in 'Blue Murder'
Nicholas Littlemore, right, wearing Le Noeud Papillon marcella bow tie.

The chap second from the right is wearing our bow tie
His name is Wayne Blair and he is wearing our Premium Black bow tie. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Fresh Custom Made Shirts Off The Press!

These just came in today for private clients in Sydney. We used a selection of Monti 200, Monti West Indian Sea Island Cotton and Canclini Lusso fabrics to create a range of predominantly white business shirts with these additional colours made as part of the client's order. As an additional detail, the client requested non contrasting initials to be placed at the centre of each cuff. If you are interested in making your own shirts, please do not hesitate to contact us here .

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It's Time To Take A Chance On The Lucky Dip!

Lucky Dip - Receive A Tie, Or A Bow Tie, Or A Scarf, Or Cufflinks Or Any Other Item From Le Noeud Papillon's Lucky Dip. Some Customers Will Receive A Lot More Than That.... It Just Depends On The Weather, On Whether, On Wherever We Are At... So, Give It A Go!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Can't Find Your Socks? Maybe We Have Them!

Fords Pharmacy Newtown and MLC Centre Sydney have brought in Bresciani socks which I will have access to and will upload onto our LNP site. It is an exciting, vibrant range of silk, cotton, cashmere, Sea Island cotton and linen socks. Colour is definitely back this summer so check out their blog and stand by for the socks to be on our own website.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Knowing When To Call A Spade A Spade

This week something happened to me which was very awkward. A customer wrote in from the United States asking after barathea as opposed to grosgrain for his bow tie. Although I had heard the name barathea used many times over, personally I had never worked with it either as a lapel on a tuxedo or else as a bow tie. It forced me to take a trip into the city to see the agent for Holland And Sherry in Sydney, Simon Rice. Simon is a wealth of knowledge on fabrics and he has master fabric books and a pair of spectacles that make you feel as though he was a textiles sorcerer and could conjure up any fabric you wanted if you had enough time. Simon put me in my place very quickly saying 'yes, there is a difference. A grosgrain is a grosgrain and barathea is a double hop....." as he said what he said I just got lost in the technical terms and switched off almost immediately. He then halted and said, 'perhaps we can get a proper definition from the Mercury'. Out came the dusty jacketed book. Simon explained that he had been given the book at the start of his career. It was dated February 1952....

In the end, because of the poor photography I took, I had to get a definition elsewhere, but here we go:

BARATHEA: 1. A silk, rayon, or manufactured fiber necktie fabric with a broken rib weave and
a characteristic pebbly appearance. 2. A fine, dress fabric with a silk warp and worsted filling, woven in a broken filling rib which completely covers the warp. 3. A smooth-faced worsted uniform cloth with an indistinct twilled basket weave of fine two-ply yarns.

GROSGRAIN: A heavy fabric with prominent ribs, grosgrain has a dressy appearance and is used in ribbons, vestments, and ceremonial cloths.

Subsequently, Simon explained that Barathea is seldom sold in anything other than wool to his knowledge (although the definition we found contradicts this statement). Who is right, who is wrong? If you have any more knowledge to shed on the subject, please leave a comment below.

In the meantime, I shall share with you an excerpt from that dusty book on the definition of 'natte' silk and below you will also see that Holland And Sherry is in the papers with respect to the Prince Of Wales' recent visit to Australia to see sheep on a farm.

A piece of textiles history - the 1950 production of the Mercury Dictionary Of Textile Terms

Recently, you may have seen we have begun offering natte silk. The definition of this silk is listed above.

Above: Prince Charles prefers to take a pint wearing an Anderson and Shephard suit made from Holland & Sherry fine merino wool. He was spending the day seeing where the sheep come from that make his fine suits. 

A New Ensemble For Polo In The Park

It was my first time at the Polo in Centennial Park hosted by Paspaley Pearls. The event is one that is marked as one of 'the' social events of the Sydney calendar. Personally, I am never invited to these things - although being very social I usually work much smaller crowds. For this particular event I was lucky enough for the delivery date of a jacket I was working on to coincide with the impromptu invitation I received. What many people did not recognise; as I stood sipping white wine in a pink herringbone Hunt & Winterbotham fabric from Imperial Textiles, a Carlo Riva fabric french fly shirt with club cuff, a pair of Graz sunglasses, a new Le Noeud Papillon bow tie and a missing pocket square from Zimma Tailors that someone had pinched about two minutes earlier and had promised to come back with it..... was that the bulk of the work that got me there was done by this man below in a hot back room somewhere near Leichhardt. His name is Vito and if it weren't for his ability to press a jacket, I would not have been quite as well received on the day. As a side note, notice the titty girl in the top left corner. If his name didn't indicate that he was Italian, then the poster girl ought to have sealed the deal.

And at the end of the day, as I left the park, a tweet came through from Vox Sartoria. It was the final feather in my cap for a great day. I have reproduced it below.

From @Voxsartoria
 "You make great're the 21st century Charvet. "

Friday, November 16, 2012

Perspiration Continued...

A 9cm hand-folded, all made by hand except for the tipping stitches. Folded 6 times and slip stitched with a red contrast stitch with a hanging loop at the end. If it couldn't be made in Australia - now it can be!

It Is As Einstein Said - It's 98% Perspiration

For nearly four years now we have been slowly working at making ties that were of a superior quality to what was available in Australia from local production rooms. Together with the help of a good friend and mentor we scoured the web, wholesale manufacturers, wholesalers of textiles and interlinings, thread shops, haberdashers, and the local library to work out how on earth it was that we could make a tie as good as what was coming out of Italy. We will continue to make our ties in Italy. The reason is that they are still the best quality and when you evaluate the time and quantity of silk it takes to make one tie properly by hand and machine in Australia, it still pays us to produce ties in Italy. These two ties above, though, are the culmination of interlinings that have come from Holland, Australia, Korea and China, of threads from Germany, England and Japan. Of silks which have come from Vietnam, China and now solely from Italy. It was a journey which started with a firm response from the owner of one workroom in Sydney circa  January 2009 who said to me when I approached him 'It can't be done, I tell you! Certainly not that you would be able to make any money from it'. He may be right about the latter part, but I can assure you that we have done something different here today and it is shown in the bottom left corner where it clearly says 'Made In Australia'. 

Say Hello To My Little Friends!

New bows have just come off the workroom today - - The finest of bow ties, made right here in Sydney, Australia

Good news!!!

We have just taken delivery of our new range of ties which we will post to the website today. Simple, elegant and extremely well-crafted, some are made entirely by hand whilst others are a combination of hand and machine. At the same time, today we will be releasing the first bows from our new silks which came from the same looming company which made our Carlo Riva cottons. It is an exciting day. Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Quilting And The Stitch And Bitch

Some of you who may have heard our ABC Evenings 702 interview with Dominic Knight will know that I have undertaken a quilting course in order to make use of the left over cuts of silk from our bow tie production. It seemed a real shame to see these silks just sitting there in storage. 

The whole idea to use the off cuts of silk for quilting had been brewing in my mind for some time. However, it was not until a caller dialled into the talk back radio show that I found myself in the direct pursuit of my goal. 

At my regular Friday lunch, I announced to my friends, amongst whom were venture capitalists, lawyers and merger-acquisition specialists, that I was not going to make lunch over the coming weeks because I was attending a quilting course. After spitting out their water, one of the group grabbed his iPhone and did some googling. He then said 'there is a word for it.... It's called the Stitch N Bitch. You're leaving us for a Stitch N Bitch'. The name, I was told, had been around since World War II and effectively described what went on when women got together to stitch. I didn't care, because at the end of it I would have a quilt and new skills in stitching. And, before you laugh too, don't! I am not alone. More and more men are taking up the hobby of sewing quilts - especially, I am told, in the United States.

Quilting is a textiles art form of bonding a number of layers of fabric through stitch work. The word quilting comes from the Latin word ‘culcita’ which means a large stuffed sack. But it was the French that brought it into its modern word by using the word ‘cuilte’ during the middle ages. 

The earliest known example of quilting is from an ivory carved figure of a Pharaoh circa 3400BC – The Egyptian First Dynasty. In 1924 archaeologists uncovered a quilted floor in Mongolia which dates back to 100BC and the Crusaders brought back quilts from the middle east in the 11th Century. 

Quilting is the art of sewing patchwork and/or panels of fabric together and then bonding them by sewing two or more layers of fabric together. The top layer can be more than one layer of fabric sewn together to give texture and depth of field; or else to include the layers of patchwork within each panel.

The three layers are generally made up of the following: a top layer of fabric which includes the ornate patchwork. A middle later made up of batting or wadding. And, the third layer, made up of a backing fabric. 

The two top layers can be sewn together in a pattern, offering the quilter a chance to express their stitch work, not only in the panels of the quilt, but also in the quilting stitches which brings the layers together. (An example of this can be seen behind me on the wall of the studio where I am working).

As a rule of thumb, the quilter will often follow a geometric pattern in order to be able to stitch the various panels together. A more experienced quilter will show off their skills by engaging in more curved stitching and more intricate shapes and patterns. The quilting can either be done by hand or else by machine.

Much of the quilting we see in home maker books shows off patchwork quilting. Patchwork quilting is using small motifs such as teddy bears, cars, or fruits, to show off the hand-stitching or applique ability of the quilter. It is usually more ornate and requires more planning and panel work than a basic quilt.

Before we continue, I must say a big thank you to Hobby Sew ( ). These amazing stores are what is in part keeping quilting alive. They provide a great atmosphere in which people can gather and exchange ideas whilst at the same time purchase all the bits and pieces they need to sew their quilt together. 

During my first lesson I met a number of characters who all had the most pleasant way about them and being women, they were more than happy to share tips and techniques. It was nice, because had it been a male dominated environment, perhaps there might have been a lot more competitiveness. After twenty minutes of cutting I was already getting bored. I turned to one of the other ladies and asked her how she did it.

“When dinner is over, I just sit and sew. I have a family. But, you know, you just get in the zone. “

Indeed, you do just get into the zone. Like swimming or running, once you get into the habit of repetition you can just zone out and follow the ritual until you look back and marvel at how much you have done. For me, I decided to cheat a little. After having cut 81 squares of 10 inches for my quilt I decided to farm out some of my work. Thanks to Christine I was able to complete my first row by sewing machine all-by-myself and now she and I will finish this together in order to speed up the work. The final stage, once it has all been merged together, is to quilt butterflies into the silk on the top layer. More about that when it comes to fruition.

If you would like to see what serious quilting looks like, take a look at Siobhan Rogers' blogspot page where she documents her work and progress. Siobhan is often featured in magazines and is an Australian authority on quilting.

I asked Siobhan when we started 'Is it a duvet?'. Her response was that it is more decorative than a duvet in function but that when she creates her summer bedding for the home, she places one top sheet and then the quilt and stores the duvet. On that basis, I am going to use a quilt as my duvet this Australian summer so that my girlfriend can sing Madonna's 'Dress You Up' to me with some relevance.

To be continued.....

Sewing the 81 individual pieces together in lines of 9. I am not great on the sewing machine but I am getting better!

The first line completed. 9 10inch squares of jacquard woven Italian silks, four of the designs which are exclusive LNP weaves.  Whilst not cheating, I have employed the talents of Christine to help me complete the remaining 8 rows.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thank Heavens The US Presidential Election Is Over

For me, given that I reside in Australia and I am an Australian citizen, which candidate won the US election did not affect me greatly although I have the left leanings of a champagne socialist. What I did pray for was that the elections would be over quickly. I can still remember the heightened suspense of the vote counting between Gore and Bush. It went on for days and the world could not get on with anything until they found a winner.

However, this post is not about left or right leanings, it is about anthems. One thing that America has over most other nations in the world is the wonderful 'Star Spangled Banner' (AKA The Defence Of Fort Henry). The reason I love the Star Spangled Banner is it has relevance to the American ethos. There are themes such as stoicism under pressure, never giving up, fighting for your beliefs and being brave and free. It was about the Americans standing up to the British to have their own identity, to be free of oppression, to stand tall and proud and independent. These are things which we also believe in Australia, but we somehow wound up with Advance Australia Fair..... To exemplify the difference between the two, here are the first stanzas of each:

Australians all let us rejoice
For we are young and free
We've golden soil and wealth for toil,
Our home is girt by sea:
Our land abounds in nature's gifts
Of beauty rich and rare,
In history's page let every stage
Advance Australia fair,
In joyful strains then let us sing
Advance Australia fair.

Now let's hear from the Americans.....

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Based on these two stanzas, which of the two countries would you be willing to give your life's blood for?

Now let us turn to the famous renditions. Which one do you prefer?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Just In.... Saxon.. A New Limited Edition Silk From Le Noeud Papillon

Believe it or not, that is a cream thread contrast with a midnight blue warp. It is quite the eye catching bow tie. It is about to go live on .

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Christmas Closing Dates 2012/2013

Dear Customers,

Re: Christmas Closure Dates

We shall be closing up the website from approximately the 8th December 2012 until mid January 2013. All orders received between these dates will be processed after the 15th January. Please be advised that we are available to be contacted via our contact page during this period, however, we may take a day or two to get back to you.

Things Just Took A Turn For The Better....

I just stumbled onto this whilst on Facebook. It seems to have come from the Dandy Portraits facebook feed. If true, it is a game changer for me. If the President can wear a bow tie, so can you!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Quilting - How To Use Up Left Over Fabric

The problem with designing limited edition silks is that you get stuck with fabric if one design is not as successful as the next one. Over time you fold them neatly into storage containers and hope that they will become of use to you at some later stage in a new application. I decided recently that I wished to reduce the amount of silk I was storing. I cannot sell the silk, because then someone else would turn them into papillons and I would be out of business. I cannot turn them all into ties because the silks were mostly designed for bow ties, not ties. So finally I decided to turn them into a quilt. The journey thus far has been riveting. I never thought joining a quilting course could be so much fun. So far I have also managed not to cut myself - touch wood. As I progress I am going to share with you the pivotal moments. Below is stage one, cutting the silks into squares from which we will base our pattern. Two below is the finishing stages of a woman who has spent almost a year on designing and fabricating her quilt. A big thank you to the people at Hobby Sew for taking me on and to Siobhan Rogers of for taking me under her wing.

Initial design stage - after cutting out 81 pieces of silk we are attempting to create a pattern for the squares in our silk. There will be no patchwork (the patterns created on each panel eg: a teddy bear), instead, we will be relying on the individual patterns of the woven silk to bring out texture and colour. Copyright Le Noeud Papillon Sydney 2012

The lady who has completed this cotton quilt has spent up to twelve months working on this project and another  until she has reached the final stages of creating a border. The quilt is made from cotton fabric stitched down to a second later of polyester or cotton wadding. The estimated time it took to make this quilt is approximately 520 hours.

Just In, Silk Grenadine Neckties

We will load them up over the coming days onto the website. These are made in Como using Italian grenadine. I particularly like the red tie.

What's Coming In The November 2012 Silk Collection!

These landed in Sydney on Friday. Amongst them are some of the nicest repps silks we have purchased. The silks come from the same production house which makes Carlo Riva cotton. Some of you will have seen the short piece we wrote after meeting with the founder and owner of the company, Dr. Ottaviano Mantero. Dr. Otto was passionate about his cloths and his work in cotton is unrivalled. These silks will go into production in the coming weeks and should be available towards the latter part of November. Stay tuned.

This navy silk has a wonderful handle and finish. It is something very unique.