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  • Writer's pictureJ.M.

Bristol Badge-making

Had a lovely weekend in Bristol, where I found two beta testers for my badge-making later this week...

Young man sewing a cloth badge, with a  close up of sewing hands

I had the idea on the Climate Strike, a few weeks ago. The Extinction Rebellion were stamping bits of cloth or marchers' t-shirts/bags/anything. Perhaps it was a little more time consuming than slapping a sticker on a lapel but much more beautiful. Plus, one of the characters in The Wonder Girls has a tailoring background, so sewing badges seemed more appropriate. Plus plus, I love sewing!

So I went to Powerpoint, cobbled together some artwork based on the The Wonder Girls title font and from the English Stamp Company, ordered a stamp.

A wooden 'W' stamp

On Saturday morning, while the technical support was sorting out the van, I hurriedly stamped up a bit of pre-washed calico and ironed it under a cloth to fix. I gathered a bundle of embroidery threads, some 'rocaille' beads bought on a hobby craft sale binge a few years ago, and my emergency sewing box.

two sample fabric badges, one coloured in with fabric pens, the other embroidered with simple running stitches but also decorated with tiny glass beads

I did the quick and easy badge there and then while the iron was still hot enough to fix the fabric pen. The embroidered version is really easy too, I like the texture of the running stitches. Sewing on the rocaille beads is fiddly but not impossible - just right for anyone who likes a challenge.

I'm thinking of these as secret badges, a bit subversive, under the lapel or inside your jacket badges. My gang does live in a camouflaged hideout after all. You can pin them on or more permanently, stitch them on...

series of 3 pictures showing how a fabric badge may be, sewn on, hidden under a ljacket lapel

Quote from beta testers, Sam and Holly, 'I'm really enjoying this.' Phew - result! And I love it when an idea goes out into the world then comes back so much more than I first imagined...

Young man and young woman, showing off their finished badges

a montage of 3 pictures showing young man and young woman wearing their badges loud and proud i.e. not hidden under a lapel, with two more shots of Bristol harbourside

I'm really looking forward to doing some more badges at the end of the week!

Here are the details. It's a drop-in between 3:30 and 5:30pm and it's free but hopefully it will sell some books and gather more readers.

The idea is easily adaptable for any ability; it's impossible to go wrong.

Remember, it's never a mistake, always a design feature!

So if you're in Southampton after school on Thursday or Friday 17 or 18 October - come along to October Books, make a badge and join the gang!

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My mum used to get me to beta test stuffing teddy bears! Great to have a supportive family and what a great book you have written, Jan.

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