Pure Baltic man: Parakeets, a little Linton and perfect weekends

This past weekend, we scooped up our besties to take Lynsay on a belated birthday ROADTRIP. Because you know we love a roadtrip!

The destination? The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead. The reason? A workshop and talk from the legends behind Tatty Devine.

And it was awesome.

Fangirling with Tatty Devine founders, Harriet and Rosie

Yeah, this happened. We fangirled out and got a pic with Harriet (left) and Rosie (right), founders of Tatty Devine.

Not to put too fine a point on it, I LOVE Tatty Devine. To me, shiny plastic beats a diamond. Lynsay and I have gifted each other a bunch of their stuff – I won’t gush too much, but if you want to hear about it this episode of Those Gals has it covered.

We made a parakeet necklace. It’s mirrored perspex, making up a delicate bird. Luckily, all the pieces were pre-cut so our job was to put them together with jump rings and a chain. It was trickier than it looked.

Tatty Devine workshop tools - pliers, layout and perspex pieces

The workshop was a lot of fun. The Tatty Devine founders and staff were on hand to help us out and make sure everyone was happily working away. And it was great meeting other fans and sharing some of our Tatty love!

I was pretty sure all was going well (and even doing a little Periscope with Lynsay (and Harriet!!) while working away) when I noticed that I’d got two sets of wings the total wrong way round. Oops. That’s what I get for not paying attention.

I was able to fix things and get it finished just in time – thanks to the patience of the girls running the workshop.

I’m pretty pleased with the finished product.

Tatty Devine parakeet necklace

I call him SHINY

We went on to Harriet and Rosie’s talk, which summed up the history of their friendship and company – the two go hand in hand. I loved hearing about their antics planning Pulp-themed end-of-year parties for work, being approached by Vogue staffers and creating their first collection in two days, always saying Yes, jaunting over to Paris on the Eurostar for charms (‘Because there wasn’t an Etsy in those days to order them!’) and having raucous parades through London to move all their stuff from one shop to the next.

Their story is an inspiration, because it’s all about the power of creating things out of love, imagination and excitement. They talked about how fun it is to make the things in their minds into reality – definitely something that anyone who loves making things can relate to.

Which brings me to… my new jacket! After all, you can’t meet Tatty Devine in any old clothes. I wore my new neon roses dress but I needed something warm on top to fight off the slight October chill on the Tyne.

Elaine and Lynsay at Baltic

Baltic neon pals ❤

Yay, Linton!

Luckily, I had some Linton Tweed hiding. This wasn’t supposed to be a jacket for me – it was intended for a plan I’d set aside. But I’d recently been looking for some black fabric to make a smart jacket when I realised I could just use it and save some cash and make something beautiful.

It’s a heavy tweed with a bit of a shine. As always with black fabric, it’s tricky to photograph so here’s a wee close-up.

Simplicity 1688 in Linton Tweed

Mmm, tweed.

I got this in the bargain rack, natch – the main reason I love to visit Linton, even if it does mean a jaunt to Carlisle. It was one of the £15 skirt cuts which are the ends of lines. Just enough for a short jacket!

There’s lots of things to love about Baltic, and one is the outdoor viewing terrace which makes a lovely photo spot when you have a new jacket to show off.

Simplicity 1688 in Linton Tweed at Baltic, Newcastle

You might notice this is a little familiar. So yeah, I’ve become a little obsessed with Simplicity 1688. It’s just such a neat little pattern, and it shows off fabric so nicely. I needed a simple jacket to throw on over a dress like this, to go with trousers or jeans, and to do as workwear.

Simplicity 1688 in Linton Tweed at Baltic, Newcastle

This time, I added the bottom border to the jacket so it’s the full length.
I changed up the sleeves a little, widening them towards the bottom and keeping them elbow-length.

Simplicity 1688 in Linton Tweed at Baltic, Newcastle

I think it’s going to be a good addition to my wardrobe, and the tweed is nice and snuggly which is great for this kind of weather. Plus, I’ll never turn down a little more Linton in my wardrobe.

Exploring Newcastle

After a truly fabulous day, we had a good wander round Newcastle. It’s actually my second trip there in so many months, and it’s a lovely city to spend time in. The only issue is that I haven’t found any fabric stores there yet! Any tips?

Naturally we got a bit snap-happy, so here are some roadtrip pics for anyone still reading!

All Type No Face, Newcastle graffiti

Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle

Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle

Baltic Kitchen milkshakes, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle

Nighttime views in Newcastle - Gateshead Millennium Bridge

We love a lift selfie.

Victorian tile flooring at Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle

Scrabble at the Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle


We tore back up the road on Monday through the driving rain, belting out some terrible but enjoyable 90s pop. Totally Tatty Weekend – totally awesome.


3 responses to “Pure Baltic man: Parakeets, a little Linton and perfect weekends

  1. What a fab weekend you had. Love the print on your dress. The Baltic gallery is one of those favourites! It’s been a while since I was there though. Merry Christmas Hols

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