Sunday, February 23, 2014

Linen and lace scarf and the old bed cover

Last week, I was at one of my favorite second hand stores. In the bin of damaged vintage linens was a hand made white cotton filet lace bed cover. Once well loved and used, now relegated to the damaged bin at the second hand store. I love this type of find. Damaged means free license to cut up and repurpose.

For this repurpose, I went to Pinterest and in my "I could make this" folder was this scarf:
The scarf is from a French blog called Petites Choses. Here is the original blog from 2012. I love the look, but pulling off this type of scarf takes the right type of fringe and  vintage lace.
Also in the same Pinterest folder is this scarf:
It is from a blog called stylewip, click here to see the original blog post from 2009. Again, the same idea, this time a solid cashmere knit for the scarf with lace used at both ends. This one is beautiful as well and is more do-able from a lace prospectus. At the same time less texturally interesting from the lace point of view than the first one. 

Armed with ideas, it was time to wait for the right lace to fall into my stash. The right type of lace could be those vintage covers they used to put on the back and arms of chairs to keep the dirt off the chair's fabric. Easy to find in US antique shops. the problem is I am not in the United States and evidentially the French made the type to protect where the head hits the chair, but I have never found the part that covers the arms. At the second hand store I found something that would work in the vintage linen damaged bin
Now to my scarf... Here was my starting point: On the bottom is the bed cover:
Folded on top of that is a meter of loosely woven linen, I picked up in Paris, in a nice antique light brown color and on top of the linen is a box of threads and yarns I might be able to use.
The loosely woven linen would normally be used in curtains but, if washed turns soft and very useable for a scarf. The threads and yards have been bought at various yard sales and flea markets. All different weights of threads in linen, cotton and silk,
Now for the construction of the scarf. The width of the scarf is 27 cm (10.5 inches). The width was determined by the repeat size of the pattern of the fringed portion of the bed cover. The length of the filet piece without the fringe is 33cm (13inches) and the linen is one meter long (40 inches). The seam joining the linen and filet is flat felled so that the seam is finished from both sides. The sides were finished with a serger and then turned 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) and top stitched.

Love that #10 foot Edge Foot...but I digress... Talk about easy!
Did I mention the pattern on the edges of the bed cover are butterflies? I love butterflies in lace.

It would be done, except, the original fringe on the scarf edges looked shabby.
I know, I know, shabby chic is in, but this was just too shabby for my taste. It was knotted badly due to many washing and was just plain, well shabby.
I wanted something a little more elegant. Enter in all of those threads in the box. I picked out a variety in colors from white to brown that would blend together.
I even used the warp off of the loose woven linen fabric since it had a nice kinky thread effect.
Blending threads give such texture to any project. Proof of my texture statement is below once the shabby knotted portion was removed and replaced the multiple thread knotted fringe. The shortest fringe is around 8cm (3 inches), the longest is about 11cm (almost 4 inches)

So now all that is left is a picture of the final product:
I am very much liking this one. Just in case I need some quick gifts, I can make 3 more just like it assuming I have enough threads for the fringe.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Winner is...and Sharing My Lastest Second Hand Store Finds

First things first, I want to thank Vickie over at 2bagsfull for hosting this event. My number of followers has tripled. I like to hope that I will always have more followers than entries into my blog and now I have enough to last me, at the rate I post, well over 2 years. Thank you all for deciding to follow me. I hope you will not be disappointed in my output. I responded to many of you by going to your blog over the last couple of weeks. Life is very busy right now that when I have time to myself, it is creating something not reading things on line. Please keep commenting and don't feel like I am slighting you by not responding I enjoy reading everything you have to say.

Now for the second item. has spoken. There were 108 entries and the winner is ... Lynn Cockrell. I will try to contact you, but if for some reason I can not. please email me at I need an address so that your scissors will no longer be naked! 

Through the Grow Your Blog event, I have made the acquaintance of wonderful people who have blogs all over the world. One particularly I am getting the greatest hoot out of reading is the blog from Second Hand Rose.
I love the idea of photographing things in a second hand store. One has to wonder why someone bought some of this stuff the first time let along buying it a second. I could do the same in France. It is the same trash only different in some ways.
Last week I had visitors staying with me who wanted to visit one of the stores. Sometimes it is an expensive visit for me, sometimes not. This was an expensive visit. I always head for the room with the old linens, jewelry and funky clothing. Once again I passed up buying the 2 weasels biting each other's tail that is supposed to be worn as a scarf. No picture, sorry, I forgot. One day, one day, I will buy one, just not that day. There is a different one every visit. I think every French family must have one in their attic. What I did spend my Euros on instead was lace bits and vintage rayon ribbon:
A beautiful window curtain (bottom) and bed cover(top):
The bed cover has a little damage, but it was too pretty to pass and not buy. I had a hard time opening it since it was so musty smelling. I could see the dust rise from it as it was unfolded.  Even the sales lady had a problem when she unfolded it later. A trip in the washing machine and now it is shades lighter and so much better smelling.

In the front room I found a small Limoges trinket box:
Limoges as you might know gets the Limoges stamp from the name of the town it is produced not from a particular manufacturer. Just like Champagne having to come from the Champagne region of France, a Limoges item has to come from Limoges.
Here is a link to a website where there is a list many of the manufactures and what the stamp looked like from each company with years the stamps were used. I have been through all of the pages looking for my stamp and it is not there.

There is one that is close and it fits to what I would expect. The maker may be Louis Constant, Here is his stamp:

I have no signature on my box, but the Limoges France stamp is identical. If it is Louis Constant, I have no further information on him. He was a D√©corateur. I could find no years of when his company operated.

My box is not of high quality, by any stretch, and was incredibility dirty.  I suppose it was mass produced in some way, although I have a hard time thinking that this church sold that many of them. I fell for the painting on the lid. It is a drawing of the Notre Dame Church in Melun France. It says so on the side of the box:

I have been to this church and this town. I am sure it was sold just like the metal religious trinkets I buy and use for my many sewing projects by the church by its little shop, normally located in a corner inside the church. Since it is a trinket box, it is going to house my church trinkets and whatever else I might have in trinket form that needs a place to reside.

If anyone finds out further information on this box let me know. I would love to try to date it.  If I were to guess, I would put it around 1950 due to the attic storage it must have gone through (aged dirt on it and lack of ease in dirt removal). One never knows. I have never seen boxes like these sold at any of the churches I have been in since moving here to France.

Thanks again for reading and if you are, following my blog.

This week I am linking with We Call it Junkin'

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Linen and Lace Scarf

I don't know about you, but I look for inspiration for my projects everywhere. Recently I found two scarves made out of linen and lace on Pinterest. Of course I pinned them. As I was looking through my pictures the other day...

Oh, here they are:
From Lila pain d'épices' blog. I had a heck of a time tracing it back from the picture on Pinterest, I found the blog, but not the scarf. It is there somewhere.

The second inspiration is from Everyday Art design on Etsy and is a scarf made entirely out of  doilies. This one was easy to trace back to the source.
These two pictures made me start to think how I would make this sort of scarf.

I found a selection of linens folded neatly in my sewing room.  I cut them on grain and starched them so that the scarf would not go wonky on me as I was sewing it.

I pulled out of my stash my boxes doilies and lace bits. Here is a picture of what it looks like while I am messing up my sewing area creating. The box is full of lace bits, vintage pieces of lace that are less than a meter (yard) long. The hat box in the back is filled with doilies of all shapes and sizes. It is overflowing right now as I ran into a really good sale on them recently. You can see some of them next to the lace bit box in the dark round hat box.

The scarf construction was basic and pretty straight forward to do. The total length of the scarf when all linen pieces are sewn together is approximately 66 inches. The width was cut to 12 1/2 inches.

I liked the idea of the scarf done by Lili pain d'√©pices (love it. lili gingerbread,or as close as you can get to gingerbread in France. Yummy with fois gras),  but I wanted something more between the two inspirations. I wanted to use doilies like Everyday Art Design did, but not make the scarf completely out of doilies. Although, looking at that hat box, quite obviously I could.

I sewed the ecru handkerchief linen to the plaid linen at a 45 degree angle. Only having a fat quarter of the polka dot linen, it was cut straight. The seams are all flat felled so that there is no "wrong" side as far as the seams go. Using a serger, All sides of the scarf were then serged, awaiting the finishing of the edge seams.

The flat felled seams needed lace bits to help the transition to the next fabric. The bottom fringe is a little over 4 inch wide. None of the lace pieces are the same in ether size or color except for the "fringe", but even that is a little different at each end, really nothing quite matches adding interest to the overall look.

Now that all the lace bits and fringe were sewn on, it was time to complete the side seams by folding them over one more time and top stitching. Finished width is 12 inches. The lace bits were sewn into the final side seams and trimmed at this point.
Now for the doilies, here is picture of trying out different options:

After trying it on, anything in the ecru linen would not show when the scarf is worn so why waste the doilies?

The doilies were hand sewn on using an 80 wt thread. Finally it was complete and here it is:

Here are two ways it could be worn.

Now, there are two other scarves I found on Pinterest, I want to make something similar...Stay tuned.