Friday, September 26, 2014

Filet Embroidery Block Bag

Remember this picture? 
First off this piece is Embroidered Filet, nays left me a comment and is absolutely correct. I have always wondered what type of lace the background table cloth piece to my blog was called. No one has been able to tell me until now. What it is in French, I have no idea.  Thanks nays!

Remember this picture? 

For the picture I pulled out all of the things from my stash I thought I might be able to use to make a bag. 

The only damaged part to the filet block was that one of the threads had broken near the center. It was an easy repair. 

Here is what I made with that block.  Here is the front of the bag:
After completing the bag, It was missing something. It needed Bling! The little metal studs adds a nice subtle bling to the bag.

The back was left simple and uses on of the pockets off of the back of the jeans. The vintage lace, out of my stash, just felt like it did all the talking and did not want anything else competing with it. 

Honestly, I tried out so many things out of the box in the top right of the second picture. Nothing worked and I kept going back to leaving it plain. Of course, not quite plain, a tiny bit of bling was added on the pocket corners.

For the inside, a zipper was added to the top, about 1 inch down to hold everything in the bag.
Unzipping the top zipper, inside is a linen blend fabric lining with a pocket and pen holder on one side and a zippered compartment on the other.  
For the handle, the waist band was used, stabilized on the inside using the blue webbing shown in the second picture above. Lastly, a belt loop was used to hold the hardware
It's a fun bag.

This week I am linking up with Shabby Art Boutique for Shabbilicious Friday Link Party

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Flea market finds

A week ago, one of the neighborhoods nearby had its yearly flea market. The flea market filled the medieval streets, restaurants had open doors with  "Flea Market" food specials. Outdoor seating was set up to invite people to sit and eat when they took a break from all the shopping.

Some people hate flea markets, other people love them. I am in the love category. I find it interesting what people have in their basements and attics. To walk through a flea market is like walking through the past, or through a dump, depending on the items for sale.

I am always on the lookout for lace or linen items. At these types of markets, I always find a little something. The one this past weekend was not disappointing.

 Here is my take from the market:

I don't often buy colored embroidery. Why? Well, most of the time it is stained and those stains, from experience, are hard to remove. The one on the left was beautifully embroidered and had no stains. It helped greatly that they were literally giving it away. The crochet table cloth underneath it is damaged. Damaged equates to me as permission to cut it apart for use in something else. After washing and pressing, it is in otherwise good shape and was made with cotton so it will take dying quite well.

On the upper right is a bundle of hand french knotted ribbon. 
I will find a good use for that. When I find this type of thing, I buy it. I can not imagine the boredom of the person who made this. Meters (yards) of french knots. just amazing! In the picture both the front and the back can be seen. Beautiful workwomanship.

In the center is the piece that just fascinated me. Helpful was the price, but I would have bought it for twice the price without a second thought.

The piece, I thought, was what was removed from the bottom from a curtain. When I got it home I found out it was a religious piece from the alter of a church. Clearly on the left two of the religious blocks can be seen.
The piece is almost  5 1/2 meters ( 6 feet) it is entirely made up of bobbin lace squares. The blocks measure 9 inches square. I put it on the mantle in the living room. This is only a portion of it that you see.
It was a very large and long alter.

What about the condition of the piece? First off, moldy smelling objects, when they find their way into my home get to meet the washing machine. In a protective bag of course. My thought is that if the item does not hold up well to washing, I don't want to use it for most applications. Once dried, upon inspection, there are two damaged areas. Here is one of them. The hole in the upper left looks bad but is actually where the whip stitches came out that held this block to the one to the left of it. The missing area on the bottom left is an easy fix. Looking at the bottom and side edge is a 2 1/2 cm (1 inch) wide edging. It is also bobbin lace. Same yarn was used most likely made by the same person to the size needed.

Across the top is a linen tape. This piece would have been basted on the to alter fabric. Basting means easy removal when the main cloth piece needed washing. Less wear and tear on the lace if it is not being washed all the time with the base fabric. It also means the lace piece could be changed out with the season as well. Below you can see a basting thread still attached to the tape in several places. and speaking of below,
Here is the center of the alter piece. No question, clearly made for and used in a church.
I was thrilled to find out I had a religious piece. Anytime I find religious themed lace, I buy it. It truly was a surprise. I was so sure it was a curtain bottom edging. 

Not long ago I was in Budapest. Seeing something I wanted in the window, I stopping in to a shop that sells fabric/lace/yarn/sewing supplies, I had to used the grunt and point method after trying French, German and English to purchase 3 meters of this:

At it's 10cm (4 inches) width, yes it is modern, cotton and machine made but you never know when something like this could come in handy. Think winter baby christening and how this would work, hand dyed along the bottom it a small coat or blanket.

Back to the bobbin lace. Pulling out the seam ripper the damaged, easy fix block was removed. It is becoming something now and is a WIP.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It must be a Linen Addiction

Hi, My name is <my name really needs to go here> and I am addicted to linen and lace. Now that wasn't so hard was it? I plan to work on it really...

A couple of months ago I was at a second hand store looking for a wedding gift. I was horribly unsuccessful. I ended up having to buy something off of the registry at Macy's instead. I hate it when I fail at a mission. My problem was I did not have much time.

That said, second hand stores, at least in France, are normally filled with wondrous things. Some things are junk, but hidden in the rafters are treasures. Much to my delight there was a stack of linen sheets waiting for me at the store. "They were just donated on Saturday" the keeper of the room told me clearly in French. It was a delightful stack. Let me show you the ones I came home with if I may.

One of my favorite things to find are butterflies. Here was a set of two pure linen older vintage sheets. The top sheet is large enough for a full/queen bed As with all older sheets, they are very long. So long in fact I could make a matching pillowcase by cutting off the bottom. The initials in raised work embroidery are not mine, but beautiful:

Speaking of raised work embroidery, I do not normally buy cotton, but this one was marked very inexpensive due to damage. The thing is it was not damaged at all. It was poorly ironed making the fagoting along the edges look broken along one of the edges. At first glance I thought it was badly damaged. Pulling it apart at the store, it was clear there was nothing wrong with it. Again, Queen sized. For this sheet both top corners, look like this:

The middle top portion of the sheet looks like this:
The next linen sheet, not as much fun as the last two, but the price was right and it was in beautiful condition

As with all of the sheets, the fagoting is done by hand. Later vintage sheets will have the fagoting but it will be machine made. This one is hand done. 
Most likely it is a purchased  sheet with fagoting already done. The embroidery was added by whom ever bought the sheet. I have found this type of fagoting on sheets still in its original packaging.

The back side of the embroidery is interesting to look at. Just as neat in the back as the front. This picture is of the top of the design.
The last of the sheets is what is called "le point Ombre" in French or "Shadow Work Embroidery" in English. I have always seen it on organdy here in France. when I saw this sheet I knew I had to have it. For my pocketbook it was expensive. "This is the most exquisite example of shadow work embroidery that I have seen in a long time" The keeper of the room told me. There were two of them. the other had some damage so I passed on it. I have to admit it is beautiful. It appears to be a linen or possibly linen/cotton blend. Really hard to tell, but it isn't quite what I would peg as linen and it does not feel 100% cotton at either.

The swirls are shadow work and the enter area looks to be "Filet Sicilien" or Sicilian Embroidery. Here is a close up.

Here is the center of the top of the quilt

The little square in the center looks like "Carres Venise",  or Venise Squares. It was most likely purchased inexpensively at any department store. See this older post for pictures. Sewing them in is just a running stitch around the design at first, then the back is cut away and the motif is satin stitched into place.

Since the washing machine was either new and expensive or it did not exist, those that could afford it sent their sheets to the cleaners to be washed. It is not uncommon to find the cleaning tag and name penned in on a sheet as this sheet has.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoyed my tour of vintage sheets.

This week I am linking up with Shabby Art Boutique for Shabbilicious Friday Link Party!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A Talbot Remake

Last year I saw a beautiful shell in Talbot's catalog. I liked it so much I tore the page out of the catalog and put it in my inspirations folder. On one of my trips to the US late last year, I happened to stop into a Talbot store. There on the shelf was my inspiration, on sale, in my size. I tried it on, it fit beautifully.

I didn't buy it.

Later thinking about my missed purchase, I went to the website and purchased it. 
Why did I have to think about it one might ask? The price was right and shipping was free.

It is fake!

Yes, it is 100% silk, but the lace is a print on the fabric not real lace. That was the whole reason for it being placed in my inspiration folder in the first place! I am a tactile creature of habit. I like my lace to be lace and my silk to be silk. Somehow the two together did not make sense to my brain.

Enter in exhibit A: Really Ugly Fabric. Ok, that was cruel, how about not my color? Fabric purchased in Belgium for almost nothing. Others must have thought it ugly, I mean, not their color too? Most of the bolt was there. Further proof that many of us must have this problem with this fabric. 

I bought it so that I could see what it would do when thrown in a dye vat. Having no idea the fiber content, this was a big gamble. Look at the before and after. Just WOW!
Well that worked, quite nicely actually, now, what to do with it? Not showing real well in the picture is the depth of blue shades. Just stunning!

Even though I now owned the Talbot shell, I still saw it as inspiration for something "real".

I bought a Craftsy class called "Pattern Drafting From Ready-to-Wear" with Steffani Lincecum quite a while back. Normally I wait until something wears out and then I take it apart for its pattern. My new Talbot shell was not going to be taken apart. I was planning to wear it once in a while. So I made a pattern out of the shell using the tips given in the class.
I tweaked the pattern a little to make it more to my liking and then  went off to choose fabrics. 
If you remember this blog, I was given some vintage black lace from a French friend. It turned out to be just the right width and length for this project. (First picture, bottom of the two laces).

Add in the dyed, now not ugly fabric of unknown fiber and a loose linen weave from my stash:
It was time for this inspiration to become real.

When working with lace, there is one thing that happens more than I like to admit. Due to washing and pressing, stretching can occur. In this case one end of the lace was longer  and narrower than the other end. The lace was pressed as much as it could be before application, but they were not exact. Assessing carefully which piece should be placed first, the first side of the lace sewn down and then the grain lines were basted so that the other side could be placed properly. Thank goodness for a glue stick. KK2000 and lots of pins! 
Taming the second lace into place so that it could be sewn was the hardest part of this project. If the lace was crooked the whole shirt would thrown wonky and unwearable.

All was successful, may I present to you my newest shirt, front:

The button came from my stash and the loop had to be sewn by hand as the linen was too loose of a weave to be sewn any other way.

Notice my lace design goes all the way front and back. the Talbot shirt is a plain black silk back. I thought it needed for the design to follow through all the way
Now, someone mentioned scarf. I have fabric left and a different black lace. I 'll think about it.

This week I am linking up Shabby Art Boutique for Shabbilicious Friday Link Party!