Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A New Country to Collect In

I find myself in Wellington New Zealand for 6 weeks. To date I noticed that with the exception of China, I seem to be able to find fun vintage finds to use in my creations no matter where in the world I travel. New Zealand is no exception. 

Here Opportunity Stores, Op-Stores for short or better known as thrift stores in some parts of the world are plentiful and can be really fun. I found two in Wellington and learned that the Salvation Army Thrift store is called Sallies. The Vincent St Paul are called Vinnies. I started frequenting them, you know, just to see what I could find. So far it has been inexpensive and lots of fun.

So here is what I have found to date:

Starting off with very proper ladies finger towels and handkerchiefs:
Beautiful Madeira applique, embroideries in linen or fine cotton. Just gorgeous. 

As is always my luck, when I pick something up it does not have a price and I have to ask about it, So it was with the set above. The person behind the cash register was a young man. I had another item I wanted to purchase besides this package and it was labeled $1 NZ each. When I inquired about the price, the young man looked at the other packet and guessed $2 NZ. 

As luck would have it, within days of arriving here I found a sewing group that meets on Wednesdays and I was on my way to this meeting when I found the package of finger towels and handkerchiefs. I showed them to the members of my group and was asked how much I paid, they laughed and told me that only a man would price them at that inexpensively. I got a good deal. They are pretty and several of them will be good additions to a pastel crazy quilt I am making.

The sewing group told me about other Op-shops in town. Because of them I know where at least 6 of them are now. Of course I have found fun things to use in sewing and a sort of collectible thing...

First up I found 7 net hand made large doilies and some pearls. I always look for pearls and beads no matter where I go. Vintage pearls seem to be better made so I collect broken necklaces so that I can use the pearls on some of my projects. These are not broken, but they are fun so I bought them. I have a really nice necklace I bought in a thrift shop in Berlin that I really like so these might be a fun addition to my necklace collection.
Oh you noticed the queen? She was on display in one of the shops. I could not just walk by. Made by Portland Ware in England by The Metal Box Company. Not worth much but truly a collectible.

More finds, some smaller doilies, a really pretty battenberg lace collar and a kiwi pin. I have seen these pin in tourist shops and they are not nearly as nice as this one. Not sure what I will do with it, but I will find a use for it.
I couldn't leave him there once I took the queen could I?

I think they will make a good addition on the wall in my sewing room.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Pillow made of Vintage Bits

I am a collector of lace bits, its part of my 6 step program. 
1. Move to France.
2. Realize there are lots of vintage linen lace things to be had.
3. Find the best places to buy said linen and lace items.
4. Collect lace bits
5. Pet lace bits
6. Betray lace bits by cutting them up into littler pieces and using them.
You get the idea. The 4 months back in France continued to feed my addiction to collecting lovely lace bits.

You can't just collect them, well, OK you can, BUT whats the fun of that? Yes, you can pull things out, pet them and then panic over the idea of cutting them. Oh not me. And, yes it is hard to cut things sometimes. 

Whole linens like these are off limits:

But Lace bits and broken linens are fair game:
As I have been collecting lace, I have been collecting inspiration in a folder called Pillows on Pinterest. I actually need a couple pillows for the house. 

Here is my first one:
You can see the leftovers from the sachets down the center. The bottom left and right were corners on a pillowcase that was badly stained by some sort of hair treatment. Talking to older women they tell me that it was usually the man's pillow not the woman's that had the staining. Some sort of product men applied to slick the hair back in the 1930-1960s. I have noticed lately that it is being used again. You can see the discoloration on the top right hand side of the photo below:
The yellowing got much worse in the center of the pillow. I have learned over time which stains will come out and which will not. This one I know from experience will never come out. Too bad as it had a mate which was in perfect condition. Stained mean permission to cut up.

Also on the pillow I was able to include a couple of initial embroideries I found this year. It is common to find these as people tended to save them after everything else wears out. Its like they might use them, re-purpose if you will, someday. But they never do.  One of them which was part of a damaged pillowcase had the initials HC. I decided to use it for this pillow even though it was darned. See bottom left of photo:
I have to learn how to darn like that someday. I think it would be a fun addition to some of my sewing, even if it really does not need to be there. A good quality light weight stabilizer was ironed to the wrong side of this piece to strengthen it as it is a fine cotton. Most of the rest of the pillow is bed weight linen.

Continuing the tour of the  pillow is the really pretty bird motif:
The lace on either side of the top corners were hand sewn down using some of the small lace pieces I found this year in France.

For the back I got lazy. The back of the stain damaged pillowcase was in perfect condition so why not use it too? It had to be resized smaller.

I may replace the the buttons with something less worn later, but for now they get to stay.

I am thinking of adding a motif to the top left:
I have not done that yet due to lack of time. Of course the pillow and I would need to be on the same continent, which we are not right now.  I think it needs it.

So here it is stuffed. 
I made a tiny mistake and that is I made it 20 inches square and it really needs to be 18 inches to match the pillow sham I had at the house. Oh well. Sometime later this year I hope to have the time to make another "matching" one out of my stash. I will also have to invest in a couple of larger pillow forms as well.