Friday, 26 August 2011

Scrap bag embroidery and lots of antique lace

I buy most of my linens at auction and as with all bulk purchases of antique and vintage linens it is inevitable that there will be tablecloths and other textiles with some damage. And I am incapable of throwing away damaged items if they are nicely embroidered or have pretty lace. For a number of years I have kept several embroidered "patches" in the hope that one day I will find time to do something with them! I had harboured the grand idea of a patchwork quilt with every other patch having an embroidered motif. However, I have decided to cull the stash........hence the new listings on eBay of "Scrap bag collections" of embroidered patches and lengths of lace.

Most of the embroidery squares are relatively small  but ideal to mount as a greeting card or in a lavender heart.  Lace and broderie anglais trim makes a pretty addition too.

This is a photo of a lavender heart sent to me by a buyer of some of the fabrics - if you make anything from my scrap bag collections send me a photo and let me show it on here to inspire everyone else!

Friday, 12 August 2011

Textiles auction fever!

I've spent the last two days going back and forward to Yorkshire to Tennants auction house - yesterday to view and today to go to the actual sale. An absolute feast of textiles and very well attended (too well maybe as I was out-bid on several lots!).  There does not seem to be much evidence of a recession in the auction world - lots of high prices paid for items so I was pleased to be successful with the lot below -

There is a lovely quilt made up of padded hexagons all in gorgeous pink roses and lilac floral fabrics and the rest of the lot is lace trimmings, lace flounces and ribbons.  Perfect for all those crafts.

I was tempted by the lot below - I love "rooting" around in mixed lots like this and coming across unexpected finds.  It had needle cases, thimbles, old perfume bottles, old tins

Another temptation (if only they would fit!) were the Yves St Laurent suit and the Panache dress and matching jacket. Clothes make up a large portion of the sale; everything from hats to shoes, mens clothes to baby's, 1800's to present day.

I resisted the suits and went for the collection of baby clothes and bonnets. Now I have to sort them all, wash them, repair if necessary and then list them for sale.................I may be some time!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

More 1940's style!

This coming week I am continuing the 1940's theme with some dresses - two 1940's style and the third a genuine period dress. The gloves really complete the outfit, although having worn gloves on the night of the party (see previous post) I do wonder how the women of the time got anything done! I had those gloves on and off all night - now I know why finger food was not introduced to parties until the 60's!

This one has quite a classic look to it - peep-toe sandals and a smart hat and maybe (if you can "do" fur) the fur wrap or cape below.

This last one is the original home made item. Probably used more as a day dress than for occasions.

Now just the gloves!

All are either listed on eBay now or coming up for sale later this week. Just need the Glenn Miller Band and to learn how to swing!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

1940's style - accessories are everything!

I bought a large quantity of 1940's era hats last week at a local auction.  These three are some of the twenty-odd that all came from the same house. They were in old hat boxes which are also for sale on eBay at the moment along with the hats. I think that a hat box is essential to stop damage, dust and denting and you can keep all the accessories in one too - gloves (a must for a lady of the 40's), little clutch purse, maybe a little spotted scarf.

The 1940's look is still very popular, both as a fashion statement and for re-enactment or fancy dress. These hats in fact came a little too late for my own use unfortunately! In June I was invited to a 50th birthday party which was themed in 1940's wartime style. It was a great party, held in a period village hall all decked out in patriotic bunting and everyone stepped up to the mark and dressed in period. The culinary masterpiece was the Fish & Chip van that had been booked to provide supper and the cake table (the Party Girl was invited to judge on the best cake!) provided dessert.

As a present, 24 girlfriends had each made a square which (with help!) I put together to make a patchwork quilt. Each square is different obviously - from embroidery to sequins, applique to screen print. Then a border and backing in black velvet and "tied" with glass crystal beads at the corners of each square for a "bit of bling"

We managed to keep it a secret from her and I think (hope) that it was a lovely surprise and a keepsake to remind her of the night and her friends.


Monday, 1 August 2011

Flowers & butterflies, linen vs garden

My garden is full of flowers at the moment - mainly pink and purple. Not by design, I have to say, it just turned out that way! My family and friends would say that these flowers must be the ones that do well with the least input from the gardener as I rarely find time to get out there and weed, prune, deadhead etc,etc!

Hand embroidered florals on linen continue to be popular - those needlewomen of the past taking inspiration from nature with plants and insects - butterflies are also a very popular motif. These two above just some of the many feasting upon my Butterfly (Buddliea) bush this weekend. 

Below are just some of the flowers and insects that keep me from the garden! All that sorting, washing ironing and preparing linens for sale (at least that is my excuse for not doing the weeding). How did the women who worked these pieces of art find the time? They had no labour saving devices, shopped daily, no cars to get them places......but also no T.V. to watch and no internet to distract them!