I have always kept a stitching diary for my counted thread embroidery – i have two blank page art sketch books full of completed projects – although some entries still require pictures. I have a lovely hand made quilter’s diary too – i haven’t added any of my quilts to it; i’ll get to it!
I’ve never kept a sewing diary – i don’t know why?
Anyway, after seeing Jeannie Baumeister’s blog post about Layette Diaries from the 1920’s, it occurred to me that my creations would have no history unless I document them. I have always signed all of my stitching embroideries and my quilts, but my heirloom baby sewing hasn’t been signed.
Even though garments that I make from the more expensive fabrics and laces will be kept for my own future grandchildren and kept in the family, future generations may never know that I made them. The last thing i want to happen is three or four generations ahead, some
gum chewing Chanel #5 wearing, tracky dack wearing smartly dressed, teen young mother – when asked about the lovely heirloom garment her cigarette smoke shrouded adored progeny is wearing replies, “Ummm rumour has it, it was made by some crazy dog lady ancestor on my mum/dad’s side of the family a long time ago, but we’re not entirely sure”…
Aside from starting an heirloom sewing diary, I’ve also been contemplating signing each garment in either outline stitch or back stitch along the inner hemline – or somewhere else not very visible…that way if the garment is passed on, it goes with my embroidered signature…but that’s another blog post.
After a day of window shopping for the different types of art sketch books, scrap books and photo albums available i decided on a spiral bound photo album with black heavy pages and rice paper protection sheets between each black page. The front and back covers have a red even weave fabric cover. As you can see Readers, i’ve yet to adorn the front cover. I’m thinking perhaps an outline tracing of an image from one of my vintage baby layette sewing patterns – drawn in black like a silhouette and enlarged of course. What do you think? Any other suggestions?
Gel pens worked a treat to decorate black pages and write the details of garments. Samples of the fabric and trim etc was stuck-on using adhesive dots – room was left to put in a hard copy picture of the garment which I’ve yet to do – it means a trip to Officeworks for printer ink and I’m not a happy camper when it comes to utilising these large businesses where you become an invisible customer waiting for questionable service. Don’t get me started on last week’s visit to photocopy some vintage books – after faffing around buying a new card for yet ANOTHER new photocopy card system, i finally get to the copiers and one was out of order and the other two in use were seized as the customers waited for staff to fix them…*sigh* I have gotten off topic folks!
I used my vintage layette pattern collection to decorate the rice paper pages. The artwork on these old patterns is beyond amazing. I traced the pictures from the pattern envelopes on the corner of each rice paper page. Here’s a few –
My stitching friend Kate and I meet up every few weeks at local cafés to share vintage sewing related finds, our latest creations and gas bag for a few hours (and not to forget drink good coffee & eat yummy cake) – and i recently shared this album with her. Kate was inspired. In fact so inspired that she contacted her favourite bookmaking business in the Southern Highlands of NSW to have one made bespoke – I can’t wait to see it when it finally arrives and am very excited to know how she will eventually decorate it – and I shall, of course happily, lend her any of my vintage baby patterns if she is inspired to decorate her album with the stunning pattern envelope artwork.
Perhaps, now that i’ve outed Kate with her bespoke sewing album, she will share it on her blog Stitching Bliss – we can only hope so folks 😀 Maybe we need a little collective pressure applied to Kate??? I KNOW she loves a slice of good cake (who doesn’t??) and i’m NOT above such bribery folks 😆