Friends, it’s been a whole year since I came back from nearly a month in Europe – Berlin and Paris were my two destinations. It’s about time I shared some of what I saw and found. My very favourite place that I went to was in Paris – a little store I found on a blog before I left and I was excited to visit. It’s called Objets de notre Memoire on rue St Paul in the Marai area. Loosely translated it means object in our memory.
Friends, I’ve had this little lovely on Lay-by for a few weeks and I picked it up last weekend – she was the most expensive tatting shuttle I’ve ever bought. She has a pick at the end which actually works really well. The raised design is divine and the shuttle is a lovely size. She was nice to work with as well – some are not so comfortable to work with!
Friends, I KNOW you’re thinking about where this post is going…and possibly ‘what the heck is that monster and what does it have to do with sewing a sleeping bag from a vintage pattern?’ Well, let me keep you in suspense no longer. This, rather heavy, machine/tool/thing-a-majig is a snap-press press. You know the snap presses on garments? Yeah?…well this is the doolally that puts them onto the garment. Right about now, I figure you’re thinking: “Isn’t that a bit of an overkill? You can buy the little kits that require a hammer at Spotlight/local habby store/Lincraft/(insert your chain fabric store here) for a few bucks.” Friends, over the years I’ve had enough failures with those crappy do-it-yourself-with-a-hammer kits that when I recently saw one being used by badskirt on her blog post about neonatal gowns, I hit the proverbial internet running.
Friends, a month or so ago I bought this gorgeously soft and fine interlined Japanese cotton fabric from The Drapery. I got two metres with the thought that I would make a muslin type baby wrap/swaddle with one half and something else with the remaining fabric. Once I had looked through my vintage layette patterns for inspiration I knew this fabric would be perfect for a lightweight sleeping bag. Even though my sewing room is nowhere near finished I decided I needed to sew…not in the morning and not when my sewing room is finally finished, but right NOW!
Friends, today’s topic of sewing conversation is more sombre than you’re used to from me; but it’s not all doom and gloom.
A little more than six weeks ago a friend of mine from university lost her father. I haven’t seen this friend for a few years but I keep up to date with her life through Facebook. Watching her struggle through not only her father’s illness but his subsequent passing, even from a distance, was heart-breaking – her grief was palpable even though I only witnessed it via Facebook.
A few weeks later, an ad came through my Facebook feed about bereavement bears; I had never heard of them before and I immediately thought of my friend. They are teddy bears made from the clothing of a lost loved-one! What a wonderful way to give comfort during the dark times when you’ve lost a dear loved-one! I contacted my friend and offered to make a bear if she thought that this would give her comfort.
Little did I know just how appreciative my friend would be – She was thrilled with the idea and asked if I would make five bears: one for herself, one for her mother, one for her daughter and two more for the other grand children. I can’t tell you how honoured I am that I can do this for her and her family.
Friends, today I’m am sharing a prototype with you…it’s a needle-case. I have a lot of hand sewing needles – I do lots of different types of sewing and embroidery that require a variety of needles to complete a project. For a long time my needles have just been stored all over the place like in individual project boxes. The lack of adequate storage wasn’t working for me – I had no idea what needles I had, what sizes I had or where the heck they were. I found myself with multiples of the same types and sizes.
Friends, i’ve found this lovely vintage tatting shuttle at my local antiques and collectable store today – it appears to be silver plated; it’s light in weight. I’ll give it a clean – I think it will clean up nicely. It has a pick at one end and a ring at the other – I’m not sure why it would have a ring at the other end; did women in the past wear them on chatelaines or as necklaces? If you know anything about these types of shuttles, please feel free to leave a comment.
There was another stirling silver shuttle at the store too – I put it on layby; it looked lonely!
Friends, last year when Mr SuziWong, the chocolate monkey (Wilbur) and I were having a winter weekend getaway up in the Clair Valley, I came across this little doodad in a cafe/antique & vintage collectables store. Suffice to say, I knew it had something to do with the needle arts, but I wasn’t quite sure what it was. I bought it and when I got home I did some internet information searching and found that it was a vintage Boye tatting shuttle with a removable bobbin and a built in hook on one end. I also found out that I paid WAY too much for it…A fool and her money…
Readers it’s that time again; the time where I
purge share my collection pieces. You already know I like old stuff – especially sewing related old stuff. You might remember when I shared my one hundred year old sewing book ‘The Mary Frances Sewing Book – Adventures Among the Thimble People’ – in this book Mary Frances, a little girl in the Victorian era, learned to sew by making clothes for her doll. One of Mary Frances’ first adventures is when she meets the Sewing Bird. ‘What’s a sewing bird?’, I hear you ask…Readers, I don’t like to keep you in too much suspense. I’m not a fan of suspense – in my opinion it’s WAY overrated and only leads to bad things happening. We ALL know what’s about to happen when we’re watching a 3rd rate horror film and the female protagonist knocks out her crazy attacker thinking with relief that she was safe! We’re suspended on the edges of our seats with our hearts pounding just waiting for the crazy killer to rise from apparent death to have yet another go at his victim…our suspense is always rewarded with a near heart attack. No suspense here readers:
Sewing Birds are hand sewing tools from another era – They clamp on to a table and the fabric is held in the beak of the bird to give the sewist a third hand. There can be one or more pin cushions on them – usually found on the top of the clamp section and/or on the bird’s back. This is my little sewing bird, Readers – she’s a sweetie.
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?