Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Vintage Rose Tote

Good evening friends! I completed another large tote bag yesterday using a graphic that I purchased online at ArtCult (an Etsy Shop) Click here  and I am very pleased with the way it turned out.  I used lots of pretty vintage laces, some pieces of crocheted doilies, buttons, pink embroidery floss, and of course the lovely vintage rose graphic.

I have been experimenting with using graphics and truly I have realized that it opens up a whole world for me! It's both fun and exciting and soon I hope to share some other projects I have been working on that involve graphics being transferred to fabric and other materials. 

This rose graphic transferred perfectly. I printed this onto a purchased 8 1/2" X 11" sheet of fabric and printed onto it using my HP printer. I then fused backing onto it that allowed me to iron it directly on to the front of the bag and then I appliqued the graphic using a zig zag stitch on my sewing machine. The stitching is all hidden by lots of beautiful vintage lace.

Here you can see a close up of the lace, buttons and small doily.

.....and here is a close up of the bottom. 

I used a small rose print fabric that I purchased online at Moona Fabrics (another Etsy Shop Click here ) for the inside pocket and the backside of the handles. 

I thoroughly enjoyed creating this Vintage Rose totebag. It took me quite a long time to get the lace placement just the way I wanted it. I have a rather large stash of lace to work with and believe me when I say that I tried many, many different lace combinations. After a while of trying this and that, I became a frustrated at the length of time it was taking me to make a choice ..... and then finally these pieces of perfectly aged, creamy lace, along with the little doily pieces emerged as the winning combination.  It is as I imagined. I love it when that happens!

Enjoy the rest of the week! Good night friends!

Linking up with these parties....

Hosted this week by Jemma at At home with Jemma

Monday, June 13, 2016

Sweet Love

Hello friends! I hope this finds you all well and enjoying some lovely spring weather. In my corner of the world, it is cloudy, cool and well....the heat just came on. With that just barely said, the sun literally popped out....oh never's gone now. But there's always hope! I see patches of blue sky and I believe that it is supposed to get warmer by the day.

My latest sewing project is the bag you see above. A few weeks ago I purchased some graphics here on ETSY. I have been experimenting with the graphics and various methods of printing and transferring them to fabric. In this project, I printed directly onto an 8 1/2 x 11 fabric sheet. I was extremely happy with the quality of the artwork and my printer did not let me down.

I have long loved the painting of The First Kiss (1890) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. I only recently learned that this is not in fact the original name of the painting.  It was originally L'Amour at Psyche Enfants which translates as Cupid and Psyche as Children. As I understand it, it incorrectly took on the nickname Le Premier Baiser ,or The First Kiss and it apparently just stuck. I have always called it the First Kiss. I stand corrected.....At any rate, I love these two little kissing cherubs and was excited to see it among many lovely digital downloads on Etsy.

Printing directly on the fabric sheet produces a nice soft print as opposed to some iron on or other transfer processes. I actually experimented with printing directly on my own fabric and it was also a success. Of course it took me nearly three days to work up the nerve to place raw-edged fabric in my printer but after ironing it on to a piece of freezer paper, it printed remarkably well.

I used the artwork as the pocket on my tote bag and framed it in a little cotton edging that I purchased on one of my lace/doily/vintage hunting excursions. I really wanted the artwork to be the focal point of the bag and not get swallowed up by lots of embellishments. I did add a shabby bow of sari ribbon, tulle and vintage eyelet edging which I think adds just the right amount of embellishment without taking anything away from the sweet image.

This was not one of those projects that I started and finished in the same day. I actually have been working on it little by little as we have been very busy during the past couple of weeks. June is always a very busy month--usually of celebratory events and this June was no exception. I am happy to have some time to spare today to post and do a little catching up on my blog reading.

Take care friends and as always, thank you for stopping by!

PS The sun is out!

Linking up:

Weekly linky party

Friday, June 3, 2016

Shabby Sweetness

Good evening friends and Happy Friday! The last couple of evenings I have been working on two fabric angels made from the sweetest little rose print fabric. I was up bright and early this morning so I finished them by attaching their wire hangers and the bow and tags.

In addition to the pretty rose fabric (which I purchased on ETSY at Moona Fabrics ) these two angels are dressed in a pretty vintage luncheon napkin which I deconstructed to use as collars and ruffles at the bottom of their dresses. Also the hand stitched wings are made from leftover fabric from the napkins.

I began with the angel above. She was the lucky one receiving the prettiest corner of the napkin as her collar. I machine-gathered her ruffle which adorns her dress at the bottom. Pink sari ribbon is used as a bow on her collar as well as a bow on the hanger. She also has some white tulle in both of the bows.

Although the first angel may have received the nicer corner of the napkin for her collar, this sweet angel got a hem ruffle that was gathered by hand which I think accomplishes a shabbier sweet look. I wish that I had thought of that when I was making the first one but that's how my mind works when I am making new designs. It just kinda evolves as I go along......

The canvas sentiment tags are covered with white stretch lace, some bits of vintage pillowcase edging and of course the stamped sentiment.

Halos are 20 gauge wire covered with sari ribbon and a dainty paper rose which I purchased on ETSY. 

There is always a sense of accomplishment once I complete one of these angel ornaments. It's relaxing, very therapeutic work. You might even say that this work (if you can call it work) is just heavenly!

No two are ever really alike just by nature of their "handmadeness." I do not use a pattern.

The last image (I promise) of the shabby sweet heavenly pair.....

Have a wonderful weekend friends! And to all my blogging friends in Texas, I've been thinking of you all. I hope you are all out of harms way. Stay safe and dry!

"Angels descending, bring from above,
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love."
Fanny J. Crosby

Linking this post with:

This week's hostess:  Laura--Decor to Adore

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

When Sewing and Social Studies Collide

Hello Friends! As I half expected, the chilly temperatures we experienced during the first three weeks of May have taken a sudden turn and the last few days have seen temperatures near ninety degrees! Yes, our temperatures surged forty and fifty degrees higher than what it was just a few short days ago.  I am not complaining,....exactly.....but my body needs more than a few hours to acclimate to summer-like temperatures. So anyways, I had to shed my beloved Lands-End fleece pj's for lightweight cotton pj's and maybe, just maybe, I can finally put my winter clothes away!

I've been working on a project that has actually turned out to be an interesting cultural lesson for me and I want to share it with you. Additionally this project has taken me away from my usual work with neutral tones and reimmersed me in  a world of brightly colored, bold printed fabric......

A friend of mine and her husband have been invited to a summer wedding. The groom is from Africa and in some African countries it is customary for family, friends and other guests to wear a garment made from aso ebi. This translates roughly to "family cloth" and it signifies solidarity, unity and respect for the event.

It appears from what I have read that the both the bride and groom may pick their wedding colors and the fabric (aso ebi)  and then the guests are either gifted the fabric or expected to buy the fabric and have clothing items custom made such as long tunic-style tops, matching pants, hats, scarves, dresses, etc. Some garments and accessories that I have seen while researching the topic are quite simple while others are very elegant and sophisticated. Click here to see a site called The African Sweetheart. There are many photos to scroll through to get an idea of how the women dress.

As you may have surmised by now, my friend's husband will be wearing an item made from the chosen aso ebi and he asked me if I would be willing to make it for him. Of course I said yes....I was rather intrigued by this particular cultural tradition but in addition, I would never pass up an opportunity to work with beautiful fabric.....and let me tell is beautiful fabric! Notice the little crystals randomly placed on the fabric.

We agreed on a style and I was able to find a pattern for a dashiki-styled shirt which is a very loose fitting tunic or caftan styled shirt. I used an old sheet to make a "practice" version because I wanted to make sure that if there were any problems with the pattern I would be able to work out all the kinks prior to cutting into the very expensive fabric. It was an easy pattern and it went well the first time. He tried it on and I took it in an inch on each side.

I placed the pattern piece on the fabric so that I could utilize the border prints on the sleeve and the bottom edge. This saved some time pinning and hemming!

The one issue I had was that just before cutting I realized that I would have to do some matching of the two front pieces. With a center seam it would've been very obvious if the two pieces did not match. Believe it or not, I have never matched front seams before so I did what made sense to me (and folks that is not always a good thing) but in this case I came semi-close to a matched seam and when it is on, you cannot even notice the slight mismatch. The side seams and side slits match perfectly and I wasn't even trying for that.....go figure.

Anyways, once I was finished my daughter tried it on for good measure. She is rather petite so it was a little large on her but she loved the style and asked me if I could make her one before she went back to school. (She was leaving in two days.....)

The only thing I did differently than the pattern instructed was the top stitching around the neckline. Even though I tacked down the interfacing at the shoulders, it still seemed a bit difficult to tuck in neatly while trying it on. The top stitching did the trick, keeps it neatly inside where it belongs and gives it a much nicer finish.

This was a fun project and it was very interesting to read about the tradition of the aso ebi. I find traditions of other cultures fascinating and it is interesting in this instance to note the sharp contrast to wedding attire that we are so used to. I hope I get to see some photos from the wedding. I think it's going to be beautiful!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

If it Weren't for Bad Luck....

Hello friends! Lately it seems that if it weren't for bad luck, I would have no luck at all. I've also heard that bad things sometimes happen in threes but in my case it has been happening in many multiples of right after another. But last week there was a bright spot.....a spur of the moment conversation that led to a lovely day spent with a friend roaming antique and vintage shops and barns and a yard sale. I found some lovely, reasonably priced items and they came home with me!

"Oh happy day!" came out of my mouth more than once on this joyous day of shopping and having lunch with one of my dearest friends.  We had a ball!.....

My best find was several yards of this beautiful dark ecru, hand crocheted edging. It was all folded up in a plastic bag with no price tag. The woman told me she would have to call the owner of the booth to find out the price. Later on she told me that the booth owner was also having a yard sale down the road so that was our next stop.

I bought several of these beautiful towels on the $1.00 table. When I got home and opened them up I realized they were as big as bath towels. Some of them had patterns of fleur-de-lis and shamrocks. I did have photos of them but I lost them in a very bad photo transfer which ended badly for me and deleted 1,000 plus photos from my phone. I haven't quite gotten over that yet.....

This very large table scarf was also on the $1.00 table but it had a tag which clearly said $40.00. It was gorgeous and I wanted to bring it home with me. I asked about the price and it was also $1.00 so of course I purchased it.

Here you can see that it is monogrammed. I love imagining the history behind items like this.....It is a very beautiful piece with no stains, holes or damage of any kind.

We stopped at another antique mall and I found this white edging. There are two very long pieces. I'm sure I will put it to very good use!

I also purchased this large, gorgeous ecru tablecloth. It was the most expensive thing I bought all day and was only $16.00. It is in excellent condition with one very small stain. I have been working on that stain and it is barely noticeable now. I couldn't even locate it this afternoon.

I also found a few bags of very pretty lace and edgings. I did not even open the bag they were in. I like to go home and open a few surprises while checking out my loot. This bag of sweet lace was a nice variety of some good-sized pieces. :)

I fell in love with this large table scarf. The edging is exquisite. This piece, although lovely, has a small tear so I will most likely use the lacy edging in a sewing project.

Some miscellaneous lace edgings, eyelets, lace and a large doily.....

I had such a wonderful day roaming these shops. We stopped for a nice lunch and I tried Parsnip Apple Soup. I haven't ever had it before and was more than a little curious. There was a very nice lady behind the counter and she asked me if I would like to taste it and I said, "yes please!" My next words were, "I'll take a cup of that with a half of a turkey sandwich." It was delicious!

We made one more stop before heading home. I didn't want the day to end. I didn't have one bad luck experience all day.......until I had been home all of about fifteen or twenty minutes. I was eating something and my dental crown fell out. It was a Thursday evening of course and the dental office I go to is closed on Fridays and all weekend...Can you guess where I am going in the morning?

Oh well, tomorrow is a new day and I have a very good feeling about it!........Good night friends!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Sweet Dreams--An Upcycled Project

Today I was trying to come up with an idea to use (upcycle/repurpose) some wide mouth mason jar lids and rims that I purchased by mistake. I could've just taken them back but what fun would that have been? Finally after much thought I came up with a mini dream catcher idea that actually turned out much cuter than I dreamed (no pun intended).

The first dream catcher that I worked on was this white one. I dug out my stamps and began stamping away. I have a huge pile of white cotton fabric strips that I made from some vintage bed linens. I knew they would come in handy some day.....

I made the second dream catcher out of light beige sari ribbon. I wasn't sure how it would take the stamp but it turned out rather well.

I tied on some strips of ivory tulle with the sari ribbon. I think some ivory or ecru lace would work really well too and will add some to the next ones I make.....

Though these dream catchers are not quite finished, I am quite happy that they turned out so well the first time I put one together. Usually new projects take a bit longer to plan and even longer to execute. I still have to decide how to embellish, though I think with these, less embellishment may be more. I will also have to attach a hanger of some sort.

I suppose these aren't truly dream catchers as there is a piece of fabric behind the lace doilies to hide the lid. Since they are supposed to filter out and catch bad thoughts and dreams while the good dreams pass through, I am afraid that maybe even the good thoughts and dreams might get caught in the fabric too. I tend to worry a lot.......

 As ornaments though, I think they would look very cute hanging on a wall. The lid is about 3 1/4" in diameter and the entire ornament measures about 11" from the top of the rim to the bottom of the fabric strips. I will be making more of these for sure and in several sizes.....

Well friends, it's getting late and I still have a load of laundry to do. I hope you have had a nice evening. Happy Weekend....Sweet dreams......

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Every Time a Bell Rings....

Good evening friends! Have you been hearing bells ringing? Since my angel post on Tuesday, (here),  two more angels have gotten their wings and although they are pretty labor intensive, I think they just may be my favorite thing to make. Since I do not work with a pattern, they are seldom ever the same size and details are generally different. So this post is just to highlight some of the pretty lacy details of all three.....

The white one on the right was the second angel to be completed. Her gown and ruffles are made from repurposing a vintage table runner. I removed the lace to use the fabric for her gown and then added the lace as a ruffle at the bottom and around her neck.

A better look.....

This canvas tag was first covered with a piece of stretch lace I had in my stash.  It is machine stitched (zig zag), then the stamped words, buttons and lace scraps were added.

This little lady is my favorite so far. She has a wide lace ruffle and lots of other lacy know I love lace!

Lots and lots of lace!

Her sari ribbon-wrapped halo is sweet. Her ribbon at her neckline is also sari ribbon and I love the way the silk frays. Such a shabby sweet look.....

I really enjoyed creating this angelic trio. The entire designing process is so much fun when you love the colors, textures, and materials you are working with. Also, it appears that my love for neutrals is running rampant these days. Neutrals seem to soothe the least they do for me. But neutrals AND lace--now that's just heaven!

"Earth's crammed with heaven. But only he who sees, takes off his shoes."
Elizabeth Barrett Browning