Friday, 22 May 2009

Little treasures from the sewing cupboard

When I was a little girl, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother, and it was she who taught me to sew, embroider, knit, and oodles of other crafts. Mum was a trained seamstress, and so I have always been around fabrics as well. I guess thats why I am so very fond of vintage fabrics, embroidery and sewing thingies. No idea what set me off this morning, but I felt the need to rummage through my sewing cupboard and drool over iddy biddy treasures.

The first box I opened was full of vintage French and German embroidery threads in cotton and linen. I remember picking most of them up at a vide greniers a couple of years ago, and I was so thrilled with them, because they were just the right threads to use for those lovely French initials on sheets, and for that delicate embroidery on antique French nighties and bloomers -

Just a few pics of little embroidered beauties from another era -

Have you ever wondered how they managed to get borders so even, initials so straight etc etc? Well, this is how it was done -

The antique stamps are French

and these beautiful tin and copper initial templates are German, they were given to me by my mum, who in turn got them many many years ago from an eldery friend -

The little box the templates came in, also contained a paper bag full of the blue powder they used to carefully brush over the templates. I was too much of a scaredycat to open it and photograph the contents, though, lol, knowing me, I would have ended up with blue stuff all over me and everything within a three yard diameter. So you have got a picture of a paperbag, crumpled and covered in blue powder, and a picture of the tiny little porcelain dish and brush for applying the powder -

Ooh, and I found a small bag full of these, can you tell what they are?

does this help at all?

Yes, you guessed it, they are gorgeous little vintage French initials, which used to be sewn into garments, onto sheets, any fabricy thing really that needed to be marked.

Oh my, I think I am all blogged out for today, even though there are quite a few little treasures left in the drawer........ but I'm afraid that will have to wait til tomorrow. I think I need to leave Lalaland for a wee bit now and get back to all the mundane things of life, like laundry, and food shopping, sigh.

Toodlepip for now, xx


Floss said...

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful... I seem to be repeating myself on your blog, which I don't do on other peoples'. I think this says something about the 'emotional resonance' your posts create (or something)! Anyway, wonderful. Now I have more ideas about what to look out for at vide greniers.

I met a guy who really annoyed me yesterday, which was totally unfair - he just wanted to speak English to me and sell me expensive vintage sheets, while I just wanted to speak French and look quietly without the sales pitch. I think I was offended that he assumed I was one of those English people who will buy a sheet for over 100 euros (yes, I saw one in an English mag the other day!) Anyway, I was unfairly brusque with him and now I feel bad.

About the challenge - it's my first one too, but I gather you do a post about it on your own blog! I will enjoy reading it...

Anonymous said...

lovely! xxxx

Hippy at Heart said...

Oh Liz, I'd love to come and have a rummage through your drawers.

Mom E. said...

These items are so amazing!! LOVE the metal templates, I was just trying to figure out TODAY how I could make one of those, you should hear my idea! You would laugh!
And the white tape with the red initials? That is what you explained to me before....YOU know what I am thinking.... and I agree with Hippy at Heart, though it DOES sound a bit odd....
I haven't been to enough flea markets in Germany and I have to go home now! Just have to come back...If only I could go through my mother's things again and hold tight to those things I let go....but I do believe I have a vintage embroidery iron on pattern book! I can't wait to look through my OWN drawers at home!!! LOLOL