If you are a lover of 17th c embroidery, or know of one who is, I have just the perfect project for a snowy winter afternoon for you~ a reproduction of a little 17th c embroidered casket....in paper for you to color and make up! You can find the directions to it here : Thistle Threads Needlework Nibbles
It is for free, for you to make and give away~ please be kind and do not sell! While you are over at Thistle Threads, check out the shop~ Tricia has oodles and oodles of wonderful threads and kits~ all sorts of wonderful Christmas gift ideas. The original project is meant to just be a little box to sit on your sewing table, but I thought it prefect for the tree. Its so very simple~ just print out the sheet on heavy card stock, color, cut, fold, paste and voi~la~ SO CUTE!
This is the back view, I added my little wire loop for hanging here, and because it is a working box, I strung a little string thru the front lock hole to tie the top shut~ put little candies in here, or a special little gift~ theyre so much fun to make, I hope you enjoy!
Is is really November already? I cant believe how fast time time is flying by, and so much always left to do! I have decided to make the Diamond K Folk Art blog (link to the right sidebar) into my little Christmas Shoppe this season~ the first update will be this evening at 6 pm . I have half my 2013 annual limited edition Christmas ornaments finished, so you will see them there~ I will have my second design off the table soon and will let you know when they make their way to the shoppe.
Tis the season to be Merry!
I hope you hearts over flow with love & happiness this season~
I have had a special request to look at this little gown a little bit more, and show a bit of the shadow applique & what it is~
When we got this mid 19th c Christening gown, it was literally in shreds. The back opening had several large vertical tears from both the waist and bottom of the center back opening, down and into the shadow applique at the hem
To help stabilize the tears I use silk crepeline nearly exclusively. It is gossamer fine, and comes in white and black~ laid onto another fabric it simply cannot be seen, but is super strong and woven densely enough to give a great base for stitching and anchoring to
I turned the gown inside out and laid a strip of the crepeline over the entire length about 1/2" wide. I did not want to just put a seam in these tears, as the seam allowance needed makes a distortion in the lay of the garment. I then did a zig sag darn stitch back and forth the entire length~ this same stitch was commonly used in the period~ and as you can see above, once finished the horrible shreads are no longer.
The bodice looked horrible, that is certainly true~ not only was the center panel a shamble, the sides were worn thin and shredding as well. ( I will note here that this is a fine muslin gown, all natural fibers.) Upon closer examination the bodice really wasn't in that bad of condition, all its pieces were there, and it hadn't been 'damaged' per say~ just the stitching had come undone. Now if it has been chewed by a mouse, that would have been a different story, but since it hadn't, it was mainly just another puzzle that had to be reassembled
I did the side panels of the bodice first~ several zig zag vertical darns were necessary~ I only closed the most severe ones and left what was not distracting form the overall appearance
This is one of the shadow applique sections, just a smaller version of that seen on the hem. Shadow applique is just what it sounds like, the reverse of the fabric has pieces of other fabric appliqued in place to make a shadow, and in turn a design on the front~ very subtle and beautiful. Like shadow embroidery, it must be done on a sheer fabric, or the effect looses purpose. On this dress, hundreds of squares of the same muslin that the gown was made from, were folded and appliqued to the back to make this lovely sawtooth pattern. I simply whipped them back down with weensie stitches to make them complete again.
Here I have all three sections complete, and am backing the two lace insertions with crepeline. Once I had the lace windows backed in the crepeline, I tacked the lace down to it. Note that this picture is a view of the back of the bodice~in shadow applique the seam allowance is turned under so there are no raw edges!
There were two small sections of lace missing, but again, in my book, less is more, so I left them and felt no need to try and match laces with something unoriginal to fill them in
I was honored to breathe new life into this precious little gem, and hope you will try your hand at shadow applique~ its quite simple, and can make a plain gown into a masterpiece. I have seen colored fabrics used to beautiful effect, so give it a try~ just remember your applique design with be a mirror image of your design on paper!
Its no secret, I do absolutely adore babies! I am so excited to get to introduce you to my newest little helper~ well, shes not new, but new to the blog. Her name is Livy, shes 22" and nearly 6 pounds, what a little cherub! She is absolutely the most mild mannered newborn I have ever had pleasure to hold~
She is just wonderful~ doesn't wing her arms around constantly...doesn't want to chew and put everything in her mouth, and best of all, NO drooling!!! She is just perfect to help bring the baby clothing here at the Museum to life for you all~
I am sure you would agree, this last quarter 18th c baby gown looks much more cunning on her than it does flat. Of coarse I always take the utmost care when mounting any of the textiles for display, which is why my new little Livy mannequin is so very special, I have been looking for years for newborn forms and there just aren't any great or even realistic ones to pick from. Livy & her brother Benjamin are so excited to be at your service~ so stay tuned to the blog for some special things coming soon!
Time has gotten away from me a bit here on the blog, I do apologize. It's taken me getting sick as a dog to slow down enough to write a little update. I have been wanting to post some on our trip to Yellowstone this summer, and now all the sudden its nearly Hallowe'en. The children are busy with their school things~ Josh is in Football and Tressa Volleyball, so every weekend and then some has been occupied going to some game or t'other. We have had wonderful rains~ no flooding like our friends up north of us, thank goodness. It seemed all was well and was time to settle for a good winter hibernation, until our bear dog champion Lumpy woke us up the other night to a bear who had decided it needed our bees...well, not the bees, just the honey. We are still not sure if the Queen survived, I hope she did. We had her in the bottom super with an extruder so she couldn't get up to the top (so no babies in the honey combs), so hoping hoping she is OK. We lost a LOT of bees~ just broke my heart. They work So so very hard for us and now they are just all kerboppled. Poor deares~
I have been planing a little exhibit of early baby things, and had a gown out this morning to do a bit of a darning on, thought I would share how it came out with you, along with another example of how simple careful padding can take the place of a hasty unneeded 'repair'~
Funny thing how things find me~ I was looking along eBay and here was a hideous pair of doll shoes that had been spray painted metallic gold. blek! I noticed in the tile however tho, it said 'two' early pair doll shoes. So I clicked on it, and aside from the gold beamers, here were these lovelies starring back at me. I emailed the seller to ask about them, and to them, they were absolute junk, the gold pair were the stars, and well, if I only wanted these, how about 10 bucks? sold!
Above is how I find so many wonderful things, wadded and crumpled up in the corner, flattened out in the bottom of a box~ just a piece of ol junk until someone who knows what they are gives them a little love~
c1750 with inserted spring heels, wonderful kid leather childrens shoes~ I actually think they were childrens shoes from the wear to the soles and the rip on the side~ actually it has another repaired rip right next to it the length, from a stress of getting a chubby foot in there no doubt. I have done not a thing to them, ties are original, leather is still nice and soft~ I padded them with inert polyfill inside white nylon netting sleeves
The shoe closest to you is the squished and battered precious in the first picture. I try to keep my repairs to the absolute minimum, and only pull out my needle and thread (NEVER stitch witchery or glue or iron on teflon crap!!) when I absolutely need to~
This little Christening gown, was given to me to cut up for doll clothes...gasp. The thought makes me ill~ it was in great need of a loving needle~ but all parts where there! It has been waiting a while for me to tend to it~ its really a wonder of shadow stitching applique and weensie tucks. I put a bit of mustard cloth behind to show the state of the bodice. The back had a long vertical tear from base of the back opening to the hem, with several parallel to it~ it literally looked like someone tried to put it in a shredder. I apologize for the lighting of the picture~ I prefer to sit by the window in the morning and sew when my eyes are best~ especially when the stitching is as fine as on this piece~What can I say, I love a challenge~
I think it cam out fabulous~ just took a bit of time is all. I restitched all the shadow appliques and backed the two lace insertions with silk crepline, then darned the lace to the crepline.
This is a view of the hem. Hours upon hours were spent stitching this little dress~ I know from simply how long it took me to do this little bit I did~ back in a time when each and every stitch was placed with love and intent~ it has lasted nearly two centuries~ I am not about to be the one of its un~doing!
So the next time you are at a tag sale or yard sale...auction, whatever~ forget about what is up front on the viewing display~ go dig around in the boxes under the tables...in the basement~ anything marked 'garbage' or 'rags'~ especially rags!~ you may find a gem!
The Lady's Repository Museum is a privately owned museum dedicated to the collection, preservation and study of unique early American fashions of both women and children, the later being a specialty.
All proceeds from Diamond K Folk Art sales (antique reproduction Folk Art, Dolls & hooked rugs) directly support the Museum, of which can be found on ETSY, eBay and the DKFA Blog~ please see the links on the sidebar. You can also mail me at email@example.com