Objects old, vintage, hand made or upcyled, and old techniques with a modern twist

Posts tagged ‘fabric’

Inspiration: Lovely Old Lace

There is a cabinet of lovely old lace fragments at my local museum, which always serves to remind me that it is good to tackle a more complicated craft project every now and then, and that it is amazing what craftsmen and women could make with their hands before machinery started to do it for us.

These pieces of handmade lace are so delicate and intricate, and must have taken an immense amount of time to complete: they certainly show the benefits of patience and dedication.

Monday Mood Board: Vintage Embroidery

Some more lovely vintage and antique embroideries, this time in neutral white and creams. I featured coloured embroideries a few weeks ago, but felt that these understated lovelies deserved their own post! Some are destined to be sold as they are, and some will be upcycled.

Vintage Embroidery and Upcycling


I recently went through the various vintage and antique hand-embroidered fabrics that I have, in the hunt for some material to make bunting for a friend’s wedding. Due to the hours of work that these pieces represent, I am loathe to cut them up, with the exception of any items that are damaged or spoilt by a permanent stain (I remove and bin the damaged area, and use the rest of the material in craft projects).


Depending on the size of the material, the embroidered fabrics can be used in a variety of projects: I really enjoy giving new life to something that someone else has put so much time and effort into, but is now ‘ruined’ for it’s original purpose (e.g. a tablecloth with a stain in the centre).


Using some fabrics that I already have (in this case by upcycling) also means that I am still managing to stick to my new year’s resolution to buy no new craft materials this year!  BLUE-EMBROIDERY

The few pieces that I have shown here are all undamaged items, and as I seem to have collected quite a few pieces in good condition, I have decided to sell a selection- after all, there are only so many tablecloths etc that one person can use!


Monday Mood Board-Sewing Brights

Mmm, lovely colours!


The two reels of lace trim (blue and pink) are lengths of handmade vintage trim that I dyed myself; see this post for details of how to make your own!

Monday Mood Board: Lovely Fabrics!


Mmm… lovely patterned fabrics! These are a mixture of vintage and ‘new’ (not bought this year- I am still still sticking to my New Year’s Resolution!) printed cottons from my fabric drawer (ok, I’ll be honest with you: I actually have three ‘fabric drawers’…). I plan to use them in a project soon, I’m just trying to decide on the details.


Decorated Clothes Pegs DIY


With the (mostly) summery weather in England at this time of year, it is nice to hang the laundry in the garden to dry. The humble clothes peg comes in to its own in the summer, a very simple tool that does the job perfectly! I decided to make some old wooden pegs look a little more interesting with this VERY easy and quick DIY project.


Woven cotton fabric- a non-stretchy fabric is easier to use than a stretchy one

Wooden clothes pegs- they are easier to glue fabric to than plastic pegs

A ruler- if you arent using helpfully geometric-patterned fabric!

Glue- I used Bostik All Purpose Glue, which dries quickly

Sharp scissors


Measure the top and bottom surfaces of the clothes pegs, and cut out two fabric rectangles for each peg.


 Next, glue the strips into place on each clothes peg, and leave the glue to dry. And that’s it. Really, it is that quick and simple!gingham-clothes-pegs

I apologise for no lovely pictures of the clothes pegs at work, securing washing on the line in a summer breeze, with pretty garden flowers and buzzing bees… I made the pegs yesterday evening, and today it is raining for the first time in several weeks. I think I tempted fate…

This is a great ‘make do and mend’ or upcycling project, as you can smarten up tired-looking old wooden pegs using scraps of fabric left over from other projects.

Monday Mood Board


I’m really loving bright colours right now!



DIY Fabric Bow Hair Clip


Making fabric bow hair clips is a quick and easy project, and a great way of using favourite small pieces of fabric (for my bows I used some lovely textured woven material by the weaver Margo Selby- she used to sell offcuts when she exhibited at Art in Action in Oxford).


You will need:

  • Fabric (not something that frays wildly, as you will be working with quite a small piece of material)
  • A needle and thread
  • A hair clip
  • Scissors


The main part of the bow is essentially a hollow tube/rectangle, made by folding one piece of fabric in half, and then hemming the edges. I was working with off-cuts of different dimensions here, so (as you can see in the two pictures above) the blue bow was made by folding a long rectangle in half left-to-right, and the purple bow was made by folding a square in half top-to-bottom.


The band around the middle of the bow is made using a long, narrow strip of fabric with the rough edges of the two long sides folded underneath it and out of sight. The band is then sewn in place, gathering the centre of the ‘bow’.


The final task is to sew the bow onto a suitable hair clip.

Ta da, all finished!



Happy New Year

I can’t believe that another new year has started- yes, I realise that it is actually January 5th today, so the new year is probably old news already. Last year ended in a bit of a whirlwind, so I am planning to use January to get up to speed with everything again. Hopefully 2015 will be a better year than 2014 (I definitely had my three runs of bad luck last year, so should be plain sailing for a while… right?)!

What ever your plans are for this year I hope that they all come to fruition, and that you have a happy and healthy 2015.


  Vintage Sewing Box (3)  'The Faces of Time' mood board

Hand Knitted Socks (2) Spaniel Embroidered Rosette

 # Mood Board- Kniting 1

  Dartmoor4 Flowers by the Sea

Pink flowers

Vintage Sewing Patterns

This post could also be titled ‘So Many Patterns, So Little Time’! When I do have the time, I look forward to making the Vogue coat pattern shown in red below.

Vintage Sewing Patterns

Vintage sewing patterns often have the added bonus of some lovely (and glamorous!)  illustrations on the packet.

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