Some colourful vintage sewing bits and pieces on this sunny bank holiday weekend…
…I dyed the lengths of vintage handmade lace myself (see previous post here).
The sunshine is definitely inspiring the use of bright colours, so I have spent the afternoon in the garden making a brightly coloured tassel garland- photographs to follow soon!
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!
Bunting is a fantastic way to brighten up a dull corner, and this miniature bunting can find a home in the smallest of spaces! The bunting is made from Washi (paper) tape and cotton thread, and is a quick and easy project, and thrifty too.
First choose your washi tape- I chose tapes that were all the same width for a uniform look. Next fold short lengths of tape in half over a strand of thread (or wire if you want to shape your finished bunting), sticking them to themselves. The lengths of tape that I used were approimately 3cm long, and I attached them to the thread with 2cm gaps between each ‘flag’.
Keep adding strips of tape until the bunting is of the desired length. Next, cut the bottom off each piece of tape, making the ‘flags’ into squares.
You can leave the flags as squares for a bolder look, or trim them into triangles. If making triangular flags then I found that it is best to cut from the top of each flag, downwards, to avoid accidentally snipping the thread!
And after only a few minutes’ work you have some lovely, cheerful bunting to brighten up a corner of your day!
I do love vintage haberdashery, both to admire the lovely packaging, and to use the (generally) good quality products. I also have a vintage leather suitcase full of hand-embroidered linens, which I have been saving to use in a future craft project (or several projects!).
After hand-dying/painting some vintage lace a couple of weeks ago (see post here) I was so pleased with the result that I have experimented with a few more pieces. The Dylon Fabric Paint colours that I used can be mixed together really easily, and I found it particularly helpful that the shade/colour intensity doesn’t change as the piece dries, and then is ironed (to set the dye). Any project that provides a quick pop of colour is a winner with me!
Whilst they wait to be used in a sewing project, the lengths of lace are kept uncreased by being stored on empty vintage wooden thread reels- so a good upcycling project that gives new life to two vintage items!
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts (see here, here and here), I collect vintage wooden Sylko cotton reels, and have about 130 different colours so far. The rainbow of colours makes a great display, and the names of the colours are very imaginative: according to the above advert from the late 1940’s there were 337 different colours (and I have a couple of reels with numbers in the 400s on them), so I can see why they had to be creative when it came to names!
In this unassuming glass jar live all of my precious silk threads. I have come by most of them when buying assortments of vintage sewing items at car boot sales and jumble sales, and some of the nicest are on lovely old wooden reels. I use these lustrous silk threads on particularly special projects, like an embroidery for a friend’s wedding present, or decorating a silk blouse or scarf.
I think that on the whole stitchers must be quite clean and tidy people, as I’ve very rarely had to throw any second-hand thread away due to discolouration (and I am fussy about quality and condition!). I don’t buy any haberdashery or sewing supplies that smell like they may have come from the house of a smoker, as I’ve found that the smell is impossible to get rid of (sadly the same applies to second hand books). Pieces of fabric, lace or ribbon can, or course be washed, but this isn’t possible with reels of thread, and isn’t worth the trouble with balls of yarn.
It is amazing how many good quality sewing and other craft supplies you can find very cheaply if you are prepared to have a rummage in a charity shop or at a summer fete!
Happy hunting xxx
With the darker days at this time of year I find bright colours particularly appealing. The colours of these vintage wooden Sylko cotton reels are inspiring me to get sewing!
Today I am feeling inspired by my vintage (almost antique) manual Singer Sewing Machine. I haven’t used it for a little while, but I have a few projects planed that it will be perfect for!
I also have a modern electric John Lewis sewing machine, which I love, but nothing beats the sound and feel of the old Singer… The Singer is also a thing of beauty which looks good as well as being useful, something the modern sewing machines don’t quite match up to (the beauty bit that is; electric machines are obviously extremely useful, and a lot faster than the old manual and treddle machines!).
I have collected a fairly extensive range of original Singer Sewing Machine feet and attachments (the old, ‘Simanco’ labelled ones): I think they invented an attachment to do almost anything apart from bake a cake! I have big, complicated feet for anything from producing ruffles, pin tucks or pleats (yes, those are recognised as three separate functions!) to darning, sewing buttonholes and attaching lace. The largest and most technical-looking foot is the one for producing a zigzag stitch- it seems amazing now, but the early machines couldn’t move the position of the needle to sew the common zigzag stitch, so a foot was invented that moved the fabric from side to side instead!
I have spent many hours trying to work out what various Singer Sewing Machine feet and attachments are, and how they work!