Monday, 28 May 2012

Serendipity and being in the right place at the right time...

It was indeed a happy accident when I went to my local flea market a few weeks ago.  I always meet my daughter for coffee and shopping on a Saturday morning and then sometimes visit the market in the afternoon.   Em had to work so I decided to visit early morning.  The moment I arrived at my favourite stall the owner Steve was placing a box of linens on the table.  We chatted about the contents and then he suggested I buy the whole box!  Two Morrisons' carrier bags stuffed to the gunnels later, I was the proud owner of lots and lots of vintage linens, lace and what appeared to be garments.  They were in a very sorry state, presumably stored for a long period of time.  I knew a lot of t.l.c. would be required to bring them back to life.  Some were not too bad although the fabric condition was poor.  One such item was a delicate pink silk jacket modelled by the lovely Betty ...

 Betty wearing lace trimmed silk under-garment with a delicate ribbon

It took a long time to bring some of the pieces back to a usable condition.  Soaking, washing, soaking again using many types of detergents, vingegar, lemon juice, I tried them all!  The downside of this is you lose some of the fabrics especially the silk.  I often think it is the dirt that is holding it together!  However,  I am the very delighted owner of 32 vintage garments including bloomers (yes!) very well worn and patched (I know too much information!), camisoles, under-skirts, modesty panels, jackets - most incredibly small, one or two pieces very large.  I estimate half of them will be usable as they are, the rest are so damaged I will use all the lace, fabric and trims.

Betty modelling what I think is a modesty panel - perfect condition

There were some lovely undergarments with beautiful hook and eye fastenings.  One particular camisole although very badly worn has some exquisite pieces I can incorporate into my work, not one thing will be wasted!

Betty showing her midriff sporting the gorgeous camisole

One of my favourite pieces is this tiny tiny waistcoat, a very unusual colour, not sure if it is the original one.  It is sooo gorgeous close up, such fine detail.

It fits where it touches!

Just had to show another photograph of the waistcoat as it is so lovely close up - it has to be seen to appreciate the beauty.

The little circles at the top are like tiny buttons

and last, but not least, a brassiere made of cotton, it has the initials W. R. and Whalonia reg'd on a label.  It looks like it has had whalebones in but they have been taken out and the slits hand sewn down.

think Betty a bit lacking in the bosom department!

six lovely pockets for the whalebones

Oh, nearly forgot to show you the bloomers, very well worn, patched and darned, a lovely shade of dirty white!  Lovely deep broderie anglaise trim with slotted ribbon redeem them somewhat.

Bottom only view to protect Betty's modesty! 

embroidery detail white on white

Today my friend Gill and I have had another of our making days.  The sun was shining, we sat in the garden, me with my dye pot on the patio, Gill making lovely woollen heart hangings and leaf brooches.  We chatted in the sunshine, eating home-made egg and tomato sandwiches, grapes and lots of cups of tea.  The bloomers, brassiere and modesty panel have been dyed and then re-dipped as I didn't like the colour (too purple) and have been hanging on the line drying in the afternoon sun.
I am pleased with the result a sort of greyish purple/pinky colour.  I am intending to deconstruct and reconstruct some of the garments, to create contemporary wearable pieces.  I will leave you with a couple of photographs I took this morning as I saw that my Himalayan blue poppy was about to lift its little head up to the sun....

nearly there!

just about, but not quite!

Hope the sun shines on you this week!  Jayne xx

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Mystery purchase of the French variety..........

A little gem of an item was purchased at the Hexham Antiques Fair.  Gill P and I had a lovely day out looking around a lot of lovely interesting stands.  I spotted a plastic Carte D'or french ice cream carton with lots of intriguing bits and pieces.  At first I was puzzled, can you guess what they are?

Clue number 1 - made of wood

Clue number 2 - got a hole in them

Clue number 3 - you need some of this

 Any ideas yet?  Maybe the last piece of the jigsaw will give it away!

Clue number 4 - you need one of these

Solved the mystery yet?

the whole kit and caboodle

It is a set of rollers to print embroidery transfers onto linens, they are so beautiful in their own right I couldn't resist buying them from a lovely English gentleman now living in France.  The roller works perfectly but I haven't tried the designs on any paper or fabric yet - you will be the first to see them when I do!!!  Have a lovely weekend despite the inclement weather.  Jayne x

Monday, 14 May 2012

Happy Days, Making Days and Home made soup!

I have had a lovely making day with my friend Gill  We take it in turn to go to each others houses, drink lots of tea, eat cake and generally put the world to rights.  Today I was finishing things off, I have a terrible habit of having several things on the go at once.  Gill was nuno felting a scarf.

 adding a linen corsage and button to a hand stitched cuff

I took some home made lentil and vegetable soup, Gill supplied lovely wholemeal buns and then a carrot cake slice for afters.

putting brooch backs on corsages

We listened to lovely music, sorted through Gill's button collection and my work box and did a few swops - some gorgeous linen lingerie buttons (a particular favourite of mine) mother-of-pearl buttons for some beads and pins.  Think I came out on top on that one!  Thank you Gill.

more corsages finished

So all in all a very good productive day, I left Gill throwing her scarf into her kitchen sink - all in the name of felting honestly!  I will leave you with a picture of some buttons I picked up at my local flea market on Saturday,  just gorgeous.  Until next time, hope you have all had a lovely day.

displayed in a lovely vintage tin on a wire cake stand (thank you Julie)

Friday, 11 May 2012

Dipping my toe into the water..........

Hello and welcome to my blog.  I deliberated long and hard about the topic of my first post.  I decided to share with you a few of my many obsessions which influence my work as a designer.
time-worn old french postal sack

 new life, a gunnera leaf emerges from the decay

creating harmonious colour palettes

Time for a cup of tea and a slice of cake (another obsession!). 
 To be continued.......