Category Archives: antiques

Detective Stories

The first two weeks of April I spent in France, in Lyons again, to be precise. No holidays, but a fabric analysing class. Still I had enough time to visit my favourite antique book shop in the old city, the Librairie Diogène.

One book I bought there wasn’t a standard printed book, but a notebook full with poems, songs and drawings, created by a french soldier during his military service and shortly after, between 1898 and 1904. As I bought it on Saturday and browsed through it the same evening, I found something that determined my plans for the next day.

Bildschirmfoto 2016-06-04 um 23.16.28

This drawing is near the end of the book, he made it after his service already back home in Lyon. The church isn’t special, but I liked that he had given the exact place where he had been whilst drawing, 8 Rue Burdeau, 5th floor. And he even wrote down the name of the church itself, Eglise du Bon-Pasteur. Much different than the young author more than 100 years ago, I had internet access and was able to search for the address and the church itself.
And it proved to have quite an interesting story, so I decided to spend my Sunday with a little hunt for and  into history.

Bildschirmfoto 2016-06-04 um 23.21.19
Bon Pasteur – from my window, 8, R. Bordeau, 5th floor

The next day  I went to the quarter of Croix-Rousse and to 8, Rue Burdeau. Of course I wasn’t able to access the 5th floor, but it was already very rewarding to have found the address and the house this drawing had been made in. And as in the notebook, I saw the church!

IMG_20160410_133905
8, Rue Burdeau, Lyon

The building itself is pretty standard 19th century historicism, copying romanesque style and erected from 1869/1875 to 1883.
Writing, or better: drawing, at the turn of the century, this church was as good as new when the young soldier saw it through his window. For him it was a contemporary building.
Even being only 20 years of age, the church already had a little flaw (and had had it all the time): The street the church is standing in is very narrow and the hill of the Croix-Rousse-district mounts directly behind it. As is common with churches, a representative staircase was planned. I can’t tell you what happened exactly, but the church stands so close to the street that a staircase in front of the door just isn’t possible. The only solution would have been the demolition of the building on the other side of the road, a military barrack, which was impossible to think of in late 19th century France. As the church was accessible through the side entrance, the main portal was left closed and the staircase never built. Even when the barrack was demolished in 1954  the street and the church were left as such and the main entrance remained inaccessible.

View of the church standing in front of 8, Rue Bordeau
View of the church standing in front of 8, Rue Bordeau

In 1984 the church was desecrated and closed. The Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, since 1948 housing on the other side of the (as I said very narrow) road in said barrack, now in the building that succeeded the demolished barrack since 1960, used it as a showroom afterwards until 2008. Since then it remains closed and is slowly deteriorating. Online you can find some photos of the inside, so obviously at least graffiti sprayers know a way how to get in, I didn’t find it and had to stay outside.

IMG_20160410_134703
see, no chance to enter through the main gate

Even if I wasn’t able to access the church, I really liked to spend the day at places where a long forgotten man named Joseph lived and drew a church more than 100 years ago and I wondered what he thought about this stair-less oddity, maybe he even went to mass there and experienced it as what it was, a church, with a choir and prayers and light falling in through the stained glass. Supposing he was a young man in his 20ies back then, he wouldn’t live to see the church close, serve as an exhibition space and a whiteboard for graffiti artists. And depending on how he viewed the church, maybe it was better? Or would he have laughed about it, being secular and atheistic to the bone? We’ll maybe never know…

All information given in this post derive from the above linked Wikipedia-Posts.

 

Lace to keep you warm

Yes, it’s been a while.
And to be honest, at some point I wasn’t sure I really wanted to keep on blogging. I am still not entirely sure now, but at least I am writing a post, I assume this is a good sign.

These gloves I bought already years ago, I don’t know if I paid anything at all for them, if I did, certainly it wasn’t much. I really like them because they are sewn from a woolen fabric, normally you find either sewn leather gloves or knitted wool gloves, but I haven’t come across gloves from wool-fabric too often.
Unfortunately the fabric is very worn and so I decided to embellish them in some way. Because of this they lay in my UFO-pile for a long time until I rediscovered them last year. As they were bleak but perfectly wearable, they moved into my glove box and this was the move they had needed, as they couldn’t be forgotten again and only a few weeks later I had an idea what to make out of them. I can’t remember where I saw this kind of decoration, but I liked the idea of lace paired with wool to face the cold, I assume it was some kind of 40ies advertisement or film. These were all lace-leftovers from my stash so this project cost me next to nothing but an hour of hand-sewing.

DSC_0007wm

Ja, ich gebe zu, es ist ein Weilchen her. Und ganz ehrlich war ich zwischenzeitlich kurz davor, das Bloggen an den Nagel zu hängen. Wirklich entschieden habe ich mich immer noch nicht, aber ich schreibe einen Post, das ist doch kein schlechtes Zeichen.

Diese Handschuhe habe ich schon seit Jahren. Ich weiss gar nicht, ob ich überhaupt etwas für sie bezahlt habe, wenn dann sicherlich nicht viel. Ich mag sie sehr gerne, da sie aus Wollstoff genäht sind. Normalerweise findet man ja genähte Lederhandschuhe oder gestrickte Wollhandschuhe, aber genähte aus Wollstoff habe ich persönlich noch nicht so oft gesehen.
Leider hat der Stoff schon bessere Zeiten gesehen, weshalb schnell klar war, dass ich sie in irgendeiner Weise dekorieren wollte. Daher lagen sie lange auf dem UFO-Stapel und gerieten in Vergessenheit. Irgendwann im letzten Jahr fand ich sie dann und legte sie zu meinen anderen Handschuhen, sie waren zwar alles andere als schön, aber doch immerhin tragbar. Durch diesen Umzug hatte ich sie dann ständig vor der Nase und offenbar hatte es genau das gebraucht. Nur wenige Wochen danach hatte ich eine Idee. Ich weiss gar nicht mehr woher, aber mir gefiel die Kombination von zarter, heller Spitze und wärmender, schwarzer, grober Wolle. Gut möglich, dass ich die Vorlage aus irgendeiner Werbung oder Film aus den 40ern habe, irgendwie erinnern sie mich zumindest daran.
Genutzt habe ich ausschliesslich Spitzenreste aus meinem Vorrat, mal abgesehen von etwas Handnähen hat mich das ganze Projekt also nichts gekostet.

DSC_0008wm

See you soon,
alles Liebe

ette

Sorting through my stuff…two things become one

Nothing big going on right now, I’m busy and oftentimes it is too warm to do anything, sorry for the lack of showstoppers.
At the moment I am going through my stash, looking for new projects, finding old and abandoned Ufos and long forgotten shirts I loved to death but couldn’t bear to part with, so they went into the “maybe I can use it someday”-drawer.

Two items that have lived with me already quite some time: a Souvenir-handkerchief from the Swiss Museum of Transport from the 1960ies or 70ies I always thought too beautiful to use and a dark-blue velvet pillowcase that only needed one small part of a seam re-sewn. I had bought it in an antiques shop with a special shelf: grab a bag, fill it and pay 3€ for the whole, no matter how much stuff you managed to get into it.  As you can imagine, only being interested in a few items led to at least one full bag in the end, you can never know when something could be useful and hey, its paid! That’s how I came into the possession of a not particularly beautiful and slightly damaged 70ies velvet pillowcase.

hanky-pillow. parvasedapta.ch

Because the blue in the print of the hanky matched the velvet so well I thought it would be lovely to combine the two. I quickly repaired the damaged seam on the pillowcase an ironed some interfacing to the back of the handkerchief. Why this? I had some reasons: The fabric is very thin, so the dark velvet was shining through and it didn’t look white at all, second the fabric is very thin and I wanted to give it some support and third I feared the velvet’s pile could cause the thin fabric to move, this would have caused wrinkles on one side of the hanky and I wanted to avoid this risk. Oh and because it made things a lot easier. The fabric could easily be stretched and shifted in all directions (did I mention it is thin?), supporting it with the interfacing helped a lot while sewing it onto the pillowcase by hand.

Don’t know more I could tell you about such an easy and small project. So if you have some beautiful hankies lying around, why not decorate your pillows with it? Upcycling at its easiest 😉
And no, it usually doesn’t sit on this step stool, but on the stool in front of my sewing machine, even though I try to find a place in my flat where it is treated better, it is so much more than a seat cushion 🙂

hanky-pillowIII.parvasedapta.ch

Auf Deutsch

Zur Zeit läuft hier leider nicht so viel. Ich habe recht viel zu tun und in der Hitze nähen macht auch keinen grossen Spass. Also sorry für die eher mageren Projekte derzeit.

Momentan gehe ich ein wenig meine Bestände durch und finde neue Ideen, alte und verlassene unfertige Objekte und alte Lieblingsshirts, von denen ich mich lange nicht trennen konnte und die deshalb in die “ich finde sicher noch eine Verwendung”-Schublade wanderten.

Zwei Dinge die sich schon länger mit mir eine Wohnung teilen: Ein Stofftaschentuch aus dem Verkehrshaus der Schweiz aus den 60er oder 70er Jahren welches ich immer zu hübsch fand um mein Näschen damit zu putzen und eine Kissenhülle aus blauem Samt, der lediglich ein kleines Stück defekte Naht fehlte. Diese hatte ich in einem kleinen Trödelladen mit einem speziellen Regal gefunden: eine Tüte mit Dingen aus dem Regal für 3€, egal wie viel man reingestopft hat. Ihr könnt euch vorstellen, das Interesse an wenigen Teilen führte trotzdem zu prallgefüllten Beuteln, kann ja immer nützlich sein und hey, es ist bezahlt! So kam ich in den Besitz dieser nicht unbedingt schön zu nennenden und leicht angeschlagenen 70er-Jahre Kissenhülle.

hanky-pillowII.parvasedapta.ch

Auf die Idee, diese beiden Fundstücke zu vereinen kam ich, weil das Blau in dem Druck des Taschentuchs so perfekt zum Samt passt. Also reparierte ich schnell die beschädigte Naht und bügelte Vlieseline auf die Rückseite des Taschentuchs. Warum? Aus mehreren Gründen: Der Stoff ist recht dünn und das dunkelblau schimmerte durch, was das Taschentuch ziemlich grau erscheinen liess, zweitens wollte ich den dünnen Stoff ein wenig stabilisieren und drittens hatte ich Angst, der Samtflor könnte das Taschentuch in eine Richtung schieben und damit Falten an einer Seite des Tuchs werfen, wenn dieses aufgenäht ist. Ausserdem machte die Vlieseline das Aufnähen sehr viel einfacher. Weil der Stoff so dünn ist (erwähnte ich das schon?) konnte man ihn in jede Richtung verschieben und ziehen, die Vlieseline hält ihn in der zugeschnittenen, quadratischen Form.

Tja, was soll ich euch sonst noch darüber erzählen, ist ja wirklich ein sehr kleines Projekt. Aber vielleicht hat jemand von euch auch alte Stofftaschentücher rumliegen und weiss nicht wohin damit, dann nehmt das hier als kleine aber feine Upcycling-Idee.
Und nein, eigentlich wohnt es nicht auf dem Tritthocker, sondern auf dem Hocker vor meiner Nähmaschine, auch wenn es langfristig einen besseren Platz finden soll, als Sitzkissen ist es mir doch ein wenig zu schade.

See you soon, alles Liebe

ette

Spring in Summer – Printemps Summer Catalogue 1907

It has been months since  I participated in Beswingtes Fräulein’s “Getrödelt, Gefunden, Gefreut“, where you show your antique and flea market shopping finds on the 1st of the month. Now this month I am back on track again 🙂

What I want to show you today is nothing more than a fragment. I found these pages in an antique shop in the neighbouring town, they were taped into passepartouts, but were lying in a box without any frame or support. I collected as much pages as I could find and bought the lot for 15 CHF, not very cheap but as I had never seen anything similar in an antiques shop I was willing to pay this price, even though it seemed a bit on the top end for me.
The pages all belong to an early department store catalogue. Maybe you know that in Europe the early 20th century saw a rise of the department store, shops like “Au bon marché” or “Au printemps” became not only the first large and luxurious mall-like stores where you could buy anything, they also offered mail-order and shipped catalogues to their clients.
What I found are pages from the swiss issue of the Summer 1907 mail-order catalogue of “Au printemps“. Most interesting for me was to see how the change from made-to-measure-tailor dresses to store-bought off-the-rack fashion. The women’s fashion in these few pages ranges from made-to-measure over half-sewn and not-sewn to ready-made garments.
Now, without much ado, enjoy all these pigeon breasts:

img028

Auf deutsch

So lange war ich nicht mehr dabei, aber diesen Monat zeige ich euch endlich auch mal wieder ein wenig Trödel im Rahmen von “Getrödelt, Gefunden, Gefreut“, gehostet von dem Beswingten Fräulein.
Was ihr hier sehr ist der klägliche Rest eines Kaufhaus-Katalogs von 1907. Kaufhäuser waren um die Jahrhundertwende ja gross im Kommen und boten nicht nur ein ganz neues Einkaufserlebnis in riesigen Luxus-Tempeln die scheinbar alles nur denkbare anboten, es gab auch die Möglichkeit, per Katalog vom Sofa aus zu bestellen, frühe Versandhäuser also. Dies sind Seiten des Schweizer Katalogs des Kaufhauses “Au Printemps” für den Sommer 1907. Gefunden habe ich sie in der Nachbarstadt in einem kleinen Antikladen, sie lagen eingeklebt in Passepartouts, aber ohne Rahmen oder sonst einen Schutz, in einer Kiste mit allem möglichen anderen Krempel. Ich habe so viele Seiten wie ich finden konnte zusammengeklaubt (man darf sagen gerettet^^), trotzdem sind es längst nicht alle. Abgeknöpft wurden mir dafür 15 Franken. Das fand ich ehrlich gesagt recht teuer, aber da ich noch nie etwas vergleichbares gefunden hatte, war es mir die Sache trotzdem wert. Was ich besonders interessant finde, ist der sichtbare Wandel von massgeschneiderter Schneider-Mode hin zu Modellen “von der Stange”. Neben diesen beiden findet man im Katalog auch Zwischenschritte, halbangefertigt und nichtangefertigt.
Und jetzt lasse ich einfach Bilder sprechen 🙂

img029img030img031img032img033img034img035img036img037img038img039img040img041

 

See you soon, alles Liebe,

ette

How deep can you fall? “Getrödelt, gefunden, gefreut” in march

As every month, Bewingtes Fräulein asks us to show our flea market, antiques shoppings and other old stuff hauls and I happily oblige.

The day I photographed my embroidered basket, I went to a charity shop nearby. This shop had opened already a while ago and I had been there once shortly after the opening. But as you can imagine, shop like these do have to grow a little while to get interesing, to become a treasure cave that you want to search and my first visit wasn’t very fruitful at all. After I had took the photos I thought it was about time to see if it already had become more interesting. Oh yes, it had! When I left more than an hour later I was heavily laden with all kinds of stuff, 6m of vintage silk, a 50ies paper basket, an old porcelain ginger jar, only to name a few.
Today I want to show you the item I spent most on this day, at the same time this was the greatest bargain of all. The item I was ecstatic and horrified to find at the same time.

DSC_0081wm

Maybe some of you might remember: When I started my blog in june 2011, one of the first posts I wrote was about a 19th century dalmatic I found at a flea market. This kind of church vestment is worn by the deacon in the catholic mass. I loved being able to touch a silk that old and to see how the 19th century copied styles from earlier centuries.
(Note: this is not going to be a post about faith, god and the church. My interest lies in the development of the forms and styles of these vestments and the fabrics used for them. It is absolutely not in my interest to evangelise anybody, I am not even catholic myself. When I would talk about 18th century court dress you wouldn’t expect opinions on absolutism, either, would you 😉 )

DSC_0078wm

While the deacon wears the dalmatic, during the mass the priest is wearing something called a chasuble. The chasuble started as a long, half circle cone shaped garment, that was gathered at the sides to release the arms. As you can imagine this resulted in a lot of fabric lying on the priests arms. Many medieval works of art show this kind of bell-shaped chasuble. During the centuries the sides where more and more shortened to lessen the amount of fabric gathered on the arms. The longing for elaborate decoration grew every decade and when the chasubles were made from heavier and stiffer fabrics or completely encrusted in gold embroidery, pleats and gathers were a) very impractical because of the stiffness and b) didn’t show the beautiful design and even destroyed it through rubbing and tearing. Around 1600 the shape changed, the gathered sides were completely gone and the chasuble had reached the so-called “fiddle-shape”, because of the curved front cut that resembles a fiddle. Now the chasubles where very stiff and looked more like a shell then like a garment. To prevent the already stiff embroidery and fabrics from wrinkling, an interlining made from paper or parchment was added.

So much prelude to understand what I found that day.

DSC_0069wm

What you see here is the back of a chasuble, the fabrics date from ca. the 1770ies (the pink one, still not sure about the yellow one, but it’s 2nd half 18th ct., no doubt). While the sides are made from a dusky pink silk damask (most probably lyonese), the middle part shows a very complex silber brocaded silk fabric. I will limit my technical descriptions to the image subtitles, if you are interested.

When you turn this frame around, you see that it isn’t a chasuble anymore. What is still visible is the upper part of the front. The fabric is very damaged due to the rites in the mass. Until the 2nd vatican council in the 1960ies most of the mass the priest faced the altar, therefore showing his back to the crowd (that is the reason, why chasubles often have a rich back decoration). Manipulating all the different instruments on the altar, rubbing with the belly on the stone of the latter left traces on the fabrics. I can at least be happy that the front is still existant, not few chasubles where undid and only the backs saved.

DSC_0082wm

Lie it on the floor and you see what happened: Someone undid the shoulderseams and placed the back onto the front part after relining everything. And I would argue that this lining is not older than maybe 30 years, so this is a very recent reworking.

To cut a long story short: Why was it altered?
Well, it is decorative, it is antique. It was very “en vogue” for a long time to decorate the house with antique textiles (and still is). You can’t do much with a chasuble, it doesn’t lie flat because of the shoulders (watch the movie “The third man” carefully, in one scene you will see a chasuble on a drawer, like a giant doily). Altered like this you can use it to hide your radiator, as an alternative to a picture and so on. That this will damage the fabric because silks that old shouldn’t be exposed to light is partly unknown partly ignored.
I wouldn’t have bought an item like this in an antique store, because I would have supported this practice. The seller in the charity shop didn’t even know what it was, I assume she got it when a dissolved household was given to her.

Obviously the cut was altered at least one more time before this installation, you see the light damage.
Obviously the cut was altered at least one more time before this installation, you see the light damage and the remains of an old seam ¦ Offenbar wurde die Kasel schon einmal verändert, man sieht den Lichtschaden und alte Nahtspuren.

Why this makes me sad?
I am not religious, but I do respect faith and in my believe we should show some respect to the believes of others as well as to the things our ancestors made. To see something as “high” as a church vestment and as precious as silver brocaded 18th century silk between plastic potties and 90ies back packs just hurts my heart. I know that the museums of the world can’t save everything, but this just didn’t seem right to me.

Why this makes me happy?
Well, because I paid 10 CHF. Chasubles in good condition can cost hundreds of Swiss Francs (or Euro or dollar, it doesn’t really matter, it simply is very very cheap), and most of them are younger. So even though this chasuble is damaged and altered, the brocaded fabric is magnificent and the fabrics alone should be worth more.

At the moment it is rolled on a large cardboard tube with acid-free silk tissue between the layers, I will give it to my professor’s study collection at the university. Like this, future students can learn from it and it will be appreciated as the item it is: a witness of the past.

DSC_0093wm

Auf Deutsch

Wie jeden Monat ruft das Beswingte Fräulein dazu auf, unsere neuen alten Errungeschaften des Vormonats zu präsentieren. Da bin ich doch mal wieder dabei 🙂

Als ich meinen Korb vor einigen Wochen fotografierte, stattete ich kurz danach dem ortlichen Trödelladen einen Besuch ab. Ich war erst einmal kurz nach der Eröffnung dort gewesen, damals war er noch dementsprechend leer und langweilig. Solche Läden brauchen ja immer etwas Zeit zum wachsen, bis sie zu Fundgruben reifen. Jetzt, dachte ich, könnte ich mal wieder nachschauen, und tatsächlich, eine Schatztruhe. Nach über einer Stunde verlies ich den Laden schwer bepackt, unter anderem mit 6m alter (=ca. 1960) Seide, einem 50er Jahre Papierkorb und einem Ingwerglas aus Porzellan.
Das Fundstück aber, für das ich am meisten Geld ausgab und welches gleichzeitig das grösste Schnäppchen war, das mich gleichzeitig verzückt grinsen und verzweifeln liess, möchte ich euch heute vorstellen.

DSC_0075wm
Next to the colourful flower pattern, there is a monochrome damask pattern in the background ¦ Neben dem farbigen Muster sieht man noch ein Damastmuster im Hintergrund.

Vielleicht mögen sich ein paar noch erinnern: Als ich im Juni 2011 mit meinem Blog anfing, schrieb ich einen meiner ersten Posts über ein Kirchengewand aus dem 19. Jahrhundert, welches ich auf einem Flohmarkt gefunden hatte, eine Dalmatik, wie sie vom Diakon während der Messe getragen wird. Ich war begeistert davon, die alte Seide berühren zu können und zu sehen, wie das 19. Jahrhundert seine Inspration aus früheren Jahrhunderten zog.
(Kurze Anmerkung für alle die etwas zögern: Es wird hier nicht um Glaube, Gott oder die Kirche gehen. Ich interessiere mich für die Formgeschichte dieser Kleidungsstücke sowie die dafür verwendeten Stoffe. Es liegt mir fern, zu missionieren, ich bin ja selbst nicht einmal katholisch. Würde ich über höfische Mode des 18. Jahrhunderts reden erwartet ja auch niemend eine Meinung zum Absolutismus, oder 😉 )

DSC_0103wm
As you see, the patterned areas look very 3-dimensional, further down I explain why. The grey lines on the yellowground are silver threads, woven between the silk threads ¦ Man sieht schön, wie die Blumen hervortreten, weiter unten versuche ich das zu erklären. Die grauen Striche sind Silberfäden, die zwischen die gelbe Seide gewoben wurden

Während der Diakon also die Dalmatik trägt, kleidet sich der Prister während der Messe in die sogenannte Kasel. Diese war ursprünglich ein langes Gewand, geschnitten aus  einem Halbkreis und vorne zusammengenäht (eigentlich wie ein halber Tellerrock, nur länger und eben auf den Schultern getragen), die sogenannte Glockenkasel. Um die Arme bewegen zu können, raffte man den Stoff an den Seiten zusammen, dieser lag dann als faltiger Berg auf den Unterarmen. Viele mittelalterliche Kunstwerke zeigen das sehr schön. Im Laufe der Zeit wurden die Seiten immer mehr gekürzt, die Stoffberge auf den Armen wurden weniger. Gleichzeitig begann man, die Kaseln immer aufwändiger zu verzieren und  als man begann a) steifere und auffällig gemusterte Gewebe sowie b) schwere Goldstickereien zu verwenden, konnten die Kaseln endgültig nicht mehr gerafft werden. Nicht nur weil dann von den ganzen schönen Mustern kaum etwas zu sehen gewesen wäre, sondern auch weil das Aneinanderreiben der Goldfäden sehr schnell zu Schäden geführt hätte. Um 1600 hatte die Kasel daher eine Form angenommen, die man heute als “Bassgeigen-Kasel” bezeichnet, aufgrund des Zuschnitts auf der Vorderseite, der Ähnlichkeit mit eben einer solchen hat. Um Faltenwurf und Knittern zu verhindern wurden diese Kaseln zusätzlich mit Pergament oder Papier versteift.

DSC_0087wm
You see the paper under the fabric and unterneath a red linen fabric, maybe the original lining ¦ Hier sieht man das Papier unter dem Stoff und dahinter einen roten Leinenstoff, vielleicht das ursprüngliche Futter.

So, lange Vorrede, aber notwendig um zu verstehen, was ich euch heute zeigen möchte.
Was ihr oben seht ist die Rückseite einer eben solchen Bassgeigen-Kasel,  die Stoffe sind aus den 1770ern (zumindest der pinke, der gelbe ist auch sicher aus der 2. Hälfte des 18. Jhdts.). Die Seiten sind aus einem altrosa Seidendamast (sehr wahrscheinlich aus Lyon), der Mittelteil besteht aus einem sehr komplexen Seidengewebe mit Silberfäden. Ich werde meinen technischen Senf auf die Bildunterschriften beschränken, falls ihr interessiert seid.

DSC_0088wm
You see that the green threads turn after the motif has ended, not like in normal weaving where the weft passes through the whole width, this technique is called “brocading”, the silver vases are made the same way ¦ Hier sieht man, dass die grünen Fäden nicht auf der Rückseite weiterlaufen, wie es normal in einem Gewebe ist, sondern nach dem Motiv umkehren. Diese Technik nennt sich “broschieren”, die silbernen Vasen sind genauso gearbeitet.

Wenn man den Holzrahmen dreht wird sichtbar, dass es eben keine Kasel mehr ist. Immer noch sichtbar ist die obere Hälfte der Vorderseite. Der Stoff ist hier ziemlich beschädigt. Das liegt an der Verwendung, denn bis zum 2. vatikanischen Konzil in den 1960ern wurde ein Grossteil der Messe mit dem Rücken zu den Glüubigen zelebriert. Die Bewegungen, die Kelche und die Altarkante, ihr könnt euch vorstellen was da mit einer Seide alles passieren kann. Aber das ist auch der Grund, weshalb historische Kaseln vor allem den Rücken dekoriert haben. Bei dieser kann man froh sein, dass die Vorderseite noch existiert, nicht wenige Kaseln wurden komplett demontiert und nur der Rücken bewahrt.

DSC_0097wm

Wenn man das Ding mal auf den Boden legt, sieht man, was passiert ist: Die Schulternähte wurden aufgetrennt und der Rücken auf dem Vorderteil festgenäht, nachdem man das Ganze neu gefüttert hatte. Und dieses weisse Futter ist in meinen Augen nicht älter als 30 Jahre, es ist also eine relativ neue Umarbeitung.

Um es kurz zu machen: Warum macht man sowas?
Es ist schön, dekorativ, ein alter Stoff. Es war lange Zeit ziemlich “in”, seine Wohnung mit alten Stoffen zu schmücken (und ist es immer noch in bestimmten Kreisen). Mit einer Kasel kann man nicht so viel machen, flach liegend stehen die Schultern ab, es gibt ein Loch in der Mitte (schaut euch mal aufmerksam “Der dritte Mann” an, in einer Szene liegt eine Kasel auf einer Kommode im Hintergrund, wie ein riesiges Deckchen). So abgeändert kann man damit Heizkörper verstecken oder einfach etwas anderes als ein Bild als Dekoration haben. Dass so alte Stoffe nicht mehr dem Licht ausgesetzt werden sollen wird gerne ignoriert, manche wissen es vielleicht auch gar nicht.
Ich hätte ein solches Objekt nie in einem Antiquitäten-Laden gekauft, denn da müsste ich von einem System ausgehen und ich laufe Gefahr, eine solche Praxis zu unterstützen. Die Verkäuferin im Trödelladen wusste nicht einmal, was es ist. Wahrscheinlich hat sie es mit einer Haushaltsauflösung bekommen. Die Chance dass sie so etwas nähen würde, ist verschwindend gering.

DSC_0085wm
The vases are woven with a special kind of thread, a thin silver “tinsel” is wrapped around a white silk thread ¦ Die Vasen sind aus sogenanntem Silberlahn gemacht, bei diesem Garn wird ein dünner Silberstreifen um eine (hier weisse) Seidenseele gewickelt

Warum verzweifeln?
Ich bin nicht besonders gläubig, aber ich respektiere den Glauben. Und so  wie man meiner Meinung die Überzeugungen anderer akzeptieren sollte, sollte man auch die Zeugnisse, die uns aus der Vergangenheit erhalten sind respektieren. Etwas so würdevolles wie ein Kirchengewand und so kostbares und aufwändiges wie eine silber-broschierte Seide aus dem 18. Jahrhundert gehört einfach nicht zwischen Töpfchen und Billigrucksäcke, das tut mir einfach weh zu sehen. Ich weiss, dass die Museen auch nicht alles retten können, aber das fühlt sich für mich einfach falsch an.

Warum Verzücken?
Weil ich 10 Franken bezahlt hab. Kaseln können mehrere Hundert kosten, dann vielleicht im guten Zustand, aber auch oft jünger.  Auch wenn  diese beschädigt und umgearbeitet ist, alleine der Stoff ist mehr wert.

Zur Zeit lagere ich sie gerollt auf einer grossen Versandrolle mit säurefreiem Seidenpapier zwischen den Lagen. Ich werde sie der Studiensammlung meiner Professorin geben, so können zukünftige Studenten von ihr lernen und sie als das würdigen, was sie ist: Ein Zeugnis der Vergangenheit.

Das war viel, das war lang, ich hoffe ihr seid noch bei mir. Wünsche euch einen schönen Sonntag!

 That was long, that was a lot, hope you are still with me. I wish you a lovely sunday.

ette

No plastic is good plastic

As you might know my blog’s title includes the motto “caring for tomorrow”. This may not become obvious or be in the spotlight in every post, but it is a very important aspect of my life.
Maybe one of the biggest steps towards a more sustainable life is to realize what plastic does to our planet and to our health and that we do good avoiding it as good as we can (I won’t go much into detail here because I don’t want to proselytise. If you want to inform yourself a quick online-seach should give you a good start) This is anything but easy, in fact so much of our daily life is made from plastic, it is next to impossible  avoiding it completely. So the best we can do is to check our every day routine, where can I avoid plastic with little effort, what can be substituted with something else and so on.

One of the easiest and yet most important things is to do without plastic bags. The vast majority of plastic bags is discarded after having been used only once. And during my years working in a bookshop I have even come across some clients who complained about being used as an advertisement panel when carrying plastic bags, really, what a first world problem! We are used to not forgetting our keys, our handkerchiefs, our gloves at home, but I always encounter the same excuse “I simply forget to take a cotton bag with me”.
Interesting how our brain works sometimes, for me it’s all about prioritising and if I don’t want to forget that bag, I won’t.

I don’t want to talk about cotton bags today, I do have too many of them and I don’t sew any more of them as long as I have all these that somehow gathered in my broom closet over the years. And yes, I do keep one with me in my handbag, always.

But sometimes, a cotton bag just isn’t the right mean of transportation. Think of berries and salad from the market or a cake from your local bakery. So when my mother asked me last year if I was interested in an old basket I said yes immediately. I had planned to get a basket for already some time, but I thought this was something I could easily find on a flea market or in a charity shop and didn’t want to buy a new one, so when my mother said she had been given this old one and didn’t need it, it was just the perfect timing.

My joy ceased abruptly when I saw it the first time:

DSC_0068wm

This was most probably the ugliest basket I had seen my entire life. That yellow stuff you see at the sides is yellow pvc-tablecloth and was supposed to cover the basket but the elastic inside was a little out of shape, so it just hung down very poorly, looking even more horrible.
The naked basket I liked much better:

DSC_0069wm

 

But it has a little problem: As I said, it is old. I don’t know how old, but old enough for the  material to get brittle. It still can hold weight, but the single stalks break very easily, especially at the bottom. Carrying a bottle of milk is fine, but you have to be careful not to throw anything directly onto a single stalk or it could break, therefore destabilising the whole basket. Here you see the problem:

DSC_0070wm

Well, I had two choices: Leave it as it was, knowing that the basket would be completely damaged and unuseable in the foreseeable future (and risking to cover the street with my groceries one unlucky day) or I could face and solve the problem.
You can imagine that I wouldn’t write this post if I would have went for the first option 😉

I decided to copy the pattern from the ugly yellow cover and to add a lining (could you call this a lining in this case or is there a more appropriate word?).  The bottom piece of the lining I attached to a piece of cardboard, so that the basket underneath would be protected from anything heavy falling on one single stalk.
I used an old lavender coloured tablecloth I got years ago for free because it has some stains. I wasn’t able to cut away all the stains, but they are on the lining so not visible because of the cover (and I can’t wash the lining, so it will be even more stained in the future, I suppose). The tablecloth had a darker stripe woven around the edges, some 10cm away from the hem, I placed these stripes vertically in the lining (below the handle) and included it in the design of the cover as well.

Somehow I made a massive mistake when calculating the lining, you see I had to add a quite wide strap to make it fit. Here a photo how it looked before I added the cover, you can see the dark woven stripe below the handle:

parvasedapta.ch - Embroidered Basket V
Let me tell you, sewing something onto a basket is NOT funny. I attached the lining with a straight needle and it was not easy at all, for the cover I used a curved needle. I have to admit, it worked better, but my fingers started to cramp because of the unfamiliar form. I am quite sure  that this was the first and the last basket I ever made a cover for.

parvasedapta.ch - Embroidered Basket I
I decided to add a little embroidery to make it less plain. I went for a design I found in an early 20th century pattern sheet for machine embroidery, I already briefly mentioned it in this post. I searched for the book it belonged with (“Das Sticken mit der Nähmaschine”) online and it is dated around 1910-20 (no year was printed on it, these are the seller’s guesses) And no, I didn’t machine embroider it, but used back and stem stitches which resulted in a rather naive and plain embroidery effect, but I like it pretty much.

parvasedapta.ch - Embroidered Basket III

You can see how I included the dark stripe into the design.
I overlapped the two sides as the yellow pvc had done also, don’t ask me why the two sides look so asymetrical, they should be identical (and it is on purpose that I didn’t put one side on top of the other, this would have looked even more odd).

parvasedaota.ch - Embroidered Basket II
The edges are the original hem of the tablecloth, on the back of it I attached some cotton ribbon to thread the elastic through. Now it closes properly again.

The pattern sheet I copied the embroidery from is in a very fragile condition and tears when I unfold it, so I will try to use it at little as possible in the future. The pattern I used for this project I had traced onto tissue paper. To keep it, without manipulating the pattern sheet again, I digitalized it. And because I am so kind I will share it with you, klick on the image to enlarge it (and tell me when you makee it, I am curious to see your version):

parvasedapta.ch - embroidery pattern

 

I like the result very much and love to take it with me to the market. And though I know I won’t try to sew with baskets again, it was well worth the effort.
parvasedapta.ch - Embroidered Basket IV
See you soon, love,

ette

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journal des Demoiselles 1878

Already a while ago I was asked if I would like to share some of the old fashion plates I have.
Of course I would! Unfortunately most are too large for my small scanner and I don’t want to damage them, but I do what I can. Additionally you can already find so many scans on the interweb, so if you are searching for good scans you might want to check if someone else already uploaded what you are searching for.

Here are the colour plates in my “Journal des Demoiselles” from 1878. Unfortunately some are missing, you can find all plates (and the text as well) here.

parvasedapta.ch - Journal d Demoiselles 1878 VII parvasedapta.ch - Journal d Demoiselles 1878 VIII parvasedapta.ch - Journal d Demoiselles 1978 V parvasedapta.ch - Journal d Demoiselles 1878 I parvasedapta.ch - Journal d Demoiselles 1878 II parvasedapta.ch - Journal d Demoiselles 1878 III parvasedapta.ch - Journal d Demoiselles 1878 IV parvasedapta.ch - Journal d Demoiselles 1878 VI

 

I hope you like them, see you soon,

ette

Only 316 days to go

Deutsche Zusammenfassung s.u.

Third 20ies-post in a row, hope you won’t get bored? 🙂

Well, some time ago there was a Sew-Along. Its aim was to sew a dress. Not just any dress, a Christmas-Dress. Yes, I am talking about the Weihnachtskleid-Sewalong. It’s been a while 😉

My last post with this tag dates from december 15th, nearly two months ago I’m afraid. At  that stage my dress was far from being finished, the top wasn’t attached to the skirt, sleeves and all the little velvet things like collar and jabot I hadn’t even thought of. But despite my motivation was as low as you could imagine, I did work on the dress and many little steps took me to finally finishing it already one month ago. The first photos of the finished dress (on my dress form in a bad light, you see some of them further down) date from january 10th, so apparently I was already done then.

But it took me until last wekend I finally found the time and the right weather to make some proper photos of it. Or maybe it was again a matter of not-wanting?

You may wonder why. Why didn’t I want to be finished by Christmas when I had the chance to? Why wasn’t I eager to photograph my first ever 20ies sewing project?
Maybe because, the closer I got to the finishing line, the more I realized this was in no way going to work.
The fitting issues were all dealt with, the plaid sewing went without any difficulties, there were no catastrophes, no sewing-machine-breakdowns, no seam-unpicking, no shortage of fabric nothing. What happened?

Well, I should have known earlier: What comes to your mind when thinking of the 20ies? Simple but beautiful styles, quiet and yet eccentric fashion, quality materials, sophisticated cuts, for me the Twenties are pure, calm elegance.
And what did I chose? A dress with Peter-Pan-Collar and jabot in piggy-pink-velvet! Pardon!? What was I thinking? This isn’t elegant, this is ludicrous!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_0079wm

See? It is a 20ies dress, no doubt it is. But this is a dress you can wear when welcoming your in-laws-to-be when trying to convince then that you aren’t a naughty flapper-girl, but well behaved and boring, far away from anything scandalous.

And for me this is far from being wearable outside a fancy dress party. This has nothing to do with elegant 20ies silk chiffon show-more-than-you-conceal-dresses that would force people to stare with their mouths open, this is a cute little period dress, optionally worn by the well-mannered daughter or the old maid left on the shelf in a clichéd play, though I should have left the skirt a little longer for these two.

DSC_0085wm

And this means as well that for me there was no way I was going to wear this on Christmas Eve. My boyfriend still can’t stop laughing and shaking his head when he sees me wearing this.

DSC_0081wm

Now, after having said all this, let’s talk about the dress a little. Despite the fabrics being not correct at all, I tried to stay as close as I could to the original. All seam allowances on the inside are pinked, the waist seam is covered with a grosgrain ribbon. I used no interfacing, therefore the cuffs are a little on the floppy side, the sleeves close with hooks and eyes beneath the cuffs. The front closes with press-studs underneath the jabot.

DSC_0063 (2)wm

I had initially planned to make the jabot from the plaid fabric. Only later I saw that it was meant to be made from the second fabric. Because the back of the velvet isn’t that attractive I doubled it with the plaid. As you can imagine this resulted in a very stiff jabot, the nice drapery look above is completely fake, everything is sewn in place to make it appear as it does.

DSC_0062 (2)wm

Collar, cuffs and belt are lined with a champagne-coloured poly-whatever-lining-fabric, while the topstitching on the jabot is made with the machine, on the cuffs and the collar I used hand-stitching, as visible above.

DSC_0076wm
this is in fact an outtake, I was closing my cuff at that moment

The skirt was meant to be a little wider than the bodice. I tried to gather as much width as I could without being visible as gathers in the front and back, the rest was put to the sides, so the side panels do appear a little gathered, but I like this effect (and it is very common for 20ies dresses to have gathers or pleated panels at the hips, so maybe even wanted).
And because it had always been too large and too long during its creation, I somehow overdid it and now the skirt is a little on the short side. But I admittedly was too lazy to unpick the hem with all the pleats so I’ll leave it like this.

DSC_0078wm

Well, consider the Christmas-Dress-chapter closed.

I don’t know what I will do with this dress. In a few days there is carnival in Switzerland, though I normally avoid this event, at least I would have a fancy dress to wear if anybody forces me to go.

DSC_0082wm
hat: New Yorker – feathers on the hat: antique/flea market – dress: ette after a 1920ies pattern – stockings: Ars Vivendi – shoes: flea market

Now, what do you say to this pink square frumpy whatever?
And to stay with the sew-along’s motto: 316 days until Christmas 😛

Auf Deutsch:
Auch wenn das link-in schon lange geschlossen ist und man das hier wohl kaum noch als verspätete Zieleinfahrt werten kann, ich habe diesen Sew-Along zweisprachig gestartet, dann sollte ich auch noch ein paar Worte auf deutsch über den Abschluss dieser Odyssee verlieren:
Mitverfolgen konntet ihr den Werdegang dieses Kleides bis Mitte Dezember, da hatte ich Rock und Oberteil als Basis fertig. Alle Anpassungen waren vorgenommen und auch das mit dem Karomuster hatte sich als machbar erwiesen. Warum es jetzt trotzdem so lange gebraucht hat, um fertigzuwerden (zugegeben, fertig ist es schon seit dem 10. Januar, aber erst am Wochenende konnte ich mich zu schönen Fotos aufraffen)? Schaut es euch an! Das hat mit eleganten, mondänen 20ern nichts zu tun. Rosa Karos mit Samt und Bübchenkragen, was hab ich mir dabei gedacht? Ja, es sieht authentisch aus (nur bei der Saumlänge war ich ein wenig vorschnell, die ist zu kurz), aber nicht schön. Das trägt man wenn man jemandem zeigen will, wie lieb und langweilig man eigentlich ist, bei der zukünftigen Schwiegermutter zum Beispiel. Diese Erkenntnis dämmerte mir bereits während des Nähens, weshalb es als Weihnachtsgarderobe dann nicht mehr zur Diskussion stand und so ergab eines das andere und es brauchte seine Zeit, bis es tatsächlich noch fertig wurde.
Jetzt habe ich ein sehr braves 20er-Jahre-Kleid, dass selbst auf einer Kostümparty bieder wirken würde.
Ich bin daher merkwürdig zwiegespalten, denn abgesehen davon bin ich sehr glücklich, wie gut alles gelaufen ist und dass es einigermassen sitzt.

Naja, bis Weihnachten sind es noch 316 Tage, bis Rosenmontag nur noch 5, auch wenn ich absolut kein Jeck bin, immerhin hätte ich jetzt ein Kostüm.

See you soon, love,

ette

 

Getrödelt, gefunden, gefreut – Mystery Edition

Deutsche Version unten

It’s the first of the month and as always Frl Swing invites fellow flea market addicts and charity shop haulers to show their latest finds.
I would like to use this month’s showcase to present a little mystery item, hopefully the online community’s wisdom can help me figure out what it was meant for.

I found it only a few weeks ago on a flea market. When I see boxes I have to open them but most of the time they contain nothing or pens or compasses or stuff like this. So I was pretty surprised, discovering something that at least looked remotely like something to sew with. And for a price of 3 CHF I was willing to take it with me (no, the seller had no idea of its function, either).

DSC_0081wm

A construction made from metal stick with a wooden knob on top. At the end sits a machine needle, but in a slight angle. Tightly around this stick sits a sleeve with something resembling a sewing foot at its end.

DSC_0084wm

When holding the thing by the sleeve you can press down the knob and the needle goes down through the foot. There is no spring inside, so you have to pull it up again yourself. The little l-shaped thing next to the needle has a little hole in the middle, I suppose you could use it to thread your yarn through it. The screw and the teeth directly below the knob allow to adjust how deep the needle can go down.

My dad and I assume this could be some kind of upholstery tool, maybe to attach buttons to a sofa, but I can’t see how it would exactly work and I wasn’t able to find any information on it online

Have you seen something similar and can help me? I would be so very happy as I would love to know how it works.

Auf Deutsch:

Lieben Dank für einen neuen Monat “Getrödelt, gefunden, gefreut“, liebes Frl. Swing.

Ich möchte dieses Mal eine geheimnisvolle Apparatur vorstellen und hoffe ein wenig auf die geballte Intelligenz des Internets, vielleicht hat ja jemand von euch sowas schon einmal gesehen. Gefunden habe ich dieses “Ding” auf einem Flohmarkt vor ein paar Wochen, hübsch versteckt in der oben sichtbaren Box.

Auf einer Metallstange ist ein Holzknopf befestigt, am anderen Ende wird eine Nähmaschinennadel angeschraubt, allerding in einem leichten Winkel. Vor der Nadel ist noch ein kleines gebogenes Plättchen (was im Bild wie ein “l” aussieht), durch welches man vermutlich einen Faden fädeln kann.  Um diesen Stab herum gearbeitet ist eine bewegliche Hülse, am unteren Ende etwas, was verdächtig nach Nähfüsschen aussieht. Wenn ich das Ding an der Hülse festhalte und den Knopf herunterdrücke senkt sich die Nadel durch dieses Füsschen. Da es offenbar keine Feder im Inneren hat, muss man die Nadel auf dieselbe Weise wieder hochziehen. Mit den Zähnchen unterhalb des Knopfes kann eingestellt werden, wie weit die Nadel durch den Fuss sticht.
Gekostet hat es mich 3Fr., auch weil der Verkäufer selber keine Ahnung hatte, was es sein könnte.

Mein Vater und ich mussten beide an Polsterarbeiten denken, er hatte die Idee, dass man damit vielleicht Knöpfe an einer Rückenlehne oder so annähen kann, auch wenn die genaue Arbeitsweise dann immer noch unklar bleibt. Zudem habe ich im Internet keinerlei Informationen finden können, die diesem Ding auch nur ansatzweise nahe kommen.

Habt ihr so etwas schon einmal gesehen oder wisst, wofür es gut sein könnte? Ich würde mich sehr freuen, etwas über dieses Schätzchen herauszubekommen und es vielleicht sogar einmal auszuprobieren. 

DSC_0080 (2)wm

See you soon, love

ette

My new series – My new sewing machine!

For quite some time I have had a little idea working in my mind. I mentioned it very shortly in my post about my new old Bernina 730, but I wanted to be prepared for the series to start before I really announce it. But finally here it comes.

As I have said in the above-mentioned post, I love old sewing machines. I love to imagine how the previous owners worked with them, what dresses were created on them, how the rooms they stood in looked like and so on. My Singer Featherweight had a little handwritten note attached to the sewing table with some old adhesive tape, I was so sad when the mechanic who maintained it last year removed it without even asking me.

Now, my idea: I don’t want to leave it at speculating what could have been back then, but try to re-imagine the original environment of my sewing machines as accurately as I can.

logoneutral

First step would be to narrow down the manufacturing date, the older the machine, the more difficult this will be, I fear. Next step is to find information about this time period. How would the world look like, which people were famous, are there important dates in history connected to it? What did the first owner possibly wear, what was eaten at lunchtime, how much did she (or he) pay for the sewing machine. And, third step: What would be sewn on it when it was new? What pattern styles were popular, what fabric would have been considered modern, what could have been the first project made with the new helper.

I plan to make a little series, including the ideas above, featuring each one of my machines. I don’t plan to make it a regular feature, but will post it whenever a project matches.
If you own a more or less old machine yourself and want to participate, I would love it! Please feel free to use the icon above and link back to my blog. There are no period restrictions, I am equally open for late 19th century creations or early 1990ies projects.
You can include whatever you want. Dates, facts, photos, recipes, everything you consider helpful to create an image of the time given. But you will have to include a sewing project and it has to be made on the sewing machine presented! Yes, this is the mean part. Feel free to create a breathtaking art-nouveau-gown, but create it only on your period machine, no serger, no zig-zag-stitching, no computer-backed embroidery, you get it 😉

So, are you with me?

And if someone is interested: This cute but hilarious image above I cut from a sewing machine add found in the Burda-issue of march 1956. I just love how she hugs this presumably quite heavy machine.  The add is for Frigor-Sewing machines, a brand I had never heard of before. It seems as if they produced radios and things like that until 1952, then went bankrupt. From 1953 what seems to be the same enterprise, produced sewing machines. I found Hague (Netherlands) and Munich (Germany) as production sites, but one machine on ebay had a plague saying “licensed in Switzerland, produced in France”.  My otherwise always helpful book on old sewing machines can’t add any more information and even the world wide web proofed not fruitful at all.

img025
The machines have a very distinct, “atomic” 50ies style and are very reasonable priced if you want to buy them today, something around 50€ if you find one. Back in the 50ies this was in fact a comparably expensive machine. The add from 1956 names a price of 712 Mark, this equals nearly 1700€ today! But it seems to have had some fun features, too. It was already able to sew straight and zig-zag, to darn, to make buttonholes and attach buttons and even had some decorative stitches. But the best thing, look at the upper picture on the left:You didn’t have to change the needle as we know it today but, to prevent confusion on how it should be placed, you could just throw the needle into a little hole on the top and it fell into the right position all by itself, magic!

I hope you will like this little series and I would love if someone decides to join me. Stay curious for the first post, see you soon,

ette