Tag Archives: diy

A Handbag or: How to hide a chocolate box

Each year in April there is a flea market in the old city of Berne. Not only the people living there are selling the stuff they found in the attic, but also many of the shops. This year a tailor sold many fabrics he didn’t use anymore and also scraps that were left from custom orders for next to nothing (if you commission something tailor-made, you of course need to pay the fabric used. To prove that the fabric you bought was really used for your commission, the tailor will give you all the scraps together with the finished garment. As most of the clients don’t need them, they don’t take them with them).

I resisted and didn’t even look at the bolts of fabric, but had a quick glance at the scraps bin. What I took with me was some grey merino wool fabric and burgundy virgin wool fabric, both in amazing quality and I think I remember paying something like CHF 5 for the two. It wasn’t enough left of them to make complete garments out of it, but I combined the two and turned most of the grey merino wool into a skirt with burgundy accents. The skirt had been on my want-to-sew-list for a while, it is a pattern from Burda Magazine 9/2010 and still available for download (as it is a modern pattern I won’t go deeper into it).

To use the last bits of the grey dream that calls itself merino fabric (it is amazing to sew with it!) I went through some of my magazines and found some tutorials for boxy handbags. I always connected these casket-like, solid handbags with 1950s fashion, but obviously they started getting popular in the late 40s. In fact, they are presented as a novelty in a crafting magazine from May 1948, from which I took the tutorial for this purse.

Besides the two fabrics this handbag contains the remnants of a deep-frozen food cardboard package for the bottom, a chocolate box for the top frame and the lid and some stabiliser in the bag’s body, not the worst reincarnation if you lived as a chocolate box, don’t you think?

Scan taken from: Frauen-Fleiss, issue 107, year 9 (=May 1948), p. 9

Jedes Jahr im April lädt die Berner Altstadt zum grossen Altstadt-Flohmarkt. Neben den Bewohnern beteiligen sich auch viele der ansässigen Geschäfte und verkaufen, was sich im Keller so findet. In diesem Jahr war unter anderem ein Schneider dabei, der zum einen seinen Stoffvorrat etwas dezimierte und ballenweise Stoffe anbot, aber ebenfalls Reste von Kundenbestellungen verkaufte (Wenn man etwas beim Schneider bestellt, bezahlt man auch den verwendeten Stoff. Um dem Kunden gegenüber transparent zu bleiben, übergeben Schneider mit dem fertigen Kleidungsstück auch die Reste. Die meisten Kunden wollen diese aber nicht und lassen sie doch da.).

Ich blieb standhaft und würdigte die Stoffballen keines Blickes, warf aber doch einen kurzen Blick in die Restekiste und kaufte ein Bündel grauer Merino-Reste sowie dunkelrote Schurwolle. Beides sehr gute, sehr feine und sicher einmal sehr teure Stoffe für zusammen etwa 5 Franken (genau weiss ich es nicht mehr). Es war jeweils zu wenig für ein ganzes Kleidungsstück, aber aus der Merino-Wolle bekam ich mit ein paar roten Akzenten die Jupe aus der September-Burda von 2010 genäht, ein Projekt,  das schon länger auf meiner Liste stand (Der Schnitt ist weiterhin als Download erhältlich. Da es ein moderner Schnitt ist, werde ich zur Jupe nicht ins Detail gehen).

Um auch die Reste dieses grauen Traums von einem Stoff zu verbrauchen (wenn sich doch alle Stoffe so nähen liessen…), suchte ich nach einem kleinen Projekt und stiess auf eine ganze Gruppe von kastenförmigen Handtaschen in einer Handarbeitszeitschrift. Bisher hatte ich die immer mit den 1950er Jahren in Verbindung gebracht, aber sie scheinen bereits etwas früher aufgekommen zu sein. Im Mai 1948 werden sie jedenfalls in dem Handarbeitsheft, aus welchem ich die Anleitung habe, als Neuheit präsentiert.

Also wagte ich mich an eines der Modelle und bin mit dem Resultat sehr zufrieden. Neben den Stoffen und Garn verbergen sich in dieser Tasche eine Kartonverpackung von tiefgekühltem Backkäse, eine Pralinenschachtel und etwas steife Stickunterlage. Also ein nettes Projekt, um den Altpapierstapel zu reduzieren :-D.

dress (worn as shirt): kookai, 2nd hand – skirt: by me after a Burda pattern – shoes: what for – brooch: fleamarket – bangles: gifts – handbag: by me after Frauen-Fleiss 5/1948

See you soon, alles Liebe

ette

A little crocheting abroad

Last year in April I spent two weeks in Lyons for a professional training. I told you briefly about it in my post about a little treasure I found there. To do a little crafting as well, I searched my historical magazines for a small project that I could take with me and realise without too much of equipment.

I decided on a crocheted lace I found in the fashion magazine “Der Bazar” from January 1872, according to the title it is meant to be used on “underskirts and the like”. What I liked about it, was the combination of two colours, while only one is used to crochet, the second one just lies inside the stitches. The tutorial asked for two shades of brown castor wool (that means beaver’s wool) but as I didn’t want to buy anything new I went with cotton yarn in blue and red.

20170615_194028
Der Bazar, 29. Januar 1872

To crochet this lace wasn’t really fun at all. The loose lengths of yarn tended to tangle and the effect wasn’t nearly as neat as in the illustration. So it took me until a few weeks ago to finish what it less than 2y of lace and I’m still not too happy with the result and keep thinking about how to use it. Maybe a wool less slippery would improve the result, castor wool is said to be very fine and of high quality. I only know it felted into hats, so I have no idea how spun castor wool would look or feel like. Still, it was fun to recreate such an old tutorial and to see how it actually looks like when realised.

20170615_195106

Letztes Jahr verbrachte ich zwei Wochen des  Aprils auf einer Fortbildung in Lyon, kurz hatte ich letzten Juni davon erzählt, als ich über einen kleinen Bücherfund schrieb. Um abends die Hände etwas beschäftigen zu können, suchte ich vor meiner Abreise nach einem kleinen, reisefähigen Projekt, das ohne viel Ausrüstung realisierbar wäre.

Die Wahl fiel auf eine Häkelspitze aus dem “Bazar” vom 29. Januar 1872, laut Titel eine “Bordüre zur Garnitur von Unterröcken und dergl.” Vor allem die Idee, zwei verschiedene Farben zu kombinieren, aber nur mit einer davon wirklich zu häkeln und die zweite eher wie ein Durchzugband zu gebrauchen, gefiel mir. Die Anleitung forderte Castorwolle in zwei Brauntönen, da ich jedoch mit dem arbeiten wollte, was da war, wurde es Baumwollhäkelgarn in rot und blau. Castorwolle wird aus Biberfell gemacht, welches mir bisher nur als Material für Hüte bekannt war. Ich habe überhaupt keine Idee, wie dieses Haar versponnen aussehen würde.

20170615_195006
on a high resolution screen this photo proves I have a cat^^

Nun, so toll war das Projekt am Ende nicht. Die mitlaufenden Fäden sind immer im Weg und verheddern sich nach Lust und Laune und das Ergebnis sah lange nicht so sauber und eindrücklich aus wie in der Abbildung (der klassische “Serviervorschlag”-Effekt). Daher tat ich mich schwer damit, es abzuschliessen und brauchte tatsächlich bis letzten Monat für weniger als 2m, zufrieden bin ich immer noch nicht. Bügeln half etwas, trotzdem weiss ich noch nicht, wo ich die Spitze verwenden will. Vielleicht hätte eine weniger glatte Wolle das Ergebnis verbessert, Biberwolle soll sehr fein sein und verhält sich sicher anders als merzerisierte Baumwolle. Trotzdem war es ein nettes kleines Projekt, ich mag es ja gern, so alten Anleitungen wieder Leben einzuhauchen.

Falls ihr selber euer Glück versuchen wollt, ist das hier die Anleitung.

See you soon, love

ette

A bag for the dance (Tutorial)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s been a while, again. November flew by so very quickly, in December I indulged in a short pre-holidays holiday to London, visited my family in Germany and was caught by a flu shortly after. Now it is already january and I have the feeling I have done nothing the past weeks.

Well, as you can imagine, being ill at home and lying in bed with fever, I wasn’t really capable of sewing anything. So it was only very shortly before Christmas that I remembered I should search for something appropriate to post here. And while I first only searched for a cute drawing or a beautiful front page, I quickly found some small and easy to make gift ideas in “Der Bazar” from December 15 1924 and thought “why not”. After all, I didn’t manage to finish it in time, so see it as a little belated Christmas present.

img125

As you see, there are a lot of different ideas, today let’s talk about the two on the lower left. These are two items to take with you on a dance. The first one is a little bag and I will come to it in a second. The second one is a handkerchief. There is no pattern for it or its embroidery given, only the description of it. It really has a slit in the middle, simply for handling it, this seems to have been a novelty in 1924, at least it is described as one. I have never seen something like this, neither as a tutorial nor in real life and I really can’t think of any use for it, I mean, a hankie is not that big that you can’t handle it without a slit.

Now, the bag. It is to be made from leftovers of silk ribbon, if possible matching the colour of the dress intended to wear with it. You can embellish it with some embroidery and finish it with a little tassel.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The easiest way to make it is: search for a ribbon approximately the width of the pattern, a narrower one for the handle and then choose lining and tassel accordingly. I went for a cotton-viscose grosgrain ribbon in oxblood red, for the handle and the bar I used a leftover of black liner tape (I am not sure if this is the right translation, but it was the only one I could find. It is a rather stiff ribbon with one reinforced edge. You sew it onto the inside of suit trousers’ hems to prevent them from being damaged by the shoes they lie on. It is not very pretty but as this project was more fun than serious reconstruction and as I had nothing else I went with it.).  To line it I used a little leftover from my 1940ies winter coat.
The tutorial says the decoration on the bag in the magazine is embroidered, but as the grosgrain is pretty dense and not fun to stitch through this wasn’t an alternative. Instead I attached two  lace flowers I made years ago when I started tatting.

Well, honestly? To me it looks like a luggage tag. And it also has the size of a luggage tag. And I can’t think of anything that could fit into it apart from a business card, even a lipstick would push it out of shape. Well, at least this explains why you need a slit in your hankie 😉

tanztasche
if you fancy your own luggge tag-click to enlarge

Ja, es ist schon wieder etwas her, dass ich hier etwas geschrieben habe. Der November verging schon wie im Flug, Anfang Dezember habe ich mir dann ein paar vorweihnachtliche Tage in London gegönnt bevor ich noch ein Wochenende die Familie in Deutschland besuchte. Direkt danach fegte mich dann eine ausgewachsene Grippe zwei Wochen von den Beinen und schon war Weihnachten, ohne dass ich zu irgendetwas gekommen bin.

Nun, zwei Wochen lag ich tatsächlich mit Fieber, Erkältungssymptomen und Kreislaufproblemen im Bett, ohne dass ich auch nur daran denken wollte, etwas zu nähen. Daher war es tatsächlich schon so gut wie Weihnachten als ich anfing zu überlegen, was den ein passendes Geschenk für euch wäre. Anfangs suchte ich aufgrund der Kürze der Zeit nur nach einer netten Grafik, fand dann aber bald diese Seite mit Last-Minute-Geschenkideen in der 2. Dezember-Ausgabe des “Bazar” von 1924. Nun, wie ihr seht hat es dann doch nicht gereicht und es wird eher ein Januar-Geschenk, aber was soll’s.

img125

Wie ihr seht, versammelt die Seite eine  ganze Reihe Ideen, Thema heute sollen die beiden unten links sein. Beides kleine Dinge, die man zu einer Tanzveranstaltung mitnehmen soll. Das eine ist ein kleiner Beutel, zu dem ich sofort komme und das andere ist…nun ja, ein Taschentuch mit Schlitz. Es gibt keine Vorlage für die Stickerei, das Wichtigste war den Autoren offenbar das Taschentuch an sich, eine “Neuheit”, denn durch den Schlitz kann man das Taschentuch über die Finger ziehen und so festhalten. Ja…wie dem auch sei… ein wenig fühle ich mich an unnütze Erfindungen von Teleshopping-Kanälen erinnert.

Nun zum Täschchen: Laut Anleitung wird es aus Seidenband-Resten gefertigt, die zum Kleid, zu welchem es getragen wird, passen sollten. Vollendet wird es dann mit etwas Stickerei und einer Quaste.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Close-up of the lining

Am einfachsten kommt man zu diesem Beutel, wenn man ein Seidenband in etwa der gewünschten Breite nimmt, so muss nichts verstürzt werden. Aber man kann es natürlich auch aus Stoffresten nähen. Dann braucht man noch ein schmales Band für den Henkel, Futter wenn gewünscht und was man sich so an Zierrat vorstellt. Ich habe ein Baumwoll/Viskose-Ripsband in Ochsenblut-Rot und passender Breite genommen und für den Henkel und den Riegel ein Rest Hosenstossband. Das geht sicherlich schöner, aber es sollte auch mehr ein Experiment denn ernsthaftes Taschen-Nähen sein. Als Futter diente ein Rest vom Wintermantel-Futter. Die Seitennähte mit der Hand zu schliessen (einfacher Überwendlingstich) war auf dem festen Band mühsam genug, daher wollte ich nicht noch etwas sticken. Stattdessen habe ich zwei Blumen aus Schiffchenspitze aufgenäht und die Quaste kam vor Weihnachten von einer Packung Duftteelichte (ja, nichts wegwerfen, man weiss ja nie 😉 )

Nun, was soll ich sagen? Es erinnert mich an einen Gepäckanhänger, die Grösse passt auch. Und ich kann mir wirklich kaum etwas vorstellen, was da hinein passt. Gut, es ist die Zeit, als man als Dame weder Smartphone noch Portemonnaie zum Ball bringen musste, aber da passt nicht einmal eine Puderdose rein und selbst ein Lippenstift würde unschön beulen. Also wohl ein besseres Visitenkartenetui, immerhin erklärt das, warum man sein Taschentuch über dem Finger tragen muss.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Damit für heute genug von vergangenen Mode-Albernheiten
Enough of past fashion oddities

see you soon, alles Liebe

ette

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

A bag when you need one – Second take!

birdybagIII-parvasedapta.ch

A few weeks ago I was strolling through Ikea and saw something I considered very practical, a bedside-bag. My bedside table is very small and always completely overcrowded. What a tempting thought to have some additional space that you can use even in the dark without risking to push the glass of water off the table. This bag was already in my shopping cart when I thought to myself “you can do this yourself, can’t you?”. So I put it back in the shelf, bought a whole lot of other stuff I didn’t need (as always) instead and started planning my own bedside-bag. I knew I wanted mine to be decorated. Therefore I started with the search for a motif first. After having found various designs that fitted different shapes I asked myself what I would put into these bags and the most essential thing was: the book! That very book lying by your bed that gets your last five minutes of attention and energy before you fall asleep. So I decided to cut it down to one bag and settled on a square motif designed by Bruno Behrendt I found in “Kunstgewerbe für das Haus”, issue September 1905. The motif was designed for being painted on or cut into leather to decorate a wallet, therefore the underground should be “very light, grey or yellowish”. Well neither did I have leather in that colour nor did I want my bag to be made from leather. Instead I settled on a bright yellow cotton leftover (I had bought the fabric to sew a pajama for my boyfriend in 2008). To paint the motif I used standard textile paint and a brush, sticking with the colour scheme given in the tutorial:

outline and the centre of the corner-motif: blue
background: black
motif in the corner: green and blueish green
area around the birds’ eyes: white
feathers: skin-colour
beaks: yellow
beak markings: orange

Instead of the u-shaped bar Ikea uses to attach the bag to your bedframe I made the back of my bag of cardboard and added ribbons to tie it to the frame. Afterwards I learned that the slatted frame traps the bag already through its weight so the ribbons wouldn’t have been neccessary.

birdybagII-parvasedapta.ch

auf Deutsch

Vor ein paar Wochen fand ich bei Ikea etwas ziemlich praktisches, eine Betttasche. Mein Nachttisch ist recht klein und chronisch überfüllt, daher gefiel mir der Gedanke einer Ablage, welche die Gefahr das Wasserglas im Dunkeln vom Tisch zu stossen reduzieren würde. Das Täschchen lag schon in meinem Einkaufswagen als ich beschloss: Das kann ich selber! Also legte ich es zurück, kaufte anstatt dessen einen ganzen Haufen anderes Zeug, das ich nicht brauchte (wer kennt es nicht) und begann meine Betttasche zu planen. Ich wusste dass meine Tasche ein Motiv haben sollte, also begann ich mit der Suche danach. Nachdem ich schon einige potenzielle Kandidaten gefunden hatte kam mir der Gedanke, dass ich vielleicht erst entscheiden müsste, welches Format meine Tasche haben soll und was überhaupt rein käme. Schnell war klar: das Buch! Eben jenes Buch, welchem man die letzten fünf Minuten Aufmerksamkeit des Tages schenkt. Damit war auch beschlossen, dass ich eigentlich nur eine Tasche brauchte und so entschied ich mich für ein Design von Bruno Behrendt aus “Kunstgewerbe für das Haus”, Ausgabe September 1905. Der Entwurf ist gedacht für eine Brieftasche, das Motiv soll in sehr helles Leder, “grau oder gelblich” geschnitten oder darauf gemalt werden. Nun hatte ich weder helles Leder noch wollte ich eine lederne Tasche. Anstatt dessen entschied ich mich für einen Rest gelbe Baumwolle (2008 für einen Schlafanzug für meinen Freund gekauft). Zum Malen habe ich ganz normale Textilfarbe und einen Pinsel genommen, bei den einzelnen Farben habe ich mich an die Vorgaben in der Zeitschrift gehalten:

Hauptkontur  und Mitte des Eckmotivs: blau
Hintergrund: schwarz
Ornament in den Ecken: grün und blauschwarz
Bereich um die Vogelaugen: weiss
Gefieder: fleischfarben
Schnäbel: gelb
Schnabelzeichnung: orange

Anstelle des U-Profils, welches bei der Ikea-Tasche die Tasche am Bettrahmen befestigt, habe ich eine feste Pappe als Rückseite genommen und Bänder zur Befestigung angenäht. Da die obere Lasche jedoch durch das Lattenrost und das Gewicht von Rost und Matratze eingeklemmt wird, wären die Bänder eigentlich gar nicht nötig gewesen.

Pelikane-parvasedapta.ch

Now if you ask what book I am reading at the moment: Joan Haslip – The lonely Empress. Elisabeth of Austria. The book is good, but I don’t think the title was chosen very wisely, as it only helps to stress this romanticised view we have of her while the book is in fact a biography that sticks more to facts than myths.

birdybag-parvasedapta.ch

Und falls ihr nun wissen wollt was das für ein Buch ist: Joan Haslip – The lonely Empress. Elisabeth of Austria. Das Buch an sich ist gut, auch wenn man sich meiner Meinung mit dem Titel keinen Gefallen getan hat. Er schlägt nur wieder in diese romantisierte Sisi-Kerbe, dabei ist es eine Biografie und damit eher an Fakten denn an Mythen interessiert.

See you soon, alles Liebe

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Underneath the Mango tree…

Deutsche Version unten

While I flipped through my piles of old paper to find some Christmas images to post last december, I found a very cute tutorial for a little christmas gift idea, a thimble holder. The tutorial was labeled as something easy to be crafted by children to make a little present for their mums.

tutorial thimble holder, parvasedapta.ch
The thing on the left (from: Ringiers Unterhaltungs-Blätter, December 19th 1925)

All you need is some cardboard, an empty matchbox and coloured paper and pencils to decorate.

The little thimble holder is a humble craft for boys or girls. Two rectangles are cut into the matchbox in that way, that they stay connected to the matchbox  on one side to be put upright, so that the cardboard-back can be attatched to them through slits. For the thimble a round cutout as seen in the picture is sufficient. After the cardboard-back has been prepared, it is connected to the box with adhesive tape on the back and the bottom. Now it can be decorated with white and coloured paper and painted. In the openings on the sides the donor puts small needle wrappers.

I skipped the adhesive tape and used glue for everything. Today not only suitable for mummies for Christmas, but also as a little present for a good sewing friend.

Well, maybe my expectations were a little high, but it wasn’t that easy as I had thought, working with something as small as a matchbox is tricky even for my small hands, I can’t imagine it being easier with clumsy children’s fingers. Maybe this was meant for children a little older than I imagined.

thimble holder, parvasedapta.ch

Maybe you wonder why I didn’t post this for Christmas? First because I thought even though it is labeled a gift idea it could be made any time of the year as a random gift. Second because I wanted to try this and had neither time nor matchboxes. Yes, you heard right, all I had were matchbooks or the modern, small matchboxes, but not the old-fashioned large ones. It is easy to buy them at the supermarket by the dozen, but I had enough matches and didn’t want to buy that many more. I finally found a little box only slightly larger than a matchbox and brand-new vintage-styled mini-matchboxes in a hipster-shop (1,50CHF for one single matchbox, really? This is what I do for you!). So my two versions are a little smaller and a little larger than the original size should have been, imagine a size in between 😉

parvasedapta.ch, tutthiholIIparvasedapta.ch, tutthihol

When I was done with the first one it looked indeed like the drawing but I hadn’t been aware until then it strongly resembled a tombstone. Don’t you think? For me this was a quite creepy thought, imagine a child giving some tiny cardboard tombstone to its mother on Christmas eve, with her initials on it?! Maybe I’m making things up and a mother would never see something like this in her offspring’s bricolage, but adore the thimble holder as it is.

thimbleholderIII, parvasedapta.ch

Anyway, I decided to give the second version a completely different design. Maybe it is because I am longing for some warmth, maybe it was too late in the evening and me being ridiculous, this is what my mind came up with:

thimbleholderII, parvasedapta.ch

This time I hid the straps beneath the palm’s trunks. The red around the thimble is meant to be a fire, the thimble being a cauldron with the dinner cooking inside (as I said, it was late).

I don’t know why the original tutorial kept the straps visible, but of course, if you cover the cardboard completely, you could as well hide the straps beneath it and make a design completely independent (but it is interesting to think of designs with them as well, imagine a thimble holder bearing the Spanish coat of arms with the Pillars of Hercules on each side, how very elevated).

Deutsche Version

Als ich kurz vor Weihnachten ein schönes Motiv für einen Weihnachtspost suchte, stiess ich auf diese niedliche Anleitung, eigentlich gedacht für Kinder, um ihrer Mutter eine Kleinigkeit zu Weihnachten zu basteln. Es ist ein kleiner Fingerhut-Halter aus einer Streichholzschachtel, in die Spalten an den Seiten kann man noch kleine Nadelbriefchen stecken.

Weihnachten war dann doch etwas knapp um das noch nachzubasteln, zumal ich keine klassische Streichholzschachtel finden konnte, nur -heftchen oder diese flachen Schachteln. Am Ende fand ich eine leicht grössere Schachtel zuhause sowie eine auf vintage getrimmte Mini-Schachtel in einem Hipster-Laden (für 1,50CHF, pffft).
Die Originalgrösse dürfte also ziemlich genau zwischen meinen beiden Versionen liegen.

Für euch brauch ich die Anleitung ja nicht übersetzen, klickt auf das Bild oben, dann sollte alles gut zu lesen sein.

Das Basteln ging dann recht schnell, allerdings war es doch ziemlich friemelig und ich kann mir kaum vorstellen, dass kleine Kinderhände das ohne Hilfe und Frust basteln könnten (alleine diese Streifen aus dem Deckel schneiden in der Grösse), möglicherweise bin ich da aber auch zu sehr Perfektionist und ein Kind hätte so etwas nicht so schön komplett mit Buntpapier bezogen.
Als ich dann mit der ersten Version fertig war, sah es zwar aus wie auf der Zeichnung, aber irgendwie erinnerte es mich sehr an einen Grabstein. Vielleicht sieht eine Mutter nur die liebevolle Bastelei ihres Nachwuchses, ich sehe wie ein Kind seiner Mutter zu Weihnachten einen Papiergrabstein mit ihren Initialen schenkt. Wie aufmerksam!

Wie auch immer, ich beschloss, das zweite Design sollte ein wenig anders, weniger friedhöflich sein.
Möglicherweise liegt es an dem Sonnenmangel Ende Januar, vielleicht war es auch einfach etwas spät am Abend und ich albern wie ein übermüdetes Kind, heraus kam die “Wie eine einsame Insel sicher nicht ist aber jeder sie sich vorstellt”-Idylle.

Man beachte die roten Dreiecke um den Fingerhut, erkennt man, dass es ein Kessel mit Abendessen über dem Feuer sein soll?

thimble holder, parvasedapta.ch

Man kann sich noch eine Vielzahl weiterer Variationen einfallen lassen, wie beispielsweise diesen geschwungenen oberen Abschluss anders formen, so dass er nicht mehr wie ein Grabstein aussieht. Oder man kann, wenn man wie ich das ganze Ding in Buntpapier wickelt, die Kartonlaschen komplett verschwinden lassen und ist dann ganz frei in seinem Design. Aber mit den Laschen rumzualbern macht auch Spass, warum nicht einen Fingerhuthalter mit dem spanischen Wappen, gehalten von zwei Kartonlaschen den Säulen des Herakles.

Auf jeden Fall finde ich es nicht nur ein niedliches Geschenk für Mütter zu Weihnachten wie es 1925 mal angedacht war, sondern auch ein schönes Mitbringsel für eine nähende Freundin.

Und weil so ein Projekt Erinnerungen an gemütliches Basteln an kalten Wintertagen wach ruft und weil meine grössere Variante dazu passend auch noch ein wenig Sonnenschein verbreitet geht es mit diesem kleinen Papierprojekt zum Krea-Kränzchen von Kaffeeliebelei und Palandurwen, dessen Januar-Motto ganz passend “Warme Gedanken” ist.
Und weil es ja auch ein Upcycling-Projekt ist, darf es auch zum Upcycling-Dienstag im Februar.

See you soon, love

ette

Sweater makeover inspirations

Despite some warmer days in between snow and frozen rain, the northern hemisphere can’t deny that we will have to face another few weeks of cold and wintery weather, although we grew tired of our pullovers and wool scarfs and the other stuff our winter wardrobe consists of. Maybe one of the sweaters even caught a little hole or stain during the Christmas dinner, but buying a new one feels like asking the winter winds to stay even longer, what is the last thing we want.
Below a page to help us out of this misery. Wether we grew tired of the old sweaters or are just bored because the grey outside seems not to have changed since the middle ages and we need something to brighten our day as long as the sun is on holiday. Or if we need to cover a little accident on an otherwise perfectly loved garment 😉

This page I found in the “Marie Claire”-issue from november 8th 1941, a french fashion magazine that is still published today (though they don’t include DIY-ideas anymore, maybe because this category has its own spin-off today, the “Marie Claire idees”)

parvasedapta.ch - Marie Claire, Nov. 8th 1941
click to enlarge

(clockwise from the upper left)

The rays:
Add ribbons or strips of felt to the sweater, make large stitches with buttonhole- or embroidery thread to attach them (the original advise is to use cord, but I imagine this being a little too thick to work with. And when you use felt keep in mind that the felt is either washable or that you won’t be able to wash the pullover anymore).

The monogram:
Cut sleeves, shoulders and the letters of your monogram from old socks with a tartan pattern or use a piece of jersey fabric in a contrasting colour for this, attach to the sweater as shown (no advice, but I love the idea of giving old patterned socks a second life).

The riser/inset
Use an old piece of knitting, a jersey fabric leftover or some wool to turn into an inset, add a white collar.

The diagonals:
Crochet a cord to attach to the sweater as shown. Put the pullover on to pin the cord in place before sewing it (to use a crocheted cord is not a bad idea considering the pullover to stretch when worn. Elastic lace could maybe serve as an alternative. If you want to use ribbon, try first if it really works when worn).

The little bows:
Arrange little bows made from narrow ribbon in different colours on the front of the sweater and sew in place (isn’t it too cute?).

 

I hope you like the ideas, let me know if you try one of them,
see you soon, love,

ette

Just the tiniest little present for Christmas

This post was inspired by one little Christmas present I got last year, but shows in fact much more than this.

Already some years ago I got fascinated in tatting. This crafting technique became popular in the 19th century and derived from a pastime of ladies in the 18th century: To show off their gracile hands and wrists women knotted cords in a special kind of way, using shuttles to do so. The results must have been long cords but only very few objects decorated with these have survived (I found this pair of baby shoes in the V&A-collection, though I am not entirely sure if this was really done with a shuttle. In any case it is not, as the description says, tatting, if you look closely you’ll see that the cords are only arranged in a loop pattern, the rings are not connected to each other as they would if they were tatted). The shuttles were comparably large (appr. 15cm long) and richly decorated (see this or this). Maybe you know the portrait of young Marie Antoinette holding such a shuttle.

In the 19th century this technique was developed further, the shuttles became smaller and a variety of knots was invented, now enabling to produce loops and rings connected to each other and in doing so, a new kind of lace-making was established. Depending on the complexity of the pattern and the forms used, one or two shuttles are needed as well as a small hook, for example a crochet hook.

I have never been good in learning one thing really well because I am too soon distracted by some other thing I want to learn. For that reason my only finished tatting project has up to now been my last finished one, that was in 2012:

DSC_0071wm
very simple tatted lace, made with one shuttle

But of course that doesn’t prevent me from still wanting to learn it properly and from buying tatting-related things.

Let’s start with the most basic and indispensable one, the shuttle. Still today tatting shuttles can be found in haberdashery shops, for example from Prym. These are made from plastic and comparably light. I started with them and they are ok. But as soon as I had found an old one I switched to this one. These are often made from horn, are heavier and therefore can be dropped more easily through the loops, additionally I have the feeling they are even smoother than the plastic ones. Others can be made from Ivory, tortoiseshell or bone.
I found the two shuttles below in the middle on a flea market (paying 1CHF) and an antique fair (paying 3CHF)- Both have a little chip but function perfectly. So if you plan to start tatting you should stop at the market stalls with the untidy and jampacked boxes of small things, maybe you are lucky, too. The light one is presumably horn, the dark one could also be some kind of early plastic, I am not sure about this.

my two standard horn shuttles in the middle (the project on them has been in this state since early 2013), the modern plastic shuttles on the right
my two standard shuttles in the middle (the project on them has been in this state since early 2013), the modern plastic shuttles on the right

On the left you see two more shuttles. The one with the plaid pattern is made from metal, the paint seems to be something like laquer or enamel. Unfortunately it is pretty damaged and the paint chips easily so I can’t use it anymore. The horn one on the far right I already showed once after my trip to London in 2013, I found it on Camden Market (post doesn’t exist anymore). It has inlays made from metal and mother of pearl. With something around 20-30£ it wasn’t cheap, but I found some online afterwards being sold for three-figure sums, so it seems to have been a good deal after all.

Already quite some time ago I found a small cardboard box on a flea market in Bern, filled with tatting material. Unfortunately the seller wasn’t present and I was asked to wait. Because I had promised my already very tired boyfriend to leave instantly I was forced to leave it behind but I was lucky and re-discovered it some months later and bought it.

DSC_0068 (2)wm

As you see there is also a lot of other stuff inside.

DSC_0070 (2)wm

I love this piece of black velvet with all the samples sewn onto it. Maybe I should frame it? What you can easily see is the distinct effect of tatting, loops and rings with tiny picots.

DSC_0071 (2)wm

Two other shuttles, horn or tortoiseshell, and a tiny little glass dog that has absolutely nothing to do with tatting 🙂

DSC_0072 (2)wm

In the back you see a pretty clever box made from fabric-covered cardboard. In front of it lies a tatting pin (that thing with the ring and the chain), some lace and well, I guess you know scissors and a crochet hook.

DSC_0073wm

These fork-like things are meant for hairpin lace, a completely different technique, but not less interesting. In the lower right you see an old postcard from Wila, a small town of less than 2000 souls somewere in the canton of Zurich.
Well, and if anyone could tell me what that cylindrical thing in the middle is, I would be very grateful 🙂
The pale part can be moved freely around the middle axis.

Well, you might ask “Where is the bespoken present?”. It’s here:

DSC_0078 (2)wm

An early 20th century box for a tatting pin as seen above. I was able to have a quick look inside to see that it actually came filled before my boyfriend snapped it away and refused to give it back to me, but paid the seller and had me wait one long month until Christmas to see it again. And when I was finally able to unpack it, I was quite surprised. Not one, but two pins, at least one of them never used. The other one is a bit rusty but I can’t say if this comes from having been used or from aging.

DSC_0079wm
to give you an idea of the size I put a standard crocket hook beside it.

And the fun bit to finish: I have no idea how these are used. Yes, of course, they serve the same purpose as does a crochet needle, which is mentioned in a lot of tutorials you find. And I know one illustration that shows how it is held: the pin like a crochet hook and the ring slid on one of your fingers. And then? I assume the ring enables you to drop the pin when it isn’t needed without entirely losing it. But I imagine the pin would tangle with the thread and the dangling shuttle when it is hanging on the chain freely.
I searched Google, I searched Bing, I browsed the Antique Pattern Library, but I couldn’t find a single image of how to use it, the only image I found online shows the pin alone (here on page 5, the aforementioned illustration with the pin held is  printed in a modern book on tatting, so I can’t show it).

Is anybody of you experienced in tatting and has ever worked with such a pin?
If not I will just try to use it someday, maybe it will work better than I can imagine now, who knows?
So much for today, love

ette